Did Imam Ali (a.s.) really put two men on fire because they claimed he was God?


There is a story that says that Imam Ali (a.s) put two men on fire because they said he was God. Is this true?


The story of the burning of some criminals by Imam Ali (a.s.) is one of the Sunni fabrications against Imam Ali (a.s.). It is mentioned in Sahih Bukhari. Also Ibn Abil-Hadid (another Sunni historian) has mentioned the story. In our jurisprudence there is no punishment that involves the live burning of a criminal. This is rather a Jewish punishment as mentioned in the Old Testament, thus, narrations that relate it to Imam Ali (a.s.) are Israelites and fabricated.

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

Follow-up Question:

How can we know that the following ahadith are fabricated? I have a discussion with a Sunni. And we both want to “find the truth”. How can I know for sure, that this hadith is ridiculous. And how can I convince, that this hadith is a hadith we should not trust in? By the way, do you know books about this?

– Bukhari :: Book 4 :: Volume 52 :: Hadith 260

Narrated Ikrima:

Ali burnt some people and this news reached Ibn ‘Abbas, who said, “Had I been in his place I would not have burnt them, as the Prophet said, ‘Don’t punish (anybody) with Allah’s Punishment.’ No doubt, I would have killed them, for the Prophet said, ‘If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him.’ ”

– Bukhari :: Book 9 :: Volume 84 :: Hadith 57

Narrated ‘Ikrima:

Some Zanadiqa (atheists) were brought to ‘Ali and he burnt them. The news of this event, reached Ibn ‘Abbas who said, “If I had been in his place, I would not have burnt them, as Allah’s Apostle forbade it, saying, ‘Do not punish anybody with Allah’s punishment (fire).’ I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah’s Apostle, ‘Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.'” [07/22/2012 11:56:35 ب.ظ] adraa.diya.ayoub


Think about this:  Ibn Abbas was a young boy at the time of the Prophet (P) (he was only 13 yrs old when the holy Prophet died), yet he remembers the Hadith of the Prophet, but Imam Ali who has been with the Prophet from his childhood and about whom the Prophet said: I am the city of knoweldge and Ali is its gate”, doesn’t know what the Prophet has said about punishing with fire?! Bukhari is well known for his animosity with Imam Ali and his children. Also, Ikrima; the narrator of the story, was one of the leaders of Khawarej who waged the battle of Nahrawan against Imam Ali (a.s). He has fabricated many ahadith and related them to Ibn Abbas.

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei