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Victims of crucifixion, under Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq. It is a prescribed punishment in Quran 5:33 for those who cause 'mischief'.


Crucifixion (صلبه salb) typically refers to the painful method of execution and/or torture by tying and/or nailing someone to a cross, stake or tree. It can also refer to the method of public display of a body after execution.

In the Modern World

Despite the fact that Constantine the Great, the first Christian emperor, abolished crucifixion in the Roman Empire in 337 AD, out of veneration for Jesus Christ, the most famous victim of crucifixion,[1] Muhammad perpetuated this practice by declaring it a prescribed punishment in Islamic law.

Crucifixion is still a part of Iran's criminal code,[2] and as a method of torture and execution is still being used, primarily against Christians and Christian converts, in Sudan and Iraq, both Islamic countries.[3][4]

As Joseph (who was taken into slavery by Muslims at the age of seven) found out in November 2004, not even children are spared.

Christian slave-boy Joseph.
"During his enslavement, he was often beaten, tortured and abused by his Arab master. African slaves, especially Christians, are viewed as lower than animals.

"Joseph was raised Christian. His desire to worship was mocked by his master, who told him every day for 10 years that he had no business worshipping since he was of no more value than a donkey."

One Sunday morning, Joseph heard the hymn singing of a Christian service. He joined into the worship, remembering church services from when he was a young boy.

While Joseph was at church, some of the camels he was in charge of escaped, and his master flew into a rage. Ibrahim, Phillips writes, "swore he would kill Joseph and do to him what had been done to Jesus ... he would crucify him.

"After brutally beating Joseph on the head and all over his body, the master laid him out on a wooden plank. He then nailed Joseph to the plank by driving nine-inch nails through his hands, knees and feet. He then poured acid on Joseph's legs to inflict even greater pain, and finally left him for dead."[5]

Adding itself to the ranks of shariah-practicing leaderships, Hamas, the Islamic governing body of Gaza, reinstated the penalty of crucifixion in 2008,[6] and in May 2009 and June 2010 two convicted killers were beheaded in Saudi Arabia and their bodies were crucified for public display.[7][8]

In June 2011 two Christian brothers from the Ivory Coast were badly beaten, tortured, then nailed with steel spikes to cross-shaped planks by their hands and feet, on “the example of Christ” by forces loyal to Muslim President Alassane Ouattara. Raphael, the eldest brother, died from his injuries.[9]

Rudolph Peters, a well respected historian and specialist in Islamic law, writes:

Crucifixion is mentioned in the Koran (K 5:33) as one of the punishments for banditry. Most schools explain crucifixion as exposure of the body of the bandit after his execution. The majority of the Malikites, however, hold that the bandit must be crucified first, and then brought to death by stabbing him in the breast. For the Shiites, finally, the punishment consists of crucifying the bandit for a period of three days. If after this period the culprit is still alive, his life will be spared.[10]


The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, 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 sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter;


Muslim Apostates

Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin: The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) Said: The blood of a Muslim man who testifies that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's Apostle should not lawfully be shed except only for one of three reasons: a man who committed fornication after marriage, in which case he should be stoned; one who goes forth to fight with Allah and His Apostle, in which case he should be killed or crucified or exiled from the land; or one who commits murder for which he is killed.

Mischief Makers

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.

The First Crucifixion

Narrated Umm Waraqah daughter of Nawfal: When the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) proceeded for the Battle of Badr, I said to him: Apostle of Allah allow me to accompany you in the battle. I shall act as a nurse for patients. It is possible that Allah might bestow martyrdom upon me. He said: Stay at your home. Allah, the Almighty , will bestow martyrdom upon you.

The narrator said: Hence she was called martyr. She read the Qur'an. She sought permission from the Prophet (peace be upon him) to have a mu'adhdhin in her house. He, therefore, permitted her (to do so).

She announced that her slave and slave-girl would be free after her death. One night they went to her and strangled her with a sheet of cloth until she died, and they ran away.

Next day Umar announced among the people, "Anyone who has knowledge about them, or has seen them, should bring them (to him)."

Umar (after their arrest) ordered (to crucify them) and they were crucified. This was the first crucifixion at Medina.

See Also

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

External Links


  1. crucifixion - Encyclopædia Britannica Online, 2009
  2. Ehsan Zar Rokh - Case Study in Iranian Criminal System - University of Tehran, 2008
  3. Simon Caldwell - Christians are ‘crucified’ in guerrilla raids - The Catholic Herald, September 25, 2009
  4. Report: Christians crucified by terrorists in Iraq - WorldNetDaily, July 17, 2007
  5. Michael Ireland - Sudanese slave 'crucified' by his master not unusual in central African nation - ASSIST News, November 9, 2004
  6. Nicole Jansezian - Hamas Reinstates Crucifixions of Christians - Newsmax, January 9, 2009
  7. Convicted killer beheaded, put on display in Saudi Arabia - CNN, May 30, 2009
  8. Saudi beheads and nails murderer's body to cross - NewsCore, June 22, 2010
  9. Brothers crucified by Ouattara forces in Ivory Coast - Barnabas Aid, June 8, 2011
  10. Peters, Rudolph (2005) - Crime and Punishment in Islamic Law - (pp. 37-38). New York: Cambridge University Press