a kaafir commits zinaa (unlawful sexual intercourse) then he becomes
Muslim, should the hadd punishment be carried out on him?
Praise be to Allaah.
If a dhimmi (Jew or
Christian living under the protection of the Islamic state) commits zinaa
then becomes Muslim, and there is evidence to prove that he did commit
zinaa, the hadd punishment is no longer to be applied to him; he should
not be punished by either hadd (punishment specified in sharee’ah) or
ta’zeer (punishment to be specified by the qaadi or Muslim judge in a
particular case). This was the view of al-Shaafa'i, based on the aayah
(interpretation of the meaning):
to those who have disbelieved, if they cease (from disbelief), their past
will be forgiven” (al-Anfaal 8:38).
He also quoted as evidence
the hadeeth of the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
“Islam wipes out whatever
came before it.” (Narrated by Muslim from ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas).
The Qur’aan also states
that the punishment for a thief or bandit is no longer applicable if they
repent, so this reprieve is more applicable in the case of a kaafir (who
becomes Muslim). Moreover, enforcing the punishment would put people off
Islam. This is the same reason which is given by scholars for stating that
a person who enters Islam does not have to make up the prayers that he has
missed. And Allaah knows best.
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