Are Flamethrowers Permissible in Warfare?

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


Are flamethrowers and other incendiary-based weapons permissible in warfare (by Muslim armies)? And if someone plays an online multiplayer video game, can he use flamethrowers or incendiary grenades?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to what pleases Him. Amin.

It is proven in the texts that punishment by burning with fire is unlawful in a general sense. Allah knows best.

Prohibition of Punishment by Fire

It was narrated from ‘Ikrima that a Companion (may Allah be pleased with him) burned some people. News of that reached Ibn ‘Abbas (Allah be pleased with him), and he said: “If it were me, I would not have burned them because the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: ‘Do not punish with the punishment of Allah.’” [Bukhari]

Hafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “Concerning the hadith on this topic, what appears to be the case is that the prohibition indicates that this act is unlawful.” [Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari]

Specific Situations

The permissibility of flamethrowers and other incendiary-based weapons in warfare depends on the context and circumstances of their use. Islam generally emphasizes the principles of justice, proportionality, and avoiding harm to non-combatants in warfare. As such, any weapon or tactic that causes indiscriminate harm or is used excessively or disproportionately would be impermissible.

Flamethrowers and incendiary weapons may be permissible in specific contexts, such as when used against military targets in a way that does not cause excessive or indiscriminate harm. However, their use against civilian populations or non-combatants would be impermissible.

Regarding flamethrowers or incendiary grenades in online multiplayer video games, this would not be subject to the same rules and considerations as real-world warfare. As such, the permissibility or impermissibility of their use would depend on the specific game, its rules, and the intentions and motivations of the player. However, Muslims should generally avoid games that promote violence or encourage behavior inconsistent with Islamic values and ethics.

Reader on Playing Video Games

And Allah knows best.

I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar Shaykh Taha Karaan.

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.