Outrageous Fines For Different Crimes

Fine for fornication and adultery

“God hath imposed a fine on every adulterer and adulteress, to be paid to the House of Justice nine mithqāls of gold, to be doubled if they should repeat the offence . . . Although the term translated here as adultery refers, in its broadest sense, to unlawful sexual intercourse between either married or unmarried individuals (see note 36 for a definition of the term), `Abdu’l-Bahā has specified that the punishment here prescribed is for sexual intercourse between persons who are unmarried . . . In relation to the application of the fine, Bahā’u’llāh clearly specifies that each succeeding fine is double the preceding one; thus the fine imposed increases in geometrical progression.”

Reference: Bahā’u’llāh, The Kitābi Aqdas, pp. 200–202.

Unmarried people who engage in acts of sexual intercourse—especially teenagers— will likely frequently perform such acts. The number of times copulation occurs in a year can easily reach one hundred times if this shameful act is performed only twice a week. The amount of gold payable by each of these two people equals to: 3.6 grams * 9 * 2^100 = 41071879447394632608493183854 kilograms, which is fairly equal to 8000 times the weight of the earth. Just in case you are wondering, the fine will be about 34000 kilos of Gold if copulation is performed only 20 times. We’ll leave it to up to the readers to judge the practicality of these luminous laws. One wonders how a society governed by this law will ever be able to get closer to economic justice and attaining a means of livelihood for all people.

In fact this law is so outrageous that, as is standard for problematic Baha’i laws, its implementation has been postponed until a future time:

“The imposition of this fine is intended for a future condition of society, at which time the law will be supplemented and applied by the Universal House of Justice.”

Reference: Bahā’u’llāh, The Kitābi Aqdas, p. 201.

Excommunication and Shunning

Excommunicated members of the community have to break all ties with their family members. If the breadwinner of the family is excommunicated, his/her family will be left with no source of income. Likewise, if a dependent is excommunicated, they will have to fend off for themselves and find an alternative source of sustenance. Is this how the means of livelihood are equalized in this creed?

Deceased’s living residence

According to Baha’i law a deceased’s living residence is solely the property of his oldest son even if the deceased has left no other wealth behind:

“The living residence belongs to the oldest living son, whether or not the deceased has any other wealth. The oldest living son also takes his share from the other belongings.”

Reference: `Abd al-Ḥamīd Ishrāq Khāwarī, Ganjīniy-i ḥudūd wa aḥkām, chap. 10, p. 128.

Treatment of Thieves

Where does a thief receive sustenance from after being punished according to Baha’i law?

“Exile and imprisonment are decreed for the thief, and, on the third offence, place ye a mark upon his brow so that, thus identified, he may not be accepted in the cities of God and His countries.”

Reference: Bahā’u’llāh, The Kitābi Aqdas, pp. 35–36.

If a thief is caught for the third time a mark must be put on his brow so that he will not be accepted in any city or country. Thus he will be completely deprived of all means of livelihood!

Is this law problematic?

No problem, this is how it is resolved:

“The punishments for theft are intended for a future condition of society, when they will be supplemented and applied by the Universal House of Justice.”

Reference: Bahā’u’llāh, The Kitābi Aqdas, p. 198.



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