Hudud are punishments for encroaching on the limits set by God, their legitimacy is based on the Quran, Sunnah and unanimity of scholars such as adultery and theft punishments.

Mandatory Punishments (Hudud)

The Arabic term hadd (plural: hudud) is defined as a punishment stated in Islamic law for encroaching on the limits set by Allah. It is also defined as a punishment stated in Islamic law, as a deterrent from committing a similar offence.[1] The legitimacy of these punishments is based on the Qur’an, the Sunnah and the unanimity of scholars. Specific punishments are stated in the Qur’an and the Sunnah as applicable to certain crimes, such as adultery and theft.

The hudud, i.e. mandatory punishments, aim to deter people from committing acts of disobedience of Allah and encroaching on what He has forbidden. Thus, they help to spread security and reassurance in the community. In addition, they serve to absolve the guilty of their guilt. In his report on how the Ansar pledged support and protection to to the Prophet, (peace be upon him):

‘Ubadah ibn al-Samit mentions that the terms of that pledge included that ‘Whoever commits any of these (offences) and is punished for them, such punishment absolves him.’

Related by al-Bukhari, hadith No. 6,784; Muslim, hadith No. 1,709.


  1. Al-Nadawi, Al-Fiqh al-Muyassar, p. 361.