Monday, 2 February 2015
Sharia in Practice
In the Shariah, offenses were divided into those against God and those against man. Crimes against God violated His Hudud, or 'boundaries', and were offenses whose punishments were specified by the Quran and, in some cases, the Hadiths, such as the punishment of certain kinds of theft by amputating a hand, punishing adultery by stoning and sexual slander by lashing. Because these offenses were affronts against a merciful God, the evidentiary standards were often impossibly high (such as the four witnesses to sexual penetration required to prove adultery). Moreover, the Prophet ordered Muslim judges to 'ward off the Hudud [punishments] by ambiguities.' The severe Hudud punishments were meant to convey the gravity of those offenses against God and to deter, not to be carried out. If a thief refused to confess, or if a confessed adulterer retracted his confession, the Hudud punishments would be waived.
This did not entail that the culprit escaped justice. Circumstantial evidence, such as a witness to the theft or finding the stolen good in the thief's possession, could lead the judge to find him guilty of wrongful appropriation (ghasb). The wronged party could reclaim their possession or receive compensation for its value plus damages entailed. This coexistence of two legal wrongs identical in fact but subject to two very different standards of evidence and punishment is analogous to the relationship between the crime of theft and the tort of conversion in common law. While the first requires evidence of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and can be punished with prison, the second only needs a preponderance of evidence and carries monetary damages. In cases that fell below the Hudud category in the Shariah, judges regularly assigned lesser punishments such as a beating, prison or public humiliation. 'Misquoting Muhammad', Jonathan A.C Brown, Kindle p180-181
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Jesus taught people to do the Will of God (according to Mark 3:35) in order to become his brothers, mothers or sisters. A Muslim means one who submits to the Will of God. Do you want to become a brother/sister of Jesus? If yes, become a Muslim.
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