Press Statements

No government or court has right to effect changes in Shariat

No government or court has right to effect changes in Shariat, say top Muslim clerics at Jamaat-e-Islami Hind’s concluding program of Muslim Personal Law Campaign

New Delhi (8 May 2017): India’s top Muslim clerics have unequivocally asserted that Shariat is divine and hence no government or court has right to make any changes in it. When Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had no such right, how Muslims can give that right to any government or court, they asked while speaking at the concluding program of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind’s nationwide Muslim Personal Law Awareness Campaign, held at Aiwan-e Ghalib here on Sunday evening.

The clerics categorically asserted that Muslim disputes over family matters are reaching courts because of ignorance or deliberate misuse of Shariat provisions, and so Shariat cannot be held responsible for it. Instead, there is strong need to educate the Muslim masses about Shariat, to impress upon them to follow it honestly and to open counselling centres and Shariat panchayats to resolve any disputes over family matters like marriage, divorce and inheritance.

“When Muslims were in power they never interfered in customs, traditions and personal laws of other communities and that is why the British regime respected Islamic Shariat and in 1937 the Shariat Application Act was passed to ensure that courts decide according to Islamic Shariat in family matters like marriage, divorce and inheritance if both parties are Muslim,” said Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani, Secretary, All India Muslim Personal Law Board.

He urged Muslims to have full faith and belief in Shariat, acquire its knowledge and practise it fully and honestly. While applauding the initiative of Jamaat to run nationwide Muslim Personal Law Awareness Campaign, he referred to a system in Malaysia and urged Jamaat to hold workshops for newly-wed couples and the aspirants and also set up counselling centres in order to minimize cases of Talaq.

Maulana Fazlurrehman Mujaddidi, Secretary, All India Muslim Personal Law Board, termed the recent hue and cry over talaq and polygamy as part of a global conspiracy to target social and family system of Islam.“We have lost our political system and also economic system, and now there is a global conspiracy to target our social and family system. Islamic civilization and social system are being targeted as they are big impediment in the way of Western civilization,” said Maulana Mujaddidi at the program that was presided over by Jamaat chief Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari. “Talaq is a need of human society. When a husband and wife cannot live together for any reason, they can get separated through Talaq,” he said.

Maulana Ateeque Ahmed Bastawi, Convener, Darul Qaza committee, All India Muslim Personal Law Board said: “No government or court will be able to make any change in our Shariat if we Muslims remain firm on it. When we ignore Shariat, courts and governments get opportunity to interfere in it.” He also advised Muslims to avoid going courts on family issues and stressed on setting up of counselling committee in every Muslim locality in the country to resolve disputes of marriage, divorce etc.

Eminent Islamic scholar Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan said Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is one of 23 items mentioned in the Directive Principles of the Indian Constitution but only UCC is singled out by people with vested interests.“Some people demand Uniform Civil Code saying it is mentioned in the Directive Principles of the Constitution, but they forget that the same Directive Principles talk about 22 other issues also like Social Justice, Education, Prohibition, Drugs and Concentration of Wealth. But nobody is talking about them,” said Dr. Khan.He also said that Muslims should not make hue and cry over calls for UCC because it is impracticable in a country like India which has 200-300 personal laws.“It is said there are 200-300 personal laws of different communities in the country. It is not the issue of Muslims alone. But the way we Muslims react over call for Uniform Civil Code, the government and media assume that it is only Muslim issue. They have not yet made even first draft of any such Uniform Civil Code. If they come, we will present Islamic Shariat and we are sure our Islamic Shariat will be accepted by the whole country,” said ex-president of All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawart to the loud cheers of the crowd.

In his presidential speech, President of Jamaat Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari said: “During the campaign I addressed several events in different parts of the country. The huge number of people at those programs gave a clear message that Muslims are not ready to keep off Islam and Shariat and this should be clear to all.”Maulana Umari said that no injustice can even be imagined in any law framed by Allah.“A government, a community or a party or an individual can do injustice but this cannot be said about Almighty Allah that He would take side of any. So there cannot be injustice with any gender or group or individual in any law framed by Allah,” he said.

Earlier at the program, Mohammad Jafar, National Convener of Jamaat’s Muslim Personal Law Awareness Campaign (23 April – 7 May) said that through thousands of programs during the campaign, around 100 million people were reached directly or indirectly with the message Islam and Shariat.Major programs were held in all capital cities besides special programs for women. Women cadres of Jamaat campaigned in towns and villages and educated people about marriage, divorce and inheritance. Some 84 press conferences were addressed by Jamaat’s women leaders while 1500 programs were organized only for women. Around 6 lakh booklets and 17 lakh pamphlets on women issues were distributed. About 32 lakh people were reached through personal contacts and 12,500 Friday sermons were used to educate the Muslim masses on Shariat.

All the leaders applauded the nationwide campaign of Jamaat and urged other organizations to come out to hold such programs. They stressed that such campaigns, workshops and counselling sessions should be held regularly round the year and in all Muslim localities in the country.

Released by Jamaat-e-Islami Hind

Read the declaration issued by the concluding conference below

Declaration — Muslim Personal Law Awareness Campaign

On the culmination of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind’s Muslim Personal Law Awareness Campaign, the public meeting held in Delhi on 7 May 2017, expresses its heartfelt gratitude to Almighty Creator. He provided the opportunities to widely disseminate the healthy teachings of the true religion, throughout the country. For the shortcomings in this effort, the participants seek forgiveness from Almighty.

This Public gathering reiterates its conviction that complete and sincere allegiance to the divine guidance is the only way to reconstruct society on healthy basis, to ensure everlasting success and wellbeing. As in other spheres of life, the divine teachings relating to personal and family matters provide solace and guarantee fair play and justice. They lead to personality development and stable society. The revealed religion on the one hand advises correct relationship with the creator and on the other it seeks to protect and nurture his of kinship between human beings. In particular, the religion exhorts people to discharge their duties towards parents, spouses and children.

Complete and unconditional sincere allegiance to divine guidance implies the particular importance of instruction about family life, these regulations are given the legal term of Muslim Personal Law, in our country. Participants in this meeting record with satisfaction that freedom of religion is recognized today as a basic human right; duly conceded in the Indian Constitution and international charters. Freedom of religion includes the freedom to put personal law into practise. This freedom must be respected otherwise social unrest would be created leading to discord and conflict. Hence this meeting vehemently rejects all misguided suggestions curtailing or limiting the existing freedom of religion.

This meeting demands that the government of India should drop the idea of enacting a uniform civil code. Indeed article 44 of Directive Principles of Indian Constitution (which suggests the enactment of uniform civil code) should be deleted by constitutional amendment.

This public meeting strongly urges the government not to interfere in Muslim Personal Law, in any manner. The Muslim society should be allowed without hindrance to practise the revealed religion and follow its teachings regarding family life. The meeting is convinced that divine wisdom provides justice to both man and women and protects the rights of all. Attempts to amend the divine law are therefore ill advised are harmful.

This meeting appeals to Muslim society to widely inculcate awareness of Divine regulations and human values. The whole society should be taught the virtues of mobility and piety; so that individuals do not violate the Divine law due to their ignorance, immaturity or indifference to religion. The required knowledge of religion and its regulations should be spread widely. For this massive educational campaign, use should be made of Friday sermons, printed material, door to door contact and electronic means. In general, everyone should be reminded of their accountability before God Almighty; So that they are mindful of each other’s rights and refrain from transgressing the moral limits. Those who persistently violate religious teachings should face social boycott.

This meeting reminds Muslims of the comprehensive character of Islamic guidance regarding family system. These teachings include instructions about good behaviour towards parents, healthy upbringing of children, due attention to rights of spouses protection of honour etiquette of dress, right to privacy, good behaviours towards relatives, simple marriage, prompt payment of mehr and correct division of inherited property. In all these matters the believers must sincerely obey the regulations given by the Creator and His Messenger, in letter and spirit.

This meeting invites Muslims to build suitable institutions to guide people and resolve disputes to that end; in all localities, cities and towns, efforts should be made to form resolution committees, counsellingcenters, social reform forums, sharia panchayats and Darul Qaza. People should be exhorted to approach these institutions for dispute resolution they should avoid institutions not guided by Divine Laws.

If inspite of educational campaign that dispute arises among spouses; this meeting advices Muslims to follow step by step the Divine instructions to end the disputes. If the spouses do not succeed  in resolution of issues by mutual dialogue than mediators should be adopted from the two families. They should intervene to bring about peace among the spouses. If such efforts also do not succeed and separation seems to be the only option, then a single divorce may be pronounced. After the mandatory period of Iddat (which is normally three months); the spouses would be separated. No one should make the mistake of pronouncing three divorces at once.

This public meeting appeals to the print and electronic media to play a more responsible role. Instead of presenting a wrong and distorted image of Islam and its laws; it should present the religion in the correct perspective. Misunderstanding should not be created or spread about Islamic family system. The religious freedom conceded by the Indian Constitution should be respected, in letter and spirit. To represent Islamic viewpoint, scholars actually believing in Islam, should be invited. Ignorant persons with no commitment to Islam or Muslims, have no business to talk on the behalf of Muslim Society. The media should not encourage such irresponsible elements. It should duly recognise and respect the unanimous Muslim Laws (revealed by Almighty God) and would not accept any amendment in it.

This meeting deplores the pitiable condition of women in the wider Indian Society. Unjust Laws and practises relating to divorce, inheritance and marriage have made life a virtual hell for them. They are compelled to expose their bodies by irresponsible corporate media and forced to share economic burden (in addition to family duties). They routinely exploited and raped; the slow and insensitive legal machinery add to their misery. The Indian media would do a great service to humanity by identifying the role of Islam in solving these problems. Indeed Islam protects women and their dignity by inculcating ethical values and liberating them from undue burden by leading from Islamic teachings, the social problems may be successfully tackled.

This public meeting invites all men and women to turn to divine guidance to reconstruct a healthy society and to resolve its thorny issues. Instead of man-made laws; the Divine law provides true balance justice and solace.

This meeting reminds Muslims that they should be deserve the title of “the best community”. They should act as sincere guides for the mankind with practical commitment to Divine guidance and revealed law on family life; they should launce an intensive effort to contact all human beings; to invite them towards their Creator. To achieve real success and salvation, human beings should bow before their Lord and sincerely abide by His instructions and teachings in all aspects of life. The Divine system ensures justice in society and creates an atmosphere of nobility and piety; thereby ensuring spiritual and moral uplift of individuals. The Muslim Personal law awareness campaign is a wakeup call. Join us in this effort to create awareness and declare once more that indeed the believers are bound by Divine Commandments only.