18 OCTOBER 2002M / 11 SYAABAN 1423H
HUDUD LAWS IN ISLAM
My Respected Friday Congregation,
Today, through various media, we hear more voices for the implementation of the Shariah or Islamic Law. In this open environment and with the advancement of Information Technology, the Muslim community in Singapore would have surely heard some of these calls and hence follow their developments as well as discuss and debate about it. The non-muslim community too would be aware of such calls as such issues i.e. to enact hudud laws in neighbouring countries are covered by the local media. This would surely raise questions about the Muslim community’s stand on this issue.
My dear brothers,
Islamic scholars have given various interpretations of the word “syariah”. Some of them have given general meanings while others have chosen to be specific. Nevertheless, what is required of the Ummah is to practise Islam as a way of life. ALLAH Al-Mighty says in the Quran,
“ If anyone desires A Religion other than Islam (submission to God), Never will it be accepted of him ; and in the hereafter He will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good)” (Ali-Imran :85)
The Islam that has to be lived and implemented is a religion of three basic elements – Aqeedah or the Islamic Creed, Ibadah or Rituals & Practises and Jurisprudence or more known as the Fiqh and thirdly, Akhlaq or Noble Character and Etiquettes.
Each of those three elements have their own elaborations and importance and priorities and cannot be neglected.
Accordingly, when we talk about implementing Shariah in its general and wide term i.e. implementing Islam as a way of life, it means to secure the true aqidah or Islamic creed, the just and correct jurisprudence and noble characters.
And when we talk about implementing the Shariah in its specific interpretation that is Shariah meaning Fiqh or Jurisprudence such as hudud laws, we cannot ignore the other two elements i.e. to secure the Islamic creed and inculcate the akhlaq or noble characters. Infact, the Islamic creed has to be the basis for implementing the laws, and the implementing of laws should be congruent with observing high standards of moral.
It does not suffice for a Muslim to have faith and proclaim his Islam, but not to observe the laws and the moral standards, and otherwise too.
We hear people saying “Why must we do this and that …. more importantly, we must have good hearts. Why must we do this and that …. if our character is still bad. Is not the content of Islamic teachings more important, not the form of it?”
These are unsound sayings, because if we are to accept the argument that “what’s more important is the good heart …. what’s more important is the content, not the form” , people would then have reasons to not carry out all religious obligations. People will start saying, why pray, if you still do wrong things, why go to haj, if you still don’t refrain yourself from doing wrong, why fast, only to be hungry, what’s more important is to have a good heart!! On the other hand, we should understand that someone who practises Islam is not divinely protected from sins. Therefore, it is possible to see a muslim lady with hijab but committing sins, such as gossipping or slandering. In this case, ALLAH will reward her for her hijab, yet at the same time, punish her for gossipping and her other sins.
My Dear Brothers,
Among the most talked about aspects of Islamic Jurisprudence these days is the implementation of hudud laws.
Hudud laws is one of the three types of Criminal Law in Islam. Hudud originally means borders or anything that ALLAH forbids us from doing. ALLAH says in the Holy Quran;
“Those are the Limits (set by) God ; Approach not nigh thereto.” (Al-Baqarah : 187)
In the context of Islamic Criminal Laws, hudud means all offences done not on humans and carry specific...