Notion Of Equality Under The Islamic Law Theology Religion Essay Example
Notion Of Equality Under The Islamic Law Theology Religion Essay Example

Notion Of Equality Under The Islamic Law Theology Religion Essay Example

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  • Pages: 13 (3464 words)
  • Published: September 20, 2017
  • Type: Analysis
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Islamic jurisprudence is based on complete surrender to the divine will of God.

The foundation of the Islamic faith is its cardinal dogma, which serves as the basis for Islamic jurisprudence, encompassing all aspects of life. This comprehensive system of governing is known as Sharia. In this chapter, we will explore the history of Islamic jurisprudence, its beginnings, the influence of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), and the various Schools of Islamic jurisprudence. The Quran plays a crucial role in this system as it contains God's word revealed to Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) by Angel Gabriel. Its significance cannot be underestimated since it acts as the cornerstone for Islamic jurisprudence and holds immense power.

The Quran, sent down by a wise entity, is free from falsehood and deserving of congratulations. Unlike other religious texts such as the Bible, which were recorded long after their founde


rs' lives, the entirety of the Quran was revealed during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). It serves as the supreme and unchangeable source for all legal regulations. Additionally, the Sunnah encompasses traditions and known patterns of Prophet Muhammad, many of which are documented in Hadith literature. This includes his teachings, actions, and agreements, as he lived in accordance with the Quran's teachings.

During the time of the Prophet, various matters concerning personal conduct, relationships within communities and households, and political affairs were discussed and recorded. The Sunnah provides additional details on topics that are generally mentioned in the Quran. If Muslims cannot find a specific ruling in either the Quran or Sunnah, they seek consensus within their community. The Prophet Muhammad once stated that his community would never agree on a mistake. In situations where

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ruling is required but not explicitly addressed in other sources, judges can use analogy, reasoning, and legal precedents to establish new case law. This often occurs when a general principle can be applied to novel circumstances. Different schools of jurisprudence follow these principles.

The first school was established by Iman Abu Haniffa, an esteemed Doctor of jurisprudence. It is considered by some to be the oldest and comprehensive school. The second school was founded by Imam Maliki Ibn Anas. This school adhered to the teachings of the Holy Prophet and placed less importance on Qiyas.

The Muwatta, Imam Malik's main work, is the oldest and most prominent text in Sunni jurisprudence. It holds great importance as it connects the Fiqh literature of earlier times with collections of Hadiths from later periods. It was established by Imam Shaffie, a student of Imam Malik, and is considered one of the most influential legal experts to have ever lived. Imam Shaffie greatly developed the philosophy of Ijma and adopted a dynamic approach. Another school was founded by Imam Ahmed Bin Hal bal, who was a student of Imam Shaffie.

The text highlights the different schools of thought within Islam and their prevalence in various regions. It also emphasizes the adherence to Hadiths and the disapproval of following consensus in opinions by one extreme school of thought. The Hanaffis are the majority in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Afghanistan, and Central Asia. Shaffies dominate among coastal Moors in South India, Muslims along many Arabian coastlines, Sri Lanka's Muslim population, as well as those in Malabar and Indonesia. In North Africa (particularly Morocco and Algeria) and West Africa (specifically Nigeria), Muslims belong to the

Maliki School. Comparatively speaking, Islamic jurisprudence is deemed superior to England's primitive legal system prior to Common law's establishment.

The Sharia, also known as Muslim jurisprudence, serves as the foundation for English common jurisprudence. Islamic jurisprudence brought forth three influential institutions that greatly influenced common jurisprudence. In liberal societies, the rights of individuals with physical disabilities or social needs are frequently disregarded. To safeguard their rights, it is important to limit the desires of others and allocate public wealth for their well-being. Although facing opposition from some individuals, it is essential to handle their disapproval.

Contrary to the individualistic nature found in broader societies, Islam places emphasis on the welfare of society. In broader Governments, there is a willingness to waste or discard large quantities of food in order to prevent market prices from decreasing and capitalists from experiencing loss. They are willing to let millions of people die from hunger just to protect their own material interests. However, such actions can never be permitted in Islam. The desires of these elements should be restricted according to Islamic principles. Economic freedom should not be guaranteed in any continent or manner, but rather it should be limited.

Limiting individual desires is crucial for societal improvement, comparable to the restriction of marginalized and disabled individuals' inclusion. Offenses encompass actions that harm society morally and in their consequences. Any act, be it physical or non-physical, that undermines unity and dignity within a community constitutes a crime. The government holds the authority to prosecute and penalize offenders in these instances, guaranteeing justice via the legal system.

In Islamic society, the most serious violation of the rights of Muslims is spiritual abuse or the

lack of holiness. Within Islamic society, nothing is considered more important than spiritual value and holiness. The doctrine of human rights in Islam stems logically from its fundamental beliefs, such as the sovereignty of God and the revelations given to the Prophet.

The basic rules of human rights, which are now included in international paperss, can be logically deduced from the postulates and principles of Islamic jurisprudence. Even without relying on modern paperss, the literature of Islamic jurisprudence provides sufficient guidance to create a Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is noteworthy that these rules closely resemble the most recent preparations and can be justified based on specific Islamic texts. Islamic jurisprudence places great importance on individual dignity and human rights naturally align with its framework.

The Quran repeatedly warns against persecution and denounces aggression, specifically targeting the misdemeanors of human self-respect. It reminds believers of the importance of seeking justice in all their transactions. This warning against persecution is mentioned 229 times in the Quran. Additionally, the Quranic poetry states that Allah commands justice and kindness, making these standards of behavior obligatory for all and towards all. Furthermore, when ruling over a people, it is necessary to govern with fairness, as stated in the Quran (4:58). Both the Quran and Sunna emphasize the responsibility of rulers in upholding justice at all times.

The ruler has an obligation to govern justly and should never allow the free expression of justice to be compromised. The concept of justice, especially as it relates to human rights, is explained in specific and general terms in numerous passages. Additionally, there are reminders to the unfair ruler about the consequences of oppression in

any form. Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) warned, 'Avoid oppression as it will bring darkness on the Day of Judgment.'

The second purpose is to examine the materials such as the Quran, Hadith, and Jihad in order to search for the principles of Islamic jurisprudence. Within these materials, Abdul Aziz identifies various principles including human dignity, global integrity, minority protection, collective responsibility for public welfare, sanctity of life, dissemination of knowledge, and responsibility towards future generations. According to Article 21 (c), it is not only a right but also a duty for every Muslim to combat oppression, even if it means challenging the highest authority in the state. Additionally, Article 6 offers safeguards against officials abusing or misusing their power.

The Declaration contains various articles that ensure specific rights. These rights include the right to life (Article 1), freedom (Article 9), equality and the prohibition of discrimination (Article 3), justice (Article 4), and fair test (Article 5). Moreover, Article 10 recognizes that in a Muslim state, religious minorities have the right to be governed by their own laws and the principles of the Quran concerning civil and personal matters. Islamic principles also shape economic and social rights described in Article 16, such as worker rights, zakat obligations towards the poor, and community-focused utilization of production resources. Additionally, Article 18 asserts that access to food, shelter, clothing, education, and medical care should align with community standards. It is important to note that Muslim law corresponds with international human rights ideology. With technological advancements presenting intricate contemporary challenges, Islamic law stands ready for a new era.

Unchecked individuality can manifest in various forms, such as disregard for societal land usage, pollution, the

rise of transnational corporations and market monopolies, and communication monopolies. However, the Western approach to upholding human rights is inadequate in addressing these issues. The control over information flow between developed and developing nations fails to consider the cultural, moral, and political values of weaker nations. This contrast in human rights approaches is evident in discussions on the Universal Declaration within the UN's Third Committee, where a representative from Saudi Arabia highlighted the differing perspectives influenced by Islamic law. These contrasting views also emerged during debates preceding the adoption of articles focusing on economic, social, and cultural rights. Islamic states have made significant contributions to human rights despite Western legal experts' claims that Islamic Jurisprudence lacks a philosophy of human rights.

Islamic constructs of human rights surpass those of the Western preparation due to their more well-rounded and community-oriented attitudes in Islamic jurisprudence. It is crucial to maintain a balance between emphasizing rights and responsibilities. Additionally, it is important to counterbalance the emphasis on material values with a focus on societal, cultural, and humanistic values that are often disregarded when only considering civil and political rights. Islamic law offers valuable insights for tackling these challenges in the future.

The recent increase in the promotion of human rights in the Islamic world is not unfounded. According to the farewell discourse of the Prophet (PBUH), the disregard for past nobility has a reason. This system ensures equal treatment for all individuals under one law, leaving no room for privilege. Within Islam, only piety, good deeds, and noble character are recognized as forms of privilege. The concept of equality is highlighted throughout various Islamic texts.

According to a Hadith, the

Prophet likened all people to the teeth of a comb, highlighting their equality. Another Hadith affirms that every person is a descendant of Adam. The principles of equality are universally applicable because they originate from God's instructions to his creations. Although there were exceptions such as dhimmis (non-Muslims residing in Islamic states) who enjoyed certain benefits, they too had rights safeguarded by the law. Differentiating between various groups like the powerful and oppressed, wealthy and poor, or conqueror and subject is therefore invalid. Hence, the values expressed in documents like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and Social Economic and Cultural Rights align with Islam. As a result, all individuals appearing in court have the right to receive fair treatment under legal proceedings.

The ruler and the ruled were both subject to the same jurisprudence, guaranteeing equitable implementation of criminal justice based on Islamic regulations. Even judges had to follow the law without any exemption. Accusing individuals of crimes that were created afterwards with a motive to target certain individuals was not permissible. Additionally, Islam did not endorse any exceptional privileges for a priestly or scholarly group.

In Mohammed's Islam, according to Syed Ameer Ali, there is no caste system or recognition of religious authority. The language of Mohammed (PBUH) does not rely on priests or religious figures for achieving divinity. Traditions and rituals created by individuals with vested interests are unnecessary in connecting with God. Every individual serves as their own priest in Mohammed's Islam since no one has a higher status than another. In Islam, all citizens are granted equal rights and responsibilities under the law as

stated in the Holy Quran and Hadith.

The Tradition of the Prophet emphasizes that those who believe in God's oneness, accept the Prophet as his messenger, abandon bias, and join the Muslim community are granted equal rights and obligations as other Muslims. Recent converts to Islam have the same privileges and responsibilities as long-standing followers. The concept of spiritual brotherhood and equality is fundamental in Islamic society, guaranteeing that no one's rights or duties are regarded as superior or inferior. In Islamic law, all individuals are considered equal and entitled to unbiased legal protection.

As per the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, all individuals are entitled to fair treatment and safeguarding against discrimination. Each person is inherently equal in dignity and rights, endowed with reason and conscience. It is crucial for humanity to engage in a spirit of brotherhood. Nevertheless, it should be acknowledged that equality does not imply uniformity among individuals.

Although everyone has their own unique qualities, there are also common attributes that define our humanity. Therefore, it is crucial to treat every individual with respect, dignity, and equality. The US Supreme Court's decision in the case of Dred Scott V Standford (1856) declared that African Americans were not eligible for US citizenship, regardless of whether they were slaves or free individuals. Furthermore, the court invalidated the 1820 Missouri Compromise, allowing slavery in all territories of the nation.

In 1896, the US Supreme Court issued a ruling in Plessy V Ferguson, which upheld a Louisiana law permitting separate but equal accommodations for whites and blacks on train railways. This decision served as a legal foundation for state and local governments to enforce segregation between the two races.

Consequently, black children were prohibited from attending the same public schools as white children due to laws that either required or allowed racial segregation. Despite attempts to ensure equality in terms of infrastructure, curriculum, qualifications, and teacher salaries between white and black schools, disparities persisted.

Alongside Plessy V Ferguson, two other cases – Brigges v Elliott and Davis v Country School Board of Prince Edward County – were decided simultaneously. These cases played a significant role in addressing racial segregation within education.

An additional noteworthy Supreme Court case called Milliken V Bradley (1974) addressed the planned integration busing of public school students across district lines in metropolitan Detroit. This case involved 53 different school districts.

The programs to integrate public schools in the US after the landmark decision of Brown v. Board of Education, 347 US 483 (1954), were a matter of concern. Article 14 of the Constitution addresses equality before the law. It declares that the State cannot deny any person equality before the law or equal protection of the laws within the territory of India. Equality before the law means that no one is exempt from the laws of the country.

However, there are exceptions to the rule of equality before the law as stated in the Constitution. The President or Governor of a state is not held accountable to any Court for their actions and duties while in office. No criminal proceedings can be initiated or continued against the President or Governor during their term. Additionally, no civil proceedings seeking relief against the President or Governor can be initiated during their term, for any actions done by them personally, until two months after written notice has

been given to the President detailing the nature of the proceedings, cause of action, and other details.

In another incident, a Sikh boy was denied admission to Park Grove School in Birmingham by the headmaster because the boy's father refused to let him wear a turban and cut his hair. The boy ended up attending another school, but his father filed a complaint with the Commission for Racial Equality, which took the case. Derry Irvine represented the Commission for Racial Equality. The Court of Appeal ruled that Sikhs were not a racial or cultural group, but the House of Lords declared that Sikhs were indeed a racial or cultural group.

In a previous chapter, I discussed the idea of equality under the Bing system, supported by various instances. Islam does not acknowledge complete equality among men regardless of differences in color, race, or nationality, but instead considers it a crucial and significant principle, a reality. The Holy Quran states: "O mankind, We have created you from a male and a female". In essence, all humans are considered brothers.

They are all descendants of a male parent and a female parent. This means that the categorization of human beings into nations, races, groups, and communities exists to allow for differentiation. It enables people of one race or community to meet and become acquainted with those belonging to another race or community and collaborate with each other. This division of mankind does not intend for any nation to take pride in its superiority over others, nor does it imply that one nation should treat another with disdain or shame, considering them as inferior or degraded. In simpler terms, the

superiority of one individual over another is solely based on their consciousness of God, purity of character, and high moral values, not on their color, race, language, or nationality. Furthermore, even this superiority based on piety and virtuous behavior does not justify that such individuals should act as Gods or assume positions of superiority over other human beings.

Assuming high-quality poses is an unacceptable weakness that no God-fearing and serious adult male can ever dream of committing. Nor does the righteous have any superior rights over others, as it contradicts the principle of human equality stated at the beginning of this poetry. From a moral standpoint, goodness and virtue are always preferable to vice and immorality. The Prophet (PBUH) exemplified this in one of his sayings: 'No Arab is superior to a non-Arab, nor is a non-Arab superior to an Arab.'

According to Islam, no white adult male has any superiority over a black adult male, and vice versa. All humans are descendants of Adam, who was created from clay. Islam promotes equality for all people regardless of their color, race, language, or nationality. This right of equality is bestowed upon every individual by God from their birth. Therefore, no one should be discriminated against based on the color of their skin, place of birth, race, or country. Malcolm X, a prominent leader of African Americans in America, fought against racial discrimination in America. However, during his pilgrimage, he witnessed Muslims from different races, languages, and skin colors wearing the same attire and praying together without any differentiation. This experience made him realize that this unity was the solution to the problem of color and race, rather

than what he had been trying to achieve in America.

Today, non-Muslim individuals, who are unbiased and open-minded, acknowledge that no other religion or way of life has successfully addressed this issue like Islam has. In Muslim legal theory, it is believed that only an impartial legislator with complete knowledge of human intentions can establish jurisprudence. Therefore, God (Allah) is considered to be the ultimate lawgiver in society. According to Islamic legal theory, Sharia is revealed in order to provide a set of standards that can distinguish between right and wrong. By following the laws, Muslims ensure the development of a society that is morally and materially superior to others that do not follow divine guidance. However, since revelation stopped after the death of the Prophet, the Muslim community lost direct access to the divine. The Quran and the Sunnah, which are the primary sources of Islamic law, strongly emphasize the principle of equality.

Consequently, in the Islamic legal system, there cannot be different laws for the ruler and the subjects, the powerful and the weak, or the rich and the poor. In Islam, equality is a more comprehensive, critical, and sacred concept compared to any other life system. Providing equal justice to all Muslims and non-Muslims is one of the fundamental objectives of the Islamic state. When comparing the concept of equality under Islamic law with that of European and other Asian countries, it is apparent that the notion of equality exists in ensuring fairness and equality among all members of the community.

Under Islam, racism is completely banned. In the eyes of the law, everyone is equal. As stated in the Quran: "O Mankind, we created

you from a single pair of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes so that you may know each other (not that you despise each other). Verily, the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is he who is most righteous among you."

According to the Quran (Chapter 49, Verse 13), every university and establishment should have an Islamic module. Islam is a system of universal laws that are not formulated for any specific group or time period. The focus of Islam is on the "natural man," which means it centers on the natural structure and conditions of every individual, regardless of their socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, gender, age, etc. Non-Muslim individuals who are unbiased have acknowledged that no other religion or way of life has successfully addressed this issue as Islam has.

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