It has been proven beyond doubt, based on reliable (according to Shia standards) Twelver narrations that ‘Ali (رضي الله عنه) – unlike what many modern day Shia propagandists want us to believe – was quite fond on various execution methods, especially burning:
- Proto-Rafidis aka Sabaites (non-combatants)
- Gays (non-combatants)
- More Gays (non-combatants)
- Lesbians (non-combatants)
- Apostate (from Islam) Idolators (non-combatants)
Needless to say that the above list also includes beheadings. Yes, beheadings, or if you prefer the more technical term: Decapitation (from Latin, caput, capitis, meaning head) which is the complete separation of the head from the body.
Sounds like ISIS ideology? The ideology of the “evil Sahabah” whom some Shia describe as the godfathers of such “barbaric” practices (that are found in the Bible and throughout much of western history)?
Ironically, one of the most professional beheaders i.e. executioners amongst the Sahabah was none other than our master Ali ibn Abi Talib (رضي الله عنه وأرضاه), and no, not just according to Sunni sources, but also according to reliable Shia accounts, but before getting to that, let’s quickly examine the incident of the slaughter/execution of the Banu Qurayza Jews.
The Treacherous Jews of Ban Qurayza deserved every second of the slaughter
It is the year 627 AD, year 5 after Hijra, somewhere between February-March; the Meccans have retreated from the battle of the Trench. It is here that Prophet Muhammad () and his Companions () now turn towards the Banu Qurayza, the third largest and richest of the three Jewish tribes of Madinah (the other two, the Banu Qaynuqa and Banu Nadir, having been banished from Madinah earlier) a due to their aiding the Meccan aristocracy in a war of extermination against the Muslim community. .
Ibn ‘Omar reported:
أَنَّ يَهُودَ بَنِي النَّضِيرِ وَقُرَيْظَةَ حَارَبُوا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَأَجْلَى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ بَنِي النَّضِيرِ وَأَقَرَّ قُرَيْظَةَ وَمَنَّ عَلَيْهِمْ حَتَّى حَارَبَتْ قُرَيْظَةُ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ
The Jews of Banu Nadir and Banu Qurayza waged war against the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, so he expelled Banu Nadir but he allowed Banu Qurayza to stay and he granted them favor until they also waged war after that.
Source: Sahih Muslim 1766
According to some of the earliest Muslim historians and commentators (Ibn Ishaq, Al-Waqidi, Al-Tabari, and Ibn Kathir), the Banu Qurayza were besieged for 25 days by the Muslims. Qur’anic passages from chapter 33 refer to the incident, although in a more oblique manner. Hadith collections such as Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim and Sunan Abu Dawud also give narratives of the event.
After the battle, the Prophet chose Sa’d ibn Mu’adh to pass judgment upon the fighting men, which Sa’d did according to the law of the Torah, a stipulation the Jews themselves accepted.
The judgment against them upon their defeat was that the fighting men who participated in the battle were killed and the women and children were taken into the custody of the Muslims.
Sa’d ibn Mu’adh passed judgment saying:
قَالَ تَقْتُلُ مُقَاتِلَتَهُمْ وَتَسْبِي ذُرِّيَّتَهُمْ
Their combatants will be killed and their progeny taken as captives.
Source: Source: Sahih Muslim, 1768 Grade: Sahih
Sa’d judged only that “their fighting men” (muqatilatahum) should be executed as an act of self-defense for the Muslim community. The women and children were taken into custody due to the fact that they would have no one to care for them; to abandon them would have itself been a death sentence. This ruling was based upon the Torah, the Jewish holy book, which reads:
וְאִם לֹ֤א תַשְׁלִים֙ עִמָּ֔ךְ וְעָשְׂתָ֥ה עִמְּךָ֖ מִלְחָמָ֑ה וְצַרְתָּ֖ עָלֶֽיהָ וּנְתָנָ֛הּ יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ בְּיָדֶ֑ךָ וְהִכִּיתָ֥ אֶת כָּל זְכוּרָ֖הּ לְפִי חָֽרֶב רַ֣ק הַ֠נָּשִׁים וְהַטַּ֨ף וְהַבְּהֵמָ֜ה וְכֹל֩ אֲשֶׁ֨ר יִהְיֶ֥ה בָעִ֛יר כָּל־ שְׁלָלָ֖הּ תָּבֹ֣ז לָ֑ךְ וְאָֽכַלְתָּ֙ אֶת שְׁלַ֣ל אֹיְבֶ֔יךָ אֲשֶׁ֥ר נָתַ֛ן יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ לָֽךְ
But if the city makes no peace with you, but makes war against you, then you shall besiege it; and when the Lord your God gives it into your hand you shall put all its males to the sword, but the women and the little ones, the cattle, and everything else in the city, all its spoil, you shall take as booty for yourselves; and you shall enjoy the spoil of your enemies, which the Lord your God has given you.
Source: Deuteronomy 20:12-14
This judgment might seem very harsh and unmerciful, but in the context of ancient Arabia this action was necessary for the Muslim community due to the threat of extermination they faced.
After the final surrender of the Banu Qurayza, ditches were dug and the men, between 600-800 of them with tied shoulders, were then beheaded, and buried in them, there should be no doubt that the Jews deserved and even accepted the punishment imposed upon them, no Muslim should be apologetic with regards to this incident, the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) put an end to the Jews of Banu Qurayza who broke the treaty and formed an alliance with the polytheists to eradicate Islam and its people. So their plot backfired and they themselves were eradicated to the last man. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.
Several Sunni accounts note Prophet Muhammad’s companions as executioners, ‘Ali and Al-Zubayr in particular. Sunni sources in and by themselves are no hujjah (proof) against Shias in academical discourses, so we’d like to provide you with Shia accounts, affirming that the main executioner (who probably beheaded a few hundred Jews in a single day!) was none other but ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (Allah is well-pleased with him):
Kitab Al-Sahih min Sirah Al-Imam ‘Ali (The AUTHENTIC reports about the life of Imam ‘Ali) by Ja’far Murtada Al-‘Amili
ثم ذكر المفيد «رحمه الله» حصار النبي «صلى الله عليه وآله» لهم خمسة وعشرين يوماً، ثم نزولهم على حكم سعد بن معاذ ، ثم قال
ولما جيء بالأسارى إلى المدينة حبسوا في دار من دور بني النجار ، وخرج رسول الله «صلى الله عليه وآله» إلى موضع السوق اليوم، فخندق فيها خنادق، وحضر أمير المؤمنين «عليه السلام» معه والمسلمون، فأمر بهم أن يخرجوا، وتقدم إلى أمير المؤمنين أن يضرب أعناقهم في الخندق
كتاب الـصـحـيـح من سيرة الإمام علي (عليه السلام) الصفحة 130, ج4 السيد جعفر مرتضى
[…] Al-Mufid then mentions how the Prophet (blessings of Allah be upon him and his family) besieged them (i.e. Jews of Banu Qurayza) for 25 days until they agreed to be judged with judgement of Sa’ad ibn Mu’adh.
He (Al-Mufid) says: “When the prisoners were brought to Medina, they were detained in the houses of the Banū al-Najjār. The Apostle of Allāh, may Allāh bless Him and His Family, went out to the place which is now the market. Trenches had been dug there. The Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, was present and with him were the Muslims. He had ordered them to come out. He had earlier told the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, that the heads (of the prisoners) should be struck (so that they fell) into the trench.” [Kitab Al-Sahih min Sirah Al-Imam ‘Ali, p. 130, vol. 4 by Ja’far Murtada Al-‘Amili]
As it is clear, Murtada Al-‘Amili is quoting Al-Mufid’s Irshad. Let us provide you with the excerpts he quoted from and included in his Sahih Sirah of ‘Ali.
English translation Kitab Al-Irshad (“The Book of Guidance Into The Lives of The Twelver Imams”) by Muhammad ibn Muhammad Al-‘Ukbari Al-Baghdadi, known as Al-Shaykh al-Mufid (c. 948–1022 CE)
The Campaign against the Banū Qurayẓa
When the allies were routed and turned their backs (in flight) from the Muslims, the Apostle of Allāh, may Allāh bless Him and His Family, turned his attention to the Banū Qurayẓa. He sent the Commander of the Faithful [i.e. ‘Ali], peace be on him, to them with thirty men from (the tribe) of Khazraj. He told him: “See whether Banū Qurayẓa have left their fortresses.”
The Prophet, may Allāh bless Him and His Family, had said to me when I had set off towards the Baūu Qurayẓa: “Go with the blessing, of Allāh, the Most High. Indeed Allāh has promised you their land and their estates.”
Then the Prophet ordered their men to be brought – they were nine hundred – and they were taken to Medina. The property was divided out and the women and children were enslaved. When the prisoners were brought to Medina, they were detained in the houses of the Banū al-Najjār. The Apostle of Allāh, may Allāh bless Him and His Family, went out to the place which is now the market. Trenches had been dug there. The Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, was present and with him were the Muslims. He had ordered them to come out. He had earlier told the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, that the heads (of the prisoners) should be struck (so that they fell) into the trench. [Kitab Al-Irshad, The Book of Guidance Into The Lives of The Twelver Imams by Al-Mufid, translated by I.K.A. Howard B.a., M.a., PH.D.]
The Prophet, ‘Ali and the Sahabah took the women of the Jews as slaves and their children as servants (ISIS ideology?)
The Prophet, may Allāh bless Him and His Family, remained besieging the Banū Qurayẓa for twenty-five days. At last they asked him (for surrender terms), agreeing that they should submit to the judgement of Sa‘d b. Mu‘ādh. Sa‘d decreed the sentence that the men should be killed, the women and children enslaved and their property divided out. “Sa‘d, you have given judgement on them according to Allāh’s judgement from above the seven firmaments,” the Prophet, may Allāh bless Him and His Family, told him. Then the Prophet ordered their men to be brought – they were nine hundred – and they were taken to Medina. The property was divided out and the women and children were enslaved. [Kitab Al-Irshad, The Book of Guidance Into The Lives of The Twelver Imams by Al-Mufid, p. 72, translated by I.K.A. Howard B.a., M.a., PH.D.]
Back to Murtada Al-‘Amili: He also dedicated an entire small chapter making it clear that ‘Ali was the commander-in-chief, the main-executioner at the slaughter of Banu Qurayza:
علي (عليه السلام) ضرب أعناقهم:
ذكرنا أكثر من مرة، ولا سيما في غزوة بدر أن النبي (صلى الله عليه وآله) كان يقدم أهل بيته في الحروب، ويعرضهم للأخطار لأكثر من سبب، وهو هنا يأمر علياً بأن يتولى قتل بني قريظة بعد أخذهم، جزاء إجرامهم الذي لم يقف عند حد..
‘Ali (peace be upon him) struck the necks (beheaded the Jews)
We have mentioned more than once, especially with regards to the battle of Badr, that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), used to place his family members at the forefront of the battles and put them at risk for more than a reason. And he was the one who ordered and appointed ‘Ali as the commander-in-chief of the exicution of the Banu Qurayza after they had been taken as captives. [Kitab Al-Sahih min Sirah Al-Imam ‘Ali, p. 149, vol. 4 by Ja’far Murtada Al-‘Amili]
Lessons to be learnt:
- Executing with the sword is not a practice invented by modern day “Jihadis”, it’s the practice of ‘Ali as per reliable Shia accounts (and Sunni accounts too).
- Sunnism is not “inherently” violent as some extremist Shias claim, who make it seem as if only Abu Bakr, Khalid ibn Al-Walid and other Sahabah resorted to executions with the sword. Truth is ‘Ali excelled in this field by far.
- Shias sit in a big glass-house, it’s just they don’t know, most of them don’t read their own books. If executions, in particular beheadings are inherently bad, then this means ‘Ali was bad. The choice is with the apologetic Shias