Sharia: The Path of Doom (I)

On July 27, 2016, a gang of Muslim men stormed into a German swimming pool yelling “Allahu Akbar!” They warned a group of nudist swimmers, whom they called “infidels” and “sluts” that they would be “exterminated.” In France, a woman and her 3 daughters were stabbed by a Muslim man who was offended because they were “scantily dressed.” In Sweden, Muslims have placed up street posts saying “Women who don’t wear a headscarf are asking to be raped” and “No democracy. We just want Islam.”

In Manchester, leaflets were posted in people’s letterboxes warning them against walking their dogs in public, in order to keep the area “pure” for Muslims. “Those who live in the UK must learn to understand and respect the legacy and lifestyle of the Muslims who live alongside them” says the leaflets.

To an informed observer, these are cries of an ideological war brewing in the West. It’s a clash between Western civilization and Arabian barbarity; between a mentality that belongs to the Iron Age and a mentality that belongs to the 21st century. Some countries have walked this path.

In 1989, key Muslim leaders from all over Africa gathered in Nigeria. They founded the Islam in Africa Organization (IA0) and made Nigeria its headquarters. The members concluded: “We are ready to go any length to get Sharia established in this country whether we are alive or dead.” That was a declaration of war. Today, out of 36 states in Nigeria, Sharia laws are fully operational in 12. It took Muslims only 11 years to achieve their agenda. In the battle of mindsets, knowledge gaps must be filled with sufficient information.

In the Islamic worldview, there is no king but Allah, and he alone is to be the supreme ruler and legislator of the world. No earthly ruler has sufficient authority to legislate any law. Since Allah’s final laws have purportedly been given to Muhammad in the 7th century, they must be followed to the core. Allah has sent Muhammad with Islam to dominate all other religions even though the infidels detest it, therefore, every Muslim must overthrow democracy (and other ideologies) and enforce Sharia on the whole world under an Islamic caliphate.

A 2008 YouGov survey in the UK found that 40% of Muslim students want Sharia infused with British law. A 2013 Pew Forum random survey of 38,000 Muslims from 39 countries also revealed that most Muslims favour Sharia and want it imposed on Muslims as well. Contrary to the rehearsed speeches of Muslim leaders, Sharia is not compatible with democracy.

Islam basically rejects the tenets of democracy, and this explains why Muslim leaders oppose the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which they insist is unislamic. In contention, they met at Cairo in 1990 at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to adopt the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, prohibiting freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of association, equality in rights and equal protection under the law.

Now, if Allah is the king over islamic regions where people can’t exercise their God-given freedom of conscience or speech, openly declare Jesus as Lord and where human lives are cheap and savagery prevails, then we need to critically examine his dogmas and decide whether he should rule our land or not. We need to judge Allah’s constitution with Scripture, history and reason to conclude if they are divine and relevant or backward and draconian.

Sharia (“pathway”) is the religious legal system aimed at governing Muslims in the area of politics, marriage, economy, crime, military, gender roles and religious rites. It is primarily derived from the Quran and hadiths; making some practices obligatory, permitted and some forbidden. As Islam moved beyond the borders of Arabia it assimilated some laws from Persia, India and Rome, thus, divergent views of how Sharia is to be interpreted developed (fiqh).

These schools rely on statements agreed on by all Muslims (Ijma), analogies from the Quran or sunna (Qiyas) and rulings of Islamic jurists (Istihsan) in following Sharia. These schools are considered orthodox despite their different rulings. They are: Hanafi (common in Egypt and Turkey), Maliki (West and North Africa), Shafi (East Africa, Indonesia), Jafari (Iran, Iraq, Lebanon) and Hanbali (Saudi Arabia).

We need to ask, which nation has ever adhered to Sharia law perfectly? Saudi Arabia? Pakistan? Iraq? Iran? or Egypt? This is crucial, because if Sharia is a divine law meant for the whole world, there should be at least, a single nation that has followed it ideally to show us its measurable contributions towards human civilization. Is Saudi Arabia – a country stuck in a backwater, plagued by racism, sexism and gross injustice – a template of an ideal Sharia? Many Muslims would disagree. They suggest that Saudi Arabia’s monarchical rule negates Islamic theocracy, and that no nation of the world currently practices Islam up to Allah’s standards.

If no nation in the last 14 centuries has exhibited the “perfect Islam,” then it’s time Muslims gave up this pipe dream. Here are some examples of Sharia laws betraying a deeply flawed Islam.

1. Flogging Drunkards and Gamblers

The Quran’s stance on alcoholism and gambling oscillates from tepid approval to condemnation.

“They ask you [Muhammad] about intoxicants and gambling: say, ‘There is great sin in both, and some benefit for people: the sin is greater than the benefit…” (Q 2:219)

Later, it says: “You who believe, do not come anywhere near the prayer if you are intoxicated, until you know what you are saying…” (Q4:43) Quranic commentator, Abul A’La Maududi said Muhammad “changed the timings of their drinking so as not to clash with the timings of their prayers” (The Meaning of the Qur’an, 1:337). So, Muslims could take alcohol in between their prayers or afterward.

But in Sura 5:90-91, Allah finally said: “O ye who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (divination by) arrows are an abomination of Satan’s handwork; eschew such (abominations), that ye may prosper. Satan’s plan is (but) to excite enmity and hatred between you, with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of God, and from prayer…”

The English translator inserted the words in brackets because he realises this verse also grates against the black stone Muslims worship. The hadiths record the penalties levied on drunks and gamblers.

When a drunk was dragged before Muhammad in anger, he “ordered all those who were present in the house to beat him” (Bukhari 8:6775). Muhammad and his successor, Abu Bakr, gave drunks 42 stripes. But when Umar assumed the responsibilities as the Caliphate, he consulted people and Abd al-Rahman said: “the mildest punishment (for drinking) is eighty (stripes) and Umar prescribed this punishment” (Muslim, 4226).

Muhammad is even quoted as saying “flog them, again if they drink wine, flog them. Again if they drink it, kill them” (Abu Dawud, 4467). But Muslim scholars say this hadith has been abrogated. The penalty for gambling is to “give something in charity (as an expiation of such a sin)” (Bukhari 8:6107). The Shafi Law code says: “If any person drinks wine or any other intoxicating thing, its hudd [fixed punishment] is forty stripes and it is lawful that by means of tazir or discretionary punishment to bring it up to 80 stripes” (p. 119).

This raises some questions. If wine is an abominable handwork of Satan on earth, why is it a reward in Allah’s paradise? And if Muslims had eschewed these vices as Allah commanded, why did Muhammad institute severe punishment for it? Here is a man who supposedly sliced the moon into two like water melon, unable to help his disciples overcome their sins? And how does whipping quench a person’s thirst for alcohol or gambling? Is this also a “scientific miracle?”

Indeed, these laws came from a person quite ignorant of human nature. Today, drunkenness and drug trafficking thrive in Islamic climes. Thousands of Muslims reportedly drive from Saudi Arabia to Bahrain every weekend to indulge themselves at the pubs. In contrast, the New Testament, instead of corporal punishments, invites sinners to an inner transformation to overcome their sins “As many as received [Jesus], to them he gave power to become the sons of God” (John 1:12).

2. Stoning and flogging the sexually immoral

“Strike the adulterer and adulteress one hundred times. Do not let compassion for them keep you from carrying out God’s law – if you believe in God and the Last Day – and ensure that a group of believers witness the punishment.” (Q 24:2)

This was recited when Aisha was accused of committing adultery with Safwan, whom Muhammad exonerated. The penalty for fornication is flogging and stoning for adultery. An accuser is mandated to present four male witnesses otherwise he is lashed 80 stripes (Q 24: 4). In a situation where a man cannot prove his wife’s adultery, he would follow the rule of Li’an by swearing 4 times and invoking Allah’s curse on himself or herself if he/she is lying. These are plainly retrogressive rules.

In the modern world, you don’t need 4 witnesses to prove a sexual crime, when there are audio, video and forensic evidence available. But these items would violate the sunna. Besides, fornication and adultery are often committed behind closed doors, so this law would rather cause many rape victims be stoned to death for immorality since they can’t provide 4 male witnesses.

In the hadith, after a woman confessed her adultery and subsequent pregnancy to Muhammad, she was first allowed to give birth. “Muhammad handed the child over to the community. And when he had given command over her and she was put up in a hole to her breast, he ordered the people to stone her. Khalid b. al-Walid came forward with a stone which he threw at her head, and when the blood spurted on his face, he cursed her…” (Muslim, 4206)

If there are no witnesses, the guilty is also punished if he confesses his sin 4 times. When a man came to Muhammad “and informed him that he had committed illegal sexual intercourse and he bore witness four times against himself. Allah’s Messenger ordered him to be stoned to death as he was a married person” (Bukhari 8:6814).

With such severe penalties awaiting fornicator or adulterers, many Muslims prefer to hide their sexual sins. Muhammad is even quoted as saying an immoral Muslim “should better remain hidden under the curtain of Allah but if he discloses it to us, we shall certainly enforce the law of Allah on him” (Maududi, 3:305). This betrays the myth that Islamic nations are more sexually chaste than Western nations. These vices also persist there, but they are mostly covered up under Allah’s broad curtain. Only few cases slither out to the media. Such a law that is counterproductive to genuine repentance is not divine.

The situational ethics Islam operates on is obvious. On one hand, it’s a crime to engage in “illegal” sexual intercourse, but at the same time it’s islamically “legal” to take non-Muslim ladies as sex slaves and engage in Mut’ah. Muhammad himself was a sexually immoral man who used his position to warm his bed. Besides, fornication and adultery (as well as drunkenness, gambling etc) are sins, not crimes. With the exceptions of sexual molestation and assault, sex between consenting adults are not crimes because they are not detrimental to another person’s well being.

In fact, we now know that sexual promiscuity can stem from childhood sexual abuse or spiritual problems. A divine law should provide a reasonable solution to sin and give the sinner a chance to live a new life. It seems Muhammad selectively incorporated some laws from the Torah, but even while the Torah lays down death penalty for adulterers, it is silent on the actual carrying out of the punishment.

Jesus didn’t stone the adulterous woman in John 8:10-11, showing us that physical punishment doesn’t take away sin. He fulfilled the Law by taking the penalty of our sins and through the Holy Spirit He resides in His people, enabling him to live a changed life. This is something Allah, Muhammad and his laws can never do.

Go to Part II

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