You wrote that the verse 5:32, which restricts the death penalty only for two cases are still applicable on Muslims as well.
The verse 5:33 states the punishment for those who oppose God and His messenger and the verse 2:178 deals with Qisas. I am still not clear how these verses prove that 5:32 is still applicable on muslims. The verse 5:32 clearly states that the law mentioned in the verse was imposed on Children of Israel? On what basis, do you conclude that the verse 5:32 is still applicable on Muslims?
I have a pertinent doubt, I read that the Torah mentiones death penalty for adultery, but the verse 5:32 says otherwise.
Could you please answer on this?
In the original answer, it was written:
the verses of Al Ma’idah 5:33 and Al Baqarah 2:178 are inline with the verse Al Ma’idah 5:32.
Verse 5:32 is not directly specifying any rules for punishment (although indirectly it does). The verse is revealing an important fact with very strong words. It says that killing someone without any divinely given justification is as grave an act as killing all people. According to this verse, Bani Israel were informed that these divine justifications for killing were only two:
- Killing one who makes corruption in the land (Fasad Fi Al-Ardh)
- Killing a Murderer
The beginning of the verse starts with: “It was because of this (crime) that …” so “this (crime)” here refers to the story of Qabil (i.e. Cain) killing Habil (i.e. Abel) that is given in verses 27 to 31.
This means that the reason behind the above decree (in verse 5:32) is nothing specific to Bani Israel. The reason is in fact rooted in the very nature of the human being. The incident of Qabil killing Habil is the first (but definitely not the last) evidence that illustrates how human beings can be so selfish and destructive in trying to please themselves. It was because of this fact that such a directive was given.
In other words, the decree in verse 5:32 is based on a universally applicable fact, that is the gravity of killing without justification. The directive is not specific to Bani Israel, or Bani Ishmael or any particular nation because the reason for this directive was not specific to any nations. The reason is because of the nature of human being (as is evident in the story of Habil and Qabil).
It is not difficult to understand why the decree was specifically revealed to Bani Israel, if we remind ourselves about the role of that nation. Bani Israel were the divinely chosen nation; that means a nation that can get the most benefit from having Messengers and Prophets and is set as the norm and role model for other nations.
Given that Bani Ishmael then received a similar position as Bani Israel, we see that inline with verse 5:32 (that is based on the same philosophy), the same two crimes are mentioned (5:33 and 2:178) this time addressing Muslims and with specific reference to killing as a punishment. Verse 5:33 talks about those who create disorder in the land and, thereby, declare a war against God and His Messenger, while verse 2:178 gives directives about killing a murderer.
To summarise what I said above, the verse 5:32 is about the gravity of killing without having a divine justification. These divine justifications are clearly mentioned in this verse. The story given in the verses before 5:32 reveals that the gravity of killing with no divine justification is a universal and an unchangeable fact that applies to human being because its grounds are rooted in human beings. The reason why Bani Israel were given such directive was that they were the chosen nation of God. For the same reason Bani Ishmael were permitted to consider killing as a punishment only for the same two reasons that were given in 5:32.
I read that the Torah mentiones death penalty for adultery, but the verse 5:32 says otherwise.
Yes there are verses in Torah that seem to specify the death penalty for adultery. In fact, if you look at the Old Testament you will find that there are numerous crimes for which death penalty (specifically stoning) are mentioned as punishment. The main thing is that the general directive given to Bani Israel is clearly mentioned in verse 5:32. This verse therefore has to be our ultimate point of reference and any other apparently conflicting evidences have to be understood and/or evaluated according to this verse.
It should be noted that (unlike for the case of murder), there are no specific definitions of exactly what crimes can be seen as Fasad in land. The main thing is that Fasad is crime against the society in general rather than against individuals. According to Javed Ahmed Ghamidi for instance, the reason why some of the forms of adultery (like rape, prostitution etc.) had received the punishment of stoning at the time of the Prophet was because these were crimes against the society and therefore Fasad in land by the Prophet.
Accordingly it is possible to argue that the directives of Torah about stoning for cases related to sexual crimes were in fact applications of Fasad (corruption) in the Land.