IAIS works to provide pragmatic advice based on sound knowledge regarding issues facing Islamic societies and governments. Here are excerpts of policy recommendations from research articles in our Journal Islam and Civilisational Renewal.
Vol. 9 No. 3 July 2018
Policy Recommendations from the ICR 9.3 (July 2018)
1. “Stoning As Punishment Of Zina : Is It Valid?”, Mohammad Hashim Kamali
- Our enquiry supports the conclusion that the Prophet most likely applied stoning for zina prior to the revelation of sura al-Nur (24:2-5) as a ta’zir punishment to curb widespread immorality and corruption. Yet, the evidence we have examined falls short of clarifying the question of whether stoning was applied before or after the revelation of sura al-Nur and its stipulated punishment of 100 lashes.
- Certain questions require clarification and present, in turn, a case for a serious reconsideration of the validity of death by stoning. These are: unresolved doubts about the chronological sequence of the two rulings; whether stoning was applied as a ta’zir; whether or not the Prophet actually took recourse to the Torah; and whether it is correct for the Sunnah to overrule the Qur’an on a capital punishment issue.
- Most leading twentieth-century scholars of shariah have taken the view that enforcement of death by stoning for zina is doubtful. This doubt invokes, in turn, the hadith directive that hudud be suspended when there is doubt.
- Leading ulama who have doubted the continued validity of stoning have further held that the maximum punishment for zina is 100 lashes of the whip for married and unmarried persons alike. All claims and prosecutions of zina that fail to present the textually stipulated proof (four eye-witnesses) reduce zina
- from a haddto a ta’zir offence, in turn enabling the trial judge to order a suitable punishment.
- When the Qur’an set the standard of proof for zina at four eye witnesses, the purpose was obviously to set a high moral standard for Muslim individuals – one which cannot be readily enforced, as it is next to impossible for anyone to produce that kind of proof. Yet this aspect of the Qur’an is not duly reflected in the overly punitive approaches of the fiqh manuals and judicial practices of many present-day Muslim countries.
- In trying the ta’zir offence, it would be in order for the judge to take into consideration all relevant factors, including the nature of the relationship (if any) between parties, use or otherwise of force, trickery and temptation, age, whether a first time offender or a recidivist, indications of repentance and remorse, social mischief, lessons to be had for others, and so forth.
2. “The Farewell Sermon of Prophet Muhammad: An Analytical Review”, Mohammad Omar Farooq
- Given the profound importance of the Farewell Sermon or Message, it should be more systematically and widely disseminated among non-Muslims as well as Muslims, especially the younger generation, with aspirations of civilisational renewal.
- Muslims should take the synoptic message given during the last pilgrimage of the Prophet (pbuh) to identify and determine their contemporary priorities.
- Though delivered to the largest congregation of his time and, through them, to future Muslim generations, as Islam is universalistic (ukhrijat lin-nas, see al-Qur’an 3:110), so was this Farewell Message, with humanity as its target audience. Muslims need to re-embrace and uphold that universalistic, humanity-orientation in their thoughts and actions, individually and collectively.
3. “Globalisation, Human Rights And Islam: Competing Narratives And Discursive Practices In The Muslim World”, Asif Mohiuddin
- Given that the era of globalisation has energised the moral force of human rights, Muslim nations must focus on developing the most fundamental and basic of those rights —a “minimal morality”— on which a large number of societies can agree.
- While embracing the challenges and opportunities of globalisation, Muslim nations must ward off hegemonic Western ideologies and institutions that have disruptive effects on Muslim societies.
- The process of transformation may require a paradigm shift in contemporary Islamic thinking regarding the relationship between human rights and Islam, a shift that will result in balance and control without necessarily sacrificing Muslim values and ethical perspectives.
- To overcome West-centric biases, the raison d’etre of human rights discourse should be grounded in an intercivilisational perspective. This approach represents a significant scaling back of the imperial aspirations sometimes attributed to the Western project of human rights.
- Further investigations must explore the relevance of human rights by studying the politically and economically repressive realities that characterise the Muslim world.
4. “Implications of Child Custody In Islamic Family Law: A Case Study Of Customary Courts In Oyo State, Nigeria”, Aminullahi Adetoro Yusuff
- Further studies should be carried out in other states of Nigeria to assess the implications of al-hadanah in Islamic marital jurisprudence to avoid heated crises within Muslim families and to educate the faithful as to why shariah should dictate every practice of their existence.
- Physical custody of Muslim children after separation must be granted to a Muslim who is sane and healthy and is in the best position to provide for the children’s religious and social needs.
- The Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (SCIA) as the apex Muslim religious body in Nigeria should persuade the nation’s judiciary through the federal government to enact and enforce law that will allow everybody in the Nigerian courts to be treated in accordance with his/her religious personal and family laws in as much as freedom of religion is entrenched in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The custody of a child is her/her sole right and not of that either of the parents. Thus, while deciding disputed cases of child custody in court, the wishes, security and betterment of the child must matter most.
- Muslim parents should not allow their wards to be adopted children by people of other faiths irrespective of their relationship, for fear of a possible conversion.
5. “Revisiting Traditional, Modern And Islamic Values When Addressing Haze Issues”, Shahino Mah Abdullah, Muhammad Adha Shaleh
- A multidisciplinary collaboration, including representatives from the humanities, anthropology, sociology, and science, together with religious institutions, would offer a holistic approach towards sustainable resource management.
- Empower local communities in natural resource management, with a focus on their traditional wisdom, as this is known to promote sustainable environmental protection.
- Encourage religious experts to engage and communicate with local communities, sharing important messages regarding the environment and its ecosystem.
- Provide clear plans for how landholders and small farmers can manage their land sustainably. Malaysia, for example, has developed sustainable palm oil plantation techniques to protect the environment. This plan should also include the protection of community welfare so that local people will find it easy and realistic to implement.
- Develop a strict rule of law as a reminder to all people and companies. Punishment can be a lesson to prevent incidents from reoccurring.
- Encourage people, companies, and nations to invest in environmentally friendly businesses. Additionally, empower value-based investment by inculcating it with Islamic values. The latter could be a medium to filter out investments that involve illegal or unethical activities.