Islam: A Comprehensive
is an extensive study of the contents of Islam by Javed Ahmad
Ghamidi (b. 1951). It is an effort which spans almost two
decades of both creative and critical thinking. This attempt
to expound the contents of Islam is not a new one. Preceding
Ghamidi is an illustrious series of names who have ventured
forth to present Islam the way they have understood it. All
these efforts are commendable and merit deep deliberation. A
serious student should perhaps conduct a comparative study to
gauge the approaches followed by each.
Ghamidi is a prominent pupil of Amin
Ahsan Islahi (1904-1997), a profound exegete and a
distinguished student of the prodigious Qur’anic scholar:
Hamid al-Din Farahi (1863-1930). Ghamidi draws heavily on the
approach and research of his two eminent predecessors.
However, he has not only developed and lent precision to their
approach and views, he has also made some original
contributions in this regard.
The entire effort is a fresh
interpretation of Islam from its original sources on the basis
of the principles delineated in the first preamble. The reason
that it has been undertaken is that interpretation of sacred
texts has always remained a human endeavour and thus can never
remain fault free. It is as a result of this principle that
the author has continued to evaluate and re-evaluate even his
own findings. He is of the opinion that no view or
interpretation is acceptable if it cannot stand up to
criticism. It should not have any value merely because a
certain great scholar or authority presented it. Even the
greatest of scholars are not immune to error; therefore, it is
arguments and reasoning based only on the original sources of
Islam that should be the basis for accepting or rejecting a
point of view. Thus, just as the author has differed with
authorities of the past, he has also differed from his two
predecessors whose approach and research are foundational to
Some distinctive features of the author’s
approach evident from this book are summarized below:
1. The Qur’an is regarded as the mizan
(the scale) and the furqan (distinguisher between right
and wrong), a status which it itself claims. It is the scale
in which everything related to religion must be weighed and is
the decisive word in every matter of religion. Everything in
religion must stand in subservience to its verdicts. It is as
a result of this supreme status of the Qur’an that the author
has made the following inferences:
i. There is only one reading of the
Qur’an called the al-qira’at al-‘ammah (the general
reading). It is only this reading which has been transmitted
through tawatur and can thus be called the Qur’an. All
other readings cannot be regarded as the Qur’an and none of
them stands up to the criteria of tawatur.
ii. The muhkam and mutashabih
verses of the Qur’an are distinct and easily discernable. The
latter are verses that mention things which are beyond the
grasp of human knowledge and observation or belong to matters
of the Hereafter. Such things are mentioned in the form of
comparison (tashbih) to things which we are aware of in
our own language and through our own experience. The
denotation of these verses is clear. However, human intellect
is unable to understand the reality to which they refer.
iii. The Qur’an is a univocal book that
conveys its meanings with absolute clarity and there is no
ambiguity about them. The intentionality of its text is
certain and unmistakable. Its words convey what they stand for
with full certainty. Differences in its interpretation have
arisen not because there is any defect in its language or
style. They have arisen because human beings at times falter
in their understanding which may be due to a lack of knowledge
or a lack of deliberation or both.
iv. The Hadith is a historical record of
Prophetic teachings. It cannot change or modify the Qur’an in
any way. Its scope is confined to explaining and elucidating
religion or in delineating the exemplar of the Prophet (sws).
The Qur’an is not dependent on the Hadith for its explanation;
On the contrary, the Hadith need to be interpreted in the
light of the Qur’an.
2. The Sunnah is treated as an
independent source of religion. It is distinct from Hadith.
Since at times the Hadith also contains a record of the Sunnah,
people have erroneously equated the two. The Sunnah refers to
the tradition of Prophet Abraham’s (sws) religion which the
Prophet Muhammad (sws) instituted among his followers as
religion after reviving and reforming it and after making
certain additions to it. The Sunnah was transmitted to the
ummah by its perpetual adherence thereby carrying the same
stamp of authority as the Qur’an.
3. The shari‘ah portion of the book has
been entirely cleansed from fiqh. It is based purely on the
author’s understanding of the divine law. Areas of fiqh like
the application of shari‘ah to specific circumstances or
judgements in which the shari‘ah is silent and ijtihad is
needed are not touched upon. This is because all these areas
belong to human intellect and are prone to change with change
in circumstances and to variation because of a variance in
4. The sunnatullah (dealings and
practices of God) have been separated from the shari‘ah. These
dealings and practices emanate from God Himself and as such
must not be undertaken by human beings in any way. In this
regard, the most important of these divine practices: worldly
punishment of the direct and immediate addressees of
messengers of God who deliberately deny the truth is
distinctly reflected in the contents of the book. Its specific
nature is highlighted so that it is not confused as a
directive of the shari‘ah.
5. The scheme of the book is based on the
categorization of the Qur’an regarding the contents of Islam.
According to the author, the Qur’an (2:231; 4:113; 62:2)
itself divides the contents of Islam into two categories: al-Hikmah
and al-Kitab. While the former refers to topics related to the
philosophy of religion, the latter to those that relate to
divine law (shari‘ah). He has further classified these two
categories into sub-categories. al-Hikmah comprises two
sub-categories: faith and ethics and al-Kitab comprises ten
sub-categories: The Shari‘ah of Worship Rituals, The Social
Shari‘ah, The Political Shari‘ah, The Economic Shari‘ah, The
Shari‘ah of Preaching, The Shari‘ah of Jihad, The Penal
Shari‘ah, The Dietary Shari‘ah, Islamic Customs and Etiquette,
and Oaths and their Atonements.
Consequently, Part I of this book
consists of topics related to al-Hikmah and Part II consists
of topics related to al-Kitab. Two preambles to these two
parts “Fundamental Principles” and “The Religion of Islam”
introduce the reader to the hermeneutics which have led the
author to his interpretation and to the overall framework of
6. The overall interpretive approach can
be termed as text-based. It is primarily the text of the
Qur’an which determines the purport of what constitutes Islam.
Each section of a chapter of this book begins with a verse(s)
of the Qur’an which according to the author is the primary and
foundational verse of the topic dealt with in that section.
Qur’anic verses cited subsequently in that section are of
secondary nature to that topic. Needless to say that
discovering the basic verse of a section helps the reader in
grasping the primary Qur’anic guidance on that topic in a
While following the approach delineated
above, the author has documented his understanding of Islam.
Some of the important issues discussed and conclusions drawn
in this treatise are briefly summarized below. Readers can
look up the details during the course of their study.
Regarding the overall Framework of Islam:
1. The objective of Islam according to
the Qur’an (62:2) is neither union with God nor the struggle
for Islamic supremacy; it is the purification of individual
and collective lives of the Muslims from contamination.
2. Of the two contents of Islam, al-hikmah
and al-shari‘ah, the former has always been the same in all
divine religions. It is only the latter which has changed
because of change in the nature of society and civilization.
This means that the foundations of faith and beliefs and those
of morals and morality are common to all divine religions.
3. Faith in a person entails some
permanent requirements and some contingent requirements. The
former requirements include doing righteous deeds and urging
one another to the truth and to remain steadfast on it. The
latter requirements include migration for the cause of
religion (hijrah), helping the cause of religion (nusrah) and
adhering to justice (qiyam bi al-qist).
Regarding the Qur’an:
1. What best can be said of the genre of
the Qur’an is that it resembles an oration. The speaker and
the spoken to rapidly change in the text, and in order to have
a deep understanding of the Qur’an a serious student must
carefully determine the addresser and the addressees of each
section of verses. Moreover, the general and specific verses
of the Qur’an must be determined in the light of the context
because many a time what is stated in general terms has a
2. According to the Qur’an (42:17)
itself, is the final authority in religion. Thus instead of
interpreting it in the light of extraneous sources like Hadith,
such extraneous sources are in need of being interpreted in
the light shed by the Qur’an.
3. There is only one reading of the
Qur’an called the al-qira’at al-‘ammah (the general reading).
It is only this reading which has been transmitted through
tawatur and can thus be called the Qur’an. All other readings
are in fact deviants and none of them stands up to the
criteria of tawatur.
4. According to the Qur’an (75:16-19)
itself, the text of the Qur’an was collected and finalized in
the time of the Prophet (sws). None of the reports of Qur’an
collections attributed to each of the first four caliphs is
5. The muhkam and mutashabih verses of
the Qur’an are distinct and easily discernable. The latter are
verses in which matters which are beyond the grasp of human
knowledge and observation or belong to matters of the
6. The subject matter of the Qur’an is
the warning delivered by the Prophet (sws) to his immediate
addressees. This warning culminated in deciding their fate in
this very world so that this whole exercise could become a
corroboration of the reward and punishment that will be meted
out to each and every person in the Hereafter.
7. The Qur’an is not an incoherent
collection of verses and surahs. Both the verses in surahs and
the surah themselves are meaningfully arranged. Thus each
verse has a definite context which must necessarily be taken
into consideration while interpreting it.
1. The Sunnah is primarily the religious
practices of the Prophet Abraham (sws) which the Prophet
Muhmmad (sws) revived and laid currency to among his
followers. As such it pre-dates the Qur’an and is an
independent source of Islam.
2. The subject matter of the Sunnah is
always practices. It never relates to concepts or to precepts
of faith. However, even in this sphere, if a practice is
originated by the Qur’an, it cannot be regarded as a Sunnah.
3. The personal likes and dislikes of the
Prophet (sws) cannot be classified as Sunnah.
1. Hadith must be understood in the light
of the Qur’an and Sunnah, and never contain an independent
directive of religion.
2. While understanding a Hadith, it is
essential that all its variant texts on one topic be collected
and collated to draw a conclusion from it.
3. Hadith which contradict the Qur’an and
Sunnah cannot be accepted.
Regarding Faith and Beliefs:
1. God’s being cannot be comprehended by
human beings. They can only comprehend His attributes and
practices. The latter are in fact some specific laws and
dealings with human-kind which the Almighty has set upon
Himself to follow. These laws and practices enable a person to
experience God. They include his laws regarding trials and
tests, providing guidance, remorse and repentance, rise and
fall of nations, divine help and worldly reward and
2. Prophets and messengers of God have
been sent for completion of guidance already found in human
nature, and to conclusively communicate the truth to their
Specific criteria have been set-forth to
judge true Messengers of God of whom Muhammad (sws) was the
last and final of the series.
Prophets never falter in delivering to
their followers what has been revealed to them by the
Although prophets of God may hold some
degree of superiority in some sphere between one another yet
all of them deserve equal respect, and no prophet of God
should be regarded superior to others in absolute terms.
Intercession of the prophets only means
that they can pray in support for the forgiveness of a
believer. It can never violate the principles of justice.
3. The testimonies of the Hereafter are
found in history, in human nature and in the world around man.
Some of the signs of the Day of Judgement are very general and
others are in the form of specific incidents and happenings.
Of the specific signs only one is mentioned in the Qur’an
(21:96-97) and it relates to the rise of Gog and Magog.
Therefore, this only is the certain sign.
1. Man is innately aware of good and evil
and does not need any external guidance to determine it.
2. The Qur’an (17:22-39) has described in
its ten commandments the mandatory morality which must be
followed by every Muslim.
3. The Qur’an (33:35) has also outlined
the pinnacle of morality which the Almighty wants the
believers to strive for.
Shari‘ah related to Worship Rituals:
1. All worship rituals of Islam
crystallized in the time of Abraham (sws). The Prophet (sws)
only revived them and where needed cleansed them of
innovations that had crept into them. These worship rituals
are thus a Sunnah of Abraham (sws) which pre-date the Qur’an,
and for this reason their details were not needed to be
mentioned in the Qur’an.
2. Certain practices and utterances of
the prayer are obligatory and others that are optional. One
must be careful in making a distinction between them. Similar
is the case with the rak‘at of each prayer.
3. The qasr prayer (shortened prayer) can
be offered in all situations of fear, discomfort and unease.
4. The Friday and Eid prayers are the
prerogative of the rulers and their representatives.
5. The rates of zakah range from 2.5
percent to 20 percent depending upon the nature of zakatable
6. There is no basis for tamlik
(exclusive personal possession) in zakah, and it can be spent
in all cases which relate to the welfare of state and
7. The obligation of the fast is meant to
produce taqwa in a person and so important is this objective
that except for patients who can never fast, all missed fasts
must be made up in later months.
8. In their overall capacity, hajj and
‘umrah symbolize man’s war against Satan.
9. Each component of hajj and ‘umrah like
ihram, tawaf, sa‘i, hair-cut and rami has deep symbolic
significance and philosophy which must be understood by a
pilgrim if he or she wants to reap the real benefits of these
10. The significance of the ritual of
animal sacrifice is that it is a symbolic expression of
pledging one’s life for the cause of God.
Shari‘ah related to the Social Sphere:
1. For two reasons stated in the Qur’an
(4:34), husbands are the heads of a family set-up.
Specifically stated, these reasons are: (a) husbands are
entrusted with providing for the family, and (b) they are
temperamentally and physically more suited to discharge this
2. A husband can only punish his wife if
she starts to challenge his authority and threatens to disrupt
the family set-up. Before resorting to physical chastisement,
the two previous stages mentioned by the Qur’an (4:34) must
elapse. Even after these stages, it never becomes obligatory
upon him to physically punish her. He must exercise prudence
in using this right by considering the circumstances of the
society he is living in.
3. It is incorrect to conclude that Islam
has allowed a Muslim to keep up to four wives at one time
since keeping four wives is a man’s essential physiological
and psychological need. In normal circumstances, a family
comes into being through wedlock between one man and one
woman. Islam has neither encouraged nor stopped a person from
polygamy. It has not imposed any restriction in this regard
except that the number of wives must not exceed four and that
a husband must justly deal with them.
4. It is clear from the context of the
Qur’an (5:5) that it is desirable though not binding for
Muslim men to marry women from among the People of the Book in
areas where Islamic values reign supreme. It is evident that
in such conditions and circumstances, there is virtually no
possibility of the Muslims being influenced by their moral
values and cultural traditions.
5. The consent of the parents/guardians
is not a legal requirement of marriage. The legal requirements
are only two: the man and woman who intend to get married must
be chaste and a man must pay dower (mahr) to his wife.
However, the consent of the parents/guardians is a cultural
and social requirement of marriage.
6. It is erroneous to conclude that a
mature child can be suckled and hence treated as a foster
child. The misconception has arisen by generalizing a Hadith
of the Prophet (sws). As per the Qur’an, a child can only be
regarded as a foster child if he is suckled in infancy with a
definite intention to the purpose. Suckling a child through
chance happenings or through a few drops does not entitle him
to fosterage rights.
7. The amount of mahr (dower) should be
fixed keeping in view the social customs and traditions of a
society. Its quantity has not been ascertained by the Islamic
8. It is only Surah Nur in which the
norms of gender interaction are mentioned. Some of the
important facts that are evident from these directives are:
a. Muslim women are not required by the
shari‘ah to cover their faces.
b. Muslim women are required by the
shari‘ah to cover their heads if they have embellished their
hair. In case they have not, covering the head though is not
obligatory, yet it is a desirable Muslim tradition.
c. Muslim women should wear clothes that
do not make their breasts prominent. This can be done by
covering them or by any other means that serve the purpose.
d. The expression ghadd al-basr used by
the Qur’an (24:30) does not mean that men and women have to
stare at the floor. It means that they must guard their gazes
from taking undue liberty.
e. While following the norms underlined
in the surah, men and women can visit each other and sit and
eat together if they want to.
The directives mentioned in Surah Ahzab
which are generally thought to relate to gender interaction
specifically pertain to the household of the Prophet (sws). It
is evident from their context that they cannot be extended
beyond this sphere. They were primarily given to check the
subversive activities of the Hypocrites who had started a
malicious campaign to scandalize the private lives of the
Prophet (sws) and his wives. It is by not understanding this
aspect that the following misconceptions have arisen:
a. The house is the centre of activities
of a wife.
b. Muslim women must not speak in a
polite tone with strangers.
c. Muslim women should be kept secluded
except from their immediate relatives.
d. Muslim women must wear large cloaks (jilbabs)
when they go out of their houses.
9. Regarding divorce, it must be
a. Only the husbands have the right to
divorce. Wives cannot divorce their husbands. They can only
demand divorce from them.
b. If husbands desire a separation from
their wives, then they should do so according to the
prescribed procedure mentioned in the Qur’an by uttering the
divorce sentence once only. However, if someone who is
ignorant of this procedure or owing to his own foolishness
utters three divorce sentences in succession, then such a case
should be decided by a court giving full allowance to his real
c. It is evident from the Qur’an (33:49)
that the real reason for the ‘iddat is to ascertain whether a
lady is pregnant or not. Consequently, if it can be determined
with certainty that a lady is not pregnant she will not be
required to observe this period.
d. In no way is a husband authorized to
take back the dower money from his wife in case he divorces
her. He is also not authorized to take back any wealth or
property gifted to her except in two specific cases mentioned
in the Qur’an (2:229; 4:19).
e. The concept of halalah has arisen
because of not understanding a very subtle sentence of the
Prophet (sws) in a Hadith.
f. In case a husband exercises the option
of divorcing his wife for the third time in his life, he will
still have to provide residence and maintenance to her till
the expiry of the ‘iddat period.
10. It is erroneous to believe that Islam
permits its followers to keep slave-women and have sexual
contact with them. The notion of keeping slaves has arisen by
not giving due allowance to the fact that Islam had adopted a
gradual procedure in the time of the Prophet (sws) to
eliminate this social evil because of its deep roots in the
society. After a program of gradual eradication adopted by
Islam in the time of the Prophet (sws), the Qur’an (24:33)
announced the final step in slave emancipation by giving them
the authority to earn their freedom by showing that they would
become responsible citizens of the society.
Shari‘ah related to the Political Sphere:
1. The form of government envisaged by
Islam is neither a theocracy nor a monarchy. It is more akin
to democracy as a Muslim government comes into existence on
the basis of a public mandate and continues to exist as long
as it commands the support of the majority.
2. The legal definition of a Muslim is
that he is one who offers the prayer and pays zakah. Such a
person shall legally be regarded as a Muslim and be entitled
to all the rights a Muslim has in a Muslim State.
3. The Non-Muslim minorities of today
living in Muslim countries can only be classified as mu‘ahids
(citizens by contract).
Keeping in view the general welfare of the state, through
mutual consent, any contract can be made with non-Muslims of
today regarding their rights. As such, all dealings with them
should be according to the terms of the treaty concluded with
them. The dhimmis are a category of non-Muslims specific to
the age of the Prophet (sws) and his Companions (rta). The
directives of fiqh related to them consequently cannot be
related to the non-Muslims of today.
4. There is only one basis for negative
legislation in a Muslim state: only those laws can be enacted
that enforce what has been prohibited in Islam. For example,
laws can be enacted against theft, adultery, murder and things
which endanger the life, wealth and property of the people,
but among the positive directives of Islam, except for the
prayer and zakah, a Muslim state cannot forcefully demand
anything from the believers. It cannot, for example, compel a
Muslim to fast nor can it compel him to offer hajj even if he
has the financial position to do so. In this regard, he may be
sinning in the eyes of God, yet a Muslim state has not been
authorized to use force.
5. Muslims can rise against their rulers
only in certain circumstances. In case, they intend to resort
to armed warfare to dislodge them, then the following
conditions must necessarily be fulfilled:
a. Muslim rulers are guilty of openly and
deliberately denying Islam or any of its directives.
b. The government should be a despotic
one, which neither came into existence through the opinion of
the people nor is it possible to change it through their
c. The person who leads this uprising
should have a clear majority of the nation behind him and they
are willing to accept him as their future ruler in favour of
the existing one.
d. The rebels are able to establish their
political authority in an independent piece of land.
Shari‘ah related to the Economic Sphere:
1. The issue of riba al-fadl (interest in
transactions concluded on the spot) is a case of
misinterpretation and has arisen in our fiqh because the
narrators have mixed up the words of certain Ahadith.
2. The establishment of a public sector
in a country is an essential ingredient of the economy
envisaged by Islam so that wealth should not get concentrated
among the rich and that it be directed to the sectors of the
society which are dependent on others for their needs.
3. Many directives of prohibition given
by the Prophet (sws) like muzara‘at (crop-sharing) are not
absolute. They are based on the elements of deceit and harm
that is present in them. If these elements can be eliminated
from these transactions, their prohibition will no longer
4. In a fresh interpretation of the law
of inheritance, besides many other things, it is shown that if
a person has a flair for relishing the finer aspects of a
language, there is absolutely no need to employ the “Doctrine
of Increase” (‘awl) to proportionately decrease the shares.
All the shares can be perfectly distributed.
Shari‘ah related to Preaching:
1. The obligation of preaching relates to
believers according to their various capacities. These
capacities are distinct and must not be mixed up: they
include, preaching responsibility of the messengers, of
Abraham’s progeny, of the rulers, of the scholars and of
2. The preaching of the messengers always
culminates in worldly reward and punishment of their immediate
and direct addressees so that this exercise can become a
visual proof for reward and punishment which shall take place
in the Hereafter for each individual.
3. The Almighty has selected both
branches of Abraham’s progeny (the Israelites and the
Ishmaelites) to be a means of conclusively delivering the
truth to other nations of mankind. If these descendents of
Abraham (sws) adhere to the truth in their collective
capacity, the Almighty will make them dominant over other
nations, and if they do not, He will make them subservient to
Shari‘ah related to Jihad:
1. Only the state has the authority to
wage jihad. No independent group or organization has the right
to launch an armed struggle in any way.
2. After the departure of the Prophet (sws)
and his Companions (rta), the only legitimate reason for an
Islamic State to wage jihad is to curb oppression and
persecution in another country – whether Muslim or non-Muslim.
3. Jihad becomes compulsory for a state
only if in the opinion of its rulers it has the moral grounds
and the military might to curb the oppression and injustice of
the country against which jihad is to be waged. What can be
said on the basis of the Qur’an is that Muslim to enemy ratio
should be at least 1:2 in terms of relative military strength
for the Muslims to expect victory.
4. Jihad was or is never carried out for
territorial aggrandizement or forcible conversion of people to
Islam. People who erroneously justify either or both of these
two bases draw their arguments from the jihad carried out by
the Prophet (sws) and his Companions (rta). It needs to be
appreciated that the jihad carried out by Muhammad (sws) and
his Companions (rta) after him was governed by a specific law
meant only for the Messengers of Allah and their immediate
addressees, and has nothing to do with later Muslims. A study
of the Qur’an reveals that the purpose of their jihad was to
administer Divine punishment to people who had arrogantly
denied the truth in spite of being convinced about it.
5. A Muslim can only be regarded as a
sinner in the eyes of God by not participating in jihad if he
does not offer himself for jihad on the appeal of a Muslim
state. Less than this, he cannot be regarded to have committed
6. Prisoners of war cannot be kept or
treated as slaves. They can be set free either after accepting
ransom or as a favour.
Shari‘ah related to Punishments:
1. Only a Muslim state has the authority
to administer punishments. No individual or group has been
given this right.
2. Islam has prescribed punishments in a
limited sphere only. It has prescribed punishments for what it
considers to be the five major crimes. They are fasad fi al-ard,
murder, fornication, accusing someone of fornication and
theft. The punishments of all other crimes have been left to
state authorities to legislate.
3. The death sentence can only be given
in two cases as per the Qur’an: to a person who has killed
someone or to someone who is guilty of spreading lawlessness
and disorder in a society. No other person can be punished by
4. The punishments of fornication and
theft are extreme forms of reproof, and should be given only
if the nature of the crime and the circumstances in which it
was committed entails no lenience to the criminal.
5. As far as diyat is concerned, though
it is an everlasting law which must be obeyed in all times,
yet its quantity, nature and other related affairs have been
left upon the customs and traditions of a society.
Consequently, no eternal quantity of diyat has been fixed by
Islam, nor has it instructed Muslims in any manner to
discriminate between a man or a woman, a free man or a slave
and a Muslim or a non-Muslim in this matter.
6. It is incorrect to conclude that Islam
discriminates between married and un-married men or women who
are guilty of fornication. Their punishments are essentially
the same. It is only in cases when fornication is compounded
by certain other elements, making the nature of the crime more
severe that certain other punishments are added to the
original form of punishment.
7. Islam does not require four
eye-witnesses in ordinary cases of fornication nor has it
fixed a number of witnesses to prove a crime. Only in two
cases has it prescribed a certain number. The first of them is
regarding prostitutes. In their case, if four witnesses
testify to their ill-ways, then this is enough to punish them.
The second case concerns accusing chaste and morally sound
women of fornication – about whom no one can even imagine that
they can commit such a crime. In their case, Islam wants four
eye-witnesses to even start the proceedings of a case. In this
regard, the purpose is the protection of reputation of a
chaste lady. Even if she has faltered, it should be kept
hidden from the society.
It may be noted here that the above
points relate to the shari‘ah regarding Islamic punishments.
Presented below are the views of the author which do not
belong to this shari‘ah but relate to the sphere under
1. As far as criminal evidence is
concerned, two things must be kept in consideration:
(i) Islam does not discriminate between a
man and a woman. In all criminal cases, it is left to the
discretion of the judge whether he accepts someone as a
witness or not. If a woman testifies in a clear and definite
manner, then her testimony cannot be turned down simply on the
basis that there is not another woman and man to testify
(ii) In all cases of Islamic law, a crime
legally stands proven not only by the testimony of the
witnesses or by the confession of the criminals themselves but
also by any additional or circumstantial evidence. Medical
examination, cameras, postmortem reports, finger prints and
other similar aids can also be used in proving a crime.
2. The punishment of apostasy was
specifically meant for the Idolaters of Arabia under a
specific law of the Almighty which applies only in the age of
His Messengers. According to this law, people who advocated
polytheism in spite of being convinced of its falsity were
punished by death by the Almighty Himself through His
Messengers. After the departure of the last of the Messengers,
this punishment has no bearing whatsoever upon any person or
3. Islam has not prescribed any
punishment for blasphemy per se. An Islamic state can enact
any law in this regard keeping in view the expediency of the
Muslims. However, death punishment cannot be administered to
those guilty of blasphemy unless this amounts to spreading
anarchy in the society.
4. The jail punishment was never a part
of the Islamic penal code. It is an inhuman punishment which
actually punishes the family of the criminal and should be
done away with.
Shari‘ah related to the Dietary Sphere:
1. Islam wants its believers to consume
only ritually pure food. However, it has not provided a
comprehensive list in this regard because human nature is
fully equipped to take a decision in this regard,
2. Islam has only guided believers in
this matter on four items because human nature and intellect
could have faltered in deciding about their prohibition or
allowance. These include: carrion, flowing blood, pork and
meat on which the name of God has not been taken while
slaughtering an animal.
3. The prohibition of consuming liquor is
innately found in human beings. A divine directive was not
even needed to prohibit it.
Shari‘ah of Islamic Customs and Etiquette:
The objective of all Islamic customs and
etiquette is to purify the human soul. They include:
1. Declaring Allah’s name before eating
and drinking and using the right hand for the purpose.
2. The ceremonial salutation
السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ (al-salamu
‘alaykum) and its response when people meet one another.
3. The ceremonial utterance
(al-hamdullilah: all gratitude is for Allah only) after
sneezing and its response by saying
يَرْحَمُكَ اللّٰہِ (yarhamukallah:
may Allah have mercy upon you) by those who hear it.
4. Clipping the moustache.
5. Shaving the pubes.
6. Removing hair from under the armpits.
7. Cutting nails.
8. Circumcising the male offspring.
9. Cleaning the nose, the mouth and the
10. Cleaning the body after urination and
11. Taking the ceremonial bath after the
menstrual cycle and the puerperal discharge.
12. Ceremonial bath after janabah.
13. Bathing a dead body, enshrouding it
in coffin cloth and its burial.
14. The festivals of ‘Id al-Fitr and