Specifically Mentioned Discretionary Punishments (al-Ta’zirat al-Mansoos): From Perpetual Laws to Judicial and Administrative Laws

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In Islamic traditional jurisprudence it is assumed that punishments are either had (prescribed punishment) or ta’zir (discretionary punishment left to the decision of the judge in each case). There are also some specific crimes which are considered as ta’zir while for which the quantity and quality of punishment is determined and fixed in some traditions. Islamic jurists have named such punishments as al-Ta’zirat al-Mansoos (Explicitly Mentioned Discretionary Punishments). This kind of punishment, in its turn, has increased ambiguity in the number of hodood (prescribed punishments) and yield in confusion in whether they are had(prescribed punishment) or ta’zir (discretionary punishment). The main question regarding this kind of punishments is that whether they are among changeable and discretionary punishments or unchangeable and fixed punishments. This article has considered the traditions mentioning the cases of specifically mentioned discretionary punishments as judicial traditions. This means that the quality and quantity of punishment in these cases are not unchangeable. Consequently, there is no substantial difference between this kind of ta’zir and other general ta’zirat. Therefore, it is of judge’s authority to determine the quantity and quality of the punishment as each case requires. Similarly, there is room to apply modern criminal institutes like suspension of punishment, adjournment of judgment and criminal prescription in Punishments in all instances of al-Ta’zirat al-Mansoos.

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