“Al Shabaab, which has been waging a war for years to topple the Horn of Africa country’s western-backed government, seeks to bring in rule based on its strict interpretation of sharia law.”
In reality, there is no version of Sharia that doesn’t mandate death for adultery. Many Muslim countries don’t implement Sharia in its fullness, but they don’t have some different, benign interpretation of Islamic law. 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 an excellent example for him who looks to Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much” (Qur’an 33:21).
Somalia’s Islamist group al-Shabaab has publicly stoned a woman to death in a town in the south for cheating on her husband, an official told Reuters.
Al Shabaab, which has been waging a war for years to topple the Horn of Africa country’s western-backed government, seeks to bring in rule based on its strict interpretation of sharia law.
Sheikh Mohamed Abu Abdalla, al-Shabaab’s governor for Somalia’s Jubba regions in the south, said Habiba Ali Isak, a 30-year-old mother of eight children, was killed by stoning in Sakow on Thursday afternoon….
Members of al-Shabaab have in the past handed out harsh punishments for religious infractions including hacking off of limbs for alleged thieves and public executions.
Isak lived with her legal husband and children in Hagar village in Jubba, but cheated on her husband after she told him she was travelling to Mogadishu to visit her relatives, Abdalla said.
Her legal husband, Ali Ibrahim, subsequently found out his wife did not go to Mogadishu but instead had married again and was living with another husband in Sakow….