Academic journal article Journal of Political Studies

Politics of Islamic Shariah in the Contemporary Muslim World

Academic journal article Journal of Political Studies

Politics of Islamic Shariah in the Contemporary Muslim World

Article excerpt

Politics of Islamic Shariah in the Contemporary Muslim World

Islam is the third most rapidly expanding religion in the world, and today there are approximately 1.6 billion heterogeneous followers worldwide. The 19th and 20th century expedited the spread of Islam under the powerful European imperial rule and is still spreading in Africa, Europe and America where in the number of Muslims has increased notably. It is a religion for all people based on diverse ethnic backgrounds and contributing to building of global civilization. It proved to be pivotal in development of intellectualistic and socio-cultural structure, and for more than eight centuries Persian and Arabic ruled the world as the languages of science and intellect of the world. It was golden age of Muslims and after the 14th century "decline of Muslims started due to foreign domination, stagnation in religion and sluggishness in the field of education, research and development"(Robert, 2010). So, the present Muslim society complete rely on fallacy and misconception and is not ready to face the ground realities.

The contemporary Muslim world is politically fragile, economically dependent, technologically backward, militarily vulnerable and educationally not advance and compatible element of society. The Western Crusaders have taken intellectual and economic leadership because of advancement in education, scientific know-how and technological advancement. Muslims have no contribution in the modern technology and have no significant achievements in state-building and nation building (Hoodbhoy, 1991; Segal, 1996). They have no capacity to impress the modern civilization and seem that Muslims cannot adapt themselves to the contemporary changing conditions and have failed to assimilate with modern knowledge and progress (Segal, 1996).Moreover, the end of the Cold War and tragic attacks of Twin Towers on September 11, 2001, also altered the world's perspective about Islam. M. A. Khan has described that present day interpretation about Islam is based on forced conversion which has no connection with Holly Quran and Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) saying(Khan, 2009).Samuel P. Huntington highlighted the confines of Muslim in his article "The Clash of Civilization" when he divided the nations along cultural lines and defines "Islamic civilization is the most troublesome" within the existing civilizations(Huntington, 1993).He has given logic of Muslims' isolation that "they [Muslim] do not share the general suppositions of the Western world and their primary attachment is to their religion not to their nation-state"(Huntington, 1993).He thought that "Muslim culture is inhospitable to certain liberal ideals such as pluralism, individualism and democracy." He wrote that Islamic world's leading towards democratisation and a nature of the state which suppresses political activity, has led to a rise in fundamentalism, revolt against the west and Islamic resurgence in the Muslim world(Huntington, 1993). In this situation, it seems that Muslims have not only discarded their medieval respect of intellect and harmony irrespective of religious differences but also against the modern norms and values as well as domination of the West.

Origin and Development of Shariah:

In the early time of Islam, even at the age of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) there was no word of Shariah is used these days and also there were schools of thoughts of Shariah sometimes conflicting that came into existence at least 200 years after Prophet Muhammad's death in A.D. 632.GamalSolaiman (Egyptian Scholar) argued that a large number of people who partake in Shairah debate are not aware of origin or the prescriptive denotations of Shairah and have no knowledge about its essentiality as a societal and spiritualistic growth of an individual development (Hussain, 2009).Edward William Lane argues in his monumental Arabic-English Lexicon that the Taj al Arus, the Tadheeb and the Arabic term Shairah refers to "any but (a watering place) such as is permanent and apparent to the eve, like the water of a river not water from which one draws with the well rope"(Lane, 1972). …

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