Showing posts with label Islamic law. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Islamic law. Show all posts

Friday, November 29, 2019

'Jihad' and World Politics


One of the most misunderstood and much maligned concepts in the world of religion today is the doctrine of ‘Jihad’ in Islam. Unlike any other matter of devotional piety in any religion, ‘Jihad’ brings around it images of a deadly cocktail of religion, identity politics and armed violence involving wily politicians, extremists and terrorists; generating genuine anxiety, confusion and fear among the people. Indeed, ‘Jihad’ has come to mean different things to different people in our times. 

In our deeply troubled world, where powerful nations set the rules of the global game, non-State actors are also increasingly becoming vital players. In States where turbulent political conditions exist, ‘Jihad’ is almost invariably associated with the call to arms and violence by certain Muslim-groups ostensibly working to protect the collective interests of the Muslim communities concerned. For many governments with separatist movements or insurgent groups in their territorial domain; ‘Jihad’ is nothing but an ideology of unbridled violence and mayhem championed by non-State actorsIn sharp contrast to this, the groups fighting States look upon ‘Jihad’ as the ideology of their political resistance against unjust regimes- the moral and ethical justification for their militant campaigns against governments that ‘oppress’ the people. Inspired by their own notions of injustice and agency; often seeking retribution for alleged past crimes of the State concerned or to induce change in State policies vis-a-vis certain matters; organized groups as well ‘lone wolfs’- including suicide bombers- perpetrate violent crimes, targeting symbols of State power. These attacks often indiscriminately impact civilians as well, leading to ‘collateral damage’- unnecessary suffering for common people caught up in such incidents.

For instance, the horrific 9/11 terror attacks in the United States of America at the beginning of this century- in the year 2001- directed at the symbols of American military and economic heft resulted also in the death of thousands of people going about their everyday lives. The terrorists who executed this most audacious attack claimed they were driven by the ideals of ‘Jihad’ in committing this mass murder. Those who waged this ‘war’ on America were seeking vengeance upon the country for its dreadful policies abroad- including military interventions that killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people, and even destroyed entire societies in the Muslim world. Despite the moral high-ground the parties in conflict- States and the terror groups- seek to assert for themselves, both State terrorism and non-State terrorism are problematic for their means and methods of warfare and also due to the profound consequences such violence has upon its innocent victims, common folks like us.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Mauritius: Politics and the Muslim


Political theory privileges democratic form of governance. A democracy works on the edifice of rule of law coupled with constitutional checks and balances and effectively functioning public institutions, manned by people who do their duties without fear or favour. Periodic elections ensure people's participation in the governance process in a democracy, nudging the rulers to listen to the aspirations and will of the people; formulate accomodative and  inclusive policies that adjust or settle diverging interests and specific claims of several communities and social groups inhabiting the land. In a progressive democracy, the interests and rights of all peoples/ social communities- including ethnic, racial, religious and linguistic minorities- find political accommodation and social recognition within the framework of national law and policy. 


It is against this ideal of a multicultural and multi-ethnic society reflecting the diversity of its peoples and respecting the equal rights of all communities that we can examine the lived reality of our nation-States. In his Friday Sermon of 25 October 2019~ 26 Safar 1441 AH, Imam- Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam Hadhrat Muhyi-ud-Din Al Khalifatullah Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) takes a closer look at the state of national politics in his home country, Mauritius, at a time when the Island-nation is gearing up for the general elections in the coming week. As responsible citizens, it is the duty of everyone to participate in the electoral process to ensure that good and just representatives are elected to  serve the larger cause of the nation and the people, reminds Hadhrat Khalifatullah (atba)

The forthcoming elections are also a time for  soul- searching for the Muslim community of Mauritius. Representation in all levels of government, including the civil services, is critical for ensuring that the legitimate interests and rights of the community are not overlooked. However, in the absence of prudential interventions to protect its identity, the minority community continues to see erosion of its political space and identity-related group rights, including the right to exercise its religious freedoms under the Shariah. 

Setting the agenda for discussion, Hadhrat Khalifatullah (atba) highlights a number of social justice issues that need urgent political attention at this point of time. In a cultural environment where every community's sacred festivals are acknowledged and celebrated, it is scandalous that the country does not observe Eid-ul-Adha Holiday, the biggest festival day of the Muslims. One can only agree that the situation does indicate an appalling neglect and cultural insensitivity towards a minority community. Likewise, Hadhrat Khalifatullah (atba) also calls attention to the anomalous situation created by the virtual abandonment of Muslim Personal Law in the country, especially for the Mauritian women- those of them who are in religious marriages are deprived of the legal sanctity of a civil marriage. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Banning ‘Triple Talaq’ in India


In recent years, Muslim women in India have publicly raised issues of unfair treatment at the hands of their unjust husbands, triggering wider debates on the reform of Muslim personal law in a secular country. As it happens, an unscrupulous husband  makes an oral pronouncement or a simple declaration of 'Triple Talaq’ by sending an e-mail/mobile phone text message/WhatsApp/Facebook/Twitter posts, etc.- to his wife and such a communication would apparently result in instant and irrevocable divorce, valid for the purpose of the Muslim law.  For, ‘Talaq-e-Bidd’at’- an irregular form of divorce under Muslim Law- does seem to allow men to simply evade their marital obligations with their wives and to end the spouse relations without any regard for the ethical framework of the Qur’an and the Ahadith on matrimonial justice. Indeed, a grave distortion of the Islamic institution of divorce has been created in recent times by rotten husbands, leading to an unfortunate public perception that a Muslim husband may put away his wife at his mere caprice. Seeking to prohibit and penalize this kind of deviant practice -‘Talaq-e-Bidd’at’- that is tilted against Islamic values, women’s rights and gender justice;  India recently announced a new national legislation entitled the ‘Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019.   

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Conjugal Relations in Islam


Marital (In)stability: Role of Attitude

Imam Bukhari mentions a Hadith of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), reported by Hazrat Abu Huraira (ra) which is as follows: “If a husband calls his wife to his bed (i.e. to have sexual relation) and she refuses and causes him to sleep in anger, the angels will curse her till morning.”

There are many women who, as a result of a dispute between themselves and their husbands, think that they are punishing them (i.e. their husbands) by not allowing them to satisfy their carnal desires. However, this attitude can lead to serious problems that can lead the husband to commit a prohibited act or things can turn against her (i.e. the wife) and he will think about getting married to a second woman. The wife must therefore satisfy his desire by putting into practice a recommendation of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh):  If the man calls his wife for sexual intercourse, she must answer spontaneously even if she is on the saddle of a camel!” 

All the same, the husband must also take into account the condition of his wife, who may be sick, pregnant or have trouble, all this to reach an agreement (with her, mutual agreement) without difficulty.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Laws of Inheritance in Islam-II


In his Friday Sermon of 10 August 2018 (27 Dhul-Qaddah 1439 AH), Hadhrat Muhyi-ud-Din Al Khalifatullah Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius provides a magisterial survey of Islamic inheritance law. In this significant discourse, Hadhrat Khalifatullah (atba) elaborates on the the most important features of the normative framework of Islam on matters of inheritance succession and comprehensively explains the profound obligations on devout Muslims in this regard- of making clear distributive arrangements for smooth transitions in matters of succession. Acknowledging that the subject is vast, complex and delicate, Hadhrat Saheb (atba) underscores the need for careful handling of the question at the various levels "with honesty and Taqwah": individual believers need to draw up clear testamentary declaration (Will); influential/powerful legal heirs need to respect the rights of the vulnerable ones and also serve the pecuniary interests of other non-heir, but close persons of the deceased through gifts; the State/Jamaat officials need to ensure that justice is done to all parties involved. 

The Sahih Al Islam Blog has published the First-part of this vital sermon on August 14, 2018. Reproduced below are the second and final installment of the Two-part series:


THE WIFE’S CHILDREN FROM A PREVIOUS MARRIAGE

If a woman had children with another husband, and after divorce, Talaq, she contracts Nikah with another man, then the children of this woman from her previous marriage are not eligible to receive anything from the inheritance of their mother’s new husband.

INHERITANCE OF A LEGITIMATE CHILD

According to Shariah, a child born in the Nikah of his parents is a legitimate child and thus he shall inherit from his mother and father. Shariah acknowledges the legitimate pregnancy of a woman whose biological child is born between 6 months and two years.

Explanation : If a child is born five months after the date of the Nikah or more than two years after the death of the father (its mother’s husband), then the child shall not be legitimate for the father and thus shall not inherit from him. [But Allah knows best. It may be that Allah manifests exceptions and extraordinary miracles.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Laws of Inheritance in Islam-I


All that is on earth and in the heavens originally and truly belong to God, and shall finally return to Him, so declares the Qur'an emphatically. Whether the humans like it or not, our moment in the universe is brief and transitory in the onward march of history- to succeed people who go ahead of us and to be succeeded by people who come after us. The riches and affluence of this world is only for a period of time- and the ultimate end of all affairs is with God. Among the attributive Names of God, the Qur'an speaks about "Al Waris", the Supreme Heir: "It is We who give life and death; it is We who inherit (everything)"---(Surah Al-Hijr, 15:24)The Qur’an thus provides an ethical framework for the believers to look at questions of property, wealth and possessions: upon the death of a person, all property returns to God and the portion to legal heirs are apportioned by Divine Decree, leading to the Divine redistribution of the wealth of the deceased. 

Under the Qur'anic framework on succession, both men and women among family relations- children, parents, siblings and spouses- are entitled for a fixed and mandatory share of the wealth of their deceased relatives. Men have a share in (the assets) that their parents or nearest kin leave behind, and women (also) have a share in the inheritance of their parents and the nearest kin. Be it small or large, the share has been fixed (by Allah)”. (Surah Al-Nisa, 4: 08).  Other verses in the Qur'an (4:12-14;177) identify the specific rules for apportioning the estate by Divine Decree. The prescribed shares of the male and female heirs are to be distributed among them after the payment of debts- including funeral expenses- and the fulfillment of the Will the believer may have made prior to death. 

On the basis of Qur'anic rules of inheritance, the Holy Prophet (sa) issued practical guidance on new issues that emerged in the context of the companions' family lives, especially on matters that the Qur’an did not specifically comment upon. For instance, to strike a balance between a person's right to bequeath his property by will to other than one's legal heirs prior to death and to protect the interests of the legal heirs, it was clarified that not more than one-third of the estate can be given away in such a manner. Through the centuries, by applying reasoning and analogy, Muslims have evolved a vast corpus of jurisprudence (Fiqh) on the distribution of shares in varying contexts of the life of the Ummah. In his Friday Sermon of 10 August 2018 (27 Dhul-Qaddah 1439 AH), Hadhrat Muhyi-ud-Din Al Khalifatullah Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius provides a magisterial survey of the most important features of Islamic inheritance law and comprehensively explains the profound obligations on devout Muslims in this regard- of making distributive arrangements for smooth transitions in the wealth and assets they (are to) leave behind, and also to respect the rights of women and other vulnerable legal heirs in matters of succession

Read the First part of the Two-part Sermon Below:   

According to Quran and Hadith, according to Shariah, it is incumbent on a Muslim to distribute his wealth among his heirs. It is thus his duty to make all necessary procedures so that after his demise, his wealth is distributed as per the commandments of Allah and His Messenger (pbuh). 

The share (fraction/ percentage) that a wife or a husband or a mother or a sister receive is obligatory (Farz) just like Salaat/ NamazSawm/ RozaZakaat are Farz. The proportion that we have to distribute in inheritance comes essentially from the Quran. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has said: Learn the laws of inheritance and teach them to others as they are half of knowledge…” (Mustadrak Al Saheehain).