Islamic Shariah

By Saulat Pervez
When the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, first began to receive revelations from God in 610 A.D., little did he know that they were the foundational stones for the formation of a future state to be refined piecemeal over the next 23 years. Complete with divinely-ordained laws, a blueprint for societal balance, and individual and mutual sense of accountability, this ‘way of life’ called Islam was presented to the general public through the medium of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
Compiled into one text, these revelations not only represent the holy book of the Muslims, the Quran, but are also the foremost source for Shariah, Islamic law. Shariah, quite literally, translates to a path leading to a water hole; figuratively, it refers to a clear, straight path. It is a body of laws derived mainly from the Quran and the example of the Prophet Muhammad, along with interpretive, analogous, and/or consensus rulings for cases where no evidence could be sought from primary sources. (Read more: Understanding Shariah)
The laws as present in the Quran are binding on Muslims and range from prohibition of alcohol consumption and gambling to setting punishments for such grave offences as adultery and theft. Due to their divine origin – directly conveyed to the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, via the Archangel Gabriel – these laws are considered timeless and perfect, geared towards the success, welfare and peace of humans in this world and in the hereafter.

Shariah: Commitment to Justice

While many people, both Muslim and non-Muslim, vocally and vehemently oppose Shariah law today in favor of western legal systems, this disenchantment tends to stem from either an unclear understanding of Shariah or instances of misuse of justice ‘back home’ in the name of Shariah. In fact, the establishment and internalization of justice is the supreme purpose of Shariah. The Quran states, “Thus we have made you a just nation, that you be witnesses over mankind, and the Messenger be a witness over you.” [2:143]
Further, God commands His believers: “O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, be he rich or poor. Allah is a better Protector to both. So follow not the lusts, lest you avoid justice; and if you distort your witness or refuse to give it, verily Allah is Ever Well-Acquainted with what you do.” [4:135]
This emphasis and primacy of justice was not at all introduced with Islam. In Ch. 57, verse 25, God reminds humankind of the fact that a similar code was brought by each previous Messenger so that “mankind may keep up justice.” Therefore, it is no surprise that the Code of Hammurabi and the Law of Moses also contain retributive laws, similar to the famous “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” Islam, however, adds the following corollary to such retribution: It is better to forgive.
Today, such laws are considered by the vast majority to be medieval, barbaric, and primitive. Shariah, likewise, is intractably coupled with merciless executions, chopping off of hands and honor killings. To accept such a generalized picture of an intensely complex legal system is not only a disservice to divinely ordained laws but also to one’s own sense of integrity. Here is an attempt to dispel some of the prevalent myths and to bring clarity to the matter.
Shariah Law & Common Law
Similarities Differences
Both are committed to facilitating basic values such as freedom, human rights, justice, and equality Shariah has its roots in the divine writ, whereas common law has been founded by human beings
Consultation and participation in the process of decision-making (shura) is common to both laws Certain laws and restrictions are timeless under Shariah (for instance, prohibition of alcohol) whereas laws and amendments can change at will within a democracy (for example, the ratification of the National Prohibition Act in the U.S. in 1919 and its official rejection in 1933)
Shariah Law and Common Law both espouse the establishment of a federal government, the declaration of freedom of religion, the abolishment of guilt by association, the right to privacy, and matters such as common defense and peacemaking Shariah encompasses all areas of life, such as dietary laws, dress code, finances, and social aspects. On the other hand, common law leaves matters such as dietary considerations, relationships between consenting adults, dress code, and economic choices to the preferences of individuals

Shariah: Dispelling Myths

The Shariah consists of hadd punishments and tazir punishments; hadd crimes overstep God’s set boundaries whereas tazir crimes are committed against the society. The following hadd crimes have been mentioned in the Quran: murder, apostasy from Islam, theft, adultery, defamation, robbery and consumption of alcohol. Common tazir crimes include bribery, selling tainted or defected products, treason, usury, selling obscene pictures, etc.
While hadd punishments have been fixed in the Quran (such as retributive killing for murder and the chopping off of a limb for theft) there are many safeguards which are important to mention. For any punishment to actually take place, proof must be provided, along with a confession of the crime or witnesses testifying against the criminal. If any of these is not sufficiently presented, Islamic law requires the hadd crime to be treated as a tazir crime. (Some of the tazir penalties include counseling, fines, flogging, confinement, etc.)
Similarly, if a thief could prove that he/she only stole because of need, then the Muslim society would be held at fault and made to supply that need and there would be no hadd punishment. Likewise, to be penalized for adultery, the couple had to be actually witnessed performing the physical act by four people who were in a position to identify both parties without doubt. A retributive punishment may be averted if the aggrieved party is willing to accept blood money or to forgive, which is always considered to be the higher road to take in Islam. Indeed, to forgive when one has the right to take revenge is the ultimate form of mercy, and God reminds us over and over in the Quran that while He is Just, He is also Most Merciful. (See more: Shariah in the 2012 Presidential Race)
Forced marriages and honor killings are not at all sanctioned in Islam. Unfortunate deaths caused as a result of misguided emotions must be dealt by the courts as murders. Rape is a serious offence which is punishable by death, penalizing the rapist and exonerating the raped woman, treating her as a victim, not a complicit.
An example from the time of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, states:
Waa’il ibn Hujr said that a woman, in the life of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), [left her home] intending to go for Prayer [in the mosque] when a man seized her and had sexual intercourse with her, while she let out a scream [for help]. The man fled, and she told a man what had occurred. A group from amongst the immigrants were told of this and they chased the man down eventually capturing who they thought it was, and took the man to her. She said that it was the man who did it to her. They took the man (and the woman) to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), and the man was asked, ‘Who is the man who did this to her?’ The man confessed saying, “I am the one who did this to her, Oh Messenger of Allah!” The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said to the woman, “You can leave, for Allah has forgiven you!” The Prophet (pbuh) said to the man, “Your words are sound.” So he said regarding the man who had raped her, “Stone him”. He added, “This man has [sincerely] repented a type of repentance that if the people of Medinah would perform, Allah would accept it from them.” (Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi)
As for stoning, Ruqayyah Waris Maqsood, a British Muslim author, explains, “The correct Islamic method of stoning according to Sharia was similar to that advised by the Pharisees at the time of Jesus – the person was held fast in a fixed position, and a stone or rock that it took two men to lift (i.e. was heavier than one man could lift alone) was to be dropped to crush the head – it was not someone tied to a post and rocks hurled at them, although this has been done in some cultures. The point was that if someone really had to be executed, it was to be done swiftly, with as little torture as possible, and usually publicly so that no vindictive person could do further nasty things behind the scenes and get away with it.”
Muslim women may seek divorce for grounds such as physical or mental abuse, adultery, abandonment, etc. Alternatively, they may demand a divorce for no specific reason. With regards to custody of children, Shariah permits parents to decide with whom the children will stay; if they are in disagreement, they may allow the courts to decide for them. In principle, however, mothers are preferred as the primary caretakers for young children, and fathers are required to provide for the children’s maintenance.
When it comes to inheritance, a woman’s share is half of man, but then she has no obligation to make any financial contribution to the family, even if she earns; her money is hers to keep because her husband, father, or brother are required to provide for her. It is often claimed that a woman’s testimony is half of a man – the vast majority of scholars view that verse of the Quran [2:282] in the context in which it occurs, i.e., testimony regarding financial transactions. Jamal Badawi, professor at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, explains that this verse cannot be taken as a general ruling because at another instance [24:6-9], no such exception has been made.
Non-Muslims under Sharia are protected so long as they pay the annual tax, called jizya; this is a nominal amount which does not amount to hardship on the part of the taxed. Their houses of worship are safe under Islamic rule and they are free to worship their religion; in other words, Sharia does not apply any pressure on them to change their existing religion to Islam. However, non-Muslims may voluntarily accept Islam. The various pockets of minorities which continue to exist in Muslim countries are testimony enough against theories which propound forced conversions and persecution of non-Muslims.
Unfortunately, in certain instances, Muslim countries have misused Shariah laws as a tool for injustice; however, that does not discount the fact that Shariah laws were sent by God to establish justice on earth. God’s original laws and their intent remain free of human blemishes. At the same time, authoritative people in the West are recognizing the value of Shariah laws and the right for Muslims to have a choice in legal disputes regarding family and finances: from the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams to Ontario’s former attorney general Marion Boyd to Harold Koh, the Legal Adviser of the Department of State under the Obama administration.

Shariah: Its Essence

Khurram Murad, the late Director General of the The Islamic Foundation, Leicester, United Kingdom, explained that there are there major themes in the Shariah: the individual, the society, and the family. The individual has been given a free will, a moral sense, and the knowledge of right and wrong; now it is up to him/her to realize his/her potential. Meanwhile, the individual’s life, person, freedom, possessions and honor are sacred and inviolable. Anyone who transgresses against her/him is subject to punishment, depending on the crime committed. Similar levels of justice are expected of her/him, if s/he commits the crime or is complicit.
The individual(s) must take responsibility for his/her action – this is why confessing is so important in the Shariah. And, the harsh punishments commensurate to the crime (whether hadd or tazir) serve as a definitive deterrent, specifically, for the criminal and his/her future actions and, generally, for the public. In fact, because the hadd punishments are already known, their severity is a preventive measure against lawlessness to begin with.
After all, it is the larger society which is at stake. “Social order and individual good should stand together – fused and harmonious, co-operating and assisting, interdependent and in equilibrium,” wrote Khurram Murad. He further likened family as the “cradle of the individual and the cornerstone of society.” Indeed, Shariah places great importance on all three of these “institutions” of life, returning over and over again to both the accountability and the inviolability of the human being – for a crime is essentially an act of injustice to one’s own self, a sin against God.
God wishes for us to internalize His concept of justice so we do not upset the balance of society. Our accountability with God will take place on the Day of Judgment, but our accountability to aggrieved members of the society has to be carried out here. While some may continue to deem such punishments as harsh, Muslims believe they are divinely-ordained by the Creator for His creation.
And perfect are the words of your Lord in truthfulness, and in justice; His words cannot be changed; He is the All-hearing, All-knowing.” [6:116]
Blurbs:
  1. When the people of his tribe wanted pardon for a wealthy woman who was convicted of theft, Prophet Muhammad responded to their pleas thus: “O people, those who have gone before you were destroyed, because if any one of high rank committed theft amongst them, they spared him; and it anyone of low rank committed theft, they inflicted the prescribed punishment upon him. By Allah, if Fatima, daughter of Muhammad, were to steal, I would have her hand cut off.”
  2. Umar, the second caliph of Islam, was renowned for his justice. Any of his subjects could easily approach him with a question or a complaint. He also used to walk through his city in the cover of darkness to check upon the welfare of his subjects. Once, when he tried to put a ceiling on the marriage-gift given to women upon marriage, a woman stood up and protested, using a Quranic verse as support. He recognized his mistake and responded, “The woman is right and Umar is wrong.”
  3. When the third caliph, Uthman, sued a Jewish subject in court for stealing his court of armor, the caliph lost the case because the judge dismissed his two sons’ testimonies as insufficient due to their direct relationship to him.

23 Comments

  1. Ella says:

    I don’t feel any better about Shariah law. It is a terrible system that still, even on this website, shows that it is in support of murder as ‘punishment’ for something as trivial as adultery. I am a free person, and nobody will EVER tell me what I can wear, what I can eat, or how I can live my life. And thank God America allows me to do these things.

    I sickens me that people could actually condone stoning! We’re not barbarians – it’s 2011! People are imperfect and it is disgusting that people use religion as a mask to carry out ‘revenge.’ And furthermore, Shariah law is nothing but an excuse to smother women and treat them no better than worms crawling in dirt.

    Shame on anyone who sees Shariah law as sacred and just.

    And “Allah” needs to forgive a woman for getting RAPED? This is ridiculous.

    I am a free woman – I can drive, I can work, and I do not have to cover myself up with some ridiculous burqa. I will never allow such a tainted religion to suppress me! And there is NOTHING you can do about it. :)

    • Perseveranze says:

      Peace Ella,

      “I am a free person, and nobody will EVER tell me what I can wear, what I can eat, or how I can live my life. And thank God America allows me to do these things. ”

      With all do respects Ella, even in America people aren’t “free” and can’t live their life the way they want. There are rules and regulations that you HAVE to follow, even if you don’t want to. In theory it’s like being oppressed by man made rules and systems. You HAVE to pay your taxes and you have NO control over where that money goes (ie. It could go to helping troops kill innocent people in foriegn lands). This is just one of many examples.

      Despite this, we all know rules are essential to bring about a civil society. A “free society” does not exist and never has, if it were to exist then that society would immediatly fall.

      Oh and and just for the record, “what I can wear”, is also untrue. If you wore nothing, you would be persecuted. In some instances you can’t wear a baraclava without being stopped and told to take it off.

      This is the “American” society you feel “free” in – http://www.infowars.com/number-one-20-not-so-good-categories-that-the-united-states-leads-the-world-in/

      “I sickens me that people could actually condone stoning! We’re not barbarians – it’s 2011! ”

      The year holds no difference. In 1000 years from now, they could be condoning alot of things we see as “normal” and “fine” today. If anything, it’s just a culture shock for you.

      But to further add, no one “condones” stoning. This is what you need to be eligable for the stoning punishment –

      - 4 upright witnesses.

      Now, what’s interesting here is, no one would commit adultery in public where everyone can see. They would do it in the safety of their own private space or property. Say if 4 people were to take a peek and see the act, then even then, the fact that they “spied” on a person’s private property means the punishment or the law can not be carried out. Since in Islam, privacy is extremely important.

      The above scenario makes it impossible to get caught, in fact never has there been a case where the adulterer has been caught by 4 witnesses, it’s just impossible. The law is only there to scare people into not committing the sin. What you do in your privacy is your choice and you can repent with God, but if you commit the sin in public, then it becomes a state problem.

      And “adultery” may seem fine to you, but please tell that to the people who have broken homes and families, all because their husband or wife couldn’t wait for a simple divorce, instead they go sleeping with another partner. It may hurt the person involved, not to mention any children they have but it hurts society aswell.

      “Shariah law is nothing but an excuse to smother women and treat them no better than worms crawling in dirt. ”

      This statement is completly untrue and is based on your own lack of understanding. I am 100% sure if you asked any Muslim woman as to whether they feel “Sharia law” or “Islam” oppresses them, they will tell you; instead of oppressing, it liberates us.

      And it’s not Muslim women who know this, even Non Muslim Orientilists agree.

      For example –

      “The rules, regulations and verdicts concerning women in Islam are clear, frank and open. Islam capitalizes on the complete care that should be given to the protection of a woman against anything that may harm her personally, or cause ill-fame to her reputation or character.” – [Sir Hamilton]

      “Islamic virtuous deeds are not limited to honoring and respecting women, but rather, we can add that Islam is the first religion to honor and respect women. We can easily prove this by illustrating that all religions and nations, prior to the advent of Islam, caused much harm and insult to women.” – [Gustave Le Bon]

      “Islamic Laws are among the best laws known to the world, insofar as woman is concerned. It is the most fair and just legislation. It exceeds the Western legislation concerning real estate, inheritance and divorce laws. It acts as a guardian for women’s rights. Phrases such as One Wife is Sufficient for a man, and Polygamy, mystified people and turned them away from the real misery which Western women suffer from and live through. Many husbands left their wives after they got what they wanted from them. In fact such men show no care, concern or mercy for their wives.” [Mrs. Annie Besant, 20th Century]

      “Shame on anyone who sees Shariah law as sacred and just. ”

      That’s shame to 1.6billion and growing people then? I strongly suggest you read up on things more without comming to pre-concieved conclusions.

      “I am a free woman – I can drive, I can work, and I do not have to cover myself up with some ridiculous burqa. I will never allow such a tainted religion to suppress me! And there is NOTHING you can do about it. :)

      Firstly, your not a free woman, we both know this. Secondly, a Muslim woman can also drive and work, thirdly the Burqa is nothing that’s “rediculeous”. She wears it upon her own choice, it’s her liberation from the enslavement society brings upon her.

      Here’s an example on how the American media “pornifies” women and makes them more vulnurable to abuse, a recent study has shown – http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2011/08/11/Women-in-media-increasingly-sexualized/UPI-91901313103761/#ixzz1V1YnQ8SD

      You may be a slave to the latest fashion, or make up accessories, a slave to how other men may percieve you, but the Muslim woman is a slave only to God and God alone.

      My final word, please read up more on the subject, understand more about Islam, in particular women. In fact, why don’t you go and talk to a Muslim woman yourself, you may find that she’s not oppressed at all.

      —-

      Learn more about women in Islam –
      http://www.womeninislam.ws/en/
      http://www.islamswomen.com

    • peace says:

      But adultuery is not such a trivial thing when you see things from the eyes of the woman who’s husband has cheated on her. At least Islam recognises that she has rights too – the right to have a husband who does not cheat on her. Adultery is such a horrific thing that destroys families. Who is the victim – the wife who’s been cheated on or the husband who’s destroyed the sanctity of the marriage and is to be sentenced.

  2. Lisa Malain says:

    Your culture and traditions completely contradict your religion. Until the two make more sense together don’t expect any non believer to buy any of it..

    • Perseveranze says:

      Peace Lisa Malain,

      I’m not entirely sure what you mean by “culture and traditions completely contradict your religion”, if you could elaborate more, I’d appreciate it.

      However I will say this; Culture/traditions are fine as long as they don’t go against the teachings of Islam. If they go against the teachings of Islam, then they are forbidden.

      For example; it could be culturally/traditionally acceptable to drink alcohol. However, we know that alcohol is forbidden in Islam, in this case you would have to sacrifice your cultural practice.

      Islam is not just a religion, it is a complete way of life.

  3. Eddie Blair says:

    What part of the law are the rioters in Britian using or mis-using? If they steal a tv, will their hand be cut off?

    • tz says:

      Eddie,

      The punishments in Shariah are not applicable in any country of the world as of today. The requirements for implementing Shariah are too tough for the exploitative rulers to meet. Look at the 3rd blurb above and you’ll know what I mean.

      There is no court in the world today that will give the judgement against the highest office bearer, no matter what the circumstances.

    • Perseveranze says:

      Peace Eddie Blair,

      To further add to what tz said, there can be some cases, under certain circumstances where the person can be allowed to “pay back” the stolen goods, usually through working it off.

  4. Ken Crooms says:

    This article did not “dispel a myth” that I believe about Sharia: that it prescribes the death penalty for apostasy from Islam. It is absolutely wrong to have any death penalty for a person who merely changes religions. Everyone should have absolute freedom to change from any religion to any other religion for any reason he/she sees fit.

  5. tz says:

    Hey Ken,

    Thanks for your question. It is a very genuine one. I’m not going to be able to explain it as well as someone who’s an expert but i’ll still give it a shot.

    Death penalty is the highest punishment for a crime in Islam. It is only delivered by an Islamic state. So this penalty does not apply to Muslims living in non-Muslim countries. Even in Muslim countries like Pakistan, majority of Muslim scholars are in agreement that the state does not meet the requirement for implementing this penalty; the requirement being – a justice system that is based on Islamic Law.

    The death penalty for apostates is similar to the punishment for treason which in most countries of the world today, including the United States, is death penalty. Needless to say, the Islamic State executes this penalty only when this crime has been established beyond the shadow of a doubt. The defendant always gets the benefit of the doubt.

    Generally, from a Muslim perspective, Shariah is the law that God has required mankind to follow. And God, being our Creator, knows what is best for us individually as well as collectively. There are many rulings that Muslims might not understand the science behind, (for example, prohibition of eating pork) but we follow these rules because we believe God knows best what is good for us. Shariah encompasses both individual as well as collective benefit of people.

    With topics like the death penalty, Americans have always been divided. There are some that argue it shouldn’t be given even if a sane person murders millions (Hitler) while others are OK with it. Unless there is some frame of reference, people are always going to have opinions. In Islam, the supreme opinion is that of the Creator. Where the creator has not dictated a ruling, there is room for difference of opinion and debate and decision is reached based on consensus of majority of judicial scholars.

    • meinhaj says:

      Sallam, in addition to what the brother above says, death penalty on apostates was only applied on those that left Islam and then utilize this to push their own agenda and against Islam. For instance, one fellow started his own religion and claimed himself to be a prophet. In many other cases where say certain tribals would revert back if some adversity took place, the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the Quran condemned such behavior but there was not action taken by the Islamic state.

  6. Sol says:

    In the case of adultery, can it ever be forgiven without a death sentence? Some sources say “yes” and others say “no”, but then this is unclear to me as someone who has worked in a western legal system which would follow precedents.

    • Perseveranze says:

      Peace Sol,

      Firstly, just to clairfy, Adultery is someone who is already married but sleeps with someone other than his partner. This is a major sin in Islam.

      From my understanding, if you were living in a Shariah implemented society and someone has committed Adultery, and they ADMIT to it, then you could not be excused from the death sentence.

      Having said that, this is one of the reasons why in Islam, your told to hide your sins. Firstly, if you commit Adultery, you wouldn’t exactly do it in public where everyone can see, you would instead do it in a private place. And even if 4 upright witnesses were to see you commit the act and reported it, the death sentence could not be carried out (or any punishment for that matter), because the 4 witnesses “spied” on you in your own privacy.

      So, the 4 witnesses is quite impossible to have if I’m honest. The only way you can be guilty is if you admit it yourself. Your suppose to repent to God alone and move on, promising to yourself and God not to do it again. Knowing the punishment, why anyone in their right mind would admit to it I am unsure. If your “crazy”, then your own testominy can’t be accepted either.

  7. A.R.Perry says:

    What do Muslims emigrating and seeking American citizenship speak of a world Caliphate-and what are their true feelings as to Shiria Law replacing the American rule of law ? It is a well known fact that Muslims Hate Christians and Jews- how can they expect to assimilate into American society with these attitudes- see what is happening in Europe. High ranking Imams in the midle east are known to encourage Muslims living in the U.S. and Europe to lie when called upon to explain their true feelings and do what is necessery to promote Islamist directives to Jihad amd convert or kill infidels. It is well known that the muslim brotherhood is at work all over the world planning for a Caliphate first in the middele east and then europe- and the the U.S.

    • Perseveranze says:

      Peace A.R.Perry,

      “What do Muslims emigrating and seeking American citizenship speak of a world Caliphate-and what are their true feelings as to Shiria Law replacing the American rule of law ?”

      Fistly, I’d like to make one thing clear. If a Muslim emigrates to a country like the USA, then it is not to bring Shariah there or a Caliphate or any of that sort. Muslims usually emigrate to escape the oppression that is evident within their own countries, they look at USA as a place that allows them freedom to practice their faith and harbour a better life.

      I am sure if you were a citizen of a country like Egypt, Tunisia, Libya etc. where the Leaders have been very oppressive, violent and restrictive, you would understand why any Muslim would emigrate. The only thing I can assure you is, it is not for “ill” intentions.

      “It is a well known fact that Muslims Hate Christians and Jews- how can they expect to assimilate into American society with these attitudes- see what is happening in Europe.”

      I’m unsure where you ever got the idea that Muslims hate “Jews and Christians”? I think you may be listening to the media, too much, as this is a very false statement to make.

      Muslims DO NOT hate Jews or Christians. We have many examples of the Prophet(pbuh)’s life where he showed kindness to the Non-Muslims, particularly the Christians and Jews. He’d visit them if they were ill and encouraged others to do so (this includes those who used to insult him and throw garbage on him), he would trade with them, help them in their problems and he would also let the Christians pray at his own mosque etc. In fact, one of his dying words was to not “betray” the Dhimmi ie. The Christian/Jews living under the Muslim’s care.

      And history reflects this, as Muslims have been friendly and tolerant throughout. Alot of Jews would seek refuge in Muslim lands to escape European Persecution, this included various Christian sects aswell. We even have the “Jewish Golden age” comming under the Islamic rulership.

      The Quran also says;

      [Allah forbids you not with regard to those who fight you not for your faith, nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them. For Allah loves those who are just. Allah only forbids you with regard to those who fight you for your faith, and drive you out of your homes and support others in driving you out, from turning to them for protection (or taking them as wali). Those who seek their protection they are indeed wrong- doers.] (Al-Mumtahinah 60: 8-9)

      “And there are, certainly, among the People of the Book [Jews and Christians], those who believe in God, in the revelation to you, and in the revelation to them, bowing in humility to God: They will not sell the Signs of God for a miserable gain! For them is a reward with their Lord, and God is swift in account. (The Noble Quran, 3:199)”

      “Not all of them are alike: Of the People of the Book [Jews and Christians] are a portion that stand (For the right): They rehearse the Signs of God all night long, and they prostrate themselves in adoration. They believe in God and the Last Day; they enjoin what is right, and forbid what is wrong; and they hasten (in emulation) in (all) good works: They are in the ranks of the righteous. (The Noble Quran, 3:113-114)”

      “High ranking Imams in the midle east are known to encourage Muslims living in the U.S. and Europe to lie when called upon to explain their true feelings and do what is necessery to promote Islamist directives to Jihad amd convert or kill infidels.”

      This is as true as someone who said; “Priests in churches encourage their followers to spread hate against Muslims and Islam”. Which I personally doubt.

      I believe what you said is untrue, from my understanding, if an Imam was caught to say that in a Muslim country, they would likely be persecuted and put in jail. Sure, small minority with a twisted agenda may try, but they are very insignificant in their influence. One of the rules in Shariah condemn spreading hatred for other faiths, especially one that encourages the killing of innocents/civilians. I can garantee you, there will never be a “burn the bible day” in a Muslim majority country.

      As for “forced” conversions, we know this forbidden in Islam and rarely ever happens, especially in the western societies. I am sure if you asked any convert as to whether they were “forced”, they would tell you themselves that they made their choice freely.

      “It is well known that the muslim brotherhood is at work all over the world planning for a Caliphate first in the middele east and then europe- and the the U.S.”

      I won’t comment on the Politics of the Muslim Brotherhood, I am sure they just want the best for Egypt. However, I will say a few things regarding the Caliphate;

      Firstly, there is a Prophecy that a Caliphate will come. We Muslims know this. However, when this Caliphate comes, no one knows, it could be 100 years from now, or it could be 1000 years from now.

      Secondly, there can only be ONE Caliphate. It’s impossible for there to be 2 Caliphates. So how a Caliphate can occur in the middleast AND in America is beyond me, since Islamic law completly prohibits this. Meaning it will never happen.

      Hope that has answered your question and cleared some of your misunderstandings.

  8. Eric Christopherson says:

    Sharia law makes a lot of sense to me, and I grew up in American mainstream culture. It saddens me the way the media further glorifies fornication, adultery, sodomite sex, alcohol, recreational drugs, gambling. One of the miracles of Islam to me is that a prison system is actually not necessary. Am a big supporter of the death penalty for all murderers, rapists, child molesters, drug dealers etc. but as humanely as possible, lethal injection, just like we put animals to sleep. We’ve become a culture that has no backbone. Evil is called good and good is called evil. I know some of what I say will be offensive to some people, but that is not my intent. Islam covers many areas of individual life and society. I enjoy reading the Qur’an and seeing what Allah has to say on various subjects.

  9. Gary says:

    How many hands do you think we would have to cut off before theft came to a stand still?

    Prisons in the US do not rehabilitate. If anything inmates learn more criminal behavior while imprisoned and they come outmore hardened than when they went in.

    The US has the highest incarceration of people in the world. We have 1 million more than China who is second.

    The judicial system here is corrupt and billion dollar industry.

    We need aspects of shariah into American society.

  10. Jacob says:

    Gary,

    Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  11. Riley Marnane says:

    "When the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, first began to receive revelations from God in 610 A.D., little did he know that they were the foundational stones for the formation of a future state to be refined piecemeal over the next 23 years." Did Muhammad not die in 632 CE? Wouldn't that make it 22 years?

  12. The Prophet (peace be upon him) never punished anyone, to my knowledge, for simply leaving Islam. Allah says in the Koran, "There is no compulsion in religion" (ch. 2, v. 156)

  13. Khadija Zeeshan says:

    Yes, I also read a man come to prophet (pbuh) where he let the man go without any punishments after the man left Islam. So apostasy by death, I think must be in special circumstances as meinhaj mentioned.

  14. Mark Davis says:

    I found this article very informative and it cleared up some misconceptions, but it doesn't make me feel any better about the idea of Shariah as a state enforced legal system.

    What gives the state governed by imperfect men the right to speak for and enforce God's Will? Is God not capable of speaking to the hearts of each individual? The only legitimate purpose of the state should be to protect people from force and fraud, so they are free to follow their own True Will and grow their relationship with their god.

    People need to be allowed to suffer the effects of their own bad personal choices to truly change and grow. Just for one example, alcohol can be abused by people with no self control, but there are plenty of people who drink and don't do bad things to others because they have morals and self-control. Alcohol isn't responsible for alcohol abuse anymore than cars are responsible for car accidents, individuals are. The problem is a lack of spiritual discipline, and that's something only the individual can fix, not arbitrary human authorities.

    As your own prophet said, "There is no compulsion in religion". So why force non-muslims to submit to your religious codes? All it does is cause them to follow your rules out of fear of human retaliation rather than out of a genuine love for God. That's why there is such widespread mistrust and shunning of Muslims in all other religions. Truly great ideas do not require force.

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