What is the philosophy behind Islamic punishments?

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Last Updated on 16th July 2021

Huzooraa was sent a quote from the Promised Messiahas wherein he states, “There is a clear injunction in the Holy Quran to amputate the hand of a thief and to stone the adulterer”.

Huzooraa was then asked that while the former was mentioned in the Holy Quran, there was no mention of stoning an adulterer in any of the verses. Huzooraa was asked for guidance on the matter.

Huzooraa, in a letter dated 15 October 2018, gave the following reply:

“There are generally two aspects to Islamic punishments: a severe punishment and a comparatively moderate punishment. The main purpose of these punishments is to prevent evil and to serve as an admonition for others.

“Therefore, we see that during the time of the Holy Prophetsa and the Khulafa-e-Rashideen, not all kinds of thieves were punished with amputation of their hands. This punishment was, for example, never applied for the theft of food and drink. However, if a thief, while snatching a woman’s jewellery, injures her hand or ear or causes injury to any part of her body in such a way that she becomes disabled, then such a thief is punished according to the crime. This also includes the punishment of the amputation of the hands.

“Likewise, if adultery or fornication is committed by mutual consent and it is proven by the Islamic method of witnessing, then the concerning parties are sentenced to a hundred lashes. However, in the case of rape, which is of extremely barbaric nature, or if a rapist has committed this heinous act by abusing young children, then the punishment for such a person cannot be merely a hundred floggings. Such an adulterer or rapist can then be given the extreme punishment such as killing and stoning according to the teachings mentioned in Surah al-Maidah [chapter 5], verse 34 and Surah al-Ahzab [chapter 33], verses 61-63 of the Holy Quran. However, the right of meting out this punishment is given to the ruling government of the time. This teaching has merely given them an option in general.

“Therefore, it is in light of these Quranic verses that the Promised Messiahas has also stated that the punishment mentioned in the Holy Quran for such an adulterer or rapist was stoning.”

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