:salamext: brother nydweller. :)
Regarding the issue of stoning to death, we've clarified it quite abit. Have you not read the fact that the ruling for such a crime requires 4 witnesses? When for other crimes usually only 2 witnesses are required? Why is this rule so different? There has to be a reason.
Why is the punishment so severe? Sexuality when becoming widespread in a society causes a huge amount of corruption. Let's see what the Islamic Shari'a tries to uphold as a whole;
Since the Islamic legal injunctions are aimed at achieving human welfare, they can all be referred back to universal principles which are necessary for human welfare to be secured. These universal principles are:
1. The preservation of life.
2. The preservation of religion.
3. The preservation of reason.
4. The preservation of lineage.
5. The preservation of property.
The Islamic penal system is aimed at preserving these five universal necessities. To preserve life, it prescribes the law of retribution. To preserve religion, it prescribes the punishment for apostasy. To preserve reason, it prescribes the punishment for drinking. To preserve lineage, it prescribes the punishment for fornication. To preserve wealth, it prescribes the punishment for theft. To protect all of them, it prescribed the punishment for highway robbery.
It should therefore become clear to us why the crimes for which Islam for which the Law has prescribed fixed punishments are as follows:
1. Transgression against life (murder or assault).
2. Transgression against property (theft).
3. Transgression against lineage (fornication and false accusations of adultery).
4. Transgression against reason (using intoxicants).
5. Transgression against religion (apostasy).
6. Transgression against all of these universal needs (highway robbery).
The issue of lineage is extremely important in society because it keeps a family secure, and if the families are secure, then society as a whole will be more secure. If society as a whole is more secure, then the nation as a whole can be secure from the inside. And if this is the case - then many people within that nation are safe.
Most nations only break down once there is internal conflict, and internal conflict starts off from the home. If someone has an illegitimate child, do you think the child's going to feel happy? Infact that child may get pyschological problems because he/she doesn't really belong to a legitimate father, this may make him feel rejected and if this was to be on a greater scale - the harm would be much greater as a whole.
To stop the harms from falling into place, Islaam has made severe penalties for those who wish to transgress them. Why is it that in the US the rate of crime is much more higher compared to an Islamic state who applies these strict laws? That's because a person getting shot in the UK will only get 25years max, maybe even parole. What happens in an Islamic state? Death penalty in some circumstances, so the person thinks twice before doing something that major. Whereas in the UK, the person doesn't mind giving up 25years or less, so long as he took someone elses life?
When another guy sees that this man got parole and never even did full time, what does he do? He gets happy that he might be able to get away from a similar crime also, so he kills another for revenge, what happens to him? Same thing. This continues and spreads like wild fire, they all know they're going to escape anyway, so they're ready to spread this corruption so long as they get their revenge (maybe it's for some drugs or whatever.)
These guys would think twice if they knew they would get the death penalty, but where there aren't strict laws - then the person doesn't even care, and corruption spreads. When evil becomes widespread in a society and the people don't repent to Allaah - Allaah may send them a Messenger to convey the message clearly to them - giving them glad tidings for their obedience to Him, and a punishment if they don't obey and do good, Allaah trials them so they may turn back to Him, and if they still reject and don't change their ways for the sake of Allaah - Allaah destroys them, and the punishment of the hereafter is much greater than the punishment of this life, yet Allaah has a great reward for those who obey and do good.
Now that we've understood some basic issues, you said that it doesn't matter how much witnesses there are. But then you have to question, do you think it's okay for a guy and a female to have sexual intercourse in public for show, infront of 100 people and Islaam allows that? Do you think that's the idea of morality?
If we're to say that 100 witnesses isn't equal to 4 witnesses, then we have to question why there has never been no recorded event in our Islamic history when there have been 4 witnesses seeing the actual penetration take place? Therefore they never got stoned due to that 4 witnesses ruling.
Which leads to the point about throwing a stone at an fornicator, this person 1)
Either did it out of showing off their immorality - which would teach others a lesson that they shouldn't show off their immorality and sin. 2)
Something like this has never been recorded within the 14 century history, which means that it would be extremely rare for it to occur. If we're to use fractions, its like 0/1420 right?
Also, another thing that we don't realise is that just because sexual immorality has become so common in the world today, we don't find it so shocking. Yet this is a huge sin in the sight of Allaah, it is one of the major sins. Allaah has placed it near to murder in the Qur'an:
“And those who invoke not any other god along with Allaah, nor kill such life as Allaah has forbidden, except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual intercourse – and whoever does this shall receive the punishment.
The torment will be doubled to him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein in disgrace; except those who repent and believe and do righteous deeds, for those Allaah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
[Qur'an al-Furqaan 25:68-70]
So the act of fornication is a great sin in the sight of Allaah, and no matter what our society may tell us. That doesn't mean that it's always right, since society has always changed over time, even at the time of Allaah's Messenger (peace be upon him) zina/fornication was widespread, especially before he recieved the message.
But that still didn't mean it was right, we judge our "wrongs/rights" and morality by what Allaah and His Messenger has decreed, because if we simply fall prey to society, then that's when we give up our religion for them, and they won't be pleased at all unless we give it up altogether and turn into one of them, the slaves of society and oppressive rulers.
Wasn't it this society who said just 100 years ago that a woman couldn't have her own property? Wasn't it this society which we all 'look upto' that used to say that it's the muslims who are evil since they allow polygamy of upto 4 wives (if we can deal with them justly), yet what does the society do itself? Allow a guy to have 1000 girlfriends, but if he marries 2, that's not allowed? Why is that? Maybe it's because the guys are the legislators of the rules here, and the pregnant 'mistress' doesn't even have to be supported by the guy she got pregnant off?
Or how about a woman who's married to a guy and her husband chooses to run off with another guy in a gay relationship, and she doesn't have any rights to stop that? Instead she lives at home looking after the children, without having any right to stop that immorality.
It is Allaah who defines what morality is, and He has sent His Messenger with the truth to convey it clearly to us. If we are slaves to society and run around giving up everything of our Islaam, until we turn into one of them - do you think that's going to make us special? Or do you think they're just going to abuse us more since we've given up our morals altogether now?
Or are we going to stand up for the truth and be strangers - like the true Messengers' of Allaah were -, since the real home for the truthful is the Paradise in the presence of Allaah, His Messengers' and the righteous.
And Allaah knows best.