Applying a hadd punishment, such as the death penalty or amputation, obviously either eliminates or greatly diminishes a person's earning potential. This is problematic when this person has dependents (children to house, clothe, feed, etc., and also wives).

Question: Are dependents taken into account before applying a hadd punishment?

I've never seen anything that talks about mitigating factors for hadd punishments. I'm aware of his verse which suggests we should not "edit" the divine laws:

[Say], "Then is it other than Allah I should seek as judge while it is He who has revealed to you the Book explained in detail?" And those to whom We [previously] gave the Scripture know that it is sent down from your Lord in truth, so never be among the doubters.
Qur'an 6:114

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    I know there were cases of Muslim women being sentenced to death in countries with Shariah-based legal systems (e.g. Nigeria, Sudan), but having the execution stayed until after their child was weaned . Can't speak for the Islamic basis (if any) for the rulings though, or how it would apply to other cases.
    – goldPseudo
    Apr 8, 2018 at 23:06
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    @goldPseudo As for Islamic basis, there's that hadith where a woman comes to Muhammad demanding she be stoned for adultery, and he sends her off a bunch because she's pregnant at first, then the baby needs to be weaned, maybe that's relevant to those cases?
    – G. Bach
    Apr 8, 2018 at 23:09

1 Answer 1


Yes, but on a case-by-case basis.

From the long hadith narrated on the authority of 'Abdullah ibn Buraida, the Prophet ﷺ delayed the stoning of a woman from Ghāmid till after her child had weaned:

قَالَ: إِمَّا لاَ فَاذْهَبِي حَتَّى تَلِدِي.‏ فَلَمَّا وَلَدَتْ أَتَتْهُ بِالصَّبِيِّ فِي خِرْقَةٍ قَالَتْ هَذَا قَدْ وَلَدْتُهُ.‏ قَالَ: ‏ اذْهَبِي فَأَرْضِعِيهِ حَتَّى تَفْطِمِيهِ.‏ فَلَمَّا فَطَمَتْهُ أَتَتْهُ بِالصَّبِيِّ فِي يَدِهِ كِسْرَةُ خُبْزٍ فَقَالَتْ هَذَا يَا نَبِيَّ اللَّهِ قَدْ فَطَمْتُهُ وَقَدْ أَكَلَ الطَّعَامَ.‏ فَدَفَعَ الصَّبِيَّ إِلَى رَجُلٍ مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ ثُمَّ أَمَرَ بِهَا فَحُفِرَ لَهَا إِلَى صَدْرِهَا وَأَمَرَ النَّاسَ فَرَجَمُوهَا

He said: "Well, if you insist upon it, then go away until you give birth to (the child)." When she was delivered she came with the child (wrapped) in a rag and said: "Here is the child whom I have given birth to." He said: "Go away and suckle him until you wean him." When she had weaned him, she came to him (the Holy Prophet) with the child who was holding a piece of bread in his hand. She said: "Allah's Apostle, here is he as I have weaned him and he eats food." He (the Holy Prophet) entrusted the child to one of the Muslims and then pronounced the punishment. And she was put in a ditch up to her chest and he commanded people and they stoned her.

— Sahih Muslim, Book 29, Hadith 35

In Mawsū'at al-Fiqh al-Islāmi 5/110 (Arabic only), Mohammad ibn Ibrahim at-Tuwaijri dedicated a section to the possible causes of delaying the fulfillment of a hadd punishment as:

  • What is related to the process of conducting the hadd punishment (e.g., weather, illness, etc.), which is also mentioned in Bahr al-Madhhab 13/20 (Shafi'i, Arabic only).
  • What is related to the persons upon whom the hadd punishment is to be conducted (e.g., pregnancy, breastfeeding, etc.), which is also mentioned in Qawā'id Ibn Rajab 3/225 (Hanbali, Arabic only).

I do not know of a comprehensive list of all potential causes for delay, though.

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