حدثنا عثمان بن ابي شيبة، وعبد الله بن الجراح، عن جرير، عن مغيرة، عن الشعبي، عن علي، رضي الله عنه ان يهودية، كانت تشتم النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وتقع فيه فخنقها رجل حتى ماتت فابطل رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم دمها.
It is narrated1 that a Jewish2 woman used to be abusive towards the Prophet (pbuh) and would say derogatory things about him3. In retaliation, a man strangled her to death4. The Prophet (pbuh) did not punish the person for her killing5.
- It is important to note that this incident has been reported only by a singular chain of narrators in the first five steps, which implies that the incident was reported only by one person in each generation for a period of over a hundred and fifty years. An incident as significant as the one being reported should clearly have been more well known and, consequently, should have been reported by a large number of narrators. Equally significant is the fact that even this singular chain of narrators has been considered weak by Al-Albaniy. Clearly, these facts are significant enough to raise a degree of skepticism in our minds in accepting the narrative. Nevertheless, even if the aforementioned points are ignored, the content of the narrative may be accepted with some qualifications, which shall be explained in the points that follow.
- It must be remembered that the Divine punishment for the rejecters of the Prophet (pbuh) from among the Jews and the Christians upon whom God had established the truth at the hands of His Messenger, as it was given in the Qur’an, was to live a life of political submission and subservience to the Muslim rule. Those who refused to live a life of subservience towards the Muslim rule were sentenced to death through Divine Ordinance.
- Being publicly abusive with regard to the Prophet (pbuh) and using derogatory language for him was indicative of the woman’s lack of submission to the Muslim rule.
- It seems that the person strangled the woman in an outburst of anger because of his love and respect for the Prophet (pbuh).
- Although the narrators of the incident do not mention it, it should nevertheless be clear that such an incident must have been followed by as thorough an investigation as was possible. Merely claiming that the man took an action under inciting circumstances does not provide him with an adequate basis for acquittal. Once it was established that the person took an action under inciting circumstances or in an outburst of anger, the court may decide to acquit him. Though, the narration further fails to mention why the Prophet (pbuh) did not punish the person for killing the woman, yet it is clear that it must either have been as an allowance for the person’s outburst of anger – under the circumstances – or because of the Divine punishment referred in point no. 2 above. In this sense, the narrative under consideration is also a good example of the incomprehensiveness of the reporting in such incidents. Each narrator is only likely to report that part of the incident, which was considered relevant by him in the particular context in which he may have been citing the narration.
Notes on the Text of the Narrative
This narrative has been reported without any significant variation in Abu Dawood (narrative no.4362), Bayhaqiy (narrative no. 13154 and 18489).
This write-up is prepared by the Hadith Cell of Javed Ahmad Ghamidi