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I have no grievance against the people of the West for enmity of Islam is an integral part of their nature. They let slip no opportunity to malign Islam and the Prophet of Islam, Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaihe wasallam). They've highlighted the problem of slavery, called the number of wives a violation of women's rights and labeled jihad as terrorism. No, I've nothing against them. My grievance is against the people of the East, the people who, though calling themselves Muslims, have taunted and ridiculed Islam. Nowadays they have chosen Islamic Hudood laws as their target. Some of them seem to be advising Allah Ta`ala that He shouldn't have sent down the Hudood laws and if He had done so then at least He should have given the 'enlightened' ones the right to make necessary alterations in them. There is no dearth of such 'Muslims' either who even go to the length of saying that the Hudood laws are barbaric. They say that the Islamic punishments are a blot on the face of Islam as Muslims feel ashamed to face the world because of them.

As long as these laws remain, they say, people will go on calling them barbaric, uncouth, cruel and ignorant. Thus the laws should either be wiped out or they should be interpreted in such a way so as to make them internationally acceptable.

There abound such 'educated' people in our country too who think that there are dozens of Hudood laws in Islam. This scribe happened to ask one such educated person, who considered himself qualified enough to criticize Imam Abu Hanifa (rahimahullah alaihe), about the number of Hudood laws and he answered in all his wisdom, "There are countless Hudood laws. It's impossible to enumerate all of them in one sitting." The fact is that there are only seven Hudood laws that cannot be abrogated or altered in any way. Murder, theft, dacoity, adultery, slander, drinking wine and apostasy.

It has been left to the discretion of the Qadhi, judge or ruler of the country or the times to punish all other crimes as he sees fit. He may hand out a death sentence or let the criminal off with a warning as fits the crime and circumstances leading to it. After due investigation, the judge is fully authorized by Shari`ah to punish the wrong-doer in a way so as to dissuade him from committing the crime again. If a major crime has been committed and the judge finds that there is no chance of redemption then he may give capital punishment.

Shariah has limited only seven crimes to punishment because these crimes are the nucleus, the fountain head of all mischief and contain within themselves germs which spread to others. If they are not destroyed then there is the danger that they will infect the whole society. Threats and warnings cannot work for such crimes, instead, exemplary punishments must be given so as to deter the criminals and put fear in their hearts, dissuading them and others from committing such crimes again. Take adultery for example. A man who commits adultery gives in to his sexual instincts going against all norms of shame and decency. If he is not given a painful punishment, every coming day will add to his wrong-doing. He will not hesitate in satisfying his baser instincts by having sex with a mehram or by attacking an innocent child or by relating his sordid deeds to others thus inciting them towards the evil act also. Then there the other party, the adulteress, who willingly or unwillingly became a party to the crime. In ordinary circumstances the act couldn't have been a committed without her cooperation and thus it becomes a matter of deep shame for her family. And this is the reason why when the secret is out murders are committed and the law is taken into one's own hands in the form of rites such as Karo Kari. In such circumstances isn't it befitting to leave the matter to Allah and his Rasool (sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam) to decide in the form of Shari`ah? A decision which would be acceptable to all parties, a dicision which would root out all sexual germs that were raising their heads in the minds of some people.

Let us take theft and docoity i.e. armed robbery as another example. Robbers and thieves don't want to work but wish to become rich overnight. The other party, their victim is the hard-working cart-pusher who has been selling his wares from street to street in the hope of saving enough money to buy a small hut. Their victim is the widow who has worked washing dishes, sweeping in bungalows, eating left-overs just to save enough for the dowry of her daughter, for she knows that without a substantial dowry, no respectable family would agree to marry her daughter. Their victim is the shopkeeper who stands day and night, winter and summer in his shop, welcoming customers so that he can make both ends meet. The robbers and thieves break in and within minutes clean out the whole house leaving behind them shattered dreams, unfulfilled plans, wounded hearts and bodies. If these victims have recourse to the existing law, they gain nothing but dishonour and regrets. Our law is like the web of a spider that ensnares the poor and weak only while the rich and powerful tear it to pieces and spurn it under their feet. Our law punishes only those criminal who don't have powerful contacts. Just think, if the hand of one hardened criminal is cut off in each province of Pakistan will the petty thieves dare to commit any crimes? If, on the orders of Allah Ta`ala the severing of six or seven hands in the whole country leads to millions of people sleeping peacefully it isn't such bad bargain is it? And aren't those hands worth cutting off who have created such mischief in the whole land? Every single person is a victim of feelings of insecurity. In spite of the grilling heat and frequent power failures the widowed mother locks all doors and windows of her pigeon-hole home to protect her innocent children. From whom? From thieves and armed robbers and ruthless kidnappers. Just think, who should live in fear of their lives, wealth and honour? The robbers, extortionists and thieves or the poor innocent public? Isn't it a fact that in our beloved homeland the robbers are fearless while the peaceful citizens lead fearful, terrified lives? Due to our disassociation with Islam and Islamic system, due to the weakness of our legal system, robbery and theft have become not a defect but a part of our culture and our identity. Take a look at any department you will find shameless embezzlement, fraud, bribery, stealing, rife there. Isn't it strange that if someone talks about cutting off the hands of thieves the short-sighted ones call him a barbarian and instead of siding with the oppressed stand side by side with the oppressor, the tyrant? Yet it is not so strange after all, for here everyone is the same.

Then we come to drinking wine, calumny and apostasy. Due to the non-implementation of Islamic Hudood countless are the homes that wine has destroyed; innumerable are the young men whose lives it has ruined. The wine shops opened for non-Muslims in every corner, every street are crying aloud that for God's sake enforce the Islamic Hadd on the bare backs of drunkards otherwise no home will escape the evil effects of wine. For, when wine enters a home it does not come alone but brings with itself all its requisites. Illegal means for acquiring money for the addiction becomes rampant, enmities thrive, cases of rape and prostitution abound. Just think, isn't this what is happening in our country today?

Those who find faults with Shari`ah, why do they forget that Islam has not confined itself to handing out punishments only but has provided teachings acting upon which opens the door to good and shuts the door to evil.

One is encouraged to do good and hate all that is evil; the desire to do righteous deeds prospers and the inclination towards obscenity and sins dies its own death.

The punishment for adultery is very harsh admittedly. But has Shari `ah confined itself to flogging the adulterer and stoning him to death? Certainly not. Shari `ah has already laid down laws that prevent a man from committing adultery. It has ordered women to adopt hijab, safeguard their eyes, stay in their homes, not to mix with men and not to appear before them all dressed up to kill. Men have been told to lower their gazes. They have been encouraged to get married; they have been allowed to marry four times if sexual gratification from one wife is not enough. Shari `ah has done all this, what it hasn't done is allowed people to commit 'haraam' acts. Getting married has been made extremely easy. Just think, if in spite of all these relaxations a man commits as dastardly an act as having sex with another person's wife is he worthy of staying alive in a decent society? Shouldn't he be killed? Shouldn't a gangrene-effected limb be cut off from the body? Think and think again and again. Can we bear to be unfaithful to Allah and his Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wasallam) just in order to please the non-Muslims? If we abolish the Hudood laws will the enemies of Islam believe in our sincerity? Will their demands come to an end? The 'ahle-khair' are of the opinion that following the abrogation of the Hudood Ordinance, the next target will be the Blasphemy laws and then the Prohibiting Qadiyaniyat Ordinance. A never ending list of laws to be abolished will follow. The truth declared by the All-Seeing One in His sacred book fourteen hundred years ago remains the same. "And the Jews and Christians can never be pleased with you until you adopt their religion." Just think. Will we do so just to please our eternal enemies? No, by God, certainly not!

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