In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:
People are not entitled to take the law in their own hands, for it’s the responsibility of the State and its concerned bodies to maintain peace, security, etc., and to prevent chaos and disorder from creeping into the Muslim society.
Applying the law is the duty of the legal authorities and no one is allowed to apply it himself. A husband or a wife cannot punish his or her spouse without resorting to courts or legal channels.
Taking into account the consequences of rulings is an important consideration in issuing Fatwas. Since the Shari`ah is all about preservation of life and honor and preserving law and order, then it is not hard for anyone to see that such rulings would create bloodshed as it sanctions people to take the law into their own hands.
The result would be ultimate chaos and lawlessness. There is nothing more abominable in the Shari`ah than anarchy.
Almighty Allah knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.