Should state and religion be distinctly separate or should Islamic principals be implemented as state laws ? I would like to know the opinion of Pakistani members here. What do you think is right for Pakistan.
Should state and religion be distinctly separate or should Islamic principals be implemented as state laws ? I would like to know the opinion of Pakistani members here. What do you think is right for Pakistan.
Separation of divine commands and the state laws.
The Political Framework Of Islam
The political system of Islam is based on the three principles of towhid (Oneness of Allah), risala (Prophethood) and Khilifa (Caliphate).
Towhid means that one Allah alone is the Creator, Sustainer and Master of the universe and of all that exists in it - organic or inorganic. He alone has the right to command or forbid. Worship and obedience are due to Him alone. No aspect of life in all its multifarious forms ¾ our own organs and faculties, the apparent control which we have over physical objects or the objects themselves ¾ has been created or a acquired by us in our own right. They are the bountiful provisions of Allah and have been bestowed on us by Him alone.
Hence, it is not for us to decide the aim and purpose of our existence or to set the limits of our worldly authority; nor does anyone else have the right to make these decisions for us. This right rests only with Allah. This principle of the Oneness of Allah makes meaningless the concept of the legal and political sovereignty of human beings. No individual, family, class or race can set themselves above Allah. Allah alone is the Ruler and His commandments constitute the law of Islam.
Risala is the medium through which we receive the law of Allah. We have received two things from this source: the Qur’an, the book in which Allah has expounded His law, and the authoritative interpretation and exemplification of that Book by the Prophet Muhammad (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him), through word and deed, in his capacity as the representative of Allah. The Qur’an laid down the broad principles on which human life should be based and the Prophet of Allah, in accordance with these principles, established a model system of Islamic life. The combination of these two elements is called the shari’a (law).
Khilifa means "representation". Man, according to Islam, is the representative of Allah on earth, His vice-gerent; that is to say, by virtue of the powers delegated to him by Allah, and within the limits prescribed, he is required to exercise Divine authority.
To illustrate what this means, let us take the case of an estate of yours which someone else has been appointed to administer on your behalf. Four conditions invariably obtain: First, the real ownership of the estate remains vested in you and not in the administrator; secondly, he administers your property directly in accordance with your instructions; thirdly, he exercises is authority within the limits prescribed by you; and fourthly, in the administration of the trust he executes your will and fulfils your intentions and not his own. Any representative who does not fulfil these four conditions will be abusing his authority and breaking the covenant which was implied in the concept of "representation".
This is exactly what Islam means when it affirms that man is the representative (khalifa) of Allah on earth. Hence, these four conditions are also involved in the concept of Khalifa. The state that is established in accordance with this political theory will in fact be a caliphate under the sovereignty of Allah.
Democracy In Islam
The above explanation of the term Khilafa also makes it clear that no individual or dynasty or class can be Khalifa: the authority of Khilafa is bestowed on the whole of any community which is ready to fulfil the conditions of representation after subscribing to the principles of towhid and Risala. Such a society carries the responsibility of the Khilafa as a whole and each one of its individuals shares in it.
This is the point where democracy begins in Islam. Every individual in an Islamic society enjoys the rights and powers of the caliphate of Allah and in this respect all individuals are equal. No-one may deprive anyone else of his rights and powers. The agency for running the affairs of the state will be formed by agreement with these individuals, and the authority of the state will only be an extension of the powers of the individuals delegated to it. Their opinion will be decisive in the formation of the government, which will be run with their advice and in accordance with their wishes.
Whoever gains their confidence will undertake the duties and obligations of the caliphate on their behalf; and when he loses this confidence he will have to step down. In this respect the political system of Islam is as perfect a dorm of democracy as there can be.
What distinguishes Islamic democracy from Western democracy, therefor, is that the latter is based on the concept of popular sovereignty, while the former rests on the principle of popular Khilafa. In Western democracy, the people are sovereign; in Islam sovereignty is vested in Allah and the people are His caliphs or representatives. In the former the people make their own; in the latter they have to follow and obey the laws (shari’a) given by Allah through His Prophet. In one the government undertakes to fulfil the will of the people; in the other the government and the people have to fulfil the will of Allah.
The Purpose Of The Islamic State
We are now in a position to examine more closely the type of state which is built on the foundations of tawhid, Risala and Khilafa.
The Holy Qur’an clearly states that the aim and purpose of this state is the establishment, maintenance and development of those virtues which the Creator wishes human life to be enriched by and the prevention and eradication of those evils in human life which He finds abhorrent. The Islamic state is intended neither solely as an instrument of political administration nor for the fulfillment of the collective will of any particular set of people; rather, Islam places a high ideal before the state for the achievement of which it must use all the means at its disposal.
This ideal is that the qualities of purity, beauty, goodness, virtue, success and prosperity which Allah wants to flourish in the life of His people should be engendered and developed and that all kinds of exploitation, injustice and disorder which, in the sight of Allah, are ruinous for the world and detrimental to the life of His creatures, should be suppressed and prevented. Islam gives us a clear outline of its moral system by stating positively the desired virtues and the undesired evils. Keeping this outline in view, the Islamic state can plan its welfare programme in every age and in any environment.
The constant demand made by Islam is that the principles of morality must be observed at all costs and in all walks of life. Hence, it lays down as an unalterable policy that the state should base its policies on justice, truth and honesty. It is not prepared, under any circumstances, to tolerate fraud, falsehood and injustice for the sake of political, administrative or national expediency. Whether it be relations between the rulers and the ruled within the state, or the relations of the state with other states, precedence must always be given to truth, honesty and justice.
Islam imposes similar obligations on the state and the individual: to fulfil all contracts and obligations; to have uniform standards in dealings; to remember obligations along with rights and not to forget the rights of others when expecting them to fulfil their obligations; to use power and authority for the establishment of justice and not for the perpetration of injustice; to look upon duty as a sacred obligation and to fulfil it scrupulously; and to regard power as a trust from Allah to be used in the belief that one has to render an account of one's actions to Him in the life Hereafter.
Although an Islamic state may be set up anywhere on earth, Islam does not seek to restrict human rights or privileges to the boundaries of such a state. Islam has laid down universal fundamental rights for humanity which are to be observed and respected in all circumstances. For example, human blood is sacred and may not be spilled without strong justification; it is not permissible to oppress women, children, old people, the sick or the wounded; women's honour and chastity must be respected; the hungry must be fed, the naked clothed and the wounded or diseased treated medically irrespective of whether they belong to the Islamic community or are from amongst its enemies. These, and other provisions have been laid down by Islam as fundamental rights for every man by virtue of his status as a human being.
Nor, in Islam, are the rights of citizenship confined to people born in a particular state. A Muslim ipso facto becomes the citizen of an Islamic state as soon as he sets food on its territory with the intention of living there and thus enjoys equal rights along with those who acquire its citizenship by birth. And every Muslim is to be regarded as eligible for positions of the highest responsibility in an Islamic state without distinction of race, colour or class.
Islam has also laid down certain rights for non-Muslims who may be living within the boundaries of an Islamic state and these rights necessarily form part of the Islamic constitution. In Islamic terminology, such non-Muslims are called dhimmis (the covenanted), implying that the Islamic state has entered into a covenant with them and guaranteed their protection. The life, property and honour of a dhimmis is to be respected and protected in exactly the same way as that of a Muslim citizen. Nor is there difference between a Muslim and a non-Muslim citizen in respect of civil or criminal law.
The Islamic state may not interfere with the personal rights of non-Muslims, who have full freedom of conscience and belief and are at liberty to perform their religious rites and ceremonies in their own way. Not only may they propagate their religion, they are even entitled to criticize Islam within the limits laid down by law and decency.
These rights are irrevocable. Non-Muslims cannot be deprived of them unless they renounce the covenant which grants them citizenship. However much a non-Muslim state may oppress its Muslim citizens it is not permissible for an Islamic state to retaliate against its non-Muslim subjects; even if all the Muslims outside the boundaries of an Islamic state are massacred, that state may not unjustly shed the blood of a single non-Muslim citizen living within its boundaries.
Executive And Legislature
The responsibility for the administration of the government in an Islamic state is entrusted to an amir (leader) who may be compared to the president or the prime minister in a Western democratic state. All adult men and women who subscribe to the fundamentals of the constitution are entitled to vote for the election of the amir.
The basic qualifications for an amir are that he should command the confidence of the majority in respect of his knowledge and grasp of the spirit of Islam, that he should possess the Islamic quality of fear of Allah and that he should be endowed with qualities of statesmanship. In short, he should have both virtue and ability.
A shoora(advisory council) is also elected by the people to assist and guide the amir. It is incumbent on the amir to administer his country with the advice of this shooraThe amir may retain office only so long as he enjoys the confidence of the people and must relinquish it when he loses that confidence. Every citizen has the right to criticize the amir and his government and all reasonable means for the ventilation of public opinion must be available.
Legislation in an Islamic state is to be carried out within the limits prescribed by the law of the shari’a. The injunctions of Allah and His Prophet are to be accepted and obeyed and no legislative body may alter or modify them or make any law contrary to them. Those commandments which are liable to two or more interpretations are referred to a sub-committee of the advisory council comprising men learned in Islamic law. Great scope remains for legislation on questions not covered by specific injunctions of the shari’a and the advisory council or legislature is free to legislate in regard to these matters.
In Islam the judiciary is not places under the control of the executive. It derives its authority directly from the shari’a and is answerable to Allah. The judges are appointed by the government but once a judge occupies the bench he has to administer justice impartially according to the law of Allah; the organs and functionaries of the government are not outside his legal jurisdiction, so that even the highest executive authority of the government is liable to be called upon to appear in a court of law as a plaintiff or defendant. Rulers and ruled are subject to the same law and there can be no discrimination on the basis of position, power or privilege, Islam stands for equality and scrupulously adheres to this principle in social, economic and political realms alike.
Understanding Politics in Islam - Fiqh al Siyasah
1. What is the aim of politics in Islam?
According to Al-Mawardi from his book Al-Ahkam Al-Sultaniyyah, it is hirasatud din wa siasatud dunya - to uphold the religion and administer the world. Politics is not munkar - is not a depravity - real politics is noble virtuous because it administers the affairs of all creatures, bringing man closer to good and away from fasad - evil. According to Ibn al-Qayyim, politics is really the justice of Allah the Almighty and His Prophet (peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him).
The Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. was a politician as well as the messenger conveying the risalah, murabbi - teacher, Qadi - Chief Justice, Head of the nation and Imam of the ummah. The Khulafa' al Rasyidun - the rightly guided leaders who succeeded him were also politicians following the Sunnah - way of the Prophet, establishing just administration, practising ihsan - the betterment of good and providing the leadership of 'ilm - knowledge and Iman - belief.
However in the present time, due to 'politics' man faced suffering as a result of deceit and political ploys and scheming and devious politicians, whether in the form of past colonialists, treacherous rulers, tyrannical leaders and regimes preaching Machiavellian philosophy (the ends justifies the means!).
It became common to label and describe committed Muslims as 'political' so that they are regarded warily and wickedly for the purpose of disassociating and furthering apart the people from them, intending that society will shun and hate what is called 'political Islam'. It has been such that symbols of Islam like the headscarf, the proper attire and congregational prayers - Salat jama'ah are attempted to be labelled 'political'.
It is a blatant lie for those who say that there is no religion in politics and that there is no politics in religion. This deceit was once tried in the form of an attempted fatwa - a decree while the members of the Ikhwan al-Muslimun were imprisoned in the detention camps in Egypt in the 50's. The regime wanted to influence the masses to regard the activists and the Dai' (the very people who wanted to uphold the Syari'ah, Al-Qur'an and Al-Sunnah) as the purveyors of fasad - evil by using corrupted 'ulama - paid scholars.
2. The Fight against Fasad and Zulm (Evil, Transgression and Tyranny) is the utmost in Jihad
From the understanding of the Prophet's tradition (mafhum hadith):
Munkar (transgression) is not limited to khamr - liqour, gambling and zina - - unlawful sex but degrading and defiling the honour and dignity of the people and citizens is a major transgression, so is cheating in the elections, refusing to give testimony - neglecting to vote, letting government be in the hands of those who are not deserving and undesired, stealing and squandering the nation's wealth and property, monopolising the people's needs for personal gains or cronies' interests, detaining people without crime or just cause, without judgement from a fair court, torturing human beings in prison and the detention camps, giving, accepting and mediating in bribes, cowering up to, praising evil rulers, allowing the enemies of Allah and the enemies of the Muslim community to be leaders and shunning the believers - the mu'min.
These are all grave transgressions!
When a Muslim remains quiet upon seeing all of these it means that he or she does not deserve to live (is not alive) from the mafhum of al-ayat and al-hadith.
Islam requires that every Muslim has political responsibility. A Muslim is required by his Iman - faith to be truly concerned with the affairs and problems of the ummah - community, helping and defending the meek and the weak, fighting tyranny and oppression. By retreating and abstaining oneself, it will only invite divine retribution and being seized by the flames of hell (mafhum ayat).
Ababeel unfortunately laws are not limited to this 1 page article. Laws of life pertain to so many things and religion as all things is debatable so is Islam.
There is no solid definition of what Islam is except for the Quran. The Quran itself has been interpreted throughout history in wrong ways and many times ignored. This fictional interpretation has many times entered into the definition of Islam.
So how would we know what parts of Islam to implement and what parts not to? Can we truly implement Islamic rule without a clear knowledge of what Islam is? Will we ever have consensus about what Islam is?
So if you are a lawmaker of the country and you choose to follow Islam and ban let's say Music according to most interpretation of Islam, I might disagree with you and say that Music is not Haraam in Islam. Whose Islam is right? Whose laws are right?
If I should then follow your version of Islamic laws am I to be subjected to defy my religion, my version of Islamic laws?
Then what about a Christian missionary that converts a Pakistani Muslim towards Christianity? He or she follows the duty of her religion, but you could be a lawmaker that condemns it punishable by death? I could be a lawmaker that reads from Surah Bakara and declare it the opposite stating "There is no compulsion in Islam".
You get my drift? Islam CAN be the numero-uno way of life, but the way I see it isn't the way most other Muslims see it. According to me they are wrong, according to them I am wrong. But disagreements are abound. One of us is right and one of us is wrong, for sure.
How do we know Islamic rule that we implement would be the right one, or the wrong one?
That's why I want man-made laws that conform towards being right for humanity and I know they won't oppose Islamic laws since Islam is right for humanity as well.
The Qur'an is the principal source of Islamic law, the Sharia. It contains the rules by which the Muslim world is governed (or should govern itself) and forms the basis for relations between man and God, between individuals, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, as well as between man and things which are part of creation. The Sharia contains the rules by which a Muslim society is organized and governed, and it provides the means to resolve conflicts among individuals and between the individual and the state.
There is no dispute among Muslims that the Qur'an is the basis of the Sharia and that its specific provisions are to be scrupulously observed. The Hadith and Sunna are complementary sources to the Qur'an and consist of the sayings of the Prophet and accounts of his deeds. The Sunna helps to explain the Qur'an, but it may not be interpreted or applied in any way which is inconsistent with the Qur'an.
Though there are other sources of law—i.e., ijma', (consensus), qiyas, (analogy), ijtihad, (progressive reasoning by analogy)—the Qur'an is the first and foremost source, followed by the Hadith and Sunna. Other sources of law and rules of interpretation of the Qur'an and the Hadith and Sunna follow in accordance with a generally accepted jurisprudential scheme.
And nor shall we be punishing until we had sent them an Apostle.
The Qur'an contains a variety of law-making provisions and legal proscriptions interspersed throughout its chapters (suwar) and verses (ayat). A number of rules exist for interpreting these provisions, such as the position of a given ayah within the context of the surah, which in turn is interpreted in accordance with its place in the sequence of revelations, its reference to other revelations, and its historical context in relation to particular conditions which existed at the time of the given revelation. These and other rules are known as the science of interpretation (ilm usul aI-fiqh). According to these rules, for example, one initially is to refer to a specific provision and then to a general provision dealing with a particular situation. No general provision can be interpreted to contradict a specific provision, and a specific rule will supersede a general proposition. A general provision, however, is always interpreted in the broadest manner, while a specific provision is interpreted in the narrowest manner. Reasoning by analogy is permitted, as are applications by analogy, except where expressly prohibited. Simplicity and clear language are always preferred. Similarly, the clear spirit of certain prescriptions cannot be altered by inconsistent interpretations. A policy-oriented interpretation within the confines of the rules of jurisprudence is permissible and even recommended, as is the case with the doctrine of ijtihad (progressive reasoning by analogy).
"Avoid condemning the Muslim to Hudud whenever you can, and when you can find a way out for the Muslim then release him for it. If the Imam errs it is better that he errs in favor of innocence (pardon) than in favor of guilt (punishment)."
The Prophet's Hadith
"Were people to be given in accordance with their claim, men would claim the fortunes and lives of (other) people, but the onus of proof is on the claimant and the taking of an oath is incumbent upon him who denies."
The Prophet's Hadith
Muslim scholars do not consider Islam to be an evolving religion, but rather a religion and legal system which applies to all times. It is, therefore, the application that is susceptible to evolution. Indeed, the provisions of the Qur'an are such that by their disciplined interpretation, with the aid of the Hadith and Sunna and other sources of interpretation, Islam can, as intended, provide the solution to contemporary social problems.
Fourteen centuries ago Islam was a spiritual, social, and legal revolution. Its potential for effecting progress remains unchanged. This is essentially the belief of enlightened fundamentalist Muslims. Islamic fundamentalism is not, therefore, a regressive view of history and contemporary reality. Islam at the height of its civilization, between the seventh and eleventh centuries, was neither repressive nor regressive. It was a progressive, humanistic, and legalistic force for reform and justice.
Lo! Allah commandeth you that ye restore deposits to their owners, and , if ye judge between mankind, that ye judge justly. Lo! comely is this which Allah admonisheth you. Lo! Allah is ever Hearer, Seer.
islamic law was not only for first muslims ,it is for all times untill world exist
Go back to the Quran you say? Well yes, then there first needs to exist a uniform Islam that needs to be DEFINED (the interpretations need to be defined, with room for further Ijtihad) first. There has to be ONE Islam for it to be applied as a one law system.
It is in theory, but can we just switch a button and apply it here with so many divisions? Yes the time when we get uniformity in the definition of Islam then we can always implement it.islamic law was not only for first muslims ,it is for all times untill world exist
Does it mean it is applicable to Bush also?islamic law was not only for first muslims ,it is for all times untill world exist
We better not apply it because he has the power to ensure that the world does not exist and he has matching desire to ensure so!
مسلماں ہے توحيد ميں گرم جوش
مگر دل ابھي تک ہے زنار پوش
تمدن، تصوف، شريعت، کلام
بتان عجم کے پجاري تمام!
حقيقت خرافات ميں کھو گئي
يہ امت روايات ميں کھو گئي
لبھاتا ہے دل کو کلام خطيب
مگر لذت شوق سے بے نصيب!
بياں اس کا منطق سے سلجھا ہوا
لغت کے بکھيڑوں ميں الجھا ہوا
وہ صوفي کہ تھا خدمت حق ميں مرد
محبت ميں يکتا ، حميت ميں فرد
عجم کے خيالات ميں کھو گيا
يہ سالک مقامات ميں کھو گيا
بجھي عشق کي آگ ، اندھير ہے
The Muslim says that God is One
But his heart is Still a heathen:
Culture, sufism, rites and rthetoric,
All adore non- Arab idols;
The truth was lost in trifles,
And the nation was lost in conventions.
The speaker’s rhetoric is enchanting,
But is devoid of passion;
It is clothed in logic neat,
But lost in a maze of words;
The sufi, unique in the love of truth,
Unique in the love of God,
Was lost in un-Islamic thought;
Was lost in the hierarchic quest;
The fire of love is extinguished,
And a Muslim is a heap of ashes,
-- Allama Iqbal.
Moral? Just by passion alone we are not going to become champions of Islam. Our laws have to make sense. In today's world one person's Islam doesn't make sense to another person's belief hence its implementation would always remain like a half-baked cake.
[QUOTE=Asim Aquil;93661]85% muslims have no big differance in interpretation of qu,ran and sunnah so it is not a matterRight but the Quran is interpreted in so many ways by every other group of Muslims. What then? He who sets the laws may not follow another Muslim's beliefs.
Go back to the Quran you say? Well yes, then there first needs to exist a uniform Islam that needs to be DEFINED (the interpretations need to be defined, with room for further Ijtihad) first. There has to be ONE Islam for it to be applied as a one law system.
The Relevance of Islam Today
By studying the history of humanity, it is evident that any nation builds its material achievements upon a specific intellectual foundation. This foundation sustains and advances the nation's material achievements, even in the face of severe problems or crises. On the other hand, if a nation lacked an intellectual foundation, its achievements would wither away and it would be unable to recover from any setbacks that confront it. It would lose its momentum altogether and cease to exist as a civilization. This intellectual foundation is of the utmost significance, as it serves as the basis for any civilization and provides a nation with its point of view about life, goals, methodology, and a reference for problems and issues that emerge in the course of a society. When the intellectual foundation is adopted and implemented, it engenders creativity and an effective way of thinking.
The Muslim Ummah has a lengthy and rich history with the Islamic 'Aqeedah as its intellectual foundation. Today, the Muslim Ummah is living in decline, whether in the area of economics, politics, social order, government, morals, etc. It becomes important to scrutinize this set of conditions carefully so as not to mistakenly attribute these aspects as the reason for the decline. Since, this may cause us to direct our efforts away from the correct solution by addressing the symptoms rather than the root problem.
This apparent state of decline did not occur in a sudden manner or due to minor problems. The Ummah abandoned Islam as its reference and intellectual basis. We began viewing Islam as a set of rituals and a historical heritage, with no relevance to life. This was a result of many factors that accumulated over many centuries. Some of which are:
1. Neglect in the Arabic language.
2. Muslims being infuenced by alien philosophies such as Greek, Hindu, and Persian. (Some Muslims in the past were influenced by such philosophies and established groups such as Al Mu'tazilah).
3. The intellectual invasion headed by missionaries in the 17th century.
4. The political invasions during the 19th century.
5. The current educational curricula in the Muslim world.
In the 4th century, the doors of Ijtihad were closed, resulting in a devastating impact upon the Muslim Ummah, especially in the long term. Closing the doors of Ijtihad stripped the Ummah from its ability to extract rules to solve newly emerging problems. The accumulation of unsolved problems resulted in the weakness in implementing Islam and caused Muslims to start doubting Islam's ability to solve contemporary problems, especially after the industrial revolution that occurred in the West. By the beginning of this century, many attempts were made or proposed to change the situation of the Muslim Ummah. These efforts focused on addressing the symptoms or resorting to other ideologies and ideas. One such effort was to make Islam relevant by viewing the Islamic Fiqh as changeable and adaptable to the changing society. This distorted understanding has led some to view dynamism of Fiqh from this perspective. So, what needs to be addressed are the mechanisms in Islam which enable it to be relevant and applicable until the Day of Judgment.
Islam And Its Relevance
Islam is relevant in the coming of the 21st century in the same manner it was in the 7th century. Human beings can form a system for life. However, such endeavors will never be free of errors, inconsistencies, and will lack relevancy for all peoples at all times. The manmade system would be able to address specific problems in time, place, and for specific people under certain conditions. However, it will never be able to solve all the problems for all humanity at all times under every condition. All of this is due to the nature of human beings who are limited in their abilities, being influenced by their own needs and surroundings. A system revealed from the Creator surpasses all of these limitations. Allah (swt) states:
“Know you not that it is Allah to whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth? And besides Allah you have neither any Wali nor any helper.” (TMQ 21:107)
“And We have not sent you (Mohammed) except as a giver of glad tidings and a warner to all mankind, but most men know not.” (TMQ 34:28)
“And (remember) the Day when we shall raise up from every nation a witness against them from amongst themselves. And we shall bring you (o Mohammed) as a witness against these. And We have sent down to you the Book as an exposition of everything, a guidance, a mercy, and glad tidings for those who have submitted themselves.” (TMQ 16:89)
How is Islam Relevant
1. Islam is relevant, since it addresses Man as a human being with his inherent needs and wants. It addresses Man's problem as they relate to him as a being with a specific nature. Islam viewed Man from a holistic perspective and addressed the needs of Man as the basis for its solution. While capitalism did not view Man from a holistic perspective. It concentrated on certain aspects of Man's needs while neglecting his other needs. For instance, in capitalism any commodity or service is considered beneficial and has to be produced as long as it satisfies a need for an individual in the society, e.g. wine, drugs, prostitution. Capitalism views the producer or provider of such services as the one who contributes towards solving the economic problem. The problem is addressed by increasing production and subsequently closing the gap between supply and demand. Increasing production to meet demand overlooks the impact of producing the material or providing certain services for society. While, in Islam certain commodities and services have no value because of their negative effect on the society.
Additionally, the tool through which Capitalism guarantees the acquisition of products or services is through money. So, whoever does not possess the price of something would be deprived of it. In Islam, the well being of the individual and society at large is considered and thus one would acquire things needed either through the mechanism of price or through other mechanisms, such as Zakah or through the State's treasury.
2. Islam prescribed or specified a system for all aspects of life while leaving the technical and scientific aspects to Man. Islam left Man to pursue the most efficient technique available. One such example of this is the incident when the Prophet (saaw) in the battle of Badr chose a location for the Muslim army to encamp. One of the Sahabah asked the Prophet (saaw), "Is this the location that Allah has ordered you to choose or is it a tactical decision?" When the Prophet (saaw) said that it is a tactical decision, the Sahabi directed the Prophet (saaw)'s attention towards a more strategic location. In another example, the people inquired from the Prophet (saaw) on the method of pollinating date trees. So he (saaw) told the people to leave it up to the wind. When this method did not work and people complained to the Prophet (saaw) about it, the Prophet (saaw) replied that you know better in your daily affairs (referring to the know hows of life). On the same token, Islam encouraged us to cultivate agricultural land but left it up to Man to use the most efficient techniques available in cultivating and enhancing the quality of vegetation and fruits.
3. The nature of the text of both Qur'an and Sunnah possess the following characteristics that give them relevancy:
a) The text is viewed as a legal text, enabling the Mujtahid to derive rules for other issues not mentioned in the text based upon a valid methodology. If the text was viewed in the way the church viewed the bible (as a holy text), the scope of the text would be literal. As an example in (65:6), Allah says:
"...then if they give suck to the children for you, give them their due payment..." [ 65: 6]
The ayah mentions that monetary compensation should be paid for breastfeeding. However, from the text the following rules or principles can be derived:
Compensation is extended to any hired employee. Also, the wage has to be defined in the contract and employees should receive their wage without any delay upon fulfilling contractual obligations.
b) The text sometimes comes in the form of general guidelines while at other times provides details. As an example in (4:29), Allah (swt) says:
“O you who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves unjustly except it be as trade amongst you, by mutual consent...”
The ayah specifies that any form of trade should be conducted upon mutual agreement. So the ayah left the type of trade unrestricted. There are certain transactions excluded from the unrestricted description of trade even if it is done with mutual agreements such as transactions involving Riba.
Even the ayahs addressing some issues in detail such as inheritance leave room ijtihad.
c) The text in many cases provides an Illah (legal reason) enabling the Mujtahid to extract rules for others cases sharing the same Illah. As an example in (62:9), Allah says:
“O you who believe, when the call is proclaimed for the prayer on Friday, come to the remembrance of Allah and leave trade. That is better for you if you did but know.”
The ayah prohibits trading when the adhan is proclaimed. Since the illah is the distraction from prayers, then any activity preventing one from the jumu'ah prayer is forbidden. It is important to note that there are specific guidelines for recognizing the illah mentioned in the text explicitly or implicitly.
d) The text in some cases could be general while in others particular. Allah says in (5:38):
“Cut off the hand of the thief, male or female, as a recompense for that which they committed. A punishment by way of example, from Allah. And Allah is All Powerful, All Wise.”
This ayah was revealed in response to a specific incident. But is general to be applicable upon all incidents of theft.
e) The text in some cases would include specific phrases, making the text relevant for all times. Allah say in (16:8):
“And (He has created) horses, mules, and donkeys, for you to ride as an adornment. And He creates things of which you have no knowledge.”
Although the ayah listed some animal as being halal to use as a means for transportation and as objects for adornment, the meaning of the ayah includes any means of transportation that could be developed which is taken from the last part of the ayah.
The Role of Ijtihad
The above mentioned points gave Islam the potential and capacity to address and solve any problem at all times. Through Ijtihad, the Mujtahid is able relate the text to the issue at hand. Ijtihad is defined as exerting one's utmost effort to extract rules from its legislative sources. From this definition, it is clear that the scholars would be able to extract rules for new problems. The process of Ijtihad is defined by specific rules, some of which are:
The Mujtahid has to restrict his references to the legislative sources (Qur'an, Sunnah, Ijma' as Sahabah, Qiyas) and cannot practice ijtihad without defining legislative sources.
The process itself must adhere to a specific methodology.
The Mujtahid has to acquire specific knowledge that enables him to understand the text. For example, a good command of the Arabic language, Hadeeth, Tafseer, etc.
The Mujtahid has to understand the issue for which the applicable rule is being sought.
These requirements are needed for Ijtihad because the purpose of Ijtihad is to understand the issue and apply the Hukm Shar'ii. If this process is misunderstood, the Mujtahid may mix his personal opinion with the Hukm Shar'ii. This effort would not be the product of Hukm Shar'ii, but rather manmade law.
Therefore, Ijtihad is defined as the mechanism by which the Hukm Shar'ii is reached at and is not a source. From this understanding, the meaning of ijtihad and its crucial role becomes clear. The closing of the door of ijtihad contributed significantly to the decline that happened in the Muslim Ummah. Thus, the door of ijtihad has to be reopened as part of the effort to revive the Ummah.
Misconceptions About the Relevance of Islam
Some Muslims would agree that Islam is relevant and it is not expected from any Muslim to doubt this fact. However, the relevance of Islam is distorted due to the following:
1. Viewing the Shariah and Fiqh as separate. The difference is that the Shariah is founded upon revelation whereas the Fiqh is a product of juristic interpretation and is considered as an "independent opinion." They establish the difference between Shariah and Fiqh based upon their definition of Fiqh which according to them is the knowledge of the practical rules of Shariah. While Shariah to them is a collection of revealed rules and principles. Therefore, Fiqh evolves and enables the Shariah to be relevant in the light of the changing conditions of society through Ijtihad.
2. Some view Fiqh as encompassing two aspects:
a) Aspects related to the 'Ibadah (rites and rituals of worship) whereby a person received reward or punishment. All of this is based upon the text.
b) Aspects related to the Mu'amalat (transactions) and other aspects based upon independent opinion.
Therefore, Fiqh can be changed as long as it is not related to the Ibadah. Since the objective of Fiqh is to adapt the Shariah to fit the social change.
3. Dr. Abdul Majid Al Najjar in his book Fiqh ul Taqayun claimed that the Ahkam Shariah is abstract and a set of ideal rules and that the role of the Mujtahid is to make these rules relevant to reality. In this process, the Mujtahid would bridge the idealism of the text and the reality of the problem, thus reconciling the two. Since, the issue changes from place to place, every society or environment should have its own Fiqh applicable to the issue.
4. Some claim that the Shariah is relevant by its adaptability for gradual implementation. As an example, Islam can be implemented in a piecemeal fashion. Mohammed Ghazali in his book, Kayfa Na Ta'amalu ma'al Quran, went as far as to say that the punishment for drinking alcohol is irrelevant and should not be the concern, especially in the case of introducing Islam to the French, who are compulsive drinkers.
All of these claims are supported based on following arguments:
1. Some rules of the Qur'an and Sunnah were suspended or replaced by the Sahabah because they no longer secured the benefit and the objective for which they were initially revealed.
2. The Sahabah were not bound by an elaborate methodology in Usul ul Fiqh. They took their lead directly from Qur'an and Sunnah. They exhibited liberalism and latitude in their interpretation of the Shariah.
3. The Shariah specifies details for the 'ibadah. As for the mu'amalat (temporal matters), it is mainly concerned with the exposition of basic objectives and general principles which are open to rational inquiry and often provide a starting point for further development. This understanding is used as an evidence for the adaptation and changing of Fiqh to the environment.
4. The historical emergence of Ahl ul Hadith and Ahl ul Ra'ee are used as evidences. It is claimed that Ahl ul Ra'ee were inclined to be more liberal in the use of rational and personal opinion in their development of Fiqh.
5. 'Usul ul Fiqh was developed after the Sahabah and each school introduced a new legislative source or doctrine. All of this was designed to relate the Shariah to social reality and to serve as an instrument for its adaptation to the society. They point out the following historical development of Fiqh:
The Tabi'een carried on the existing legacy of the Sahabah and took it to another level, which led to Ijma'.
Ahl ul Ra'ee developed Qiyas when they failed to find a text addressing an issue.
The Hanafiah developed Istihsan to overcome the rigidities and irregularities of Qiyas.
6. The claim that the legislation in the Qur'an comes in two varieties: definitive and speculative. Although the Qur'an is definitive in its report and authenticity. Most of the Hadith reached us through Khabr Ahad which is speculative in authenticity and transmission. Furthermore, most of the Quran is speculative in its meaning. Therefore the Shariah remains open to interpretation and reconstruction.
7. The Maslaha is used as a Shar'ii source to prove the relevance of Islam through its adaptation to reality and reconstruction. Maslaha is determined by the 'Aql and anything which has more benefit than harm based on the 'Aql is considered Islamically legitimate. Imam Shatibi is misquoted as this being his opinion.
Refuting the above mentioned claims:
1. The human being in his rational capacity is limited and is incapable of providing a system that will solve the problems of humanity. Rather, man's endeavor will always be subject to failure, prejudice, inconsistency, and contradictions. Our Creator, Allah (swt) is the sovereign. This must be kept in mind when we discuss issues related to legislation and way of life.
2. Islam is built upon an intellectual basis and gave the mind a great role. However, this role is well defined and is not absolute. When it comes to the discussion of the creation of the universe and the need for Prophethood, it should be based upon rational proof and not on blind faith. However, once the individual believes in the Qur'an and Sunnah, the wahiy then becomes the reference and consequently it redefines the role of the 'Aql. The 'Aql then, has a role in two areas:
A. The domain of Wahiy in which the 'Aql is a tool to understand the text and to undertand the reality. The Aql has no role whatsoever to pass judgment upon the text.
B. The second domain for the 'Aql is the area of science and technology. It must be understood though that this role is given to the 'Aql by Wahiy. Human beings do not acquire this role independent of revelation. The Qur'an and Sunnah are replete with evidences that prove this point:
“It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter, that they should have any opinion in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in a plain error.” (TMQ 33:36)
“You do not worship besides Him but only names which you have named (forged), you and your fathers, for which Allah has sent down no authority. The command is for none but Allah. He has commanded that you worship none but Him. That is the straight religion, but most men know not.” (TMQ 12:40)
“Verily, those who believe and do righteous good deeds, and humble themselves before their Lord, they will be the dwellers of Paradise to dwell therein forever.” (TMQ 11:123)
3. The Prophet delivered the Message of Islam. The Qur'an was revealed in Arabic and people understood the Message because they had full command of the Arabic language which is a prerequisite for understanding the Qur'anic text. The Sahabah were pioneers whom Allah (swt) described as:
The first to embrace Islam of the Muhajirun and the Ansar and also those who followed them exactly. Allah is well pleased with them as they are well pleased with Him. He has prepared for them Gardens under which rivers flow to dwell therein forever. This is the supreme success. (9:100)
“...(and there is also a share in this booty) for the poor emigrants who were expelled from their homes and their property, seeking the bounty from Allah and to please Him.” (TMQ 59:8-9)
“Indeed, Allah was pleased with the believers when they gave their Bay'ah to you under the tree, He knew what was in their hearts, and He sent down calmness and tranquillity upon them, and He rewarded them with a near victory.” (TMQ 48:18)
The Sahabah are the people who lived with the Prophet (saaw) day and night. They are the generation that compiled the Qur'an, memorized it, preserved it, and carried it to us.
“Verily It is We Who have sent down the Dhikr and surely, We will guard it.” (TMQ 15:9)
This ayah testifies that what they carried to us is exactly what Allah preserved and testifies that their consensus is the truth.
The legacy of the Sahabah was not created by the Tabi'een as some groups claim. The Sahabah had full command of the Arabic language and they understood the text in a natural way without the need to put down their methodology for us in writing. Therefore, labeling them as liberals is totally absurd. It is completely false to claim that the Sahabah departed from the text or even suspended the text when it no longer secured their interests or benefits. In fact, this claim is a grave accusation against the Sahabah and the texts. 'Umar did not suspend the text, neither in the examples which are quite often repeated by some scholars from the Sunnah or Sh'iah. In all examples, it is mentioned that there is a text or the whole incident is false. As an example, the claim that 'Umar suspended the share for the Muahalftu kulbuhum (person of importance whose cooperation was important) and the cutting of the hand of the thief, Shaykh Mohammed Abu Zaharah studying the text showed that 'Umar's action was in line with the text.
In the case of Muahalftu kulbuhum, the ayah mentions the illah and 'Umar understood the illah not existing anymore, and thus the rule would not apply. In the second example, 'Umar did not cut the hand of the thief based on the Hadith of the Rasul (saaw) of not applying the hudud when in doubt (Tirmidhi). 'Umar, in this case found a reasonable doubt not to cut the hand in that situation. Furthermore, who is Umar to prohibit something which Allah allowed ? Would the Sahabah accept this from him knowing that a woman objected to his placing of a limit on dowry control? The fallacy of these arguements is as abvious as the fallacy of the accusation made by the Shi'a that Umar prohibited Muta' (marriage limited in time) marriage. Rather, Muta'h was prohibited by the Prophet (saaw)
4. As mentioned before, the Sahabah did not have any need to lay down Usul ul fiqh. This is the same reason why they did not have the need to lay down the rules of Arabic grammar. Both were known by them in a natural way. When we refer to the great scholars of Arabic language, such as Al Asma'ii, we never refer to them as the ones who established the rules of Arabic grammar. Rather, they are the ones who compiled the rules, just as others compiled Usul ul Fiqh. Usul ul Fiqh was practiced in a natural way. Later, the scholars began compiling its already existing rules. Furthermore, any elementary student of Usul ul Fiqh knows that Ali (ra) used to discuss issues belonging to Usul, such as Naskh (abrogation) and thus Usul was not an invention of late scholarship. It was not to be used to adapt and reconstruct the Shariah. Rather, it was laid down to direct the thinking in the process of ijtihad without which there would be chaso. It is obvious that Arabic grammar governs the syntax and speech on the same token that Usul ul Fiqh controls how a person understands the text and that this outcome is Hukm Shari, and not a manmade verdict. It is reported that 'Abd ul Rahman ibn Mahdi wrote to Imam Shaf'ee requesting from him " to write a book that includes the "methods" of understanding the Qur'an and covering how the narration should be accepted, the authority of Ijma', elaborating on issues of abrogation..." In response to this request, Imam Shaf'ee wrote his great book Ar Risala. Therefore, undermining Usul ul Fiqh means that it will be carried by the incompetent or it will be performed by those who want to mix their opinions or desires with the outcome of Hukm Shar'ii. This will be done by abandoning Usul ul Fiqh or trying to play with Usul by establishing rules to reach a predetermined conclusion.
5. The classification of two schools of fiqh at the time of the Tabi'een cannot be thought of as a school of classical traditionalists versus liberal revivalist. This claim is false and implies that the Tabi'een who took from the Sahabah did not adhere to the text. Furthermore, if we go through the names of individuals belonging to the school of Madinah (Ahl ul Hadith), we find names like Malik ibn Anas who used to practice ijtihad according to Maslaha al Mursalah more than Abu Hanifa who belonged to Kufah (Ahl ul Rai). On the other hand, one find scholars such as Al Shabee and Hammad ar Rawiyah from the school of Kufah who were considered as Muhaditheen. Both schools realized what Rasul Allah (saaw) meant when he (saaw) said:
“My Ummah will be divided into 70 sects. They would be those who started taking the Deen from their 'Aql.” (Al Darami)
“He who adopts an opinion related to the Qur'an based on his 'Aql he will reserve for himself a place in the hellfire.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
The schools of Hadith and Ra'ee were alike in this respect. Both adhered to the text while some practiced Qiyas more than the others.
6. Claiming that each school of fiqh invented a new source to serve their purpose and then presenting this claim in a chronological order, leading the reader to think that there was a process of evolution and development which should continue is false. Each Mujtahid or imam of the time believed in Allah and the Message He (swt) sent. All realized that their role is to understand the Hukm Shar'ii based upon the evidence and none of them would adopt a source based upon a preconceived judgment. Thinking otherwise would mean that those imams are not worth consideration, that none of them were objective and the whole issue of Ijtihad and Fiqh was an intellectual sport. Therefore:
A. Ijma' as Sahabah was not invented by the Tabi'een but rather was based upon the Daleel.
B. Qiyas was not invented by Ahl ul Ra'ee, but rather based upon the Daleel.
C. Istihsan was not introduced by the Hanafiah to handle irregularities and rigidity of Qiyas as claimed by some. It was based upon an evidence viewed by some as sound while others did not view it as such.
The technical definition of Fiqh is not the knowledge of the practical rules of Shariah, since such a definition means that Shariah has two parts: practical rules and set of theories or principles. This distorted understanding leads one to the conclusion that Fiqh is the knowledge of the practical rules and as such the practical rules is a human effort based upon the theories or principles of Shariah.
The definition of Fiqh in Arabic is having the knowledge of divine laws derived from the legislative sources. So, the law which is not derived from a source is not Fiqh and in this definition Shariah and Fiqh are synonyms. The linguistic meaning of Shariah means a non-exhaustive source of water. The term Shariah is used twice in Quran:
“...to each among you, We have prescribed a law and a clear way” (TMQ 5:48)
In this ayah the word Shariah is used to mean legislation.
“Then We have put you on a plain way of (Our) commandment. So you should follow that, and not the desires of those who don't know.” (TMQ 45:18)
In this ayah, the word Shariah is used to mean Islam.
However, Islam consists of two parts the Aqeedah and the rules derived from it. Those rules are not independent opinion rather they are part of Islam. The understanding of the Mujtahid of the text as long as it is within the text will be considered part of Islam. It is true that this understanding could be changed or be different from one Mujtahid to another, but all of these difference have to be justified based upon the text.
Assuming that there is a distinction between Fiqh and Shariah, both still cannot be viewed as a manmade endeavor. In the end, the defintion of Hukm Sharii is the address of the Legislator related to our actions. The Mujtahid understands the text based upon a specific methodology. His understanding is considered a Hukm Sharii and is binding upon him and anyone who follows that Mujtahid without the need for Ijma. The Hukm Sharii cannot be man made and consequently the entire collection of Hukm Sharii which is Fiqh cannot be man made. The Hukm Sharii whether related to Ibadah or Mumalat or whether derived directly or understood is binding. There is a reward or punishment on both the Mumalat or Ibadah. There is no difference between Hukm Sharii related to the prayers which is Ibadah and the prerequisites of the contract which is Mumamlat. Both aspect of Fiqh related to Mumalat and Ibadah are addressed in Islam. So to claim that Islam adressed Ibadah while addressed the general principles in Mumalat means ignorance in Quran and Sunnah. Anyone who reads Quran and Sunnah will discover abundance of details related to transactions, legal system, economic system, etc. Therefore, there is no sacred area related to Ibadah while an open area related to Mumalat.
8. Based on the definition of Fiqh and Hukm Shar'ii, the Usul ul Fiqh is defined as the collection of principles pertaining to the methodology for the extraction of Fiqh. The Mujtahid is the one who exhausts his efforts in thoroughly studying a problem and seeking a solution for it from the sources of the Shariah. Therefore, the Mujtahid is not the one who exercises his intellectual abilities to issue a independent verdict, and as such he is not a legislator. As mentioned earlier, the Mujtahid has to adhere to a specific methodology, which is Usul ul Fiqh and has to meet the requirements of Ijtihad (understanding the Arabic Language, the knowledge of Shar'ii disciplines, and understanding the issue). The Mujtahid should view the Usul as the control mechanism that regulates and directs his thinking to extract the Hukm Shar'ii in a creative way. He should not view them as constraints or as a tool to adapt the Shariah, using it to justify a predetermined result.
9. Claiming that most of the Qur'an and the Sunnah are speculative texts, and therefore the doors for adaptation and reconstruction are open is wrong. The Qur'an has Ayat which are Qata'ee (definite) in their meaning while others are Thanni. The word Thanni in this context means that a word would have more than one meaning and the scholar of Tafseer or Mujtahid would be required to study the text, the context, the language, the lifestyle of the Arabs at the time of revelation, and the methodology of Tafseer and Usul ul Fiqh before reaching an answer. The translation of the word Thanni to speculative or conjectural is very misleading and implies that those texts are open for speculation or that they are nothing but conjecture. This would lead to an erroneous understanding that each person has the authority to speculate without any room for discussion or that no controls exist to insure that the understanding is based on a sound methodology.
10. One of the most abused or misused term is Maslaha which is (benefit or interest). This term refers to one of the disputed sources of Hukm Shar'ii by the early 'Ulema, few of which did consider it as a valid source for Hukm Shar'ii. Those 'Ulema who considered it as a valid source, used it with many controls and restrictions:
a. It should not contradict the Qur'an.
b. It should not contradict the Sunnah.
c. It should not contradict Ijma'.
d. It should not contradict Qiyas.
e. It should not undermine any other Maslaha (benefit or interest) that is more important than the one under consideration.
Those who allow many things under the pretext of Maslaha did not pay any attention to this, and say that when the text no longer secures any Maslaha, it should be departed. Most of those who promote Maslaha today refer to their independent opinion in determining the Maslaha as long as it complies with the "spirit of Islam". Such a term is very vague and misses a very important point: the text carries a specific linguistic connotation which the Shariah binds us to, otherwise there will be no use for the language at all. The Ijtihad based on this view would be nothing more than imagination based on Maslaha.
As an example of this practice of Maslaha is clearly noted when some Islamic movements accept to hold some political positions in the cabinets of some regimes in the Muslim world or in the West under the pretext of Maslaha. This contradicts the numerous texts in the Qur'an and Sunnah, such as: surah 5: 44,45, 47 and the fact that the Prophet (saaw) rejected the Quraysh offer to become a king and ruler of their system. Claiming that Imam Shatibi adopted the Maslaha in this way is a false accusation of the Imam because Imam Shatibi himself said: "The 'Aql has no room in determining the Maslaha based on the rule of sovereignty " [Volume 2, p.219 (Al-Muwafaqat)]
He further says:
"If we agree that the Shariah is sent for the welfare of Humanity, then this should be according to what the Shariah prescribed and not based on their whims and desires " [volume 2 p117]
He also says:
"Violating the Shariah under the pretext of following the basic objectives or values of Shariah (Maqasid al Shariah) is like the one who cares about the spirit with the body and since the body without spirit is useless therefore the spirit without body is useless too."
So how could an Imam like Shatibi who mentions very clearly that " the objective behind the Shariah is to liberate the individuals form his desires in order to be a true 'abd (slave) of Allah and that the legitimate Maslaha which the Shariah establishes would be considered as long as it maintains this life as a passage to the hereafter not based on the desires of the human being" P (2-25) How could any one accuse Imam Shatibi of promoting Maslaha based on Aql?
HISTORICAL FACTORS THAT LED TO THESE MISCONCEPTIONS:
Allah (swt) has sent Islam as a comprehensive social order based on the 'Aqeedah in order to replace the status of not only Arabia but the world at large.
Thus, the establishment in Makkah opposed it and this opposition was even carried out by the People of the Book. Although the opposition of the polytheists was expected, the People of the Book, were expected to either embrace it or at least adapt to it. Therefore, a struggle took place from the very beginning. In the initial stage in Makkah, the struggle was purely intellectual and ideological from the side of the Muslims while the Quraysh used all the means at their disposal, such as torture, boycott, blackmail, defamation, killing etc. He (saaw) was able to achieve the objective of the Da'wah by migrating with his (saaw) Sahabah to Madinah and establishing the Islamic State there, which symbolized the turning point in the Struggle. From that point on, the struggle was on three fronts; political, material, and intellectual. It did not take the Muslims long to be the leading nation in the world. Many new means were employed against the Muslims to weaken their status such as:
- Fabricating the ahadeeth
- Instigating fitnah amongst the Muslims
- Political assassinations of the earlier Khulafah
- Establishment of sects (e.g., Hassasineen)
All of those means that were employed in the struggle were not successful in stopping the Ummah from continuing as the leading nation in the world, even though it caused a drag in the momentum of the Ummah.
The Crusader war and Mongol invasions both failed to defeat the Ummah in the long run, although they were victorious in some battles and occupied portions of the Islamic state for a while. It is apparent that their material efforts failed. After the defeat of the Crusades, they started employing a new means of attack which manifested in itself in missionary and ideological warfare. The first Spanish missionary, led by Ramon Lowell started his activities on an individual basis and then by the end of the 17th century this effort had evolved into an organized activity through secret societies and missions that were staked in the heart of Muslim land. The emphasis of their campaign revolved around several points or issues:
· Severing the bond between the Muslims by calling for nationalism.
· Elimination of Islam as the reference point for Muslims by replacing it with another yard stick
· Shaking the trust of Muslims in the Islamic system by attacking some clear Islamic solutions such as Jihad, Penal Code, Marriage, divorce, role of women etc.
Throughout this continuos campaign the West was able to recruit many agents from amongst the Muslim Ummah in their efforts. Those agents were not restricted to the political arena but also to the cultural and intellectual arenas. By the 19th century, many ideas were introduced to the mindset of the Ummah such as reconstructing religious thought in Islam, the negation of the doctrine of miracles, the abrogation of jihad, the permissibility of Riba', all of those ideas were propagated under the pretext of bridging the gap between Islam and the contemporary life. Those ideas were carried out by many people such as Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, Muhammad Iqbal, Jamal Al Deen Al Afghani, Muhammad 'Abduh, and Rafa'a al Tahtawi, Rashid Rida, Taha Husayn, and 'Ali 'Abdul Raziq, most of which have maintained a close relationship with the British or French governments, either overtly or covertly. Additionally institutions were established to reorient the thinking of the people such as Aliger in India and in Egypt efforts were done to reorient Al Azhar and at times institutions were established such as Dar ul Uloom to counter Al Azhar. Zwaymer, one of the leading missionaries summarized the objective of those activities by addressing a conference for missionaries in Jerusalem, saying "If you succeed in your efforts, you will be the leading pioneers for the coming colonization". The statement of Guro, the French General who entered Damascus and Allenby the British general who entered Jerusalem is engraved in the minds of the Muslims.
Guro kicked the tomb of Salah al Deen and said "Wake up Salah al Deen we are here !" Allenby said upon entering Jerusalem "Now the crusades have ended."
Therefore, all of these ides which are now surfacing should not be considered independent of this historical context. All of these ideas and deviations directed the Ummah to the same result: turning away from the Wahiy as a reference, and giving the mind a role that overrides the Wahiy under the pretext of Reconstruction, Reform, Ijtihad, and a new Fiqh. Muslims will start accepting the status quo and changing Islam and the "Fatawa" will be tailored to justify this deviation. An example of this is the claim that the division in the Muslim Ummah is justified by the existence of different conditions in each country which prevent the reunification or the effort to bridge the gap between Islam and science. Today, the propagation of the misconceptions about the reform of the Shariah and the "ongoing efforts to reconstruct the Shariah" are nothing but the perpetuation of the legacy of the above mentioned persons and efforts.
Such claims as society undergoing continuous social change and that the Shariah has to adapt to this social reality means that whenever a change occurs Islam has to be molded. Rather, we should view Islam as that which came to change reality so as to render it compliant with the Islamic viewpoint of life.
The following are examples which will assist the reader to realize the extent of this deviant effort and the gravity of its impact:
1. In Tunisia, Rashid al Ghannoushi states in his book, Huriyat al Amma in regards to a woman being a ruler: that Ahkam al Shariah in general and specifically related to the political system should not be built upon any Thanniy daleel no matter how little the Thann is in the Daleel. He says that the Shariah is not a rigid text nor has it been laid down as a final formula. Also it is not codified like any other body of law. Therefore, the room is wide open for interpretation, updating, and reform through the individual and collective Aql (ijtihad). Based upon his methodology, a woman is allowed to be a ruler.
2. In Sudan, Hasan Al Turabi in his book Tajdeed Usul ul Fiqh, claims that the setup of the traditional Usul ul Fiqh does not fit our contemporary needs. He claims that we are in need for a new outlook or understanding for rules of divorce and marriage in which we will benefit from the current social sciences and will build upon our inherited Fiqh, look into Quran and Sunnah equipped with all contemporary needs, sciences, and all Islamic and comparative Fiqh experiences. After this we will find a new way to what Allah's Shariah mandates within the context of our situation.
3. The Fiqh Council in North America permitted adoption of the method of astronomical calculations in determining the beginning and end of the lunar month since "it is the best way to unite the community and present it to them in a suitable manner and defending the accusation of Muslims ignoring science". Although it has been claimed that the adaptation of the Shariah to change is limited to the Mu'amalat (as they claim), it seems that they also extended it to the Ibadah.
With the new definitions of marriage and family in the West and with the consistent efforts in conferences like the population and women's conferences in Cairo and in Beijing, the Muslims in the future would be subjected to "new Fatawa' to adapt with this new social reality. Some people might think that this is an exaggeration, however with `Fatawa' that say that women do not have to wear the Khimar (headcover) and permitting the women to marry non-Muslim men, it seems, that things could go beyond this.
Since Islam is from Allah and addresses the human being with his instincts and organic needs, it cannot be changed because of the following:
1. The Human being does not change in either his instincts nor in his organic needs. What changes are the tools, ways, and the means that humans use in their efforts to satisfy their needs. As an example; human beings before and at the time of the Prophet (saaw) used to marry, eat, own, love, hate, travel, satisfy, worship, etc. and will continue to do so. No new instincts or organic biological need can be added. However, the means of satisfying these needs change. It is well known that Islam views any object as Halal unless there is particular Daleel that excludes a particular object (unlike the actions, all of which require a daleel for the performance or abstention). Therefore, what do we need to change Islam for ?
Since Allah (swt) is the One Who created man, He is the only One who knows how man's instincts and organic needs can be satisfied. It must be kept in mind that Allah knows the changes which humanity has, is, and will go through, and thus the system He (swt) chose for us must be the perfect system without any human alteration unless we start doubting Allah (swt)'s infinite capability. We have to remember that Islam has its own mechanism, which if followed and implemented effectively will enable the Mujtahid to derive rules from the text and not to change the Shariah or alter the text or rules. That is why every generation should have at least one Mujtahid.
Therefore, we need to return to the text the way it is equipped with whatever is needed for this objective. This requires for us to look to Islam as our reference and leadership. We should stop viewing Islam as a set of rituals. This requires from us to pay attention to the Arabic language to make sure it is not separated from Islam. Additionally, by establishing Islam in life and opening the door for Ijtihad with its prerequisites, Islam will be relevant.
It is very obvious that any law student can propose a law that adapts to new realities in society just by adding one proposition to this law that permits changes in the system. These changes in the system would be an attempt to keep up with the so called changes in life. Humanity witnessed Marx, Hobbes, Adam Smith, James Madison, and the American Founding Fathers who introduced systems that kept undergoing many changes.
If we view Islam in the same manner, then where is the uniqueness and miraculous nature of Islam. In fact, why do we need Allah (swt) if the system He (swt) provided us with ends up being changed? Why do we need Allah (swt)'s system if it is similar to Marx's or Jefferson's?
These efforts to deviate the Ummah from Islam should be viewed very seriously because they amount to nothing other than the current degree of submission of the Muslim Ummah to other than Islam by replacing its label with a false Islamic one.
It must be a matter of Belief that Islam is relevant in all places and all times for all people as their way of life. The emerging need is for Ijtihad to ensure that the rules are correctly extracted from the Shari'ah for new problems. This means that the doors of Ijtihad should be open but not broken.
Please provide summary, analysis and your own opinions only and not copy pastes.
You do also know that Ijtihad is banned by the "implementers" of Islam in today's time.
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