Written by: Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani
Translated by: Qazi Md. Faiyaz Alam Qasmi
There are three basic differences between Sharia law and other laws: The first difference is that the source of law is Allah the Almighty in Sharia law, and human’s mind or desire is considered the source of law in other laws. The second difference is that the Sharia law is based on human nature, not on human desire. The prevailing laws are based on human desire. The third difference is that the basis of Sharia law is justice to all classes. Justice sometimes requires equality and sometimes does not. Equality cannot be applied similarly to all people; rather, it should be enforced with difference, in such a case, Sharia takes the path of justice instead of equality.
The explanation of the first of these points is that the Holy Qur’an has repeatedly said that it is the right of Allah to decide about the problems of human life. (Al-An’am: 57). What Allah has decided (for you) is based on truth and justice, there can be no change in it. (An’am: 115). The polytheists of Makkah demanded that the Messenger of Allah (SAWS) should bring another Qur’an instead of this Qur’an, or make some changes in it. Allah the Almighty replied the Prophet’s tongue has no right to make any changes in it. (Yunus: 15)
That is why the first source of the Shariat is the book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Messenger. The order which has come in such clear words in the Holy Qur’an that there is no possibility of any other meaning in it, or has come in such a reliable Hadith that there is no doubt about its provenance. Such Hadith is called Qat’ee, (Definite) and there can’t be any change in it.
However, the order which is based on the expediency of a particular time can be changed. The order which has been given due to the customs of a particular time and that custom has changed, or the ruling that is not clear in the Qur’an and Hadith and it is an Ijtehadi issue, in which an opinion has been established by considering the mood of the Shari’ah, then the jurists of the Ummah make some changes in such rulings through collective Ijtehad. This is actually not a kind of changing; rather it is one of the two concepts is preferred and the ruling of the Shari’ah was adapted according to the time. There are so many examples in juristic books. The Prophet (SAWS) prohibited to sale things before their possession. (Bukhari, Hadith No.: 2123) In the early period, taking possession of something had only one meaning and that was to take possession of this thing physically; but then things came into being whose physical possession was difficult, so in determining the fact of possession, the notional possession was also included. In the present day shares are traded on a large scale and besides the quantity of shares purchased is recorded in the buyer’s account, there is no other sign of possession of the goods. The modern scholars consider the transfer of risk to be sufficient for possession, i.e. when the share is transferred to the buyer’s account and he has to bear the gain of the increase in price and the loss of the fall, then possession will be deemed to have been realized. It is not actually a change in order; rather, it is to accept a changed procedure in carrying out an order.
On the contrary, in the prevailing laws of the world, the source of law has been declared to be man; sometimes the order of an unconstrained king or dictator is considered law maker, sometimes the law is made by the decision of the majority of the elected representatives of the people. In all these cases man is given the right to legislate law for himself. This is why man makes law based on his desire and makes changes too. The Holy Quran said that the law cannot be made based on human desires only. (Shura: 15, Nisa’: 135, 26)
Now the thing to be considered is that which of these two points of view is more correct? If we think; we realize that two things are necessary for the legislative authority: One is that he should be fully aware of the interests and disadvantages of the people for whom he is making laws, and have full knowledge of their benefits and harms. The second is that he can do justice to all these people. He should not be biased towards anyone or any group; otherwise, he cannot act with justice among all people. He may try to put the interest of the majority first or put the benefit of his fellow races in front and ignore others. This perfection of knowledge and justice is in the Creator of the universe. When He created man and the universe around him, surely He will be aware of the things and actions are beneficial for man and which are harmful to him. Likewise all men are His servants and all are equal in relation to being a servant in his sight; therefore, the creator of the universe can be sure that his order will be based on justice and fairness. His instructions must be based on the consideration of the expediency and needs of all people and based on impartiality.
If the reins of law are given to one person, it would produce dictators like Hitler and Mussolini. If the reins of legislation are placed in the hands of the majority of the country, it will be even more harmful; because not just one person, but a large number of the country will stand up as a dictator and will crush the minorities. A clear example of which can be seen in Israel, in whose footsteps, unfortunately our country is following and moving forward, where the government has taken the army, the judiciary, the administration and even the media on its cruel hand.
Therefore, the concept of Islam is that the original right to make laws belongs to the creator and master of the universe. He loves each of his servants. He loves each of his creatures. His love is greater than seventy mothers. His knowledge is such that nothing in the universe is hidden from His sight. His special attribute is justice. He has repeatedly mentioned his attribute of justice in His book. Therefore, wherever there is a command of Allah, whether it is in the Holy Qur’an or in the Hadith, which is the interpretation of God originating from the blessed tongue of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, there is the right way for man. Yes, the rules that are not present in the Qur’an and Hadith; rather, they are based on the Ijtehad (process of reasoning and hermeneutics through which scholars derives or rationalizes law on the basis of the Qur’an and the Sunnah) of the jurists and the expediency of a particular era, there is room in them to change the order due to the change of circumstances.
Another distinction of Islamic law is that it is based on the nature created by Allah. Therefore, the Holy Qur’an has declared Islam as the interpreter of the law of nature. (Rum: 30) and He said that the devil provokes people to rebel against nature. (Nisa: 119). It is also a fact that there is good for man in sticking to the system of nature and there is a loss for man in deviating from this system. Allah has created water to clean and cool the body, and He has created fire for heating and cooking. If a person takes a bath in fire and cooks in cold water, will he succeed in achieving his goal?
Unfortunately, the western world is putting the shackles on the moon and mars in science and technology and has created weapons that can destroy the entire country in moments; but they are so weak in front of their lusts and wishes that even knowing a thing harmful, they do it; because their desire requires it. The entire medical world agrees that alcohol and drugs are extremely harmful to a human being and cause various diseases. It causes cancer. It destroys physical strength of man. Age is reduced of such person, and the power of decision is lost in the state of intoxication. The things that a person does not even like to bring on his tongue in the state of consciousness; the same things are said openly and loudly in the state of intoxication. He does not refrain from raising his hands on old people, women, children and friends and abuse them. How many murders and rapes happen due to intoxication! That is why drug addiction was declared forbidden in the Quran and the Torah too. In spite of the thousands of harms caused by alcohol and the acknowledgment of these harms, today alcohol is openly allowed in the western countries and in all those countries where the reins of law are in the hands of human beings.
It has always been recognized in human society that the correct way of sexual intercourse is that it should be completed by the relationship between a man and a woman, that is, a husband and a wife. But in the present day the lustful society of the West demands that every man and woman be allowed to fulfill their sexual desire with their own sex. Governments bow their heads to this demand; even if anyone opposes it, he was blamed. Likewise, human society has always recognized that a certain part of the body is for the fulfillment of men’s sexual desire, and that it is in front of the woman’s body. The back part of the body is to fulfill other physical needs of a person. But when a person becomes a rebel against nature, all the boundaries of sensuality are broken, in the West it was demanded to be declared correct and most of the countries accepted it. Such bad-tempered people have no shame in showing their sin.
Islam does not accept any action that is against nature, even if all people try to justify it together. This principle is observed in the teachings of Sharia related to all branches of human life. For example, it is allowed to earn profits by trading and becoming a partner in the business; but interest and gambling were not allowed; because interest assumes that wealth has the ability to grow automatically. Therefore, if a person takes a loan, he is supposed to pay interest on it, it is completely against nature. If you keep one lakh rupees in your suitcase and open the suitcase after one year, only one lakh rupees will come out, it will not be one lakh and ten thousand. If you give someone 100,000 rupees on the agreement that he will trade and share the profit and loss with the investor, if there is a profit, he will give the profit and if there is a loss, he will also share in the loss; this is exactly according to nature. Nevertheless if you have to pay such a percentage of profit anyway, use this money in your business or not, it is obviously against the nature of business.
Therefore, the second important difference between Islamic Sharia law and man-made laws is that the Sharia law is subject to nature, not to human desires. When a man sits down to make laws, many times the requirements are against nature, still he accepts it, even if it is extremely harmful and destructive for them not only in the hereafter but also in this world.
The third basic difference between Islamic law and the Western concept of law (which currently rules the world) is that Islam primarily believes in justice and not equality; yes where justice demands equality there it commands so. That is why it was said in the Holy Quran that Allah commands justice and benevolence (Nahl: 9). The Holy Quran exhorted justice and fairness in 29 places, in different ways. The communism had raised the slogan of economic equality, which was against nature. That’s why it couldn’t forward ahead and his burial took place within seventy years in the region where this concept was born.
In the same way the western world shouts the slogan of equality between men and women. They consider it as the height of their improvement. They think; if a woman is to be dependent with one husband, then a man also should not be allowed to have more than one wife. If a man is allowed to do so, a woman should also be allowed to have more than one husband. Both men and women should have the right to terminate their marriage-tie. The share of son and daughter should be equal in the division of inheritance. The woman should be allowed to earn a livelihood like a man. If Hijab (Veil) is not compulsory for men, why is it for women? Even some western countries are demanding that if men are allowed to keep their breasts open in public places, why is it forbidden for women? The output of this concept is Live in Relationship, that is, physical relationship without marriage. Moreover it results mixing of male and female in the field of education, work, sports and during travelling.
Anyone who looks at this spectacle of equality with impartiality will realize that it is a great deception for humanity and especially for women. This concept of equality shattered the foundations of the family system. This made the women a commodity for trade and a means of advertising. Women’s honour and dignity are being trampled under the influence of this concept, hardly ever happened in human history. If realistically considered, the Creator of the universe has not built this world on the basis of equality. He has certainly kept equality in many things; but having created things with most differences. Every human being has been given two hands, two feet, two ears and two eyes; but there is difference between people in physical strength, mental capacity, power of speech, expression, and in many things.
In the same way, there is certainly uniformity in many things between men and women; but no one can deny that there are differences between them in many dimensions, which are seen step by step. It would be injustice to the woman if it was ignored. This would also be against the nature. If a person gives the same food to his ten-year-old child and twenty-year-old boy on the basis of equality, can it be a useful and fair practice? If a person gives the same food to his ten-year-old child and twenty-year-old boy on the principle of equality, can it be a useful and fair practice? If a ten-year-old child, a twenty-five-year-old youth and a sixty-year-old man are obliged to carry the same weight, can there be any rationality in it?
The concept of Islam is that every human being has responsibilities in terms of his strength and ability, and he has rights in terms of responsibilities, for example, in family life, sons have more responsibilities than daughters. They have to bear their own responsibility and their children too. They have to pay maintenance of wife, their old parents, the dowry of wife and almost all financial responsibilities are placed on the men; no financial responsibility is placed on the women. If equality is followed, the share of both (son and daughter) should be equal and if justice and fairness is kept in mind, then the son’s share should be more compared to the daughter’s. Shariat has kept the second aspect in mind. Ignoring this fact creates a misunderstanding among some people and they feel that injustice has been done to the girl child.
A man can protect himself and resist cruelty; but a girl is often unable to do so due to her physical capacity, and needs protection from a man. That is why the Shariat ordered the Hijab (veil) for both men and women; but for the woman, its quantity was kept higher than man. Shariat allowed both to go out of the house as needed; but it was stipulated for a woman that her husband or a male Mahram relative (those relatives with whom marriage is not allowed) should be with her as a protector during the long journey. It is obvious that this is neither contempt for women nor cruelty on them; rather, they have an additional and special allowance.
These are some basic differences, which can be significantly felt between the law sent by Allah and the law made by man, and which can be evaluated how much better Islam is for human society to live. It gives a harmonious and natural system of life; on the contrary how empty and weightless the slogan of the West is! ●●●●