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In some dialects and languages, the unrelated architectural term façade is spelled "fasad".

Fasad (Arabic: فساد /fasād/) is an Islamic concept which means spreading mischief in a Muslim land,[1] moral corruption against God,[2] and any form of expression or activity by non-Muslims or apostates of Islam that creates disorder in the Muslim community.[3][4]

In recent years, Islamic thinkers have defined acts of terrorism as "fasad".[5]

Appearances in the Quran[edit]

The term Fasad appears in chapter 2 (Al-Baqara), verse 11-12,

When it is said to them: "Make not mischief on the earth," they say: "Why, we only Want to make peace!" Of a surety, they are the ones who make mischief, but they realise (it) not. – Quran 2:11

In chapter 5 (Al-Ma'ida) of Qur'an, in verse 33, in the phrase "mischief in the land" (fasaadin fi al-ard):

The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter. – Quran 5:33

This verse follows verses 26-31 which refer to the incident in which Qabil (Cain), son of Adam, killed his brother Habil (Abel).[6][7]

Those who cause mischief in the land (yufsiduna fi al-ard) are counted as "the losers" in Al-Baqara, verse 27:

Those who break the covenant of Allah after ratifying it, and sever that which Allah ordered to be joined, and (who) make mischief in the earth: Those are they who are the losers. –Quran 2:27

Appearances in the Hadiths[edit]

Fasad appears in numerous hadiths. For example,

It is narrated on the authority of Usama b. Zaid that the Messenger of Allah sent us in a raiding party. We raided Huraqat of Juhaina in the morning. I caught hold of a man and he said: There is no god but Allah, I attacked him with a spear. It once occurred to me and I talked about it to the Apostle. The Messenger of Allah said: Did he profess "There is no god but Allah," and even then you killed him? I said: Messenger of Allah, he made a profession of it out of the fear of the weapon. He (Prophet) observed: Did you tear his heart in order to find out whether it had professed or not? And he went on repeating it to me till I wished I had embraced Islam that day. Did Allah not say this: And fight them until there is no more mischief and religion is wholly for Allah? Sa'd said: We fought so that there should be no mischief, but you and your companions wish to fight so that there should be mischief. –Sahih Muslim, 1:176

Sunan Abu Dawud confirms that the required punishment for fasad is execution or crucifixion.

When the Apostle of Allah cut off (the hands and feet of) those who had stolen his camels and he had their eyes put out by fire (heated nails), Allah reprimanded him on that (action), and Allah, the Exalted, revealed: "The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Apostle and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is execution or crucifixion." –Sunan Abu Dawood, 38:4357

Sunan Abu Dawud, in 38.4359, confirms that the punishment for fasad under Islam applies to Muslim and non-Muslims.[8]

Appearances in exegesis literature[edit]

From the Tafsir of Ibn Kathir, "fasad fi al-ard" is the act of disobedience to God.[citation needed]

In his Tafsir, As-Suddi states that disbelief in Islam, disobeying sharia and acts of disobedience of authority is committing mischief on the earth.[9]

Interpretations relating to Terrorism[edit]

International Islamic University scholar M. Moniruzzaman defines the term as including both domestic and international terrorism as well as broader anti-social activities such as extortion, organized crime, drug trafficking, and human trafficking.[10]

M.J. Akbar states, "Terrorism has no place in Islamic doctrine. The Koranic term for the killing of innocents is ‘fasad.’ Terrorists are fasadis, not jihadis".[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Oliver Leaman (2013), Controversies in Contemporary Islam, Routledge, ISBN 978-0415676137, Chapter 9
  2. ^ Oliver Leaman (2009), Islamic Philosophy, ISBN 978-0745645988, pp. 140-141
  3. ^ Muhammad in History, Thought, and Culture, Editors: Coeli Fitzpatrick and Adam Hani Walker, ISBN 978-1610691772, pp. 59-67
  4. ^ Marion Katz (2006), Corruption of the Times and the Mutability of the Shari'a, The. Cardozo Law Review, 28:171-188
  5. ^ a b No Way, No How, Not Here. By Thomas Friedman. The New York Times. Published February 17, 2009.
  6. ^ Abu Khalil, Shawqi (2003), Atlas al Quran, Dar us Salam, p. 24, ISBN 9960-897-54-0 
  7. ^ Rahman Al Mubarakpuri, Safiur (2003), Tafsir ibn Kathir, Dar us Salam, p. 150 
  8. ^ Sunan Abu Dawood, 38:4359
  9. ^ "Tafsir Ibn Kathir - Meaning of Mischief". Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  10. ^ Jihad and Terrorism: An Alternative Explanation. By M. Moniruzzaman. Journal of Religion & Society. Volume 10 (2008).