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Muslims Not Obliged To Support Hudud, Says Law Professor

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PETALING JAYA – Muslims have no religious obligation to support hudud law as it was not mentioned in the Quran, says a law professor from Emory University in the United States.

Professor Abdullahi A. An-Na’im (pic), a Constitutional law expert, said the term hudud is a “misnomer” and the Quran did not mention it in relation to any crime.

“So describing these crimes as hudud crimes is the way of jurists, it is not in the Quran, it is not in the Sunnah.

“That is why I say that there is no relation,” Prof Abdullahi told a press conference organised by Islamic Renaissance Front at a hotel here.

Prof Abdullahi, a Sudanese-born who resides in the United States, is internationally recognised as a scholar of Islam and advocate of human rights.

He teaches constitutional law, human rights and international law and is the author of ‘Islam and the Secular State’ which has been translated into many languages.

Prof Abdullahi said more than 40 member countries of the United Nations with predominantly Muslim majority population do not implement hudud in their legal system.

“Where is the hudud among all these Muslims? Why is it a priority in this country (Malaysia) when it has not been a priority in the vast Muslim majority countries?” he said.

Giving the example of sariqah (crime of theft), Prof Abdullahi said the punishment for theft under hudud law is “extremely severe and totally irreversible”.

Should hudud be implemented, he said, the state must ensure that several aspects must be fulfilled.

“One is that you have to make sure that no person would have the need to steal and that everybody’s needs are satisfied by the state.

“Second, you need every possible safeguard against miscarriage of justice and false convictions,” he added.

Prof Abdullahi said the definition of sariqah under Syariah is “extremely ambigous and in fact indefensible” as it would allow a public official to steal millions of dollars from the public treasury without being convicted because it is public property.

“Whereas to steal a minute amount from a private person in a locked, safe place, that becomes a sariqah.

“So there are fundamental contradictions in the jurisprudence of the so-called fiqh (understanding) of hudud.

“All of that has to be brought out and debated and then people can vote,” he said. – The Star Online


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