Burning Kafirs as well as those who defy Islamic edicts being a Muslim is one of the most controversial practices ordained indirectly by the scripture in Chapter Lot. This monstrous punishment is further fortified by the acts of Abu Bakr and Ali, both of who were very close to the Prophet of Islam. Some years ago, the acts of burning Yazidi and homosexuals met with disbelief and shock by the world. Many chose to blame ISIS for this heinous crime, because after all it was this extremist terrorist organization who had carried out these acts.  Those who didn’t know or didn’t want to know the history of this punishment, called this a distorted and perverted version of Islam. However, the practice was prevalent in the era of early Islam and can be confirmed through various incidents reported through Hadith books and narrative

  1. Some Bedouins who had come from outside Madina were punished for killing camels, by having their eyes smouldered by hot nails and cutting off their hands and feet on the order of Muhammad. They were kept in a place and not given water until they died. This was the punishment for committing theft and ‘murder’ of camels (Sunan Nasai Vol 1, Book 1, Hadith 308)
  2. The Prophet subscribed the punishment for sodomy as being burned by fire and this practice was carried out by his predecessors (Sunan Nasai).
  3. Whenever Muslims were out fighting war and capturing territories, they would stop in the middle and form Namaz. Then they would see who comes to join them. The ones who did join them, were questioned closely and then sanctioned with Jizya tax. Those who did not join, were captured and burned to death. This practise was specially introduced in the period of Abu Bakr, Muhammad’s father in law and first caliph after him
    4. Then there are repeated referrals to the Chapter Lot in Quran which talks about the sodomising people of Lot, and how they met with a disastrous end when they chose not to listen to Prophet Lot. In many narratives, the punishment for Sodomy is proscribed as worse than that of adultery. Both acts are punishable by death in the end, but the path to death is said to be made much more sickening if the individuals involved were caught for sodomy.

“Narrated By Abdullah ibn Abbas : If a man who is not married is seized committing sodomy, he will be stoned to death.” Sunan Abu Dawud 38:4448. Further mention of burning people on acts of homosexuality are presented in this narration from Khaalid ibn al-Waleed, one of the strongest and fiercest Commander of early Islam.  He says that he found a man among one of the Arab tribes with whom men would have intercourse as with a woman. He wrote to Abu Bakr al-Siddique, the father in law of the Prophet.  Abu Bakr further consulted the matter with his fellow Sahaba.  The Prophet’s son in law, Ali had the strongest opinion of all of them, and he said: “No one did that but one of the nations (The people of Lot), and you know what Allah did to them. I think that he should be burned with fire.” So, Abu Bakr wrote to Khalid and he had him burned. Simple as that.

Another narration about burning people alive for defying Islam involves women, and this act was again ordered by Ali.  The 6thImam of the Shia sect, Jafar Sadiq said: “Two women were brought to the Chief of the Believers (‘Ali), peace be upon him, they were caught under one bed sheet and were charged with evidence. They were indulging in homosexual (lesbian) acts, so ‘Ali asked for the execution mat, placed them on it and burnt them to death.”

These narrations and acts should be of concern specially to the LGBTQ community of the west who thoroughly support Islam. In fact, there are certain groups who have declared themselves practicing Muslims while coming out as members of LGBTQ community.  The Queer Muslim Project is one such movement which encourages wearing your sexuality and your Deen on each one of your sleeves.  These people are looking within their Muslim community for acceptance and recognition, when all they need to do is read Quran which clearly describes them as the people who chose not to believe its teachings, and who will face the same fate as the people of Lot.

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