The Prophet Muhammad said don't kill women and children
By Sami Zaatari
One of the greatest miss-conceptions against the blessed prophet Muhammad is that he was a murderer and an evil man. Indeed nothing can be further than the truth, when one examines his life and the authentic sound hadiths, one will find out that the prophet Muhammad was a great merciful man who never harmed innocent people.
Here we shall post a couple of hadiths which show direct orders from the prophet that Muslims should not kill women and children, by doing so we shall refute many of the lies and distortions that have been thrown against the blessed prophet on supposedly being a cold hearted killer.
Chapter 2: APPOINTMENT OF THE LEADERS OF EXPEDITIONS BY THE IMAM AND HIS ADVICE TO THEM ON ETIQUETTES OF WAR AND RELATED MATTERS
Muslim Book 019, Number 4294:
It has been reported from Sulaiman b. Buraid through his father that when the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) appointed anyone as leader of an army or detachment he would especially exhort him to fear Allah and to be good to the Muslims who were with him. He would say: Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war, do not embezzle the spoils; do not break your pledge; and do not mutilate (the dead) bodies; do not kill the children. When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them. Then invite them to migrate from their lands to the land of Muhairs and inform them that, if they do so, they shall have all the privileges and obligations of the Muhajirs. If they refuse to migrate, tell them that they will have the status of Bedouin Muilims and will be subjected to the Commands of Allah like other Muslims, but they will not get any share from the spoils of war or Fai' except when they actually fight with the Muslims (against the disbelievers). If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah's help and fight them. When you lay siege to a fort and the besieged appeal to you for protection in the name of Allah and His Prophet, do not accord to them the guarantee of Allah and His Prophet, but accord to them your own guarantee and the guarantee of your companions for it is a lesser sin that the security given by you or your companions be disregarded than that the security granted in the name of Allah and His Prophet be violated When you besiege a fort and the besieged want you to let them out in accordance with Allah's Command, do not let them come out in accordance with His Command, but do so at your (own) command, for you do not know whether or not you will be able to carry out Allah's behest with regard to them.
Here is one hadith of that shows us that before any expedition that was carried out by a Muslim, that the prophet would speak with the leader of the group commanding the leader to be just, and that the leader should NOT kill children. Why would the prophet give such a command if he was an evil man like were supposed to believe? The fact that the prophet gave such an order shows what a good man he was, and that he was not a barbarian, nor a savage, and that he made several righteous rules of war.
Here are more hadiths from Bukhari's book that deal with this matter:
Bukhari Volume 004, Book 052, Hadith Number 257.
Narrated By 'Abdullah : During some of the Ghazawat of the Prophet a woman was found killed. Allah's Apostle disapproved the killing of women and children.
Bukhari Volume 004, Book 052, Hadith Number 258.
Narrated By Ibn 'Umar : During some of the Ghazawat of Allah's Apostle a woman was found killed, so Allah's Apostle forbade the killing of women and children.
Here we see that the prophet forbade the killing of BOTH women and children. Now once again such a command makes no sense if we are to believe that the blessed prophet was a ruthless killer, a ruthless killer does not command his army to not kill women and children, rather a ruthless killer will kill all of those who belong to his enemy. The fact that the prophet is giving such orders refutes such claims that have been thrown against him.
There are even more hadiths on this subject:
Maliks Muwatta Book 021, Hadith Number 008.
Section : Prohibition against Killing Women and Children in Military Expeditions.
Yahya related to me from Malik from Ibn Shihab that a son of Kab ibn Malik (Malik believed that ibn Shihab said it was Abd ar-Rahman ibn Kab) said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, forbade those who fought ibn Abi Huqayq (a treacherous jew from Madina) to kill women and children. He said that one of the men fighting had said, 'The wife of ibn Abi Huqayq began screaming and I repeatedly raised my sword against her. Then I would remember the prohibition of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, so I would stop. Had it not been for that, we would have been rid of her.'"
Here we once again have the prophet ordering his men to not kill women and children, and notice how one of the Muslim fighters repeatedly put his sword down towards a lady because the prophet had ordered him to not kill women, had the prophet not made the order he would have killed her. This once again shows how great and noble the prophet is, he forbade the killing of women and children, and in this hadith we see that order being put to good use. Had the prophet not made such an order the Muslim in the hadith would have simply killed that lady, but thankfully the prophet is a very merciful prophet and he is far from being a savage. And once again we have to ask ourselves, does it make sense that the blessed prophet would make such an order if he as a ruthless killer as we are meant to believe? Let us use logic please.
Finally, here is another hadith on this subject:
Maliks Muwatta Book 021, Hadith Number 010.
Section : Prohibition against Killing Women and Children in Military Expeditions.
Yahya related to me from Malik from Yahya ibn Said that Abu Bakr as-Siddiq was sending armies to ash-Sham. He went for a walk with Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan who was the commander of one of the battalions. It is claimed that Yazid said to Abu Bakr, "Will you ride or shall I get down?" Abu Bakr said, "I will not ride and you will not get down. I intend these steps of mine to be in the way of Allah."
Then Abu Bakr advised Yazid, "You will find a people who claim to have totally given themselves to Allah. Leave them to what they claim to have given themselves. You will find a people who have shaved the middle of their heads, strike what they have shaved with the sword.
"I advise you ten things| Do not kill women or children or an aged, infirm person. Do not cut down fruit-bearing trees. Do not destroy an inhabited place. Do not slaughter sheep or camels except for food. Do not burn bees and do not scatter them. Do not steal from the booty, and do not be cowardly."
Here is a hadith were we see the first caliph of Islam commanding a Muslim to not kill women or children, nor the elderly. The caliph was simply following the instructions that he had been given by non other than the prophet Muhammad. So as we see, the prophet Muhammad ordered his Muslim community to not kill women, children, or the elderly, obviously not the actions or orders of a deranged lunatic. Again I ask our readers primarily our Christian readers to use logic, is a man who orders his fellow men to not kill women and children a barbaric ruthless killer?
Last but not least, let us compare these noble sayings of the prophet and the first caliph of Islam with that of the Bible:
17 Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man,18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.
1 Samuel 15:2,3
2 This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt.3 Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy [a] everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.' "
Can you even compare the two? I ask you who really is the ruthless murderer? Again, use logic and the answer will be very easy for you. In fact there is not one order by Jesus in the NT that commands his believers to not kill women and children.
In conclusion we have seen how merciful and noble the prophet was, a true prophet of God would never order the slaughter of women and children, a true prophet would spare them since they are innocent of what their men do, and that is exactly what the prophet did.
And Allah knows best!