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Islamic Sharia Laws (10 Apr 2019 NewAgeIslam.Com)

Sharia Is a Broad Set of Values and Ethical Principles Drawn From the Quran: It Is a Flexible, Rights-Oriented and Equality-Minded Ethical Order

By Mark Fathi Massoud

April 8, 2019

Warning that Islamic extremists want to impose fundamentalist religious rule in American communities, right-wing lawmakers in dozens of U.S. states have tried banning Sharia, an Arabic term often understood to mean Islamic law.

These political debates – which cite terrorism and political violence in the Middle East to argue that Islam is incompatible with modern society – reinforce stereotypes that the Muslim world is uncivilized.

They also reflect ignorance of Sharia, which is not a strict legal code. Sharia means “path” or “way”: It is a broad set of values and ethical principles drawn from the Quran – Islam’s holy book – and the life of the Prophet Muhammad. As such, different people and governments may interpret Sharia differently.

Still, this is not the first time that the world has tried to figure out where Sharia fits into the global order.

In the 1950s and 1960s, when Great Britain, France and other European powers relinquished their colonies in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, leaders of newly sovereign Muslim-majority countries faced a decision of enormous consequence: Should they build their governments on Islamic religious values or embrace the European laws inherited from colonial rule?

The Big Debate

Invariably, my historical research shows, political leaders of these young countries chose to keep their colonial justice systems rather than impose religious law.

Newly independent Sudan, Nigeria, Pakistan and Somalia, among other places, all confined the application of Sharia to marital and inheritance disputes within Muslim families, just as their colonial administrators had done. The remainder of their legal systems would continue to be based on European law.

To understand why they chose this course, I researched the decision-making process in Sudan, the first sub-Saharan African country to gain independence from the British, in 1956.

In the national archives and libraries of the Sudanese capital Khartoum, and in interviews with Sudanese lawyers and officials, I discovered that leading judges, politicians and intellectuals actually pushed for Sudan to become a democratic Islamic state. They envisioned a progressive legal system consistent with Islamic faith principles, one where all citizens – irrespective of religion, race or ethnicity – could practice their religious beliefs freely and openly.

“The People are equal like the teeth of a comb,” wrote Sudan’s soon-to-be Supreme Court Justice Hassan Muddathir in 1956, quoting the Prophet Muhammad, in an official memorandum I found archived in Khartoum’s Sudan Library. “An Arab is no better than a Persian, and the White is no better than the Black.”

Sudan’s post-colonial leadership, however, rejected those calls. They chose to keep the English common law tradition as the law of the land.

Why Keep The Laws Of The Oppressor?

My research identifies three reasons why early Sudan sidelined Sharia: politics, pragmatism and demography.

Rivalries between political parties in post-colonial Sudan led to parliamentary stalemate, which made it difficult to pass meaningful legislation. So Sudan simply maintained the colonial laws already on the books.

There were practical reasons for maintaining English common law, too.

Sudanese judges had been trained by British colonial officials. So they continued to apply English common law principles to the disputes they heard in their courtrooms.

Sudan’s founding fathers faced urgent challenges, such as creating the economy, establishing foreign trade and ending civil war. They felt it was simply not sensible to overhaul the rather smooth-running governance system in Khartoum.

The continued use of colonial law after independence also reflected Sudan’s ethnic, linguistic and religious diversity.

Then, as now, Sudanese citizens spoke many languages and belonged to dozens of ethnic groups. At the time of Sudan’s independence, people practicing Sunni and Sufi traditions of Islam lived largely in northern Sudan. Christianity was an important faith in southern Sudan.

Sudan’s diversity of faith communities meant that maintaining a foreign legal system – English common law – was less controversial than choosing whose version of Sharia to adopt.

Why Extremists Triumphed

My research uncovers how today instability is across the Middle East and North Africa is, in part, a consequence of these post-colonial decisions to reject Sharia.

In maintaining colonial legal systems, Sudan and other Muslim-majority countries that followed a similar path appeased Western world powers, which were pushing their former colonies toward secularism.

But they avoided resolving tough questions about religious identity and the law. That created a disconnect between the people and their governments.

In the long run, that disconnect, helped fuel unrest among some citizens of deep faith, leading to sectarian calls to unite religion and the state once and for all. In Iran, Saudi Arabia and parts of Somalia and Nigeria, these interpretations triumphed, imposing extremist versions of Sharia over millions of people.

In other words, Muslim-majority countries stunted the democratic potential of Sharia by rejecting it as a mainstream legal concept in the 1950s and 1960s, leaving Sharia in the hands of extremists.

But there is no inherent tension between Sharia, human rights and the rule of law. Like any use of religion in politics, Sharia’s application depends on who is using it – and why.

Leaders of places like Saudi Arabia and Brunei have chosen to restrict women’s freedom and minority rights. But many scholars of Islam and grassroots organizations interpret Sharia as a flexible, rights-oriented and equality-minded ethical order.

Religion and the Law Worldwide

Religion is woven into the legal fabric of many post-colonial nations, with varying consequences for democracy and stability.

After its 1948 founding, Israel debated the role of Jewish law in Israeli society. Ultimately, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and his allies opted for a mixed legal system that combined Jewish law with English common law.

In Latin America, the Catholicism imposed by Spanish conquistadors underpins laws restricting abortion, divorce and gay rights.

And throughout the 19th century, judges in the U.S. regularly invoked the  legal maxim that “Christianity is part of the common law.” Legislators still routinely invoke their Christian faith when supporting or opposing a given law.

Political extremism and human rights abuses that occur in those places are rarely understood as inherent flaws of these religions.

When it comes to Muslim-majority countries, however, Sharia takes the blame for regressive laws – not the people who pass those policies in the name of religion.

Fundamentalism and violence, in other words, are a post-colonial problem – not a religious inevitability.

For the Muslim world, finding a system of government that reflects Islamic values while promoting democracy will not be easy after more than 50 years of failed secular rule. But building peace may demand it.

Source: theconversation.com/dont-blame-sharia-for-islamic-extremism-blame-colonialism-109918

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-sharia-laws/mark-fathi-massoud/sharia-is-a-broad-set-of-values-and-ethical-principles-drawn-from-the-quran--it-is-a-flexible,-rights-oriented-and-equality-minded-ethical-order/d/118281


  • Sharia law permits Muslim men to have sexual rights to any woman/girl not wearing the hijab and yet Hadith does not permit Muslim men to have sex with those nonbelievers.
    It was narrated from Usamah bin Zaid, who attributed it to the Prophet (ﷺ):
    “The Muslim does not inherit from a disbeliever and the disbeliever does not inherit from a Muslim.”
    حَدَّثَنَا هِشَامُ بْنُ عَمَّارٍ، وَمُحَمَّدُ بْنُ الصَّبَّاحِ، قَالاَ حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ بْنُ عُيَيْنَةَ، عَنِ الزُّهْرِيِّ، عَنْ عَلِيِّ بْنِ الْحُسَيْنِ، عَنْ عَمْرِو بْنِ عُثْمَانَ، عَنْ أُسَامَةَ بْنِ زَيْدٍ، رَفَعَهُ إِلَى النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ "‏ لاَ يَرِثُ الْمُسْلِمُ الْكَافِرَ وَلاَ الْكَافِرُ الْمُسْلِمَ ‏"‏ ‏.‏
    The extract above is from vol 4, book 23, hadith 2729, Arab reference: book 23, hadith 2833.
    The phrase, Muslim does not inherit from a disbeliever, here can mean Muslim men does not inherit or to possess disbeliever and to use her as sexual instrument.  Yet Sharia law permits it, since it mentions as long as they do not put on Hijabs, they can have sex with them.  The contradiction proves that Sharia law contradicts against the word of Hadith.
    Quran 85:10 is against those Muslim men to persecute believers.
    Al-Buruj (The Big Stars) - 85:10  [read in context]
    إِنَّ الَّذِينَ فَتَنُوا الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَتُوبُوا فَلَهُمْ عَذَابُ جَهَنَّمَ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابُ الْحَرِيقِ (85:10)
    Basit -   Hussari -   Minshawi -  f
    Inna allatheena fatanoo almumineena waalmuminati thumma lam yatooboo falahum AAathabu jahannama walahum AAathabu alhareeqi
    Topics discussed in this Verse:
    [Repentance] [Unbelievers:persecuting the Believers]
    Verily, as for those who persecute believing men and believing women, and thereafter do not repent, hell's suffering awaits them: yea, suffering through fire awaits them! [6] - 85:10 (Asad) -
    The phrase, those persecute..believing women, here can mean those Muslims who persecute believing women who do not put on hijabs and force them to have sexual relationship with them.  The phrase, do not repent..hell's suffering awaits them, here implies it is the warning against those Muslims who persecute believing women who do not put on hijabs for hell-fire.  Yet Sharia law permits Muslim men to have sexual relationship with these believing women as long as they do not put on hijabs.  The contradiction proves that Sharia law is man-made law instead of from God.
    By zuma - 11/6/2019 8:48:32 PM

  • Sharia law is always man-made law not accepted by Quran and hadith.
    Sharia law mentions Muslims men can have sexual rights to any woman/girl not wearing the Hijab.  This law is erroneous and not according to the word of Quran.
    The adulterer-fornicator marries not but an adulteress-fornicatress or a Mushrikah, and the adulteress-fornicatress none marries her except an adulterer-fornicator or a Muskrik [and that means that THE MAN who agrees to marry (HAVE A SEXUAL RELATION WTIH) a Mushrikah (female polytheist, pagan or idolatress) or a prostitute, then surely he is either an adulterer-fornicator, or a Mushrik (polytheist, pagan or idolater). And the woman who agrees to marry (have a sexual relation with) a Mushrik (polytheist, pagan or idolater) or an adulterer-fornicator, then she is either a prostitute or a Mushrikah (female polytheist, pagan, or idolatress)]. Such a thing is forbidden to the believers (of Islamic Monotheism).
    (سورة النور, An-Noor, Chapter #24, Verse #3)
    The phrase, the man..who have a sexual relation with a Mushrikah..then surely he is either an adulterer-fornicator, or a Mushrik, here implies Quran forbids Muslims to have sexual relationship with nonbelievers.  As most nonbelievers do not put on hijabs in this modern world, it implies Muslims, according to this Quranic verse, are not permitted to have sex with them.  Yet Sharia law supports the reverse that it permits Muslims to have sex with those who do not put on hijabs.
    The same is in Quran 3:28 below:
    Al-Imran (The Family of Imran) - 3:28  [read in context]
    لاَّ يَتَّخِذِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الْكَافِرِينَ أَوْلِيَاء مِن دُوْنِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ فَلَيْسَ مِنَ اللّهِ فِي شَيْءٍ إِلاَّ أَن تَتَّقُواْ مِنْهُمْ تُقَاةً وَيُحَذِّرُكُمُ اللّهُ نَفْسَهُ وَإِلَى اللّهِ الْمَصِيرُ (3:28)
    Basit -   Hussari -   Minshawi -  f
    La yattakhithi almuminoona alkafireena awliyaa min dooni almumineena waman yafAAal thalika falaysa mina Allahi fee shayin illa an tattaqoo minhum tuqatan wayuhaththirukumu Allahu nafsahu waila Allahi almaseeru
    Topics discussed in this Verse:
    [Unbelievers:do not take for friends or helpers]
    LET NOT the BELIEVers take those who deny the truth for their allies in preference to the believers [19] - since he who does this cuts himself off from God in everything - unless it be to protect yourselves against them in this way. [20] But God warns you to beware of Him: for with God is all journeys' end. - 3:28 (Asad) -
    The phrase, let not the believers take those who deny the truth for their allies in preference to the believers, here can mean let not the believers take those who are nonbelievers for their allies either to mingle with them in sex or marry them.  Yet Sharia law permits Muslims to have sex to those who do not put on hijabs and that includes to nonbelievers as well.  The discrepancy between Sharia law and Quran proves that Sharia law is human made law.  ISIS captured in the past many women who did not put on hijab to have sex with them.  Their act goes against the word of Quran and they have committed adultery with them undoubtedly.
    By zuma - 11/6/2019 8:30:22 PM

  • The author says, "My research uncovers how today instability is across the Middle East and North Africa is, in part, a consequence of these post-colonial decisions to reject Sharia."
    This is nonsense. All laws must be secular, rational and based on common sense and the principle of "equality in the eyes of the law."

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 4/10/2019 12:05:37 PM

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