In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful…
One of the most despicable crimes in the Religion of Islaam is to attribute things to the Messenger of Allaah (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) that he did not say. In the hadeeth reported by as many as 100 Companions or more:
من كذب علي متعمدًا فليتبوأ مقعده من النار
“Whoever lies on me intentionally, let him take his place in the Hellfire.”
In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo incident in Paris, France, a number of self-appointed spokesmen for Islaam have appeared in Western media. From the most deviant and ignorant of them is a UK-based supporter of the beliefs and practices of the Khawaarij Cult, Anjem Choudary (may Allaah guide him). In his interviews and writings over the past week, he has attributed the following fabrication to the Messenger of Allaah (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace):
Whoever insults a Prophet, kill him.
Sources of the Fabricated Hadeeth
With the wording, “Whoever insults the prophets…” it was collected by at-Tabaraanee in his al-Mu’jam al-Awsat and al-Mu’jam as-Sagheer, with ‘Ubaydullaah ibn Muhammad al-‘Umaree in the chain, a man whom the scholars of hadeeth identify as a liar. Ibn Hajr referred to this narration specifically as one of his contradictions to what is authentic. Al-Albaanee graded it mowdhoo’ (fabricated). Refer to Silsilat al-Ahaadeeth ad-Dha’eefah (no.206) for more details.
With the wording, “Whoever insults a prophet…” it was also collected by Tammaam ar-Raazee in his Fawaa’id (no.740), with Husayn ibn Humayd ibn ar-Rabee’ in the chain, another known liar.
Who is Spreading it?
This fabricated hadeeth appeared in Anjem Choudary’s article, “Why Did France Allow the Tabloid to Provoke Muslims?” published in the USA Today newspaper on January 8, 2015, shortly after the Charlie Hebdo incident. The irresponsible publication was then followed by USA Today’s attempt to defend their action, claiming that Anjem Choudary is “one of Europe’s most visible and outspoken Islamist leaders, he also has both influence and insight.”
The USA Today article alone with the fabricated hadeeth made its rounds through social media, leading to over a thousand comments on the article itself back at the USA Today website.
While Muslims would not expect non-Muslims who spread lies on the Messenger of Allaah (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) to retract the falsehood of what they spread, repentance does remain a basic duty upon Anjem Choudary and all those who continue to attribute this lie to the Prophet (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace).
Is the Meaning of the Hadeeth False Then?
While it is true that within an Islaamic judicial system in a Muslim country, someone accused of insulting the Prophet (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) may face capital punishment in some cases, this does not mean that Muslims are allowed to justify the criminal behavior of those who take the law into their own hands, assuming roles of judges, juries, and executioners without due process.
Additionally, the presumed correctness of the meaning of a fabricated hadeeth could never justify falsely attributing to the Messenger of Allaah (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) statements he never said.
The Irony of Such Behavior
It is also important to note that defending the honor of the Messenger of Allaah (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) could never be accomplished by attributing lies to him that he never said. And how ironic it truly is that people who promote and defend the beliefs and practices of the deviant Khawaarij Cult would lie on the Messenger of Allaah (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace), an act the Khawaarij themselves would expel a person from the Religion over. May Allaah guide us all to what is better.
And Allaah knows best.
Written by: Moosaa Richardson