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Books and Documents

Islamic Sharia Laws

Religious Freedom in Peril
Nicholas Kristof
Religious Freedom in Peril
Nicholas Kristof

In Pakistan, for example, a brutal campaign has been underway against the Shiite minority. Likewise, Iran represses the peaceful Bahai, and similarly Pakistan and other countries brutally mistreat the Ahmadis, who see themselves as Muslims but are regarded as apostates. Pakistani Ahmadis can be arrested simply for saying, “peace be upon you.” All this is a sad index of rising intolerance, for Pakistan’s first foreign minister was an Ahmadi; now that would be impossible.......

The Shariah’s Lost Soul:  Boko Haram and the Crisis of Authority in the Muslim World
Maryam Sakeenah, New Age Islam
The Shariah’s Lost Soul: Boko Haram and the Crisis of Authority in the Muslim World
Maryam Sakeenah, New Age Islam

‘Shariah’ (Islamic law) has become one of the most spine chilling, sensational words in contemporary lexicon. In the United Kingdom with its sizeable Muslim population, fear of the Shariah is palpable as we hear of alarmist articles about ‘creeping Shariah’ all over the UK, concern over the proliferation of Halal meat or veils. Often the fear is irrational, used by xenophobes, racists and supremacists who resent multiculturalism and are uncomfortable with diversity. But it is not just the Islamophobes and sensationalist media con artists who make the Shariah seem grotesque and terrifying. In Nigeria we have the Boko Haram on the job. In Somalia the Al Shabbab and in Pakistan the Taliban, to name a few......

The result is that his practices have given further ammunition to the fire power of his enemies. Ironically the ignorant Rau’f then cries wolf and protests as if it is the enemies who commit blasphemy by calling the Rasool Muhammad a “Paedophile” and therefore should be punished with a death sentence!  But Rau’f Haarith should be charged along with the late Bukhari instead, for multiple crimes and tried in the court of Justice; at least for defamation and slander of the Messenger he reveres.

Unless these verses are reinterpreted in line with the Qur’anic holistic message that espouses gender equitability, and mercy and compassion in man-woman relationship, the Indian Ulema collectively may stand as criminals in divine court for doing injustice to their own women – a matter that is drawing the concern of their Hindu brethren who have already reformed their own laws and thus mitigated the injustices to which their women were historically subjected.....

Muslim Personal Law vs. Uniform Civil Code: 'A Minor Indiscretion'
Fahad Hashmi, New Age Islam
Muslim Personal Law vs. Uniform Civil Code: 'A Minor Indiscretion'
Fahad Hashmi, New Age Islam

These religious organisations and their Ulema who often speak on behalf of the community should be honest in accepting that the personal law has its own problematic when it comes to deal with the issues of women, and particularly its asymmetric power equation that structures the relationship between the two sexes. Moreover, these Muslim bodies should take Katju’s criticism in their stride, and squarely come up with answers regarding the shortcomings in the personal law which should stand to reason and logic. Hiding behind the hullaballoo, which is often created by these religious bodies every time the issue of gender justice crops up attest to the religious bodies’ incapacity to come to grips with the issue of gender justice? It needs to be reiterated here that Shariah is a social construct that came into existence at a particular point in time echoing the values of those times. That was then, this is now….

This demonstrated clearly that the proposal that “Islam is the solution” involves numerous simplistic flaws and cannot face the complexities of the political, economic and social situation. More importantly, spreading freedom is the proper approach to collecting opinions and implementing policies that are based on consensus rather than on unilateral superior imposition by force of power. It is also the right approach to address the issue of Sharia....

 

Unfortunately due to vote bank politics political parties which wanted to treat Muslims as vote banks did not allow the Muslim Personal law to be changed. For instance, In Shah Bano’s case (1985) the Supreme Court gave a humanitarian and progressive judgment that when a Muslim husband divorces his wife he must give maintenance to her. The wife may have 3 or 4 children, and if she is not given maintenance by her former husband she and her children may starve. ....

Related Articles:

Let the Quran Speak for Itself

A Relook at the Shah Bano Case Lest We Forget It

While we do not intend to blame the jurists of Islam for privileging and even sanctifying their views, for which there must have been strong existential grounds, we do blame the posterity to cling to their views and freezing the Classical Sharia Law of Islam at it medieval configuration.  From the foregoing discussion it is clear that what we call Classical Sharia Law of Islam is a system of law that the Muslim jurists belonging to different law schools evolved based on their own opinions as informed by their Islamic knowledge, worldview and historical realities of the era…..

After my earlier post, many of my Muslim friends have criticized me alleging that I have no knowledge of Muslim Law. Let me answer them by telling that I have studied Shariat Law first in the Allahabad university as a student of L.L.B. from 1965, then as a lawyer till 1991 in Allahabad High Court, and then as a Judge in the High Court and Supreme Court. Thus I was studying the Shariat perhaps even before these critics were born…...

 

Related Article:

A Relook at the Shah Bano Case Lest We Forget It

According to Muslim scholars, the Prophet Muhammad laid down the laws. Some of the laws are said to be direct commands stated in the Qur'an. Other laws were based on rulings Muhammad is said to have given to cases that occurred during his lifetime. These secondary laws are based on what's called the Sunnah – the Prophet's words, example and way of life…..

 

When the Supreme Court gave a progressive judgment in Shah Bano’s case many Muslims raised a hue and cry against it, saying it was against the Shariat that judgment said that a Muslim husband has to give maintenance to his wife if he divorces her. This was a humanitarian judgment, because who will support a divorced woman (who may have children) except her husband? All over the world a husband has to give maintenance to his wife if he divorces her. Why then should it be different for Muslims? Muslims should have supported this judgment….

Sharia and Its Misuse
Anis Chowdhury

Sharia became attractive for the despots as an effective shield against their misrule and misdeeds. In fact, it is these despots, especially the Saudi kings who are funding the puritan Wahhabi movement. They can easily deceive innocent and unsuspecting commoners with public beheadings, amputations, stoning and flogging, while they themselves lead a life that can hardly be described as Islamic……

 

"Khalwat is defined in the Order as a unmarried couple who are 'living together; cohabiting; in confinement; or isolating oneself in close proximity that can lead to suspicion that they are committing an immoral act.' If convicted, the penalty is a fine of up to $4,000 and/or one year in prison. For adultery between a married Muslim and a married non-Muslim, both parties can be punished by stoning to death if the offense is proved by confession, or the testimony of four eyewitnesses......

 

Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah al-Sheikh has passed a Fatwa (religious decree) that, in Islam, suicide attacks are illegal and illegitimate. The grand mufti has branded suicide bombers as “criminals” who will go to “hell”. The erudite scholar has stressed that suicide bombings are “great crimes” and those who execute the heinous act are “criminals who rush themselves to hell by their actions”. The sheikh has depicted suicide bombers as being “robbed of their minds...who have been used (as tools) to destroy themselves and societies”…..

Child Marriage
Khalid Zaheer
Child Marriage
Khalid Zaheer

We know that one of the conditions of a valid Nikah in Islam is that both the bride and the bridegroom must agree to it voluntarily. We also know that a six-year-old child is not mentally mature enough to take rational decisions of far-reaching consequences. How could an arrangement which does not satisfy an important condition then have been promoted in religion?....

 
Fatwas Are Opinions, Not Laws
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
Fatwas Are Opinions, Not Laws
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

India is a secular country where the rule of law prevails. Laws enacted by Parliament are applicable to Muslims and the other communities equally. There is no reason for Muslims to insist on a separate Sharia law. They are free to follow the Sharia in matters related to Ibadat or worship, which is strictly a personal matter. But in social affairs, they must adhere to the same laws that apply to all the communities…..

Why does a call to Sharia today scare people instead of comfort them? Why was enforcement of Sharia allowed to fail again and again in Muslim countries like Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia, Indonesia and Afghanistan? There is so much talk of this, that and other by sages and saints full of wisdom and knowledge, sitting in their seminar rooms and seats of learning. However, one has always come out with a heavier heart and a mind more occupied than before.....

In the Shariah too, jurists take up two positions. The first position states that originally all things were permitted, but the Shariah came and prohibited certain things. All those things that the Shariah did not prohibit retain their original status of permissibility. This is expressed in a general principle: “The original rule for all things is permissibility.” Now the question is: if the Shariah did not prohibit something, who are we to prohibit such permitted things? .....

 
Laws That Track Islamic Law Rules
Eugene Volokh
Laws That Track Islamic Law Rules
Eugene Volokh

Here again we should recognize that similar laws have been enacted in jurisdictions with large populations of Christian groups. Laws restricting alcohol sales, strip clubs, pornography stores, prostitution, blasphemy and consensual sexual behavior, as well as laws that treat women differently from men, are familiar in American history. When those laws violate specific constitutional constraints, such as the Free Speech Clause or the Equal Protection Clause, they are struck down. But when they don’t violate such constraints, they are simply democracy in action…..

 

The new Quanoon is just a tool to win public sympathy and votes, without taking into account its consequences. Aceh has always been called the most tolerant region in Indonesia because despite the application of Sharia, Aceh still allows non-Muslims to perform religious worship. But the fact is that the climate of pseudo-tolerance in Aceh remains, due to the many restrictions facing minority groups.….

 
What is Sharia? What are its Objectives? (Part 3)
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam
What is Sharia? What are its Objectives? (Part 3)
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam

The first thing is that when strict Sharia law is applied it should be applied equally to the ruler and the ruled. You don’t punish the commoner and let the ruler and his cronies go scot-free. The Prophet (pbuh) made it clear: "The people before you were destroyed because they used to inflict the legal punishments on the poor and forgive the rich. By Him in Whose Hand my soul is! If Fatima (the daughter of the Prophet) did that (i.e. stole), I would cut off her hand."....

They dragged him outside, naked, and demanded the numbers of every other "dirty gay" he knew. They agreed to let him go in exchange for testifying against his friends in a court. "We know where you live," they warned him, before leaving him barely conscious in a sewage-filled gutter….

 
What Is Sharia? And What Are Its Objectives? (Part 2)
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam
What Is Sharia? And What Are Its Objectives? (Part 2)
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam

One of the most important objectives of Sharia is safeguarding of lives. The Quran says very clearly that “anyone who saves any human being, it is as though he has saved the whole of humanity and if anyone who kills any innocent human being, it is as though he has killed the whole of humanity”....

What is Sharia? And What Are Its Objectives? (Part 1)
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam
What is Sharia? And What Are Its Objectives? (Part 1)
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam

The term ‘Sharia’, taken from a purely linguistic point of view means ‘a way’. In Islam, it means a way of life that God has chosen and prescribed for humans. This, when taken on a higher level, gives the nature of Islam, not just as a way of religion but also as a complete way of life: there is a Sharia in how to pray; there is Sharia in how to give Zakat; there is Sharia in how to fast; in how to behave- socially, politically, ethically; and also in the battlefield, there is a proper code of conduct.....

Fixing Sharia Laws
Mike Ghouse
Fixing Sharia Laws
Mike Ghouse

To be a Muslim is to be a peacemaker, one who mitigates conflicts and nurtures goodwill for peaceful co-existence of humanity. God wants us to live in peace and harmony with his creation, life and matter…..

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