Al-Muwatta Hadith - 21.12

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Fulfilling Safe Conduct

Yahya related to me from Malik from a man of Kufa that Umar ibn al-Khattab wrote to a lieutenant of an army which he had sent out, "I have heard that it is the habit of some of your men to chase an unbeliever till he takes refuge in a high place. Then one man tells him in Persian not to be afraid, and when he comes up to him, he kills him. By He in whose hand my self is, if I knew someone who had done that, I would strike off his head."

Yahya said, I heard Malik say, "This tradition is not unanimously agreed upon, so one does not act on it."

Malik when asked whether safe conduct promised by gesture had the same status as that promised by speech, said, "Yes. I think that one can request an army not to kill someone by gesturing for safe conduct, because as far as I am concerned, gesture has the same status as speech. I have heard that Abdullah ibn Abbas said, 'There is no people who betray a pledge, but that Allah gives their enemies power over them.' "

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