Nigerian woman stoned to Death


Mu` meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah`s Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

 

 

One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

As Salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatu,

 

I have found your forum to be very informative in the past and pray that Allah (SWT) rewards your efforts.  The recently well publicized adultery trial of a Nigerian woman who had a child out of wedlock with a married man and was sentenced to death by stoning until an appeals court ruled otherwise has prompted the submission of the following questions.

1.  The Quran does not state that stoning is the punishment for adultery.  It states:
   "The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication flog each of them with a hundred stripes: let not compassion move you in their case in a matter prescribed by Allah if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day: and let a party of the Believers witness their punishment.

 Let no man guilty of adultery or fornication marry any but a woman similarly guilty or an Unbeliever nor let any but such a man or an Unbeliever marry such a woman: to the Believers such a thing is forbidden.

And those who launch a charge against chaste women and produce not four witnesses (to support their allegation) flog them with eighty stripes: and reject their evidence ever after: for such men are wicked transgressors" (Surah 24 Ayat 2-4).

 

If this is the punishment provided within the Qur`an why does the practice of stoning continue?

 

2.  I am familiar with the hadith that provides for stoning as the punishment for adultery.  How does one juxtapose the Quranic punishment with that of the relevant hadith?

 

3.  As stoning was also the punishment for adultery in Judaism and Christianity, is it possible that the hadith pre-dates the Quranic revelation?  If this is true, wouldn`t mean that the Quranic punishment supercedes the hadith derived punishment?

 

4.  I have NEVER heard of a man being stoned to death and have serious concerns that this punishment is used to control women.  In the Nigerian case, the woman was single and therefore, even if the punishment were administered according to the hadith, would have been guilty of fornication (which is only punishable by flogging).  The man was married and if punished according to the same hadith would have been the party guilty of adultery and subject, under that source, to stoning.  Why was this not the case?

 

Jazak Allahu Khairun for addressing these questions.  May Allah (SWT) continue to bless you for your efforts in educating our ummah.

 

(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)

 

Answer:

Why the Quran and Sunnah contradicts about stoning to death for Adultery?

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol,  no person,  no grave, no prophet,  no imam,  no dai,  nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

 

Your question:  The Quran does not state that stoning is the punishment for adultery.  If this is the punishment provided within the Qur`an why does the practice of stoning continue?

The punishment of ‘rajm’ or stoning for adultery is indeed not from the Quran; but rather it is from the Sunnah, practice, and command of the Messenger of Allah (saws).   When the above quoted verse of Surah Nur regarding the punishment for ‘zina’ were revealed, the Messenger of Allah (saws) made it clear to the believers that the punishment of flogging described in the Surah was for the sin of fornication; and stoning to death continued as the punishment for adultery; which was revealed by Allah Subhanah in the Law that were revealed to the Prophets before Prophet Mohamed (saws).

 

Your question:   I am familiar with the hadith that provides for stoning as the punishment for adultery.  How does one juxtapose the Quranic punishment with that of the relevant hadith?

The hadiths and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws) in no way contradicts the Laws of the Glorious Quran; because it is absolutely inconceivable that the Messenger of Allah (saws) would ever contradict any aayah and command of Allah Subhanah.  

The punishment for adultery was stoning to death in the Law revealed to Moses; and the Messenger of Allah (saws) was sent to confirm the Laws which were intact and valid,  and also bring new Laws which were needed for the guidance of mankind until the end of time.  It is a command of the All-Mighty Lord and a duty unto the believers,  who sincerely believe in Allah and the Last Day,  to obey and follow Allah and His Messenger (saws).  Allah Subhanah has Himself declared in His Glorious Quran that whoever obeys the Messenger of Allah (saws), in fact obeys Allah Subhanah.   Thus if the Messenger of Allah (saws) himself prescribed a law for the believers,  it can be safely assumed that he prescribed it under the guidance of Allah Subhanah;  and that law is binding on the believers.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisa verse 79-80:We have sent you (O Mohamed) as a Messenger to mankind, and Allah’s witness suffices for this.   Whoever obeys the Messenger, in fact obeys Allah, and whoever turns away from him, he will be accountable for his deeds.  Anyhow, we have not sent you (O Mohamed) to be a guardian over them.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale Imran verse 31-32:O Prophet, tell the people, “If you sincerely love Allah, follow me.  Then Allah will love you and forgive you your sins, for He is All Forgiving, All Merciful.”  Also say to them, “Obey Allah and His Messenger.”  And if,  in spite of this,  they do not accept your invitation,  warn them that Allah does not love those,  who refuse to obey Him and His Messenger.

 

Your question: As stoning was also the punishment for adultery in Judaism and Christianity, is it possible that the hadith pre-dates the Quranic revelation?  If this is true, wouldn`t mean that the Quranic punishment supercedes the hadith derived punishment?

No man who ever walked on this planet earth, understood and implemented the commands and laws of Allah Subhanah better than the Messenger of Allah (saws)!    When the aayah of Surah Nur regarding the punishment for ‘zina’ were revealed, the Messenger of Allah (saws) made it clear to the believers that the punishment prescribed in the Surah was for the sin of fornication and not adultery, which continued to be stoning to death.   Even after the command of Surah Nur was revealed,  the Messenger of Allah (saws) upheld the decisions of stoning to death for adultery;  and for the fornicators he prescribed the punishment of flogging.  It is absolutely inconceivable that the Messenger of Allah (saws) would have ever gone against any command or Law of Allah Subhanah.

 

Your question:  I have NEVER heard of a man being stoned to death and have serious concerns that this punishment is used to control women.  In the Nigerian case, the woman was single and therefore, even if the punishment were administered according to the hadith, would have been guilty of fornication (which is only punishable by flogging).  The man was married and if punished according to the same hadith would have been the party guilty of adultery and subject, under that source, to stoning.  Why was this not the case?

It does not matter whether the person is a man or a woman; in a proper Islamic society,  whoever is convicted in a Court of Islamic Law of the sin of adultery,  will be sentenced to the punishment prescribed by Allah and His Messenger (saws).   Allah is my witness,  I have personally heard and read of several cases where even men have been sentenced to death for the sin of adultery in the countries that practice the Shariah Law. 

 

Whatever we know about the Nigerian women’s case,  we know from the reports of the western media and press.   Allah Subhanah Alone knows the accuracy of those reports!   We can neither confirm nor deny what exactly transpired in the court,  for we have no access to the actual trial that took place.   The truth is that it is extremely difficult in Shariah Law to get a conviction for the sin of ‘zina’; because Islamic Law requires that either the person him/herself admits that he/she has committed the sin of ‘zina’,  or the prosecution is able to produce four trustworthy witnesses who saw the actual act of ‘zina’ taking place in front of their very eyes!  If the judge has any doubt on any of the witnesses,  the ruling will be given in the favor of the defendant.  Allah Alone knows what exactly transpired in the court,  and on what basis the Judge declared the verdict.

 

Whatever might have happened in this particular case, all we can confirm is the Law as prescribed in the Quran and Sunnah.   If what you say is indeed true that the Nigerian woman was single, and the court had enough evidence to prove her guilty as charged;  she should have been punished for the sin of fornication,  which is flogging.    And if the man was indeed married, and the court had sufficient evidence to prove him guilty of adultery, then he should have been sentenced for the punishment of adultery, which is stoning to death.

 

As far as I can recall, the Nigerian woman was a twice divorced,  mother of three children;   but I cannot recollect if she was married or unmarried at the time she committed the heinous sin of ‘zina’, if any.    Allah Subhanah Alone knows the exact details of the incidents.

 

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me.  Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

 

Your Brother in Islam,

 

 

Burhan

 

 



 

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