Islamic Circle of North America (Canada) online course study on sharia punishments

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ICNA (Islamic Circle of North America) Canada is an Islamic nation wide organization striving “to build an Exemplary Canadian Muslim Community” by “total submission to Him [Allah] and through the propagation of true and universal message of Islam.”

Located at 391 Burnhamthorpe Rd., East, Oakville, Ontario, ICNA Canada emphasizes that “the propagation of true and universal message of Islam is only possible in Canada when the whole Canadian Muslim Community is transformed into a Dawah community by practicing and propagating the true Islamic Way of Life. With the vision of building an exemplary Canadian Muslim community it is very important to spread the word of Islam…”

Dr. Iqbal Massod Al-Nadvi is the Amir (President/chairman) of Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) Canada and is also serving as Chairperson of Canadian Council of Imams. he also served as Director of Al-Falah Islamic School in Oakville, Ontario from 2004 to 2011, prior to which he served as Imam of Muslim Association of Calgary Islamic Center from 1998-2004 and as a member of the University of Calgary chaplaincy team.

The Gardens of the Righteous (Arabic: Riyadh as-Salihin), is a compilation of verses from the Qur’an and hadith by Al-Nawawi. It contains a total of 1905 hadith divided across 372 chapters, many of which are introduced by verses of the Quran.

This book appears on ICNA Canada site adds modern commentary to the verses from the Qur’an and hadith.

The following are excerpts from the book which deal with the fixed punishments in Islam including the stoning of adulterers, chopping off thieves’ hands and whipping for the offence of drinking alcohol. In these excerpts, you will see the term ‘Hadd’. This is an Islamic term referring to punishments which under Islamic law (shariah) are mandated and fixed by God.

“[Hadith]: 1209. Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “I have been commanded to fight people till they testify `La ilaha illallah’ (there is no true god except Allah) that Muhammad (PBUH) is his slave and Messenger, and they establish Salat, and pay Zakat; and if they do this, their blood (life) and property are secured except when justified by law, and it is for Allah to call them to account.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].”

Commentary: “Except when justified by law” means that after the acceptance of Islam, if someone commits a crime which is punishable by Hadd this will be certainly imposed on him, or her, i.e., cutting of hand in case of theft, one hundred stripes or stoning to death in case of fornication, capital punishment in retaliation for murdering an innocent person.”

“In this Hadith the words “it is for Allah to call them to account” means that if they are not sincere in the acceptance of Islam and would put up an appearance of Islam like hypocrites, or would commit a crime which is liable for Hadd but is somehow not detected by the Islamic court or authorities concerned, they will be taken to account for it by Allah, that is Allah will decide about them on the Day of Judgement. It is evident from this Hadith that so long as Kufr [heresy] is present in this world, it is necessary to wage Jihad against it to finish it off, and so long as all the disbelievers do not openly accept Islam and adopt the Islamic way of life, Muslims are duty- bound to make Jihad against them.”

“[Hadith]: 1628. `Uqbah bin `Amir (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Avoid (entering a place) in which are women (uncovered or simply to mix with them in seclusion).” A man from the Ansar said, “Tell me about the brother of a woman’s husband.” He replied, “The brother of a woman’s husband is death.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].”

Commentary: This Hadith tells us an extremely important point in respect of the veil about which the majority of Muslims are unaware or negligent. The point that it tells us that a woman must observe the veil from the real brothers, cousins etc., of her husband because their visits in her home are very frequent and there may occur several occasions when they come across each other alone. For this reason, there are greater chances of mischief with them. This explains why the husband’s male relatives have been regarded as “death”, that is from the religious point of view they are fatal. In other words, if they commit the mischief, it will prove fatal because in an Islamic state this crime is punishable by Rajm (stoning to death). This can also be fatal in another way. If the husband begins to suspect that his wife has illicit relations with someone else, he might kill her or divorce her out of his sense of honour. Even in case of divorce, her life will become desolate. Another meaning of it can be that one should be as much afraid of meeting such women in seclusion with whom any kind of contact is not permissible as one is afraid of death.”

“When a woman is required to observe the veil from the real brothers of her husband, why would it not be essential to observe the veil from the husband’s friends. Slackness in this matter is also very common nowadays. Although the dangerous consequences of this fashion come to our notice everyday through newspapers, people do not learn any lesson from them, and the fashion of non-observance of the veil is spreading fast like an epidemic. May Allah save us from this evil!”

“[Hadith]: 1770. `Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: The Quraish were anxious about a woman from Banu Makhzum who had committed theft and asked : “Who will speak to the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) about her?” Then they said: “No one will be bold enough to do so except Usamah bin Zaid, the (Companion who was) dearly loved by the Messenger of Allah (PBUH).” So Usamah (May Allah be pleased with him) spoke to him and the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) (angrily) said, “Are you interceding regarding one of the punishments prescribed by Allah?” He then got up and delivered an address in which he said, “Indeed what destroyed the people before you was just that when a person of high rank among them committed a theft, they spared him; but if the same crime was done by a poor person they inflicted the prescribed punishment on him. I swear by Allah that if Fatimah daughter of Muhammad should steal, I would have her hand cut off.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].”

“In another narration `Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) said: (Upon hearing the intercession of Usamah), the face of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) changed color (because of anger) and he said, “Do you dare to intercede in matters prescribed by Allah?” Usamah pleaded: “O Messenger of Allah! Pray for my forgiveness.” `Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) added: Thereafter the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) gave orders to have that woman’s hand cut off.”

Commentary:

  1. Hadd is the punishment fixed by Shari`ah and which no one has the authority to increase or decrease. For instance, theft is punishable by the cutting of the hand; the punishment of adultery is a hundred stripes or Rajm (stoning to death); the punishment of drinking of intoxicants is forty stripes etc.
  2. Nobody has the right to intercede or make any recommendation in this matter.
  3. There is no distinction of male or female in the matter of these punishments (Hudud). Whoever commits a crime which is punishable by Hadd, whether that person is male or female, will be liable for punishment prescribed under Hadd – the punishment, the limits of which have been defined in the Qur’an and Hadith.
  4. No one is exempted from Hadd, no matter how great he is, because there is no distinction of great or small in the matter of Hadd.
  5. We must learn a lesson from the history of past nations so that we can save ourselves from such misdeeds which caused their ruin.
  6. This Hadith brings into prominence the distinction and eminence of Usamah and his position in the eyes of the Prophet (PBUH).”

“[Hadith]: 242. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, “When a slave-girl commits fornication and this fact of fornication has become evident, she must be given the penalty of (fifty) lashes without hurling reproaches at her; if she does it again, she must be given the penalty but she should not be rebuked. If she does it for the third time, he should sell her, even for a rope woven from hair (i.e., something worthless)”. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].”

CommentaryIf a slave-girl is guilty of fornication, she is liable to a punishment of fifty stripes, and this punishment can be given by her master. This Hadith is, in fact addressed to the master of such a slave-girl. The order that one should not censure and reproach her is perhaps based on the consideration that she may abstain from such a sin in future because politeness often proves more effective than reproach. If politeness proves ineffective and she commits that sin again then that slave-girl should be sold for cheap.”

“[Hadith]: 243. Abu Hurairah (May Allah bepleased with him) reported: A man who had drunk wine was brought to the Prophet (PBUH) and he asked us to beat him; some struck him with their hands, some with their garments (making a whip) and some with their sandals. When he (the drunkard) had gone, some of the people said: “May Allah disgrace you!” He (the Prophet (PBUH)) said, “Do not say so. Do not help the devil against him”. [Al-Bukhari].”

Commentary: To imprecate a Muslim virtually amounts to helping Satan against him, because the latter is avowed to mislead people and to expose man to humiliation in this world and the Hereafter. Such people who believe that no Hadd punishment is fixed for drinking take support from this Hadith. They hold that its punishment is discretionary which can be increased or decreased according to the circumstances. But other learned men who hold that its Hadd is forty stripes argue that the incident quoted in this Hadith relates to the period when its Hadd had not been fixed.”

“When the Prophet (PBUH) ordered the punishment of forty stripes for it then it became its prescribed Hadd. Abu Bakr (May Allah bepleased with him) followed it during the period of his caliphate. `Umar (May Allah bepleased with him) also applied it in the early years of his caliphate but subsequently raised its punishment to eighty stripes.”

“The `Ulama’ [scholars] who maintain the punishment of forty stripes contend that the original Hadd was forty stripes and the additional forty stripes comprised discretionary punishment for which the Head of a state has full authority. If he feels, he can add discretionary punishment to the Hadd. The nature of this additional punishment depends on his discretion. The latter opinion seems to be more correct that Hadd is fixed for drinking and its punishment is not based on discretion. The Hadd for it is forty stripes but this Hadd can be increased by adding discretionary punishment to it. Allah knows best.”

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