“And let the People of the Gospel judge by what Allah has revealed therein. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are defiantly disobedient.” (Qur’an 5:47)
“Indeed, We sent down the Torah, in which was guidance and light. The prophets who submitted (to Allah) judged by it for the Jews, as did the rabbis and scholars by that with which they were entrusted of the Scripture of Allah, and they were witnesses thereto. So do not fear the people but fear Me, and do not exchange My verses for a small price. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the disbelievers. “ (Qur’an 5:44)
“It is most hateful to Allah that you should say that you do not do.” (Qur’an 61:3)
Would Allah (swt) ask the Jews and Christians to judge by what is revealed therein of the Torah and the Injeel and not expect Muslims to do the same, concerning the Qur’an?
Why does this even matter? Saving a life is a huge matter!
“Because of that, We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone killed a person, not in retaliation of murder, or spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind. And indeed, there came to them Our Messengers with clear proofs, evidence, and signs, even then after that many of them continued to exceed the limits in the land.” (Qur’an 5:32)
“It is not for any human being that Allah should give him the Book, and the wisdom and the Prophet-hood that he should then say to men: ‘Be devoted to me rather than Allah, but rather (he would say): “Become men of Allah by spreading the knowledge of the divine writ, and by your own deep study of it.” (Qur’an 3:79)
“Say: “Shall I seek for judge other than Allah? – when It is He, Who has sent unto you the Book, explained in detail.” They know full well, to whom We have given the Book, that it hath been sent down from thy Lord in truth. Never be then of those who doubt.” (Qur’an 6:114)
The verses in question (Qur’an 24-1-2)
“This is a chapter which We have revealed and made obligatory and in which We have revealed clear communications that you may be mindful.”
“The woman and the man guilty of illegal sexual intercourse, flog each of them with a hundred stripes. Let not pity withhold you in their case, in a punishment prescribed by Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of the believers witness their punishment.”
First of all, it let us look at how this very chapter of the Qur’an begins.
So there should be no ambiguity over the above verse. Allah (swt) said that it contains clear evidence.
The definition of zina
zina= illegal sexual intercourse, rather it is before marriage, or extra-marital.
“And do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse. Indeed, it is ever an immorality and is evil as a path.” (Qur’an 17:32)
The Arabic is: Wala taqraboo azzinainnahu kana fahishatan wasaa sabeela
“Those guilty of illegal sexual intercourse shall not marry except one also guilty of illegal sexual intercourse or an idolatress, as for the one guilty of illegal sexual intercourse, none shall marry her but one similar guilty, or an idolater, . All that is forbidden unto believers.” (Qur’an 24:3)
Question? How are you going to re-marry if you get stoned to death?
This is an obvious question. So we will see how the translators play a game of ‘cat and mouse’ with the Qur’an chapter 24:2
All of these translators (translations) are people competent in the Arabic language. Yet, what we need to find out is rather or not their translations are influenced by their sectarianism?
The [unmarried] woman or [unmarried] man found guilty of sexual intercourse – lash each one of them with a hundred lashes, and do not be taken by pity for them in the religion of Allah, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a group of the believers witness their punishment.
The text above is at least making it clear that the term ‘unmarried’ should be bracketed. As this is not what the Arabic text says.
The woman and the man guilty of illegal sexual intercourse, flog each of them with a hundred stripes. Let not pity withhold you in their case, in a punishment prescribed by Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of the believers witness their punishment. (This punishment is for unmarried persons guilty of the above crime but if married persons commit it, the punishment is to stone them to death, according to Allah’s Law).
I’m not a huge fan of the Muhsin Khan translation. The interesting thing is that the translation is the most honest of those chosen here. However, it quickly makes it a point to insert its own sectarian milieu.
zina being translated here as ‘illegal sexual intercourse‘ and then they say the punishment for married persons is ‘to stone them to death, according to Allah’s Law‘. According to Allah’s law? Where is stoning for adultery in the law giving book?
The adulterer and the adulteress, scourge ye each one of them (with) a hundred stripes. And let not pity for the twain withhold you from obedience to Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of believers witness their punishment.
This is a rather forced translation ‘adulterer and adulteress’ as the translator most likely is against the concept as I am. However, this does not mean we should try and force a translation.
The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication,- flog each of them with a hundred stripes: Let not compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day: and let a party of the Believers witness their punishment.
This is also a very good translation, as the Arabic word zina can mean both.
(As for) the fornicatress and the fornicator, flog each of them, (giving) a hundred stripes, and let not pity for them detain you in the matter of obedience to Allah, if you believe in Allah and the last day, and let a party of believers witness their chastisement.
This is the opposite of the Pickthall translation above. It is also a rather forced translation.
http://quran.com/24/2 You can click and see for yourself. The left-hand column will give you the option to see the various translations.
Now look at http://quran.com/24/3
Notice the Muhsin Khan translation
“The adulterer marries not but an adulteress or a Mushrikah and the adulteress none marries her except an adulterer or a Muskrik [and that means that the man who agrees to marry (have a sexual relation with) a Mushrikah (female polytheist, pagan or idolatress) or a prostitute, then surely he is either an adulterer or a Mushrik (polytheist, pagan or idolater, etc.) And the woman who agrees to marry (have a sexual relation with) a Mushrik (polytheist, pagan or idolater) or an adulterer, then she is either a prostitute or a Mushrikah (female polytheist, pagan, or idolatress, etc.)]. Such a thing is forbidden to the believers (of Islamic Monotheism)”
The Arabic text is: Azzanee la yankihuilla zaniyatan aw mushrikatan wazzaniyatula yankihuha illa zanin awmushrikun wahurrima thalika AAalaalmu/mineen
It should be abundantly clear that if a person is “stoned to death” there is no possibility to get re-married!
How many witnesses for “stoning to death”? Well according to the traditionalist it is four.
How many witnesses needed for flogging? Well according to the Qur’an it is four.
“And those who accuse chaste women and then do not produce four witnesses – lash them with eighty lashes and do not accept from them testimony ever after. And those are the defiantly disobedient” (Qur’an 24:4)
Notice the text doesn’t say:
“Those who accuse chaste believers”
“Those who accuse chaste men and women”
“Those who accuse unchaste women”
So we should ask according to the traditionalist what was the context of these particular verses? What was the context, historically speaking?
The asbab an nuzul (the occasion of the revelation).
The accusation of the above verses was in relation to the accusation of Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her).
It was an accusation of adultery, not fornication!
Nothing in Surah An-Nur 24:1-26 concerning stoning.
Surah 24:1-26 covers the following:
Punishment for zina (adultery and fornication)
False accusation of zina (adultery and fornication).
False accusation of a wife (adultery)
False accusation of Aisha (for alleged adultery)
This is just a modernist position? No1 Evidence used by the Azariqa/Al Sufriya/Nadiya sect against the Sunni and Shi’a during the early Muslim community.
Contrary to the so view of so-called “traditionalist” who will proclaim that challenging the concept of “stoning for adultery” is a modern phenomenon; the truth of the matter is there was no consensus on the matter in the first three generations of the Muslim community!
The Azariqa (a sect of Muslims from the earliest history of Islam) do not accept stoning as a punishment for adultery.*
* source: (Fahmi Huwaydi, Hatta la Takuna Fitna, p. 132)
For those who do not know the Azariqa traditionalist who goes back to the early first three generations of Muslims. They go way back in history.
The Azariqa did not prefer following oral traditions over the clear laws of Allah (swt).
The Azariqa would immediately shut down their opponents (the Sunni & the Shi’a) with the following quote from the Qur’an.
“If any of you have not the means wherewith to wed free believing women, they may wed believing girls from among those whom your right hands possess: And Allah has full knowledge about your faith. You are one from another: Wed them with the leave of their owners, and give them their dowers, according to what is reasonable: They should be chaste, not lustful, nor taking paramours: when they are taken in wedlock, if they fall into shame, their punishment is half that for free women. This (permission) is for those among you who fear sin, but it is better for you that you practice self-restraint. And Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Qur’an 4:25)
Now the Qur’an stipulates that the punishment for a slave is half that of a free person.
Notice the text says, “if they fall into shame, their punishment is half that for free women.”
Notice that the person is a married woman in the text.
“Wed them with the leave of their owners, and give them their dowers, according to what is reasonable.”
How would you ‘half’ stoning to death? Would there be some machine hooked up to the person with a meter that would go off? ”Beep! Beep! Beep! “O.k stop stoning she’s half-dead!”
Say: “Shall I seek for judge other than Allah? – when It is He, Who has sent unto you the Book, explained in detail.” They know full well, to whom We have given the Book, that it hath been sent down from thy Lord in truth. Never be then of those who doubt.” (Qur’an 6:114)