This question is inspired by this question:

How should insults to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) be handled?

Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah: The Prophet said, "Who is ready to kill Ka'b bin Al-Ashraf who has really hurt Allah and His Apostle?" Muhammad bin Maslama said, "O Allah's Apostle! Do you like me to kill him?" He replied in the affirmative. So, Muhammad bin Maslama went to him (i.e. Ka'b) and said, "This person (i.e. the Prophet) has put us to task and asked us for charity." Ka'b replied, "By Allah, you will get tired of him." Muhammad said to him, "We have followed him, so we dislike to leave him till we see the end of his affair." Muhammad bin Maslama went on talking to him in this way till he got the chance to kill him.

Sunni Reference: Fighting for the Cause of Allah (Jihaad), Sahih Bukhari.

How is this compatible with peace?

  • Tricking the enemy is a part of war; ask any average army intelligence officer and you will know the answer.
    – Najeeb
    Jul 5, 2014 at 9:04

1 Answer 1


Ka’b bin al-Ashraf al-Yahoodee was a jew in Al-Madinah who used to recite defamatory poetry about the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and also made explicit poems about the Muslim women. Hence, he was ordered to be killed by the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم.

Since you asked this question in the light of the other question about insulting the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, I have to clear up some details about this event in history.

  • Ka’b bin al-Ashraf returned from Makkah to Madinah and continued reciting such poems. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم was the ruler of al-Madinah and Ka’b bin al-Ashraf was living under his authority in Madinah. And hence he was killed.

  • The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم didn't ask his companions to punish the neighbours of Ka’b bin al-Ashraf or his family members for what Ka'b bin al-Ashraf did. Nor did he harm any representatives of his tribe Banu an-Nadeer, or randomly target the Jews of al-Madeenah nor did he boycott their businesses. Because this will be unjust.

  • The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم as a ruler dealt with Ka'b bin al-Ashraf specifically and punished him for the harm he had done.

Peace means being just. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم was just and carried out the prescribed punishment for the person under his jurisdiction and rule. To show this, I have to mention another incident where the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم was insulted but the person who did it was not living under his rule at that particular time.

This is about a man named ‘Abdullah bin Khatal. Many ahadiths mention him. He had two female singers whom he taught to make fun of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم by singing. However, Ibn Khatal was living in Makkah outside the rule of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم . The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم did not order his companions to kill him then or harm the kuffar of Makkah or any other town in retribution for defamation and insults of Ibn Khatal because that would be unjust. So he صلى الله عليه وسلم was patient and did not oppress.

So, when he conquered Makkah later, he صلى الله عليه وسلم ordered his companions to kill only few among the people whom he named. Among them were ‘Abdullah bin Khatal and his two singers. He didn't harm their neighbors or family or anyone else. He carried out punishment on only the person who did the crime. And it was done when Makkah came under his rule. Hence, this is the justice.

It is not from the way of Islam to go and carry out punishment on someone who is not living under the rule of Muslims. And it is injustice to harm someone else for the crime of a person.

Source: The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) cannot by defended by oppression and misguidance

  • 3
    But isn't this a direct contradiction? In no way, the muslims were being attacked so why not force him out of the city to spare his life? If death was written in his hands
    – user921
    Dec 20, 2012 at 0:33
  • 1
    The execution of kab bin alashraf happened in a clandestine operation. The sahabi ra secretly went in/out of the fortress. No need to sneek if they had authority/jurisdiction in place. Oct 31, 2018 at 20:58

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