Muslim Personal Law: ‘Divine Revealation’ or ‘Man Made’?

via H Balakrishnan published on December 21, 2009

LETTER TO INDIAN EXPRESS

Dear Sir,

Reference Seema Mustafa’s ‘ for-a-welcome change-sensible’ – ” Rights of Muslim Women ” – (TNIE-21 DEC).

Compliments to both Seema Mustafa for displaying the courage of convictio to pen a ‘ politically incorrect ‘ Article and for TNIE in publishing such an Opinion that goes against current ‘ secular fashion ‘ !! However, in keeping with adage – ‘ Old habits die
hard ‘, Seema Mustafa throws up a Red Herring by writing : ” The Gujarat violence and subsequent insecurity amongst the minorities came as a major setback to this process of reform from within, and the Muslim clerics backed out completely”.

I query Seema Mustafa as to what has Gujarat got to do with the following revelations contained in the Koran:
(a) – Men have pre-eminence above women ( Q 4.34)
(b) – A woman is a man’s tilth unto whom he may go as he desires (Q 2.223)
(C) – And if ye fear that ye will not deal fairly by the orphans, marry of the women who seem good to you, two or three or four, and if ye fear that you cannot do justice then one or that your right hand possesses. (Q 4.3)
There many more such verses that can be quoted from the Koran and Hadits. Pray tell the reader what has the ‘Rakshasa’ Narendra Modi got to do with the revelations??!!

The fact of the matter is that even Islamic countries have altered their Laws to bring them in line with modern and secular jurisprudence, as prevailing elsewhere in the modern world.This much becomes evident when one reads Prof. Tahir Mahmood’s
” Personal Law in Islamic Countries: History, Text and Comparitive Analysis “, Academy of Law and Religion, New Delhi (1987). (Tahir Mahmood had recently contributed a column for the TNIE.)  In his book, Prof Mahmood has detailed the changes made in personal laws in Islamic countries from N.Africa to Indonesia. It clearly brings out the fact that Islamic personal law was a product of and squarely within the purview of normal legislation. Above all, the book clearly highlights the fact that features of the Muslim Personal Law in India which the Ulema have declared as sacrosanct and immutable, because they are the words of Allah, have been recognized as repressive and retrograde in other Islamic countries around the world. Thus, modern personal laws have replaced the Shariah in those countries. India, is of course a different ‘secular story’ !!

In an insightful book, ” Muslim Perdsonal Law, Role of the State in the Sub-Continent “, Vikas Publications, New Delhi (1977), the same Prof. Tahir Mahmood wrote: ” Equating the Muslm personal law, in its present local state [in India], to the Quran and Hadith, desctribing it as a wholly revealed or inspired law, and declaring that not an iota of the existing principles can be changed, only exposes the ignorance of Islamic values, Islamic religion and Islamic jurisprudence. Attempting to distort facts about the recent reform of personal law in Muslim countries cannot do any good. – – It is no sensible argument that any reform of the Muslim personal law would amount to interference in religious freedom and affect the cultural identity of Muslims. If the Muslim personal law is codified and reformed – men are restrained from pronouncing a divorce arbitarly, women’s rights in family life are enlarged – how is the religious freedom or cultural identity of Muslims going to be affected?”. This in 1977. Well before Gujarat, Your Honour !!

The force with which obedience and obeisance to the Shariah is enforced by the Ulema, is best gleaned by citing one example from Arun Shourie’s “The World off Fatwas: Or the Shariah in Action ” .  A fatwa by the ‘seculars’ FAVOURITE -  Dar-ul Uloom, Deoband (pp- 388):

Case 85: Some people got together to settle a qurrel. One party insulted the Shariah by saying that it did not care for the Shariah and preferred a decree by the Panchayat instead. It also said that it did not need an Islam which imposed such restrictions, and that it thought the customs of the clan more sacred than the Shariah. Are people who have such beliefs and utter such words, Muslims? Should there be a new confession of faith, and NEW MARRIAGE by them or not?

FATWA: People who said such words have become Kafirs. They should confess the faith anew and DO THEIR MARRIAGE AGAIN. They should do ‘TAUBAH’ and seek forgiveness. It is not proper to have dealings with them till they do these things. (REF: Fatwa Dar ul Uloom, Deoband, Vol XII)

How and where does Narendra Modi come into the picture?? !! Shah Bano et al will be repeated again and again, because we are a ‘DHIMMI NATION’.  No more. No Less. Period. And, of course, the ‘secular terrorists’ are ever ready to take up the cudgels on behalf of the Ulema !! JAI HO !!

VANDE MATARAM

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