Tag Archives: shariah

Jonathan McLatchie: ‘Self-Professed Expert’ on Islam Gets the Basics Wrong

Following in the footsteps of now disgraced pseudo-academic (false credentials regarding the teachings of Islam – Alpha and Omega Ministry), Ergun Caner, Jonathan McLatchie is now advertising himself as an “expert on Islam”. According to an August 2nd post advertising his lecture in which he claimed that “France has a problem with Islam”, and that Islam and Muslims were “tantamount to inviting a virus into your civilization“, Jonathan is described as an “expert on Islam“:

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“Expert on Islam”

In a private interview conducted with myself, meant for publication, I decided to ask Jonathan questions about Shari’ah law, given his previous xenophobic comments regarding Muslims and Islam. A portion (in chronological order) is given as follows:

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So how did the ‘expert on Islam’ do? Not so well….

According to Ahlus Sunnah wa’l Jama’ah, there are four sources of Islamic law:

  1. Qur’an
  2. Hadith
  3. ‘Ijma
  4. Qiyaas

Shari’ah law, also includes what the English would refer to as “common law” and “civil law” with deep considerations taken of ‘Urf (العرف) – cultural norms and values. Shari’ah law, also includes the corpus of laws a Muslim would adhere to in his daily life: how do I pray, what is the Shari’ah ruling on food cooked in the same pot as pork or ham, what does the Shari’ah say regarding fasting if I’m traveling, etc. So not only does this ‘expert on Islam’, not know the basics, he relegated it only to crime, politics and economics.

It was at this point I realised he did not know what he was talking about and I decided to ask him a very basic question regarding Shari’ah law. Immediately, he renounced his ‘expertise’, despite having advertised himself as such on Christian apologetics websites and on ABN/ Trinity TV’s shows last week. Jonathan was clearly caught off guard and quickly realised he needed to mitigate the situation, thereby relinquishing his claim to be an ‘expert’. This was a live interview, so he had no time to Google the answer, and he was live on Skype with me, I would have noticed if he was trying to Google search the answer to my question. So caught between a rock and a hard place, the ‘expert’ then, ‘not an expert’, who returned to being an ‘expert’ last week did indeed get the question wrong.

The Hadd laws, refer to very specific punishments within the Shari’ah. This would include stoning and cutting of the hands, which do require in and of themselves, very specific evidences for the punishment to be meted out (which is difficult to attain in most cases). These are not Ta’zir laws, which are discretionary judgments by an Islamic judge (qadhi). So the well advertised and self-proclaimed ‘expert’ on Islam needs to publicly correct himself. His rabid tirades against the Islamic Shari’ah, when he clearly does not understand it are very worrisome. He’s arguing and hating against something of which he has no idea about. Clearly then, when confronted with a difficult situation, he quickly discarded his ‘expert’ title and rightfully accepted his position as being theological unqualified about Islam.

I advise Jonathan, to fully discard the title, you sir are not an ‘expert on Islam’.

and God knows best.

Al Shabab and the Kenyan Fall Out

Many right-wing political analysts as well as anti-Shari’ah supporters have jointly promoted the Kenyan Mall attack, as an attack by Muslims on an innocent civilian population. However, a careful study on the attack and on Somalia’s long fought civilian war, paints a much different picture than a prima facie analysis by pseudo-intellectuals who only seek to drive their own popularity based on the abuse of fear and emotion (argumentum ad baculum). The Somalian issue which has birthed a great humanitarian and economic crisis in the African continent. Untold numbers have been massacred, and the added pain of piracy has forced the African Union and Somalia’s neighboring countries to enter into the Somalian civil war.

Somalia’s political crisis did not begin last year, it began in the year 1960 when the Italian and British Somalilands were combined to form a new independent nation. The borders however still existed, the North and the South, the British versus that of the Italian communities. Removing a border line on a map and telling two separate and distinct groups of civilization with fundamentally varying ideologies (democratic-capitalist versus socialist-communist) and forcing them to live together paints a very hazardous image. A rebel coup by a socialist general plunged the decay of Somalia into a fast paced mode on the road to destruction – an eventual clash of civilizations that has persisted to this day, some 23 years later.

A look at the current map of Somalia still shows just how politically, economically and ideologically the nation is divided:

Wikimedia Image

Wikimedia Image

Given that a significant majority of Somalis are Muslim, or practitioners of the Islamic faith, it therefore becomes highly irresponsible to paint every Somali as a terrorist or as a member of al Shabab. Furthermore, it can be understood that the infighting in Somalia is clearly a political issue to gain control of territory and to exercise power over the fragile populations. Seeing as Shari’ah was already designated by the constitution to govern most of Somalia, it’s quite erroneous to claim that the political factions have been fighting to establish it, as it was established in 2006 and ratified in peace and coalition deals in 2009.

The Kenyan attack, should therefore be seen as a response to the Kenyan intervention into a politically hostile neighboring country. The Times of India reports:

Somalia’s al-Qaida-inspired al-Shabaab rebels said the carnage at the part Israeli-owned complex was in retaliation for Kenya’s military intervention in Somalia, where African Union troops are battling the Islamists.

Why is this therefore being painted as an attack by Muslims on non-Muslims, when the persons allegedly responsible, claim for themselves that their motivations are political? It must also be known that the majority of Somalians declare the Shabab group to be unIslamic and to be a threat to the religion of Islam, the BBC reports:

Some 160 Somali religious scholars have issued a fatwa denouncing al-Shabab, saying the group had no place in Islam. Correspondents say it is the first time Somali religious leaders have come up with a fatwa against the group, which controls many rural areas.

At a conference on the phenomenon of extremism in Mogadishu, the scholars said they condemned al-Shabab’s use of violence. Despite being pushed out of key cities in the past two years, it still remains in control of smaller towns and large swathes of the countryside.

One of the aims of the conference was to issue Islamic opinion on whether the group had legitimacy or not, with the final fatwa concluding that it is not an Islamic movement, Sheikh Hassan Jaamai told the BBC. “It’s like a gang that comes together to kill Somalis… without any legitimate reason or justification,” added the Islamic scholar, who flew over from the US to take part in the conference.

“The only thing they want is to create chaos in the country so that they can survive, ” said another participant from the Gulf, Sheikh Abdikani,

The fatwa against the Shabab also states:

At the end of the four-day conference, the seven points of the religious edict were read out by Islamic scholar Sheikh Abdirizak Ahmed Mohamud:

• “Al-Shabab has strayed from the correct path of Islam, leading the Somali people onto the wrong path. The ideology they are spreading is a danger to the Islamic religion and the existence of the Somali society.

• “The Somali government is an Islamic administration; it is forbidden to fight against it or regard its members as infidels.

• “Al-Shabab, an extremist group, must atone to God and must cease its erroneous ideology and criminal actions.

• “It is forbidden to join, sympathise or give any kind of support to al-Shabab.

• “It is a religious duty to refuse shelter to al-Shabab members, who must be handed over to Somali institutions responsible for security.

• “It is a taboo to negotiate on behalf of al-Shabab members in custody or release them from jail.

• “Somali officials have a religious duty to protect the Somali people from the atrocities of al-Shabab. The Somali public also has an obligation to assist the government in its security operations against al-Shabab.”

The political mess that is Somalia, has been birthed by the ideological boundaries created in Europe, imported to Africa, developed by the Somalians and has for the time being, culminated in a region wide war that will persist, given the militant tendencies of the various factions fighting for their independence and right for self governance in the Horn of Africa. A responsible and intelligent individual, will not paint all Africans as violent thugs, nor all Muslims or Somalians as terrorists, as the evidence demonstrates facts to the contrary. If the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army), a Christian led militant organization can be held to be an unChristian movement by Christians and accepted as such by right wing political analysts, why can’t the Shabab be seen – as it has been declared by the majority of Somalians as an unIslamic group, threatening the religion of Islam?

Burning of Christian Homes in Pakistan

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

Recently in Pakistan, a serious case of oppression against Christians by mob behaviour has taken the headlines. As Muslims we must condemn such acts of violence as they encroach upon the rights of non-Muslims as enshrined in the Shari’ah of Islam. To understand the rights that non-Muslims have over Muslims, we read the following from Shaykh Abd al Aziz ibn Baz:

“He should not wrong him, with regard to his physical well being, his wealth or his honour. If he is a dhimmi (non-Muslim living under Muslim rule), musta’man (one who is granted security in a Muslim land) or mu‘aahid (one with whose country the Muslims have a peace deal), then he should give him his due rights, and not transgress against his wealth by stealing, betraying or deceiving, and he should not harm him physically by striking or killing him, because the fact that he is a mu‘aahid or dhimmi, or musta’man, means that he is protected by sharee‘ah.

“Another right is being a good neighbour. So if he is a neighbour, be kind to him and do not annoy him; give charity to him if he is poor, give him gifts, give him beneficial advice, because these are things that will attract him to Islam and to become Muslim; and because the neighbour has rights. The Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Jibreel kept urging me to be kind to my neighbour until I thought that he would make him my heir.” Saheeh – agreed upon. If the neighbour is a kaafir, he still has the rights of a neighbour; if he is both a relative and a kaafir, then he has two rights: the rights of a neighbour and the rights of a relative. ” – Shaykh Abd al Azeez ibn Baz, “Fataawa Noor ‘ala al-Darb, 1/289-291.”

Here is some advice offered by Mufti Ebrahim Desai (damaat barakatahum) concerning blasphemy to the Prophet (peace be upon him) by the disbelievers and what the Muslim reaction should and should not be:

1. Consult with Ulama and responsible people before doing anything. Do not do anything by yourself. Shura and consultation is vital in such an issue.

2. Express anger and disgust within the framework of the law of the country. Use the law of the country to its full capacity.

3. Do not be violent in any way and do not burn buildings, cars, etc.

4. Boycott all Danish products and products of anyone else who support Denmark in this issue or even sympathise with Denmark.

5. Do not confine expression of anger to the cartoon issue. Use the opportunity to express the disgust on Islamophobia in general and highlight some pertinent issues.

6. The most important in this is the issue of Da’awah. Use the opportunity to explain to the world the great personality of Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam]. His lifestyle and character should be printed and published all around the world. This will be an eye opener to many ignorant people and a means of guidance. Take out the positive aspects from a negative one and use the situation to our advantage. Every Muslim should say and write something about our beloved Rasul [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam].

7. It is of utmost importance that we engage in lots of du’aa and Dhikr, Fasting and Sadaqaat. Make du’aa that Allah guide the Ummah in this trying times.

8. Do not conduct ourselves with our fellow non-Muslim citizens in a way that offend them and look for an opportunity to get back at us. We will then be the cause of them showing disrespect to Islam and Islamic values. Always express good character and conduct to all.

9. The most important issue in expressing our love and honour for Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] is following his Sunnah. Expressing our anger at the disrespect to Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] is important but it will be hypocritical if we do not emulate the outward appearance, beard, dressing, etc. and noble character of Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam]. Every one should obtain a kitaab on the Sunnats of Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] and implement that in our lives and pass this over to others.

Even the scholars of the Indo-Pak region have stated the same (in responses to a non-Muslim’s blasphemy):

Punishing a criminal or a guilty is the duty of a government not individuals like we and you. In India, though we do not have an Islamic government, but we should try our level best to get such a perpetrator punished according to the Indian Constitution.” – Darul Iftaa, Darul Uloom Deoband (Fatwa: 1386/1226=B).

It is important to remember, that there is no verse in the Qur’aan or Hadith which permits the crowd/ mob justice against a non-Muslim or Muslim for any reason. If there is a legitimate issue, then there are courts where a Judge can preside over such issues. To act violently as those persons have done in Pakistan, contravenes the sanctity of the relations between Muslims and non-Muslims and disrupts the lives of these victims while causing harm to them and their property, this is certainly haram (impermissible in Islam) and for anyone to claim that this is something which Islam encourages, then such people are only adding flames to the fire and are causing more unrest. The fact of the matter is, such acts are reprehensible and against the teachings as found in the Qur’aan and Sunnah as outlined and stipulated by the Ulama (religious scholars) in their statements (as given above).

wa Allaahu ‘Alam.

Quick Commentary on the Law of Apostasy in the Bible

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

It is absurd that Christians argue against the law of Apostasy when their own God commanded that apostates be killed:

“If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them. You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people. Stone them to death, because they tried to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” – Deuteronomy/ Devarim 13:6-10.

Jesus did not comment on this law, nor did he abolish it, for he said:

““Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.  For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:17-20.

When Jesus says that he came to fulfil the law, it means that he came to complete it. How did he complete it? By rectifying six laws, as is found in verses 20 and beyond, regarding: Murder, Adultery, Divorce, Oaths, Eye for an Eye and Loving Your Enemies. In fact, YHWH makes it clear that His laws are eternal:

“All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.” – Psalm 119:160.

Concerning this verse, the exegete, Barnes, says:

Since any one of thy laws is as certainly founded in truth as any other, it must be that all alike are eternal and unchanging. It must be so with all the essential principles of morality. Mere regulations in regard to rites and ceremonies may be altered, as local and municipal laws among men may be; but essential principles of justice cannot be. A civil corporation – the government of a city or borough – may change its regulations about streets, and culverts, and taxes; but they can never enact laws authorizing murder or theft; nor can they alter the essential nature of honesty and dishonesty; of truth and falsehood.”

Jesus himself never comments on the law of apostasy and in that, he also never repeals it. Opposingly, we have clear, extant, explicit words from him and from YHWH about the laws of God being eternal and to never be discarded, as such there is no reason, whether from the Old Testament, New Testament, YHWH, Jesus or the Disciples that any Christian can argue from, that the Law of Apostasy as given by YHWH is now defunct and inapplicable without lying about their own scripture and God.

wa Allaahu ‘Alam.