Published in the Sunday BB, July 29, a 23-year-old woman, was identified as the suspect in the snatch theft of jewellery from a shop in the capital.
I am now wondering why the woman was not brought to the Syariah Court, considering she is a Muslim?
Last year, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam posed a question with regard to the establishment of Islamic Criminal Law during a meeting with the Brunei Islamic Religious Council, Syariah officials and the Attorney General's Chambers.
"What else are we waiting for?" His Majesty asked. The monarch urged the authorities to not delay with Brunei now having the resources at its disposal.
"We have the (Syariah) Court building in its grandeur, intellectuals and experts are also in abundance, and the country is independent. What more are we waiting for?" quizzed His Majesty.
This year on July 15, His Majesty in the titah during the Audience and Investiture Ceremony in conjunction with His Majesty's 66th birthday, gave his consent for the Syariah Criminal Penal Code Order to be implemented in the country
A few days later on July19, at a press conference, the Minister of Religious Affairs Pg Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohammad bin Pg Hj Abdul Rahman said the Brunei Islamic Religious Council held a meeting on July 18.
"The Syariah Penal Code has taken a long time to complete," the minister explained. "It was completed with the full support of several institutions and related agencies in the country."
The minister also said, "For that matter, the council urges the people to pledge their support and loyalty towards the aim of His Majesty in realising the establishment of the Syariah Penal Code in the countiy." With all these statements made, is the Syariah Criminal Penal Code Order ready for implementation? If it is, when it is going to be done?
I've read several comments on the Internet condemning the introduction of Syariah Law in Brunei. Some say it is cruel just like the Taleban. I would like to ask these critics, who is more cruel, the Taleban or the West? How many innocent people were killed by the Taleban each day? I know more innocent lives are lost to the NATO and US bombings than to the Taleban.
Some people say stoning adulterers to death is barbaric. The Quran is the ultimate source of the Syariah because Allah has guaranteed its integrity. The Quran prescribes flogging. It does not even mention the word 'stoning' or 'death by stoning' (Rajm). Verse 24-2 says: "The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication flog each of them".
Now, is flogging barbaric? Just recently, an immigration offender was ordered to serve three months' jail and three strokes of the cane for overstaying in the country by the Magistrate's Court. The offence is serious according to our country's law. So, are those people saying breaking God's law is not that serious?
Now when it comes to cutting off hands for stealing, I saw on YouTube, even a Muslim religious figure in the neighbouring state made comments against it. Doesn't she realise condemning the law is the same as condemning al-Quran. How can she criticise Allah the Almighty?
As in the verse of al-Quran 5:38; "As to the thief, male or female, cut off his or her hands: a punishment by way of example, from Allah, for their crime: and Allah is Exalted in power."
Well, this is where most people do not really understand al-Quran, the beauty of Islam. The attributes of Allah the Almighty is, that He is always the Most Merciful and the Most Forgiving as it continues in verse 5:39: "But if the thief repents after his/her crime, and amends his her conduct, Allah the Almighty turneth to him her in forgiveness; for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful."
So it clear here that the punishment for stealing is not that hands are cut off immediately. The thief should be given a chance to amend his conduct If he/she fails, and still continues to steal then it is mandatory to cut off the hands. This way we are following both Quranic verses 5:38 and 5-39.