Monetary Penalty For A Sin Committed

Question

A 15 year old boy named zaid is adictided to marsterbation.Hes friend bakr in order to encourage him to stop makes a one sided bet with him that for everytime zaid marsterbates he has to pay bakr R50

A few months pass and zaid became negligent (perhaps due to his youthfulnes) of the bet and starts marsterbating again almost every day for 3 years.after 3 years he stops but now realized he now would owes bakr a lot of money.

 

What would be the ruling in this situation and would zaid owe bakr anything ?

Answer

In essence, what you have termed as a “one-sided bet” is not in reality a bet. A bet (whether two-sided or one-sided) occurs when two people are competing against each other in an activity, for example, horse-racing against each other, sprinting against each other, having an archery contest against each other, etc.

In the enquired scenario, Bakr is in fact imposing and slapping upon Zaid a fine/monetary penalty of R50 each time that Zaid commits the sin of masturbation. Although the object is noble (to encourage Zaid to leave the sin of masturbation), a different approach (such as advising him and counselling him about the physical and spiritual harms of this addiction) should be adopted and not imposing a fine/monetary penalty upon him.

In terms of Shari’ah, imposing a fine/monetary penalty of this nature is not permissible. In the beginning era of Islam, this was permitted, but the permission was later rescinded and abrogated. The following text clarifies this position:

وفى شرح الآثار : التعزير بالمال كان فى ابتداء الاسلام ثم نسخ – والحاصل أن المذهب عدم التعزير بأخذ المال (الشامى ج 4 ص 61)

Translation: “Imposing a monetary penalty was allowed in the beginning stages of Islam, but later abrogated. So now the ruling is that this type of penalty will not be imposed.”(Ref: As-Shaami;Vol. 4, Pg. 61)

 

In conclusion, Zaid is not obliged to pay the R50 to Bakr and neither has Bakr the right to take this money from him. Zaid does not owe any money in this regard to Bakr. If Bakr has already taken some money, it will have to be returned to Zaid. Yes, Zaid needs to be counselled, told to make sincere Taubah and to desist from this vice in future.

Checked and Approved By:

Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.

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