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    Posted: 31 March 2005 at 7:01pm

An International call for Moratorium on corporal punishment, stoning and the death penalty in the Islamic World

Wednesday 30th March 2005, by Tariq Ramadan

Muslim majority societies and Muslims around the world are constantly confronted with the fundamental question of how to implement the penalties prescribed in the Islamic penal code. 

Evoking the notion of shari'a, or more precisely hudud[1], the terms of the debate are defined by central questions emerging from thought provoking discussions taking place between ulama' (scholars) and/or Muslim masses: How to be faithful to the message of Islam in the contemporary era? How can a society truly define itself as "Islamic" beyond what is required in the daily practices of individual private life? But a critical and fruitful debate has not yet materialized. 

Several currents of thought exist in the Islamic world today and disagreements are numerous, deep and recurring. Among these, a small minority demands the immediate and strict application of hudud, assessing this as an essential prerequisite to truly defining a "Muslim majority society" as "Islamic". Others, while accepting the fact that the hudud are indeed found in the textual references (the Qur'an and the Sunna[2]), consider the application of hudud to be conditional upon the state of the society which must be just and, for some, has to be "ideal" before these injunctions could be applied. Thus, the priority is the promotion of social justice, fighting against poverty and illiteracy etc. Finally, there are others, also a minority, who consider the texts relating to hudud as obsolete and argue that these references have no place in contemporary Muslim societies. 

One can see the opinions on this subject are so divergent and entrenched that it becomes difficult to discern what the respective arguments are. At the very moment we are writing these lines- while serious debate is virtually non-existent, while positions remain vague and even nebulous, and consensus among Muslims is lacking- women and men are being subjected to the application of these penalties. 

For Muslims, Islam is a message of equality and justice. It is our faithfulness to the message of Islam that leads us to recognize that it impossible to remain silent in the face of unjust applications of our religious references. The debate must liberate itself and refuse to be satisfied by general, timid and convoluted responses. These silences and intellectual contortions are unworthy of the clarity and just message of Islam. 

In the name of the scriptural sources, the Islamic teachings, and the contemporary Muslim conscience, statements must be made and decisions need to be taken.

What does the majority of the ulama' say?

All the ulama' (scholars) of the Muslim world, of yesterday and of today and in all the currents of thought, recognize the existence of scriptural sources that refer to corporal punishment (Qur'an and Sunna), stoning of adulterous men and women (Sunna) and the penal code (Qur'an and Sunna). The divergences between the ulama' and the various trends of thought (literalist, reformist, rationalist, etc.) are primarily rooted in the interpretation of a certain number of these texts, the conditions of application of the Islamic penal code, as well as its degree of relevance to the contemporary era (nature of the committed infractions, testimonials, social and political contexts, etc.). 
The majority of the ulama', historically and today, are of the opinion that these penalties are on the whole Islamic but that the conditions under which they should be implemented are nearly impossible to reestablish. These penalties, therefore, are "almost never applicable". The hudud would, therefore, serve as a "deterrent," the objective of which would be to stir the conscience of the believer to the gravity of an action warranting such a punishment.

Anyone who reads the books of the ulama', listens to their lectures and sermons, travels inside the Islamic world or interacts with the Muslim communities of the West will inevitably and invariably hear the following pronouncement from religious authorities: "almost never applicable". Such pronouncements give the majority of ulama and Muslim masses a way out of dealing with the fundamental issues and questions without risking appearing to be have betrayed the Islamic scriptural sources. The alternative posture is to avoid the issue of hudud altogether and/or to remain silent. 

What is happening on the ground? 

One would have hoped that this pronouncement, "almost never," would be understood as a assurance that women and men would be protected from repressive and unjust treatment; one would have wished that the stipulated conditions would be seen, by legislators and government who claim Islam, as an imperative to promote equality before the law and justice among humans. Nothing could be further from the reality. 

Behind an Islamic discourse that minimizes the reality and rounds off the angles, and within the shadows of this "almost never", lurks a somber reality where women and men are punished, beaten, stoned and executed in the name of hudud while Muslim conscience the world over remains untouched. 

It is as if one does not know, as though a minor violation is being done to the Islamic teachings. A still more grave injustice is that these penalties are applied almost exclusively to women and the poor, the doubly victimized, never to the wealthy, the powerful, or the oppressors. Furthermore, hundreds of prisoners have no access to anything that could even remotely be called defense counsel. Death sentences are decided and carried out against women, men and even minors (political prisoners, traffickers, delinquents, etc.) without ever given a chance to obtain legal counsel. In resigning ourselves to having a superficial relationship to the scriptural sources, we betray the message of justice of Islam.

The international community has an equally major and obvious responsibility to be involved in addressing the question of hudud in the Muslim world. Thus far, the denunciations have been selective and calculated for the protection of geostrategic and economic interests. A poor country, in Africa or Asia, trying to apply the hudud or the shari'a will face the mobilization of international campaigns as we have seen recently. This is not the case with rich countries, the petromonarchies and those considered "allies". Towards the latter, denunciations are made reluctantly, or not at all, despite ongoing and acknowledged applications of these penalties typically carried out against the poorest or weakest segments of society. The intensity of the denouncements is inversely proportional to the interests at stake. A further injustice!
The passion of the people, the fear of the ulama' 

For those who travel within the Islamic world and interact with Muslims, an analysis imposes itself: everywhere, populations are demonstrating an increasing devotion to Islam and its teachings. This reality, although interesting in itself, could be troubling, and even dangerous when the nature of this devotion is so fervent, where there is no real knowledge or comprehension of the texts, where there is so little if any critical distance vis-à-vis the different scholarly interpretations, the necessary contextualization, the nature of the required conditions or, indeed the protection of the rights of the individual and the promotion of justice. 

On the question of hudud, one sometimes sees popular support hoping or exacting a literal and immediate application because the latter would guarantee henceforth the "Islamic" character of a society. In fact, it is not rare to hear Muslim women and men (educated or not, and more often of modest means) calling for a formal and strict application of the penal code (in their mind, the shari'a) of which they themselves will often be the first victims. When one studies this phenomenon, two types of reasoning generally motivate these claims:

The literal and immediate application of the hudud legally and socially provides a visible reference to Islam. The legislation, by its harshness, gives the feeling of fidelity to the Qur'anic injunctions that demands rigorous respect of the text. At the popular level, one can infer in the African, Arabic, Asian as well as Western countries, that the very nature of this harshness and intransigence of the application, gives an Islamic dimension to the popular psyche. 

The opposition and condemnations by the West supplies, paradoxically, the popular feeling of fidelity to the Islamic teachings; a reasoning that is antithetical, simple and simplistic. The intense opposition of the West is sufficient proof of the authentic Islamic character of the literal application of hudud. Some will persuade themselves by asserting that the West has long since lost its moral references and became so permissive that the harshness of the Islamic penal code which punishes behaviors judged immoral, is by antithesis, the true and only alternative "to Western decadence". 

These formalistic and binary reasoning are fundamentally dangerous for they claim and grant an Islamic quality to a legislation, not in what it promotes, protects and applies justice to, but more so because it sanctions harsh and visible punishment to certain behaviors and in stark contrast and opposition to the Western laws, which are perceived as morally permissive and without a reference to religion[3]. One sees today that communities or Muslim people satisfy themselves with this type of legitimacy to back a government or a party that calls for an application of the shari'a narrowly understood as a literal and immediate application of corporal punishment, stoning and the death penalty. 

When this type of popular passion takes hold, it is the first sign of a will to respond to various forms of frustration and humiliation by asserting an identity that perceives itself as Islamic (and anti-Western). Such an identity is not based on the comprehension of the objectives of the Islamic teachings (al maqasid) or the different interpretations and conditions relating to the application of the hudud. 

Faced with this passion, many ulama' remain prudent for the fear of losing their credibility with the masses. One can observe a psychological pressure exercised by this popular sentiment towards the judicial process of the ulama', which normally should be independent so as to educate the population and propose alternatives. Today, an inverse phenomenon is revealing itself. The majority of the ulama' are afraid to confront these popular and simplistic claims which lack knowledge, are passionate and binary, for fear of losing their status and being defined as having compromised too much, not been strict enough, too westernized or not Islamic enough. 

The ulama', who should be the guarantors of a deep reading of the texts, the guardians of fidelity to the objectives of justice and equality and of the critical analysis of conditions and social contexts, find themselves having to accept either a formalistic application (an immediate non-contextualized application), or a binary reasoning (less West is more Islam), or hide behind "almost never applicable" pronouncements which protects them but which does not provide real solutions to the daily injustices experienced by women and the poor. 
An impossible status quo: our responsibility

The Islamic world is experiencing a very deep crisis the causes of which are multiple and sometimes contradictory. The political system of the Arab world is becoming more and more entrenched, references to Islam frequently instrumentalized, and public opinion is often muzzled or blindly passionate (to such a point as to accept, indeed even to call for, the most repressive interpretations and least just application of the "Islamic shari'a" and hudud). 

In terms of the more circumscribed religious question, we can observe a crisis of authority accompanied by an absence of internal debate among the ulama' in the diverse schools of thought and within Muslim societies. It becomes apparent that a variety of opinions, accepted in Islam, are whirling today within a chaotic framework leading to the coexistence of disparate and contradictory Islamic legal opinions each claiming to have more "Islamic character" than the other. 

Faced with this legal chaos, the ordinary Muslim public is more appeased by "an appearance of fidelity", then it is persuaded by opinions based on real knowledge and understanding of the governing Islamic principles and rules (ahkam). 

Let us look at the reality, as it exists. There is a today a quadruple crisis of closed and repressive political systems, religious authorities upholding contradictory juristic positions and unknowledgeable populations swept up in remaining faithful to the teachings of Islam through religious fervor than through true reflection. The crisis cannot legitimize our silence. We are accomplices and guilty when women and men are punished, stoned or executed in the name of a formal application of the scriptural sources. 

It leaves the responsibility to the Muslims of the entire world. It is for them to rise to the challenge of remaining faithful to the message of Islam in the contemporary era; it is for them to denounce the failures and the betrayals being carried out by whatever authorities or any Muslim individual. A prophetic tradition reports: "Support your brother, whether he be unjust or victim of an injustice." One of the Companions asked: "Messenger of God, I understand how to support someone that is a victim of injustice, but how can I support him who is unjust?" The Prophet (peace be upon him) responded: "Prevent him from being unjust, that is you support to him."[4]

It thus becomes the responsibility of each ‘alim (scholar), of each conscience, every woman and man, wherever they may be to speak up. Western Muslims either hide behind the argument that they are exempt from the application of the shari'a or hudud since they are "in a minority position"[5]. Their avoidance of the questions leaves a heavy and troubling silence. Or they express condemnation from afar without attempting to change the situation and influence the mentalities. These Muslim women and men who live in spaces of political freedom, who have access to education and knowledge, shoulder - in the very name of the Islamic teachings - have a major responsibility to attempt to reform the situation, open a relevant debate, condemn and put a end to injustices perpetrated in their name. 

A call, some questions: 

Taking into account all these considerations, we launch today a call for an immediate international moratorium on corporal punishment, stoning and the death penalty in all Muslim majority countries. Considering that the opinions of most scholars, regarding the comprehension of the texts and the application of hudud, are neither explicit nor unanimous (indeed there is not even a clear majority), and bearing in mind that political systems and the state of the majority Muslim societies do not guarantee a just and equal treatment of individuals before the law, it is our moral obligation and religious responsibility to demand for the immediate suspension of the application of the hudud which is inaccurately accepted as an application of "Islamic shari'a". 

This call doubles itself with a series of basic questions addressed to the body of Islamic religious authorities of the world, whatever their tradition (sunni or shi'i), their school of thought (hanafi, maliki, ja'fari, etc.) or their tendencies (literalist, salafi, reformist, etc.) :

What are the texts (and what is their respective degrees of recognized authenticity), that make reference to corporal punishment, stoning and to the death penalty in the corpus of the Islamic scriptural sources circumscribed to what the specialists call the hudud? Where are the margins of possible interpretations and on which points are there clear divergences (al ikhtilaf) in the history of the Islamic law and in the contemporary era? 

What are the conditions (shurut) stipulated for each of the penalties by the sources themselves, the consensus of the scholars (al ijma') or by individual scholars through Islamic law history and jurisprudence (fiqh)? Where are the divergences on the stipulations and what "extenuating circumstances" were sometimes elaborated by religious authorities throughout history or within the different schools of thought? 

The socio-political context (al waqi') was always considered by the ulama' as one of the conditions needed for the application of hudud. The importance of this question is such that it demands special treatment (and participation within the debate from intellectuals, notably those who are specialized in the social sciences). In which context today is it possible to apply hudud? What would be the required conditions in terms of political systems and the application of the general legislation: freedom of expression, equality before the law, public education, eradication of poverty and social exclusion? Which are, in this domain, the areas of divergence between the legal schools and the ulama' and on what are these disagreements based? 

Studying these questions are meant to clarify the terms of the debate with regards to the interpretative latitudes offered by the texts, while simultaneously taking into account the determining state of contemporary societies and their evolution. This intra-community reflection requires from the start a double understanding of the texts and contexts, in keeping solemnly with the objectives of the Islamic message. On the whole, this must allow us to respond to the questions of what is applicable (and according to which methods) and what is no longer applicable (considering the required conditions are impossible to reestablish as well as the fact that societal evolution is clearly moving away from the required ideal). 

This undertaking requires, from within, rigour, time and establishing spaces of dialogue and debate, nationally and internationally, between the ulama', Muslim intellectuals and inside the Muslim communities since this matter is not only about a relationship to the texts, but equally, to the context. In the interval, there can be no justification for applying penalties that sanction legal approximations and injustices such as is the case today[6]. A moratorium would impose and allow a basic debate to unfold in serenity, without using it as an excuse to manipulate Islam. All injustices made legal in the name of Islam must stop immediately. 

Between the letter and objectives: fidelity 

Some will understand this call as an instigation to disrespect the scriptural sources of Islam, thinking that to ask for a moratorium goes against the explicit texts of the Qu`ran and Sunna. Precisely the opposite is true: all the legal texts demand to be read in light of the objective intended to justify them (Al-maqasid). Foremost among these objectives, we find stipulated that the protection of the integrity of the person (an- nafs) and the promotion of justice (al-'adl) are primordial. Therefore, a literal and non-contextualized application of hudud, with no regard for strict and numerous stipulated conditions, and one which would present itself as being faithful to the teachings of Islam, is in fact a betrayal if according to the context, for it produces an injustice. 

The caliph ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab established a moratorium towards thieves when he suspended the application of the punishment during a famine. Despite the Qur'anic text beingvery explicit on this, the state of the society meant it would have been an unjust literal application: they would have castigated poor people whose potential theft would have been for the sole purpose of surviving in a state of absolute poverty. Therefore, in the name of absolute justice demanded by the global message of Islam, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab decided to suspend the application of a text: keeping with the literalist interpretation would have meant disloyalty and betrayal of the superior value of Islam that is justice. It is in the name of Islam and in the understanding of texts that he suspended the application of one of these injunctions. The moratorium finds here a precedent of the utmost importance. 

Reflection and necessary reform within Muslim majority societies will not occur but from within. It is for Muslims to take up their responsibilities and set in motion a debate that opensan intra-community dialogue, while refusing the continued legalizedinjusticesin the name of Islam, i.e. in their name. An endogenous dynamic is imperative 

This does not mean that the questions put forward by non-Muslim intellectuals or citizens should be dismissed. On the contrary, all parties must learn to decentre themselves and move towards listening to the other, to the other's points of reference, logic and their aspiration. For Muslims, all queries, from their co-religionists or women and men who do share their religious conviction, are welcome. It is for us to make use of these questions as a spark of dynamism to our thoughts. This is how we can remain faithful to the justice demanded by Islam while taking into account also the demands of the contemporary era. 


This call for an immediate moratorium on corporal punishment, stoning and the death penalty is demanding on many fronts. We are defining it as a call to consciousness of each individual so that she/he realizes that Islam is being used to degrade and subjugate women and men in certain Muslim majority societies in the midst of collusive silence and chaotic judicial opinions on the ground. This realization implies:

- A mobilization of ordinary Muslims throughout the world to call on their governments to place an immediate moratorium on the application of hudud and for the opening of a vast intra-community debate (critical, reasonable and reasoned) between the ulama, the intellectuals, the leaders and the general population.

- Taking the ulama to account so that they at last dare to report the injustices and instrumentalization of Islam in the field of hudud and, in the name of fidelity to the Islamic texts, to put out a call for an immediate moratorium emulating the example of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab.

- Promoting education of Muslim populations so that they go beyond the mirage of the formalism and appearances. The application of the repressive interpretations, measures and punishment does not make a society more faithful to the Islamic teachings. It is more the capacity to promote social justice and the protection the integrity of every individual, woman or man, rich or poor, that determines a truly authentic fidelity. The priority, according to the norms of Islam, is given to the protection of rights not to administering punishments which are meant to be implemented under strict and conditioned exceptions.

- This movement for reform from within, by the Muslims and in the name of the message and reference texts of Islam, should never neglect listening to the surrounding world as well as to the inquiries that Islam raises in non-Muslim minds. Not to concede to responses from "the other", from "the West", but, in order to remain, in its mirror, more constructively faithful to oneself. 

We urge all of those that take heed to this call to join us and make their voices heard for the immediate suspension of the application of hudud in the Muslim world so that a real debate establishes itself on the question. We say that in the name of Islam, of its texts and of the message of justice, we can no longer accept that women and men undergo punishment and death while we remain utterly silent, as accomplices, through a process which is ultimately cowardly. 

It is urgent that Muslim throughout the world refuse the formalist legitimization of the teachings of their religion and reconcile themselves with the deep message that invites towards spirituality, demands education, justice and the respect of pluralism. Societies will never reform themselves by repressive measures and punishment but more so by the engagement of each to establish civil society and the respect of popular will as well as a just legislation guaranteeing the equality of women and men, poor and rich before the law. It is urgent to set in motion a democratization movement that moves populations from the obsession of what the law is sanctioning to the claim of what it should protect: their conscience, their integrity, their liberty and their rights. 

[1] A concept which literally means "limits". In the specialized language of Muslim jurists, (fuqaha'), this term is inclusive of the punishment which is revealed in the application of the Islamic Penal code. Shari'a, literally ‘the way to the source" and a path to faithfulness, is a corpus of Islamic jurisprudence the in-depth definition of which is beyond the scope of this paper. Shari'a has sadly been reduced to legalistic formulae of a penal code in the minds of many, Muslims and non-Muslim alike 

[2] Prophetic tradition: texts which report what the Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) did, said or approved of during his lifetime. 

[3] In Muslim countries, laws that we see as being " borrowed from the west " are often interpreted as tools by dictatorial governments to mislead and legitimize their autocratic character, and more importantly, to promote a westernized culture and morals. 

[4] Hadith reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

[5] The argument is weak and dangerous as it tacitly accepts the application of hudud within today's societal context as " Islamic "

[6] If ever in doubt, all circumstances require the benefit of the doubt towards the accused according to a legal universal principle (acknowledged from the start by the tradition of Islamic jurisprudence)

Source: Tariq Ramadan

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SheikhShariff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 March 2005 at 7:34pm



There is consensus of the followers of the THREE religions —Islam, Judaism and Christianity — that the Promulgator of the Law of stoning adulterers to death is Allah Azza Wa Jal. The Tauraah and the Injeel corroborate the Shariah of Muhammadur Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) in the Law of Rajm.

Kuffaar and Muslims alike are agreed that Rajm was ordered by Allah Ta’ala. This command exists to this day in the scriptures of the Yahood and Nasaaraa.


If Rajm is ‘barbaric’, the charge is directed by the accusers to Allah Azza Wa Jal. The attempt to shift the ‘blame’ of Rajm to the ‘Maulanas’ of the Indo-Pak subcontinent is to display rational bankruptcy.


The insane desire of the modernist heretics and atheists to appease their western intellectual masters does not detract from the conclusively proven truth that Rajm is by the Command of Allah Azza Wa Jal.

The recent feverish attempts by modernists to negate the Islamic validity o f Rajm (Stoning the death for adultery ) , ensuing in the wake of the adverse kuffaar media publicity centering around th e Rajm sentence decreed by a Nigerian Shariah court, was motivated solely by the mad desire to placate their western intellectual masters who were all screaming from the rooftops tha t Rajm is barbaric.

For the sake of appeasing the western masters, the modernist zindeeqs, mulhids and munaafiqs masquerading as Muslims, embarked on their usual exercises of baseless interpretation of the Qur'aan and flagrant rejection of the sacred Ahaadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). They have failed to realize, in fact, they cannot be concerned, that rejection of the Ahaadith is tantamount to rejection of the Qur'aan. Without the Ahaadith, there is no Qur'aan, no Islam.

The mental derangement of some of these modernists has c o n- strained them to label the Ahaadith — all the Ahaadith — of Nabi-e-Kareem (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) an ‘evil spirit'. There can be no doubt in the kufr of these agents of shaitaan.

Since unwary Muslims and those who lack sound Deeni Ilm have been thrown into doubt by these evil modernists, a need d eveloped to respond to the drivel and kufr which the ignoramuses have presented in substantiation of their claim tha t Rajm is not an Islamic punishment. By such denial they hoped to curry favour with the western kuffaar. They have chosen to abase themselves to the West by depicting Islam in a mould which assuages the palates of the kuffaar. In this exercise they conspi cuously exposed themselves by revealing the kufr hidden in their hearts. Emergence from the restrictive confines of the Shar'iah to enter into the domain of unbridled interpretation which is beyond the bounds of the principles of the Shariah gives rise to kufr. This is precisely what the modernist deniers o f Rajm are guilty of.


In the intense desire to appease the western kuffaar, Munaafiqeen (Hypocrites) hibernating in the folds of the U m- mah, were compelled by the Nigerian episode to reveal their true colours o f nifaaq (hypocrisy) by overtly decrying the Rajm c o m- mand of Allah Ta'ala. The western intellectual masters had i n- doctrinated these hypocrites during their secular educational p e- riod with the atheist cult of ‘enlightment' and liberalism. It is this cult of ‘enlightened' kufr which has constrained th e m o d- er nist munaafiqeen to flagrantly brand the Law of Allah Ta'ala as being ‘barbaric'. In so doing, they were loyally and dutifully mimicking and aping their masters from whom they have inhe r- ited the mental disease of intellectual paralysis.

As an imperative corollary of this mental aberration, the brains of the mod ernist munaafiqeen operate under extreme duress in the straitjacket of western kuffaar mentalism. It is this chronic mental disease which compels them to eternally and baselessly interpret th e Ahkaa m of Allah Ta'ala to accord His Immutable Shariah accommod a tion within the confines of the concepts of life fabricated by the western kuffaar. But this accommodation can be effected only at the expense of jettisoning Imaan right out from the heart. Kuffaar can be placated only by means of kufr. Hence, the product of any interpretation offered by th e moder n- ist munaafiqeen has to necessarily be kufr.

The pleasure of the kuffaar cannot be attained without submi s- sion to kufr. Thus the Qur'aan Majeed warning the Mu'mineen, states :

“Never will the Yahood and Nasaaraa be pleased with you as long as you do not follow their cult.”

But following the cult and culture of the kuffaar leads inevitably to kufr an d everlasting disaster, loss and failure. Sounding this Warning, the Qur'aan Majeed says:

“O People of Imaan! If you follow those who have e m braced kufr, they will turn you on your heels (to abandon Islam). You will then become the (everlasting) losers (in this world and the Aakhirah). (Don't appease them because) in actual fact, Allah i s your Friend (and Protector), and He is the best of helpers.”


When the Nigerian Shariah Court handed down the sentence of Rajm the world of the k uffaar braying like asses shouted that the sentence was 'barbaric'. In the noise they kicked up, there is nothing of surprise. This reaction was entirely expected. It is i n- deed a futile exercise to even comment on the reaction of aliens. But there is a need to expose th e munaafiqeen who masquerade as Muslims. From within the fold they feverishly labour to u n- de r mine Islam. Their strategy for achieving this nefarious goal is to ostensibly present Qur'aanic proof in substantiation of the cries of the western critics of Islam.

The kuffaar claim that the Immutable Law o f Rajm is 'barbaric'. It logically devolve s on their vassals, namely, the modernist munaafiqqen, to fabricate ‘enlightened' interpretation of the Qur'aan to confirm the decree of ‘barbarism' which the enemies of Islam have levelled against the Law of Allah Ta'ala.

In the desperate attempt to denounce and refute Rajm th e m o d- ernist munaafiqeen have surfaced with two of the flimsiest a r- gu ment s — arguments devoid of the slightest vestige of Shar'i substance. These two ridiculous grounds advanced to corrob o- rate the ‘enlightened' view of the aliens are:

(1 ) Rajm is barbaric, hence it cannot be a law of Islam

(2 ) There is no Qur'aanic subst a ntion fo r Rajm.

These are two stupidities, the fallacy of which should be c o n- spicuous to every Muslim who had enjoyed a basic Madrasah ta'leem at primary level. There is absolutely no valid ground for the refutation o f Rajm . In fact, th e modernist munaafiqeen l a n- guishing in intellectual paralysis have been unable to add even a third stupidity in their attempt to justify their kufr denial of a Shar' i Huk m which is based on the highest category of Shar'i evidence, viz. , Ahaadith Mutawaatarah , which have the force of Qur'aanic aayaat.

Before presenting the evidence of the Shariah to conclusively substantiate the validity and immutability o f Allah's Law o f Rajm, we shall examine and demolish the arguments of the m o d- ernist munaafiqee n — their arguments which are in fact devoid of any Shar'i substance.


Their first flimsy argumen t which may have deceived people of shallow understanding and those who lack in basic or primary Madrasah education, is the charge of ‘barbarism' which the k u f- faar level at Islam. Since the west believes that the punishment of Rajm is ‘barbaric', it has become imperative for their vassals whose intellectual vessels are deranged by the mental slaver y o f their educational indoctrination, to echo the same theme.

In taking up the defence of the kuffaar on this issue, th e moder n- ist munaafiqeen are tacitly proclaiming that Allah Azza Wa Jal and Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) have commanded an act of barbaris m — Nauthubillaah ! Since there is not the slightest loophole for assaulting the validity of the Law o f Rajm , the lo g i- cal conclusion in terms of the view propounded by th e modernis t munaafiqeen is that the entire Penal Code of Islam is barbaric.

In fact, there is no need for anyone to arrive at this conclusion by deduction because the western kuffaar do believe and have made no secret of it that th e Hudood (Prescribed Punishments) as well a s Ta'zeer (Discretionary Punishment) of Islam are ba r- baric. In fact, their hatred for Islam is not restricted to criticism of the Islamic Penal System. They direct their invective against even the loftiest concept of Monothiesm, i.e.the doctrine of Tau heed , which inspite of its uncompromising stand of Allah's Unity and the total denunciation and rejection of the slightest vestige of idolatry, even photograph s— they brand this doctrine o f Tauheed, idolatry. The Qur'aan Majeed has stated the truth:

“Verily, hatred (for Islam and Muslims) has spewed from their mouths, but what their breasts conceal is worse.”

Therefore, by aligning themselves with the kuffaar on the issue o f Rajm , th e modernist munaafiqee n im ply their concurrence as far as all Shar'i punishments are concerned. The further implic a- tion is their total rejection o f th e Islam which was presented, i n- terpretated and taught by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi was a l- lam) and his noble Sahaabah.

There is no intelligent reason for restricting the notion of 'barbarism' to the punishment t o Rajm . While the kuffaar c o n- ception of ‘barbarism' of Islamic punishments and its penal code is uniform, th e modernist munaafiqeen and othe r m u l- hideen are in a quandary. They are at a loss in their selection. Which punishment of the Shariah is 'barbaric' and which is 'humane'? In the view of the kuffaar every Shar'i punishment is 'barbaric'. Th e modernist mulhids and zindeeq s are at pains to convince Muslims and the kuffaar critics that the Islamic p u n- i sh ment for adultery is 100 lashes, no t Rajm. Since the 100 lashes are stated by a Qur'aanic aayat too explicit and emphatic for interpretation and rejection, at least at this stage in the pro- gress towards kufr, they have no alternative other than to concur with the 100 las h Hadd. But according to the very sam e sh a- yaateen who brand Rajm as barbaric, the 100 las h Had d is also barbaric. Their mental quandary and frustration have thus b e- come grounded in incongruity and terrible confusion on this score.

The Qur'aan decrees a tooth for a tooth, an eye for an eye , 10 0 lashes for fornication committed by unmarried persons, cutting the hands of thieves, impaling dacoits and cutting off thei r hands and feet at opposite sides, etc. None of these punishments is a c- ceptable to the kuffaar since all thes e Hudood are ‘barbaric' in the conception of the ‘enlightened' kuffaar who have sanctified and legalized infanticide, homosexuality, lesbianism, prosti t u- tion and other immoral crimes of debauchery.

While th e modernist munaafiqee n have hitherto been c o n- strained to maintain silence on the ‘barbarism' of the aforem e n- tioned constituents of Islam's Penal Code on account of explicit Qur'aanic references, they believe that they have sufficient scope for manouvreing on at least th e Rajm question to soothe and placate their western intellectual and cultural masters. This false belief based on thei r nifaaq has now been overtly pro-claimed because there is no explicit reference t o Rajm in the Qur'aan Majeed. But in the attempt to trade their belief of kufr (viz. the refutation o f Rajm ) , th e modernist munaafiqee n have no option other than to bare thei r kuf r an d nifaaq by denying t he validity of the ordinances and teachings of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). In so doing they are in diametric confli ct with the Qur'aan which they cite as the Book in which they believe. But every Muslim of true Imaan can understand the worth o f their claim of belief in the Qur'aan.

In rejecting the validity o f Rajm , the logical consequence is so glaring that it is in c orrect to say that thes e modernist munaafiqeen imply or indirectly reject the Qur'aan. The only conclusion is that they directly reject the Qur'aan. If, for ex a m- ple, a zindee q or a munaafi q claims that Islam does not have as its fundamental belief performance of Five Salaat daily and the n he backs up his kufr by claiming that there is no Qur'aanic ref e r- ence for this practice, we shall not be in error for declaring that this criminal has overtly, directly and outrightly rejecte d th e Qur'aan. It is the Qur'aan which commands obedience to Ra s u- lullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The Qur'aan is replete with such commands to follow and obey the Nabi of Allah Ta'ala. I n- sha'Allah, this angle will be presented later when discussing the second baseless argument of th e modernist munaafiqeen.

Let us revert to their claim tha t Rajm is ‘barbaric' The very peo- ple who put up a howl against Islam's Penal Code, freely, fl a- grantly and without the slightest pang of conscience subject th o usands of civilians to brutal bombing from the skies. People who are not involved in hostilitie s — men, women, children, the old , the sic k — hospitals and orphanages, are all pummeled and brutalized with thousands of tons of bombs, poisonous and other sophisticated incendiary devices which not only kill, but horr i- bly maim, deform and disfigure human beings. But this is not


The brutal torture camps in Guantama Bay, the numerous pr i s- ons of torture operated by kuffaar governments in which cou n t- less thousands are hideously and horribly subjected to the most inhuman types of physical torture, the punishment of horrible hangings, the electric chair and death by poison are all suppo s- edly humane acts which are no secrets. In the conception of the kuffaar these acts of torture and death are ‘humane' while in t h e understanding of Muslims all these acts are truly barbaric.

While execution with the sword is the most humane form of kil l- ing ordained by Allah Ta'ala, it is ‘barbaric' in the western c o n- ception. From these few examples it should be clear that an act which is barbaric to kuffaar is valid and humane to Muslims and vice versa.

In view of the Penal Code of Islam being divine, being the pro d- uct o f Wahi (Revelation) from Allah Ta'ala, it is the best and the most humane system. On the contrary, the system of punishment of the kuffaar is the product of the human mind, hence it cannot be termed humane in comparison to the Divine Code. The charge of barbarism rebounds directly on the very people who level it against Islam.

It is quite obvious that there is no uni f orm definition fo r the term 'barbaric ' nor does the word have the same meaning for people of different cultures. Inspite of the differences of concepts, M u s- lims can claim with emphasis that the Islamic system is best since it is the Code revealed by Allah Ta'ala and was imp l e- mented by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Any Muslim who denies this reality has the obligation of pr o- d u c ing his Shar'i evidence, not the figments of his opinion and instincts which have been corrupted by kuffaar indoctrination and culture. In the words of the Qur'aan : “Bring forth your proof if indeed you are truthful.” So far, not a single one of th e modernist munaafiqeen has surfaced with Shar'i evidence to bolster the kuffaar claim which the miscreants in our midst are echoing and mimicking. They simply bandy figments of their opinion which cannot be taken seriously and which definitely have no semblance whatsoever with what could be termed e v i- dence of the Shariah.


It is not difficult to fathom the reason for the the attitude of the modernist munaafiqeen. Years of indoctrination in the edu c a- tional institutions of the western kuffaar have impregnated their hearts, with sceptism, agnosticism, hereticism and hypocris y — kufr and nifaaq. Like Siamese twins, their brains have become conjoined with the brains of their intellectual masters. They are therefore wholly incapable of independent and rational thinking. Their mental procedures are inextricably interwoven with the conceptual attitudes of the so- called enlightened western k u f- faar. But at the same time the pressure of the society in which they thrive does not permit them to proclaim their hidden ide o l- ogy acquired from the tutors of kufr. They thus profess th e m- selves to be Muslims while they are immersed in a cauldron of kufr.

In this mental imbroligio in which they happen to discover th e m selves, they feel obliged to satisfy irreconcilable opp o- site s — Muslims and Kuffaar. The attempt to placate both groups is motivated by worldly an d nafsaani aims. There is no th ing of altruism in the stupid, ridiculous and impossible e n- deavour to tread two divergent paths at the same time.

When there is absolutely no latitude for mental gymnastics and manouvreing on account of explicit evidence or entrenched a c-ceptance by the community, th e munaafiqeen exercise restraint and sulk in silence because of their inability to overtly support their intellectual masters. Thus, on the issue of cutting off the hand of the thief, th e modernist munaafiqeen are compelled to suffer in silence and feel that at least at this juncture in history, they may not join the chorus which dins into the ears th e charge of ‘barbarism' because even the Muslim in the street knows what the Qur'aan Majeed declares most explicitly on this is s ue.

However, on the issue of Rajm they have become audacious and openly denounce this immutable law of Allah Ta'ala because there is no explicit Qur'aanic textual reference. This point will, Insha'Allah, be discussed later.

The Islamic system o f Thabah (Slaughtering) is 'barbaric' to the west, but to us it is the most humane system. The kuffaar s y s- tems of killing animals such as shocking, pithing, shooting, scalding, hammering, etc., are barbaric according tp Islam, but 'humane' according to the kuffaar. Hanging and all other me t h- ods of execution are barbaric for Muslims, but humane for the kuffaar. Islam permits execution by only the sword and nothing else. For the kuffaar this is barbaric while for us it is humane.

The overt support which th e modernist munaafiqeen are offer i ng the kuffaar on the question o f Rajm is their agreement and a c- ce ptance of the charge of ‘barbarism' which has been hurled at Islam. But this charge does not negate the validity of the Law. It is not evidence to substantiate the claim tha t Rajm has not been ordained by Allah Azza Wa Jal. In order to dismiss the validi ty o f Rajm it is necessary for th e modernist munaafiqeen to s u b- st a n tiate their claim with proofs of the Shariah. Their personal ideas, attitudes, interpretation and opinion are not evidence of the Shariah.

Furthermore, it is essential for sustaining the charge of barb a-rism to prove that at no stage in the world's history did Allah Ta'ala ordai n Rajm for fornicators. The charge o f Rajm being ‘barbaric' falls flat and has absolutely no substance if at any time in man's histor y Rajm had been a Divine Punishment. Any claim of barbarism would then be tantamount to saying that A l- lah Ta'ala Himself is ‘barbaric ' — Nauthubillaah ! Insha'Allah, we shall revert to this point later.

Suffice to observe here that besides the charge of barbarism b e- ing false, and even if we had to momentarily assume that in the understanding of human beings it is 'barbaric', then too, it is not a ground for the averment that there is n o Rajm in Islam. Should it be argued that ritual ablutions (wudhu) five times a d a y and Salaat five times a day are an excessive imposition and burden, hence it is not a tenet of Islam, then everyone will unde r stand the absurdity of this line of argument and the falsity of the claim. Similarly, the argument tha t Rajm is not Islamic bec a use it is ‘barbaric' is absurd, emotional and irrational even if it is momentarily assumed that it is 'barbaric'.

The summary of our negation of first semblance of an argument presented by the followers of the 'enlightened' kuffaar is:

(1 ) There is no con s ensus of mankind on the definition and conception of barbarism.

(2 ) Even if there is unanimity on the conception or meaning of barbarism, it is not a ground for refuting a properly s u b- stantiated Law of Allah Ta'ala. A refutation has to be based on facts and evidence, not on emotional attitudes.

(3 ) The Ummah of Is l am rejects with contempt the charge that Rajm is barbaric.

(4 ) The aim of the ant i - Rajm protagonists is nothing but to a p- pease the kuffaar with apologies and personal opinion pr e- sented by way of baseless interpretation.

(5 ) The claim tha t Rajm is not an Islamic injunction is kufr which expels such a believer from the fold of Islam.

(6 ) Numerous practices, laws and rituals of both western k u f- faar and eastern kuffaar despite their acceptance, are r e- garded as barbaric by Islam.

(7 ) The exercise to appease the ‘enlightened' west is the d i- rect consequence of the kuffaar educational system which breeds kufr i n Aqaai d (Beliefs) and immodesty in Akhlaaq

(moral character).

Read the whole book here.

Edited by SheikhShariff
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m12390 View Drop Down

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote m12390 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 March 2005 at 8:58pm

There are five explicit mentions of rajm (the act of stoning) in the Qur'an:

- Nuh threatened with stoning by disbelievers (ash-Shu'araa 26:116)

- Ibrahim's father threatens Ibrahim with stoning (Maryam 19:46)

- Men in the cave scared of stoning by disbelievers (al-Kahf 18:20)

- The three messengers threatened with stoning by disbelievers (Yas-Sin 36:18)

- Shu'aib threatened with stoning by his people (Hud 11:91)

IN EVERY CASE stoning is shown to us, by the Qur'an, to be a practice of UNBELIEVERS.

Implicit proofs against stoning are found elsewhere in the Qur'an as well. For example:

In al-Kahf 18:74 Prophet Moses (as) says to his companion...

Faintalaqa hatta itha laqiya ghulaman faqatalahu qala
aqatalta nafsan zakiyyatan bighayri nafsin laqad ji/ta
shay-an nukran

So, according to the Qur'an, in the law even at the time of Prophet Moses, killing for any reason - other that for the crime of killing itself - is a thing NUKRAN. That is by the word of Prophet Moses through the "chain of narrations" that includes Allah Himself.

Come forward to the law as set down in the Qur'an. We are oft reminded of the evil of killing, and the laws against killing from prior scripture are confirmed. Please see al-Ma'idah 5:32.

Another implicit proof against rajm is based on the following verses:

Verse al-Ahzab 33:30 declares that if one of the wives of the Beloved Prophet (saw) is involved in "fahisha" or "unseemly conduct", her punishment would be doubled.

If rajm is the punishment for sex outside marriage, that is, major "unseemly conduct", then doubling of rajm (stoning to death) does not make any sense.

So according to my limited understanding of the Qur'an, those who conduct rajm (stoning to death), watch rajm, or defend rajm intellectually are following the ways of Unbelievers.

Best Regards
Liaquat Ali (Plagerizing G.Waleed Kavalec)
The Qur'an Institute

Edited by m12390
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ummziba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 April 2005 at 4:13am

Wow!  Do these posts not point precisely at what is wrong with our ummah today? 

The first post, a piece by Tariq Ramadan, gives one side of an arguement using logic, respectful dialogue and an openess to ideas from all quarters.  The third post by m12390 uses knowledge and examples to make a point.

However, the second post, the author whom I cannot see, (posted by Sheikh Shariff), gives the opposite side of the arguement using name calling, disrepectful dialogue and a complete closeminded, set in stone, attitude!

This seems to be the norm in just about any subject relating to Islam.  Is it any wonder the ummah is in such disarray and disorganization?  It seems we just cannot see past our own opinions on anything. 

Far too many seem to remain quiet (apathy?, lack of knowledge?, frustration?).  Some try to intelligently argue a point with logic and openess.  Others stick rigidly to their own opinion using immature tactics like name calling to rebuff the others' opinions.

As long as we have so many screaming "kafur" and "non-islamic/non-Muslim" at others to bolster their own opinion we will never get anywhere!

Muslims need to set aside their rigid, set in cemet, opinions and attitudes, open their mind to all possibilities, educate themselves, LISTEN, and learn to dialogue with others to come up with comprimises the ummah can live with - otherwise we will continue our sad decline.

Allah have mercy on us all - we are going to need tons of it to get anywhere!

Peace, ummziba.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words...they break my soul ~
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SheikhShariff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 April 2005 at 6:57am

Originally posted by ummziba ummziba wrote:

However, the second post, the author whom I cannot see, (posted by Sheikh Shariff), gives the opposite side of the arguement using name calling, disrepectful dialogue and a complete closeminded, set in stone, attitude!

If you clicked on the link at the end you would see who the author is.   Obviously, you seem to be one of the rejectors of the Rajm hence your negative attitude towards the Book. Those who reject rajm are rejecting the command of Allah Azza Wa Jal.   And mainly those who reject rajm are the munafiqeen, zindeeqs and some simple unwary muslims who are misled.   So, you see the attitute that is set in stone is like the words of the Qur'aan, set in stone or Lohe Mahfooz. 

Originally posted by ummziba ummziba wrote:

Muslims need to set aside their rigid, set in cemet, opinions and attitudes, open their mind to all possibilities, educate themselves, LISTEN, and learn to dialogue with others to come up with comprimises the ummah can live with - otherwise we will continue our sad decline.

You are right, muslims need to se aside their rigid opinions and stop making their own opinions on the Qur'aan and refer to what our Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wassallam) said.   The modernist zindeeqs who want to reinterpret the Qur'aan are the biggest threat to Islam.  The downfall of Islam is because we have abandond Islam.

Muslims need to stop learning Islam from their western masters and start learning Islam from the true classical scholars.  The problem with muslims is that they are mentaly colonize.  Before the muslim lands were colonized by their british/western masters.  Since, their western masters left their lands, they are now mentaly colonized. Wanting to be like them in every single possible way. 

They are ashamed to imitate the best of the creation, Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wassallam).  Hence, they imitate their masters.  The problem is the same in the west.  You can't tell a muslim from a non-muslim.  And everyone thinks they are scholars and muftis by reading english translations of the Qur'aan and Ahadith. 

And it is Only Allah Who guides the hearts.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ummziba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 April 2005 at 7:33am

Shaikh Shariff,

Now see, you have gone and proved my point!

How do you conclude this: "Obviously, you seem to be one of the rejectors of the Rajm hence your negative attitude toward the book."?  I did not state my position, my position is not the point here.  My 'negative attitude' toward the book comes from the author's use of name calling, disrepectful dialogue and rigid attitude.

And there you go using the same devices, name calling ("munafiqeen, zindeeqs..."), and a rigid attitude which you defend by saying it is "...set in stone like the words of the Qur'aan."

Again, you prove my point by saying: "The problem is the same in the west.  You can't tell a muslim from a non-muslim."  On what do you base this?  Sir, you would not see me out of place in any so called Muslim country.  But, that does not make me a better Muslim than any other.  Only Allah knows what is truly in the heart of any person.

You prove my point, yet again, when you say: "And everyone thinks they are scholars and muftis by reading english translations of the Qur'aan and Ahadith."  I believe you could have got your point across about this without insulting those who have yet to master Arabic.  Statements like yours only cause hurt feelings to people who are genuinely trying to improve their deen.  Would you keep Allah's light from others simply because of a language barrier?

Again, I am not choosing any side of this particular arguement, I am only saying that we must learn to use respectful dialogue with one another.  Name calling and insulting others will not bring them nearer or dearer to your position!

There is an old saying, "you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar"!

Anyway, that is my unlearned, western point of view.

Peace, ummziba.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words...they break my soul ~
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mrshakeel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 April 2005 at 7:47am


Here is my humble feedback.

- Br. Tariq Ramadan did NOT mention any Ayah or Hadith in favor of his argument. (NO reference, VERY IMPORTANT)

- According to Br. Tariq, Ulemas are of the view point : 'These penalties, therefore, are "almost never applicable"'.

But he does not mention any reference (i.e. book etc) where Ulema have declared such kind of viewpoint. (NO reference, VERY IMPORTANT)

- He mentiond one incident of Hazrat Umar but that by itself proves that Muslim Ummah has been practising Rajm since its inception though during famine period this practise was postponed by Ameer-ul-Mo'menoon Hazrat Umar (which makes sense too).

- The rebuttal, which a brother has posted, is a book 'Rajm' by 'Mujlisul Ulema of South Africa'. Though it's language is quite harsh but it presents lots of references from Quran and Sunnah regarding the validity of the Rajm. See :

(Lot of references, VERY IMPORTANT)

- I believe that problem of our Ummah is not the 'Ulemahs' rather its us - so called educated elite who don't have knowledge about Islam. We don't bother to learn Islam from teachers of Islam. We rather learn it either from Westerners, Western resources or from internet and books.

We don't accept anyone as doctor if he/she is not graduated from a recognized university/college but we take 'anyone' as 'Professor' or 'Learned' in Islam. We - educated Muslims - will have to revert to authentic Ulemahs , support them, learn from them, ask them, questions them and read/listen them for a good period of our life if we really are interested to have sound understanding of Islam InshaAllah.

May Allah protect all Muslims from this period of Fitn. Amin




Edited by mrshakeel
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ummziba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 April 2005 at 7:59am

As salaamu alaikum Mr. Shakeel,

Allah has indeed blessed you with a honeyed tongue and reasoned speech!  This is what we need more of.  (And I am still not choosing sides, only finding it so much better to listen to one who speaks so nicely!)

Peace, ummziba.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words...they break my soul ~
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