06 July 2019 CE | 04 Dhul-Qadah 1440 AH

Hadith Explanation

Innocent Till Proven Guilty

Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Ward off hudood as much as you can. If you find any way out for a Muslim then set him free. If the Imam makes a mistake in granting forgiveness it is better for him than that he should make a mistake in imposing punishment.” [Tirmidhi, Ahmed]

The purpose of exemplary punishment is that it should be an effective deterrent. Having millions of people in jails is not the sign of a good judicial system or a healthy, moral society. In the 1300 years of the Khilafah only a couple of hundred hands were cut off for theft! The low number of thefts this signifies is the sign of a healthy society. Regarding the implementation of hudood, however, many conditions must be met, e.g. theft does not count in a famine. In addition, where evidence is not compelling the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) laid down the following principle: To free someone criminal mistakenly is better than to punish someone innocent mistakenly.

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