Table of Contents

Malediction in the words of Prophet Muhammad (S)

By referring to the Prophetic traditions, we notice that the Noble Prophet (S) used the term ‘laʿn’ and its derivatives many times – even using it specifically for some Muslims and even some of the companions - and in all of these instances, he did so due to their shameful actions.

Sometimes, the Noble Prophet (S) used the term (laʿn) in a general meaning, such as when he stated: “The thief, the young man who comes out looking like a woman and also the woman whose appearance is that of a man, the person who slaughters an animal without taking the name of God, the person who imprecates against his own parents, the one who engages in the same actions as the people of Lot (Prophet Lut) (homosexuality) and the one who takes bribes [are all those who have been distanced from the mercy of God]…”1

The Prophet of Islam (S) has also been quoted as saying: “May God remove His mercy (la’n) from alcoholic drinks, the one who drinks alcohol, the one who serves alcohol, the seller, the purchaser and…”2

The Prophet of Islam (S) has also said: “May God remove His mercy (la’n) from the one who takes usury, the one who gives usury, the one who writes [a contract based on usury] and the witnesses [who witness a transaction involving usury].”3

There are times in which the Noble Prophet (S) also mentioned specific individuals and made imprecation against them.

Shaʿbi has narrated that: “While leaning against the Kaʿbah, ʿAbdullah b. Zubayr stated: ‘I take an oath by the Lord of this house that indeed the Messenger of God had imprecated against so and so and whosoever was born from his loins.”4

In regards to whom it was that ʿAbdullah b. Zubayr was referring to, it has been mentioned by Hakim al-Nishaburi in a tradition found in his Mustadrak that the person was Hakam b. ʿAs and his son.5

In addition, Marwan and his father were also people who the Messenger of God (S) imprecated against. Hakim al-Nishaburi has narrated a tradition found in his Mustadrak that states: “The Messenger of God imprecated against the father of Marwan even before Marwan was born.”6

On various occasions, the Messenger of God (S) imprecated against Abu Sufyan and Muʿawiyah. ʿAli b. Aqmar has stated: “Along with a group of others, we asked ʿAbdullah b. ʿUmar to share a saying of the Prophet with us to which he replied: ‘While Abu Sufyan was on his steed and Muʿawiyah and his brothers were in front and behind their father (Abu Sufyan) riding on their animals, the Prophet said the following (in regards to them): ‘O God! Remove your mercy from the one who is riding [on the animal] at the front, the one who is following him and the one who is behind him.’

We asked him [ʿAbdullah b. ʿUmar]: ‘You heard this directly from the Messenger of God?’ He replied: ‘Yes and if I lie, may both of my ears go deaf and my I lose my sight.’”7

In another event, ʿAbdullah b. ʿUmar said: “The Messenger of God (S) once imprecated in the following fashion during the Battle of Uhud by saying: ‘O God! Remove your mercy from Abu Sufyan…’8

In addition, Ibn Barra’ has narrated from his father, Barraʾ b. ʿAzib that Abu Sufyan, along with his son Muʿawiyah, came to the Messenger (S), who said to them: “O God! Remove your mercy from the one who is following [Muʿawiyah] and the one whom he is following [Abu Sufyan]. O God! I leave ‘al-Aqyas’ to you [to deal with].’ Ibne Barra’ asked his father, “Who is al-Aqyas?” The father replied, “This is Muʿawiyah.”9

  • 1. Al-Musnad of Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal, vol. 2, pg. 152-225
  • 2. Sunan of Abi Dawud, vol. 3, pg. 366; Al-Musnad of Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal, vol. 1, pg. 316
  • 3. Ibid., vol. 1, pg. 93
  • 4. Al-Musnad of Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal, vol. 4, pg. 5 [لَقَدْ لَعَنَ رَسُولُ اللّهِ فُلاناً وَما وُلِدَ مِنْ صُلْبِهِ]
  • 5. Mustadrak, v. 4, pg. 528 [لَعَنَ رَسُولُ اللّهِ الحَکَمَ وَوَلَدَهُ]
  • 6. Mustadrak, v. 4, pg. 528 [رَسُولُ اللّهِ لَعَنَ أَبَا مَرْوَانَ وَمَرْوَانُ فِي صُلْبِهِ]
  • 7. Waqaʿat al-siffin, pg. 217 [أَللَّهُمَّ الْعَنِ الْقَائِدَ وَ السَّائِقَ وَ الرَّاکِبَ، قُلْنَا أَنْتَ سَمِعْتَ رَسُولَ اللّهِ (صَلَّى اللّهُ عَلَیْهِ وَآلِهِ)؟ قَالَ نَعَمُ، وَ إِلاَّ فُصُمْتَا أُذُنَایَّ، کَمَا عُمِیتَا عَیْنَاىَّ]
  • 8. Tafsir of al-Tabari, vol. 7, pg. 200 [أَللّٰهُمَّ الْعَنْ أباسُفْیانَ...]
  • 9. Al-Ghadir, vol. 12, pg. 140; Waqaʿat al-siffin, pg. 218 [أَللَّهُمَّ الْعَنِ التَّابِعَ وَ الْمَتْبُوعَ، أَللَّهُمَّ عَلَیْکَ بِالْأَقْیَعْسِ، قَالَ إِبْنُ الْبَرَّاءَ لِأَبِیهِ: مَنِ الْأَقْیَعْسَ؟ قَالَ: مُعَاوِیَةَ]