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Books and Documents

Islamic Sharia Laws

A Brief Reflection on the Religious Justification Behind Wearing of Face veils (burqa and Niqab) and its Assumptions
Dr. Adis Duderija is a research associate at the University of Melbourne, Islamic Studies
A Brief Reflection on the Religious Justification Behind Wearing of Face veils (burqa and Niqab) and its Assumptions
Dr. Adis Duderija, New Age Islam

There is no doubt that those who advocate the weaning of face veil as mandatory base this on a number of ‘authentic’ ( Sahih) Hadith (reports reputedly going back to the Prophet Muhammad SAS) and the Qur’anic verse ( 33:53- other verses such as 33;59 are also used as well but primarily to argue for the covering of the body, including the hair but not the face ) that , although addressing visitors to Prophet’s residence how to deal with the wives of the Prophet , is interpreted as to applying to all the Muslim women on the basis of exemplary role of ‘mothers of all believers’. …

Diversity and Sharia
A research associate at University of Melbourne, Dr. Adis Duderija writes regular columns for New Age Islam.
Diversity and Sharia
Dr. Adis Duderija, New Age Islam

Shari'ah can be defined in a number of different ways: etymologically, Qur’anically or jurisprudentially  but its most fundamental meaning , found in all of the above approaches to its definition, is linked to the notion of Tawheed which describes the vertical , ontological relationship between the Creator and the creation. God is The Sovereign, The Ultimate Judge, Originator of everything in the universe and Master of the Day of Judgment ( Qur'an , 1:3) .The Creator is 'above what people ascribe to Him" , a phrase often repeated in the Qur'an. …

Indian Muslims are at least as human as any other religious people. All, whatever their religion or faith, are first human beings created in the same manner by God. No person on the basis of his colour, creed, nationality or any other such thing can be superior to any other person. The person who is dearer to God is the one whose character is good. This is what Islam teaches. …

The Islamic Law of Inheritance
A. Faizur Rahman, secretary-general, Forum for the Promotion of Moderate Thought among Muslims
The Islamic Law of Inheritance
A. Faizur Rahman

The Islamic law of inheritance is yet another legislation which is subject of heated debates by the clergy and the laity alike. A study of the two main verses on the law of inheritance would reveal that the apparent disparity that exists between the percentage of shares assigned to men and women is because of the role they play in the social and family set up. Gender has nothing to with it. …

Paramount Significance of the Behavioral Paradigms of the Quran
Muhammad Yunus is an Islamic Scholar and a Writer
Paramount Significance of the Behavioral Paradigms of the Quran
Muhammad Yunus, New Age Islam

The Qur’an sets out behavioral paradigms, which can help people to win friends, earn the love and affection of spouses, respect of colleagues, and avoid pinpricks and petty worries in day to day professional and conjugal lives. Not a part of populist Islamic discourses, they are tabled below with self explanatory captions for a quick reader-friendly reminder and deeper reflection. “The retribution for an injury is a similar injury - yet whoever forgives and reconciles has his reward with God for He does not like the wrongdoers” (42:40). …..

Islamic banking or Islamic finance is central to the enterprise of those within the community who wish to wield power in the name of Islam and alienate Muslims from the rest of the world. They certainly want to construct an imaginary Muslim world not around any positive or constructive values, but rather around the derogatory issue of Muslim bashing. …

The Classical Sharia Law of Islam – a Western Perspective: the Diabolic Face of Islam
Muhammad Yunus is an author whose works are approved by al-Azhar al-Sharif, Cairo.
The Classical Sharia Law of Islam – a Western Perspective: the Diabolic Face of Islam
Muhammad Yunus, New Age Islam

The article refers to the popular perception among the Muslims of the Sharia Law being a ‘word of God’ and traces its origin to the era of the Prophet Muhammad and the first four Caliphs. Following a brief commentary on the four law schools, it enumerates the following common laws of Islamic Sharia “which are regularly practiced in islamically ruled (Sharia-based) nations with some minor variations”… 

Sharia For India?
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam
Sharia For India?
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam

Many in India may not know who Sheikh Anjem Choudhary is.  He is the founder of the radical Islamist group ‘Islam4UK’. His main aim is “to convince about the supremacy of Islam thereby changing public opinion in favour of Islam in order to transfer the authority and power [...] to the Muslims in order to implement the Sharee’ah”. …

Traditional Islamic law contains a number of gender specific rights, duties and norms pertaining to the legal the political/governmental, educational, ritual, juridical spheres and in terms of general personal conduct. A woman’s share from the inheritance is half that of a man. If a woman apostatizes from Islam, she will not be killed as in the case of a male apostate and still has to perform her daily prayers and obligatory fasting. Only man has the right to unilateral divorce. In case of divorce the husband automatically has the custody over children. ...

This piece of misinformation has led to the wrong view that child marriage has the sanction of Islam. It must be noted that establishing the authenticity of Hadiths, the narrators’ circumstances and the conditions at that time have to be correlated with historical facts. I would like to present some arguments in favour of the fact that Hazrat Aisha was at least 18 years old when her Nikah was performed and at least 21 when she moved into the Prophet’s house to live with him. ...

How to Understand the Holy Quran
How to Understand the Holy Quran
Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer

How to understand Qur’an is an important question. Generally we pick and choose a verse to prove our point. Then the commentators also ell us that some verses were cancelled out (mansukh) And that some verses replaced them (nasikh) and this creates further confusion in the minds of common Muslims. Thus different Muslims are different positions in understanding verses of Qur’an. There is nothing wrong in different understandings but his at the same time should not lead to anarchy....

This theology, in my understanding of it,  holds that humans are considered to experience the Divine most readily and immediately through their interactions with other human beings rather than by contemplating abstractly on the Divine , observing the nature  or engaging in various spiritual exercises ( i.e. ritual). As a result purist theology shuns religious pluralism, endorses various forms of gender inegaliterianism favouring the prevalent social and cultural customs and conditions of the time of the religious traditions formation and makes forceful theologically exclusivist claims. ....

How often do we listen to or read talks and articles telling us that the Quran or the Sunnah stance on issue X,V or Z is such and such ? Most of the time the arguments used to substantiate these claims are based on few Quranic verses or Hadith (if we are lucky we might also get some contextual information regarding these). ...

There is nothing wrong with different understandings but this should not lead to anarchy. There has to be a methodology so that the Quran, despite different ways of understanding it, should be understood under certain guidelines. There should be uniformity in the principles of understanding. These are illustrative examples and not exhaustive. If we use this kind of methodology to understand the Quran, many of our problems can be easily resolved; it would be easier to arrive at more comprehensive meanings of the Quranic verses, and many objections hurled at the Quran by non-Muslims can be easily dismissed. -- Asghar Ali Engineer

To be more explicit, there is an urgent need for a major paradigm shift in Islamic religious thoughts and the scope and curriculum of traditional madrasas: they should be converted to universal houses of learning like the Western missionary schools with the same curricula and education system as in civil schools – with the addition of a Religion class. The Muslim students may be taught the fundamentals of the Qur’anic message and the non-Muslims, the fundamentals of their faith.

This definitely sounds radical if not revolutionary, as it purports to relegate the Hadith, now regarded as an eternal component of Islam like the Qur’an,  into its historical slot and bring to the fore, the Qur’anic message in its rightful place as a complete, universal, pluralistic and eternal font of guidance. What the Muslim elite and scholarship should be concerned is the truth – and this article has attempted to capture the truth in a very logical, systematic, unbiased and faithful manner drawing on most authentic resources. Hence it is worthy of serious evaluation and consideration. -- Muhammad Yunus, NewAgeIslam.com

Are Muslims being hoodwinked? Yes, with reference to Quran we are. 10-37, Say (to them), “of your partners is there any that can give you guidance-(yahdi) - towards the ‘Truth’? Say, it is God only (lillah) who gives guidance towards the truth”. These two are Maulana, colloquially called Mullahs and a loftier one Mufti. The later is more widely used in the Muslim world and is sometimes bestowed by the governments.  In the Book both the titles are reserved for only God (lillah) and that is its ‘spirit and essence’ of unity of the Creator. Logically because, when these titles are applied to humans, they elevate humans to godliness. On this basis the above verse then proceeds to argue: 10-37, “Is then He (God) who gives guidance to the truth more worthy to be followed or he (the human) who finds not guidance himself unless he is guided? What then is the matter with you, how judge you?”-- Rashid Samnakay, NewAgeIslam.com

Some local customs such as Halala that allows a man to divorce his wife at the spur of the moment, such as in a state of anger or drunkenness and then force her into marriage and sexual intercourse with a Mullah or a friend and get him to divorce her to marry her back the next day or so totally disregarding the three month time for his divorce and that of his friend to take effect also stands utterly Haram and sexually shameful sadistic. These practices that remain part of the Classical Islamic Law have defiled and demonized Islam, no matter how few Muslims practice it, and how the Muslims glorify their faith, and reduced Islam to a medieval misogynist cult in the eyes of a section of Western people … It is time for the Islamic doctors of law to treat the Classical Islamic Law as a closed corpus - and draw a Modern Law of Islam based on its divine Sharia (the Qur’an) and not the Classical Islamic Law, which is not a word of God and contradicts the Qur’anic paradigms on many counts as detailed in a recent article. -- Muhammad Yunus, NewAgeIslam.com

“The Shari’ah is all justice, kindness, common good and wisdom. Any rule that departs from justice to injustice… or departs from common good (maslaha) to harm (mafsada)… is not part of Shari’ah even if it is arrived at by literal interpretation.”I came across the above statement byIbn Qayyim al-Jawziya, a famous and well known student of Ibn Taymiyyah, from his work ‘I’ilm al-Muwaqqin an Rabb al-Alamin’. -- Hameed Choudhury

A leading barrister has called for the UK to become more Sharia-literate, while arguing that Islamic law can be compatible with the toughest human rights legislation. But Kadri, a barrister and contemporary of Barack Obama at Harvard Law School, stresses the ability of Sharia to adapt and change. -- David Shariatmadari

Debating Nikah-e-Halala, a direct consequence of Instant Triple Talaq, an obscene social practice allowed by Muslim Law in India
By Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam
Debating Nikah-e-Halala, a direct consequence of Instant Triple Talaq, an obscene social practice allowed by Muslim Law in India
By Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

"I felt totally numb and dead inside. But that was the only option left to reclaim my two sons, “she says.”Moreover, the Maulvi sahib had warned me that no one would participate in my funeral procession and my family would be ostracised if I flouted the Shari’a’s command. "  Jalal, Rubiya's "husband" for one night, was not particularly bothered about her turmoil. He was there for a purpose - to help his close friend salvage his marriage. A night after the Nikah and the mandatory consummation, he divorced Rubaiya without a fuss.  It has been seven years since Rubaiya got back with her first husband, but the horror of Halala has stayed on. "I feel as if the man I married died the day someone else defiled my body,” she declares with vehemence. Her only concern now is to ensure somehow that her sons never get to know about the humiliation their mother faced, for "it would shatter them, or worse, they may blame me for the episode". -- Excerpts from Manjari Mishra's report in The Times of India

The Quran was Never Edited and any Effort to Edit the Quran will be Self-Contradictory
Muhammad Yunus is an Islamic Scholar and columnist for New Age Islam
The Quran was Never Edited and any Effort to Edit the Quran will be Self-Contradictory
Muhammad Yunus, NewAgeIslam

A pedagogic, rationalist, secular, historic, critical study that can overrule in any ontological argument secularist international debate and hold itself in the highest secular court of law and shut the mouths of the ignoramuses and the intellectuals skeptical of its integrity, says Muhammad Yunus, NewAgeIslam.com

The aspect of distribution of wealth must be important in Quran since on the very first page of the main text, chapter two verse three (2-3) there is a condition laid out for momin- Believers to follow, given as ينفِقون-- “and (the believers) spend out of what We have provided for them”. This is also reaffirmed in verse 4-39 as a requirement. The word yunfiqoon and its derivatives appear in the book over seventy times, give or take one or two. Salaat and Zakat are the two faces of the one coin in the Book, yet in 2-3 Zakaat is replaced with Nafq as a basis of the principle of distribution of wealth. Otherwise the combination of Salaat and Zakat remains, without mentioning the quantum figure for the later. -- Rashid Samnakay, NewAgeIslam.com

The establishment of Imarat Sharia has not only set a glorious example of implementing the Islamic Shariah in the collective life of the Muslims but has also presented a model for emulation by the people of many pluralistic societies of the modern Muslim world. The establishment of Imarat Shariah also made it clear that Shariah and tariqat were not separate ways but the convergence of the two can become a vibrant truth as the first emir of the Imarat Shariah was the Sajjada Nashin of Khanqah-e-Majiriah, Phulwari Sharif to whom all the elder experts of Shariah and religious scholars paid allegiance.  -- Prof. Akhtarul Wasey (Translated from Urdu by NewAgeIslam Edit Bureau)

Until now, no final decision has been made on the use of interest in monetary affairs under Islam, which alone feeds the confusion. The Islamic value system in economic life is a moral code for economic and social progress. For instance, when a “Muslim” applies Islam’s rules in work, science, justice, investment, construction and diligence etc, and when a “Muslim” rejects what Islam prohibits, such as fraud, injustice, ribba (profit without labour), ignorance, overspending, manipulation, monopoly etc. Sharia rulings make it essential to answer this key question: Is every “bank interest” considered forbidden ribba, in light of the evolution of the Western economic view of banking interest, on the one hand, and disagreement among Islamic scholars about bank interest, on the other? -- Taha Abdel Alim

According to the Quran, apostasy is a major sin. God has warned the apostates of grave torments in the Hereafter. The Quran says that an apostate invites the wrath of God, and the curse of the angels and all the creatures on the earth. They are destined to live in the hell for ever because by denying the existence and oneness of God they join the ranks of the non-believers. God loves human beings a lot and so expects man to renunciate kufr and shirk and take refuge in Him. “Verily, those who believe, then disbelieve, then believe (again), and (again) disbelieve, and go on increasing in disbelief; Allah will not forgive them, nor guide them on the (Right) Way.“ (Al Nisa: 137)-- S. Arshad, NewAgeIslam.com

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