Pakistan’s top court acquitted Aasia Noreen, a Christian accused of blasphemy eight years ago, on Wednesday.
The Supreme Court ordered her immediate release.
In the verdict, the judges make references many Quranic verses and Hadiths and write that awarding a sentence is the duty of the State and no one else has the authority to take the law into his or her hands and punish anyone on their own.
“It is to be noted that Islam, as stipulated in Holy Book Quran, teaches us, amongst many other virtues, to live in peace and harmony, with compassion and love to our other fellow human beings. It is however to be kept in mind that unless proven guilty, through a fair trial, as provided for in the Constitution and the law, every person is considered innocent, irrespective of their creed, caste and colour,” reads the 57-page order.
Here are some of the references to Quranic verses and Hadiths:
“Islam may tolerate anything but it teaches zero tolerance for injustice, oppression, and violation of the rights of other human beings the Quran speaks about, from the very beginning. Freedom of religion has been guaranteed by Islam. It prohibits coercion in matters of faith and belief.
There should be no compulsion in religion. Surely, the right way has become distinct from error. [Al-Baqara (2:256)]
Thus, as Muslims we are bound by this authoritative order and should act within the purview of such,” it adds.
“The unlimited and unparalleled love with Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) is an integral part of a Muslim’s faith. In this connection the following Verses and Ahadith are very clear: –
Say, [O Muhammad], “If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your relatives, wealth which you have obtained, commerce wherein you fear decline, and dwellings with which you are pleased are more beloved to you than Allah and His Messenger and jihad in His cause, then wait until Allah executes His command. And Allah does not guide the defiantly disobedient people”.” [AtTowbah (9:24)]
By the star when it descends, Your companion [Muhammad] has not strayed, nor has he erred, Nor does he speak from [his own] inclination. It is not but a revelation revealed, [An-Najm (53:1-4)]
At one place, the top judges write that the “Holy Quran has unequivocally described the glorification and exaltation of Holy Prophet (PBUH) and has ordered Muslims to strictly observe maximum respect and be extremely careful in this regard, to the extent of using most appropriate words and even lowering their voices, failing to do will render all their good deeds in vain, as mentioned in the following Verse:
Among the Jews are those who distort words from their [proper] usages and say, “We hear and disobey” and “Hear but be not heard” and “Ra’ina” (راعنا ) twisting their tongues and defaming the religion. And if they had said [instead], “We hear and obey” and “Wait for us [to understand],” it would have been better for them and more suitable. But Allah has cursed them for their disbelief, so they believe not, except for a few. [An-Nisa (4:46)]
As noted above, no one could be allowed to defy the name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and be left unpunished, but there is another aspect of the matter; sometimes, to fulfill nefarious designs the law is misused by individuals leveling false allegations of blasphemy,” the order says.
It further mentions: “The commandments of Allah are entrenched in the Quran which provides for a complete way of life and teaches us the concept of tolerance. It is however to be kept in mind that unless proven guilty, through a fair trial, as provided for in the Constitution and the law, every person is considered innocent, irrespective of their creed, caste and colour. The Holy Quran has mentioned in clear terms that:-
….. he who slays a soul unless it be (in punishment) for murder or for spreading mischief on earth shall be as if he had slain all mankind; and he who saves a life shall be as if he had given life to all mankind. ……”. [Al-Ma’idah (5:32)]
The judgement of Chief Justice Saqib Nisar ends on a Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Beware! Whoever is cruel and hard on a non-Muslim minority, or curtails their rights, or burdens them with more than they can bear, or takes anything from them against their free will; I (Prophet Muhammad) will complain against the person on the Day of Judgment.” (Abu Dawud)