Divisions of Punishment
Punishment is divided into three classes:
1. Hadd. 2. Qisas. 3. Ta’zir.
1. Hadd [pl. hudud] [literally that which is defined] is that punishment, the limits of which have been defined in the Qu’ran and hadîth [the Traditions of the Prophet]. The following belong to this class:
a) Adultery, for which the adulterer must be stoned.
b) Fornication, for which the guilty persons must receive one hundred stripes.
c) The false accusation of a chaste person or a virtuous man or woman with adultery, for which the offender must receive eighty stripes.
d) Apostasy which is punishable with death.
e) Drinking intoxicating liquor, for which the offender must receive eighty lashes.
f) Theft, which is punished by cutting off the right hand.
robbery: For robbery only, the loss of hands and feet, and for robbery
with murder, death, either by sword or crucifixion. This division of punishment has already been dealt with at length in the foregoing chapters.
2. Qisas [literally retaliation] is that punishment which, although fixed by the law,
can be remitted by the person offended against, or in the case of
murdered person, by his heirs. It is applicable to cases of murder and
3 Ta’zir, i.e. punishment which is left to the discretion of the judge. The following chapter presents a thorough explanation of the ta’zir [punishment].
Discretionary Correction or Ta’zir
Ta’zir [Arabic] from ‘azr [to censure or repel], is that discret-ionary correction administered for offences, for which hadd or fixed punishment has not been appointed. According to the Sunni Law, the following are the leading principles of ta’zir:
Ta’zir in the primitive sense means “prohibition” and also “instruction”; in the law it
signifies an infliction undetermined in its degree by the law, on
account of the right of God, or of the individual, and the occasion of
it is any offence for which hadd or stated punishment has not been appointed, whether that offence consists in word or deed.
1) Chastisement is ordained by the law, the institution of it being established on the authority of the Qu’ran, which enjoins men to chastise their wives, for the purpose of correction or amendment, and the same also occurs in the traditions [examples of the Prophet].
It is recorded that the Prophet chastised a person, who had called
another “perjurer,” and all the Companions agreed concerning this.
Moreover both reason and analogy evince that chastisement had to be
inflicted for acts of an offensive nature in such a manner that man may
not become habituated to the commission of such acts, for, if they were,
they might by degrees be led into the perpetration of others more
atrocious. Though in chastisement nothing is fixed or determined, the
degree of it is left to the discretion of the Qadi, [judge],
because the design of it is correction, and the disposition of men with
respect to it is different, some being sufficiently corrected by
reprimands, whilst others, more obstinate, require confinement or even
2) There are four degrees of chastisement:
the chastisement proper to the most noble of the noble [or, in other
words. The most eminent and men of learning], which consists merely in
admonition, as if the Qadi were to say to one of them: “I understand that you have done this or that,” so as to make him ashamed.
the chastisement proper to the noble [namely commanders of armies and
chiefs of armies and chiefs of districts] which may be performed in two
ways, either by admonition [as stated above] or by jarr [Arabic], that is by dragging the offender to the door and exposing him to scorn.
5) Thirdly, the chastisement proper to the middle order [consisting of merchants and shopkeepers, etc.], which may be performed by jarr [as above] and also by imprisonment; and
6) Fourthly, the chastisement proper to the lowest order in the community, which may be performed by jarr or by imprisonment and also by blows. 
above degrees are in no way imperative upon the judge who is at liberty
to inflict what punishment is destructed according to his own judgment
the Muslim law makes no chastisement. [The Author].
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