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In an educational setting, I was asked

Where are the laws such as Cut hand off the robber, stoning for infidelity? Do they exist in or are they part of Sharia? or any other legal document? Or it is general ignorance about Sharia?

I gave the following response:

Greetings of peace.
These are in fact being asked and constantly being pounded upon by millions. It is a blessing, especially for me, to talk about it in a peaceful and friendly environment. So thank you for asking.
 
As I have stated in my article, Islamic Sharia covers the totality of life. It is based on the basic belief that Allah, the One and Only God, is the Law-Giver. It includes religious law covering worship and rituals and secular law covering everything else. Both subsystems are non-literalists. The secular (temporal) subsystem of Islamic Sharia Law is adaptable to change in its application.
As far as “Cut hand off the robber”, it is not part of Sharia. You probably meant thief not robber. There is a verse in the Holy Quran, which talks about cutting off hand of the one who does Saraqah, which is not exactly the same as thief, either. I am assuming that by infidelity, you meant sexual intercourse outside marriage, which in Arabic is called Zina. Stoning for Zina does not appear in the Holy Quran, but it is in the Torah. It appears in the Muslim Hadeeth books in the context of incidents in which both men and women were forgiven due to their repentence and also incidents in which stoning did occur.
 
I hope that answers your questions, but I hope you would not mind if I say a little bit more.
First I would like to share with you a few verses from the Bible:
“Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man intimately. But all the girls who have not known man intimately, spare for yourselves. (Numbers 31:17-18)”
"Do not think that I have come to send peace on earth. I did not come to send peace, but a sword. I am sent to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law" (Matthew 10:34-35)
 
I am in peace to say that there aren’t millions of Muslims pounding Christianity and Judaism about these verses. On the other hand, I and over a billion Muslims are constantly being terrorized on a mass scale by people (I will not mention their religions with due respect) by pounding on cutting off hands and stoning on a continuous basis.
 
I wish we had people who would rather say, look, The Sharia says:
“If a person repents to God after committing a crime including Saraqah and Zina, either there is no punishment or it is reduced.”
 
Also, at the core of the entire Shariah is Rahmah (love, compassion and mercy.) Allah is the most loving, compassionate and merciful. Alllah sent Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) as Rahmah for the world,and that is how Muslims know him from his life, not just words. In the context of Saraqah and Zina, there are incidents when a woman came to the Prophet and told him that she has committed Zina and he turned his face away, as if he did not hear it, over and over again.
Please excuse me for using Arabic terms, as many a times these are not correctly translated. Closest meaning of Rahmah is love, compassion and mercy.
 
Please also understand that neither the Christians in America are living the Biblical laws nor are Muslim Americans asking for it.
 
I think there are a couple of Muslims countries which practice these things, but do so void of the Rahmah(love, compassion and mercy) of the Prophet and are unjust. For them, the reputed Muslim scholar, Tariq Ramadan has called in his Radical Reform book to actually halt this. How can they live in palaces when the Prophet lived in a hut, and he preferred to live so. If these rulers apply the entire Sharia, all government buildings will become empty. Governments are to serve people, not people to serve governments.
 
 
I hope that you will take my reply from the best side of it, as educational, and a communication to learn, which is why you asked, and forgive me if I said something negative.
 
With peace and love
Ishaq Zahid
Jan. 5, 2011
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