Capital Punishment for Major Crimes in Islam

Assalam Alikum brother,

If shirk is a major sin then why it is not given capital punishment. Why only social crimes/crimes against humanity are given capital punishments? What kind of lashing is permitted? Is lashing a lighter version of flogging? Can lashing be symbolic like that Ayoub aley salam did to his wife!

Now a days, Niqab is banned in Non-Muslim countries, how can a Muslim woman accommodate when her basic religious rights are infringed?

If Niqab is required then why it was not allowed for women during Hajj and Umrah? What about women doing Tawaf (ritual circumambulation in pilgrimage) in close proximity with non mehram during the Tawaf on high traffic times during Hajj/Umrah?

Hope for your input, Jazakallah


Mrs. Mohsin

Toronto, Canada

January 2012

Wa alaikum us salam wa Rahmatullah

The objective of all the punishments is to protect the rights of people. Polytheism is the biggest sin but it is related to the rights of Allah and He will decide about it on the Day of Judgment.

In books of Fiqh, you can find details of lashing. It is lighter than flogging and at time of caliphs, was administered by wooden sticks. It is not allowed to beat very hard and it can be symbolic in case the convict cannot bear it. According to a Hadith:

حدثنا أحمد بن سعيد الهمداني، ثنا ابن وهب، أخبرني يونس، عن ابن شهاب، أخبرني أبو أمامة بن سهل بن حنيف، أنه أخبره بعض أصحاب رسول اللّه صلى اللّه عليه وسلم من الأنصار أنه اشتكى رجل منهم حتى أُضني فعاد جلدةً على عظمٍ، فدخلت عليه جارية لبعضهم فهشَّ لها فوقع عليها، فلما دخل عليه رجال قومه يعودونه أخبرهم بذلك، وقال: استفتوا لي رسول اللّه صلى اللّه عليه وسلم، فإِني قد وقعت على جارية دخلت عليَّ، فذكروا ذلك لرسول اللّه صلى اللّه عليه وسلم وقالوا: ما رأينا بأحد من الناس من الضرِّ مثل الذي هو به، لو حملناه إليك لتفسَّخت عظامه، ما هو إلا جلد على عظم، فأمر رسول اللّه صلى اللّه عليه وسلم أن يأخذوا له مائة شمراخ فيضربوه بها ضربة واحدة. أبو داود 4472

Some Ansar (people of Madina) informed that a man from them became sick and his body became too skinny. A girl entered in his room, he caught and assaulted her. When people of his tribe entered in his room, he told them about it and said: “Ask Allah’s prophet about me. I assaulted a girl who entered in my room.” They narrated the incident to Allah’s Prophet and said: “We have never seen such a sick man like him. If we carry him to you, his bones will break. He is so skinny that he has only a skin over bones.” Allah’s Prophet ordered to take a broom having 100 branches and bet him once with it.

This was the case of an old man who was given symbolic punishment.

On Niqab, there  is disagreement among scholars. According to large number of earlier scholars including Abu Hanifa in ancient and Nasir ud Din Albani in modern ones, Niqab is not mandatory. The majority of traditional scholars regard it as mandatory. You can read and compare the arguments of both groups to make your decision.

All these issues are discussed in detail in the “Comparative Studies Program.” As it is difficult for you to read Urdu, I shall provide you the books once the English translation is complete. I have provided views and arguments of all groups on such disputed issues without mentioning my opinion to make this series as impartial as possible. Currently, its Urdu version is available here:

Comparative Studies





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Capital Punishment for Major Crimes in Islam
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