Ruling on denying any Hadd

Q: We submit this question to you, and beseech you by the covenant that Allah has with the people of knowledge to clarify it for people and not to conceal it, and to decisively reply to the doubtful matters raised by a man named Dr. Ahmad Al-Baghdady. This person continuously contests Allah's Din (religion) of Islam and tends to stir people's doubts about its rulings. He addresses people in newspapers and the media until he has succeeded to affect the minds of many Muslims - I seek refuge with Allah from this. Among the claims of this charlatan are the following:1- Denying the Hadd (ordained punishment for violating Allah’s Law) of stoning. He says: "Killing the married or previously married woman/man has not been mentioned in the Qur'an, but jurists as usual have approved the penalty of stoning to death." [Kuwaiti Al-Anba' newspaper, Issue no. 9550]2- Denying the Hadd of Riddah (apostasy) in addition to mocking jurists, for approving it. He says: "Jurists boast of the penalty of executing the apostate and harming non-Muslims." [Kuwaiti Al-Anba' newspaper, Issue no. 7124]He adds: "It is not true that the sound Shari`ah (Islamic law) has (Part No. 22; Page No. 239) the final say in this regard the same way as claimed or desired by the jurists, due to the variation between the texts and rulings of the Hadith and that of the Qur'an. The Qur'an is decisive in deeming those who defect from their Din to be Kafirs (disbelievers), but there is no mention of any execution or penalty, while on the other hand, the Hadiths prescribe the death sentence for Riddah." [Kuwaiti Al-Anba' newspaper, Issue no. 7053]3- Preferring the secular state to the religious state. He says: "Jurists have insistently refused to take a firm attitude toward the new state that is putting one step toward secularism and the other toward religion as a doctrine. In fact, all the traditional concepts mentioned in the government rulings and legal policy books have been ignored, but no one would ever want to admit this, especially after knowing the merits and advantages of a civil society based on democracy, liberty and equality, which are better than a religious society." [Kuwaiti Al-Anba' newspaper, Issue no. 7100]4- His call to discard legal texts. He says: "The present time represents a reality that we have to deal with in a more pragmatic manner. In other words, we have to give precedence to the interest over the Qur'anic text, for what actually happens nowadays involves discarding the Qur'anic text by means of self-deception under the principle of 'necessity makes forbidden things permissible' or 'graduation in application', besides other (Part No. 22; Page No. 240) juristic principles that represent a means of deluding the religious text. It is better for Muslims to stop doing this and declare their failure to apply the fundamentals of sound Shari`ah. Reality is much more powerful than the religious text." [Kuwaiti Al-Anba' newspaper, Issue no. 7276]5- Refusing to deem Jews, Christians and Buddhists to be Kafirs. He says: "As for the blind classification of this being a Muslim and that being a Kafir, it should be replaced with the description of the person's religious character - a Christian, a Jew or a Buddhist - according to their belief rather than calling them Kafirs. This is because a Muslim is a Kafir from the Christian traditional perspective." [Kuwaiti Al-Anba' newspaper, Issue no. 6941]6- Doubting the compilation and preservation of the Noble Qur`an and raising doubts about the grand Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet). He says: "I know that many people who have weak intellect and limited education may ask, 'How can we tolerate those who analyze and investigate the religious text?' I really think that they do not hesitate to claim whoever thinks of asking the following question as a Kafir, 'How can we trust the compilation of the Qur'an by the Sahabah who happened to keep or write it on leather or bones?' Surely such a question violates the taboos set by the religious order." [Kuwaiti Al-Anba' newspaper, Issue no. 7290]7- Doubting the Prophetic Hadith. He says: "Only few (Part No. 22; Page No. 241) people know that the first to reject the Prophetic Hadith and highlight the need to verify them were jurists and scholars themselves, to say nothing of the second Rightly Guided Caliph `Umar ibn Al-Khattab, who would beat Abu Hurayrah because of his frequent narrations. `Umar used not to believe Abu Hurayrah unless he brought him witnesses. After `Umar's death, Abu Hurayrah started to narrate many Hadiths." [Kuwaiti Al-Siyasah newspaper, Issue no. 9564]He adds, "`Urwah would look at the Sahabah, saying, 'I swear by Allah that a man amongst them would take the spit of the Prophet (peace be upon him) with his hands and rub his face and skin with it.' In conclusion, Al-Tabary recorded history in an improper, senseless manner, yet despite the large number of Muslim historians who existed at that time, none were able to rectify Al-Tabary's accounts from such nonsense and superstitions." [Kuwaiti Al-Anba' newspaper, Issue no. 7283]8- Denying that Islam has provided for human rights. He says, "We still do not feel shame when we write or say that Islam is the first religion to recognize human rights." [Kuwaiti Al-Anba' newspaper, Issue no. 6822]In addition to other forms of slander of the Din, Sahabah and scholars, and doubting the texts and clear evidence of Shari`ah and the sound principles of Islam.I would like the scholars to answer the following questions:1- What is the ruling on the claims of this man? (Part No. 22; Page No. 242) 2- What is the ruling on whoever claims and believes in these views?3- What should be done about this person?4- Is it permissible for newspapers to publish his or any other person's opinions under the pretext of the freedom of expression? What should be done regarding the newspaper that continues to publish such opinions and allows this man and the like to write in them?It is clear to Your Eminence that Muslims are in dire need, at the present time where sedition and mischief prevail, of the guidance of people of knowledge who fear Allah alone, those by whom Allah shall support this Din and use their statements for repressing sick-hearted hypocrites. Therefore, we ask you to promptly reply to us and guide us to what is right in order to refute these falsehoods. It is Allah Alone Whose help can be sought!

A: Firstly, the Hadd of stoning is proven in the Ayah (Qur'anic verse) that was literally abrogated but whose ruling remained in Surah Al-Ahzab: "If a married man or woman commits fornication, decisively stone them [to death], this is Allah's Punishment, Allah is All-Wise, All-Mighty." The same thing is also authentically reported from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) through Tawatur (a significant number of narrators whose agreement upon a lie is impossible) with respect to his sayings and deeds, in addition to the Ijma` (consensus of scholars). Only the people of Bid`ah (innovation in religion), such as Al-Khawarij and the like, deny this ruling. Secondly, the Hadd of Riddah has been proven by authentic Hadith. For example, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "It is not permissible to shed the blood of a Muslim except in three cases: (in just retaliation) a life for a life, (Part No. 22; Page No. 243) a previously-married person who commits Zina (sexual intercourse outside marriage), and the one who changes their religion and forsakes the Jama`ah (Muslim mainstream)." (Related by Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Al-Tirmidhy and Al-Nasa'y) He (peace be upon him) also said, "Anyone who alters their religion, execute them." (Related by Al-Bukhari, Al-Tirmidhy, Abu Dawud and Al-Nasa'y) Moreover, the Sahabah applied the Hadd of Riddah after the death of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). "It is narrated on the authority of Abu Musa Al-Ash`ary (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said: Mu`adh came to me in Yemen, where there was a Jew who converted to Islam and then apostatized. When Mu`adh came, he said: 'I will not dismount from my riding animal until this man is executed.' The Jew had been commanded to repent a priori." (Related by Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud and Al-Nasa'y) It is also related on the authority of `Ikrimah that he said: `Aly (may Allah be pleased with him) brought some apostates and burned them. When Ibn `Abbas knew about this, he said, "If I were in his place, I would not have burned them, for the Prophet (peace be upon him) had prohibited to do so when he (peace be upon him) said, 'Do not punish (anybody) with Allah's Punishment (i.e. Fire).' Rather, I would execute them, for the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, 'Anyone who alters their religion, execute them.'" (Related by Al-Bukhari, Al-Tirmidhy, Abu Dawud and Al-Nasa'y) However, none (Part No. 22; Page No. 244) of the Muslims who had any legitimate dissent ever disagreed with this, praise be to Allah. Thirdly, preferring a secularist state to an Islamic one is tantamount to preferring Kufr (disbelief) to Iman (faith), as Allah (Exalted be He) says: Have you not seen those who were given a portion of the Scripture? They believe in Jibt and Tâghût and say to the disbelievers that they are better guided as regards the way than the believers (Muslims). They are those whom Allâh has cursed, and he whom Allâh curses, you will not find for him (any) helper, Fourthly, the Islamic Shari`ah is comprehensive and relevant to all times and places until the Day of Resurrection. It has been sent down by the All-Wise, the Worthy of All Praise. Therefore, if someone claims that it does not suit this age or that the man-made laws are more appropriate, they are considered Kafir, for in so doing, they are disavowing Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) with respect to the perfection and applicability of Shari`ah to all times and places. Allah (Exalted be He) says: Have you not seen those (hypocrites) who claim that they believe in that which has been sent down to you, and that which was sent down before you, and they wish to go for judgement (in their disputes) to the Tâghût (false judges) till: But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission. (Part No. 22; Page No. 245)  Fifthly, Allah (Exalted and Glorified be He) declared the Jews and Christians disbelievers, as they did not believe in Muhammad (peace be upon him), when He says: Verily, those who disbelieve in Allâh and His Messengers and wish to make distinction between Allâh and His Messengers (by believing in Allâh and disbelieving in His Messengers) saying, "We believe in some but reject others," and wish to adopt a way in between. They are in truth disbelievers. Allah also says: Those who disbelieve from among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and Al-Mushrikûn, were not going to leave (their disbelief) until there came to them clear evidence. Till: Verily, those who disbelieve (in the religion of Islâm, the Qur’ân and Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) from among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and Al-Mushrikûn will abide in the Fire of Hell. They are the worst of creatures. And Allah (Exalted be He) says: Surely, in disbelief are they who say that Allâh is the Messiah, son of Maryam (Mary). Surely, disbelievers are those who said: “Allâh is the third of the three (in a Trinity).” Allah also says: Verily, you will find the strongest among men in enmity to the believers (Muslims) the Jews and those who are Al-Mushrikûn (Part No. 22; Page No. 246)  Sixthly, anyone who doubts the preservation of the Qur'an from change and alteration is a Kafir, because they are disavowing Allah's statement: Verily, We, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e. the Qur’ân) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption). Allah also says: Falsehood cannot come to it from before it or behind it: (it is) sent down by the All-Wise, Worthy of all praise (Allâh عز وجل). The Qur'an and Sunnah are preserved by Allah without any change or alteration, flawlessly and clearly transferred from the Salaf (righteous predecessors) to the successors, praise be to Allah for this. In addition, slandering the Sahabah is a form of disavowal to Allah (Glorified be He) in His praising and commending them, when He (Exalted be He) says: Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) is the Messenger of Allâh. And those who are with him are severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves. Allah also says: And the foremost to embrace Islâm of the Muhâjirûn (those who migrated from Makkah to Al-Madinah) and the Ansâr (the citizens of Al-Madinah who helped and gave aid to the Muhâjirûn) and also those who followed them exactly (in Faith). Allâh is well-pleased with them as they are well-pleased with Him. And He (Glorified be He) says: Indeed, Allâh was pleased with the believers when they gave the Bai‘ah (pledge) to you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) under the tree. Further, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Do not revile my Companions, for by the One in Whose Hand my soul is, if one of you were to spend (Part No. 22; Page No. 247) the equivalent of Uhud in gold (in charity), it would not amount to a mudd (a dry measure) or even half a Mudd spent by one of them." Rather, only those who fight Islam amongst Shiites, hypocrites and those who are evil-hearted tend to slander the Sahabah. Seventhly, contesting the Sunnah of the Messenger (peace be upon him) and raising doubts about it is considered a sort of contesting the Noble Qur'an, which ordained to take the Sunnah and work in accordance with it. Allah (Exalted be He) says: And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) gives you, take it; and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it). The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "I have been given the Qur'an and something like it with it (the Sunnah)." Allah (Exalted be He) says: Allâh has sent down to you the Book (The Qur’ân), and Al-Hikmah (Islâmic laws, knowledge of legal and illegal things i.e. the Prophet’s Sunnah - legal ways) The "Book" is the Qur'an, while "Al-Hikmah" is the Sunnah. Therefore, only the Al-Jahmiyyah, Al-Mu`tazilah and those following Jewish and Christian orientalists and whoever absorbed their culture and has taken from them tend to contest the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). Eighthly, anyone who claims that Islam does not provide every person their due rights (Part No. 22; Page No. 248) accuses Allah (Glorified be He) of injustice and oppression, for Islam is sent down by Allah, Who has described it (Islam) to be a source of guidance and mercy for people. How can it be a source of guidance and mercy if it does not guarantee people's rights and save them from injustice? Anyone who describes Islam as such is a Kafir, disavowing Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him). We ask Allah to grant us security and safety from this!May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.