Thursday, March 26, 2015

Hudud questions we need answers to

by Azly Rahman



Over the last few days, I have been writing the following notes on my Facebook page, concerning the Sharia law component of the hudud. These are made in between my lecture sessions on philosophy, politics, and education and I hope that they will interest readers in sharing with me their answers to these important questions of the day.

WHAT KIND OF GOD?

stoning one to death
cutting off one's hands
beheading
100 and more lashes
and the range of punishments
in broad daylight
aren’t all these images of barbarism?
does this not show the brutality of Islam?
I thought the God of the Muslims is merciful and gentle
is this really God’s law?
if so, what kind of god?
*and yes I have these questions as they have now come to me
in which I hope for gentle answers *
- ar

ON THE HUDUD
remember this ...

The Quran is not a juridistic or judicial text... it is a compendium of short notes and narratives on morality, on stories pointing to earlier texts contained in the Bible and the Torah... it does not contain suggestions for punishment or strict legal framework of laws... is it therefore a source of God’s law?

The sharia is a human construction, derived from centuries of controversies amongst scholars and schools of thought with the ultimate aim of providing identity to this new group of believers called ‘The Muslims’.

In the hudud, stoning to death is from the Jewish text and practice. So is the suggestion of a death penalty for apostates borrowed from early Christianity. Other forms of punishment, such as beheading, crucifixion, burning to death, all have their origin in early Babylonian times. To say that the hudud is derived from God’s law and cannot be questioned is not correct, signifying one’s unwillingness to read about the origin of Islamic law, let alone the origin of punishment.

This is what is ailing our society that do not read much on the geneaology of morals and the historicity of punishments. And when perspectives pointing to alternate truths are presented, a jihad against these ‘perspective givers’ are called upon.

Who says one cannot question hudud, Man-made laws misunderstood as law passed down directly from God? Because it is Man-made law, we therefore have those who see the hudud as barbaric, and those who see it as a framework of a good social control, however archaic. What is said as “god’s revelations” most often become a big mess of confusion when it comes to human beings, especially the priest class, try to put them down as law...

Thou shall not kill... but why stone one to death ?
Where did Man go wrong?
What is he not reading?
And worse, why must his priests insist there must be separate religious laws for the kings and the slaves? - ar

ALL MUST DISCUSS


No one is a real expert - even the clerics, the ‘erdogans’, the hard-core liberal-seculars and the little ayatollahs are disagreeing violently amongst themselves.

It is each citizen’s right to question any concern they have before things become law. One cannot be intimidated, silenced, threatened, jailed for asking questions dear to their democratic lives... that is what democracy and citizenship is all about - participation and dialogue.

It is the right of every citizen to gather freely and safely in a democracy to petition for the removal of governments and leaders that are lousy and only there to slowly kill society and humanity through taxation without representation, daylight robbery, and all kinds of thievery to support a lifestyle far-removed form the reality of poverty of the many.

On the hudud issue - To put a stop to dialogue is not democracy, it is demono-cracy... and we have seen many of these kinds of systems in countries calling themselves Islamic, especially. Would you folks, agree? - ar

LET KELANTAN HAVE ITS OWN LAW

as how Sharia is said to be
successful in Nigeria
it might work
it might not
but let it be only for the Kelantanese, shall it be?
the will of the people - who voted for a theocracy
For there is no compulsion in religion,
let alone in Islam, the Kelantanese version
For - why must religious interpretation be universalising
as if there is no spiritual difference
between you and me -
- ar

IN THE LONG RUN...

The implementation of hudud
the romanticising of an Islamic state
might be the best invitation
for Isis-like enthusiasts to fight easier than tooth and nail
for an easier jihad
for a perfect synergy
to set up a Taliban-like state...
right here in Malaysia
and what then next... ? - ar
*or - am I making strange connections here? *

to swallow hypocrisy with a gulp of little pride remaining
why don’t the promoters of hudud
and the propagandist of ultra-nationalism
work in synergy and in perfect harmony
with tears of repentance flowing in parliament buildings...
why not create a good enough sharia index
to measure how much the politicians and plunderers and robber-barons alike
have stolen from the people, how those political murders are to be gauged, how hideous and anti-Islamic those in power are spending adorning themselves, and how much the country is being brought down by those spewing religious rhetoric as well...
why not? why not? - ar
*and long live the wolves of wall street*

ALL TEXTS...

be they religious, philosophical, cultural, scientific
be they transmitted orally
or crafted through writing as literacy
are the work of Man
from the mind of men
from the imagination of Man
all religious are the work of the priest class
each a genealogy of morals, of myths, of implausibilities, of miracles
building on early stories of Man’s attempt to make sense of the word
of the creation of many gods
the opticon, the panopticon, the synopticon of Man’s delusions
and the struggle to consolidate those gods into One, into Many, into None
has it been proven otherwise that these are not of human creation
- would you agree with this proposition? - ar

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Orang Melayu Islam tak suka dengan budaya Melayu.
Pergi ke negara-negara Arab, Mesir atau Pakistan teruja nak ikut.
Saya rasa Melayu Islam perlu lah mewujudkan sistem yang lebih baik dari negara lain (tak kira lah negara Islam atau tidak). Ianya patut menuju ke arah kecemerlangan, kemakmuran dan keadilan. Bukan main hentam saja ikut sistem negara lain tanpa melihat kebaikan dan keburukan. Juga, samada sesuai dengan Malaysia atau tidak.

1/2 Melayu 1/2 Cina

rpremkumar2u said...

What a breath of fresh air.

Syed Akbar Ali said...

Dr Azly Rahman,

When you make such a strong statement you are actually questioning the extra Quranic theology that has created the hudud and the sharia system namely the hadith, sunnah, the fiqah structure (which is based on hadith and sunnah) and the ijma' of the scholars.

You cannot question, criticise or make such statements about the hudud with questioning the hadith and sunnah. Simply because almost the entirety of hudud is derived from hadith and sunnah. None of it, I repeat none of it, is Quran based. It is extra Quranic.

Is it possible for people to question only parts of the hadith and sunnah (eg that have given birth to the hudud) which you do not agree with and still accept the rest of the hadith and sunnah which you do not disagree with?

Will you then have to sieve through the hadith and sunnah to filter out those parts that you like versus those that you do not like?

The entire structure of Sunni and Shia religious theology is extra Quranic. I really mean entire. 100%. Not an iota of Sunni and Shia religious theology is based on the Quran. An everyday example are the five daily prayers. They are extra Quranic. They are hadith based.

It really boils down to questioning the entire extra Quranic religious theology that is the basis for Sunnism and Shiaism.

Syed Akbar Ali

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