In Pakistan this week, 40-year-old writer Younis Sheikh was sentenced to life in prison for writing a “blasphemous” book that insulted the four Imams.
The four Imams are Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Malik, Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal and Imam Shafi, who all lived and wrote in the 8th century. Their interpretation of the Qu’ran and Hadith forms the basis of Sunni Islam. Malik’s writing is the earliest surviving book of Islamic law.
According to a Pakistan’s Daily Times,
“The court has sent him to jail for life as he described the four Imams as Jews in his book,” public prosecutor Naimat Ali Randhawa said after the court in Karachi sentenced the man on Thursday. . . The writer also committed blasphemy by saying that stoning to death for adultery was “not mentioned in the Quran”, he [Randhawa] said.
Sheikh has had countless confrontations with Pakistani officials over such “blasphemies.” In 2002, he was sentenced to death for saying at a public lecture that the Prophet Muhammad was not a Muslim until the age of 40 when he had his first vision, and that Muhammad’s parents were not Musims when they died, since their death preceded Muhammad’s religious revelations.
‘Blasphemy’ author gets life term. Daily Times (Pakistan), August 16, 2005.
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