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Death penalty by beheading NOT a Quranic culture


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Author Topic: Death penalty by beheading NOT a Quranic culture  (Read 3741 times)
Zeynab
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« on: March 07, 2008, 01:26:09 am »

 BismEm


Let's be loud and clear about the truth.  The Noble Quran says nothing about beheading.  The Quran does not anywhere define the method of execution that convicted murderers should receive death by beheading.  The Quran mentions nothing on any methods of execution.  There is not a single verse in the Quran that says or even remotely hints that death sentence of a convicted criminal must be carried out by beheading nor public beheading.  In fact, except in the case of a convicted murderer, the Quran does not endorse capital punishment for any other violation.  Even in the case of a convicted murderer, they can be forgiven by the family members of the deceased if they decide to do so.

As per the values of this Great Book, the only thing that must be considered is that if a convicted criminal is given the death penalty, his or her execution must be carried out in as painless and humane a  method as possible. 

The Quran is very particular about this aspect.  Even the slaughter of animals for food is to be done as quickly as possible with the minimal of pain.  For this reason The Almighty Allah has forbidden those animals as food that have died by beating, or by being strangled, or by goring, or by falling from a height.  These are all painful methods of death.  Also, The Almighty has forbidden the consumption of the animal's blood as food, because the Noble Quran forbids and abhors all gestures of brutality.  Hunting in Islam is permissible only for the purpose of acquiring food.  There is no concept of the practice of hunting as a mere sport or entertainment in the Quran.  This culture has since long been popular in non-Islamic societies.

It's also important to know that when the Quran mentions of having witnesses to a punishment, that does not mean making the act 'public' as commonly presumed by unperceiving and belligerent critics.  To witness such an event simply refers to an official confirmation of carrying out a sentence according to its legal requirements and for purposes of maintaining an official record.  These witnesses are not to be from the general public, but only a handful of people representing the legal institution and the law enforcing agency.  This practice of witnessing executions exists until the present time in every country.  In the United States when a condemned prisoner is taken for execution (which is by lethal injection nowadays), that person's death is witnessed by members of the police and legislature.  I suppose the total number of witnesses would be not more than 7 or 8 people approximately.  However, this may differ from country to country.   If Saudi Arabia carries out executions in the midst of the general public, the it is the country's own wayward and twisted ideas with complete disregard to the infinitely compassionate commandments of the Quran and ignoring the norms of civilization.   Such practices are the fault of the government and community, NOT the responsibility of Islam.

Considering the above aspects as matters of civilized consideration towards animals, one can imagine the great importance of Quranic values concerning humane methods of execution for human beings.

Way back, since death by beheading was the quickest method of execution, it might be the only worthwhile option for the law to approve.  But with the passing of time as the world advances technologically and subsequently more painless methods of execution are discovered, implementing these other methods is in NO way a violation of the Quran.  Much to the contrary, it's very much in accordance with Quranic values because as already mentioned, the Quran has by NO means endorsed beheading.

The Noble Quran promotes the use of rationalism.  With the availability of more humane legal practices, the Quran does not give preference to blind adherence to old traditions.  Besides, be it old traditions or new ideologies, these are to be accepted or rejected on the basis of their spiritual and ethical correctness or lack of it.  Traditions by themselves carry no importance if they violate the indispensable values as elucidated in the Noble Quran.

Yet, each time there's a discussion on death by beheading, the practice is taken for granted as being synonymous with Arabs and Muslims in general.  It's the limit of absurdity!

Unfortunately hardly any Muslim countries since the past 1,000 years have followed the true precepts of the Noble Quran.  However irritating it might sound to a Hadith follower, the truth is that the Hadith and its sprouting peripheral sources - shariah and fiqh -  have spread too many  negative interpolations and transgressions.  After all, it's almost totally from the Hadith from which ensues the shariah and fiqh, and hadith presents itself as "Islam" to the world.   The non-Muslims know nothing about separating the huge differences of the Quran and from the man-written Hadith.  They take the words of the imams and other clerics at face value that ahadith are the "sayings of the Prophet."  Nearly all non-Muslims also consider the words of Hadith as Quranic contents. This is the extent of ignorance that exists both among the traditional Muslims an the non-Muslim at present.

The present monarchy of Saudi Arabia, a country that has gone too far renouncing the Noble Quraan in preference to the Wahabi practices with the title of "Shariah" etc., follows the practice of public beheadings most rigidly according to these man-made shariah laws.  It goes without saying that the culture of beheading in Saudi Arabia is purely the brainchild of the Wahabi clerics with absolutely NO links with the Noble Quraan.  Like 'honor killing,' this too is precisely the practice of the society, NOT the Faith.  The Saudi monarchy and the Wahabi clergy have since long had this unwritten political alliance with the understanding that the monarchy will accept the medieval laws of the Wahabi clergy in the name of "Islam" and in return, the Wahabi clergy will tolerate the rule of the Saudi royals with all their flaws and double standards.  This is no secret  yet most onlookers lack the rational perception of read this political deal.  We must all know that just because the Arabian peninsula was the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the land from where Islam began to spread, does not mean that the people of that land throughout history will be known as the final authority on Islam.  In factual terms, Islam means the Quran only.  The Quran gives no importance to geographical boundaries.  The Noble Quran judges humanity only and only on the basis of moral and ethical merits and the sincerity of their intentions.  Present-day Arabian peninsula commonly known as Saudi Arabia does NOT speak for Muslims, it has no connections with the Quran,  it does not have a system of government compatible with the practical demonstrations of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).  The Prophet strongly disagreed with any hereditary system of governance.  Kingdoms and monarchies have NO place in the true ideology of Islam.   Similarly, the Wahabi law of death by beheading in Saudi Arabia is a Saudi law, NOT and an Islamic law.  It is imperative to recognize the difference between the desires of a society and commandments of the Faith.

Thus, based on so many incorrect reasons, execution by beheading has falsely become the hallmark of Islam.

However, a careful inspection of the basics of history says a very different story.  Here's how it goes.  Beheading was widely used in Europe and Asia until the 20th century, but now is confined to Saudi Arabia and a few adjoining countries.  The following are excerpts quoted from the Richard Clark website on beheadings.

"Beheading with a sword or axe goes back a very long way in history, because like hanging, it was a cheap and practical method of execution in early times when a sword or an axe was always readily available.  The Greeks and the Romans considered beheading a less dishonourable (and less painful) form of execution than other methods in use at the time. The Roman Empire used beheading for its own citizens whilst crucifying others."

"Beheading was used in Britain up to 1747  and was the standard method in Norway (abolished 1905), Sweden (up to 1903), Denmark and Holland (abolished 1870), and was used for some classes of prisoners in France (up until the introduction of the guillotine in 1792) and in Germany up to 1938.  China also used it widely, until the communists came to power and replaced it with shooting in the 20th century. Japan too used beheading up to the end of the 19th century prior to turning to hanging."

In France .. "Beheading was seen as by far the most humane method of execution at the time and was allowed to people of noble birth in many countries. Ordinary prisoners were slowly hanged, broken on the wheel (an horrendously cruel form of execution) or burnt at the stake. The idea of a standardised, quick and humane death was much more in line with revolutionary thinking."   Also in France .. "Up to 1939, executions were carried out in public - normally just outside the prison gates. The crowds saw very little as the guillotine was always surrounded by gendarmes but reporters and invited witnesses were permitted. Eugene Weidmann became the last to suffer in public outside the Pallais de Justice at Versailles before a large crowd on the 17th of June 1939 for multiple murder. This execution was photographed and the shots appeared in the French press. The general public obviously enjoyed it more than was felt good for them and a week later, the government changed the law making all executions private."

"Saudi Arabia uses public beheading as the punishment for murder, rape, drug trafficking, sodomy, armed robbery, apostasy and certain other offences.  2007 has been the record year for executions with 153 men and three women executed."  Followed by description of public beheadings in Saudi Arabia.  In January 2016, mass execution was carried out in the Kingdom, beheading at least 40 prisoners, including the well-known and popular, Sheikh Baqer al-Nimr, all of whom convicted of nothing except peaceful demonstration against government policies. 

"There were two distinct forms of beheading - by the sword and by the axe. Where a person was to be decapitated with a sword, a block is not used and they are generally made to kneel down although they could, if short, be executed standing up, and in Germany women were sometimes allowed to sit in a chair."

" .. in Sweden where some 600 people, including nearly 200 women, were beheaded in the 19th century until manual beheading was replaced by the guillotine in 1903."


"In Britain, beheading was introduced during the reign of William the Conqueror for the execution of Waltheof, Earl of Northumberland in 1076. It was confined to those of noble birth who were convicted of treason, or in a very few cases murder. Several members of Royalty were beheaded, including Charles 1st, Anne Boleyn, Mary Queen of Scots and Lady Jane Grey. Many other Earls, Lords and Knights, including Sir Walter Raleigh, and even some Bishops were beheaded.  The majority of English beheadings took place at the Tower of London. Seven were carried out in private within the grounds, of which 5 were of women and just over 100 on Tower Hill outside the walls of the Tower, where there stood a permanent scaffold from 1485. Only a very small number of beheadings were carried out elsewhere, as the Tower was the principal prison for traitors. It should be noted that treason often meant displeasing the monarch, rather than in any way betraying the country."

Then there came the trend of using the guillotine.  Guillotine was an execution machine that first came into use in France.  It allowed beheadings to be done much faster than those carried out manually.  "France was not the only country to adopt the guillotine as many other governments saw the advantages in speed and humanity of it compared to the other methods then available. It was used by Algeria, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, Tunisia and Vietnam. The Papal States in Italy used the guillotine from 1814 to 1870 for 369 executions.  Sweden purchased a guillotine from France in 1903 so that they could end decapitation by the axe."  The author also writes in detail of the guillotine being used widely in Nazi Germany and Austria between 1938 and 1945.

The author also writes "Beheading is effective and is probably as humane as any other modern method if carried out correctly. When a single blow is sufficient to decapitate the prisoner, they lose consciousness within a few seconds. They die from shock and anoxia due to haemorrhage and loss of blood pressure within less than 60 seconds. However, because the muscles and vertebrae of the neck are tough, decapitation may require more than one blow. Death occurs due to separation of the brain and spinal cord, after the transection (cutting through) of the surrounding tissues.  Consciousness is probably lost within 2-3 seconds, due to a rapid fall of the 'intracranial perfusion of blood' (blood supply to the brain).  It has often been reported that the eyes and mouths of people beheaded have shown signs of movement. It has been calculated that the human brain has enough oxygen stored for metabolism to persist about 7 seconds after the head is cut off."  However, personally I would say that to what extent beheading (or any other method of execution) is quick and painless would only be known to the soul of that person, and of course, the Almighty God is best aware of everything.  For whatever our eyes can see, beheading presents a gory and bloody picture .. something can be easily be avoided by opting for other methods of execution readily available in the present era.

The medieval mongols - who were Buddhists - infamous for their strange methods of cruelty, had prisoners crushed by elephants for public entertainment, and then the dying prisoners would have their heads severed.  The severed heads would then by displayed in a tower especially built for this purpose.  From Japan, China, Mongolia to Europe and Britain, they depended on beheading as the only method of execution to control the masses and warn potential opponents through extreme fear.

It is more than evident that execution by beheading has NOTHING to do with the Quran, and authentic Islam is ONLY the Quran, not the writings and fatwas of clerics regardless of their theocratic diplomas.

It should also be noted that the Quran is the first source that brought about the concept and option of granting clemency to a convicted prisoner as early as the 7th century, making it an officially established law.  In the modern era, a condemned prisoner can appeal for mercy to the head of the state.  In the Quran the family of the victim has the authority to grant mercy.  The death sentence can be averted if the guilty or his family offer financial compensation to the family to the victim and the victim's family agree to accept it.  The victims' families also have the authority to forgive the guilty without financial compensation, if they so desire.   
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Heba E. Husseyn
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« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2008, 06:36:34 pm »

Salam and thank you sister for this very well researched work. 

Cultures of beheading and 'honor killing' are just a couple of those totally social customs that existed worldwide since much before Islam, even before Christianity, but have been pinned to the Islamic Faith by different institutions with different motives.  Before blaming the outsiders, I would blame my own Muslim community for this gross misunderstanding and misreporting.  It all started because the Muslims have gradually slipped into the ignorance and apathy of the pre-Islamic age.  They've brought back those former social system by changing its title and calling it "Islam."  Acts like 'honor killing' and public beheadings are thus pinned to Islam because of the so-called present followers of Islam who have refused  to give them up.  For the non-Muslim hardliners this is like achieving their goal on a silver platter.  Since they have now given up these practices, they have conveniently hidden their own sordid history.  And it has become super simple for them to paint the present-day Muslims as "primitive" because these so-called Muslims still adhere to those same laws which was rife among non-Muslims, Jews and Christians in the yester years.

After so many generations, the present so-called Muslims are guilty of yet another blunder.  First they turn back to those old practices which Islam had abolished, and secondly, they fool themselves by thinking that by bringing back these practices they are following Islam.  O Allah! I seek refuge in You from suggestions of the evil ones.

Indeed, the Quran is the first source of law that brought about the act of intervention for the purpose of granting clemency to a convicted prisoner.  That's because forgiveness is the best course in accordance with Quranic principles.  Alhumdulilah.

I further appreciate your clarification on the issue of witnesses.  Yes, this means professional witnesses for reasons of official registration of the sentence.  It doesn't mean inviting the general public to watch the execution like a sport.  Here I would also add that many members of the public globally are just as insensitive as those who implement such laws.  Whether ancient or modern times, many individuals among the public are inherently drawn to watching public executions, if not directly then indirectly.  An example is the execution of Timothy McWeigh in the U.S. just a few years ago.  He was executed by lethal injection.  The family members of those who were killed in the Oklahoma bombing made a special request that they should be shown his execution on TV because they wanted to watch him die.  Their request was accepted and more than 200 people were shown McWeigh's execution on a closed circuit camera.  At best, I would interpret this as a refined version of the practice of watching a public beheading in Saudi Arabia.
 


Also read:
-CHRISTIAN HEAD COVERING ACROSS CENTURIES
-CULTURE OF CHILD MARRIAGE IN MEDIEVAL EUROPE
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« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2008, 02:14:45 am »

Very good work indeed from both sisters.  I appreciate this much.

I also checked the link to richard clark's website.  While most of the things seem true, one thing isn't.  He mentions that executions by beheadings are widely practiced in Iran.  That's totally wrong.  Beheadings hardly happen in Iran.  Executions are either by death squad or most commonly by hanging.  That bit by Clark was a propaganda.

Walaikum salam
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« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2008, 03:47:01 pm »

Thank you for this very good research, sister zeynab. I hope it enables closed minded people to arrive at the facts more easily.

Br. TS u r right.  In Iran they don't have beheadings.  After all Richard Clark served in the US govt., so u can expect that from him.
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« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2017, 04:25:21 am »

Some mega idiot friend of our family was arguing with us yesterday that beheading comes from Muslim culture.  I told the bugger to please talk after he's done his research and sent him this thread.  He had nothing to say, as usual. 

Additionally, for info of our readers, also see this article: History of Beheading.


And the image below is from an article in Intifada Palestine titled American Exceptionism.  This pic is during the times of early colonization in America. It's self-explanatory.

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« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2017, 11:35:16 pm »

BismEm




The medieval mongols - who were Buddhists - infamous for their strange methods of cruelty, had prisoners crushed by elephants for public entertainment, and then the dying prisoners would have their heads severed.  The severed heads would then by displayed in a tower especially built for this purpose.  From Japan, China, Mongolia to Europe and Britain, they depended on beheading as the only method of execution to control the masses and warn potential opponents through extreme fear.    

Also been proven that modern Buddhists are no different from their Mongol ancestors.  In the ongoing horrific genocide against the Rohingya Muslim minority of Burma, Buddhist military and mobs have specifically targeted Rohingya Muslim children for beheadings.  Throughout September 2017 there were numerous eyewitness accounts of Rohingya children beheaded by Burmese forces and Rohingya adults burned alive.  Almost all Rohingya women were raped prior to the slaughter.  According to various reports, the western side of the country is now filled with mass graves which will never be unearthed because unjust oppressors are defended not held accountable by the elite establishment of this planet.   Telegraph and Independent have both acknowledged of beheadings of Rohingya children by Buddhist majority.
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« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2017, 11:43:16 pm »


Very, very true Sister Ruhi.  I'm glad you added this point.  This is the most gruesome genocide carried out by Buddhist majority and presided by a Buddhist leader who was awarded the Noble Peace Prize (of all things).  It's a genocide where Muslim minority men are brutally executed by torture, Muslim women are raped and executed and Muslim children beheaded enmasse.

May the cruel oppressors forever face the ordeal of Hellfire.  InshAllah, ameen.
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« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2017, 11:44:31 pm »


Ameen ya Rab.
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