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| This is an educational site about Sharia, as such you find both criticism and appreciation of parts of the Sharia. Please read the Genesis of Sharia first

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Video: Sharia dialogue by Hasan Mahmud and Taher Gora in Urdu Language

Hasan Mahmood on Sharia Controversy
Bilatakalluf with Tahir Gora

Hasan Mahmud is an advisor to World Muslim Congress.


URL- http://sharialaws.blogspot.com/2013/12/sharia-dialogue-by-hasan-mahmud-and.html

Apostasy: Talks about fallacies of Apostasy - there is no punishment for apostasy, indeed Prophet Muhammad (pbh) did not punish three people who chose to leave Islam.
The Punishment meted out - that is killing is not there in Quran and Hadith.
Also visit http://apostasyandIslam.blogspot.com



Divorce: 2:239 It is not three utterances in one instance, but three months, three periods. Just as in the United States - a waiting period.
He gives examples where prophet gave full and equal rights to women.

Interest/Usury: Good points about Interest.

VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cS63AE0BYyY&feature=c4-overview&list=UUYZDPjEw6MaD4jxym_b6jEA


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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Oklahoma Anti-Sharia Constitutional Amendment Struck Down By Federal Judge

Sharia was an option for couples to refer in case of divorce, just as seeking counsel from a psychologist, friend or a pastor. The purpose was a to find solution and has nothing to do with the laws that affect public. Its a shame on the Oklahomans to let the stupidity of the congressman and senators to go this far.  I am glad this is a country of law and order and not fickle minded people.

Mike Ghouse
 
Source: Huffington Post
ryan.reilly@huffingtonpost.com

WASHINGTON — A proposed amendment to Oklahoma’s state constitution that would have prevented state courts from considering Sharia and international law was struck down by a federal judge on Thursday.
Chief District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange of the Western District of Oklahoma, who issued a temporary restraining order preventing the law from taking effect after it passed in 2010, ruled Thursday that the amendment’s references to Sharia, or Islamic law, violated the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. While Oklahoma officials argued the amendment could be enacted if the reference to Sharia was removed, Miles-LaGrange ruled that wasn’t possible.

“Having reviewed the numerous statements by the legislators who authored the amendment, it is abundantly clear that the primary purpose of the amendment was to specifically target and outlaw Sharia law and to act as a preemptive strike against Sharia law to protect Oklahoma from a perceived ‘threat’ of Sharia law being utilized in Oklahoma courts,” she ruled.

Miles-LaGrange also found that Oklahoma voters wouldn’t have passed the constitutional amendment without the Sharia language, ruling that the “public debate, public discussions, articles, radio ads and robocalls regarding SQ 755 all primarily, and overwhelmingly, focused on the Sharia law provisions of the amendment” and that given that context, any reasonable voter would have thought the amendment was a referendum on Sharia.

It was an “undisputed fact” that “the concern that it seeks to address has yet to occur,” said Miles-LaGrange.

“While the public has an interest in the will of the voters being carried out, the Court finds that the public has a more profound and long-term interest in upholding an individual’s constitutional rights,” she ruled.
The lawsuit against the constitutional amendment was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on behalf of the executive director of CAIR’s Oklahoma chapter, Muneer Awad.
“Throughout the case, the state couldn’t present even a shred of evidence to justify this discriminatory, unnecessary measure,” Daniel Mach, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, said in a statement.

“This law unfairly singled out one faith and one faith only,” said Ryan Kiesel, executive director of the ACLU of Oklahoma. “This amendment was nothing more than a solution in search of a problem. We’re thrilled that it has been struck down.”

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Anti-Shariah Movement Gains Success


I screamed at my friend, "I will not go in that  rocket to the moon,"  and I angry," I will refuse to go on the rocket to moon" and ratched it up even further, " to hell with them, I am not going".  Then my friend calmly asks, "Have they invited you?" I said no. That is the point in the little skit. Muslims have not asked Sharia be implemented, and these Republican assess are screaming to ban it, that which is not there.  This site is dedicated to understanding Sharia and I urge you to read  Genesis of Sharia Law on this site at http://sharialaws.blogspot.com/2013/02/genesis-of-sharia-law.html


Mike Ghouse

..................
By Omar Sacirbey
Religion News Service

(RNS) When Oklahoma voters overwhelmingly approved a 2010 ballot measure that prohibits state courts from considering Islamic law, or Shariah, the Council of American-Islamic Relations filed a lawsuit within two days challenging the constitutionality of the measure, and won.

But when Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed a similar measure, one that its sponsor said would forbid Shariah, on April 19 of this year, no legal challenges were mounted
Why the change?

The biggest difference is that the older bill — and others like it — singled out Islam and Shariah, but also raised concerns that they could affect Catholic canon law or Jewish law. Many early anti-Shariah bills also made references to international or foreign law, which worried businesses that the new bills would undermine contracts and trade with foreign companies.

The new bills, however, are more vague and mention only foreign laws, with no references to Shariah or Islam. They also make specific exceptions for international trade. All of that makes them harder to challenge as a violation of religious freedom.

“These bills don’t have any real-world effect. Their only purpose is to allow people to vilify Islam,” said Corey Saylor, CAIR’s legislative affairs director, of the more recent bills.

The change in language seems to have helped such bills advance in several states. And while these bills no longer single out Shariah, it is often understood that Shariah is the target, which many legislators make no secret of.

The driving force behind these new versions of anti-Shariah laws is “anti-Muslim bigotry plain and simple,” said Daniel Mach of the American Civil Liberties Union, speaking on a panel in Washington Thursday (May 16). To those agitating for such measures, “Islam is the face of the enemy,” he said.

To date, Oklahoma is the sixth state — joining Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, South Dakota, and Tennessee — to adopt a law prohibiting courts from using foreign or international law, with some exceptions, in their decisions.

This year, at least 36 anti-foreign law bills have been proposed in 15 states, down from 51 bills in 23 states in 2011. While most of this year’s anti-foreign law bills have failed, several others, have advanced:

  •     A North Carolina legislative committee on Wednesday sent a bill to the House that would prohibit consideration of foreign laws in custody and other family law cases.
  •     On May 9, the Missouri legislature passed an anti-foreign law bill that goes next to Gov. Jay Nixon, who has until July 14 to decide whether he will sign or veto it. Nixon, a Democrat, has not indicated what he will do, and did not reply to a request for comment.
  •     In Alabama, Indiana and Texas, anti-foreign law bills have made it through the state senates, and are now either in house committees or awaiting full floor votes.
  •     An anti-foreign law bill in Florida that needed a two-thirds majority to pass fell one vote short, 25-14. Besides Florida, anti-foreign law bills have been introduced but were defeated, died, or are languishing in Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Despite the losses, David Yerushalmi, the Washington-based lawyer who drafted template legislation used for the anti-Shariah and anti-foreign law bills, said the anti-Shariah movement “is growing every day” and expects more states to adopt such bills in the future.

“People see the threat and also know that a bill that simply protects U.S. citizens and residents from constitutionally offensive foreign laws and judgments can only be a good thing,” Yerushalmi said.

But CAIR’s Saylor said that victory may prove elusive for the anti-Shariah forces. By stripping all references to Islamic law, the anti-Shariah movement has failed to restrict Muslim religious rights. “In terms of substance, it’s already been beaten,” he said.

Nevertheless, some observers worry that even these watered-down bills could still be interpreted in ways that impinge on Muslims’ religious freedom.

For example, according to the Gavel to Gavel website that covers state legislatures, many of the new anti-foreign law bills specify that the prohibition on courts using foreign laws applies only to certain case types, such as family law or domestic relations. Shariah, as well as Jewish law, is widely used in these types of cases.


“While the foreign law bans are certainly less of a frontal assault on religious freedom than the anti-Shariah bills, they continue to raise concerns about bias towards minority faiths,” said Faiza Patel, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.

“The bans cast a cloud of uncertainty over a myriad of arrangements, including family and business-related matters, simply because they have foreign or religious origins.”

She added that some bans on foreign law seem to require judges to reject any foreign law or judgment that comes from a country that does not protect rights in the same way the United States does, even if the case being considered does not raise any rights concerns.

“This could deprive many Jewish and Muslim couples of a wide range of benefits — lower tax rates, immigration benefits for foreign partners and the ability to make life-and-death decisions on behalf of each other in medical emergencies,” Patel said.

Even CAIR won’t rule out the possibility of future legal challenges.

“If someone tries to use these laws to undermine a person’s religious rights, we’re keeping all of our legal options on the table,” Saylor said.

(Lauren Markoe contributed to this report from Washington.)

Courtesy - Huffington post

Please visit www.sharialaws.com to an understading of Sharia Laws.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Disgusting Sharia practice; divorce by text message and emails

This is a disgusting example of Sharia practice, which is passed out as Islamic, Islamic it is not.  There are a lot of practices going on in the world, which add up to defame Sharia.

In the following article, it talks about divorcing a woman on whim, not only that, the Sharia Courts in Dubai and informal Sharia counsel in India have held out that the guy can utter "Talaq -Divorce" three times and the divorce happens. They have validated text message and email divorces. This goes completely against the principles laid out in Quran.  I hope Muslims rise up to restore Islam to be what it was; a just and fair religious guidance.

The Quranic guidance calls to wait for three periods time (3 months) to ensure that she is not pregnant, and if she is, the arrangement for child support and alimony. If the couple changes their mind, they can reverse it.

It is fascinating that this common sense principle is adopted by the US Laws while abandoned by the Muslim nations.

The site "total divorce" summarizes the system, "Some states have divorce waiting periods when filing for divorce to make sure that couples are absolutely certain about ending their marriages. These range from a month to six months to even a year or more, if certain divorce issues haven't been resolved. Some states have considered extending divorce waiting periods, especially for couples with children. Such divorce legislation has been based on observations that shorter divorce waiting periods lead to higher divorce rates. A divorce lawyer can further explain the divorce waiting periods in your state."

 A current divorces practice in Muslims nations is abhorrent, cruel and uncivilized to put a woman on the street at one's whims, and this is not Islamic. Islam is about mercy and kindness.
Its time for Muslims to rise up against this practice and speak out.
This practice is strongly fortified that even the erudite scholars and Imams of Islam are afraid to speak out, it is like going against the gangsters, it has nothing to do with education, it has to do with lack of common sense. In the US we have conservative PhD Christians who are as stick-in-the-muds as the Mullahs. Unfortunately, the public does not support these extremist American clergy and they cannot get away with their wishes.

 
Sharia is a good law if we can purge out idiotic rules from it - particularly about divorce, apostasy, blasphemy, and punishment for rape and theft.The civil laws of the nations ensure justice, the Sharia laws in these instances don't. Sharia Law badly need revision to match the common sense and the purpose for which they were created; justice with mercy and kindness.



Mike Ghouse
www.ShariaLaws.com
www.MikeGhouse.net 
================

Talaq by text message? Muslim women cry foul

| 1 Comment and 1 Reaction
Sharia law, according to some Muslim sects, allows husbands to end a marriage simply by uttering the Arabic word for "divorce" three times. But a husband must wait the mandatory three-month period before it can take effect. Electronic media have created a new dilemma that religious scholars have yet to work out.
By Udayan Namboodiri

New Delhi: Shamina Abubecker never expected her marriage would end this way.
One afternoon, the Kerala woman received a short text message on her mobile phone. It was from her husband. The message contained one word repeated three times: Talaq, Talaq, Talaq.

Under sharia law, a husband can divorce his wife simply by uttering the "three T's", although Shia and Sunni Muslims differ on whether this can be done at one go, and interpretations vary even among Sunni jurists.

Now, internet, social media and mobile phones have added a digital-era twist to the practice, leading to complaints from those affected. The message delivered to his daughter was "totally unacceptable," Shamina's father, Reshid, told Khabar South Asia.

"We complained to the imam of the local mosque who took it up with higher authorities. After a few weeks we got the fellow to apologize and re-deliver the Talaq in the formally prescribed way."

Besides being divorced via text message, some Muslim wives are now encountering "Facebook Talaq" -- the practice of writing the words on the woman's Facebook page.

"This is a global phenomenon seen all over the Islamic world. It came to the fore in India last December through a case in Bhopal," reputed Islamic scholar Mushtaq Ali Nadvi told Khabar.
In that case, the wife was an educated woman who knew her legal rights. The husband faces a lawsuit and has been arrested on charges of dowry harassment.

Besides text messaging and social media, some men have sent notification to their wives by e-mail. That is what allegedly happened to Majidi Begum, a Delhi resident whose husband worked in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

"Not being very net-savvy, my sister did not operate her email account much," her brother Imtiaz told Khabar. "When [her husband] came on leave in 2012 she confronted him and he coolly told her that he had divorced her two years earlier."

When challenged by Majidi's family, the husband produced a document that showed he had two witnesses with him while typing the three T's.

Divorce and marriage issues among Muslims are normally handled by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), founded in 1973. The country's single largest Islamic body, its membership consists of scholars representing different schools of thought.

In 2005, Shiites and advocates for women seceded to form their own separate Boards, the All India Shiite Personal Law Board & the All India Muslim Women's Personal Law Board.

Neither board has come out with clear positions on the validity of electronic divorcing. "In many cases local imams and muftis support this practice out of sheer ignorance or lack of understanding of the Qur'anic injunctions," Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (Muslim Women's Movement of India) convenor Saifia Akhtar told Khabar.

Some scholars insist the Talaq rule predates Islam, and has its origin in ancient Arabian societies, in which a husband had the power to divorce a wife for any reason, and at any time he wished.

"This practice of the Jahiliyya (Days of Ignorance) is still followed among the Muslims of South Asia who divorce their wives by pronouncing triple Talaq in one sitting, often on flimsy grounds," Indian Islamic scholar Sohail Arshad of New Age Islam magazine told Khabar. "Recently I saw a case where a woman was given Talaq because she suffered from poor eyesight."

(Courtesy: Khabar South Asia | Indian Muslim Observer

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The World’s Muslims: Beliefs About Sharia

The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics and Society
URL - http://sharialaws.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-worlds-muslims-beliefs-about-sharia.html

My Notes:
There are a few assumptions made in the following survey that do not address the cognizance of alternative laws in the Muslim majority nations. This makes the survey questionable to me, other than that,  it is quite a revealing Survey.  

 The Muslim majority nations for centuries or for decades know no other law than Sharia, at least the last three generations grew up knowing only one thing; Sharia Law, and many of them do not even have an idea of another law. As Americans we know the civil laws, we seldom know about the existence of any other laws, only the Jews and Muslim are aware of the other laws, while Sikhs, Hindus and others fall upon their traditions to resolve their personal conflicts. Indeed, I made that very statement on Hannity Show on Fox News in February this year.

The survey results speak out loudly the difference between nations that are European (secular) in nature including Turkey and Indonesia (non-European) where less than 30% favor Sharia, where as all other nations with the exception of Indonesia favor higher than 70% - Indonesia has a sizable number of Hindu population and their constitution, Panchsheel is pluralistic in nature.

The respondents should have been asked their knowledge about the intent of the Sharia Law, and asked if that would be the only way to serve Justice? The results would have been different.  I will be doing a detailed analysis of the figures and have a presentation in a few days. I know, I will be called by TV and Radio Stations and I need to be ready to respond. Shouldn't all of us be ready? 


I wrote a piece in July 2010 in Huffington Post called, Sharia Law not in America and the revised version is called Genesis of Sharia, which, I am  getting ready to submitt for publication. This piece is the most basic piece to understand Sharia, even those who have some idea about it will get it. By the way, I am honored that almost identical piece with similar flow was published by Dr. Amina Wadud in November 2010, four months later. Sharia has never been defined in this manner before.

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. Links to his work on Islam, Pluralism and civic topics are at www.MikeGhouse.net and his daily articles are at www.TheGhouseDiary.com

 


Courtesy Pew Survey dated April 30, 2013

The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics and Society
http://www.pewforum.org/Muslim/the-worlds-muslims-religion-politics-society-beliefs-about-sharia.aspx

According to the survey findings, most Muslims believe sharia is the revealed word of God rather than a body of law developed by men based on the word of God. Muslims also tend to believe sharia has only one, true understanding, but this opinion is far from universal; in some countries, substantial minorities of Muslims believe sharia should be open to multiple interpretations. Religious commitment is closely linked to views about sharia: Muslims who pray several times a day are more likely to say sharia is the revealed word of God, to say that it has only one interpretation and to support the implementation of Islamic law in their country.
Although many Muslims around the world say sharia should be the law of the land in their country, the survey reveals divergent opinions about the precise application of Islamic law.14 Generally, supporters of sharia are most comfortable with its application in cases of family or property disputes. In most regions, fewer favor other specific aspects of sharia, such as cutting off the hands of thieves and executing people who convert from Islam to another faith.
Sharia as Divine Revelation
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In 17 of the 23 countries where the question was asked, at least half of Muslims say sharia is the revealed word of God. (For more information on sharia see text box.) In no country are Muslims significantly more likely to say sharia was developed by men than to say it is the revealed word of God.
Acceptance of sharia as the revealed word of God is high across South Asia and most of the Middle East and North Africa. For example, roughly eight-in-ten Muslims (81%) in Pakistan and Jordan say sharia is the revealed word of God, as do clear majorities in most other countries surveyed in these two regions. Only in Lebanon is opinion more closely divided: 49% of Muslims say sharia is the divine word of God, while 38% say men have developed sharia from God’s word.
Muslims in Southeast Asia and Central Asia are somewhat less likely to say sharia comes directly from God. Only in Kyrgyzstan (69%) do more than two-thirds say Islamic law is the revealed word of God. Elsewhere in these regions, the percentage of Muslims who say it is the revealed word of God ranges from roughly four-in-ten in Malaysia (41%) to six-in-ten in Tajikistan.
Views about the origins of sharia are more mixed in Southern and Eastern Europe. At least half of Muslims describe sharia as the divine word of God in Russia (56%) and Bosnia-Herzegovina (52%). By contrast, three-in-ten or fewer hold this view in Kosovo (30%) and Albania (24%).
Overall, Muslims who pray several times a day are more likely to believe that sharia is the revealed word of God than are those who pray less frequently. This is the case in many countries where the question was asked, with especially large differences observed in Russia (+33 percentage points), Uzbekistan (+21), Kyrgyzstan (+20) and Egypt (+15). Views on the origins of sharia do not vary consistently with other measures, such as age or gender.
Interpreting Sharia
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Muslims differ widely as to whether sharia should be open to multiple understandings. While many say there is only one true interpretation, substantial percentages in most countries either say there are multiple interpretations or say they do not know.
A majority of Muslims in three Central Asian countries – Tajikistan (70%), Azerbaijan (65%) and Kyrgyzstan (55%) – say there is only one way to understand sharia. But elsewhere in the region there is less consensus, including in Turkey, where identical proportions (36% each) stand on either side of the question.
Muslims in Southern and Eastern Europe tend to lean in favor of a single interpretation of sharia. However, only in Bosnia-Herzegovina (56%) and Russia (56%), do majorities take this position.
Across the countries surveyed in South Asia, majorities consistently say there is only one possible way to understand sharia. The proportion holding this view ranges from 67% in Afghanistan to 57% in Bangladesh. But more than a quarter of Muslims in Afghanistan (29%) and Bangladesh (38%) say sharia should be open to multiple interpretations.
In the Middle East-North Africa region, belief in a single interpretation of sharia prevails in Lebanon (59%) and the Palestinian territories (51%). But opinion in Iraq is mixed: 46% say there is only one possible way to understand sharia, while 48% disagree. And in Tunisia and Morocco, large majorities (72% and 60%, respectively) believe sharia should be open to multiple interpretations.
In Southeast Asia, opinion leans modestly in favor of a single interpretation of sharia. The biggest divide is found in Thailand, where 51% of Muslims say there is only one possible understanding of Islamic law, while 29% say it should be open to multiple interpretations.
In a number of countries, significant percentages say they are unsure whether sharia should be subject to one or multiple understandings, including at least one-in-five Muslims in Albania (46%), Kosovo (42%), Uzbekistan (35%), Turkey (23%), Russia (21%), Malaysia (20%) and Pakistan (20%).
An individual’s degree of religious commitment appears to influence views on interpreting sharia. In many countries where the question was asked, Muslims who pray several times a day are more likely than those who pray less often to say that there is a single interpretation. The largest differences are found in Russia (+33 percentage points) and Uzbekistan (+27), but substantial gaps are also observed in Lebanon (+18), Malaysia (+16) and Thailand (+15).
Sharia as the Official Law of the Land
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Support for making sharia the official law of the land varies significantly across the six major regions included in the study. In countries across South Asia, Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East-North Africa region most favor making sharia their country’s official legal code. By contrast, only a minority of Muslims across Central Asia as well as Southern and Eastern Europe want sharia to be the official law of the land.
In South Asia, high percentages in all the countries surveyed support making sharia the official law, including nearly universal support among Muslims in Afghanistan (99%). More than eight-in-ten Muslims in Pakistan (84%) and Bangladesh (82%) also hold this view. The percentage of Muslims who say they favor making Islamic law the official law in their country is nearly as high across the Southeast Asian countries surveyed (86% in Malaysia, 77% in Thailand and 72% in Indonesia).15
In sub-Saharan Africa, at least half of Muslims in most countries surveyed say they favor making sharia the official law of the land, including more than seven-in-ten in Niger (86%), Djibouti (82%), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (74%) and Nigeria (71%).
Support for sharia as the official law of the land also is widespread among Muslims in the Middle East-North Africa region – especially in Iraq (91%) and the Palestinian territories (89%). Only in Lebanon does opinion lean in the opposite direction: 29% of Lebanese Muslims favor making sharia the law of the land, while 66% oppose it.
Support for making sharia the official legal code of the country is relatively weak across Central Asia as well as Southern and Eastern Europe. Fewer than half of Muslims in all the countries surveyed in these regions favor making sharia their country’s official law. Support for sharia as the law of the land is greatest in Russia (42%); respondents in Russia were asked if sharia should be made the official law in the country’s ethnic-Muslim republics. Elsewhere in Central Asia and Southern and Eastern Europe, about one-in-three or fewer say sharia should be made the law of the land, including just 10% in Kazakhstan and 8% in Azerbaijan.
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Again, level of religious commitment makes a big difference in attitudes about the implementation of sharia. Muslims who pray several times a day are more likely than those who pray less frequently to favor Islamic law as the official law of the land. The difference is particularly large in Russia (+37 percentage points), Lebanon (+28), the Palestinian territories (+27), Tunisia (+25) and Kyrgyzstan (+24).
Across the countries surveyed, support for making sharia the official law of the land generally varies little by age, gender or education. However, in the Middle East-North Africa region, Muslims ages 35 and older are more likely than those 18-34 to back sharia in Lebanon (+22 percentage points), Jordan (+12), Tunisia (+12) and the Palestinian territories (+10).

Should Sharia Apply to All Citizens?
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Among Muslims who support making sharia the law of the land, most do not believe that it should be applied to non-Muslims. Only in five of 21 countries where this follow-up question was asked do at least half say all citizens should be subject to Islamic law.
The belief that sharia should extend to non-Muslims is most widespread in the Middle East and North Africa, where at least four-in-ten Muslims in all countries except Iraq (38%) and Morocco (29%) hold this opinion. Egyptian Muslims (74%) are the most likely to say it should apply to Muslims and non-Muslims alike, while 58% in Jordan hold this view.
By contrast, Muslims in Southern and Eastern Europe who favor making sharia the official law of the land are among the least likely to say it should apply to all citizens in their country. Across the nations surveyed in the region, fewer than a third take this view. This includes 22% of Russian Muslims (who were asked about the applying sharia in their country’s ethnic Muslim republics).
In other regions, opinion varies widely by country. For example, in Southeast Asia, half of Indonesian Muslims who favor sharia as the official law say it should apply to all citizens, compared with about a quarter (24%) of those in Thailand. (Thai Muslims were asked if sharia should be made the official law in the predominantly Muslim areas of the country.) Similarly, in Central Asia, a majority of Muslims in Kyrgyzstan (62%) who support making sharia the official law say it should apply to non-Muslims in their country, but far fewer in Kazakhstan (19%) agree. Meanwhile, in South Asia, Muslims who are in favor of making sharia the law of the land in Afghanistan are 27 percentage points more likely to say all citizens should be subject to Islamic law than are those in Pakistan (61% in Afghanistan vs. 34% in Pakistan).
How Should Sharia Be Applied?
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When Muslims in different regions of the world say they want sharia to be the law of the land, do they also share a vision for how sharia should be applied in practice? Overall, among those in favor of making sharia the law of the land, the survey finds broad support for allowing religious judges to adjudicate domestic disputes. Lower but substantial proportions of Muslims support severe punishments such as cutting off the hands of thieves or stoning people who commit adultery. The survey finds even lower support for executing apostates.
Family and Property Disputes
Islamic law addresses a range of domestic and personal matters, including marriage, divorce and inheritance.16 And most Muslims who say sharia should be the law of the land in their country are very supportive of the application of Islamic law in this sphere. Specifically, in 17 of the 20 countries where there are adequate samples for analysis, at least half favor giving Muslim leaders and religious judges the power to decide family and property disputes.
Support for allowing religious judges to decide domestic and property disputes is particularly widespread throughout Southeast Asia, South Asia and the Middle East-North Africa region. Across these three regions, at least six-in-ten Muslims who support the implementation of sharia as the official law say religious judges should decide family and property matters. This includes more than nine-in-ten in Egypt (95%) and Jordan (93%), and nearly as many in Malaysia (88%) and Pakistan (87%).
In Central Asia as well as Southern and Eastern Europe, Muslims who favor making sharia the law of the land are somewhat less enthusiastic about having religious judges decide matters in the domestic sphere. Across these two regions, fewer than two-thirds favor giving religious judges the power to decide family and property disputes. The least support for allowing religious judges to decide matters in the domestic sphere is found in Kosovo (26%) and Bosnia-Herzegovina (24%).
 Penalty for Theft or Robbery
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Among those who want sharia to be the law of the land, in 10 of 20 countries where there are adequate samples for analysis at least half say they support penalties such as whippings or cutting off the hands of thieves and robbers.17 In South Asia, Pakistani and Afghan Muslims clearly support hudud punishments (see Glossary). In both countries, more than eight-in-ten Muslims who favor making sharia the official law of the land also back these types of penalties for theft and robbery (88% in Pakistan and 81% in Afghanistan). By contrast, only half of Bangladeshis who favor sharia as the law of the land share this view.
In the Middle East and North Africa, many Muslims who support making sharia the official law also favor punishments like cutting off the hands of thieves. This includes at least seven-in-ten in the Palestinian territories (76%) and Egypt (70%), and at least half in Jordan (57%), Iraq (56%) and Lebanon (50%). Only in Tunisia do fewer than half (44%) of those who want Islamic law as the law of the land also back these types of criminal penalties.
In Southeast Asia, about two-thirds (66%) of Malaysian Muslims who want sharia as the law of the land also favor punishments like cutting off the hands of thieves or robbers, but fewer than half say the same in Thailand (46%) and Indonesia (45%).
In Central Asia as well as Southern and Eastern Europe, relatively few Muslims who back sharia support severe criminal punishments. Across the two regions, only in Kyrgyzstan do more than half (54%) support punishments such as whippings or cutting off the hands of thieves. Elsewhere in these two regions, between 43% and 28% of Muslims favor corporal punishments for theft and robbery.
Penalty for Adultery
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In 10 of 20 countries where there are adequate samples for analysis, at least half of Muslims who favor making sharia the law of the land also favor stoning unfaithful spouses.18
Some of the highest support for stoning is found in South Asia and the Middle East-North Africa region. In Pakistan (89%) and Afghanistan (85%), more than eight-in-ten Muslims who want Islamic law as their country’s official law say adulterers should be stoned, while nearly as many say the same in the Palestinian territories (84%) and Egypt (81%). A majority also support stoning as a penalty for the unfaithful in Jordan (67%), Iraq (58%). However, support is significantly lower in Lebanon (46%) and Tunisia (44%), where less than half of those who support sharia as the official law of the land believe that adulterers should be stoned.
In Southeast Asia, six-in-ten Muslims in Malaysia consider stoning an appropriate penalty for adultery. About half hold this view in Thailand (51%) and Indonesia (48%).
Muslims in Central Asia as well as Southern and Eastern Europe are generally less likely to support stoning adulterers. Among those who favor Islamic law as the official law of the land, only in Tajikistan do about half (51%) support this form of punishment. Elsewhere in the two regions, fewer than four-in-ten favor this type of punishment, including roughly a quarter or fewer across the countries surveyed in Southern and Eastern Europe.
Penalty for Converting to Another Faith 
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Compared with attitudes toward applying sharia in the domestic or criminal spheres, Muslims in the countries surveyed are significantly less supportive of the death penalty for converts.19 Nevertheless, in six of the 20 countries where there are adequate samples for analysis, at least half of those who favor making Islamic law the official law also support executing apostates.
Taking the life of those who abandon Islam is most widely supported in Egypt (86%) and Jordan (82%). Roughly two-thirds who want sharia to be the law of the land also back this penalty in the Palestinian territories (66%). In the other countries surveyed in the Middle East-North Africa region, fewer than half take this view.
In the South Asian countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan, strong majorities of those who favor making Islamic law the official law of the land also approve of executing apostates (79% and 76%, respectively). However, in Bangladesh far fewer (44%) share this view.
A majority of Malaysian Muslims (62%) who want to see sharia as their country’s official law also support taking the lives of those who convert to other faiths. But fewer take this position in neighboring Thailand (27%) and Indonesia (18%).
In Central Asia as well as Southern and Eastern Europe, only in Tajikistan (22%) do more than a fifth of Muslims who want sharia as the official law of the land also condone the execution of apostates. Support for killing converts to other faiths falls below one-in-ten in Albania (8%) and Kazakhstan (4%).
Views on Current Laws and Their Relation to Sharia
gsi2-chp1-10


Many Muslims say their country’s laws do not follow sharia, or Islamic law. At least half take this view in 11 of the 20 countries where the question was asked. Meanwhile, in six countries, at least half of Muslims believe their national laws closely adhere to sharia.
Muslims in Southern and Eastern Europe and Central Asia are among the most likely to say their laws do not adhere closely to Islamic law. A majority of Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina (68%), Russia (61%) and Kosovo (59%) take this view. Roughly four-in-ten Muslims in Albania (43%) also say their country’s laws do not follow sharia closely, and about half (48%) are unsure.
In Central Asia, at least half of Muslims in Kazakhstan (72%), Azerbaijan (69%) and Kyrgyzstan (54%) say their laws do not follow sharia closely. In Tajikistan, by contrast, 51% say the laws of their country follow sharia.
In the Middle East-North Africa region, Muslims differ considerably in their assessments on this question. Lebanese Muslims (79%) are the most likely to say their country’s laws do not follow Islamic law closely. At least half of Muslims in the Palestinian territories (59%), Jordan (57%), Egypt (56%) and Tunisia (56%) say the same. Fewer Muslims agree in Iraq (37%) and Morocco (26%).
In the two countries in Southeast Asia where the question was asked, at least half of Muslims say their country’s laws adhere to sharia. By a 58%-to-29% margin, most Malaysian Muslims say their laws follow sharia; in Indonesia, the margin is 54% to 42%.
gsi2-chp1-11


Muslims in Afghanistan stand out for the high percentage (88%) that says their laws follow sharia closely. Fewer Muslims in the other countries surveyed in South Asia believe their laws closely follow sharia (48% in Bangladesh and 41% in Pakistan).
Across the countries surveyed, many Muslims who say their laws do not follow sharia believe this is a bad thing. Muslims in South Asia are especially likely to express this sentiment, including at least eight-in-ten Muslims in Pakistan (91%), Afghanistan (84%) and Bangladesh (83%). In Southeast Asia and the Middle East-North Africa region, too, Muslims who believe their country’s laws depart from sharia tend to say this is a bad thing. At least six-in-ten in the Palestinian territories (83%), Morocco (76%), Iraq (71%), Jordan (69%), Egypt (67%), Malaysia (65%) and Indonesia (65%) hold this view. Somewhat fewer Muslims in Tunisia (54%) say the same.
In the Middle East-North Africa region, Lebanon is the only country where opinion on the matter is closely divided. Among Lebanese Muslims who say their laws do not follow sharia closely, 41% say this is a good thing, while 38% say it is a bad thing, and 21% have no definite opinion.
Muslims in Southern and Eastern Europe and Central Asia are less likely to say it is a bad thing that their country’s laws do not follow sharia. Among Muslims who believe their country’s laws do not follow sharia, fewer than a third in most countries surveyed in these regions say this is a bad thing, while many say it is neither good nor bad, or express no opinion. The two exceptions are Russia and Kyrgyzstan, where almost half (47% each) say it is a bad thing that their country’s laws do not adhere closely to Islamic law.
Footnotes:  
14 For analysis of views about sharia among Muslims in sub-Saharan Africa, see the Pew Research Center’s April 2010 report “Tolerance and Tension: Islam and Christianity in Sub-Saharan Africa.” (return to text) 
15 In Thailand, respondents were asked if sharia should be made the official law in the predominantly Muslim areas of the country. (return to text) 
16 See Quran 4:22-4; 65:1-6; 4:11-2. See also Hourani, Albert. 1991. “A History of the Arab Peoples.” Harvard University Press, page 65. (return to text) 
17 Certain hadith specify that some crimes, including theft, merit corporal punishments, such as whipping or the cutting off of hands. See Sahih al-Bukhari 81:771, 81:778, and 81:780. (return to text) 
18 Certain hadith prescribe stoning as the appropriate penalty for adultery. See Sahih al-Muslim 17:4192 and 17:4198. (return to text) 
19 Certain hadith either state or imply that the penalty for apostasy, or converting to another faith, is death. See Sahih al-Bukhari 52:260 and 83:37. (return to text) 
Photo Credit: © Scott E Barbour

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Most read articles at ShariaLaws.com

I was just checking the statistics at www.ShariaLaws.com


Imam Kavakci's article read by 18,600
   http://sharialaws.blogspot.com/2011/07/sharia-fiqh-and-islamic-law_15.html
    

Hasan Mahmud's article - Examples of Sharia Law was read by 14,690
    http://sharialaws.blogspot.com/2011/10/examples-of-sharia-law.html
 

Dr. Mohamed Omar Farooq's Sharia Value was read by 13,450 
http://sharialaws.blogspot.com/2008/03/sharia-value.html
    

Genesis of Sharia law was read by 12,900
   http://sharialaws.blogspot.com/2013/02/genesis-of-sharia-law.html 



Personally, one of the most influential articles on Sharia that I have read was by Dr. Mohamed Omar Farooq, it has helped shape my understanding of Sharia.

Mike Ghouse
Publisher of this website


    Saturday, March 23, 2013

    Islamic Sharia Law is NOT a Word of God!

    The Classical Islamic Sharia Law is NOT a Word of God! (Part 1: How the Qur’anic Message Has Been Subverted)


    By Muhammad Yunus, NewAgeIslam.com
    -Epitome of Justice and Equity for a thousand years of Islamic civilization - now a threat to Islamic civilization and World peace, warranting an urgent paradigm shift in Islamic Juristic thoughts.
    By Muhammad Yunus (Joint Author), Essential Message of Islam, Amana Publications, USA, 2009
    The caption is shocking indeed! The qualifying statement may, however, turn the shock into posthumous glory, concern, and challenge. The essay attempts to bring across the dichotomy between the Classical Islamic Law and its divine Sharia (the Qur’an), and the incipient role of the former in feeding Islamophobia and Islamofascism – the twin menace that complement each other to  reduce Islam to a violent, intolerant cult and provoke a clash of  civilizations, threatening Islamic civilization and world peace.    
    1. The Divine Sharia of Islam – the Qur’an.  
    The Qur’an uses the words Shira (technically shir‘ah and Sharia (tech. Shariah) synonymously with the generic notion of a system or principles of law (5:48, 45:18). The Qur’an further declares that it is a book of wisdom (hikma, 10:1, 31:2, 43:4, 44:4) that is made clear and distinct (12:1, 15:1, 16:64, 26:2, 27:1, 36:69, 43:2, 44:2)  with all kinds of illustrations (17:89, 18:54, 30:58, 39:27) to guide humanity and bring it ‘out of darkness into light’ – an idiomatic expression that connotes social, moral and ethical reform; and “to lift from humanity the burdens and shackles that were upon them from before” (7:157).
    The Qur’anic paradigms are eternal, free from any addition or alteration since the revelation that was preserved orally as well as in various indigenous writing materials (suhuf, 80:11-16). It lays a great emphasis on the ‘constants’ of life – how a human being should behave regardless of time and era. Thus, it encompasses a broad spectrum of universal paradigms - justice, liberty, equity, good deeds, good neighborly and inter-faith relations, sharing of wealth with the poor, eradication of slavery, deliverance of women from various entrenched taboos, conjugal oppression and dehumanization; good business ethics, fair payment for goods and services, financial support to the needy, use of intellect, striving for excellence – to cite some major examples.
    2. The Classical Islamic Law - Contemporary Sharia Law of Islam.
    The Classical Islamic law is a cumulative juristic tradition that encompasses the legal responsa (fatawa) and opinions (rai) of all past jurists of Islam. Accordingly, it is shaped and informed by the customs, traditions, social and political conditions, juristic norms and the state of knowledge of the diverse historical points of Islamic civilization - dating from the founding Caliphate (632-661/10-40 AH) through the medieval ages to this day. Accordingly, it is a repository of, among countless other rulings, such notions as stoning to death for adultery, capital punishment for apostasy and blasphemy, punishment for homosexuality, slavery, discrimination and hatred against non-Muslims, demographic division of the world between the Muslims and non- Muslims, division of knowledge between Islamic and non-Islamic, temporary marriage, on the spot divorce, parental immunity against child abuse, gender disparity and so on, that are antithetic to the Qur’anic message. In historical perspective, these notions may not be out of line with those of the other civilizations, but dwelling into that will detract from the subject. The truth is, many of the fundamental notions and rulings of today’s overgrown Classical Sharia stand in sharp stark contrast to the realities of the modern era, as well as to the Qur’anic message.
    3. Historical roots and contributions of the Classical Islamic Sharia.
    Islam came at a time when the world was largely in a state of jahilliya – ignorance, injustice, oppression and exploitation. The notion of universal justice had yet to evolve. A suspect of a petty theft was bound hand and feet and thrown into a pond. If he sank, his guilt was established and punishment meted out. But if by any chance he floated, he was deemed to being possessed, and burnt on the stakes. The slaves were branded, chained, collared and dehumanized and remained slaves for their lives. If they married and raised children, the whole family became slaves. Women (wives) were sold as commodity - they could be killed by their husbands if caught in the bed with a stranger, or burnt alive with the corpses of their dead husbands as part of social norm. The pariah and the underdogs of the society – the blind, crippled, and mutilated, the lepers and the incurably diseased were regarded as the accursed creatures of God. Condemned, lampooned and ostracized, they were forsaken by their next of kin and forced to live in isolated colonies. The criminals, and the prisoners of war were slaughtered, pilloried and crucified; they had no legal hearing, nor any defense. The aristocracy watched with excitement the live show of humans being torn apart by wild beasts, or slaying rivals in vain bid for survival… The animal instinct of man reigned supreme.
    This is but a part of the melodrama that was played as daily norm in different parts of the world since the ancient times. The Qur’an came to rid the world of this beastly heritage. Accordingly, among other revolutionary reforms, it placed profound emphasis on justice (7:29, 16:90,  4:58), declared justice as a harrama or binding obligation (6:152), asked humanity to give witnesses truthfully – even if it concerned themselves, their parents or relatives, the poor, or erstwhile enemies (4:135, 5:8), and to have trained professionals to guide the judges for justice to prevail (7:159, 7:181). Consequently, since its inception, administration of justice became the taproot of governance in Islamic state. This is amply illustrated by the following proclamation of Caliph Umar (634-644) issued to his governors (rendered from Arabic/Urdu):
    “Administration of justice is an essential duty after the praise of God. Treat people equally, whether in your immediate presence, or in your court, so that the weak do not despair of justice, and the guilty may not be hopeful of your concession. One who makes a claim requires proving it. One who denies must take an oath. Compromise is permitted, provided it does not turn the halal (permissible) into haram (forbidden), and vice versa. If you have to give a decision tomorrow, reflect on it carefully today. If you have doubt on any matter not contained in the Qur'an or the Prophet’s Sunna (example), deeply ponder over it, and take account of similar instances and others’ opinions, and reflect over it logically...” [1]
    Thus, the administration of justice with due witnessing and engagement of trained people (fuqaha) occupied the central stage of civil administration in Islam. This led to a high pitch of intellectual activity in juristic fields – any detail of which will be too technical for this exercise; but suffice it to say, that the first three centuries of Islam saw a proliferation and flowering of learned fuqaha (jurists). The names prefixing the Classical law schools (Hanafite, Shafi’ite, Malakite, Hanbalite, Ja‘farite) are those of the most learned jurists of the era [2]. However, more than a thousand years down the history, today it does not represent the universal and non-partisan spirit, juristic rigor, vitality, discipline, depth, wisdom, rationality and Qur’an-compatibility of its early centuries. In fact in the hands of extremists, radicalized elements, Pakistanis and Talibans, is an overgrown, unmanageable juristic domain, that, as applied, represents a cancerous version of its early counterpart – and the cancer is only metastasizing as time goes by.  
    4. How the Qur’anic message has been subverted to evolve rulings contradictory to its message?
    As Islam entered new cultures and civilizations, it encountered customs and juristic norms that contradicted the Qur’anic paradigms. To accommodate them into Islam, the doctors of law declared: “Any Qur’anic verse which contradicts the opinions of ‘our masters’ will be construed as having been abrogated, or the rule of preference will be applied thereto. It is better that the verse is interpreted in such a way that it conforms to their opinion.” [3] 
    The doctors of law extrapolated this contra-Qur’anic ruling from a number of Qur’anic verses. Thus, the opening statement of the verse 3:110: “You are the best community brought forth for humanity.” Disregarding the historical context of the verse, they argued that as the leaders and guides of ‘the best of community’, they could never fall into error, even if their views conflicted with the Qur’an. The opening statement of the verse 2:143, “Thus We have made you a justly balanced community”, was cited to infer God’s special favor to Muslim community for all times. The statement, “You who believe, obey God and obey the Messenger and those among you in authority…” (4:159) was interpreted to imply the infallibility of the judgment of the one in authority on the premise that one whose obedience is commanded must be immune to error. Dialectical methods were then applied to establish the infallibility of the consensus (ijma) of the scholars – a core juristic doctrine. The theologians came up with supportive ahadith [4] and the doctors of law canonized the Hadith corpus as being indirect revelation that could legitimize their juristic notions and doctrines. Accordingly Hadith was canonized as the second source of law after the Qur’an – an ingenious juristic notion that became a fundamental doctrine of Islamic jurisprudence. This happened in the second and third centuries of Islam, when juristic and theological activities were at their peak.
    Armed with these juristic rulings and doctrines, the jurists were free to issue any legal ruling or fatwa, if barely a couple of them agreed on it, and legitimize it by supportive traditions (ahadith). The floodgate was opened and the Qur’anic message was subverted to meet the social, political and historical realities and the aspirations of the ruling elite and the vested interest of the era – a mammoth floodgate that continues to discharge an endless stream of fatwas to this very day. 
    5. The fallouts of the Islamic Sharia Law at this historical juncture.
    There can be no doubt that, among other things, i) the Classical Islamic Law entertains notions that are antithetic to the Qur’anic message as well secular notions and universal values (2 above); ii) its application in some of the Islamic countries  – Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran for example has led to oppression of women, gross human rights violations, stagnation of developmental activities and authoritarianism, frustrating the democratic aspirations and civil rights of their people, casting a long shadow over their futures; iii) its gender bias handicaps the advancement and empowerment of women in most Muslim countries; iv) its discrimination against minorities and brutal apostasy and blasphemy laws are blatantly punitive to the minorities in Muslim majority Sharia-compliant countries; v) its barbaric criminal justice, excesses, hegemony and pan-Islamic aspirations are fuelling Islamophobia; vi) its precedents of wanton terrorism, such as those left by the Kharijites [5] and Qaramites [6] are feeding radicalization and Isalmofacism; vii) its disregard, if not abhorrence of popular sports, recreational and cultural activities, and exclusivist underpinnings are conducing to alienation of Muslims from the mainstream society in the Muslim-minority countries; viii) its division of knowledge between Islamic and non-Islamic – such as still in vogue in many madrasas is hampering the spread of universal education among the Muslims and narrowing their intellectual horizons; ix) its notion of wealth purification by giving only 2.5% of liquid assets (nowhere the Qur’an puts this, or any figure) regardless of the lawfulness of means is promoting corruption, widening income disparity, and increasing the poverty levels in Muslim countries; x) its singular emphasis on rituals and cold shoulder, if not a blind eye to the social, moral and ethical tenets and intellectually stimulating paradigms of the Qur’an is reducing Islam to virtually a cult incapable of making its mark on the modern civilization; xi) its religion-centric political orientation and division of the world between Muslim and non-Muslim blocks is obsolete today when non-Muslim powers like India, America and EU help the Muslims in their liberation wars (such as in the erstwhile East Pakistan, Afghanistan, Libya) and the NATO attacks Yugoslavia to save the Albanian Muslims from extinction - let alone the rising trend of secularism across the world; and xii) it can potentially promote sectarianism in Islam by accentuating the classical mathhab based division.
    In consideration of the above listed points (that can extended), it is high time that Muslim elite, educated class and intelligentsia take full cognizance of the dichotomy between the Classical Islamic Law (Islamic Sharia Law) and the divine Sharia of Islam – the Qur’an that does not entail any of the noted fallouts and incongruities. A denial or tacit oversight of this bitter truth will only exacerbate the problems they are facing in both Muslim majority and minority countries by the application or desired implementation of the Islamic Sharia Law or the machinations of its petro-dollar showering champions and propagators.  (To be concluded)

    6.Way Forward
    The jurists of Islam can draw modern law (Sharia) based on broader social, moral, ethical paradigms of the Qur’an and its emphasis on equity, justice, wealth distribution and other liberating paradigms [1 above], but without transgressing limits. They must consider the historical context of the Qur’an, as many of its allusions like hunting animals to catch birds (5:4), traveling to the Mecca for Hajj on lean mounts (22:27), employing cavalry in battle (8:60), flogging for zina (prostitution by married women) (24:2) and exemplary amputation punishments (5:33, 5:38) accorded with the paradigms of the seventh century Arabia. The Qur’an could in no way ask its audience to engage the practices of later historical eras – let alone the 21st century world. Therefore, a 21st century Sharia (system of law) of Islam must be commensurate to its realities. The Qur’an allows a flexibility or dynamism in the notion of Sharia by complementing it with the term, ‘minhaj’, or ‘an open way’ (5:48) that allows the diverse communities at different historical locations to evolve their own Sharia “in accordance with the exigencies of the time and each community’s cultural development.” [7]
    7.The Western secular laws stand more Qur’an-compatible than the Classical Islamic Law (Islamic Sharia Law). 
    Paradoxically, except for some non-negotiable areas (gay rights and marriage, extramarital sex, unqualified freedom of speech, ultra vires legislative power of the consensual majority as well as the Head of State for example), the Western secular notions are more attuned to the Qur’anic message, that is, more Qur’an-compatible than those espoused by the Classical Islamic law. This is no window dressing or turning coat to appease the West.
    More than a hundred years ago, the Egyptian scholar, Muhammad Abduh, wrote that the 19th century advancement of Europe commenced only after “Europe began to throw off their bondage and reform their condition, reordering the affairs of their life in a manner akin to the message of Islam, though oblivious of who their real guide and leader was. So were enunciated the fundamental principles of modern civilization….” [8].
    Hasan al-Banna (1906-1949), the Egyptian scholar and Islamic activist who founded the Muslim Brotherhood extolled the merits the Western civilization as the epitome of the Qur’anic message [9]. Shaykh Rifa‘a Rafi‘ al-Tahtawi (1801-1873), a traditional Al-Azhar scholar and an admirer of Western scientific advancement said upon his return from France that he “found (in France) true Islam but no Muslims, while in Egypt, he found many Muslims but no true Islam—meaning that in his view, the civic virtues embraced by French society embodied a more true representation of Islam than the Muslim societies of his time.” [10]. Thus the Muslim countries who are aspiring to build people oriented democratic societies as in the West, may consider to take a Western model, but not like Turkey’s Kemal Ataturk (1881-1938) who had expunged the Islamic symbols (Arabic script, traditional dresses, hijab etc.) from the social and political fabric of the nation and replaced the Islamic Sharia Law of his country with Swiss and Italian based legal system. Today’s Muslim countries must not cut their intellectual moorings from Islam as it is inextricably ingrained in Muslim psyche.    
    8. Are the Western laws forbidden to Muslims as they are man-made?
    The bold statement in the concluding part of the preceding Section seemingly carries a fundamental anomaly: Western secular laws are man-made and therefore cannot be privileged over the Classical Islamic laws that are derived from the Qur’an and thus represent God’s will. But this argument is fallacious.
    From the Qur’anic perspective, all humans stand on equal footing as God’s deputy on earth and recipients of some of God’s Spirit (15:29, 32:9, 38:72), and therefore all noble woks of man have their origin in God’s Virtues, and human accomplishments in all fields including jurisprudence and governance of a state are nothing but the result of God’s Mercy and Grace upon humanity. Therefore, rejecting any so-called secular or modern institution, just because its architects are not Muslims will be as fallacious as rejecting all the good things of modern life that characterize the Western civilization just because their origin is non-Islamic. Thus, there could be no Qur’anic basis to forbid the so-called secular laws and institutions, except those of them that repudiate any of the explicit tenets of the Qur’an.
    In first century Islam, usul al fiqh (Principle of rational logic and reasoning) was the primary vehicle of jurisprudence after the Qur’an and was privileged over the Hadith [11]. This is an umbrella concept drawn from the Qur’anic vocabulary (root FQH, verse 6:65…) and embraces such notions as i) qiyas (parallelism), ii) ijma/ jama‘ah (consensus of the scholar/ community) iii) ‘urf (established custom and practice of the community), iii) islah (community good), iv) ijtihad (critical thinking or independent intellectual probe), and v) istihsan (one’s best judgment). Practically all these notions, drawn from the Qur’anic diction, are consistent with and even identical to those employed by the Western secular jurists and doctors of law in their jurisprudence, except for terminological differences. Hence, regardless of whether the Western doctors of law believe in the Qur’an or not, the laws they developed are rooted in the Qur’anic universal notions, except those that fall beyond its expressed prohibitions and permissible limits.  
    Furthermore, the application of the Qur’anic principles can enhance the civil rights of the individual that can be subverted by consensus in modern democracy. As Muhammad Abduh records, Islamic law (drawn on the Qur’anic principles), gave full right to a poor non-Muslim woman to refuse to sell her small dwelling, at any price, to the local powerful amir (governor) who wanted it in order to enlarge a mosque, and to a Jew to have Caliph Ali summoned to the court and stand with him before the judge for a legal hearing, and get a fair judgment [12]. The reverse scenario – a poor Muslim woman in a non-Muslim majority country refusing to dispose off or part with her land to meet the need or the desire of the dominant community, or to bring a charge against the Head of the State is possible only in theory.
    Thus, while there is a great deal of synergy between the paradigms of the Qur’an and the articles of Western secular laws, there are some grey areas, while the Qur’anic principles do not privilege community consensus or state authority over civil rights. On the whole, there is no Qur’anic or ontological basis to forbid the Qur’an-compatible Western secular laws to the Muslims. The Muslim jurists should therefore have no hesitation to adopt the Western laws, but eschew those statutes of the Western laws that conflict with the message of the Qur’an. They must also be ready to adjust the personal laws within the broader paradigms of the Qur’an, like combining the Qur’anic decree on leaving a will (2:180) with its inheritance laws (to adjust the inheritance ratios among the children as merited) - rather than privileging the latter over the former, extending maintenance for the divorced woman until her remarriage or demise (2:241), entitling a believing non-Muslim widow to full Islamic inheritance rights (as she is entitled to full dowry, 5:5) giving equal rights to a woman as an individual (9:71), empowering her as a full witness for business contracts (2:282 - the business world is not fraught with hazardous and male occupied any more) – if not venerating her (4:1), for example .
    Conclusion. The object of this essay is not to undermine the entire domain of the Classical Islamic Law dating from its glorious formative period. Down the centuries, it enabled the Islamic civilization to offer enormously higher standards of justice, peace and security of life and property to the common people than the other major contemporaneous civilizations. It was also the bedrock of pluralism that enabled the minority to flourish, live in harmony with the Muslims - such as in Spain, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, India, and preserve its own heritage and language - Aramic is still spoken in Damascus, the seat of the Umayyads (661-750) – the first Islamic (dynastic) Caliphate. It was by far the best system of law for almost a thousand years of human history as testified by the highest echelon of Western scholarship [13]. However, with an endless series of paradigm shifts in human civilization from the medieval era to this day, many of the Classical Islamic Law’s rulings stand in conflict with the modern secular values, creating a civilizational divide. Besides, its application by the Islamists and extremist Muslim outfits such as in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan is pushing those countries to anarchy and civil war. Most alarmingly, some of its preposterous rulings and notions that remain buried in its exhaustive discourses feed Islamophobia, Islamopathy, radicalization, Islamofascism, violent sectarianism and international terrorism, demonize Islam and its Prophet, and trivialize the entire global Muslim country in the eyes of the rest of the world. Thus, any perceptive mind would conclude that in the historical perspective, the domain of the Classical Islamic Law (Islamic Sharia Law) has run out its course. However, the Divine Sharia of Islam – the Qur’an is beyond history’s timeframe. Its compatibility with the Western secular values and pluralistic, humanistic, gender neutral, universal paradigms [1 above] crown it as the ideal alternative to the Classical Islamic Law. However, the Qur’an must be probed in a historic-critical, gender-neutral, intra-textual and universal manner while its best meaning must be sought (39:18, 39:55). [14]  
    To sum up, in a grand irony of history, the Western Islamophobic protagonists are waging a Quixotic crusade against the Islamic Sharia Law – a proxy war against an invisible enemy on behalf of those facing the real enemy. It is time that the Muslim elite and leadership put their act together to achieve a gigantic paradigm leap - from the Classical Sharia Law of Islam to a Modern Islamic Law (Sharia), accommodating Western secular values - within the broader framework of the Qur’an. Their complacence and inaction may lend strong credence to Khaled Abou El Fadl’s agonizing concern: "Is it possible that the day will come when ours will be designated a "vanished civilization." [15]
    There is, however, no suggestion to consign the domain of the Classical Islamic law into the archives. Far from it! The rich heritage of the Classical Sharia Law of Islam must be studied as a technical subject - as being currently done in some of the major universities of the world, and its principles must be applied to broaden the scope of modern law for the greater good of humanity.
    Notes: 
    7. Muhammad Assad, The Message of Islam, Chapter 5, Note 66.
    8. Extracted from John L.Esposito’s Islam in Transition, New York 1982,  p. 27.
    9. Cited by John Donohue and John Esposito, Islam in Transition, New York, 1982, p. 82.
    10. Harvard Online International Journal, Vol. 52, April 2011, Note 19.
    11. Yusuf Guraya, Origins of Islamic Jurisprudence, Delhi 1992, p. 29/30
    12. John L. Esposito, Islam in Transition, Oxford University Press, USA 1982, p. 26.
    13. The following comments by Count Leon Ostrorog made during his historical lectures in the University of London on the Angora Reform in 1927, bring across the point made by this author : “The Eastern thinkers of the ninth century laid down on the basis of their theology, the principle of the Rights of Man, in those very terms, comprehending the rights of individual liberty, and of inviolability of person and property; described the superpower in Islam, or Califate, as based on a contract, implying conditions of capacity and performance, and subject to cancellation if the conditions under the contract were not fulfilled; elaborated a Law of War, of which the humane and chivalrous prescriptions would have put to blush certain belligerents in the Great War; expounded a doctrine of toleration of non-Muslim creeds so liberal that our West had to wait a thousand years before seeing equivalent principles adopted.”  - Extracted from Outlines of Mohammedan Law, Asaf A.A. Fyzee, 5th Edition, 2005, New Delhi, p. 53/54
    14. Essential Message of Islam, Amana Publications, USA, 2009, p.xxxix/xl
    15. The Search for Beauty in Islam: A Conference of the Books, Barnes and Noble, USA 2006, p.209.
    Notes: 
    1.     1. Shibli Noumani, al-Faruq, 1898, Karachi reprint 1991, p. 191/192.]
    2.     Abu Hanifa (80 AH/699 CE -149 AH/766 CE), Malik ibn Anas (97-179 AH), Muhammad al-Shafi’i (150-205 AH), Ahmad ibn Hanbal (164-240 AH). The Shia Imam, Ja‘far al-Sadeq (83 –148 AH).
    3.     Ahmad Hussain, Doctrine of ijma in Islam, New Delhi, 1992, p.16].
    4.     i) “My community will not agree on an error. When you see a disagreement, you should follow the overwhelming majority;” ii) Follow the community (jama‘ah) of the Muslims and their leaders;” iii) Whatever the Muslims consider good is good in the eyes of God, and whatever they consider evil is evil in His eyes.”
    5.     Kharijites were a brutally fanatic sect who readily killed their opponents and “caused rivers of blood to flow in the first three centuries of Islam.” Philip K. Hitti History of the Arabs, 1937, 10th edition; London 1993, p. 247. Some of the sect members justified the killing of the children of polytheists, their own parents, and all the non-Muslims of the world. - Ghunit al-talebin, Urdu translation by Shahir Shams Barelwi, Arshad Brothers, New Delhi p.178-180.
    6.     The Qaramites. Founded by Hamdan Qarmat, a power hungry Iraqi peasant, around 860 (247 AH) (third century of Islam), the sect grew as a Bolshevik style revolutionary movement “that developed into a most malignant growth into the body of political Islam.” Qarmat’s successors “founded an independent state on the western shore of the Persian Gulf (286 AH), … from where they conducted a series of terrible raids on neighboring lands,.. laid waste most of lower al-Iraq, became the terror of the Caliphate … and kept Syria and al-Iraq drenched in blood.”
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    Muhammad Yunus, a Chemical Engineering graduate from Indian Institute of Technology, and a retired corporate executive has been engaged in an in-depth study of the Qur’an since early 90’s, focusing on its core message. He has co-authored the referred exegetic work, which received the approval of al-Azhar al-Sharif, Cairo in 2002, and following restructuring and refinement was endorsed and authenticated by Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl of UCLA, and published by Amana Publications, Maryland, USA, 2009.