By S. Amjad Hussain
Oct. 10, 2016
My Sept. 26 column on Shariah Law elicited
negative comments by many readers. Some of them thought, erroneously, that I
was advocating implementation of Shariah Law in the United States. I said no
On the contrary, after describing the
variations in the Shariah Law, I emphasized that there was no chance it could
ever be implemented in the United States.
Every religion has a set of guiding
principles which dictate how the believers should conduct themselves — both in
public and in private lives. Hadaka, the Jewish Law, for example, encompasses
all aspects of Jewish life, including daily routine, food, personal hygiene,
marriage, and observance of Shabbat.
Shariah also prescribes guidelines that
Muslims are supposed to follow in their daily lives, and a great majority of
Muslims follow them.
On the question of warfare, treatment of
prisoners, and punishments for crimes, however, there are wide differences
among the scholars. In this context, the Taliban and al-Qaeda are the outliers.
The Shariah practiced by the so-called Islamic State or ISIS is anathema to
even al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The logical question is whether these Shariah
are accepted by a majority of Muslims. The answer is an emphatic no.
There is no single codified law that can be
called the only Shariah Law. There are many variations in the interpretation of
the Qur’an and the secondary literature, and that gives rise to vast
differences of opinion among the Muslims. That is precisely why the law
followed in Saudi Arabia, for example, has little resemblance to the law
followed in many other Islamic countries.
Let us take the example of a Muslim who
does not believe in certain punitive laws, say stoning for adultery, or beheadings
for murder, but still follows certain guidelines in his or her personal life.
And suppose Newt Gingrich would, if he is
able to, set up a huge screening process where every Muslim in America is asked
a simple question: Do you believe in Shariah? I bet a great majority of 3
million Muslims living in America, including yours truly, would have to be
forcefully expelled from the United States.
Such an impractical and dumb idea is
reminiscent of the plebiscites and referendums that tin-pot dictators hold to
consolidate their power and bring a fig leaf of legitimacy to their rule. One
would expect something more intelligent and coherent from Mr. Gingrich, who has
a doctorate in history from Tulane University and taught history at West
My own take is that he knows better. But
during the selection process for Republican vice president — he was one of the
three men under consideration — he went overboard in order to shore up his
credentials as a strong anti-terrorism (read anti-Muslim) candidate.
Thanks to the concentrated efforts by a
number of organizations and rich individuals, an Islamophobic industry has been
churning out material that paints Islam as a monolith and Muslims as mindless
robots who follow the dictates of a religion that a great majority of Muslims
do not recognize.
This propaganda has permeated far and wide
and has affected otherwise educated and rational people.
It was evident at a dinner I recently
attended at a friend’s home. He is a Muslim, and one of his close friends, a Catholic,
had invited a group of people to discuss the phenomenon of terrorism. They were
particularly interested in the genesis of my 2001 book on the Taliban that I
wrote after a visit to Taliban-ruled Afghanistan in 2000.
During the dinner, a successful Toledo
businessman, now retired, leaned over and said that Muslims and their religion
were the cause of much of the turmoil in the world. I asked him if he had met
any Muslims, and he said he had not. He certainly knew a few of them because
one of the hosts was a Muslim and at the table there were at least three other
Muslims. They did not fit his image of a Muslim.
The gentleman did not realize that the
friendly and level-headed host he had known for years was a Muslim. He is not
alone. There are millions of people in this country who have never met a
Muslim, have not visited a mosque, or tried to learn about Islam but instead
are content to accept, as gospel truth, what the Islamophobic industry dishes
Sharia law supports that a man is allowed to have sex with slave women and women captured in battle, and if the enslaved woman is married her marriage is annulled. Quran supports the reverse.
Hadith forbids Muslims to have sexual relationship with slave girls as mentioned below:
Narrated 'Aisha : In the life-time of Allah's Apostle (p.b.u.h) the sun eclipsed, so he led the people in prayer, and stood up and performed a long Qiyam, then bowed for a long while. He stood up again and performed a long Qiyam but this time the period of standing was shorter than the first. He bowed again for a long time but shorter than the first one, then he prostrated and prolonged the prostration. He did the same in the second Raka as he did in the first and then finished the prayer; by then the sun (eclipse) had cleared.
He delivered the Khutba (sermon) and after praising and glorifying Allah he said, "The sun and the moon are two signs against the signs of Allah; they do not eclipse on the death or life of anyone. So when you see the eclipse, remember Allah and say Takbir, pray and give Sadaqa." The Prophet then said, "O followers of Muhammad! By Allah! There is none who has more ghaira (self-respect) than Allah as HE HAS FORBIDDEN THAT HIS SLAVES, MALE OR FEMALE (ILLEGAL SEXUAL INTERCOURSE). O followers of Muhammad! By Allah! If you knew that which I know you would laugh little and weep much. (Book #18, Hadith #154
As hadith forbids Muslims to have illegal sexual relationship with slave girls, they should not treat them to be sexual slave girls.
Quran supports that Muslims could only have sexual relationship with slave girls if they wed them so that they could be their legal wives. The following is the extract:
(سورة النساء, An-Nisaa, Chapter #4, Verse #25)-Mohsin Khan translation:
‘And whoever of you have not the means wherewith to wed free, believing women, they may wed believing girls from among those (slaves) whom your right hands possess, and Allah has full knowledge about your Faith; you are one from another. Wed them with the permission of their own folk (guardians, Auliya' or masters) and give them their Mahr according to what is reasonable; they (the above said captive and slave-girls) should be chaste, not committing illegal sex, nor taking boy-friends. And after they have been taken in wedlock, if they commit illegal sexual intercourse, their punishment is half that for free (unmarried) women.
This is for him among you who is afraid of being harmed in his religion or in his body; but it is better for you that you practise self-restraint, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.’
Quran 4:19 forbids Muslims to inherit or wed slave girls to be against their will. Or in other words, if the will of slave girls is not to have them to be their wives, Muslims must not force them to wed them. The following is the extract:
(سورة النساء, An-Nisaa, Chapter #4, Verse #19)-Mohsin Khan translation:
‘O you who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will; and you should not treat them with harshness, that you may take away part of the Mahr you have given them, unless they commit open illegal sexual intercourse; and live with them honourably. If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing and Allah brings through it a great deal of good.’
Quran 24:32 forbids a Muslim man to marry a slave girl who has a husband and it also forbids a Muslims to practise polygamy.
(سورة النور, An-Noor, Chapter #24, Verse #32)-Mohsin Khan translation:
‘And marry those among you who are single (i.e. a man who has no wife and the woman who has no husband) and (also marry) the Salihun (pious, fit and capable ones) of your (male) slaves and maid-servants (female slaves).
If they be poor, Allah will enrich them out of His Bounty. And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures' needs, All-Knowing (about the state of the people).
As the phrase, marry those among you who are single…a man who has no wife, is mentioned in Quran 24:32, it forbids a Muslim to practise polygamy. As the phrase, marry those among you…the woman who has no husband, is mentioned in Quran 24:32, it implies that Quran forbids a Muslim to marry a slave that has a husband.
Quran 2:234 forbids previous marriage of a slave to be annulled just because she has turned up to be a slave since divorce must be done in a just and honourable manner.
(سورة البقرة, Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #234)-Mohsin Khan translation:
‘And those of you who die and leave wives behind them, they (the wives) shall wait (as regards their marriage) for four months and ten days, then when they have fulfilled their term, there is no sin on you if they (the wives) dispose of themselves in a just and honourable manner (i.e. they can marry). And Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you do.’
As the phrase, dispose of themselves in a just and honourable manner, is mentioned in Quran 2:234, it implies that the divorce of a slave has to be done in a just manner. A Muslim should not treat the previous marriage of a slave to be invalid unless the divorce has been done in a just and honourable manner.
Sharia law never abolished slavery, sexual slavery and
highly regulates it. As master will not
be punished for killing his slave.
Hadith forbids sexual slavery since it forbids Muslims to
receive income through prostitution from slave girls. The following is the extract:
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet
prohibited the earnings of slave girls (through prostitution). (Book #36,
Besides, Hadith forbids Muslims to
have sexual relationship with slave girls as mentioned below:
Narrated 'Aisha : In the life-time of
Allah's Apostle (p.b.u.h) the sun eclipsed, so he led the people in prayer, and
stood up and performed a long Qiyam, then bowed for a long while. He stood up
again and performed a long Qiyam but this time the period of standing was
shorter than the first. He bowed again for a long time but shorter than the
first one, then he prostrated and prolonged the prostration. He did the same in
the second Raka as he did in the first and then finished the prayer; by then
the sun (eclipse) had cleared. He delivered the Khutba (sermon) and after
praising and glorifying Allah he said, "The sun and the moon are two signs
against the signs of Allah; they do not eclipse on the death or life of anyone.
So when you see the eclipse, remember Allah and say Takbir, pray and give
Sadaqa." The Prophet then said, "O followers of Muhammad! By Allah!
There is none who has more ghaira (self-respect) than Allah as HE HAS FORBIDDEN
THAT HIS SLAVES, MALE OR FEMALE (ILLEGAL SEXUAL INTERCOURSE). O followers of
Muhammad! By Allah! If you knew that which I know you would laugh little and
weep much. (Book #18, Hadith #154
Killing slaves are not permissible
from hadith’s point of view. The
following is the extract:
Narrated Al-Ma'rur: At Ar-Rabadha I
met Abu Dhar who was wearing a cloak, and his slave, too, was wearing a similar
one. I asked about the reason for it. He replied, "I abused a person by
calling his mother with bad names." The Prophet said to me, 'O Abu Dhar!
Did you abuse him by calling his mother with bad names You still have some
characteristics of ignorance. YOUR SLAVES ARE YOUR BROTHERS and Allah has put
them under your command. So whoever has a brother under his command should feed
him of what he eats and dress him of what he wears. DO NOT ASK THEM (SLAVES) TO
DO THINGS BEYOND THEIR CAPACITY (POWER) AND IF YOU DO SO, then HELP THEM'
" (Book #2, Hadith #29)
As the phrase, your slaves are your
brothers, is mentioned in the book #2, Hadith #29, killing slaves would turn up
to be not permissible from Hadith’s point of view. The phrase, help them, in the book #2, hadith
#29 implies that Muslims should take care of them. As Hadith demands Muslims to take care of slaves,
it is erroneous to support that the master could not be punished for killing
Sharia law supports that a woman has no right to custody of her children from a previous marriage when she remarries and yet Quran mentions the reverse.
(سورة البقرة, Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #233)-Mohsin Khan translation:
‘The mothers shall give suck to their children for two whole years, (that is) for those (parents) who desire to complete the term of suckling, but the father of the child shall bear the cost of the mother's food and clothing on a reasonable basis.
No person shall have a burden laid on him greater than he can bear. No mother shall be treated unfairly on account of her child, nor father on account of his child. And on the (father's) heir is incumbent the like of that (which was incumbent on the father). If they both decide on weaning, by mutual consent, and after due consultation, there is no sin on them. And if you decide on a foster suckling-mother for your children, there is no sin on you, provided you pay (the mother) what you agreed (to give her) on reasonable basis.
And fear Allah and know that Allah is All-Seer of what you do.’
As the phrase, No mother shall be treated unfairly on account of her child, is mentioned in Quran 2:233, it implies that a woman could have the right to custody of her children from her previous marriage since she was the one who gave birth to them and they should treat her fairly.