I was sent this quote by a friend:

It is permissible to kill anyone other than those we mentioned above of the Polytheists, both the combatant and noncombatant, the businessman and employee, the elderly man whether or not he be a person of influence the farmer, the bishop or priest or monk, the blind or crippled, no one is given exception

and it was attributed to his Muhalla. However it is a very big book and I cant read arabic.

Is it true Ibn Hazm said this??

  • 2
    It is here, but what use is that for you when you can't understand Arabic? Your tone gives the impression that you are trying to express your disapproval/shock rather than asking a question from a neutral academic perspective. Ibn Hazm mentions that there is difference among the schools on killing these people in war, his madhab is that their killing is permissible and he cites his evidence, and he also cites the evidence of the other madhab.
    – UmH
    Commented Dec 29, 2021 at 8:14

1 Answer 1


Yes, Ibn Hazm's madhab (as opposed to the majority) is that the prohibition of killing in war is mainly limited to the Harbi women and children. The passage you have asked about is likely the following text:

وجائز قتل كل من عدا من ذكرنا من المشركين من مقاتل، أو غير مقاتل، أو تاجر، أو أجير - وهو العسيف - أو شيخ كبير كان ذا رأي، أو لم يكن، أو فلاح، أو أسقف، أو قسيس، أو راهب، أو أعمى، أو مقعد لا تحاش أحدا.

Al-Muhalla bi’l-Aathaar

His evidence is that the Quran and Ahadith permit killing all disbelievers in general - with no differentiation:

فاقتلوا المشركين حيث وجدتموهم

Kill the polytheists wherever you find them

Quran 9:5

عرضنا على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يوم قريظة فكان من أنبت قتل ومن لم ينبت خلي سبيله

We were presented to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) on the day of (the battle of) Quraizah. Whoever had pubic hair was killed and whoever did not was left to his way.

Jami at-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah

كتب عمر إلى أمراء الأجناد أن لا تقتلوا امرأة ولا صبيا وأن تقتلوا من جرت عليه المواسي

Umar Ibn Khatab wrote to the generals of the armies to not kill a woman or child and to kill whoever has pubic hair.

Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah

The trader, laborer, elderly man, priest or disabled person has not been excluded and would by default be included in the literal meaning of the above texts. Further there is no authentic narration which makes an exception for these categories, and Ibn Hazm has cited the weakness of the narrations which do. Hence these categories should fall under the default permission since nothing can be declared forbidden without proper evidence. This is the summary of what he has discussed.

The Shafi'is also have a similar madhab (see Minhaj al talibin) while the majority holds that at least some of these categories are forbidden (see al-Mughni, Badaa’i’ al-Sanaa’i’).


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