Undesirability of Intercession in Hudud
Allah, the Exalted, says:
"The woman and the man guilty of illegal sexual intercourse, flog each of them with a hundred stripes. Let not pity withhold you in their case, in a punishment prescribed by Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day.'' (24:2)
1770. `Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: The Quraish were anxious about a woman from Banu Makhzum who had committed theft and asked : "Who will speak to the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) about her?'' Then they said: "No one will be bold enough to do so except Usamah bin Zaid, the (Companion who was) dearly loved by the Messenger of Allah (PBUH).'' So Usamah (May Allah be pleased with him) spoke to him and the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) (angrily) said, "Are you interceding regarding one of the punishments prescribed by Allah?'' He then got up and delivered an address in which he said, "Indeed what destroyed the people before you was just that when a person of high rank among them committed a theft, they spared him; but if the same crime was done by a poor person they inflicted the prescribed punishment on him. I swear by Allah that if Fatimah daughter of Muhammad should steal, I would have her hand cut off.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
In another narration `Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) said: (Upon hearing the intercession of Usamah), the face of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) changed color (because of anger) and he said, "Do you dare to intercede in matters prescribed by Allah?'' Usamah pleaded: "O Messenger of Allah! Pray for my forgiveness.'' `Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) added: Thereafter the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) gave orders to have that woman's hand cut off.
1. Hadd is the punishment fixed by Shari`ah and which no one has the authority to increase or decrease. For instance, theft is punishable by the cutting of the hand; the punishment of adultery is a hundred stripes or Rajm (stoning to death); the punishment of drinking of intoxicants is forty stripes etc.
2. Nobody has the right to intercede or make any recommendation in this matter.
3. There is no distinction of male or female in the matter of these punishments (Hudud). Whoever commits a crime which is punishable by Hadd, whether that person is male or female, will be liable for punishment prescribed under Hadd - the punishment, the limits of which have been defined in the Qur'an and Hadith.
4. No one is exempted from Hadd, no matter how great he is, because there is no distinction of great or small in the matter of Hadd.
5. We must learn a lesson from the history of past nations so that we can save ourselves from such misdeeds which caused their ruin.
6. This Hadith brings into prominence the distinction and eminence of Usamah and his position in the eyes of the Prophet (PBUH).