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 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.
“therefore the righteous women are
devoutly obedient (to Allah and to their husbands)”
Dear Zuma, Do you realize that the parenthesis that
you have quoted above equates a husband with God? This is plain shirk! Besides,
the Qur’an appoints men and women as awliya of one another (9:71). The parenthesis should
be reduced to (to Allah) .