Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Islamic Public Law


I was curios about the classification in this book;  Private and Public.
When I wrote the article on Sharia, I classifed it into private and public Sharia,  and was questioned for the classification as it was never done before. Here is this book with similar classification.
New Release from IUR Press:
Islamic Public Law (Documents on Practice from the Ottoman Archives)

by Ahmed Akgunduz, (Rotterdam: IUR Press 2011), Hardcover, 734 pp. Price 45 Euro plus Post Costs. ISBN 978-90-807192-6-2.

“Islamic law contains explications and divisions that imply a classification in terms of public and private law. In this book we will explain the outlines of Islamic public law, e.g. First Chapter; Islamic constitutional law (al-siyāsah al-shar‘iyyah) and administrative law (al-siyāsah al-shar‘iyyah); Second Chapter; penal law (al-̒uqūbāt); Third Chapter; financial law (zakāt, ʻushr, ḫarāj and other taxes); Fourth Chapter; trial law (qaḍā), and Fifth Chapter: international public law (al-siyar).

The fields of especially Islamic constitutional law, administrative law, financial law, ta‘zīr penalties, and arrangements concerning military law based on the restricted legislative authority vested by Sharī‘ah rules and those jurisprudential decrees based on secondary sources like customs and traditions and the public good (maslahah) all fell under what was variously called public law, al-siyāsah al-shar‘iyyah (Sharī‘ah policy), qānūn (legal code), qānūnnāmah, ‘orfī ḥuqūq etc. Since these laws could not go beyond Sharī‘ah principles either, at least in theory, they should not be regarded as a legal system outside of Islamic law.

But Islamic penal law, financial law, trial law, and international law depend mostly on rules that are based directly on the Qur’an and the Sunnah and codified in books of fiqh (Islamic law) called Sharī‘ah rules, Sharʻ-i sharīf, or Sharī‘ah law. Such rules formed 85% of the legal system.

In this book, we will focus on some controversial problems in the Muslim world today, such as the form of government in Islamic law and the relation between Islam and democracy. Islamic law does not stipulate a certain method of state government; nonetheless, we may say that the principles it decrees and its concept of sovereignty suggest a religious republic. As a matter of fact, Ḫulafā al-Rāshidūn (the Rightly Guided Caliphs), were both caliphs and religious republican presidents.

We could say that this book has three main characteristics.

i) We have tried to base our explanations directly on the primary Islamic law sources. For example, after reading some articles on the caliphate or tīmār system in articles or books by some Western scholars and even by some Muslim scholars, one might conclude that there are different views on these subjects among Muslim scholars. This is not true: Muslisms have agreed on the basic rules on legal subjects, but there are some conflicts regarding nuances and interpretations. If one reads works by Imām Gazzali, Ibn Taymiyyah, al-Māwardi, and al-Farrā’, one will not find any disagreement on the main rules, but there are some different interpretations of some concepts. We have tried to discover where they agreed and we have sometimes pointed to where they differed.

ii) We have researched practices of Islamic law, especially legal documents in the Ottoman archives. For example, we explain ḥadd-i sariqa but also mention some legal articles from the Ottoman legal codes (qānunnāmes) and some Sharī‘ah court decisions like legal decrees (i‘lāmāt-i shar‘iyyah). It is well known that nobody can understand any legal system without implementing and practicing it. That also holds for Islamic law because theory alone does not yield a complete understanding of Sharī‘ah rules.

iii) We have worked hard to correct some misconceptions and misunderstandings about Islamic law. That is why we appeal to the primary sources. For example, some scholars claim that the Ḥanafī jurist Imām Saraḫsī did not accept the idea of punishment for apostasy. We have studied his work al-Mabsūt and found this claim to be unfounded. The comparison between tīmār and fief is another example because the tīmār system is different from the fief system. Some scholars confuse the concept of sovereignty and governance. The Islamic state is not a theocratic state in the sense in which Europeans understand the term.”

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quraan burning

Planned Muslim Response to Qur'an Burning by Pastor Jones on September 11 in Mulberry, Florida

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

Mike Ghouse
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797


We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.

Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”

God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.

We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration ( held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.

Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.

As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.

We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.

We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.

We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.

Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.

Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.

We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.


Thank you.


The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.