Book of Coercion

The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari

by Imam Bukhari
Translated by: Ustadha Aisha Bewley

93. Book of Coercion

The words of the Almighty, "Those who reject Allah after having believed Ð except for someone forced to do it whose heart remains at rest in its belief Ð but those whose breasts become dilated with unbelief, anger from Allah will come down on them. They will have a terrible punishment." (16:106)

He also says, "...unless it is because you are afraid of them." (3:28) That is taqiyya.

And He also says, "The angels ask those they take while they are wronging themselves, 'What were your circumstances?' They reply, 'We were oppressed on earth.' They say, 'Was Allah's earth not wide enough for you to have made hijra elsewhere in it?' The shelter of such people will be Hell. What an evil journey's end! Except for those men, women and children who really are oppressed and do not have any other possibility and are not guided to any way. It may well be that Allah will pardon them. Allah is Ever-Pardoning, Ever-Forgiving." (4:97-98)

He also says, "What reason could you have for not fighting in the Way of Allah Ðfor those men, women and children who are oppressed and say, 'Our Lord, take us out of this city whose inhabitants are wrongdoers! Give us a protector from You! Give us a helper from You!'" (4:75)

Allah excuses those who are oppressed who cannot do anything other than leave what Allah has commanded. The one who is coerced can only be oppressed and unable to refuse to do what he is order to do.

Al-Hasan said, "Taqiyya* will continue until the Day of Rising."

[* Doing something to protect oneself from the evil of one's enemy without being a hypocrite or content with falsehood.]

Ibn 'Abbas said about someone whom thieves had forced to divorce his wife that it did not count.

That is what Ibn 'Umar, Ibn az-Zubayr, ash-Sha'bi and al-Hasan said.

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Actions are according to intentions."

6541. Abu Salama reported that Abu Hurayra said that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to say in the prayer, "O Allah, rescue 'Ayyash ibn Abi Rabi'a! O Allah, rescue Salama ibn Hisham! O Allah, rescue al-Walid ibn al-Walid! O Allah, rescue all oppressed believers! O Allah, be hard on Mudar! O Allah, give them years of drought like the drought years of Yusuf!"

I. The one who preferred to be beaten, killed and humiliated rather than disbelieve

6542. Abu Qilaba related from Anas that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Anyone who possesses three attributes will experience the sweetness of belief: that he loves Allah and His Messenger more than anything else; that he loves someone for the sake of Allah alone; and that he hates the idea of reverting to disbelief as much as he would hate being thrown into a fire."

6543. Qays said, "I heard Sa'id ibn Zayd say, 'I can remember when 'Umar was constricting me to force me to leave Islam. If Uhud could move on account of what you have done to 'Uthman, it would have done so.Õ" [see 3649, 3654]

6544. Qays related that Khabbab ibn al-Aratt said, "We complained to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace while he was using his cloak as a cushion in the shade of the Ka'ba. We said to him, 'Will you not ask for help for us? Will you not pray to Allah for us?Õ He said, 'There was a man among those before you for whom a ditch was dug in the earth and he was placed in it. Then a saw was brought and places on his head and he would be cut in two. He would be raked with iron combs which would remove his flesh from his bones or sinews, and that would not deter him from his deen. By Allah, this business will be complete so that a traveller can go from San'a to Hadramawt fearing only Allah, or the wolf for his sheep, but you are trying to hasten things.Õ"

II. The sale of someone who is coerced or the equivalent of being coerced to settle what he owes or something else

6545. Abu Hurayra said, "While we were in the mosque, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came out to us and said, 'Go to the Jews.' We went out until we came to the house of al-Midras (Torah school). The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, stood up and called them, 'Company of Jews, become Muslim and you will be safe.Õ They said, 'You have conveyed, Abu'l-Qasim.Õ He said, 'That is what I want.Õ Then he repeated it and they said, 'You have conveyed, Abu'l-Qasim.Õ Then he said it a third time and then said, 'Know that the earth belongs to Allah and His Messenger. I want to expel you from this land. Whoever of you has some property should sell it. Otherwise, know that the earth belongs to Allah and His Messenger.'"

III. A marriage by someone who is coerced is not valid

"Do not force your slavegirls to prostitute themselves if they desire to be virtuous women out of your desire for the goods of this world. If anyone forces them, then after they have been forced, Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (24:33)

6546. 'Abdu'r-Rahman and Mujamma', the sons of Yazid ibn Jariyya al-Ansari, related from KhansaÕ bint Khidham al-Ansariyya that her father gave her marriage. She had been previously married and disliked that, so she went to the Prophet, and he repudiated her marriage.

6547. Abu 'Amr Dhakwan related that 'AÕisha said, "I said, 'Messenger of Allah, should women be consulted about marriage?' 'Yes,' he answered. I said, 'But if a virgin is consulted and is shy, she will remain silent.Õ He said, 'Her silence is her consent.'"

IV. When someone is forced to give away a slave or sell him, that act is not valid

Some people said that. They said, "If the buyer makes a vow about such a slave. That is permitted by his claim. The same is true if he makes him a mudabbar."

[A mudabbar is a slave who becomes free when his master dies.]

6548. 'Amr ibn Dinar related from Jabir that a man of the Ansar made a slave a mudabbar when that slave was his only property. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, heard about that and he said, 'Who will buy him from me?Õ Nu'aym ibn an-Nahham bought him for 300 dirhams." He said that he heard Jabir say, "It was a Coptic slave and he died in the first year."

V. Part of coercion

"Kurh" (46:15) and "karh" (3:83) mean the same.

6549. 'Ikrima related from Ibn 'Abbas...

Abu'l-Hasan as-SuwaÕi said, "I only think that he mentioned it from Ibn 'Abbas about "You who believe, it is not lawful for you to inherit women by force" (4:19), "When a man died, it used to be the case that his relatives were more entitled to his wife. If one of them wished, he could marry her. Or if they wished, they would marry her to someone one, or if they wished, they would not let her marry. They were more entitled to her than her family. This ayat was revealed about that."


VI. If a woman is forced to commit illicit sex, then there is no hadd punishment inflicted on her

This is based on the words of Allah, "If anyone forces them, then after they have been forced, Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (24:33)

Nafi' related that Safiyya bint Abi 'Ubayd reported to him that slave who was part of government property [lit. of the amirate] had intercourse with a slavegirl of the khums and forced himself on her and deflowered her. 'Umar flogged him and exiled him and did not flog the slavegirl because she had been forced.

Az-Zuhri said about virgin slavegirl who was raped and deflowered by a free man that the judge should fine the man for the loss of her value as a virgin and then flog him. There was no financial penalty according to the imams in the case of a non-virgin. But the man should be flogged.

6550. Al-A'raj related from Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Ibrahim emigrated with Sarah and entered a town where there was a king or a tyrant. He sent to him ordering him to send her to him. She got up and did wuduÕ, prayed and said, 'O Allah, if I believe in You and Your Messenger, do not give the unbeliever power over me.Õ He gurgled and kicked His legs."

VII. A man swearing to his companion that he is his brother when he fears that he might be killed or the like

That is also the case with everyone subject to compulsion who is fearful: he defends him from the wrongdoer, fights for him and does not disappoint him. If he fights in the defence of someone wronged, he has no retaliation or compensation imposed on him.

If someone is told, "You will drink wine, eat carrion, sell your slave, acknowledge a debt, give a gift, or dissolve a contact or else we will kill your father or brother in Islam," and the like of that, he is permitted to do that by the words of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, "The Muslim is the brother of a Muslim."

Some people* said, "If he is told to drink wine or eat carrion or kill his son or father or relative, he is not allowed to do so because this person is not someone who is coerced." Then he contradicted that and said, "If he is told, ÔWe will kill your father or son unless you sell this slave or acknowledge this debt or give some gift, what he does is binding on him by analogy, but we employ istihsan and say, Any sale, gift or contract in that is void." They differentiate between every respected relative and others without using any evidence from the Book and Sunna. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Ibrahim said about his wife, ÔThis is my sister.Õ That was [his sister] in Allah."

[* The commentator says that this means the Hanafis.]

An-Nakha'i said, "If someone who demands that someone take a oath is unjust, then the intention is that of the one who swears. If, however, he [the one who demands the oath] is wronged, then the intention is that of the one who asks for an oath."

6551. Salim reported that 'Abdullah ibn ÔUmar told him that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The Muslim is the brother of the Muslim. He should not wrong him nor surrender him to his enemy. Allah will take care of the needs of anyone who takes care of the needs of his brother."

6552. ÔUbaydullah ibn Abi Bakr ibn Anas related from Anas that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Help your brother, wronging or wronged." A man said, "Messenger of Allah, I will help him if he is wronged. How can I help him if he is wronging?" He answered, "By restraining him or preventing him from wrongdoing. That is helping him."