Thoughts on the Miracle of Quranic Legal Principles
Thoughts on the Miracle of Quranic Legal Principles
Written by : Bandar Ahmed Alawlaqi
Translated and edited by: A.J. Kassem
The love and veneration that increasing numbers of Muslims have for the Quran is one of the most powerful forces in the world today. This article will discuss the miraculous nature of the legislative content of the Quran. Law in the Qur’an is just, easy, wholesome, and balanced. The following aspects of Quranic law are worth considering:
Justice in the Quran
The Qur’an imposes justice. It urges witnesses to give honest testimony, even against themselves or their parents and not to be unfairly biased towards anyone. In the court, there should be no difference between a governor and common people, black and white, and those with wealth and high social status and those without it.
Allah, the Most High, says, “O you who believe, stand up firmly for justice, as witnesses for Allah, even if it may be against yourselves, your parents, your kin, rich or poor. Allah is a better protector for all. So, don’t follow your desires lest you avoid justice. And, if you distort your testimony or refuse to give it then, verily, Allah is ever well-acquainted with what you do”. (4:135)
In the Quran, Allah even urges people to not be unjust against their adversaries or people that they dislike. He says, “O you who believe, stand up firmly for Allah as just witnesses, and let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just - That is closer to piety. And fear Allah, indeed, Allah is well-acquainted with what you do” (5:8)
The Quranic Principle of the Prohibition of Injustice and Oppression
Allah, the Most High, says, “And whoever among you oppresses others, We shall make him taste a great torment’’ (25:19)
“And those who do wrong will come to know by what their end is when they reach it’’ (26:227)
“So woe to those who oppress from the torment of a painful day’’ (43:65)
In the Qur’an, Allah forbids that a person be unjust to himself.
Allah says, “And whoever does evil or wrongs himself but afterwards seeks Allah’s Forgiveness, he will find Allah most forgiving and merciful’’ (4:110)
“Truly, Allah doesn’t oppress mankind at all, but mankind oppress themselves’’ (10:44)
Allah reveals in the Quran that He does not like injustice.
Allah, the Most High, says, “And Allah does not love the oppressors’’ (3:57)
“And your Lord treats no one with injustice’’(18:49)
“And Allah wills no injustice for His devotees” (40:31)
The principles and injunctions contained in the Qur’an assure people’s personal, religious, economic, and social security. Allah, the Most High, says in the Qur’an, “And do not kill yourselves (nor kill one another). Surely, Allah is Most Merciful to you” (4:29)
“And do not consume one another’s possessions unjustly” (2:188)
“There is no compulsion in religion” (2:256)
“And you (Mohammad) are not the one to force them to believe” (Qaf 45)
Certain verses of the Qur’an are focused on forbidding and abolishing the oppression of women. For example, Allah, the Most High, says, “And they (women) have rights (over their husbands) similar to those (of their husbands) over them, for all things good. (2:228)
Among the things that attract people to the Qur’an and make them love it, is its easiness in understanding and practice.
Allah, the Most High said in the Qur’an, “And We have indeed made the Qur’an easy to understand and remember, so is there anyone who will receive admonition?” (54:17)
“Allah does not want to place you in difficulty, but He does want to purify you and to complete His favor upon you that you may be thankful” (5:6)
“Allah does not burden a person beyond his capability” (2:286)
From the aspects of the ease of the Quranic law is the license for a Muslim to be excused from certain obligations when he or she is faced with sufficient hardship in doing so, summarized in the verse, “Allah wants ease for you, and He does not want difficulty for you” (2:185)
For example, a Muslim should stand to accomplish the prayer but if he cannot stand, he can pray while sitting or on his side. When he travels, he may shorten his prayers and combine them to offset the difficulties of his travels. He may break his fast if he travels during Ramadan and make the days up after he arrives
Allah, out of His mercy, will not punish a person when he or she makes a mistake, forgets, or when he is forced to commit a sin or forgo an obligation. He instructs people to pray to Him, “Our Lord, do not punish if we forget or fall into error”. (2:286)
Quranic prohibitions are for peoples’ benefit, even if they do not immediately understand how.
Examples of prohibitions in the Quran are those of things such as wine, pork, and adultery. These prohibitioins are for the mankind’s own benefit and not to make things unnecessarily difficult for them.
For example, the Qur’an forbids wine, which, in excess, damages the mind and body and causes harm to others.
The Qur’an forbids pig’s meat, which modern science has proven to be harmful. The pig body contains a great percentage of uric acid. Since it excretes only 2% of this acid through the urine, the rest stays inside the meat. Consequently, people who eat pork habitually suffer from joint pain in the forms of arthritis and rheumatism. Pork is also full of dangerous parasites like tapeworm which are not eliminated by cooking. These worms cause dangerous illnesses in the area where they are located. They can cause madness or paralysis, blindness and heart attacks. by affecting the brain.
The Quran contains moral, ethical, and social injunctions, the goodness of which none can deny. In it, there is much guidance urging people to be gracious, behave well and help each other. The rich help the poor and allot a fixed percentage of their income for them called zakat. Parents have a right on their older children to care for and respect them. Neighbors have the right to be treated well. Relatives have the right to be visited and spent upon, when in need. Even prisoners of war should be treated well and well-fed. Consider the following verses from the 17th chapter of the Quran:
“And Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him and that you be dutiful to your parents. If one or both of them attain old age during your lifetime, do not say a word of disrespect to them, nor shout at them. Rather, address them with honorable speech. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility with mercy and say, ‘My Lord, bestow on them Your mercy as they did when they raised me when I was young. Your Lord knows best what is in your inner-selves. If you are righteous then, verily, He is always forgiving to those who constantly turn to Him in obedience and repentance. And give to the kinsman his due and to the poor and to the wayfarer. And do not spend wastefully in the manner of a spendthrift. Indeed, the spendthrifts are brothers of the devils, and the Satan is ever ungrateful to his Lord. And if you turn away from (helping) them (because you do not have the means to do so) while awaiting mercy from Your Lord for which you hope, then speak to them in a gentle manner. And do not let not your hand be tied to your neck (in stinginess), nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach (like a spendthrift) so that you become blameworthy and in severe poverty. Truly, your Lord increases provisions for whom He wills and reduces (them for whom He wills). Verily, He is all-knowing, all-seeing of His slaves. And do not kill your children for fear of poverty. We shall provide for them as well as for you. Surely, the killing of them is a great sin. And do not approach unlawful sex. Verily, it is an abomination and an evil way. And do not kill anyone whose killing Allah has forbidden, except for a just cause. And whoever is killed wrongfully, We have given his heir the authority (to demand retribution, forgive, or accept blood money). But let him not exceed the limits in the matter of taking life (i.e. He should not kill except the killer). Verily, he is aided (in his desire for justice). And do not tamper with an orphan’s property except to improve it, until he attains the age of maturity. And fulfill the covenant. Verily, the covenant will be asked about (on the day of judgement). And give full measure when you measure (products to sell), and weigh with a balance that is fair. That is good and better in the end. And do not say that of which you have no knowledge. Verily, the (faculties of) hearing, sight, and the heart, all of those will be asked about. And do not walk on the earth with conceit and arrogance. Verily, you can neither completely penetrate the earth, nor can you attain the stature of the mountains in height. All of these (above mentioned things) are hateful to your Lord. This is from the wisdom that your Lord has revealed to you. And do not associate anything with Allah (in worship), lest you should be thrown into Hell, blameworthy and rejected”. (17:23-39)
Balance is a main characteristic of Quranic injunctions and a reason that anyone can implement its teachings in their life. Devotees are instructed to balance between giving charity and saving money, performing acts of worship for the Creator, and striving to achieve the best in this world, both materially and creatively, while remembering that this life is temporary and we will all be called to account for how we used to live.
Allah, the Most High, says “But seek from Allah (goodness in) the home of the Hereafter, and do not forget your share of this world. And do good as Allah has done for you. (28:77)
The Qur’an urges people to care for their bodies in a wholesome way by providing them with food, sleep, shelter, medicine, and conjugal relations. At the same time, the Qur’an gives importance to the soul by urging people to contemplate the world and think about who has created their souls. They are encouraged to behave well and be truthful, just, moderate, friendly, in touch with relatives, loyal, and generous. The orders of the Qur’an also open the doors of the repentance to everyone who is alive. When a person implements these directives and changes the way that he or she lives life, that person will feel peace and comfort with the good that they have done.
Qur’anic legislation is miraculous in its penal code and its effect of minimizing criminal behavior for the greater good of society. Increasing crime rates in nations which don’t adopt severe policies against criminals convicted of serious crimes are evidence that a preference to treat these criminals mercifully rather than assure peace to the whole society is not a manifestation of true justice. On the other hand, it is from the balanced Islamic approach that the evidence presented by the prosecution for serious offenses associated with capital punishment is subject to extremely rigorous standards before any conviction can be made.
Allah, the Most High, says “If anyone kills a person not in retaliation of murder or (in order to) to spread mischief in the land, it would be as if he killed all mankind” (5:32)
The principles found in Quranic injunctions lead societies towards a more natural balance of wealth. Some systems are so extreme that they deprive hard-working and wealthy people from their money, which encourages them to use illegal means to retain their status. On the contrary, some other systems deprive the needy and poor from their rights to benefit from the resources of society, which encourages them to use illegal means attain their share. Quranic law is moderate; it guarantees financial security to the wealthy to the rich so that they will not transgress as well as alms and social services for the poor so that they will not steal.
Allah, the Most High, says, “Thus We have made you a balanced nation.” (2:143)
The good characteristics of the legal rules in Islam are based on a Book which all the Muslims’ hearts agree to adopt it as a constitution for life. It should be accepted by the old and the young, males and females, by the ruler and ruled. This is because it is the speech of the Lord of all the worlds who created mankind and knows what is best for them, even if the reasons why are not immediately apparent. It is a guidance for people to worship Allah alone and live their lives in the best ways.
Allah, the Most High, says, “O mankind, verily there has come to you the Messenger with the truth from your Lord. So, believe in Him, it is better for you. But, if you disbelieve, then certainly to Allah belongs all that is in the Heavens and the earth. And Allah is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise’’ (4:170)
Quranic law is divine in nature, with fixed principles to protect the rights of all. Quranic law should be the basis for the drafting of laws in Muslim countries. Religious, legal, economic, and political scholars should have the responsibility of striving for correct interpretations and applications.