Khalid Zaheer
“I am convinced about the veracity of my opinions, but I do consider it likely that they may turn out to be incorrect. Likewise, I am convinced about the incorrectness of the views different from mine, but I do concede the possibility that they may turn out to be correct.” — Imam Shafa’i
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Punishment of stoning to death in Islam (1)

Question:
Few days ago, i was told about this movie called Stoning of Soraya M ( www.thestoning.com)...this is a true story about this lady who was stoned to death by her husband as he just wanted to get rid of her. I was touched and did some research and finally concluded that im not really pleased with this penalty....i just kept thinking that IF Allah had made some other punishment then there might have been a possibility that the innocent couples who are charged against adultery might have gotten away with some slighter penalty.

Well, irrespective of the fact of being guilty or not guilty, I started thinking about the punishment itself. If Allah had envisaged some other penalty then it could have served the purpose of setting an example for others to learn from it and refrain from it PLUS it had also given some relaxation to the people who are trapped when such cases are made against them. I think that taking someone's life is too huge a thing...I feel scared whenever I think about this law. But anyway, google search didnt help me much with knowing the actual philosophy behind this punishment. I have been given two reasons,so far, to make myself accustomed to it.

1) Consider it as an 'ibrat ka nishan' for others so that they dont do it...but don;t you think that this 'ibrat' calls for paying a HUGE price...i,e someone's life?
2) Since Allah has put that order up, as a good muslim, i should just abide it...and never question it.

Both reasons are good but i am still looking for some logic, if there was any. By raising this concern, I'm NOT saying that im promoting adultery neither am i making a fact that this too trivial a thing to give your life for...i understand and consider it a heinous act but the 'killing' part for married men and women is painful to digest.
If you can refer some authetic articles, Hadith sources or the word of God, ill be more than happy to give some peace to my restless mind.









Response:
My answer may not impress you, but I have the confidence that it will at least be read and understood properly.

The punishment of stoning to death is not meant for ordinary adulterers. For them the maximum punishment is hundred lashes. Stoning to death or some other forms of exemplary punishments are mentioned in verse 5:33 for those who create mischief on earth, like murderers, robbers, and rapists.

The famous Muslim understanding is not truly Islamic understanding on the subject. I can give you arguments for it if you desire. It is based on some mis-reported ahadith and improper understanding of their relevance with the Qur'an.



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