SCRUTINIZING SHARIA LAW
Sharia Law (AKA Islamic Law) is the backbone of Political interpretation of Islam. Its believers claim that application of Sharia Law would eliminate all evils from the world. But they are robustly in denial of scrutinizing the laws publicly. In Sharia the Hudood crimes are broadly (1) murder/injury, (2) robbery, (3) theft, (4) tyranny against State, (5) apostasy (6) defamation, (7) drinking, and (8) adultery/fornication, some scholars add rape to it. Punishments for murder or infliction of injury can either be in the form of Qisas (equal punishment for the crime committed) or Diyat (compensation payable to the victims or their legal heirs). The Hudood laws are claimed to be “beyond human authority to change” because the word “Hudood” comes from “Hadd” which means “Limit”. All other laws fall into Tazi’r category that Muslims are permitted to update.
Of the more than six thousand laws in each of Hanafi and Shafi’i books (A) many are good such as laws against deceiving others, (B) some are outdated such as laws on slaves or tax on Non-Muslims, (C) some are to be rejected or updated, as shown in the list bellow from the most authentic Sharia books.
- Head of Islamic State cannot be punished for Hudood crimes.[i]
- Women’s witness is not accepted in Hudood crimes.[ii]
- Women judges are not allowed in Hudood crimes.[iii]
- Denying “scholarly consensus” about Sharia laws turns a Muslim to an apostate.[iv]
- Criminals of genocide, mass rape, looting, etc. (Hiraba) will not be punished if they repent.[v]
- Proof of adultery and rape are either confession of the accused or at least four Muslim adult male witnesses.[vi]
- Men can marry and keep up to four wives at one time.[vii]
- Men can divorce wife/wives instantly and marry other women. In this case, she gets no maintenance.[viii]
- If divorced in a regular manner over the course of two to three months, the wife gets maintenance for a maximum of 3 months.[ix]
- To remarry the previous husband, a divorced wife must marry and have sex with another person and get divorced by him voluntarily.[x]
- Except a few obvious cases such as impotency, the only way for a wife to get divorce is to apply to the Sharia Court which will negotiate with the husband to grant divorce. Often he puts several demands as ‘price’ of his “approval.” Until divorce is complete, he can marry but she can’t.[xi]
- Evidence of a slave, female singer, or a person of low respect (street sweeper, bathhouse attendant, etc.) is not admissible.[xii]
- Husbands are obliged to provide only food, clothes, and accommodation to Anything else including doctors’ fees, medicines, etc. is a charity to her. A rebellious wife does not get anything.[xiii]
- Adoption is not allowed. [xiv]
- In case of divorce the mother gets custody of kids if she prays and does not marry another man. No such law is applicable to father. The father gets custody of sons and daughters after they are 9 and 7 years old respectively.[xv]
- A mother with custody of kids cannot go to distant places without permission of the father.[xvi]
- A husband is allowed to beat his disobedient wife.[xvii]
- Sisters inherit only half of what their brothers do.[xviii]
- Women’s testimony in business transactions is worth half of men’s.[xix]
- Women cannot be a bride’s guardians.[xx]
- Women’s blood money is half of men’s.[xxi]
- If the victim has son/s and daughter/s then only sons, not the daughters, can claim blood money from the killer and pardon him.[xxii]
- If a rapist cannot be punished (reason not cited), he pays bride money to the victim (no other punishment is suggested).[xxiii]
- A Muslim shall not be put to death for murdering an unbeliever.[xxiv]
- The judge of Sharia court shall be a Muslim. In the cases where the accused is non-Muslim, the judge may be a non-Muslim.[xxv]
- No retaliation is admissible for parents and grandparents who kill their offspring.[xxvi]
- No reason is required to divorce one’s wife.[xxvii]
- It is recommended for a woman to wear a covering over her head (khimar), a full-length shift, and a heavy slip under it that does not cling to the body.[xxviii]
- The majority of scholars (with the exception of some Hanafis) have been recorded as believing that it is unlawful for women to leave the house with faces unveiled . It is unlawful for women to be alone with a marriageable man.[xxix]
- In Shiite law, a man can marry a woman for a fixed time from few seconds to several years.[xxx] Rich men from the Middle East travel to Southern India to take advantage of this law on poor women, so do rich Iranian men with their women. The suffering of those women and children born out of this practice is beyond comprehension.
- If a woman claims to be having her period but her husband does not believe her, it is lawful for him to have sexual intercourse with her.[xxxi]
- The Caliph makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians (if they don’t become Muslims or pay Jizya tax) and the war continues.[xxxii]
- Being unyielding towards the unbelievers, hard against them, and detesting them …..is a decree of Allah.[xxxiii]
** The reference book “Codified Islamic Law” is in Bangla language; a committee of six prominent Islamic scholars compiled it in 3 volumes mainly from Hanafi Majhab. It is published by the Islamic Foundation of Bangladesh government; its Bangla name is “Bidhiboddho Islami Aain”.
Hasan Mahmud is a veteran researcher-author on Political Islam. He is one of the founding members of MRM – “Muslim Reform Movement”; he was in the advisory board of World Muslim Congress, the Director of Sharia Law of Muslim Canadian Congress and few other organizations. He authored thousands of articles, 4 books and 4 docu-movies critical to Sharia law. This article is from a chapter of his book – “How Sharia-Ism Hijacked Islam : The Problem, Prognosis and Prescription”.
[i] Hanafi law Hedaya – page 188, Codified Islamic Law Vol 3 Law# 914C.
[ii] Codified Islamic Law**, Vol. 2, No. 576. It is also collectively in Codified Islamic Law Vol. 1, No. 133, Hanafi Law Hedaya page 353, Shafi’i Law # o.24.9; Criminal Law in Islam and the Muslim World page 251, Tafsir of Translation of the Qura’an by Muhiuddin Khan pages 239 and 938; Muhammad Iqbal Siddiqi, The Penal Law of Islam pages 44-45 (Kazi Publications, 1979).
[iii] Codified Islamic Law 554, (Vol. 2).
[iv] Shafi’i Law Umdat Al Salik # o8.7.7.
[v] Codified Islamic Law, No. 13 (Vol. 1).
[vi] Shafi’i Law Umdat Al Salik # o.24.9. See also Text of Pakistan’s Hudood Ordinances #7 of 1979 amended by 8B of 1980. Quran 239 & 928 (Muhiuddin Khan trans.) (Tafsir explanation section).
[vii] All Sharia schools.
[viii] Hanafi Law Hedaya page 81, 523. See also e.g., Shafi’i Law # n3.2, n3.5 (Instant but not under compulsion), Maolana Ashraf Ali Thanvi , Deen Ki Bnate 254, Laws 1537, 1538, 1546 & 2555.
[ix] Hanafi Law Hedaya 145. See also Shafi’i Law Umdat Al Salik # m.11.10.3.
[x] Grand Ayatollah Sistani, Islamic Laws 469 Law # 2536, Lulu Press, (2014). See also Hanafi Law 15, Shafi’i Law Umdat Al Salik # P.29.1, Maksudul Mumeneen 231, and Maolana Ashraf Ali Thanvi , Deen Ki Bnate 252, Law # 1543 – (2).
[xi] Hanafi Law Hedaya - page 112. See also Shafi’i Law # n.5.0, n7-7& w-52-1-253-255, and Dr. Abdur Rahman Doi, Sharia: The Islamic Law 192, Ta Ha Publishers, (1981).
[xii] Hanafi Law Hedaya - page 361. See also Shafi’i Law Umdat Al Salik o.24.3.3.
[xiii] Hanafi Law Hedaya, page 140. See also Shafi’i Law Umdat Al Salik # m.11.4. Quran, Tafsir translation by Muhiuddin Khan, page 867.
[xiv] Dr. Abdur Rahman Doi, Sharia: The Islamic Law 463, Ta Ha Publishers, (1981). See also All Sharia books.
[xv] Shafi’i Law Umdat Al Salik # m.13.0. See also Hanafi Law Hedaya - pages 138-139.
[xvi] Codified Islamic Law, (Vol. 1) Law # 405. See also Iranian Law.
[xvii] Shafi’i Law Umdat Al Salik # m.10.12 & o.17.4,. Hanafi Law Hedaya page 31. See also Dr. Abdur Rahman Doi, Sharia: The Islamic Law 147, Ta Ha Publishers, (1981). See also All Sharia schools.
[xviii] All schools of Sharia Law.
[xix] Shafi’i Law, Umdat Al Salik # o.24.7. See also Hanafi Law Hedaya - page 352.
[xx] Hanafi Law Hedaya - page 138-139. See also Shafi’i Law Umdat Al Salik # m.3.4.1.
[xxi] Shafi’i Law Umdat Al Salik # o4.9.
[xxii] Dr. Abdur Rahman Doi, Sharia: The Islamic Law 235, Ta Ha Publishers, (1981).
[xxiii] Shafi’i Law # m.8.10; Codified Islamic Law 301, (Vol. 1).
[xxiv] Muhammad Iqbal Siddiqi, The Penal Law of Islam149, Kazi Publications, (1979). See also Shafi’i Law # o1.2, o2.2.
[xxv] M. Manzoor Alam, Criminal Law in Islam and the Muslim World 251, 445, 448, Institute of Objective Studies, (1996).
[xxvi] Shafi’i Law # o.1.2.4. See also Codified Islamic Law (Vol. 1) – 65(A) & 65(B).
[xxvii] Shafi’i Law m11.4. See also Tafsir of the Qura’an, translated by Muhiuddin Khan, page 867.
[xxviii] Shafi’i Law f5.6.
[xxix] Shafi’i Law, No. m2.3.
[xxx] Note: Mut’a Marriage is a Sharia law of the Shia Muslim sect. It is not allowed in Sunni law.
[xxxi] Shafi’i Law, No. e.13.5.
[xxxii] Shafi’i Law, No. o9.8.
[xxxiii] Shafi’I Law, No. #w59.2.