Punishment in Saudi Arabia

We’ve all heard or read about the strict laws and forms of punishment in Saudi Arabia. The most notorious of which is cutting off the hands of thieves. But many people don’t dig deep enough to know that a thief has to steal a substantial amount to get that punishment. No one gets their hand cut for petty theft, but when you have a gang who goes around robbing houses, then that punishment comes onto the table. In all my years here, I’ve only heard about it happening once. A friend of mine had their apartment robbed. Jewelry, TVs, computers and everything of value was taken. Eventually the robber was caught and my friend’s father was asked if he would forgive the robber or not. His refusal to forgive him contributed to the judge’s decision to have the thief’s hand cut off. I don’t know the details such as whether or not the thief had a previous history of stealing. I do know that this type of punishment does not happen often. Another instance is one time my husband and I met a real estate agent to show us a house we were interested in. This guy was a young apparently healthy Saudi guy and one of his hands was cut right at the wrist. Both my husband and I did not say anything so I don’t know if it was cut off as punishment or due to an accident or illness but I bet lots of people wonder when they meet him.

The punishments that are most newsworthy when it comes to Saudi Arabia, are the ones given to people guilty of khilwa (unrelated man and woman alone together) and extramarital sex. A punishment for khilwa is common and we’ve all come across muttawas trolling coffee shops and restaurants searching for pairs who seem too happy to be related. But what happens after they are caught? I don’t know about expatriates but with Saudis, the man and woman are separated at the spot and questioned to see if their stories correspond. Questions like name, relatives’ names and even color of furniture, address, employment and all other things married couples naturally know. If they fail the test or refuse to cooperate, they are taken to the local muttawa center. The girl’s father is summoned and the guy is locked up usually after being given a few slaps and punches. The girl is handed over to her father (if he’ll take her) and the guy is later released after they put his information into the system. He is then required to show up in front of a judge, usually two weeks later to take his sentence. How he appears at the sentencing decides his fate more than anything else. The way he dresses and addresses the judge has more influence than the number of times he has been caught, how and where he was caught…etc. His best bet is to dress like a muttawa, start to grow a beard, hold his head down and look remorseful. He should also tell the judge that since the incident, he has become a born again Muslim. If he could get an established muttawa from a mosque to vouch for him, then he might be lucky enough to be let go with a warning. Otherwise he will most likely be sentenced a number of lashes across the back.

Extramarital sex on the other hand is extremely serious and at the same time very hard to get convicted for. In the Holy Quran, it states that four witnesses to the act have to be found for it to be punishable. Here, unless a person has confessed or made a tape it’s unlikely to be considered as extramarital sex. Even if an unrelated couple checks into a hotel together, they will only be convicted of khilwa. In cases where a confession is made, then other things come into play, such as was it consensual or rape and whether either of them was married at the time. Infidelity is an automatic death sentence. Singles are imprisoned and whipped.

Young Saudis have their ways to get around these laws. One that I heard of is that they go in groups. Another is that the guy takes his sister along and voila it is no longer a khilwa.  

113 Comments

Filed under Culture, Informative

113 responses to “Punishment in Saudi Arabia

  1. Question, How is it a khilwa in a cafe where at least 5 other people are around?

    Answer, you’re not supposed to go out in the first place.

    Question, How about just a business meeting or any other meeting?

    Answer, you’re not supposed to go out in the first place.

    Question, Why am I getting whipped and lashed when I didn’t even touch her hand to shake?

    Answer, you’re not supposed to go out in the first place.

    See a pattern? You’re not supposed to see one in the first place ..

  2. Ayesha

    It’s hard to understand the motive behind the article. If the idea being proposed here is that people involved in khulwa and adultery should not be punished, that idea is not acceptable. If the point is that the punishment is too harsh, although I am a woman, I don’t think it is too harsh. The punihsment given here is the way Islam has asked to do so. Just because someone is sitting with unrelated person in a public place, doesn’t mean that it is not khilwa. But maybe there should be some exceptions for business purposes only when foreign business women have to work with a local Saudi partner. They have no choice but to communicate with the opposite sex. But other than that, it is not permissible.

    • saudiwoman

      The only purpose behind this post is to state how things are.

      • It does state how things are. But I hope it doesn’t support the concept of khilwa.

      • nunu

        been 2 yrs…i jas f0und ds website..
        theres no pr0blem in punishment in ksa..the pr0blem with them is they are n0t fair…m0st mutawwas unfairly take pe0ple wh0 cnt talk arabic t0 defend themselves..d0nt give lawyers…they are bias..trust me,it happened t0 pe0ple ar0und me tahts why i kn0w..i pray t0 Allah y0u w0nt be a victim 0f their misleading beards and sh0rt-th0bs..Allah Knows Best.

    • Jai Babu

      Ayesha
      It is sad that inspite of being a woman, you are accepting such a blatantly discriminatory set of accepted social norms.! Remember the case of
      a sentence of 40 lashes was handed out to a 75-year-old woman in Saudi Arabia! The woman, who was also sentenced to four months’ imprisonment, was found guilty of being in the company of two men, who were not her relatives. The flogging and imprisonment sentences against the Arab woman and two Saudi men were upheld by the country’s appeal court. The woman, identified as Syrian national Khamisa Mohammad Sawadi, along with two Saudi Arabian men — known only as Fahd and Hadyan — were found guilty in March 2009 of being in the company of members of the opposite sex who are not close relatives (known as khilwa). Fahd and Hadyan stated in their defence that they were delivering bread to Khamisa. Fahd argued that the offence of khilwa did not apply since he was related to Khamisa, who was his own uncle’s wife and had known him from the time when he was a child. The court, however, rejected this argument. One of the reasons for the rejection was that her youngest son is 10 years older than Fahd! Khamisa and Fahd were sentenced to 40 lashes and four months’ imprisonment each, and Hadyan to 60 lashes and six months’ imprisonment. The woman was also
      sentenced to be deported to her native Syria on completion of her prison term inspite of being married to a Saudi national for many years!!

    • Dr. M. Abdulrahman

      Do you have a driver? why is that permissible? Good journalism is to create discussion and thinking and she just did. Although I think that she is not a journalist. The Author just wrote few things for information purposes and made me extreamly laugh at it. Now if what she told us is not true, tell us. Otherwise I am sure islam did not forbid men and women to talk and since when “few slaps and punches” were OK in Islam. Maybe Saudi good men should rent a Taxi and drive around the good woman that he loves for the sake of God and drive around since that is OK.

    • kathy

      Its women like the one above, Ayesha, who are keeping other women suppressed. You have to work together to be free

    • ok i understand you believe in upholding islamic law.
      the punishment you state is not harsh.
      if the woman was slapped around and whipped then perhaps you would think its a harsh law.
      sadly violence and torture and unfair teatment seems acceptable to muslims.
      the woman is guilty too.she should feel embarrassment and pain.

    • Smallquietvoiceinthedark

      Ayesha – you make me want to cry…….

      My heart breaks for you – you are the perfect product of a perfect storm. In my opinion you have been taught a very twisted version of your own religion (the one without mercy) and you don’t know that the society you live (women).

      Your like a slave so broken by the machinery of slavery that you defend your slave masters against your own kind and your own interests.

      Please, please look into other translations, interpretations and the history of your faith and see for yourself. I am not of your faith but have great respect for it, once upon a time Islam was the worlds most liberal, reforming force for good.

      Take care…

    • Chris

      Fucking disgusting, how mindlessly some of you follow a book that was probably written by some insane crackpot that grew up without any real understanding of the world…

      You would turn on your own kin, for doing things that are our biological nature. Absolutely pathetic, that a book would do this to someone.

      Same goes for over-the-top (see: almost all) christianity.

    • Sharon

      And also just because a person is sitting with an unrelated person in a public place, doesnt also mean that IT IS khilwa..and also there is basically no exception watsoever..and this article only serves as exposing and creating awareness…nothing else!!

    • David Murphy

      Ok, but what about foreigners or tourists. Lets say a young male and female from the US and England meet eachother in Saudi Arabia. Are they allowed to meet alone?

    • sirderam

      “If the idea being proposed here is that people involved in khulwa and adultery should not be punished, that idea is not acceptable.”

      Why not? What business is it of yours what two unrelated people do? If your god is so worried about what they are doing why doesn’t he punish them himself? Why is it that god never seems to be able to deal with these things himself without the help of his followers?

      Religious people are never done telling people about their all powerful, all knowing, all wise, creator of the entire universe god, but this god of theirs never seems to be able to achieve anything at all without their help. Personally, I’d rather worship a hamster – it would at least be capable of building its own nest without my help. That alone makes it a lot more powerful than the much vaunted Abrahamic god.

    • michael

      Ayesha, your response is, at least, unfortunate. Lets go to first principles. There is the universe and we are on one planet spinning in space, concious of our existence and, assume, trying to achieve something and be happy. Now lets suppose there is a higher power, responsible for all of this, including us. Would you not think the purpose of existence would be something of a higher purpose, for humans to use their intellect and ability to research, design, build and to have relations with other people? Do you really think ‘God’ would bother to come up with specific, and fairly nonsensical, rules such as one form of sentient being, specifically human females, should cover themselves in black so they have no identity and exist in a reduced state?
      Some argue, as do many Muslims, that this life is some sort of passage to the after life. I thought that this existence, this life, is good. If it is not then it would seem it would be better to try and die soon to get to the after life. This existence requires effort, which makes it worthy, an after-life where everything is given seems somewhat boring and pointless. Why not appreciate this life?
      And even if there is this great concern about relations between men and women, why is it so wrong? Liking another person, even holding their hand, kissing them, even having sex, makes people happy and brings about new life- so it seems to be something good not bad. People are sufficiently intelligent to decide whether or not they like each other. For a man to approach a woman or a woman to approach a man.
      If the concern is safety of women that is ridiculous. Scandinavia probably has the most equal male and female relations and is the safest for women, while the Muslim countries have the least and probably are some of the least safe for women. Maybe women should not cover and instead men should learn to control themselves.
      Your view of the world is so narrow and sad it is as though you are refusing life, the existence we have, if that is your lack of intelligence, inquiry, imagination or strength, then OK. However the problem with your version of Islam is that you try to force your view on others.
      Apart from anything else, why follow the prophet Mohammed? He seemed like a fairly good military-political leader and was smart, however he was also violent, somewhat hypocritical in that the rules he promoted he did not fully apply to himself. Seems the religion should be able to stand up to more investigation and questioning. And the aggressive approach of a notable amount of Islam indicates that it is not sufficiently strong to stand up to scrutiny.
      Given that genders are essentially equal, with number of female and male babies surviving past infancy. A practical flaw in Islam is that a man can have four wives, which would leave three men without wives. The only way to rectify and balance this is to enable women to have up to four husbands. That should be considered.

  3. Chiara

    Thanks for the summary, and for the ideas about how young Saudis get around khilwa. I am in fact glad there is something akin to chaperoned “dating”, and group dating, so that people can get to know each other better (leaving aside the sex issue for the moment).

  4. Chiara

    Sorry, premature submission.

    Both group dating ie brothers and sisters dating in groups of friends, and chaperoned dating are common elsewhere, even in the West (double dating is often used as a form of having a chaperone/protector/friend nearby), and is a good idea. At least these options are better than marrying someone you have not had the chance to get to know.

  5. Great Post,
    I can see how such topics can be difficult to discuss, I don’t agree on authorities penalizing Khilwa, it will never stop, and it can’t be dealt with as such, capital punishments deserve to be visited by scholars for re-evaluation of a more evidence-based, constructive and less harmful punishments, keep on blogging!!!

  6. alqasam

    Akum sister

    As far as from what I have learn, Umar AlKhattab as added the specific condition for one’s theft to be punish according to the hudud. As you mentioned above, there are certain amount. Second, if the theft steal because of poverty then the condition to fulfill the punishment is not complete thus the punishment cannot be done.

    It is not easy nor it was something pleasant to be done. They are strict condition to be said.

    Regarding the khalwah, it is a sin yet as long as they are not proved to commit sex etc they can’t be punish. As mere khalwah, in Islamic law we didn’t have specific rules only if certain country want to implement certain punishment it just called ta’zir.

  7. Daisy

    Saudi woman,
    I must compliment you on your very informative blog. I can see that it is very helpful in dispelling misconceptions in the minds non-Saudis, because you give an objective picture of how things are and do not support an unjust practise simply because it happens to be Saudi You are certainly not biased in your views.

    Personally, I myself hold the view that even in case of a large-scale theft hands should not be cut off and there should not be any punishment for two unrelated people of opposite sex meeting in public. I feel Islamic rules should be interpreted differently with changing times. But I do appreciate your fair representation of cases.

    Jai Babu,
    Thanks for giving the details of that infamous case. I read another aspect of it somewhere – that the father of one of the youths – who said she was his uncle’s wife – himself complained to the religious police that these two men had gone to visit her. This was because she was a widow and as her relative, he was supposed to take care of her and thought by getting her deported he would be absolved of this responsibility. However, his plan backfired as his son was also convicted and sentenced to flogging.

    It shows how these rules are being manipulated by some people to their own advantage. It’s not just a question of whether they are allowed Islamically or not. It seems some people want them in place so that they can be used to their gain.

    • Ali Ibn Fulan

      Daisy,
      Its a good thing people like you are not in charge of the affairs of the people. This is only for the creator of the heavens and the earth. Two statements for you: 1) May Allaah guide you (and if he doesn’t) 2) May he break your back (for increasing in misguidance for the people).
      In reality, should you not be guided, its sufficient to know that you and anyone (myself included) who opposes Allaah and his messenger will be dealt with severely in the hereafter (whether you believe it or not). Turn to Allaah and seek his guidance. Why, So that you may be forgiven. Allaah has stated in his book that once he has decreed on a matter, you have no decision (even though you ‘think’ you do). If you have so much decision making ability, then prevent yourself from death. If you have any ability to come to terms that you are nothing but a created soul, then humble yourself before your soul gets snatched from your body.

      • Daved

        So what gives you the right to claim to know the mind of God? That is arrogance in the extreme. Such arrogance can only result in backwardness; and for you it obviously has.

      • @Ali, its your mistake that you want to find out “Allah’s word or Guidance” on a western motivated blog, whoses criteria and prrofs are judged as per the Doctrine of Uncle Sam.
        @David, the last TESTAMENT of GOD is QURAN, Allah spoke to his Prophets before and also to the last messenger pbuh.
        The judgement is already given and the case is close. Dont be proud to reject the word of God. However, its your point of view, at last we all have to return to God to answer what we did on earth.

  8. Daisy

    Saudi woman,
    I liked your comment – the religious police go around looking for couples who seem to be too happy to be related! :-)

  9. Waleed

    La elaaha ellALLAH !

    Be aware, I am quiet curious or simply doubtful about saudiwoman.
    Real Muslim woman would never agree with what these religious matters are being twisted in the above article.

    ALLAH (Almighty) knows the best.

    But, I personally assume her as ignorant or the one spreading false meanings about Divine preordainment.

  10. flò

    barbarian rules!!!poor womens, no possible for me life in SK

  11. Dr. M. Abdulrahman

    I don’t think i can remember the last time I read or heard a funnier phrase than “pairs who seem too happy to be related” I told this to my brother since he is the one who ever lived in the kingdom and the whole family are still laughing about this. You just made our month. Thanks for the insight by the way. Great, great article.

  12. Omaima

    hahaha ..
    Saudis have to hopelessly fall in love to take such a risk .. ! :S
    hahaha
    thanks Ms. Eman ..
    u know Ms. Eman .. I think khilwa thingi is a bullshit ( excuse my french)
    coffee shops .. resturants.. are puplic places .. could be bussiness meeting .. friendship ..
    maybe it could be applicable if they saw couples ( lovers) checking in in a hotel room or something ..
    but a coffee shop or resturant .. man that is sick!

  13. Jacqueline

    Quite frankly, the act of cutting off a person’s hand, for anyone for any reason is just pain wrong. You can’t justify such an act of utter brutality by saying, oh, we only do this for really, really bad theft! That’s a bit like saying, we only kill someone a little bit. Unfortunately, you fail to recognise that it is the act itself and it’s extreme brutality that is what is so shocking, not the reasons why it is done. If a child is chopped to pieces or even raped as punishment because it was viewed that it fit their actions, would you still agree to it? Of course not, because no matter what they did, it does not excuse acting with such barbarity toward them.

    • Leila

      What about the victim? When you are brutal to others, you should be met with the same force. If someone has been given three chances to correct their brutality, cutting off their hand is justified. Unless we are the victims, we tend to sympathise with criminals. Children should not be punished for their actions.

      • Richard Ure

        Is the victim better off because the thief has been rendered a cripple and his chances of rehabilitation has been reduced?

    • cynthia

      You say that jacqueline I believe you’re french so why is there so much theft here in our country if you find the solution ? Did you hear about that girl who dead just because the thief wanted to take her mobile phone in the metro ? This law is just to protect our goods an Allah is fair !

  14. Akram

    Okay, so you have stated the situation regarding these punishments. What is your take on it? By refusing to comment on you are silently approving of these inhuman punishments.

  15. Osama

    well i read your article but i didn’t understand the end part? what do u mean take his sister along?

    isn’t that’s called incest?

  16. Guy

    Living as a UK expatriate in UAE, I’ve found it very interesting to understand these other viewpoints and your blog certainly informs. Whilst I would find it difficult to agree with many aspects of the legal customs and conventions of your culture in Saudi Arabia, I certainly respect your right to have them. After all, there’s quite a lot about the Islamic way of life which is more positive and this should be recognised. Thank you for taking the time to tell us about it from your point of view.

  17. Kate

    I am sixteen and I am from Ukraine. This article realy shocked me. It is terrible things in your country. I am sorry for your people. It is not right to use these punishments. Relations between people are private and government shouldn’t spy for it.

  18. Kit

    “It is long past time for homophobia, misogyny, and moral judgment based on immoral books to be things of the past, and most of all long past time that we left behind the divisive and judgmental effects of mythologies from thousands of years ago. Let other people be ruled by unthinking dogma from outdated books, let reason and evidence speak for us. Step outside the box. Think, Criticize, Examine, and lets change the world”. -J Burgoyne

  19. amma

    What I find astonishing is the way women in a country like KSA have no legal status as adults, yet are held fully accountable for “criminal” actions. How does that work? If you’re a woman and irrespective of age, on one hand, you can’t make any decisons for yourself regarding health, work, education, travel, marriage, freedom of movement (the essence really of being human). On the other if you are accused of any “crime”, the full wrath of the law (or how it is interpreted by judges) will fall on you and you will be made to pay the same (or worse) price than men.
    How can such a system exist? Be justified? I certainly don’t think the answer is to ‘excuse’ women, thereby re-enforcing their child-like (lack of status) but such blatent hypocrisy is so disturbing.

    • abdul

      Please NO questioning of the Qur’an….SUBMIT-OBEY-DON’T ASK QUESTIONS>

      “O ye who believe! Ask not questions about things which if made plain to you, may cause you trouble. Some people before you did ask such questions, and on that account lost their faith.” (Surah 5:101-102).

      005.101
      YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! Ask not questions about things which, if made plain to you, may cause you trouble. But if ye ask about things when the Qur’an is being revealed, they will be made plain to you, Allah will forgive those: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Forbearing.
      PICKTHAL: O ye who believe! Ask not of things which, if they were made unto you, would trouble you; but if ye ask of them when the Qur’an is being revealed, they will be made known unto you. Allah pardoneth this, for Allah is Forgiving, Clement.
      SHAKIR: O you who believe! do not put questions about things which if declared to you may trouble you, and if you question about them when the Quran is being revealed, they shall be declared to you; Allah pardons this, and Allah is Forgiving, Forbearing.

      “The Holy Prophet himself forbade people to ask questions …so do not try to probe into such things.” (The Meaning of the Qur’an, Maududi, vol. III, pgs. 76-77)

      “The prophet was asked about things which he did not like, and when the questioner insisted, the Prophet got angry. (vol. 1, no. 92) The Prophet got angry and his cheeks or his face became red. (vol. 1, no. 91) “Allah has hated you…[for] asking too many questions.” (vol. 2, no. 555; and vol. 3, no. 591, Bukhari’s Hadith commenting on Muhammad’s reaction to hostile questioners.)

      • Daved

        Wow, so if you ask questions you might find that the answers prove that your faith is flawed and you should abandon it? So dont ask questions – just live with a faith that is likely flawed (since you cant ask questions about it, presumably under the threat of physical attack). What kind of reasoning is that? Its no better than a 5 year old’s thinking. That whole post is the reasoning of a child: a violent intolerant child without wisdom. Anybody (who thinks and asks questions) can see that.

      • Common Sense

        If there can be no questioning of a “holy book” – why/how did yours come into being, if not by questioning both of the two well known “holy books” already in existence (in the region)!!?? And several more, worldwide!

        THEY were all questioned, by a few, who then created their own, of similar intent, to subjugate the masses — otherwise you would not have the one you use now, nor would Christianity have the one IT uses now!

        Ironic that your book is the revelations of a white European that created a book as harsh as the Old Testament that preceded it by 2500 years, and pontificates a message little different – (the wrathful/vengeance & jealous God), but whose followers changed with time, necessity & survival, and saw the lessons & interpretations were perhaps viewed by lesser intellects of the day, and were worthy of some reinterpretation and reconsideration. Perhaps a little humility as well, as religious leaders of today are nothing more than people, and too often little more than hypocrites.

      • Abdul

        Zee….may Allah reward you for your willful submission. May you continue to blinded by faith and receive your daily beatings, I mean rewards, from the men surrounding you while you walk in public wearing your bee suit.

        May you leave this Earth and be guided to paradise ASAP while wearing your vest. Inshallah

    • nunu

      you are perferctly correct…

  20. amma

    As a follow-up comment; if women in Muslim countries have half the legal status of men, if the word of a woman is worth half of that of a man’s in a court of law, then why be held legally fully accountable for ‘wrongdoing’? Under sharia, do women suddenly, magically acquire a full brain and mind when they are seen to step out of line (or just be accused of that)?

    • Abdul

      To most Muslims, the Quran is like a software license. Nobody actually reads it. They just scroll to the bottom and click “I agree.”

      Also remember that reason and logic are completely lost on most people infected with the mind virus of Islam.

      Allahu Akbar

      • zee

        )
        for you to call youself abdul implies thath you are a servent and for those of you who do not understand allah states for people to question as their sense are limited to 5 while allah is all knowing all wise and may your tongue be cut off for what you say about islam. furthermore your hand is not cutt off for petty thievery but they have to steal a substantial amount that equates to 1 gold piece and for those idiots who preach about democracy and freedom of righ in the western countries women are still payed less than men and the majority of workers in top works are men and in America known as the land of the free capital punishment still takes place for people only to question saudi arabia and not America only states how narrow minded you really are. for you to diss islam and then sign off with ” allahu akbar” is quiet ironic for someone named slave and dismiss islam.

        although i am a women i know for a fact that men and women can never be equal one you have to be the same in order to be equal. equal also suggests that men and women are the same. FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO STILL UNDER THE IMPRESSION THAT MEN AND WOMEN WILL EVER BE THE SAME. MEN AND WOMEN ARE DIFFERENT IN MIND BODY AND SPIRIT ERGO IN THE WAY THERE MADE biology AND THE WAY IN WHICH THEIR MIND SET IS DIFFERENT get it!!!!!!!!!!

  21. amma

    I would not call any religion a ‘virus’ per se. The act of indoctrinating others and not allowing any room for the possibility and capacity to develop one’s own mind is though. Islam has been no different than the other two monotheistic religions in this respect.

    “The Holy Prophet himself forbade people to ask questions …so do not try to probe into such things.” (The Meaning of the Qur’an, Maududi, vol. III, pgs. 76-77)

    “The prophet was asked about things which he did not like, and when the questioner insisted, the Prophet got angry. (vol. 1, no. 92) The Prophet got angry and his cheeks or his face became red. (vol. 1, no. 91) “Allah has hated you…[for] asking too many questions.” (vol. 2, no. 555; and vol. 3, no. 591, Bukhari’s Hadith commenting on Muhammad’s reaction to hostile questioners.)

    Essentially then there is no answer to my question? Would I be merely dismissed as a ‘hostile questioner’?
    I’m interested as to whether this issue has EVER been seriously put to and addressed by the powers-that-be (Mullahs etc.) and any attempt made to justify (no matter how illogically) why women can be legally held fully accountable and punished under the law for their actions in a country that denies them adult legal status and where they are therefore deemed NOT responsible for their lives.

    • Abdul

      All three of the Middle Eastern invented desert ideologies based on Abraham are in fact mind viruses. Once the programming has been indoctrinated on blank slates (youth), then enforced by family & the surrounding environment, then it’s almost impossible to remove it’s longterm effects.

      Of course criticism of Islam is not racism…as ISLAM IS NOT A RACE.

      It’s time to bring Islam up to the modern standards of Judaism & Christianity….by asking questions!

      Without criticism, Islam will remain unassailed in it’s dogmatic, fanatical medieval fortress, ossified in it’s totalitarian, intolerant, paranoid past. It will continue to stifle thought, human rights, individuality, originality and truth.

      Sound about right?

  22. amma

    Yes, but as I understand it, Islam is seen as a religion that cannot be questioned or ‘updated’ as the Koran is the direct word of God, as told to the Prophet.

    It’s been interesting to read about the recent and ongoing debate concerning khilwa or khalwa – the forbidden, private mixing of unrelated men and women and the Saudi term – ikhtilat – meaning the ‘innocent’, public mixing of the sexes for the purposes of business, work etc, AND that Islam has been misinterpreted in KSA with regard to this.

    I read this online:
    ‘Sheikh Ahmad Qassim Al-Ghamdi, chief of the Makkah region’s Hai’a, told the Arabic-language daily newspaper Okaz that ikhtilat has no basis in Shariah, or Islamic law, and has been incorrectly applied in the Saudi judicial system’.

    I don’t know how much of a long term impact this will have in KSA but it’s quite amazing that it’s being opened up for debate at this level. Maybe change – updating, re-interpretation – whatever you want to call it, IS possible.

  23. Abdul

    The PUNISHMENT of theft by removing the hands of the guilty is JUST….it’s just not enforced as it should be here in Arabia, as ALL of the members of the SAUD tribal family, & their cronies, would be amputees!

  24. thomas chandy

    these punishments are meted out on the people in the name of religion and Islam preaches it is a religion of peace, where is the peace if it cannot tolerate its own people.I think that the Quran that dictates all these barbaric punishments should be rewritten to make it more tolerable and humane . Punishments like stoning , cutting of parts of your body , beheading , blinding etc., cannot come from God or his word, there fore it is clear that such harsh treatment meted out on women and offenders come certainly from the devil. Saudi and other Islamic nations need to rethink.

    • nk

      “I think that the Quran that dictates all these barbaric punishments should be rewritten”…
      So you want our Glorious Quran to be re written so that this Glorious Quran can be turned into corrupted scriptures written by people of so called 21st century… just as how the Christians have done with their bible and the Jews with their scriptures…these ignorant people sold God’s words for money…they weren’t worshiping God in first place they were worshiping money(also currently the 21st century god of humankind).
      Quran is for eternity not just for 7th century, Quran has no prescribed time, its for every century till the the Last Day. Yes the punishments are cruel but they are lessons for humankind… that don’t go astray(commit immense sins) or else you’ll suffer.
      Who defines justice? I don’t neither do you!Humans don’t define justice, it is God who defines Justice and if God prescribed certain severe punishment for evil doings then it must be so and the criminal should be punished. Even in Saudi arabia, some rules are not followed according to the Quran and the Sunnah, judges have their way of punishing whoever they will without proper reason and witnesses, even the person without the charge can get punished…this is unjust in Islam and therefore proper justice must be done according to the two sources(Quran and sunnah).

      • mk

        what a complete of of bull written by ‘nk’ on the sacred un-adulterated quality of the Quran.
        The Quran was already written as a modification of the Christian gospels that in turn where a political take on the original Jewish Torah that predates all of them and has not been changed (ever).
        By what authority does the Quran have any reason to be considered more than a compilation of stories written 1,400 years ago by a group of semi-literate desert tribesmen who had a world view constrained by their time and totally unaware of all the science and knowledge we live with today (evolution and bacteria for example).
        There is too much insecurity among people who do not allow their belief’s to be questioned and challenged. What are they scared of?

    • sugarfreesa

      you sure about that? i think you need to read the bible again.

  25. sarah

    THIS SO BAD TO KNOW OF SHARIA LAWS PEOPLE STEAL DUE THEY HAVE PROBLEMS ONLY NOT FOR SIMPLE THINK WAT WILL HAPPEN TO THERE PARNETS THESE TO BAD OF SAUDI LAWS . THERE MUST BE A WAY TO SLOVE THING THEY SHOULD GIVE THE THEFT 4 OR 6 MONTHS JAIL AND RELEASE HIM NOT TO CUT OFF HIS HAND THINK IF HE HAS GIVE A CHANCE TO LIVE HE MIGHT LIVE AND WORK SUPPOSE IF HIS HANDS ARE CUT WAT WILL HE DO IN THIS WORLD . SO PLEASE CHANGE THE LAWS PEOPLE LOVE EACH OTHER AND GET MARRIED THEN ONLY THERE LIVES WILL BE GOOD WE ARE NOT SUPPOSE TO INTERFARE IN THERE WORLD I CAN UNDERSTAND WAT OUR PROPHET (PUBH) SAID US BUT RETHINK IT YOUR ALSO A HUMAN SOME DAY U WILL ASLO DO THEY THINKING IN YOUR LIFE
    .

  26. Mark

    Only a brutal society that could tolerate amputation for theft or indeed decapitation. This is a poor reflection on the KSA. Sharia Law is inferior to Common Law developed in England and what is better is that we have a complete separation of Church / Mosque & State.
    Society that tolerates brutal punishment becomes brutal and violence becomes acceptable. In addition to brutal punishment, ‘law’ in KSA is dispensed in a haphazard way by religious ‘scholars’ and many innocent people are brutally punished. ‘Sharia Law’ = Bronze Age Lack of Civilisation
    I love the civilization of the West and really enjoy all our ‘evils’ of civility, equality and religious freedom.

    • Richard Ure

      We should be critical of any society which visits amputation on its criminals. But what of a country which does further than that and deprives them of life? A country which separates religion from its civil activities? The country? The opinion leading US of A no less.

      • Jamal

        The USA doesn’t execute people for extra-marital sex though, or similarly ridiculous reasons, as Saudi Arabia does. You can’t really compare the harshness of the American legal system with the shear mediaeval barbarity of the Saudi one. However, the USA is guilty of supporting the Saudi regime, which receives the most American aid of any nation other than Israel, and that is something Americans should be ashamed of.

  27. AQSA

    ok this is how things are ! but what is your take on this are you saying that this is inhuman and barbaric or you also agree with this kilawya and hand chopping things ?

  28. Please remember when commenting the reason we suspended similar punishments in developed western countries wasn’t because we felt the death sentence was too harsh (or “barbaric” as one poster put it) for any crime. Many still advocate the death penalty and if we still lived by the bible’s code it would still be implementing it as a punishment.

    The reason we primarily stopped it was because we were putting to death people who were innocent of the crimes of which they had been found guilty, we simply could not ensure convictions where fair. The problem with the penalty is that, unlike imprisonment, if a punishment is overturned (usually by the addition of evidence or the trial was found to be unfair) you could not restore justice. The ultimate penalty demands the perfect system to stand up to any level or moral scrutiny.

    Also it became difficult with immigrants to implement it as a punishment since it was quite possible they were ignorant of the crimes they had committed until after committing the offence. We didn’t want judges to apply different standards to people living in the same country.

    The only argument that holds here is to ask “What is justice for?”. Is it more important to seek retribution on those who break laws (eye for an eye) or to rehabilitate those who commit crimes into normal members of society again?

    Take this hypothetical scenario (especially Westerners amongst you), someone kills a person close to you in cold bloody. However you find out the killer had a mental disorder from which he could be cured just by giving him one pill. Obviously he will be convicted but should he be sent to jail or set free now he isn’t a threat to society?

  29. abdul,

    you hit it right on the mony. By the way, I applaud you women for what you are doing to extend yourselves and gain freedoms for women within these societies that are oppressed. I was in KSA in 1990 during the war,( from America). At that time, I was invited to a corporal punishment downtown for some women who decided that they were allowed to drive ambulances because they saw the American women driving, has that changed? I really doubt much has changed in KSA, it’s just one of those countries.

  30. Hala,

    you sound like a very intelligent woman very capable of many things, what are you still doing in that country?

  31. nunu

    i heard it once..der is s0me seas0n that NEW mutawwas roam ar0und t0 catch s0me pe0ple they knw is n0t related and they knw als0 isnt d0ing anythng wr0ng except that they accidentally met in st0re and chat f0r awhile…if they catched plenty..they g0t 500sr or s0me am0utn each pers0n…and this gives them g0od remarks t0 the organization…and yes..they are m0re strict t0 n0n-arabic-speaking pe0ple in kingd0m..s0metimes its very unfair…m0re saudi girls g0 out with saudi boys but they cnt determine c0z they are c0vered…. Allah Knows Best..

    • Common Sense

      @nunu – How does one take serious the reply from any individual who repeatedly uses zeros as vowels, omits vowels in others and combined zeros and “o” in the same word? What kind of childlike communication attempt, as much an effort to appear generationally “hip” – can be taken seriously, when the very idiocy they represent runs rampant in their ability (or inability/refusal) to conform to simple rules and standards of communication? Allah may know best for you, but I implore you to pray for some skills and self respect when it concerns communicating with others, especially internationally.

  32. Masud

    What happens to the Saudi prince, while they do the wrong thing according to KSA law?
    Is kingship is a Islamic system or own system made for fun?

  33. Ich bewundere die mutigen Frauen, die für die Gleichberechtigung in ihrem Land kämpfen!

  34. zainab

    Saudi’s are the real thevies, they loot the haj and umra pilgrims, expats. Ask any expat who lives in saudi arabia, they always suggest not to take a cab with a saudi local. even their women fear entering a cab driven by saudi’s. The police is completely biased. Sometimes, there are alot of stories, where in some poor developing countries workers are setup for the crimes they have not committed. Having lived in saudi arabia, earlier, I know what the reality is. Saudi people are complete hypocrates. I think, these people donot respect other people, they think they are above all. America should invade this country to make them understand and feel the sufferings of fellow human beings, how it would feel for them to live and work in a foreign country. They take the passports of expats and harrass them as bonded labours. Management by harassment. Imagine, all the countries retaliate the same way when they visit other countries. It is very difficult to get a fair trail for any person. Especially for expats…..
    10 Facts of Saudi Arabia

    1. Never take a cab with saudi local driver.
    2. never trust anything that is written in the contract, please get it translated before you sign.
    3.As soon as you enter Saudi Arabia, they will take your passport and hold it and control your movement back to your home country.
    4. Female Maid servants life is miserable, please do not take up jobs as female maid servants, as they are subjected to sexual harassment and 90% cases are that you are forced to have sex with the head of the family and the children of the family. These are real true stories faced by people who have worked. If any body approaches the authority, the police will suppress the cases.
    5. Recruitment job profiles completely differ on paper and in reality, people are recruited by stating that they will be working in an office and their passports are taken away and forced to work as labourers or shepherd in the fields.
    6. Please do not trust any saudi agent who takes in alot of money for getting a visa, they make money by selling you.
    7. They force people to work from 7 in the morning to 10 in the night sometimes till 12 in the midnight.without overtime payment.
    8. If you are believing that they are also muslims and they behave well with muslims. that is not true, they are wahabis and they believe that who ever comes in here is slave to work for them.
    9. All the media is state controlled, nothing goes out independently and alot of red tape is present.
    10. COME TO SAUDI ARABIA, IF YOU PREFER TO GIVE UP ON YOUR LIFE AND NEVER TRUST A SAUDI.

    • Sandy

      All these things can and do happen. But that doesn’t make all Saudi people bad. I know many very good, honest, trustworthy Saudi’s. What is needed is a better system and due process so that the bad people can’t take advantage of the weak and disadvantaged. Because the system allows all kinds of bad things to happen. But that doesn’t make all Saudi’s bad- it only means the bad ones can do what they like.

  35. zainab

    behind close doors Saudi Royal Family and Elite do not follow any thing that they preach, DRUGS, Prostitution and CORRUPTION are the way of life in saudi arabia.

  36. Inquisition

    God is completely overtaken. Forming a state and law and government based upon religion is rediculous

  37. Pingback: Public punishment in modern world shame by Facebook | Russell Webster

  38. oh this is very hard rules :D its gud. but. 1 thing is wrong.. maybe i no understand, if 1 man doing sex with female both agree then saudia govt gave punishment? if yes… like cutting head its very very very wrong boz both are agree male and female then why punishment?? its wrong i acept 1 thing if any man do rape with girl then he able to get punishment so i request plz don`t do this….. saudia is good country i respect but remove this thing if 2 male female agree then dont gace punishment if no punishment then its okjay :D i dont know about this rules maybe all thing is ok :p by by…

  39. Sylvain Beauchamp

    Articles and comments are very interesting and informative here. But reading your blog is such a cultural shock for a guy like me who lives in Montréal. Keep on the good work, saudiwoman! –Sylvain Beauchamp

  40. In England the Police do not carry Side Arms. In Ancient Times the Price for Killing a Swan, was Death. Crime is not Tolerated in Totalitarian Societies like Medieval Spain, The Former Soviet Union, or Communist China ect ect. Crime is the Price a ” Free Society ” pays for its Freedom. That does`nt make it Wrong or Right, It is merely a Statement of Fact. The Capitalist World is a Cruel Bloodthirsty Game; But It does has It`s Rules. No Real Ethic or Morality; Only Rules. Rules and Regulations ?

  41. Mahatma Coat

    Wow! Way to go on this blog. I am NOT surprised to see Saudi women fighting back. But I have to say, it sounds like you all live in a giant public prison! It is surreal–you cannot decide to whom you speak or with whom you have coffee? You cannot drive a car or select a profession?! What are your leaders trying to hurt their own communities? A community cannot flourish if leaders surpress half of its population. Why are so many of the men threatened by women? Do they see women’s entry into public society as a threat to their own power? This is silly thinking! You are all on the same team, as a whole community. Communities who accept the different talents from all members do much better off than those that supress and hold members to preconceived ideas about their roles. It is like a person thinking with only half a brain! Women have an important contribution to make to the public sector. Just as Men have an important contribution to make to the home. Oil will not last forever! Saudis need to learn to develop talents and compete on an internaltional scale–this will require WOMEN!

    • Mahatma Coat

      “It is like a person thinking with only half a brain!”

      That comment hits the nail on the head. The perfect analogy!

      Saudi Arabia uses oil money to buy it’s way out of problems at the moment, but, as you say, the oil will not last for ever – or it will be superseded by new technology that does not require oil. When that happens Saudi Arabia will soon revert to being just another barbaric and despotic third world country.

      Religion, all religion, by it’s very nature, causes intellectual stasis, which in turn causes cultural and technological stasis. KSA can afford to buy in the fruits of other cultures technological advances but that situation will not last forever. One day the crunch will come and, as always, the rich elite will survive and the rest will be devastated.

  42. Subject Index Search Announcements Feedback Support this Site .

    There is need for such articles to know about Saudi Arabic.

  43. V.M. khaleelur Rahman

    There is need for such articles to know about Saudi Arabic

  44. Saudiwoman, it must be sureeal to have such large debates spring from your words. i too enjoyed the line “people too happy to be related”… i thought now there is a line that no matter where you live, how you grow up or what you believe you get! i look forward to being further informed.
    Amelia

  45. john von gommel

    In Saudi Arabia its just plain sick Barberism! Who the fuck chops people up and whips them or rapes them??? In Saudi Arabia ALAH IS HAKBAR!

    • aamina patel

      yeah well that is their way dont say anything about other peoples god learn to respect other religions Muslims are all around you so respect their religion and they will respect yours

      • Abdul

        aamina….it’s been around 4 years since this posting was first created. The World has been more educated on the totalitarian authoritative political ideology of Islam. Islam “respects” NO other faith or “way of life”, though demands it. Why doesn’t the Saud Kingdom allow churches, synagogues, Hindu temples, Buddhist places of worship, or any other places of faith besides Islam. BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT TOLERANT of any other faiths.

        Demand respect? F*CK ISLAM. Treat it will intolerance as it treats others!

        The Qur’an tells us: “not to make friendship with Jews and Christians” (5:51), “kill the disbelievers wherever we find them” (2:191), “murder them and treat them harshly” (9:123), “fight and slay the Pagans, seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem” (9:5). The Qur’an demands that we fight the unbelievers, and promises “If there are twenty amongst you, you will vanquish two hundred: if a hundred, you will vanquish a thousand of them” (8:65),”Mohammed is God’s apostle.  Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another”  Quran 48:29

        I’d suggest you do more research on the CULT of Islam, before you make anymore comments.

  46. Sandy

    Now THAT”S keeping in classy.

  47. Omu_Walid

    Hello, I’m from Russia.
    I want to ask your help. I was married to a citizen of Saudi Arabia. After the divorce, he took our baby and I am unable to see son. My goal is that the child live between us. Can you help me?
    thank you

  48. anon

    Please watch the movie The Stoning of Soraya M. …you can see how barbaric Iranians can be….

  49. haashim ali

    laws r laws a d there is nothing bigger than law

  50. haashim ali

    in saudi allll of bad works done by these sheikhs only………i m from lahore pakistan two of my friend cut head in saudi for underarrest i work of supply of drugs…but they actually doing work on petrol pump…but they get involve by one sheikh after he gave them big amount and also torcher tham to do work as he want…….and after so.e time he caught them by himself to police and they get the punishment of head cut offff……….

  51. These rules are just not fair !!! Very hard to believe in this modern world

  52. umar

    Saudi government is hell bent on applying their version of “Sharia law” when the perpetrators of a misdemeanor or felony happens to be the destitute people from poor Asian counties. They proclaim to the whole wide world that they implement and practice Sharia Law in their country to the hilt. What a joke! These hypocrites have one set of law for the poor Asians, another for the Westerners and another exclusively reserved for the Saudis. Some years back I had the opportunity to work in Saudi Arabia for two long years. Saudi Law has no basis or recognition in the Islamic Sharia Law which is based on the Quraan and the Traditions of the Prophet, period! These jokers have a tendency to pardon the Westerners even if that person happens to be on the death row. The name of William Sampson from Britain sounds familiar to anybody? You don’t have to worry about the necks of the Saudis; those privileged necks (except for the very few under privileged) will rest firmly on their shoulders and are well taken care of no matter how heinous the crime they may have committed.

    According to Sharia Law it is prohibited to bring a female domestic aide to Saudi Arabia without a Mahram (husband, father or brother) accompanying her and staying with her the entire duration of her contract. How come these hypocrites allow hundreds of thousands female workers to enter the country without being accompanied by a Mahram? Isn’t that a flagrant violation of the Sharia Law?
    Saudi government openly and flagrantly violated the Sharia law by bringing poor Rizana Nafeek from Sri Lanka to their country in the first place. And then they convict her for a crime that she never committed. Next thing you know is these bunch of hypocrites want to apply the Sharia law by bringing the neck of this innocent girl to the chopping board and all this without a proper representation and a fair trial. In October 2011 eight workers from Bangladesh were beheaded for attacking an Egyptian security guard who had died in the process. Though their real motive was not to kill the guard but to steal some electrical cables from the warehouse they used to work. Where on heavens do we get to hear about several heads of Saudis getting knocked off in one day?

  53. Adelaide wedding cakes

    Hi thereI really liked your this articleWell i have also a similar site like yours and i was thinking if you can permit can i use your article on my site

  54. Get pinterest followers

    Some really interesting article you got hereIs this ok to email this article to our email list

  55. Wow! Physical punishments just for enjoying another person’s company, just for sitting in a cafe and chatting with someone.

    To a man born and raised in Europe, with many friends of both sexes, this kind of thing is what I find most astonishing about KSA and the muslim world. What I mean is, how did the religious state acquire the right to treat people in this way? Was it always like this? And why do people put up with it? Why aren’t these ‘religious police’, poking their noses into other people’s private business, physically attacked?

    That anyone could care for a moment about who is talking to who, is beyond my understanding. What does it matter to the state or to society what people do in private, so long as they don’t hurt anyone?

  56. srusht omer

    what will be the punishment for a women if she didn’t wear a veil or clothes that are supposed to wear in Saudi arabia ?

  57. Pingback: An Irreptitious Thief | Third News

  58. Hello, I enjoy reading all of your article post.
    I wanted to write a little comment to support you.

  59. UKanon

    I’ve been chatting to a Saudi girl online recently who is extremely dedicated to her religion and although we agree on most things, other topics result in me having to hit my head against a brick wall! The quote by another comment above by a blogger called ‘asmallquietvoiceinthedark’ summarised it all perfectly,’You’re like a slave so broken by the machinery of slavery that you defend your slave masters against your own kind and your own interests’

    Important blog! Consider me a follower.

  60. chanel luggage
    It is the best time to make some plans for the future
    and it’s time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I want to suggest you
    few interesting things or advice. Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article.
    I wish to read more things about it!

  61. Good answers in return of this difficulty with solid arguments and explaining all
    about that.

  62. sunil

    I like thesaudiarabcountry rape&otherpunishment

  63. Anshuman

    Totally absurd.It only shows mean mindedness and cheap thinking.

  64. Anshuman

    Totally absurd. It only indicates mean mindedness and cheap thinking.

  65. Reblogged this on Jean Sasson and commented:
    When I first went to Saudi Arabia, the mutawa’s were very active, but as the years passed, became more and more aggressive. It seems that nothing has changed in this regard! They inspire fear in the hearts of so many people and try to smash every joy of life. I remember how angry they looked if someone SMILED as though a smile was an affront to them and God. Tis a pity these men are allowed on the street to harass anyone they please and so often, the people they arrest are totally innocent of any crime but their lives are ruined, nevertheless.

  66. Pingback: Dating In Saudi Arabia: Tips & Advice - Banker in the Sun

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s