Saturday, March 24, 2012

Seminar on codification of Islamic Law held in Chennai

By Shafee Ahmed Ko, for TCN

Chennai: The Muslim Law Academy, Tamil Nadu, organized a seminar on ‘Islamic Law and Essentiality for its Codification’ on 22 March at Hotel Comfort Inn Marina Towers in Chennai.
The guest speaker was Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer while Justice G.M. Akbar Ali, Judge, Madras High Court presided over the program.

Justice Akbar Ali recalled a consultative meeting he attended as an invitee on the subject of Codification in Islamic Law. There were many Ulema and Muslim scholars in the meeting such as Dr. Tahir Mahmood, an expert in Islamic Law who has written several books on the subject. Justice Akbar Ali said all felt the necessity of Codification in Islamic Law within the framework of Holy Quran and Ahadees. He cited how parties contravene the very authenticity of divorce in Islamic Sharia, obtain “fatwas” (edicts) in their own favour.

Women are still denied of many legitimate rights

Dr. Asghar Ali while recapitulating several conflicting fatwas running into controversies amongst most of the Muslims since they are ignorant of authentic principles of Islamic Sharia and its laws, pointed out that very delicate issues of Muslim women remain unresolved. He also explained how Muslim women are burdened with difficult problems in Islamic world in general, and in India in particular due to static viewpoints of Ulema towards Shari’ah law, and most of the legitimate rights are denied to them while the holy Quran is liberal.
The wrong interpretations and misusing of Sharia Laws as rampant triple pronouncement in single sitting are outrageous, he felt. He also pointed out that, there was belief among the Muslim headship that no changes, or modification should be made in a “divine” intention, but in Shah Bano’s case divine law was interfered, government was made to understand and transpose the Supreme Court judgment.

Mehr should be one year’s income of bridegroom

Speaking on the stipulation of the amount of “mehr”, Dr. Engineer emphasized that it should not be less than one year’s income of the bridegroom, and should preferably be in gold or silver or in bank deposit, or in property to avoid inflationary consequences.
On multiple marriages Dr. Engineer said, “If a person wishes to take second wife he would serve a notice to his wife and the marriage council stating clearly the reasons why he wishes to take a second wife and furnishes necessary documents. He would also prove that he is capable of maintaining both the wives with his given means and that he will fulfill the requirement of justice stipulated by the Qur’an.”

Codification draft should be tabled in parliament

Mr. M. Abdul Rahman, Member of Parliament, Vellore Constituency said one has to listen to the learned Ulema since they are the ones who have been qualified as erudite to decide any problem in the light of Islamic Sharia. On codification of Islamic law, he said the final codification draft should be tabled in the Parliament to make a bill and enact as a law.


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