i am confused about the parts of the shariah with regards to punishment. for instance the law for the thief is cutting of a hand, stoning for the adulterer and capital punishment also for the murderer. however, while reading surah furqan in ayat 70 it says Allah will change the evil of those persons into good if they believe,repent and work righteous deeds but you also read of hadiths where people were stoned for adultery even though they repented. so i am confused as to what exactly is the law for a murderer, adulterer etc. is it that once they repent and change, they should no longer be punished or should if they were in a muslim country turn themselves in? Also, if the rule is stoning to death of the adulterer, how does a muslim man/woman go about doing this in Trinidad if they repent later on in life. do they move to a country like saudi to get themselves stoned? i know Islam is absolutely perfect but living in the west i am so confused about how things work. i know that Allah forgives all the past sins of a person if they were disbelievers who accept islam but what about those who drank alcohol and committed zina and stole but then repented later on when Allah gave them guidance. Are they suppose to be continuously depressed or can they lead happy lives without punishment in this world or the hereafter and Allah will still forgive them? Also, if a man had committed zina does he tell his wife and break up the marriage or does he ask for forgiveness continuously? and will Allah forgive him if he keeps his crime a secret? jazakallah for your patience with answering my questions, i am just so confused especially in this world that is not black and white like i once thought it was
Wa Alaikum As Salaam,
Allah Has sent a law to the Muslims which is known as the Shariah of Islam. In this law, Allah Has stipulated all the guidelines that must be implemented. These comprise of orders, prohibitions, allowances, approvals, disapprovals, concessions etc.
When a prohibited act is committed, it may fall into the category of those things about which a penalty has been fixed, or those about which a penalty has not been fixed in the Shariah. Where a penalty is fixed, it is called Hadd (plural Hudood). These are punishments that are fixed in the Holy Quran and it is the law of Allah that it be implemented to the offenders. Hence, if a person commits theft, then the relevant law will be implemented. In the same manner, if adultery or fornication was committed, then the prescribed penalty will be administered. Even if a person repents to Allah, these punishments will still be administered by an Islamic court under an Islamic state. Repentance is a matter between the servant and Allah, and Allah Has ordained that such penalties be given, since accepting the punishment fixed in the shariah is part of one’s sincere repentance. All acts that violate the sacred Shariah have consequences and if one is guilty of an offence, then he is required to face the penalty. This does not mean that one should not repent to Allah for the sin committed. In fact, he is still required to repent to Allah even though he may have received the physical punishment. In a similar manner, repentance made by a person (through supplications/salaah) cannot stop the penalty from being administered. Punishments must still follow even though repentance has been made. As mentioned before, accepting the punishment stipulated in the shariah is part of the repentance process. If one sincerely wants to repent to Allah, then be must be willing to accept the punishment which Allah has fixed for the offence committed and also beg Him for forgiveness.
With respect to other sins which do not fall into the category of having stipulated punishments (Hadd) or discretionary punishments (Tazeer), then it is up to Allah to forgive or not to forgive such sins. This means that if after committing such sins, a person repents, then Allah may choose to accept his repentance or he may choose to reject his repentance. It is about such sins, the Quran mentions that ‘Allah will change the evil of those persons into good, if they repent and work righteous deeds’.
So, the gist of this explaination is that wherever fixed penalties have been stipulated in the Shariah, then these will take its course and will be implemented. These would not be cancelled on account of one’s repentance (to Allah). If a person lives in an Islamic state where such punishments are administered (via an Islamic court), then he will have to be punished (when all the evidences against him has been established). If however, a person does not live in an Islamic state, then there will be no need to go to an Islamic state to be punished. Instead, he should repent sincerely to Allah, since this is the only option he has in a non Islamic state/country. In the hereafter, it is Allah’s choice to either punish him severely or forgive him.
If a Muslim commit such sins in Trinidad that brings about the fixed punishments, like adultery etc., then no Hadd (Islamic punishment) can be administered to him. Administering and implementing the punishments must only be done through an Islamic court which is governed by an Islamic state. Obviously in these cases, a person must repent to Allah. But in reality, repentance is not sufficient as an atonement for these crimes. This is why Allah Has Himself instituted such penalties. Howbeit, this is a matter for Allah to judge in the hereafter.
The punishments mentioned in the Quran and authentic traditions are given to Muslims who commit the relevant crimes. Hence, if disbelievers committed such offences while they were unbelievers and later accepted Islam, then they do not have to be depressed.. Instead, they should thank Allah for having guided them, and beg Him to forgive them for their sins which they have done in their past lives. They should also make amends for the wrongs they would have done before.
If a man committed Zina in the past, then he should not tell his wife or any other person about it. This will not bring any good to the marriage and may even cause it to be broken. When Allah Has concealed his crime, then he should not reveal it to anyone. He should continue to repent to Allah and hope that Allah forgives him.
And Allah knows best,
Mufti Waseem Khan