I've heard this story a few times, and I'm wondering if it's actually true.

Basically, the story goes something like: a non-Muslim was being punished under sharia, but instead of using the Qur'an, the judge used the non-Muslim's holy book for sentencing.

Question: Is it true that non-Muslims are punished under sharia according to their holy book (e.g., the Bible)?

  • Yes it is true. I've answered questions where the relevant ahadith are quoted, i think it was under tafsir tag. See also history.stackexchange.com/q/25952/13543
    – Medi1Saif
    May 13 '17 at 9:43
  • That sounds like an oversimplification; in disputes between Muslims and Non-Muslims, in matters of blasphemy against Islam, in violation of the dhimma, and probably a bunch of other issues Non-Muslims will be judged under sharia.
    – G. Bach
    May 13 '17 at 10:05
  • This is the post I meant islam.stackexchange.com/questions/35735/… G.Bach however has a point I'm not sure about the situation if there's a dispute between a Muslim and a person among people of the book.
    – Medi1Saif
    May 13 '17 at 14:31
  • Then there's the obvious issue of Non-Muslims who don't follow a scripture; I don't know much about vedic texts, so not sure whether the Jains or Buddhists or Hindus have any legal codes in their texts, but the norse or graeco-roman pagans (those still exist) pretty much don't, I doubt shamanistic peoples do, and irreligious people clearly don't.
    – G. Bach
    May 13 '17 at 15:55

With regard to Hadd punishments, Jews and Christians are not punished with the Hadd for consuming Khamr (wine), though are liable for other Hadd punishments such as the Hadd for Zina (adultery), for the Hadd for Qadhf (false accusal of Zina) and for Qiyas (retaliation) because these have a basis in the Torah.

From Hidayah:

This is distinguished from the case of the Ahl al-Dhimmah, because they have agreed to abide by our laws with respect to matters of mu'amiallat like zina and riba. Further, the authority imposing obligations is established due to the unity of the dar. According to Abu Hanifah (God bless him), the Ahl al-Dhimmah have not undertaken the obligation to follow our purely religious laws and those of the muamalat about which their belief is different nor do they fall under the authority established through the sword and domination. All this is cut off for them on account of the contract of dhimmah. We have been ordered to leave them alone as well as what they practice by way of religion.37 They are, thus, like those in the enemy territory except in the case of zina as it is prohibited in all religions. Riba has been excluded from their contracts due to the saying of the Prophet (God bless him and grant him peace), "Beware! Anyone who indulges in riba, between him and between us there is no contract."

Also, further:

just as the Dhimmi has agreed to abide by them for his entire life. Consequently, he is to be awarded the hadd of qadhf and is to be subjected to qisas (retaliation), as distinguished from the offence of drinking khamr, because its permissibly is part of his faith.

The basis of this are the following Quranic verses:

Quran 5:43 But how is it that they come to you for judgement while they have the Torah, in which is the judgement of Allah ? Then they turn away, [even] after that; but those are not [in fact] believers.

Quran 5:44 Indeed, We sent down the Torah, in which was guidance and light. The prophets who submitted [to Allah ] judged by it for the Jews, as did the rabbis and scholars by that with which they were entrusted of the Scripture of Allah, and they were witnesses thereto. So do not fear the people but fear Me, and do not exchange My verses for a small price. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed - then it is those who are the disbelievers.

Quran 5:45 And We ordained for them therein a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth, and for wounds is legal retribution. But whoever gives [up his right as] charity, it is an expiation for him. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed - then it is those who are the wrongdoers.

And the following Hadith:

From Saheeh Bukhari, also here and a more detailed version in Sahih Muslim:

A Jew and a Jewess were brought to Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) on a charge of committing an illegal sexual intercourse.

The Prophet (ﷺ) asked them. "What is the legal punishment (for this sin) in your Book (Torah)?"

They replied, "We only disgrace and flog them with stripes."

Abdullah bin Salam said, "O Allah's Messenger (ﷺ), tell them to bring the Torah." The Torah was brought, and then one of the Jews put his hand over the Divine Verse of the Rajam (stoning to death) and started reading what preceded and what followed it.

On that, Ibn Salam said to the Jew, "Lift up your hand." Behold! The Divine Verse of the Rajam was under his hand.

So Allah's Apostle ordered that the two (sinners) be stoned to death, and so they were stoned. Ibn Umar added: So both of them were stoned at the Balat and I saw the Jew sheltering the Jewess.

With the apparent meaning that the Jews would not have been stoned if the ruling wasn't present in the Torah.

  • This answer reads to me like it suggests the answer to the question is "yes" instead "in some cases, not in others"; it would be useful to at least mention legal cases that involve a Muslim and a kafir, blasphemy offenses, kuffar that don't follow a scripture, issues of dhimma and restriction of religious rights (for example, Christian texts will not prohibit wearing a gold cross in public, but the dhimma may well), and other areas of conflict.
    – G. Bach
    May 23 '17 at 11:39

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