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The Fiqh Of Nuclear Weapons

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This is a paper on the Islamic impermissibility of using WMDs / nuclear weapons by Ayatollah Abolqasem Alidoost.  It was tweeted by IRI foreign minister Muhammad Javad Zarif a few days ago.  Excerpt:

 

In the religious edicts (fatawa[1] of earlier Islamic and particularly Shi’ite scholars, Muslims were prohibited from using poison in times of war, or from contaminating their enemies’ drinking water with poison. The indiscriminate effect of poison was advanced as the jurisprudential basis for this ruling. The most prominent Shi’ite jurists, as early as 1,000 years ago, argued that poison acted indiscriminately and did not distinguish between combatants and civilians. They further contended that it had a destructive impact on the environment and living creatures. Applying the same principles that were used to explicitly prohibit the use of poison in warfare, one can readily establish that the use of more contemporary means of warfare with similar impact and consequences, including chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, is also forbidden in Islamic legal tradition and doctrine.

 

There are several narrations (Hadith) from Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), which explicitly prohibit the utilization of poison against infidels (Mushrekin)[2] and their territories.[3] It is thus evident that contemporary religious edicts, which ban the use of WMD, are pillared on principles as old as Islamic Sharia itself.

 

http://nuclearenergy.ir/religious-foundations-edicts-shiite-jurists-prohibiting-wmd/

 

 

I'm wondering whether the ahadith prohibiting the use of poison explicitly mention the rationale, i.e. destructive impact and lack of discrimination, or whether these reasons were suggested/inferred by the Fuqaha.

 

Thanks

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(salam)
(bismillah)

 

Taken from Hurr al-`Amili's Wasaa'il al-Shee`ah, vol. 15, pg. 62

 

16 - باب حكم المحاربة بالقاء السم والنار ، وارسال الماء
ورمي المنجنيق ، وحكم من يقتل بذلك من
المسلمين ونحوهم
Chapter 16: Chapter on the ruling for Fighting by giving poison, fire, drowning with water, and throwing with catapult, and the judgment of those who kill by that from the Muslims and their like
 
( 19989 ) 1 - محمد بن يعقوب ، عن علي بن إبراهيم ، عن أبيه ، عن
النوفلي ، عن السكوني ، عن أبي عبد الله ( عليه السلام ) قال : قال أمير
المؤمنين ( عليه السلام ) : نهى رسول الله ( صلى الله عليه وآله ) أن يلقى
السم في بلاد المشركين
From Abu `Abd Allaah (as) said: Amir al-Mu'mineen (as) said, the Prophet forbade giving poison in the lands of the Mushriks
 
( 19990 ) 2 - وعنه ، عن أبيه ، عن القاسم بن محمد ، عن المنقري ،
عن حفص بن غياث قال : سألت أبا عبد الله ( عليه السلام ) عن مدينة من
مدائن الحرب هل يجوز أن يرسل عليها الماء أو تحرق بالنار أو ترمى
بالمنجنيق حتى يقتلوا ومنهم النساء والصبيان والشيخ الكبير والأسارى من
المسلمين والتجار ؟ فقال : يفعل ذلك بهم ولا يمسك عنهم لهؤلاء ولا دية
عليهم للمسلمين ولا كفارة 
Hafs b. Ghiyath said, I asked Abu `Abd Allaah (as) about a battle in the city of Mada'in, is it permissible to drown them water, or burn with fire, or throw with a catapult until they die, and from [those who die] are women, children, old people, prisoners from the muslims, and merchants? He said: '[if it] is done to them, there nothing abstaining you from doing those to them, there is no diya upon them for the Muslims, and no kaffara'
 
 
Taken from al-Hilli's Mukhtalif al-Shee`ah, vol. 4, pg. 391:
 
مسألة: قال الشيخ في النهاية: يجوز قتال الكفار بسائر أنواع القتل وأسبابه، إلا السم فإنه لا يجوز أن يلقي في بلادهم السم [2].
Issue: al-Tusi in al-Nihaya said: 'It is permissible to kill the kuffar with various types and ways of killing them, except with poison, for it is not permissible to give poison to them in their coutries
 
وفي المبسوط: كره أصحابنا إلقاء السم في بلادهم [3].
And in al-Mabsut [of al-Tusi], he disliked for our companions to give poison in their countries
 
واختار ابن إدريس المنع وقال: ما ذكره الشيخ في النهاية به نطقت الأخبار عن الأئمة الأطهار - عليهم السلام - [4]. والأقرب ما ذكره في المبسوط، وهو اختيار ابن الجنيد [5].
لنا: الأصل الجواز.
Ibn Idris forbade it, and he said: 'What al-Tusi has mentioned in al-Nihaya is what is articulated in the akhbar from the purified Imams', and it is closer what he has mentioned in al-Mabsut. Ibn al-Junayd preferred (that opinion)
 
For us (al-Hilli): The principle is permitted
 
 
[then al-Hilli mentions the second hadith from Wasaa'il al-Shee`ah that I quoted earlier]
 
(salam)
Edited by Nader Zaveri

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(salam)
(bismillah)

 

Taken from Hurr al-`Amili's Wasaa'il al-Shee`ah, vol. 15, pg. 62

 
( 19989 ) 1 - محمد بن يعقوب ، عن علي بن إبراهيم ، عن أبيه ، عن
النوفلي ، عن السكوني ، عن أبي عبد الله ( عليه السلام ) قال : قال أمير
المؤمنين ( عليه السلام ) : نهى رسول الله ( صلى الله عليه وآله ) أن يلقى
السم في بلاد المشركين
From Abu `Abd Allaah (as) said: Amir al-Mu'mineen (as) said, the Prophet forbade giving poison in the lands of the Mushriks
 
( 19990 ) 2 - وعنه ، عن أبيه ، عن القاسم بن محمد ، عن المنقري ،
عن حفص بن غياث قال : سألت أبا عبد الله ( عليه السلام ) عن مدينة من
مدائن الحرب هل يجوز أن يرسل عليها الماء أو تحرق بالنار أو ترمى
بالمنجنيق حتى يقتلوا ومنهم النساء والصبيان والشيخ الكبير والأسارى من
المسلمين والتجار ؟ فقال : يفعل ذلك بهم ولا يمسك عنهم لهؤلاء ولا دية
عليهم للمسلمين ولا كفارة 
Hafs b. Ghiyath said, I asked Abu `Abd Allaah (as) about a battle in the city of Mada'in, is it permissible to drown them water, or burn with fire, or throw with a catapult until they die, and from [those who die] are women, children, old people, prisoners from the muslims, and merchants? He said: '[if it] is done to them, there nothing abstaining you from doing those to them, there is no diya upon them for the Muslims, and no kaffara'

I forgot to mention that both hadith are Da`eef (weak), but worth mentioning nonetheless. I also find the views from our classical scholars in al-Hilli's Mukhtalif al-Shee`ah to be fascinating.

 

(salam)

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