Islamic State Breaks Islamic Law? - Is Burning Alive Forbidden?
I wonder if this manner of execution used by the Islamic State even finds justification in Islamic law, for I have read this hadith:
Ibn 'Abd al-Barr states in al-Tamhid (5:316) that, "When Ibn 'Abbas learned that 'Ali had burned the apostates - that is, the unbelievers - he said, 'If I had been in his place, I would have killed them in keeping with the words of the Prophet, "If anyone changes his religion, put him to death." I would not have burned them with fire, since the Messenger of God said that no one is permitted to inflict on another the chastisement which God alone will inflict [in the afterlife].'"My source is from page 81 of Apostasy in Islam: A Historical and Scriptural Analysis (2011), by Taha Jabir Alalwani.
This hadith concerns the punishment for apostasy - which is death - but burning as a method of punishment would seem to be forbidden because it is reserved to Allah as his manner of punishment in Hell. One might object that that this hadith concerns apostasy only and therefore has nothing to do with the execution of an enemy captured in battle.
But if fire as punishment is reserved to Allah alone, then it should not be used by any human authority, not even by a caliph, despite 'Ali's action as one of the four 'rightly guided' caliphs.
Has the Islamic State thus broken Islamic law?
UPDATE: But consider this nine-minute video on the issue.