Criminal Law of Islam Vol 2 (English) By Abdul Qadir Oudah
CRIMINAL LAW OF ISLAM VOL 2
Till the end of the eighteenth century, the man-made law allowed discrimination between individuals based on their social status. It did not recognize the equality of individuals involved in criminal cases.
They were rather dealt with differently in matters of judicial proceedings as well as incidence and enforcement of punishment. Courts also varied with the social strata of a nation.
Special courts and judges were reserved for the aristocracy. Similarly, different courts with their respective judges existed for the ecclesiastics and the laymen.
Again, these courts awarded different punishments for the same offences, taking into account the social position of the offender.
For instance, a commoner was awarded the most severe punishment and an aristocrat a lighter one for the same offence.
The manner of carrying .out a sentence passed on an aristocrat too was in keeping with his rank and status. Similarly, a commoner was punished according to his degree of inferiority.
For instance, if an aristocrat was condemned to death, he was beheaded. A commoner, on the other hand, was strangled.
Also, there were acts which if done by the commoners were treated as offences and the culprits were severely dealt with. But if the same acts were done by the aristocracy or the clergy, they were taken no notice of. This, then, was the position of legislated criminal laws till the end of the. An eighteenth-century or the French Revolution.
In the wake of that Revolution, however, equality was declared the basis of law and consequently, a principle was laid down to the effect that criminal laws are to be equally applied to all the individuals of the society. Despite this provision the principle of equality