Why not Islamic Penal Code
Loyalty and Competence
Good for Modern Mind
Sir, Your chronic diatribe against madrassas is pathetic. Your reference to Darul Uloom Deoband in the editorial is an instance.
“Bigamy and Incest” by Prof. Mumtaz Ali Khan is aimless. All women-oriented crimes are universal and historical. Islam has offered the only viable solution to maintain the dignity of a woman by enlarging the scope of wedlock to four women, easy escape from wedlock for an unhappy woman by dint of divorce. Polygamy and divorce whether allowed or not are indeed happening and is a fact of life. All religions and law systems except Islam disallow polygamy and divorce and have only failed. The Christian America and Europe and the Hindu community do indeed practise them against their own law more numerously than the Muslims. Islam has only brought reason and regulation to a necessary evil. Basically polygamy and divorce are socio-psychological maladies. Shariat cannot be responsible for its irresponsible adherents.
T.V.A. Abdul Malik
Sir, I read the article about “Review of Constitution” on your website. I agree that people belonging to all religions should have the freedom to follows their religion and hence the need for Muslims in India to follow the Shar’iat.
But then why not have a separate criminal law on the lines of criminal law in other Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia? Why are the Muslims in India not demanding that! Is it because it is considered barbaric by the civilized world !!
It appears that they want best of both the worlds - a common criminal law based on the modern principles of democracy and secularism but not the same for civil law. Isn’t this duplicity and falsehood the cause for so much anti Muslim feeling in people from other religions in India? Also people who speak out against anything in Islam are under the fear of violence against them. Is this appropriate for a religion that means peace?
I am trying to read about Islam and am very impressed by the preachings but the behaviour of a large section of followers of Islam is far away from the preachings of peace. Once wonders if they are just using religion for political purposes.
I hope that you will try to address the questions I have raised in this letter and remove any misunderstandings I have on these issues.
Editor replies : You are indeed frank when you point at the dichotomy in the Muslim attitude. The community owes a reply to you. However, let us clarify from our side. The implementation of the criminal penal code requires an elaborate machinery with police, court, investigative system, and jails and punitive body. As a minority, Muslims cannot afford to raise the entire machinery merely to be applied on them. However, a family code is within the realm of possibility, though overlapping here and there is inevitable. Secondly, Muslims are not averse to changes in civil code. They want the changes to emanate from within rather than to be foisted from outside. During recent years they have introduced reforms like Nikahnama and fixation of Mehar (dower) in terms of gold. Moreover, in India several communities have special laws enacted for them. Tribal rights are protected in their areas of dominance. Kerala Namboodiris have a special act regulating their affairs. Hindus have special tax laws under Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) provisions. In this backdrop the demand for the common civil code appears to be a tool to tease Muslims. Is it not political?
Your observation that Islamic penal code is barbaric is too hasty a conclusion. It arises from insufficient awareness of Islam. Islamic governance does not begin from a penal code. It cannot be applied on a society where Islamic socio-economic system is not in operation. A society that does not ensure two square meals for its people does not deserve to apply Islamic punishment for stealing.
Your observation that Islam is often being used for political purposes is correct. It is also desirable to differentiate between Islam and practices of its followers. Once you do that, you will learn to place the two in two separate categories. We welcome your interest in Islam and hope that enlightened people like you will bring about understanding between different communities.
Sir, This is with reference to your editorial “Loyalty and Competence” (issue July 2000). It is only in the last para that your definitions become vaguely apparent. You need to be clearer for cross-cultural readership.
What Muslims need to do worldwide is to stop debating about irrelevant and vague or abstract religious issues or turning to “authorities” of ulema for interpretations of religious matters and instead focus their energies in solving everyday problems of all human beings, particularly those of the suffering Muslims in their immediate vicinity. Out of their work, based on Islamic ideals and deep faith in their values and in themselves will evolve a fusion of what you view as a dichotomy of “loyalty” to ideology and “competence”.
We need to get out of our “deep-freeze,” waiting for a Messiah or a Khalifat to extricate us from our self-created mess. Then, Insha Allah, Allah SWT will help us survive as an Ummah.
Holly Ave, Flushings, New York 11355, USA
Sir, This is a very good site I have been visiting several time. I request you to kindly visit my homepage www.islam.kohinoor.net and sign the guest book.
Shaik Ishaq Majid,
Sir, It’s good enough to give information about Deen al-Islam. I like it.
I am a regular reader of Islamic Voice. I find many articles are original and informative. Of late you have been publishing lots of photographs and drawings of people, animals, etc. in the Islamic Voice which is against the teachings of Islam. The information and articles would definitely reach reader with the right meaning even without these photographs.
Sir, It is really a great mission, I mean Islamic Voice, I am very much impressed by the way things are dealt out. There are always good articles which speak to modern mind in very modern way.
Mohd Manzoor Malik
Sir, Your article about how sufis helped the cause of Islam (issue April 2000) by Dr. Sayed afzal Peerzade was the worst. You are harming Islam than helping it by publishing such articles. Please stop sending me your paper. Thanks!
Kavali, Nellore, (A.P)