By S. Arshad, New Age Islam
09 April 2019
The Islamic country Brunei has implemented
Sharia Laws. The Brunei government claims that the laws are based on Islamic
jurisprudence. But they have not mentioned the source of their interpretation
of the laws that have been implemented. According to the reports in the press,
the new Sharia Laws provide for amputation of the hands of the thieves ;stoning
to death of the gays, lesbians and adulterers and fine or jail for failing to
attend Friday prayers.
Brunei had already Sharia Laws in force but
it has introduced new Sharia Laws which are harsher. Brunei had implemented the
first stage of Sharia Laws. In this year, the Brunei government has gone ahead
with the next stage of the Sharia Laws. Earlier, the punishment for
homosexuality was ten years in jail. Now the punishment for homosexuality and
Lesbianism is death sentence.
The new Sharia Laws of Brunei are
influenced by extremist interpretations of the injunctions of the Quran. In
some cases the new laws are not in accordance of the injunctions of the Quran
but on age old practices and traditions.
For example, the punishment of adultery between a man and woman is not
stoning to death or Rajam according to the Quran. On adultery, the Quran
man and woman should be lashed a hundred times” (Al
For homosexuality the Quran prescribes
physical punishment and not death:
“If two men
among you commit sexual offence, give them physical punishment, then if they
repent and become pious, leave them” (Al Nisa: 16)
O Muslims, if
women among you commit sexual offence, bring four witnesses against them and
imprison them.” (Al Nisa: 15)
For theft, the Quran has prescribed
amputation of hands but the new Sharia Laws of Brunei have provided for
amputation of leg on second offence. This is also not in accordance of the laws
of the Quran.
Missing prayer or Friday prayer or not
fasting in the month of Ramazan are not crimes but sins against God. Islam
declares sins against the society or members of the society crimes. Sins
against God (not praying, not fasting or not giving alms or not feeding the
poor) are not considered crimes. But the government of Brunei does not
distinguish between sins against God and sins against society and people.
Now the government will imprison people for
not attending Friday prayers or not fasting in the month of Ramadhan. During
the so called Khilafat of ISIS, two teenagers eating something in the
marketplace in Ramadhan were executed. This was in violation of Islamic Shariah
as Islam does not prescribe death for not fasting in Ramadhan. Also Taliban
regularly stone to death people alleged to have indulged in sex out of wedlock
though the rajam verses have been replaced by lashing verse.
On punishment for theft, in modern society
theft has taken new dimensions. Theft has taken the shape of corruption.
Powerful officials of the government steal money meant for the public by
unscrupulous means. This also comes under theft but here the ‘thief’ does not
use his hands. Instead, he uses the loopholes in the system generally in
connivance with a number of people involved in the process. Has the Brunei
government brought all such people (government officials, Ministers and
bureaucrats) under the purview of theft laws or will it only catch poor hungry
boys and old people stealing some coins or breads or food grain to feed himself
or their starving family members? If yes, then it should follow the example set
by Hadhrat Umar who had suspended the punishment for theft during drought
because drought would force hungry people to steal food grains. Before
implementing punishment for theft, the governments in Brunei and elsewhere
should make sure that people are sufficiently provided with food and necessary
items of daily use.
Unfortunately, the first victims of
implementation of Sharia Laws are adulterers and poor thieves because it gives
these so-called Islamic governments to demonstrate that they have implemented
Sharia Laws by cutting hands of poor people.
The ISIS too had implemented ‘Sharia Laws’
soon after announcing the establishment of Caliphate by amputating the hands of
thieves though during the turbulent period people were starving and children
were dying without food; anarchy had
Arshad is a regular columnist for NewAgeIslam.com
New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in
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As for new Sharia Laws of Brunei not being In accordance with the injunctions of the Quran, one should understand that Muslims let go of Quran a long time ago. Quran is by and large for most Muslims only an object of reverence, as it is uncreated like God and thus another God. What Brunei is doing in simply in active compliance of norms set by current Islamic theology for how an Islamic state should treat its Muslim citizens. Denying Muslims freedom of choice is an old Islamic practice. Hazrat Umar (ra) had once admonished Hazrat Osman publicly in a mosque for having come for Friday prayers without having taken a bath and having only done wuzu, though the latter had explained that he had just come back from travelling and the prayers had started. Hazrat Umar used to climb walls in the night and barge into people's houses if he heard sounds of singing and revelry coming from that house. Muslims are not supposed to have any freedom of belief and action in an Islamic State. Islamic states are known to have imprisoned and tortured some of our greatest aimma and many learned scholars for expressing thoughts contrary to the current state-sponsored belief. It was the same in Taliban ruled Afghanistan. We will see Taliban state 2.0 soon. Saudi Arabia, of course, is the original model of 20th century Islamic State. But in all fairness non-Muslins do have some freedom in an Islamic State. For instance, in Pakistan they can get a doctor's certificate showing they are alcoholic and need alcohol for survival. Having brought liquor bottles home, they can easily sell these bottles at several times the original price. But the Pakistani Muslims who buy these bottles complain that along with the hiked price to be paid, they also have to listen to moral lectures from these “kafirs” about taking hard drinks being a bad and un-Islamic practice.