On Sunday, January 2, 2011, Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, president of the International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS), was interviewed by Al Jazeera channel program Ash-Shari`ah wa Al-Hayah (Shari`ah and Life). The interview’s main theme was “Hudud in Contemporary Fiqh.”
From time to time, the question of hudud (fixed penalties in the Islamic Shari`ah) and their application in the modern world raises debates in Muslim and non-Muslim societies. While mainstream Muslims regard the right application of hududas an integral part of Shari`ah, others see it as a controversial issue that should be open to ijtihad (personal reasoning) on the part of contemporary scholars.
Sheikh Qaradawi, who is known for his vast and deep knowledge of Shari`ah and its essential objectives, wonderfully and distinctively dealt with this thorny topic in his recent interview on Al Jazeera. In the following lines, the main points discussed during the interview are reviewed.