Judging people according to the outward while leaving their secrets to Allah Almighty

Riyad as-Salihin (The Meadows of the Righteous)

by Imam Nawawi

49. Chapter: Judging people according to the outward while leaving their secrets to Allah Almighty

Allah Almighty says, "If they repent and establish the prayer and pay zakat, let them go on their way." (9:5)

390. Ibn 'Umar reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "I have been commanded to fight people until they testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah and establish the prayer and pay the zakat. If they do that, their lives and property are protected from me except for the right of Islam, and their reckoning is in the hands of Allah." [Agreed upon]

391. Abu 'Abdullah Tariq ibn Ashyam said "I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, 'If anyone says, "There is no god but Allah" and rejects everything that is worshipped other than Allah, his property and life are inviolate and his reckoning is in the hands of Allah Almighty." [Muslim]

392. Abu Ma'bad al-Miqdad ibn al-Aswad said, "I asked the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, 'What do you think if I meet a man of the unbelievers and we fight and he strikes one of my hands with his sword and cuts it off and then takes shelter from me behind a tree and says, "I have surrendered to Allah." Should I kill him, Messenger of Allah, after he has said that?' He said, 'Do not kill him.' I said, 'Messenger of Allah, he cut off one of my hands and then said it after he cut it off!' He said, 'Do not kill him. If you kill him, then he is in the position you were in before you killed him and you are in the position he was in before he said the words he said.'" [Agreed upon]

393. Usama ibn Zayd said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, sent us to al-Huraqa, a sub-tribe of Juhayna, and we came upon the people in the morning at their springs. A man of the Ansar and I overtook one of their men. When we descended on him, he said, 'There is no god but Allah.' The Ansari held back from him, but I stabbed him with my spear until I had killed him. When we arrived in Madina, that reached the Prophet and he said, 'O Usama, did you kill him after he had said, "There is no god but Allah"?' I said, 'Messenger of Allah, he was only trying to save himself.' He said, 'Did you kill him after he had said, "There is no god but Allah"?' He continued to repeat it to me until I wished that I had not become Muslim until that day." [Agreed upon]

In one variant, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Did he say, "There is no god but Allah" and yet you still killed him?' I said, 'Messenger of Allah, he only said it out of fear of our weapons.' He said, 'Did you then split open his heart so that you know whether he truly meant it when he said it or not?' He continued to repeat it until I wished that I had only become Muslim on that day." [Agreed upom]

394. Jundub ibn 'Abdullah reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, sent an expedition of the Muslims against some of the idolaters and they encountered them. There was one of the idolaters who, whenever he wanted to aim for one of the Muslims, went straight for him and killed him and then one of the Muslims went for him and killed him. We heard that it was Usama ibn Zayd. When he raised his sword, [the man] said, 'There is no god but Allah,' but he killed him anyway. When the man bringing news of the victory came to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, he questioned him. He told him what had happened, even telling him the story of the man and what he had done. He summoned him, questioned him and said, 'Why did you kill him?' He said, 'Messenger of Allah, he had hurt the Muslims and killed so-and-so and so-and-so,' and he named a group. 'I attacked him. When he saw my sword, he said, "There is no god but Allah"' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Did you kill him?' He said, 'Yes.' He said, 'What will you do with 'There is no god but Allah' when it comes on the Day of Rising?' He said, 'Messenger of Allah, ask forgiveness for me.' He said, 'What will you do with 'There is no god but Allah' when it comes on the Day of Rising?' He did not add anything to his words: 'What will you do with 'There is no god but Allah' when it comes on the Day of Rising?'" [Muslim]

395. 'Abdullah ibn 'Utba ibn Mas'ud reported that he heard 'Umar ibn al-Khattab say, "Some people were dealt with by the revelation in the time of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. The revelation has ceased. Now we deal with you according to what is clear to us from your actions. If anyone shows us good, we trust him and honour him. We know nothing of his inward. Allah will call him to reckoning in respect of his inward. If anyone shows us evil, we do not trust him and do not believe him, even if he says that his inward is good." [al-Bukhari]