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Alternative Perspectives on Penality Under Sharia: A Review Essay

NCJ Number
International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice Volume: 27 Issue: 1 Dated: Spring 2003 Pages: 85-105
Farrukh B. Hakeem
Mahesh K. Nalla
Date Published
21 pages
This paper examines the nature of Islamic penal law under the Sharia model which is an expression of the divine will.
Islamic law is based on revelation and not dependent on other systems that do not come from that same revelation. Sharia indicates the path to righteousness and is contained in divine revelation such as the Quran and the Hadith. It is the totality of the guidance that God revealed to Prophet Muhammad. The Sharia differs from Western systems of law in terms of its scope and its conception of the law. This paper provides an analysis of the Islamic penal system to better understand a system that has been misunderstood and subjected to gross misperceptions. The paper discusses the theory of punishment under Sharia which derives from divine law. It delineates the goals of the Sharia, forms and purpose of each kind of punishment, and the sentencing options available to the judge. The types of punishment presented include: (1) fixed punishment (Al-Hudud); (2) retaliation (Qisas or Qawad); and (3) punishment seeking to prevent, respect, and reform (Taazir). The Sharia model is described as a decentralized process to safeguard society, combat crime, and promote justice. It takes a very comprehensive approach to solving the crime problem, it combats the immoral environment that facilitates crime, and seeks to control the individual criminals. It is seen that the Western world could benefit from the normative bases of the Sharia and the Islamic system could borrow from the procedural refinements of the Western systems. References