Qur'an, Hadith and Scholars:Mischief

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Qur'an[edit]

Rejecting Allah is making mischief[edit]

Then after them We sent Moses with Our signs to Pharaoh and his chiefs, but they wrongfully rejected them: So see what was the end of those who made mischief.

Mischief-makers should be murdered, crucified, or dismembered[edit]

32. For this reason did We prescribe to the children of Israel that whoever slays a soul, unless it be for manslaughter or for mischief in the land, it is as though he slew all men; and whoever keeps it alive, it is as though he kept alive all men; and certainly Our messengers came to them with clear arguments, but even after that many of them certainly act extravagantly in the land.

33. The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement,

Hadith[edit]

Believers can do mischief[edit]

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri: Somebody asked, "O Allah's Apostle! Who is the best among the people?" Allah's Apostle replied "A believer who strives his utmost in Allah's Cause with his life and property." They asked, "Who is next?" He replied, "A believer who stays in one of the mountain paths worshipping Allah and leaving the people secure from his mischief."
It has been narrated on the authority of Abu Sa'id Khudri that a man came to the Holy Prophet (may peace he upon him) and said: Who is the best of men? He replied: A man who fights in the way of Allah spending his wealth and staking his life. The man then asked: Who is next to him (in excellence)? He said: Next to him is a believer who lives in a mountain gorge worshipping hid Lord and sparing men from his mischief.
t has been narrated (through a diferent chain of transmetters) on the same authority (i. e. Abu Sa'id Khadri) who said: A man asked: Messenger of Allah, which of men is the best? He said: A believer who fights staking his life and spending his wealth in the way of Allah. He asked: Who is next to him (in excellence)? He said:[b] Next to him is a man who lives an isolated life in a mountain gorge, worshipping his Lord and sparing men from his mischief.
Abu Dharr reported: I said: Messenger of Allah, which of the deeds is the best? He (the Holy Prophet) replied: Belief in Allah and Jihad in His cause. I again asked: Who is the slave whose emancipation is the best? He (the Holy Prophet) replied: One who is valuable for his master and whose price is high. I said: If I can't afford to do it? He (the Holy Prophet) replied: Help an artisan or make anything for the unskilled (labourer). I (Abu Dharr) said: Messenger of Allah, you see that I am helpless in doing some of these deeds. He (the Holy Prophet) replied: Desist from doing mischief to the people. That is the charity of your person on your behalf.
Ibn 'Umar reported: Grant permission to women for going to the mosque in the night. His son who was called Waqid said: Then they would make mischief. He (the narrator) said: He thumped his (son's) chest and said: I am narrating to you the hadith of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him), and you say: No!
Narrated Mu'adh ibn Jabal: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Fighting is of two kinds: The one who seeks Allah's favour, obeys the leader, gives the property he values, treats his associates gently and avoids doing mischief, will have the reward for all the time whether he is asleep or awake; but the one who fights in a boasting spirit, for the sake of display and to gain a reputation, who disobeys the leader and does mischief in the earth will not return credit or without blame.

Satan does mischief[edit]

Abu Salama replied: I used to see (such horrible dreams) that I fell ill. I saw Abu Qatada who also said: I used to see dreams which made me sick until I heard Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Good dreams are from Allah, so if any one of you sees which he likes he should not disclose it to one but whow he loves, but if he sees something which he does not like he should spit on his left side thrice and seek refuge with Allah from the mischief of the satan and its mischief (i. e. of the dream), and he should not relate it to anyone, then it would not harm him.
A'isha the wife of Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him), reported that one day Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) came out of her (apartment) during the night and she felt jealous. Then he came and he saw me (in what agitated state of mind) I was. He said: A'isha, what has happened to you? Do you feel jealous? Thereupon she said: How can it he (that a woman like me) should not feel jealous in regard to a husband like you. Thereupon Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: It was your devil who had come to you, and she said: Allah's Mes- senger, is there along with me a devil? He said: Yes. I said: Is devil attached to everyone? He said: Yes. I (Aisha) again said: Allah's Messenger, is it with you also? He said: Yes, but my Lord has helped me against him and as such I am absolutely safe from his mischief.

Worldly desires cause mischief in the land[edit]

Narrated Abu Al-Minhal: When Ibn Ziyad and Marwan were in Sham and Ibn Az-Zubair took over the authority in Mecca and Qurra' (the Kharijites) revolted in Basra, I went out with my father to Abu Barza Al-Aslami till we entered upon him in his house while he was sitting in the shade of a room built of cane. So we sat with him and my father started talking to him saying, "O Abu Barza! Don't you see in what dilemma the people has fallen?" The first thing heard him saying "I seek reward from Allah for myself because of being angry and scornful at the Quraish tribe. O you Arabs! You know very well that you were in misery and were few in number and misguided, and that Allah has brought you out of all that with Islam and with Muhammad till He brought you to this state (of prosperity and happiness) which you see now; and it is this worldly wealth and pleasures which has caused mischief to appear among you. The one who is in Sham (i.e., Marwan), by Allah, is not fighting except for the sake of worldly gain: and those who are among you, by Allah, are not fighting except for the sake of worldly gain; and that one who is in Mecca (i.e., Ibn Az-Zubair) by Allah, is not fighting except for the sake of worldly gain."

Non-Muslims were causing mischief in the land[edit]

It is narrated on the authority of Usama b. Zaid that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) sent us in a raiding party. We raided Huraqat of Juhaina in the morning. I caught hold of a man and he said: There is no god but Allah, I attacked him with a spear. It once occurred to me and I talked about it to the Apostle (may peace be upon him). The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: Did he profess" There is no god but Allah," and even then you killed him? I said: Messenger of Allah, he made a profession of it out of the fear of the weapon. He (the Holy Prophet) observed: Did you tear his heart in order to find out whether it had professed or not? And he went on repeating it to me till I wished I had embraced Islam that day. Sa'd said: By Allah, I would never kill any Muslim so long as a person with a heavy belly, i. e., Usama, would not kill. Upon this a person remarked: Did Allah not say this: And fight them until there is no more mischief and religion is wholly for Allah? Sa'd said: We fought so that there should be no mischief, but you and your companions wish to fight so that there should be mischief.
It has been narrated on the authority of Anas that, on the Day of Hunain. Umm Sulaim took out a dagger she had in her possession. Abiu Talha saw her and said: Messenger of Allah, this is Umm Sulaim. She is holding a dagger. The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) asked (her): What for are you holding this dagger? She said: I took it up so that I may tear open the belly of a polytheist who comes near me. The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) began to smile (at these words). She said: Messenger of Allah, kill all those people-other than us-whom thou hast declared to be free (on the day of the Conquest of Mecca). (They embraced Islam because) they were defeated at your hands (and as such their Islam is not dependable). The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: Umm Sulaim. God is sufficient (against the mischief of the polytheists) and He will be kind to us (so you need not carry this dagger).

Waging war on Allah and his apostle[edit]

Narrated AbuzZinad: When the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) cut off (the hands and feet of) those who had stolen his camels and he had their eyes put out by fire (heated nails), Allah reprimanded him on that (action), and Allah, the Exalted, revealed: "The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Apostle and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is execution or crucifixion."
Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas: The verse "The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Apostle, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite side or exile from the land...most merciful" was revealed about polytheists. If any of them repents before they are arrested, it does not prevent from inflicting on him the prescribed punishment which he deserves.

Tafsir[edit]

Mischief means disbelief and disobeying Allah[edit]

In his Tafsir, As-Suddi said that Ibn `Abbas and Ibn Mas`ud commented,


﴿وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ لاَ تُفْسِدُواْ فِى الأَرْضِ قَالُواْ إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ مُصْلِحُونَ ﴾


(And when it is said to them: "Do not make mischief on the earth, they say: "We are only peacemakers.) "They are the hypocrites. As for,


﴿لاَ تُفْسِدُواْ فِى الأَرْضِ﴾


("Do not make mischief on the earth), that is disbelief and acts of disobedience. Abu Ja`far said that Ar-Rabi` bin Anas said that Abu Al-`Aliyah said that Allah's statement,


﴿وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ لاَ تُفْسِدُواْ فِى الأَرْضِ﴾


(And when it is said to them: "Do not make mischief on the earth,), means, "Do not commit acts of disobedience on the earth. Their mischief is disobeying Allah, because whoever disobeys Allah on the earth, or commands that Allah be disobeyed, he has committed mischief on the earth. Peace on both the earth and in the heavens is ensured (and earned) through obedience (to Allah). Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and Qatadah said similarly.
The Meaning of Mischief
Tafsir Ibn Kathir

The punishment of those who cause mischief in the land[edit]

Allah said next,


﴿إِنَّمَا جَزَآءُ الَّذِينَ يُحَارِبُونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَيَسْعَوْنَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ فَسَاداً أَن يُقَتَّلُواْ أَوْ يُصَلَّبُواْ أَوْ تُقَطَّعَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَأَرْجُلُهُم مِّنْ خِلَـفٍ أَوْ يُنفَوْاْ مِنَ الاٌّرْضِ﴾


(The recompense of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and do mischief in the land is only that they shall be killed or crucified or their hands and their feet be cut off on the opposite sides, or be exiled from the land.) `Wage war' mentioned here means, oppose and contradict, and it includes disbelief, blocking roads and spreading fear in the fairways. Mischief in the land refers to various types of evil. Ibn Jarir recorded that `Ikrimah and Al-Hasan Al-Basri said that the Ayat,


﴿إِنَّمَا جَزَآءُ الَّذِينَ يُحَارِبُونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ﴾


(The recompense of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger) until,


﴿إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ﴾


(Allah is Of-Forgiving, Most Merciful,) "Were revealed about the idolators. Therefore, the Ayah decrees that, whoever among them repents before you apprehend them, then you have no right to punish them. This Ayah does not save a Muslim from punishment if he kills, causes mischief in the land or wages war against Allah and His Messenger and then joins rank with the disbelievers, before the Muslims are able to catch him. He will still be liable for punishment for the crimes he committed. Abu Dawud and An-Nasa'i recorded that `Ikrimah said that Ibn `Abbas said that the Ayah,


﴿إِنَّمَا جَزَآءُ الَّذِينَ يُحَارِبُونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَيَسْعَوْنَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ فَسَاداً﴾


(The recompense of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and do mischief in the land...) "Was revealed concerning the idolators, those among them who repent before being apprehended, they will still be liable for punishment for the crimes they committed. The correct opinion is that this Ayah is general in meaning and includes the idolators and all others who commit the types of crimes the Ayah mentioned. Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded that Abu Qilabah `Abdullah bin Zayd Al-Jarmi, said that Anas bin Malik said, "Eight people of the `Ukl tribe came to the Messenger of Allah and gave him their pledge to follow Islam. Al-Madinah's climate did not suit them and they became sick and complained to Allah's Messenger . So he said,


«أَلَا تَخْرُجُونَ مَعَ رَاعِينَا فِي إِبِلِهِ، فَتُصِيبُوا مِنْ أَبْوَالِهَا وَأَلْبَانِهَا»


(Go with our shepherd to be treated by the milk and urine of his camels.) So they went as directed, and after they drank from the camels' milk and urine, they became healthy, and they killed the shepherd and drove away all the camels. The news reached the Prophet and he sent (men) in their pursuit and they were captured. He then ordered that their hands and feet be cut off (and it was done), and their eyes were branded with heated pieces of iron. Next, they were put in the sun until they died. This is the wording of Muslim. In another narration for this Hadith, it was mentioned that these people were from the tribes of `Ukl or `Uraynah. Another narration reported that these people were put in the Harrah area (of Al-Madinah), and when they asked for water, no water was given to them. Allah said,


﴿أَن يُقَتَّلُواْ أَوْ يُصَلَّبُواْ أَوْ تُقَطَّعَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَأَرْجُلُهُم مِّنْ خِلَـفٍ أَوْ يُنفَوْاْ مِنَ الاٌّرْضِ﴾


(they shall be killed or crucified or their hands and their feet be cut off on the opposite sides, or be exiled from the land.) `Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn `Abbas said about this Ayah, `He who takes up arms in Muslim land and spreads fear in the fairways and is captured, the Muslim Leader has the choice to either have him killed, crucified or cut off his hands and feet. Similar was said by Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib, Mujahid, `Ata', Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i and Ad-Dahhak, as Abu Ja`far Ibn Jarir recorded. This view is supported by the fact that the word Aw (or), indicates a choice. As Allah said,


﴿فَجَزَآءٌ مِّثْلُ مَا قَتَلَ مِنَ النَّعَمِ يَحْكُمُ بِهِ ذَوَا عَدْلٍ مِّنْكُمْ هَدْياً بَـلِغَ الْكَعْبَةِ أَوْ كَفَّارَةٌ طَعَامُ مَسَـكِينَ أَو عَدْلُ ذلِكَ صِيَاماً﴾


(The penalty is an offering, brought to the Ka`bah, of an eatable animal equivalent to the one he killed, as adjudged by two just men among you; or, for expiation, he should feed the poor, or its equivalent in fasting.)﴿5:95﴾ Allah said,


﴿فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم مَّرِيضًا أَوْ بِهِ أَذًى مِّن رَّأْسِهِ فَفِدْيَةٌ مِّن صِيَامٍ أَوْ صَدَقَةٍ أَوْ نُسُكٍ﴾


(And whosoever of you is ill or has an ailment in his scalp (necessitating shaving), he must pay a ransom of either fasting or giving charity or offering a sacrifice.) and,


﴿فَكَفَّارَتُهُ إِطْعَامُ عَشَرَةِ مَسَـكِينَ مِنْ أَوْسَطِ مَا تُطْعِمُونَ أَهْلِيكُمْ أَوْ كِسْوَتُهُمْ أَوْ تَحْرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ﴾


(...for its expiation feed ten of the poor, on a scale of the average of that with which you feed your own families, or clothe them, or free a slave.) All of these Ayat offer a choice, just as the Ayah above. As for Allah's statement,


﴿أَوْ يُنفَوْاْ مِنَ الاٌّرْضِ﴾


(or be exiled from the land.) some said that it means, he is actively pursued until he is captured, and thus receives his prescribed punishment, or otherwise he escapes from the land of Islam, as Ibn Jarir recorded from Ibn `Abbas, Anas bin Malik, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ad-Dahhak, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, Az-Zuhri, Al-Layth bin Sa`d and Malik bin Anas. Some said that the Ayah means these people are expelled to another land, or to another state by the Muslims authorities. Sa`id bin Jubayr, Abu Ash-Sha`tha', Al-Hasan, Az-Zuhri, Ad-Dahhak and Muqatil bin Hayyan said that he is expelled, but not outside of the land of Islam, while others said that he is to be imprisoned. Allah's statement,


﴿ذَلِكَ لَهُمْ خِزْىٌ فِى الدُّنْيَا وَلَهُمْ فِى الاٌّخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ﴾


(That is their disgrace in this world, and a great torment is theirs in the Hereafter.) means, the punishment We prescribed, killing these aggressors, crucifying them, cutting off their hands and feet on opposite sides, or expelling them from the land is a disgrace for them among mankind in this life, along with the tremendous torment Allah has prepared for them in the Hereafter. This view supports the opinion that these Ayat were revealed about the idolators. As for Muslims, in his Sahih, Muslim recorded that `Ubadah bin As-Samit said, "The Messenger of Allah took the same pledge from us that he also took from women: That we do not associate anything with Allah in worship, we do not steal, commit adultery, or kill our children, and that we do not spread falsehood about each other. He said that he who keeps this pledge, then his reward will be with Allah. He who falls into shortcomings and was punished, then this will be his expiation. And those whose errors were covered by Allah, then their matter is for Allah: If He wills, He will punish them and If He wills, He will pardon them. `Ali narrated that the Messenger of Allah said,


«مَنْ أَذْنَبَ ذَنْبًا فِي الدُّنْيَا فَعُوقِبَ بِهِ، فَاللهُ أَعْدَلُ مِنْ أَنْ يُثَنِّيَ عُقُوبَتَهُ عَلى عَبْدِهِ، وَمَنْ أَذْنَبَ ذَنْبًا فِي الدُّنْيَا فَسَتَرهُ اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَعَفَا عَنْهُ، فَاللهُ أَكْرَمُ مِنْ أَنْ يَعُودَ عَلَيْهِ فِي شَيْءٍ قَدْ عَفَا عَنْه»


(He who sins in this life and was punished for it, then Allah is far more just than to combine two punishments on His servant. He who commits an error in this life and Allah hides this error and pardons him, then Allah is far more generous than to punish the servant for something that He has already pardoned.) iRecorded by Ahmad, Ibn Majah and At-Tirmidhi who said, "Hasan Gharib.Al-Hafiz Ad-Daraqutni was asked about this Hadith, and he said that it was related to the Prophet in some narrations, and it was related to the Companions in others, and that this narration from the Prophet is Sahih. Ibn Jarir commented on Allah's statement,


﴿ذَلِكَ لَهُمْ خِزْىٌ فِى الدُّنْيَا﴾


(That is their disgrace in this world,) "Meaning, shame, humiliation, punishment, contempt and torment in this life, before the Hereafter,


﴿وَلَهُمْ فِى الاٌّخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ﴾


(and a great torment is theirs in the Hereafter.) if they do not repent from these errors until death overcomes them. In this case, they will be stricken by the punishment that We prescribed for them in this life and the torment that We prepared for them therein,


﴿عَذَابٌ عظِيمٌ﴾


(a great torment) in the Fire of Jahannam.

See Also[edit]

  • Mischief - A hub page that leads to other articles related to Mischief