Islamic law prescribes the death penalty for four crimes: murder, highway robbery involving homicide (what we would call “felony murder”), adultery by married people, and apostasy from Islam. Far from being a bloodthirsty code, the Shari’ah permits capital punishment but recommends clemency, either by payment of blood-money or forgiveness. The choice of punishment rests with the victim or his survivors, retribution being considered a personal right…
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is His servant and Messenger.
The conventional newspapers and social media have reported how Hanifah Abubakar, a five-year-old pupil, was kidnapped while on her way from Islamiyyah School in December and subsequently killed.
When he was arrested at the Kano Police Command headquarters on Friday, her school’s teacher, Abdulmalik Tanko told journalists that he killed her with a rat poison that he bought for N100.
The sad incident involving the poisoning of late Hanifah to death by the so-called school proprietor will linger in the mind for some time. The villainous mindset and the parochial attitude of the monster involved can only be better imagined.
Man is by nature a part of a society. He has to live with other individuals in that society. This living together results in a give-and-take relationship. He then has some relation with them in all fields of life. So, he does not have absolute freedom to do whatever he desires, as this will go against the freedom of others, resulting in endless disagreements and disputes that could lead to the extinction of the society.
For this reason, rules have to be established to limit this freedom and organise the relations among individuals to enable all members of society to live in peace and harmony, and indeed prepare the society for peace and its continued existence.
The tolerant Islamic Shari’ah was revealed by Allah to His Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and the latter taught it to people. Indeed, this Shari’ah is complete. The Shari’ah covers all fields of life and all possible relations between people; i.e., between the person and his Lord, between the person and other people, between the person and the group, or between the group and other groups. Islam is a religion that governs all aspects of life.
The Islamic Shari’ah is valid for all times and all places. It never fails to address the people’s needs or their new affairs. The Islamic rulings are from Allah to govern man’s conduct until the Day of Judgement. Its punishment or rewards are to be applied in this worldly life and in the Hereafter.
The Shari’ah promotes the well-being of human society and wards off destructive tendencies of its members. Allah teaches us that the objective of the Shari’ah is to bring only well-being (good) to humanity living under its rule. The retributive punishments (Hudud) are to discipline, purify and for treatment, and not for revenge or quenching anger. These are gifts from Allah to His Servants. These Hudud also are for deterring others from falling in such bad deeds. They prevent the spread of evil and perversion on earth.
For this reason, the punishment of whoever intentionally takes the life of a person, is to have his own life taken when not forgiven by the closest relatives of the person he killed. This punishment will inhibit others from committing such act and satisfy the relatives of the killed person. If the murderer is not killed according to the Shari’ah, the relatives of the murdered might avenge their death and more killings will undoubtedly follow, giving way to much destruction that could be avoided by applying the Shari’ah. Allah has made clear that the wisdom behind killing the killer who premeditated his act is to enable the society to live in harmony. Allah Almighty says:
“And there is for you in legal retribution [saving of] life, O you [people] of understanding, that you may become righteous.” [Qur’an, 2: 179]
Perhaps, whoever thinks of killing and knows that he will be killed will undoubtedly think twice before committing such an abominable act and might not carry it out.
Failure in applying the rulings of Allah contributes to a great number of killings and other crimes in many societies, because they do not inflict on the criminal the punishment he deserves. Instead, they only jail him for civil reasons and pity him, and leave the victim who has lost his life without pitying him, his life or children who have lost their support in this life. They did not have pity on the society, which has become a dangerous place to live in. Everyone is in fear of his life because of these ruthless killers who do not think about the consequences of their acts or concern for their own lives as they are mindless and foolish.
Islamic law prescribes the death penalty for four crimes: murder, highway robbery involving homicide (what we would call “felony murder”), adultery by married people, and apostasy from Islam. Far from being a bloodthirsty code, the Shari’ah permits capital punishment but recommends clemency, either by payment of blood-money or forgiveness. The choice of punishment rests with the victim or his survivors, retribution being considered a personal right (although the requirements of modern life have diminished the ability of private individuals to exact penalties). The individual may, at will, waive his right to punish the culprit via the right of retaliation, mercy being deemed highly meritorious in the eyes of Allah.
Murder cases should be taken to court. The issue of killing someone must be referred to an Islamic court to study all its details, as it is more appropriate that a court looks into such matters.
May Allah continue to console the family of late Hanifah. May He, the Most High, place her under the care of Prophet Ibrahim (AS). May Allah continue to expose all the evildoers in our societies, and may He continue to protect us with his divine protection, ameen.
All praise is for Allah, Lord of all creation, who guided us to Islam and the Sunnah. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true and sincere followers.
Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: firstname.lastname@example.org or +2348038289761.
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