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Legal

Capital Punishment

 

  • Life is sacred, according to Islam.
  • Islamic philosophy holds that a harsh punishment serves as a deterrent to serious crimes that harm individual victims, or threaten to destabilise the foundation of society.
  • The spirit of the Islamic penal code is to save lives, promote justice, and prevent corruption and tyranny.
  • The Qur'an says, "...Take not life, which God has made sacred, except by way of justice and law. Thus does He command you, so that you may learn wisdom" (Surah Al Anaam, Chapter 6 Verse 151).
  • The key point is that one may take life only "by way of justice and law." In Islam, therefore, the death penalty can be applied by a court as punishment for the most serious of crimes. Ultimately, one's eternal punishment is in God's hands, but there is a place for punishment in this life as well.
  • According to Islamic law, the following two crimes can be punishable by death:
Intentional murder: Although the death penalty can be used for murder, forgiveness and compassion are strongly encouraged. The murder victim's family is given a choice to either insist on the death penalty, or to pardon the perpetrator and accept monetary compensation for their loss.

Fasad fil-ardh ("spreading mischief in the land"):This is a bit more open to interpretation. It is generally interpreted to mean those crimes that affect the community as a whole, and destabilize the society.

It is important to note that there is no place for vigilantism in Islam - one must be properly convicted in an Islamic court of law before the punishment can be dealt. The severity of the punishment requires that very strict evidence standards must be met before a conviction is found. The court also has flexibility to order less than the ultimate punishment (for example, imposing fines or prison sentences), on a case-by-case basis.

 

 


Euthanasia and Suicide

 

  • Muslims consider that death is simply the transition of existence from Earth to existence in the next world.
  • Islam teaches that life on Earth is a trial, where one?s actions and deeds will later be judged on the Day of Judgement. The eternal life of the next world is where one will reap the rewards or punishments of one?s behaviour on Earth.
  • Death therefore is an inevitable part of God?s plan and an event Muslims are encouraged to contemplate and prepare for.
  • Life and the mortal body are considered to be a sacred trust from God, on loan from Him. Therefore suicide and euthanasia are prohibited.
  • Islam would encourage medical interventions to alleviate the suffering of one who is dying.



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