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A Solution to the Social and Legal Problems in our Society
Social Issues
Dr. Shehzad Saleem


The government should take the following steps to Islamise our society at the social and penal levels and to improve the existing situation in both these areas:


1.   All the institutions of the state should help establish a society in which people should be honoured and respected on the basis of their intellect and piety instead of their cast, creed, profession, social status and other similar criteria.

2.   The house should be regarded the centre of activities for women, and they should be granted the necessary facilities to maintain this priority even in indispensable social and economic needs.

3.   A husband should be accepted as the head of a family and he should always be granted the right to correct and admonish his wife which has been mentioned in the Qur’ān.

4.   The tradition of obeying parents and treating them kindly, which is still widely acclaimed in our society, should be promoted and patronised in all circumstances.

5.   Co-education should be completely abolished, and all women should be obligated to dress as honourable Muslim women do when they go out of their houses by wearing Jilbābs (large cloaks).

6.   The custom of dowry and marriage procession should be gradually eliminated, and the tradition established that if at all there is to be some expenditure upon wedding ceremonies, the bridegroom’s family must bear it.

7.   A restriction should be imposed on the people that if they intend to divorce their wives, they should do so according to the prescribed procedure mentioned in the Qur’ān by administering the divorce sentence once only. However, if someone who is ignorant of this procedure, or due to his own foolishness administers three divorce sentences in succession, he should be punished, and such a case should be decided in the manner the Prophet (sws) had done so with Rukānah ibn ‘abdi Yazīd.

8.   Polygamy should be made conditional upon some moral or social need only, and the general concept about it being permissible in the absolute sense should be discouraged.

9.   A complete end should be put to the injustices suffered by women, and they should be given all their divinely ordained rights in all affairs, specially in inheritance.

10. The daily routines of people should be organised in a manner that they gradually develop the habit of going to bed early at night and rising early in the morning so that the status occupied by the morning prayers and the morning Qur’ānic recital in our culture is restored with all its glory.

11. Our national language and dress should be popularised and given patronage and all national traditions should be firmly established in the society. The Arabic language should be given the same status as the English language is given in present times.

12. It should be accepted that music, photography, painting and other branches of fine arts are in no way forbidden in the absolute sense, but it is their nature and use which in some situations must be forbidden. As such, their prohibition is no eternal law of the sharī‘ah; however, in certain circumstances when they become a source of evil, a restriction can be imposed upon them by the government.

13. A complete stop should be put to the offences committed day in and day out by the mass media which include radio, television, film, newspapers and journals.

Their first offence is that instead of giving coverage to learned and accomplished women who have not only distinguished themselves in the fields of arts and science but also as scholars of Islam, they present women as objects of lewd entertainment. This lecherous display is in complete disregard to the injunctions of the Qur’ān which specifically enjoins all Muslim women to cover their heads and chests and to refrain from exhibiting themselves. Rather than setting examples of dignity and modesty they ‘sell’ their honour and integrity by furthering the shameless trends of a shameless culture.

Their second offence is that through their courtesy the stories of romance and intimacy which everywhere in the world had been confined to the subtleties of poetry and literature and whose recital and listening to was not disallowed in a specific age and situation even by the great Caliph ‘Umar (raa), have now invaded the everyday atmosphere of our homes. Such is the nature of this invasion, that the chastity in the relationship between a mother and son, father and daughter, brother and sister, upon which the poise and grace of a society so heavily depends, is becoming an episode of the past. Through the agency of our media a state has been reached in which our young men, like most women are seen perpetually involved in glamorising themselves with the latest flares of fashion. The older lot, may not be very enthusiastic about their clothes and appearance but show tremendous enthusiasm in shredding off any shame they might have originally had.

Their third offence is that they have promoted sports and other means of amusement to an unwholesome and unhealthy degree. Such is the nature of this patronisation that our younger generation regards actors and sportsmen as their ideals in life. While our scientists and technologists, scholars and thinkers do not even receive posthumous recognition for their achievements, these merry-makers are kept in the highest esteem. The bewitching manner in which they allure young minds by depicting the daily routines of these celebrities effectively diverts them from the higher objectives of life, after which they can no longer be expected to become scholars and thinkers, and indulge in other intellectual pursuits.

Their fourth offence is that specifically among them radio and television show complete disregard to the mandatory hours of worship in a day when nothing except prayers are permissible.


1.   All those criminals who take the law into their own hands, become a nuisance for the state, adopt immodesty and profligacy as a profession, become notorious for their ill ways and vulgarity, commit rape, become a threat to honourable people because of their immoral and dissolute practices, openly disgrace women due to their social status, cause destruction, are a source of terror and intimidation for the people, are guilty of killings, robbery, decoity and hijacking, or create a law and order situation for the government by committing other similar crimes should be severely dealt with. They should be administered the punishments of Taqtīl1 crucifixion, chopping off limbs on alternate sides, and exile which are specifically prescribed for such criminals in verses 33-34 of Sūrah Mā’idah.

2.   Other criminals who commit zinā (fornication), Qadhf (to falsely accuse chaste men or women of fornication), theft or are guilty of killing or wounding someone, but at the same time do not create a situation of law and order for the state, and do not take the law in their hands should be administered the prescribed punishments of stripes, chopping of hands, Qisās and Dī#yah.

3.   In the case of Dī#yah, it should be accepted and acclaimed that 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 Dī#yah has been fixed by Islam, nor has it obligated us 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.

4.   Likewise, in the case of apostasy also, it should be recognised that the prescribed death sentence was specifically meant for the Mushrikīn of Makkah i.e., the people towards whom the Prophet (sws) was directly assigned. It, now, has no bearing whatsoever upon any person or nation. Hence, today if a Muslim becomes an apostate and is also not a source of nuisance for the state, he cannot be administered any punishment merely on the basis of apostasy.

5.   The prevailing erroneous concept about the testimony of women must be revised. In cases of Hudūd, Ta‘zīrāt, Qisās, Dī#yah, Financial matters, Marriage and Divorce and indeed in all such matters, it should be left upon the discretion of the judge whether he accepts someone as a witness or not. In this regard, there must be no discrimination between a man or a woman. If a woman testifies in a clear and definite manner, her testimony cannot be turned down simply on the basis that there is not another woman and man to testify alongside her. Similarly, if a man records an ambiguous and vague statement, it cannot be accepted merely on the grounds that a man has testified. If a court is satisfied by the statement of the witnesses and by the circumstantial evidences, it has all the authority to pronounce a case as proven, and if it is not satisfied, it has all the authority to reject it even if ten men have testified.

6.   Similarly, it must be accepted that it is not necessary in cases of zinā that four witness can only testify if they have seen the convicted man or woman in position of the criminal act. According to the Qur’ān and Hadīth, this is only required when a case has been filed on the basis of an accusation and the accused are chaste, virtuous, and morally sound, and about whom no one can even imagine that they can commit such a crime.

7.   It should also be accepted that in all cases of Islamic law that 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 circumstantial evidence. Hence in cases of zinā, for example, medical examination, and in some other crimes the use of post mortem reports, finger prints and other similar aids, the extent of certitude obtained is no less than that obtained by the testimony of the witnesses or by the confession of a criminal himself.

8.   Apart from the crimes whose punishments have been mentioned in the Qur’ān, punishments in cases of other criminal offences should only be restricted to physical chastisement, exaction of fine, exile or house arresting a criminal. The inhuman punishment of confining a person behind bars should be completely abolished.



1. i.e., to kill someone in an exemplary manner. This includes stoning to death.


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