This academic work should contribute to dispel these misconceptions and false
understanding by giving an inside view into the Islamic Criminal Law that has
thus far been so poorly represented, and yet which governs the lives of a
substantial portion of the world’s population. It aims at making contributions and
additions to the existing knowledge but should not be confined to a purely
Lastly, this timely volume offers extremely valuable insights for anyone
attempting to understand a field that has thus far been so poorly represented,
and yet which governs the lives of a substantial portion of the world’s
population. The essays in this book represent an important contribution to
ongoing debates on the topic of Islamic jurisprudence, and should be taken
as a starting point for any such discussion.
However, his authority depends on the category of crime and the characteristics of each of those categories as described in the chapter above when talking about the distinction between Rights of God and Rights of Worshippers.
In a more general sense, acts of crime could also be defined as legal prohibitions that are prescribed by God and carry definite legal punishments. If an offender is found guilty, a state of execution is obliged by the legal commandments. This implies important repercussions: On the one side, crimes are only defined through prohibition by the law-giver. Consequently, a penalisation can only occur with the permission of the law-giver. The punishment is either a hadd which is prescribed by Divine Law or a penalty such as prescribed by the law in which the judge has much of a say.
Judicial power in the Islamic criminal system varies according to its categories of crimes. and the characteristics of each category. Crimes in this system are defined as:
... legal prohibitions that are prescribed by God and carry definitive legal deterrents [ḥudüd] or other punishments. In the cas of an accusation, a state of purification is required by religious dictates, and, when proved and found guilty, a state of execution is obligated by the legal commandments.1
This has several implications. First, an act is considered a crime only through prohibition by the law-giver, with all the attendant details. Second, a
punishment can take effect only with the permission of the law-giver. For an act prohibited by Islamic Sharï'a the punishment prescribed is either a ḥadd (a punishment definitively prescribed by Divine Law), or a punishment such as the law has prescribed for perpetration of such prohibited acts, whether in the form of a deed or 'abandoning'.