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18 January, 2006

A disgusting verdict

Here is a disgusting example of the sort of stone-age legal proceedings that shame this country in the eyes of the world:

ABU DHABI — The Criminal Court of Fujairah sentenced a man and a woman, both Pakistanis, to one year in jail, followed by 40 lashes each, on charges of marrying illegally.

S. Shah and O. Khan got married in the UAE without getting the permission from the woman's father as required under Islamic Shariah. The couple now have a five-year-old child.


What a stupid, disgusting and pointless verdict. What purpose does it serve to flog a husband and wife and take them away from their tiny child for a year, just because some woman's vile father decided to think with his penis rather than his heart?

Islamic scholars could surely find many texts and interpretations of law to support the fact that despite the circumstances of wedlock, this couple does now have a valid marriage. Surely the most important thing is reconciliation with the woman's parents, not tearing a young family apart? But no: the emirate of Fujairah has to take the most backward, un-merciful interpretation of the law it can, ruining three people's lives and embarassing the entire UAE.

Labels: ,

65 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Disgusting it maybe, but I believe that Fujairah follows the Sharia Islamic law and if thats how the punishment is for such an "offence" in that Emirate as per Sharia law, not much can be said or done against it. It is a sad case though.

http://gulf-law.com/uaecolaw_legalsystem.html

18 January, 2006 10:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I could say some nasty stuff.
But I wont as your site could get blocked.


We all know what it is and what is truly to blame here.

18 January, 2006 11:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SD:

As per Islamic law, the marriage is void if the girl's guardian (which is her father, and in the absence of her father, her brother and so on...) does not give permission.

I will concur with you that the Fujairah court took a harsher approacher than the reconciliatory approach, but the fact is that Islamic law also had a good solution for the couple: In the event that the father of a girl is not letting his daughter marry a guy of her choice, the couple have the full right to take their case to the court where the court then acts as the guardian and steps in to convince the father of the girl and approves the marriage. Let me also state that the court/judge can be the de facto guardian if the father of the girl is denying the marriage on flimsy/unislamic reasons.

The couple didn't utilize this option (I guess it could have been due to their ignorance of this law - most Muslims, including myself, dont know much about Islamic law) and hence shot themselves in their own feet. But, I do hope and pray they can reach to a solution for the goodness of all parties involved.

18 January, 2006 11:54  
Anonymous fukruddin the first said...

Unfortunately the judge should not have been a frikkin caveman about it. Im sure he just grunted and scratched his left buttock before making his ruling, after which he went out for a few beers with his buddies in the desert. So many dickheads deciding some anal rulings, that are neither in the best interest of Islam, UAE or humanity.

knobs all of them

18 January, 2006 12:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon..

You are completely wrong!

Islam does allow a girl to marry a man of her choice even if her guardian does NOT approve it! Altough in isalmic socities it is "prefered" that both girl and boy gets a formal approval from their guardians

On the top of it if both girl and boy has married legally and according to islamic way...there is NO ONE on earth who can declare their marrige illegal!

Please do not mix local culture with islamic laws.

18 January, 2006 12:10  
Anonymous grant thornton said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

18 January, 2006 12:25  
Blogger A Yahya said...

Well this is a news flash. Shariah law being trully applied in the Middle East?

Sharia can only be trully applied in an Islamic country. The UAE is a Muslim country but it is NOT an Islamic Country thus any application of the sharia can only be considered arbitrary and can never be viewed as legitmate or correctly applicable but only hypocritical.

This is the reason why perfectly normal and correct rules that have been layed down in Sharia suddenly seem so out of place in a western country or 'non-islamic' country.

18 January, 2006 12:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nomaadic,

Each emirate chooses if it wants to follow Sharia law or not. Fujairah follows Sharia from what I gather. Check the link in the first comment.

18 January, 2006 13:02  
Blogger John B. Chilton said...

I am reminded:
Life 'was good' under Taliban

18 January, 2006 13:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Here is a disgusting example of the sort of stone-age legal proceedings that shame this country in the eyes of the world"

SD - I think you greatly overestimate how much the "eyes of the world" see or care about the UAE.

18 January, 2006 13:39  
Anonymous Al-Republican said...

OK, I have had it, I am going to keep a damned identity now as it gets way too confusing! FYI, I am anon @ 18 January, 2006 11:54.

So someone responded back saying that in Islamic law the girl has the right to marry a guy of her choice against her parents' wishes. Could you kindly provide us with evidence for this claim of yours, sir/madam? All the 4 major Sunni schools of Jurisprudence + The Jurisprudic school of the shi'ah + the Salafi (some of you might know them as Wahhabi) agree that the girl NEEDS the permission of her guardian ("wali" in Arabic) without which the marriage is void! There is nothing cultural about this; in fact, in the pre-Islam era, women of Arabia could marry whomever they wanted (without guardians consent), as many men at once as they wanted and even for a night or 3 nights.

This is one of the many things that all Islamic schools of thought agree on (women requiring the permission of their wali)! I would like to see your evidence for saying that a girl is allowed to marry a man of her choice without her wali's consent.

Cheers!

18 January, 2006 13:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To all those claiming Fujairah follows Shariah, why is it that we always heard of such punishments meted out only to Sub-Cons and Indonesians?

Are we supposed to believe no other nationality commits any crime?

18 January, 2006 14:22  
Blogger secretdubai said...

This is one interpretation of Sharia law, and frankly it is a misinterpretation.

Hanabi and Shia schools both allow for marriages to take place without guardian consent, in certain circumstances.

There is nothing wrong with Sharia law. It is the application of the law that is at fault here.

18 January, 2006 15:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

assalaam alaikum al-republican,

is the necessity of the wali only an 'opinion' by the scholars?

As far as I am concerned, there is no metioning of it in the Qur'an, so I believe it is only a matter of Jurisprudence, not the same as God's law. Neither do I know of any circumstance when the Prophet (saws) determined such ruling.

Now, if one chooses to follow a scholar's interpretation that's fine with me... but making it equal to what has been directly prescribed by God and even determining a punishment for it, that seems an exageration.

Please, clarify to me where in the primary sources does it say that if a woman marries without her father's authorization she should be punished.

Thanks,

18 January, 2006 15:16  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Anon@15:16 - it is wisdom like yours that restores my faith in humanity.

Thank you very much for your comment.

18 January, 2006 15:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon@14.22

You are partially incorrect there, the law is the same for nationals, expats and whoever else in the middle and once in a while you do hear of even nationals being given such harsh sentences etc. However, the stories that come out in public are mostly of subcons or nationals of third world countries, I agree.

Beats me as to why this is so, but I can assume and guess a bit.

18 January, 2006 16:26  
Anonymous al-republican said...

Dear Anon @ 18 January, 2006 15:16

wa alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah

Firstly, let me clarify to SD and others that I have categorically stated in my very first posting on this topic that a woman can get married to a man of her choice if her father does not grant permission. However, I also mentioned how the qadi (judge) can become the de facto wali of the girl if the father of the girl is objecting on flimsy reasons, which have no Islamic standing (for example objections about the race of the male, which counts for nothing).

Secondly, prescribing of punishment doesn't come exclusively from the Qur'an; many punishments are prescribed either through the Sunnah/teachings of the Prophet (SAW) or by the qadi/judge. For example, the Qur'an does not prescribe a punishment for the consumption of alcohol, but it is known that all of the Khulafa-ar-Rashideen (the four rightly guided Caliphs) prescribed punishments for this vice (to varying degrees - under Umar ibn al-Khattab, it was flogging 80 times and under Ali ibn Abi Talib it was 40).

As for your query whether the permission of the wali of the girl is a necessity or a scholarly opinion, I will try to hit my books and condense it in a nutshell and post it up here (with references, in sha Allah).

Note: Please also read from my very first posting that the couple could have appealed to the courts to intercede in their matter and this is exactly what SD is referring to. SD, I don't know which school of thought "Hanabi" is? You either meant Hanafi or Hanbali. Even when the girl is allowed to marry without her father's consent, it is the COURT that acts as the guardian of the girl as the father of the girl is commiting "zulm" (oppression, unfairness) by making a non-issue an issue for his daughter's marriage.

I will add another post as soon as I consult some friends and some books by tomorrow morning.

18 January, 2006 16:32  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Hanafi, sorry. My typo. And thanks greatly for your input.

18 January, 2006 16:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

al republican,

You have done your faith(which of course, I assume to be Islam!) and its followers PROUD..hats off to you for all that comprehensive info, which I myself didnt know too well...may the tribe doing such nice deeds like yours increase!!

Online salute for al-republican!

18 January, 2006 16:46  
Blogger Alf said...

Well, what can I say? There was a time when I would be proud and claim I was from UAE (Though I am of Indian citizenship, being brought up here made me feel this was home - am sure the nationals would stab me in a nightclub for this).

I now wish I was the same ignorant kid. Sadly, I am not and suddenly it saddens me that this is the country I wanted to call home.

18 January, 2006 17:14  
Anonymous Destitute Rebel said...

Way to go secret dubai, you are on a roll. Lets just hope Etisalat can digest your critisism and does not block you .

18 January, 2006 17:18  
Blogger Balushi said...

*Post Deleted.

18 January, 2006 17:51  
Anonymous balushi's nemesis said...

balushi is from fujairah

18 January, 2006 18:03  
Anonymous mohamed Elzubeir said...

I have quite a few issues to take up with Shari'a law and its proponents, but for the most part, if someone wants it, they can have it. That's why I wouldn't set foot in Sharjah or Fujairah for that matter.

Having said that, Shari'a law is supposed to be based on compassion and not punishment. Despite the seemingly barbaric nature of punishments (floggings, amputations, etc.), they are not lightly to be handed out. A case of an 'illegally' married couple with a 5 year old kid should never, in ANY situation, result in a jail term.

If they were to punish those two, who at least bothered to get married, it would be more reasonable to maintain a financial and/or physical (flogging, etc.). A jail term will not make anyone's life better. Rather stupid actually.

So, let's review this here; Sharjah police are incompetent, Fujairah judges are haters and Dubai courts are filling up with lawsuits against entertainers.

Super!

18 January, 2006 18:17  
Blogger Balushi said...

Deleter, All i know is that you real life experience=Zero all you do is sat infront of pc!

18 January, 2006 18:37  
Anonymous fs said...

Yes, it is permissible to get married without your family’s permission if you are mature, free, sane and happily consent to the marriage. (Hidaaya pg.313)

http://www.askimam.org/fatwa/fatwa.php?askid=e2fad4f78b23049b81432da3bc18496f

http://www.askimam.org/fatwa/fatwa.php?askid=ff84396d2241e3c221b41a8800d1b864

18 January, 2006 19:07  
Anonymous balushi's nemesis said...

balushi goes to sharjah on holiday, but prefers fujeirah

18 January, 2006 19:21  
Blogger Balushi said...

marvel vs nemesis, how is Dhaka treating you?

18 January, 2006 19:21  
Blogger Tim Newman said...

Yes, it is permissible to get married without your family’s permission if you are mature, free, sane and happily consent to the marriage.

Mature, free, and happily consent to the marriage? This rules out most men, then.

18 January, 2006 19:26  
Anonymous ss said...

balushi why don't you get your own blog and put stuff you think everyone wants to read on it rather than spamming?

18 January, 2006 19:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SS he probably doesnt know how too

18 January, 2006 20:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong with Sharia law???????????

I disagree Secret. It is achaic and has no place in a civilsed society.

18 January, 2006 21:05  
Blogger kaya said...

Whoa Folks! You are all getting your collective knickers in a twist about a story that was printed "WHERE"?"
Excuse me, but the Khaleej Times tends to get the facts right; about as often as I have won the Postcard Millionaire.

But to give the issue its response.

HOW DOES ONE MARRY ILLEGALLY?
Does one assume that all of a sudden these people have gone so innocent of all rules and regulations that greet us at every step of the way in our lives here.
When to sponsor your spouse even with a court document from back home one needs to get it attested by 10 places before one can actually begin any process.
If they married illegally, then the marriage is null and void. Therefore the child is illegitimate and they are comitting adultery.
What proof do they have of this marriage?
Getting the local MAULVI to read duas from Quran does not constitute a marriage.

Too often we see in INDIAN movies (HINDU RELIGION) that smearing any thing red or exchanging garlands or wearing a mangalsutra(ceremonial wedding beads)constitutes a wedding.
But that does not make it legal.Not untill it is registered in a REGISTER is it considered legal.
Even back home in today's day and age it is not only the local MAULVI reading the rites, there is a QADI present with a legal document and things like witnesses, MEHAR, etc are all part of this ceremony.
The father of the girl may have a reason for raising an issue regarding the legality of this wedding. Information which we are not privy too unfortunately.

Fine, I agree that the solution may not be the most acceptable in terms of there being the minor, but
as the situation stands the groom in question may be an issue (ie one wife already in Pakistan; wanting to marry again; not providing wife/child with support; abusing his wife) that may have prompted the father to take such drastic measures.
Unless he has been in a coma these last 5 years and just woken up to the grandchild and the marriage.

18 January, 2006 21:07  
Blogger secretdubai said...

I disagree Secret. It is achaic and has no place in a civilsed society.

I disagree. Firstly, the legal systems in many Western countries originally derived from Biblical law. It worked for centuries, and with adaptation, the general principles of Thou Shalt Not Steal, Thou Shalt Not Murder still do us very well. One might argue they are "universal morals" - but so is much of sharia.

What most western legal systems have removed is a lot of the laws pertaining to personal moral choices - such as cohabition, homosexuality, and so forth. These are areas which I expect we will see changing as Muslim countries increasingly internationalise. It does not mean people become suddenly immoral: it means that they, rather than the state, become responsible for their own personal morality. If the only deterrent to someone committing a questionable act is the fear of prosecution, that is not exactly a positive moral choice in the first place.

Sharia is a remarkably holistic system, in the way that it can be applied to business as well. Sharia compliant funds, for example, are being chosen by non-muslim investors seeking more ethical vehicles for their money.

18 January, 2006 21:19  
Blogger karachidude said...

to anon @ 21:05

If you are not a Muslim, then you have no right to comment on other peoples religion as the Sharia is a Part of Islam.


now lets get down to business

The is to the guy with shit for brains. yes ladies and gentlemen i am talking about none other than "al-republican".

I am a Pakistani. The two people convicted of this "crime" are also Pakistanis. It is obvious from their names that they are from NWFP ( a provimce of pakistan).

Some people in this region sell their daughters to their suitors. Tell me O' wise al-republican would you sell your daughter??

The father was only pissed because his daughter married without his concent, so he did not recieve a handsome payoff and his name was dirt in his family.

The woman can marry any man of her choice if

1. She is of legal age.
2. The Man Is Muslim.

Islam is a religion of choice. It entitles the woman to marry the woman of her choice and not the one of her brothers and her fathers choice. Get your facts straight.

And I would dearly like to ask al-republican if he is a Muslim? and if which country is he from? because if is from middle east is is hopeless to argue with him as most of them treat their wives and sisters like shit. This is a fact.

18 January, 2006 21:32  
Blogger the shadow said...

So what happens in the event that the guardian is a complete idiot?

And from where exactly does the need to "guard" the woman come from?

It should perhaps be the women guarding the men since the women, judging by their intelligence as measured in the local universities, are significantly superior in this area.

18 January, 2006 21:49  
Blogger Balushi said...

what will happen if i marry an american women and her father will not agree?

18 January, 2006 22:26  
Blogger kaya said...

@ Karachidude
My man you need to get your facts straight.
I at the age of 23, working and independant could not marry my husband,(in Oman) in the courts without my brother's permission. (In the absence of my father, techincally my guardian- as he had passed away). That made my brother my legal guardian according to the Shariah courts, despite the fact that I was neither on his visa or financially dependant on him.
It maybe that the couple in question are from NWFP, however 5 years if not more have lapsed since the supposed marriage. So we are not talking about the price of his virgin daughter.
You try marrying a muslim girl without her guardian's consent. No court will entertain you unless you find some desi maulvi to read ur nikkah, in which case as far as the law goes its null and void.

al-repulican is right. These are the laws as laid down by the shariah courts.
Theree is more to this than meets the eye.

18 January, 2006 22:48  
Anonymous Hajduk said...

The woman can marry any man of her choice if
1. She is of legal age.
2. The Man Is Muslim.



Since we are on the subject of marriage laws, could our legal consultant clarify whether it is the fact that under Shari'a muslim men may marry non-muslims but women may not? It seems to embody two double standards - between men and women and between muslims and non-musims.

Regardless of what the technical legalities of Islamic marriage are, what is at issue in the Fujairah case is the administration of justice.

Presumably, the point of the proscription of a woman's marriage without her Guardian's consent is to protect her interests, not the Father's. Five years late, it is hard to see how the spirit of that principal is being met. One does not atone for one breach of the law by enforcing a greater crime against a five year old child.

18 January, 2006 23:10  
Blogger secretdubai said...

No court will entertain you unless you find some desi maulvi to read ur nikkah

Let's not forget the late-fiftysomething Jumeirah Jane, who when telling the court that her father was dead, and she had no uncles or brothers, was expected to produce a grandfather.

19 January, 2006 00:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree. Firstly, the legal systems in many Western countries originally derived from Biblical law. It worked for centuries, and with adaptation, the general principles of Thou Shalt Not Steal, Thou Shalt Not Murder still do us very well.

"Adaptation" is very difficult in Sharia. It is Bid'ah (innovation) and is proscribed by a Hadith.

What most western legal systems have removed is a lot of the laws pertaining to personal moral choices - such as cohabition, homosexuality, and so forth. These are areas which I expect we will see changing as Muslim countries increasingly internationalise.

These things are haram. Sharia can never accept them. What you do not understand is that, unlike Western legal codes, Sharia is Islam and Islam is Sharia. Sharia cannot allow that which is forbidden by Islam. If it did, it would not be Sharia. There is no "Render unto Ceasar the things that are Ceasar's and render unto God the things that are God's" in Islam. In Islam and Sharia, everything is God's.

19 January, 2006 03:49  
Blogger Tim Newman said...

Firstly, the legal systems in many Western countries originally derived from Biblical law. It worked for centuries, and with adaptation, the general principles of Thou Shalt Not Steal, Thou Shalt Not Murder still do us very well. One might argue they are "universal morals" - but so is much of sharia.

This is all true, but in the case of English Law, to name but one example, the system underwent several massive overhauls from the biblical law, in particular the introduction of the Magna Carter, and later the institutionlisation of Common Law by Henry II which severely curbed the power of the church.

English Law underwent an enormous number of changes from the original Biblical Law with its trial by ordeal methods of dispensing justice, and is completely unrecognisable from what it started out as.

19 January, 2006 08:40  
Anonymous mohamed Elzubeir said...

Anon @ 19 January, 2006 03:49

You are both right and wrong. Yes, you cannot call an adapatation from Sharia the same thing as Shari'a. For example, most countries in the Arab world use a combination of English law and Shari'a laws.

However, Islam, the Quran and Hadith are all open to interpretation. The problem we are having here today, with Islam as a religion, is that the Quran interpretations have not been updated for way too long. It no longer is applicable to today's environment.

Shari'a law is also based on a combination of Quran, Hadith andIjtihad from the Islamic scholars. In other words, Quran is but a part of it. Hadith is.. well, open to debate -- did it happen? did it not? Who's to say the person telling the story is telling the truth? Did Abu Huraira REALLY memorize that much stuff? Look, I'm not saying anyone has done anything, I am simply saying that people can debate it. As for Ijtihad, well.. for non Arabic speaking folks, that can roughly be translated to 'effort'. Meaning, a scholar may consider a new case, look at what has come before, other laws that are similar and come up with something that follows the spirit of laws. That's where you come up with Fatwa's.

I would say that the current story here is a direct result of the backwardness of the interpretations and fatwa's that we have today. Especially that the Quran makes no mention of either (guardian or no guardian) -- up to my knowledge, please correct me if I am wrong. But when you have incompetent backward-thinking idiotic religious men coming up with Fatwa's like it's some kind of competition of who will come up with the more absurd version.. you have a problem.

19 January, 2006 09:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

secret,
you don't really respect shariah, you just feel like you have to say you do. what you agree with are areas where it's in line with "natural law". you don't like the areas where it diverges from those norms. anyway, you is a woman, so you're opinion doesn't count as much as mine.
see?

19 January, 2006 10:01  
Anonymous al-republican said...

This thread has digressed into petty mud slinging and gone off-track… Sorry for breathing! Some of the issues raised here are as follows:

1- Mohammad El-Zubair raising his reservations about prescription of punishments such as jail terms under the Sharee'ah.

2- FS quoting askimam.org on the permissibility of marrying without the parents consent.

3- Anon @ 18 January, 2006 21:05 questioning the raison d'etre of adhering to an "archaic" set of laws.

4- A very valid question on the concept of guardianship in Islam (brought up by "the shadow").

However, for this particular discussion, I think only FS merits a response as all other points would need their own respective threads. I will try to do this in another posting.

Here are a few ahadith I found regarding the obligation of having a wali from the woman's side:

The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) said: “A marriage (contract) is not valid without a wali.” (Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, and others – verified to be authentic by al-Albaani)

“Whichever woman marries without her wali’s permission, her marriage is void, her marriage is void, her marriage is void! If he (i.e. the husband) performs intercourse with her, the mahr (dowry) becomes her right because he had access to her private parts. And if they dispute, the ruler would then be the wali of the one who does not have a wali.” (Ahmad and Abu Dawud – verified to be authentic by al-Albaani)


Let me just add that Islamic Law consists of both the Qur'an and the Sunnah(teachings of the Prophet). The Qur'an does not necessarily give details, whereas the Sunnah compliments the Qur'an by giving the details of the Qur'anic injunctions. For example, the Qur'an speaks repeatedly about praying, but it does not give the details of how many times a day or exactly how to pray. It is the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW) that gives details as to the times of prayers and its modus operandi.

Similarly the Qur'an talks of men being the protectors/guardians of women without giving details. Every Muslim worth his penny knows the famous injunction of the Qur'an that reads:

Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. (Quran 4:34)

The Sunnah further enunciates who the wali of the woman can or cannot be and puts the above verse in perspective by giving its scope. I hope this will help us all in understanding the Islamic Law on marriage better!

Finally, to Karachidude: if you still haven't been able to guess (if it needed any guessing in the first place!) as to what my religion is then that speaks volumes of your intellect. As for my nationality, does it really matter? But, if you are so bothered about my origin then I happen to hail from Karachi, too, and not only that, but I serve in the Pakistan Armed Forces as a Senior Engineer. I hope that will whet your appetite.

19 January, 2006 10:13  
Blogger Tim Newman said...

Whichever woman marries without her wali’s permission, her marriage is void, her marriage is void, her marriage is void! If he (i.e. the husband) performs intercourse with her, the mahr (dowry) becomes her right because he had access to her private parts. And if they dispute, the ruler would then be the wali of the one who does not have a wali.

A translation for Brits:

If a woman decides to marry of her own accord, she can't. She's kidding herself. In case she didn't get the point the first time, I'll repeat it. However, if they have already had sex, she is entitled to some cash. If they have an argument over whether they are married or not, or how much cash she is entitled to, the chap who has the final say is the one whose permission should have been sought in the first place.

Clear?

19 January, 2006 10:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps if Muslims followed the true word of God i.e the Koran and not other'practices'' based on a legacy of 1400 years the Islamic world would be a better and more respected place

19 January, 2006 11:05  
Anonymous mohamed Elzubeir said...

tim newman, that translation was priceless ;) Of course some may take offense to it, but it is very true.

al-republican, I don't have the wealth of knowledge you seem to demonstrate here, but my teachings of Islam (mostly from Saudi, no less) tell me that there is no way in hell it would be acceptable to put two parents in jail when they have a 5 year old kid, be it out of wedlock or not.

Let me put it differently, would Mohammed the prophet have done the same?

That's what I thought.

19 January, 2006 11:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

However, Islam, the Quran and Hadith are all open to interpretation. The problem we are having here today, with Islam as a religion, is that the Quran interpretations have not been updated for way too long.

Yes. This is my point. You can say that Islam needs to adapt to the modern world, if you wish. But many such adaptations would be Bid'ah. In any case, Sharia has not changed precisely because Bid'ah is forbidden.

But, once again, Sharia can never embrace that which is Haram. If it did it would no longer be Sharia. Therefore, SD's hopes that Sharia will evolve as did Western legal codes will come to nothing. Countries may abandon Sharia but they cannot change it. Indeed, Sharia cannot change unless Islam itself changes and that truly be innovation!

19 January, 2006 11:16  
Anonymous al-republican said...

Mohammad ElZubeir:

"Jail terms" are not part of divine text although there is nothing revealed to forbid it altogether either (just like there is no revealed text to forbid the use of cell. phones!). I do agree with you that jailing the couple was not the best option. It is the presiding judge who decides on the final punishment and he somehow thought 1 year jail term to be appropriate (it might be a UAE law?).

Anon @ 19 January, 2006 11:16 is very right in saying that the Sharee'ah CANNOT change (although some of the punishments/laws can be held in abeyance). The reason for this is that the Quran's text cannot be manipulated and/or fabricated/deleted (unlike the previous divine texts). Allah (SWT) Himself has taken the matter of guarding the text of the Qur'an. So if there is a verse that talks about flogging the adulterers (the beginning verses of surah nur) then there is absolutely no way that verse can be deleted from the Quran or the Sharee'ah - simply because the text of the Quran is preserved by God Himself. It will be preserved in its language of revelation and there cannot and HAS NOT been any change in even the voweling since its revelation 1400+ years ago.

This is one of the miracles of the Qur'an (that it will stay preserved). Other Divine texts such and the Bible (which the Muslim respect and believe in) are not preserved and the original text (in the language of revelation) have been long lost. So to expect the Sharee'ah to evolve is not going to happen. What can happen (and is happening) is that most Muslim countries have abandoned Islamic Law and have started legislating man-made laws.

19 January, 2006 12:02  
Anonymous Mohamed Elzubeir said...

Of course it can evolve. Language evolves and so the meanings of text would naturally evolve. One does not have to take everything literally.

Having said that, I am in no position to argue specific points in the Quran (e.g. stoning of adulterers), though it would seem to me as a rather incredibly harsh punishment, which goes against every 'humane' aspect of any religion.

My point is, it will have to evolve. Evolution includes the very definition of what is and what is not. So, you cannot really say, "It no longer would be Shari'a.." as that very definition would evolve in itself.

19 January, 2006 13:13  
Blogger the shadow said...

I guess that the bottom line is that, no matter what your personal beliefs or practices, it is vital to cultivate an awareness of the prevailing laws of the land and act accordingly as the decision making power is not in your hands and if anything does go wrong you simply can't count on flexibility the Sharia legal system even if some exists in theory.

Or to put it simply, it is better to err on the side of caution.

This has been one of the most informative posts on SD yet so thanks to the posters for sharing their knowledge!

19 January, 2006 13:27  
Blogger CG said...

OK. Here is my 2 cents. The courts here will allow you (if you beg beg beg beg) to marry without a guardian present. BUT, Oh YES A BIG BUT...years down the road they will claim your kids are illigitemate because your marriage was not legal, then you have to traipse all over Morrocco to find the dumbo judge who married you, who has since been fired for accepting bribes (as they do and always will) and finally pay him a bribe to sort out the whole damn stinking mess for you. Or you can skip the above and make a quick call to big Mo to get it all resolved.
Final note: this does not only happen in Fujeirah but Dubai as well.

Another note: Do not under any circumstances have unprotected intercourse during the first 3 months of your marriage, for god forbid you should fall pregnant and then deliver a premature baby, immigration (A-D section) will never allow that baby to go in its fathers nationality book, since it is not his child (DUHHHHHHHH,i know), and then you have to go back to the stinky court and bribe another judge to sign a bit of paper to say that he has met the witness who states that this child does indeed belong to this man (and oh no, don't mention DNA testing, the judge will not allow technology that is unreliable into his court).

Shall I go on? and on?

19 January, 2006 14:06  
Blogger Balushi said...

ok,

If a pakistani tribal father suspects that his daughter has met a guy or dated a guy Then According to them they want to slit the thraots of the Daughter or sister!!!


What will the abu dhabi sharia court will do then?

19 January, 2006 14:23  
Blogger secretdubai said...

thanks to the posters for sharing their knowledge!

Agreed. I get nervous posting on things that touch on Islamic issues, but this turned out really well: there are so many informed people out there.

19 January, 2006 17:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

salaam all,
as I was looking around, I found this fatwa that seems to be a good summary of the issue... However, for some reason, the islam-on-line website is being blocked by Etisalat... does anyone know why?

http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?pagename=IslamOnline-English-Ask_Scholar/FatwaE/FatwaE&cid=1119503544420

"Respected scholars, As-Salamu `alaykum! Is it allowed for a Muslim woman to conclude her own marriage contract without the presence of her wali (guardian)? Jazakum Allah khayran.

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
Dear sister in Islam, we would like to thank you for the great confidence you place in us, and we implore Allah Almighty to help us serve His cause and render our work for His Sake.

As regards the issue you raised, the European Council for Fatwa and Research issued the following Fatwa:

"Marriage is one of the most important contracts for it signals the creation of a new family within society; the birth of new individuals into the world and the duties and responsibilities which fall unto each of the two partners.

As a result of marriage being a contract between the two spouses as partners to the contract, the full consent of whom is deemed vital for the ratification to proceed, the Lawgiver (Allah Almighty) did not allow for the guardianship of the father of the bride or anyone else to become one by which the guardian forces or compels the woman to marry to a man whom she does not want. Indeed, Islam granted the woman full rights to accept whomever proposes to her in marriage or to reject him.

Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) stated that a small girl came to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and told him that her father had forced her to marry against her will. The Prophet gave her the right to choose either to stay married or to annul the marriage contract. (Reported by Imam Ahmad)

The Prophetic texts all came to affirm this right for women. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) stated that "The virgin shall not be married until her consent is sought neither a previously married woman until she overtly states her acceptance," he (peace and blessings be upon him) added: "and the virgin’s consent shall be sought by her father.”

By this, Islam decreed that marriage be built upon a basis of love, compassion and mercy. Allah Almighty stated: "And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercybetween your hearts." ( Ar-Rum: 21)

It is usually impossible to attain these beautiful aims and objectives within a marriage, which was established with force and compulsion. However, since the woman, despite her Islamically granted independence, was always subject to the desires of the ill-hearted and evil opportunists; Islam decreed certain legislations which would maintain her rights and deter those whom carry ill-aims and desires.

Therefore, Islam gave great importance to the approval of the woman's guardian in a manner, which reflects the significance of the marriage contract. This also adds another dimension to the beautiful state of tranquillity and love in which the entire family will find themselves, as the woman will remain on good terms with her parents or guardians, in contrast to what would happen if she went against their wish. In this case the opposite of what Islam aimed to achieve would undoubtedly prevail.

Despite the general consensus among scholars that the approval of the woman's guardian is preferable and much more favorable, they differed regarding whether it is actually a condition for the validity of the marriage contract:

1- The majority of scholars agreed that the approval of the guardian is a condition, without which the contract would be invalid, based upon the statement of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) who stated that: "The marriage of any woman married without the permission of her guardian is false." He (peace and blessings be upon him) also stated: “No marriage is to take place without the guardian.”

2- The followers of Imam Abu Hanifah stated that the permission of the guardian is not a condition, and they based their conclusion upon many evidences, such as the hadith narrated by Muslim and the Four Narrators of Hadith, that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) stated: "The previously married woman shall have the right to decide for herself, whilst the consent of the virgin shall be sought to be married, and a sign of her consent being granted is her keeping silent." They added that that the permission of the guardian only becomes a condition if the girl is under the age of puberty. They also said that: If the adult sound-minded woman married herself (without the interference of her guardian), her marriage would be valid given all other conditions are fulfilled. Her guardian maintains the right to appeal to the Judge and request the annulment of the contract.

The European Council for Fatwa and Research advises women not to disregard their guardians, who wish only for their best interest and that they marry good men rather than deceitful and ill-heart proposers.

The Council also advises fathers to facilitate the marriage of their daughters and to seek their opinions as regards the suitors, without transgressing in using the rights that Islam granted to them. The Council also reminds them of the hadith of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him): "If someone comes to propose in marriage and he is of acceptable religion and behavior, then accept his proposal, otherwise great turbulence and corruption will spread on earth."

Fathers must also realize that preventing their daughters from getting married is a great injustice, which is outlawed and prohibited by Islam. The Council also advises the Islamic Centers to take the aforementioned rules into consideration, as it is safest and best.

However, if the woman does not have a legal guardian, then an Islamic Center must act as her guardian in countries lacking an Islamic Legal system. The Council finally affirms that it believes that if the mature and sound-minded woman were to marry herself (without the interference of her guardian), then her marriage would be valid.”

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: http://www.ecfr.org

May Allah guide you to the straight path and direct you to that which pleases Him, Amen.

19 January, 2006 19:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course it can evolve. Language evolves and so the meanings of text would naturally evolve.

Very "innovative," Mohamed Elzubeir, but no currently existing Islamic school would agree with you. Quran is eternal and unchanging. This is a bedrock of faith in Islam.

Islam had this debate 900 years ago and the Mu'tazilites, who argued for your position, lost. Had their position prevailed, Islam, and Sharia, would be a very different than they are today. They did not prevail, however, so Sharia remains much as it was 1000 years ago. It cannot and will not change to embrace modern western conceptions of humanistic values. Whether this makes Sharia a dangerous and embarassing anachronism or the purest and most pleasing to Allah legal code in the world is not for me to say.

19 January, 2006 21:24  
Blogger UaE MaX said...

islam doesnt change, scholars' opinions and understanding of Quran and prophets sayings do change!

we dont fully understand everything in quran, so thats why scholars go back to Quran every time they r faced with new matter or issue

20 January, 2006 00:07  
Anonymous mohamed Elzubeir said...

Anon @ 19 January, 2006 21:24

Indeed my statement is not innovative, it is logical. The problem with today's scholars is that they have produced a breed like yourself, unwilling to understand what it means for the Quran to be suitable for all people and all ages.

Why do you think the Quran is often vague and open-ended? And by your own statement,

Islam had this debate 900 years ago and the Mu'tazilites, who argued for your position, lost.

And I guess today's Muslims and Islamic scholars are the victors? Well, that's a victory I want no part of.

I'm done with this discussion. It's a bit off-topic.

20 January, 2006 01:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey KarachiDude.

If you are not fromt the UAE you have no right to comment on anything that goes on in the UAE.

In fact you can only comment on things related to you.

Oh by the way Karachidude. I dont think the women's rights in your country is all that stellar. Unless ofcourse you think it is ok for honour killings, mutilations etc etc

20 January, 2006 19:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Hey KarachiDude.

If you are not fromt the UAE you have no right to comment on anything that goes on in the UAE."

Then why do people from the UAE comment about discrimination they face in Western airports?

By your logic, if you are not from the West you have no right to talk about discrimination Muslims face there.

20 January, 2006 19:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We now live in the 21st century. When will realism dawn on us that its no longer possible to interpret the sharia laws as were interpreted and understood more than 1400 years ago and thereafter.

Islam allows the intelligent and the knowledgeable to argue and even challenge. This flexibility allows Islam to adapt and adjust for times to come. It therefore, bring the much needed new thinking and vitality to our religion.

As I understand a marriage made between two consenting adults in the presence of witnesses and duly supervised is a contract that cannot be anulled under any circumstances. Kindly correct me if i am wrong ...... a women in her 30s or 40s or 50s say wants to get married or remarried would she still need a consenting father or brother. I think she is grown up enough to decide for herself.

In this case marriage was probably supervised with witnesses some 6 years ago. If the court wants to sentence then it must also sentence all the witnesses and the person who supervised.

21 January, 2006 19:38  
Blogger Moona said...

Shari'a law is applied only on the wekest people like capital death in Usa

Anyway before marrying someone islamically, Misters Muttawas should ask the couple whether their parents approve it

22 January, 2006 12:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With all due respect to all voicing opinions on this post, it is also unislamic to break the law of the land, unless it stops you from being a muslim.
This means that the couple who so conviniently chose to get married without following proper law of the country (islamic or otherwise) broke the law. And there are consequences for breaking the law.
I repeat Islam does not allow anyone to break the law of the land, unless it goes against God and Prophet.

My 2fils worth.

24 January, 2006 19:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If u want follow sharia then sharia then it is in itself complete in all respects for all times to come :)

24 January, 2006 19:57  

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