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Hudud of Allah vs. Hudud of PAS

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.

I have written about my concerns on Hudud before here and here.

What is Hudud?

  • Hadd: Literally means ‘boundary’ or ‘limit’, that separate one thing from another; to separate or protect
  • Hudud: Fixed punishments; meant to prevent crime; the limits of what is tolerable and what is not
  • Hudud Allah: Qur’anic expressions that occur in the Qur’an signifying limits of moral or legal acceptable behaviour from those that are not acceptable

Hudud, or hadd, are occurrences that appear up to 14 times in the Qur’an:

Divorce matters (8 times):

  • Surah Al-Baqarah 2:229 (4 times)
  • Surah Al-Baqarah 2:230 (2 times)
  • Surah At-Talqa 65:1 (2 times)

Marital relations and general affairs (4 times)

  • Surah Al-Baqarah 2:187
  • Surah An-Nisa 4:14
  • Surah At-Taubah 9:97
  • Surah At-Taubah 9:112

Atonement:

  • Surah Al-Mujadilah 58:4

Inheritance:

  • Surah An-Nisa 4:13

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:

  • Theft (sariqah)
  • Robbery (hirabah)
  • Zina (unlawful intercourse)
  • Qazaf (slanderous accusation)

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:

  • Drinking liquor (shurb)
  • Apostasy (riddah)
  • Treason (Bughah) — written in the Terengganu Hudud bill

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.

Theft (sariqah)

Under Hudud law:

  • Amputation of the offender’s right hand
    • For a second offender, amputation of his left leg
    • For a third and subsequent offender, imprisonment as deemed fit by court
  • However, the offender shall not be liable for the above punishments if amongst others, the value of the stolen property is less than a prescribed sum, the owner of the stolen property failed to take adequate steps to protect his property, the property is freely available or the property is valueless in Islam e.g. liquor or entertainment equipment.

In the Qur’an:

  • Surah Al-Maidah 5:38
    • “As for the thief, both male and female, cut off their hands. It is the reward of their own deeds, an exemplary punishment from Allah. Allah is Might, Wise.:
  • Followed by a verse on forgiveness (Surah Al-Maidah 5:39)
    • “But whoever repents after committing the crime and reforms his conduct, Allah will surely turn to him with forgiveness. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

Robbery (hirabah)

Under Hudud law:

  • Death and thereafter crucifixion if the victim is killed and his or another person’s property if taken
  • Death if the victim is killed but no property is taken
  • Amputation of the right hand and left led if the victim is not killed or injured

In the Qur’an:

  • Surah Al-Maidah 5:33
    • “It is but with a just recompense for those who make war on God and His apostle, and endeavour to spread corruption on earth, that they are being slain in great numbers, or have, in result of their perverseness, their hands and feet cut off in great numbers, of are being [entirely] banished from [the face of] the earth: such is their ignominy in this world. But in the life to come [yet more] suffering awaits them.”
  • Followed by a verse on forgiveness (Surah Al-Maidah 5:34)
    • “Except for those who repent before they fall into your power: in that case, know that Allah if Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

Zina (illicit intercourse)

Under Hudud law

  • Illicit intercourse by an unmarried person with another person, the punishment for which is whipping of 100 stripes and 1 year imprisonment
  • The punishment for adultery is stoning until death

In the Qur’an

  • Surah An-Nur 24:2
    • “As for the adulteress and the adulterer – flog each of them with a hundred stripes, and let not compassion with them keep you from [carrying out] this law of God, if you [truly] believe in God and the Last Day; and let a group of believers witness their chastisement.”
  • Stoning is not mentioned in the Qur’an but in the Old Testament

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.

Example:

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?”

Qazaf (accusation of adultery)

Under Hudud law

  • Any person who accuses another of illicit intercourse without bringing forth 4 adult male Muslim witnesses, it to be punished with whipping of 80 stripes

Section 9 (Terengganu Bill) specifically states that:

  • Any person complaining of rape in a case where such rape is not proven (woman cannot bring forward 4 male witnesses) shall be deemed to have committed qazaf
  • Amended to allow a rape victim to bring qarinah (circumstantial evidence) in lieu of 4 male witnesses to the rape, after an outcry was raised by womens groups

Under Section 46(2) of the Kelantan Enactment:

  • In the case of zina, pregnancy or delivery of a baby of an unmarried woman shall constitute as evidence on which to find her guilty of zin a and therefore the Hudud punishment shall be passed on her unless she can prove to the contrary

In the Qur’an

  • Surah An-Nur 4:4
    • “Those who accuse a chaste woman of fornication and do not produce four witnesses to support their allegation, shall be flogged with 80 lashes and their testimony shall not be accepted ever after, for they are the one who are wicked transgressors.”
  • Followed by a verse on forgiveness (Surah An-Nur 24:5)
    • “Unless they repent thereafter and mend (their conduct): for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
  • The Qur’anic injection against qazaf is to prohibit the accusation of chaste women of zin a
  • In relation to married couples, zin a may be proved by unrebutted sworn allegations of a person against his/her spouse

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.

Apostasy

Under Hudud law

  • The punishment for blasphemy or apostasy by an unrepentant offender is
    • Death
    • Forfeiture of property

Apostasy in Hadith

  • Hadith Bukhari: “Whoever changes his religion, kill him.”
  • Hadith Bukhari & Muslim: “The blood of a Muslim is not permissible except for these: Divorced person who commits adultery, a life for a life and those who leave the faith and separates from the jamaah.”
  • Khalifah Abu Bakar waged war on Ar-Riddah: the apostates, blasphemy and refusal to pay zakat

Freedom of religion in the Qur’an

  • Surah Al-Baqarah 2:256
    • “There is no compulsion in religion. True guidance has been made clearly distinct from error. There fore, whoever renounces “Taghut” (forces of Shaitan) and believes in Allah has grasped the firm hand-hold that will never break. Allah, whose hand-hold you have grasped, hears all and knows all.”
  • Surah Al-Baqarah 2:217
    • “…and if any of you turns back from his religion and dies as an unbeliever, his deeds will become void in this life and in the Hereafter. He will be the inmate of Hellfire, to live in the forever.”
  • Surah An-Nisa 4:137
    • “Indeed those who have believed, then disbelieved, and then increased in disbelief – never will Allah forge them, nor will He guide them to a way.”

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:

  1. It did not forbid slavery because slavery was common then, but commands kindness to slaves, and praised those who freed slaves, and it is now accepted and understood that its spirit and intention is to free slaves and abolish slavery.
  2. It did not forbid polygamy since unlimited polygamy was practised then, but it limited polygamy and commands monogamy if there is fear of injustice to the wives, so it should be understood that its spirit and intention is monogamy.
  3. It did not command equal inheritance for women since men often inherited everything then, but it commands at least a half share for women as “hudud” (the word hudud in the Qur’an is actually used in verses related to inheritance and family law) which should be understood as the minimum limits of female inheritance, therefore it is time for equal inheritance.
  4. Severe physical punishments including amputations were also common in past societies including in medieval Europe and often imposed on the poor and weak, therefore the Qur’an also imposed hudud (limits) on those punishments by imposing various conditions before they could be carried out, and emphasizing repentance and God’s mercy. Societies today have prisons and other methods for punishment and rehabilitation.

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.

6 comments on “Hudud of Allah vs. Hudud of PAS

  1. Babylon
    December 28, 2014

    The only flaw in all of these is believing that God even exist. That if he wanted to punish people he had to use his own creation and medium of instruction written down instead of just striking down mankind who committed these “sins”.

    Everything is all made up by people to create political advantages and to gain wealth. Look at the hyprocritals organized religions. They realized that with blind followers comes wealth. How do you keep turning the mill? Create more nonsense and say a few thousands more things that Muhammad might do or not and pick which ones apply the best. Make it harder for common people to understand it and only allow a select few people in a tribal council to interpret whatever seems suitable with their concocted agenda of the day and bob’s your uncle.

    The saddest part of all this that with your intellect you are merely wasting your time and efforts on this theological discourse. That God created mankind and we need to live by some book written a few thousand years ago. Such a waste of talent.

    • Nik
      April 24, 2015

      Surely God exist. You can trace and explain every phenomena in life but ultimately in the end you wont be able to explain the creation of the very first matter or energy in the space of universe ( before that matter or energy transformed into everything else).

      The issue now is whether the God actually ask you to do that and this.

  2. Augustine Aloysius
    April 4, 2015

    Written well, it would be great if others would debate constructively and objectively with you on this. Thank you very much for this knowledge.

  3. Amatullah
    April 21, 2015

    Salam alaikum wr wb,

    Dear Sister,
    In sha Allah i would be able to debate objectively and constructively on whatever is being written in this article. I have no interest in politics so i wont be commenting on that aspects as i myself am not fully aware of what is PAS hudud. In sha Allah i can help you clear whatever major issues enshrouding your aqeedah and fiqh issues.

    Please take note that in Islam, the Islamic Jurisprudence is base on this sources:
    1)Quran
    2) Sunnah
    3)Ijma’ (consensus)
    4)Qiyas (analogy)
    5) Ijtihad ( diligence or reasoning)

    From this, i believe you can see clearly how or why PAS are able to implement rulings as a leader as part of the ‘maslahat ul umum’ – benefit of the people.
    Despite your personal opinion or grudges against this political party, they in Allah account are paving a good start to implementing Allah laws in Malaysia in comparison to other political party.

    I also noted your point with regards to your opinion on amal ma’ruf nahi mungkar.
    This is in itself a vast topic to talk about, this very system promote brotherhood in Islam encourage to care, concern and love for one another as per mention in a Hadith:

    On the authority of Abu Hamzah Anas bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) – the servant of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) – that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said :

    “None of you will believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself.”
    Related by Bukhari & Muslim

    On the authority of Tamim Al-Dari (may Allah be pleased with him):
    The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The religion is naseehah (sincerity).” We said, “To whom?” He (peace be upon him) said, “To Allah, His Book, His Messenger, and to the leaders of the Muslims and their common folk.”

    In general, you personally may not like it but this serve great benefit on society level as the result to an individualistic and selfish society is already a living prove in the western world, where there are homeless people in the streets, woman have to sell themselves for $20 bucks to get some food, and you may have a dead neighbor rotting for a week and you might know it.

    Let us be fair, even writing thesis have its rule so please provide references for whatever u have stated accordingly.

    When you say this, where does this come from, state the references from which book what page or website links ?

    1)The punishment is recorded in a number of traditions and the practice of Muhammad stands as an authentic source supporting it.

    2)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.

    3)God did not mean for these punishments to be forever.

    4)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

    This is mis-quoting example out of context. Please support your argument with valid references

  4. ururu5
    June 18, 2015

    quite narrow.. despite the vast research.. man, i would love to bring you to my friend to understand more about hudud.. and to explain that there are no such thing as Hudud of PAS..

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This entry was posted on December 27, 2014 by in Politics, Religion and tagged , , , , , , , , , .
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