Rokhsana: The Afghan woman who was stoned to death for making her own decision

Maulavi Baleegh and every other apologist for stoning should get to know just what 5 stones feel like when thrown at you. Just 5

By now, everyone has heard about the poor 19-year-old Afghan girl Rokhsana. What may not be known is that at the age of 13, she had been forcefully married to a much older man. She ran away. She was later again coerced to marry a man again much older than her, as his third wife. Both times forced, never asked.

Even on her nikkah, she repeatedly said, ‘I do not accept’ which fell on deaf ears and she was made to go through with the marriage anyway. A few weeks ago, she was stoned to death for the mere act of deciding for herself whom she wanted to marry.

While this savagery was certainly condemned by many, there were those who were more concerned on how it made Islam look bad rather than what actually happened to her. They chose to write about the instances when stoning was allowed, while completely ignoring the actual incident at hand.  They repeated that the woman has to be married and only then if she commits adultery, she should be stoned. This was echoed by many while others simply agreed that what had to be done was done, and this will prevent others from committing the same ‘sin’ in the future.

Stoning has been used all through history and in many religions and traditions. The ancient Greeks stoned prostitutes, adulterers and murderers. It is also mentioned in the Torah and the Talmud. In the Old Testament, stoning is prescribed as a punishment for murder, blasphemy and apostasy.

Yet, they have ALL discarded this barbaric punishment. On the other hand, stoning is not even mentioned in the Quran, but has been adapted by many people and countries as a viable punishment. It is NOT in the Quran! So let’s just throw that out of the picture for now. If people in favor are going to argue that it is mentioned in the hadiths, then there are numerous other hadiths too which have been put aside without a second thought so why not this one? In my opinion, it depends on how the person thinks and what he is willing to adapt to, to suit HIS own personal way of thinking.

The incidences of stoning has reoccurred so many times that it has now grown to be associated with Islam and Muslim culture when it was, again, never even part of the Quran.

Putting that aside, what right does anyone have to butt into the lives of another? If a man or a woman wants to marry someone else, why do the neighborsor the Taliban in this case, have a say in it? Don’t they have anything better than to do than meddle in other people’s lives? Or do they do this to hide what they themselves do behind closed doors, as is the case usually? And aren’t these the same idiots who repeat that Islam says a woman has the right to decide who she can marry?


In the case when a woman does commit adultery, it is not up to people to punish her. It is between her and her spouse. THEY will decide what is to be done. It is THEIR personal business and not everyone else’s. Why is this concept so hard to understand?

Why? Mainly because all this barbarism is nothing more than a display of power and control. It is to intimidate and terrorize everyone!

By choosing someone other than the man selected for her, Rokhsana showed defiance, she took away the control from the men who made all the rules. If they had let her be, then the next thing you know, all the other girls would have been marrying the people of their own choice. THE HORROR of a woman making her own decision! So, of course, she was stoned to death. Gul, the man who she tried to elope with however escaped death with ‘just’100 lashes.

For those who think stoning is okay in certain circumstances, this is how stoning takes place:

According to Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, you are first buried. Men are buried to their waists, women to their chests. The stones must never be so big that the person dies quickly after just one or two hits. The stones must be of medium size so they are large enough to cause enough ‘damage’ and ‘pain’ but not enough to kill.

It should take between 30 and at least 60 minutes for the person to die. No less. The ‘criminals’ are allowed to try and escape and if they do, no matter in what state they are in, they should be set free. Well that is what it states anyway. Being waist deep, it is still easier for the man to escape. For the few women who manage to escape (despite being buried to their chests), they are killed anyway right after, in whatever way the moral soldiers choose. Some are shot on the spot – this is the ‘humane’ action.

A 13-year-old child was gang raped some years ago in Somalia and as she had nothing but her word to give that she had been gang raped, she was sentenced to be stoned to death for committing adultery. Through the whole ordeal as she was stoned by 50 men while 1,000 watched, she pleaded endlessly that she was innocent. After a while, when they thought her dead, her small body was taken out of the pit. But a small pulse was discovered denoting that she was still alive. She was then buried back, and more stones thrown at her till the ‘job’ was done. The few people who tried to save her were shot dead on the spot.

THIS is what the people who say stoning is okay are saying YES to!

Rokhsana kept reciting the Shahadah as she was repeatedly hit stone after stone. Each thud making her voice increasingly high pitched as she continued to be hit by people with chilling nonchalance.

Another reason why I think the Taliban twist religion (at least in this case) to their own liking so they can butt into other people’s lives is this: when Rokhsana was captured, within two hours, the Taliban had asked her family for 5 million Afghanis in order to free her.

Yes, they asked for money. I really don’t know what hadith, what religion they were quoting when they asked for the money and how this particular amount would have magically absolved her of her ‘heinous’ sin.

When her family was unable to produce the adequate amount (ransom) in the given time, she was thus stoned to death. Even if she HAD committed adultery, they had no evidence or proof. This was just a way to make money, and like mentioned before, to create terror amongst everyone. Her own father was instructed that he must come and witness her stoning, as that is God’s way.

The people who stoned Rokhsana were no men of religion, or keepers of religion or doing any work in the name of God. They were savages, murderers, sick greedy minded psychos and nothing more. Anyone who states otherwise or thinks what they did was alright (in any circumstance) is nothing more than an apologist for barbarians.

One can question religion and want to have certain questions answered, but many times, like the people who stoned Rokhsana, they twist whatever they can find to justify the savagery that THEY themselves want to do. If they give it the title, “It’s God’s work,” less people will question it and in fact like sheep, join in.

One of the leaders in the Afghani presidential delegation, Maulavi Inayatullah Baleegh stated in a sermon that stoning of adulterers was perfectly justified. He added: “It is necessary to protect and safeguard the honor of women in society, as it was done in the past during the time of the Prophet.” I don’t know who gave him or the Taliban the job to protect to the honor of the women in the first place. He was too scared to even criticize the Taliban and said, “Do you want me to have a fight with them?” when asked to condemn the act.

With cowards like these in power, I don’t see much change on the way. A little while back, a 15-year-old girl was seen standing next to a tailor so immediately she was accused of having sex with the man. She was flogged as a punishment, but later when the doctor examined her, she was found to still be a virgin. The ones who flogged her, of course, were never punished. This is justice under the guise of ‘Oops.’

With things like these going on, on a daily basis, and the people in control too cowardly to even speak up, Afghanistan at the very least should take their name back as a signatory of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which actually BANS such punishments as being cruel and inhuman.

For me right now, I just want Maulavi Baleegh and every other coward like him/apologist out there for stoning to know just what 5 stones feel like when thrown at you. Just 5. No more. Maybe then, they will change their minds and do something to stop this sickening medieval murder of women (and sometimes men.)

Shamila Ghyas is the author of the Aoife and Demon series. She also writes for Khabaristan Times, The Nation, Express Tribune, Dawn and other publicationsFind her on Twitter and Facebook

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