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Hudood Ordinance: a new front for the govt

17 July, 2006

By Qazi Bilal


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Hudood system has been prevalent in the Muslim world, ever since the inception of the first Islamic government in Madina, and has remained prevalent for 14 centuries. It was gradually replaced by the colonial English masters who ruled over almost the entire world including the Islamic countries.

This colonial rule slowly eroded all Islamic values, gradually replacing them with western laws. As a result of this degradation, the Muslims who are somehow alienated to the Hudood set of laws, began opposing it, alongside foreign-funded NGOs, whose women CEOs were vociferously opposing these laws.

The Arabic word of Hadd refers to "stopping something", and it pertains to punishment promulgated by Allah and his Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The countries which employ these laws have a lower ratio of social evils and crimes.

The word Hadd occurs 14 times in the Holy Quran, and various religions have prescribed severe punishments for adultery.

The Hindu religion declares that an adulteress to be roasted and publicly fed to dogs for her participation in the heinous crime, whereas the adulterous male be tied to a steel bed and burned alive. Similarly Buddhism prescribes death for adultery.

In Surah Noor, it is openly and clearly advised to confer 100 lashes on both sexes involved in adultery. The Hudood Ordinance was first promulgated by late Gen Ziaul Haq, and contains nothing objectionable.

According to MNA Dr Farida Ahmad Siddiqui, the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan also guarantees that no legislation that conflicts with Quran and Sunnah be promulgated. Generally speaking there is nothing wrong with Hudood ordinance, but they do have some administrative anomalies, which can be easily contained.

Political parties are also against these laws and are divided over the issue. PPP labels the ordinance as "dramatics" by (late) Gen Ziaul Haq, who held his "despotic sway" over the country for 11 years, while PML-N and MMA have almost identical views on the issue, stressing for amendments and corrections in the ordinance, but not to abolish it altogether.

Only the NGOs are bent upon a severe campaign against the Hudood Ordinance. They are strongly opposed to these laws, and ridicule the idea of producing four adult males to testify against a woman accused of adultery.

This very clause has provided an excellent loophole for those lambasting Hudood making it controversial.

The government has handed over the issue to Council for Islamic Ideology (CII) for necessary verifications. More than three members of the CII simply abstained from giving any opinion or verdict and various TV channels (both official and private) aired numerous programmes and segments to inform the public about the issue (of Hudood). Participants of the programmes, including liberal intelligentsia and Ulema, often indulged in fiery debates that ended with inconclusive results.

One mutual objection of various political parties and platforms pertains to the most common setup, which implements Hudood Ordinance in everyday life: the police themselves. Virtually everybody agrees that most of the police were aware of the legal and moral implications of the Ordinance. Most often the police use this law as a weapon to intimidate and blackmail.

Many jailed inmates who had been booked under Hadd do not even have an iota of idea about Hudood Ordinance. On July 8, 2006, President Musharraf promulgated an ordinance under which all women inmates except those involved in serious and heinous crimes of terrorism, sabotage and murder would be released immediately. As many as 1,300 women inmates would benefit from this promulgation throughout the country.

President Musharraf's act of kindness was lauded by both the official and opposition benches, while other segments of opposition and society considered it as a step towards termination of the Ordinance. Currently the issue about the ordinance does not pertain to its dissolution, rather the way they have been legislated and promulgated is the bane.

Such religious and social luminaries as Mufti Muneebur Rahman, Ahmad Javed, Dr Javed Iqbal, Dr Israr Ahmad, Javed Ghamdi and Mahmood Ghazi have expressed their reservations about the issue. According to Javed Ghamdi this ordinance has become the cause of embracement for the country.

A joint declaration about the government's bid to terminate the ordinance was strongly condemned by a nationwide conference of Ulema and Mushaikh held at the Ahle Hadith Mosque located in G-6/1 sector. All participants vowed to protect and safeguard the ordinance.

The participants contended that punishments under Hudood for sinful acts as adultery, alcohol consumption and Qazaf had been verified and proved through Hadith and Quranic verses. Such punishments are aimed at safeguarding the honour and dignity of women.

The convention also lambasted the CII for its lacklustre attitude, demanding its immediate dissolution and replacement by more authentic scholars. They also denounced the chief justice of Federal Shariat Court, terming him a controversial person who views all laws of Shariah according to western standards and norms. The participants demanded his immediate replacement.

The agenda of this convention was signed by eminent scholars and political leaders like MNA Liaquat Baloch, Maulana Hafeez Jallandahari, Qari Gul Rahman, Dr Sarfaraz Naeemi, Maulana Naseeb Ali Shah, Abdul Waheed Qasmi, Maulana Zahoor Ahmad Alvi and numerous other Ulema.

 

End.

Reader Comments:

Hindu religion

I have been a Hindu since birth(40 years) and never heard of anything that you talk about here. It only says that such people will be punished by God as per their Karma. We do not have an 'eye for eye' or any cruel punishment in Hinduism or Buddhism as far as I know.

Dayal, Hungary - 17 July, 2006

So What is Hudood?

Qazi, you advocate for hudood, yet fail to explain what it is or what the results of it would be on indiviudal rights. If hudood is anything like sharia law I can understand why you would fail to mention its true meaning. Please explain.

Tom B Dossogault, United Kingdom - 17 July, 2006

Buddhism

You say: "Similarly Buddhism prescribes death for adultery."
There is absolutely, definitely, and without the slightest doubt NO SUCH PRESCRIPTION anywhere in Buddhism. Sorry, this is a bad mistake as no Buddhist would ever believe it right to take the life of a human being over something like that. Thanks for reading...A

Alvin, Nepal - 18 July, 2006

Hudood Laws

Pakistan was made in the name of Islam. It was promised at the time of Independence Movement that Islamic Law or Shariah would be the law of the country. The Muslims of the subcontinent struggled hard for the creation of Pakistan under the dynamic leadership of Quid-i- Azzam, Muhammad Ali Jinnah and this great country became an independent country on 14th August 1947. Referendum was held in N.W.F.P and some parts of former East Pakistan. The people of these areas voted in favour of Pakistan where Muslims would live according to their own Islamic civilization. Almost sixty years have passed but there is no sign of Islamic laws or Shariah. The penal code of India is the law of our country called as Pakistan Penal code. The people of the tribal areas voted in favour of MMA for implementation of Shariah, pinning hope on them, in the last elections but the elected representatives or MNAs were pressed that they had taken part under the banner of a political party which is against the law of the country relating to tribal areas and so their membership would be annulled. That is why most of these MNAs supported PML (Q) fearing that they would be disqualified. The tribal people had voted these religious leaders for implementation of Shariah. They are extremely poor and some of them even do not possess residential houses of their own and they defeated former rulers of their respective agencies or tribal areas. The people frustrated and most of them referred their disputes to the Ulama of their areas for disposal under Shariah. The government has now taken the notice of this and is blaming these ulama for Talibanisation. Federal government, on the other hands, is abolishing the few Islamic laws, which exist already in the constitution and increase the anger and frustration of the people. These laws are purely Islamic and need correct implementation and only some Western countries are against these laws. In fact the whole Frontier province and majority of the Baluchistan province voted in favour of Islamic Laws by voting in favour of ulama and rejecting wealthy and influential of other political parties who did not promise for Shariah. The refusal of the federal government to implement Shariah and attempt to repeal Hudood Laws has worsen the situation in the whole country especially in N.W.F.P, Baluchistan and tribal areas and the people are adventuring how to implement Shariah. This trend of the people should not be pressed by force but ways and means should be thought and announce for the enforcement of Shariah which will guarantee peace and stability in the country.
Religious feelings can never be subdued by force! We have already lost our major portion of the country and there is trouble in Baluchistan and Tribal areas of Frontier. The unrest is spreading like jungle fire and only implementing the logo or motto of Independence Movement can save our country. West is trying to put on fire our house by sending a few dollars.
Muhammad Riaz,
Thana Malakand Agency,
Phone 0932441542.


Muhammad Riaz, Pakistan - 22 July, 2006

Oh ye of little knowledge

So.. I have to agree with the three previous commentators. Unlike Islam and Judeo Christainity, Buddhism and the various sects of the Hindu Faith have no call for the followers to kill any one.

I find it amusing that Judeo Christianity and Islam follow the same road when it comes to male dominance and obsessive concern on sexual matters. Women of course, who get no say in this, or many other matters, would not be so amused.

In general, women are to blame for men's indiscretions, therefore women must be more heavily punished because they are the cause of men's infidelities. I guess this is what you get for having a mindset still in the medieval ages. That areas e.g. Baluchistan, etc., are for imlementation of "Sharia/Hadood" is understandable when, as you state, these ares are "Tribal"
The very fact that they are, in the main, controlled by poorly educated MEN with their minds entrapped by centuries old traditions, and primitive religious beliefs, is proof enough that they are not suficiently advanced in thinking, nor qualified to be allowed to impose their wills on to the whole populace,& especially on the women. Religious leaders and Political Pundits have no right to impose their wills on the personal acts of other people. They may have the right to PREACH the benefits of correct behaviour, but before they do that, they should lead by example.
Tom Edgar Glen Aplin Australia 4381. tomedgar@halenet.com.au


Tom Edgar, Aruba - 23 July, 2006

The logic of Hudood...!


The hot debate over the issue of”Hudood” makes one wonder how could we disagree, delay or deny what we should have done long time ago? The word “Hudood” comes from the Arabic language, used in the Holy Quran, and means limits.

So the limits have always one starting point and one finishing point and in between this margin or space one can adjust the yardstick of justice but this should not exceed the point of finishing, the end of limits. This is what Allah says that don't exceed the limits.

To simplify this denomination, we can say that we have start point for “Hudood” (A) which finishes at (Z) so in this way we have the discretion of setting the desired scales of punitive mechanism, for example, a-b-c-m-x-y-z , to hinder the repeat of crimes and criminals as suitable to our society & existing circumstances.

Allah says in the Holy Quran that you can take corresponding (equal) revenge without exceeding the limits but those who forgive are the best kind of human beings. So here Allah has given the discretionary power or privilege to an individual, society or its ruling elite to introduce, legislate, and promulgate what ever is beneficial for the human habitat (society, country or nation) as a whole.

The laws governing the “Hudood” are meant for the prevention of relevant crimes & criminals and these should be tailored in accordance with the contemporary demands and circumstances.

So this reformatory work in no way be considered as breach or violation of the “Hudood” as mentioned in the Holy Quran but if we ignore the purpose & concept of “Hudood” from A to Z or exceed these limits then we are guilty of some thing which is neither liked by Allah and as such nor beneficial for the society.

So regarding “Hudood” none of us should get eccentric, in stead we should support & welcome the healthy & necessary changes/adjustments, through consensus, in the best interest of the mankind.

Ahmed bin Babar
multiways@hotmail.com



Ahmed bin Babar, Svalbard And Jan Mayen - 27 July, 2006

Huddod laws

I am not sure how the author got reference for following ,
"The Hindu religion declares that an adulteress to be roasted and publicly fed to dogs for her participation in the heinous crime, whereas the adulterous male be tied to a steel bed and burned alive. "

There is no Hindu scripture in Upanishada or later Sanskrit smritis telling above mentioned law.

Infact vedic laws were in compliance with the todays international laws. In Hindu vedic laws there wasn't any gender bias.

Looks like the author wants to convince Pakistani readers that Hadood is far better than rival countries hindu laws.



Aakash Hinduja, Hungary - 29 July, 2006

Buddhism

Thank you dear Alvin for clarification. How foolish to ascribe such cruelty of killing a human being for any errant sex act to Buddhism which is all compassion and love for humanity. Even Islam prescribed punishment of death only in case of murder, etc. In case of adultery what to speak of death sentence for it, it stipulated even to avoid the very accusation of it by prescribing the evidence of four qualified eye witnesses which is well nigh an impossibility. In fact for the Jahillya Paky society morality or their moral indignation is confined only to sex so the clever dictatorial regime use these antics of hadood debate to keep them busy.

Syed Talawat Bokhari, Pakistan - 30 July, 2006

new hadood ordinance is totaly repugnent to islamic injunctions.

in my point of view the new changes are going to setisfy the western countries that we r not supporting the islamic injunctions and they r very time barred laws and can not face the new challenges of modern world,just to setisfy them they support their illegal ,unconstitutional ultra vires government through which they r accopied since 7 years.if we suppose there r some requirments are not fulfiled in there interpretation then now some new angels revealed from heven to interprete them they are also peoples and what you musharraf would you like to amend them,which are totaly not allowed beacuse hadood maens which are fixed by allah .

faisal mengal advocate, Pakistan - 07 September, 2006

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