Hudud- Silence of The lambs


When it comes to the implementation of hudud, you tend to hear absolute silence from Muslims who oppose it. It’s as if they have no answers to the trickery of those in Kelantan who are bent, for the sake of politics, on turning hudud into the law of the land.

Nothing has changed since I was involved in challenging the hudud provisions of the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code Enactment 1993 in the Federal Court. That was 14 years ago.

Back then, many Muslims disagreed with hudud but were fearful of opposing it. Some asked me how I could challenge God’s law. They didn’t seem to see the difference between what was contained in the Holy Qur’an and the Kelantan Enactment, which was a law made by some PAS leaders, not God.

The Kelantan Enactment involved man-made law, as does the current controversy. Why are Muslims paralysed when dealing with the tricks of PAS?

Of course the Qur’an makes reference to hudud as punishment for certain crimes, but the Qur’an also contains many other things such as historical narratives and stories relevant to the time when it was revealed. It also contains eternal truths to guide mankind in this life and the Hereafter.

As such, we have to use our heads and our brains, which have been given to us by Allah, to decipher and use the messages properly. For example if you read Surah Al Anfal, you will discover how you should share in the spoils of war. After the Battle of Badr, Muslim soldiers were fighting among themselves over what to do with the gains they had obtained.

So came down the Message from Allah: “They ask you about the spoils of war. Say: the spoils of war are for Allah and the Messenger” (verse 1). The Holy Prophet then divided the war spoils equally. Now, if today we were to win a war against a foreign country, any spoils of war would no longer be divided the way Muslims did after the Battle of Badr. We would have to obey the rules of international law and must observe the Geneva Conventions.

Then we have long chapter of Surah Yusuf. It’s a story given by Allah to the Messenger that starts with Prophet Yusuf (Joseph) dreaming of eleven stars, the sun and the moon (verse 4). His father Ya’qub (Jacob) orders Yusuf to hide his dreams—but Yusuf’s brothers, driven by jealousy, try to kill him. The surah also tells of how Yusuf resisted the advances of a married woman. This clearly serves as a personal guide and not as a basis for criminal law.

As for cutting off hands, this practice was common for certain offences in the desert of Arabia in those days, just as it was common to kill new-born baby girls. It is a practice that predates Islam—it does not mean that if you cut off somebody’s hand for stealing (or stone them for adultery, etc) you are Islamic, because the Arabs in the Age of Jahiliyyah were also doing it.

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