Hudud is for animals: Happy Good Friday


Hence, Hudud is NOT a law for animals. It is a law for Judeo-Christians. But most Judeo-Christians have turned their backs on the Bible and have rejected these laws. That does not mean Jesus has abrogated these laws. It just means Judeo-Christians have abandoned Abraham, Moses and Jesus.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

There appears to be an increase in hate-messages and anti-Islam comments over the last few days. Some of these comments were allowed but those that were downright indecent were not, of course, because we do not want to give the impression that Malaysia Today has transformed into an anti-Islam website. Nevertheless, one such comment, Hudud is for animals, was allowed and I feel maybe I should respond to this particular comment.

It must be remembered that Islam has its roots in Judeo-Christianity, for want of a better way to describe the origins of Islam. Islam also emerged from the desert tribes of the Arabian Peninsula, although some historians have described Mekah and Yathrib as thriving cities while others have described them as mere villages comprising of wooden huts. Whatever it may be, these villages or cities, however you would like to call them, were not quite advanced in matters of learning and were steeped in superstition, paganism, and tribal customs and traditions.

Muslims believe that Islam ‘came down’ from God to Muhammad through the Angel Gabriel, who revealed the Qur’an to the Prophet over a period of 22 years. Hence it is called the revelation. Non-Muslims, however, believe that Muhammad learned about Judeo-Christianity from the Jews and Christians who were already living in Mekah and Yathrib at that time. And some of these Jews and Christians were actually quite close to Muhammad. And from there, non-Muslims believe, Islam was born.

Hence some are of the view that Islamic beliefs, in particular the rules and laws of Islam, are a combination of Judeo-Christianity and Arab tribal laws, customs and traditions. Some Christians would agree that there are some similarities between Islam and Judeo-Christianity. However, these same Christians would argue that the similarities are with the Old Testament and not with the New Testament. Hence, while Islam may have some similarities with Judaism, it is very different from Christianity because the New Testament has replaced the Old Testament.

This is an argument that can, of course, be debated because the belief that the New Testament has abrogated the Old Testament is not a universal Christian belief but the belief of just some sects of Christianity. Hence to agree that the New Testament has replaced the Old Testament would all depend on which branch of Christianity you subscribe to.

But are we saying that the New Testament has totally and absolutely abrogated and replaced the Old Testament or are we saying that the New Testament has only partially replaced the Old Testament, mainly in matters related to Abrahamic laws? And why has the New Testament abrogated part of the Old Testament and only in matters related to Abrahamic laws while all other stories from the Old Testament are accepted as truth?

If the Old Testament has been totally abrogated and replaced with the New Testament then the stories of the Creation, the Flood, the Exodus, and many more, would no longer be part of the Christian doctrine. Christianity would start only from the birth of Christ and not before that. But this is not the case, is it?

The Aramaic Bible written in the original language that Jesus spoke quotes Jesus as saying, “Do not think that I have come to revoke The Written Law or The Prophets; I am not come to revoke but to fulfil.” The King James Bible, the version of the Bible that most Christians in the west follow, quotes Jesus as saying, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.”

Hence there is no evidence that Jesus came to abrogate the Old Testament and replace it with the New Testament, as some Christians would have us believe. In fact, it is the opposite. Jesus came to confirm the old laws, not to repeal those laws. And that is why learned Christians would not reject the Old Testament in favour of the New Testament but would accept both the Old Testament and the New Testament as the doctrine of Christianity. But then how many Christians can actually fall within the category of learned? Most times they pick and choose what suits them and reject what does not, just like what many Muslims do.

The Abrahamic laws are well defined in the Bible. And some of these laws form the basis of the Islamic Sharia laws, Hudud included. Let us go through the list so that you can see that Hudud law is not, as one reader said, for animals, but in actual fact is for Christians and adopted and adapted by Islam.

If a man sleeps with a female slave who is promised to another man but who has not been ransomed or given her freedom, there must be due punishment. Yet they are not to be put to death, because she had not been freed. The man, however, must bring a ram to the entrance to the tent of meeting for a guilt offering to the Lord. With the ram of the guilt offering the priest is to make atonement for him before the Lord for the sin he has committed, and his sin will be forgiven. (Leviticus 19:20-22)

If a man has sex with another man’s slave, the slave must be punished but the man can be forgiven after sacrificing a ram.

If a man has sexual relations with his daughter-in-law, both of them are to be put to death. What they have done is a perversion; their blood will be on their own heads. (Leviticus 20:12)

If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free, without paying anything. If he comes alone, he is to go free alone; but if he has a wife when he comes, she is to go with him. If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall belong to her master, and only the man shall go free. (Exodus 21:2-4)

You can keep a Hebrew slave for only six years and you must free him in the seventh year. If in the meantime that slave marries and has children then only he can go free while the wife and children must remain as slaves. Non-Hebrew slaves can be kept until the day they die and need not be freed in the seventh year.

If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as male servants do. (Exodus 21:7)

A man is allowed to sell his daughter into slavery.

Anyone who strikes a person with a fatal blow is to be put to death. However, if it is not done intentionally, but God lets it happen, they are to flee to a place I will designate. (Exodus 21:12-13)

If you intentionally kill someone you will be put to death. However, if God was the one who allowed it to happen then you will just be sent into exile.

Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property. (Exodus 21:20-21)

If you beat your slave and he or she dies immediately you face punishment. If, however, the slave dies more than a day later you escape punishment.

If a man has sex with a virgin who is not pledged to be married and sleeps with her, he must pay the dowry, and she shall be his wife. If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he must still pay the dowry for virgins. (Exodus 22:16-17)

Do not allow a sorceress to live (meaning, kill all witches, bomoh, etc.). (Exodus 22:18)

Do not blaspheme God or curse the ruler of your people (meaning, sedition is a crime). (Exodus 22:28)

Those are just some examples in a long list of crimes and the punishment for these crimes as laid out in the Bible. The Islamic Sharia law of Hudud deals with the crimes of rebellion, apostasy, heresy, adultery, murder, robbery and so on. The ‘Christian Sharia law of Hudud’, however, has an even longer list.

The argument that the ‘old’ Bible has been replaced with the ‘new’ Bible and hence these laws no longer apply is not true. Even up to 200 years ago Christians in Christendom were still applying these laws and punishing people using these same laws. And this was more than 1,800 years after Jesus was supposed to have abrogated and replaced these laws.

Hence, Hudud is NOT a law for animals. It is a law for Judeo-Christians. But most Judeo-Christians have turned their backs on the Bible and have rejected these laws. That does not mean Jesus has abrogated these laws. It just means Judeo-Christians have abandoned Abraham, Moses and Jesus.