On the prohibition against interceding in hudud-punishments

Riyad as-Salihin (The Meadows of the Righteous)

by Imam Nawawi

350. Chapter: On the prohibition against interceding in hudud-punishments

Allah Almighty says, "The woman and man who commit fornication: flog both of them with one hundred lashes and do not let compassion for either of them possess you where Allah's deen is concerned if you believe in Allah and the Last Day." (24:2)

1770. 'A'isha reported that Quraysh were concerned with the case of a Makhzumi woman who had stolen something and they said, "Who will speak to the Messenger of Allah about her?" They said, "Who is bold enough to do it except Usama ibn Zayd, the beloved of the Messenger of Allah?" The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "How can you intercede when it is a case of one of the legal punishments of Allah Almighty?" Then he stood up and spoke and said, "Those before you were destroyed because when a noble among them stole, they let him be, but when the weak among them stole, they carried out the legal punishment on them. By Allah, if Fatima the daughter of Muhammad were to steal, I would cut off her hand." [Agreed upon]

In one variant, "The face of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, changed colour and he said, 'How can you intercede in respect of one of the hudud of Allah?" Usama said, "Ask forgiveness for me, Messenger of Allah." He said, "Then he gave the command and the woman's hand was cut off.