Calling Islamic laws Draconian

Editor’s Note: This article was written on 22nd May 2002 and reproduced without any editing by the author.

By Raja Ghulam Mujtaba

“Obey Allah and His Apostle, if you are true believers.’ The true believers are those whose hearts are filled with awe at the mention of Allah, And whose faith grows stronger as they listen to His revelations.” Al-Anfal – 1

Dr Farzana Bari in her article `Tyranny of Hudood Laws’ published in The News of 14 May 2002 has called these to be draconian. But she must understand that before the advent of Islam, the society was living in the age of Jihala, it was a dark period where women were at the receiving end. The girls were buried alive, women were traded like cattle, had no respect even in the eyes of their own sons. With the dawn of Islam, the things changed dramatically where women who were treated as property became the sharers in property, Allah (SWT) raised her status so much the he placed heavens beneath her feet, made it obligatory on the man to provide for her within the four walls of the house, asked men to keep their gaze low in front of women, and not to use any abusive language towards them and neither to beat them but in some exceptional cases but again not with any cruelty but only symbolically. Therefore today when women take an anti Islamic stance and fall victim to the hollow propaganda of the West, it is very hurting for the Muslims. The West who till very recently were debating whether a woman was a human being or not and gave her no say or share in the inheritance; always exploited her charms for their own pleasures and made her completely vulnerable by bringing her out of the four walls for the men to prey on them. These tendencies have picked up ever since Gen Musharraf took over. The secularists, the women and human rights groups have sprung up like mushrooms. They have become very vocal and daring to attack and undo Islamic values and ethics. For this, the lead has been given by none other than Musharraf himself; when he announced Mustafa Kamal Pasha, a known anti Islamist to be his ideal; also conducted a photo session with his family for the media. where he was holding dogs under his arms, the ladies of the house showing disregard to the Islamic dress code by not wearing hijab, an obligation for every woman. All these were not without some specific purpose.

He was trying to show a liberal, progressive and modern attitude and giving a signal both to the people at home and abroad for them to follow suite. Pakistan which is already infested with such thinking people got the message and became very proactive and took the media by the storm. The themes of the dramas changed, western culture became more in vogue, girls dancing on the screen became a normal affair, all in the name of modernity and competition with the foreign
channels. To further fuel this fire, it was the 9/11 that proved to be water shed and thereafter the whole scenario changed as if suddenly lights go off and the whole place becomes pitch dark with no light visible. This is a very serious development that has begun to erode away the Islamic identity and culture of the country. On one occasion, it was Benazir Bhutto who said that the Islamic laws were barbaric and she got the rubbing from the masses and now it is Dr
Farzana Bari of the Quaid-e-Azam University has come on the same wavelength. She is not alone on this war-path, there are a bunch of other writers also who have assumed upon themselves to go satanic and lead the others into hell by making mockery of the Islamic values and traditions.

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It is very tragic that our so-called modern scholars and leadership has no clue about the Holy Quran and its injunctions; they have never studied it to seek guidance and mostly compromise on hearsay. They feel that to know this subject is like going into medieval ages that has no relevance in today’s world and openly discourage those who try to educate the others saying that how can Quran be implemented in this age of science and technology where people are talking of
democratic rights and institutions that the world has brought into focus and one has to go with the world and not tread on an isolated path. When they utter such irresponsible words they sound very hollow and shallow who have no clue what Islam is, how it provided light to the world and what are its dynamics that would chalk out the future for mankind.

Hudood, the custodian of the moral values of the society can not be applied in isolation or at the whims of someone; its part of the whole, what is a complete code of life called Din wherein every segment is in strong complimentary relationship with the other; any attempt to put to install it in pieces will not give the desired results but on the contrary would create a disenchantment amongst the people. To apply hudood, the whole system has to be geared up and
restructured and dismantle the present system given by the pagans. Islam has defined it very clearly as to who is empowered to sit on the seat of justice or stand in the witness box. The judges (qazi) have to meet the Islamic criteria and so have the witnesses to meet also. The police and all those connected with the state machinery before they can be entrusted with any responsibility have also got to come up to the required minimum standards of Islam. This environment has to be created before we can implement Shariah and it has to begin from the top, the head of the state on the Day of Judgement would be answerable if he avoids or fails to move in this direction. Thus it is imperative that any aspirant for any such seat, the people must understand the implications and the prerequisites that go with such a
responsibility, its no honeymoon. The head of the Islamic State must understand the basic functions and responsibilities that the Quran and Sunnah require and not to follow what is in the West. In Islam, the basic duty of the head of the state is to act as the viceroy of the Prophet of Allah (SWT) thus strive to take the people on to Sirat-e-Mustaqeem, the straight path. This is evident from the seerat of Prophet Mohammad (SAW) and the lives of the Khulfahe Rashidin. In his last sermon, the Holy Prophet (SAW) said, “I am leaving with you two things one the Book of Allah and the other Sunat-e-Rasool. If you adhere to these you would never go astray.” Therefore in an Islamic country, it is imperative that not only the head of the state but every functionary must be a practicing Muslim, he must lead the prayers and give sermons on Fridays; he has to provide the conditions conducive enough for the Muslims to guide their lives onto sirat-e-mustaqeem. Any person not fulfilling the Islamic conditions can never be allowed to hold any office in the set up. Here I would like to
quote Caliph Abu Bakar Siddique (RA) who in his very first address said “Obey me as long as I obey Allah and His Apostle; when I disobey Him and His Apostle, then obey me not.” This is a tradition established and followed by the other caliphs also. It has assumed the staus of Shariah that every Muslim head of the state is bound to follow, any deviation from this would make him liable to be impeached. This is in consonance with what Allah (SWT) has said in verse 36 of surah Al-Azhab “And it behoves not a believing man and a believing woman that they should have any choice in their matter when
Allah and His Apostle have decided a matter; and whoever disobeys Allah and His Apostle, he surely strays off a manifest straying.” It has bound all Muslims to follow the divine guidance and no other source. Therefore in the light of such rulings and instructions can we turn away and bring in changes to our own liking? If we do then we would be the ones for whom Allah (SWT) has said, “Unbelievers are those who do not judge in accordance with Allah’s revelations.” “Transgressors are those that do not judge in accordance with Allah’s revelations.” “Evil doers are those that do not base their judgments on Allah’s revelations.” Al-Maida – 44, 45 and 47

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In an Islamic set up, anyone besides having the requisite knowledge of his profession, has to be a practicing Muslim with an unflinching faith and baring good moral character and reputation. Such people would invariably be fearful of Allah (SWT) and would refrain from wrong practices of the society. Today the entire government machinery is terminally ill with corruption like a cancer patient in his last stage waiting for the plugs to be pulled off. Every segment of the machinery involved in the dispensation of justice and other public dealings is corrupt to the core. Police would register the case according to the wishes of the party that has greased its palms, the lawyers would seldom differentiate between the right or wrong but would plead the case for having accepted the fee and the judges would in routine decide the case on the prima facie thus many a culprits get scot free and many an innocents get sentenced; its not out of routine where the judge would have been approached to get the judgement accordingly. In a true Islamic system such things are not
tolerated; where it would be quite in routine for the judge to visit the crime scene to seek the truth not caring how the prosecution has prepared its case. Here not only the people hiding or twisting the facts would be taken to task but would also be debarred and removed from the positions they hold. Once Caliph Omar bin Khattab (RA) appeared before the Qazi who rose from his seat to greet the Caliph, this gesture was viewed very seriously by Hazrat Omar (RA) who
removed him from his post declaring him unfit to dispense justice.

As said earlier, here in Pakistan, the case is twisted in its very first stage of the FIR and the police investigation. False witnesses who have no moral character and have no sense of obligation are made to record their statements, the lawyers also know the credibility and quality of the evidence but seldom have any choice. Due to lengthy and long drawn legal process, no genuine witness would like to face the rigours of the courts for years together and also pick up the animosity of the other side. Therefore under such circumstances some witnesses are raised to get the conviction of the accused but all this process leaves a strong blemish on the conscience of the involved.

The sufferings of the women is very unfortunate; they are not suffering because of the Hudood but because the system that is in place; everything leaves lot to be desired for a near perfect system based on the principles of Islam. People should struggle to get the system changed and not call hadood as draconian law. This simply implies that Allah (SWT) is cruel who has given these laws. Anyone so calling these laws makes oneself liable for execution and that would be a very regrettable situation. The entire structure needs to be replaced, cleansing must start from the top; if the source of the
water at the top of the hill is muddy the water down the stream would never be clean, so lets clean the spring.

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Allah is the most loving of all, his love for mankind is far greater than one can imagine. How can the Creator be harsh and cruel to His creation. “He that does a good deed shall be repaid tenfold; but he that commits a sin shall be punished for it. None shall be wronged.” Al-Anam 161. This verse stands a proof to this fact that for good deeds, Allah (SWT) is increasing the reward tenfold but award for a sin, its only equal to its gravity and no more; Allah (SWT) is not cruel but people like Dr Farzana are who are out there to mislead the people. The concept of punishment in Islam is to make it a deterrent
so that no excess is committed to anyone. Rape is no ordinary crime, it makes the victim a living dead unable to face the society. This is far more heinous than adultery or out right murder; the victims deserves every sympathy and comfort from the society but those involved in the process of justice have to be men of conscience alive to the situation. People with dead conscience are certainly draconian who are making war against Allah by openly refuting His divinity and
challenging His authority. For such people, Allah (SWT) has said “Those that make war against Allah and His Apostle and spread disorders in the land shall be put to death or crucified or have their hands and feet cut off on alternate sides or be banished from the land.” Al-Maida – 33

Farzana Bari says that since the religious fundamentalists are on the retreat therefore hudood and all other discriminatory laws must also be removed. Here she clearly implies the blasphemy law and the law declaring Ahemedis as Kafirs be removed. Anyone tempering with these laws would be calling for Allah’s wrath. She should note that every
Muslim is a fundamentalist because he believes in the fundamentals of Islam; if one does not then he ceases to be a Muslim I do not where Farzana Bari stands. Let me also remind her that only the religious exploiters fanning sectarian feelings are on the retreat but not the true Muslims. Alhamdolillah the devoted Muslims are on the march who would never retreat come what may. For the liberals and the moderates Allah (SWT) says “Observe what is brought down to you from your Lord and do not follow other masters besides Him. But you seldom take warning.” Al-Araf – 3 and also He challenges them that “They seek to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths; but Allah will perfect His light, much as the unbelievers may dislike it.” Al-Saff –9. All this what’s happening is nothing but the fruits of democracy the universal evil, where people assume all sorts of rights and work their own destruction. Here not to over emphasise but to repeat what Allah (SWT) has said some additional verses are also quoted that come in succession signifying its gravity. “We have ordained a law and a path for each of you.” “And pronounce judgement among them in accordance with Allah’s revelations and do not be led by their desires.” “Is it pagan laws that they wish to be judged by? Who is a better judge than Allah for men whose faith is firm in Allah?” Al-Maida – 48-49. Hopefully this would satisfy all those who are agitating against the imposition of Shariah.