Relaxation in Islamic Punishments
Islamic Punishments
Question asked by .
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Saleem

Can punishments be relaxed in certain dire circumstances? For example, during the days of Umar (rta) there was a big famine and the punishment for stealing food was reduced.


Islamic Punishments are another set of directives which have been grossly misunderstood in this age. All punishments mentioned in the Qur’ān are the ultimate forms of chastisement and should only be administered when after considering the extent and circumstances of the crime, a judge is satisfied that the criminal deserves no lenience. In other words, they are only given when the crime has been committed in its ultimate form and when the criminal is worthy of no mitigation. Umar (rta), unlike some of our ulema of today, knew full well the conditions and implications of the punishment of amputating the hands; he gave the ruling that stealing in conditions of famine is not the same in extent as stealing in normal circumstances and therefore does not deserve the ultimate form of punishment.

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