Islam sets very specific and clear-cut conditions to prove adultery. (Reuters)
FAIZABAD, Afghanistan, April 24, 2005 (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) – The Afghan police are investigating the stoning to death of a woman for allegedly committing adultery.
“We have sent a delegation to the area to verify the truth of the issue,” Lieutenant General Shah Jahan Noori, the provincial police chief, told Agence France-Presse (AFP).
He said the authorities would “strongly condemn this irresponsible act” if confirmed.
Amina, a 29 year-old married woman, was publicly stoned to death on Friday, April 22, in Argo district to the west of Faizabad, the provincial capital of Badakhshan, for adultery based on a decision of local Mullah Mohammed Yusof.
A witness, Mujibur Rahman, told Reuters that Amina was dragged out of her parent’s house by local officials and her husband who stoned her to death while the man with whom she allegedly had an affair was flogged 100 times and then freed.
Local police said the woman’s husband had recently returned from Iran after five years away.
The wife had reportedly asked her husband for a separation on the grounds that he could not support her.
However, the husband and his family alleged she was having an affair with another man and took the law in their own hands.
Amina’s stoning was the first one in Afghanistan since President Hamid Karzai was installed to power after the US-led forces overthrew the Taliban’s regime.
The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), which has also sent a team of investigators to the area, argued the woman was not stoned but had been killed by the family of her husband.
“The reports we have is the woman was killed by her husband’s family for having improper affairs with another person. The man who had relations with her was lashed in public,” Nader Nadery, the commission’s spokesman, told AFP.
Provincial deputy governor, Haji Shamsul-Rehman, said that even if it was established the woman had been having an affair with another man, she should have been stood on trial in a court and not condemned to death by a local mullah.
Adultery is forbidden in Islam, which places sentences ranging between flogging to stoning to death on the adulterers unless they repent and change their evil ways.
However, people are not entitled to stone the adulterers by their own hands, for it’s the responsibility of the Muslim state and its concerned bodies to do the punishment in order to maintain peace and security and prevent chaos and disorder.
Islam sets very specific and clear-cut conditions to prove adultery.
The person accused of adultery makes a confession and does not go back on it. Once the person retracts his/her confession, he/she is not punishable because there is no proof of the act.
Four reliable and pious men testify that they witnessed the act and actually saw the male sexual organ inserted into the vagina.
A woman without a husband found to be pregnant.
Scholars agreed on the first two methods of proving adultery, but disputed the third one; some scholars rejected the third point as proof.
It should also be clear that the punishment should be prevented as much as possible.
A’isha narrated that the Prophet (pbuh) said: ‘Ward off punishment as much as you can. If you find any way out for a Muslim then set him free. If the Imam makes a mistake in granting forgiveness, it is better for him than that he should commit a mistake in imposing punishment.’
Thus, any doubt about the evidence should prevent the punishment.