Chapter Fourteen

Some Ordinances and Laws of the Qur’an and Islam

Pilgrimage Is A Pagan Practice

All Muslims agree that the practice of pilgrimage existed before the rise of Muhammad by hundreds of years. The people of Quraysh (along with pagan Arabs) were accustomed to celebrating the pilgrimage. Even Muhammad himself did so before he claimed to be a prophet. After he installed himself as the apostle of God, he and his followers continued to perform the pilgrimage’s rites with the polytheistic pagans. He did not change many things (refer to Jawami’ al-Sira al-Nabawiyya "Prophet’s Biography" by ibn Hazm, page 14. Also "Islam: A Creed and A Law" by the Imam Mahmud Shaltut, pp. 113-115).

Almost every major Islamic history book documents these facts. Even after the conquest of Mecca, the pilgrimage has become one of the pillars of Islam. Muhammad banned the Arab polytheists from the Hajj after the year of the conquest. They were given four months either to embrace Islam or be killed, as we stated in chapter one. After that, Muhammad made very slight changes in the ceremonial rituals of the pilgrimage although he destroyed all the idols of the Ka’ba. Yet Muhammad himself continued to practice many paganistic rituals. He did not abolish them nor reject them. That created some consternation among his followers who expected him to uproot these idolatrous rudiments.

 Some Pagan Rituals

Muslims continued to practice some of the pre-Islamic, pagan rituals such as running between the two hills of Safa and Marwa or kissing the Black Stone. In the first case, Arab polytheists were accustomed to running between the two hills to glorify the idols which they erected and called them Isaf and Na’ila. When Muhammad destroyed the idols, Muslims were ashamed to continue this practice, and asked Muhammad about it. Soon, he claimed that a Qur’anic verse was given to him in which this practice was re-ordained. On page 33, of his commentary, the Baydawi says this in the course of his interpretation of chapter 2:158. Muslim scholars generally agree with the Baydawi (the Jalalan, page 22, Zamakh-shari in his "Kash-shaf", part 1). The Bukhari, for instance, remarks:

"One of the companions said to Anas ibn Malik, ‘Did you use to hate running between the Safa and Marwa?’ He said, ‘Yes, because it was part of the pre-Islamic rituals until God gave Muhammad this verse and proclaimed that it was also one of God’s ceremonial rites"’ (refer to Sahih of al-Bukhari, volume 2, page 195). 

We also read in the Sahih of Muslim:

"Adherents of the prophet, (when) they were still in the pre-Islamic period, used to come up to visit two idols, Isaf and Na’ila, then they would go and run between Safa and Marwa, then they would have their hair cut. When Islam was established, they hated to run between them, but God sent down this verse (2:158), thus they ran (between them)" (refer to Sahih of Muslim, volume 3, page 411). 

Ibn ’Abbas himself said:

"The demons in the Jahiliyya used to circumnavigate all night around these two mountains. The idols (were erected) between them. When Islam came, they (Muslims) said, ‘O, apostle of God, we would never run between the Safa and Marwa because this is an unfavorable matter which we were accustomed to do in the Jahiliyya.’ Thus, God gave this verse" (refer to Asbab al-Nuzul by Suyuti, page 27). 

So, this "unfavorable matter" was strongly related to idolatry, but even so, Muhammad refused to abolish it and several Qur’anic verses were given to confirm it. Muhammad himself performed it and Muslims are still practicing it today.

The Kissing of the Black Stone

This famous meteorite is one of the Ka’ba’s stones. The idolatrous were accustomed to worshipping it and kissing it. When Islam was established, Muhammad did not abolish this practice, but rather he himself performed it and commanded his followers to do so, in spite of their surprise and objection. In his Sahih (part 2, page 183), al-Bukhari records a famous statement made by ’Umar ibn al-Khattab which demonstrates the confusion of the Muslims. The Bukhari says:

"When ’Umar ibn al-Khattab reached the Black Stone, he kissed it and said, ‘I know that you are a stone that does not hurt or benefit. If I had not seen the prophet kiss you, I would have not kissed you."’ 

All scholars (ancient and contemporary) confirm that this statement is uttered by ’Umar (refer to Sahih of Muslim, volume 3, page 406, and "Islam: A creed and a Law" by Imam Shaltut, page 122). It is well known that Muslim pilgrims jostle around to kiss it as Muhammad and his companions did before them. Because of such crowding, the pilgrims suffer a large number of serious casualties. Sheikh Sha’rawi says:

‘The kissing of the meteorite is a firm practice in Islamic law because Muhammad did it. You must not ask about the wisdom behind that because this rite is (an expression) of worship in spite of the obscurity of its wisdom" (refer to "Legal Opinions", part 3, page 167). 

This was his answer to the Muslim youths who asked, "What is the wisdom of kissing the meteorite?"

Other Rituals Of Pilgrimage  

To be brief, we state that in addition to the kissing of the meteorite and running between the Safa and Marwa, the Muslim pilgrim has to make the trip to mount ’Arafa. Hundreds of thousands attempt to climb this mountain, but many suffer hardship which results in many casualties because they hasten toward it in a disorderly manner as they do when they jostle around the meteorite. Climbing this mountain is one of the most important rituals of the pilgrimage. Even Muhammad used to say, "’Arafa is the Hajj (pilgrimage)." After that, they go to another mountain called the Muzdalifa. Then, on the tenth day of the pilgrimage, they go to Mina and they start casting pebbles. They also have their hair cut or shortened (having it cut is better) provided that the barber starts from the right side of the head, because Muhammad did so. After that, they slay their sheep. Some prefer to offer these sacrifices before the day of Mina because these sacrifices pile up in Mina. Some are forced to donate money instead of sacrificing sheep contrary to the advice of Muslim scholars who believe that such acts abolish one of the rudiments of the pilgrimage and create a dispute among Muslims. (Refer to "Rudiments of the Hajj" by Imam Shaltute; Sahih of the Bukhari, part 2, Sahih of Muslim, volume 3, and any other source about the rudiments of the Hajj.)

The Hajj (Pilgrimage) by Substitution  

This may invoke the surprise of the reader, yet it is true and confirmed by Muslim scholars who assert that Muhammad himself allowed the Hajj by substitution. In the Bukhari (part 2, page 163), it is recorded that a Muslim asked Muhammad if it is possible to make the pilgrimage in lieu of his father. He said to him, "Yes, make the pilgrimage in lieu of your father." In "Legal Opinions" of the Sheikh al-Sha’rawi, page 188, we read:

"A woman asked Muhammad the prophet if she could make the pilgrimage in lieu of her mother who died before she was able to make the pilgrimage. He said to her, ‘Yes, do so.’ He also allowed another man to make the pilgrimage in place of his relative whose name was Bashrama." 

When Sheikh Kishk was asked plaintively (part 3, page 113 of his "Legal Opinions"), "Is it admissible for (a man) to make the pilgrimage in lieu of either a dead or a living person?" He answered, "Yes, it is admissible." Therefore, the pilgrimage is not a personal worship, but an ordinance which a Muslim has to perform, or (in some cases) have performed for him. It is worthwhile to note that fasting, like pilgrimage, can be performed by substitution. Ibn ’Abbas relates that to us:

"A man came to the prophet and told him this story: ‘O apostle of God, my mother died without fulfilling her fasting, can I perform it in her place?’ The apostle of God asked him, ‘In your view, if your mother had a debt, would you pay it for her?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ The prophet told him, ‘The debt of God is more deserving of payment"’ (refer to ibn ’Abbas, by ’Abdul-’Aziz al-Sha nnawi, page 133). 

Fasting, then, is a mere ritual which a Muslim has to perform even after death!

In the above-mentioned book, Muhammad said that:

"The Black Stone was whiter than milk when it descended (from heaven) but, the sins of children of Adam have blackened it" (refer to page 142).

The Rewards Of Pilgrimage  

In the same previous source, ibn ’Abbas asserts that Muhammad used to say that the pilgrim who rides his animal on his way to Mecca, gains seventy merits for every step his animal makes. But, if he comes walking, he will gain seven hundred merits of the Sacred Mosque for every step he makes. It was asked of him, "What are the merits of the Sacred Mosque?" He answered, "Every merit is equal to one hundred thousand merits." We need not be surprised to see Muslims strive to perform the pilgrimage and compete to kiss the black stone or climb the mount of ’Arafa or to circumnavigate around the sacred sites of Mecca in order to obtain hundreds of thousands of merits which will wipe out their misdeeds.


Ablution and Prayer 

It is well known that every Muslim has to pray five times a day. These are memorized prayers and must be uttered in Arabic. Originally, according to the Islamic Hadith and the testimony of Muhammad himself, God intended to impose on Muhammad and his followers praying fifty times a day instead of five, but Moses warned him and urged him to go back and negotiate with God to reduce the number to five. God approved that in the end. This incident took place during the time of the Night Journey and the Ascension. Muhammad claimed that Gabriel the angel came to him and made him ride an animal called the Buraq (an animal between a donkey and a mule). It took him first to Jerusalem, then to heaven where he experienced many things, among them the reduction of the number of prayers.

Most Muslim scholars, early and late, believe that Muhammad experienced this supernatural event in flesh. A whole chapter was inspired in which the entire story was recorded. It tells us how Muhammad traveled from Mecca to Jerusalem in a few hours where he met all the prophets and led them in prayer, then he ascended to heaven on the back of this animal. Our main concern is to re-examine the story of the reduction of the number of daily prayers. This incident is recorded in all the reliable Islamic sources, among them, "The Prophetic Biography" by ibn Hisham (part 2, page 9), Al-Sira al-Halabiyya (volume 2, page 132), also in the Sahih of the Bukhari (part 1, page 98). The story tells us: 

"The apostle of God said, ‘Then I came back and passed by Moses who asked me, "How many times a day does God require you to pray?" I said fifty prayers a day. He said, "Prayers are a heavy (task) and your people are still weak. Go back to your Lord and ask Him to lighten for you and for your people." I returned and asked my Lord (to do so). This matter was repeated several times until (God) imposed five prayers a day. Then I went back to Moses who told me the same as before. I said to him, "I have already returned to Him (several times) and asked that. I am embarrassed before Him, thus I am not going to (go back to Him)." So anyone who performs these five prayers will have the reward of fifty prayers"’ (refer to ibn Hisham).

Ablution With Water Or Sand 

The Qur’an says:

"If you find not water then go to clean high ground and rub your faces and your hands with some of it" (5:6). 

Before every prayer, each Muslim has to perform his ablution with water; that is, he has to wash his hands, feet, face and ears. If he does not find water he must use sand ... yes, the sand of the desert. Don’t think this is a printing error! Without exception, all Muslim scholars confirm this because of that very famous incident which happened to A’isha, wife of Muhammad and led the angel to deliver verse 6 of chapter 5. We spoke of this story earlier.

We do not understand this command. Is it cleansing or dirtying? Is this the religion of purification as they claim? Yet, this practice is acknowledged by all Muslims, even a clear Qur’anic verse alluding to it. The Bukhari set aside an entire chapter to discuss it (refer to part 1, page 91). The prophet, as the Bukhari, tells us, used to plunge his hands in the sand or wipe his face and palms with it (refer to part 1, page 93), and ordered his followers to do the same. The same statement is found in the Sahih of Muslim (volume 1, page 663).

Indeed, ablution results in great reward, no matter if the ablution is performed with water or sand. Muhammad said: 

"Whoever performs the ablution, his sins will depart from his body, they even come out from under his nails, and his former and later iniquities are forgiven" (refer to the "Riyad of the Salihin" by Imam al-Nawawi as quoted from Sahih of Muslim, chapter "The Merits of Ablution," page 312).

The Ablution Spoiled and The Prayer Made Void  

This is a very important matter because it shows that prayer in Islam is not a personal relationship and a loving conversation between man and his God, as is manifested in Christianity. It is a mere ritual and the fulfillment of an order.

Would the reader imagine that if a Muslim has performed the rites of ablution and bathing and is almost through with his prayer that this prayer will be nullified and his remuneration will be taken away, if a donkey, or a dog or a woman passes in front of him? He has to bathe or to perform the ablution anew and to repeat the prayers. We wonder and ask, "What does it mean to have the prayer invalidated? Has his conversation with God been erased? Are not prayers a conversation with God, being in His holy presence in full submission of the heart and mind? What does it mean that he has to repeat his prayer? Are prayers just uttering memorized words, or are they heartfelt fellowship? What effect does a dog or a donkey or a woman have if any of them passes in front of the worshipper?"

Muhammad says that the prayer will be defiled and invalidated. We have already alluded in chapter two of this book to the references related to this subject in the context of our discussion of the status of women in Islam. We also stated A’isha’s answer to the prophet’s companions when they pointed to this issue after they vowed that they heard those words from the lips of Muhammad. She told them, "You have equated us with a dog and a donkey." Yet, what is significant for us here, is that prayers in Islam are external practice and not internal worship. They are outward bearing, not essence.

Muhammad assures us that there is another reason for nullifying the ablution, that is breaking wind. Can the reader imagine that? In his Sahih, the Bukhari assures us that Muhammad made these statements while he was talking about ablution (refer to part 1, page 46). He said: 

"The Apostle of God said, ‘God does not accept the prayer of one who breaks wind until he performs the ablution anew."’ 

We don’t see why some gases nullify ablution and prayer!

We have already mentioned that anyone who touches a woman’s hand after ablution, has to perform it again even if he spent five minutes in carrying out this ritual. 

Certain Times In Which Prayer Is Forbidden  

Muhammad forbade Muslims from praying to God at sunrise or sunset, that is, from dawn until sunrise or afternoon until sunset. If you ask for the reason, the prophet of the Muslims tells you, "Satan at this time brings his head closer to the sun so those prostrate to it become infidels." All these strange things are confirmed by Muhammad’s followers (refer to Sahih of Muslim, volume 2, pp. 476-486 under the title, "The Times in which Praying is Forbidden").

We do not understand these things because Christ taught us in the Gospel that we ought to pray all the time. Also we read, "Pray without ceasing." It is permissible for the believer to pray anytime he wishes. He can enter his own room and close the door to pray to his Heavenly Father as Christ commanded us. Yet, Muhammad forbade the Muslims to pray at particular times such as sunrise or sunset because Satan brings his head close to the sun during these times! 

Reward And Punishment Regarding Friday Praying  

One Friday, Muhammad was addressing the Muslims. A caravan of camels arrived from Syria and most of the audience left him except for twelve men. Thus, a Qur’anic verse was given which says, "Whenever they had (an opportunity) for trade or entertainment, they hastened to it and left you standing alone" (refer to Sahih of Muslim, volume 2, page 514). Thus, Muhammad promised many great rewards for those who pray the Friday prayer. Ibn ’Abbas quotes Muhammad as saying:

"Bathing on Friday atones for sins, and walking to the mosque (on Friday) is like working twenty years. If the Muslim completes the Friday prayer, he will receive a reward equal to one hundred years of work" (refer to ibn ’Abbas by ’Abdul-’Aziz al-Shannawi, page 121). 

What a strange claim !

It is also recorded in Sahih of Muslim, volume 2, page 510: 

"Whoever performed the ablution, then attended the Friday prayers and listened (to the sermon), all his sins he would commit between that Friday and the following Friday would be forgiven including three more days." 

What an easy way to obtain forgiveness!

But the one who neglects prayers is regarded as an apostate, and must be killed if he does not repent as we mentioned in chapter one. This is related to us by Muslim scholars such as ibn Hazm, ibn Timiyya, Imam al-Shafi’i and Malik, on the authority of Muhammad who said so. But Imam Abu Hanifa, who was more merciful than the rest, said, "He must not be killed, but should be beaten and thrown in jail until he prays, otherwise, he must be continuously beaten until he prays even if his beating results in his unintentional death." In regard to this subject, the Azhar scholars have published many important statements ascribed to Muhammad in the Egyptian Magazine, "The Liwa’ al-Islami", issue of 12/31/1987. They claim that Muhammad said: 

"The one who neglects to pray will die thirsty, hungry, humiliated and his grave will become so narrow that it will press his ribs tight until they break. A snake called the ‘Bald Brave’ will be set on him to beat him in the grave until he plunges into the ground seventy cubits. Then, (the snake) will pull him by his face to the fire of hell." 

Are these not meaningless words uttered by Muhammad? 

The irony is that these great scholars have believed and accepted these claims. Yet, what makes it worse is that the one who abandons his prayers is subject to death, or in the best case, he will be beaten and jailed. Some scholars quoted Muhammad, saying: 

"Whoever neglects part of the prayer will complete them after his death on a mountain of fire."


Some Statutes And Penalties Of Islamic Law

The Penalty Of The Thief  

Islamic law is very clear about this crime. It says that a thief’s hand must be cut off. This sentence is based on an explicit Qur’anic text which says:

"As for the thief, both male and female, cut off their hands. It is the reward of their own deeds, an exemplary punishment from Allah." (Refer to chapter "The Table": 38.) 

All legists confirm that Muhammad has endorsed this penalty. They all quote his statement:

"A hand is cut off if he steals (anything) that costs one-fourth of a dinar and over. May God curse the thief. If he steals an egg, his hand must be cut off, or if he steals a rope, his hand must be cut off" (refer to Sahih of the Bukhari, part 8, pp. 199-201). 

On these same pages, the Bukhari assures us that A’isha, Muhammad’s wife, and the rest of his companions have said that Muhammad used to cut off a thief’s hand if he stole a shield which cost three dirhams (refer to Sahih of Muslim, volume 4, page 258 and on; ibn Timiyya, volume 8, page 331, ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya in Zad of al-Ma’ad, part 5, page 49; The Baydawi, page 149; The Jalalan, page 93, and the Zamakh-shari in the Kash-shaf, part 1, page 612).

The Azhar scholars have been very explicit about this. In "The Statute of Legal Penalties", we turn to page 5 to read: 

"A person found guilty of theft shall be punishable as follows: 1 - amputation of the right hand for the first offense, 2 - amputation of the left foot for the second offense, 3 -imprisonment till the time of evident repentance for subsequent offenses." 

On the same page, the Azhar scholars remark that there are cases in which the penalty is not to be carried out. These cases are:

"When theft occurs in a public place during its hours of activity or in a place to which the culprit had free access unless stolen property is found in his possession." 

In his book, "Zad of the Ma’ad" (part S, page 50), ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya says that the embezzler and the thief who steals fruit are not subject to the penalty of the Islamic law. He adds that Muhammad had commanded that they drop the penalty against them.

There are two illogical elements in this Islamic law concerning the penalty of the thief.

Muhammad’s claim that the embezzler or the thief who robs public property, are not subject to the penalty, is meaningless. There is no law in any country of the world which endorses such an unjust, irrational, and illogical statement. Why should an embezzler not be punished? We do not find any answer for that.

Why should a father not be punished if he robs his son? It is possible that the son is a diligent person who is responsible for his wife and children while his father is a reckless and extravagant man who wastes his money on his own pleasures. Why then should he and other relatives who rob their own kin, not be punished? When Muhammad said to someone, "You and your property belong to your father," he was stating a meaningless verdict because each person lives an independent life and has his own distinctive entity.

What about the larceny of the public property? It is evident that the thief must be punished. This is the opinion of the Imam Malik, but all other scholars disagree with him on the basis of Muhammad’s deeds and sayings. Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya tells us that Muhammad issued an order in which he dropped the penalty against the plunderer, the embezzler, and the traitor of the trust (refer to part 5, page 50).

Obviously, the relentlessness of Islamic law and Muhammad’s attitude are evident. Is it reasonable that a man’s hand is not worth more than a quarter of a dinar, or three dirhams, or an egg? Would it not be more fair that the punishment be in proportion to the crime? Should Muhammad cut off the hand of a man whether he steals an egg or a shield? What logic or sensible person would accept that? Is it fair that a person be disabled to work or to be productive and inflicted with a permanent handicap because of such a simple matter? Also, does he have the right to replace it with an artificial hand or not? Contemporary scholars disagree on this problem.

More than that, it was Muhammad’s habit to cut off the thief’s hand and to hang it around his neck to make an example of him, to humiliate him, and as a warning to other people (refer to ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya in Zad of al-Ma’ad, part 5, pp. 52, 56). Ibn al-Jawziyya also mentioned that Muhammad ordered the death of a thief after he stole for the fifth time (part 5, page 56).

 Moving Stories  

The following famous moving stories are recorded by most Muslim scholars. One is a story of a woman who was accustomed to borrowing things and failing to return them. So, Muhammad cut off her hand in spite of the intercession of his companions (refer to the Bukhari, part 8, page 199). Another story related by the majority of the scholars who said:

"A man stole the gown of Safwan while he was in the mosque. Safwan, who was one of Muhammad’s famous companions, arrested him and brought him to Muhammad. Muhammad ordered his hand to be cut off. Safwan shouted with surprise, ‘Because of my gown you cut off his hand? I give it to him free.’ Muhammad said to him, ‘That would only have been possible before you brought him to me.’ Muhammad ordered his hand to be cut off immediately" (refer to ibn Timiyya, volume 28, page 311; ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, part 5, page 51 of Zad of the Ma’ad). 

Is it fair, then, after Safwan has given up his gown and presented it to the thief as a gift, that Muhammad still cut off the thief’s hand instead of reducing his punishment? What does it matter if Safwan did that before he brought the thief to Muhammad or afterward? He waived his right, what more is needed? If someone claims that this is God’s right and the cutting off of the hand is a must, then the question is, why did Muhammad tell Safwan that waiving of punishment would have been possible before he brought him before Muhammad? What eccentric behavior!

If somebody steals a gown or an egg, they cut off his hand, but the one who loots public property and embezzles the state’s treasury is not subjected to the punishment. This is iniquitous law devoid of rationale and fairness! 

Other Strange Things  

Islam allows the beating of the accused, if he acts suspiciously. Muhammad himself whipped and jailed a defendant before the charge was proven true against him (refer to ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, part 5, page 56). Such a practice is left in the hands of the plaintiff who decides whether to request the whipping of the suspect or not. But if the plaintiff demanded the beating of the suspect and it was proven that he was innocent, then the plaintiff (the owner of the stolen property) would be beaten. Muhammad himself did so and told the accusers, "If you wish me to beat them (the suspects), I will do so, and if your property is found with them, then let it be. Otherwise, I will flog your backs as I flogged their backs." They asked him, "Is this your verdict?" He said, "(It is) God’s verdict and His apostle’s" (refer to ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, part 5, pp. 52, 53, under the title, "Testing the Suspect by Beating Him’).

We do not believe that this is God’s decree as Muhammad claims because God does not punish a man before he is proven guilty. Neither God nor a free, just society would accept this. Such abuse is the reason behind the torture inflicted on the defendants in the Arabic and Islamic countries in order to force them to confess to crimes they never committed. What an intolerant law, an unforgiving religion ... and an unmerciful prophet! 

The Drunkard  

The punishment of the drunkard is to be flogged forty times, and to be killed if he is arrested drunk for the fourth time. This is according to Islamic law and to actions and sayings of Muhammad. In the book of "A Proposal For The Law Of Legal Penalties" which was published by the Azhar (page 27), we read:

"Whipping is approved by a saying of the prophet, peace be on him, narrated by Abu Daud and others, ‘Whip those who drink wine."’ 

This same book describes (page 8) the flogging procedure as follows:

"The punishment of whipping shall be inflicted by means of a knotless whip of medium length and a single tip after stripping the convict of such clothing as may prevent pain to the body. Strokes must be divided all over the body; regarding women, the strokes may only be on her back and shoulders." 

It is very evident that the Islamic Tradition has a significant role in the implementation of Islamic Law since it records all the sayings and the deeds of Muhammad. It explained, interpreted and demonstrated some essential elements of worship which the Qur’an either did not deal with, or was brief. Because of its role, the Hadith’s books (Sahih of Bukhari, Sahih of Muslim and other books which collected or recorded the Islamic Tradition) occupy a very important place in Islam. Most of these traditions are handed down to us by Muhammad’s companions, his wives—A’isha in particular—as well as others who lived around Muhammad.

Without the information we obtain from the Traditions, it would be impossible to construct a detailed system of worship, procedure of pilgrimage, list of unlawful food, or laws of inheritance. Many of the religious penalties, such as the punishment of the drunkard, the punishment of the married adulterer, are not mentioned in the Qur’an but uttered by Muhammad (refer to the "History of the Islamic Law" by Dr. Ahmad Shalabi, pp. 142-153). Dr. Shalabi asserts that the Islamic Tradition is a basic source of Islamic law, not because it explains new ordinances which are not mentioned in the Qur’an only, but also because in it Muhammad expounded the Qur’anic verses and the reasons for their revelation. All contemporary scholars agree with Dr. Shalabi.

Let us now examine the implementation of the penal code on the drunkard as it is recorded in the Sahih of the Bukhari which is regarded by all scholars as the most important book about Islamic Tradition. 

Beating with Brutality and Savagery  

In his book, part 8, pp. 196, 197, the Bukhari says:

"The prophet’s custom was to beat the drunkard with palm branches and sandals. When a drunkard was brought to him, he ordered his companions to beat him with their hands, sandals and robes. One of Muhammad’s companions by the name of al-Sa’ib ibn Yazid says, ‘We used to bring the drunkard before the apostle of God and during the caliphate of Abu Bakr and in the first stage of the caliphate of ’Umar, and we would beat him with our hands, sandals and robes. During the last part of ’Umar’s caliphate, he ordered us to flog him eighty times"’ (refer to ibn Timiyya, volume 28, page 336; and the book of the Sunna and its Significance, by Dr. M. Yusuf, page 29).

What brutality to see Muhammad and his followers rise against the drunkard to beat him altogether at the same time with their sandals and hands with the poor man agonizing in the middle. Later, during the last days of ’Umar, the penalty of the drunkard was eighty lashes and not forty. Likewise, ’Ali ibn Abi Talib sometimes used to lash the drunkard either forty times or eighty. It is no secret that Muhammad really did whip anyone who drank even a drop of any intoxicating drink. Yes, even one drop! This was confirmed by all the scholars when Muhammad was asked about wine as a medicine. He said, "No, it is its own malady and can never be a remedy" (refer to ibn Timiyya, volume 28, page 339, and Sahih of Muslim, volume 4, page 666).

More Than Flogging  

This is true, because Muhammad said, "If someone drinks wine, lash him, if he drinks again, lash him, if he drinks for the third time, lash him, but if he drinks for the fourth time, kill him" (refer to ibn Timiyya, volume 28, page 336).

On page 347, ibn Timiyya tells us that: 

"Some people came to Muhammad and told him, ‘We use a drink made of wheat to protect us against the cold of our country.’ Muhammad said, ‘If it intoxicates (you), shun it.’ He was told that the people would not relinquish it. Muhammad said, ‘If they do not relinquish it, then kill them."’ 

So, the penalty was (and still is) to lash and even kill anyone who drinks any intoxicating drink, even if it is used moderately or in a small amount as a protection against cold.

What a law! If somebody steals an egg or anything which costs a quarter of a dinar, they cut off his hand. If that is repeated for five times, they kill him. If someone drinks even one drop of wine, they brutally beat him with sandals, palm branches, and hands. If he repeats that four times, they kill him.

Despite that they tell us this is the justice and the wisdom of Islamic law. They also tell us that Islam is the religion of forgiveness, and Muhammad is the prophet of mercy. Can we believe that the one who hangs the amputated hand of the thief around his neck, then orders his followers to parade him around, is the prophet of mercy? Such an act makes our bodies quiver, our souls feel disgusted and our free consciences rebel, especially if the defendant was punished before he was proven guilty as Muhammad said and did.