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Islamic Sharia and the Phobia associated with it

The principle of Sharia is governed by the basic foundational belief that all human beings are sent in this world with freedom of choice but are ultimately accountable to Almighty Allah for their words and deeds (good or bad) on the Day of judgement (DoomsDay).

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Latest developments in Afghanistan has brought the focus back on Islamic Sharia law.. Hence, it’s the right time to discuss the concerns associated with it.

In this charged atmosphere of Islamophobia, the word Sharia is made to be the sound synonym of Brutality, whereas if someone without biases analyses and understands Islam, will definitely be impressed by the mercy shown to humanity in Islamic Sharia and will conclude that this is the best possible solution to mankind in maintaining law and order…

Firstly, the principle of Sharia is governed by the basic foundational belief that all human beings are sent in this world with freedom of choice but are ultimately accountable to Almighty Allah for their words and deeds (good or bad) on the Day of judgement (DoomsDay). With this belief, a sense of responsibility is associated which forms the pillar in maintaining law and order.

Further, the laws governing various aspects of life and punishments for various unlawful activities (sins) defined in Islamic Sharia is part of its effort to develop a conscious (Pious) society which respects rights of others while exercising his/her individual duties assigned by Almighty Allah.

Moving ahead, will try to list down a few examples from the unending list in Islamic Sharia exhibiting mercy to Mankind.

1- Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) shorten his salah (prayer) time soon after listening to cry of a infant as quoted in Hadith below:

Anas ibn Malik reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, I might begin the prayer and I intend to prolong it, but then I hear the crying of an infant. I will shorten the prayer as I know his crying will distress his mother.”

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 710, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 470

2- Caring for Neighbours was given so much importance that neglecting it was regarded as an act which puts question mark on his/her faith itself as quoted in Hadith below:

Ibn Abbas reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “He is not a believer whose stomach is filled while the neighbor to his side goes hungry.”

Source: al-Sunan al-Kubrá 19049

3- Protecting and caring for Orphans was stressed to the extent that one’s residence was regarded as best or worst house depending on their treatment of orphans.

Abu Hurairah (RA) reported Allah’s Messenger (SAW) saying, “The best house among the Muslims is one where an orphan is well treated, and the worst house among the Muslims is one where an orphan is badly treated.”

4- Treatment with parents: Respect and love to parents was stressed to the extent that even saying “uff” against them was regarded as disrespect to parents as quoted in Quran.

“Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or more attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor.” Quran 31:14)

5- Fasting was made compulsory for all during the month of Ramzan, but in the same verse relaxation was given to those who are traveling or suffering from illness as quoted below:

“Therefore from now on, whosoever witnesses it, it is obligatory on him to fast the whole month. But if one is ill, or on a journey, he should make up the same number by fasting on other days. Allah desires to show leniency to you, and does not desire to show any hardship.” (2;185)

6- Salah or commonly known as Namaz, a pillar of Islam, is compulsory for every Muslim five times a day, but many relaxations were given in way of performing salah in critical situations like:

a. Sickness causing prayer to not be performed normally

b. Travel of good intention

c. Continuous heavy rainfall

d. Rescuing flood victims, flight and extinguishing critical fire

e. Treating patients in critical wards involving two or three periods of prayer

f. Inability of cleaning the body and clothes stained with excrement

g. Inability of covering aurat (body with dress)

h. Strong fearful situation

7- Ablution, a prerequisite for prayer using water, is relaxed when water is not available or someone can’t use water due to illness. Instead Tayammum is recommended, Hadith quoted below:

“And if you are sick or in travel or one of you comes back from the latrine or you touch a woman, and you do not find water, then you must perform dry ablution with pure dust, which is: Wipe your face and both of your hands with it. Allah does not want to bear hardship (difficulty), but He wants you to cleanse (purify) yourself and complete

His bounties upon you, that you will be grateful.”

These examples are just a tip of the iceberg, as a complete list of laws/rules can be quoted from Islamic Sharia which are purely based on Mercy, Mercy & Mercy to Mankind.

Regarding punishments prescribed for few crimes (sins) i.e, Capital punishment, hands amputation etc are blown out of proportion and out of context. As these punishments are for heinous crimes that have significant impact on society and many developed countries even today have kept this provision of capital punishment for few heinous crimes. If anyone looks into the overall context of when and for which crimes, these punishments are prescribed, then one may conclude that this is not brutality but mercy on Mankind.. Hence, before falling into the propaganda of Islamophobes, one should study Islam and its Shari’ah to arrive at conclusion..

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