Shariah 101

August 4, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Enver Masud

Shariah-Council-Logo-green-star-with-logo-copy2-1-300x300The definition of justice, according to Dr. Robert D. Crane, founder of the Center for Civilizational Renewal, is respect for human rights, which were formulated six centuries ago by Islamic scholars. These rights, says Dr. Crane, are: “the right to life and personal integrity (haqq al haya), to family and community existence and cohesion at all levels of human society (haqq al nasi), to equal opportunities in accessing ownership of the means of economic production (haqq al mal), to political freedom for self-determination both within and among nations (haqq al hurriyah), to human dignity (haqq al karama, including freedom of religion and gender equity), and to education, knowledge, and freedom of expression (haqq al ilm).”

Regarding separation of Church and State, according to Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, author of Islam, a Sacred Law, Islamic jurists recognized this concept centuries before the Europeans, and divided the body of Shariah rules into two categories: religious observances and worldly matters. The first they observed to be beyond the scope of modification. The second, subject to interpretation, cover the following:

1. Criminal Law: This includes crimes such as murder, larceny, fornication, drinking alcohol, libel. 2. Family Law: This . . . covers marriage, divorce, alimony, child custody, inheritance. 3. Transactions: This covers property rights, contracts, rules of sale, hire, gift, loans and debts, deposits, partnerships, and damages.

“One of the most sensible definitions of the purposes of the Shariah,” according to Imam Feisal, was given by Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah who said:

“The foundation of the Shariah is wisdom and the safeguarding of people’s interests in this world and the next. In its entirety it is justice, mercy and wisdom. Every rule which transcends justice to tyranny, mercy to its opposite, the good to the evil, and wisdom to triviality does not belong to the Shariah . . .”

According to Imam Feisal the sources of Shariah are, in order:   1. The Quran – God’s Word revealed to Prophet Muhammad (s); 2. The Sunnah – practice and teachings of the Prophet; 3. Ijma – consensus of those in authority; 4. Qiyas – reason, logic, and opinion based upon analogy.

Imam Feisal describes seven other methods for deriving Islamic laws. These seven, plus ijma and qiyas, are collectively known as ijtihad or interpretation, and/or opinion based upon reason and logic.
Several schools of Shariah have evolved: Shafii, Hanbali, Hanafi, Maliki – the orthodox schools, and Jafari – the Shiite school. The Zaydis and Ibadis also have their own schools.

“Classical international law, reputedly invented by the Spaniards Vittorio and Suarez, borrowed the concept of inalienable human rights from Islamic law,” according to Dr. Crane.

Wisely implemented, Shariah can better nurture and protect society than does Western law which is subject to the whims of lawmakers.

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Harun Yahya – Secrets of the Hypocrites

August 13, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

They Do Not Defend the Truth

During their time they spend in the midst of believers, hypocrites play an imitative role in order to blend in and not give themselves away. They seek to imitate religious observances, but never go near those that impinge on their earthly desires. For example, calling people to proper moral values and advising them of the truth are duties that they see as inconvenient. They are not willing to see others implementing this system that they won’t implement themselves. They are therefore careful to avoid defending the truth.

In any case, there is an inconsistency here: Clearly, anyone who avoids remembrance of Allah and who harbors a genuine hatred for religion and sincere believers can never properly communicate the stipulations of the Qur’an and the importance of living for Allah. Since such people do not live by proper moral values themselves, naturally they cannot explain these to others. And in any case, they have no wish to do so.

In addition, communicating the message—which Allah, in the Qur’an, commands as an important religious duty—is something they can never do. Recommending what is good and trying to prevent what is evil, and issuing reminders in the light of the Qur’an are observances that hypocrites can never perform. Since their true desire is to gain the approval of others, they never wish to offend anyone and never intervene in any errors they happen to see.

They Make Excuses to Lag Behind in the Struggle

We have already seen how, one of hypocrites’ main objectives—for so long as they remain in the midst of believers—is their own interests. Doubtless the one area that most conflicts with those interests are the times of struggle that have been written as obligatory for believers. Hypocrites can see no logic in striving for an objective that they doubt will give them any advantage in terms of their own interests, nor in which they don’t sincerely believe. In addition, due to their lack of comprehension, they think of this struggle as one in which lives and belongings will be lost, not for whose sake there will be a reward in the Hereafter. They cannot understand such superior virtues as making sacrifices for Allah or enduring difficulties.

Hypocrites in the time of the Prophet (s) began fleeing as soon as the order for war was issued, and resorted to various lies and excuses to cover up their crimes. Some of the verses on this subject are as follows:

. . . They were told, “Come and fight in the way of Allah or at least help defend us.” They said, “If we knew how to fight, we would certainly follow you.”

Ali ‘Imran: 167

If it had been a case of easy gains and a short journey, they would have followed you, but the distance was too great for them. They will swear by Allah: “Had we been able to, we would have gone out with you.” They are destroying their own selves. Allah knows that they are lying.

At-Tawba: 42

Those who were left behind were glad to stay behind the Messenger of Allah. They did not want to strive with their wealth and themselves in the way of Allah. They said, “Do not go out to fight in the heat.” Say: “The Fire of Hell is much hotter, if they only understood.”

At-Tawba: 81

When a sura is sent down, saying: “Believe in Allah and strive together with His Messenger,” those among them with wealth will ask you to excuse them, saying, “Let us remain with those who stay behind.”

At-Tawba: 86

And a group of them said, “People of Yathrib, Your position is untenable, so return!” some of them asked the Prophet to excuse them, saying, “Our houses are exposed,” when they were not exposed; it was merely that they wanted to run away.

Al-Ahzab: 13

This attitude, which becomes apparent in times of struggle, is important evidence of the hypocrites’ logic. They abandon their imitation of believers carried out up until then and reveal their true character. Before such times of struggle, however, they will also show evidence revealing their true natures.

Their lack of preparation towards future struggles is characteristic of their attitude. Since they have no such aim, they see no need to make ready. Yet at the same time, this is evidence of the activities they do plan. They deliberately fail to fulfill their religious observances and make none of those preparations for the future that are dependent upon believers. In one verse it is revealed that:

If they had really desired to go out, they would have made proper preparations for it, but Allah was averse to their setting out so He held them back and they were told: “Stay behind with those who stay behind.”

At-Tawba: 46

Their View of Believers

Hypocrites have declared war on the religion of Allah. They oppose His messenger and are unable to bear to listen to His verses. Therefore, one cannot expect them to feel any closeness to believers. That they adopt the requirements of a religion that hypocrites are opposed to, and that they abide by Allah’s verses are sufficient cause for hypocrites to feel enmity towards the believers.

Hypocrites will naturally conceal themselves. In order to do so, they will play a role among believers and say, despite what lies in their hearts, that they are believers too. Therefore at first glance, it may not be possible to grasp the anger that they harbor in their hearts toward believers. Inevitably, however, this anger will give itself away through various signs, which are given to us in the verses of the Qur’an.

In Their Hearts They Feel Hatred & Anger Toward Believers

. . . Hatred has appeared out of their mouths, but what their breasts hide is far worse. . . .

Ali ‘Imran: 118

Scrupulous adherence to the Qur’an and the proper moral values they take from it are an important element of believers’ love and respect, but this works in entirely the opposite way for hypocrites. Everything to do with proper moral values further increases their anger and hatred. That is because they expect degeneration when it comes to religion and morality. They wish to distance themselves from everything that religion regards as good and to implement the exact opposite. Remembrance of Allah, recollection of His verses, and the strengthening and improvement of believers represent the continuing growth of a system to which they are opposed, so all this increases the anger in their hearts.

This anger in their hearts manifests itself in various ways. The various oppressive methods they use, the plans they draw up against believers and the way they take the messenger as their target are some consequences. However, as revealed in the verses, the anger they hide in their hearts is no doubt greater than that which appears on the surface.

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Harun Yahya – Secrets of the Hypocrites

August 6, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

They Do Not Openly Reject the Qur’an

Hypocrites have a strange logic unique to themselves, in the same way that satan possesses a most mysterious and unfathomable logic.

This “satanic logic” that hypocrites manifest reveals itself in every sphere without exception. This logic continues to operate in their perspective on the Qur’an: They do not literally reject it, but neither do they truly believe in it. This is really rather peculiar behavior, because everyone of reason and good conscience knows of the need to abide by the Book of Allah. Abiding by some verses while remaining equivocal before others is an astonishing approach. While their conscience tells them that they need to abide by the Qur’an, their earthly desires make pride seem much more attractive. Although they know the verses “very well,” they come up with excuses to deny them and so pursue their earthly desires. Indeed, the pride with which they deny is revealed thus in the Qur’an:

And they repudiated them wrongly and haughtily, in spite of their own certainty about them. See the final fate of the corrupters.

An-Naml: 14

Hypocrites do not flaunt their flexibility regarding Allah’s verses and in fact, avoid doing so. They conceal these sins within themselves or reveal them only to people who have the same twisted logic as themselves. Allah has told us of this twisted logic of theirs:

Each time a surah is sent down, they look at one another, implying, “Can anyone see you?” Then they turn away. Allah has turned their hearts away because they are people who do not understand.

At-Tawba: 127

Hypocrites do not openly reject the Qur’an, but actually appear to believe in it. They pray, co-exist alongside believers, give alms and fast. If they completely denied the Qur’an, they would do none of these things and would make their thoughts clear, in the same way that deniers do. However, one important point is that even though hypocrites not reject the Qur’an and appear to perform their religious observances, their intentions are still very different. As already mentioned, their faith lies only in their words, not in their hearts.

In addition, in performing their religious observances, they are actually carrying out those of their own religion. For example, their prayers are those of the religion of the hypocrites, performed for show, and their charitable spending is performed unwillingly, again for show. These, as revealed in the verses, will not be acceptable in the sight of Allah.

They Distort the Meaning of the Qur’an

As already described, the most important characteristic of hypocrites is their endeavors to spread strife and discord. They adopt various means in order to achieve their aims. For instance, they seek to trouble believers by being disrespectful of the messenger, and to spread discord among the faithful by spreading false rumors. In addition, however, they also have one other important way of producing strife. Allah has warned believers that this is a grave danger:

It is He Who sent down the Book to you from Him: verses containing clear judgments—they are the core of the Book—and others which are open to interpretation. Those with deviation in their hearts follow what is open to interpretation in it, desiring conflict, seeking its inner meaning. No one knows its inner meaning but Allah. Those firmly rooted in knowledge say, “We believe in it. All of it is from our Lord.” But only people of intelligence pay heed.

Ali ‘Imran: 7

As this reveals, hypocrites make the most unlikely interpretations of Allah’s verses, thanks to which they intend to deceive people and make them fall into errors. In fact, in revealing His verses, Allah revealed beforehand that some of them would not be comprehensible to deniers, who would use them as an element of strife. Therefore, the misinterpretations by hypocrites should have no effect on the faithful.

As revealed in the verse, what believers need to do in the face of this cunning approach by hypocrites is to fully submit to the Book of Allah. If the believers do, it will be impossible for hypocrites to inflict any harm on them whatsoever. That’s because believers are exceptionally sensitive to the verses of Allah and, thanks to the understanding Allah bestows on them, are exceedingly vigilant against “those with sickness in their hearts.” In the Hereafter, hypocrites will have to render an account for every single word they spoke, and the twisted interpretations they came up with by their own imaginings, and will see all their traps merely rebounding against themselves.

Their Views of the Religion of Allah

Hypocrites possess a most peculiar logic. Despite their having learned the Qur’an, their perspectives regarding religious morality and the Hereafter are directly opposed to the Qur’an’s logic. For them, religious morality, never occupies pride of place. This is really a most interesting position. Hypocrites are different from atheists: Like them, they feel unmoved by religion, yet nonetheless, they are unable to keep their distance from religion and the faithful. Members of this group are described in these terms in the Qur’an: “They vacillate between the two—not joining these or joining those.” An-Nisa’: 143

Hypocrites are described as follows in one hadith:

The similitude of a hypocrite is that of a sheep which roams aimlessly between two flocks. He goes to one at one time and to the other at another time.

Sahih Muslim

When it comes to religion, they are very flexible and perform their observances only for show:

When they meet those who believe, they say, “We believe.” But then when they go apart with their satans, they say, “We are really with you. We were only mocking.”

Al-Baqara: 14

Hypocrites rely on a foundation that is far removed from the approval of Allah. Despite reading the verses, they are left unmoved by religion and far distant from its moral values. Since they lack the ability to grow in depth, understanding and comprehension, they are unable to analyze their own situation and that of believers. They do not know how to live for Allah, and have declared war on Him, although they lack any basis to rely on. Therefore, they hold no serious beliefs. The slightest difficulty rocks them, and their lack of true devotion to Allah’s religion becomes plain for all to see. At moments of difficulty, they immediately join forces with deniers. Their lack of fear regarding religious observances and the stipulations of the Qur’an furnish evidence of this.

There are many signs of their flexibility towards religion. Hypocrites remember Allah very little, for example—important evidence of their laxness when it comes to faith and living by religious moral values. Again, we can see in the Qur’an their unwillingness to perform prayers and how they use spending merely for show. When they are alone, it comes as no surprise that they have nothing to do with these observances, which they perform solely for show, in order to impress believers. The truth is, when they are on their own, one can hardly expect them to perform the observances in question, which they carry out merely for the sake of their own interests. That would be incompatible with their own logic and would conflict with their own views on religion. Some of the verses in which hypocrites are described read as follows:

The hypocrites think they deceive Allah, but He is deceiving them. When they get up to pray, they get up lazily, showing off to people, and remembering Allah only a very little.

An-Nisa’: 142

So woe to those who perform prayer, and are forgetful of their prayer, those who show off.

Al-Ma‘un: 4-6

And also for those who spend their wealth to show off to people, not believing in Allah and the Last Day. Anyone who has made satan his comrade, what an evil comrade he is!

An-Nisa’: 38

Hypocrites perform their religious duties unwillingly. The only subject to which they are completely dedicated is that of gaining other people’s approval. For them, other people’s liking, praise and approval are the greatest rewards they can receive in this world. Everything they do is to earn that praise. Therefore, so long as they remain in the midst of believers, everything they do consists of a deception. Unaware of their own errors, they even imagine that they are deceiving Allah, His messenger and other believers. (Surely Allah is beyond that!) Since they are never sincere in any of their actions, they will go unrewarded in the Hereafter.

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Harun Yahya – Secrets of the Hypocrites

July 13, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

They Remember Allah Only Rarely

Recite what has been revealed to you of the Book and perform prayer. Prayer precludes indecency and wrongdoing. And remembrance of Allah is greater still. Allah knows what you do.

Al-‘Ankabut: 45

As the above verse reveals, recalling Allah is one of a believers’ most important religious observances. People with true faith know that they live each moment among the blessings imparted by Him and constantly give thanks to Allah. They know that they are in absolute need of auspicious events that come from Him, that they must account for themselves to Him in the Hereafter, and that they can enter Paradise only if He so wills it. Allah is always in their hearts and on their tongues. They remember Him at every opportunity, and speak of the blessings He has given them, expecting nothing in return, and the perfect equilibrium in the universe created by Him.

Since hypocrites, on the other hand, do not possess such faith in their hearts, they fail to call upon Allah as they ought. The reason behind this is that they do not submit to Him sincerely and have no deep faith in Him. They are therefore unwilling to remember Him, because in doing so, they will also be repeating many things that they do not actually believe in—or which they are responsible for doing, but have failed to do. This may put them off, since it will impinge slightly on their consciences. Even if they do imitate believers and attempt to sincerely recite His names, still they will give themselves away and thus, have no effect on the hearts of those who hear them. Therefore, while in the midst of believers, they attract attention by remembering Him only seldom and in a superficial way.

Indeed, Allah has revealed this important sign that reveals the sickness in their hearts by means of verses:

. . . [They are] showing off to people, and only remembering Allah a very little.

An-Nisa’: 142

Satan has gained mastery over them and made them forget the remembrance of Allah . . .

Al-Mujadala: 19

They Ascribe Partners to Allah

Believing in powers besides Allah, assuming that they can play a part in creation, the running of the universe, or making judgments, for example, is one of the main characteristics of hypocrites. They believe that human beings are independent of Allah and thus set up partners beside Him, no matter how much they may deny it. What gives their sickness away is that they do not like Allah to be remembered as the One and Only. They are unable to recall Allah by praising Him as they ought. This is one of the features that give them away:

We have placed covers on their hearts, preventing them from understanding it, and heaviness in their ears. When you mention your Lord alone in the Qur’an, they turn their backs and run away.

Al-Isra’: 46

When Allah is mentioned on His own, the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter shrink back shuddering, but when others apart from Him are mentioned, they jump for joy.

Az-Zumar: 45

They Fear Other People, not Allah

Hypocrites claim that they love Allah, and everything they do is intended to gain His approval. However, these words actually represent their way of avoiding putting Allah’s commandments and recommendations into practice.

Someone who sincerely believes in Allah feels not only love for Him, but also a fear filled with awe. In other words, the person who loves Allah best is, at the same time, one who fears Him the most because, as we have emphasized from the outset, loving Allah requires one to recognize His all “beauteous names,” and that He will manifest His infinite might—and when necessary, justice, through the torments He will give. Those incapable of appreciating Allah’s might, who do not understand that He witnesses their every action, do not fear our Lord. If someone says, “I love Allah, but do not fear Him,” or gives the impression of thinking along those lines, then that person is insincere in the most literal sense of the word.

Indeed, when we look at the lives of hypocrites, we see that this spiritual condition prevails throughout their behavior. The hypocrite claims to fear Allah, but when we look at the practicalities of the matter, we see that he seeks to harm the believers, works against them and makes up slanders about them. The picture that emerges from this is that this person does not truly fear Allah. Furthermore, as stated above, the hypocrite produces his own religious conception and lives according to the twisted laws of that religion, in order to win the approval of others. Indeed, he believes that all individuals have a unique power. He feels obliged to earn the approval and liking of each and every one.

However, the one fact that he cannot comprehend is that every human being is merely a servant created by Allah. Each is an entity who has come into being at Allah’s desire and will die in the same way. The hypocrite is unable to comprehend this—or rather, is unwilling to, because in his own religion, gaining the approval of others is an essential obligation. His fears are equally founded on that basis.

The way hypocrites fear other people and always seek their approval will reveal itself in times of difficulty. The Qur’an refers to hypocrites being terrified when they see people united against them. At first, they promised that they would definitely take part in the war. But when the order for battle came, the fear they felt carried their faith away with it:

Don’t you see those who were told: “Hold back from fighting but perform prayer and give the alms?” Then when fighting is prescribed for them, a group of them fear people as Allah should be feared, or even more than that. They say, “Our Lord, why have you prescribed fighting for us? If only You would give us just a little more time!” Say, “The enjoyment of this world is very brief. The Hereafter is better for those who guard against evil. You will not be wronged by so much as the smallest speck.”

An-Nisa’: 77

They Betray the Religion of Allah

Hypocrites, who do not fear Allah and who live by their own erroneous understanding of religion, thus exhibit no devotion to His religion. They are constantly betraying the messenger of Allah and the faithful, in their struggle to abide by the moral values of the Qur’an. Their betrayal is described in the Qur’an in these terms:

But because of their breaking of their covenant, We have cursed them and made their hearts hard. They distort the true meaning of words and have forgotten a good portion of what they were reminded of. You will never cease to come upon some act of treachery on their part, except for a few of them. . . .

Al-Ma’ida: 13

The hypocrite is aware that he is a fraud. Behaving in such a way as to deceive Allah, His messenger and believers, he lives in a constant spirit of betrayal. Every betrayal leads to another, because the hypocrite is aware of his own treachery. Even if he conceals himself from believers, he cannot hide himself from himself. And since he witnesses his own sins, his excesses increase still further. First he says something bad about the messenger of Allah, and takes pleasure from this. Later he slanders the messenger, and that too he enjoys—because he is moving along the path of satan, his true friend. Then he sets a trap for the messenger. His crimes multiply and increase. However, he is also unaware that his betrayals of Allah, His messenger and the faithful will avail him nothing, but that, on the contrary, they will lead him to Hell. On the basis of this, he is easily able to engage in betrayal. The fact is, however, that in addition to the troubles he will experience in this world, a punishment full of suffering also awaits him in the next. Allah reveals the fate of hypocrites in another verse:

Allah has promised the men and women of the hypocrites and disbelievers the Fire of Hell, remaining in it timelessly, for ever. It will suffice them. Allah has cursed them. They will have everlasting punishment.

At-Tawba: 68

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