Islam by topic: Ransom

The idea of ransom in Islam is unclear in Islam.  The concept of ransom for salvation is acknowledged but rejected and there are references to it in sacrifice.  What is particularly interesting is in the hadith how Jews and Christians are said to be ransom to Muslims in order for the Muslim's escape hell.  But what is most interesting is how Allah ransomed Ishmael (Surah 37:104-107).  Who did Allah pay the ransom to?

  1. Concept of Ransom for salvation, acknowledged but not affirmed
    1. Surah 3:91, "As to those who reject Faith, and die rejecting - never would be accepted from any such as much gold as the earth contains, though they should offer it for ransom. For such is (in store) a penalty grievous, and they will find no helpers."
    2. Surah 5:36, "As to those who reject Faith - if they had everything on earth, and twice repeated, to give as ransom for the penalty of the Day of Judgment, it would never be accepted of them, theirs would be a grievous penalty.
    3. Surah 39:47, "Even if the wrong-doers had all that there is on earth, and as much more, (in vain) would they offer it for ransom from the pain of the Penalty on the Day of Judgment: but something will confront them from Allah, which they could never have counted upon!"
    4. Surah 57:15, "“This Day shall no ransom be accepted of you, nor of those who rejected Allah.” Your abode is the Fire: that is the proper place to claim you: and an evil refuge it is!”
  2. Ransom is related to sacrifice
    1. "Narrated Ka'b bin Ujra: We were in the company of Allah's Apostle at Al-Hudaibiya in the state of Ihram and the pagans did not allow us to proceed (to the Ka'ba). I had thick hair and lice started falling on my face. The Prophet passed by me and said, "Are the lice of your head troubling you?" I replied, Yes." (The sub-narrator added, "Then the following Divine Verse was revealed: "And if anyone of you is ill or has an ailment in his scalp, (necessitating shaving) must pay a ransom (Fida) of either fasting or feeding the poor, Or offering a sacrifice." (2.196)  (Sahih Bukhari, Book #59, Hadith #504).
  3. Ransom of Ishmael by Allah? (Who was Allah paying ransom to?)
    1. Surah 37:104-107, We called out to him “O Abraham! 105 “Thou hast already fulfilled the vision!” - thus indeed do We reward those who do right. 106 For this was obviously a trial - 107 And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice: 108 And We left (this blessing) for him among generations (to come) in later times."
  4. Jew and Christian a ransom to the Muslims to escape hell?
    1. "Abu Musa' reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: When it will be the Day of Resurrection Allah would deliver to every Muslim a jew or a Christian and say: That is your rescue from Hell-Fire."  (Sahih Bukhari, Book #037, Hadith #6665)
    2. Abu Burda reported on the authority of his father that Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) said: No Muslim would die but Allah would admit in his stead a jew or a Christian in Hell-Fire. 'Umar b. Abd al-'Aziz took an oath: By One besides Whom there is no god but He, thrice that his father had narrated that to him from Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him).  (Sahih Bukhari, Book #037, Hadith #6666)

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.