Thursday, November 23, 2017 - 4 Rabi' al-Awwal 1439

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The ruling for ordeal by fire

Ordeal by fire ( bish'a) is prevalent among the Bedouin tribes living in desert and urban regions. When a Bedouin is accused of a wrongdoing, he is taken to the person who conducts the procedure (mubashi') who then heats a piece of round iron until it is red hot and then asks the accused to lick it. The accused is considered innocent if he remains unharmed. He is found guilty if he is harmed or refuses to lick the piece of iron.
We would like a clarification of the ruling of Islamic law on this matter.

Answer


There is no textual basis for the ordeal by fire in Islamic law. We must follow the words of the Prophet who said, "The claimant must offer evidence [for his claims] and the defendant must swear [to his innocence]" [recorded by Al-Darqutni]. This noble hadith describes the manner of demanding and establishing rights and refuting false claims.

Muslims must adhere to this manner without resorting to any offensive means that have no basis in Islamic law and which are inconsistent with the established tenets concerning Allah's knowledge of the unseen.
Allah the Almighty says,
Say: "I have no power over any good or harm to myself except as Allah willeth. If I had knowledge of the unseen, I should have multiplied all good, and no evil should have touched me." [Al-A'raf: 188]
Allah the Almighty knows best.

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