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Curses in Islam

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Title: Curses in Islam  
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Subject: Husayn ibn Ali, Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad, Tabarra, Hadith of Mubahala, Qadi Thanaullah Panipati, Umayyad tradition of cursing Ali
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Curses in Islam

In Islam, one can pray for God to curse someone. This is done with the Arabic word La'nat. "La'nat" means deprivation, and can be used in expressions such as "La'anatullah", "May (he/she/it) be deprived of God's (blessings)". So, the curse is not to be understood as gaining evil, rather of losing the blessings of God.

Qur'an and Sunnah

There are in the Qur'an several verses where God deprived human populations from God's blessings (cursed) because of their sins:

The end of the verse can be understood as "As for the unjust, their actions caused them to be deprived from the blessings of God, the angels and humans, all together."

Also, there are hadith where Muhammad invoked God's la'nat upon humans. The most famous hadith regarding invoking God's curse is the Hadith of Mubahela, also mentioned in the Qur'an:

There was an ongoing treaty with the Christians of Najran in the 9 AH. The treaty was regarded of vital importance, it was not the result either of war. it ended in Mubahela between Muhammad and the Christians of Najran.[1][2]


Sunni view

The Sunni Muslims do not place much emphasis on cursing. They do not believe Muhammad would have sanctioned it. For example, they cite that after being attacked by a mob of ruffians in a town in which he had attempted to preach Islam to, the angel Gabriel offered that God could destroy the town, however, the Prophet preferred to pray that the children of the townsfolk be guided by God.

One of the classic Sunni scholars was asked about cursing Yezid, the tyrant and perpetrator of violence against the Ahlul-Bayt, and replied that he found it better to praise Hussayn, the martyred grandson of Muhammad, than to curse Yezid .

The Ahbash Sunni movement in Lebanon, too, are reported to allow cursing the enemies of the Ahlul-Bayt, as they are established in Sunni sources as enemies of God .

Cursing is permissible in Sunni Islam if the one being cursed is alive and is clearly behaving as tyrants. However, Sunnis do not curse dead people because they feel as soon as a person dies-God administers judgement to them and it is impossible to change this. Sunni's generally don't curse dead people-an example is the assassin of Umar who is not cursed by Sunnis.

Shi'a view

The Shi'a Muslims generally believe cursing as a part of Tabarra (one of the Branches of the Religion). They further argue that the curse is a prayer, hence God is entitled to not accept the prayer and abstain from invoking the deprivation. Further, cursing is a Sunnah established by God himself in the Qur'an in various verses. Shi'a also present hadith where the Shia Imams invoked the curse of Allah upon the killers of [Imam Hussain], and quote Qur'anic verses where Jesus and other prophets curse those who reject them.

See also


External links

Sunni view

  • Yazid I
  • - recommending to abstain from cursing Yazid

Shia view

  • Shari'i penalty

Qur'an quotes

  • Allah's curse
  • Unbelievers:cursed
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