Thursday, October 14, 2010

How to speak sharia ~ or perhaps not

Those were the days, m’learned friend

Economist does Sharia muse.

Shari'a: The Economist tells us is the 'path to water',  in the desert, no doubt, the path to water could mean life or death ~ but as with all things to do with Islam, almost all its rules are connected to life in the desert. If you kill a man, you should take his family a camel. Burying the dead, the day after, without Egypt's embalming techniques, in that heat, the dead would seem 'unclean' ~ remember at the time of Muhammad, they had not added Egypt's uniqueness to their own. If Muhammad had anything to do with it we would not have the Pharaohs today. And yet Egypt is convinced something was added by being assimilated.

Islam reminds us that just as any combination can come together to make a person, so too any combination can make a religion. I think Islam is one of the most disappointing religions on earth [as an ideology]. It makes its most prominent point, what you cannot do ~ followed by what you must do 5 or more times a day. None of which requires thought.

Compared to the ancient Chinese philosophy Tao ~ or even the more modern Buddhism ~ it falls woefully short. Muhammad simply did not have 'it'. Imagine if Islam had a middle way! As what is Islam but the people that follow ~ even the forced. Perhaps Muhammad should have fought more with himself and less with others.

To hold a sword to force others to acknowledge the God in you, is a steal.
To hold a sword, to gain others' acknowledgement ~ is a stolen prophet-hood.

Unearned gain is Islam's followers biggest boast.

To hold a sword to the throat of the disbeliever, is the man who is lost himself.

To hold a sword to get another to acknowledge the same portion of God in you, is a man who understood nothing.

If you have gained acknowledgement by holding a sword up to others ~ then what you received is stolen ~ goods.

What Muhammad did not understand ~ Muslims must!

Muhammad sent Khalid Ibn al-Walid to the tribe of the children of Haritha and told him: "Call them to accept Islam before you fight with them. If they respond, accept that from them, but if they refuse, fight them." Khalid told them: "Accept Islam and spare your life." They entered Islam by force. He brought them to Muhammad. Muhammad said to them: "Had you not accepted Islam I would have cast your heads under your feet"

Islam's legal lexicon
How to speak sharia
Telling the fard from the fatwa

LITERALLY the “path” or “path to water”, sharia is a catch-all term for Islamic codes covering everything from social mores to crime. Based on the Koran and the sayings attributed to Muhammad, as well as the work of ulema (Muslim scholars), it is clear and strict in some matters (such as family law) and fluid and evolutionary in others (such as commerce). It comprises five main schools of interpretation (four Sunni and one Shia). In Muslim lands sharia courts are overseen by a kadi (judge) who will have studied both fiqh (legal interpretation) and how to apply qiyas (analogy).

Fiqh classifies behaviour into one of five categories: fard (mandatory), mustahabb (advisable), mubah (neutral), makruh (inadvisable), and haraam (prohibited). Huddud refers to the corporal and capital punishments that are laid down in traditional Islamic law for certain offences, including death by stoning for adultery. However, fatwa (ruling or opinion), contrary to popular opinion in the West, refers to theological, not legal, pronouncements in which one or more scholars opine on some pressing issue (the subjects of recent fatwas have ranged from questions of personal hygiene to the ethics of suicide-bombing).

Nikah (an Islamic marriage) usually requires an imam to officiate and must involve a mahr (marriage settlement) conferred on the bride. It may end in a Talaq: this usually means a unilateral invocation of divorce by the husband. Khula is a divorce granted by a judge at the wife’s request.

Baffling? Perhaps. In a well-worn English legal anecdote a judge asks a lawyer acting for a thief from Yorkshire: “Is your client familiar with the principle of Nemo dat quod non habet (nobody gives away what he does not possess)?” The apocryphal answer is: “Indeed, m’lud, in Barnsley they speak of little else.” Fewer lawyers know Latin now, but in Yorkshire towns the relationship between, say, mahr and talaq is increasingly well understood.


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