The Qur’an includes instructions for its own spread, implement Islamic law all over the world:
The UN Charter grants individual freedom of faith. The Christian missionaries has been working world over during last 2000 years. The Buddhist monks spread Buddhism to
Qur’an forbids forced conversions as evident form few verses quoted out of many in Qur’an: “There shall be no coercion in matters of faith. Distinct has now become the right way from the (way of) error: hence, he who rejects the powers of evil and believes in God has indeed taken hold of support most unfailing, which shall never give way: for God is all-hearing, all-knowing.”(Qur’an;2:256). “An so (O Prophet) exhort them, thy task is only to exhort: Thou canst not compel them to (believe). As for those who turn their backs and disbelieve, Allah will punish them with the mighty punishment.”(Qur’an;88:21-24). “.. You (O Muhammad) are not there to compel them to believe. So admonish with this Qur'an every such person who fears My warning.”(Qur’an;45;50). “So (O’ prophet) exhort them, for your task is only to exhort, you can not compel them (to believe).”(Qur’an;88:21-22). “to you [unbelievers] be your religion (Din), and to me mine.”(Qur’an;109:6). “Notwithstanding that no human being can ever attain to faith otherwise than by God’s leave, and (that) it is He who lays the loathsome evil (of disbelief) upon those who will not use their reason? (Qur’an;10:100).
Those who used their intellect understood the true faith of Islam and freely reverted to Islam (every human is born by nature as servant of God- Muslim), while others continued to follow their faith and lived peacefully in the Muslim rule. Just few centuries back the freedom of choice of faith was not available to the people as it is now. The tyrant rulers did not allow their people to accept any different faith, so they had to be subdued to provide freedom of choice of faith to the people. Those who did not accept Islam continued to live as peaceful citizens; the millions of Coptic Christians still living in the Arab world are testimony to this fact of history. If some one indulged in coercion it is individual act, Islam does not teach so. History is witness to the fact on colonization the European Christian missionaries thronged the colonies to convert the people to Christianity, using all means including coercion, incentives in the form of education, health and social services so we find Christianity as the biggest faith in numbers. The inquisitions on
No Forced Conversions during Muslim Rule in
James Michener in his article ‘Islam: The Misunderstood Religion,’ Reader’s Digest, May 1955, pp. 68-70: "No other religion in history spread so rapidly as Islam. The West has widely believed that this surge of religion was made possible by the sword. But no modern scholar accepts this idea, and the Qur’an is explicit in the support of the freedom of conscience."
The Islamic Law [Shari’a] is one of most misunderstood aspect of Islam other being Jihad. Hence it must be understood in correct perspective. The peaceful coexistence is the basic requirement of any community for its survival, development and expansion. Law, may be defined as the discipline concerned with the customs, practices, and rules of conduct of a community that are recognized as binding by the community. The enforcement of the body of rules is through a controlling authority. The Westerners are most fearful of Shari’a, the Islamic Law, which they perceive to be a barbarian law enforcing harsh punishments like stoning to death for adultery, cutting of hand for theft and lashing for drinking alcoholic and other heinous crimes. They ignore the fact that these divine laws are not new, the Old Testament include the Law given by God through Moses, commonly referred as Law of Moses. Some examples are: Life for a life, eye for eye [Exodus; 21:23-25 : Leviticus; 24: 18-21, Deuteronomy; . Qur’an;5:44-45]. However Qur’an goes a step ahead for forgiveness: “The recompense for an injury is an injury proportionate to it; but if a person forgives and makes reconciliation he shall be rewarded by Allah; He does not like the wrongdoers. Those who avenge themselves when wronged cannot be blamed.”(Qur’an;5:40-41). Death for Killer [Leviticus; 24:17, Qur’an;]. Adultery is prohibited, according to Qur’an; and Mathew;. Death by Stoning for sexual crimes-(Deuterinomy;-21).Death by stoning is also prescribed for blasphemy (Lectivis;24:16). Theft is a serious crime, strictly forbidden by Qur’an and Bible [Deuteronomy; & Exodus;Chapter:20, 11;Leviticus;19, Qur’an;60:12, 29:29, 7:86]. Amputation of hand of thief is the punishment prescribed in Qur’an; and Matthew;18:8. Apparently in the age of Jesus thieves were crucified, [Matthew;27:38]. Homosexuality is great sin [1Corinthians;6:9, 1 Timothy;, Romans;-28, Genesis;, , Qura’n;7:80-81]
Prophet Jesus Christ, the son of Mary (peace be upon him) declared: “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”(Mathew;5:17-20 also the Beatitudes, Matthew; 5:3-12 and the Lord's Prayer Matthew; 6:9-13). However Paul over ruled Jesus Christ by declaring; “But now we are discharged from the Law, dead to that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit.”(Romans;7:6).
The New Testament lays down the general principles of good government, but contains no code of laws for the punishment of offenders. Punishment proceeds on the principle that there is an eternal distinction between right and wrong, and that this distinction must be maintained for its own sake. It is not primarily intended for the reformation of criminals, nor for the purpose of deterring others from sin. These results may be gained, but crime in itself demands punishment.
Among the Jews Talmudic Law and Jurisprudence is considered to be of ‘divine’ origin. While rabbinic courts in
The New Testament lays down the general principles of good government, but contains no code of laws for the punishment of offenders: “For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”(Romans;13:9). “For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?” (1 Peter; 3:10-13). Punishment proceeds on the principle that there is an eternal distinction between right and wrong, and that this distinction must be maintained for its own sake. It is not primarily intended for the reformation of criminals, nor for the purpose of deterring others from sin. These results may be gained, but crime in itself demands punishment. The Western Christendom had to fill the void, continue to follow Roman Law and its derivatives. On separation of the religion form state, by declaring the religion to be personal matter of individual they initially depended on Roman Law, later on Civil Law. The Churches followed Canon Law which in its wider sense includes precepts of divine law, natural or positive, incorporated in various canonical collections or codes; may be defined as that body of rules and regulations (canons) concerning the behaviour and actions of individuals and institutions within certain Christian churches, which have, through proper priestly authority, defined and codified such rules.
Islamic law (Shari’a):
Since Islam is a complete code of life covering all aspects including social, economic, political, and military and other aspects of human life, hence the Islamic law (Shari’a) spells out the moral goals of the community, where state and religion are not separate entity. While remaining with in parameters of Divine Laws, there is flexibility to meet the modern challenges through Ijtehad. Total and unqualified submission to the will of Allah is the fundamental tenet of Islam: Islamic law is therefore the expression of Allah's command for Muslim society and, in application, constitutes a system of duties that are incumbent upon a Muslim by virtue of his religious belief. Known as the Shari’a (the path leading to the watering place), the Islamic law constitutes a divinely ordained path of conduct, that guides the believers towards a practical expression of his religious conviction (rituals) and all aspects of life (social, economic, political etc) in this world and the goal of divine favour in the world to come. In Islamic society, therefore, the term law has a wider significance than it does in the modern secular West, because Islamic law includes both legal and moral imperatives. For the same reason, not all-Islamic laws can be stated as formal legal rules or enforced by the courts. Much of it depends on conscience alone. The Shari’a duties are broadly divided into those that an individual owes to Allah (the ritual practices or 'ibadat) and those that he owes to his fellow men (mu'amalat). It is the latter category of duties alone, constituting law in the Western sense, that is penal law. The other laws include; offenses against the person, homicide, law of transactions, family law, succession law, procedure and evidence etc. The Qur’anic revelations laid down basic standards of conduct for the first Muslim community established under the leadership of the Prophet (peace be upon him) at
Ijtehad: It means ‘independent reasoning’ as opposed to taqlid (imitation). In the absence of direct guidance from Qur’an or Sunnah for a given situation, the exercise of rational judgment by a competent authority is termed as Ijtehad. It is a unique and important component of Shari’a. Ijtehad started during the life of the Prophet (peace be upon him), who while sending ‘Muadh ibn Jabal’ to
Differences of Shari’a from Western Systems of Law:
In classical form, the Shari’a differs from Western systems of law (based on Roman Law) in two principal respects. In the first place the scope of the Shari’a is much wider, since it regulates man's relationship not only with his neighbors and with the state, which is the limit of most other legal systems, but also with his Allah and his own conscience. Ritual practices,(ibadat) such as the daily prayers, almsgiving, fasting, and pilgrimage, are an integral part of Shari’a law and usually occupy the first chapters in the legal manuals. The Shari’a is also concerned as much with ethical standards as with legal rules, indicating not only what man is entitled or bound to do in law, but also what he (obligatory) ought, in conscience, to do (halal), something that is lawful and permitted in Islam, or refrain from doing (haram) not permissible. Accordingly, certain acts are classified as praiseworthy (mandub), which means that their performance brings divine favour and their omission divine disfavour. There is an other category not halal or haram but some thing doubtful, classified a Undesirable (makruh), it is divided into Makruh Tahrimi "that which is nearly unlawful without it being actually so," and Makruh Tanzihi "that which approaches the lawful or undesirable yet is closer to the lawful." For example it is undesirable (makruh) for a person to buy back what he has given in charity (sadaqah, or zakat), or "to wish for one's death, or pray to Allah for it, due to poverty, distress, illness, or the like. However in neither case is there any legal sanction of punishment or reward, nullity or validity. Thus the Shari’a is not merely a system of law, but a comprehensive code of behaviour that embraces both private and public activities.
The second major distinction between the Shari’a and Western legal systems is the result of the Islamic concept of law as the expression of the divine will. Shari’a law though appears to be rigid in certain aspects but there is room for flexibility in fiqha through Ijtehad to meet the challenges of growing and changing needs of society. In Islamic jurisprudence it is not the society that moulds and fashions the law, but the law that precedes and controls society, however the legitimate changes and requirements of the modern society are kept in view with in bounds of Divine Will. The Western Law, is not based on the Bible, they have discarded the Law of Moses, which Jesus declared as his mission(Mathew;-20). By contrast in the Western Law, it is the society that moulds and fashions the law thus consumption of alcohol, homosexuality, gay marriages (not permitted in Bible) have been made legal, on the desire and public support of the Western Society, where as in Shari’a, it is not possible to make such laws which are unnatural and clearly against the Divine Will, manifested in Qur’an and Sunnah. As it can be observed that the most part of Shari’a relates with the duties and obligations of Muslims, between himself and God, and with in society. How can all the Shari’a can be applied to non Muslims? In Muslims countries the non Muslims live as free citizens, according to their own religious laws in matters like marriages, worships etc. The criminal law of the land is applicable to all. Similarly a Muslim living in non Muslim country is governed through the criminal law of the land. Indian Muslims have Muslim personal law on religious matters but criminal law of
Imposing Islamic Law [Shari’a] upon others, at global level could be an enviable wish of enthusiasts, which can only be implemented if the people accept Islam or where ever Muslim rule is established, or people themselves opt for it considering effective. The
The Islamic society was a pluralistic society ever since its inception. In the city state of
There is not commandment for the Muslims to implement Islamic law all over the world by force. This is an absurd misleading distortion.
[Allah knows best]* * * * * * * * * * * * * *