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Topic initiated on Monday, April 23, 2007  -  11:43 AM Reply with quote
It is a public contract!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is no use denying that a good deal of the Islamic scheme has been brought into a false perspective though our assuming that that views of the 'early generations' were in every respect identical to the Law-Giver Himself.

It is the Muslim's attitude towards 'differences in opinion' that has robbed the umma of its vitality. This is the real cancer that most Muslims ignore, or prefer to ignore. How many Muslims can argue now that Islam was not spread by the sword when so many of them were victims of such a progrom in the Najd of eighteenth century? The wielder of that sword believed himself to be a reformer par execellence, entrusted with the holy duty of ridding the umma of idolatry and innovation.

My friend's question on what can be done is pertinent, but it comes centuries too late. He thinks he knows the cure- strong leadership- but that is a feudal mindset. A society must be built from the ground up. Strong institutions are the key to continuity. The Ottomans excelled at this in no small way. A leader might rise or fall, but if state institutions are resilient, moral and confident, such disturbances are but a drop of water in an ocean. The shariah, interpreted literally, means 'the way to a watering-place'. It is accessible to everyone with ability, an intellectual exercise that is supposed to produce equity, good living. It is supposed to reduce hardship, and engender an attitude of awe at the signs (ayat) of Allah, forever replayed in the rising and setting of the sun and moon. The Prophet is said to have prayed: "Lord, increase me in my marvelling!"

The shariah is not a source for vulgar contention. It is a public contract, not a means for leaders to control their people, or curtail their natural rights. Muhammad Asad wrote:

"The great mistake (of fundamentalists), is that most of these leaders start with the hudud, criminal punishment. This is the end result of the sharia, not the beginning. The beginning is the rights of the people. There is no punishment in Islam which has no corresponding right."
Shariah is the collective effort of a community in sincere taqwa, or God-Consciousness. Take away ikhlas, or sincerity, and all you have is petty quibbling, resentment, caprice, a community that is random, unstable and torn from its roots. In short- The Now!

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