Punishments in Islamic Law


       Every society constitutes the legal system for the easement of the people in social matters. The society also educates the people to obey the law to maintain peace in the society through its legal system. But in every society, some people or a class of people who may do not follow the implemented law then need to be punished. The matter should be taken up and testify through the law of evidence, whereas every strong legal system has the motive to create the tranquility in the society. The Islamic legal system provides some kinds of punishments for the culprits through Islamic Criminal Law. The Islamic legal system does not allow anyone to do any kind of shit with other’s rights, property, reputation, and life. The concept of punishment and reward is derived from the sources of law. In the following lines, we will learn about the punishments in Islamic law in detail.

Types of Punishments

       According to the Islamic legal system, the punishments are divided into three categories on the bases of crime;

  1. Hadd
  2. Al-Qisas
  3. Ta’zir (Right)


       The Crimes that have fixed punishment fall into the “Hadd”. Allah Almighty with His privilege exercised fixed punishments which cannot be increased or decreased by anybody in “Hadd”.

       The offenses fall into “Hadd” cannot be pardoned because such offense’s punishments are specified by the Allah Almighty Himself. If an offender repents, he may be pardoned by Allah Almighty, but the punishment should be carried out. In case the Non-Muslim commits a crime demanding for “Hadd” can be pardoned if he converts to Islam and become a Muslim. The conversion to Islam absolves an individual of all his pre-conversion sins. 

       However, crimes for those “Hadd” are declared and punishments are fixed will be enforced if all the grounds are proved and there is no doubt about the confirmation of offense.

 Seven offenses have fixed punishment;

  1. Adultery or Fornication (Zina)
  2. Drinking of Wine
  3. False Accusation of Unchastely
  4. Theft
  5. Robbery
  6. Apostasy (Murtid)
  7. Sedition

       Punishments in “Hadd”

       The following are the punishments for the above-mentioned offenses in Islamic criminal law. So for as, adultery and fornication is concerned;

  1. Adultery is committed by (married person) punishment is being stoned with death.
  2. Adultery is committed by (unmarried person) punishment is one hundred stripes.

       The drinking of wine is punishable with eighty stripes while the theft will be dealt with amputation of right hand and robbery on the highway will be dealt with the loss of hands and feet, false accusation of unchastely (for a married person) and sedition is punishable with death.

       The punishments are fixed for these offenses as it relates to the exclusive right of Allah Almighty and nobody can either increase or decrease the punishments and nobody can be pardoned the wrongdoers.


       The literal meaning of Qisas is equitable, Qisas stands for those offenses which should be punished as equitable to damages committed against the human body. The main purpose of the Qisas is that nobody will punish more than the offense committed. 

According to the Quran;

“And the recompense of an injury is punishment, equal there too, but whoever forgives and amends’ his reward is due from Allah, Allah loves not those who do wrong”

       It’s clear from the above-mentioned verse of the Holy Quran that the offenses fall into Qisas can be forgiven by the agreement of parties. There is always left an option to the injured party or heirs to resolve the matter with compensation of money or pardon.

There are five crimes of retaliation and blood-money which are as follow;

  1. Homicide amounting to murder
  2. Homicide amounting to quasi-murder
  3. Homicide as a result of negligence
  4. Intentionally causing injury to or striking at the body of the person without causing of death
  5. Negligently causing injury or striking at the body of a person without causing death.

       The above-mentioned theories of punishment help out to reduce the rate of crime in Islamic society, and old blood refunds came to an end. This punishment theory is reformative and the main purpose is the prevention of the crimes in the society.


       Ta’zir means disgracing the criminal for the shameful act. When there is no prescribed punishment in Islamic criminal law then it depends on the discretion of the judge. Ta’zir is awarded when there is no prescribed “Hadd” punishment for the offense or when the offender is exempted from “Hadd” punishment. The crimes which do not fall in the limits of “Hadd” punishments that depend upon the discretion of the judge to award punishment according to the circumstances that will come under comes Ta’zir.

       The crimes of discretionary punishment are innumerable. However, there are following two types;

  1. The commission or omission of those acts in which Devine Provision is violated, for example, usury, misappropriation of pledge, bribery, and abuses, etc.
  2. Those acts, rules, orders, and regulations, etc. of the government are violated. They must be promulgated in the larger interest of society.


       It can be concluded that the concept of punishments in Islamic law needs to understand for the betterment of society. The Islamic Legal System takes to care for its followers for their peaceful life and establish a crime-free society. The theory of punishment is not only to prevent criminals to do crimes in society but also to reforms the criminals through punishments. This punishment theory does not mean to isolate the criminals, it only a strictness to control the shits in society and gave a peaceful society to the people. 

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