The man who is conducting the inquiry into what Afghanistan’s President calls a “heinous act” is in favor of that act, and says, “If you’re married and you commit adultery, you have to be stoned.”
The advocates of stoning are universally described as “extremists,” but they can and do claim that they are simply implementing Islamic law. The caliph Umar, one of Muhammad’s closest companions, maintained that the punishment of stoning for adultery (this story doesn’t specify the method of punishment, but the outcome of the punishment is the same in any case) was originally in 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.” (Bukhari, vol. 8, bk. 82, no. 816)
“Allah’s Apostle” is, of course, Muhammad, who did indeed carry out stonings. Here is the hadith in which he challenges the rabbis about stoning, and in which there is amidst the barbarism and brutality a final act of love and compassion:
The Jews came to Allah’s Apostle and told him that a man and a woman from amongst them had committed illegal sexual intercourse. Allah’s Apostle said to them, “What do you find in the Torah (old Testament) about the legal punishment of Ar-Rajm (stoning)?” They replied, (But) we announce their crime and lash them.” Abdullah bin Salam said, “You are telling a lie; Torah contains the order of Rajm.” They brought and opened the Torah and one of them solaced his hand on the Verse of Rajm and read the verses preceding and following it. Abdullah bin Salam said to him, “Lift your hand.” When he lifted his hand, the Verse of Rajm was written there. They said, “Muhammad has told the truth; the Torah has the Verse of Rajm. The Prophet then gave the order that both of them should be stoned to death. (‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar said, “I saw the man leaning over the woman to shelter her from the stones.” (Bukhari, vol. 4, bk. 56, no. 829)
Even the monkeys practiced stoning, according to another hadith:
During the pre-lslamic period of ignorance I saw a she-monkey surrounded by a number of monkeys. They were all stoning it, because it had committed illegal sexual intercourse. I too, stoned it along with them. (Bukhari, vol. 5, bk. 58, no. 188)
Muhammad’s example is, of course, normative for Islamic behavior, since “truly in the messenger of Allah you have a good example for him who looks to Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah often” (Qur’an 33:21).
“Afghan Mullah Leading Stoning Inquiry Condones Practice,” by Rod Nordland and Jawad Sukhanyar, New York Times, November 7, 2015 (thanks to Thomas):
KABUL, Afghanistan — After men believed to be Taliban fighters forced a 19-year-old named Rukhshana into a freshly dug pit and methodically stoned her to death for adultery, a video of the killing surfaced on the Internet and incited outrage.
Western embassies and human-rights groups denounced the attack as another example of abusive treatment of women by the Taliban. President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan called it a “heinous act” and ordered an investigation, sending a delegation to the central province of Ghor, where the attack took place.
One of the leaders of that presidential delegation, however, is a prominent, pro-government mullah who believes the stoning and flogging of adulterers is perfectly justified — as he made clear both in a sermon on the Ghor killing at Friday Prayer and in a subsequent interview on Friday.
“If you’re married and you commit adultery, you have to be stoned,” said the mullah, Maulavi Inayatullah Baleegh, during his sermon at Pul-e Khishti mosque, Kabul’s biggest, on Friday. “The only question was whether this was done according to Shariah law, with witnesses or confessions as required,” he said. “It is necessary to protect and safeguard the honor of women in society, as it was done in the past during the time of the prophet.”
In the interview later, Maulavi Baleegh also declined to criticize the Taliban over the Ghor stoning or to give an opinion on whether a Shariah trial held by the insurgents would be considered religiously valid. “Do you want me to have a fight with the Taliban?” he said, when a reporter asked about the Taliban role in the killing, and he declined to say anything further about the insurgents’ actions.
Maulavi Baleegh, who is a prominent member of the National Ulema Council, the country’s highest religious authority, and is an adviser to Mr. Ghani on religious affairs, said he was told he would lead the presidential investigating commission when it goes to Ghor this week.
His theological support for the sort of stoning he is being sent to investigate is emblematic of the national conundrum over the role of Shariah law, particularly when it comes to punishment for so-called moral crimes. The Afghan Constitution recognizes Shariah as well as civil law, but a presidential decree known as the Elimination of Violence Against Women Act, issued in 2009 but never ratified by Parliament, outlawed the stoning and flogging of adulterers….
That Act was foredoomed in light of Sharia, and was probably just window dressing to please the “human rights community.”