"I saw our Shaykh, Qadi Abu 'Abdullah ibn 'Isa, when he was a judge and a man was brought to him who had spoken insolently to a man named Muhammad, going over to a dog, kicking it and saying, "Get up, Muhammad!" The man disliked that and some people testified against the man who had said it. He commanded that he be jailed and investigated him to see whether he kept the company of anyone whose deen was suspect. When he did not find anything to confirm doubt in his belief, he had him flogged and then released him."
The fourth case is when someone makes a general statement, which is doubtful and might refer to the Prophet or to someone else, or there is uncertainty regarding what was meant by it and whether it is free of what is disliked or evil. In this instance there is some hesitation and the opinion of the mujtahids varies. Those who follow the mujtahids hesitate to make a definite statement since anyone who is executed must be executed by a clear proof and those allowed to live are allowed to live by a clear proof.
Some of these people prefer to uphold the inviolability of the Prophet and protect his honour, and so they venture to execute those who fall into this category. Some people exalt the inviolability of taking life and avert the hadd from this person because of doubt as to the meaning of his statement.
Our Imams disagree about a man who becomes angry with another man to whom he owes money so that he says to him, "Bless Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace!" Then the one seeking repayment says to him "May Allah not bless the one who blesses him!"
Sahnun was asked, "Is not this man the same as someone who reviles the Prophet? Or who reviles the angels who bless him?" He said that it was not taken like that since it arose from his anger and he did not specify whom he was vilifying.
Abu Ishaq al-Barqi and Asbagh ibn al-Faraj said that such a man is no' killed because he has reviled other people. This is similar to what Sahnun said because he did not make anger mitigation for the vilification of the Prophet. The position he took was because he did not consider the words definite and there was no context there to indicate direct vilification of the Prophet nor vilification of the angels. The context indicated that what was meant were people in general. The man had said to him, "Bless the Prophet." His words and his curse were applied to the man who was blessing the Prophet at that moment and his curse was the result of the other man telling him to bless the Prophet when he was angry. This is what Sahnun meant and it, however, is based on understanding the reasoning of the one who said it. Al-Harith ibn Miskin the Qadi and others believed that the man should be killed for something like this
Abu'l-Hasan al-Qabisi reserved judgement about killing a man who said, "Every owner of a hotel is a cuckold, even if he were a sent Prophet." He ordered that the man be bound in chains and confined until he could come up with a clear proof derived from the content of his words and his intention and whether he really intended by that hotel-keepers of his own time. It is well known that there could not be any sent Prophet among them, so the matter would become less severe if that were what he intended. The Qadi, however, said that the literal sense of what he had said applies to everyone with a hotel, modern or ancient, and that there may have been Prophets and Messengers among the ancients who earned money by keeping a hotel.
He said that it is not valid to spill a Muslim's blood except when the matter is clear. Anything which is the result of interpretation must be closely examined. This is what he meant.
Abu Muhammad ibn Abi Zayd spoke about those who said, "May Allah curse the Arabs," "May Allah curse the Banu Isra'il," and, "May Allah curse the Banu Adam," and said that they did not mean the Prophets, but the unjust among them. He can be disciplined for that at the discretion of the Sultan. Similarly he gave a fatwa about someone who said, "May Allah curse the one who made intoxicants haram," saying that the man did not know who had made them haram.
Ibn Abi Zayd also spoke about someone who had cursed the hadith, "No selling by a city dweller to a bedouin," and cursed what had brought it and excused him for his ignorance and lack of knowledge of the sunan, but said that such a man was to be strongly disciplined. That was because he did not intend to curse Allah or the Prophet. He was cursing the people who had forbidden it on the basis of the fatwas of Sahnun and his companions.
The same applies to insolent people who say to each other in insults things like "son of a thousand pigs or son of a thousand dogs." There is no doubt that among that number of his ancestors there are bound to be a number of Prophets. It may even reach Adam, so one must restrain him and make it clear that the speaker was ignorant and discipline him. If it is known that he intended to curse the Prophets among his forebears, then he is executed.
A statement regarding things of this nature is treated in a much stricter fashion in the case of someone saying to a Hashimite, "May Allah curse the Banu Hashim," and then saying, "I only meant the unjust among them." Or if he says something ugly about his ancestors to one of the descendants of the Prophet knowing that he is one of the descendants of the Prophet. There is nothing in either of the two statements to suggest that he singled out certain ancestors and removed the Prophet from those he cursed.
I saw that Abu Musa 'Isa ibn Manas said about someone who said to another man, "May Allah curse you up until Adam!" that he is executed if he sticks to it.
Our shaykhs disagreed about someone who testified to something against someone else and then said to him, "Do you doubt me?" and the other replied, "The Prophets were doubted, so why not you?" Our Shaykh, Abu Ishaq ibn Ja'far, says that he is executed because of the ugliness of the expression. Qadi Abu Muhammad ibn Mansur hesitated to condemn him to death due to the lack of definiteness. He took it as a report about those among the unbelievers who doubted. The Qadi of Cordoba, Abu 'Abdullah ibn al-Hajj, gave a similar fatwa. Qadi Abu Muhammad had the man bound and put him in prison for a long time. He later took an oath from him rejecting what had been testified against him since there was weakness in some of the testimony against him. Then he released him.
I saw our
Shaykh, Qadi Abu 'Abdullah ibn 'Isa, when he was a judge and a man was
brought to him who had spoken insolently to a man named Muhammad, going
over to a dog, kicking it and saying, "Get up, Muhammad!" The man disliked
that and some people testified against the man who had said it. He commanded
that he be jailed and investigated him to see whether he kept the company
of anyone whose deen was suspect. When he did not find anything
to confirm doubt in his belief, he had him flogged and then released