The question in this post is: “Why is it that stoning to death is considered the Islamic punishment for adultery by so many, when it is not mentioned anywhere in the Quran and the punishment for illegal sex (zina) is clearly stated to be 100 lashes?” The reply, given by Sheikh Muhammad Ali Al-Hanooti, states a Muslim believes in the Qur’an and Hadith as two major sources of revelation. If one denies stoning for adultery then he/she is of the people who deny Hadith as a source of Islamic Law, which is used by almost all the schools of Shari’a.

The question in this post is: “Is there any way adultery can be forgiven by Allah?” The reply from Sheikh Ahmad Kutty (a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto) outlines the steps one must take to prove true repentance to Allah (including good deeds, prayer, resolution to shun adultery and all of the steps towards it, etc.) in order to be forgiven for adultery.

This opinion is based on the Sunni Hanafi system of jurisprudence, and many of the arguments can be used to build a consensus among the umma that stoning is unacceptable or can be avoided. In this opinion, The Shaykh goes into great detail on the extreme burden of proof needed to prove adultery. Several elements are important here:

This book is a journalistic account of Rana Husseini’s journey from “a naive but enthusiastic and stubborn journalist to the campaigns to change Jordanian law, as well as (her) experiences in other countries in the Middle East, and investigations into so-called honour killings across Europe (especially the UK) as well as the USA.

This chapter examines the 'original' source texts of Islam (in particular the Qur'an and the Hadith) to challenge the historical absence of women within Islamic thought and to question the continued subordination of Muslim women under the guise of Islam. The author examines key Islamic texts and questions theological debates to consider why women are defined as 'unequal' and 'inferior'. Central to these ideas are the patriarchal constructions of 'honour' and 'shame' which seek to control female sexuality.

The central question of this study concerns the relationship between domestic violence and shari’a. This relationship is of critical importance because shari’a provides both the legal framework for administering family relations and a religio-cultural framework for social norms and values in Muslim societies. This study seeks to provide an analytical framework and a comparative assessment of domestic violence in Muslim societies in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

This article explains how notions or honour can act as catalysts for so-called honour based violence when ideas of family and community are challenged by women, and highlights a number of recent and high-profile examples of honour crimes in the UK. A key question is how these crimes should be regarded in the context of our increasingly multi-cultural society. The article examines the way in which the British media have reported these crimes has misrepresented ethnic minorities and engendered a sense of mainstream moral superiority.

This report addresses the dominant culture-based paradigms that justify or explain the violations of women’s rights, reducing violence against women to a cultural problem. It traces the trends in the development of the international normative framework on violence against women in relation to culture that culminated in the recognition of the primacy of women’s right to live a life free of gender-based violence over any cultural considerations.

In this report, the potential of the due diligence standard is explored at different levels of intervention: individual women, the community, the State and the transnational level. At each level, recommendations for relevant actors are highlighted.

In the first of the Occasional Papers to be published by MWRAF, Asgar Ali Engineer gives a fresh insight into aspects of equity and justice for Muslim women. He argues on the basis of the Quran and Hadiths that Islam does not deny rights and justice to women. Justice is the basis of Islamic society.

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