Are there any contradictions about punishments for sexual sins in Quran (4:15), Quran (24:2) ?

Are there any contradictions about punishments for sexual sins in Quran (4:15),Quran (24:2) ?


Mohamad Mostafa Nassar

Twitter:@NassarMohamadMR

斯As for撕 those of your women who commit illegal intercourse鈥攃all four witnesses from among yourselves. If they testify, confine the offenders to their homes until they die, or Allah ordains a 斯different撕 way for them. And the two among you who commit this sin鈥攄iscipline them. If they repent and mend their ways, relieve them. Surely Allah is ever Accepting of Repentance, Most Merciful. Quran (4:15-16)

鈥淎s for female and male fornicators, give each of them one hundred lashes,1 and do not let pity for them make you lenient in 斯enforcing撕 the law of Allah if you 斯truly撕 believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a number of believers witness their punishment.鈥 Quran (24:2)

Ubadah Ibn Al-Samit reported that: ‘Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “Receive (teaching) from me, receive (teaching) from me. Allah has ordained a way for those (women).  When an unmarried male commits fornication with an unmarried female (they should receive) one hundred lashes and banishment for one year.

And in case of married male committing adultery with a married female, they shall receive one hundred lashes and be stoned to death.” [Muslim]

There is a Hadith that reads: “Whoever commits a sin in this life and gets its punishment in this life, Allah is the Most-Just, so, He will not punish him again (in Hereafter). If a person commits a sin in this life and Allah covers him in this life, then Allah is Most Generous so he will not punish him in the next life.” [Ahmad, al-Arnawoot consider it as Hasan]

The verse 15 from Surah al-Nisa Quran (4:15) is abrogated, the evidence is the aforementioned Hadith of Ubadah Ibn al-Samit.

Some Hudood (legal punishment) are established by Qur’an as in the case of giving lashes to a fornicator which is mentioned in the second verse of Surah al-Noor Quran (24:2) while some other Hudood are mentioned in Ahadith as in the above Hadith of Ubadah.

鈥淎s for female and male fornicators, give each of them one hundred lashes,1 and do not let pity for them make you lenient in 斯enforcing撕 the law of Allah if you 斯truly撕 believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a number of believers witness their punishment.鈥 Quran (24:2)

Ibn Kathir, may Allah have mercy on him, said in his Tafsir (explanation) of this ayah:


“At the beginning of Islam, the ruling concerning a woman who was proven guilty of adultery was that she was to be detained in a house and not allowed to come out until she died.

So, the phrase 鈥業f any of your women are guilty of lewdness鈥 refers to adultery. 鈥楾ake the evidence of four (reliable) witnesses from amongst you against them; and if they testify, confine them to houses until death do claim them.

Or Allah ordain for them some (other) way鈥 – the 鈥榦ther way鈥 that Allah made for them was the abrogation of this which had been mentioned in Quran (24:2).

Ibn 鈥楢bbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said:

鈥楾his was the ruling until Allah revealed Surat al-Nur Quran (24:2), then this punishment was abrogated and replaced with whipping or stoning.鈥

Something similar was reported from 鈥業krimah, Sa鈥榠d ibn Jubayr, al-Hasan, 鈥楢taa鈥 al-Khurasani, Abu Saalih, Qutaadah, Zayd ibn Aslam and al-Dahhak, stating that this is abrogated, and this is agreed upon. Imam Ahmad said:

鈥楳uhammad ibn Ja鈥榝ar told us that Sa鈥榠d told us from Qutaadah from al-Hasan from Hattaan ibn 鈥楢bdullah al-Raqaashi from 鈥楿baadah ibn al-Saamit who said:

Whenever the wahy (revelation) descended upon the Messenger of Allah (Peace & Blessings of Allah be upon Him), it affected him, the stress showed on him, and his face would change.

Allah sent a revelation to him one day, and when it was over, he said: ” Listen to me, Allah has made another way for them. (When) a married man (commits adultery) with a married woman, and an unmarried man with an unmarried woman,

Then in the case of married (persons) there is (a punishment) of one hundred lashes and then stoning (to death), and in the case of unmarried persons, (the punishment) is one hundred lashes and exile for one year.”鈥

It was reported by Muslim and other narrators of Sunan via Qutaadah from al-Hasan from al-Hattan from 鈥楿baadah ibn al-Saamit from the Prophet (Peace & Blessings of Allah be upon Him) with the wording:

鈥楻eceive (teaching) from me, receive (teaching) from me. Allah has made another way for those (women).

When an unmarried man commits adultery with an unmarried woman, (they should receive) one hundred lashes, and banishment for one year.

In the case of a married male committing adultery with a married female, they should receive one hundred lashes and be stoned to death.鈥 Al-Tirmidhi said: This is a sahih Hasan hadeeth.”

Al-Qurtubi, may Allah have mercy on him, said in his tafsir of this ayah:


“This [confinement] was the first punishment for adultery, at the beginning of Islam.

Ibn 鈥楢bbas and al-Hasan said: Ibn Zayd added:

They would not be allowed to marry, until they died, as a punishment for them when they asked to marry someone else.

This ruling applied for a while, then the Prophet (Peace & Blessings of Allah be upon Him) said, according to the hadeeth narrated by 鈥楿baadah ibn al-Saamit: “Receive (teaching) from me, receive (teaching) from me.

Allah has made another way for those (women). When an unmarried man commits adultery with an unmarried woman, (they should receive) one hundred lashes, and banishment for one year.

In the case of a married male committing adultery with a married female, they should receive one hundred lashes and be stoned to death.”

Some of the scholars said:

The idea of punishment and shame was still there with the lashing because there is no contradiction, and they are applied to one person.

As for confinement, this is abrogated in Quran (4:15), by the consensus of the scholars. And Allah knows best.



To complete the benefit of what has been said, it is appropriate to learn the tafsir (explanation) of the next ayah in Surat al-Nisaa鈥:


“If two men among you are guilty of lewdness, punish them both. If they repent and amend, leave them alone; for Allah is Oft Returning, Most Merciful.” [al-Nisaa鈥 4:16]

Ibn Kathir, may Allah have mercy on him, said in his Tafsir (explanation) of this ayah (verse):


“鈥業f two men among you are guilty of lewdness鈥 means two who commit an immoral act, so they should be punished.

Ibn 鈥楢bbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Sa鈥榚ed ibn Jubayr and others said:

i.e., by putting them to public shame and hitting them with shoes. This was the ruling until Allah abrogated it and replaced it with lashing and stoning.

鈥業krimah, 鈥楢taa鈥, al-Hasan and 鈥楢bdullah ibn Kathir said:

鈥楾his was revealed concerning a man and a woman who commit adultery. The phrase 鈥榠f they repent and amend鈥 means if they give up what they were doing and mend their ways.

鈥楲eave them alone鈥 means not to keep rebuking them with ugly words after that, because the one who has repented from his sin is like one who never sinned at all. 鈥楢llah is Oft Returning, Most Merciful鈥 鈥

It was proven in the two Saheehs (Authentic Books such as Bukhari and Muslim) Books):

鈥業f the slave woman of one of you commits adultery, apply the punishment of lashing, and do not blame her (after that)鈥 – i.e., do not blame her for what she did after the punishment has been given, because the punishment is an expiation for her deed.鈥”

How can you reconcile Quranic verses (25:68-69) from Surah Al-Furqan with the above-mentioned verses?

Let us start by quoting the meaning of Noble verses first:

鈥溗筎hey are撕 those who do not invoke any other god besides Allah, nor take a 斯human撕 life鈥攎ade sacred by Allah鈥攅xcept with 斯legal撕 right,1 nor commit fornication. And whoever does 斯any of撕 this will face the penalty. Their punishment will be multiplied on the Day of Judgment, and they will remain in it forever, in disgrace. Quran (25:68-69)

The following Question and detailed answer will help in understanding the Quranic Verses from Surah Al-Furqan (25:68-69):

Question:

What is the meaning of Allah鈥檚 Saying: 鈥淎nd those who invoke not any other il芒h (god) along with All芒h, nor kill such person as All芒h has forbidden, except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual intercourse – and whoever does this shall receive the punishment. The torment will be doubled to him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein in disgrace;鈥 [al-Furqan: 68-69]

Do these Ayahs (Qur鈥檃nic verses) mean that a person who commits all of the three mentioned major sins will abide in Hellfire forever or that applies to whoever commits only one of them?

Answer:

These great Ayahs warn against Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship), Qatl (murder), and Zina (sexual intercourse outside marriage). Thus, whoever commits all or any of these major sins is threatened by Allah鈥檚 Saying: 鈥溾nd whoever does this shall receive the punishment.鈥 [al-Furqan: 68]

The punishment is a valley in Hellfire according to one view or, as another opinion states, a grievous torment which is explained by Allah鈥檚 Saying: 鈥淭he torment will be doubled to him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein in disgrace;鈥 [al-Furqan: 69]

At the same time, these three major sins have different degrees.

Shirk is the worst crime and the gravest sin. Whoever commits it will abide eternally in Hellfire and will never be brought out of it. The foregoing is explicitly stated by Allah (Exalted be He) in Surah (Qur鈥檃nic chapter) Al-Tawbah:

鈥淚t is not for the Mushrik没n (polytheists, idolaters, pagans, disbelievers in the Oneness of All芒h), to maintain the Mosques of All芒h (i.e. to pray and worship All芒h therein, to look after their cleanliness and their building,), while they witness against their own selves of disbelief. The works of such are in vain and in Fire shall they abide.鈥 [al-Tawbah: 17]

鈥淏ut if they had joined in worship others with All芒h, all that they used to do would have been of no benefit to them.鈥 Quran [al-An鈥檃m: 88]

Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) also says: 鈥淎nd indeed it has been revealed to you (O Muhammad 氐賱賶 丕賱賱賴 毓賱賷賴 賵爻賱賲), as it was to those (All芒h鈥檚 Messengers) before you: 鈥淚f you join others in worship with All芒h, (then) surely (all) your deeds will be in vain, and you will certainly be among the losers.鈥 Quran [al-Zumar: 65]

Moreover, He (Exalted be He) tells about Mushriks (people who associate others with Allah in His Divinity or worship): 鈥淭hey will long to get out of the Fire, but never will they get out therefrom; and theirs will be a lasting torment.鈥 Quran [al-Maidah: 37]

There are many other Ayahs that indicate the same meaning.

Accordingly, Muslim scholars are unanimously agreed that a Mushrik (one who associates others with Allah in His Divinity or worship) who dies before making Tawbah (repentance to Allah) will abide eternally in Hellfire and will never be admitted to Jannah (Paradise) or forgiven. Allah (Exalted be He) says:

鈥淰erily, whosoever sets up partners (in worship) with All芒h, then All芒h has forbidden Paradise to him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for the Z芒lim没n (polytheists and wrong doers) there are no helpers.鈥 Quran [al-Maidah: 72]

鈥淰erily, All芒h forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship), but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He wills鈥 Quran [al-Nisa: 48]

Thus, Allah (Exalted be He) makes His Forgiveness forbidden to Mushriks and declares that all sins other than shirk may or may not be forgiven subject to His Will.

It is worthy to mention that among the types of Shirk that make a person (who had received Da鈥榳ah 鈥榗alling to Islam鈥 but did not repent before death) liable to abide eternally in Hellfire is to make Du鈥榓鈥 (supplication) to any of the deceased prophets, Awliya鈥 (pious people) or to the angels, Jinn (creatures created from fire), idols, stones, or stars.

Examples of making such Du鈥榓鈥檚 (supplications) are when some people say: 鈥淥 my Master, I seek your protection, I defend myself by your power, support me, cure the diseased, help! Help! and so on.鈥

Moreover, vowing or sacrificing for the sake of other than Allah (Exalted be He) is another type of Shirk that makes a person liable to the same punishment for all these are forms of 鈥業badah (worship) that must not be offered to other than Allah, as He (Glorified and Exalted be He) says: 鈥淎nd your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him.鈥 Quran [al-Isra: 23]

鈥淎nd they were commanded not, but that they should worship All芒h, and worship none but Him Alone (abstaining from ascribing partners to Him) and perform As-Sal芒t (Iq芒mat-as-Sal芒t) and give Zak芒t, and that is the right religion.鈥 Quran [al-Bayyinah: 5]

鈥淎nd the mosques are for All芒h (Alone): so, invoke not anyone along with All芒h.鈥 Quran [al-Jinn: 18]

Moreover, Allah (Exalted be He) teaches in Surah Al-Fatihah: 鈥淵ou (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone)鈥 Quran [al-Fatihah: 5]

we ask for help (for each and everything). There are many other Ayahs to the same effect.

As for the second and third crimes i.e. murder and Zina, they are of less gravity than Shirk as long as their perpetrator does not regard them as being Halal (lawful), but they have been seduced by Satan to commit murder because of hatred or enmity; or to follow their whims and commit Zina while they know that murder – not for a just cause according to Islamic law – and Zina are Haram (prohibited).

The perpetrators of such crimes (major sins) will abide temporarily in Hellfire, unless Allah (Exalted be He) forgives them because of specific good deeds they have done, Tawbah they made before they died, Shafa鈥榓h (intercession), or the Du鈥榓鈥 of other Muslims for them, besides other means for having sins forgiven.

The case of the perpetrators of these two crimes is subject to Allah鈥檚 Will and Wisdom. Thus, many people will be punished for their sins, but will then be taken out of Hellfire by virtue of Allah鈥檚 Mercy (Glorified be He) either through Shafa鈥榓h.

Such as the special Shafa鈥榓h of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) or that of angels, children who died before reaching puberty or believers.

Thus, Allah (Exalted be He) will bring them out of Hellfire by virtue of their Shafa鈥榓h for them after having spent the period that Allah (Exalted be He) decreed for them there. Nevertheless, a number of believers in Tawhid (belief in the Oneness of Allah) will remain in Hellfire for not deserving Shafa鈥榓h:

Allah shall bring them out of it just by His Mercy, for having died while believing in Tawhid and having faith in Him. However, they will be punished in Hellfire for their sins and bad deeds and when they are purified, Allah (Exalted be He) will take them out of Hellfire after the expiry of the period that He decreed for them to spend in the Fire.

It is only by the Mercy of Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) that they will sprout like a seed does in the silt carried by a flood and when they are fully recreated, He (Exalted be He) will admit them to Jannah.

The foregoing is supported by more than one authentic Hadith Mutawatir (a Hadith reported by a significant number of narrators throughout the chain of narration, whose agreement upon a lie is impossible) from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him).

Thus, it is clear that a sinner, such as a murderer or an adulterer, will not abide in Hellfire in the same manner as Kafirs (disbelievers) will, but only for a specific period of time that comes to an end, for Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says: 鈥溾nd he will abide therein in disgrace鈥 [al-Furqan: 69] This is only a temporary stay that differs from that of the Mushriks. The same applies to the threat which is given to whoever commits suicide. May Allah protect us.

Source: Majmu’ Fatawa wa Maqalat 5/355, question no. 12

Shaykh Abdul-Aziz ibn Baz

Allah knows Best.