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Are all of the laws in the Quran/Haddith/Islam relevant to modern (western) society?

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Are all of the laws in the Quran/Haddith/Islam relevant to modern (western) society?

I would like to know more specifically whether or not the punishments such as amputation for theft should still stand in modern societies?

Practical speaking, I can understand that when initiating communities, there is a need for law and order and the punishments need to be effective. I believe that not all the punishments prescribed are no longer necessary in established societies to maintain order.

Capital punishment can be seen as a deterrent but crimes that would warrant such punishments still occur, so it seems to me that they aren't as effective a deterrent as they are supposed to be.

Are these kind of considerations examined by religious leaders to be sure that they are being applied properly and are truly universal or are the punishments considered infallible and universal and therefore not under any scrutiny.

When I ask this question there are many thoughts flying around in my head just like what I have written so for my it is not clear what the Islamic stance is on such questions.

Update: I will delete this question if it is not different sufficiently, but I thought this question is different because there is a distinction between a judgement and the sentence, and I think the first question was more about the judgement, i.e., has a law been transgressed and this question where the law has been transgressed and a sentence should be passed and should the sentencing be equivalent to that of 1400 years ago where law and order was in the process of being established.

  • I'm not sure that this differs enough from your original question to permit a new question. Your concern (does capital punishment apply today) was addressed there.
    – ashes999
    Oct 18, 2012 at 18:41
  • Please see my update and advise if I should delete, thanks for you continued input and dare I say it, patience :)
    – Mr. Mr.
    Oct 19, 2012 at 6:38
  • It's a bit too vague and political to answer. Of course, everyone here is biased towards saying that Islamic laws work. But I've been robbed three times in Saudi during Hajj, so if they really are enforcing it, it doesn't work!
    – Muz
    Oct 19, 2012 at 14:12
  • Well in an ideal world many systems are believed to work but in reality man gets in the way (take communism for example), I am unconvinced that in an ideal world sharia solely is the most sufficient legal system. But then in an ideal world a system would not be required.
    – Mr. Mr.
    Oct 19, 2012 at 14:16
  • <closed as duplicate> As it stands, this doesn't seem to differ from the original question in any significant manner. Whereas this question seems to differentiate between "judgement" and "sentence", and is not necessarily a bad question in and of itself, the original makes no such apparent distinction and covers pretty much any answer you would get from here.
    – goldPseudo
    Oct 19, 2012 at 15:14

1 Answer 1


Yes. One of the most beautiful things about the quran is Allah is all knowing; he delivered his guidance in a way which would always be relevant, irrespective of whether a society is 'established' or athiest!

In fact, if you look at non-islamic lands in Europe, people are calling for punishments of criminals similar to what Allah recommended. Prison does not work, if you want to stop a thief, cut off his hand. If you want to deter a murder, he should know that he will be killed, as allah wishes.

  • 2
    Re your second paragraph: can you provide any examples? That is pretty much the opposite of the majority view in Europe. Indeed, the death penalty (which you mention) is virtually abolished, and actively seeking total abolishment (see EU memorandem on the death penalty). When making claims like this, please provide sources. Oct 19, 2012 at 10:06
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    From what I understand of your country too, a majority of ordinary people want the EU abolished - so saying a 'memorandum' from them constitutes a majority view is wrong.
    – Hanif
    Oct 19, 2012 at 11:04
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    your claim was about "Europe", so that is entirely appropriate. Re the UK's position on the EU, there is no reliable referendum/vote to look at (unless you could the tabloids "vote here" as reliable), so it is impossible to answer. Oct 19, 2012 at 11:08
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    Another note maybe worth mentioning is that, rightly or wrongly, the people I have heard stating they would like to have the death penalty reinstated want it reinstated as a form of revenge over justice, which is something I would not imagine Islam endorsing?
    – Mr. Mr.
    Oct 19, 2012 at 14:27
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    @owari yes you are correct it would be odd, but don't misunderstand me I am all for justice as long as it is not borne out of revenge. I understand justice to be different from revenge and can understand why people would want revenge when they have been wronged or when a awful crime has been committed. I simply understand that people (from my own experience) have stated their favour for the death penalty whilst clearly demonstrating a lack of understanding of justice but expressing a desire for revenge. I am not an expert in law but I know that I don't know enough to ask for it to be returned.
    – Mr. Mr.
    Oct 19, 2012 at 21:53

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