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This article seems to contradict practice[edit]

I wish I had reference but I remember articles on some murder trials in Saudi Arabia (I think) where the family of the murder victim decided the punishement, or even if there was to be a punishment.

There was even some speculation that if an orphan was murdered there would be no punishment, because there'd be no family to decide punishment.

I've read similar articles about Yemen were murder disputes are sometimes solved with money.

And this also explains why honor killings aren't punished, because the family that would decide punishment IS the agent of murder in those cases.

Clearly the article is wrong. Murder is treated as a civil offense against a family where that family decides the punishment, not as a high crime at all.

Theft, on the other hand is treated as a high crime as all of those pictures of amputated hands attest to.

Is there anyone working on this article who actually knows what's going on?

This article is somewhat inaccurate in its description of hadd punishments - standard murder isn't something for which there is a hadd (prescribed) punishment, but rather a tazir (discretionary) one. I will update this article soon and expand it. Squigglypuff
Hi, I have corrected this page, although somebody undid my corrections almost immediately. I have made them again. Commenter here is right - murder is not a hadd offense, it is conceived as a private dispute between murderer and victim's heirs. It's not ta'zir, however, as ta'zir is punishment at the discretion of the judge. The heirs have the discretion in the case of murder. They are entitled to compensation, and can also demand retaliation (i.e. execution) if they want (see qisas). However, it's not necessarily the case that if there are no heirs there is no punishment - in such circumstances the sovereign would take over the role of the heirs (and thus be entitled to the blood-money as well as to execute the murderer). —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 11:25, 23 February 2007 (UTC).

To the best of my knowledge (which is limited), this article is accurrate. Just because a so-called "Islamic" country (Saudi Arabia, which nearly all Muslims hate) whips someone for having a strand of hair hanging out of their Hijab, that doesn't mean that Shari'a Law teaches this. Armyrifle 01:26, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

This article appears to concentrate on the application of a branch of sharia law in Sudan, and should so state, either in the Title, or in the Introduction. It would be far more meaningful if it dealt with hudud as applied in the countries with the highest Muslim population -Indonesia, Pakistan (though this country appears to have its own article), India, Bangladesh, etc. (talk) 03:50, 3 May 2012 (UTC)


Would it be fair to say that these are functionally equivalent to felonies? DS 13:56, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Not exactly. It's funny because it includes murder, a felony under American (and most) legal systems, and then it includes adultery, which isn't a crime under most western legal systems. So, maybe it means felony and they have very different standards. I did see it described as "crimes agaisnt God". That these are the crimes that God abhors the most according to Islam and seen in that light it might be a felony but I think it would be misleading to put that because it will give people the notion of felony as they are stated under western law. gren 14:01, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)


I am adding the NPOV template because I feel that as long as this article is predominantly editted by me it cannot be neutral. Therefore when this article grows in size and has more editors then it can be removed hopefully. gren 14:01, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)


I have added a line or two at the top that might provide some context. I am not too well-educated in Islamic jurispudence, but I think if we start nudging it along in those directions, others will add things that will complete the picture.iFaqeer (Talk to me!) 23:02, Apr 18, 2005 (UTC)

Anon's addition[edit]

A while I ago I removed a long addition to the article by an anon; it was incorrectly formatted, contained a lot of (admittedly mostly minor) grammatical and spelling errors, had no Wiki-links, and was couched in PoV language. Instead of discussing it, the anon. launched a series of personal attacks on me, and refused to enter into any sort of adult discussion. Nevertheless, it seems a pity to let the poor manners of one person to prevent the addition of possibly useful information, so here's the section, copy-edited, wikified, and NPoVed (as far as I'm able to judge). My main worry now is that it overbalances the article, so that its addition would create a PoV. Any comments?

The hudud punishment for adultery – stoning to death – is often regarded with horror by non-Muslims and some Muslims alike. Muslim apologists point to the Bible, and especially to Torah, which prescribe the same basic punishment for adultery; Islam however, the proponents of this law argue, is more just in this respect than Christianity or Judaism, because it demands the observation of the act of adultery by four (male) witnesses. Because this is almost never likely to be practically possible, it is argued that death by stoning is in practice never likely to be prescribed.
Aside from the moral aspect, and the question of why a god would prescribe a punishment so brutal for any crime, there is an interesting issue of whether this punishment is rightfully incorporated into Islam. The Qur'an stipulates one hundred lashes for the act of zina (in Arabic "zina" refers to both fornication and adultery). It was in the reign of Umar, a caliph after Muhammad's death, that stoning for adultery was introduced.
The reason given by Umar was that there had existed a verse in the Qur'an that prescribed death by stoning. Before the compilation of the Qur'an in one body under Uthman, another caliph, individual verses were written on parchments, cow hides, and the like. Umar asserted that this verse, which abrogated the existing Quranic verse, had been eaten by a goat. The verse was not recalled by anyone else at the time; scholars remain sceptical about its existence, and it has over time come to be known as the "Verse of Stoning".
Despite these questionable issues surrounding this hudud law, stoning to death for adultery has become embedded in Sharia law. The reasons given by contemporary Islamic scholars for continuing with stoning despite the Quran's prescription of one hundred lashes for adultery is that, since "zina" in Arabic can refer to both fornication and adultery, the Quran is in this respect referring to fornication. Consequently fornication is punishable under hudud law by one hundred lashes, whereas stoning to death remains the punishment for adultery.

The anon added (unwikified and unformatted, of course) an item to the references, implying that this is where the material comes from: The Shorter Encyclopedia of Islam, Gibb, Royal Dutch Press.

Can anyone verify the material, and does nayone have any thoughts about placing it in the article? --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 09:57, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

Comments. I see no reason for is often regarded with horror by non-Muslims and some Muslims alike -- it will be regarded how it is and that seems unnecessary and unsourceable. I am sure that many do re-act that way but I don't think it should be stated. stoning to death for adultery has become embedded in Sharia law is very dubious because there are differen instantiations of sharia and while some (such as Sudan I believe) may believe that saying that it is embedded in sharia is making a claim that all Muslims believe that (sharia being God's law and Muslims following that). There has been notable opposition to this from Tariq Ramadan and this is way too overspimplistic for such a complex issue. We would need to break that down into a more "who believes what" section. Other than that I can't really comment since I don't know... but, of course for something this controversial (and I would say damning of whatever forms of Islam support it) must be well cited and be sure not to overgeneralize. I am sure people who don't support stoning don't want to be portrayed as if they do. gren グレン 12:43, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

The "lost verse on stoning" is of more importance than merely the actual stoning of adulterers, brutal as that might be. The issue is whether or not the Shariah is actually founded on the Qur'an. If the Shari'ah disobeys the Qur'an, in any matter, its entire intellectual basis is at risk. To my eye Islam has yet to face up to this problem. The whole matter is exceedingly delicate and needs to be handled with great care 06:09, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Re. the comment immediately above: the large part of the Shariah is not founded directly on the Qur'an. This is a common misconception among western observers of Islam, but no Muslim scholar would hold this (there is a small, minority school of thought that holds that the shariah *should* be based only on the Qur'an, but they would admit that in fact it isn't and never has been). The Qur'an is only one of four sources. The other three are the Hadith/Sunna (reports on the sayings and actions of the Prophet), ijma' (consensus, usually understood to mean consensus of the Muslim jurists), and qiyas (analogy from a situation covered by a text). There is a preference to base a ruling on a textual source before resort to ijma' or qiyas, but in this respect Hadith carries equal weight to the Qur'an. The Hadith could fairly be seen as the most important source of Islamic law, since a far greater number of textually-based rulings and principles are based on Hadith than are based on the Qur'an. This is not surprising, since just one authoritative collection of hadith (and there are several) runs to 10 or more volumes, as opposed to about 400 pages for the Qur'an (and by no means all of the Qur'an consists of legal rulings - the great part consists of exhortations to submit to God, relation of stories of the Biblical prophets, running debates with Christian and Jewish theology etc.) So, whether or not stoning appears in the Qur'an is irrelevant - its place in Shariah law is based on a hadith. The same issue came up in journalistic comment on the Danish cartoon business - many commentators pointed out that the Qur'an does not forbid representing the Prophet. Again, this is irrelevant, as the prohibition on representing prophets is based on hadith, not the Qur'an. In terms of Islamic legal theory, this does not in any way detract from its authority.

With respect to the idea of a "lost verse" - I have never heard of this, and the idea of a lost verse would not be an acceptable source of Islamic law. Jurists must use the accepted version of the Qur'an. In any case, there is no need for a "lost verse," since the stoning ruling is based on hadith.

Stoning is well-established in the Hadith and all 4 major Muslim sects agree on this. The previous claim was that only suspicious Hadith supported stoning — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:40, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

Bad Link[edit]

Edited out *The penal law of Islam: Basic principle which seems to be broken

Lies and Distortion by Media about Hudood Ordinance[edit]

Hi all, i'd like to bring everyone's attention to this article: To see if they could add portions to this Hudud article based on it. Thanks. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 00:03, 14 February 2007 (UTC).

Sorry. Has to a WP:Reliable Source to get in wikipedia. --BoogaLouie (talk) 17:36, 11 November 2015 (UTC)

Unnecessary duplication[edit]

There was almost word-for-word duplication of a section of 'Adultery' in 'The explanations given for the severity of punishments'. Replaced this with a link to the previous section. -- Ghostreveries 16:08, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

The changes I made that were just removed were not "removal of good material," they were removal of wrong material. Murder is not a hadd offense in Islamic law, it is not seen as a "claim of God," but rather as a private issue between the murderer and the victim's heirs. There is not a hadd penalty for murder - the heirs can demand execution of the murderer, as retaliation (see qisas), or they can choose not to. Also, blasphemy, while commonly held to require the death penalty (not by stoning though), is not a hadd offense. There are only five hadd offenses: drinking alcohol, theft, highway robbery, illegal sexual intercourse, false accusation of illegal sexual intercourse. If you go to any manual of Islamic law and look at the chapter on hadd (the kitab al-hudud), you will these five offenses only. If you cannot read Arabic there is one manual, the Hedaya by Marghinani, that is translated into English.

Explanations for punishments[edit]

I intend to re-write this section or at least make a major revision. It seems most of these "explanations" are from either apologists or non-muslims whose views, understandably, are not favored by the large majority of the Muslim community. If we were to provide true information of a Religion, it can only be sought and explained best by its scholars. However for the benefit of those who want information on how "western" scholars think about this particular topic, a separate heading could be made??? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hamdhanborgi (talkcontribs) 03:14, 16 July 2011 (UTC)


I've edited this page to reflect some of the disagreement among Muslim scholars in regards to stoning for adultery. This issue is not nearly as clear-cut as this article states it to be. Legitimate, orthodox scholars are split. Hadith to support stoning as a punishment adultery are known to be weak, and there is a Hadith (not sure of the citation) where Caliph Umar thought that stoning for adulterers was in the Qur'an and he was looking for the verse. Clearly, if the Prophet Muhammad (sallahu `alayhi wa salaam - I had to type this, as I am a Muslim) had said in legitimate Hadith that adulterers are to be stoned, Umar would not have had to look for the Qur'an verse to prove his thinking. He would've used the statement of the Prophet.

Unfortunately, I've only been able to reference an unorthodox scholar's fatwa. This scholar is, I believe, a Qur'an-alone Muslim. However, as I've said, there are plenty of orthodox and legitimate scholars who argue with the Qur'an and with Hadith to prove their point that stoning for adultery is a bid`ah, or a forbidden innovation as such an action was not practiced by the Prophet nor commanded by Allah. A statement by Hanbal to say that "all scholars agree that stoning is the prescribed punishment" does nothing to support that claim. It's his opinion, and it is inaccurate as many scholars who follow a madhab or who are Salafi, both at Hanbal's time and now, have argued that stoning is not the prescribed punishment for adultery.

So, in the interest of truthfulness, I ask for others to expand on the various opinions regarding the actual prescribed punishment for adultery, and I ask for others to make a section in this article dedicated to these differences in opinion. As it stands now, it seems someone who believes stoning IS the prescribed punishment is trying to force his/her views as the only view, when this is not true in the least bit. SOW93 (talk) 20:48, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

What is Hudud?[edit]

Crimes? or Punishments?

Googling around all the definitions I came across say punishments ... although they don't make a big deal about distinguishing. As a consequence I have done some rewriting. --BoogaLouie (talk) 17:32, 11 November 2015 (UTC)

Hdood, simply means limits or boundaries in Arabic, and is a definition that predates Islam. LebaneseBebe (talk) 07:34, 25 March 2018 (UTC)

Religious primary and other tags need to be explained[edit]

I see secondary WP:RS with quotes from primary texts as suggested under WP:PSTS. So what is the problem? I welcome an explanation of "religious primary" and other tags on this talk page, so that we can improve the article together. RLoutfy (talk) 00:05, 8 December 2015 (UTC)

@RLoutfy: The Qur'an and Hadith sections are interpreting primary sources, I think (if I'm not mistaken) that it's @Rupert loup: who added it, I'm pinging him to justify. As for the other tag is because many claims are left uncited, or poorly cited, or their citations aren't specified enough. (e.g. Citation X, pp.1-68, highly unspecific) --CounterTime (talk) 20:43, 8 December 2015 (UTC)
@RLoutfy: By the way, why did you move those cites? --CounterTime (talk) 20:44, 8 December 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Hdood literal meaning[edit]

I included in the intro the literal definition of hadood. It is not an “Islamic” term, since Islam is not a language. It is an Arabic word that predates Islam, later adopted by Islamic scholars and lawmakers. The translation of the word should not be distorted, it is still currently being used to imply the words “borders” and “limitations”. LebaneseBebe (talk) 07:36, 25 March 2018 (UTC)

@LebaneseBebe: As per the cited sources, this is an article about the Islamic legal term, not about the Arabic word in general. WP:Wikipedia is not a dictionary. The common, literal sense of the word was already given in the parentheses. The other changes were also not an improvement. I don't know what the source you cited says, exactly, as you haven't given a page number (see WP:CITEHOW), but why would we use this source at all? It's not clear that it's even reliable, and at best it's a weak tertiary source which is WP:UNDUE next to the standard academic references cited here. There's no need to qualify religious notions as "alleged" when it's clear that it's what's being discussed. As for the alternative transliteration, this is not the place to cite all the conceivable romanizations; the goal here is to help a casual reader by confirming that another prominent transliteration they may have come across refers to the same notion. "Hdood" is a colloquial pronunciation that only Arabic speakers would tend to use, and they aren't the intended audience of this gloss. Eperoton (talk) 03:13, 27 March 2018 (UTC)
That particular source is definitely completely unreliable. See archive 162 of WP:RSN where a decision was made to remove all references to any book from that series on sight. That source is a mirror of Wikipedia, copied by a computer program that copies in a completely indiscriminate fashion and which cannot vouch for the accuracy of what it copies. James500 (talk) 03:18, 28 March 2018 (UTC)

Lack of diverse sources[edit]

I find it odd that that Wikipedia has never come across this This page explains the actual meaning of "cutting off ones hands" within context, backed up with the Arabic language. Wikipedia needs to understand that the hadith is not a primary source of information and that sectism and their schools of thought are also not part of Islam.

The reference to Islam is the Quran, not other peoples word of mouth. The fact is, there cannot be so many different interpriations of the same words, someone has to be wrong. Those who are wrong firstly, are those who use hadiths.

This source does not meet WP standards for reliability. Eperoton (talk) 00:43, 23 June 2020 (UTC)