Man Made Codifications of Hudud Law

Nik Noriani Nik Badli Shah
Publication Date: 
October, 2010

Sisters in Islam acknowledges that the Qur’an has prescribed punishment for the crimes of theft (sariqah), robbery (hirabah), adultery (zina) and slanderous accusation of zina (qazaf). However, Hudud Allah in the Qur’an is a much broader concept, which is neither confined to punishments nor to a legal framework, but provides a comprehensive set of guidelines on moral, legal and religious themes. “The bounds or limits set by God” (2:229)which should not be transgressed, embody all that God orders or forbids, and are not limited to certain punishments as in the Hudud law. The Qur’an uses the term hudud in relation to fasting, inheritance and family laws, in addition to using the word in its general and wider meaning, which embodies all God’s teachings and laws. Unfortunately, provisions under fiqh (human juristic thought and interpretations) have reduced this broad comprehensive concept to mean quantified, mandatory and invariable punishment. Not only that, the Quranic prescription for four offences has been expanded to six in fiqh formulations (to include apostasy and drinking of intoxicants).

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