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What would you say to a Muslim who rejects the hudud punishments?

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In a Nutshell: Hudud punishments are a significant aspect of Islamic law, and they are prescribed in the Qur'an and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad for certain serious crimes. It is important for Muslims to understand the purpose and significance of hudud punishments, and to apply them in a fair and just manner in accordance with the principles of Islamic law. It is also important to recognize that hudud punishments are not meant to be used as a means of revenge or punishment, but rather they are meant to serve as a deterrent to prevent people from committing serious crimes.

Hudud punishments are a set of severe penalties prescribed in Islamic law for certain crimes, such as theft, adultery, and apostasy. These punishments are based on the Qur'an and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, and they are intended to serve as a deterrent to prevent people from committing serious crimes.

The Qur'an states:

"And [as for] the thief, both male and female, cut off their hands. It is the reward of what they earned, an exemplary punishment from Allah. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise" (Qur'an 5:38).

It also states:

"And those who accuse chaste women and then do not produce four witnesses - lash them with eighty lashes and do not accept from them testimony ever after. Those are the defiantly disobedient" (Qur'an 24:4).

The Prophet Muhammad also taught that hudud punishments should be implemented in a fair and just manner, and he emphasized the importance of due process and the need to establish the guilt of the accused beyond a reasonable doubt. He said:

"Do not apply the hudud punishments in cases of doubt, for the hudud punishments are a mercy from Allah, and they should be applied when there is certainty" (Sahih Muslim).

There are some instances in Islamic history where hudud punishments were applied in a fair and just manner, in accordance with the principles of Islamic law. For example, during the time of the Prophet Muhammad, a woman was sentenced to be stoned to death for adultery after the necessary witnesses testified against her. However, when the woman's brother came forward and confessed that he had committed adultery with her, the punishment was dropped and both individuals were forgiven (Sahih al-Bukhari). This example shows the importance of fairness and justice in the application of hudud punishments.

Hudud punishments are not intended to be used as a means of revenge or punishment, but rather they are meant to serve as a deterrent to prevent people from committing serious crimes. They are also not meant to be applied arbitrarily or excessively, but rather they should be implemented in a fair and just manner in accordance with the principles of Islamic law.

Some Muslims may reject hudud punishments due to a lack of understanding or knowledge about their purpose and significance. Others may reject them due to cultural or societal influences that do not align with Islamic teachings. It is important to remember that Islam is a universal religion that is applicable to all cultures and societies, and that it is not necessary to conform to non-Islamic cultural practices to be a good Muslim.

Evidences

Qur'an:

  1. "And [as for] the thief, both male and female, cut off their hands. It is the reward of what they earned, an exemplary punishment from Allah. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise" (Qur'an 5:38).

  2. "And those who accuse chaste women and then do not produce four witnesses - lash them with eighty lashes and do not accept from them testimony ever after. Those are the defiantly disobedient" (Qur'an 24:4).

  3. "The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto (in degree). But if a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah. Verily, He likes not those who do wrong" (Qur'an 42:40).

  4. "And We prescribed for them therein: The life for the life, and the eye for the eye, and the nose for the nose, and the ear for the ear, and the tooth for the tooth, and for wounds retaliation" (Qur'an 5:45).

  5. "And there is life for you in [the law of] retribution, O people of understanding, that you may become righteous" (Qur'an 2:179).

  6. "O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives" (Qur'an 4:135).

Hadith:

  1. A'isha reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) cut off the hand of a thief for a quarter of a dinar rid upwards. (Muslim)
  2. A'isha reported that the Quraish had been anxious about the Makhzumi woman who had committed theft, and said: Who will speak to Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) about her? They said: Who dare it, but Usama, the loved one of Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) ? So Usama spoke to him. Thereupon Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: Do you intercede regarding one of the punishments prescribed by Allah? He then stood up and addressed (people) saying: O people, those who have gone before you were destroyed, because if any one of high rank committed theft amongst them, they spared him; and it anyone of low rank committed theft, they inflicted the prescribed punishment upon him. By Allah, if Fatima, daughter of Muhammad, were to steal, I would have her hand cut off. In the hadith transmitted on the authority of Ibn Rumh (the words are): "Verily those before you perished." (Muslim)
  3. Ali burned some people who retreated from Islam. When Ibn ‘Abbas was informed of it, he said: If it had been I, I would not have burned them, for the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: Do not inflict Allah’s punishment on anyone, but would have had killed them on account of the statement of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). The Apostle said: Kill those who change their religion. When ‘Ali was informed about it he said: How truly Ibn ‘Abbas said! (Abu Dawud)

Conclusion

Hudud punishments are a significant aspect of Islamic law, and they are prescribed in the Qur'an and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad for certain serious crimes. It is important for Muslims to understand the purpose and significance of hudud punishments, and to apply them in a fair and just manner in accordance with the principles of Islamic law. It is also important to recognize that hudud punishments are not meant to be used as a means of revenge or punishment, but rather they are meant to serve as a deterrent to prevent people from committing serious crimes.

References

  1. Al-Qaradawi, Y. (2001). The lawful and the prohibited in Islam. American Trust Publications.

  2. Esposito, J. L., & DeLong-Bas, N. (Eds.). (2014). The Oxford dictionary of Islam. Oxford University Press.

  3. Kamali, M. H. (2008). Principles of Islamic jurisprudence. Islamic Texts Society.


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