Rare Justice: Judgements, Decisions and Answers to Difficult Questions part 6



Adultery and its Seriousness
Hazrat Ali (A) has reported from the Holy Prophet (SA) who said,
“When the crime of adultery in my followers will be appalling, the number
of premature deaths will be on increase.” (Wafi, vol. 9, p. 34)
Imam Jafar Sadiq (A) has said, “A man who indulges in adultery must be
ready for six things, he will face three things in this world and the other
three in the world hereafter.
The three things he will face in this world are:
1. His face will become ugly
2. Will be penniless
3. Will die soon
The three things he will face in the world hereafter are:
1. The rage of Allah
2. Very hard questioning.
3. Will remain in the hell forever

Adultery by an Unmarried Person
Hazrat Ali (A) used to punish those unmarried men who committed
adultery by hundred whips and exile. (Wafi, vol. 9, p. 39).

 If a Married Man or Woman Committed Adultery
If a married man or woman committed adultery Hazrat Ali (A) awarded
them the punishment of stoning to death. (Wafi, vol. 9, p. 39).

 Rajm (Stoning to Death) Purifies the One Who Committed Adultery)
When Hazrat Ali (A) went to see Sharaha Hamadania (a woman who
committed adultery) being stoned to death there was such a huge crowd that
it was feared that people would be trampled by one another.
Hazrat Ali (A), therefore, ordered the closure of the City gates. When the
punishment was over and the gates were reopened for the people who had
accompanied Hazrat Ali (A) to the scene to come in, people started passing
remarks on th decased. Hazrat Ali (A) said to them, “Hold your tongue now,
the deceased has been purified by the punishment awarded to her.”

Adultery With a Woman Who Agrees to the Crime Under Adverse
It has been related from Arbaeen Khateeb Baghdadi that a woman was
brought to Hazrat Omar (RA). She was found committing adultery on the
banks of a certain river of Arbistan. After examining the witnesess Hazrat
Omar (RA) awarded her punishment of stoning to death.
Hearing this judgement of Hazrat Omar (RA), she uttered the following
words, “O God! Thou knoweth that I am not guilty.”
These words of her enraged Hazrat Omar (RA) further. He said to her,
“You committed adultery and still you dare belie the witnesses.”
When she was being carried to the place where she was going to be
stoned to death, she met Hazrat Ali (A) who was passing by that way.
Seeing her, he asked the executioners to take her back to Hazrat Omar
(RA) for further investigation. When she was taken back to Hazrat Omar
(RA), Hazrat Ali (A) asked her to relate her story to him (Hazrat Ali (A)).
The woman in question related her story to as follows:
“My family has some camels. Yesterday, I took them out to the desert for
grazing. At about noon I felt thirsty, but I had no water with me to drink,
neither there was any water in the vicinity with which I could quench my
“A little way off from there,” she continued, there was another man, who
had water with him. But when I asked him for a little water to drink, he
refused to give a single drop of it to me unless I agreed to commit adultery
with him, but I refused.”
“When I felt very thirsty and was about to die of thirst,” further
continued the woman, “I agreed, under compulsion though, to allow him to
fulfil his carnal desire.
Having heard the story of the woman Hazrat Ali (A) exclaimed, “The
one who is compelled by circumstances in case he or she is not disobedient
and does not exceed the limits of law and go beyond the restrictions put on
him or her by Allah they are not responsible for any crime committed under
such circumstances.” Hearing this Hazrat Omar (RA) released the woman.
(Manaqib, vol. 2, p. 190, Biharul Anwar, vol. 9, p. 484, Riaz, vol. 2 p.
259; Zakheeratul Uqba, p. 81, Turuqi Hikmia by Ibne Qaiyum).

Different Punishments For One and the Same Crime
Asbagh bin Nabata has reported that five persons who were accused of
adultery were once brought to Hazrat Omar (RA). He ordered for their
punishment by stoning them all to death.
Hazrat Ali (A) when heard of that, said that the judgeent was wrong.
He then heard them separately and awarded them different punishments
as follows:
To the first he awarded the punishment of beheading, stoning to death to
the second, whipping to the third and half of the full punishment to the
fourth. He set free the fifth after awarding him an ordinary punishment.
When Hazrat Omar (RA) asked Hazrat Ali (A) to explain his above
decision, he (Hazrat Ali AS) said to him.
“The first of them is a Zimmi (the one who pays a certain amount to an
Islamic State for the safety of his life) who has committed adultery with a
Muslim woman; the second is a married man whose punishment under the
religious law is stoning to death; the third is an unmarried man, who stands
to be punished under the same law by whipping; the fourth is a slave whose
punishment in case of adultery as fixed by the religious law is half of the
full punishment fixed by the religious law for that crime; the fifth of them is
half-mad and has therefore, been awarded an ordinary punishment for one
and the same crime committed by others as this punishment has been fixed
for such men and women by the religious law.”
Hazrat Omar (RA) while accepting the above judgement of Hazrat Ali
(A) said, “May I not live in the nation wherein there is no Abul Hasan for
solving such problems.”
(Manaqib, vol. 2, p. 183; Nasikhut Tawarikh, vol. 2, p. 732, Biharul
Anwar vol. 9, p. 478)

. If Adultery is Committed by a Man Whose Wife is Away From Him
Hazrat Ali (A) was on pilgrimage to Mecca when a man who accused of
adultery was produced before him. The judgement by Hazrat Omar (RA)
who was a caliph then, was to stone the man to death. On hearing of the
above judgement delivered by Hazrat Omar (RA) in the case in question,
Hazrat Ali (A) said to him;
“The total punishment fixed by the religious law in such a case is
whipping and not stoning to death, because the wife of the man involved in
it is away from him.”
Hearing this decision by Hazrat Ali (A), Hazrat Omar (RA) said, “May
not Allah allow me to survive the time when I am in a difficulty and Abul
Hasan is not there to solve it.”
(Manaqib Khawarzami through Bihar vol. 9, p. 478; Manaqib Shehr
Aashob vol. 2, p. 183).

Adultery With a Christian or a Jewish Woman
Hazrat Muhammad bin Abubakr once wrote to Hazrat Ali (A) asking him
that if a male Muslim commits adultery with a Christian or a Jewish woman
what punishment should be awarded to them.
Hazrat Ali (A) wrote back to him, “If the Muslim male is a married one,
stone him to death, if unmarried, he should be punished by hundred whips.
The Christian or Jewish woman, if involved in such a case should be
deported to their people to treat her as they liked. (Wafi, vol. 9, p. 39).
20. If Adultery is Committed by Those Who are Dangerously Ill
A man was once brought to Hazrat Ali (A) who was to be punished under
the religious law for committing a certain crime, but as he had several
wounds on his body, Hazrat Ali (A) said that he should be spared for some
time till he recovered from those wounds. when his wounds healed, Hazrat
Ali(a) ordered for his total punishment. (Wafi, vol. 9, p. 45).
It has been reported by Imam Jafar Sadiq (A) that a man was suffering
from dropsy was presented before the Holy Prophet (SA). He was accused
of adultery. The Holy Prophet (SA) asked the woman involved in the case
as to whether she had agreed to the crime to which she replied that she
became aware of the fact when he had attacked her and overpowered her.
Thereafter, the Holy Prophet (SA) asked the man as to whether he admitted
his crime, to which he replied in the affirmative, but he was not a married
man. The Holy Prophet (SA), therefore, sent for a branch of the palm tree.
Then, He (S) caught hold of a hundred thin straws from that branch and
beat the man therewith. From both the above reports, if taken jointly, it
would be clear that a Muslim judge has the discretion of awarding either of
the two punishments in such cases, i.e., he may award the punishment there
and then as was done by the Holy Prophet (SA) or he may wait till the
person recovers from illness. In case the one and the only way adopted by
the Holy Prophet (SA) is followed by the judges in all such cases the fear of
punishment would vanish from the minds of the peopleHowever, the judge
must decide each case on individual merits and award the required
punishment accordingly. In case there is no hope of the survival of the
person from that disease as was surely in the case decided by the Holy
Prophet (SA), he may follow the Holy Prophet (SA) in his judgement, but in
case there is hope of survival of the accused from a certain disease or
wounds as in the case decided by Hazrat Ali (A) wherein there was a
certainty that the accused would servive his wounds which were expected to
heal sooner or later, the judge may follow the latter with discretion which is
allowed to him in such cases. (Note by Allama Jazairi; Abu Turab, (Urdu)
vol. 2, p.88).

If Adultey is Committed With an Insane Woman
A question was put to Hazrat Ali (A) about an insane woman with whom
adultery was committed and she had become pregnant , to which the Holy
Imam (A) replied.
“An insane woman is just like an animal and is out of the control of her
mind. Therefore, there is no punishment for her if she is involved in a case
of adultery i.e., neither stoning to death nor even whipping or exile.” (Wafi,
vol. 9, p. 46).
Allama Jazairi in his collection of judgements of Hazrat Ali (A) titled
‘Abu Turab’ (Urdu) vol. 2, p. 89) has added the following note to the above
“The above judgement is particularly meant for an insane woman. If an
insane man who is either completely mad or his brain is slightly deranged is
involved in such a case he cannot escape the punishment fixed for adultery
for the reason as explained in the following tradition of Imam Jafar Sadiq
(A) who has said .”
“If an insane man or a woman? whose brain is half deranged indulges in
adultery, he would be stoned to death, provided he has a wife, otherwise he
would be whipped.”
The person who has reported the above tradition of the Holy Imam (A)
proceeding further says as under:
“When I asked the Holy Imam (A) as to why there were two different
punishment for an insane man and an insane woman, he replied.”
“It is because the man involved in such a case commits the crime
deliberately and sensibly i.e., with full knowledge of his sensual feelings
and as to how he should do it, whereas the woman with whom the crime is
committed and who is only an object in the case and has no sense at all as to
what is being done with her but at times she is totally ignorant of it.” (Wafi,
vol. 9, p. 46).

Adultery In Dream
A man brought another man, holding him by the opening in his shirt, to
the first caliph, Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA), and said to the caliph, “This man
says that he was discharged by dreaming adultery with my mother last
The caliph wondered as to what he should say in the matter. Hazrat Ali
(A) who was also present in the mosque at the time said to the caliph. “In
such a case the justice is this that the man who has described his dream to
the other man should be made to stand in the sun-shine and the punishment
orders should be carried out on his shadow as he dreamt adultery only in a
dream and the man should also be struck with one or two whips, so that he
should not trouble people with such loose talk in future.”
(Manaqib Shehr Aashob vol. 2, p. 179)

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