81) On which type of values is the penal laws of the Qur’an founded?
The goal of the Qur’an is to herald the reign of peace within both the individual and the society. Individuals do have certain rights. It is through the mutual adjustment of these rights that social cohesiveness becomes possible. None can be allowed to trespass upon the rights of another. Indeed, it is the duty of the state to see to it that the rights of none are violated and, in the possible event of such an occurrence, to restore it fully to the victim. It is for this purpose that penal laws are formulated. The objective of the penal laws in the
Qur’an has, therefore, remained the persuasion of the individual to tread upon the right path of conduct. In the vision of Islam these are certain values of great importance, which are to be preserved at all cost. Faith, reason intelligence, esteem, life, wealth, love and bond of the family, manners, the well-knit nature of the society-all of these are to be protected. No body is to be allowed to demolish them. By ‘nobody’ is meant not just the other; it includes one’s own self as well.In this perspective, the one who attempts suicide with the intention of ending one’s own life, the one who indulges in adultery thereby destroying his own self-respect and the one who consumes intoxicants thereby destroying his own mental aptitudes, are all criminals in their own right. The society envisioned by the penal laws of Islam is one wherein all can live free of the fear of any. It is only in such a society that peace and harmony can prevail. Indeed, the ultimate goal of the penal laws in the Qur’an is the creation of a society that is founded on humanism; a society wherein every member is enabled in growing and progressing along the path delineated by his or her own capacity.