Is it permissible to curse the deceased? -Shaykh ibn al-’Uthaymeen

In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Most Merciful

Is it permissible to curse the deceased?

By Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-’Uthaymeen may Allah have mercy on him

The Shaykh mentions this point of benefit in his explanation of the “Riyaad as-Saaliheen” collected by Imaam Nawawi under the 267th chapter “On the prohibition against abusing the dead without cause and benefit in the Sharee’ah”

‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

“Do not curse the dead. They have arrived at what they sent ahead.” [Bukhari] Shaykh ibn al-‘Uthaymeen said,

The author, may Allah have mercy on him, mentioned a hadith on the prohibition of cursing the deceased without just cause or benefit in the Sharee’ah. The “deceased” meant here are the Muslims. As for the Kaafir, then there is no prohibition except in the case when through cursing them it would cause harm to one who is close to the deceased. In that case it should not be done. This is the meaning of the author’s statement “without cause”.

However, we do have the right to abuse those deceased kuffar who harmed and killed the Muslims and who tried to corrupt their deen. His statement “benefit in the Sharee’ah” means warning from deceased individuals who were upon innovation and spread it among the people. In this instance, warning from them and their ways is considered to be a “benefit in the Sharee’ah” so that people will not be affected by the harms.

Then the author used as a proof for his statement the hadith of ‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Do not curse the dead…” The foundation of negated commandments is that they are prohibited, therefore, we do not curse the deceased. Then he (peace be upon him) gave a reason for that and it is because, “They have arrived at what they sent ahead.” If one were to curse the deceased then that would not benefit them in the least, because they have arrived at what they sent ahead. They have moved from the abode of action (the dunya) to the abode of recompense (the Akhirah).

Therefore, every deceased individual has arrived at what they sent ahead. Their deeds have been cut off and there is nothing that will remain for them except for what the sunnah has indicated. As the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

إذا مات الأنسان انقطع عمله إلا من ثلاث‏:‏ صدقة جارية، أو علم ينتفع به، أو ولد صالح يدعو له‏

“When a man dies, his deeds come to an end, except for three: A continuous charity, knowledge by which people derive benefit, pious son who prays for him.” [Muslim]

This is an evidence for the obligation of mankind to preserve their tongues from indulging in issues that have no benefit. This is the path of the people of Taqwa. When the slaves of ar-Rahman pass by ill-manner speech/idle talk they pass by it with nobility (not engaging therein), they do not bear witness to false statements, and only speak the truth. And Allah is the One who grants success.

Translated by: Abu Awzaa’ee AbdusSalaam

الفقير الى الله

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