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Shari'ah on TrialNorthern Nigeria's Islamic Revolution$
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Sarah Eltantawi

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520293779

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520293779.001.0001

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Origins of the Stoning Punishment

Origins of the Stoning Punishment

(p.66) Chapter Three Origins of the Stoning Punishment
Shari'ah on Trial

Sarah Eltantawi

University of California Press

This chapter explores the deepest layer of the sunnaic paradigm, the Islamic legal history of the stoning punishment. This chapter contrasts the stoning punishment’s perceived stability and incontavertability among contemporary Northern Nigerians against early Islamic intellectual historical accounts which understand the stoning punishment as highly contested and unstable legally and epistemologically. The chapter surveys early pre-Islamic societies’ legalization of the stoning punishment, including Mesopotamia and Judaic sources, and shows how the punishment made its way into the Islamic tradition. This chapter also surveys Qur’an, hadith, linguistic, aphoristic and Islamic legal treatment of the stoning punishment, and explores the analytic tools used by Islamic jurists to make a debatable punishment legal over time.

Keywords:   Zina, Stoning, Pre-Islamic Arabia, Islamic law, Hadith, Qur’an and Gender, Abrogation (naskh), Specification (takhsīs), Judaic law, Mesopotamian law, ‘Umar b. al-Khattab

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