Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|04/24/01 at 21:38:16|
some interesting stuff by al-Qardawi...
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Q 1: If someone is well known to people for his upright conduct and good character throughout his whole life and is suddenly accused of major sins such an adultery, homosexuality and murder etc., what is the stance of the Shari'ah. concerning both the accuser and the accused?
A 1: Accusing an innocent person of major crimes such as adultery, homosexuality, murder, is wrong. Such accusation are considered in Islam to be among the major, decisive sins that deserve the wrath of Allah, His punishment and His curse in this life and the Hereafter. This is because such things breach the sanctity and security of the believers. It is for this reason that the Qur'an has denounced false accusations in the strongest terms and has promised those who engage in these accusations the severest punishment in this life and the Hereafter. As AllAh says in the Qur'an:
"And as for those who malign believing men and believing women without their having done any wrong - they surely burden themselves with the guilt of calumny, and thus with a flagrant Sin." (AI-Ahzab, 33:58)
"Those who accuse chaste, unwary, believing women, have been cursed in the world and the Hereafter, and a mighty chastisement awaits them, Let them not be heedless of the Day when their own tongues, their hands, and their feet shall all bear witness against them as to what they have been doing. On that Day Allah with justly requite them, and they will come to know that Allah - and He alone - is the truth manifest." (An-Nur, 24:23-25)
Muslim scholars have agreed that accusing a believing male is the same as that referred to in the Qur'an when it mentions the accusation towards believing women, the verse was revealed in the form addressing believing women because it was referring to the case of Aisha (ra), but in its meaning applies to all believers. This verse was revealed to defend Aisha (ra), the most beloved wife of the Prophet (saw) after Khadijah. She was accused of committing adultery with one of the Companions of the Prophet (saw), who could not be doubted in his character and chastity, but the hypocrites took this opportunity to stoke the fire of fitna which affected not only the individuals but the whole community, until the revelation came to clarify the case and put things right:
"Surely those who invented this calumny are a band from among you. Do not deem this incident an evil for you; nay it is good for you. Every One of them has accumulated sin proportion to his share in this guilt; and he who has the greater part of it shall suffer a mighty chastisement. When you heard of it, why did the believing men and women not think well of their own folk and say; 'This is a manifest calumny!' Why did they not bring four witnesses in support of their accusation? Now that they have brought no witness, it is they who are the liars in the sight of Allah" (An-Nur, 24:11-13)
It is Allah's clear rule that whoever accuses someone of adultery has to prove his claim by bringing forth four witnesses, who are known to be truthful and who have all seen the act with their own eyes. As the texts of the Shari'ah have explained the witnesses must all have seen the actual act of intercourse taking place rather than just seeing two people together. If four such witnesses cannot be brought forward on these terms then the accuser is deemed to be a liar and is subject to punishment; not only one punishment but three at different levels as described in the Qur'an:
"Those who accuse honourable women but do not produce four witnesses, flog them with eighty lashes, and do not admit their testimony ever after. They are indeed transgressors, except those of them that repent thereafter and mend their behavior. For surely Allah is most-Forgiving, Ever Compassionate." (An-Nur, 24: 4-5)
This verse has mentioned three punishments for such an abhorrent crime. Firstly, physical punishment comprising of eighty lashes, secondly social and moral humiliation in that his testimony can never be accepted on any subsequent matter, and that thirdly this Type of person is described as a fasiq, (a wrongdoer, rebellious):
"Is then he who (in his earthly life) was believer to be compared with one who was iniquitous? (Nay,) these two are not equal! As for those who attain to faith and do righteous deeds - gardens of rest await them, as a welcome (from Allah), in result of what they did; but as for those who are lost iniquity - their goal is the fire: as of as they will try to come out of it, they will be thrown, back into it; and they will be told, 'Taste (now) this suffering through fire which you were wont to call a lie!" (As-Sajda, 32: 18-20)
"And (remember that) when We told the angels, 'Prostrate yourselves before Adam,' they all prostrated themselves, save Iblis: he (too) was one those invisible beings, but then he turned away from his Sustainer's command. Will you then, take him and his cohorts for (your) masters instead of Me, although they are your foes? How vile an exchange on the evildoers' part!" (AI-Kahf, 18:50)
It is the Mercy of Allah that He has opened the doors of forgiveness to those who want to purify themselves, as He says: "Except who repent after that and reform and Allah is oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful" Imam Abu Hanifah understood from this that forgiveness will remove the last punishment only, i.e. the label of fisq, but it will not remove their inability to testify as Allah has stated, "and reject their evidence ever after…"
The crime becomes even worse when such accusations befall someone who is well reputed with integrity and good character. Islam has emphasized the protection of people's honour and dignity and does not allow any Muslim to degrade another Muslim even with a single word, either in his presence or his absence.
"O you who believe! Avoid most guesswork (about one another) for, behold, some of (such) guesswork is (in it self) a sin; and do not spy upon one another, and neither allow yourselves to speak ill of one another behind your backs. World any of you like to eat the flash of his dead brother? Nay, you would loathe it! And be conscious of Allah Verily, Allah is an acceptor of repentance, a dispenser of grace!" (Al-Hujurat, 49:12)
In a Sahih hadith the Prophet (saw) stated:
"…The whole of a Muslim for another Muslim is inviolable: his blood, his property and his honour."
If Islam were not as strict in these matters, people would harm each other through accusations, disrespect, aggression, leading to loss of rights and freedom. It is for this reason that Islam enjoins that we should cover up people's mistakes in order to protect the privacy and honour of people. When a person came to the Prophet (saw) reporting the crime of Ma'iz al-Aslami, who later confessed to adultery and was punished, the Prophet (saw) said to the reporter, "It would have been better for you to cover up for him" (Abu Dawud and An-Nisai). The Prophet (saw) also said, "all members of my Ummah are exempt (from punishment), except those who commit siin public". Another hadith states that, "whoever hides the faults of a Muslim in this life, Allah will hide his faults in the Hereafter." (Bukhari and Muslim).
He also said from his pulpit:
"You who have accepted Islam with your tongues but whose hearts have not been reached by faith, do not misbehave with Muslims, nor revile them, nor seek out their faults; for he who seeks out the faults of his Muslim brother will have his, faults sought out by Allah, and he whose faults are sought out by Allah will be exposed by Him, even though he is the interior of his house." (Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi).
The Qur'an also states:
"Verily those who love that indecency should spread among the believers deserve painful chastisement in the world and the Hereafter. Allah knows, but you do not know." (An-Nur, 24:19)
Q 2: Can the accused defend himself? Is it lawful to prevent him from this? That should be the role of the Muslim community towards him? Is it appropriate to maintain silence and allow things to take their course, or should the community stand by him and extend their support to him?
A 2: Yes, the accused person has every right to defend himself and raise his voice publicly to demand his rights. In fact, taking into account his circumstances, Allah has allowed for such a person what he did not allow for others:
"Allah does not like any evil to be mentioned openly, unless it be by him who has been wronged. And Allah is indeed all-knowing." (An-Nisa, 4:148)
It is not allowed for anyone to prevent the accused from defending himself, as this is a natural and legal right; even the cursed Satan was granted the right to argue for himself in front of Allah and say about Adam (as), "I am better than he'' Similarly Allah has granted every person the right to defend himself on the Day of Judgment.
It is the duty of the Muslin community to ensure that the opportunity of defense is granted by all possible means such as speech, writing in newspapers, giving interviews to the radio and TV, especially in the case where the accued is a public figure. It is not allowed in the Shari'ah that he should be left to the mercy of his accusers to unleash a barrage of wild accusations upon him and humiliate him day and night. The members of the society should not remain mere spectators, doing nothing, while the doors of justice are being closed on the innocent, accused person. Such a person cannot defend himself against the heavy arson of his accusers who hold everything and yet have taken every thing from him. However, worse than that, is when people participate in a slanderous campaign by transmitting false information without denouncing it. Allah says:
"Were it not for Allah's bounty and His Mercy unto you in the world and in the Hereafter, a grievous chastisement would have seized you on account of what you indulged in. Just think how wrong you were when one tongue received it from another and you uttered with your mouths something you knew nothing about. You deemed it to be trifle while in the sight of Allah it was a serious matter." (An-Nur, 24:14-15)
The Muslim community is one of solidarity and it is unacceptable for it to keep quiet while a respected person stands unfairly accused, or to leave such a person on his own, as whoever keeps quiet while seeing a wrong being committed is like a dumb Satan. Furthermore, when rumours are spread people should be given the benefit of the doubt And such rumours should be considered as lies unless proven otherwise:
"When you heard of it, why did the believing men and women not think well of their own folk and say: 'This is a manifest calumny!' " (An-Nur, 24:12)
This is to encourage the society to reject slander and this should be the stance of the believing and caring society Allah says:
"The believers both men and women, are allies of one another" (Al-Tawbah 9:71)
In a hadith it is narrated that the Prophet (saw) said:
''The Muslim is the brother of Muslim he neither oppresses him, nor does he fail him.." (Muslim).
The phrase 'nor does he fail him' means he does not abandon him, or forsake him especially at a time of severity.
"Help your brother whether he is the oppressor or the oppressed" The people asked him, "Oh Messenger of Allah, we can defend him when he is oppressed, but how can we defend him if he is the oppressor?" He said, "by stopping him." (Bukhari and Muslim).
Therefore, it is the duty of the Muslim community to defend the oppressed, regardless of the strength or power of the oppressor. The Prophet (saw) said, "If you see my Ummah afraid of addressing the oppressor as an oppressor, then bid farewell to it." (Ahmad, Tabari and Al-Hakim).
It is the duty of every Muslim who heard something wrong about his brother Muslim knowing that it is not rtue to defend him and his honour, as in hadith which says:
"Whoever protects the honour of his brother, Allah will protect his face from hell on the Day of Judgment." (Ahmad and Tirmidhi).
Q 3: How can it be ensured that the accused receives a fair and just trial which is not subject to influence by the government?
A 3: The one accused of adultery or homosexuality or similar crime is not the one to be placed on trial, but the one who accuses him. The accuser must prove his case with firm evidence, as a maxim of the Shari'ah states 'the onus of proof is on the accuser and the taking of an oath is incumbent upon the defendant',
But (to start with) the oath cannot be demanded from the defendant because the Shari'ah rule is that the human being is free from accusation and on the principle of the benefit of doubt, he should be thought of in a positive manner. It is the right of every human being who is accused of such crimes to request the trial of the accuser. It is the duty of the Muslim judge who seeks the pleasure of Allah and the implementation of His law to ask the accuser to provide four witnesses as requested by the Qur'an. I f this is not fulfilled then the judge should give a verdict (of Qadhf) for the accuser to be punished with eighty lashes, to consider him as an unreliable witness and consider him a fasiq, unless he repents. There is no exception to this except the case mentioned in the Qur'an where a husband accuses his wife of adultery. In this case Allah has made it compulsory on them to resort to what is termed Li'an. In this case the husband is not required to bring four witnesses as he has seen with his own eyes and he will not be obliged to live with his wife in whom he not only has doubt, but is sure of her infidelity. The husbands dangerous accusation towards his wife will not be heard just because of his claim alone, but Allah has legisted the procedure below which ends by the termination of marriage. As Allah says:
"As for those who accuse their wives (of unchastity), and have no witnesses except themselves: the testimony of such a one is that he testify, swearing by Allah four times that he is truthful, and a fifth time that the curse of Allah be on him, if he be lying in his accusation. And the punishment shall be averted from the woman if she were to testify, swearing by Allah four times that the man was lying and the fifth time that the wrath of Allah be on her if the man be truthful in his accusation." (An-Nur, 24:6-9)
Q 4: If a prime minister and his deputy disagree upon a number of matters of state and accuse each other, what is the best way of solving the conflict in the eyes of the Shari'ah?
A 4: The ideal way is to select a neutral party acceptable to both sides, i.e. not under the influence of either, to judge the case and to arbitrate. 'AIi (ra) and the companions with him accepted this form of arbitration between him and Mu'awiyah. This was rejected by the Khawarij, who said that there is no rule except the rule of Allah. However the commentator of the Qur'an, Abdullah Ibn 'Abbas (ra) refuted their argument by saying that Allah has legislated arbitration in matters smaller than this in the case of family disputes between husband and wife, so why should He not allow arbitration in matters that concern the whole Ummah?
"If you fear a breach between the two appoint an arbitrator from his people and an arbitrator from people. If they both want to set things right Allah will bring about reconciliation between them. Allah knows all and is well aware of everything." (Al-Nisa, 4:35)
I remind my brothers that Allah says:
"And hold fast, all together, unto the bond with Allah, and do not draw apart from one another. And remember the blessing which Allah has bestowed upon you: how, when you were enemies, He brought your hearts together, so that through His blessings you became brethren, and (how, when) you were on the brink of fiery abyss, He saved you from it. In this way Allah makes clear His message unto you, so that you might find guidance." (Al-i'Imran, 3:103)
I pray to Allah, Glory be to Him, to unite the Muslims on His Guidance, reconcile their hearts on Taqwa, imbibe their souls with love, and make their intentions to build rather destroy and to unite rather than disintegrate.
"Our Lord! Grant us mercy from Yourself and provide for us rectitude in our affairs." Ameen.
Dr. Yusuf al-Qardawi
18th Jamada al-Ula 1419
10th September 1998
|04/25/01 at 01:08:04|
Good stuff se7en. Where'd you get this? Is there a web site where we can ask questions from Shaikh Qaradawi?
BTW, I think this contains a more detailed response to the question that someone asked in another forum about adultery.
|04/25/01 at 10:09:45|
Se7en got it from here:
http://www.qaradawi.net is the Sheikh's site.
|04/25/01 at 13:59:49|
wa alaykum as salaam wa rahmatAllah,
bhaloo what are you my spokesperson? :P
"se7en is unable to take any more questions at this time.."
|04/25/01 at 14:14:57|
Se7en is unable to take any questions at this time as she is busy putting together some VERY important notes. :)
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