After many painful experiences, let us state that man is his own enemy. The many wars, including the two most bloody in the Twentieth Century, that he inflicted on himsl are a case in point. Added to these, one can mention the pestilences, the many so-called natural disasters (the Wrath of the Earth, one is entitled to say) that he called on himself through sheer stupidity and hard-headedness. Although man is individually responsible for what he does, there are times when he is collectively responsible.
As the 13th General Election nears, some religious zealots insist on hudud punishments, without proper understanding of the matter. Muslim scholars, including our own, differ on this so-called fixed punishments.
The word 'hudud' occurs 14 time in the Quran, and none of these refer to fixed punishments. The notion of fixed punsihments is, of course, illogical, as crimes are of various types and magnitudes. For instance, a punishment mentioned in the Quran for thefr is the cutting of the hand in Seventh Century Arabia, while in in 19th Century England one punishment is the cutting of the head! In those olden and not-so-olded days, in all cultural ares of the world, punishment is very severe!
Actually, the word 'hudud' in the Quran refers to a middle-of-the-road concept and opposed to extremes in human behavious. Both non-eating or under-eaating and over-eating are bad, because they do not observe this conceptual boundary. As in eating, so in all human behaviour..
We can also view this matter in another way, The world is objectivity; the human mind is subjectivity. When the two interact, it often happens that the subjectivity distorts the objectivity, causing trouble for us human beings. Thw way out of this dilemma is to listen to all views and follow the best,
Unfortunately, man is prone to idolize leaders, so-called Great Masters, like the Great Jurist Shafi’e (d. 820). It was Shafi’e who interpreted the famous Verse 59 of Surah Al-Nisa (4) on authority that really started the collection and official compilation of the Hadith.
So who can help him out of this mess? Who but he himself, by listening to all views and follow the best?
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