Malaysians have yet to fully understand hudud

Malaysians, even the Muslims, have yet to fully grasp the workings of the Hudud that the PAS government wants to implement in Kelantan.

May 02, 2014

Malaysians, even the Muslims, have yet to fully grasp the workings of the Hudud that the PAS government wants to implement in Kelantan. Academicians concur that this is the reason why even Muslims are sceptical and remain at a loss on how the Islamic criminal code will be implemented.

The lack of awareness and understanding on Hudud is very much due to the fact the laws are not openly taught to the society.

Arguably, it appeared that only those with knowledge on Islamic jurisprudence know of Hudud and its workings.

Shedding light on hudud
The Dean of the Law, Government and International Studies College at Universiti Utara Malaysia, Associate Professor Dr Ahmad Martadha Mohamed, opined that PAS, who want to implement Hudud in Kelantan, has to shed light on the punishment meted under the Islamic criminal enactment.

“I can see the dissent on Hudud. Even many political leaders (from both sides of the divide) are in the dark on the workings of Hudud, and what more the people are not familiar with Hudud,” he said to Bernama.

Hudud among others stipulates punishments, including executions by stoning for offences like adultery involving married persons, severing of limbs for theft and flogging for violations ranging from abortion to alcohol consumption.

Ahmad Marthada felt it was only proper that PAS explained to society on the comprehensive implementation of the Hudud so that people could view the laws in a rational manner.

The Hudud issue is back in the limelight when the PAS led government in Kelantan decided to table a private bill on Hudud in Dewan Rakyat in June to allow the state to implement the Syariah Penal Code Enactment (2) 1993.

However, PAS’ move to table a private bill in Dewan Rakyat faces a formidable hurdle as its Pakatan Rakyat partners, especially DAP are vehemently against Hudud.

Hudud a political ploy?
A politics and international studies lecturer with Universiti Utara Malaysia, Md Shukri Shuib, opined that the poor understanding on Hudud is also because PAS was never serious in realising the Hudud laws in Kelantan and made use of Hudud for its own political gains.

“Why did it take so long for PAS to bring the Hudud to the Dewan Rakyat after passing the law in Kelantan in 1993? They are in fact not serious in the undertaking and moreover PAS’ version of Hudud contradicts with Allah’s Hudud.

“Among the obvious contradictions are the age of adolescence or mukalaf where PAS in its enactment passed in 1993 stipulated 18 as the age of adolescence for men and women. This goes against the practice of Ahlul Sunnah Wal Jamaah that set different adolescence ages for men and women,” he said.

Md Shukri pointed out that with such ambiguities in PAS’ own brand of Hudud, it would be difficult to make the public understand and accept the Hudud.

If the PAS government in Kelantan does not make amendments to the fundamental issues like the age of adolescence, then any thief 16 years of age will escape from the Hudud.

“Things become more complicated with PAS giving its assurance that the Hudud would only be implemented in Kelantan and only applies to Muslims. The Hudud, in fact, applies to all, regardless whether one is a Muslim or not.

“If it does not involve non-Muslims, how is Hudud to address crimes involving both Muslims and non-Muslims? And what happens when the crime is committed by a Kelantanese in another state or when the perpetrator of a crime in the state is not a Kelantanese?” he asked.

Md Shukri opined that PAS brand of Hudud might not be carried out justly as its enforcement is limited to Kelantan and there were many ambiguities and overlapping of jurisdictions that have yet to be ironed out.

Political unity is needed
He pointed out without political unity and clout among Muslims, formulating and implementing Islamic laws would definitely face hurdles.

“When the Muslim society is not united, it would be difficult to implement the Islamic laws. When Muslims could not even see eye to eye on the word ‘Allah’ and Comango issues, PAS’ attempt to move the Hudud bill in Dewan Rakyat is no more than to serve its own political agenda,” he said. -- Bernama

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