Ask a Muslim [split from introductions]
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24-04-2012, 03:03 PM (This post was last modified: 24-04-2012 03:07 PM by Internet Mullah.)
RE: Ask a Muslim [split from introductions]
(20-04-2012 12:01 PM)morondog Wrote:  What about condemning women to death by stoning for adultery? Good, bad or utterly evil?

Firstly, I want to point out that the punishment of stoning to death for committing adultery is not found in the Quran. However, Muslims believe that it is indeed one of the injunctions of of Shariah (or Islamic law), because it is mentioned in many of the authentic hadiths (or Prophetic narrations) although it is not mentioned in the Quran. And death for adultery is not something that is exclusive to Islam only, by the way, as it is also mentioned in the Bible (Leviticus, 20:10).

What the Quran does include is a punishment for fornication (which is lashing them a hundred times) in Chapter 24:02. So, this means that the stoning is a punishment for adultery for those who are married and the lashing (as mentioned in the Quran) is a punishment for sexual penetration between partners who are not married.

Now, your question is, do I think that this is a good thing? Well, I certainly feel a sadness for anyone who undergoes such a type of death. I don't want this to happen to anyone. But, on the other hand, I do believe that adultery is a sin, and I do not know the weight of this particular sin as God does (nor the weight of any other sin), and that's why cannot judge exactly how evil the sin is from His point of view. The only thing I believe is that He gave some of us a penis, and others a vagina, and it feels really good to use them, but they also come at a price because He attached certain laws to them. And He has the right to do that since He is the one created them in the first place. If we break those laws, then we will have to get punished for them in the manner that He prescribed.

At a larger scale, the laws in Shariah are also social and communal in practice, and the society revolves around the strong base which is the family, and it tries to uphold and strengthen the society with this base in mind. Relationships between males and females at the intimate level is only permitted between the husband and wife, the marriage contract is a legal entity in the form of contractual obligations which are upheld and maintained under the Islamic law. This means that sexual activities between couples who are not married are illegal and are not acceptable by the law. Therefore, is that the death penalty is there to ensure the safety of the society so that adultery occurs less frequently.

If a person chooses to sin in privacy, whatever that sin is, even homosexuality/adultery, then it is between him and God, and the sin can be erased if he repents. He is even allowed to lie about his adultery and it would not be a sin. However, the moment his adultery becomes publicized, or the moment he confesses his adultery - a death penalty is to be enforced upon the sinner even if He repents to God - and it depends on the crime, evidence, and the number of witnesses. And, again, This punishment is enforced upon the sinners mainly for the safety of the society in the long run.

Also, in all cases of adultery and fornication, for a death penalty to be applied, there has to be at least four eyewitnesses who testify in court that they have all seen the same act of vaginal penetration by those committing the adulterous act. In other words, the death penalty for adultery/fornication can be applied under two conditions: The existence of four witnesses, or the confession by the person who committed the sin. If there are no witnesses nor a confession, then there is no punishment. So, this makes the death penalty much harder to carry out (i.e because the sin of adultery requires proof) - but at the risk of being proven once - the extreme severity of the punishment should make people more cautious about committing such a sin.

Here's a long article on this topic:
Anti-Sex Laws of Islam: Not as Simple as You May Think

(20-04-2012 12:01 PM)morondog Wrote:  What about apostasy - conversion to another faith from Islam? I have heard that this is punishable by death in Egypt for example (probably not an official law, but one of us in Egypt said it was a genuine concern for him).

There are some countries which do carry out a death penalty for apostasy, such as Egypt and Turkey, for example.

However, there is a clear consensus among Muslims today that there is to be no death sentence for leaving Islam and converting to another faith (nor becoming an atheist). According to my knowledge, the death penalty was imposed in Muhammad's time only when apostasy was combined with hostility and treason, meaning that an apostate would betray or violently rebel against a Muslim state (after leaving Islam) and thus endangering the safety of the Muslim citizens. In other words, the rulings on apostasy were similar to those for treasonous acts in legal systems worldwide and do not apply to an individual's choice of religion.

In a nutshell, the argument is that it is totally against Islam to apply a death penalty for one's apostasy because: (1) it contradicts with a verse in the Quran which says "Let there be no compulsion in religion," and any hadith which contradicts the Quran should be automatically discarded because the Quran is the first and most important source of Shariah, (2) there is no report that the Prophet Muhammad ever ordered a death penalty on someone just for leaving Islam, and (3) the majority of scholars agree that the ruling on apostasy should applied if there are treasonous acts involved, which is, when the apostates try to cause harm or damage to the citizens of the state.

For example, Mustafa Akyol, a Turkish Muslim writer, said: "In the early Muslim state, apostasy became regarded as a crime because it was seen as a rebellion against the state. In other words, the real consideration was political and, by time, this turned into a religious rule as well. This is, of course, a deviation we Muslims should rid ourselves today."

You can learn more about this topic at the links below:
100+ Notable Islamic Voices on Apostasy
Preserving the Freedom for Faith
Affirmation of Freedom of Expression and Belief in the Quran

(22-04-2012 05:49 PM)FSM_scot Wrote:  Thread split and moved from intros. Lets see if we can get some competition for KC's ask a theist thread Big Grin

Thanks for splitting it, FSM.
Now I don't have to make a separate Q&A thread as Zephony suggested earlier.

The questions are coming in faster than I can reply to them, but I will come back to answer the rest of the questions later (either by today or tomorrow).

Nonetheless, keep them coming.
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Messages In This Thread
RE: Ask a Muslim [split from introductions] - Internet Mullah - 24-04-2012 03:03 PM
RE: Ask a Muslim - Polakmaly - 31-05-2012, 06:47 AM
RE: Ask a Muslim - Chas - 31-05-2012, 07:37 AM
RE: Ask a Muslim - Polakmaly - 31-05-2012, 08:18 AM
Still waiting, Mullah. - Chas - 21-04-2012, 07:34 PM
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