1. Men make laws when they feel the need; these laws start from a few and then grow in number over the years.2. Man-made laws are not permanent; they can be changed according to the time and circumstances. For example, in a particular country at a particular time, drinking alcohol may be banned; but this can change when public pressure grows.
3. Man does not have knowledge of the future. Hence, manmade laws cannot stand the test of time.
4. Man is a created being. His laws are the creation of the created.
5. Man-made laws may be suitable for a particular nation or country. They cannot be universal.
6. Men make laws to suit their own needs. Suppose members of parliament want to decrease the rate of tax on rich, they would do so, even if the majority of the people suffered and there was high unemployment in the country.
1. Islamic Law is complete and perfect and covers all aspects of human life.2. Shari’ah is permanent for all people all the time. It does not change with time and conditions. For example, drinking alcohol and gambling are not allowed under Islamic law. No-one can change this; it is a law that is valid for all time and for all places.
3. Allah the Almighty is All-knowing and All-powerful; He is the most Wise and His laws are the best and are complete.
4. Allah swt is the Creator and His laws are for all human beings, His creation.
5. Allah’s laws are for all nations, all countries and for all time. They are universal.
6. Allah is above all needs. He is not dependent on anything, so His laws are for the good of all people and not for a few, selfish people.
Ruler of France, Napolean Bonaparte Quoted in Christian Cherfils, ‘Bonaparte et Islam,’ Pedone Ed., Paris, France, 1914, pp. 105, 125.
Thus Islam is a complete Socio-Economic-Political system for the success of whole humanity and not just for people of a particular race or region. Let us briefly understand what each one of them mean.
“I hope the time is not far off when I shall be able to unite all the wise and educated men of all the countries and establish a uniform regime based on the principles of Qur’an which alone are true and which alone can lead men to happiness.”
1. FAMILY life is the basis of the lslamic society. Its origin goes back to the beginning of the creation of man and woman– Adam and Eve. So, it is an institution founded by Allah’s will. Allah says in the Qur’an: “O mankind, be mindful of your duty to your Lord who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate and from the two created many men and women.”(Qur’an 4:1)
2. Marriage is the basis of the lslamic family. A good and sound society can only grow if a man and woman are bound in a solid relationship through the sacred contract of marriage
3. Marriage develops love, care and co-operation between the husband and wife. It gives peace of mind and provides a secure atmosphere for the growth and progress of the whole human race
4. Marriage is a sacred social contract between a bridegroom and a bride. A great deal of thought is necessary therefore before the couple decide to marry
6. Islam does not allow free mixing of grown-up boys and girls, nor does it allow sex outside marriage
7. Divorce is allowed but is regarded as the least desirable of all lawful acts. Islam encourages adjustment and happiness but when living together is impossible, Islamic low does not stand in the way of divorce.
2. In his farewell speech at ‘Arafat in the tenth year of the Hijrah, the Holy Prophet said, “O people, your wives have certain rights over you and you have certain rights over them. Treat them well and be kind to them, for they are your partners and committed helpers.” These sayings clearly prove the important position given to women in Islam.
3. The Holy Prophet (pbuh) also said, “The best among you is the one who is the best towards his wife.”
4. Islam has given women a right to inheritance. She has a claim on the property of her dead father, husband or childless brother (4:7, 32,176).
6. Allah has created every living being in pairs – male and female Quran (51:49) -including mankind. Allah has honoured the children of Adam – both male and female Quran (17:70). Men and women who believe are protectors of one another (9:71). Allah will reward both men and women in the life after death Quran (3:195).
7. In lslam a woman has a distinct and separate identity. Islam has given her the right to own property. She is the owner of her earnings. No-one (father, husband or brother) has a right over them. She can dispose of her earnings and property as she wishes, within the bounds of Halal (lawful) and Haram (unlawful).
We can conclude that lslam liberated women from the Dark Age of obscurity fourteen hundred years ago!
Man needs bread to live but he does not live for bread alone. This means that earning and spending money is essential for our living, but we do not live only for this. We have a greater purpose in life. We are Allah’s vicegerents (Khalifah) on earth. We not only have a body but we also have a soul and a conscience. Without our soul and conscience, we would be considered little more than animals.
Islam has prescribed laws to regulate earnings and expenditure. People are not allowed to earn and spend in any way they like. They must follow the rules of the Qur’an and the teachings of the Holy Prophet (pbuh):
Islam allows a person to own his earnings. The Islamic state does not interfere with the freedom of speech, work and earnings of an individual provided this freedom is not harmful to the greater good of society. Every individual will be answerable to Allah the Almighty for his or her actions – Quran (4:7, 36:71, 16:111).
Compulsory payment of Charity is one of the main principles of an Islamic economy. Every Muslim who owns wealth more than his needs must pay the fixed rate of Charity to the Islamic state. Zakah (Charity) is a means of narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor. It helps the fair distribution of wealth. It is a form of social security. The Islamic state is responsible for providing the basic necessities of food, clothing, housing, medicine and education to every citizen. No-one should have any fear of insecurity or poverty – Quran (9:69, 103, 98:5).
In Islam, the economic system is free of interest. Islam prohibits all transactions involving interest. Interest is neither a trade nor a profit. It is a means of exploitation and concentration of wealth.
· The Qur’an says: “They say, trade is like interest; and Allah has allowed trade and prohibited interest.” – Quran (2:275)
· “Whatever you pay as interest, so that it may increase in the property of (other) men, it does not increase with Allah.” – Quran (30:39)
· “O you who believe, do not take interest, doubling and quadrupling, and keep your duty to Allah, so that you may prosper.” – Quran (3:130)
The Islamic law of inheritance is a wonderful system of stopping the concentration of wealth. It provides very detailed laws regarding the rights of dependents over the property of the deceased person. Suratun Nisa (chapter four) of the Qur’an deals with the law of inheritance in great detail (4:7-12, 4:176).
SOVEREIGNTY OF ALLAH THE ALMIGHTY LORD
- Sovereignty means the source of power. In Islam, Allah is the source of all powers and laws Quran (3:154, 12:40, 25:2, 67:1). It is Allah who knows what is good and what is bad for His servants. His say is final.
- All human beings unitedly cannot change His law.
- According to Islam, this order is unchangeable by any parliament or any government which claims itself to be Islamic (5:44, 2:229). There are many more laws in the Qur’an concerning our life and those laws must be put to practice by an Islamic state for the greater good of human beings.
- Islam teaches us to run a government, to make legislation and decisions by the process of Shura. Shura means “to take decisions by consultation and participation” Quran (3:159, 42:38). This is an important part of the Islamic political system. There is no scope for despotism in Islam. The Qur’an and the teachings of Holy Prophet (pbuh) will be the basis of legislation in Islam.
- v Man is the vicegerent, the agent or the representative of Allah the almighty on earth Quran (2:30, 6:165). Allah is the sovereign and man is His representative. Man should do as Allah commands him to do. But he has a choice to either obey or disobey Allah and, because of this freedom of choice, he will be tested on the day of judgement.
- The Islamic political system makes the ruler and the government responsible firstly to Allah and then to the people. The rular and the government are elected by the people to exercise powers on their behalf. The ruler shall have to work for the welfare of the people according to the Qur’an and Prophetic teachings. Both the ruler and the ruled will appear before Allah swt and account for their actions on the day of judgement. The responsibility of the ruler is heaver than the ruled.
- Any ordinary citizen of the state has the right to ask any question on any matter to the ruler and the government.
- The Islamic political system ensures equality for all citizens before the law. It does not recognise any discrimination on the basis of language, colour, territory, sex or descent.
As the very word implies, Islam means ‘peace’ and ‘security’. It also means ‘submission’ to Allah and hence salvation. Islam is thus, a religion of peace and, no wonder the basic principle of the Islamic state in its relations with foreign countries is ‘peace with all and war against none’ or, in other words, ‘friendship towards all and malice towards none’. Al-Qur’an, the revealed book of Islam, does not allow an aggressive war; it allows taking up arms only as a last resort in self-defence. The Qur’an enjoins upon its followers: “Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Verily! Allah loves not aggressors”. (2:190). History of Islam is witness to the fact that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his companions resorted to fight only when they had been wronged, persecuted and even expelled from their homes by the enemies of Islam. The Qur’an mentions this fact when it says: “Sanction is given unto those who fight because they have been wronged; and Allah is indeed Able to give them victory” (22:39). Although Islam, like any other religion or ideology, wants its propagation with the view to bring to its fold as many adherents as possible, but this is achieved through peaceful preaching and not through aggressive means. Thus, the religion of peace does not allow war for its preaching as well. The Qur’an says: “There is no compulsion in religion” (Quran – 2:256). At another place, it exhorts the Prophet of Islam to say to disbelievers”- Unto you your religion and unto me my religion”. (Quran – 109:6).
Please, further refer to the article “What is Shariah” at http://iichyderabad.org/what-is-shariah/ for the basic components of Shariah.