In Shariah Law, punishments or penalties for committing certain crimes is already mentioned in Quran or in Sunnah. These are known as Hudud. The punishments or penalties for Hudud cases are already fixed. However, in cases, where the punishment or penalty for a crime is not mentioned in both these sources then judge is the one who hands out appropriate punishment to the offender. In Islam, in certain crimes, the matter is between offender and victim. This means that if victim or his /her families choose, they can forgive the offender. For example, if a person commits a murder, the victim’s family can choose to forgive the murderer for certain amount of compensation known as Diyya or nothing.
According to Sharia Law, the following punishments are to be handed out to the offenders:
- Any deserter from Islam or a person who converts from Islam to another religion is considered a serious offender. All such offenses of deserting Islam is punishable by death.
- In early days of Islam, highway robbery was a common crime and to eliminate this crime, the punishment for highway robbery was death.
- Theft or stealing results in two kinds of punishment, depending on the nature of the crime and the quantity of the crime. One punishment is imprisonment, the other one is amputation of arm. The amputation does not take place unless there are two adult eye witnesses to the crime. If two eye witnesses are not there, the punishment cannot be handed out. Even in presence of eye witnesses, the quantity of stolen item, the reason behind theft are important aspects of the crime.
- Zina (if proven, it also requires four male eyewitnesses to the crime) will result in 100 lashes for unmarried man or woman. For married man or woman, the punishment is even harsher. If a married man or woman is accused of adultery and is proven, their crime is punishable by 100 lashes and stoning to death.
- On the other hand, if the accusation of Zina appears to be false, then the accuser is punishable by lashes.
- Consuming drinks such as alcohol that makes a person lose sense of his surroundings is also punishable by lashes.