29.1 CRIMES Jinaayaat

By Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr.


Crimes against religion are apostasy, breaking vows and oaths, neglecting or refusing to perform obligatoy ibadat, sorcery and superstition, and asabiyyat. Apostasy is voluntarily leaving Islam by an adult same person. Conviction is upheld if an apostate refuses to repent after repeated advice. A vow is made to affirm that a certain action will be taken. An oath is taken to affirm that the oath-taker is speaking the truth. The atonement or expiation for broken vows or oaths is feeding 10 poorn or fasting 3 days. Advice, admonition, or even disciplinary punishment are imposed for neglecting obligatory duties of salat, zakat, saum, and jihad. Refusal to perform these duties out of belief they are not obligatory is apostasy. Sorcery, astrology, foretelling, and divination, charms, and amulets are forms of shirk and are forbidden. Asabiyyat (special feeling of attachment to a group) in its mild form helps intra-group mutual assistance and cooperation. It becomes a crime when it is used as a basis for discriminating, persecuting, or committing other acts of transgression against people who are outside the group on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, gender, etc



Crimes related to life are suicide, homicide, and bodily injury. Suicide may be direct destruction of life or indirect by risky and dangerous living. It brings severe punishment in the hereafter. The funeral prayer is not offered suicide victims. The death penalty is prescribed for deliberate pre-meditated homicide unless the family forgive or accept diyat instead. Diyat is imposed for non-intentional or accidental homicide. Retaliation or diyat are imposed for bodily injury. Genocide and feticide are forms of homicide with severe punishments.



Sexual crimes are fornication, unnatural sex acts (sodomy, sex with animals, masturbation), false accusation of zina, rape, trnassexuality, pornography, and incest. Conviction is upheld for sane adults who commit adultery voluntarily as witnessed by 4 adult, sane, Muslim, and reliable witnesses who describe exactly the penetration of the penis into the vagina. The conditions of conviction for sodomy are the same as those of fornication. Sex with animals has severe punishment. Masturbation is offensive but some jurists permit if it prevents zina. Conviction for false accusation of zina is upheld if the accuser cannot produce 4 adult, sane, Muslim, and reliable witnesses to the acts of fornication. Rape is a severe crime that involves violence and violation of honor and modesty. Pornography and sexual exhibitionism are a prelude to serious sexual crimes. Trans-sexuality in all its forms is prohibited. Incest is a severe crime for which the death penalty is imposed.



Crimes related to property are theft, robbery, fraud, forgery, cheating, riba, and gambling. Conviction for theft is based on various considerations: stealth, no ambiguity about ownership, and a minimum amount stolen. The snather, the dishonest, and the embezzler are not punished as thieves. Robbery is use of force in taking property. It may be highway robbery or may be by forcibly entering dwellings. Riba is criminal exploitation and not trade. It involves taking property of others wrongfully. The giver, the recipient, the writer, and the witness of riba are equal in crime. Giving and receiving bribes is a crime.



Crimes against the community are use of intoxicants, armed rebellion and aggression. Every intoxicant is khamr and every khamr is haram. An intoxicant is what clouds the mind. Conviction is based on taking the intoxicant and not on whether it had an effect. It is illegal to engage in armed rebellion against the imaam. If such a rebellion is threatened or if it occurs, the imaam should start by redressing the grievance. If the rebellion persists, military action is taken using just enough force to suppress the rebellion and not to destroy life or property. There is no compensation for property destroyed in a rebellion. The wounded and the prisoners are not killed. Fugitives are not pursued. Aggression can be against a person or property. Ghasb is forceful appropriation of property. The appropriated property must be restored. Land can also be appropriated. A Muslim is obliged to defend the self, the family, and other persons against potential homicide. He is also obliged to defend property. Minimum force is used. Resort to killing is there is no other way to stop the crime.

(c) Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr. 2004