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Part I: THE QUR`ANIC PENALTY FOR ZINA` AND HOW THE SUPPORTERS OF RAJM DEAL WITH IT

PUNISHMENT FOR ADULTERY IN ISLAM
A Detailed Examination

By: Dr. Ahmad Shafaat

(February, 2003)

PART I

 

THE QUR`ANIC PENALTY FOR ZINA`

 
As noted in the Introduction, the Qur`an does not mention the stoning penalty at all but prescribes 100 lashes for zina` (24:2). This fact is so important that it must be fully faced and explained if we have to arrive at the truth. The supporters of the stoning penalty for adultery have explained this fact by one of the following five ways:  

 

I)       The Qur`anic punishment of 100 lashes is for the case of an unmarried person. For a married person we need to turn to the Sunnah/Hadith, which prescribes death by stoning.

II)     For married persons, the Sunnah/Hadith abrogated the Qur`anic penalty of 100 lashes and instead prescribed death by stoning.

III)  For married persons, the Sunnah/Hadith prescribed rajm as a second penalty which is to be combined with the Qur`anic penalty of 100 lashes.

IV)  The stoning penalty is found in the Qur`an but it is known only to scholars of great erudition capable of diving deep into the meanings of the Book of God.

V)    The Qur`an did prescribe stoning for adultery but the verse in which the law was stated was not included in the Qur`an or has been removed from it.

 

It is clear that these are five different explanations some of which contradict some others. For example, explanations II and III admit that the Qur`anic punishment is for both married and unmarried persons, thus contradicting I. Similarly, IV and V claim that rajm is Qur`anic, which is clearly denied in I, II, and III. That there are five different and conflicting explanations is already an indication of their weakness. In the next three chapters we examine these explanations and demonstrate with specific details how weak each one of them is.