In the name of Allāh,
the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Peace and Blessings of Allāh on Mohammad.
Allāh–the Glorious and the High,
Lord of the worlds
Mohammad–who brought the world
to our feet and eternity to our arms.
(See also Islam-adultery & flogging)
The Qur’an was revealed over a period of twenty-three years; during this long period, unless he received Divine Revelation in the matter, the Prophet followed the teachings of the Bible, which requires death to the adulterer, the unchaste bride, the apostate the blasphemer and the homosexuals; which Biblical laws were annulled by Qur’anic revelations–(Qur’an 2:106; 16:101. See Muhammad Ali’s comm. His translation of the Qur’an can be viewed online: www.muslim.org).
Prophet Mohammad taught according to the Qur’an–(Qur’an 10:15; 21:45; 46:9; 53:3-4).
There is no stoning or sentence of death in the Qur’an for the sin of adultery. The Arabic word Zinaa means sexual intercourse between people who are not married to each other –i.e. adultery and fornication.
The punishment for adultery and fornication is lashes: “The adulteress and the adulterer, flog each of them (with) a hundred stripes”–(Qur’an 24:2). That flogging for the sin of adultery is the required punishment is verified in 4:25, where the punishment to married slave-girls guilty of adultery is stated that
“…if they are guilty of adultery when they are taken in marriage, they shall suffer half the punishment for free married women”–(Qur’an 4:25).
Stoning to death “could not be halved;” but flogging can be “halved.”
The reasons for the Prophet Mohammad’s orders to stone the adulterer/adulteress were two-fold: (1) it was carried out against the Jews, who were to be judged according to the Torah; (2) prior to the Qur’anic revelations on this subject, the Prophet was required to follow the Torah.
The Prophet Mohammad taught us according to Divine Revelation: he did not speak out of desire–(Qur’an 10:15; 21:45; 53:3-4). It is inconceivable that the Prophet would act against the clear injunction(s) of the Qur’an and “stone to death” when Allāh ordered “flogging.”
It is clear that the Prophet’s “stoning” to death was limited to Jews. In the case of Muslims, if any, “stoning” would have been carried out before the revelation of the above Qur’anic verses. (These are some of the teachings that the Qur’an has abrogated–Qur’an 2:106; 16:101).
That the early Caliphs carried out stoning, Muhammad Ali:
“It is generally thought that while the Qur’an prescribes flogging as a punishment for fornication, i.e. when the guilty person is not married, stoning to death is the punishment for adultery, and that this is allegedly based on the Prophet’s practice. But the Qur’an plainly speaks of the punishment for adultery in the case of married slave-girls as being half the punishment of adultery in the case of free married women (muhsanat), and therefore death or stoning to death cannot be conceived of as possible punishment in case of adultery as it cannot be halved, while imprisonment or flogging may be. Thus the Qur’an not only speaks of flogging and not death, as punishment for adultery, but it positively excludes death or stoning to death.”
“…stoning was the punishment of adultery in the Jewish law, and that it was in the case of Jewish offenders that this punishment was first resorted to by the Prophet when he came to Madinah. There are other reports which show that the same punishment was given in certain cases when the offenders were Muslims, but apparently this was before the revelation of the verse (24:2) which speaks of flogging as the punishment for both the adulterer and the adulteress, it being the practice of the Prophet to follow the earlier revealed law until he received a definite revelation on a point. A suggestion to that effect is contained in a tradition: “Shaibani says, I asked ‘Abd Allah ibn Abi Aufa, Did the Holy Prophet stone to death? He said, Yes. I said, Was it before the chapter entitled the Light (ch. 24) was revealed or after it? The reply was, I do not know” (Bu. 86:21. [Vol. 8 # 804]). The chapter referred to is that which speaks of flogging as a punishment for adultery, and the question shows clearly that the practice of stoning for adultery was recognized as being against the plain injunction contained in that chapter. It is likely that some misunderstanding arose from the incidents which happened before the Qur’anic revelation on the point, and that that practice was taken as the Sunnah of the Prophet. The Khwarij, the earliest Muslim sect, entirely rejected stoning to death (rajm) as a punishment in Islam (RM. VI, p. 6.)
The question seems to have arisen early as to how an adulterer could be stoned, when the Qur’an prescribed flogging as the only punishment for adultery. ‘Umar is reported to have said that “there are people who say, What about stoning, for the punishment prescribed in the Book of Allah is flogging” (Ah. I, p. 50.) To such objector’s ‘Umar’s reply was: “In what Allah revealed, there was the verse of rajm (stoning); we read it and we understood it and we guarded it; the Prophet did stone (adulterers to death) and we also stoned after him, but I fear that when more time passes away, a sayer would say, We do not find the verse of rajm in the Book of Allah” (Bu. 86:31 [Vol. 8 # 816]). According to another version he is reported to have added: “Were it not that people would say that ‘Umar has added in the Book of Allah that which is not in it, I would have written it” (AD. 37:23). The argument attributed to ‘Umar is very unsound. He admitted that the Qur’an did not contain any verse prescribing the punishment of stoning for adulterers, and at the same time he is reported as stating that there was such a verse in what Allah revealed. In all probability what ‘Umar meant, if he ever spoke those words, was that the verse of stoning was to be found in the Jewish sacred book, the Torah, which was undoubtedly a Divine revelation, and that the Prophet stoned adulterers to death. The use of the words “Book of God” (Kitab Allah) for the Torah is common in the Qur’an itself, the Torah being again and again spoken of as Kitab Allah or the Book of God, or al-Kitab, i.e., the Book (Qur’an 2:213, etc.). In all likelihood ‘Umar only spoke of rajm as the punishment of adultery in the Mosaic law and he was misunderstood. At any rate he could not have spoken the words attributed to him. Had there been such a verse of the Qur’an, he would have brought it to the notice of other Companions of the Prophet, when a complete written copy was first prepared in the time of Abu Bakr at his own suggestion. The words, as attributed to him in some of these reports, are simply meaningless. How could he say that there was a verse of the Qur’an which he would have written down in the Qur’an, but he feared that people would say that he had made an addition to the Qur’an, that is to say, added to it what was not part of it? A verse could not be said to be a part of the Qur’an and not a part of the Qur’an at one and the same time.
There is further evidence in tradition itself that ‘Umar himself, at least in one reported case (and it is a reliable report), punished adultery with flogging as laid down in the Qur’an in 24:2, and not with stoning to death.””–(The Religion of Islam, pp. 730, 731, 733, 734, 735). The Qur’an supersedes all other sources of guidance. (Muhammad Ali’s translation of the Qur’an can be viewed online: www.muslim.org).
In Hinduism: “Should a wife out of her family pride desert her husband and misconduct herself, let the king condemn her to be devoured by dogs before all men and women. Similarly should a husband forsake his wife and misconduct himself with other women, let the king cause that sinner to be burnt alive publicly on a red hot iron-bed”–(Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Light Of Truth, p. 199).
And, “A woman who has been unchaste should worship Siva in his calm aspect, Siva who is Kama. Then she should summon a Brahmin and give herself to him, thinking, ‘This is Kama who has come for the sake of sexual pleasure.’ And whatever the Brahmin wishes, the sensuous woman should do. For thirteen months she should honour in this way any Brahmin who comes to the house for the sake of sexual pleasures, and there is no immorality in this for noble ladies or prostitutes.” “The Brahmin guest represents Śiva/Kāma, who purifies the woman whom he seduces, for extreme sexual licence may remove sexual stigma, just as extreme tapas (austerity) does” (Cited in Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty, Śiva The Erotic Ascetic, p. 256).
Stoning and death is the Jewish and Christian law see Islam-adultery & flogging. .