‘It must be recognized that in any culture the source of law is the God of the society’ -R.J RUSHDOONY
As India is a nation made up of various religious traditions, it follows the idea of personal laws that indicate distinct laws for different faiths. This paper mainly speaks of Al-Quran-based Muslim law that is believed to have existed from eternity by the Islamic society, subsisting in the very existence of God.
The Sharia prods humans to be the best they can be, showing concepts that need to be interpreted and reinterpreted over time to allow human development. It discusses the question as to whether the Quran is still valid as the primary source. This paper aims to examine the difference in the understanding and application of the Quran by Sharia in Muslim societies today.
In the present time, recurrent key topics such as the interpretation of the jihad from the Quran indicate that it is the need of the hour to examine the literal understanding of the Quran, and the aim of this research paper is to highlight the need for a nuanced reading of Islamic sources, whose varied interpretation influences most contemporary debates. This paper aims to set the basis for the volume by offering a summary of the primary source of Islam.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
- To probe into the evolution and understanding of the Quran.
- To attain a clear analysis on the Muslim law and the effects of the legislation.
- To compare the present interpretation of the Quran with the real intention of its conception.
- To debunk critical issues in relation to Muslim Law.
There exists wide range of attitudes and conflicts towards the application of Muslim law. The practices in the present time and the contents of the Quran are often inconsistent with each other. The reason for the research paper is to bring into light the accurate and literal meaning of implementation of practices in the Quran which are varied from what is being practiced.
- Are the practices under the Muslim law followed in modern day India consistent with the Quran?
- Whether there is a need for change in the Muslim Law?
The style of the paper used is descriptive and is exploratory. This paper depends on secondary data for analysis and literature review since there are only a few research studies carried out. When writing this research paper, a careful approach was adopted, as it was intended to make the reader clearly understand the meaning of the paper, so that this paper links the reader to the researcher.
Citation format: This research paper is cited with accordance with the bluebook 20th edition format.
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
- Mahmoud M. Ayoub in his article ‘The Quran in Muslim life and Practice’ based his research on the notion that the Quran was an inspiration to many people and comprehensive history was elaborate and mentioned in depth.
- Sami Al-Heeh in his article ”Interpretation of Quran in classical Arabic’ states that the various meanings of wordings in the pure original text tend to vary and are therefore interpreted differently, he also tried to interpret the laws accurately to some extent.
- Abdul Karim Abdullah in his article’ How traditional is traditional Islam’ seeks to ensure how authentic the texts of the Quran are in this modern age and also speaks about the dilution in laws over the years and formation of laws that have o origination in the Quran.
After Christianity, Islam is the second largest religion in the world, with around 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide. While its origins go back further, scholars generally date Islam’s development to the 7th century, making it the youngest of the world’s major religions. During the lifetime of the prophet Muhammad, Islam began in Mecca, in modern-day Saudi Arabia. The word ‘Islam’ means ‘submission to the will of God.’ In this paper the main focus is on the Quarnic source. The reason for the adoption of the detailed studied of the Quran is to come to a conclusion on the beliefs, principles, or any other ideas attributed to Islam since the Islamic religion is often criticized and debated.
The research paper attempts to define, along with the legal aspects taken into account, the meanings of the Quran. In order to understand if it is properly applied in India, this paper attempts to take a more practical and pragmatic approach to the concept of Shariat law.
THE ORIGIN/EVOLUTION OF THE QURAN
‘Quran is the word of Allah as revealed to Prophet Mohammad, transmitted to us through narrative chains known as ‘Tawator’ Quran (Arabic: ‘Ought to be read’) is Islam’s holiest scripture. The revelation of the Qur’an began in 610 AD, according to traditional Islamic belief, when Angel Gabriel (Jibril) appeared to the Prophet Muhammad in the Hira Mecca cave and continued to have revelations until his death in 632 CE for the remainder of his life, which is why it is said to be of divine origin. According to Islamic history, , Abu Bakr, first compiled the Qur’an into a book format. The Quran is divided into 114 chapters, such as units named ‘surahs,’ a term used throughout the Quran to designate unspecified revelatory passages and 6237 verses. The Quran is said to be unchangeable and unchallengeable. In its chapters and scriptures, the Quran includes a number of law-making clauses and moral prohibitions (ayat). In order to interpret these provisions, in accordance with its place in the sequence of revelations, its reference to other revelations, and its historical context in relation to the unique circumstances which existed at the time of the revelation in question.
THE APPLICATION OF THE QURAN
The Quran is the first and main source of Muslim rule. A variety of views have been shared by scholars about what they feel is the key to understanding the Quran. Some claim that in order to comprehend the Qur’an, one must know 15 distinct disciplines. Some claim that the most important thing for this reason is to know the occasions for the revelation of various verses. Others claim that through the Quran itself, the best way to interpret the Quran is.
THE MOHANEDAN LAW
India is a land in which many religions so different personal laws rule different religions in our country.
This law deals with marriage, succession, inheritance and charities among Muslims and Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939 for the Muslim women rights. The Qur’an is the principal source of Islamic law, the Sharia. It comprises the laws governing the Muslim world and provides the basis for the relationship between man and God. The Sharia includes the laws that structure and regulate a Muslim community, and provides the means to resolve disputes between individuals and between individuals and the state. A significant part of Muslim Personal Law is still uncodified and most of the legal decisions are pronounced by the courts based on the Quran and Hadith principles. Indian personal law, and especially Muslim personal law, has been a major political and controversial issue and have been widely debated. The debate assumed a central role after the 1986 Shah Bano Case and the enactment of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act thereafter, and majority identity politics gained traction, evident in the weakening of centrist secular parties.
PERSONS WHOM MUSLIM LAW IS APPLICABLE
A Muslim is said to be someone who believes in one god (Allah) and the prophet Muhammad before the court of law. Since the feelings of the person are difficult to ascertain, the Court has determined that a Muslim is
- By birth, Muslim
- Muslim by conversion under some constraints
PRESENT INTERPRETATIONS IN MUSLIM LAW
Among Muslims, there is no disagreement that the Qur’an is the cornerstone of the Sharia and that it is important to scrupulously follow its particular provisions. Different drawbacks exist in the absence of proper codified regulations in Muslim personal law. Let us beginning to talk about how the Quran is interpreted in societies today .It is generally known that there are many different false interpretations of the Quran which need to have clearer understanding and imbibing such as “A deeper analysis of the topic shows the law of divorce, which is remarkably logical, practical and modern.’
TRIPLE TALAQ AT ONE SITTING/ TALAQ-E-BIDDAT
As it is called, ‘Instant Triple talaq’ allows a husband to divorce his wife by repeating three times in any form, including email or text message, the term ‘talaq’ (divorce). This form of Talaq is typically practiced by the Muslim Sunni sect, but is not accepted by the Shia sect. Indeed, this form of divorce has caused a large number of Muslim women in India a lot of misery. What is worse is that it was in practice until the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 was made illegal on 1 August 2019, although it was disapproved by the prophet himself, in the words of Prophet Mohammad, ‘Of all the lawful stuff, divorce is the most hated by Allah.” The Quran does not mention it at all. Not only does the Quranic divorce involve two arbiters, one from the wife’s side and one from the husband’s side, but also two reliable divorce witnesses.
So the Qur’an says, and if you are afraid of an infringement between the two, name an arbiter from his people and an arbiter from his people. Allah will impact peace between them, if both desire agreement. Therefore, it is all quite clear from the above discussion that the Quran itself has set forth the correct divorce procedure.
Traditional Sunni and Shia Islamic marital jurisprudence allows Muslim men, up to four at any point in time, to be married to many women (a phenomenon known as polygyny and polygamy). Muslims in the nation are subject to the provisions of the 1937 Muslim Personal Law Application Act (Shariat). Muslims in India are in support of Muslim Personal Law, as interpreted by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, and Muslims are not rejected from practicing their faith. For Muslims, the validity of polygamy comes from Chapter 4 of the Quran. Its verses allow men to marry ‘two or three or four’ women, but it should be advised that both polygamy verses, i.e. 4:3 and 4:129, should be read together to understand the true intent of the Quran. ‘As in the first verse, 4:3 requires strict justice for all wives by warning that ‘if you are unable to do equal justice, then marries only one wife. In the second chapter, i.e. 4:129, it becomes apparent that, despite their best efforts, equal justice is humanly impossible. The period in which these verses were revealed is another factor to remember – the Battle of Uhud in which there were a lot of losses on the side of the Muslims as well as the Meccans and a lot of women were widowed and children were orphaned in order to protect the orphans and widows of such families. Men were known to take up to four wives to provide benefits.
Marry women of your choice, Two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one . . . to prevent you from doing injustice.
The idea of Jihad is frequently interpreted as something negative, but a detailed understanding of what it really entails offers a radically different perspective. The rise and progression of violent Jihad in contemporary times is influenced by radical religious interpretations of the Quran and the movement of Islamic revivalism. The Quran systematizes this use and through its commentary on revivalism applies it to other aspects of the Shari’a. ‘The word ‘jihad’ does not mean ‘to wage holy war,’ or ‘to destroy the infidel,’ or ‘to commit terrorism,’ contrary to what extremists and anti-Muslim figures say. The word ‘jihad’ means ‘to struggle.’ The prophet Muhammad said the best jihad was to speak words of truth ‘in front of a tyrannical leader,’ . Indeed, Islamic State terrorists and Islamophobes with an agenda are the only two groups that say ‘jihad = terrorism.’ They are both unaware of Islam and only serve each other. Three forms of jihad (struggles) are defined by the Quran, and zero of them mean or authorize terrorism. The following are:
- The jihad against yourself – stopping smoking, losing weight, beating cancer, acquiring a trade
- The jihad against Satan, known as the larger jihad. This is the jihad to teach through the Quran the word of God.
- Ultimately, the struggle against an exposed enemy is the third, or lesser, jihad. The Quran explicitly does not describe the government, people of another religion or your fellow citizens as a ‘open enemy” Instead, when five stringent conditions are met, the Quran requires Muslims to fight in this lesser jihad: self-defense; when they are being persecuted for their faith; have left their homes and moved to another country to maintain peace; are targeted to be killed for their faith; and to defend universal freedom of religion. In fact, the Quran 22:41 orders Muslims explicitly to participate in this lesser jihad to defend ‘Churches, Temples, and Mosques’ from violence. And even when fighting in self-defense in these strict situations, among other places, Quran 2:194 allows Muslims to immediately forgive if the attacker stops: ‘And fight them until there is no persecution’ And again, the Quran repeatedly condemns the creation of any kind of violent disorder or rebellion against any faith or government (7:57): and likewise, ‘defraud not people of their things and do not commit iniquity in the earth, causing disappointment (11:86).
LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
- The paper is descriptive and focused on secondary data and is therefore subject to the available literature for its reliability or trustworthiness in this regard.
- This research focuses on information from only one source that is the Quran and not all the other sources in unison.
- There are multiple differences between the Quran and Shariat law.
- The Quran has been largely misinterpreted by societies today.
- The Quran upholds the dignity and security of woman.
- The main focus of Muslim Law must be made from the Quran.
- Customs and traditions are not to be blindly followed without a meaningful reason for the same.
SUGGESTIONS AND CONCLUSION
My suggestions for the way forward would be:
- The differences between Shariat and the Quran have caused a great deal of hardship to the Muslim community and needs to be addressed swiftly.
- People need to change their elementary way of thinking and to look beyond practices and alternate their ideology in line with the Quran.
- There should be a structure set in place in order to impart knowledge of the pure texts of Quran and awareness should be extensive.
- There must be a uniform civil code of all personal laws for the betterment of society.
- There are many provisions in the laws that are laid down for the protection of woman which have not been made known to the aggrieved.
- Discussed above are only a few number of misinterpretations, a critical examination of the numerous inconsistencies should be looked into.
To conclude the misconception that prevails around the Quran is understandably complex but ultimately a responsible undertaking. The actual verses of the Quran must be interpreted in a best sense is the need of the hour. There are so many misinterpretations that are present in today’s world which must be rid of at the earliest.