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Sunday, 21 February 2010

Flogging the floggers.......

So okay, I'm done with making fun of our system. How can I not, it's as tempting as fornicating itself. It's just so biased, and in bad need of research and revamping. I may get hanged for saying so, but hey, most people who tell the truth and not say something with the intention of sucking up to the consensus not to mention the auta-rities, purely because they are interested in erecting the truth, ends up in an anti "and they live happily ever after" ending. For those who are wondering what the hell am I talking about here, especially when there are big words like "sucking", "erecting", "happily ever after", no, this is not cheap porn. I'm about to indulge in something quite serious.

We are all aware of the recent whipping incident that did not involve any cream or leathery endeavors. Yes, yes, I'm still talking about that flock sentence carried out secretly. That's the ironic part about it though, the secrecy. Maybe they are preparing this type of sentence to be undertaken against some of the "Religious head of some states" who, have been living in sin (fornicating, adultery, gambling, killing someone softly not with his song but with his golf clubs, etc..etc..etc... and it's an open secret really..), ergo the secrecy?

What does the Quran say about "Zina"? The surah related to the root word and the word "zina" or implication of zina which is "lewdness" can be found in these surah; 4:15, 4:25, 17:32, 24:2-4, 6-10,33,25:68-69 and 60:12

Before I start with the more prominent surah, I have to point out that, the Ulama uses the word, "fornication" and "adultery", and sometimes, in some translations, "lewdness" interchangeably. While "adultery" involves illicit sex between married couple who are not married with each other, the word "fornication" means pre-marital sex. Wow, the latter would seriously boost the whip business, or in the recent case in Malaysia, the "sebatang kayu", talk about saving the planet by reserving the kayu. Then again, regions like Pahang are quite generous with their balak.
(MORE QUESTIONS THAN THERE ARE, ANSWERS, AS YOU ENTER THE RABBIT HOLE)

Two things that bothers me in the matter of this whipping as a sentence of adulterous/fornicators;

1. The term "whipping" itself. The Quranic word in red which carries the root word JaLDa does not mean a stick, but something that will touch the skin, [since the word jalda is a derivative of a word that is used for skin (JeLD).]. So basically, using a whip made out of leather (skin) or even giving these sex offenders 100 slaps with the bare hands would probably cut it...honestly, it would give the word "two tight slaps" a whole new level. Of course the latter is my opinion, which I dare say, cannot be said as wrong, right?

الزَّانِيَةُ وَالزَّانِي فَاجْلِدُوا كُلَّ وَاحِدٍ مِّنْهُمَا مِئَةَ جَلْدَةٍ وَلَا تَأْخُذْكُم بِهِمَا رَأْفَةٌ فِي دِينِ اللَّهِ إِن كُنتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَلْيَشْهَدْ عَذَابَهُمَا طَائِفَةٌ مِّنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

[Shakir 24:2] (As for) the fornicatress and the fornicator, flog each of them, (giving) a hundred stripes, and let not pity for them detain you in the matter of obedience to Allah, if you believe in Allah and the last day, and let a party of believers witness their chastisement.

[Yusufali 24:2] The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication,- flog each of them with a hundred stripes: Let not compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day: and let a party of the Believers witness their punishment.

[Pickthal 24:2] The adulterer and the adulteress, scourge ye each one of them (with) a hundred stripes. And let not pity for the twain withhold you from obedience to Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of believers witness their punishment.

2. The word "fornicator" and "adulterous".

We are aware that in some parts of the Islamic country, stoning to death is the sentence for adultery. Ironically, nothing of such is stated in the Quran. So, where did this interpretation come from and how much credence does it deserve? According to some authoritative sources this particular passage, 24:2 refers 'only' to fornication (not adultery) for which the punishment is 100 stripes. For adultery the punishment (according to one account of the Sunnah [practice] of the Prophet) is stoning to death.

To some degree, there seem to be a conflict between the terminology of "fornicator" and "adulterer" as evidenced on three of the translation of 24:2 given above. Of course, what I'm about to say may be accused of trying to find a loophole in fornicating, which is probably half the truth, but, sometimes, I cannot help but wonder, "What if they've screwed up (it won't be the first time) in the interpretation of the word 'وَالزَّانِي
' which means "zina". What if "zina" means "adultery" and have got nothing to do with "fornication"?

Another possibility would be the word "fornication" does not mean pre-marital sex but rampant sex, or what I'd conveniently term it as a Touch & Go? After all, Islam is the continuation of the religion of Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Isa as evidenced by this surah;

[3:84]"Say (O Muhammad): We believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and that which was vouchsafed unto Moses and Jesus and the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered(muslimin)."
[The blue print added by me taken from the Arabic text to show the word "Muslimin", root word "Islam" means "surrender"]

What if the word "marriage" is a vow exchanged in the eyes of God, and taking a woman exclusively would automatically make her his wife, just like Mary Magdelina was to Isa? What am I ranting here? Well, during the time of Jesus/Isa, when a woman and a man stay true together, that is considered as a marriage. Why would it be any different now? If so, then perhaps the status of two people staying true to each other exclusively as, what is now termed as "girlfriend" and "boyfriend" is actually, what is termed as a "marriage" in those days?
In short, perhaps "fornicators" are those who are "philanderers". Besides, those days, the some Muslim rulers and some Muslim men, slept with their female slaves, and were seen as "legal", what can we make out of that? Marriage? Fornication? Philandering? What?

Think about it. It makes sense doesn't it? The purpose of the "whipping" is basically not to really cause debilitation, rather to bring shame to such a deceiving act like "adultery" and "philandering". I mean, who ever heard of anyone dying from tight slaps or even BDSM whippings.....well, the latter may carry a minute percentage...but you get what I mean.

Basically, it's God's way of letting the humans practice safe sex, without the emotional and moral deception from adultery nor the amongst many STDs, the herpes simplex virus, a precursor to cervical cancer, transmitted via multiple sex partners, for the philanderers. If you think condoms may help prevent these, yes and no, which makes it about slightly more than 50% protection. As for pregnancy, I've seen women getting pregnant even after the bilateral tubal ligation was done. My principal of safe sex goes something like this;

"The safest sex is having no sex at all. That is why sex after marriage is safer, because couples hardly have sex after marriage."

Oh, but I digress.

Although the stoning to death seem inhuman, anyone with a cheating husband or wife may feel otherwise, and would probably would like to stone the cheating partner themselves. After all, someone did a Bobbit on her husband and got away with it...But alas!! Stoning to death of adulterers is to me, total rubbish, but some "Islamic" countries are practicing this, even on a rape victim, believe it or not in a non Ripley's manner.

The ulama-s who worked this out must have been cheated on by his wife hence the sentence. Clearly this kind of sentence comes from human because for even the sin hated most by God, and that would be disbelieving after believing, He did not hand out "death" as a sentence. Food for thoughts indeed.

We all know how convenient it was for Muslims of the past to manipulate religion to their own advantages. You don't believe me, indulge yourselves in the true history of Islam. You won't last long reading them if you're one of people who have great imagination but is petrified or faint at the sight of blood.

The Malay translation of Quran,is much ambiguous since the word adulterous and fornicators are just termed as "penzina". Interestingly, the Malay translation uses the word, "dera" as punishment for the "penzina". To me, dera 100 kali could also mean writing on the blackboard "Saya bertaubat, tidak akan berzina dengan Cikgu Zaiton lagi" 100 times, but of course you should not take me seriously on this. I'm quite happy with the root word explanation of "JaLDa" that I've mentioned earlier.

3. The third thing that bothers me about this whole whipping thing is that the omission of the word "forgiveness" for those who repent.

Let's read the surah in their entirety;

[24:1] A sura which We have sent down and which We have ordained in it have We sent down Clear Signs, in order that ye may receive admonition.

[24:2] The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication,- flog each of them with a hundred stripes: Let not compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day: and let a party of the Believers witness their punishment.

[24:3] Let no man guilty of adultery or fornication marry and but a woman similarly guilty, or an Unbeliever: nor let any but such a man or an Unbeliever marry such a woman: to the Believers such a thing is forbidden.

[24:4] And those who launch a charge against chaste women, and produce not four witnesses (to support their allegations),- flog them with eighty stripes; and reject their evidence ever after: for such men are wicked transgressors ;-

[24:5] Unless they repent thereafter and mend (their conduct); for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Notice the ";-" that I had highlighted in red in surah 24:4? Well, in the Quran, this does not exist. But it is significant when put at that particular spot since this would bring a whole new meaning as to who may be forgiven should they repent. Without that ";-", then taken as a whole, the surah may bring the meaning that should the fornicators/adulterers repent, then they may be forgiven and since Allah is Oft-Forgiving, and Most Merciful, most likely they will be forgiven. Unfortunately, apart from the detachment of this "forgiving" part in the making of hudud, humans are less forgiving to their own kind.

In the case of the three women caned, they came forward to confess their regret, click HERE for this story, so instead of leaving them alone to seek forgiveness from God, or even send them for counseling, (from the ulama'? god, frankly i'd rather get whipped) the auta-rities chose to "whip" them instead. And while we're at it, if the auta-rities claim that this is an Islamic way of handling things, they have to answer a few questions before claiming that;

1. Where did that fine in a form of monetary came from? Why should society gain financially from their mistake?

[36:21]
Follow those who ask of you no fee, and who are rightly guided.


2. Were there any reliable 4 witness catching these women in act. Did they witness any penetration? Because failing to come up with the reliable witnesses, would mean that the accuser, according to 24:4 be liable to 80 "whips", unless of course, they too, repent.

3. Why weren't the male counterpart of the adulterer/fornicator whipped? 24:2 clearly stated that both parties involved were to be "flogged". Interestingly, the English word, "flog" also carries the meaning "to criticize harshly"...just a thought...

By now, surely you will be able to differentiate between the law of God, and the law man made, called hudud. I am not questioning God's law, I agree to the "flogging" because married people who have extra marital affairs, need to be shamed, because there is no excuse for them to stay married while have sex with someone else, it just beats the purpose of a marriage. God has made divorce and marriage as unimaginably simple as it can get. It is us humans that complicate things, [don't let me start with the kursus perkahwinan...unless they are teaching the bakal pengantin how to indulge in blow jobs and position other than the conventional "man on top" ,(of course, in Islam women cannot be on top right? If you don't catch my tone of cynicism, I give you the permission to go shoot yourself) ]
so there is no need for an extra marital affairs..nor there be any excuse for that deception..

I am however, critical about the interpretation of Quran, which is of course done by humans. My point is, the hudud law is man made law, sometimes, more of a man's flaw. There is nothing in the Quran that says caning of alcohol consumers, public or otherwise, this be a good example. We as Muslims must be able to rationalize issues and not rely on the authorities, without questioning them. They are not God so much so that questioning them is wrong. Questioning them IS NOT questioning God, which they like to use against those who question them, a form of Veto power. God wants us to use our brains as He said so himself in 6:116

" If thou obeyedst most of those on earth they would mislead thee far from Allah's way. They follow naught but an opinion, and they do but guess."

The people who self elect themselves to run Islam will have to remember, that power is not why they are there;(indeed, why are they there?)

[3:64] Say: "O People of the Book! come to common terms as between us and you: That we worship none but Allah; that we associate no partners with him; that we erect not, from among ourselves, Lords and patrons other than Allah." If then they turn back, say ye: "Bear witness that we (at least) are Muslims (bowing to Allah's Will).

These people should remember Quran, as a prime source of the way of life, the deen of the submitters (which means 'Islam').

[6:38] There is not an animal (that lives) on the earth, nor a being that flies on its wings, but (forms part of) communities like you. Nothing have we omitted from the Book, and they (all) shall be gathered to their Lord in the end.

Muslims should really learn how to question what is shoved to them in a package called "Islam", whether it is righteous in it's form of daily practice, or otherwise. Is it really the "Islam" left to us by Muhammad, or "Islam" manipulated through time, an Islam that survived decades of wars and killings, in order to erect it in the name of Allah. Or did it really survive?

It is convenient for the authorities to throw threats like "apostates", "kafir" etc to those who learn to questions their actions. But the truth remains the truth, and the truth needs be erected, no matter how painful it is, like "whipping" of adulterers. Just like mothering, you sometimes need to be cruel, just to be kind, albeit we need to explore the word "forgive" more than "punishing".

[4:82] Do they not consider the Qur'an (with care)? Had it been from other Than Allah, they would surely have found therein Much discrepancy.

I think it's only fair that we flog (as in, "to critisize") the floggers?
(RABBIT HOLE ENDS HERE)
...Click here to find out how deep the rabbit hole goes.....

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing your faith and thoughts on this issue. it's one of the most well constructed piece i've read as yet, and is doing much to return my faith in being a little more than a lazy m'sian lamb.

hazriq said...

Well articulated with injections of humor. This post makes me feel that there are people who see Islam as not a stringent religion, and that thinking is a vital component. With thinkers like you, Islam may still have hope. I like that.

剩沒底天 said...

生活盡可低,志氣當高潔..............................

CremeBrulee said...

Very interesting and thought provoking article. I'd have to agree that it'd be easy to take 1400 year old scripts out of context.

I prefer to believe that god is all forgiving, instead of the merciless "you go straight to hell if you do this or don't do that" god that a lot of teachers of Islam tend to go for.

Also, this unfair punishment of women extends beyond fornicators and adulterers. Ever wonder why everytime you hear news about foreign prostitutes they're always women who "wrongfully used their student visas to join the flesh trade" and never "unwillingly forced or coerced into it"? Instead of giving help to these women, they're chastised and punished and sent back (quite possibly back into the hands of those who put them there in the first place).

Everything seems to be politicized in this country. Nothing is sacred anymore.