Are Muslims Permitted to Behead those who Insult Islam?

French Teacher Patty Beheading is it permissible? The answer could be yes. However, it must be contextualized. French teacher Samuel Patty’s beheading happened in the street of a Paris suburb. The Chechen refugee who beheaded him was shot to death by French police. This man did not attempt to escape. He sacrificed his life for Islam. He is a hero to some in the Muslim community.

Not all Muslims were pleased with the French Teacher Patty Beheading.

Some people were outraged by this act of beheading a teacher. Many labeled this to be a savage, barbarian act. Many were quick to denounce this act of beheading as unacceptable. It was condemned  for all the regularly stated reasons. Others said this act of beheading does not represent the TRUE Islam. Others said the Moscow-born Chechen refugee who beheaded the teacher was misunderstanding.  

Contextualizing the Islamic Perspective on Beheading those who Insult Islam or Prophet Mohammad PBUH.

Imam Shabbir Ally

(Biography) was interviewed on Let The Quran Speak

There are classical books written that explain the religion of Islam. And these classical interpretations of Islam make it so objectionable to criticize God or the prophet or the scriptures of Islam, to the extent that they prescribe the death penalty for the critic.

Question: Are you saying that this is part of Islamic law then?

There is a report saying that the prophet Muhammad PBUH validated the actions of a person who took the matter into his own hands and slaughtered the critic.

Imam Jawed Anwar

Muslims have requested that blasphemy, ridiculing, insulting and disgracing against Prophet Muhammad be made a punishment, crime felony. Muslims can tolerate anything… But whenever someone insults Prophet Muhammad, they always react, they get revenge. They cannot control their sentiments. The word tolerance doesn’t apply here. Enough will be enough. It has been proven in history again and again. Whenever someone dishonored and insulted Prophet Muhammad, Muslims always first try to convince them not to do that. But if they do not abstain and ignore the collective demands of the Muslims, some young blood comes forward to make a score. The non-Muslim world, the courts, convicted and hanged them, but in the eyes of Muslims they are martyrs.(heroes)

Muslim Community has given Repeated Warning that Perceived Insult Would be Severely Punished with Execution.

Imam Yasir Qadhi


We also have to conclude that there is a strain or narrative within the Muslim community that uses Islam to justify such actions? (beheading for insulting Islam) And our history is replete with such devotion towards the messenger.


Like all discussions, we have to start with the revelation. How does Islam ask us to respond to such deliberate provocation against the messenger of Allah?… We have to acknowledge that we do have two sets of principles or paradigms depending on our context. There is indeed a Mecca phase and a Medina phase.

Because again, in Mecca, no Muslim committed any act of vigilante justice against those that persecuted him. Now, obviously in the Medina phase, Muslims have political power and there is a very different set of rules.

The Beheading was not actually Condemned but the Political Effect was seen as Unfavorable.

Imam Karim AbuZaid

Someone is insulting Mohammad and depicting him in cartoons. The whole Ummah is rising, saying we cannot take that! You see, I understand if a non-Muslim feels this way. Because they are not educated about the love, they are not informed about the love which Allah has placed into the hearts of every Muslim for the prophet Muhammad.

So, why are we blamed (for beheading French Teacher), rebuked, for showing this love?

Is the Perspective of Execution being Uncivilized a form of White Colonialist Islamophobia?
Saudi Arabia Leading Authority Provides References that Unequivocally Supports Execution for Perceived Insult to Islam

Islam Q&A is an academic, educational, da‘wah website that offers advice and academic answers based on evidence from religious texts. These answers are supervised by Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid. 


There is no one among us who is unaware of what the Christians say defaming the Prophet. What should be done?


Defaming the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is a kind of kufr. If that is done by a Muslim, then it is apostasy on his part, and the authorities have to defend the cause of Allaah and His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) by executing the one who defamed him. If the one who defamed him repents openly and is sincere, that will benefit him before Allaah, although his repentance does not waive the punishment for defaming the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), which is execution. 


With regard to the Muslim who impugns the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) in secret and conceals it, if he repents before he is executed, will Allah accept his repentance? Or does he have to announce what he did so that he will be executed before Allah will accept his return to Islam?


Ibn al-Mundhir (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

The majority of scholars are agreed that the one who impugns the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is to be executed. 

Al-Khattaabi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

I do not know of any of the Muslims who differed concerning the obligation of executing him.

Ma‘aalim as-Sunan, 3/295 


If the one who impugned the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) repents and regrets what he did, and he comes back to Islam, that repentance will benefit him in his relationship with Allah. So before Allah he will be a believing Muslim. But the obligation of executing him will not be waived.

French Teacher Patty Beheading


According to what we learn in this article, Muslim leaders and Islamic doctrine sanction execution for insult. Insult cannot easily be separated from annoyance or disagreement. Therefore, if a Muslim disagrees with a statement, he can feel insulted. Insult is not usually a fact, but an opinion based on perception; however, people can be hunted and executed because of a perception.