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How to react to the death of President Karimov

Qatāda b. Rib’i reported that the Messenger (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said:

“…(the death of) a wicked person relieves the people, the land, the trees, (and) the animals from him.”[1]

President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan, who was responsible for gross abuses towards human beings and excessive persecution of Muslims under the banner of preventing “Islamic fundamentalism”, has died suffering a stroke.[2] Only Allāh knows the final abode, whether Paradise or Hell, of any specific person but a Muslim rejoices or is saddened by what is apparent of good action and beliefs or otherwise, while Allāh alone knows what is concealed and beyond our cognition.[3] As such, as Muslims we rejoice in relief as the tyrant and oppressive dictator of 27 years can no longer bring harm to the Muslims of his nation.

Amongst President Karimov’s abuses are cases of torture, persecution, kidnapping, execution, detention, massacre, forced child labour, and censorship of freedom of expression and religion.[4][5][6][7] According to the World Report, in 2011 alone:

Uzbekistan’s human rights record remains appalling, with no meaningful improvements […] Torture remains endemic in the criminal justice system. Authorities continue to target civil society activists, opposition members, and journalists, and to persecute religious believers who worship outside strict state controls.

Freedom of expression remains severely limited. Government-sponsored forced child labour during the cotton harvest continues. Authorities continued to deny justice for the 2005 Andijan massacre in which government forces shot and killed hundreds of protestors, most of them unarmed.

It was documented that Uzbek authorities regularly threatened, imprisoned, ill-treated, and tortured human rights defenders and other peaceful civil society activists under President Karimov’s rule. With torture rampant in Uzbekistan and occurring with near-total impunity, the rights of detainees were violated at each stage of investigations and trials while they were forbidden access to lawyers.[8]

During Karimov’s 27 years as dictator, his authorities continued their unrelenting, multi-year campaign of arbitrary detention, arrest, and torture of Muslims who practiced their faith. Innocent Muslim detainees were beaten with clubs, electrocuted and starved for up to six days, a report has said. Some were given state-appointed lawyers who ignored their pleas, knew about the torture, but never requested medical expertise.

Speaking on the motives behind Karimov’s indiscriminate torture of religious and political prisoners, Daniil Kislov, a Moscow-based analyst, told news outlets,

“[Karimov’s] Islam is stagnant, official, dead. It pours from TV screens, from the mouths of government-fed imams. The other Islam that is alive and social is a terrible threat to him and is impossible to tame. This Islam is close to civil activism that undermines his power, and that is why Karimov wants to destroy it.”[9]

Despite Karimov’s tyrannical rule over his nation and his oppression over Uzbekistan’s Muslims, it is a comfort to every oppressed people to know, as Allāh says, “for every term there is an appointment”[10] and He says: “And every nation has its appointed term; when their term comes, neither can they delay it nor can they advance it an hour (or a moment).”[11] Regardless of Karimov’s status, he is now facing the true reality and is being held answerable for his every action in his life.

Do we express joy at the demise of an evil person?

The scholars of the past cautioned others with regards to evil figures during their lifetime. Rather than crying and beseeching Allāh’s mercy for them when they had parted, these scholars would continue to elucidate the reality of their evil teachings, and oppressive nature, rejoicing at their demise and congratulating one another with respect to this.

On the authority of Hammād, who said: “I delivered the good news to Ibrāhīm (al-Nakh’y) surrounding the death of al Hajjaj (the known Umayyad dynasty tyrant who killed ʿAbdullāh b. Az Zubair (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) who then prostrated in thanks to Allāh, weeping out of joy.” When Tāwus became sure of al Hajjaj’s death, he exclaimed: “so the roots of the people who did wrong were cut off. And all the praises and thanks be to Allāh, the Lord of all that exists.”[12] Al-Ḥasan al-Basri further fell into thankful prostration whilst hiding, as did ʿUmar b. ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz.

Bishr al-Muraysi (d. 218AH) was an adamant follower of the Mu’tazilī doctrine and a strong supporter of its heretical teachings. When news spread of his death, it reached Bishr b. al-Hārith while he was in the marketplace who exclaimed: “were it not to draw attention it would be an occasion of gratitude and prostration (to Allāh). All praise is due to Allāh, the One who caused him to die.”[13]

It was said to Imām Aḥmad b. Hanbal: “one feels happy at what is happening (of calamity) to the friends of Ibn Abī Du’ād (an ardent Mu’tazili). Is this (feeling) sinful?” He replied: “and who does not rejoice at this?”[14]

Salamah b. Shabīb said: “I was with ʿAbdul Razzaq (Imām al-San’any) so we received news that ʿAbdul Majīd had died so he (al Sa’any) said: ‘all praise is due to Allāh that he had relieved theUmmah of Muḥammad from ʿAbdul Majīd.’”[15] ʿAbdul Majīd is the son of Abū ʿAzīz b. Abī Ruwād, the leader from the Murji’ah.

And when the news of the demise of Wahb al-Qurashy, a misguided individual who would misguide others, came to ʿAbdulraḥmān b. Mahdy, ʿAbdulraḥmān said: “all praise is due to Allāh for having rid the Muslims from him.”[16] In ‘Al Bidayah wal Nihaya’, Ibn Kathīr comments regarding one of the head innovators after his death: “Allāh relieved the Muslims from him, in this year during the month of Dhul Hijjah. He was buried in his own home, then transferred to the burial ground of Quraish, so to Allāh belongs praise. When he died, all of Ahl al-Sunnah rejoiced, every single one of them showed their gratitude to Allāh.”

Karimov’s death is a relief to the Ummah for it is to be rid of one who harmed our fellow Muslims and spread corruption on the earth. We praise Allah and have hope in His justice, we pray that He relieve the suffering of the Uzbek Muslims and we trust in Allāh’s support of our oppressed brothers and sisters around the world.

“Beware of the supplication of the oppressed, for there is no barrier between it and Allah.”[17]



[1] Hadīth: Saḥīḥ Bukhārī and Muslim









[10] Al-Qur’ān, 13:38

[11] Al-Qur’ān, 7:34

[12] Al-Qur’ān, 6:45

[13]  ‘Tareekh Baghdad’ (7/66) and ‘Lisaan al Mizaan’ (2/308)

[14] The book of ‘Al Sunnah’ – al Khalal (121/5)

[15] Siyar a’lam al Nubalaa’ (402/8)

[16] Lisaan al Mizaab – Ibn Hajr

[17] Al-Bukhari and Muslim

About Abdullāh Ladadwi


  1. Has anybody here ever visited Uzbekistan?

    I visited Uzebekistan in 2006 and was reliably informed by the locals that President Karimov was one of the worst dictators in the world who took delight in persecuting people for all sorts of minor trivial misdemeanors or daring to even question his regime. The fact that western nations never even gave a thought to wanting to depose of this brutal dictator over a period of 26 years is a testimony that they do not give a damn to human rights. Why? Because President Karimov was a Zionist who supported western (and Israeli) foreign and economic policy. Western nations only take action against heads of states under the pretext of human rights if such leaders decide to violate western foreign and economic policy, or upset Israel.

  2. Competitor with al Hajjaaj for the number one spot – muslim,muslim abuser.
    Allaah azza wa jall judge.May he grant the people of the Ferghana and Uzbekistan freedom from further tyrants.
    Inshaa’aAllaah the torture and persecution not in vain. Not only will the Most High compensate, but non Muslims like Craig Murray,former British ambassador have become ‘humanely apparent’ and work ,what they can for their cause.

  3. Strange article to write, given what has followed and is following the fall and falling of tyrants in the muslim world. It made me to understand that LAW AND ORDER matter. What may befall a people when law and order is removed can be much worse.

    Also this article is just reflecting the western viewpoint on Karimov using Islamic terminology. (i.e. he was also detestable in their eyes.

    • Shoaib, what is it you find strange about this article? I bet you didn’t even know what was happening in Uzbekistan prior to reading this article. And I am sure not many Muslims even know the state of affairs there. Reason: Western media have no time for Muslims’ demise in the world. We Muslims seem to be completely dependent upon Western media for any kind of news. And you know what this means.
      And how sad for this man. He sported a beautiful combination of names ie ISLAM and kARIM… but he had no respect for them and most likely did not even know the meaning of the words. Allah knows best.

    • You forget that Allah has gifted many Muslim lands with fossil fuels. Fossil fuel is an international commodity worth waging war over. Then there is the proximity to Israel. Another reason for waging war. There is much money and power to be gained and maintained by causing chaos in Muslim lands. Much of the mischief is engineered my self installed Muslim Kings and dictators. Thier primary goal is to remain in power whatever the cost to hundreds of thousands or even millions of Muslims (and non Muslims) loosing thier lives and homes.

      If a Muslim leader/king is a oppressive tyrant, his title of Muslim is a mockery to Islam. If criticism aligns with the Western view, so be it. Evil Muslim tyrants are the lowest of mankind and should not be honoured nor respected just because they happen to be Muslim. Justice and fairness is not negotiable in Islam.

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