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TheReligionofPeace - Islam & Torture
TheReligionofPeace.comGuide to Understanding Islam
What does the Religion of PeaceTeach About...
 Is torture sanctioned by Islam?
Summary Answer
 Yes, but only when there is a reason for it.
The Qur'an:
Torture in this world
"The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to makemischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or 
 their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides
"Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): "I am with you: give firmness tothe Believers: I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and 
 smite all their fingertips off them
"Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard against thedisbelievers and merciful among themselves"
Torture in the next
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TheReligionofPeace - Islam & Torture
"These twain (the believers and the disbelievers) are two opponents who contend concerning their Lord. But as for those who disbelieve, garments of fire will be cut out for them; boiling fluid will be poured down on their heads. Whereby that which is in their bellies, and their skins too, willbe melted; And for them are hooked rods of iron. Whenever, in their anguish, they would go forth fromthence they are driven back therein and (it is said unto them): Taste the doom of burning."
Thepunishment of those who merely disbelieve in Muhammad's claims about himself is described as beinghorrifically brutal in many other places as well, such asSura 4:56, which says that they will face acontinuous cycle of torture in which their skin will be burned off only to be replaced by new skin.How Allah feels about non-Muslims naturally determines the attitude of Muslims. In the Qur'an,Muhammad explicitly uses Allah's hatred of unbelievers to motivate his people to Jihad:Sura (9:73):
"O Prophet! Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites! Be harsh with them. Their ultimate abode is hell, a hapless journey's end."
From the Hadith:
They were caught and brought to him (the Holy Prophet). He commanded about them, and (thus) t 
 heir hands and feet were cut off and their eyes were gouged and then they were thrown in the sun, until they died 
Muhammad had two murderers put to death, not inthe way of "an eye-for-an-eye," but in a far more agonizing manner. Muslim (17:4196)- A married man confesses that he has adultery (four times, as required).Muhammad orders him planted in the ground and pelted with stones. According to the passage,
the first several stones caused such pain that he tried to escape and was dragged back
. Ibn Ishaq 436- When Muhammad wished to attack the Meccan army at Badr, his men capturedtwo slaves who were carrying water for the caravans and brought them into his presence. Theywere interrogated under torture as Muhammad stood praying:
“…they brought them along and questioned them while the apostle was standing praying… The people were dismayed at their report…and so they beat them. When they were
 beaten soundly
 Ibn Ishaq 734- When Muhammad’s favorite wife Aisha was accused of adultery, he launched aninvestigation that included the brutal interrogation of a female slave:
So the apostle called Burayrato ask her, and Ali got up and gave her a
violent beating
 , saying “Tell the Apostle the truth.”
 Ibn Ishaq 764- After amassing a powerful army, Muhammad sent his forces to take the peacefulfarming community of Khaybar by surprise. In the aftermath, he was dissatisfied with the amountof plunder and felt that the town’s treasurer, Kinana, might be holding out on him. He had the manbrought to him:
When he
asked him about the rest he refused to produce it, so the apostle gaveorders to al-Zubayr bin al-Awwam, “
Torture him until you extract what he has.
” So he
 kindled a fire with flint and steel on his chest until he was nearly dead.
Then the apostle delivered him to
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TheReligionofPeace - Islam & Torture
 Muhammad bin Maslama and he struck off his head.”
 (As a happy side note to the story – Kinana's untimely death left a beautiful young widow namedSaffiya, whom Muhammad was then able to “marry”). 
Additional Notes:
The life of Muhammad teaches that torture is sanctioned in cases of interrogation. The prophet of Islam did not stop his people from beating and abusing individuals in his presence wheninformation was needed, whether it concerned a matter of sexual impropriety or the location of wealth that could be looted. In at least one case of the latter, he is noted to have directly orderedthe torture. Torture is also allowed when putting people to death. Rather than prescribing quick execution,there were times in which Muhammad ordered his men to make a victim's death as slow andagonizing as possible. In one case, Muhammad's men literally pulled apart the body of an elderlywoman named Umm Qirfa by tying her limbs to camels then sent in opposite directions (Ibn Ishaq980).Muslim organizations often use general phrases when addressing this issue, such as CAIR's short-lived 2006 "Campaign against Torture." This is designed to project the impression that theyoppose torture in and of itself, thus attracting the support of a broader coalition. The scope of theirefforts tell a different story, however, since it does not typically extend beyond condemningWestern countries in general (and the US in particular). Sympathies are also tellingly limited to thealleged treatment of Muslim terror detainees. In fact, these organizations have very little to say about ending the less ambiguous and far morebrutal human rights violations practiced by Muslim governments, even though the victims there areusually Muslim as well. The goal of these "anti-torture" campaigns is not an end to torture, butrather an attempt to capture the moral high ground on a controversial issue.Islam is not fundamentally opposed to torture in certain circumstances, as long as it is the Muslimparty that is applying it. This is a good example of the many common double standards within thereligion that must be recognized and brought out into the open in order to facilitate our dialoguewith Islam. 
There are Muslim
who do object to torture on principle, however, so do notmake assumptions about anyone's view on this subject or any other based on their nominalreligious affiliation.) 
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