Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Islamic Law: When a Muslim Takes the Law too Far

I was reading a book today and I came across this wonderful story relating to Imam Abu Hanifa. It made me think about the way in which we Muslims get so bogged down in the nitty gritty of the law that we fail to realise that law attempts to create order through rights and wrongs which are not always on the path of God. I would go as far as to say that it often goes against the love of God and humanity that is pouring out from the Qur'an. The Qur'an allows the Muslim mind to seek God and love through a discourse of perfect ambiguity! Seeking God through a spiritual maze is more alluring that seeking God through a legalistic one.

...Once a man was walking through Baghdad carrying a wine flask until the police dragged him to court. The judge ruled that the hadd punishment for drinking wine should be ordered, and that is lashing. Abu Hanifa, the founder of the Hanafi legel method, heard of this and confronted the judge, demanding to know why the hadd penalty should be applied. The judge said, “Even if he did not actually drink, he was found carrying on his person the instruments for committing a crime punishable by the hadd, so the exemplary punishment should be applied and he should be lashed.” Abu Hanifa retorted, “So stone him as well! Isn’t he found carrying on his person the instruments for committing adultery also?”

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