So there shouldn’t be a problem, right? Wrong. That does not begin to exonerate Islam from playing a role in stonings committed under Islamic law.
Apologists like to give the impression that Islam is a sola scriptura affair, relying entirely on the content of the Qur’an. It makes it easier to sell unbelievers the notion of the Qur’an as uncreated, complete unto itself, and not dependent on the cultural and temporal context in which it was purportedly revealed to Muhammad.
But that is not the case, and in that regard, the “experts” in the story below are being incredibly disingenuous. There is a Qur’an-only movement within Islam, but it is an extreme minority view at variance with the views of the major sects.
Indeed, Islamic ritual and conduct depend intensely on the details provided by ahadith in Sunni as well as Shi’ite Islam, and while the collections differ in organization and emphasis (with the Shi’ite texts in general naturally affording greater importance to the imam Ali), they converge a great deal in letter and spirit.
Sunni hadith texts, including Sahih (“reliable”) Bukhari, record Muhammad and his companions as being directly involved in stonings of men and women, and Muhammad is, of course, a “beautiful pattern of conduct” for believers, per Qur’an 33:21.
Better yet, the Bukhari collection posits that — whoops — the verses on stoning are curiously missing from the Qur’an:
‘Umar said, “I am afraid that after a long time has passed, people may say, “We do not find the Verses of the Rajam (stoning to death) in the Holy Book,” and consequently they may go astray by leaving an obligation that Allah has revealed. Lo! I confirm that the penalty of Rajam be inflicted on him who commits illegal sexual intercourse, if he is already married and the crime is proved by witnesses or pregnancy or confession.” Sufyan added, “I have memorized this narration in this way.” ‘Umar added, “Surely Allah’s Apostle carried out the penalty of Rajam, and so did we after him” (Sahih Bukhari 8.82.816).
Clearly, this tradition has survived on the Shi’ite side as well, and runs much deeper than apologists would have one believe.
“Quran doesn’t call for stoning, experts insist,” from CNN, July 9:
International outcry – and the pleas of a devoted son – seem to have saved an Iranian woman from being stoned to death for adultery.
But while Sakineh Mohammedie Ashitani has been granted a reprieve, she is not the only woman sentenced to be stoned for adultery in Iran. There have been at least six sentences carried out since 2006, says Ann Harrison, an Iran expert at Amnesty International in London.
Adultery is the only crime that carries such a penalty in Iranian law, she said.
Only a handful of countries have laws calling for stoning, and Iran is the only one that carries out executions that way, Amnesty International records suggest.
That is because Islam doesn’t really want the punishment to be carried out, says Ziba Mir-Hosseini, an Iranian-born campaigner against the practice.
Why would a religion so otherwise fixated on submission and obedience to Allah and his prophet include a prescription for something that shouldn’t really be put into practice?
“Stoning is not a Quranic punishment, it is Islamic jurisprudence. It happened later,” says Mir-Hosseini, an expert on Iranian family law at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. “The punishment for any kind of sexual relations (outside of marriage) in the Quran is 100 lashes,” she says….
And we’re supposed to be okay with that cruel and unusual punishment as a substitute? For that matter, are we to believe that because it’s “just” Islamic jurisprudence, it’s less of a problem?
Read it all. While the story later acknowledges the presence of stoning in the ahadith, it continues its line of deception in downplaying the role of the ahadith, and falsely elevating a Qur’an-only image of authentic Islam.