23 April, 2024


Death Penalty In Islam

By Reeza Hameed

Many Muslims I have spoken to are opposed to the death sentence imposed on the unnamed Sri Lankan housemaid in Saudi Arabia.

StoningThe death penalty, in my view, is not in consonance with the spirit of Islam. According to a Hadith in the compilation of Prophetic traditions known as the Mishkat al-Masabih, an adulteress was forgiven for quenching the thirst of a dog. The dog held out his tongue from thirst when she passed by a well. The woman drew off water using her boot, which she tied to the end of her garment, and gave the water she drew for him to drink. We are told that she was forgiven for that act of kindness.

Islam values the sanctity of life. Killing under the guise of punishment denigrates this cardinal principle. Islam does not condone either stoning to death or any other form of killing masquerading as punishment. The imposition of the death penalty in the name of Islam gives the religion of Islam a bad image. Islam was revealed to deliver mankind from ignorance and inhumane practises and as a mercy to mankind.

Compassion is an essential part of the message of the Quran. In the very first chapter of the Quran, God is described as the Compassionate and the Merciful. The Quran reminds mankind of creation in all its forms and declares it as an act of His mercy.

The death penalty is wrapped up in medieval notions about crime and punishment forming part of the fiqh, which is the legal part of the sharia, and refers to the body of principles derived by juristic interpretation from primary sources. On many themes, the sharia provides no more than general guidelines and they have been elaborated by jurists into a detailed body of laws.

The Quran is immutable but juristic opinions are not, and the latter may be reinterpreted to accord with contemporary thinking about crime and punishment. Even during the early centuries of Islam, Muslim jurists debated issues relating to the sharia, including on crime and punishment, as is evident from the differences in opinion that exist among them on various issues. For instance, there is a difference of opinion among them as to what constitutes intentional murder.

Criminal wrongs in Islamic law

The classification of crimes in classical Islamic Law is a construct of Muslim jurists of medieval vintage. The jurists have distinguished criminal wrongs by reference to the punishment that may be prescribed, based on whether it is determined or fixed, or whether it is discretionary. Determined crimes are those for which penalties have been prescribed in the Quran or the Hadith of the Prophet. Where no such penalty is prescribed then it becomes a discretionary wrong.

Jurists have also categorised criminal wrongs as qisas, hudood and ta’zir crimes. Qisas are retribution crimes committed against a person causing physical injury. The punishment for a qisas offence may be remitted either by the victim or his heir on payment of compensation, or waived altogether. In effect, qisas crimes are virtually treated like private wrongs.

A hudud crime has been described as an offence for which a mandatory penalty is required to be imposed. Adultery and theft are hudood crimes, although they are not the only ones. In reality, though, hudud crimes require very strict proof which is virtually impossible to satisfy.


Adultery is a hudud crime. Short of a confession, it would be impossible to prove adultery because it requires the testimony of at least four male Muslim eye witnesses of unimpeachable character. They must testify that they saw the offence being committed at the same time.

A confession to adultery is required to be repeated at least on four separate occasions. A person convicted of a hudud crime such as adultery may withdraw her confession at any time before the application of the sentence, whereupon the penalty cannot be applied. Most schools of Islamic law do not permit a conviction for a hudud offence based on circumstantial evidence.

Stoning to death for adultery is not a punishment mandated in the Quran. It is mentioned in the Hadith of the Prophet which is one of the sources from which Islamic law is derived.

Is hudud a crime against God?

The term ‘hudud Allah’ is one that appears in the Quran in many places and is used to signify the limits of tolerable conduct, and to refer to moral guidelines which the Quran has prescribed as righteous conduct. However, it is not used in the Quran to signify punishment for crime. The juristic interpretation has transformed a concept that signified the limits of acceptable behaviour into a crime that is visited with a fixed penalty.

Conventional opinion is that, because a hudud crime is intended to protect the right of God, it is a crime against God, and only Allah can forgive the sinner. This is a debatable notion. God does not require the protection of man. The real objective of a hudud crime is to protect the public interest, and in the case of adultery, to prevent indecency in public and to protect public morals.

The same act may or may not be a hudud crime depending who witnessed it. Adultery witnessed by four women of unimpeachable character cannot be punished as a hudud crime. Likewise, adultery cannot be punished as a hudud crime if the eyewitnesses happen to be non-Muslims.

Theft is classified as a hudud crime and so is rebellion against legitimate authority. How do they become crimes against God?

The God of Islam is compassionate, loving, forgiving, and kind. The Quranic philosophy on crime and punishment does not have retribution as its sole objective. It also encompasses the idea of reformation, repentance and forgiveness. The Quran in many places calls upon the believers to repent, and forgive. The juristic interpretation giving primacy to retribution seems to have foreclosed these further objectives.

In Sura An-Nisa, the verse in the Quran which is cited in support of death as the punishment for adultery, the Quran assures that Allah will accept the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and repent soon afterwards


In so far as the death penalty for qisas crimes is concerned, the verse in the Quran that is invoked in support does not in fact support the death penalty. It speaks of the principle of ‘an eye for an eye’ that was prescribed for the children of Israel. It is not prescribed for the Muslims. Indeed, the verse ends by saying that it did not prevent the continuation of killings and excesses being committed.

Islam does not condone the retributive philosophy of an eye for an eye. Muslims believe in the prophet-hood of both Moses and Jesus. The Law of Moses as laid down in the Torah prescribed stoning to death for adultery but Jesus came and revoked it. When the Pharisees brought a woman to Jesus and accused her of adultery, and asked Him if she should be stoned, Jesus replied, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Jesus was no sinner but he refused to stone the woman to death. The Prophet of Islam did not revert back to the Law of Moses.

Sharia is not inflexible

The sharia is not an inflexible source of law. Caliph Omar, a companion of the Prophet, refused to enforce the Quranic injunction of amputation on a thief because the crime was committed when there was a famine. Mutilating punishments were hardly, if ever, applied in the Ottoman Empire and 19th century Egypt. Many leading jurists have argued that the sharia ought to be adapted to accommodate social change and that it has the necessary tools to accomplish such change.

There are references in the Quran to slavery but no one will condone slavery in this day and age. Every Muslim is obliged to pray five times a day and perform ablution before prayer. How will a woman with an amputated arm perform her ablution, or change her infant child’s clothing?


The death penalty cannot be condoned as Islamic, or at all. It is contrary to present day notions of justice. The punishment regime of sharia must accord with current realities. It must be tempered with compassion and mercy.

*The writer, Dr Reeza Hameed is an Attorney-at-Law

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 7

    Reeza Hameed

    RE: Death Penalty In Islam

    “Many Muslims I have spoken to are opposed to the death sentence imposed on the unnamed Sri Lankan housemaid in Saudi Arabia.”—-

    They Follow Allah

    “The death penalty, in my view, is not in consonance with the spirit of Islam. According to a Hadith in the compilation of Prophetic traditions known as the Mishkat al-Masabih, an adulteress was forgiven for quenching the thirst of a dog. The dog held out his tongue from thirst when she passed by a well. The woman drew off water using her boot, which she tied to the end of her garment, and gave the water she drew for him to drink. We are told that she was forgiven for that act of kindness.” —

    They Follow Allah.

    However the Saudi Arabian Wahhabis and their clones, salafis, Towheed, ISIS, ISIL, al queda, Taliban, Boko Haran, Deobandi etc, do not follow Allah.

    They Follow Iblis, Satan, Devil, Shaitan, and Lucifer.

    Stoning to Death: A Violation of the Qur’an (Qur’an 24:2)

    So they do what Iblis, Satan, Devil, Shaitan, and Lucifer want them to do. Satan loves death, so does the followers of Satan.

    Satan knows that Satan have been given reprieve until the Last day of Judgement to create havoc on earth. so they are using the Wahhabi and their clones to do that. That is why they call all Non-Wahhabi apostates and kill them.

    Read Iblis, Devil (Islam)

    In Islam, the Devil is known as Iblīs (Arabic: إبليس‎, plural: ابالسة abālisah), Shayṭān (Arabic: شيطان‎, plural: شياطين shayāṭīn) or Shaitan. In Islam, Iblis is a jinni who refused to bow for Adam.

    The primary characteristic of the Devil is hubris.[1] His primary activity is to incite humans and jinn to commit evil through deception, which is referred to as “whispering into the hearts”.[2] The Quran mentions that Satans are the assistants of those who disbelieve in God: “We have made the evil ones friends to those without faith.”

    The Devil in Islamic theology

    According to The Oxford Dictionary of Islam, shaytan is used in the Quran in the singular, and the plural shayatin often interchangeably with Iblis, who is “considered to be a particular shaytan.”[7]

    According to basic Islamic teachings, God revealed the creation of three intelligent species: angels (malāʾikah), demons (jinn), and humans (basher), of which the latter two have been granted free will to choose between good and evil,[8][9] and the Quran states that there is other creation beyond human knowledge “and He has created (other) things of which we have no knowledge.”[10]

    The angels, being creatures of pure reason without lower animal desires, do not sin. When God created Adam, he commanded all the angels and Iblis (whose high rank allowed him to worship Allah with the angels) to prostrate to Adam.[1] All the angels did so, but Iblis refused, and was deprived of Allah’s Mercy because of his arrogant disobedience.[11] For this God cast him out of Jannah (paradise), and intended to punish him. Iblis begged God to delay the punishment until Yawm al-Qiyāmah (Last Judgment), and his request was granted.[12]

    It is We Who created you and gave you shape; then We bade the angels prostrate to Adam, and they prostrate; not so Iblis; He refused to be of those who prostrate.
    (Allah) said: “What prevented thee from prostrating when I commanded thee?” He said: “I am better than he: Thou didst create me from fire, and him from clay.”

    — Quran, sura 7 (Al-A’raf) ayat 11-12[13]

    Iblis was proud and considered himself superior to Adam, since Adam was made from clay and Iblis from smokeless fire.[1] For this act of disobedience, God cursed him to Jahannam (Hell/Purgatory) for eternity, but gave him respite until the Day of Judgment, after Iblis requested it.[14] Iblis obtained permission from God and vowed that he would use this time to lead all men and women astray to Hell. In this way, he would prove humanity’s inferiority, and justify his act of defiance.[citation needed] For refusing to abide by the will of God, Iblis was cast out of Heaven, and thereafter he was called “Shaytan” (Satan).

    He said: “Give me respite till the day they are raised up.”
    (Allah) said: “Be thou among those who have respite.”
    He said: “Because thou hast thrown me out of the way, lo! I will lie in wait for them on thy straight way:
    “Then will I assault them from before them and behind them, from their right and their left: Nor wilt thou find, in most of them, gratitude (for thy mercies).”
    (Allah) said: “Get out from this, disgraced and expelled. If any of them follow thee,- Hell will I fill with you all.

    — Quran sura 7 (Al-Aʻraf), ayah 14-18

    • 5

      Reeza Hameed

      RE: Death Penalty In Islam

      The Gentle side of Wahhabi Double standards

      95% Saudi women got AIDS from their hubbies

      Why are they not stoned?


      JEDDAH — About 80 Saudi women were diagnosed with AIDS in 2014, Sanaa Filimban, AIDS program director in the Ministry of Health, has said. “It was a shock to many women. Most of them did not ever leave the Kingdom and 95 percent of the patients contracted the disease from their husbands through sex,” he said.

      The ministry participated in the International AIDS Day, celebrated every year on Dec. 1, by raising awareness of the disease through workshops and lectures.

      Filimban said the ministry has set up 48 centers for AIDs checkups and consultancy in the Kingdom. Out of them, 36 will be stationary and 12 mobile, he said.

      She added that confidentiality of the patients is paramount in AIDs centers.

      “We deal with the women by giving them numbers. We don’t call them nor record their names to protect their privacy. Only their doctor knows their names for administrative reasons,” said Filimban. She added there are 21,761 AIDs patients in the Kingdom.

      “Of them 6,334 are Saudis and 15,427 non-Saudis. In 2014, the program recorded 1,222 new patients. Of them 364 are Saudi men, 80 Saudi women and 778 non-Saudi women,” said Filimban.

      She also said the Kingdom recorded its first AIDs patient in 1984. “Statistics show that 3 percent of the recorded patients are children and the rate of contracting AIDs through breastfeeding from an infected mother is also 3 percent. There is one Saudi woman with AIDs for every four Saudi men with AIDs. Saudi patients aged 15 to 49 constitute 81 percent of the total number,” said Filimban.

      She added only 2 percent of the patients contracted the disease by taking drugs through syringes.

      “AIDs is usually transferred through men and women during unprotected sex. In developing countries where most people have protected sex, homosexual sex is the most common way of contracting the disease,” said Filimban.

      She added there are other ways of contracting the disease mainly by using infected equipment such toothbrushes, razors, tattoo tools. Patients can also contract the disease by going through an organ implant surgery in which the organ implanted was infected with AIDs.

      Meanwhile, Prof. Tawfiq Bin Ahmed Khoja, director general of the Executive Board of GCC Health Ministers, said the rate of HIV cases among GCC citizens ranges between 0.15 and 1.95 for every 100,000 people. “This is the lowest rate in the Arab region,” he pointed out.

      Khoja said the number of HIV cases among GCC citizens increased in recent years as a result of unhealthy lifestyle followed by some groups of people and lack of knowledge about the dangerous impact of the disease.

      “Increasing foreign travel, important social transformations in major cities, rising use of drugs through injection and presence of a large number of expatriates from different countries are other reasons for the growing HIV cases in the GCC,” he added.

      Khoja said health ministries in the member countries have taken a series of measures to contain the contagious disease, including stoppage of blood import, increasing public awareness through the spread of moral and religious values and explaining methods to protect against the virus. “We also provide HIV-positive patients mental and social care,” Khoja said.

      • 1

        Reeza Hameed

        RE: Death Penalty In Islam

        The Gentle side of Wahhabi Double standards

        TV Report on Underage Marriage in the Arab World


        10 year olds married off

        Uploaded on Nov 17, 2010

    • 0

      Reeza Hameed

      RE: Death Penalty In Islam

      What Else Does Quran Say?


      In the Qur’an, Allah reveals that the creation of the human is a miracle. The first human being was created by Allah shaping clay into human form and breathing a soul into it:

      Your Lord said to the angels, “I am going to create a human being out of clay. When I have formed him and breathed My Spirit into him, fall down in prostration to him!” (Qur’an, 38:71-72)

      Then inquire of them: Is it they who are stronger in structure or other things We have created? We created them from sticky clay. (Qur’an, 37:11)

      Does The Evidence Support Evolution?


      Reason, Data and Observation Vs. Revelation ( Just Belief)

      It is Revelation for the person who received it, not to third parties. For them they are reports or observations.They can believe or not believe.

  • 5

    The issue is not death penalty.
    The issue is the mode of executing the death penalty, by the barbaric act of stoning to death.
    You are sugar coating the issue.

    • 2


      This is Achcha, Achcha,Achcha. Very good to the point.

      Next time go a bit further and say how the Arab men are hypocrites by stressing with quotes and evidence.

      Don’t worry, I am here to help you to guide you through difficult issues.

      I love you.

  • 14

    Thanks, Reeza Hameed, for showing us that there is a gentler side to Islam, and for demonstrating a second time that you are a decent man.

    Obviously, we are never going to be able to judge whose interpretation of Islam is most authentic, but writing of this sort allows us to respect your religion more.

  • 9

    The Christians have gone through this rigmarole already. The crusades, the world wars have all taken a heavy toll.

    There is no difference to old Christianity and Islam. Over the years Christianity has become more tolerable.

    The purist form of Christianity that exist today is even grappling whether things like homosexuality and divorce should be tolerated. There is a wide gulf between what the God supposedly said and how humanity is advancing.

    Morality exists at the base of every religion. In the age of the savage and feudal wars these faiths may have helped to keep the discipline and peace.

    With advent of democracy morality has become a secular pursuit. Hefty fines and prison sentences have replaced the need to fear a god.

    What matters at the end of the day however the next requirement of people after morality. Its simply salvation. Is the creator God fulfilling this need?

    Surely WWII Holocaust of the same culture as the “son of God” this question was answered! The middle-east, supposedly the birth of all Abrahamic faiths have itself become a bloodbath where Jews, Moslems and Christians all are at each others throats. If the God is anything, surely this is where he needs to intervene?

    The question is no longer whether God exists but is he useful to anyone!

    There is a quiet achiever amidst all this noise. Its a refinement of all eastern world views. I am almost certain its the superset of all Abrahmic world views too (see here) -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xY0Ib3aPG6Y

    There is a a forum where people from all background gather to learn this worldview. This forum brings together Christians, Moslems and even Jews. The forum is at dhammawheel.com . Any question regarding your salvation will be answered without the usual “god is mysterious” type of gobbledygook.

    • 0


      “There is no difference to old Christianity and Islam. Over the years Christianity has become more tolerable.”

      Yes, they have put behind them the Inquisitions, Heretics, burning of Philosophers, scientists and astronomers, Jews etc.

      However those rules are still there in theBible. Theu got oyt of the implementation business.

      Muslims are still on the implementation business. When they get out of the implementation business, it will be like Christianity, just belief.

  • 3

    I would like to ask this writer;

    What is the punishment in Islam for apostasy?

    • 2


      Qur’an (4:89) – “They wish that you should disbelieve as they disbelieve, and then you would be equal; therefore take not to yourselves friends of them, until they emigrate in the way of God; then, if they turn their backs, take them, and slay them wherever you find them; take not to yourselves any one of them as friend or helper.”

      Qur’an (9:11-12) – “But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then are they your brethren in religion. We detail Our revelations for a people who have knowledge. And if they break their pledges after their treaty (hath been made with you) and assail your religion, then fight the heads of disbelief – Lo! they have no binding oaths – in order that they may desist.”

      Other verses that seem to support the many Hadith that establish the death sentence for apostates are Qur’an verses 2:217, 9:73-74, 88:21, 5:54, and 9:66.

      • 4


        You are absolutely right. What a peaceful, compassionate religion? The meanings of the words peace, compassion, human rights, civil liberties etc. in Islam are diametrically opposite to what the civilised people today mean by those words and terms.

        • 6


          I would go a step further.

          The meanings of the words peace, compassion, human rights, civil liberties etc are diametrically opposed to Christianity and Judaism too. Not just Islam.


          • 0

            what about the budhism being practised in Srilanka and those Myanmar or the like countries self immolation is promoted.

            Ghanasara was running amok with the patronage of former MR – there, did not he abuse the buddhism to all far ends ? What happened to the people in ALuthgama- following Ghanasaras Public speech ? was that a thing to be just ignore as is being done by lanken so called buddhists ( me bieng a born buddhist, but having lived on the west, I now believe more in god religions than jathaka katha led buddhism practising in srilanka) .

            And I have not met people with that high enviousness as is the case in srilnaka. People of the same relgion, ethnic background, education backrgrounds attack each other .. whereever they are… but buddhism has never asked them to do so… instead they are asked to practise non-violation … is this the case from top to the bottom of the society today ?

            • 3


              “what about the budhism being practised in Srilanka and those Myanmar or the like countries self immolation is promoted. “

              The Sri Lankan brand is Sinhala/Buddhism. Hope you understand the difference between Sinhala/Buddhism and Buddha’s teaching.

              • 1


                There is no such thing as Sinhala Buddhism. It ia a word concocted by you hate purveyors. There are Sinhalese who consider themselves as a race and there is Buddhism which is recognised as a religion. Majorrity of Sinhalese claim that they are Buddhists while there is a minority who claim to be Christians. Unlike among the Tamils there are no Sinhalese who claim to be believers in Islam. Why don’t you say American Christians dropped atom bombs on Japatn linstead of saying Amercans dropped atom bombs on Japan? It is your hatred that blinds you to this simple truth. Your intention is to kill two birds with one stone.

                Do those Sinhalese who claim to be Buddhists actually folllow Buddha’s word. Do those Westerners who claim to be Christians actually follow the word of Christ. Don’t be silly Native.

                Now these Sinhala Buddhists over millennia have have built up agrarian
                Civilization with lot of Buddhist temples and seem to harboring a desire to continue this civilisation. This kind of desire is prevalent everywhere, not unique to Sinhalese. It is this you call Sinhala Buddhism for your villification ecercise. It is this you are determined to dismantle. Unavoidably there is conflict of interest.

                To make matters worse there is an old book Called Mahavansa which has become the modern day bible of Tamil diaspora which the new Sinhala generation has not read at all. This book is supposed to be glorifying the above metioned agrarian civilisation.

                To recap, thre are are Sinhala Buddhists and Sinhala Christians but there is no Sinhala Buddhism or Sinhala Christianity.


          • 2

            Ben Hurling

            “I would go a step further. The meanings of the words peace, compassion, human rights, civil liberties etc are diametrically opposed to Christianity and Judaism too. Not just Islam.”

            “Religion is the Opium of the masses-” Kark Marx

            “It takes Religion to make good people do bad things”-Steven Weinberg, Nobel Physics Laureate.

            Christopher Hitchens vs the Catholic Church


            Uploaded on Aug 18, 2011
            Christopher Hitchens vs the Catholic Church

            This clip takes place during an Intelligence Squared organization debate topic The Catholic Church is a force for good in the world.

          • 0

            [Edited out]

          • 2

            Ben Hurling,

            Technically all these three religions can be treated as equally bad but in the modern world, Islam stands out as the most barbaric and evil one. Most religions take care to silence or to execute those who question them, which is a weakness rather than strength. It has however been some time since Christianity or Judaism resorted to torture and censorship. I have no issue as long as anyone keeping their belief to themselves without trying to impose on others. In that context I have no issue with Christianity and Judaism in this day and age. Christianity had its fair share of violence and crime but the Christian world has since changed and moved on. However it is a very different story when it comes to Islam. There is a belief that every word of the Koran is literally true, and there’s a kind of close-mindedness which is much less present in the Christendom, perhaps because there’s more of a historical tradition of questioning. There are many people in the Islamic world who simply say, ‘Islam is right, and we are going to impose our will. Christians and Jews were able to decouple the secular system from the religion. They have no issue of a secular state, or a secular legal and administrative system based on the modern liberal democratic principles, but there are many millions of Muslims, regardless of where they live want everything in accordance with a medieval book. The government must be an Islamic one, Legal system must be Sharia (The most barbaric in today’s world), everything else as per Koran.

            • 2

              Gamini Ranasinghe,

              Agree. Face of Islamic fundamentalism is very visible. Looks blood awful.

              However, Judeo-Christian fundamentalism is well and alive as well. Its’ practitioners do not run around with long beards organizing suicide bombings.

              Judeo-Christian fundamentalists are dangerously low-key. Even invisible.

              They are often well groomed. Well educated. Very articulate. Look utterly civilized. Operate from powerful capitals like Washington and London.

              However, they too carry, promote even enforce a rock-solid, blind faith in medieval scriptures. Just like the Islamic terrorists.

              George W Bush & Tony Blair were prime examples. Iraq war was a decisive outcome of their deep religious convictions. Violence and bloodbath is nothing difficult for them. When justified via religious scripture.

              Just like the IS. There is no difference between massive car bomb and a Cruise missile.

              Fundamentalist evangelical extremists in USA are another example. Their unwavering support for Israeli war crimes is entirely based on their version on Christianity.

              People who campaign in Europe to shut the door on helpless Syrian refugees are also mainly Christian fundamentalists.

              I am afraid we have a long way to go. Whether Islamic, Christian or Jewish.


              • 2

                Ben Hurling

                Fair comment. I do fully understand what you are saying. World will be a much better place without religion.

    • 1

      What is the punishment for a traitor who commits treason?

      • 2


        Is your Kingdom run by such an insecure, jealous & brutal “God”? Who reacts so viciously to man’s freedom to believe in what he thinks is right.

        Do you have any evidence of God’s existence? Would love to see it.


        • 1

          Where are you going, I got coconut on my head

      • 0


        “What is the punishment for a traitor who commits treason?”

        The question to ask is: What is the punishment for a those who follow Iblis, Satan, Devil as traitors and claims to follow God, like the Wahhabis and their clones such as Salafis, Towheed, Najadis, ISIS, ISIL, Taliban, Deobandi, Boko Haran etc. who commits treason?”

        Should one wait until the Day of Judgement, as was given to Iblis, Satan., Devil?

    • 1

      You will be punished in Hell for apostasy and cheating

    • 0

      Gamini Ranasinghe

      “I would like to ask this writer; What is the punishment in Islam for apostasy?”

      DEATH. No Need to wait to get to Hell.

      DEATH by Torture, by Christian Inquisition, if Christian. Same with the MAFIA.

      ”I had to pronounce the oath,” he recalled, ”whereby I was to say that should I betray the organization, my flesh would burn like this saint.”

      Older members later instructed him about his obligations in the Mafia, Mr. Buscetta continued, testifying in Italian with an interpreter translating his words into English.



      An admitted Mafia member who turned informer testified yesterday about the strict rules, sacred oath and deadly punishment imposed by the secretive organization.

      Jurors and spectators leaned forward in tense anticipation as the key witness, Tommaso Buscetta, began testifying in the ”pizza connection” narcotics trial in a crowded courtroom of Federal District Court in Manhattan.

      Testifying in public for the first time, surrounded by tight security, Mr. Buscetta told the jury about how he joined the Mafia organization in his native Sicily shortly after World War II.

      ”Mr. Buscetta, what was that organization that you joined?” a prosecutor, Richard A. Martin, asked.

      ”Cosa Nostra,” Mr. Buscetta said, adding that it was generally known as the Mafia. He said the words Cosa Nostra were a Sicilian expression meaning ”our thing – it belongs to us.”

      ”What did you do, Mr. Buscetta, to enter into this organization called La Cosa Nostra?” the prosecutor asked. ”What happened?” ‘Invited’ to Join ”I didn’t make out any application to become a member – I was called, I was invited,” he replied, as many spectators broke into laughter.

      Joining in the laughter was Gaetano Badalamenti, a major defendant accused of being a former top leader of the Mafia in Sicily. Mr. Badalamenti was sitting behind the defense table, several feet from the witness stand.

      The trial, which involves charges that the 22 defendants operated an international Mafia drug ring, is called the ”pizza connection” case because some of the defendants own pizzerias purportedly used for drug deals.

      Mr. Buscetta, 57 years old, has been described as one of the most significant Mafia figures ever to become an informer. He has provided information that led to the arrest of hundreds of Mafia suspects in Italy.

      After being selected for Mafia membership, Mr. Buscetta testified yesterday, he went to a meeting with four men who pricked his finger, required him to rub his bleeding finger on a small picture of a saint and told him to swear an oath of silence while they set the saint’s picture on fire.

      ”I had to pronounce the oath,” he recalled, ”whereby I was to say that should I betray the organization, my flesh would burn like this saint.”

      Older members later instructed him about his obligations in the Mafia, Mr. Buscetta continued, testifying in Italian with an interpreter translating his words into English.

      ‘The Appropriate Manner’

      ”I was reminded to behave in the appropriate manner,” he said, ”to be silent, not to look at other men’s wives or women, not to steal and especially, at all times when I was called, I had to rush, leaving whatever I was doing.”

      ”What would happen,” the prosecutor asked, ”so far as you know, so far as you were told, if you violated one of those principles that you just described?”

      ”Death,” the witness said, in a soft, conversational tone.

      Mr. Buscetta, a solidly built man of medium height, was wearing a double-breasted blue blazer with dark slacks, a pale blue shirt and a dark blue tie. He sat on the witness stand, with his hands folded in front of him, while several Federal marshals stood guard inside and outside the courtroom.

      The prosecutor, Mr. Martin, displayed a large chart depicting a Mafia ”family” structure, as described by Mr. Buscetta.

      ”The organization was divided up into families,” the witness said, explaining that each family had a capo or boss, a sottocapo or underboss, a consigliere or counselor, capidecina or captains, and soldati or soldiers.

      ”Wherever there is Cosa Nostra, it’s the same in every place,” he testified. ‘Brothers’ in the U.S. ”I was told we have brothers also on the other side of the ocean,” Mr. Buscetta said, adding that Mafia members in Sicily told of ”families” in the United States.

      Judge Pierre N. Leval overruled defense objections to the prosecution’s presentation of the chart about the Mafia structure.

      Mr. Buscetta was arrested in Brazil in 1983 and taken to Italy, where he turned informer and then agreed to be extradited to this country last December under an agreement with the United States Government.

      ”Now,” the prosecutor asked, ”did there come a time, Mr. Buscetta, when you provided a deposition, a statement, to the Italian authorities?”

      ”Yes,” the witness said, putting on reading glasses to look at a document that was handed to him. ”This is my deposition, which I gave to the authorities in Palermo.”

      ‘The Time Had Come’

      ”Well, Mr. Buscetta,” the prosecutor said, ”why did you decide to give such a statement to the Italian authorities?”

      ”Because the time had come to do so,” Mr. Buscetta answered tersely, without mentioning that several of his relatives had recently been killed by rivals in a Mafia war in Sicily.

      ”What, if anything,” the prosecutor asked, ”did you request in return for having provided such a statement to the Italian authorities?”

      ”Security for my family,” he replied.

      Before the testimony began, defense lawyers completed the opening statements in the trial, which is expected to continue for about six months.

      Mr. Buscetta, who has not yet testified about any of the defendants in the trial, is scheduled to return to the witness stand this morning.



  • 2

    Reeza Hameed

    You are totally contradicting Islam and Shria law. This is pure blasphemy. Just google on this subject and learn for yourself. How come out of a billion of Muslims you are the only one who is saying so. Islam does recommend death punishment for adulterers and apostates.

    Those Muslims who are exposed to other ethical systems are generally reluctant to discuss Sharia law. NONE of our Muslims will throw a stone I am certain.

    Next time you will say Prophet Mohamed(PBUH) never took part in any war.

    If you said this in a Islamic country we will be left with a headless Reeza Hameed.


  • 4

    Reeza Hameed,

    I beg to differ.

    Islam in the contrary is a most intolerant religion. Not only towards the non believers but unto themselves as well. Compassion is very lacking in Islam.

    The adulteress story does not sound right. An adulteress is not excused to go about freely to quench the thirst of dogs. The bloodthirsty blind followers will not allow an adulteress such freedom. She will be taken away at the drop of the hat to be stoned especially during the days you attribute this fanciful story to.

    The first battle between the Muslims was the ‘Battle of Jamal’, also called the ‘Battle of the Camels’. The first Fitna. It was between the beloved son in law of Mohammad, Ali, and Aisha, the beloved wife of the prophet. The prophet could not prophecy such a war in which an estimated 10000 people were to be killed. The killings of Muslims by Muslims is continuing. Allah who revealed Islam to the people could not envisage that the followers of Islam will butcher each other to this day and to the very end.

    The only thing I agree with you on is “The death penalty is wrapped up in medieval notions”.

  • 3

    Whatever scholarly articles are written about various documents concerning a regime that is supposed to be governed by the “Islamic Law”, the reality of the matter is that a country can have its way provided it is a power to reckon with. If the country is weak, it is subject to some sanctions and it must dance according to the dictates of the so called “international community”.

    Oil rich countries which are governed by various shades of the so called “Islamic Law” are countries which has power to reckon with. Can I ask one question. How many Americans were beheaded or stoned to death in Saudi Arabia? To my mind none. The reason is if ever there was any problem it would have been settled long before it reached a judge there. For us, Sri Lankans, we try to do something after the horse has bolted.

    In almost all instances of adultery between Sri Lankans in Saudi Arabia, it is associated with trespass. The complaint is a Saudi. Upon clever questioning by the Police, parties admit sexual relationship. In one instance I know of the parties built up a story in advance should they get caught. The consistent answers given by the parties were that the man came to see the woman to collect her mail to be posted and the relationship between the two is cousins. The reason for the nocturnal visit was that in Ramadan season everybody is up at night time. One day, the man was spotted and the law enforcement commenced. Both parties were questioned separately several times and they did not break. Ultimately the man was punished for trespass, twenty strokes of the cane.

    If as stated the confession of adultery is retracted any time before the punishment and it cannot therefore be carried out, why not use that method to save the Sri Lankan woman from Stoning? Oh! boy! I am quite sure that they would find some clause in their law to carry the punishment BECAUSE WE ARE POOR SRI LANKANS WHO HAVE COME THERE AS HOUSEMAIDS WHO IN SOME CASES THE SEX SLAVES OF THEIR EMPLOYERS.

  • 0

    Thank you.

  • 3

    Reeza Hameed

    RE: Death Penalty In Islam

    “Stoning to death for adultery is not a punishment mandated in the Quran. It is mentioned in the Hadith of the Prophet which is one of the sources from which Islamic law is derived”

    Thanks for clarifying.Stoning to Death: A Violation of the Qur’an (Qur’an 24:2).

    So, where does the problem lie? Hadith and its errors. Have you heard about the Sun prostrating under Allah’s throne Hadith?

    Hadith is subject to errors most of it was collected years later. Quran should supersede Hadith. Looks like most Muslims just blindly follow what some preachers and Mullahs preach.

    Besides, Hadith has picked up things from the Bible, such as stoning.

    Hadiths Corrupted Islam. Reply to Sunni Jihadis.

  • 1

    As a person lived among these people for a long time, they wouldn’t like these kind of publicity to issue of this nature.

    Best way is for the President of Sri Lanka to make an appeal to the king of Saudi Arabia to show mercy to this lady through their ambassador in Colombo. Even for the bank account of son of the VIP, they should have done the same thing to the ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohamed. This would bring better result than making tom tom in the media and it would make the case worst.

    Many incidents like this happened to Indonesian housemaids, they totally stopped sending their women for employment for the entire Middle Eastern countries.

  • 4

    Reeza Hameed:

    You are talking about Adultary by women.

    Why polygamy muslim men is considered legal by ISlam ?

    How come Prophet Mohomad had so many women as well every rich muslim has more than one woman ?

    Why When Men have more than one woman, it is not considered adultary ?

    Recently, One Saudi Arabian wife viedoed her husband molesting the House maid working in their home. Viedo shows how the EMployer is kissing and groping the maid.

    the interesting part is Male adulterer is nto going to jail, Instead, the videoed wife is going to jail ?

    What do you say about ?

    I heard that Arab men are raping the maids coming into their house. Because that is legal and recommend din quran ?

    What do you say about that, Just pretend you don’t know and you did not hear or see ?

    • 4

      Jim softy

      “Why polygamy muslim men is considered legal by ISlam ?”

      That is part of the medieval theology and biology. However, women were allowed to own property, even though they hot half as men in inheritance.

      It is also the biological math.

      It takes 1 women 9 months to make one baby, with the help of one man.

      Afterwards, the man has got a lot of spare time left. The women stop ovulating. So, the man can have 8 more wives, to be impregnated every month, but apparently Islam limited it to 4.

      Usually one rooster “services:” about 10 hens.

      • 2


        I mean, the whole thing spells of high illogics – with the woman pregnant for 9 months, and then ovulating only till a certain age, that the man is allowed to take on other wives to compensate.

        Does Islam take into account that the man has to work hard for 9 months, to feed the child?

        In other religions and cultures, if the man took on another woman during the 9 months, he sinned. He sinned because he would impregnate another woman with another child, and carry on doing thus 4 times x the times he was supposed to have a break for 9 months. He is supposed to work hard instead in other ways, to feed his first set of offspring.

        After a certain age, if he took a wife because the first wife failed to arouse him, the next wife would be probably younger. For example, he would be about 40, and the younger wife 14 (the same age he married his first wife). (I mean, the natural inclination for a man would hardly be to take another wife of 40). When he is 70, the 2nd wife is 44. She would probably desire a younger man. Hence she has the propensity to become an adulteress, and be stoned.

        A rooter out in the wild would hardly be able to have 10 hens. But in an enclosure, with humans feeding them, and encouraging them to produce as many eggs and chicken to eat as possible, then 10 hens sounds about correct. Is that what Islam is supposed to be about – Allah in his goodness and love, providing a safe haven for Muslim men to have 4 wives, with all the manna coming down from heaven so that the children can be sacrificed to him in the form of Jihad? Maybe…….who know who and what is out there :(

        The universe is infested with all kinds of spirits.

      • 0

        Jim softy

        “Why polygamy muslim men is considered legal by ISlam ?”

        Usually one rooster “services:” about 10 hens


        2. Have plenty of space in your run. When you have multiple roosters, there will be the occasional squabble, and for the most part that’s okay. Those squabbles can get dangerous if there’s not enough space, though. If your birds are too crowded together—even when there are plenty of hens—you may see serious problems. With multiple roosters you will need more than the bare minimum of space. You’ll want to double or even triple the minimum space per bird for your flock. If you get too many roosters competing together in a confined space, testosterone-fueled aggression and territoriality can boil to a head. Remember, roosters don’t have impulse control like (most!) humans do; someone could get hurt! If there is plenty of space, when one rooster becomes tedious in his showmanship and flirtation, generally the others will just lead “their” hens to a respectable distance away, so they won’t feel threatened by the boor and serious fights won’t break out.


        How many “hens” does a Saudi Wahhabi Rooster Need? Islam limits to 4, but the Wahhabi Saudis Roosters go to Thailand for more more “hens” after molesting the “maid hens”.

  • 4

    thanks to the writer who begs to differ from mad donkeys like Rishad Bathudeen

  • 0

    My argument is simple.
    Why should the State take the position of Allah ?
    If Allah is almighty he will punish the sinners.
    If Allah is a weakling who is disable then the State will have to do something.

  • 2

    this stupid Sharia law is made, adopted and executed by barbarians

    • 0

      Your name suits your opinion.

  • 1

    All of us agree that we are living in 21st Century. Hence we have to adapt to the changing times. Sentences for wrong doing and crimes have to be taken into account on case by case basis based on law. It is very sad that in countries where Islam is the dominant religion interpretation is left God or Allah. This is insane. The sentences are passed by men (no women)who act as if they have not sinned. In the case of the Sri lankan women now facing stoning, she did not kill but committed adultery. The Sri Lanka Human Right Commission must take unilateral action to contact their counterparts in Saudi Arabia take this case up.

  • 2

    The Holy Qur’an says VERY CLEARLY as follows: “(As for) the adulteress and the adulterer, flog each of them, (giving) a hundred stripes, and let not pity for them detain you in the matter of obedience to Allah, if you believe in Allah and the last day, and let a party of believers witness their chastisement”. (Surah An-Noor: Verse 2). So, there it is! NOTHING ABOUT STONING TO DEATH. The latter punishment is Jewish and can be found in the Torah. Stoning to death is NOT sharia and has NOTHING to do with Islam. Nobody, NOT EVEN THE KING OF SAUD, has the right to transgress a law laid down by God. Period.

  • 1

    Thank you Dr Reeza Hamid for your article, which exemplifies the code-of-conduct as required in Islam.

    As for the people who follow the Quranic injunctions literally – without comprehension – they are those who go to the extremes.

    Many Muslims and non-Muslims have made comments on your article and most of them seem to take the injunctions literally – which is THE mistake!

    The vocabulary and terminology available at that time, did not allow for specifics and many injunctions could not be comprehended at that day and age.

    With the latest advancement in science and technology in the past 100 years, LEARNED people who are/were NOT Muslims have comprehended and appreciate the TRUTH in Islam -as a way of life – than those who were born Muslims and force fed Islam as their parents followed it without question. There-in lies the problem.

    You seem to have comprehended that what a lot of MUSLIMS follow is not what ISLAM proper preaches. Which brings us to the Prophet’s (PBUH) declaration – that Islam will split into 73 sects and only one of them will be accepted as the followers of REAL Islam.

    Having said all that – TAQWA is what is required of a TRUE Muslim. Without proper etymological reference nor a scholarly Islamic reference having read the translation of the Quran a number of times – My undestanding of the word TAQWA is SPIRITUALITY.

    I trust that all those who claim to know MORE about Islam would give us a more apt definition.

    Thank you again Dr. Reeza for your explanation.


  • 0

    Islam was preached to correct Arabs lived like barbarians …..

    4 witness to prove adultery ??? possible dozen Arab families lived under a tent during 4th century and before.

    How the hell on earth this is possible now where even Arbs live in apartments ??? can somebody explain?

    we can’t change the 4th century rules but you must change and accept this …is what Muslims tell others..

    BTW Jewish never stone to death for adultery ..they follow modern laws…

    Sent these Arabs and Muslim back to 4th century life style …they can flourish


  • 0

    Dr Reeza Hameed:”The imposition of the death penalty in the name of Islam gives the religion of Islam a bad image.” That ship sailed when in the name of Islam you wasted 3000 innocent lives on 9/11. You may quote Chapter and Verse from the Quran to justify these barbaric punishments under Sharia Laws meted out discriminatively on the poor and defenceless. You lay great emphasis on the words of Prophet Muhammad and Allah but the fact remains that when these words were supposedly uttered, there were no print or books so they could only be passed down by word of mouth. Additionally, Allah is a myth and a belief, and his or her words could only be concocted by man. You are an educated man, why don’t you stop pussyfooting around and campaign to review and reforms the doctrines of Islam to bring it to the modern age.

  • 0

    all these non-muslim writers have no clue about Shriah laws. I blame not them but Saudis who apply these laws to modern conditions. To apply Islamic law you need to create equal and just community? Does Saudi has got that… No. they treat these ladies as slaves. First of all she can not leave her house to work in Saudi.. It is illegal in Sharia law.
    Secondly, Saudi does not apply Shariah law rather Saudi land law or tribal law.. nothing to do with Shariah…
    All victims of rape do not get justice… How many have been raped by Arab bosses… How many can of alcohol is sold in Saudi?
    How did monarch got its rule …illegal way with British support. These dictators robe the wealth of nations.. They should be sentenced to death for stealing public money by Billions.. How do they feed 500 princess with public money. Is it Shraih to do so…
    Please do not shariah in Saudi… it is a worst form of tribale law..
    Sharia is all about justice… Equality… mercy .. kindness.. without these no Shariah.. Punishment is part of it … but it need some just and equal society to implement

  • 0

    By withnessing the hypocrisy, we rush to criticise the US Britan, but compared to these barbarians, West have learned from their mistakes and has made the world a better place.Mostly thanks to the fact that they largely manage to separate religion from the law and government. Kudos to West and kudos to democracy,
    Shame the Brits did not do something for this lunacy in the colonial periods.
    Shame on this inhuman punishments!

  • 0

    For everything written or said, nothing will change the stance of the Saudi Royal Family (guardians of the sacred places) and their determination that the law in Saudi Arabia will derive from the Hanbali School of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence.

    Let us write to our hearts’ content, but our Muslim friends will still take their pilgrimages to the sacred places in the land with the ‘un-Islamic’ laws.

  • 0


  • 0

    I just searched for “Black July” and here’s what i got from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_July

    You can see some pics, if not all of our version of ISIS on the same page. Well, who did it? Certainly, not real Buddhist!

    Black July is the common name used to refer to the anti-Tamil pogrom[3] and riots in Sri Lanka during July 1983. The riots began as a “response” to a deadly ambush on 23 July 1983 by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a Tamil militant group, that killed 13 Sri Lanka Army soldiers. Beginning in the capital Colombo on the night of 24 July 1983, anti-Tamil pogroms spread to other parts of the country. Over seven days, mobs of mainly Sinhalese attacked Tamil targets, burning, looting and killing. Estimates of the death toll range between 400 and 3,000.[4][5] 8,000 homes and 5,000 shops were destroyed.[6] 150,000 people were made homeless.[7] The economic cost of the riots was $300 million.[7] A wave of Sri Lankan Tamils fled to other countries in the ensuing years and many thousands of Tamils youths joined militant groups.[4][5]

    Black July is generally seen as the start of full-scale Sri Lankan Civil War between the Tamil militants and the government of Sri Lanka.[5][8][9][10] July has become a time of remembrance for the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora community around the world.

    My point is that none’s hands or hearts are clean. Most hates others out of jealousy for nothing. We need to understand we are different because our faith and belief are different. I can tell a lot good things about Islam, Buddhism, Christianity and even Judaism but who cares. We are meant to concentrate on things, which look or sound bad but are in place for deterrence.

    What if a country is there without police and judiciary. Well we have so many countries including ours, with Judiciary and Police but there are always flaws.

    What if rules are regulations not there in the education system? Why do we have timing in schools and universities, uniforms and things like those, who can pass the one level with higher can only go to next higher level, like medical faculty etc. They’re there to maintain law and order.

    Those who oppose capital punishment, took law in to their hands and ran havoc during riot period. I am referring to killings of innocents by rioters, JVPers, who are mostly Sinhalese Budhdhis and the burning in the tyres.

    Last but not least, Islam promote peace. Like the critics here, everyone tends interpret others’ actions and religious believe in different way and come to their own conclusion.

    Prophet strictly warned against any maltreatment of people of other faiths. He said:

    “Beware! Whoever is cruel and hard on a non-Muslim minority, or curtails their rights, or burdens them with more than they can bear, or takes anything from them against their free will; I (Prophet Muhammad) will complain against the person on the Day of Judgment.” (Abu Dawud)

  • 0

    Reeza, good piece. Thank you

  • 0

    More and more broad minded and liberal thinking Muslims like Reeza Hameed are needed to speak out against this warping of essential teachings of Islam by the mob Muslims. It is pointless blaming non-Muslims for criticizing what they see in practice by many misguided Muslims and telling them to read the Quran properly, when the need of the hour is for all Muslims to read and interpret the Quran properly. Alas people like Reeza would be censored, if not threatened, by other Muslims if they go public with their position, in many countries

  • 0

    Sharia is the basic Islamic legal system based on the Quran and Hadith. Most of the laws were extracted directly from these two sources and the rest were derived from the same sources by Mujtahids using the methods of Ijma (Consensus), Qiyas (Analogical Deduction) and Ijtihad (Independent Reasoning). By the 10th or 11th Century, the Ulemas of that time decided that there is no need for further Ijtihad-based ‘derivations’, thereby effectively closing the door on the process of Independent Reasoning and insisted that the process of Taqlid (Blind Obedience) be adopted for all future situations that necessitated the implementations of Islamic Law.

    The Mujtahids were the only Muslims who were permitted to use Independent Reasoning for the derivation of Islamic Laws because they had acquired the required Islamic qualifications.

    There are no Sri Lankan Mujtahids. There never were any at any time in the past either.

    The articles written in the recent past by various professionals, however impressive be their academic achievements and however extensive be their fields of expertise, are merely statements of opinion – normative statements that resonate with the thinking and expectations of like-minded persons. Hence their cheering squads. A careful examination of the conclusions drawn in the case of each article shows clearly that what is being expressed is not a valid, sound conclusion but a wishy-washy statement of what should be the case with regard to the death penalty in Islam.

    None of the Muslim Commentators who have voiced their opinions so far are qualified to interpret the Sharia Laws. By continuing to do so, they are only providing more grist to the mill of the critiques of Islam.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 5 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.