Reply to the Misconception about Shari'ah

First: The Shari'ah, which was offered by Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) since fourteen centuries, became very restrictive, nowadays, on the human rights. The Islamic Shari'ah in the present days is a non-developing religion which is incompatible to the advanced civilization of the current world, which presents super services for the human needs!

The reply:

Islam differs from other previous Divine religions. Previous religions were essentially spiritual religions that suggest the relationships of man with His Creator, the Almighty Allah. Islamic Shari'ah, however, is a comprehensive, complete and adaptable religion because it is suitable for every age, location and people. Furthermore, Islamic Shari'ah is a worldly, as well as, spiritual religion. Islam is a religion, as it postulates the relationship between man and His Creator, the Almighty Allah. Islam is also a worldly religion as it organizes and regulates the relationships between man and his society as well with other peoples and nations. Islam, unlike Judaism, for instance, is not limited for a specific people and society. Likewise, Islam is unlike Christianity, which is descended unto Jesus (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), who openly declared that:" I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel "[104].

Jesus (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) also said to his twelve disciples, who were selected to match the twelve Jewish tribes:" To these twelve, Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Saumar'i-tans enter not. 6. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel "[105].

As for Islam, it was sent as a mercy for mankind. The Almighty Allah states in the Glorious Qur'ân Sura al-Anbiya (The Prophets) 21:107 the meaning of which is translated as:“ We sent thee not, but as a mercy for all creatures [worlds]”.

Thus, Shari'ah laws are bi-dimensional, as follows:

One dimension of Shari'ah laws and regulations regulates the relationships of man with His Creator, the Almighty Allah. Faith, belief, various acts of worship and laws of inheritance has a solid basis that no one has the right to alter, add or delete. These are constant regardless of time, people and place or locality. Such laws are not ever subjected to any changes. For instance, Salah, prayer, in Islam has its own specific rules, rituals and regulations. No one has the right to change any of the various principles of Salah. Similarly, Zakah is another example that is solid, permanent and unalterable. Moreover, the individuals who are eligible to inheritance from parents, sisters, brothers, uncles and other relatives, have a set amount of inheritance that no one in the Islamic society can modify. Similar are other acts of worship in Islam.

The second dimension of Shari'ah laws tends to regulate the relationships of man with his fellow man and the society. Moreover, it also directs man's relationships with other people and nations. Such rules and regulations are stated in a general form in the Shari'ah laws. Details are left following the needs that arise in the developed societies. Such rules and regulations maybe amended, altered and adaptable in view of the pressing needs of the society. Such changes or modifications, however, may be suggested by specialists, or jurists who well-understand all the changes and development in the current society. Shura, the principle of consultation, for instance is one example. This principle was mentioned in the Glorious Qur'ân in a general form without giving much detail to the mechanics of Shura. No specific information was given in Qur'ân that explains how to apply, execute and implement Shura in the Islamic society. The door is left wide-open for Islamic scholars to assess any pressing situation, in light of Shura, and serve the public interest for the individuals, the society and the Ummah, nation as per the requirements of every age and place. For instance, what maybe applicable for one generation might not be applicable for another. This method of assessment illustrates the comprehensiveness, the international scope and the validity of Islam for all times and climes.