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Jawabdeyh: Zara Sochieye Special

Host: Iftikhar Ahmed
Guest: Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman

Jawabdeyh’s Zara Sochieye special episode is a link that attempts to highlight issues that promote and/or represent imbalance and injustice in our society and have divided us for years.

* What is the difference between Zina and Zina-bil-Jibr?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: Zina is the act that has the consent of a woman but if a woman is coerced or pressurized into this act, than this is called Zina-bil-Jibr.

* Zina is a sin and for that a man is answerable to Allah?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: Absolutely! A person is answerable to Allah and to the world as well. Like a killer, who has to face not only Allah on the judgment day but also has to be dealt with according to the laws of the world.

* Zina-bil-Jibr is against humanity and is a part of the Fasad fil Arz, do you agree with this?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: This is an act against the humanity, against morality as well as a revolt to the laws set down by Allah and is the gravest of sins.

* If I say Zina is Fasad fil Arz?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: Zina-bil-Jibr is Fasadfe Alarz for sure.

* I am talking about Zina-bil-Raza?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: Zina-bil-Raza is also Fasad fil Arz, just like Zina-bil-Raza. There can be differences in Fasadfe Alarz. Anything that goes against the laws of Allah and destroys life, property, emotions and a human’s respect is Fasaad.

* According to Chapter 2-A of Hudood Ordinance 1979, an adult is a male who has reached 18 years of age and a female who is 16 years of age or has reached the age of puberty is considered an adult.
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: The Islamic Ideology Council (2001-2004) had a formal debate on the issue of Zina and proposed amendments in the Ordinance. One of the points agreed upon was that 15 years was to be set as a limit of sexual maturity.

* Why was there a need to amend it?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: Although the laws have been set by Allah, but we have updated it suit the present times. Where there was an ambiguity, we have tried to remove it.

* So you agree that removing an ambiguity is not un-Islamic?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: Absolutely!

* The demand to remove an ambiguity is not un-Islamic then?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: If it’s within the parameters of Hudood Shariat.

* Are these laws not created according to Hudood Shariah?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: These are according to Hudood Shariah.

* If this was created under the Hudood Shariyah, then why did no one realized about the ambiguities in it?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: When a law is applied in practice, there can be complexities, shortcomings. They can always be solved. The difference in our point of views and the secular opinion is that we want the changes to be made with in the Hudood-e-Shariyee.

* If a girl who is twelve years old and reaches puberty, is convicted of Zina. If four males give witness against her, could she be stoned to death?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: There are two things here; one is the basic Islamic law that says that if there is sexual maturity than the punishment is to be imposed. But since the law is created, there are parameters to be set and the punishment will then be dependent accordingly.

* What’s the situation now?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: According to the present times, 15 years of age is set as the limit for puberty. But if you go according to Shariyat, when sexual maturity is proved, the punishment is to be given.

* I have a clear question, will the 12 year old be stoned to death or not?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: If puberty is proved, age is not the only constraint.

* Whether the girl is mentally mature or not?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: If she is mature, then the laws of Allah are applicable to her.

* We tell a 10 year old to say his prayers, but do parents ever tell a 10 year old the difference between Zina and Zina-bil-Jibr?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: If he omits the act of Zina and forces someone into it, this means that he is mature and knows what he is doing. The laws have set an age for conviction.

* So will the 12 year old girl be stoned to death if 4 males testify against her?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: If you suspend the legal system then this will happen. If there is a law that has a set age for puberty, then the punishment would be given according to it.

* There are certain things that are prohibited in Islam and certain things that are allowed. You say that the Ordinance fits well within the parameters of Islam.
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: This Ordinance is within the parameters of Islam. There are certain ambiguities there though that makes it difficult to comprehend, the vagueness can be removed.

* How can one find the four witnesses or Zina-bil-Jibr?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: Through investigation and through scientific methods and medical test, rape can be proved. The punishment will then be given under Tazir and this is allowed in Sahiryat and law.

* Is Tazir punishment according to Shariyah?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: Shariyat allows for Tazir.

* The laws that are in Tazir, they are not Islamic as they do not fall in Hadd?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: They are not Hadd but if a Muslim ruler implements Tazir, then that is Islamic law too. In the times of Khilafat Rashda, and even today, any law that is not against the Sharia will be treated as Islamic law. That is why the IIC has reviewed the laws and proposed for amendments.

* The difference between Hudood and Tazir is that Hudood Allah are the laws set by Allah while Tazir are man made laws and keep on being changed according to times. In the Islamic times, Tazir was never called the Islamic law. Isn’t this purely under the legal framework? Do you agree?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: Tazir are made according to the guidelines prescribed by Allah. The difference between Hudd and Tazir is that while Tazir can be updated according to the times, there can be no compromise on Hudood Allah.

* Can we create Islamic law?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: All these laws that are drafted in the Parliament, if they are not in conflict with the word of Allah, can be called as Islamic laws and have to be followed accordingly.

* So you don’t see a difference between the laws of Islam and the laws created by Muslims?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: According to Islam, any law created by Muslims that does not contradict with the rules set by Allah, is to be followed.

* Islam urges us to follow it but it won’t be the Islamic law?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: It would be according to Islam but will not have Hadd.

* It would be according to Islam but will not be Islamic?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: The difference between Hudood and Tazir is that Hudood Allah cannot be compromised on; they cannot be altered at all. Another law that is not against the spirit of Islam is Islamic law and has to be followed.

* Is it true that according to the Hudood Ordinance, a woman cannot testify?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: In the Hudood, Zina-bil-Jibr does not require testimony that can have someone stoned.

* What is the reason for this?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: This is Allah’s law and his decision.

* What ayat would you quote for this?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: The Quran says “and four men will testify”.

* But that is for Zina.
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: Right.

* But where does it say that a woman cannot testify?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: Ummat has done Ijma on it, in the issue of Hudood…

* Where in the Quran is it mentioned?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: If someone says that without Quran, there is no Islam, then in Quran, no where is it mentioned about praying five times a day and neither is there the way of performing it. Is Namaz the un-Islamic?

* Tell me some Hadith that says that a woman cannot testify in Hudood.
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: Its there in Musnaf Abn-e-Abee Sheeba and Musnaf Abdul Razaq. In Musnaf Abn-e-Abee Sheeba, Zehri says that the Prophet Mohammad(PBUH) and the Khalifas afterwards have continued that the testimony of women is not important.

* Can four Muslims come forward and testify for a rape?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: If they can’t come, then the punishment is there too. As a responsible person, I am saying this.

* You are saying this as a responsible being but can four Muslims testify for rape?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: Even if they are not there, the punishment can be imposed under the Tazir laws.

*How many people were convicted by the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: A man and a woman were punished for this in the time of the Holy Prophet(PBUH).

* Can four people, who offer prayers, pay Zakat and have an Islamic lifestyle, watch a woman being raped?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: If were there, then will try and protect.

* When a woman is raped, and cannot present four witnesses, she is called the sinner because by lodging a report she has agreed that Zina has happened. What do you say about this?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: If there is proof of being forced into it, then she will not be punished.

* Some of 50 women witness a rape, then there won’t be any convictions as there were no four male witnesses?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: People have not mentally accepted this law since the beginning. State one example where 50 women witnessed a rape. Again I say, the punishment would be under Tazir and they will not be punished under Hudd.

* Isn’t this discrimination against the woman?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: If you and I try to sort out all the decisions of Allah according to our perceptions then we can say. But when we bow down to Him, then its Hukam Illahi.

* If four witnesses are needed and the pregnancy of an unmarried woman is there, will she be convicted of Zina?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: According to the Fiqah, she will not be punished.

* Is keeping a woman in jail un-Islamic?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: Basically we have issues about the wrong use of this. We have proposed that the Federal Shariyat Court be extended in its powers and a qazi be appointed where the Hudood crimes can be directly reported rather than lodging a FIR and having the police manipulate.

* So you agree that the Hudood Ordinance is not a suitable document?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: Hudood Ordinance is there but we also have the Pakistan Penal Code, Pakistan Procedural Code, there is Zabta-eFaujdari and Qanoon-e-Faujdari. The Zabta-e-Faujdari cannot be changed.

* Who is responsible for this?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: The ruler of yore and the ruler today.

* The Ulema joined in to please the ruler of that time but now there are problems being created thanks to the ambiguities in the law. Why aren’t they being looked into?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: We have been demanding time and again and this has got nothing to do with us being pleased. If the law of Allah is implemented, you say that it is being done to please us.

* Do you realize the horrific consequences of implementing the laws half way through?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: Its there in our constitution and the laws. The failure of it lies with incapability of the humans as human implement the law.

* Are there ways to prove rape other than the witness factor?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: To prove rape, circumstantial evidence, medical evidence and testimony are all applicable and can be used.

* Is it necessary for the witnesses to be pious and religious, they should not have committed a crime and have an Islamic lifestyle?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: If he has admitted to committing a crime and is a Hajji, then his testimony is acceptable.

* Is Tazkia Alshahood in need of changes?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: Tazkia Alshahood can be set in vast parameters and the Qazi can accept a witness according to the prevailing time. After the satisfaction, he can accept a testimony.

* Can a non-Muslim testify?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: In issues pertaining to Hudood?

* How can we implement these laws on the non-Muslims?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: Aren’t the laws allover the world applicable to Muslims too?

* There they are not judged according to religion.
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: We can convict a non-Muslim according to their laws but if they are Christians and Jews, then the punishment is also prescribed as stoning.

* But they will be dealt according to their laws?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: But according to that what is stated in the present day Torah. The Holy Prophet (PBUH)convicted a Jew according to his religion. In their religion, Rijam is common.

* Is it allowed in Islam that a non-Muslim be punished according to the Hudood Ordinance?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: The law of the land is applicable to all whether it is Pakistan or the world over.

* If the accused is a non-Muslim, then the witnesses shall also be non-Muslims. Non-Muslims are convicted under the Hudood law when this law is purely for the Muslims?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: Hudood is in the common law; hence it is applicable with the condition that the witnesses will be non-Muslims. Islam does not permit that on one hand, Muslims are reigned in while on the other, the non-Muslims are given a free hand.

* Is there no concept of providing safety and security to non-Muslims in Islam? Are they allowed to live according to their religions?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: There are provided cover in the Personal Law which gives them the right to worship and spend their lives according to their religion. In that particular sphere, they do not fall under the common law of the country.

* Is it true that a person who is unable to provide four witnesses is labeled a Fasiq and would be lashed 80 times as well as lose the right to testify ever again?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: Yes, he/she would be declared Fasiq. He will be lashed too. As far the testimony go, Fiqah Hanifi denies him the right to do, while the other Fiqahs have allowed for it.

* Is it true that if someone accepts that he accused someone to improve the society; he is forgiven and not convicted?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: I say that if someone accuses a respectable woman but cannot prove it according to the requirements of Shariyaa, then Hadd-e-Qazuf is to be imposed on him.

* So the punishment should be according to Hudd?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: Tazir is also the Islamic law.

* If Rijam is the punishment then why stoning is carried out? Why are the culprits shot dead later?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: Rajam means to throw stones. By casting stones, the process of sangsaari is initiated while shooting is simple to ease the pain.

* So Rijam means that whenever you want, you start throwing stones and whenever you feel like, you should shoot? Does Islam say anywhere that start with stoning and ends with shooting?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: Islam says that the punishment is to be initiated with stoning. It is stated in Ahadith that stoning should lead to death. The middle path has been taken out where by stoning marks the punishments while to ease the suffering, the person is shot dead.

* In Rashida Patel case, the Federal Shariat Court has given a ruling that allows for a different criterion for witnesses in the cases of Zina and Zina-bil-Jibr. According to the judgment, the government was bound to introduce this amendment within 90 days otherwise it was to become a law automatically, The then government with malice, challenged the decision that remains unattended even after the lapse of almost 15 years. Now this is felt by the federal Shariat Court and it has stated that the ambiguities be cleared up,
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: We are not against the clearing up ambiguities.

* So there should be a change in the witness procedure for rape and it should be differentiated from Zina?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: Yes, the witness criteria should be changed. Also, Zina and Zina-bil-Jibr should be distinguished.

* How many people have been sentenced under the Hudood Ordinance?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: No one has been sentenced.

* So one should believe that in Pakistan, pious people reside and there are no crimes?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: This only tells that a crime cannot be proved according to Nisab-e-Shahdat.

* Should we be happy about this?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: We should be sad.

* Is the Hudood Ordinance in line with Quran and Sunnah?
Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: Hudood is according to Quran and Sunnah but the doubts should be removed. The Hudood laws are completely in sync with Quran and Sunnah.

* We are not talking about Hudood. Is the Hudood Ordinance in line with Quran and Sunnah?

Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman: Though the Hudood Ordinance has been drafted by humans, there can be ambiguities and they can always be corrected.


Jawabdeyh: Zara Sochieye Special

Host: Iftikhar Ahmed
Guest: Javed Ahmed Ghamdi

Jawabdeyh’s Zara Sochieye special episode is a link that attempts to highlight issues that promote and/or represent imbalance and injustice in our society and have divided us for years.

* What is the meant by Hudd?
J. Ghamdi: Hudd is a Fiqahi term. It talks of the punishments that have been stated in the Quran and Sunnah. In the Quran, the word Hudood is used for many things apart from the punishments, Hudood is used to define the limits set by Allah.

* Is this right to assume that Hudood are those punishments that are set in Quran and Sunnah?
J. Ghamdi: If you go according to the Fiqhi conjecture, then Hudood is the limits set in Quran and Sunnah and most Fiqahs go according to this belief.

* Do you agree with this?
Justice Ghamdi: No, I don’t.

* What’s the reason?
J. Ghamdi: In my opinion, the explanation that we have is used for punishment but since the Quran and Sunnnah do not imply the use of Hudd as a correctional method, then we have no right to impose it as such. I do not object to the Hudood Ordinance because it has the word “hudd” in it. I have five objections on it and I truly believe that considering these five objections would not allow anything in the Hudood Ordinance to remain.

* What are the five objections?
J. Ghamdi: The first objection that I have on this ordinance is that it does not differentiate between Zina and Zina-bil-Jabr. There is a difference in them. Then the punishments for a single and a married person are different too. The Ordinance does not make a clear distinction between Zina and Zina-bil-Jabr (rape). The most peculiar thing is that when the Tazir is explained, the creators of this Ordinance try explaining the laws in their own terms and have made a distinction.

* What clause are you talking about?
J. Ghamdi: I am talking about the clause that pertains to Zina where it is stated that in what conditions where Hudd applicable. It also states that if Hudd is not applied, then Tamari is to be imposed. Then again, in Tazir, there is a difference that 10 years punishment is imposed. Let me tell you that the penalty for Zina-bil-Jabr should range from a minimum of 5 years to a maximum of 25 years. When they are differentiating between Zina and Zina-bil-Jabr while making laws. Going by the human capabilities of comprehension, this difference is to be accepted by all.

* There is a difference between Zina and Zina-bil-Jabr’s punishments.
J. Ghamdi: That difference is there when the punishment is being given under Tazir laws.

* The difference between Zina and Zina-bil-Jabr is there and the meanings of both are well defined?
J. Ghamdi: They have made a distinction about it but when the punishment is given out in the light of Islam, they treat Zina and Zina-bil-Jabr as the same.

* In the light of Quran and Sunnah, how do you make a distinction?
J. Ghamdi: When Zina-bil-Jabr is carried out, two acts take place, there is Zina, and there is force. This is similar to the act of theft by a person, where in someone steals and also uses force. I believe that these are two crimes and hence the punishment should be for two acts, Zina and Jabr (force).

* What do the Quran and Sunnah say about this?
J. Ghamdi: In the Quran and Sunnah, the entire Hiraba explains it well that when the life, property or dignity of a human being is violated, punishments should be given.

* Isn’t Zina-bil-Raza a threat to dignity?
J. Ghamdi: It is a threat to morality. It’s like a man doing something against the will of the other.

* Do you think that the punishment set for Zina-bil-Raza in this Ordinance is against Shariyat?
J. Ghamdi: True! One should understand Shariyat. What we think is what Shariyat is.

* What do you think should be the punishment for this act?
J. Ghamdi: 100 lashes should be the extreme punishment given that a person committed this act as a last resort. If there is the use of force in this act, then the punishment should be given out under Hiraba. It is a separate law that is explained in the Quran.

* Do you agree with the view point of Shah Turabul Haq Qadri that all the Hudood laws are created by Ijma and Qiyas of the Ummah and are stated in religious books too?
Justice Ghamdi: I only believe in the laws that are set up by Allah and the Holy Prophet.

* But the interpretation of Quran and Sunnah is also done by humans?
J. Ghamdi: Humans do interpret the law but we can tell them where they are right and wrong, and we have a right to do so.

* Is there room for an error?
Justice Ghamdi: There is always room for an error.

* So under the cover of criticism, do you want to eliminate all the Islamic laws?
J. Ghamdi: Give me a chance to make myself clear. I have already stated one of the objections that I have.

* Tell us about the other objections.
Justice Ghamdi: This Ordinance does not differentiate between Zina and Zina-bil-Jabr. Secondly, on the basis of proof it gives out punishments, which means that the punishments vary according to the proof.

* Is the proof is of no importance in a crime?
J. Ghamdi: Proof is an important aspect but there cannot be two different laws. The ethics of justice demand that either a crime is proved or it is not. A crime can never be proved 90% or so.

* What is the difference in testimony?
J. Ghamdi: If the proof is of this nature, then the punishments are awarded under Hudd. If you convict someone under the Zina act, then under what considerations are you convicting him? If a man agrees that he has indulged in Zina, and you present four witnesses against him, then only can a punishment be give, if one of the witnesses backs out in court, what will you do then?

* Won’t we accept the other three witnesses?
Justice Ghamdi: Why would we do that?

* Tell us why they will not be entertained?
J. Ghamdi: If according to you, four witnesses are required to prove Zina, then how can you prove it if there is no fourth witness?

* So you are implying that to prove Zina, four witnesses are needed otherwise there is no sentence?
J. Ghamdi: I am not implying that. I am just stating the short coming in the ordinance that wants a different proof for Hudd and another one for Tazir. This is totally unacceptable.

* You did say that Hudd is the last sentence.
J. Ghamdi: In the last sentence, the crime and criminal are considered not the witness or proof. I have an objection to the fact that how you differentiate a sentence on the basis of proof. This is totally against the spirit of Islamic law. How can you say that a crime is 90% proven and if a crime has been proven then why not Hudd and if it has not been proven then why Tazir? Either a crime is proved or it is not, there is no middle ground. If you say a crime has been proven, then give a sentence for it. How can you give out punishments by grading a crime?

* Has the issue of Tazir arisen out of the saying of the Holy Prophet, “as far as possible, kept Hudd at bay”?
J. Ghamdi: The Hudd here is meant as punishment.

* What is your next objection?
J. Ghamdi: I have an objection that a distinction is made on the grounds of sex and religion. The ordinance states the witnesses should be Muslim males. This is an insult against Islam as no where in the religions of Allah such a thing is stated. The Quran and Sunnah make no note of this. As for the witnesses in Zina, there is no distinction on the basis of being a man or a woman. No where in the Quran it is stated that there should be four male witnesses? In proving a crime, the court decides about which witness’s testimony to consider.

Is it not necessary that the witness be a Muslim, with a string belief in religion and you can trust him to be telling the truth?

J. Ghamdi: Can a non-Muslim not be an honest person?
* What is the way according to Tazkia Alshahood?
J. Ghamdi: I believe we should consider those as well.

* No not according to you, you are not an authority. We are talking about how 1400 years back, they practiced Tazkia Alshahood.
J. Ghamdi: All through these 1400 years, there have been varied opinions across the Fiqah.

* Tell me a point that hints that a non-Muslim comes in the radius of Tazkia Alshahood.
J. Ghamdi: For a little while I choose to believe that it is stated no where.

* Okay, so you don’t believe but you tell us.
J. Ghamdi: I am saying that I agree with what Allah and his Prophet, but what people say, we have to consider that on human grounds.

* When was this taken into consideration before?
J. Ghamdi: I have always been reviewing it.

* When was it reviewed?
J. Ghamdi: We have implemented it as an Ordinance while the Fiqah had varied opinions.

* When the Hudood Ordinance was under consideration, wasn’t there a public debate?
J. Ghamdi: Nothing of that sort happened.

* The Ordinance was debated upon for two years?
J. Ghamdi: In my opinion the right way to go about it was to present it in the Parliament, have an open debate there and then it should have been accepted under the 8th Amendment.

* The Ordinance was debated upon for two years, with Ulema and the legal experts workedon it. It was sent to the Law Ministry and the experts from Saudi Arabia were called in and then it was drafted.
J. Ghamdi: If you are talking about the debate, it did happen but now that we realize that this Ordinance has its shortcomings, it can be amended. It’s not a divine law. I have my third objection that there is discrimination here on the grounds of sex and religion.

* There is the Ijma of Ummah that a woman cannot testify in the cases pertaining to Hudd. According to the books about Hadith, the testimony of a woman is not reliable. There is a riwayaat that quote the Holy Prophet and the Khilfas as saying that the testimony of a woman is not dependable. Then why is not a woman allowed to testify in Hudood?
J. Ghamdi: I only believe in Quran and the Prophet’s word. The laws of a certain era prevented women from testifying. Now we can admit a woman’s testimony.

* What were the grounds on which a woman’s testimony is not acceptable?
J. Ghamdi: I feel that it has a lot to with the cultural barriers and that mindset needs to be changed. In old day, women in Delhi traveled in a pallki and it was placed inside the courtyard. Is that a norm now?

* If I agree with you that the testimony of a woman is admissible, then where do I place the Hadith that states that the woman’s testimony is half that of man’s?
J. Ghamdi: The incident that points out towards this is stated in the Holy Quran. The ayat is in Surah Baqrah. The Quran is there, we can see what that particular ayat relates to. It’s not about the testimony in a crime.

* What does it states?
J. Ghamdi: The testimony for a crime is that where we do not choose the witness.

* Where is it stated in the Hudood Ordinance that a woman can not testify?
J. Ghamdi: This is still a debatable issue under Islamic law.

* Do you think that Tazir is an Islamic law?
J. Ghamdi: Tazir is a man made law. If you describing the punishments set out by Allah and the Quran, you have the Islamic law under discussion. It says that there should be two male witnesses who are Muslims. Now this condition is wrong, as the court decides who can be a witness.

* The condition is applied as the punishment is severe.
J. Ghamdi: Okay, lets assume that you have this condition that the witness is a Muslim, what has that got to do with the severity of the punishment?

* So if the witness is not a pious Muslim, then we should accept his testimony and stone a person?
J. Ghamdi: The testimony has got nothing to do with being pious or with being a Muslim or a non-Muslim.

* So the Ijma of Muslims is of no value?
J. Ghamdi: It has to be considered on what the Ijma deals with.

* The Ijma of the Ummah says that the testimony of a woman is not admissible, why are you against of this?
J. Ghamdi: One Ijma is that which falls back on the riwayaat of the Holy Prophet that is Hujjat in my opinion. The other Ijma relates to the comprehension, where in people agree on a certain issue and update it according to the present and prevailing times.

* So you say that if the testimony of woman was not acceptable in the time of the Holy Prophet, we should accept it now?
J. Ghamdi: Absolutely!

* Can you tell me if ever a non-Muslims testimony was admitted in the Hudd cases? Do you know of any such incident?
J. Ghamdi: If it was not accepted before, it should be accepted now. The reason is that in case of testimony, Allah and the Holy Prophet have stopped us otherwise we would give into what our comprehension understands.

* What is your fourth objection?
J. Ghamdi: The punishments do not overlook a criminal. Quran has said that certain things can be overlooked and considered. The punishments should be given according to the nature of the crime as well as the circumstances of the offender. In the Quran, there is the penalty of 100 lashes for Zina, but the in Surah Nisa, it is stated that this punishment is not for the female slaves. The reason for this is that they came from a lower background morally, socially and economically and they did not have the environment that prevents a person from committing Zina. So the Quran has exempted them from the punishment. Furthermore, it says that if a female slave is kept in better conditions, and is married but commits Zina. , then she would be sentenced to 50 lashes. The Quran clearly says that a person should be convicted according to the nature of the crime and his circumstances should be kept in mind before awarding him a punishment.

* So what you are implying is that the ambiguity that is being created here, this should not allow the implementation of Hudood Allah?
J. Ghamdi: The implementation of Allah’s law is a must. The ordinance is a misinterpretation of religion and presents a negative picture in front of people which is against knowledge and comprehension.

* So you say that it’s wrong to have set the age of sexual maturity as 18 years for a male and 16 years for a female? What objections do you have in this?
J. Ghamdi: I have no objection on that except that I am stating my objections. As far as the age of puberty is concerned, these are things that humans can work out and settled. There are mistakes that can be amended.

* What is your fifth objection?
J. Ghamdi: I also object to the fact this ordinance has certain punishments that should be given according to Shariyah but are not stated here. Hence, some sentences are not there in Shariyah but are mentioned here. For instance, there is the distinction between the sentence of a victim being single and married. It cannot be proved.

* What are you implying?
J. Ghamdi: What I am saying is that in the Quran, the penalty of 10 lashes is an extreme and final punishment. In this regard, the discrimination on the grounds of married and unmarried has occurred due to the misinterpretation of certain riwayaat. Secondly, under the Hiraaba, there should be punishments regarding crimes such as robbery and rape.

* Do you want an increase in this?
J. Ghamdi: I want the right interpretation and implementation of Islam.

* Do you agree with the definition of Zina and Zina-bil-Jibr in the ordinance?
J. Ghamdi: I have no objection on the definition of Zina and Zina-bil-Jibr but the words can always be rephrased and the definition can be made clearer.

* So you have no objection on the definition but you object to the punishments and the way the case is handled?

J. Ghamdi: The basics remain the same. If there are any shortcomings in the definitions, let them be. But as far as Islam is under discussion, there has been no definition of Zina. We define this according to the parameters of our comprehension. In the Taziraat-e-Pakistan, Zina-bil-Jibr is stated as a crime but no definition is there.

* You insist that Tazirat-e-Pakistan should be kept up and Zina-bil-Jibr be cleared from the Ordinance.

J. Ghamdi: In my opinion, these things form the spirit of the ordinance, what I have stated cannot be improved but under the guidance of Shairya, there should be suitable amendments. The punishments stated in Shariya are everlasting and are the law of Allah.

* Is it true that in Islam there is no concept of imprisoning a woman?
J. Ghamdi: There is no concept of a jail sentence. It’s a concept that arose after the Ijtihad of humans.

* There are millions locked up in jails. If I go according to your judgment, then they should all be freed?

J. Ghamdi: I never said so.

* Then suggest a way out?
J. Ghamdi: If you are referring to Islam, then what’s right or wrong, should jails be there or not are issues that pertain to the Ijtihad of humans. Here again, there is no debate on religion.

* Is there a concept of jails in Islam or not?
J. Ghamdi: Islam is silent on this issue.

* Then what should be done?
J. Ghamdi: Ijtihad is the answer.

* Isn’t the Hudood Ordinance Ijtihad?
J. Ghamdi: It is an amalgamation of two things, one is the implementation of the religion and the other is Ijtihad. I have not made an issue of this.

* Is this Ijtihad or not?
J. Ghamdi: 83 clauses of this ordinance are based on Ijtihad. I have not made an issue of this.

* Taking this as cover, you are going against all the Islamic laws.
J. Ghamdi: I respect the Islamic laws and I am ready to lay down my life for them.

* You are playing with words. You want to get rid of this document as it has no relation to Islam although it is said to be created in the name of Islam.
J. Ghamdi: Anything that has been falsely linked with Islam, one should get rid of it as soon as possible.

* Do you agree with Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman’s thinking, that women should be locked up in homes?

J. Ghamdi: I would prefer that. Here again, its all about Ijtihad and the Shariya is not under debate. I would like to see laws that do not threaten the honour of women.

* Why should the Hudood Ordinance not be applicable o non-Muslims?
J. Ghamdi: This is a religious law and cannot be forced upon minorities as they are exempted from it.

* If one party is Muslim and the other a non-Muslim, how will the situation be dealt then?
J. Ghamdi: They cannot be punished simultaneously. A Muslim woman would be sentenced according to the Islamic law while a non-Muslim would be sentenced according to his set of laws.

* What would be the requirements of the witnesses in this regard?
J. Ghamdi: The same that is prevalent the world over. It is important that the witness does not lie and bears no grudge to anyone has no objectionable relations.

* Is there a differentiation between the sentences that are awarded to a Muslim and a non-Muslim in the Holy Quran?
J. Ghamdi: There is no differentiation.

* Then why are you insisting on it?
J. Ghamdi: The reason it that the Islamic law is applicable to Muslims only. When a non-Muslim has no belief in Islam, they cannot be judged according to it.

* So the public law of a Muslim state is not applied to non-Muslims?
J. Ghamdi: There are two parts in the public law, one that is based on religious laws and the other that follows a secular pattern. A law made on secular terms is applicable to all.

* So you say that the Hudood Ordinance is not applicable to non-Muslims,
J. Ghamdi: What difference does it make? Look at the historical facts, when Quran was revealed, if the Jews wanted, they could take their cases to their separate courts.

* You want to eliminate the Hudood Ordinance and revert back to the punishments of the Pakistan Penal Code?
J. Ghamdi: I want the amendments to be made in line with Shariyat. For instance, in the section pertaining to Zina, I want to have this written that the nature and circumstances if the crime be considered and if the person can not be awarded any leniency, then he should be punished according to the law of Allah. Al these things can be made implemented and no separate ordinance is needed. As you can see, 83 clauses that have been created by humans have been linked with the religion.

* What are the changes that you want require Ijtihad. How will Ijtihad happen?
J. Ghamdi: What I am saying, I want the whole nation to listen to it. If someone has an objection, that should also be heard. The Parliament should then decide.

* So if you want structural changes, you will present a new map too?
Justice Ghamdi: Of course. In my opinion, this is clear that we need to look into Tazirat-e-Pakistan and Zabta-e-Faujdari, which has explained all these crimes. As far as Shairyat is concerned, amendments can be made.

* You are saying that when the law was drafted, public opinion was not taken in account?
J. Ghamdi: Public opinion was not taken. The issue should have been debated and discussed the way it could have been. Has it been presented for a debate in the right manner? If it had been, many of its short comings would have been removed long time back.

* What laws were made in Pakistan after public opinion?
J. Ghamdi: It’s tragedy that it never happened!

* If a man carries on with a debate against Islamic law stating that these were not created by Allah and his Prophet while his point of view is completely different, what is the punishment for that person?

J. Ghamdi: I feel that such a man would not be able to face Allah. I still say that these laws are the wrong interpretation of my religion and do not come in line with the orders of my Allah and the Holy Prophet.

* How many Ulema in Pakistan agree with you?
J. Ghamdi: I have no idea, but I say what I feel.

* Do you agree with Maulana Usman Taqi that whet is ordinance was made, a certain segment was against it as they did not want the law of Quran and Sunnah to be implemented?
J. Ghamdi: You should call that segment and ask this question.

* Due to the western propaganda, these people were against the Hudood Ordinance?
J. Ghamdi: I am not interested in those people; I am just presenting my stance.

* Of the crimes stated in the ordinance, if there is proper investigation done in the cases, would this law be acceptable to you then?
J. Ghamdi: This law is not acceptable to me at all and this is not the solution to a problem.

* You are stuck with your opinion; don’t you think that this exacerbates the situation?
J. Ghamdi: I am stating my perspective. I am not carrying on with a campaign, but I am talking about this issue since 1980. When this law was presented and implemented, I was even critical about it then. This is not something new to me and I do say that it is the wrong interpretation of Islam.