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Archive for the ‘shariah’ tag

Understanding Shariah Can Counter Irrational Prejudice

by Dr. Nasim Rehmatullah and Muhammed Chaudhry
from Silicon Valley Mercury News

Silicon Valley is renowned for innovation in software, social media and biotechnology — all reasons why countless flock here to work and raise their families. But the Valley of Heart’s Delight also boasts the best of pluralism, multiculturalism and interreligious cooperation, which is fertile ground for a serious discussion about the latest national debate: What is Shariah, and can it peacefully exist within America’s legal system?

Critics increasingly question religious freedom rights for American Muslims. Many call Islam and America “wholly incompatible.” While few understand what exactly they are banning, more than 20 states have discussed or passed anti-Shariah legislation. Some politicians are demanding that Muslims serving in the military be discharged, baselessly alleging that Shariah commands that “Muslims kill Americans.” When influential politicians such as Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain demand that American Muslims take a loyalty oath or “repudiate Shariah” to receive equal rights, no one wins.

Muslims are now facing what American Jews, Catholics, Mormons, Italians, Irish, American Indians and African-Americans have suffered through: fear mongering and discrimination. This discrimination is real and directly affects our workplace. The New York Times reports that while Muslims make up only 2 percent of America’s workforce, they filed nearly 25 percent of religious discrimination claims in 2009. Silicon Valley leaders must lead the charge to change this un-American development.

The correct understanding of Shariah can ignite this change.

Shariah is a set of laws and principles about how Muslims should lead their lives. Muslims use Shariah in private matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, worship and personal morals. Shariah is like the Jewish law (Halacha) utilized in Beit Din (rabbinical courts). American Jews routinely use Halacha for property contracts, divorces and business disputes. American Muslims use Shariah for the exact same purposes.

A “Shariah takeover” is impossible because the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause ensures that the Constitution is always the undisputed sovereign law of the land. Likewise, true Islamic teachings promote a just, secular government with a separation of mosque and state. Far from a threat, Shariah actually champions the U.S. Constitution.

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February 17th, 2012 at 10:57 am

Shariah Law: The Five Things Every Non-Muslim (and Muslim) Should Know

By Qasim Rashid
From Huffington Post

1. What does Shariah mean?

Shariah is the law of the Qur’an and literally means “A path to life giving water.” In fact, the word Yarrah (i.e. the root of the Hebrew word Torah) means precisely the same thing. Therefore, Shariah is actually ingrained in Abrahamic tradition.

Shariah is comprised of five main branches: adab (behavior, morals and manners), ibadah (ritual worship), i’tiqadat (beliefs), mu’amalat (transactions and contracts) and ‘uqubat (punishments). These branches combine to create a society based on justice, pluralism and equity for every member of that society. Furthermore, Shariah forbids that it be imposed on any unwilling person. Islam’s founder, Prophet Muhammad, demonstrated that Shariah may only be applied if people willingly apply it to themselves–never through forced government implementation.

Additionally, the Qur’an does not promote any specific form of government, but requires that the form people choose must be based on adl or “absolute justice.” The Qur’an says, “Verily, Allah enjoins justice, and the doing of good to others; and giving like kindred; and forbids indecency and manifest evil and transgression. He admonishes you that you may take heed” (16:91). Notice, religious preference is never mentioned. Therefore, in ruling with absolute justice, for example, the righteous Jewish King Solomon ruled as a just monarch based on this fundamental principle of Shariah Law–justice.

2. Do Muslims want Shariah to rule America?

No. Remember, the Qur’an teaches that religion must not be a matter of the state. Shariah is a personal relationship with God. Prophet Muhammad, even as the de facto ruler of Arabia, wrote the Charter of Medina in which Muslims were held to Shariah Law, and Jews to the Law of the Torah. Not a single non-Muslim was held to Shariah because Shariah itself forbids compulsion. The Qur’an clearly says, “There is no compulsion in religion” (2:257). Furthermore, Shariah obliges Muslims to be loyal to their nation of residence. Therefore, American Muslims must adhere to the US Constitution as the supreme law of the land.

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November 19th, 2011 at 10:35 am