It is unimaginable to think that the holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) would have authorized stoning to death as punishment for adultery. The punishment for adultery is very clear in the Qur’an: ‘Flog each of them with a hundred stripes’ (24:3). The Quran does not differentiate between married and unmarried. The Qur’an has clearly stated the punishment of Zina to be one hundred lashes. Nevertheless, there are a number of hadith, according to which during the times of the Prophet (pbuh), some people involved in the crime were stoned to death. Stoning to death for offences such as adultery is not a Quranic law and is therefore unIslamic. The supreme source of Islam is the holy Quran, any hadith that contradicts it can not be accepted as Sahih.
The Holy Prophet said ‘It is not for me of my own accord to change it. I follow naught but what is revealed unto me’ (10:15).
Mistakes in the hadith are not uncommon. Just look at these hadith from Sahih Muslim;
Book 041, Number 7050:
‘A’isha reported that when the desert Arabs came to the Messenger (may peace be upon him) they asked about the Last Hour as to when that would come. And he looked towards the youngest amongst them and said: If he lives he would not grow very old that he would find your Last Hour coming to you he would see you dying).
Book 041, Number 7051:
Anas reported that a person asked Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as to when the Last Hour would come. He had in his presence a young boy of the Ansar who was called Mahammad. Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: If this young boy lives. He may not grow very old till (he would see) the Last Hour coming to you.
Can any Muslim in his right mind believe that Allah misinformed the Prophet (PBUH)?
If this is not enough, then look at these contradictions in Sahih Bukhari;
You offer a prayer which I did not see being offered by Allah’s Apostle when we were in his company and he certainly had forbidden it (i.e. two Rakat after the Asr prayer). Narrated by Muawiya – 1.561
Whenever the Prophet come to me after the ‘Asr prayer, he always prayed two Rakat. Narrated by Aisah – 1.567
Still not convinced? Then look at this hadith:
Narrated Ash-Shaibani: “I asked ‘Abdullah bin Abi ‘Aufa about the Rajam (stoning somebody to death for committing illegal sexual intercourse). He replied, ‘The Prophet carried out the penalty of Rajam (stoning to death),’ I asked, ‘Was that before or after the revelation of Surat-an-Nur? (Noble Verse 24:2)’ He replied, ‘I do not know.’ (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Punishment of Disbelievers at War with Allah and His Apostle, Volume 8, Book 82, Number 824)”
So, no one is certain on when the Noble Verse 24:2 was revealed! This should be more than enough for us to apply the punishment in the Noble Verse for all cases of adultery; for single and married people!
Allah has said in the Quran; ‘we have explained in detail in this Quran for the benefit of mankind every kind of similitude’ (18:54) ‘Nothing have we omitted from the Book’ (6:38) ‘Do they not consider the Quran (with care)? Had it been from other than Allah they would surely have found therein much discrepancy’ (4:82). ‘The word of thy Lord find its fulfillment in truth and in justice and none can change His words (6:116).
The Ayat of the Quran, which says ‘Pay heed unto God and pay heed unto the Apostle’, does not carry two orders, but one. The instructions and injunctions are given in the Quran and were revealed to the Prophet (PBUH) and he gave them to the Ummah in the same spirit. ‘The Messenger’s duty is only to preach the clear (message) (24:54) A state can only be called Islamic if it acts according to the Quran, the practice of stoning people to death for adultery is unIslamic.
It is however possible that the Prophet (PBUH) sentenced people to be stoned to death, but not as punishment for adultery. The Prophet (PBUH) may have punished people in this way who acted in such a cruel and an inhumane way that they deserved nothing less than this kind of punishment.