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Islamic Sharia Laws (01 May 2019 NewAgeIslam.Com)

Islamic Shariat and the Individual Muslim

By Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

01 May 2019

In the name of bringing back the Islamic Shariat, several groups are actively engaged. The question is which Shariat? There is the stagnant Shariat of the past based on paradigms of the previous scriptures and concocted Ahadith antithetical to the letter and spirit of the Quran. It was this suffocating Shariat that prevented adoption of the printing press by a couple of centuries leaving us far behind Europe. It is the same Shariat that frowned on scientific study and promoted obscurantism. It is this Shariat that invited the wrath of Allah who inflicted colonial rule on us to give us a break from it so that we could rebuild anew. Have we rebuilt anew based on a correct understanding of the Quran dispensing with the paradigms of the previous scriptures and concocted Ahadith? We have not. So, if we are hankering for the same Shariat, is it to invite the wrath of Allah once again and have a foreign rule imposed on us?

The call is made in the name of restoring the ‘Sovereignty of Allah’! Is the sovereignty of Allah subject to us humans proclaiming and establishing it? Allah can any day impose his Will on us and take away from us our freedom and autonomy which He did when he subjected us to colonial rule. Do not fall for such misleading political slogans. Without doubt, we believe in following the Shariat of Allah or the Deen of Allah, but what the Classical Islamic Fiqh teaches us, is a hideous caricature of the Shariat of the Quran.

What does the Shariat or the Deen of Allah mean to us as individuals? It is to follow the commands of Allah in letter and spirit. No matter in which country we live, except perhaps China and Russia, we can practice our religion. As an individual, we need to follow the commands of Allah and do not for example, commit adultery. Establishing the Quranic punishment for adultery is the duty of the State and not of the individual. Even when such laws are established, our religion does not encourage us to bring the guilty to punishment. As a matter of fact, our religion actively discourages us from bearing witness, and punishes the witnesses with 80 stripes if the guilt is not established with four witnesses, even though it cannot be said that those who bore witness were lying. The religion encourages us to correct the wrong doers but not to bring them to punishment. We do not therefore become less Muslim, because the State does not implement the Quranic laws, because even if it did, we will try to correct the wrong doer rather than report to the authorities and bear witness to get the guilty punished. This is however not understood by those who hanker after the Shariat. The first thing that they do to prove that they have established the “Sovereignty of Allah” is to inflict the harsh punishments publicly on a large number of people.  What a hideous version of Islam these tyrants want to install!

It is only when a large majority of Muslims bring the Quranic Shariat in their personal lives that the laws of the State will change. Democracy is the best way, the only way, and indeed the Islamic way to bring about change in a religion that proclaims “let there be no compulsion in religion”. It cannot be imposed through violence by pressure groups capturing political office. Without exception, when they succeed, they impose a tyrannical rule.

The so called Classical Islamic Shariat, is anything but Islamic, and deserved to be uprooted through imposing colonial rule on us. What distinguishes the Quran from all previous scriptures is the overarching rule “let there be no compulsion in religion”. There can therefore be no law or rule forcing a Muslim to pray or fast or for Muslim women to wear hijab or veil or to punish a Muslim from leaving his religion. It is for the individual to decide what he or she will or will not do without impinging on the rights of others or disturbing public order.

The Quranic Shariat Differs From The Classical Shariat On Every Subject. For Example,

1. There is no punishment for homosexuality except strong Social disapproval and punishment only for public acts of indecency.

Read: On Abrogation

2. There is no punishment for apostasy. There is no punishment for blasphemy and heresy. There can be a law against disturbing of public order or inciting hatred but not impinging on academic independence or right to criticism.


Read: The Religion of Allah before and After the Quran


3. The Divorce process as per the Shariat of the Quran is different from classical Islamic Shariat.


 Read The Process for Divorce in the Quran


4. Classical Islamic fiq errs in the inheritance related calculations.

Read: Inadequacies and Errors of Classical Islamic Fiqh - Inheritance Related Calculations

5. Classical Islamic fiq errs on female witnessing.

Read: Is A Woman’s Testimony Worth Half That of A Man?

6. The Rules of war are ill-defined in classical Islamic Shariat. There is no duty imposed on the Muslims to subjugate non-Muslims and bring them under Islamic Shariat. Read: The Principles of War from the Quran

7. The relationship with the ‘other’ or the non-Muslim is ill-defined in classical Islamic Shariat.

Read: Islam's Relationship With The Rest Of The Word - The Current Problem Of Extremism In A False Ideology And The Antidote From An Authentic Understanding Of The Truly Humanistic Message Of The Quran

8. Imposing ‘Jiziya’ on non-Muslims was never a religious requirement even in the Prophet’s times.

 Read: The Story of the Prophetic Mission of Muhammad (pbuh) From the Qu’ran (Part 6): The People of the Book and Jiziya

What the individual Muslim needs to do is to study the Quran carefully and understand how the bigoted Islamic scholarship has led us into a dead-end street, reject the out-dated Classical Islamic Shariat which is based on concocted ahadith and paradigms of the previous scriptures, and rebuild the Shariat afresh based on an authentic reading of the Quran. This requires the democratic process. The argument of how Islam got established in the past without the democratic process is of no relevance. We do not have in our midst today, a Prophet receiving divine revelations to guide us whom we can unquestioningly follow. We have fallible human beings with a bigoted and tyrannical view of Islam, trying to appropriate to themselves the power and position of a Prophet, and establish their tyrannical rule. Reject these pretenders.

We have the Quran, which is understood differently by different people, and therefore, no single individual, group, or sect, can have the authority to impose its view on the rest. We have no choice but to follow the democratic process. As individuals however, it is our duty to Allah, to read the Quran, understand it, and implement it in our lives in the best manner possible, and also to teach and promote it. We as a people, society, nation, and Ummah can succeed only when we do what we need to do, as an individual first.

Naseer Ahmed is an Engineering graduate from IIT Kanpur and is an independent IT consultant after having served in both the Public and Private sector in responsible positions for over three decades. He is a frequent contributor to NewAgeIslam.com

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-sharia-laws/naseer-ahmed,-new-age-islam/islamic-shariat-and-the-individual-muslim/d/118474

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  • Naseer sb.,
    The burden of proof is on you. You cannot escape it with your lowly insulting behavior.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 5/6/2019 2:06:07 PM

  • It is GM sb's hollowness and stupidity that is exposed by the question for which he has no answer.

    He said: "Naseer sb. presents several of his own shallow speculations as if they were generally accepted facts.
    For example, he says, "only those who obeyed Allah were  left as survivors after each act of destruction by an act of God creating an environment for  belief in Allah and obedience to His commands." Where does Naseer sb. find support for such fanciful theories?"

    Let him prove me wrong with the story of either Noah, Lut, Shuaib, Hud or Saleh. Or try and prove me wrong by the wars in Deuteronomy which were fought for the total annihilation of a godless people.

    What I have said is accurate and borne out by the examples cited.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 5/6/2019 2:37:31 AM

  • Naseer sb. asks me a stupid question instead of directly addressing the points that I had made in my comment. His reply shows his usual deceptiveness and cowardice.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 5/4/2019 11:22:43 AM

  • Zufiqar Haider sb, the only persons who can accept what I say are those who are confident in their own knowledge without having a vested interest in perpetuating the status quo. That rules out the scholars and leaves only the lay people who are ignorant.

    The following is a comment from a college mate on this article:

    “You write very well and bring a totally fresh viewpoint.

    Can't judge how right or wrong you are as that requires knowledge beyond what I possess.

    Nevertheless l am sure that if we were doing things the right way we would be certainly more successful.

    I am also of the view that the pretentious interpreters have been wrong and hopelessly ignorant.

    They have tried and successfully established a priestly/ brahmanical class. A thing which is non existent in Islam. “

    Islam is a faith without Priests, Feasts without Sacraments

    There is no church hierarchy in Islam, nor do the mosque and its Imam exercise formal power or influence on the people in its vicinity. There is no mystical ritual in Islam and there are no interceders between man and Allah. There are no sacraments to be administered by a priestly class to the supplicant laity. All men and women are equal before Allah and nearness to Allah is only based on their righteousness and heedfulness to the commands of Allah. Forgiveness for sins does not require the waseela or intermediation of a Redeemer or a priest.

    Comparing Islam with Christianity, “this unadorned relationship cancels the need for baptism, confirmation, confession, extreme unction and the central Christian act of communion, as well the functions of a ministering priesthood. For many Christians, Christ bequeathed the foundation of a future church in the person of St Peter, and He ordained the method of access to the divine with the ritual of holy communion. Only through the Church, therefore, as the successor to St Peter, can salvation (and thus everlasting life) be obtained” Paul Grieve

    In Islam, the Qur'än, is Allah's legacy to man, unreservedly accessible to all equally, to read, contemplate and interpret for himself, although this process may initially be assisted by the writings or teachings of experts. It is a duty every Muslim owes to Allah and His Book, to finally reach a level of understanding of Allah’s word, without the help of experts, and dispensing with their opinions and interpretations, unless one agrees with these, in which case, it becomes his own personal understanding. The final understanding must be one’s own, and not because so and so said this or that.

    The contaminated Islam has a priestly class, mystical rituals, feasts with sacraments and interceders between man and Allah, and demi-gods whose favours and intercession is sought. There is the laity and the scholarly class on whom the lay people are dependent. While Islam freed mankind from the sovereignty of man, the scholars through their theology, have once again chained it, but these are weak chains only in the minds of the followers because of their ignorance. Once this ignorance is dispelled, Islam can shine once again.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 5/4/2019 1:14:30 AM

  • Can GM sb relate to us the stories of the people of Noah, Lut, Aad, Thamud, Madyan, Moses, Abraham, Yusuf, Yunus, Jesus and Muhammad? He will find answers to all his questions.
    The arrogant ignoramus contradicts without knowledge!

    By Naseer Ahmed - 5/4/2019 1:02:38 AM

  • Naseer sb. presents several of his own shallow speculations as if they were generally accepted facts.
    For example, he says, "only those who obeyed Allah were  left as survivors after each act of destruction by an act of God creating an environment for  belief in Allah and obedience to His commands." Where does Naseer sb. find support for such fanciful theories?

    He then adds, "Over a period a position was reached when such whole-scale destruction became unnecessary and the percentage of people who believed became progressively higher than those who rejected." This too is a totally unsupported claim and yet he presents it as if he is telling us the gospel truth!

    He further claims, "The lesson from the people of Lut is that if there is no strong social disapproval for homosexuality, entire population can become homosexual."

    That statement is based on ignorance. Homosexuality, as per scientific consensus, is a biological variant. Among various populations studied, the percentage of homosexuals is fixed at between 4 and 6%. That is true for America too. People are more open about their sexual orientation these days. That does not mean there is more homosexuality now than before.

    Naseer sb. says, "Verse 4:16 strikes the right balance." Verse 4:16 says, "And the two who commit it among you, punish them both." 
    How can we then say that there is no punishment for homosexuality in the Quran?  

    Verse 4:16 also says, "But if they repent and correct themselves, leave them alone." Scientific studies have show again and again that homosexuality cannot be cured by even the most sophisticated psychological or psychoanalytical treatments.

    Naseer sb. makes so many self-confident assertions which turn out to be hollow and unsupportable  even on a cursory examination.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 5/3/2019 12:16:22 PM

  • Sultan Shahin sahib,
    I agree that the spirit of the Quran is progressive. A literalistic approach is often a hindrance to appreciating the true spirit of the Quran.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 5/3/2019 9:43:34 AM

  • GM sb has given the village Mullah's argument for punishing the homosexuals ignoring explicit verses 4:15,16! 

    In the past, Allah has destroyed complete populations for different reasons. The people of Noah for disbelief, the People of Aad for hamstringing the she-camel that was sent as a Sign and meant to be left alone, the people of Madyan for dishonesty, the people of Lut for homosexuality etc. What is common is willful disobedience of Allah's command(s) by the entire population except a few.

    This was a process of cleaning up or filtering since only those who obeyed Allah were  left as survivors after each act of destruction by an act of God creating an environment for  belief in Allah and obedience to His commands. The people were also destroyed by the sword of man - refer the hundreds of wars in Deuteronomy.

    Over a period a position was reached when such whole-scale destruction became unnecessary and the percentage of people who believed became progressively higher than those who rejected.

    We therefore find that only the people who followed the Pharaoh were drowned with him and not every Egyptian. In the case of Muhammad (pbuh), all those who survived the battles, ended up accepting Islam.

    The people of Lut would have been destroyed even if their rebellion against Allah was  in a different form and not homosexuality. They were a people who had corrupted the entire population and would not mend their ways, which is why the calamity was sent.

    The lesson from the people of Lut is that if there is no strong social disapproval for homosexuality, entire population can become homosexual. The western society appears to be on such a path of self-destruction.

    Being attracted to the same sex is experienced by every growing adolescent and it is the Social stigma and religious taboo that prevents a growing child/adult from indulging in homosexual activity. Remove the stigma and shame and very soon you will end up in the same situation as the people of Lut.

    Verse 4:16 strikes the right balance. Remember that the religion of Allah after the Quran is not the same as before the Quran and therefore do not use the paradigms of the previous scriptures to understand the Islam of the Quran. This is a mistake however, that our scholars freely make.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 5/3/2019 7:37:59 AM

  • When I say that even the Prophet (pbuh) did not receive any guidance from Allah on the correct understanding of the Quran beyond what is revealed in the Quran, there is no question of my considering any other person receiving wahi from Allah to understand the Quran. There is no need for any wahi either.

    The Quran is Kitabum Mubeen and a person with a sound approach who is sincere, will develop deep insight.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 5/3/2019 7:07:03 AM

  • The waseela to reach Allah is the Quran. There is no other waseela. Why would the Kiitabum Mubeen require  any waseela?
    By Naseer Ahmed - 5/3/2019 6:47:48 AM

  • Dear GGS, Does Quran ask us to look for some one or something other than Quran to be a waseela for reaching God? What exactly does it say? Is it a clear verse or vague? Or is it a clear verse that has been made vague by translators?
    By Sultan Shahin - 5/2/2019 10:45:12 PM

  • Dear Ghulam Mohiyuddin and Ghulam Ghaus Saheban, we should appreciate Naseer Saheb going as far as he does. His understanding is surely more in tune with the demands of 21st century life. He does take the spirit of Quran into consideration which is clearly progressive. We know the time and place and conditions of the tribal society in which it was revealed. 
    However, Naseer Saheb's insistence on the letter of the text becomes problematic in view of the lack of unanimity, even consensus, on the meaning of the text. Even terms like kufr and its derivatives, used repeatedly throughout the Quran, are controversial. Naseer Saheb himself has added to the controversy. Translations are always inadequate, more so with Quran, as most translators feel the need to explain divine expressions with their own ideas in parentheses. Mr. Javed Ahmad Ghamidi is working out just one meaning for every verse of Quran. Naseer Saheb is seeking to logically derive meanings of Quranic terminology. But these are all works in progress. So far the possibility of Muslims evolving a consensus on any meaning  appears remote.  However, the spirit of Quran is unmistakably progressive and we can build on that. 
    Laws are and have to be dynamic.  With the growth of different branches of science, people develop new understandings of human condition. Homosexuality, for instance, is now considered natural. Around the world legislatures are adapting to this new understanding of human nature. Should Muslims stay behind, as we did for close to four centuries with the invention of printing press, resulting in our continuing education backwardness.

    By Sultan Shahin - 5/2/2019 10:40:02 PM

  • CGS sb., I would not be surprised if Naseer sb. actually believes that he has insights which are inaccessible to others.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 5/2/2019 12:43:39 PM

  • Ghulam Mohiyuddin sb, 
    Naseer Ahmed sb does not believe in waseela. The Quran asks the believers to look for waseela to reach God that waseela to understand God. But Naseer sb does not feel need to do so, perhaps someone sends him private email!

    By GGS - 5/1/2019 11:48:51 PM

  • Naseer sb. says, "It is this Shariat that invited the wrath of Allah who inflicted colonial rule on us to give us a break from it so that we could rebuild anew. "

    When did God reveal that? Or was it a private email sent to Naseer sb.?

    Naseer sb.'s idea of true Shariat is to give 100 whiplashes in this day and age  to adulterers! He then tells us how such a punishment can be mitigated. Would not the best mitigation be abolishment of such medieval forms of punishment?

    Naseer sb. says there is no punishment for homosexuality or apostasy. But God destroyed the town of Sodom with a earthquake because several inhabitants practiced homosexuality, and 4:89 says, "They are eager that you should disbelieve like they have disbelieved, so that you all become alike. So do not make friends] with anyone [from among them, until they migrate in the way of Allah. But if they turn their backs, seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and do not take from among them friends or helpers ".

     Our civil and criminal laws must be formulated by contemporary jurists who can enact, amend or abrogate laws. Our laws should be based on the basic Quranic principles of fairness, equality in the eyes of God, rationality and compassion. That would be our true Sharia.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 5/1/2019 1:20:22 PM

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