Secure their Release until not a Single Eye Among us Blinks

10 May

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

{وَمَا لَكُمْ لَا تُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَالْمُسْتَضْعَفِينَ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ وَالنِّسَاءِ وَالْوِلْدَانِ الَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا أَخْرِجْنَا مِنْ هَٰذِهِ الْقَرْيَةِ الظَّالِمِ أَهْلُهَا وَاجْعَل لَّنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ وَلِيًّا وَاجْعَل لَّنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ نَصِيرًا }
[سورة النساء]

What has come upon you that you fight not in the cause of God and for the oppressed, men, women and children, who pray: “Get us out of this city, O Lord, whose people are oppressors; so send us a friend by Your will, and send us a helper.}

[al-Nisaa; 4:75]


Al-Qurtubi ( رحمه الله تعالى ) states in his Tafseer [of ayah seventy-five of Al-Nisaa]: ‘Allah has mandated Jihad in order to raise His word high and for His religion to prevail, and to come to the rescue of the weak believers even if that would lead to the loss of lives.’ Freeing the Muslim ‘prisoners of war’ is fardh, either through fighting or ransom.

Imam Malik ( رحمه الله تعالى )says: ‘Muslims need to free the ‘prisoners of war’ even if that would cost them all their wealth.’ Abu Musa al-Ash’ari (رضي الله عنه) narrated as collected by Bukhari رحمه الله تعالى in his Sahih: Rasulallah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: ‘Free the ‘prisoners of war’, feed the hungry, and visit the sick’

The madhab of al-Shafi’i (رحمه الله تعالى ) is that freeing the ‘prisoners of war’ is mustahab. The madhab of Imam Malik (رحمه الله تعالى ) and Ahmad ibn al Hambaal (رحمه الله تعالى ) is that it is fardh. If private money is paid to free the ‘prisoners of war’ and his [the prisoner] permission was sought then he needs to pay it back after he is freed. If the money was paid without his knowledge there is a difference of opinion whether he should pay it back or not.

Umar bin AbdulAziz (رحمه الله تعالى ) stated that if a Muslim ‘prisoner of war’ asks for Muslims to pay for his release, it is mandatory [fardh] for the Muslims to pay it. Al-Qurtubi (رحمه الله تعالى ) says in the Tafseer of the following verse:

{إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَهَاجَرُوا وَجَاهَدُوا بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَالَّذِينَ آوَوا وَّنَصَرُوا أُولَٰئِكَ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ ۚ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَلَمْ يُهَاجِرُوا مَا لَكُم مِّن وَلَايَتِهِم مِّن شَيْءٍ حَتَّىٰ يُهَاجِرُوا ۚ وَإِنِ اسْتَنصَرُوكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ فَعَلَيْكُمُ النَّصْرُ إِلَّا عَلَىٰ قَوْمٍ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَهُم مِّيثَاقٌ ۗ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ}

[سورة الأنفال]

{Indeed, those who have believed and emigrated and fought with their wealth and lives in the cause of Allah and those who gave shelter and aided – they are allies of one another. But those who believed and did not emigrate – for you there is no guardianship of them until they emigrate. And if they seek help of you for the religion, then you must help, except against a people between yourselves and whom is a treaty. And Allah is Seeing of what you do}

[Al-Anfaal 8:72]

‘If the believers who did not emigrate from the land of the enemy ask the Muslims for help whether in a military of financial form to release them, it is fardh on the Muslims to help and it is haraam to forsake them. The only exception is if the Muslims are bound by an agreement [lawful withing the sharia’] with the non-Muslim entity. But this only holds if the withheld Muslims are not harmed. If they are oppressed then the Muslims need to help them

To which Imam Abu Bakr bin al Arabi (رحمه الله تعالى ) says: ‘Except if the Muslims are oppressed. In that case we need to secure their release until not a single eye among us blinks (even if we all die) or we spend all of our wealth in the process.’

These are the opinions of Malik (رحمه الله تعالى ) and all the scholars. How unfortunate is it to see today our brothers left in the prisons of the enemy while our treasuries are full of money and we are full of strength. Umar bin AbdulAziz (رحمه الله تعالى ) sent a letter to the Muslim ‘prisoners of war’ in Constantinople. He told them:

‘You consider yourselves to be ‘prisoners of war’. You are not. You are locked in the cause of Allah. I would like you to know that whenever I give something to the Muslims I give more to your families and I am sending so-and-so with five dinars for each one of you and if it wasn’t that I fear the roman dictator would take it from you I would have sent more. I have also sent so-and-so to secure the release of every single one of you regardless of what the cost would be. So rejoice! Assalamu Alaykum.’

Al-Nawawi (رحمه الله تعالى ) considers that the ruling on freeing the ‘prisoners of war’ is similar to the ruling on the enemy invading a Muslim land [that its is fardh ul kifiyah]. In fact, he considers freeing the ‘prisoners of war’ to be more of a priority because the sanctity of the Muslim soul is greater than that of the Muslim land.

An example of that is when a Muslim woman who was a ‘prisoner of war’ with the romans in Amooriyah was slapped in the face by a roman. She then said: ‘Where is al Mutassim [the Muslim Khalifah]?’ When this was related to al Mutassim he sent an entire army to free her.

When the crusaders took five-hundred Muslim ‘prisoners of war’ in al-Raha, the Sultan Imad Aldeen Zinki (رحمه الله تعالى ) conquered the town and released all of its prisoners. When Salahuddeen (رحمه الله تعالى ) won against the crusaders in Hitteen he released twenty-thousand Muslim ‘prisoners of war’ from the crusaders.

That was the state of the Muslim Mujahideen leaders. They would free Muslim ‘prisoners of war’ while taking prisoners from their enemy and then many of these kuffar ‘prisoners of war’ would embrace Islam and end up fighting with the Muslims.

These are the ones meant by Rasulallah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) in his hadith mentioned in Bukhari: “Allah is amazed with people who enter Paradise in chains!” This means that some kuffar are brought in chains as ‘prisoners of war’ and then they believed in Allah سبحانه وتعالى‎. So it is as if these chains brought them to Islam!

1 Comment

Posted by on May 10, 2013 in Maktabah


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One response to “Secure their Release until not a Single Eye Among us Blinks

  1. Fulan

    May 11, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    jazakum Allahu khayran for this. I pray we act upon it


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