Under certain circumstances, stoning, capital punishment, cutting off of hands, etc. is permitted in Islam as punishment for certain crimes. I understand that there are many different criteria the crime must meet for the punishment to be applicable.

But why is violent punishment allowed at all in Islam? What is the justification behind it? If, in an Islamic State, you did not punish criminals in the way stated in the Hadith and as the Prophet did, would you be doing a wrond in the eyes of Allah?

  • I'm not sure this is really a valid question. How can anybody answer "Why does the Quran say X?" That's just what it says.
    – Daniel
    Mar 17, 2015 at 23:25
  • all in all, if they have a question we should still answer it to avoid or minimise their doubts in the religion. I know someone (not personally) who was born a muslim and converted to Atheism because he had "unanswered question". Since then, no matter how stupid the question is, i always try my best to answer, and everyone should do the same. this also differentiates us from the disbelievers, who when asked a question about their belief they simply turn away. We say that Islam has all the answers, so we need to implement that.
    – Tash C
    Mar 17, 2015 at 23:38
  • @tashanna I'm not saying we should discriminate against "stupid" questions. I'm saying we should discriminate against unanswerable questions.
    – Daniel
    Mar 17, 2015 at 23:53
  • @Daniel but in Islam, there are no unanswerable questions??i'm sorry, i really didn't want this to turn into an argument, i do understand where you're coming from, and i didn't mean to label the questions as 'stupid', but you know what i mean, right?
    – Tash C
    Mar 18, 2015 at 0:36
  • If you're talking about any hypothetical country, then the "State" in "Islamic State" should be a lower case "s".
    – Golden Cuy
    Nov 18, 2015 at 10:33

2 Answers 2


Allah says: وَلَكُمْ فِي الْقِصَاصِ حَيَاةٌ يَا أُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ And there is life for you in qisaas (physically injuring or executing a criminal), O men of understanding, that ye may ward off (evil). (2:179)

In other words, killing someone for murder will save many other lives: Other people thinking about committing murder will think twice once they know the severity of the punishment, and if the murderer is killed, it will stop him from killing others.

Note that the evidence for capital punishment has to be very strong, with the inlcusion of multiple witnesses seeing the crime being committed. If there is even a shred of doubt, capital punishment is not done.

  • قصاص means "punishment, requital, settlement of accounts", etc. To translate it simply as "capital punishment" is misleading.
    – aasheq
    Mar 18, 2015 at 11:49
  • not in this context. Lisan al arab says: والقِصاصُ والقِصاصاءُ والقُصاصاءُ: القَوَدُ وهو القتل بالقتل أَوالجرح بالجرح. qisas is executing a murderer or injuring someone because of an injury they (delibreately) caused to someone else.
    – mufti saab
    Mar 18, 2015 at 12:15
  • "Injuring" جرح is not "capital" punishment. "Capital punishment" (in English) means "death penalty".
    – aasheq
    Mar 18, 2015 at 12:28
  • sorry. My mistake. The post has been edited
    – mufti saab
    Mar 18, 2015 at 12:50

if your going to think about nowadays punishments and compare, anyone is obviously going to think that these punishments are extreme. But say for example someone steals a certain amount. The punishment is to cut off the hand (at the wrist) that stole. If you think about it, someone that uses their hand to steal is using their hand for the wrong purpose, not what God created us for. This makes that hand pretty much worthless, as if we simply told that person "return what you took and dont do it again", people arent going to think about the severity of stealing. That is why the punishment is to chop off the hand, as this not only stops the thief from doing it again, but also scares other people not to do it too. Stealing is alot more than just taking something from someone, as in some way it also means that person is being deprived of what rightfully belongs to them. I only used stealing as an example, hopefully you understand what i mean for the others too. These punishments only seem severe when we compare them to the methods of punishment nowadays. These punishments are decreed in the quran and hadeeth, so no matter how wrong we may consider them, Allah SWT knows best, and only He knows what we don't. Plus if you think about it, these punishments are nothing compared to what will happen on the day of Judgement, May Allah SWT protect us from the punishment of the grave and the hereafter and forgive us for all our sins Amen.

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