Home > Apostasy, Jinn-Angels and black magic, Muhammad bin Saalih Al 'Uthaymeen (Rahimahullah), Scholars, Sihr [Magic/Witchcraft] > Is executing the sorcerer a penalty for apostasy or for a criminal offence? Sh. Ibn Uthaymeen

Is executing the sorcerer a penalty for apostasy or for a criminal offence? Sh. Ibn Uthaymeen

 

Question: Is executing the sorcerer a penalty for apostasy or for a criminal offence?

 

Answer: It can be a punishment for apostasy or for a criminal offence. This depends on the previous verdict regarding the sorcerer‘s status.

If he is judged as a Kafir (disbeliever), he is penalized by death for apostasy; if not, he is penalized by death for a criminal offence. In either case the sorcerer must be executed because of the graveness of his crimes.

For instance, he seeks to destroy the lives of husbands and wives. He also seeks to have people enslaved under the influence of magic so that he can carry out his evil designs on them, e.g., commit adultery with a bewitched woman. Because of such serious crimes, he has to be executed without advising him to repent, for he has committed legally punishable crimes.

 

However, if the sorcerer‘s activities are considered acts of Kufr, he is to be advised to repent. This reflects the problem created by classifying apostasy among criminal offences, for, if one heeds the advice and repents of apostasy, he is pardoned. Also, punishment for criminal acts is a kind of atonement for the criminal who is a Muslim, not a Kafir. In contrast, apostasy is not atonable, so whoever is punished for it must not have a Muslim burial, and must not be buried in Muslim burial grounds.

 

Thus, the death penalty for sorcerers is consistent with Shari‘ah, for they are up to nothing but destructive corruption. Therefore, by executing them, people are saved from their danger and are deterred from practising witchcraft.

 

[Ibn-Uthaymeen, The Precious Collection, Vol. 2, pp. 132-133]

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