June 11, 2016
There is more to Islam than hudud
by Farouk A. Peru
Islamo-fascists are now up in arms. For the first time in history, they are being challenged.
Thanks to the speed with which information is disseminated, people are getting clued up about the hudud myth. Ismaweb’s article featuring a professor madya from UTM confirms this.
The professor’s best argument is that there is no denying that Shariah and hudud are in the Quran. Of course the words are literally there but linguistically and conceptually, the Quran does not seem to be on the same page as the Islamo-fascists. It is a pity this professor madya could not come up with a better rebuttal.
This begs the question — is there more to Islam than mere hudud? Before we answer this question, we must first reiterate that hudud law is not Islamic. It is, in fact, against the spirit of Islam. At best, it is based on atomistic and literalist readings of the Quran which completely ignore textual coherence. The slavish devotion we see by PAS, Isma et al is due to their uncritical acceptance of these ancient tribal laws.
Is there an Islam beyond these laws? Absolutely there is. In fact, the real Islam actually emerges once we transcend any sort of fascism including hudud. Here are a few things from the Quran and Sunnah which we can extract to make us better human beings.
Do you believe this Unprincipled Guy?
From the Quran, we can attain a deep theology. I would even go as far as to say this is the deepest theology I have ever seen although I would understand if people accused me of bias.
The Quran offers us a comprehensive set of information about God. However, the information does not proffer itself as mere theory. It does not just say “God is good.” Rather it is experiential. It tells us how to experience God in various ways due to our actions. This is not a religious experience only for Muslims either, anyone can experience it without needing to convert.
We can also get a deep philosophy from the Quran which is distinct from theology. This may not be apparent from our cursory reading because traditionally speaking, the stories of the prophets are seen an ancient stories of the chosen people calling people to religious worship through miracles. However, the Quran itself does not give credence to this angle. Rather, it portrays these prophets as ordinary personalities who came to reform societies.
A great example of this is the story of Moses and his conflict with the Pharoah of Egypt. This story is repeated no less than in 30 chapters, more than a quarter of the Quran!
From this story, we may come to understand Islam in action through Moses and the opposite through the Pharaoh. It is very ironic that Pharaohs policies like punishing people who leave his religion are closer to our religious authorities’ than Moses’ own!
The Quran is not only just philosophy but also practical instructions for creating a system of peace and justice. From the instructions given to the messenger who was the leader of the community of the time, we can come to see how best to establish society on these principles.
For example, believers are told to be straight talking in their affairs. In other words, for a society to be just, people cannot flip-flop when people accuse them of something.
Another powerful instruction, repeated twice in chapters 4 and detailing this system (Surah 4 and 5) is to establish justice even if it is against our own selves (4/135 and 5/8). In other words, we cannot establish systems which deprive people of their due rights like the NEP. People must get their due rewards. These are simple instructions yet despite all our “Islamization”, these examples are missing from our society.
Hudud is nothing more than emotional blackmail used by unscrupulous and self serving politicians like Hadi Awang. Hadi exposed his true intentions a few days ago by declaring that corruption is not included in hudud.
In other words, stealing a loaf of bread can deprive you of your limbs but stealing the nation’s wealth cannot. How ironic is that? What does Hadi think corruption is? Corruption makes us inefficient. If we need to only pay RM3,000 for a laptop and some crony made us pay RM15,000, where does Hadi think the remaining RM12,000 disappears to.
Hadi’s argument is that stealing is done without the owner’s consent whereas corruption is different. I don’t recall any nation giving its consent for its wealth to be stolen!
Islam is not about hudud but rather about the posturing of self and society towards the Divine. In doing so, a person may grow and evolve and society may attain peace and justice.