Islam-Shari’ah

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In the name of Allāh,
the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Peace and Blessings of Allāh on Mohammad.
DEDICATED TO
Allāh–the Glorious and the High,
Lord of the worlds
AND TO
Mohammad–who brought the world
to our feet and eternity to our arms
*

This letter was sent to the Toronto Star. It was not published.

Re: Often hard to see peaceful side of Islam (Star, Saturday, September 24, 2011).
   Contrary to Joe Killoran’s claim, the Qur’an/Islam abolished slavery and put the scepter of regality into the hands of the slave, as evidenced in the history of Afghanistan –Kutubuddin, Shamshuddin Altamash, and Subuktagin were former prisoners-of-war/slaves who rose to high ranks.

   Rather than “devalues women” the Qur’an liberates women and gives her equality with man from the cradle to paradise: “And women have rights similar to those against them in a just manner–(Qur’an 2:228); ““Surely the men who submit and the women who submit, and the believing men and the believing women, and the obeying men and the obeying women, and the truthful men and the truthful women, and the patient men and the patient women, and the humble men and the humble women, and the almsgiving men and the almsgiving women, and the fasting men and the fasting women, and the men who guard their private parts and the women who guard, and the men who remember Allah much and the women who remember­–Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a mighty reward”–(Qur’an 33:35).

   The Muslim woman can earn; inherit and own property. It is ignorance of Islam to say that the Qur’an endorses “misogyny.” Islam esteems womanhood as the symbol of purity and mother-hood as the gateway to paradise!

   Neither Joe Killoran nor anyone else can prove that the Qur’an “has caused and continues to inspire countless acts of savage violence and cruelty.”

   Anthony Morris wrote: “Never in my life have I been called a Christianophobe…But criticizing Islam immediately conjoins one to this moniker.”
 While truth is not Islamophobia or Christianophobia, to com-pare the truths expressed against the Pope and Christianity to using verses of the Qur’an out of context to vilify Islam (as Geert Wilders and others have done) is thoughtless if not dishonest. Any serious student of the Qur’an knows that Islam is “rational critical thinking”: “Call to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and goodly exhortation, and argue with them in the best manner–(Qur’an 16:125).

   Islam is blessed with the Divine allure of reason! There is no charge against Islam that is not refutable.

   Donald Joshua wrote: “It is hard for the ordinary person to see the peaceful side of Islam if all we are confronted with in the name of that religion, through the media, is warfare, suicide bombings and honour killings.”
   Joshua’s letter is a classic example of one who, rather than go to the source for knowledge, relies on the media, which can be brutally biased.

Islam has only one “side,” Peaceful! Islam prohibits oppression, aggression, transgression, and exploitation; Islam prohibits using our hatred as a reason to transgress or be unjust; in fact Islam requires that we give justice even it be against one’s self. Islam only allows a defensive fighting against those who first take up arms against Muslims; and requires the making of peace with the enemy, even in the face of possible deception by the enemy; (that Islam says to slay the disbelievers wherever you find them refers to the soldiers of war who would regroup against Muslims. And this is what America and entourage have done/are doing, as they claim, in Iraq and Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen; though Iraq and the Talibans did not take up arms against America and entourage). There is no “honour killings” in Islam!

   Joshua continues: “The man in the street is uncomfortable with the hijab, sharia law and jihadis.”
   The nudist might also be uncomfortable with our clothing, including the bikini and thong!
 Will you stop wearing garments you’re “comfortable” with because the “man (and woman) in the street is “uncomfortable” with them?

   There is no law more equitable and just than Shari’ah!
   (While there is no terrorism in Islam and this is not in support of terrorism) before Palestine was stolen and given to Jews and the West began to try to run Muslim countries and control their oil/resource there was no “suicide bombings” no “warfare” and “jihadis” against the West.

*

               SHARI’AH–SUPREME SYSTEM
(See also 
ISLAM-WOMEN)
(If Muslims want to institute Shari’ah in America, as one party on the Internet  claims, though he seems to have forgotten to point out that America wants to institute her brand of “democracy” in Muslim lands, then Muslims would be giving to America the best system in the world).   

*

CONTENTS

  1. Amputation/Dismemberment
  2. Apostasy
  3. Blasphemy
  4. Capital punishment
  5. Flogging
  6. Honor killing
  7. Stoning and adultery
  8. Child custody
  9. Adoption

*

The Qur’an was revealed over a period of twenty-three years; during this long period, unless he received Divine Revelation in the matter, the Prophet followed the teachings of the Bible, which requires death to the adulterer, the unchaste bride, the apostate the blasphemer and the homosexuals; which Biblical laws were annulled by subsequent Qur’anic revelations–(Qur’an 2:106; 16:101. See Muhammad Ali’s comm. His translation of the Qur’an can be viewed online: www.muslim.org). Prophet Mohammad taught according to the Qur’an–(Qur’an 10:15; 21:45; 46:9; 53:3-4).

Who is it that can decide what the normal mode of dress is? If the bikini is normal then nudity–which is the state in which we are created and is therefore the natural state– is normal. And if the bikini and nudity are normal then the Muslims’ hijab and jalaba is normal.

Interestingly, while the Muslim woman is scoffed at and even ridiculed for wearing the hijab and jalaba (and the burqa which is not an Islamic requirement) the Western wear of suit and tie has the man hog-tied from neck to toes (and even head, of those who wear hats), which may reasonably be compared to the Muslim woman’s wear.

If baring the body to the public can be considered enlightenment by one society, then shielding of the body from the public can be considered enlightenment by another society.

It is blatant arrogance for one nation to dictate to another nation what mode of apparel constitutes enlightenment. Is the nun’s had-cover a symbol of her “servitude”? The nudist might view all clothing, including the bikini and thong, as a symbol of “servitude” or repression).

   As nudity does not cause a “risk of harm” and is not a criminal act.” Wonder what the flap was about over Janet Jackson’s malfunctioned “nipple” cover on the television show in 2004. And why is prostitution outlawed? Is it acceptable to legislate what consenting adults do with their bodies in the privacy of their bedrooms and not acceptable to legislate what they put on their bodies in public?

Since consensual sex does not “cause a risk of harm” either “and is not a criminal act,” heterosexuals and homosexuals can now engage in public.

   To women who are of the view that it is discrimination against them, in that men are not required to cover their heads: men have to shave their heads at the hajj, women do not; men are required to be circumcised, women are not; men are required to give women dowry, even though she may possess greater wealth than him; men are required to maintain women, whereas women are free to do whatever with their finances. And men also have a dress code–to cover the area from, and including, the navel to the knees and half of the chest.

Even without comprehending the excellence of the hijab, covering the head when required is no price to pay for Allah’s everlasting beauty.

These garments–overcoats (jalaba) and head-cover (hijab)–are to distinguish the Muslim woman from other women, a mark of devotion and of distinction: of being the exalted nation–(Qur’an 33:59; 24:31; 2:143; 3:110).

Women who are wearing jeans under their over-garment in revolt against Islam must know that they are dressing themselves for the Fire. There is nothing in Islam to protest against–Islam regards womanhood as the symbol of purity; and motherhood as the gateway to Paradise.

Whereas choosing to not wear the hijab [and jalaba] is one matter, why would the Muslim woman desirous of Allāh’s everlasting grandeur revile the hijab? Revolt against the hijab is revolt against Islam; revolt against Islam is revolt against Allāh; revolt against Allāh is the Sureway to Hell-fire.

   Significantly, whereas the critics of Islam charge that Islam discriminates against women and that the hijab is a symbol of the Muslim woman’s subservience; Islam, as stated, requires that men give a gift to their brides even though she may be wealthier than he is; men maintain their wives even though she may have a mountain of money; men be circumcised and women not; men shave their heads at the Hajj and women not; yet no critic of Islam has charged that Islam discriminates against men; or that Islam teaches hatred of men; or that Islam favors women over men; or that these are symbols of the Muslim man’s subservience to women.

Interestingly, whereas Allāh reveals in His Qur’an 2:228 that women have rights similar to those against her He did not say that men have rights similar as those against him; thus, arguably, women would seem to have more rights on men than men have on women.

Allah is a Just God. He will not discriminate against Woman because of her form and physiology –a form and physiology of which she had no choice; a form and physiology He gave her. In fact, if form and physiology is the measure of superiority, Woman is superior to Man –she having carried man, gave birth to him and nursed him. Three degrees of excellence and superiority that Man have yet to acquire. Women even have a fourth degree of excellence over men–cloning! Whereas the male sperm can be dispensed with in duplicating the being, the female’s ovum is necessary to develop the clone.

*

There is much confusion among people –Muslims and non-Muslims– as to the verdict of Shari’ah regarding adultery, dishonor, apostasy, and blasphemy. Some arguing, and citing hadith, that Islam requires the penalty of death for these infractions. What is to be kept in focus is that the Qur’an was revealed over a period of twenty-three years. The question is: was the “death” penalty for such infractions given before or after Divine Qur’anic Revelation on the subject?

   As the Prophet Mohammad could not change a practice of society until and unless he received Divine Revelation in the matter, the Prophet followed the teachings of the Bible, which requires death to the adulterer, the unchaste bride, the apostate, the blasphemer, and the homosexuals. The Prophet’s practice of following these Biblical laws was annulled by subsequent Qur’anic revelations. These are some of the Biblical laws that the Qur’an has abrogated–(Qur’an 2:106; 16:101). The Prophet Mohammad taught according to the Qur’an–(Qur’an 21:45; 46:9; 53:3-4). Whatever contradicts the Qur’an is to be discarded.

Much flak has been dumped on Shari’ah for flogging the sexual transgressor, and for dismembering the thief. And there have been calls on Muslim nations to end capital punishment.

  In (some) secular societies, murderers, rapists, thieves etc; sometimes return to society and kill and rape and steal again; yet the government does not give up on imprisoning them. Does this mean that their “system of government” is unsuitable for a “modern state” and therefore should abolish their penal system?

   To a “Westerner,” flogging seems to be “brutal and savage.” Yet it does not seem “brutal and savage” to cut the throat of the dumb, innocent animal and bird to satisfy his mouth and belly.
     Man has a sense of right and wrong. Animals do not.

Islam
  –allows freedom of belief, movement, thought, and expression–(Qur’an 2:256; 9:107-108; 4:140; 6:68, 108; 29:52);

   -pursuit of knowledge, acquisition of wealth and property–(2:274-275, 276-282; 35:12; 53:48; 62:10);

   -to choose those worthy of power, exercise justice–(4:58);

   -to govern by consultation–(3:158; 5:38; 42:38);

   -teaches to deal justly with men–(2:279, 5:8);

   -not to rob men of their dues–(26:183);

   -to give justice even if it be against one’s self or parents or kins or whether he be poor or rich–(4:135; 4:58; 5:8),

   -encourages feeding of the needy and the poor, to free the captives, to help those in debt, to care for the orphans, the wayfarer, and to free the slaves–(9:60, 2:177),

   -not to act corruptly in the earth or make mischief–(26:183);

   -not to be transgressors, nor aid in sin and aggression–(2:190; 5:2);

   -to fight on behalf of the oppressed–(4:75);

because Allāh loves those who are just, and because He commands justice and the doing of good and forbids injustice–(60:8, 16:90);

Islam
   -liberated woman–(2:187; 4:19 -22);

   -exalts her–(4:1; 9:71-72);

   -gives her equality with man in financial, property, moral and spiritual matters–(4:32, 7-10, 176-177; 3:195; 33:35; 4:124; 16:97; 43:70);

   -honors her–(4:1);

   -made her a garment to man and he is her garment (and garments protect, beautify, comfort, and conceal faults)–(2:187);

   -given her rights similar to those against her–(2:228);

   -made her a protector of man as he is hers–(9:71);

   -and established her as a source of peace, comfort, love and compassion–(7:189; 30:21);

Islam
 -enjoins the fulfilling of covenants, keeping of oaths and to not be deceptive–(16:91-92);

   -to speak justly–(6:153);

   -to be righteous–(2:277-278; 6:152-154);

   -to render back trusts to whom they are due, and to judge justly–(4:58);

   -admonishes against dealing unjustly and not to rob men of their dues–(2:279; 5:8; 26: 183);

   -not to take a greater recompense than the injury suffered–(2:194; 16:126; 42:40);

   -instead of retaliation, to make reconciliation, and show patience and forgiveness–(16:126; 42: 39-43);

   -to be merciful and forgiving–(3:133); to fight only as long as there is oppression–(2:193);

   -to make peace, even in the face of deception–(4:90, 8:61);

   -that all men are created equal, and made into different tribes and nations that we may know one another–(95:4; 49:13),

   -that we are to be judged not by our race, color or nationality but by deeds–(6:133);

   -to preserve the environment: all creatures live in communities as man (6:38);

   -and to conserve–(6:141; 7:31).

   Thus, every principled individual’s “basic objectives” is to strive to live under Shari’ah –Islamic law.

Whereas Secularism has given us prostitution, narcotics, pornography, gambling and drunkenness –all of which they are now trying to eradicate or minimize– people held without charge or trial; and people judged without seeing the evidence against him or without him ever facing his accuser:

Islamic Shari’ah gives us freedom of sobriety, chastity, and society –freedom from drunkenness; promiscuity; narcotics; pimping and prostitution; pornography; unwed mothers and fathers and abandoned children and even traumatized individ-uals; AIDS; syphilis; gonorrhea; robbers; rapists; murderers; gambling; child pornography; and sexually-diseased children. (Maybe the list is longer. Marathon-long).

Secularism or secular democracy lives off the misery of the people –drowning them in alcoholism and its related maladies– collecting millions if not billions in revenues.

Secularism or secular democracy feeds off the gullibility (desperation?) of the people –legitimizing gambling (casinos) and lotteries– collecting millions if not billions in revenues (money which some may have deprived themselves and/or families to gamble and/or buy tickets).

Secularism or secular democracy allow prostitution, promiscuity, and concubinage (destroying families and homes; producing unwanted parents and children and “bastard” children), but outlaws the sensible polygamy.

Islamic Shari’ah gives us:
-freedom of government–(Qur’an 4:58; 3:158; 5:38; 42:38. Here’s democracy for you; and 1400 years ago, while Europe was yet running around with flint tools and torches) Muhammad Ali notes to 42:38: “In this, Islam has laid the basis of Govern-ment by parliaments, and the idea found a clear practical expression in the early days of the Caliphate, when the Khalifah had to refer every important affair to counsel. It is strange indeed that Government by parliament is now looked upon by Europeans as an institution which is quite foreign to Islam and unsuited for the Muslim people” This must be “Europeans” arrogance or ignorance of Islam; or both).

-freedom of belief–(Qur’an 2:256; 3: 20; 9:107-108; 10: 99-100; 16:125; 24:54; 50: 45; 76:3; 109:1-6);

-freedom of movement, thought, and expression–(Qur’an 4:140; 6:68, 108; 29:52);

-freedom in pursuit of knowledge, acquisition of wealth and property–(Qur’an 2:274-275, 276-282; 20: 114; 35:12; 53:48; 62:10);

-the exercise of justice–(Qur’an 4:58, 105, 135; 7:29; 16: 90; 57:25).

And whereas Islamic Shari’ah has one law for everyone –from King to peasant– secularism has two laws, one for the elite –diplomatic immunity– and one for the masses.

   Then, whereas in Islam the divorced wife is awarded a settlement, irrespective of her financial status–(Qur’an 4:32), and adjudged according to the length of marriage and the man’s financial status–(Qur’an 2:236-2237), and after which time, if financially straitened, she becomes zakaatable on the State–(Qur’an 9:60), there is in Secularism the obscene divorce law that can penalize the man to support his wife for the rest of her unmarried life; even though she may have a legion of bed-mates.

Marriage is a contract of rights and obligations between a man and a woman. There is no “till death do us part.” If the contract is terminated so are the obligations. To tie the man indefinitely to this severed agreement by having him bankroll the woman’s lifestyle –even though she may have a legion of bed-mates– is not only gruesome injustice, it is a monumental and grotesque obscenity.

There is no system –secular or religious– on the face of this earth that is superior to Islamic Shari’ah. The “perfected” system designed by Allāh God the Omniscient cannot be surpassed.

Amputation/Dismemberment
(The Bible–Judaism and Christianity–also requires dismemberment: “When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets: Then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her” –(Deut. 25:11-12).

Islamic dismemberment is said to be ineffective as a deterrent to theft. However, almost all societies imprison murderers and rapists and thieves and other criminals. Yet these imprisonments do not deter others from becoming murderers and rapists and thieves; nor does it, in some cases, deter criminals from repeating their crimes. Must societies then refrain from incarcerating its criminals because incarceration is no deterrent to crimes? Most, if not all, secular laws imprison the thief, who may yet return to menace society. Islam puts an end to their thievery permanently.

   Allāh, God, enjoins charity. Muslim society is to be charitable; and the hungry are to ask assistance so that there should be no need for theft because of hunger.

   The punishment for theft is the cutting off of the hand of the thief–(Qur’an 5:38). Allah also says: “But whoever repents after his wrongdoing and reforms, Allah will turn to him (mercifully). Surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful”–(Qur’an 5:39. Also 5:33-34).

   Cutting off of the hand is dependent upon whether theft was because of hunger, for profit, or mischief. In the case of hunger there is to be no cutting off of the hand. In the case of the latter two, compensation or restitution may be effected before apprehended by the law. Muhammad Ali states, “cutting off of the hand is the maximum punishment.”

   Muhammad Ali has noted an incident whereby a slave was not dismembered because the slave’s master evidenced that he heard the Prophet say that “there was to be no cutting off of the hand in the case of theft of fruit”–(The Religion of Islam, p. 729).

   Those who condemn this law of Islam should consider:

-if it is better for a man to dismember his “offensive” limb (as Christ says–Matt. 18:8) to preserve the health of his other parts, how much more appropriate it is that the cancer of society be excised to maintain the moral health of society

-what individual is there who would not amputate a limb of his body that is afflicted with cancer so as to prevent the cancer from infecting his or her entire body

-what law-abiding citizens, men and women are there, toiling honestly and tiringly for their livelihood would take kindly to thieves to come and plunder their belongings; how many such men and women are there who, after a day of toiling, would prefer to keep vigil at night against thieves, in sympathy for them, to spare their hands from being chopped off

-what honest person is there who would not like to sleep with windows open on sweltering summer nights, without having to fear about thieves and robbers coming into their homes.

   It would seem to be “torture” to have victims and/or their family circles live with the mental torture of fear, dreading if or when the murderer, rapist, or thief might return to plague them.
                              Man is not more merciful than God!

Apostasy
There is no penalty of “death” for the apostates. This is made clear by the following Qur’anic statements:

“And whoever of you turns back from his religion,
then he dies while an unbeliever
–these it is whose works go for nothing in this
world and the Hereafter”
“How shall Allah guide a people who disbelieved
after their believing,
and (after) they had borne witness that
the Messenger was true and clear
arguments had come to them?”
(Qur’an 2:217; 3:85).

“Those who believe then disbelieve,
again believe and again disbelieve,
then increase in disbelief,
Allah will never forgive them nor
guide them in the (right) way.”
(Qur’an 4:137)
(If apostates were to be killed there would be no question of them “believing” then “disbelieving” then “believing again” as 4:137 says”).

“Whoso disbelieves in Allāh
after his belief–not he who is
compelled while his heart is content with
faith, but he who opens (his) breast for disbelief
–on them is the wrath of Allāh
and for them is a grievous chastisement.”
(Qur’an 16:106).
(The wrath of Allāh is on them; not that they are to be killed).

The Prophet governed by the Qur’an–(10:15; 21:45; 53:3-4). Prior to Qur’anic revelation on a subject the prophet was required to govern according to the Torah. Killing of apostates would have been prior to the above noted Qur’anic injunctions, in which event the Prophet was following the Bible which requires death to apostates:

“And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt….If thy brother…entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou has t not known, thou, nor thy fathers…thou shalt surely kill him…..” (Deuteronomy 13:5-16).
“If there be found among you…man or woman….And hath gone and served other gods, and worshiped them, either the sun or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded…..Then thou shalt bring forth that man or that woman …and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.” (Deuteronomy 17:2-5). (This is one of the Biblical laws that the Qur’an has abrogated–(Qur’an 2:106 16:101. See QUR’AN-ABROGATION & COLLECTING).

Regarding the report about the Prophet Mohammad ordering the death of the men of Ukl who had accepted Islam and who later killed the camel-herders and stole the camels. These thieves/killers were not necessarily apostates. Muslims of today seem to be killing Muslims for less than camels; and they are not apostates. Even if these killers of the camel-herders were apostates from Islam and if initially apostates were given the death penalty (as per the Torah), the revelation of the above Qur’anic verses would have put an end to such a practice. The Qur’an supersedes all other sources of guidance.

There is no compulsion in religion-(Qur’an 2:256; 6:107; 9:6; 10:99-100; 17:7; 18:6, 29; 50:45; 76:3; 109:1-6).

Blasphemy
There is no Qur’anic order to kill blasphemers. Allāh reveals in His Qur’an that: “when you hear the Signs of God being denied and mocked at, sit not with them until they enter into some other talk”–(4:140. Also 6:68). And, “Revile not those whom they call upon besides Allah, lest they out of spite revile Allah in their ignorance”–(6:109). Clearly, there is no order to kill the deniers/mockers/revilers of Allah.

   Allāh says: “They do blaspheme who say: “God is Christ the son of Mary.” “They do blaspheme who say: God is one of three in a Trinity …”–(Qur’an 5:75, 76). If there was a law against blasphemy in Islam, according to these two verses there probably would have been no Christians in the dominion of the Prophet Mohammad during his reign; neither would there have been any Christians in the countries ruled by Muslims: they would either have had to revert to Islam, flee, or face imprisonment or death.

   Allāh says that Muslims will face “much abuse” from the People of the Book and the Idolaters; but Muslims must be “patient and keep your duty” (there is no order to kill)–(Qur’an 3:185).

   Allah says: “And those who molest the Messenger of Allah, for them is a painful chastisement” (this is a Madinan chapter revealed “in the ninth year” of the Hijrah, near the end of the Prophet’s mission. And there is no order to kill–(Qur’an 9:61). Even in the early Madinan chapter, there is no order to kill those who “annoy” the Prophet: they are “cursed” and would receive “an abasing chastisement”–(Qur’an 33:57).

   If there was an order to kill denigrators, the Prophet would not have forgiven anyone. Mohammad’s justice was so pronounced that even if his beloved daughter, Fatima, was to steal he would have dismembered her–(Bokhari Vol. 4, # 681. Vol. 5 # 597). The king who would tell his cherished child to go and pray to Allāh instead of granting her a servant, to alleviate her suffering at the hand-mill, could hardly be unjust–(Bokhari Vol. 4, # 344).

   Regarding the instances where the Prophet is said to have ordered death to those who denigrated him.
From the beginning of his ministry the Prophet was a target of annihilation attempts. There was tacit warfare by his opponents. By intriguing against his life and openly reviling the Prophet these opponents identified themselves as “enemy combatants” and were subjected to reprisals –even today and in “civilized” society during times of tension “free speech,” which may even express the truth, may be viewed as an incitement to unrest against the State, and be subjected to reprisals. People are targeted for opposing authority.
Unlike rogue leaders, the Prophet Mohammad was no tyrant, occupier, oppressor or exploiter. This state of warfare was also true during the reign of the Caliphs, who were fighting wars with the enemies devoted to destroying the fledging Islamic State. (These executions were only to curb mischief, which carries the maximum penalty of death or crucifixion–Qur’an.5:33. If the enemies had not become physical, Mohammad would not have retaliated. As noted later, the Prophet never took revenge for himself).

   The Prophet himself is reported to have sanctioned the lampooning of the pagans–(Bokhari Vol. 4, #’s 434-435, 731). This seems to show that there are different ways to respond to attacks on the Prophet, according to the prevailing atmosphere. In the absence of war, Muslims are to respond to the denigrators of Islam intellectually.

   While there is no Qur’anic law against blasphemy, there is, however, a law against slander–(Qur’an 24:4; 33:58); and against mischief–(Qur’an 5:33).
   There is a law against blasphemy in Judaism and in Christianity:

“And the Israelitish woman’s son blasphemed the name of the Lord, and cursed….let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him. …. And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death….And Moses spake to the children of Israel, that they should bring forth him that had cursed out of the camp, and stone him with stones. And the children of Israel did as the Lord commanded Moses”–(Lev. 24:11-16, 23). (This is one of the Biblical laws that the Qur’an has abrogated–(2:106; 16:101).    

Capital Punishment
Some secular laws allow murderers to return to society where they may again commit murder and perhaps other crimes, and where in prison they may be supported by the families of their victims (through their taxes; and criminals are given such facilities as gym, computers, study material; etc, that some tax-payers and members of some victims may not be able to afford for themselves or families; and they are probably better fed than some of the taxpayers that shoulder their bills). Islam rids society of them permanently–(In the case of unintentional murder compensation may be effected–Qur’an 2:178; 4:92).

Allāh the Wise tells us: “And there is life for you in retaliation, O men of understanding, That you guard yourselves”-(Qur’an 2:179).
   Citizens cannot be safe unless the murderer is permanently removed from society. One who has deliberately killed once would likely not hesitate to kill again. And again. Especially in a system that only imprisons. While there are cases where an innocent has been incarcerated, those who are guilty without doubt are to be executed. Forgiveness to incorrigible offenders is not mercy; it is stupidity.

There is capital punishment in Judaism and Christianity: “He that smiteth  a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death” -Exodus 21:12, 14-15). Also, those who deal in people-trafficking, which would include abducting and selling girls/women into sex-slavery are to be executed: “And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death”-(Exodus 21:16).

Flogging
Most, if not all, secular laws do nothing to those guilty of adultery (and fornication) which could not only “ruin families, destroys household peace”, and deprives children of their need for parental togetherness, and contribute to the moral decay of society; but which could multiply sexually transmitted diseases, genital warts, gonorrhea, syphilis, AIDS –which may even become epidemic and even threaten chaste individuals (we’ve heard of people contracting AIDS through tainted blood and infected needles), diseases which may affect the unborn who doubtlessly has the right to protection from diseases– may create unwed moms and dads; and perhaps abandoned children; traumatized individuals (traumatized by not knowing the identity of their biological parents); and which could perhaps cost millions of dollars to society to stem these diseases and to provide for pre and post-natal care for unwed mothers and children, and to provide for the welfare of these hapless children and even the unwed mothers; and if the fornicating couples have multiple sex-partners they may end up not knowing whose baby they are having, or who is having their baby, and if such babies are given up for adoption or abandoned then, depending on the age of these couples, a mother may end up having sex with her son, and a father with his daughter when these children are grown.

   Thus, adultery and fornication, seemingly a personal affair, can and do have far-reaching effects in society. Should fornication and adultery then not be forcibly deterred? Islam allows that such persons be disgraced and identified.

(Recently, I came upon a television show by chance and learnt one of the fallouts of adultery. A man denied his son for twenty-three years, believing that his wife had cheated on him, resulting in the birth of the son [who was raised by his sister]. It was unsettling to listen to the son’s hurt at the rejection [even though in such a situation the child is blameless]. As it turned out, DNA evidence showed that the man was the boy’s father. I do not recall if it was stated that the mother was alive or not; but imagine her heartaches at her innocence and her son being denied love by his father. This father and son [and sister and mother] might have gone to their graves with bitterness and pain and hurt and anguish if there was no DNA science or if no DNA test was done.

   Islam is very strict where chastity of women is concerned; requiring four witness to the act; and those who bear false witnesses are to be flogged and their testimony not to be accepted again, unless they repent and act uprightly–(Qur’an 24:4-5): thus requirement of provides “an effectual restraint against slander and gossip, which so often bring disaster upon the heads of innocent women. Unless there is the clearest evidence of adultery against a woman, the slanderer is himself to be punished.”–(Muhammad Ali, Qur’anic comm. 1738 (Qur’an 24:4).

These laws of Islam–dismemberment and flogging–are not “torture.”
   If the taking of painful injections for the containment of rabies, and suffering radiation for the treatment of cancer, and suffering deprivation to free oneself from addiction, are not torture –but rather are the remedies for the diseases afflicting the individual– then flogging the adulterer and fornicator, dismembering the thief, and executing the murderer–which are remedies for the diseases afflicting not only the individual but the society–could not be deemed as “torture.”

   Society is not to be hostaged (with cost and disease) by loose sexuality; and overrun by criminals because man considers himself more humane than God. If individuals are brazen enough to transgress the law, be it religious or secular, they must suffer the consequences.

   In Saudi Arabia, as noted by Ibn Warraq in his book Why I am not a Muslim (p. 31), “Lovers’ heads and robbers’ hands are falling.”
   And in the West robbers are sent to prison; and most likely end up robbing again and may even commit acts of murder and rape; and lovers run the risk of contracting herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis and AIDS which they may in turn infect others. It is doubtful that a decent law-abiding citizen would not prefer a society where thieves are permanently removed from thievery, and promiscuity discouraged, but would prefer a society overwrought with the “dead weight” of robbers, rapists, murderers, drunkenness, gambling, drug-dealing, drug addiction, pimping and prostitution, pornography and child pornography, and sexually-diseased children.

(The Toronto Star Tuesday, January 11, 2000, in its article “AIDS crisis called major world threat”, by Kathleen Kenna of the Washington Bureau, reports U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Anan as saying, “Nowhere else has AIDS yet become a threat to economic, social and political stability on the scale that it now is in southern and eastern Africa;” that “Last year, AIDS killed about 10 times more people in Africa than did armed conflict,” he said. If people were following Divine injunctions to avoid illicit carnal relations, AIDS may not now be a “major world threat.” In fact there may not be AIDS).  

   Flogging is “aimed more at disgracing the culprit than at torturing him. In the time of the Prophet, and even for some time after him, there was no whip, and flogging was carried out by beating with a stick or with the hand or with shoes. The culprit was not stripped naked, but he was required to take off thick clothes.” (M. Ali, Qur’anic comm. # 1736). Stripes are to be given “on different parts of the body so that no harm should result to any one part, but the face and the private parts must be avoided.”(M. Ali, The Religion of Islam, p. 731).

Public floggings serves to identify the guilty individuals so that chaste men/women would avoid them as marriage partners: “The adulterer cannot have sexual relations with any but an adulteress or an idolatress, and the adulteress, none can have sexual relations with her but an adulterer or an idolater; and it is forbidden to believers”–(Qur’an 24:3). (This verse shows that there is no “honor killing” in Islam; then. those guilty of illegal sexual intercourse would not be left to have relations among themselves or with idolaters).

Islam does not support oppression or sin. Allāh enjoins Muslims to fight oppression–(Qur’an 2:191, 193; 8:39; 42:42); and to “help not one another in sin and aggression”–(Qur’an 5:2; 58:9).

   The believer in God who does not apply the law of God, thinking himself to be more humane than God or in trying to avoid the heat of popular opinion, is simply throwing the Book of God behind his back.
                   “Hell is hotter.” And inescapable.

 Honor killing
Allāh reveals in His Qur’an: “The adulterer cannot have sexual relations with any but an adulteress or an idolatress, and the adulteress, none can have sexual relations with her but an adulterer or an idolater; and it is forbidden to believers”–(Qur’an 24:3. M. Ali).

   Zinaa means sexual intercourse between people who are not married to each other–i.e. adultery and fornication. Thus, according to the verse a woman, whether she is married or single, who had sexual relations with a married man or a single man then she can only marry a married man or a single man (or an idolater) who also had illegal sex; and a man, whether he is single or married, who had sexual relations with a married woman or a single woman then he can only marry a married woman or a single woman (or an idolatress) who also had illegal sex.

   Yusuf Ali translates the verse: “Let no man guilty of adultery or fornication marry any but a woman similarly guilty, or an Unbeliever: Nor let any but such a man or Unbeliever marry such a woman. To the Believers such a thing is forbidden”
   The verse shows that there is no “honor killing” in Islam; adulterers/fornicators could not be left to have sex or to marry their kind if Islam had required honor killings. The punishment is lashes–(Qur’an 24:2; 4:25). 

   Honor killing is the Jewish and Christian law: “But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you”–(Deut. 22:20-21).

(Hinduism teaches: “Should a wife out of her family pride desert her husband and misconduct herself, let the king condemn her to be devoured by dogs before all men and women. Similarly should a husband forsake his wife and misconduct himself with other women, let the king cause that sinner to be burnt alive publicly on a red hot iron-bed”–(Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Light Of Truth, p. 199; quoting “Manu VII, 371. 372, 406, 419, 420”).
            And:
“A woman who has been unchaste should worship Siva in his calm aspect, Siva who is Kama. Then she should summon a Brahmin and give herself to him, thinking, ‘This is Kama who has come for the sake of sexual pleasure.’ And whatever the Brahmin wishes, the sensuous woman should do. For thirteen months she should honour in this way any Brahmin who comes to the house for the sake of sexual pleasures, and there is no immorality in this for noble ladies or prostitutes.”
“The Brahmin guest represents Śiva/Kāma, who purifies the woman whom he seduces, for extreme sexual licence may remove sexual stigma, just as extreme tapas (austerity) does” (Cited in Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty, Śiva The Erotic Ascetic, p. 256).

Stoning and death is the Jewish and Christian law. Married damsel without the “token of virginity” is to be stoned to death: “But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you”–(Deut. 22:20-21).

   A virginal damsel who lies with a man other than her “betrothed,” both are to be stoned to death–(Deut. 22:23-24).

   Punishment for adultery is death–(Lev. 20:10-12; Deut. 22:22).

   A man who takes a “wife and her mother,” both shall be burnt with fire–(Lev. 20:14).

   The adulteress is to be stoned–(John 8:3-5). 

Stoning and Adultery
“Chastity, as a virtue, is not given the first place in modern civilized society, and hence adultery is not considered a sufficiently serious offence to subject the guilty party to any punishment except the payment of damages to the injured husband. The breach of the greatest trust which can be imposed in a man or a woman, the breach which ruins families, destroys household peace, and deprives innocent children of their loving mothers, is not looked upon even as seriously as the breach of trust of a few pounds. Hence the Islamic law seems to be too severe to a Westerner.”–(Muhammad Ali, Qur’anic comm. 1736 (Qur’an 24:2).

There is no stoning or sentence of death in the Qur’an for the sin of adultery. The Arabic word Zinaa means sexual intercourse between people who are not married to each other –i.e. adultery and fornication. The punishment for adultery and fornication is lashes: “The adulteress and the adulterer, flog each of them (with) a hundred stripes”–(Qur’an 24:2). That flogging for the sin of adultery is the required punishment is verified in 4:25, where the punishment to married slave-girls guilty of adultery is stated that “…if they are guilty of adultery when they are taken in marriage, they shall suffer half the punishment for free married women”–(Qur’an 4:25). Stoning to death “could not be halved;” but flogging can be “halved.”

   The reasons for the Prophet Mohammad’s orders to stone the adulterer/adulteress were two-fold: (1) it was carried out against the Jews, who were to be judged according to the Torah; (2) prior to the Qur’anic revelations on this subject, the Prophet was required to follow the Torah.

   The Prophet Mohammad taught us according to Divine Revelation: he did not speak out of desire–(Qur’an 10:15; 21:45; 53:3-4). It is inconceivable that the Prophet would act against the clear injunction(s) of the Qur’an and “stone to death” when Allāh ordered “flogging.” It is clear that the Prophet’s “stoning” to death was limited to Jews.
In the case of Muslims, if any, “stoning” would have been carried out before the revelation of the above Qur’anic verses. (These are some of the teachings that the Qur’an has abrogated–Qur’an 2:106; 16:101). That the early Caliphs carried out stoning, Muhammad Ali:

“It is generally thought that while the Qur’an prescribes flogging as a punishment for fornication, i.e. when the guilty person is not married, stoning to death is the punishment for adultery, and that this is allegedly based on the Prophet’s practice. But the Qur’an plainly speaks of the punishment for adultery in the case of married slave-girls as being half the punishment of adultery in the case of free married women (muhsanat), and therefore death or stoning to death cannot be conceived of as possible punishment in case of adultery as it cannot be halved, while imprisonment or flogging may be. Thus the Qur’an not only speaks of flogging and not death, as punishment for adultery, but it positively excludes death or stoning to death.”

“…stoning was the punishment of adultery in the Jewish law, and that it was in the case of Jewish offenders that this punishment was first resorted to by the Prophet when he came to Madinah. There are other reports which show that the same punishment was given in certain cases when the offenders were Muslims, but apparently this was before the revelation of the verse (24:2) which speaks of flogging as the punishment for both the adulterer and the adulteress, it being the practice of the Prophet to follow the earlier revealed law until he received a definite revelation on a point. A suggestion to that effect is contained in a tradition: “Shaibani says, I asked ‘Abd Allah ibn Abi Aufa, Did the Holy Prophet stone to death? He said, Yes. I said, Was it before the chapter entitled the Light (ch. 24) was revealed or after it? The reply was, I do not know” (Bu. 86:21. [Vol. 8 # 804]). The chapter referred to is that which speaks of flogging as a punishment for adultery, and the question shows clearly that the practice of stoning for adultery was recognized as being against the plain injunction contained in that chapter. It is likely that some misunderstanding arose from the incidents which happened before the Qur’anic revelation on the point, and that that practice was taken as the Sunnah of the Prophet. The Khwarij, the earliest Muslim sect, entirely rejected stoning to death (rajm) as a punishment in Islam (RM. VI, p. 6.) 

The question seems to have arisen early as to how an adulterer could be stoned, when the Qur’an prescribed flogging as the only punishment for adultery. ‘Umar is reported to have said that “there are people who say, What about stoning, for the punishment prescribed in the Book of Allah is flogging” (Ah. I, p. 50.) To such objector’s ‘Umar’s reply was: “In what Allah revealed, there was the verse of rajm (stoning); we read it and we understood it and we guarded it; the Prophet did stone (adulterers to death) and we also stoned after him, but I fear that when more time passes away, a sayer would say, We do not find the verse of rajm in the Book of Allah” (Bu. 86:31 [Vol. 8 # 816]). According to another version he is reported to have added: “Were it not that people would say that ‘Umar has added in the Book of Allah that which is not in it, I would have written it” (AD. 37:23). The argument attributed to ‘Umar is very unsound. He admitted that the Qur’an did not contain any verse prescribing the punishment of stoning for adulterers, and at the same time he is reported as stating that there was such a verse in what Allah revealed. In all probability what ‘Umar meant, if he ever spoke those words, was that the verse of stoning was to be found in the Jewish sacred book, the Torah, which was undoubtedly a Divine revelation, and that the Prophet stoned adulterers to death. The use of the words “Book of God” (Kitab Allah) for the Torah is common in the Qur’an itself, the Torah being again and again spoken of as Kitab Allah or the Book of God, or al-Kitab, i.e., the Book (Qur’an 2:213, etc.). In all likelihood ‘Umar only spoke of rajm as the punishment of adultery in the Mosaic law and he was misunderstood. At any rate he could not have spoken the words attributed to him. Had there been such a verse of the Qur’an, he would have brought it to the notice of other Companions of the Prophet, when a complete written copy was first prepared in the time of Abu Bakr at his own suggestion. The words, as attributed to him in some of these reports, are simply meaningless. How could he say that there was a verse of the Qur’an which he would have written down in the Qur’an, but he feared that people would say that he had made an addition to the Qur’an, that is to say, added to it what was not part of it? A verse could not be said to be a part of the Qur’an and not a part of the Qur’an at one and the same time.

There is further evidence in tradition itself that ‘Umar himself, at least in one reported case (and it is a reliable report), punished adultery with flogging as laid down in the Qur’an in 24:2, and not with stoning to death.””–(The Religion of Islam, pp. 730, 731, 733, 734, 735).
   The Qur’an supersedes all other sources of guidance. (Muhammad Ali’s translation of the Qur’an can be viewed online: www.muslim.org).

As noted above, stoning and death is the Jewish and Christian law: punishment for adultery is death–(Lev. 20: 10-12; Deut. 22:22); the adulteress is to be stoned–(John 8:3-5).

Child Custody
Allāh tells us to call children by the names of their fathers–(Qur’an 33:4-5).

That men are the maintainers of women–(Qur’an 4:34) seems to be the basis for the father having custody of a child, though a mother also can be financially capable of providing for herself and child. In fact, some women are higher wage-earners than some men. Also, her new husband, in the event of remarriage, could also be her (and her children’s) maintainer. Aside from these exceptions, in Islam the burden of support lies on the father.

While the father, seemingly, has first right to custody–(Qur’an 2:233), it does not seem mandatory that he take this position. Three compelling reasons for this are:

   (i) As the home-maker, whereas a step-mother might be partial to another woman’s children, it is doubtful a mother would be partial to her own children, even though they may be from many fathers. (True, a stepfather might be partial, but, generally, it is the mother who has more time with the children).
   (ii) We are to honor the womb that bore us–(Qur’an 4:1), and paradise lies at the feet of mothers. While one can honor his mother mentally in her absence, physically he cannot honor her and his paradise cannot lie at her feet if he is estranged from her; more so if geographic borders separate them.
   (iii) A mother is not to be separated from her child–(Tirmidhi #979).

   One report in the Tradition notes the Prophet giving the mother custody of the child so long as she does not remarry–(Abu Dawud Vol. 2, p. 616, # 2269).
Another reports the Prophet giving the child the right to choose which parent he wants to be with–(Abu Dawud Vol. 2, p. 617, # 2270).
   These two reports seem to convey that a young child be in the care of the mother and a child who can decide for himself has the option of choosing the parent he/she wishes to be with. This also seems to show that the child’s welfare is to be given first consideration.
  As the child’s welfare is to be given first consideration, and as a divorce in Islam is expected to be an amicable affair–(Qur’an 2:229, 231) the mother and father are to be considerate to the other and both are to be given equal participation in the child’s life. This seems to be the requirement as expressed in Qur’an 2:233 which states in part: “Neither shall a mother be made to suffer harm on account of her child, nor a father on account of his child.”

   Significantly, after worship of Allāh service to parents is next in line–(Qur’an 17:23; 31:14) and our mother deserves our service three times over before service to our father –she having carried us, gave birth, and nursed us. (Bokhari Vol. 8, # 2). But a child cannot serve his or her parents if he or she is alienated from either one.

   As Shari’ah is based on the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah and as the Sunnah is based on the teachings of the Qur’an, and as there is no discrimination or injustice in the Qur’an whatever in Shari’ah that is the opinion of the Jurist(s) that discriminates is to be removed.

Adoption “Call them by (the names of) their fathers; this is more equitable with Allāh; but if you know not their fathers, then they are your brethren in faith and your friends. And there is no blame on you in that wherein you make a mistake, but (you are answerable for) that which your hearts purpose. And Allāh is ever Forgiving, Merciful”-(Qur’an 33:5.Bokhari Vol. 5, #335).

That adopted children be called by the names of their fathers has merit. Children have the right to know their biological parents in which event they may be entitled to inheritance. Not knowing their parents they may end up marrying their brother/sister. Also, depending on the age of their parents when they were given up, children may end up marrying their father or mother.

Islam requires honoring mothers and holding to family ties–(Qur’an 4:1); this can only be so if children know their biological mothers. Even in societies that have “closed file” adoption, adoptive parents tell children they were adopted; and there are children who try to find their birth parents, and vice versa. The Islamic value system makes this process easy. In fact, regardless of the reason they were placed for adoption, adopted children may be more at ease at having two “known” sets of parents.

Keeping an adopted child ignorant of his parentage could have a devastating effect on the child and even on adoptive parents in the event the child should find out from outside source(s) he (she) was adopted. He might go through the rest of his life resentful of his adoptive parents for not being told, and aching to know his biological parents and the reason he (she) was given for adoption.

Since Islam requires the State to provide for the poor and needy, etc;–(Qur’an 9:60), placing a child for adoption would have to be under extreme situation. Thus there would be no shame on parent(s) and children being in contact after adoption. And adoptive parents rather than be “exclusive” should be joyed to share with the birth parents.
                                                     *                

NOTES

1. Abu Dawud Vol. 3, # 4087. The Prophet “cursed” the cross-dressers; not lashed them or ordered that they be lashed. (This reference was not in the letter).

2. There is said to be a weak [inauthentic: lacking a chain of narrators) hadith of the Prophet is which he is reported to have said May Allāh have mercy on the women who wear trousers.

Firstly, since the Muslim women of the Prophet’s time would most certainly be following the injunctions of the Qur’an and instructions of the Prophet and therefore would not have been wearing trousers if trousers were forbidden then this saying could only have been directed against the disbelieving (pagan) women. Secondly, mercy of Allāh does not only mean forgiveness of sins from Allāh but also guidance from Allāh. Thus, it may be that in this alleged saying the Prophet was expecting that Allāh would open the hearts of the pagan women to faith/Islam.

In any event it would hardly seem to matter what the Muslim woman wears in public if she is covered with an over-garment –jalaba.

Also, in cold temperatures such “trouser”-like garments–such as long johns and sweat pants– would benefit the woman to keep her warm. Even if there was such a saying by the Prophet, compromise can be made under this condition.

The gravest of all sins is the denial of Allāh. And as Muslims can deny Allāh under compulsion–(Qur’an 16:106) it stands to reason that he can compromise any other teaching when under compulsion.

Says the noble Messenger of Allāh, Islam is an easy religion whoever overburdens himself will not be able to continue–(Bokhari Vol, 1, # 38, 69, 90). And Allāh reveals in the case of Fasting–and which is true in all other matters, that He “desires ease for you, and He desires not hardship for you”–(Qur’an 2:185). And having to unnecessarily endure frigid temperatures in a dress when wearing ‘garments having legs’ is available is a hardship.

 Also the hours of fasting can be shortened–(AD 36:13; M. Ali comm. to Qur’an 2:187).
A minimum of 10-12 hours fast is required to obtain the medical/physiological benefit of fasting. According to one source this regulating/shortening of the hours of fasting is only for areas where there is no night, such as the north pole.
However, this concession would also seem to be allowable to the elderly and those having a medical condition and cannot endure the long hours of summer; rather than to shut them out from the rewards of this blessed and gifted month from Allāh. And Allāh knows best; and is The Most Merciful.

3. Matt. 5:17-18

4. Matt. 23:2-3

5. Luke 6:29.

6. Exodus 21:24.

7. Lev. 20:10/John 8:5.

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