Tuesday, September 9, 2014

General Misunderstandings on Sharia Law


There seems to be a bit of misunderstanding of what sharia law actually is. Sharia law is the law meant to be followed by the believer. It does not apply onto non-believers within the community. It comes with the ordainment to pray and fast, etc.

Regarding verses that order the cutting of hands for thieves, scholars have interpreted it to mean that cut the means for the thieves to steal by imprisoning them or, better yet, getting rid of the issue that caused the person to steal such as during the time of Umar ibn al-Khattab when a person was let go for stealing because the area he lived in was suffering from poverty and the caliph knew he had no choice but to steal.

Women can live free lives. The Quran makes no judgment on that. People have to learn to make a difference between societal laws and ritualistic laws within the sharia. Societal laws are laws that vary by time and place because when the sharia was revealed it was revealed as a constitution for the early Muslim community of Medina who had just come together to form their own organized society.

The societal laws within the sharia are subjective to the date and place of where they were revealed. Hence, women needing a mahram to travel with because women did not have the ability to protect themselves then and there were many rapists and looters out on the highway. Nowadays, we have many women who know how to take care of themselves and also we have cops who can be summoned at the press of a button. It is ritualistic law that has any barring on your salvation as would the ruling to pray during the day or night or fast during Ramadan. No-one dying while traveling without a mahram will be questioned for it as one would be questioned for missing the daily prayers or an important day of fasting.

Homosexuality is considered a sin by the mainstream interpretation of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah but even then, scholars agree, there is no punishment for homosexual intercourse. However, I am going to have to disappoint you by saying, homosexual marriage is not sanctioned by Islam and thus a homosexual person when having sex is committing zina i.e. unlawful sex, and thus would be punished as a zani.

There's a catch though. In order to punish one who commits zina there needs to be four witness of ideal character who has seen the crime happening but any witness who sees such a deed is not considered to be of ideal character therefore it is cyclic catch-22 designed to protect the zani so that he or she may repent and keep the matter between themselves and their Lord. This is why we have no concept of seeking confession in Islam whatsoever.



— Fahim Ferdous Promi

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