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Crime Punishments in Islam - Research Paper Example

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Crime Punishments in Islam

For violators of its sacred rules of conduct, the traditional Islamic law provides a clear message of swift and severe punishment, (for example amputation, death by stoning and beheading) and the lingering fear of eternal damnation through Allah’s almighty power (Miethe and Lu, 163-164). Demystifying ‘Crime’ and ‘Punishment’ in the Islamic Religion When we examine the philological meaning of jinaya (perpetration of a crime), we see that it is derived from the verb jana (to commit a crime, to sin). It is defined as a crime or a sin which, if committed, makes retaliation mandatory for its perpetrator and incurs punishment in this world and in the hereafter. Thus, when it is said ‘jana ala nafsih wa ala ahlih’ (‘he perpetrated a crime against himself and his family’), such an evil is termed as jinaya. Technically, a jinaya is an aggression against a person or his rights, making retaliation or some other form of punishment mandatory. Philologically, the word uquba (punishment) is a noun derived from the verb aqaba (to punish). It is used when a person incurs a punishment as a result of the sin that he has committed. Uquba is used to define restrictions placed by God in order to restrain men from doing what He has forbidden and to leave what He has asked them to leave (Haleem and Daniels, 29-30). Punishments under Islamic Law Punishment in pre-Islamic Arabia was based primarily on the principle of retaliation (lex talionis). Lacking a state or central authority in nomadic and tribal life to regulate conflict and disputes, punishment for wrongdoing was privately dispensed by the victim and affiliates such as extended family or patron tribes. However, because of the nature of communal life and strong kinship solidarity, there was also collective responsibility for any serious misconduct committed by a clan member (Miethe and Lu, 164). Categories of crime The Muslims categorized crime in several ways. Each category of crime had a prescribed punishment. Crimes were categorized into such forms as adultery and fornication, murder and crimes to do with property and theft. Others are defamation (qadhf), crimes of taking some foods and drinks like wine among others. The distinct classifications are Hudud crimes, Qesas and Tazir. Hudud comprises of theft, adultery and drinking alcohol. Punishments for such crimes were flogging, amputations and stoning among others. Qesas crimes are retaliatory, the family of a murder victim, for instance, may demand compensation. Tazir crimes are less severe; their punishments include confinement, boycott or fines. According to Halim and Daniels, the judge in Islamic Sharia enjoys vast discretionary powers in fixing penalties, their amount, and their enforcement in such a manner that will help and restrain the culprit from the crime. This power does not extend absolutely, and is by no means free of constraints or restrictions. Rather, it is constrained by the appropriate laws concerning this punishment and its suitability to the crime, the culprit and society, and the extent of the prevalence of crime in this society (Haleem and Daniels, 30). Haleem and Daniels further highlighted the specific punishments meant to deter the culprit and prevent crime. The punishments are imprisonment, banishment and exile from the place of the crime and the city in which it was perpetrated, ...Show more

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submitted Crime Punishment in Islam Introduction As a path to follow, the Sharia provides a clear and comprehensive road map for living a pure spiritual life as a Muslim. It is both prescriptive and proscriptive, covering all of the most basic elements of human existence…
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