Discretionary punishments

Discretionary punishments

source :Osoul Global Center


Ta’zir, in the Islamic law, are punishments needed to protect society against chaos and corruption. The enforcement of a ta’zir punishment is subject to the Muslim ruler’s discretion.

Discretionary punishments

Definition and purpose

When used in a context of Islamic law, the Arabic term Ta'zir refers to ‘punishment for any act of disobedience to Allah which does not carry a mandatory punishment or require a particular recompense.’ [1] It is required for any such sin, whether by doing what is forbidden or neglecting what is obligatory, provided the Muslim ruler is aware of it.

:The Prophet (peace be upon him) said

‘No beating may go above 10 lashes except in mandatory punishments stated by Allah.’

Related by al-Bukhari, hadith Nos. 6,848 and 6,849; Muslim, hadith No. 1,708.

The enforcement of any ta'zir punishment is subject to the Muslim ruler’s discretion: he may exact it or leave it, as he deems to be in the best interests of the Muslim community.

Ta'zir punishments are needed to protect society against chaos and corruption, stop injustice, subject offenders to legal retribution and deter others from following their example.[2]


  1. Ibn al-Qayyim, I[lam al-Muwaqqi[in, vol. 2, p. 99.
  2. Ibn Qudamah, Al-Mughni, vol. 9, p. 328.


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