Thursday, March 08, 2007

Saudi Rape Victim sentenced to 90 lashes

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

God said in the Quran (in translation):

4:58 BEHOLD, God bids you to deliver all that you have been entrusted with unto those who are entitled thereto, and whenever you judge between people, to judge with justice.
Verily, most excellent is what God exhorts you to do: verily, God is all-hearing, all-seeing!

An-Nisa (The Women)
4:127 AND THEY will ask thee to enlighten them about the laws concerning women.
Say: "God [Himself] enlightens you about the laws concerning them"- for [His will is shown] in what is being conveyed unto you through this divine writ about orphan women [in your charge], to whom - because you yourselves may be desirous of marrying them - you do not give that which has been ordained for them; and about help­less children; and about your duty to treat orphans with equity. And whatever good you may do - be­hold, God has indeed full knowledge thereof.

An-Nisa (The Women)
4:135 O YOU who have attained to faith! Be ever steadfast in upholding equity, bearing witness to the truth for the sake of God, even though it be against your own selves or your parents and kinsfolk. Whether the person concerned be rich or poor, God's claim takes precedence over [the claims of] either of them. Do not, then, follow your own desires, lest you swerve from justice: for if you distort [the truth], behold, God is indeed aware of all that you do!

Al-Ma'idah (The Table Spread)
5:8 O YOU who have attained to faith! Be ever steadfast in your devotion to God, bearing witness to the truth in all equity; and never let hatred of any-one lead you into the sin of deviating from justice. Be just: this is closest to being God-conscious. And remain conscious of God: verily, God is aware of all that you do.

Al-An'am (The Cattle)
6:151 Say: "Come, let me convey unto you what God has [really] forbidden to you: "Do not ascribe divinity, in any way, to aught beside Him; and [do not offend against but, rather,] do good unto your parents; and do not kill your children for fear of poverty - [for] it is We who shall provide sustenance for you as well as for them; and do not commit any shameful deeds, be they open or secret; and do not take any human being's life-[the life] which God has declared to be sacred -otherwise than in [the pursuit of] justice: this has He enjoined upon you so that you might use your reason;

Al-A'raf (The Heights)
7:29 Say: "My Sustainer has [but] enjoined the doing of what is right; and [He desires you to] put your whole being into every act of worship, and to call unto Him, sincere in your faith in Him alone. As it was He who brought you into being in the first instance, so also [unto Him] you will return:

Al-A'raf (The Heights)
7:181 Now, among those whom We have created there are people who guide [others] in the way of the truth and act justly in its light.

Hud (The Prophet Hud)
11:85 Hence, O my people, [always] give full measure and weight, with equity, and do not deprive people of what is rightfully theirs, and do not act wickedly on earth by spreading corruption.

An-Nahl (The Bee)
16:90 BEHOLD, God enjoins justice, and the doing of good, and generosity towards [one's] fellow-men; and He forbids all that is shameful and all that runs counter to reason, as well as envy; [and] He exhorts you [repeatedly] so that you might bear [all this] in mind.

17:32 Nor come nigh to adultery [az zina]: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to other evils).

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.

24:4 And as for those who accuse chaste women [of adultery], and then are unable to produce four witnesses [in support of their accusation], flog them with eighty stripes and ever after refuse to accept from them any testimony - since it is they, they that are truly depraved!


God said in the Holy Quran that zina, sexual intercourse outside of marriage, is prohibited. And that prohibition is followed by a puishment whose severity varies depending on the following categories: married (muhsan) or nonvirgin (thuyyab); virgin (abkar); free or slave; male and female. There are three kinds of punishments: stoning (rajm); whipping (jald); and exile (taghrib). There are many other conditions, but a married, free, male, were he to engage in sex outside of marriage, would be guilty of zina a warrant stoning.

As for the matter of rape:

From the website

"Islamically speaking, the raped woman is not guilty of any sin because she was forced to it beyond her control. Stressing this, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said, “Allah has forgiven my Ummah for their mistakes, what they forget and what they are forced to do.” Thus, the raped woman is a victim and all members of her community should deal with her with honor and kindness and should encourage her to obtain her rights through all possible means.
In an attempt to furnish you with an answer to your question, we would like to cite for you the following fatwa issued by Dr. Ahmad Yusuf Sulaiman, professor of law and Islamic Shari`ah at Cairo University:
If a woman is raped, she should press charges against the one who raped her. If it is proved that she was raped, then the court must apply discretionary punishment or ta`zir on the rapist. Such discretionary punishment may reach the death penalty, according to some schools of thought. This is based wholly on the fact that the rape is confirmed through medical tests and court procedures, without the confession of the rapist himself.
In cases where the rapist confesses the crime, then the penalty for zina (illegitimate sexual intercourse) is to be applied to him. If he is not married, then he is to be whipped 100 lashes. If he is married, then he is to be stoned to death.
As for the rape victim, no punishment is to be inflicted on her. She is to be treated with dignity and honor, and all forms of help should be given to her to gain her rights."

Furthermore, kidnapping and forcible rape is arguably a case of hiraba: brigandage which is akin to terrorism. It is effectively declaring war on Allah and His Messenger (saaw) as cited in the following Quranic verses:

5:33 It is but a just recompense for those who make war [yuharibuuna] on God and His apostle, and endeavour to spread corruption on earth, that they are being slain in great numbers, or crucified in great numbers, or have, in result of their perverseness, their hands and feet cut off in great numbers, or are being [entirely] banished from [the face of] the earth: such is their ignominy in this world. But in the life to come [yet more] awesome suffering awaits them-

5:34 save for such [of them] as repent ere you [O believers] become more powerful than they: for you must know that God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.

It is a matter of judicial insight to determine whether suspects have indeed committed what amounts to hiraba as well as zina, in which case the punishments are truly severe.

The case of the Saudi woman who met a secret male friend and then was allegedly kidnapped at knife point by four men, forced to a rural house and raped repeatedly, later to be tried and convicted of WHAT- is not mentioned- but to be punished with 90 lashed, this matter is not clearly presented yet in order to determine the validity of each allegations testimony, the pertinence of evidence, and the judgements rendered.

According to the Gulf Times:

A rape did occur. This absolved the woman of any responsibility for anything which took place between her and her captors. However, the extent of their punishments do not coencide with the actual Quranic texts or establish fiqh regarding the matter.

From the Gulf Times article:

"The sentence was passed at the end of a trial in which the Al Qateef high criminal court convicted four Saudis convicted of the rape, sentencing them to prison terms and a total of 2,230 lashes.

The four, all married, were sentenced respectively to five years and 1,000 lashes, four years and 800 lashes, four years and 350 lashes, and one year and 80 lashes."

The sentencing punishment of the men is certainly open to appeal by the victim.

Conversely, questions remain as to the crime committed by the Saudi woman prior to the rape. If she was found engaging in sexual intercourse with the male friend she was riding in the car with, that would explain both that man and the woman's punishment of 90 lashes each. However, if she was only riding in the car with the man, then the punishment of 90 lashes would not coencide.

As it were, she is entitled to an appeal by the supreme court given the prejudice shown on behalf of the rapists. And she is entitled to reexamination of her punishment for being in the car with the male friend.
And Allah knows best.

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