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Shariah and Constitution by Zia H Shah

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Source: Muslim Sunrise, Dec 2013

By Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

Constitution for each country is a fairly precise document, but still requires constant interpretation and reinterpretation.  The Shariah on the other hand is a fairly amorphous concept as it triggers different ideas in different people, depending on their life experiences.

The original text of the USA constitution, with its seven articles, was less than 5000 words, but, there is no one or a few documents that could be referred to as Shariah Law.

The most shining of all the constitutions in the world is constitution of America, with its more than 200 years of successful history and record of constant evaluation in the USA Supreme court.  So, when talking about constitution we should try to examine American Constitution, its history and its benefits.

“As the British Constitution is the most subtle organism which has proceeded from the womb and long gestation of progressive history,” said William Gladstone, who served as British Prime Minister on four different occasions, between 1868 – 1894, “so the American Constitution is, so far as I can see, the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.”

The USA Constitution originally consisted of seven Articles. The first three Articles embody the doctrine of the separation of powers, whereby the federal government is divided into three branches: the legislature, consisting of the bicameral Congress; the executive, consisting of the President; and the judiciary, consisting of the Supreme Court and other federal courts. The fourth and sixth Articles frame the doctrine of federalism, describing the relationship between State and State, and between the several States and the federal government. The fifth Article provides the procedure for amending the Constitution. The seventh Article provides the procedure for ratifying the Constitution.

The Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787, by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and ratified by conventions in eleven States. It went into effect on March 4, 1789.

Since the Constitution was adopted, it has been amended twenty-seven times. The first ten amendments were ratified by three-fourths of the States on December 15, 1791. These first ten amendments are known as the Bill of Rights.[i]

The Holy Quran says that whatever benefits humanity is given permanence in the world.  It states, “He (Allah) sends down water from the sky, so that valleys flow according to their measure, and the flood bears on its surface swelling foam. And from that which they heat in the fire, seeking to make ornaments or utensils, comes out a foam similar to it. Thus does Allah illustrate truth and falsehood. Now, as to the foam, it goes away as rubbish, but as to that which benefits men, it stays on the earth. Thus does Allah set forth parables.” (Al Quran 13:18)

The Constitution of the United States was the first detailed constitution of its kind, and has influenced the constitutions of many other nations and today more than 300 million people are living peacefully with their religious freedoms, in USA, as a result of it.  So, it has certainly benefitted men and has gained permanence in the earth.

Shariah means different things to different people.  To me it means discharging ones obligations to God and the fellow humans, regardless of color, creed, gender and religion, as so often stressed by the Messiah, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani, the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and the leaders, referred to as Khalifas, who have followed him.

There are at least three hundred verses in the Holy Quran that inspire mankind towards a compassionate living, a few dozen talking about justice and at least a few from which the Golden rule, “Do onto others like you would like to be done to you,” can be derived.[ii] [iii]

Yet zealot Muslims, who crave about introducing Shariah Law, are talking about enforcement of a few deterrent punishments suggested in the Quran, for example, cutting of hands of thieves and flogging of adulterers.

The Sultan of Brunei announced this month the gradual introduction of harsh Islamic punishments, such as death by stoning for adulterers, severing of limbs for theft and flogging for a wide range of crimes including abortion and consumption of alcohol.

The amendment is the latest step in the wealthy, all-powerful monarch Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah’s move towards a conservative Islamic state, but will only apply to the Southeast Asian nation’s majority Muslim population.[iv]

Perhaps, the Sultan himself could be the first recipient of the cutting of hands, if he is unable to explain by what right, he has misappropriated or robbed the leadership of the country for himself.

The world’s first movable type printing technology was invented and developed in China by the Han Chinese printer Bi Sheng between the years 1041 and 1048. In the West, the invention of an improved movable type mechanical printing technology in Europe is credited to the German printer Johannes Gutenberg in 1450. The exact date of Gutenberg’s press is debated based on existing screw presses. Gutenberg, a goldsmith by profession, developed a printing system by both adapting existing technologies and making inventions of his own. His newly devised hand mould made possible the rapid creation of metal movable type in large quantities.

For the West it has meant five centuries of increasing awareness among the masses, increasing individual rights and respect for the due process.  The Muslim monarchies in the Ottoman Empire and the Mughal Empire in India and others, refused to benefit from these inventions and prevented mass education, to prevent the struggle of the ‘have nots’ against the ‘haves,’ and defend their monarchies.  The result has been fairly visible.  It has meant five centuries of the beating and humiliation of the Muslims, militarily, politically, economically, intellectually and emotionally, at the hands of the non-Muslims.

How would the Muslims respond to his humiliation and malaise in their societies?  The response has been varied.

One successful response was mounted by Ata Turk in Turkey, in the creation of the modern state.

Hijab was banned in Turkey for so many years and now the ban has been lifted and yet morality of Islam has survived, decades later, showing us that life or death of nations and countries, does not depend on one or a few teachings.

But, many fundamentalist Muslims especially their power hungry Mullahs suggest that only solution to the centuries of malaise is introduction of few laws of Shariah.  They seem to believe that cutting of hands and flogging of a few adulterers is some magical wand that will immediately fix the problems of the Muslims.

In this information age, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the life of nations depends on their financial, political and judicial systems.  The three systems seem to be intertwined and closely linked as can be seen in the working of any modern Western country.

How can cutting of a hand or both or a finger or an arm of a thief versus putting him or her in jail, be the panacea to build modern, successful and sustaining societies?

In modern societies there are hundreds of laws in the judicial system to cover different eventualities and exceptions and these have been dissected, examined and modified over centuries of constant intellectual scrutiny.  The Muslim fundamentalists want to throw away all this learning with one stroke and go back to medieval times.

The constitution of USA does not specify any religious beliefs, otherwise the country would be choosing one religion at the expense of others.  As a matter of fact the word God does not appear in the original constitution.  It starts off by stating its objective, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”  Then it goes into the seven articles that it comprises of, which are divided into sections.

Ireland, as one example of a non-Muslim country and almost all the Muslim countries have not learnt from the success of USA, for more than two centuries, to talk only about humans and human affairs and not sew the seed of misinterpretation, by getting into religion or even God.  The preamble of the Irish constitution starts, as follows:

In the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority and to Whom, as our final end, all actions both of men and States must be referred,

We, the people of Éire,

Humbly acknowledging all our obligations to our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ, Who sustained our fathers through centuries of trial,

Gratefully remembering their heroic and unremitting struggle to regain the rightful independence of our Nation.

Now, as many believe Triune God does not exist, the constitution has started on the wrong footing, as far as they are concerned.  For them the constitution is meaningless and when and if they agree to it, it is no more then mere lip service.

The constitution of Pakistan starts off with the line, “Whereas sovereignty over the entire Universe belongs to Almighty Allah alone, and the authority to be exercised by the people of Pakistan within the limits prescribed by Him is a sacred trust.”  As a devout Muslim, I must confess that this line has an emotional appeal for me and most Muslims.  But, this would be our knee jerk reaction.  Deeper analysis suggests that the very first line of constitution is sewing the seed for a convenient hijacking of the state into a theocracy.  This is indeed what happened.  The constitution was passed in 1973 and in the very next year it partly changed into a theocracy, by marginalizing the Ahamdiyya Muslim Community, by declaring them non-Muslims for the purpose of law and constitution.

The modern means of travel and interaction have changed our world into a global village and the more we focus on co-existence among people of different faiths, the more we realize that Separation of Mosque-Church and State has become an absolute necessity for our modern times.

The Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad has been stressing this separation in his various keynote addresses, in different countries of the world.

On 28 September 2013, he held an audience with more than twenty Indonesian guests representing various media, educational institutions and think-tanks at the Taha Mosque in Singapore.  It was covered by a Press release by the community titled, True Khilafat compatible with Democracy.

During the 70 minute question and answer session, he explained the true teachings of Islam and clarified various misconceptions concerning Islam.

In answer to a question about whether Khilafat and democracy are compatible, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

Khilafat has no relation to government or politics. When Ahmadiyyat spreads far and wide the Khilafat will play no role in government and will never interfere with matters of State. We have no political ambitions or desires. We believe entirely in a separation of religion and matters of State.[v]

I have collected some of the details about the pressing need of Separation of in articles, Solomonic wisdom needed to establish Separation of Mosque-Church-Synagogue and State and Our Collection about Separation of Mosque-Church and State.[vi] [vii]

The wisdom mentioned in the many of the Islamic teachings, when we try to understand their essence, rather than pushing their literal understanding, is not debarred from constitutions of Muslim or for that matter non-Muslim countries, and should certainly find their way into the laws and constitution, but, only through civic process so that everyone can buy into them, regardless of their religious biases.


Posted by on February 11, 2014. Filed under Separation of Church and State. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

43 Responses to Shariah and Constitution by Zia H Shah

  1. Parvez

    February 14, 2014 at 11:19 am

    thus according to secularism in muslim countries; some verses of the Quran are abrogated

  2. Parvez

    February 14, 2014 at 11:24 am

    abrogation in the Quran;

    cutting off hands for theft been cancelled by prison sentence.

    surah nisa verse [4:15] abrogated by surah nur chapter 24 verse 2.

    verse [2:180] abrogated by surah nisa

  3. CS

    February 15, 2014 at 10:06 am

    Pervez. Can you be more clear. Either your references are wrong or mixed up or you need to explain a little bit more.

  4. Zia Shah

    February 15, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Parvez, if we think concretely and in a black and white way, then on slightest apparent contradiction, we have to talk about abrogation.

    But, the Holy Quran says that there is no contradiction in the Holy Quran. If we think with humility and flexibility and seek advice and pray, we can resolve apparent contradictions and new avenues of wisdom open up.

    The Holy Quran states:

    Will they not, then, meditate upon the Qur’an? Had it been from anyone other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much disagreement. (Al Quran 4:83)

  5. Parvez

    February 15, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    @ zia

    why you contradict yourself?

    you clearly posted texts that state some fiqh verses of the Quran are abrogated via secularism.

    thus some legal punishments mentioned in the Quran are abrogated.

    even the followers of Mirza Sahib cannot deny that as they want secularism in muslim countries

  6. Parvez

    February 15, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    @ CS

    i gave 3 examples of abrogation in the Quran.

    ” the thief, the male and the female, cut their hands in recompense for what they committed as a deterrent [punishment] from Allah . And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.” [Quran 5:38]

    the above verse has been abrogated by prison sentence.

    “Those who commit unlawful sexual intercourse of your women -- bring against them four [witnesses] from among you. And if they testify, confine the guilty women to houses until death takes them or Allah ordains for them [another] way.” [Quran 4:15]

    the above verse has been abrogated by surah nur as explained by the prophet (SAW) and the sahabas;

    “The woman or man found guilty of sexual intercourse -- lash each one of them with a hundred lashes, and do not be taken by pity for them in the religion of Allah , if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a group of the believers witness their punishment.” [Quran 24:2]

    also the verse about will in surah baqarah verse 180;

    “Prescribed for you when death approaches [any] one of you if he leaves wealth is that he should make a bequest for the parents and near relatives according to what is acceptable -- a duty upon the righteous.” [2:180]

    the above verse has been abrogated thus it is not wajib to make a will for relatives. this was agreed by the prophet (saw) and the companions and all the classical scholars.

  7. ghulam sarwar

    February 15, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    Parvez, there is no abrogation of verses in the Quran. You have presented verse 5:39 as abrogated. I suggest reading next verse 5:40 which states:
    Any one who will who repents after his bad deed, then Allah is most returning to mercy.
    The verse 4:15 that you mentioned about illegal sex has already two options, death or some other way. Death is not the only course.
    The real punishment for intercourse is mentioned in verse 24:2 that is flogging. So there is no abrogation of verse 4:15.

    The verse 2:180 has to be translated differently. There is not to be any bequest for parents or close relatives. That is forbidden by Hadith. They inherit whatever is their share in inheritance. This bequest is for other charitable channels, such as some poor people, orphanages, schools, houses of worship.

  8. Parvez

    February 16, 2014 at 11:35 am

    regardless is a thief repents or not the punishment of hand cutting is abrogated by prison sentence or forgivness or other methods.

    yes the house arrest until death in verse of surah nisa is abrogated as clearly stated by the Prophet (saw) and the sahabas.

    also the sahabas, tabiun and the classical scholars agreed that verse 2:180 has been abrogated thus it is no longer wajib to make a will for relatives.

    anyways secularism will obviously abrogate some verses of the Quran. no muslim can deny that fact

  9. Zia Shah

    February 16, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Parvez, you need to find a teacher, in creative or flexible thinking.

    Pause your study of religion and spare others the pain of your mind and find a philosopher or logician to teach you to think out of the box. It is also called lateral thinking.

    Here is an online course, I have in mind for you:

    The Philosopher’s Toolkit: How to Be the Most Rational Person in Any Room

    LECTURES
    24 Lectures

    1
    How We Think and How to Think Better
    2
    Cool Rationality and Hot Thought
    3
    The Strategy of Visualization
    4
    Visualizing Concepts and Propositions
    5
    The Power of Thought Experiments
    6
    Thinking like Aristotle
    7
    Ironclad, Airtight Validity
    8
    Thinking outside the Box
    9
    The Flow of Argument
    10
    Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart
    11
    Why We Make Misteaks
    12
    Rational Discussion in a Polarized Context
    13
    Rhetoric versus Rationality
    14
    Bogus Arguments and How to Defuse Them
    15
    The Great Debate
    16
    Outwitting the Advertiser
    17
    Putting a Spin on Statistics
    18
    Poker, Probability, and Everyday Life
    19
    Decisions, Decisions
    20
    Thinking Scientifically
    21
    Put It to the Test—Beautiful Experiments
    22
    Game Theory and Beyond
    23
    Thinking with Models
    Conclude the course with a journey through the minds of great thinkers from Plato and Aristotle to Darwin and Einstein. You’ll consider what made them great thinkers, and you’ll pick up a few tips to improve your own thinking.
    24
    Lessons from the Great Thinkers

  10. Parvez

    February 16, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    proof of naskh occurring in the Quran is the abrogation of verse concerning leaving bequest to heirs (2:180). This ruling was abrogated by the verse of inheritance (4:7 & 11).
    Allah says; “It is prescribed for you, when death approaches any of you, if he leaves wealth, that he makes a bequest to parents and next of kin, according to reasonable manners. (This is) a duty upon Al-Muttaqin (the pious).” [2:180]
    This Ayah contains the command to include parents and relatives in the will, which was obligatory, before the Ayah about inheritance was revealed. When the Ayah of inheritance was revealed, this Ayah was abrogated, so fixed shares of the inheritance for deserving recipients were legislated by Allah; thus it is no more obligatory to make bequests to parents and relatives. Therefore, deserving inheritors take their fixed inheritance without the need to be included in the will or to be reminded of the favour of the inherited person. [Tafsir Ibn Kathir & Qurtubi]
    Ibn Abbas said that verse [2:180] is abrogated by the verse; “There is a share for men and a share for women from what is left by parents and those nearest related, whether the property be small or large ـ a legal share.” (4:7) [Tafsir Ibn Kathir]
    The Prophet (peace, mercy & blessings be upon him) said; “Allah has given each heir his fixed share. So there is no will for a deserving heir. Thus Allah abrogated verse (2:180) by the verse in surah An-Nisa (4:7 and 11).” [Sunan Abu Dawud]
    Imam Ahmad & Hakim narrated that Ibn Abbas recited verse (2:180) and said; “This ayah was abrogated by verse (4:7 & 11).” [Tafsir Ibn Kathir]
    In early Islam, when shares in inheritance were not fixed by the Shariah, the rule was that a dying person should make a will for his parents and relatives (as legislated in verse 2:180). In early Islam the law was that a dying person could make a will within the one third of inheritance, leaving behind in the name of his parents and relatives in whatever proportion he chose. This much was their right; the rest went to children. Later this injunction was abrogated by the verses of inheritance mentioned in surah an-Nisa. [Tafsir Qurtubi & Al-Jassas]

    In ancient Arab culture, the children inherited the property of the decease, and parents would only inherit if a bequest were made. [Tarikh Tabari & Bukhari] Thus, in the early stages of Islam, Allah made the writing of a bequest for parents and relatives compulsory, in order to teach the new community of Muslims the importance of family rights with regard to their wealth. Allah commanded: “It is prescribed that when death approaches any of you, if he leaves behind any goods. That he make a bequest to parents and next of kin, according to what is reasonable. This is due from the pious.”[2:180]

    However, after the community willingly accepted this law and they began to strictly put it into practice, Allah replaced it by revealing in the Qur’an a clearly defined system of inheritance laws stated in chapter 4. And the Prophet further confirmed the abrogation of the old laws by stating, “Surely Allah has given everyone with a right (to inheritance) his right, so there is no obligation of bequest for inheritors.” [Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, An-Nasa’I, Ibn Majah & Ahmad]

    According to Ibn ‘Abbās, the command in (2:180) is abrogated: “It is ordained for you, when death approaches any of you and he is leaving behind much wealth, to make bequests in favour of his parents and near of kin in accordance with what is fair: this is binding on all who are conscious of God.” This verse is abrogated by the verses in Surah An-Nisa which discusses about the law of inheritance. Hence, this is strong proof that abrogation has indeed occurred in the Quran. [Tafsir Tabari]
    Ibn `Abbas stated; Allah abrogated this rule in verse [2:180] and appointed a fixed share for the children and for the parents. [Tafsir Ibn Kathir]
    Yahya said that he heard Abdul Malik say, “This ayah [2:180] is abrogated. It is the word of Allah, the Blessed, the Exalted, ‘If he leaves goods, the testament are for parents and kinsmen.’ What came down about the division of the fixed shares of inheritance in the Book of Allah, the Mighty, the Exalted, abrogated it.” [Muwatta – wills and testament]
    Ibn Abbas said; “The obligation of verse [2:180] is abrogated by the verse of inheritance [4:7 & 11].” [Tafsir Al-Jassas & Al-Qurtubi]
    According to the consensus of the Muslim Ummah it is not obligatory on the dying person to necessarily make a will in favour of relatives who have no fixed shares in the inheritance. Therefore, the obligatory character of a wasiyah in their favour as mentioned in verse [2:180] is abrogated by the verse of inheritance. [Tafsir Al-Jassas & Qurtubi]

    The obligation of making a will stands abrogated in accordance with the consensus of the Muslim ummah. It was abrogated by that famous hadith (al-hadith al-mutawwatir: the veracity of which stands ensured through an uninterrupted chain of transmitters from many sides who are unlikely to agree on a lie) which was part of the sermon delivered before some one hundred and fifty thousand Companions on the occasion of his last Hajj when he said: “Allah has Himself given everyone, who has a right, his right. So, there is no will for any inheritor.” [Tirmidhi]

    Imam Suyuti stated that the verse [2:180] has been abrogated by the ‘inheritance’ verse [4:11] and by the hadith in which the Prophet said: “Do not make testament for one [already] inheriting.” [al-Tirmidhī]
    Ibn Abu Hatim said, “It was reported from Umar, Ali, Ibn Abbas, Ibn Mas’ud, Ibn `Umar, Abu Musa, Aisha, Sa`id bin Musayyib, Al-Hasan, Mujahid, `Ata’, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Muhammad bin Sirin, `Ikrimah, Zayd bin Aslam, Qatadah, As-Suddi, Tawus, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, Ad-Dahhak and Az-Zuhri all said that this Ayah (2:180) was abrogated by the Ayah about the inheritors (4:7 and 11).” [Tafsir Ibn Kathir]

  11. Parvez

    February 16, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    @ zia

    you forget that faith is not only based upon reason and science.

    just by rationality and science; we would not believe in any religion in the first place!

  12. Zia Shah

    February 16, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Parvez, your faith may be irrational but mine is not. See, you cannot preach or communicate irrationality.

    So, whenever, you do not have a rational explanation, you should in all humility consider, silence.

    Not trying to hurt your feelings, just making a point.

    May Allah be our guide to wisdom and truth. Ameen.

  13. Ghulam Sarwar

    February 16, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    parvez, I had shown you that there was a verse about Mercy for the thieves, soon after the verse about cutting of hand. So that verse is not abrogated.
    Also I pointed out that there was a way out for adulteress in the verse which you presented so that verse still stands and is not abrogated.

    The verse about inheritance, you have written that “This Ayah contains the command to include parents and relatives in the will, which was obligatory,” it is a wrong reading of the verse. There is no permission for any WILL in respect of relatives.

    That verse (2:180) states that if death approaches a believer and he is leaving lot of wealth for his parents and near relatives, that is (id est, that is, the small noon there) he should make a bequest. It does not say that person should make a bequest for his near relatives.
    At the end of the verse, it says that God fearing (muttaqeen) persons will surely do it (will surely and definitely make a bequest). How it is possible that Allah, after emphasizing about bequest, would then cancel (abrogate) the verse! That verse (2:180) stands. If you abrogate that verse then there is no other verse in the Quran which supports and guides believers towards bequest. Show me how and why will any one make any WILL for any welfare cause. there is no other clear verse telling any one to leave money for charity causes.

    I will not make a long post, like you writing from Tafseer ibne Katheer. Do you know that scholars have said that Tafseer ibne Katheer is for the very learned persons? It is not good for raw hands. There is much wrong written in that tafseer. The learned scholars can sift the right from wrong. But simple people cannot do that.
    Also you should know that initially the maulvis (even old time scholars) had 500 abrogated verses. After, some understanding of the Quran, they reduced that number and said that only 150 verses were abrogated. Later, they understood the meaning of more verses and the number of abrogated verses came down to 12.
    In the time of Hazrat Shah Waliullah Dehlavi, the number of abrogated verses came down to 5 only.
    Dear parvez, can you see some improvement in the matter of abrogation. The abrogated verses were selected by people themselves. Allah had never informed that He had abrogated some verses, or such and such verses.
    The wrong reading of One verse of the Quran created some confusion. That verse states: “We do not abrogate any verse not do We cause it to be forgotten, we bring a better verse than that or one equal (in goodness) to that (verse).”
    People understood from that verse that some verses were abrogated. So they started looking in Quran for the abrogated verses. That was all wrong.

    For your good information, during the time of the promised Messiah a.s. and during the time of his promised son (Bashiruddin Mehmood Ahmad rz.a), those 5 verses were all well understood and no more abrogated.
    There is no abrogated verse or even abrogated word in the Quran. AlHamdu Lillah.

  14. Parvez

    February 17, 2014 at 8:35 am

    ofcourse there are abrogated verses in the Quran thats why the mirza folowers believe in secularism in muslim nations.

    thus the cutting of hand as punishment is abrogated and also the command to make bequests for relatives.
    the verse clearly states the obligation or duty to do will for relatives in surah baqara verse 180, but later it was cancelled by the laws mentioned in surah nisa.

    also house arrest is abrogated thus surah nisa verse 15 is abrogated.

    to claim secularism and no abrogation is a paradox!

    @ zia

    you make me laugh at times……

    you alleged that you have faith that is completely in harmony with logic and science but you yourself believe in miracles, angels, heaven, hell, prophethood, revelations and so on so forth.

    if every faith is based upon science then there would not be faith in religion in the first place!

  15. Parvez

    February 17, 2014 at 8:47 am

    @ ghulam

    verse [2:180]

    does not say anything about charity, you are just making that up!

  16. CS

    February 17, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Mr. Ghulam Sarwar. Your translation of the verse is incorrect. (2:180) The verse clearly says the word “wasiyat” for the parents and the relatives according to the “Ma’roof” meaning commonly accepted practice of the time. This wasiyat is in matters of “Khaira” meaning wealth. So one is being asked to make a wasiyat for his parents and close relatives according to fair practice of the time. There can be other translations but not the one you are proposing.
    As for leaving bequests for charity, it is mentioned in verse 11 of sura nisa very clearly. The amount of one third is defined. Even when there are no such teachings, people of other faiths have always dedicated part of their estate to charity. (Hindus, Christians and Jews) So this verse of the Qur’an (2:180) does not promote charity in your estate. Quran in fact limits it to one third at the most. (Charity should begin at home!)
    As for abrogation of the verses, the argument is very different. If we accept that even one verse is abrogated, it opens the door of discussion for the entire Qur’an. So on logical grounds it cannot be accepted that any word of the Qur’an is abrogated. But there are many verses of the Qur’an which have extremely limited application and in very rare circumstances. So unless a situation arises those verses will remain dormant (not abrogated).
    The correct translation of the verse 2:180 will be that when you are leaving a lot of wealth and making a will and bequests, you should inform your parents and close relatives of your will. This is to prevent unending litigation afterwards as a lot of wealth is at stake. (In the past and even today, most of the world has no access to legal services. Therefore the parents and elders of the family can act as witnesses of the will after the death of the person and carry it out according to his wishes. Please also note that we are talking about the wasiyat part of the will not the fixed shares).

  17. Parvez

    February 17, 2014 at 10:08 am

    anyone who believes in secularism in muslim nations will logically have to accept that some verses of the Quran related to hudood and fiqh are abrogated.

    to claim secularism in muslim nations and insist on no abrogation in the Quran is a paradox!

  18. Zia Shah

    February 17, 2014 at 10:34 am

    I have suggested before that this paradox occurs because of concrete thinking of some, who can only see black and white and refuse any shades of gray.

    The Holy Quran is a dynamic book, which is applicable for all times to come.

    If we read the Quran in the context of our times, with an open mind then it furnishes us new solutions to the new circumstances, which are still in keeping with the essence of the teachings.

    Peace!

  19. Ghulam Sarwar

    February 17, 2014 at 10:55 am

    CS thank you for guiding me. I present the verse 4:11 that you mentioned, below:
    [[4:12] Allah commands you concerning your children: a male shall have as much as the share of two females; but if there be females only, numbering more than two, then they shall have two-thirds of what the deceased leaves; and if there be one, she shall have the half. And his parents shall have each of them a sixth of the inheritance, if he have a child; but if he have no child and his parents be his heirs, then his mother shall have a third; and if he have brothers and sisters, then his mother shall have a sixth, after the payment of any bequests he may have bequeathed or of debt. Your fathers and your children, you know not which of them is nearest to you in benefit. This fixing of portions is from Allah. Surely, Allah is All- Knowing, Wise.] It is marked as verse 4:12 in Ahamdi translations.
    In the above is a mention of any WILL but no exhortation to definitely make a WILL.

    You are right. The general understanding of the verse, as being presented in various commentaries is, as you have described. But that is surely not the meaning of the verse 2:180 (2:181 in Ahmadi translations) I will present that verse below with Ahmadi translation:
    [[2:181] It is prescribed for you, when death comes to any one of you, if he leave much wealth, that he make a will to parents and near relatives to act with fairness; it is an obligation on those who fear God.] 2:181
    So the Ahamdi translation also agrees with your translation or your views. I am aware that is the meaning being taken of this verse. But there are problems.
    You have mentioned the verse 4:11 for the bequest (if any). Please read that verse to see distribution of inheritance amongst close relatives (after any bequest or loan if any). There is no stress for any one to make a bequest or WILL.

    Can you show me any verse where there is stress on wealthy people to make a bequest? I hope not.
    Your writing regarding the will for the parents to abide by the WILL is useless if there is no WILL. What you are trying to say is that if a person has lot of wealth and he is about to die then he should make a WILL for the parents and near relatives that his WILL (for charity) must be respected?
    But first that person leaving a lot of wealth must be told to make a bequest. Where is that?
    There is WILL from Allah for every relative. At the most, the person dying can tell the parents to abide by the WILL of Allah.
    There are other problems too. And your saying that WILL can be only 1/3 of the wealth. That is not mentioned in the Quran. That is mentioned in the Hadith. In the Hadith, it is also mentioned that there cannot be any WILL in respect of inheritors.

    So according to you, the verse 2:180 is only a severe advice or order to the person about to die to make a WILL for the parents and relatives to work according to his (unknown) WILL (about wealth) of the deceased?

    May be you will come back and present some answers, please. Thank you.

  20. Ahmed Qureshi

    February 17, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Parvez take an abode with Taliban then.

  21. CS

    February 17, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    According to your translation, rich people are being asked to make a will to their parents to act with fairness after his death. That is it. It says nothing about Wasiyat (charity). Unless you accept that the verse says that make wasiyat about your property and wealth (khaira) and then inform parents and close relatives about your intentions.
    As for the limit of one third, all including your group are agreed on this. So there is not much point discussing it. If you can present evidence to the contrary, I will address it.
    This is also agreed among all Muslims including your group that the inheritors cannot be included in the wasiyat. (Zawil Faraidh)

  22. Ghulam Sarwar

    February 17, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    Thanks for coming back with advice. I had written your view that believer is being told (very strictly) that he/she should before death make a will for the parents and near relatives, to abide by his WILL. I say that is not the meaning in the verse.

    You believe that there is nothing in this verse (2:180) about any charitable deed. It is merely a reminder to the relatives to execute the WILL properly. I do not agree to that.

    Again, if this verse is about bequest, please see the meaning of bequest. It is a WILL about distribution of assets (wealth). It cannot be for the parents and near relatives.
    The verse is giving strict order to make a bequest, and it says that the God fearing people will surely (definitely) do that.
    I had shown that in verse 4:11, only wasiyat is mentioned that IF any wasiyat is there, it should be attended to first of all. And similarly, if there are any loans, they should also be paid. In that verse 4:11, there is no exhortation to leave some money for poor people or orphanages. Can you show me any verse of the Quran where a believer may have been advised (ordered) to make a WILL for other people if he/she was leaving lot of wealth?
    Please do not mind my question. If there is no such verse then say so. Thank you. Then we will proceed from there, Insha Allah.

  23. Parvez

    February 18, 2014 at 11:30 am

    @ qureshi

    clearly shows how narrow minded you are!

  24. Parvez

    February 24, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    nearly all the laws regarding slaves in the Quran have been abrogated.

    also hand cutting has been abrogated by prison sentence.

    also house arrest in verse [4:15] is abrogated.

  25. Ghulam Sarwar

    February 24, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    parvez, please tell what is the meaning (mode) of your abrogation? How yo are trying to abrogate the verses of Quran? Is it because no action is being taken that you are abrogating the verses? You feel that those verses are abrogated? please explain, what right you have to abrogate any verse of the quran?

  26. Nadeem

    February 26, 2014 at 9:55 am

    let me add here that discussion here does not look like reaching any fruitful conclusion. An Ahmadi must not sound anti Pakistani or anti shariya with his comments. Nor should be so by other side. Pervez looks like making an aurgument that in secularism, the interpretations of the Verses are made to make them look nice and there is generally an evasion of accepting some of the teachings or punishment, which looks like true to some extent. The valid argument will be: if Quran Interprets itself or Not (as Mirza Saheb once said : Quran khud Quran ka Qazi he) and if Sunnah supports that interpretation or not. If so then we should be flexible to accept the Interpretation, Otherwise we should not be so lenient to devise unnecessary biases or ideas.
    One more point- secularism does not really mean anti-faithism, its basically means impartiality of the government for all, and we see the same teaching of the Holy Quran…like… even an enmity of a people must not take us away form justice. And if under secularism some one starts being anti faith then its not really secularism any more.
    Also Shariyat is generally flexible to give way to the Authorities to decide on matters but guides them on certain issues which are normally confusing for societies (like inheritance) and expects and demands the society to follow these guidelines. On the other hand, Local Laws also are also flexible to accept the codes and traditions of different Faiths and allow them to mediate and decide of their own on lots of issues. So the people of Faith too should use these options for their maximum benefit.

  27. Parvez

    February 28, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    @ ghulam

    yes some rulings in the Quran are practically abrogated.

    i dont think you need proof for that!

  28. Parvez

    February 28, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    @ nadeem

    so you agree that there are some verses in the Quran that are not practically applied due to secularism.

    personally i dont have problem with secular politics.
    but i dont understand ahmahdis position.
    they support secularism in Muslim countries and yet still insist that no rulings in the Quran are abrogated!

    any unbiased person can clearly see that such claim is a paradox.

  29. Ghulam Sarwar

    February 28, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    From parvez:
    @ ghulam
    yes some rulings in the Quran are practically abrogated.
    i dont think you need proof for that!
    ———————————-
    parvez, even if some commands (rulings) are not being implemented, what have the Ahmadis to do with that? Are Ahmadis the rulers in any land? I tell you Ahmadis have nothing to do with that problem of yours. Ahmadis say that there is no verse of the Quran which is abrogated.
    I feel that it is your fault and the fault of your ruler mualvis who are abrogating and by their rule, they are not implementing some commands. They are guilty and you also with them. You are responsible.
    The non-implementation of any commands of the Quran is not being done by any Ahmadi (government). Can you please understand and do not blame it on Ahmadis?
    ====================================
    Another of your post for nadeem:
    so you agree that there are some verses in the Quran that are not practically applied due to secularism.
    —————————
    Supporting secularism has nothing to do with abrogation of verses of Quran. Most western governments in the world are secular. They have nothing to do with any Islamic rule. Ahmadis are supporting them because they separate religion from politics. Can you prove that is wrong or bad?
    In present condition, you cannot imagine what Ahmadis might do if they had a free hand in a government. They could find a way with a new kind of secularism, with all laws being compatible with the teaching of the Quran and applied only to Muslims and acceptable to all communities. Until then, please calm down and do not blame the Ahmadis Muslims. Ahmadi Muslims have no interest in becoming the rulers. Ahmadi Muslims will serve all mankind, Insha Allah.

  30. Parvez

    March 1, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    @ ghulam

    hence its clear that some rulings of the Quran are abrogated such as the rulings of slavery, house arrest for fornicators, obligation of bequest for relatives and cutting off hand for thieves.

    Therefore the Muslim scholars were correct in the science of naasikh wa al mansookh.

    however the teachings of Quran is clear that muslim nations should not be completly secular because there are fiqh verses that are still applicable.

  31. Zia Shah

    March 1, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Parvez, there are a lot of verses that are applicable on you and secular, political and religious authorities that you support and it may be that you do not care for application of those verses.

    Allow me to add a few here for your consideration:

    O ye who believe! why do you say what you do not do? Most hateful is it in the sight of Allah that you say what you do not do. (Al Quran 61:3-4)

    O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah , even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted. (Al Quran 4:136)

    And of men is he who takes idle tales in exchange for guidance to lead men astray from the path of Allah, without knowledge, and to make fun of it. For such there will be humiliating punishment. And when Our Signs are recited to him, he turns proudly away, as though he heard them not, as if there were a heaviness in both his ears. So announce to him a painful punishment. (Al Quran 31:7-8)

    The case of the two parties is like that of the blind and the deaf, and the seeing and the hearing. Is the case of the two alike? Will you not then understand? (Al Quran 11:25)

    There are scores of verses in the Holy Quran upholding the importance of justice and if you are supportive of theocratic monarchy of Saudi Arabia, let me tell you that they are far from justice in so many dimensions.

    Water and wine, both can be served in any glass, a cup or a mug, under any disguise.

    A cup is not holier than a mug!

  32. Parvez

    March 1, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    regardless of what the saudi leaders do.

    the fact is that there are some rulings of the Quran that are abrogated as agreed by the Sahabas, tabiun and classical ulama.

    also in muslim nations many principles can be applied and most of the fiqh rulings are applicable.

    only some rulings are abrogated such as hand cutting for thieves, bequest obligation to relatives, slavery laws and house arrest for the fornicators.

  33. Zia Shah

    March 1, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    And why are the slavery laws abrogated and how do you know that?

  34. Parvez

    March 1, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    its clear that slavery laws are abrogated since the world last century abolished slavery.

  35. Ghulam Sarwar

    March 1, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    @parvez:
    Therefore the Muslim scholars were correct in the science of naasikh wa al mansookh.
    only some rulings are abrogated such as hand cutting for thieves, bequest obligation to relatives, slavery laws and house arrest for the fornicators.
    ————————--
    parvez, I had told you that there were 500 abrogated verses in the past few centuries. That was due to misunderstanding. When some scholars understood, they explained the verses and abrogated verses were reduced to 150.
    In the 12th century Hijra, time of Shah Waliullah Dehlavi, the abrogated verses were reduced to 5 only.
    In the time of the promised Messiah a.s. and his celebrated son, hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmad rz.a. those 5 verses were also explained and well understood. So there is no abrogated verse now.

    1. Try to understand, the verse for the cutting of hands of thieves still stands. Tell me who has abrogated that verse? Just because some governments are not acting on that, it does not mean that the verse is abrogated.
    2. There was no permission for Will in respect of those who were to inherit. So no order to bequest in favor of close relatives. That verse stands. Try to understand, that bequest is not those who are not to inherit. The order is to make a Will i.e. bequest if death approaches any one and he/she is leaving a lot of wealth for parents and near relatives. It is obligatory, sort of faradh. It cannot be abrogated. It is only being misunderstood or mistranslated.
    3. Now about slaves. Tell me what verse has abrogated it? there must be some verse which will abrogate it. you just cannot say “Because it is not being acted upon so it has no effect so it is abrogated.” you have to produce and show a verse of the Quran which will clearly say all the verses concerning the slaves are abrogated. You can never do that, you know it.
    4. The house arrest for fornicators still stands, in cases where there are not four witnesses and the wife is misbehaving. It is then necessary to advise her and to admonish her and to let her remain in the house (not let her go out).
    The punishment of 100 lashes cannot be applied there. So the arrest verse still stands.

    Also, for your information, the abrogation of verses does not concern the verses of the Quran. It concerns the verses of the Bible and Torah etc. Those were the verses revealed by Allah long ago. Why don’t you think about their abrogation by the verses of the Quran?
    I have answered (explained) all the four latest of your false abrogations.

  36. Ghulam Sarwar

    March 1, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    Mod: I need to correct a sentence shown below:
    bequest is not those who are not to inherit.
    Please make it to read as follows:

    [bequest is not for those who are to inherit.]

  37. Rafiq A. Tschannen

    March 1, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    Parvez seems to have a ‘tick’ about ‘abrogation’. Slavery for instance was slowly ‘phased out’. What has that to do with ‘abrogation’ of the verses? May be the problem here is that Parvez interprets the word ‘abrogation’ differently than the rest of us.

  38. Parvez

    March 2, 2014 at 11:57 am

    yes the cutting off hand is abrogated by the prison sentence.

    yes rulings about slavery is abrogated since the world agreed on abolishing and abrogating slavery.

    yes house arrest is abrogated as explained by the sahabas and classical scholars.

  39. Zia Shah

    March 2, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Parvez, I am glad that you wrote:

    Yes rulings about slavery is abrogated since the world agreed on abolishing and abrogating slavery.

    So, after all you do understand the Holy Quran in the context of time. This is exactly, what I am preaching.

    However, I disagree with your choice of the word, ‘abrogation,’ we could simply say the teachings about slavery are not applicable in the present day humane society.

    But, should the society degenerate for whatever reason, the teachings may become applicable again in the fullest sense. They may still be applicable in a partial sense, in some parts of the world.

  40. Parvez

    March 4, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    zia you seem to dislike the word abrogation.

    well you just admitted that there are some Quranic rulings that are abrogated/cancelled/repelled/abolished.

    again another example is hand cutting punishment for thieves.

    also the sahabas and classical ulama agreed that house arrest punishment mentioned in verse 15 in surah nisa is cancelled/abrogated/repelled/abolished.

  41. Rafiq A. Tschannen

    March 4, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    Parvez. Yes, me too. I think the word ‘abrogation’ is totally out of place as far as the Qur’an is concerned. The Qur’an is for all times. When the Qur’an speaks of for instance Musa, are all verses relating to Musa ‘abrogated’ because they do not apply today?

  42. Parvez

    March 5, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    @ rafiq

    abrogation refers to fiqh rulings.

    i’m sure that was obvious!

  43. Rafiq A. Tschannen

    March 6, 2014 at 12:29 am

    just to clarify: fiqh rulings to which the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at disagrees.

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