Warnings and punishments for crimes and sins in Islam

Javed Ahmad


There are many do’s and don’ts in Islam. Some are stricter than the others. On this table based article I have tried to show the comparison between the punishments of some sin and crimes in an Islamic society and a secular society. The Islamic references are taken directly from Qur’an and Hadith translations to convince the Muslims as many of them are not even aware of the punishments prescribed in Islam.


There is no judiciary in an Islamic system of governance. Usually respected citizens of a society with thorough knowledge of Islam play the role of the judge in judging a case in a neighborhood. Thus, the word “Fatwa” is used for decisions given by them as a verdict of a case they handle. Therefore, there is no career path for lawyers in Islam as we find in a secular system. Quotes and references from the Qur’an and Sunnah are used draw conclusions to deal with cases. In Islam, there are some pre-declared punishments and warnings for some crimes and sins that are discussed below.



Crime / Sin


Secular & other


Stealing and robbery

As to the thief, male or female, cut off his or her hands: a punishment by way of example, from Allah, for their crime: and Allah is Exalted in power. (TQM 5:38).


Narrated 'Aisha: The Prophet said, "The hand should be cut off for stealing something that is worth a quarter of a Dinar or more."  (Bukhari Book #81, Hadith #780).

Jailed for sometime or fined.


Murder or manslaughter

O ye who believe! The law of equality is prescribed to you in cases of murder: the free for the free, the slave for the slave, the woman for the woman. But if any remission is made by the brother of the slain, then grant any reasonable demand, and compensate him with handsome gratitude, this is a concession and a Mercy from your Lord. After this whoever exceeds the limits shall be in grave penalty. (TQM 2:178).

Imprisonment or death sentence (in some countries).


Fornication and adultery

“The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication, - flog each of them with a hundred stripes: Let not compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by God, if ye believe in God and the Last Day: and let a party of the Believers witness their punishment.” (TQM 24:2). [Here we find flogging as the punishment for adultery. But in some hadith we find stoning to death is the punishment. One such hadith is given below].

Narrated ‘Abdullah bin Umar : The Jew brought to the Prophet a man and a woman from amongst them who have committed (adultery) illegal sexual intercourse. He ordered both of them to be stoned (to death), near the place of offering the funeral prayers beside the mosque.”  (Bukhari Book #23, Hadith #413)

Not a punishable crime in a secular society as long as the act is done mutually. If it is a rape then the rapist maybe jailed for sometime.


Lying, cheating and breaking of promises

Narrated Samura bin Jundub:...They said, ‘Proceed!’ So we proceeded and came to a man Lying flat on his back and another man standing over his head with an iron hook, and behold, he would put the hook in one side of the man’s mouth and tear off that side of his face to the back (of the neck) and similarly tear his nose from front to back and his eye from front to back. Then he turned to the other side of the man’s face and did just as he had done with the other side. He hardly completed this side when the other side returned to its normal state. Then he returned to it to repeat what he had done before. I said to my two companions, ‘Subhan Allah! Who are these two persons?’...he is the symbol of the man who goes out of his house in the morning and tells so many lies that it spreads all over the world. (Bukhari Book #87, Hadith #171).


Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "The signs of a hypocrite are three: 1. Whenever he speaks, he tells a lie. 2. Whenever he promises, he always breaks it (his promise ). 3. If you trust him, he proves to be dishonest. (If you keep something as a trust with him, he will not return it.)"  (Bukhari Book #2, Hadith #32)

Although considered a crime, but is wide spread in a secular society, especially in the political arena. Breaking of promises is a political norm in a secular society.



The Prophet (S) said: If anyone intercedes for his brother and he presents a gift to him for it and he accepts it, he approaches a great door of the doors of usury. (Abu Dawud).

Although considered a crime, but is widely practiced in a secular society, especially in the political arena.


Usury [It carries different meanings as there are many different kinds of usury, riba or interest being just one of them].

Those who devour usury will not stand except as stand one whom the Evil one by his touch Hath driven to madness. That is because they say: “Trade is like usury,” but Allah hath permitted trade and forbidden usury. Those who after receiving direction from their Lord, desist, shall be pardoned for the past; their case is for Allah (to judge); but those who repeat (The offence) are companions of the Fire: They will abide therein (for ever). (TQM 2:275).

Not considered a sin in a secular system. The foundation of their economics is based on interest.



Woe to every (kind of) scandal-monger and-backbiter, Who pileth up wealth and layeth it by, Thinking that his wealth would make him last for ever! By no means! He will be sure to be thrown into That which Breaks to Pieces, And what will explain to thee That which Breaks to Pieces? (It is) the Fire of (the Wrath of) God kindled (to a blaze), The which doth mount (Right) to the Hearts: It shall be made into a vault over them, In columns outstretched. (TQM 104:1-9).

Not considered a sin or crime in a secular system.


Eve teasing

[Do not normally occur in an Islamic society where women are wearing hijab / nikab. But the problem is, majority of the Muslim women living in a secular system do not even know that hijab is compulsory on them. Many tend to think that hijab for a Muslim woman is an optional matter. Following reference proves it. There will be no “eve-teasing” in a Muslim society if the Muslim women obey this command].

And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband’s fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! Turn ye all together towards Allah, that ye may attain Bliss. (TQM 24:31).

A common occurrence in a secular society where women freely mix with men and indulge in sexual relationships out of wedlock and they do not mind teasing from opposite sexes. Rather often they see it as a sexy compliment.


Indecency, immorality and lewdness

If two men among you are guilty of lewdness, punish them both. If they repent and amend, Leave them alone; for Allah is Oft-returning, Most Merciful. (TQM 4:16). [Type of punishment not mentioned here but we find a hadith that mentions a punishment, which is given below].

Narrated Samura bin Jundub:...They said to me, ‘Proceed!’ So we proceeded and came across something like a Tannur (a kind of baking oven, a pit usually clay-lined for baking bread).” I think the Prophet said, “In that oven t here was much noise and voices.” The Prophet added, “We looked into it and found naked men and women, and behold, a flame of fire was reaching to them from underneath, and when it reached them, they cried loudly. I asked them, ‘Who are these?’ ...those naked men and women whom you saw in a construction resembling an oven, they are the adulterers and the adulteresses;... (Bukhari Book #87, Hadith #171).

In some secular societies some degree of intolerance is there, but in most cases it is tolerated. Now-a-days they are considered modern fashion, thus tolerated.


Ignoring morning prayers (Practicing Muslims go to bed early to rise early morning before sunrise to offer the fajr prayer.)

Narrated Samura bin Jundub:...One morning the Prophet said, “Last night two persons came to me (in a dream) and woke me up and said to me, ‘Proceed!’ I set out with them and we came across a man Lying down, and behold, another man was standing over his head, holding a big rock. Behold, he was throwing the rock at the man’s head, injuring it. The rock rolled away and the thrower followed it and took it back. By the time he reached the man, his head returned to the normal state. The thrower then did the same as he had done before...They replied, ‘We will inform you: As for the first man you came upon whose head was being injured with the rock, he is the symbol of the one who studies the Quran and then neither recites it nor acts on its orders, and sleeps, neglecting the enjoined prayers. (Bukhari Book #87, Hadith #171).

People in secular societies go to bed late and wake up late and do not offer any prayers in the morning on a daily basis.


Drinking alcohol

Narrated ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab: During the lifetime of the Prophet there was a man called ‘Abdullah whose nickname was Donkey, and he used to make Allah’s Apostle laugh. The Prophet lashed him because of drinking (alcohol). And one-day he was brought to the Prophet on the same charge and was lashed. On that, a man among the people said, “O Allah, curse him ! How frequently he has been brought (to the Prophet on such a charge)!” The Prophet said, “Do not curse him, for by Allah, I know for he loves Allah and His Apostle.”  (Bukhari Book #81, Hadith #771).

Drinking alcohol is an acceptable social norm in a secular society often considered a healthy habit.


Unmindful of haram and halal

Narrated Tarif Abi Tamima: I saw Safwan and Jundab and Safwan’s companions when Jundab was advising. They said, “Did you hear something from Allah’s Apostle?” Jundab said, “I heard him saying, ‘Whoever does a good deed in order to show off, Allah will expose his intentions on the Day of Resurrection (before the people), and whoever puts the people into difficulties, Allah will put him into difficulties on the Day of Resurrection.’” The people said (to Jundab), “Advise us.” He said, “The first thing of the human body to purify is the abdomen, so he who can eat nothing but good food (halal and earned lawfully) should do so, and he who does as much as he can that nothing intervene between him and Paradise by not shedding even a handful of blood, (i.e. murdering) should do so.”  (Bukhari Book #89, Hadith #266).

Ignorant about dietary laws prescribed in their religious books. For instance, Christians have been prohibited from eating pork in the Old Testament, but are fond of it simply because Paul who never saw Jesus Chirst said so. In other words, they have taken Saint Paul as their leader instead of Jesus Christ.


Ignoring Friday prayers

Narrated Al-Ja’d ad-Damri: The Prophet (S) said: He who leaves the Friday prayer (continuously) for three Friday on account of slackness, Allah will print a stamp on his heart.  (Abu-Dawd Book #3, Hadith #1047).

Secular people with some religious belief may go to their house of worship once a week (Jews on Saturday and Christians on Sunday), but do not expect any punishment for no show.



The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter;  (TQM 5:33).

Hypocrisy is the foundation of a secular society. By definition, the word ‘secular’ carries the following meanings: 

1. Of or pertaining to worldly things or to things that are not regarded as religious, spiritual, or sacred; temporal: secular interests.

2. Not pertaining to or connected with religion (opposed to sacred): secular music.

3. Concerned with nonreligious subjects (of education, a school, etc.)

4. Not belonging to a religious order; not bound by monastic vows (opposed to regular of members of the clergy).

This ‘world’ is about ‘life’, so ‘worldly thing’ means ‘lively things’. Life itself is spiritual, sacred and temporal. Religion (e.g., nature) is all about living a life in this world. Therefore, secularism is in denial of life and religion. But can it be possible? The definition itself is wrong and deceptive!




Narrated ‘Abdullah: The Prophet said, “He who slaps the cheeks, tears the clothes and follows the traditions of the Days of ignorance is not from us.”  (Bukhari Book #23, Hadith #385).

In a secular society people considers ignorance as bliss and that results in a political tyranny.


Human rights (Kindness and justice)

Narrated Asmabint Abu Bakr: My mother came to me, hoping (for my favor) during the lifetime of the Prophet asked the Prophet, “May I treat her kindly?” He replied, “Yes.” IbnUyaina said, “Then Allah revealed: ‘Allah forbids you not with regards to those who fought not against you because of religion, and drove you not out from your homes, that you should show them kindness and deal justly with them.’...(60.8)  (Bukhari Book #73, Hadith #9).

Secular societies talks big on human rights issues giving blind eye to all the mishaps and injustices that goes on in a society and around the world.



If any do that in rancour and injustice,- soon shall We cast them into the Fire: And easy it is for Allah. (TQM 4:30).

Justice is reserved and guaranteed for elites and high ranking people in a secular society and not for common folks. An innocent person could get locked up just on the basis of ill tip and suspicion.


Promoting evil

Allah loveth not that evil should be noised abroad in public speech, except where injustice hath been done; for Allah is He who heareth and knoweth all things. (TQM 4:148).

Promotion of lust, greed and immorality through Hollywood, marketing ads and pornography is not considered evil.


Secrecy, plots and deception

Narrated Sad: I heard the Prophet saying, “None plots against the people of Medina but that he will be dissolved (destroyed) like the salt is dissolved in water.”  (Bukhari Book #30, Hadith #101)


Do then those who devise evil (plots) feel secure that Allah will not cause the earth to swallow them up, or that the Wrath will not seize them from directions they little perceive?- (TQM 16:45).

A secular governance system is full of secrecy and deception. Existence of a powerful hidden and a shadow entities is common (e.g., Freemasonry, Illuminati, Skulls & Bones, etc.).


Pride and arrogance

Narrated Ibn Umar: The Prophet said, “While a man was walking, dragging his dress with pride, he was caused to be swallowed by the earth and will go on sinking in it till the Day of Resurrection.”  (Bukhari Book #56, Hadith #692).


Narrated Abu Musa: A man came to the Prophet and said, “A man fights for pride and haughtiness another fights for bravery, and another fights for showing off; which of these (cases) is in Allah’s Cause?” The Prophet said, “The one who fights that Allah’s Word (Islam) should be superior, fights in Allah’s Cause.” (See Hadith No. 65, Vol. 4)  (Bukhari Book #93, Hadith #550).


“And swell not thy cheek (for pride) at men, nor walk in insolence through the earth; for Allah loveth not any arrogant boaster. (TQM 31:18).

Pride and arrogance is a common observation among the people of a secular society. They do not see anything wrong in feeling that way as they credit their advantages due to superior genes inherited from their earlier generations, which has no scientific base or proof.



To orphans restore their property (When they reach their age), nor substitute (your) worthless things for (their) good ones; and devour not their substance (by mixing it up) with your own. For this is indeed a great sin…Those who unjustly eat up the property of orphans, eat up a Fire into their own bodies: They will soon be enduring a Blazing Fire!  (TQM 4:2, 10).

“Greed is good!” is the philosophy of the disbelievers and their entire life is centered on it.


Obligatory poor due and purification of wealth (Zakat)

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “Whoever is made wealthy by Allah and does not pay the zakat of his wealth, then on the Day of Resurrection his wealth will be made like a bald-headed poisonous male snake with two black spots over the eyes. The snake will encircle his neck and bite his cheeks and say, ‘I am your wealth, I am your treasure.’ “ Then the Prophet recited the holy verses:-- ‘Let not those who withhold . . .’ (to the end of the verse). (3.180).  (Bukhari Book #24, Hadith #486).

Zakat is compulsory in an Islamic state which is only 2.5% of the total wealth over the nisab (exempt) amount due annually. But in secular states it has been transformed into taxes of different forms forcing people to pay as high as 50-70% of their earnings! Practicing Muslims, on top of these taxes also pays zakat.


Secular governments take taxes to run their own affairs. Muslims pay zakat for the sake of Allah as a business deal hoping for higher returns in the life here after guaranteed by Allah.


Hoarding and stocking of food.

Prophet Muhammad (S) said, “None hoards the food items except the sinner.” (As-Suduuq, Man La Yahduruhu ‘l-Faqih, vol. 3, p. 169).


“And let not those who covetously withhold of the gifts which God Hath given them of His Grace, think that it is good for them: Nay, it will be the worse for them: soon shall the things which they covetously withheld be tied to their necks Like a twisted collar, on the Day of Judgment. To God belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth; and God is well-acquainted with all that ye do.” (TQM 3:180).

Since disbelievers do not believe in existence of Allah and thinks they are in charge of their own lives, therefore they have developed concepts like warehouses for stockpiling of food items thus resulting in market supply and demand and inflation resulting in higher profit motives.


Hoarding of wealth.

Narrated Zaid bin Wahb: I passed by (visited ) Abu Dhar at Ar-Rabadha and said to him, "What has brought you to this land?" He said, "We were at Sham and I recited the Verse: "They who hoard up gold and silver and spend them not in the way of Allah; announce to them a painful torment, " (9.34) where upon Muawiya said, 'This Verse is not for us, but for the people of the Scripture.' Then I said, 'But it is both for us (Muslim) and for them.' "  (Bukhari Book #60, Hadith #183).

The concept of savings came from the disbelievers as during the time of Prophet (S) people used live on their daily earnings keeping just a little and spending the rest for the sake of Allah. Total dependence on Allah is something that we see among the Muslims only.


Rape and prostitution

Those who slander chaste women, indiscreet but believing, are cursed in this

life and in the Hereafter: for them is a grievous Penalty,- On the Day when their tongues, their hands, and their feet will bear witness against them as to their actions. (TQM 24:23-4).


Narrated Abu Masud Al-Ansari: Allah's Apostle regarded illegal the price of a dog, the earnings of a prostitute, and the charges taken by a soothsayer.  (Bukhari Book #36, Hadith #482).

In many Western societies a rapist walks away free while the blame goes to the victim. Prostitution is legal in many secular nations including Muslim majority secular nations like Bangladesh.



O Children of Adam! wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer: eat and drink: But waste not by excess, for Allah loveth not the wasters. (TQM 7:31).


Narrated Al-Mughira bin Shu'ba: The Prophet said, "Allah has forbidden for you, (1) to be undutiful to your mothers, (2) to bury your daughters alive, (3) to not to pay the rights of the others (e.g. charity, etc.) and (4) to beg of men (begging). And Allah has hated for you (1) vain, useless talk, or that you talk too much about others, (2) to ask too many questions, (in disputed religious matters) and (3) to waste the wealth (by extravagance).  (Bukhari Book #41, Hadith #591).

People in secular societies do waste to some degree, but the rich people in the Middle-Eastern countries wastes even more. In many of their festivities they waste tremendous amount of food.



O ye who believe! If a wicked person comes to you with any news, ascertain the truth, lest ye harm people unwittingly, and afterwards become full of repentance for what ye have done. (TQM 49:6).


Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Amr: The Prophet said, "A Muslim is the one who avoids harming Muslims with his tongue and hands. And a Muhajir (emigrant) is the one who gives up (abandons) all what Allah has forbidden."  (Bukhari Book #2, Hadith #9).

Harming by secret plots and due to racism, bigotry or open hostility is very common in a secular society.



Narrated Thabit bin Ad-Dahhak: The Prophet said, "Whoever swears by a religion other than Islam, is, as he says; and whoever commits suicide with something, will be punished with the same thing in the (Hell) Fire; and cursing a believer is like murdering him; and whoever accuses a believer of disbelief, then it is as if he had killed him."  (Bukhari Book #78, Hadith #647).

Cursing, blaming and swearing are very common in a secular society. “God damn it” is a common sentence we hear.

TQM = Translated Qur’an meaning.


Conclusion: “Punishment” – which is a fear factor to deter people from committing crime and sin in this world works when applied properly. Crime and sin flourishes without punishments. The Western world gets terrified when they see the Muslim societies implementing punishments according to the Qur’an and Sunnah calling them “medieval” in nature. But those are the punishments that are prescribed by the creator of mankind and ordered the prophets and the followers of the prophets to implement them. Not implementing them as prescribed and going against them would make us (Muslims) rebels in the Kingdom of God.


Islam is a ‘package deal’. Take it or leave it, no modifications allowed. The Muslim nations that have adopted secular system of governance dropping Islamic Shariah are therefore at treason with Allah and his Prophet (S). And the non-Muslims who are rejoicing after reading this paper thinking that these punishments have nothing to do with them because they are not a Muslim – are wrong! Becoming a Muslim and adhering to Islamic principles is a requirement for all as Islam is the last and final religion for mankind. Everyone will be asked on the Day of Judgment why has one not accepted Islam after it had reached them. Better prepare a valid answer to defend oneself if one can. Else, join Islam and become a Muslim!


“Whatever good, (O man!) happens to thee, is from Allah. But whatever evil happens to thee, is from thy (own) soul. And We have sent thee as an apostle to (instruct) mankind. And enough is Allah for a witness…Messenger. who gave good news as well as warning, that mankind, after (the coming) of the apostles, should have no plea against Allah. For Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise…O mankind! The Messenger hath come to you in truth from Allah. Believe in him: It is best for you. But if ye reject Faith, to Allah belong all things in the heavens and on earth: And Allah is All-knowing, All-wise…O mankind! Verily there hath come to you a convincing proof from your Lord: For We have sent unto you a light (that is) manifest.” (TQM 4:79, 165, 170, 174).


“Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah: The Prophet said, "I have been given five things which were not given to any one else before me. 1. Allah made me victorious by awe, (by His frightening my enemies) for a distance of one month's journey. 2. The earth has been made for me (and for my followers) a place for praying and a thing to perform Tayammum, therefore anyone of my followers can pray wherever the time of a prayer is due. 3. The booty has been made Halal (lawful) for me yet it was not lawful for anyone else before me. 4. I have been given the right of intercession (on the Day of Resurrection). 5. Every Prophet used to be sent to his nation only but I have been sent to all mankind.”  (Bukhari Book #7, Hadith #331).


After the advent of Islam, all earlier religions have become null and void for mankind no matter what geographical area they are occupying in the world.


“…This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. But if any is forced by hunger, with no inclination to transgression, Allah is indeed Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.” (TQM , Al-Maeda, Chapter #5, Verse #3).


Further, it is suggested by Allah – the Creator Himself that no one should die in any faith other than Islam,


“O ye who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of islam.”  (TQM , Aal-e-Imran, Chapter #3, Verse #102).


All members of mankind (Black, white, brown and yellow) are born in the state of Islam.


“Narrated Ibn Shihab: The funeral prayer should be offered for every child even if he were the son of a prostitute as he was born with a true faith of Islam (i.e. to worship none but Allah alone). If his parents are Muslims, particularly the father, even if his mother were a non-Muslim, and if he after the delivery cries (even once) before his death (i.e. born alive) then the funeral prayer must be offered. and if the child does not cry after his delivery (i.e. born dead) then his funeral prayer should not be offered, and he will be considered as a miscarriage. Abu Huraira, narrated that the Prophet said, "Every child is born with a true faith (i.e. to worship none but Allah alone) but his parents convert him to Judaism or to Christianity or to Magainism, as an animal delivers a perfect baby animal. Do you find it mutilated?" Then Abu Huraira recited the holy verses: 'The pure Allah’s Islamic nature (true faith i.e. to worship none but Allah alone), with which He has created human beings.' " (30.30).  (Bukhari, Book #23, Hadith #440)


Therefore, returning or reverting to Islam is quite easy, simply by declaring “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” Then begin to learn and follow Islamic practices as a Muslim.




Qur’an & Hadith search engine: http://www.searchtruth.com/


Qur’anHadiser aloke Muslim purush O Mohilader koroneoborzonio. Edited by Dr. Engr. Mosharraf. [Distributed at cost by the author. He could be reached at 01552-399600 and 01915-602993].