Death by Stoning in Islam

( = Hukum Rajam Dalam Islam)

There is no such a thing in Islam.

Sorry to disappoint y’all. Whoever says that in the sharia it is ruled that adulterer should be stone to death is telling a big fat horse shit (pardon my latin).

Today I came across the synopsis of The Stoning of Soraya M, such a sad thing to read. The gloominess that engulfed my mind made me think, “Why don’t I remember anything about stoning when I read the Qur’an that so many times?

So I put my laptop down and started looking for the Quran. Quickly I flicked my fingers between the Index Pages looking for ‘stoning’ or ‘rajam’.


Then I put down the one Quran and went on to the next one, hoping that the other Quran would have a better Index list. But stil, nil, nada, zip, mum, zero, nol besar.

I didn’t have time to read the Quran from cover to cover, so I decided to consult master Google instead. Still, my search for stoning in Quran came back with nothing.

So that’s it…!! If it is not in the Quran, then it is not part of Sharia.

The Quran does mention some forms of punishment for adulterer, but never by stoning.

But another question arises: “Where did this whole death-by-stoning-for-adulterer in Islam come from?”

After another further research, I found out that the ‘law and custom’ of stoning adulterer to death was long embedded in the Arabic culture by the time the Islamic teaching arrived (Islam arrived around year 600). Such stoning custom had/has been there as early as the time of Abraham –about 2500 years before Islam.

The Muslims in those days, were stuck in their old custom ways… went on stoning people for committing adultery. Many hundred years down the stream, this death by stoning rite is made identical with the Sharia laws. But it is not!

There is no evidence that death by stoning is part of the Sharia. If anyone of you disagrees please quote something from the Qur’an that states otherwise.

I am thinking about writing a letter to the Iranian President,  Ahmadinejad, regarding the matter. He can have stoning as his law but must not declare it as Sharia law. Better still, he can’t have stoning as any law.

Do you think it is safe for me to do so? Or will he just send a nuke down to Ghana as a reply to my letter?

Dian Retno Wulandari.

PS: Forms of punishment for adulterer mentioned in the Qur’an include: 50 lashes, 100 lashes, or 200 lashes (if the offender is a wife of a prophet than she gets 200 lashes –Ouch…!). Other forms of punishment is exile, or nothing at all –if it was forced upon them or if the offender did so out of ignorance or if they repent straight afterward.

PPS: To justify the application of any kind of punishment, 4 witnesses must testify against the offender and made an oath before a Judge that they indeed witnessed the lewd act performed.


16 responses to “Death by Stoning in Islam

    • We’re adults now, we can’t send anonymous letter any more. Besides, a letter loses it’s weight if it’s sent anonymous. 🙂

    • Eling, artikel dalam idrusali85 itu argumennya jelek, maksa dan marah2. Yang namanya shariah harus ada di Al-Quran, apa lagi urusan capital punishment. Tambahan: disebutkan dalam Al-Quran kalau hukuman zina untuk istri nabi adalah dua kali hukuman untuk orang biasa. Hukuman mati tidak bisa dikalikan dua.
      Artikel dalam thenafi menyebutkan kalo rajam ada dalam hadist sahih. Ambil contoh hadist dari Bukhari yg mengatakan bahwa Umar Bin Khatab pernah mengatakan bahwa ada ayat Al-Qur’an yg hilang (kebetulan ttg rajam).
      Umar Bin Khatab bilang ke siapa tentang itu? Bukhari kan gak kenal Umar secara langsung, dan Umar meninggal sekitar 250 tahun sebelum jaman Bukhari.
      Lagi pula, Tuhan yg maha pengasih lagi maha penyayang, nggak akan membiarkan hal seperti hukuman mati nggak dimasukkan dalam A-Quran dan dibiarkan keleleran dalam hadist yg kesahihannya masih sering diperdebatkan.

  1. It should be clear for everyone that witnessing means that they actually watched the act being performed. Not just heard it or thought they heard it but were physically present at the time.

  2. ehya, mimintul cuma mau menambahkan sedikit kejanggalan dalam hukum islam yang sampe saat ini belum bisa di mengerti (halah)

    jadi, pernah ada kisah kalau hukum rajam jaman sekarang ini kebanyakan hanya berlaku buat perempuan, sedangkan laki2 tidak.
    karena saat perempuan dan laki2 berzina, kemudian si perempuan hamil, maka hukum mengatakan perempuan itu harus di rajam, karena ada bukti janin dalam kandungan.
    sedangkan… laki2 sampe kapanpun kalau dia ngga mau mengakui kalau dia ikut2an zinah, dia tidak bisa dirajam. karena apa? karena kesaksian seorang wanita sangat lemah. Jadi harus ada 4 orang saksi laki2 dewasa yang mengatakan “benar laki2 itu berzinah dengan perempuan yang sekarang sedang mengandung itu”.

    Lha lha lha, aku sih yakin, islam tidak mungkin se TIDAK ADIL itu. hanya saja penerapan hukum yang cacat, bisa menyebabkan ketidak adilan untuk perempuan malang sedangkan laki2 bebas berkeliaran. (mulai iki sok melankolise metu, hehehe)

    Allah maha pemaaf kok, kalau mau tobat juga semua dosa bisa dimaafkan selain syirik, so… kenapa harus dirajam? mending diberi kesempatan untuk bertobat. Ya toh…

    • Ha…! Komentar yg bermanfaat dari Miminak. 🙂

      Iya, perlakuan hukum rajam kayak yg yu ceritain itu bener2 jahiliyah.
      Dan lagi, soal rajam bukan sekedar penerapan hukum yang cacat. Tapi hukum rajam itu tidak ada dalam islam. Itu hukumnya orang2 arab dari jaman baheula.

      Soal penerapan hukum rajam yg berat di perempuan itu masih berlaku di Iran. Makanya Ulan kepikiran nulis surat ke Pak Ahmadinejad. Hehe.

  3. I watched this movie long time ago and also have the Audio CD. The only thing i want to say ‘stoning to death’ is created by devils. Ahmadinejad is one them!! Please watch ‘OSAMA’ you’ll in that land women are not more than muttons.

    • True…! I couldn’t bring my self to read the book. Too sad… too unjust…
      Isn’t it fascinating that some people (even in Indonesia) worship Osama and the things he’s done.
      Gak jauh2, teroris bom Bali dianggap pahlawan, dan makamnya sering dikunjungi. Banyak orang berpikiran sempit, or worse, gak punya otak sama sekali.

  4. Pingback: Diskusi Lanjutan Tentang Rajam (Harus Dibaca Ya!) | .. Too Loud A Solitude ..

  5. I don’t know anything about Islam, all I know is that Muslims, Christians and Jews share early parts of the Old Testament of the Bible.

    The Old Testament regularly mentions stoning as the correct punishment for various crimes. Examples:

    ” A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them ”
    (Leviticus 20:26, about the need for ‘God’s chosen people to keep themselves clean & untouched by the surrounding nation)

    ” And the Lord said onto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. (…)
    And the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the Lord commanded Moses ”
    (Numbers 15:32, punishing man for collecting sticks for firewood on a Sabbath day)

    ” There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man (…) ”
    (Exodus 19:12)

    It also states in several places that oxen are to be stoned as punishment if they attack humans (so apparently animals can sin).

    According to Christianity, the emergence of Jesus as per the New Testament unjustified the Law stated in the Old Testament, so the barbaric old means of punishment were no longer necessary because Jesus sacrificed himself to bail out all of humanity. All Jesus says goes pretty much straight against the thinking of the Old Testament, but he also says that he is not out to destroy the Law (wise of him – probably postponed the crucifixion a few years so he had time to work his magic).

    I think the Old Testament is full of immature sip-ins of barbaric cultural customs of that historical era. After all people’s reasoning is heavily influenced by the time and culture they live in, and that applies to ‘holy’ persons as well. Priests, story tellers, scribes… it is all just very typical human behaviour.

  6. It is an interesting topic you take up, by the way … Cultural (mis-)interpretation of religious rules.

    I have an additional take on it:

    Do you remember the massive controversy* in May regarding the export of Australian cattle to Indonesian abattoirs?

    Indonesian abattoir kills the cattle in the most astonishing ways to comply with ‘Halal’ rules. Especially Australian cattle are mistreated because the small Indonesian abattoir workers struggle to handle big, wild Australian beasts fighting for their lives. On secretly recorded footage, the workers seemed to have no inhibitions in how they treated the cattle (no understanding that animals feel fear, pain and panic, and that it matters) and were grossly and routinely abusing them to handle the situations. The Australian live export knew about the atrocities and was closing their eyes for what happened to exported cattle for up to 20 years (well, they were ‘working on it’, but not very effectively, apparently). The Australian live export industry’s reputation hasn’t recovered, and the industry won’t last another 10 years if you ask me.

    The justification of the barbaric handling: Halal requires that the cattle had to be fully conscious while killed, they said. As the beasts were big and wild and in panic, handling situations inevitably spun out of control and workers used horrible methods to get the animals down.

    However, Halal actually forbids mistreatment of animals during slaughter – for example it states that an animal up for slaughter must not be positioned so it sees another animal get killed.

    So this is just another example where stupid old cultural insensitivity disguised as religious law drives atrocities.

    *At least there was a massive controversy in Australia

    • Yes I remember that. But the definition of halal or not halal is not so clear cut for everyone. Some muslims say the person who does the slaughtering has to be a male of a certain age who’s carrying a Quran in his arm while trying to cut the jugular vein of the beast as fast as possible. Blah blah blah. Culture and social regression (or degression) have lots to do with the differing opinions. Simple things can get higly complicated. For me, halal is simple. If it’s not pork, the animal is alive and healthy before it’s killed, and the intention of the killing is for consumtion, and the blood is drain (at least to a certain degree) after the killing, it’s halal enough for me. One can go hunting and shoot an arrow at a deer and it can still be halal, I honestly don’t understand why ‘the halal requirement’ has to be so inhumane and complicated. But there you go, people in Indonesia will frown at me for saying this, but each person has different way of seeing things.

      • The requirement that the animal needs to be alive before it is killed is in any case easy to live up to;-) …

        Anyway, the animal abuse occur when, during industrial slaughter, the animals are required to be conscious which means that they experience what happens with them. Mind you that sentient animals such as cattle develop friendships and relationships just like human beings. They are empathic and aware of others’ pain. Chances are they see animals they can relate to/identify with be grossly mistreated and violently killed right in front of their eyes. Mistreatment: workers trying to hold down and kill horrified beasts by means of tail bending, tail breaking, eye gouging, throwing … and trying to kill them with deaf knives, often cutting the throat more than 10 times before it is over… Horrified moans, sight and smell of blood and fear everywhere, panicked animals. Mind you also that cattle are herd animals that are very affected by the pain and fear of animals around them and respond to danger with collective panic. They are instinctively afraid of separation from the herd, from being singled out. Here they are all being singled out one by one for ‘torture’ and certain death, they wait in line for their turn while they can see what goes on with the ones before them. I don’t think there has ever been made a horror movie as gory as what goes on as routine in these abattoirs. And this is cattle that grew up roaming vast open grass ranges in Australia, being taken well care of … yet end life in an unimaginable nightmare.

        I actually used to work with farm animals and am not overly sentimental with production animals. But madness like this is just that… madness! It is not only cruel but also inefficient, there is no good reason it has to be done like that. – Except, apparently, the cultural interpretation of Islamic rules for slaughter!

        Hala was obviously formulated in an era long before industrial slaughter existed… and the spirit of it seems distant from what takes place in Muslim abattoirs (Halal: orderliness, concentration, clean-cut, be in control, be aware of ritual, respect. Abattoirs: bloody massacre, panic, fear, pain, prolonged fight, prolong deaths, struggling workers and animals). Nevertheless, horrific slaughter practices are sustained because of those rules.

        Mishandling and mistreatment of animals happen it practically all developing countries. I guess it can be considered a ‘marker for cultural immaturity’ or something. However, the Halal ‘requirement’ of the animals having to be conscious during slaughter adds torture to poor animal welfare standards.

        Such practices makes the profile of Islam (and Indonesia) ugly and unsympathetic. Add stoning of people and other brutality and the wariness of Islam in most Western countries is well explained… Even if stoning isn’t required according to the Quran, those practices take place in Muslim countries and not much (if at all) in countries that are not Muslim.

        So they are inevitably associated… the only way to detach them are to get atrocious practices to no longer take place in Muslim countries. It isn’t enough to point out that the Quran doesn’t actually require them. Nearly all cultures, even the most humane, have allowed cruel practices in their past and sometimes bleak atrocities. E.g. the Christian inquisition tortured so called ‘witches’ and burned them alive, amongst other things. ‘Time heals all wounds’, but not until the bad practices have been abandoned for a long time and surely won’t happen again.

  7. Ps. This is from a Western/Australian sided perspective, and non-Muslim … and maybe not be the readers perspective you had in mind when you wrote the post. The advantage + disadvantage of the Internet is the wide reach = often things are read far outside of the intended context.

  8. Islamic Sharia Law is based on the Quran, the hadith, and the biography of the prophet Muhammad. Shia and Sunni hadith collections differ because scholars from the two traditions differ as to the reliability of the narrators and transmitters and the Imamah. Shi’a sayings related to stoning can be found in Kitab al-Kafi, and Sunni sayings related to stoning can be found in the Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim.

    Sahih Bukhari 6.79, Narrated by Abdullah ibn Umar
    The Jews brought to the Prophet a man and a woman from among them who had committed illegal sexual intercourse. The Prophet said to them, “How do you usually punish the one amongst you who has committed illegal sexual intercourse?” They replied, “We blacken their faces with coal and beat them.” He said, “Don’t you find the order of Ar-Rajm (i.e. stoning to death) in the Torah?” They replied, “We do not find anything in it.” ‘Abdullah bin Salam (after hearing this conversation) said to them, “You have told a lie! Bring here the Torah and recite it if you are truthful.” (So the Jews brought the Torah). And the religious teacher who was teaching it to them, put his hand over the Verse of Ar-Rajm and started reading what was written above and below the place hidden with his hand, but he did not read the Verse of Ar-Rajm. ‘Abdullah bin Salam removed his (i.e. the teacher’s) hand from the Verse of Ar-Rajm and said, “What is this?” So when the Jews saw that Verse, they said, “This is the Verse of Ar-Rajm.” So the Prophet ordered the two adulterers to be stoned to death, and they were stoned to death near the place where biers used to be placed near the Mosque. I saw her companion (i.e. the adulterer) bowing over her so as to protect her from the stones.

    Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 50: Conditions, Number 885: Narrated Abu Huraira and Zaid bin Khalid Al-Juhani: A bedouin came to Allah’s Apostle and said, “O Allah’s apostle! I ask you by Allah to judge My case according to Allah’s Laws.” His opponent, who was more learned than he, said, “Yes, judge between us according to Allah’s Laws, and allow me to speak.” Allah’s Apostle said, “Speak.” He (i .e. the bedouin or the other man) said, “My son was working as a laborer for this (man) and he committed illegal sexual intercourse with his wife. The people told me that it was obligatory that my son should be stoned to death, so in lieu of that I ransomed my son by paying one hundred sheep and a slave girl. Then I asked the religious scholars about it, and they informed me that my son must be lashed one hundred lashes, and be exiled for one year, and the wife of this (man) must be stoned to death.” Allah’s Apostle said, “By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, I will judge between you according to Allah’s Laws. The slave-girl and the sheep are to be returned to you, your son is to receive a hundred lashes and be exiled for one year. You, Unais, go to the wife of this (man) and if she confesses her guilt, stone her to death.” Unais went to that woman next morning and she confessed. Allah’s Apostle ordered that she be stoned to death.

    That’s the source how some Muslim STILL practicing this barbaric law in their country…and btw I’ve watched that movie THE STONING OF SORAYA M. it’s a good movie brought me to tears any Muslim should watch it.

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