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Torture is an un-Islamic phenomenon

Adopted from the book: "The rights of prisoners according to Islamic teachings" by: "Sayyid Muhammad Sadiq al-Shirazi"

Undoubtedly it is possible to arrive at the truth without resorting to torture, but through careful investigation of all available evidence, as well as detailed questioning, as seen in many cases dealt with by the well known judicial judgements of Amir-ul-Mu'minin Imam Ali (A) 16.

This chapter is taken from the author's book "The Dynamics of Change for the Salvation of Muslims" pp 136-152. The book is addressed to Muslim reformists and activists who aspire to establish some form of Islamic government in their homeland. Imam Shirazi emphasises that such groups must resolutely adhere to the teachings of Islam, whether before they reach government or after assume office of government. In accordance with Islam, Imam Shirazi in this work calls upon Muslims to refrain from violence and adopt peaceful and non-violent means in all aspects of their conducts and activities, within their group and without, towards their fellow members, or towards the general public at large, and even towards their enemies. This work constitutes a "Book of Conducts" for Islamist political movements.

Another book in this respect is "The Judgement of Amir-ul-Mu'minin (A)" by Sheikh It may be argued if torture is not exercised against the criminals, they would not admit the truth, and therefore some of the truth will remain hidden, as claimed by despots.

The counter argument is that, first it is better for some of the truth to remain hidden than to violate the human rights of the individual through torture. Secondly, even with torture some of the truth still remains hidden, for some of those tortured, falsely admit to things they have not done to alleviate the torment of torture, which is also hiding the truth!


16. Many scholars have written specific books about the judicial judgement of Amir-ul- Mu'minin (A) or have allocated significant sections of their books about this issue. Some of the books are Bihar al-Anwar; by al-Majlisi, Ma'adin al-Jawahir; by Ibn Abil-Hadid, Madinat-ul-Ma'ajiz; by al-Bahrani, etc. The first person to write about this topic is Obaydullah ibn Abi Rafi', secretary of Amir-ul-Mu'minin Imam Ali (A) during his entire reign. Ibn Abi Rafi' is the first who wrote about the battles, skirmishes and excursions, and he died in 100 Hijra, and the title of his book is "Judgements of Amir-ul-Mu'minin (A)".

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