Why carry out punishments in public
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
Is punishment under sharriah supposed to be exactly as it is stated in the Quran? I mean if a thief's hand is to be cut, must it be done in a brutal way in public? Or if it was removed in a hospital setting by a qualified medical doctor be acceptable? Is it required that stoning be the method of execution for adultery, or is it enough to execute someone by lethal injection?
Where is decapatation or the cutting of feet called for in the Quran?
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Why carry out punishments in public
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Q-1: Is punishment under sharriah supposed to be exactly as it is stated in the Quran?
If one sincerely believes in Allah and the Last Day, they must decide and judge everything according to the guidance of the Holy Quran and Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws).
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 5 Surah Maidah verse 44 (part) :
Those who do not judge by the Law which Allah has sent down, are indeed the disbelievers!
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 5 Surah Maidah verse 45 (part):
Those who do not judge by the Law which Allah has sent down, are indeed the wrong-doers!
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 5 Surah Maidah verse 47 (part):
Those who do not judge by the Law which Allah has sent down, are indeed the transgressors!
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzaab verse 36:
It does not behove a believing man and a believing woman that when Allah and His Messenger have given their decision in a matter, they should exercise an option in that matter of theirs. For whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, has indeed strayed into manifest error.
Q-2: I mean if a thief's hand is to be cut, must it be done in a brutal way in public? Or if it was removed in a hospital setting by a qualified medical doctor be acceptable? Is it required that stoning be the method of execution for adultery, or is it enough to execute someone by lethal injection?
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 5 Surah Maidah verse 38:
As for the thief; whether man or woman, cut off the hand of either of them. It is the recompense of what they have earned, and an exemplary punishment from Allah. Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 24 Surah Noor verse 2:
The woman and the man guilty of fornication, flog each of them with a hundred stripes; and let not pity for them restrain you in regard to a matter prescribed by Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a section of the believers witness the punishment inflicted on them!
To implement any law and command of Allah; a believer, who truly believes in Allah and the Last Day, must find study and follow, how the Messenger of Allah (saws) understood and implemented the command of Allah. The Messenger of Allah (saws) commanded that the thiefs hand be cut off in public, and the punishment of flogging for the crime of fornication be carried out in public, and the punishment and method of execution for the crime of adultery also be carried out in a public place; where a section of the believers may witness the punishment that a true Islamic society inflicts on those who commit crimes against society and Allah!
Q-2A: Or if it was removed in a hospital setting by a qualified medical doctor be acceptable?
There is no harm, and in fact it would be advisable, that a qualified medical doctor be available to cut the hand of the convicted thief; in the hospital, or in a public square, or in a stadium, etc.; but it must be done in public, where a section of the believers witness the punishment inflicted upon the thief.
Q-2B: Is it required that stoning be the method of execution for adultery, or is it enough to execute someone by lethal injection?
Allah and His Messenger (saws) have prescribed that stoning to death in public, be the method of execution for the crime of adultery; thus no one has a right to change or alter any judgment decreed by Allah and His Messenger (saws).
A believer may search and study the wisdom, behind each command and law of Allah and His Messenger (saws); so that his heart may be content and he may be able to follow the command of Allah and His Messenger with more conviction. It is the belief of every believer, who sincerely believes in Allah and the Last Day, that each and every command of Allah is based on His Absolute Wisdom and Knowledge; and Allah Subhanah is High and Far Exalted from ever making an error.
The punishment that Allah and His Messenger (saws) prescribe for the sins and crimes one commits in Shariah; is indicative of the displeasure of Allah Subhanah of that crime! The bigger the crime, the bigger the punishment! And in the sight of Allah Subhanah, theft is a crime worthy of cutting the hand of the thief; and adultery is a crime worthy of stoning the criminals to death! That is how displeasing and abominable are these crimes in the sight of Allah Subhanah.
The question most asked today regarding the implementation of this Divine Law is, why in public? And why so severe?
The society that Allah and His Messenger (saws) want for the believers, requires a particular amount of law, order, honor, sanctity of person and property, peace, and security. The person who, in his full senses, violates these basic principles and rights of humanity, and takes it upon himself to illegally and dishonestly take away from other what does not rightfully belong to him; must know and fear that society will exact a severe, stern, and debasing punishment from him. And the reason it is done in public is so that anyone else, who might be even thinking of violating these sacred rights of humanity; must know and fear the consequences he will have to pay for his crime!
The average person is normally a good, law abiding citizen; who works hard to provide for himself and his family. But some unscrupulous people, who dont want to live honestly, or earn their living lawfully, want to take away the right of the good citizen by dishonest means! And the fallacy of this modern-ignorant-educated social system is that the society makes laws to help and encourage these unscrupulous, dishonest, and corrupt criminals, at the expense of the honor, peace and security of the decent law-abiding citizen! Only if the punishment for the crimes against humanity are strict and severe, and only if the criminals know the severity of the punishment society will exact from them, and only if they fear the punishment; will the law-abiding, decent, and hard-working citizens be able to live a life of honor, peace, and security!
If we look around the world that we live in today; the normal, decent, honest citizen lives his life in fear for his honor, property, and life! And the criminals have available every tool at their disposal, knowing all too well, what are the consequences if they are caught for their crime. Every government and every law-maker tries to use his wisdom and his capacity to make laws that will help the law-abiding citizens to live a better life; and deter the criminals from committing crimes! Has it worked? Has the crime rate gone down in the world? Has theft reduced? Has fornication and adultery reduced?
When a law-maker of this world decrees that a thief should spend six months in jail, did we ever ask him why six months? Or why three months, or why one year? The law-maker of this world himself is of limited wisdom and knowledge, and will keep on trying his trial-and-error method, until he gets it right! And he will never get it right, till he reaches the decision or judgment that Allah and His Messenger have applied for the crime!
The humane and humble punishments prescribed by man today are worth taking the risk for the criminals; but if the All Wise, All Knowing, Allahs Laws are applied, would it be worth the risk for the criminals?
We never challenge the laws or regulations made by man; but some of us always challenge each and every law and regulation made by the All Wise, All Knowing, Lord of the worlds!
Q-3: Where is decapatation or the cutting of feet called for in the Quran?
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 5 Surah Maidah verses 33-34:
The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main to spread mischief in the land is this: they should be put to death, or crucified, or their alternate hands and feet should be cut off, or they should be banished from the land. That is the disgrace and ignominy for them in the world, and there is in store for them a harsher punishment in the Hereafter. Except those, who repent before you have power over them; for you should know that Allah is Forgiving, Compassionate.
The Messenger of Allah (saws) applied the above law on a group of people who committed armed robbery, by overpowering and killing the shepherd of the Messenger of Allah (saws), and stealing his camels. This Shariah Law would apply to the criminals, burglars, and dacoits, who by their force and might, do armed robbery, etc.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,