Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Malaysia woman to be caned for drinking beer.

This is my translation of Dr. Marza's articles on his website, Minda Tajdid. Dr. if U find any errors please email me n I will remedy it.

By Dr. Mohd Asri bin Zainul Abidin

I only able to follow from afar the issue of caning a woman because of drinking beer in Pahang. I’ve got many emails asking me to comment on it, one of them from a distinguish political figure and also from known Parliament members. Being full with matters made me ‘missed the bus’ too often lately. I feel that the willingness of the model to undergo the caning punishment deserve praise.

Yes, alcohol n all intoxicating drinks are forbidden in Islam, no one who believed in Allah had different opinions about them. But when a punishment is carried out, it involves 2 main aspects; first, the punishment being carried out, second, the individual being punished.

Scholars of laws, even though many decided drinking intoxicating drinks lies under Hudud, they differs in opinion on the amount of lashes should the culprits received. This is because it is not mentioned directly in Al Quran, only a Hadith that mentioned to be lashed 40 times.
But in the times of the Caliph Umar al-Khattab r.a., he did discussed the amount of lashes and he accepted the views by Abdul Rahman bin al Auf to lash the drunkards about 80 lashes. (Narrated by Muslim)

His action made the scholars of law in Islam discussed whether this punishment for drunkards lies under Hudud or takzir (discretionary punishement). If it is under hudud, therefore the punishment should not be added up or adjusted. Furthermore, the prophet Muhammad s.a.w. when implementing this punishment didn’t mentioned whether it is a punishment decided by Allah (Hudud) or it is a ruler’s decision based on the needs n safety of the society (takzir).

More than that, in hadith, mentioned that drunkards were beaten with hands, cloth and slippers only. There is no direct or specific instructions in the methods of beating or lashing. Bare in mind that the lashing in Islam is not in any way similar to the civil punishments of lashing or any kind of lashing carried out by Westerners’ civil laws or to a slave. Lashing in Islam is not intended to inflict injuries, only to serve as a reminder and to teach.

Moreover, Islam didn’t n never will permit us to ridicule the culprits being punished. In a narration by al-Imam al-Bukhari from Abu Hurairah, He said: Has been brought before the Prophet s.a.w. a man that is drunk, so he ordered him to be beaten, so some of us beat him with our hands, some with slippers and some with clothes. After we have done, a man said: Allah had disgrace him. Immediately the Prophet s.a.w. said: ‘Do not be a helper of the demon in destroying your own brothers and sisters.’ Meaning that, insulting him would made it easier for the devil to cause more harm to him.

In this Hadith, the punishment is recorded to be carried out by mere clothes and hands or slippers, which indicate the purpose it was carried out is not to torture, but to serve as a reminder. Beyond that is of course forbidden, even mockery from other Muslims that carried out the punishment. So for those who claimed or think they are warriors of Islam, please do not add up with mockery as it is against the nature of the execution shown by the Prophet s.a.w.

Many talks about Hudud. But many, either in favour or against it seem lacking of knowledge n wisdom about it. Many are following a blind imitation in saying something about the laws n punishments in Islam. Whether he is just following the trend of the media or simply following old books written by ancient scholars unaware of our present condition.

Many didn’t check the meaning, method, situation, condition and its vastness. A Muslim who understand would never go against Hudud, but maybe he would asked whether the condition that would made the just and effective Hudud implementation exist at a specific place and time to made it achieved its intended objectives.

When the terms and situation existed, so Hudud would be implemented. At that time, everyone would see the justice, the beauty and the effect of the punishments being carried out for the benefits of man kind. To look at Hudud in a broader perspective and not just fanatical about house of thoughts, Punishment in Islam by Mohamed S. El-Awa would be a nice reading for our contemporary moments nowadays.

In a Sahih Hadith, the Prophet had said:
“Do not cut hand (of a thief) when you are at war” (Narrated by al-Tirmizi and al-Darimi)

Al-Imam Tirmizi (297H) when narrated this Hadith said:
“Half of the Scholars held on tight to this nas or source, among them was al-Auza’I, they decided Hudud is not applicable during war, in the face of enemies, in fear those who should undergo it, betrayed Muslims and joined the enemies..”

For me, if there is a fear of the enemy to take advantage of the situation or Muslims would leave Islam as the cause of many Scholars of Islam to see the reason of why the prophet s.a.w. had uttered such order, whereas in our extra difficult present time of fitnah or attacks faced by Islam from all frontiers and the fragility of the faith of many Muslims nowadays, the implementation of Hudud must be thought of seriously and carefully.

The implementation of Hudud must bring a good end, not a negative impact towards Islam. So the struggle to give birth to the conducive environment must take the lead in the implementation of the Hudud. After a just community is born, among rulers and the ruled, the condition of faith and Islam that is strong, a prosperous and peaceful life is for everyone to enjoy but then suddenly there is a culprit that did hideous things that disrupt this beauty n perfection, only then, only then when the Hudud is implemented, the beauty and the positive effect would be known to all.

The Environment.
Some email that attracts my attention about the caning in Pahang, is the one who asked why just the one drunkard is being punished and highlighted whereas the sharks of the alcohol industries, some of them Muslims are being let off the hook? Some of them have titles and respected by the ordinary people of the society.

Some said, why is this case get the 'lightning treatment' whereas my divorce case took years for the Syariah Courts to handle it? Among other things brought up by the layman of our society.

Yes, these all are not justifications of letting the drunkards off the hook, but when a punishment is seen as not uniformed and just, people would make assumptions and reasons that in the end, the beauty of the punishment is gone. The scholars of Islam and warriors of Islam carry a heavy task of realizing the environment that would materialized the justice in Islam to be carried out through wisdom and knowledge to all.

So it won’t make any sense to cut a thief’s hand in a society driven by hunger and poverty. It won’t be just to punished adulterers whereas the society is overran with porn, sexual industries and sex oriented activities. Marriage is not as easy as adultery, divorce case being postponed for years and many other instances that promote uncontrolled sex and porn in the society that would of course ‘encourage’ people to free sex.

Is it logic to implement the punishment for apostasy in a world full of confusions and the bizarre failures of the scholars of Islam and rulers to deal with these confusions successfully? Even the punishment itself had different interpretations among Muslims’ scholars.

The core struggle of defenders of Islam nowadays is to give concrete education and understanding about Islam. Today generation is prone to lots of things. I’ve received many emails from Malay youngsters that had lost their believe in Islam, n even in God himself.

This is the epidemic that is increasing in the world nowadays, atheism that don’t believe in the existence of God, as Brad Pit, the famous actor that can’t made up his mind whether God exist or not. This is known as agnosticism. They are filling the western world nowadays with tremendous increasing numbers.

Their websites influence the simplistic minds of some Muslims that aren’t exposed to Islam that is based on debate and facts. They simply listened to cartoon lectures and jokes of simple minded preachers. These kinds of lectures or religion teachings that didn’t make up to the highest standards of today’s challenges would not be successful in saving our future generations.

Yes, we want Islam, we want Islamic environment and we want Islamic laws. But none of them would be achieved easily, it requires hard work that is in tandem with our current situations. The rulers and the people must have efforts. Islam that is being portrayed must foster a good view of the people towards Allah and His prophet, not to confuse them. Like what the Prophet s.a.w had said in a Hadith:
“Do not help the Devil in destroying your brothers and sisters”

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