Do you think it is better for an Islamic state to implement the punishments of the Shari’ah in public in order to instill the fear of God in the people — to provide vicious reminders of God’s amazing wrath? Or should certain punishments be secluded?
The Qur’an has expressly directed the Muslim state to implement the punishment of flogging, in public, upon those guilty of fornication. In fact, implementation in public, is a part of the punishment for fornication prescribed by the Shari`ah. Besides the punishment of fornication, implementation in public is not a necessary requirement of the Shari`ah. This implies that the Shari`ah neither prohibits nor makes it mandatory for the state to implement all the prescribed punishments in public.
In view of the above, if the legislators of a Muslim state consider it to be in the general benefit and well being of the Muslims to implement all the punishments prescribed in public. Nevertheless, it should be kept in mind that in all such issues the legislation of one Muslim state may vary from another and also the legislation of one Muslim state may vary over time, depending upon the opinion of the majority of its public representatives.
I hope this helps.
June 5, 2002