"Speak now or forever hold your peace in pieces."
Even though this issue is something that has been explained time and time again, many people still don’t seem to grasp it. Many Muslims still think that the Hudud that PAS upholds is what Allah had decreed, and that implementing it is the be-all and end-all to being a Muslim. So once and for all, I would like to settle the dispute and compile here the reasons why many of us (more than you think) do not think that the Hudud of PAS is as divine as they make it out to be.
What is Hudud?
Hudud, or hadd, are occurrences that appear up to 14 times in the Qur’an:
Divorce matters (8 times):
Marital relations and general affairs (4 times)
A lot of the questions that people ask the Prophet PBUH during the revelation of the Qur’an was specifically answering to the needs of the 7th century Arabs. Most customs mentioned in the Qur’an was the normative practice and culture of the pagan Arabs.
The usage of ‘Hadd’ in the Qur’an means ‘separating or preventing limit’. It was only during the development of fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) that this term was modified into something that was unchangeable, and this is the reason why PAS always say that no Muslim can refute Hudud law.
Hadd (fiqh definition): a mandatory and unchangeable punishment that is laid down in the Qur’an and Sunnah (practices and saying of the Prophet PBUH) which is imposed for a violation of the Right of God.
There are 4 punishable offences that are mentioned in the Qur’an:
Some people might ask, “Those are all in the Hudud bill of PAS! So what is the problem here?” The problem are the punishable offences that are NOT mentioned in the Qur’an, that are:
First, let’s take a look at the punishable offences that written both in the Qur’an and in the Hudud bill of PAS, and see how they stack up next to each other, and if one is the equivalent of the other.
Under Hudud law:
In the Qur’an:
Under Hudud law:
In the Qur’an:
Under Hudud law
In the Qur’an
According to the Hanbali jurist, Ibn Qudaimah: “Muslim jurists are unanimous on the fact that stoning to death is a specified punishment for the married adulterer and adulteress. The punishment is recorded in a number of traditions and the practice of Muhammad stands as an authentic source supporting it. The is the view held by all Companions, Successors and other Muslim scholars with the exception of the Kharijites.”
White it is true that stoning to death has been recorded in a number of traditions and practices of the Prophet PBUH, it is important to note that most of these punishments are carried out BEFORE the revelation of the 100 lashes that was sent down. Most times, when a person was stoned to death for zina, the Prophet PBUH was following the punishment written in the respective person’s scripture i.e. the Torah.
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 50: Conditions, Number 885: Narrated Abu Huraira and Zaid bin Khalid Al-Juhani: A bedouin came to Allah’s Apostle and said, “O Allah’s apostle! I ask you by Allah to judge My case according to Allah’s Laws.” His opponent, who was more learned than he, said, “Yes, judge between us according to Allah’s Laws, and allow me to speak.” Allah’s Apostle said, “Speak.” He (i .e. the bedouin or the other man) said, “My son was working as a laborer for this (man) and he committed illegal sexual intercourse with his wife.
The people told me that it was obligatory that my son should be stoned to death, so in lieu of that I ransomed my son by paying one hundred sheep and a slave girl. Then I asked the religious scholars about it, and they informed me that my son must be lashed one hundred lashes, and be exiled for one year, and the wife of this (man) must be stoned to death.”
Allah’s Apostle said, “By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, I will judge between you according to Allah’s Laws. The slave-girl and the sheep are to be returned to you, your son is to receive a hundred lashes and be exiled for one year. You, Unais, go to the wife of this (man) and if she confesses her guilt, stone her to death.” Unais went to that woman next morning and she confessed. Allah’s Apostle ordered that she be stoned to death.
The stoning was done to the woman because she was a Jew and according to the Torah, the punishment for adultery is stoning. The son got 100 lashes because it is the punishment for zina in the Qur’an.
I have written a more extensive article on stoning, which can be read here: “Stoning 101: Is it part of Islamic law?”
Under Hudud law
Section 9 (Terengganu Bill) specifically states that:
Under Section 46(2) of the Kelantan Enactment:
In the Qur’an
The beauty of the qazaf verse was to protect chaste women from being slandered. Recalling the story of Aisha RA, the Prophet PBUH’s wife, and how she was wrongly accused of having an affair with another man. The was the reason why the revelation of the qazaf was sent down, in regards to protecting Aisha RA from slander. However, PAS is using that verse to put the burden of proof on women.
Under Hudud law
Apostasy in Hadith
Freedom of religion in the Qur’an
The hadith on apostasy is not so much about those who stopped believing in God, but rather for those who have committed treason. During ancient Arabia, when Islam was rising, there were a group of people who disguised as believers when they were actually mufiqun (hypocrites) and acted as spies in the Muslim society. It had nothing to do with personal faith or belief, but rather it was all about politics because treason means crossing the border and joining the enemy camp.
There are around 20 instances in the Qur’an where people had left religion, but not once did God mention any worldly punishment for the. Some ulama think that [2:256] means you cannot force someone to embrace Islam, but once they do, they cannot leave or else they will have to be killed. However, other ulama believe in freedom of religion. If the Qur’an states that there are people who have believed, and then disbelieved and then believed again, how could this be possible if the punishment for apostasy was stoning to death? In the Qur’an, we are told to guide disbelievers, not kill them. Apostasy in the medieval time is considered a heinous crime that can shake the foundation of a state, and you will be considered an enemy of the state if you were to commit treason.
A lot of Malaysian Muslims might not agree with the implementation of Hudud law now, but still agree that it comes from the Qur’an and should be implemented when we are ready. This too is a statement that needs to stop being said. The parliament punishment in itself is against the way we think of justice today. We have our constitutional lawsand international obligations to uphold. In this modern time, to stone or crucify someone for moral sins is not acceptable.
God did not mean for these punishments to be forever. The revolutionary spirit of reform and pragmatism in the Qur’an can be seen in the gradualist approach the Qur’an takes on past societies, for example:
The punishments mentioned under Hudud law were all punishments that were accepted in the medieval times. PAS is planning to use guillotine to amputate wrongdoers. In this modern society, how does that even sound humane? Islam did not create lashing, stoning, amputation, but why are Muslims so obsessed with them and think that it is holy? Not only that, but PAS completely overlooked repentance, and chooses to overpower God’s job by choosing to hand down punishments on people as though they knew someone’s heart better than God did.
We live in a society where our neighbours are nosy, and a lot of people get punished for their moral sins because their neighbours assume, suspect and hold espionages. How is this Islamic? People would use the reason of “amar makruf nahi ungkar”, but enjoining good and forbidding evil does not mean prying your noses into somebody else’s personal business and claiming authority over what they can or cannot do in their lives. Not to mention that they also have not fixed the loophole around the problem with facing rape victims. Constitutionally, it does not make sense to implement Hudud law. Islamically, it is a disgrace.
So where are the matters on divorce? Inheritance? Where is the space for repentance? Where is Allah’s Hudud is the Hudud of PAS?
Divine revelations cannot be subjected to changes like this flimsy enactment, and divine revelations are just. Hudud as a law does not exist in the Qur’an. So PAS, please stop playing the Messenger and scaring Muslims into believing that Hudud law is divine. It’s not.