Can I Have a Problem with the Application of the Penal Code?

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


Is it permissible to believe that the effectiveness of hudud laws in deterring sin is limited, given their challenging implementation and Allah’s encouragement for leniency?

Can I consider the application of hudud in a country as potentially insignificant in preventing sin without it being considered akin to deeming hudud unnecessary?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to what pleases Him. Amin.

It is essential to avoid making sweeping statements that undermine the significance of any Sacred Rulings, including hudud, or question their necessity. The Quran and Sunna provide guidance on implementing these punishments, and scholars have interpreted them within the framework of traditional Sacred Law.

We advise you to approach discussions related to Sacred Law, including the implementation of hudud punishments, with a deep understanding and respect for the traditional principles and framework of Sacred Law. Discussions of this nature, however, fall within the realm of legitimate scholarly discourse and not personal opinions.

Humility and Knowledge

When expressing opinions on such sensitive issues, it is crucial to do so with humility and a recognition of one’s own limitations in understanding the divine wisdom behind Islamic laws. It is not necessarily kufr to discuss the potential impact of hudud punishments on society or to express concerns about their practical application. Still, it is not befitting if one lacks the required knowledge.

Allah says: “Do not follow what you have no ˹sure˺ knowledge of. Indeed, all will be called to account for ˹their˺ hearing, sight, and intellect.” [Quran, 17: 36]

Discerning the Wisdom of Laws

Suppose you have reservations or concerns about the correct understanding, wisdom, or application of hudud in deterring people from sinning. In that case, we recommend engaging in constructive dialogue with knowledgeable scholars who can provide a more nuanced understanding of the Islamic legal framework. Seekers of knowledge should approach these discussions with an open heart, seeking to enhance their understanding rather than outright dismissing established principles without a solid foundation.

While discussing and seeking clarification on matters related to sensitive sacred laws is acceptable, it is crucial to maintain a respectful and measured approach, avoiding statements that may undermine the sanctity of Islamic laws or the divine wisdom behind them.

I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.

[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan.

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and pursuing his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.