Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Shariah Law and flogging as a form of punishment

Question: I just want the opinion of all members of the recent implementation of 'Sharia Law' in sawat. Not the forget, the infamous video of flogging a girl.

Answer: We had a brief discussion on ideal Islamic state and shariah law in our Quran class the other day. Our teacher was of the opinion (or so I understood) that there is no such thing as an ideal state, as there always will be something better than an existing state, and thus there can never be a perfect state….. so instead of dreaming of an ‘ideal Islamic state’, we should simply strive, continuously, to improve our current state.As for the Shariah Laws, his opinion was that Allah has provided us with guidance (in the Quran) for only about five things, which as humans we would probably get confused about, and not be able to formulate the correct laws based on our human faculties. The rest, which are known as Islamic Shariah Laws, were formulated much much later, for political reasons.
As for flogging, my understanding from the Quran (see below) is that Allah has indeed made it extremely difficult for anybody to accuse anybody else for adultery. To even admit the case in court you need atleast 4 witnesses, how is it possible to get 4 witnesses for such a thing? Then again, if the accusation is found to be false, the accuser is to be flogged with eighty stripes, and never again is his testimony to be accepted throughout his life! And if a person accuses his/her spouse of adultery, he/she is required to take oath 4 times that the accusation is true, and a fifth oath that if he/she is lying, may the wrath of Allah fall upon him/her.
Given the above conditions, it is indeed extremely difficult, if not impossible to launch such accusations. Also, I don’t see how except the openly promiscuous would suffer such a fate, and then again, after one or two such punishments, how many would be left in society who would dare do such a thing, especially openly? I think the hudood and zina laws as implemented in Pakistan is simply a mockery of religion, and an additional tool for the oppressors to further their oppression.

Surah Noor ayat 1-10
1 A sura which We have sent down and which We have ordained in it have We sent down Clear Signs, in order that ye may receive admonition.
2 The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication,- flog each of them with a hundred stripes: Let not compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day: and let a party of the Believers witness their punishment.
3 Let no man guilty of adultery or fornication marry and but a woman similarly guilty, or an Unbeliever: nor let any but such a man or an Unbeliever marry such a woman: to the Believers such a thing is forbidden.
4 And those who launch a charge against chaste women, and produce not four witnesses (to support their allegations),- flog them with eighty stripes; and reject their evidence ever after: for such men are wicked transgressors;-
5 Unless they repent thereafter and mend (their conduct); for Allah is Oft- Forgiving, Most Merciful.
6 And for those who launch a charge against their spouses, and have (in support) no evidence but their own,- their solitary evidence (can be received) if they bear witness four times (with an oath) by Allah that they are solemnly telling the truth;
7 And the fifth (oath) (should be) that they solemnly invoke the curse of Allah on themselves if they tell a lie.
8 But it would avert the punishment from the wife, if she bears witness four times (with an oath) By Allah, that (her husband) is telling a lie;
9 And the fifth (oath) should be that she solemnly invokes the wrath of Allah on herself if (her accuser) is telling the truth.
10 If it were not for Allah.s grace and mercy on you, and that Allah is Oft- Returning, full of Wisdom,- (Ye would be ruined indeed).

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