Concept of Punishment in an Islamic welfare state

By A Khokar   November 19, 2010

The concept of ‘western new world order’ bases on formulating a Transatlantic Corporate Governance. All the western countries form part of this corporation to be governed under common political system and the principal economic functions, as banking, industry, or labour, are organized as corporate unities.

The New Role of individual Governments in Corporate Governance remains to lead a collective political system in respective countries. As for freedom, it may soon cease to exist in any shape or form. Living will depend upon absolute obedience to a strict set of arrangements, which it will no longer be possible to transgress.

In an ideal corporate society, mothers and fathers would produce potty- trained, civilized, responsible new citizens while government and corporate leaders would provide a safe, healthy, economically just community.

 All the countries spread on the other half of the planet from where the transatlantic corporate governments draw their mineral and human resources to run their economies especially the unlettered Islamic Block, as such remain the major issue of their foreign policy. Western Corporate media is the biggest tool available in the hand. It focuses on perhaps this most elusive issue in this field; that how best the military and other western underground forces employed in and around the Islamic block to subjugate the peoples be depicted as their saviors in order to bring them in western fold.

Somehow the corporate western media is seen very successful in depicting a bad Image of Islamic bloc that perhaps people under orthodox Islamic laws are living their lives under oppression. Freedom of speech has no meanings and they are rather coerced in to it, against the will and wishes of commoners.

In view of perpetual onslaught of western corporate media, the infamous Taliban orthodoxy has become another name of Islamic states. The projected image of Islam is most horrible that Islamic state is; where somehow woman is a demon and that state laws encourage cutting the hands and limbs for petty crimes.

Unfortunately certain Islamic extremist groups keep on doing the job of putting ready oil on the fire—-not withstanding that to enforce any award of strict punishment as per the broader scheme of Islamic jurisprudence means that; first and foremost we need to have established an Islamic welfare state where by all the aspect of life and welfare of the masses is taken care of. In the absence of all this; simply to talk of certain Islamic laws and show that how life could turn miserable in an Islamic State for the people where by their hands and limbs are cut for petty crimes—-may be most cynical approach.

Rather a true picture is required to be painted that under Islamic way of life and its jurisprudence; the life pattern must become so attractive and filled with peace and plenty that there a need may never arise that people indulge in petty crimes like stealing and carrying out theft and are punished. Ironically; to depict a repulsive picture of Islam which looks so horrible by narrating certain verses of Quran may only create a fear and terror in the hearts of people— this is the most absurd practice under taken, by the extremists’ religious groups in Islam.

In this regard the Verse [5:38] of Surah Al- Maidah of Quran, is widely discussed and referred to, which says:-

[5:38] وَالسَّارِقُ وَالسَّارِقَةُ فَاقْطَعُوْۤا اَيْدِيَهُمَا جَزَآءًۢ بِمَا كَسَبَا نَـكَالاً مِّنَ اللّٰهِؕ وَاللّٰهُ عَزِيْزٌ حَكِيْمٌ‏

 [5:38] “And as for the man who steals and the woman who steals, cut off their hands in retribution of their offence as an exemplary punishment from Allah. And Allah is Mighty.”

The punishment prescribed for stealing may appear to be too severe but human experience shows that punishment; if it is to be deterrent should be exemplary. It is better to be severe to one and save a thousand than to be indulgent to all and ruin many. He is certainly a good surgeon who does not hesitate to amputate a rotten limb to save the whole body.

In the heyday of Islam there were extremely rare cases of the cutting of hands of thieves because the punishment prescribed was deterrent and was put in force. Even today incident of theft are very rare in Saudi Arabia where punishment for theft prescribed by the Quran is in force.

But in order to arrive at right understanding of the nature of punishment, it is necessary to know both the literal and metaphorical use of two Arabic words used herein the verse: viz., “Qat and Yad” . The Arabic expression; ‘Qata a-hu bil hujjatti’ means he silenced him with arguments (Lane). And Yad among other things means the power and capacity to do certain things. Thus the ‘Qata’a Yada-hu’ metaphorically means, he deprived him of the power to do the thing; or he restrained him from doing it. We may also see verse [12:31] which describe an incident and same wording ‘Qat’ is used that when seeing after Joseph’s saintly and handsome visage women were so stuck with it that while peeling oranges they cut their fingers.

Anyhow, in view of the signification of the two words viz., “Qat and Yad “ the Arabic expression used in the verse mean— deprive them of the power to commit theft or employ any practical means calculated to restrain them from committing theft. Taking the verse literally the punishment prescribed in the verse is maximum punishment and maximum punishment is awarded in extreme cases only. The lesser punishment being the adoption of any practical means by which the offender is deprived of the capacity of, or restrained from, committing the offence.

In awarding the punishment the nature and scope of all the attending circumstances are also to be taken under consideration. If jobs and opportunity of sufficient earning is available to the people; hardly a requirement arises that common men may indulge in committing such offences as stealing except the habitual criminals.