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 The ultimate objective of every Islamic legal injunction is to secure the welfare of humanity in this world and the next by establishing a righteous society.  This is a society that worships God and flourishes on the Earth, one that wields the forces of nature to build a civilization wherein every human being can live in a climate of peace, justice and security.  This is a civilization that allows a person to fulfill his every spiritual, intellectual, and material need and cultivate every aspect of his being.  This supreme objective is articulated by the Quran in many places.  God says:

“We have sent our Messengers with clear signs and have sent down with them the book and the criterion so that man can establish justice.  And we sent down iron of great strength and many benefits for man...” (Quran 57:25)

And He says:

“…God wants ease for you, not hardship...” (Quran 2:185)

And He says:

“God wants to make things clear for you and to guide you to the ways of those before you and to forgive you.  God is the All knowing, the Wise.  God wants to forgive you and wants those who follow their desires to turn wholeheartedly towards (what is right).  God wants to lighten your burdens, and He has created man weak.” (Quran 4:26-28)

And He says:

“God commands justice, righteousness, and spending on ones relatives, and prohibits licentiousness, wrongdoing, and injustice…” (Quran 16:90)

Since the Islamic legal injunctions are aimed at achieving human welfare, they can all be referred back to universal principles which are necessary for human welfare to be secured.  These universal principles are:

1.    The preservation of life.

2.    The preservation of religion.

3.    The preservation of reason.

4.    The preservation of lineage.

5.    The preservation of property.

The Islamic penal system is aimed at preserving these five universal necessities.  To preserve life, it prescribes the law of retribution.  To preserve religion, it prescribes the punishment for apostasy.  To preserve reason, it prescribes the punishment for drinking.  To preserve lineage, it prescribes the punishment for fornication.  To preserve wealth, it prescribes the punishment for theft.  To protect all of them, it prescribes the punishment for highway robbery.

It should therefore become clear to us why the crimes for which Islam for which the Law has prescribed fixed punishments are as follows:

1.    Transgression against life (murder or assault).

2.    Transgression against property (theft).

3.    Transgression against lineage (fornication and false accusations of adultery).

4.    Transgression against reason (using intoxicants).

5.    Transgression against religion (apostasy).

6.    Transgression against all of these universal needs (highway robbery).

Source:http://www.islamreligion.com/

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