Sunday, November 30, 2008

Burying Daughters Alive

Answer quickly: Under what special circumstances does Islamic Shari'ah make it legal for Muslim parents to bury their young daughters alive?

If you answered never, you are right.

The people of Makkah prior to the message of Islam condoned the the heinous custom of burying their daughters alive. Oh they had their reasons - girls consumed resources but didn't contribute economically. There was shame associated with anything wrong they would do. The tribes into which they married gained an upper hand, etc.

One of the earliest revelations that came to the Messenger of God provoked the early believers to reflect on this crime:

When the female child who was buried alive is asked for what crime she was killed. 81: 8-9

Islam forbid this custom forever. And this prohibition is absolute. No compromises. No special considerations. Nothing, absolutely nothing would justify or condone or accept or tolerate this monstrosity. And it is a monstrosity.

Islam forbid a few other crimes, some equally as heinous. Sadly, some Muslims want to bring those criminal and inhuman customs of jahiliyah back. Read on...
First, what do I mean by "special circumstances." Islamic Shari'ah has an incredibly flexibility built into it. A Muslim jurist is required to weigh all factors in a situation before issuing a ruling. While doing this, she or he must also prioritize and ensure the law is serving to better human condition. Consider an example: Pork is forbidden from a Muslim's diet. But if a Muslim faces starvation and pork is the only food available, the shari'ah does not hold the Muslim liable for consuming this food in order to survive. Human life has precedence over the piety of avoiding pork. Numerous other examples can be cited. This flexibility is a mark of our Lord's blessing and mercy upon us.

This flexibility is subject to judicial principles and not easily open to abuse. For instance, let us consider if there could be a situation under which parents may bury their little daughter alive. Say, if there was a famine when there was not enough food for everyone? The answer is an absolutely undisputed NO. What if the parents were convinced (for whatever reason) that their little girl may not be able to cope with the moral decadence of society and grow up to fall prey to its perversions? The answer is still no.
Why this inflexibility? Because God provides and God guides. Also because taking another's life is not a matter of personal choice. There are numerous principles vastly more powerful than the silly fear of food scarcity and moral decadence in the above example. I think all sane Muslims would agree with my analysis of this hypothetical question.
I am about to make a point. I believe a similar prohibition applies to terrorism. It is evident that Islam's prohibition on acts of violence is absolute. I feel some Muslims believe that if we have been wronged, we may resort to some form of violent retaliation. This perversion of our faith is sickening. It has besmirched the name of this great faith and continues to. I am still recovering from the filth of what happened in Mumbai. I am ashamed for what happened on 9/11. My heart bleeds that the curse of terrorism has befallen the community that was charged with inviting all to the "Straight Path." Oh how we have lost our way.

This prohibition is categorical. No excuses. Terrorism = Sin in Islam. Big sin.

I know what some of you are thinking. You are asking yourselves, this guy made a list of acts of terror by Muslims, how about acts of terror inflicted upon Muslims? I overheard someone at the mosque today "Muslims in India have suffered a lot, some of them were bound to lose it and become terrorists."

Look, I understand the human failing if "losing it" aka insanity. Anyone can lose it and commit crimes or acts of sin. The Pharao lost it and wanted all humans to worship him as God. But please don't tell me that my religion permits insanity and heinous crimes.

Surely Muslims are persecuted in many parts of the world. So are Christians, and Jews. Blacks in America have suffered centuries of oppression, humiliation to the point some generations were born, lived and died with very little of their humanity acknowledged. Yes the world isn't perfect.

But as standard bearers of the world's morals, you want to tell me that retaliation against oppression through random acts of terror is accepted, permitted or condoned in Islam, you are dead wrong. I will oppose you with every breath, and God willing, your false ideology will be defeated.

Islam forbids this perversion. And this prohibition was absolute. No compromises. No special considerations. Nothing, absolutely nothing would justify or condone or accept or tolerate this monstrosity called terrorism.

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