INTERLUDE-A MODERN EXPLANATION OF ISLAM’S SHARI’AH LAW-PART 1 OF 2

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Deep racial problems weaken a country. While a country is weakened, ISIS and others step in and cause problems… sometimes beyond belief. Racial supporters of any faith may interpret their faith in an extreme way…sometimes not according to the religion’s original intent. Islam’s prophet Mohammed advised, according to reputed narrator Al-Bukhari, “Do good deed properly, sincerely, and moderately…always adopt a middle, moderate, regular course whereby you will reach your target of paradise”. The word “moderation” is mentioned many times in the prophet’s speeches. Since the MENA region is inundated with Islam’s Shari’ah Laws, with pockets of the area’s own relationship to the Law, an interlude shall be taken from the topic of racial inequity of the region. However, Shari’ah may also interfere with racial inequity which situation is becoming more and more the reason for the law of the land.

APOSTASY IN ISLAM  Apostasy varies with countries, but the original intent was that a Muslim converting to another religion may be punished by execution. There is a need to understand the Muslim laws throughout the world because the laws do vary in different parts of the world. It appears ideologies change within different countries. If a certain group of Muslims would conquer a country, would they then refer back to the Quran explicitly since the laws change whenever it is determined they should change? It is “the way” or “the path” whichever the people decide at the time.

In Arabic, Shari’ah refers to God’s immutable or unchanging divine law and is contrasted with human scholarly interpretations. The manner of its application in modern times has been a subject of dispute between Muslim traditionalists and reformists. Traditional actions are mandatory, recommended, neutral, reprehensible, and forbidden. It is a sin or crime to perform a forbidden action, and reprehensible acts should be avoided and also considered not a crime or punishable in court. Avoiding reprehensible acts can be rewarded in the afterlife while allowed actions receive no judgment from God. Reformists in modern times who are scholars and experts sought to adapt Islamic law to changing social conditions such as reform of women’s rights, justice, freedom, and human dignity rights.

Arab-speaking people of the Middle East believe Islam is a prophetic religion of Moses and Shari’ah can mean “our religion”. However, for many Muslims, the word simply means “justice”, and they shall consider any law that promotes justice and social welfare. This then promotes Islam as an ideology and not a religion. The word sari’ah was widely used by Arab-speaking Jews during the Middle Ages. It was the most common translation for the word “torah” in the 10th Century Arabic Old Testament known as “Sa Adya Gaon”. A similar use, or the term, can be found in Christian writings. The Arabic expression Shari at Allah (God’s Law) is a common translation for “God’s Law in Hebrew”…also in God’s Law in Greek in the New Testament of Romans 7:22. In Muslim literature, sari ah designates the laws or message of a prophet of God…in contrast to “figh” which refers to a scholar’s interpretation.

TRADITIONAL ISLAM  A TRADITIONAL VIEWPOINT

MODERN ISLAM  A MODERN VIEWPOINT

Because of these laws, these ideological viewpoints would be considered a form of government and not a religion. In the modern era, these laws were more commonly replaced with European practice. While the constitution of most Muslim-majority states contain references to Shari’ah, its classical rules were largely retained only in personal or family related circumstances. In the 20th Century revival of Islam, there were calls by Islamic movements to receive traditional laws which would include “stoning”. A topic that inspires controversy regarding radical practices is the choice of Muslim women to cover their hair, face, and body. The Quran commands women and men to be modest in manner and states that women should “cover their beauty in public and draw their veils over their bosoms”. The verses are not specific regarding whether women’s hair should be covered although the prophet’s wives reportedly covered their hair, and many Muslims believe this is necessary. The word “veil” was also used more generally in religious texts to refer to a curtain concealing women or to her general style of dress. This vagueness has resulted in varied interpretations from covering the body and leaving the hair exposed to covering everything except the eyes.

Wahhabism, the state Islamic sect of Saudi Arabia, and Salafian, a popular Islamic sect in the MENA region, are examples of radical interpretations of Islam. Both sects played a part in influencing the violent ideology of Al-Queda and Osama Bin Laden. These ideologies are not accepted by mainstream Muslims who view them as extreme and inaccurate to Islam and to principles of human rights.

Attempts to impose Shari’ah around the world on non-Muslims have caused violence in such places as Nigeria and Sudan. Israel, some parts of Africa, and Europe recognize Shari’ah for their Muslim populations, but bans have been passed in North America on the use of these laws. It is debatable whether the law is compatible with forms of government, human rights, freedom of thought, and women’s rights. Muslim ideologies change within different countries. If Muslims then were to conquer a country, would they then refer back to the Quran and its Shari’ah laws explicitly .

MOSQUE  Mosques with a dome feature are being built under the guise of religion when they may in fact be an ideology with laws within its jurisdiction either in print or in its ideology. There are differences between Islamic and Western legal systems. For example, Shari’ah classically never developed the concepts of a legal corporation or a legal person, and it only covers  an individual. It does not cover the legality of the corporate world’s liabilities of its managers, shareholders, and employees who can own assets, sign contracts, and appear in court through representatives. Muslim history discourages record keeping and delays the introduction of modern accounting. These factors alone have played a significant role in regarding economic developments in the Middle East.

Some scholars claim Shari’ah Law allows religious freedom because a verse teaches “there is no compulsion in religion”, some teach apostasy as sin punishable with death, and other religions as infidels who must be put to death, enslaved or be ransomed, and other scholars suggest Shari’ah has become a product of human interpretation and inevitably leads to disagreements about the “precise contents of the law”. In the end, what Shari’ah means is governed by a group of clerics and/or government. It is the differing interpretations of this law that explain why many Islamic countries have laws that restrict and criminalize the attempt of any religion or religious individual to covert to a different point of religious view. The Bible, or similar books, also have their complexities. The Spiritual awareness of a higher reality of being such as found in “The Larger Spiritual Order & Universal Scheme of Things-Simplified” is mostly lost in consideration.

If people are more knowledgeable about the complexities of the Islam faith in its worldly forms, people may be more understanding about Islam. The uncomfortability of the inhuman phases or forms of Islam can then be more completely and effectively understood with its reasoning of good and bad. However, it is very debatable that it is an ideology and not a religion.

For a more broader explanation of Shari’ah Law, please see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia   

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