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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

God's Law: The Bigger Picture

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Browsing through the online news today, Walski came across this article at Al-Jazeera, from the weekend.

Image hosting by PhotobucketWhen policing "morality" ignores common sense, logic and compassion...

The Saudi Moral Police, better known as the Muttawa (or Muttaween), are pretty gung-ho about what they do, Walski's been told. So gung-ho, in fact, that back in 2002, they caused the death of 15 schoolgirls for not allowing the girls to flee a burning building - because they weren't decently dressed enough (didn't have their abayas on). Granted, this was a very extreme case, but the Muttawa have been, over the years, well-known for acting beyond reason, and in many instances, beyond the law.

It's fortunate that Malaysia doesn't have our own equivalent, although some in our nation would love to have their own brand of Moral Policing. Having a Malaysian Muttawa would be, like, an Islamist wet-dream come true. Or some equivalent joy.

And, of course, even bringing up such folly would immediately be followed by quick and lazy labelling - infidel, heretic, liberal... as if labels mean anything, other than a short-cut to duck out of an intelligent discourse on the subject.

Such is the case recently with The Islamoholic (heh, heh... Walski simply cannot get over this name... Islamoholism really does sound like a horrid social disease). In his/her recent post, "Liberals, do not question Islamic Law", several interesting things were mentioned. One of them, that Walski found most interesting was this (emphasis by myAsylum):

"Indeed, non-Muslims have no business interfering in the teachings of Islam, in particular the basic tenets of Islam such as the provisions of the Shariah law."

Did Walski fall asleep at some point, and miss a brand new set of divine revelation? Because, as far as he knows, the basic tenets of Islam make no mention of Shariah Law, although Shariah Law is often equated to being God's Undisputable Law by many Muslims. Much in the same vein that many Christians regard The Bible as the undisputable word of God. Especially the Southern Baptists. But Walski digresses.

And no, Shariah Law was not revealed as one voluminous code - it is, in fact, a set of laws written by human hands, based on Quranic revelation, and extra-Quranic "religious" sources.

Be that as it may, this post is not about analyzing Shariah Law. Nope. It's about God's Laws, in a larger sense. In particular, those that these anti-Liberals don't usually mention.

Like gravity, for example.
(defying gravity, and more, in the full post)

Contrary to popular belief, Newton did not invent gravity. Nope, gravity is God's way of making sure we don't all get flung into space, choke and die. Gravity is definitely one of God's Laws. All Newton did was to help quantify gravity so that it would make sense to us in terms of measurements we can identify with. Which today is metric terms. Except for time. But again, Walski digresses.

But with that quantification, Man has gone to great lengths defying those very laws. Walski's sure that many of these same anti-Liberals (for lack of a more accurate label) have travelled on an airplane. You don't see them organizing protest rallies in front of Boeing or Malaysia Airlines for defying God's laws of gravity, now do you?

Another of God's laws - human intelligence. Intelligence is something God bestowed on all normal human beings. Now, why would God have given us intelligence if we weren't meant to use it to the fullest? But noooo, to these anti-Liberals, God gave us intelligence so that we don't use it to its full potential, but instead only so that our intellect can be subservient. To the "more learned". Most of whom have long become worm food. Again, from the sufferer of Walski's favorite social disease:

"But who are these liberals to question the provisions of the Shariah in its true form? Perhaps, if they are serious about improving the situation, they should study the true teachings of Islam from the learned rather than using their grey matter alone to interpret Allah’s words."

Which leads Walski to wonder, do/did the learned use their grey matter in their interpretation? Or through the thoughts of other more learned individuals? And what exactly are the provisions of the Shariah in its true form? And which set of Shariah Laws (depending on sectarian and geographical considerations) are the most definitive, and "true"?

Ah, yes - one of them would be the punishment of theft. Literally, the Quran states that the punishment for theft is the amputation of the hands, and if still unrepentant, the feet/legs. Or is the Quran trying to tell us to cut off the hands and feet figuratively - as in take away the thief's means and resources. After all, a legion of hand-less and foot-less reformed ex-thieves is not exactly the most useful thing to have for any nation.

And how does the Shariah address theft of Intellectual Property? Amputate the brain? After all, a legion of brainless... oh, wait - we already have that.

Because in the Quran there are literal statements, and there are the not-so-literal statements, per God's laws, human intelligence is needed, like it or not, to tell the difference. But to these anti-Liberals, only if you are a member of the learned, of which the criteria of who qualifies, only the anti-Liberals can tell you.

And what about God's Planetary Laws? Today, the entire Islamic world schedules important religious events solely based on the Hijri calendar, which is a strictly lunar-based calendar. It is also a known fact that seasonal changes are the cause of the Earth's position in it's orbit around the Sun, also one of God's Planetary Laws. But the latter law has been totally ignored in the formulation of the Hijri calendar. Which is why the Hijri (or Islamic) Calendar is totally useless for practical purposes other than setting when religious events should occur.

There must be reasons why the ratio of 364.25 axial rotations to one full orbit has been put in place, per God's Planetary Plan. The most obvious reason, perhaps, being that seasonal changes are predictable based on this ratio. But did this get any consideration whatsoever when the Hijri calendar was set?

Imagine the disasterous results if crop planting were to be based on the Islamic Calendar. Doesn't apply to Malaysia quite the same way, perhaps, that it would more temperate lands where there is a discernible difference in climate depending on where the Earth is on its orbit.

Or are we to believe that agriculture, which is a means to feed people, and is very much tied up with seasonal characteristics, has nothing to do with Islam? Reliance still has to be made on non-Islamic calendar systems - now, why don't y'all go and protest that?

Or is the human race only meant to live around the Equator?

There is Quranic evidence to suggest that the way the Islamic Calendar, as we know it, has been designed in a totally wrong way. But since Walski is regarded by these anti-Liberals to be a Liberal, hence un-learned from their "Islamic" perspective, he'll leave it to the "more learned" to figure out. If they care to. Walski's not telling.

The whole point in this diatribe is that these anti-Liberals are so focused on the belief that the world will be all hunky-dory once Shariah Laws are implemented. Why? Because that's what they've been told by those whom they consider to be "more learned". Gee, with Shariah Laws in place, Malaysia could pride itself in being just like Pakistan. Minus the Pakistanis. Now wouldn't that be simply swell?

Lately, PAS has been toying with the idea of studying Iran's method of tackling youth social problems (source: Harakah, in Bahasa Malaysia). Hey, what a model country to emulate, huh? Except for one problem - over there, the Muslims are of a different sect school of Islamic thought, which the Sunnis have pretty much condemned as being heretical. Minor detail, one supposes.

Indonesia, on the other hand, while usually pooh-pooh'd as being backwards by their Malaysian brethren, have definitely gone ahead by leaps and bounds when it comes to studying and applying Islam in the real-world sense (source: The Other Malaysia). And if our so-called "more learned" can ever get over the myopic, morose-tinted glasses of morality, so could Malaysia, probably; for the betterment of all Malaysians, even. Muslims or otherwise.

The application of any law system without due application of reason, common sense, and compassion, will surely lead to cruel injustice. The only difference being whether that injustice is Islamic or not. More so, if established laws are then totally ignored, purely on the grounds of "morality".

And the Muttawa in Saudi Arabia is living proof of that.