Displaying items by tag: Shariah

Tuesday, 13 October 2020 10:35

The priority of preventing harm in society

In principles of Islamic jurisprudence (usul al-fiqh) there are several maxims that talk about the principles related to measures in dealing with harmful matters, including "harm should be eliminated".

Another maxim goes "no harm shall be inflicted or reciprocated", while the third one says "the prevention of harm should be given priority than promoting the benefit".

All three convey one message — the importance of preventing any kind of harmful things from taking place on individuals or society at large.

The third maxim has additional significance as it also emphasises the priority in two conflicting situations. When we face two contradictory options on the same situation, between preventing harm and gaining benefit, we have to prioritise the first one.

Among the reasons is that the failure to prevent harm may destroy even the benefit that we may gain, and not vice versa. This is the most important lesson that we have to learn amid the worrying spike of cases during this dangerous Covid-19 pandemic in the country.

Due to a lack of sensitivity towards others, a wrong action by one person, whoever he is, has led to grave implications for the majority of people.

Every person must be reminded that in a situation where maximum level of vigilance is needed, we have to put aside whatever benefit that we would have enjoyed. As the usul al-fiqh maxim reminds us, the priority has to be the prevention of anything that leads to the spread of the disease.

The following measures take priority:

FIRST, stricter punishment must be taken against offenders of rules and standard operating procedures set by the Health Ministry. Let the offenders learn their lesson the hard way before worst scenarios take place.

The implementation of the law should not discriminate between the status of the offenders since everybody is equal before the law. Similarly, the ignorance of the rule cannot be an excuse for anybody not to be justly punished as the legal principle holds that "ignorantia juris non excusat".

SECOND, there must be a high level of self-discipline among members of society in embracing the new normal in containing the pandemic. A surge of cases taking place every day, as well as the increasing number of people who are being fined and reprimanded due to their heedlessness of SOP only prove that the new normal continues to be new and not yet normal for these offenders.

Some people are still in need of the external factors in the form of strict laws and punishment before they can truly embrace the new normal. It is therefore important that every individual takes charge of their own self.

THIRD, inculcate the value of empathy for others. The country we are living in is like a ship that we share with many other people. Everybody has to take care not only of him or herself, but also other people.

There is a hadith of the Prophet which says, "None of you is a true believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself". The proof of this love is realised not only through the fulfilment of others' needs, but also through the prevention of others from doing harm to society.

All these measures must be taken seriously not only by the common people, but more importantly, by leaders who, in some cases, are caught in a dilemma between gaining benefit and political mileage.

There is a beautiful Malay proverb that says, "disebabkan nila setitik, rosak susu sebelanga". It conveys the same message as the English proverb, "one rotten apple spoils the whole barrel". If we don't start being vigilant and take strict measures in prioritising the prevention of harm over personal benefit, we may have to pay a high price and wait a long time to rectify the situation.

The failure to flatten the curve will ultimately lead to other greater harm, such as economic downturn, social disharmony and political instability, which will wipe out all potential benefits for the majority of the people.

The writer is director of Centre of the Study of Syari'ah Law and Politics at Institute of Islamic Understanding

Published in: The New Straits Times, 10 October 2020

Source: https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2020/10/631030/priority-preventing-harm-society

Monday, 05 October 2020 11:10

PM: Use new technology for Shariah courts

SHARIAH courts in the country must prioritise the use of new technology in the time of Covid-19 to provide services and serve justice effectively as required by the religion, Prime Minister (PM) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (picture; centre) said.

“I believe continuous improvements will boost the image of Shariah judicial and legal institutions in dealing with cases that are increasingly complex and challenging, as well as fulfilling the needs of the Muslim community as a whole,” Muhyiddin said at the 2020 Nusantara Syariah Law and Judiciary Conference launch in Sepang, Selangor, yesterday.

He added that the Perikatan Nasional government is committed to supporting efforts to uphold the dignity of the Shariah law and judiciary in Malaysia, including enhancing Shariah courts’ jurisdiction and appointment of Syarie judges.

According to Shariah Judiciary Department (JKSM) DG and Syarie Chief Judge Datuk Dr Mohd Na’im Mokhtar, cases in Shariah courts have consistently increased over 100,000 cases in every five years.

From 2014 to 2018, 616,707 cases were filed in Shariah courts, said Mohd Na’im during his opening remark at the conference.

He said JKSM has recommended several measures to enhance the status of the Syarie chief judge and Syarie judges across the country as stated in a proposal paper presented on Feb 6 this year.

Among the recommendations are a JKSM restructuring through an establishment of a Shariah judicial commission to separate the power between the judiciary, legislature and executive; coordination and standardisation of laws throughout Malaysia; establishment of Court of Appeal at the federal level; and extension of the jurisdiction in criminal and civil.

Meanwhile, the PM said efforts rolled out by the government to fight the Covid-19 pandemic is guided by the “Maqasid Shariah”, or objectives of Shariah principles.

This concept provides a framework in finding solutions to protect human interests, while complying with God’s will, mainly to protect the five elements namely faith or religion (hifzu al-din), life (hifzu al-nafs), lineage (hifzu al-nasb), intellect (hifzu al-aql) and property (hifzu al-mal).

For example, Muhyiddin said the decision to implement the Movement Control Order (MCO) to curb the spread of Covid-19 is in tandem with the protection of life principle.

He added that the need to reopen mosques and surau, as well as allowing congregational prayers under new norms, is balanced between the protection of faith and protection of life principles.

“In the spirit of ‘Malaysia Prihatin’ (Malaysia Cares), the government has taken proactive measures to implement several phases of the MCO.

“To date, we are still in the Recovery MCO to preserve the protection of safety and lives of the people from Covid-19 threats,” he said.

The 2020 Nusantara Shariah Law and Judiciary Conference was attended by some 580 participants among Shariah officers in Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and Singapore.

With a theme to cultivate Maqasid Shariah applications in Shariah judicial and legal systems under the new normal, the conference seeked to improve Shariah judicial services delivery amid the pandemic based on experiences gathered by regional countries.

Published in: The Malaysian Reserver, 30 September 2020

Source: https://themalaysianreserve.com/2020/09/30/pm-use-new-technology-for-shariah-courts/

The Syariah Court, which is a syariah judicial and legal institution that upholds Islamic teachings, will continue to be strengthened and empowered from time to time, said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

He said the government is constantly making improvements to the jurisdiction of the Syariah Courts, the appointment of syariah judges and professionalism of court officials.

Speaking at the opening of the 2020 Nusantara Syariah Judicial and Legal Conference (PKPSN 2020) here today, Muhyiddin said the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government is committed to supporting efforts that could contribute towards raising the status of syariah judicial and legal institutions in Malaysia.

“These continuous improvements will be able to boost the image of the syariah judiciary and law in dealing with the increasingly complex and challenging cases, as well as meet the needs of the Muslim community as a whole," he added.

Muhyiddin said the use of new technology must be given priority by the administration of the Syariah Courts because without technology, the administration of the Islamic judicial system could be hampered and thus obstruct the implementation of justice, which is demanded in Islam.

He said the implementation of the movement control order (MCO) to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the lives of the people and the country’s administration, including that of the Syariah Courts.

“This included the closure of courts, requiring the judicial system to function under the new normal circumstances, such as conducting the court proceedings online,” he added.

The prime minister expressed his hope that the Malaysian Syariah Judiciary Department (JKSM) could take the initiative to create a forum to serve as a medium for exchange of information and best practices for syariah judicial institutions that can be shared with countries in the region, such as Brunei, Singapore and Indonesia.

Through the forum, he said, academic discussions on the function of maqasid syariah among countries in the region could be held continuously in helping the government and state religious authorities to seek clarification for Islamic issues.

The PKPSN 2020 involved 580 participants, including syariah judges, court registrars, prosecution officers and syariah officers from Brunei, Indonesia and Singapore.

The conference, themed "Application of Maqasid Al-Syariyyah: Towards Cultivating New Norms in the Syariah Judicial and Legal System", was also attended by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri.

Published in: The Edge Markets, 29 September 2020

Source: https://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/syariah-judiciary-legal-institution-continues-be-strengthened-empowered-%E2%80%94-pm

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has urged the Syariah Judiciary Department to introduce a forum that could serve as a platform for countries in the region to identify the best practices for Syariah judiciary institutions.

Such a forum, said Muhyiddin, would enable extensive discussions on how the concept of the Maqasid Syariah (paramount objectives in Islamic Law) could assist governments and religious authorities in seeking clarification on Islamic issues that could at times be complex.

"At the regional level, I hope that the department will take initiative by conducting a forum that can serve as a platform for information-sharing between Malaysia and other countries in the region such as Brunei, Singapore and Indonesia to identify the best Syariah judiciary institution practices.

"Through this forum, experts can continuously deliberate and discuss the functions of Maqasid Syariah in helping governments and religious authorities in the respective countries to seek clarification on issues related to the 'syarak', which on some occasions may appear complex if it was only addressed alone (by a single country).

"At the same time, I am aware that Syariah judges have a key duty and responsibility to uphold and enforce Islamic laws," he said at the opening of the Syariah Nusantara Law and Judiciary Conference 2020 here today.

Present were Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Balkri, his deputy Ahmad Marzuk Shaary, Public Service Department director-general Tan Sri Mohd Khairul Adib Abd Rahman and Syariah Judiciary Department director Datuk Dr Mohd Na'im Mokhtar, who is also Chief Judge at the department.

The three-day conference, themed "The Application of Maqasid Al-Syariah Towards Embracing the New Norms in the Syariah Legal and Judiciary System", ends on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, on the home front, Muhyiddin said the Perikatan Nasional government is committed and will continue to support efforts towards elevating Syariah legal and judiciary institutions in the country.

He added that the present administration will continue to protect and empower the Syariah Court.

"Other efforts include continuously improving the jurisdiction of the Syariah Court, the appointment Syariah judges and the professionalism of court officers.

"I believe this continuous improvement will help boost the image of the Syariah judiciary and laws in dealing with increasingly complex and challenging cases apart from meeting the aspirations of the country's Muslim community," he said.

Published in: New Straits Times, Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Source: https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2020/09/628263/pm-forum-needed-discuss-best-syariah-practices-region

Friday, 13 May 2016 06:44

The higher purposes of syariah

Maqasid have taken centre stage in the contemporary studies of syariah, just as it has also become an engaging theme of the government. March saw the introduction of Malaysia’s Syariah Index at a Jakim (Islamic Development Department)-sponsored convention in Putrajaya, with the participation of more than 130 experts and researchers from local universities..................Download the full article in pdf attachment (below)

Wednesday, 25 March 2015 11:00

What Everyone Needs to Know about Shariah

The information on Shariah provided in this paper is organized in 52 pages and eight sections, all in question and answer format, and is reflective of the classical Shariah positions and how they are applied or feature in the present-day Muslim countries. Some of the areas where modern reforms and Islamic revivalism of the latter part of twentieth century might have introduced changes are also mentioned. Each section features a number of questions of general interest, some topical and others informative of the state of the art. The purpose is not to provide exhaustive details on any of the themes discussed but to introduce Shariah in a nutshell, as it were, to readers with various levels of familiarity with the subject, Muslims and non-Muslims alike.................Download the full article in pdf attachment (below)

Tuesday, 26 March 2013 15:55

Saudi Youth 'question' Wahabism

Beneath its cumbersome title — “Statement of Saudi Youth Regarding the Guarantee of Freedoms and Ethics of Diversity” — it challenged a central tenet of the kingdom’s ultraconservative religious establishment: That it has the right to impose its strict interpretation of Islam on all Saudis. “No one can claim monopoly of truth or righteousness in the name of Islamic law (Shariah),” declared the statement, many of whose 2,600 signatories were in their 20s............Download the full article in pdf attachment (below)

Published in Media Articles
Monday, 25 June 2012 11:38

Maqasid (Higher Objectives) of Shariah

Adl or qist (justice) is, indeed, a manifestation of God’s Mercy, but may also be seen as a principal objective of the Shari’ah in its own right. Certainly, the Qur’an sees it as such when it states: “We sent Our Messengers and revealed through them the Book and the Balance so that Justice may be established amongst mankind” (Qur’an 57:25). Justice as a value or primary objective of the Shari’ah is mentioned in the Qur’an fifty-three times.)........ Download the full article in pdf attachment (below)


Monday, 21 May 2012 11:00

Maqasid made simple

Al-Maqasid al-Shari’ah, or the higher objectives of Shari’ah, is a manifestly important and yet somewhat neglected discipline of the Shari’ah. The Shari’ah generally is predicated on benefits to the individual and the community, and its laws are designed to protect these benefits and to facilitate the improvement and perfection of the conditions of human life. The Qur’an is expressive of this when it points to the main purpose of the prophethood of Muhammad (SAW): “We have not sent you but as a Mercy to the worlds” (Qur’an 21:107). This can also be seen in the Qur’an’s characterization of itself as “a healing to the (spiritual) ailments of the hearts” and “a Guidance and Mercy” for the believers and mankind (Qur’an 10:57). The objectives of rahmah (mercy or compassion) mentioned in these two verses are further substantiated by other provisions in the Qur’an and Sunnah (the Traditions of the Prophet) that seek to establish justice, eliminate prejudice, and alleviate hardship. The laws of the Qur’an and Sunnah also seek to promote cooperation and support within the family and the society at large.)........ Download the full article in pdf attachment (below)