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The story of
~ the one who has been sentenced ~
“Death by stoning"
...if anyone slew a person
- unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land -
it would be as if he slew the whole people:
and if anyone saved a life,
it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.
Qur'an Chapter 5, Verse 32
All translations and commentaries (unless stated),
are from Abdullah Yusuf Ali's original unedited version.
The numbering of verses may vary slightly in some other translations.
Allah's Supreme Law:
The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication* flog each of them... Qur'an 24, verse 2
Commentary # 2954
Zina* includes sexual intercourse between a man and a woman not married to each other. It therefore applies both to adultery (which implies that one or both of the parties are married to a person or persons other than the ones concerned) and to fornication, which, in its strict signification, implies that both parties are unmarried. The law of marriage and divorce is made easy in Islam, so that there may be the less temptation for intercourse outside the well-defined incidents of marriage. This makes for greater self-respect for both man and woman. Other sex offenses are also punishable, but this Section applies strictly to Zina as above defined. (The end of the original commentary, written by the translator Abdullah Yusuf Ali).
Below is the SUPERFLUOUS TEXT added to the above commentary by The Presidency of Islamic Researches, IFTA, Call and Guidance, Saudi Arabia, in their Revised Editions published from Saudi Arabia. The name of the commentator for the added text is not stated. It is also unknown as to who are the so called Muslim jurists and when and where the opinions were expressed.
Although zina covers both fornication and adultery, in the opinion of Muslim jurists, the punishment laid down here applies only to unmarried persons. As for married persons, their punishment, according to the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be on him), is stoning to death.
Below are two commentaries by other Muslim scholars that do uphold the ORIGINAL commentary by Abdullah Yusuf Ali:
Commentary written by Maulana Abdul Majid Daryabadi of India:
The Arabic word zanaa denotes sexual intercourse between any man and woman, whether married or not, who do not stand to each other in the relation of husband and wife; and, as such, has no single word equivalent in English language. It includes both adultery (i.e. illicit sexual intercourse of two persons either of whom is married to a third person) and fornication (i.e. illicit sexual intercourse of unmarried persons).
Note: The entire text including what is within the brackets is reproduced from 'Tafsir-ul-Quran' Volume III, under verse 24 : 2.
Commentary by the translator Muhammad Asad to verse 24 : 2, reads:
The term zina signifies voluntary sexual intercourse between a man and a woman not married to one another, irrespective of whether one or both of them are married to other persons or not: hence, it does not -- in contrast with the usage prevalent in most Western languages -- differentiate between the concepts of "adultery" (i.e., sexual intercourse of a married man with a woman other than his wife, or of a married woman with a man other than her husband) and "fornication" (i.e., sexual intercourse between two unmarried persons).
Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him):
The superfluous commentary mentions "according to the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be on him)", and since the Sharia Laws are generally based upon Sunnah of the Prophet, it is essential to understand the term "Sunnah". The word by itself means the "trodden path". Here the term refers to the legal way or ways of the Prophet; orders and acts of the Prophet and the authentic statements made by the Prophet that have by tradition become the outstanding models for the Muslims to follow. The next few questions in the line would be: Did the Prophet order "Death by stoning"? If he did, for whom? And, most importantly before or or after the promulgation of Allah's Law?
Below are the three narrations on the penalty of stoning, from the famous book of the Prophetic Traditions and Narrations known as Sahih Al-Bukhari:
Hadith No. 4.829: When a Jew and a Jewess who had committed the illegal sexual intercourse were brought before the Prophet (s.a.s.), he ordered them to be punished according to their Jewish laws that are recorded in the Torah. The couple was stoned to death. This Hadith was narrated by Abdullah bin Umar.
Hadith No. 8.805: A married man from the tribe of Bani Aslam who had committed illegal sexual intercourse and bore witnesses four times against himself was ordered by the Prophet (s.a.s) to be stoned to death.
This Hadith was narrated by Jabir bin Abdullah Al-Ansari.
Hadith No. 8.804: Ash Shaibani narrates that when he asked 'Abdullah bin Abi Aufa; "Did Allah's Apostle carry out the penalty of Rajam (i.e., stoning to death)?" He said, "Yes". When the narrator asked; "Before the revelation of Surah-an-Nur or after it?" He replied, "I don't know." This Hadith is narrated by Ash Shaibani and is repeated one more time under Hadith No. 8 : 824
1. The Surah-an-Nur (i.e. Chapter 24 of the Qur'an, in which the penalty of flogging is prescribed) was Revealed in or after the sixth year of Prophet's migration from Mekkah to the city of Medinah. This is confirmed by verses 11 to 20. It is inconceivable that the Prophet who has been declared by Allah as the best of the examples for Muslims, could have dictated his own edict after the revelation of Surah-an-Nur, which was delivered to mankind through him.
2. It is a known fact that before the promulgation of the Quranic Laws, the Prophet and his followers used to follow many of the Abrahamic Traditions and the Law of Moses. Once the specific Law of the Qur'an was Revealed to the Prophet in that matter, the ancient traditions and laws became null and void.
3. The Hadith No. 5: 805 does speak of a married man being "stoned to death" but it does not specify the period when that had penalty was confirmed. Before or after the Revelation of Allah's Law. One cannot use this example of "a married individual" and interpret it to be applied to the Revealed Verse and then Create the distinction between the act of adultery and the fornication.
4. There is NO recorded authentic Narration in which the Prophet has made a ruling or given the directive that there is to be observed a distinction or inequality between the "married persons" and "unmarried individuals" when the penalty for the illegal sexual intercourse is to be applied. Nor, there is any explicit directive or a command of the Prophet asking the followers that the Revealed Verse of "flogging" is ONLY for the "unmarried individuals".
5. Why is the Islamic Sharia Law NOT applied to the MALE individual in this particular case? The Court is required to have Four Witnesses to the act of Adultery, to pass the Judgment. The Court needed no Witness in case of the mother, because she had given birth to the girl and that was the sufficient Witness. Why not use the blood of that same girl as the Witness for the Father? Today it is not difficult to identify the Father with the DNA a test, after Amina having named the Father. Is NOT the Nigerian Sharia Law BIASED?
Allah's Law permits the guilty person to live and remarry (see below). No one has the authority to deprive that God given privilege...
Let no man guilty of adultery or fornication marry any, 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. Qur'an Surah-an-Nur (24) verse 3.
(This verse 3, follows the verse number 2 in which the penalty is prescribed and it emphasizes the fact that DO NOT KILL THEM.)
Commentary # 2957 to the above verse:
Islam commands sex purity, for men and for women, at all times, - before marriage, during marriage, and after the dissolution of marriage. Those guilty of illicit practices are shut out of the marriage circle of chaste men and women.
Surah-an-Nur REPEALED the previous directives permanently...
In the September 2002 Special Issue of 'Renaissance' - A Monthly Islamic Journal, which is a part of the movement for revival of the Muslims under DAR-UL-ISHRAQ, appears a scholarly article THE PENAL LAW OF ISLAM.
It is written by Javed Ahmad Ghamindi and Shehzad Saleem. Under the subtitle Fornication, after quoting passages from the various Surahs, the authors have added the following text. It supports the notion that the punishment prescribed in Surah Nur prevails. URL for the Journal is http://www.renaissance.com.pk/
This was the punishment of fornication in the Shari‘ah before a definite directive was revealed in Surah Nur. Once this was revealed, it repealed the previous directive permanently.
Two Significant Verses of the Glorious Qur'an:
Say: "Allah's guidance is the (only) guidance and we have been directed to submit ourselves to the Lord of the worlds.
Qur'an Chapter 6, Verse 71
And if any fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed they are the wrong-doers (Ar. Zalimuun). Qur'an Chapter 5 : 45
If Allah - the All Knowing, had desired to convey; that while JUDGING BY what HE has REVEALED one was to observe a clear distinction between "the married" and "the unmarried" individuals for the sin of Zinna (adultery), then HE would Revealed the TWO distinct SETS of punishments, which He did not.
Today, is there a SINLESS Man living on this planet that could step forward and say; I will be the first to cast, the First Stone? O' Muslims of Nigeria, fear Allah and remember; in the vary same Surah An-Nur, just three verses later He reveals; there are exceptions for the guilty, who repent and mend their conducts, FOR ALLAH IS OFT-FORGIVING, THE MOST MERCIFUL...
Here is the Good News from the Canadian Television, CTV News:
Nigerian government vows to block stonings (10/29/2002)
Nigeria vowed Tuesday to block Islamic courts from carrying out any executions by stoning, promising to hold the line against sentences in northern states that have provoked international protests and boycott threats.
However, until and unless the Islamic Shaira Courts decide to abide by the
Government rulings the threat to the life of Amina Lawal continues to exist.
My Appeal to the Islamic Sharia Courts of the world:
"wa kaana 'amrul-laahi qadaram-maqduuraa."
"And the Command of Allah is a Decree Determined." Glorious Qur'an 33: 38
IS THERE A PUNISHMENT OF "STONING TO DEATH" IN THE QUR'AN, FOR ANY CRIME OR ANY SIN COMMITTED, BY ANYONE?
An interesting portion from the REBUTTAL is reproduced below. This rebuttal is received from Jamiatual Ulama (KZN), Council of Muslim Theologians, Durban. To get a copy of the entire rebuttal one may write to
"There are many other Ahadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) from which the "stoning of adulterer and adulteress" is clearly proven.
Hadhrat Abdullah ibn Abbas (Radiyallahu Anhu) narrates the lecture that Hadhrat Umar (Radiyallahu anhu) delivered whilst sitting on the pulpit of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam)"
(Note: The Arabic text of the above narration is not reproduced but it's translation, mentioned in that Rebuttal, is reproduced below)
Hadhrat Umar (Radiyallahu Anhu) said, "Verily, Allah Ta’ala sent Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi wa sallam) with the truth, and revealed the Quran upon him. The verse regarding the stoning of the adulterer/ess was from amongst the verses revealed (in the Quran). We read it, understood it and memorised it. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) stoned and we stoned after him. I fear that with the passage of time a person may say, ‘We do not find mention of stoning in the Book of Allah and thereby lead astray by leaving out an obligation revealed by Allah. Verily, the stoning of the adulterer/ress is found in the Quran and is the truth, if the witnesses are met or there is a pregnancy or confession."
(Sahih Al-Bukhari Vol. 2 pg. 1009 / Sahih Muslim Vol. 2 pg. 65)
Hazrat Imam Malik (rah) in his famous Muwatta (Pg. 349) has included the verse referred to by Hazrat Umar (radiyallahu anhu). The verse reads, “The married man and married woman, when they commit adultery then stone them.”
This verse is from among those verses whose recitation has been abrogated but its hukm (injunction) still applicable. Similarly there are verses that are presently recited but their hukm is not applicable. The discussion regarding abrogation of Quranic verses requires lengthy and detail explanation, the volume of which cannot be addressed in this article.
Narrations from Abdullah bin Ahmad substantiated by ibn Hibban (rah) and Hakim (rah), verify the fact that there is a verse of the Quran regarding the stoning of the adulterer and adulteress, which is abrogated in terms of recital only.
End of that interesting protion from the REBUTTAL.
The above text mentions: "We read it, understood it and memorised it."
It is hard to conceive that a verse of such a serious consequence that was "READ, UNDERSTOOD AND MEMORIZED" by "WE" meaning several Muslims was LOST TOTALLY! Yet, "its hukm (injunction)" was NOT LOST!!! Please go to PART ONE of this article and read my lengthy response to such baseless conjectures. I wish to remind the readers and those who have rebutted that the verse number 9 of Surah Al-Hijr (15), is NOT LOST, it is well preserved and reads: "We have without doubt sent down the Message; and We will ASSUREDLY GUARD IT."
Should a Believer place his/her Imaan (faith), on the above verse which is duly recorded in the final compilation of the Qur'an and is available today for us to READ and UNDERSTAND --or-- upon something that is alleged to have been Lost or Abrogated and is not within the Final Compilation and Promulgation?
Here are two verses numbers 17/18 of Surah Al-Qiyamat (75) and they reveal: "It is for Us to collect it and to promulgate it: But when We have promulgated it follow thou its recital." After reading the above quoted verses one cannot take a stand that the final Compilation and Promulgation, when it was done by Hadhrat Uthman (r.a.), was for some reason or reasons not "FULLY COMPLETE IN ALL RESPECT" and the MESSAGE is not "FULLY GUARDED IN ALL RESPECT" unless that person prefers to be
the REJECTER of the above quoted Verses of the Glorious Qur'an.
IF.. the verse of Rajam (Stoning) was ABROGATED by Allah (SWT) then the "following - obeying" of that Message was also Abrogated by Allah (SWT). And, He had Revealed the Substituted MESSAGE in Surah Nur verses 2 to 5. Why not follow that MESSAGE which is before us, and be on the SAFE SIDE?
Allah Alone Knows The Truth
November 5, 2002