Thursday, March 30, 2006

Case of Abdul Rahman - How to respond to the attack on Shariah rules

The following is a transcript of a circle I delivered recently:

Recently we saw the decision by the Afghan Supreme Court Judge to free Abdul Rahman, the man alleged to have converted to Christianity, whilst his case is reviewed is not surprising considering the world wide pressure that has been brought to bear upon Afghanistan in recent days.

We have seen the media attacking the Islamic rule of killing the Murtad (apostate), it is common for them to attack the Shariah rules such as the rules of cutting the hand of the thief, Jihad, marrying up to 4 wives, etc.

We need to respond correctly to such attacks

1) When responding to the attack of Shariah rules, we should take the offensive and not be defensive

For example on this case we can highlight that the countless of number of innocent people that the Western powers have killed and continue killing in the world. Such as in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Africa, India, Indonesia and more recently Afghanistan and Iraq. So who are they to talk about justice?

2) We must not invent reasons for the rules unless Allah (swt) has given specific reasons

Due to defeatism people invent reasons for many of the Shariah rules which Allah (swt) has not given. For example they say that it was revealed that the murtad should be killed is that at the time when Islam was revealed it was a new Deen and therefore it needed to protect itself so a harsh punishment were revealed for people who apostasied.

Other examples include: Islam permitted marrying up to four wives as there was more women in the society than men, Pork is haram because it is a dirty animal, Jihad was revealed only so that the people could protect themselves, etc.

So as an example it is completely incorrect to say that the reason why it is allowed for Muslim men to marry up to four wives is that there is more men then women in the world and that men normally die in war. This is not the illah for the rule as has not been mentioned in the divine texts. It would be a incorrect portrayal of Islam and very dangerous for us to site this as the reason for the rule, someone could say what if there is more men than women existing in certain places in the world, does this mean then it is permitted to marry more than one husband? Or that today women also fight as soldiers in some countries, so is it permitted for women to also marry more than one man? If we rationalise the rules by inventing reasons from the mind, this would lead us to abandoning these rules when that reason did not exist or maybe even changing the shar’iah as some corrupt scholars do today.

Many people have become used to justifying all the Shari’ah rules according to benefit (maslaHah), because they are influenced by the Western ideology and Western culture, which views benefit alone as a criterion for actions. Such an understanding contradicts Islam. The Prophet (saw) said:

“Whosoever interprets the Quran according to his opinion, let him seek his abode in the fire” [Tirmidhi]

“Whosoever interprets the Quran according to his opinion, even if he gets it right, he has indeed committed a sin” [Abu Dawud & Tirmidhi]

In the Sahih of Bukhari, on the authority of 'Urwa b. al-Zubayr who said: 'Abd Allah b. 'Amr b. al-'As overcame us with proof. I heard him say: “Allah will not deprive you of knowledge after he has given it to you, but it will be taken away through the death of the religious learned men with their knowledge. Then there will remain ignorant people who, when consulted, will give verdicts according to their opinions whereby they will mislead others and go astray.”

3) Allah (swt) has given reason for only some types of rules

The Islamic systems are composed of AHkam Sharai’ah related to ‘ibadat (worships), morals, foodstuffs, clothing, mu’amalat (transactions) and penal code. Allah has given us reasons for only some rules and therefore we must not invent reasons for others.

The divine rules related to ‘ibadat, morals, food-stuffs, and clothing cannot be reasoned by ‘illah (legal reason) since there is no ‘illah for these rules in the divine texts of the Quran and the Sunnah. They should be taken as they came in the text and should not be based upon an ‘illah. Prayer (Salaah), fasting (Sawm), the Hajj, zakaah, the method of praying the Salaah and the number of its rak’at, the rites of Hajj and the minimum amount of property liable to payment of zakaah (niSaab of zakaah) and the like, should be taken, accepted and submitted to as they came in the text (tawqeefiyyah) and no ‘illah is sought for them. The same thing applies to the prohibition of eating the meat of a dead animal, pork and the like.

Seeking an ‘illah for these rules is wrong and dangerous. This is because if an ‘illah was sought the result would be that if the ‘illah of the rule ceased to exist then the rule would no longer exist. The ‘illah is connected to the rule in existence and absence. As an example, if we assumed cleanliness was the ‘illah for the wudu, and physical exercise as the ‘illah for salaah, and hygiene as the ‘illah for fasting (Sawm) or the prohibition of pork etc., then in these situations, whenever the ‘illah does not exist, the rule would not exist either, this would lead us to abandoning these shariah rules. For example if someone raised a clean pig whom they had fed with good food and kept in a hygienic manner, would we then be permitted to eat it?

Therefore seeking an ‘illah is dangerous for the rule and its performance. Thus, it is obligatory to take rules of ‘ibadat as they are, without seeking an ‘illah for them.

Another example is the issue of alcohol, there is no illah for its prohibition, it is well known that it used be permitted at one time, even Hamza (ra) died while there was alcohol in his stomach as the verses prohibiting alcohol were revealed later. There is no illah contained in the verses prohibiting it, furthermore the Messenger (saw) said; “Wine (khamr) was forbidden for itself.”

With regards to the Mu’amalat (transactions) and penal code some of the ahkam (rules) have come with illah and some without any illah.

For example in respect to giving the spoils of Bani Nadhir to the Muhajireen and not the Ansar. Allah (swt) says regarding this:

“That it does not become a commodity between the rich among you.” [TMQ Al-Hashr:7]

While some other texts do not include an ‘illah at all such as:

“Allah has permitted bai’a (trading) and has forbidden Riba (interest).” [Al-Baqara:275]

The rules and evidences regarding the Muslim woman having to wear Khimar (headscarf) and Jilbab, the allowance for man to marry up to four wives at one time, the prohibition of women being rulers and many other rules have come without illah.

The valid ‘illah is the Shar’ai ‘illah that is mentioned in the text from Qur’an and Sunnah, for only these two are the Shar’ai texts. The ‘illah upon which the reasoned Hukm Shar’ai is built is a Shar’ai ‘illah and not a rational ‘illahi which is derived from the mind. In other words the ‘illah must be mentioned in the text either explicitly or implicitly or by deduction or through a process known as Qiyas undertaken by a Mujtahid.

The Shar’’ai ‘illah is that which is taken from a Shar’ai text and should be restricted to it and its meaning. The Shar’ai text has neither indicated that bringing about a benefit nor warding off harm as being the ‘illah. That which is brought in the text is not indicated by the time or the place nor indicated by the action itself. It is rather indicated by the text in manifesting the ‘illah of the Hukm. This text never changes, so no consideration is given to the time and place in this context.

4) The way to discuss shariah rules with non Muslims is to link them to the belief

When we discuss the Shariah rules with non-Muslims we should not discuss the rule itself detached from the belief and attempt to convince them of it

We should divert the discussion to the issue of the belief which is provable rationally. We can prove that Allah (swt) exists and that the Quran is the word of Allah (swt). Therefore it is rational for us to accept whatever emanates from the Quran whether we have been given a reason for it or not.

The Aqeeda (belief) can be discussed rationally, once we have proved it automatically whatever emanates from it must be accepted.

5) Discussing the consequences of implementing the shariah rules

The absence of illah in many of the rules does not mean that it is prohibited to discuss the consequences of applying the shariah rules upon the reality and how it will solve problems. This is permitted and useful especially when it comes to explaining the systems of Islam such as the social, economic, punishment and ruling systems. Explanation of the reality is not a justification for a hukm and we should be careful not to make consequences of applying the shariah rule as an illah for the rule.

For example we can discuss how the rules from the Islamic social system such as separation of men and women, the dress code, etc will create a society where there will be less agitation of the instinct of procreation and a society in which there will be less rape, molestation, fornication and the like as was the reality under the Islamic Khilafah in the past.

Another example is that of polygyny (marrying more than one wife), we can discuss how this shariah rule can solve problems in the reality. It us clear from the effect of polygyny/plurality of wives that in the community in which it is permitted there will not be a plurality of mistresses, and in communities which forbid the plurality of wives will have a plurality of mistresses. In addition, polygyny solves many other problems, which take place in a human community in its capacity as a human community, which depends on polygyny to solve them.

6) The hadd of the apostate (al-murtad)

Before discussing the punishment in Islam for the Murtad it is worth mentioning that in most societies in the world they have death penalties for certain crimes such as treason. Although apostasy from Islam is different to treason, the punishment for it is applied when it is done in an open manner in a society where the punishment of it is known. In reality if someone wanted to commit apostasy individually without creating an impact in society, they could either hide their disbelief in which case they would be a munafiq (hypocrite) and would not be punished – as their kufr would not be known. Or they could leave the country and move to a non Muslim country and apostatise, even the Khalifah cannot punish those Muslims living outside the authority of the Islamic state.

The fact that someone would commit open apostasy in a country where the punishment for it is well known is like a political statement of rebellion. Regarding the punishment for the apostate this is clear – the fact that Afghanistan has not implemented it demonstrates the fact that it does not implement Islam.

The apostate (murtad) is the one withdrawing from the deen of Islam. Whoever apostatises among the men and women, while mature and sane, is invited to Islam thrice and is restrained (imprisoned); either he reverts (to Islam) or is killed.

Allah ta’ala said: "Whoever among you apostatises from his deen and dies while he is kafir, those are the ones whose deeds have perished in the world and the Hereafter. And those are the inhabitants of the Fire, dwelling therein forever" [TMQ 2:21].

And Al-Bukhari narrated from Ikrimah who said: "Heretics (zanadiqah) were brought to Amir Al-Mu’mineen Ali (ra) so he burnt them. That reached ibn Abbas who said: If it were me, I would not have burnt them due to the Messenger of Allah (saw)'s saying: 'Do not punish with the punishment of Allah', and I would kill them due to the Messenger of Allah (saw)'s saying: 'Whoever changes his deen, kill him.'"

As for killing men, it is clear from the hadith; as for killing women, this is due to the generality of the hadith because he said: "Whoever changes" and 'whoever' (man) is of the words of generality. Also Ad-Daraqutni and Al-Bayhaqi extracted from Jabir: "Umm Marwan apostatised and the Prophet (saw) commanded to offer her Islam: Either she repents or she is killed."

As for the invalidity of apostasy from the child and insane, this is because they are not commissioned so they are not inflicted the hadd of apostasy due to the Prophet (saw)'s saying: "The pen is lifted from three: The child until he matures, the one sleeping until he awakes and the insane until he recuperates."

As for his being asked to repent thrice, this is due to the hadith of Umm Marwan that the Prophet (saw) commanded that she be asked to repent. And that is what Umar proceeded upon. From Muhammad bin Abdullah bin Abd Al-Qari who said: "A man came forward to Abu Musa so he asked him: Is there any news from the west? He said: Yes, a man disbelieved after his Islam. He said: What did you do with him? He said: We brought him close and struck off his neck. Umar said: If only you imprisoned him three (days) and fed him a loaf of bread daily and asked him to repent. Perhaps he would have repented and return to the command of Allah? O Allah, I was neither present nor was I pleased when it was conveyed to me." Umar and Abu Bakr proceeded thereupon.

Ad-Daraqutni and Al-Bayhaqi extracted "that Abu Bakr asked a woman named Umm Firqah to repent. She disbelieved after her Islam and she did not repent, so he killed her." Hence it is established that the Messenger (saw) asked the apostate to repent and likewise Abu Bakr and Umar asked for repentance after him, thus the apostate is asked to repent before killing him. As for asking him to repent thrice, thrice is not a restriction but the least wherein an excuse occurs normally. Otherwise it is allowed to ask for repentance more times because the objective is offering him Islam to return to it and to be given sufficient time to return. It is narrated that Abu Musa asked the apostate—whom Muadh demanded he kill and he killed—to repent for two months before the arrival of Muadh. And it was narrated from Umar that the period of asking to repent is three days; if he repents, his repentance is accepted and he is not killed.

However the repentance is accepted from the apostate if he does not repeat his apostasy whereas if he repeats his apostasy, his repentance is not accepted. Rather he is killed whether he repents or not due to His saying ta’ala: "Verily those who believe then disbelieve then believe then disbelieve then increase in disbelief, Allah will not forgive them nor guide them the (right) way" [TMQ 4:137]. His saying ta’ala: "Allah will not forgive them" [TMQ 4:137] means Allah will not accept their repentance; likewise the State does not accept their repentance.

Al-Ashram narrated from Dhubyana bin Amara "that a man from Bani S'ad passed by the mosque of Banu Hanifah and they were reciting the poetic verses of Musailama (the false prophet). He returned to ibn Masud and mentioned that to him. So he sent for them and they were brought to him. He asked them to repent and they repented. So he let them free except a man among them called ibn An-Nuwaha, and he said: I have arrived at you once. You claim you have repented but I consider that you have repeated, so he killed him." The one who kills the apostate is the State by the rule of the ruler so if one of the Muslims kills him deliberately, there is retaliation upon him just as killing any kafir of the State's citizens.

The apostate is the one who disbelieves after his Islam so everyone who disbelieves after his Islam becomes an apostate. A Muslim disbelieves in four ways: Doctrine/belief ('itiqad), doubt (shakk), saying and action. As for belief, therein are two aspects. Firstly, the decisive belief in what came a decisive prohibition against it or the decisive command with its opposite, like believing that Allah has a partner or believing that the Qur'an is not the word of Allah. The second aspect is denying what is known from the deen by necessity (ma'lum min ad-deen bi ad-dharura) like denying jihad, the forbiddance of drinking khamr, cutting the thief's hand and the like. As for doubt, it is the doubt in the beliefs ('aqaid) and everything whose evidence is /efinite (qat'iyy) so whoever doubts that Allah is One or Muhammad is a Messenger or the lashing of the zani or the like has disbelieved. As for the saying, its meaning is the saying that does not bear any interpretation (ta'weel). So whoever says that the Messiah is the son of Allah and that Muhammad came with Islam from himself or the like has disbelieved without doubt.

Whereas the saying that bears interpretation does not make its speaker a kafir if the saying bears kufr 99% and bears iman 1%, the side of iman outweighs the 99% because it is the side of iman since with the existence of the 1% there exists the possibility of interpretation. So he is not made a kafir as he is not counted a kafir except if the saying is kufr in a decisive way. As for the action, its meaning is the action that bear no interpretation that it is kufr. So whoever prostrates to an idol and prays in a church the prayer of a Christian, he disbelieves and apostatises from Islam because the Christian's prayer is kufr without bearing interpretation so whoever does it had committed kufr without bearing interpretation. As for the action that bears interpretation, its doer does not disbelieve. So the one who enters the church does not disbelieve because it is possible that he entered for the spectacle (furja) and it is possible that he enters it for prayer. And the one reading the Bible has not disbelieved because it is possible that he read it to study it in order to refute it, and it is possible he read it believing in it and so on. So every action that bears interpretation does not make its doer a disbeliever nor is he an apostate if he does it. Apostasy is proven by what proves hudud other than zina, namely the testimony of two trustworthy men or a man and two women i.e. the Shari'ah proof because there came no text specific for it.

All of the Shariah rules including all the hudud will be implemented under the Khilafah state when it returns

Al-Nasaii and Ibn Majah narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayra(ra) that the messenger (saw) said: “One Hadd (one punishment from Islam) which is implemented on the earth is better for the people of the earth than to be rained for forty mornings". [Saheeh according to Suyuti]


Anonymous said...

i m not an Alim or a scholar, but when i read the part which says that the murtad should be imprisoned for 3 days and if he still persists with his apostasy then he should be killed. According to 4 school of thoughts, and all of them agree that a murtad should be killed right away irrelevant of his sex, except the Hanafi school of thought which says that if a murtad is male then kill him and if its a woman then take her in your custody for 3 days and ask her to repent, if she does then let her go and if she doesnt then kill her.

As a disclaimer i m not a scholar but this is what i read. Please look further into this aspect..

islamic knowledge said...

i read all the article jazak allah kahirian may allah guide you more and more ameen i will follow you in shaa allah

Sarhat Kara said...

Assalamu 'aleikum wa rahmatullah

I wanted to read tafaseer to the following vers which you used:
Allah ta’ala said: "Whoever among you apostatises from his deen and dies while he is kafir, those are the ones whose deeds have perished in the world and the Hereafter. And those are the inhabitants of the Fire, dwelling therein forever" [TMQ 2:21]

But the reference of the vers is not correct. The vers in Surah al-baqarah ayah 21 is:
"O mankind! Worship your Lord (Allah), Who created you and those who were before you so that you may acquire Taqwa."

The real reference of the vers is surah al-baqarah 2:217

JazakAllahu Khair