About Islamic Law.(Opinion &Amp; Editorial)

Manila Bulletin, May 15, 2002 | Go to article overview
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About Islamic Law.(Opinion &Amp; Editorial)


ISLAMIC Law (Shari'a) is a Divine Law addressed to all mankind regardless of race and color. Its fundamental sources are the Qur'an and the Hadith.

There are other bases but not the focus of this discussion. The Qur'an's letter and meaning are both from Allah (i.e., Divine in form also). The Hadith's language (letter) is from the Prophet and its meaning is from Allah (i.e., Divine in content alone). These revelations are not exclusive for the Muslims. Every human being is urged to obey its teachings. The Muslim believes and observes its injunctions. He is therefore enjoined to regulate his affairs in accordance with what has been revealed by God, otherwise he is a violator of the commandment of God and every violation thereof is a sin. No truthful Muslim would venture to commit a sin.

Islamic Law is neither totally in conflict nor congruent with the Philippine Law. Some aspects are incongruous to each other, but still reconcilable. P.D. 1083 otherwise known as the "Code of Muslim Personal Law of the Philippines" has reconciled many of the incongruities between the two systems of laws. Apropos, any ordinance or treatise not contradicting Islamic precept is itself a part of Islamic Law. Therefore, several provisions of Philippine Law are themselves Islamic Law.

Anyhow, the Islamic Law will only apply to Muslims and will not in anyway prejudice the NonMuslims. Regarding the penal aspect, let the feasible be implemented right away and the non-feasible be in the waiting list for future discussion. Under this kind of arrangement, there is no reason to withhold the implementation of its application to them. In this way, they will be following Islamic Law without violating the Philippine Law. This is a very good compromise. Why so selfish? By then, they will enjoy being citizens of this country as they freely follow their Law. This will transform them to be more loyal and dedicated to this country as the country of their own.

On the other hand, to continue defying its long awaited application to them, it is logical for them to conclude that they are being enslaved in their own country of birth. They will begin to feel that Freedom of Religion here is nothing more than a written paper. They are under pressure to obey the Philippine Law at the expense of violating their own law to which they are enjoined by God to follow. The tendency is for them to violate the Philippine Law and observe instead their own law even at the pen of punishment. Above all, they will directly or indirectly dislike their Philippine Citizenship to the extent of transgressing the Philippine Law. What is the use of being citizens of a country where they are compelled to commit a sin everyday by not allowing them to follow the Islamic Law. Are the Non-Muslims losing anything?

Along this direction, there is an urgent need to re-examine our policy towards the Madaris (Arabic and Islamic Schools). These schools are completely ignored by the government. They operate at their own expense without permit from the government. The curricular offerings are patterned after the curriculum of foreign Madaris. The Philippine Constitution and the Philippine History are never incorporated therein. In this situation, the students thereat are graduating their respective courses without knowledge about the Philippines. They learned the laws and cultures of foreign countries, but they are ignorant about the laws and cultures of the Philippines. They speak Arabic but they cannot speak English or Pilipino. They are more of foreigners and loyalists to foreign countries. They are natural born citizens of the Philippines but they do not know about their country to which they owe allegiance. Whose fault is this? If this kind of Filipinos turn rebels today, definitely the government has to be blamed for not recognizing the madaris and educating them according to our own system of education.

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