Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Genesis of Sharia law

Originally Published in July 2010 at Huffington Post with the Title, Sharia Laws, not in America


Whether you are a theist, atheist or an agnostic, you may see the element of balance embedded in every aspect of creation be it matter, life or environment.  The earth rotates on its own imaginary axis and circles the sun with precision, and so do the other planets in the universe. When it comes to seasons it appears that, they are programmed to be within a range of prediction. No matter where you sow the tiny seed of wheat, the process is predetermined as to what happens to that seed, so is the human body, one wrong food can mess up that balance. Everything about the nature is balance, precision and harmony.

What does the process (God) that created matter and life want? I believe it wants us to maintain that balance and harmony for our continued existence, it’s our freedom and ability to tune ourselves and our environment to constantly maintain that balance that gives us life. 

What does God really want? Like a mother who wants her kids to do well; like the teacher who wants his students to score A’s, like a chef who wants all her patrons to enjoy her food, like the maker of iPhone who wants all its customers to enjoy the phone to its max benefit, God wants all his creation (life, matter and environment) to function effectively and in harmony and cohesion as he has created. That can be called God’s will and subscribing to that thought can be called submission (Quran), surrender (Bhagvad Gita) or follow (Bible) the creator.

Ever since our conscious life began, there have been a number of individuals from among us, who have worked hard to keep God’s will. The purpose of every religious or non-religious leader was create such societies where no one had to live in fear of the other, or no one was to be pushed out of harmony.

Religion is a beautiful instrument with a purpose to maintain the social cohesiveness among the inhabitants, a majority of people get that right, a few don’t, and those who don’t,  don’t realize that they are working against the balance without being aware of it.

Justice is the one word that wraps God, balance, harmony and cohesion together and that is the foundation of all societies, without justice, things go awry and if not checked, they will degenerate from there. Krishna had mentioned whenever there is adharma (righteousness turned upside down), some one will appear from among us to fix it.


Each society, civil or religious has its own code of conduct that it operates on. Islam is no different. Sharia in its simplest form is a how-to-serve-justice manual based on the Qur'an and the Hadith (Prophet Muhammad's sayings and life examples). Indeed, it is a human effort to understand the concept of justice enshrined in Qur'an for the day-to-day living. Sharia like all other human laws, including the laws of the United States has its own shortcomings when it comes to just applications of the law. However, the world has evolved* but Sharia has a few frozen lakes.

American Muslims have placed their trust in the American justice system and will continue to oppose the kind of Sharia "that is prevalent in a handful of Muslim majority nations across the globe". The right wingers are duping Americans to believe that Muslims want that kind of Sharia law here in America, they are wrong, no Muslim organization in America has asked for it, none.  I will be one of the first ones, if not the first one, to stand up against Sharia for public, however, I support Sharia for personal use of people to square off their conflicts. We are Americans and the law of the land is our law. There is no substitute for it.

G E N E S I S  O F  S H A R I A 

After the death of Prophet Muhammad and the first four 'rightly guided' Caliphs,  the new community was grappling with the unique issues and were battling within to ensure that no one is denied justice. The desire to be absolutely just was overwhelming..

Allah commands justice and good conduct [Quran 16:90; 4:58]. You should stand firm in justice, even if it goes against yourselves or parents and relatives. Follow not your personal inclinations, lest you not be just [4:135, 6:152]. And do not let the hatred of someone prevent you from being just towards him [5:8]. You should do justice in all circumstances without any bias, discrimination or prejudice whether the outcome goes against you or your loved ones, or in favor of your rivals. 

Each issue was different and the decisions were customized to one's situations, it required a full time judge to study the books thoroughly before a recommendation was made. The scholars of the time were challenged to cut down the margin of error in such decisions by standardizing the process to render judgments on a daily basis to meet the growing demand for justice.
The scholars of the time met the challenge and created a body of knowledge as supplementary guidance and established the standards of moral conduct. Sharia laws were designed to be free from misapplications and regret-free decision-making processes.

P E R S O N A L  A N D  P U B L I C  S H A R I A 
From a layperson's point of view, Sharia is divided into a personal and a public function. The personal Sharia is about the relationship between an individual and the creator, whereas the public Sharia is about the relationship between the individual and the society.

The personal Sharia deals with beneficial actions that should be performed by individuals, such as prayers, fasting, pilgrimage, Hajj, and Zakat (tithe, or charity). It is indeed a guide for individual Muslims to observe and follow their faith.

The public Sharia deals with the community affairs involving more than one individual, such as marriage, divorce,  adultery, theft, conversion, apostates and inheritance.

The intent of the Sharia laws was to construct a complete justice system with fairness to all members of society. Peace and a sense of security are the products of justice in a given society. The violations of justice and the rule of law are found in every faith, culture and political system, to varying degrees. In this respect no community is free of blame and no one can cast the first stone against another community.

However, like all laws, the Sharia for public application needs a serious revision to reflect the changing needs of society. The values enshrined in the Qur'an are dynamic, and because Sharia laws are derived from the Qur'an, they must reflect the dynamic applicability of the book. In modern times, the contentious issues that have most often recurred stem from treatment of divorce, women's rights, inheritance, theft, adultery and apostasy.

Even here in America, laws originally framed with the intention of ensuring liberty and justice for all were misapplied for over a century after they were written, resulting in a serious denial of rights to women and slaves. It is only in the last 75 years that we are tuning ourselves to the intent of our constitution. A woman is no longer considered a chattel, and slavery has become an outlawed practice. As of right now the rights of individuals with different sexual orientations are at the center of the debates as much as accepting a woman president in our country. In terms of capital punishment we are still evolving; we are behind Europe and we remain as antiquated as Saudi Arabia in putting people to death.

But even as we speak today there is yet another speculative issue that has been brought up: the issue of application of Sharia laws here in our country. This contentious debate is largely a product of the right-wing media and many a fearful neoconservatives. As an American Muslim who has  traveled throughout this country, I can strongly affirm that no group of American Muslims has called for the application of Sharia laws in America. Although a few individuals may have expressed their support for compliance with the laws here in our country, they have nevertheless remained avid supporters of the laws and freedoms of the United States.

S H A R I A  I N D U S T R Y

The Sharia industry has been built with strong fortifications, to the point that many Muslims are led to believe that Sharia law is divine. In this way the application of Sharia throughout history can be comparable to the business protection plans used by defense, tax preparers and other industries, where the involved matters are made so complicated that they are needed by the society.

The brouhaha about Sharia Law by many a congressman and lelegislators is really ridiculous, these legislators who are introducing the bills in different states to ban Sharia laws are as neanderthalic as some of the Talibans.  Hear me out, if you and your spouse file for divorce, the judge will not bang his gavel and say, its done. Efforts will be made for you to find reconciliation and alternate services such as arbitration, psychological counseling and pastoral counseling,  hoping you may find the magical moment to reconcile. Add to that Rabbinical counseling where the Rabbi counsels the Jewish couple to bring them back together,  so Muslims are asking an option of having a Imam counseling. What the hell is wrong with that? Enough is written about it on the right pane of this site. 

Islam teaches each individual to be accountable for his or her actions. We do not need a Sharia industry, and Islam certainly does not have clerical establishment built into it, nor is there a need for one.

We can retain the private Sharia and let go of the public Sharia; the civil laws of our nation provide ample justice, and we don't need a duplicate system. Sharia law was never considered divine to begin with. Hence, there is no need to even dream about it.

A M E R I C A N  M U S L I  M S

American Muslims have placed their trust in the American justice system and will continue to oppose Sharia laws as they are currently applied in many places across the globe. I will be one of the first ones, if not the first one, to stand up against it. The Muslim majority in America is happy with the American system and does not want to have Sharia law here in America.

On the Hannity Show on Fox News, I have challenged the likes of Geller, Spencer and others to show an American Muslim Organization that wants to impose it on Americans, its merely a hype, they cannot substantiate it. This may be bad news for the likes of Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer,  Bridgette Gabriel, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, John Hagee and a host of other right-wingers, who thrive on selling hate and painting chaotic scenarios. It will hurt their sales and affect their cash flow. They cannot dupe Americans with unsubstantiated and statistically insignificant claims. Americans are trained to see another point of view and to be non-judgmental.

However, I urge the passionate neocons to become ambassadors of peace in mitigating conflicts and nurturing goodwill. It will not make them as much money, but they will be able to sleep in peace. We all need to work for a safe and prosperous America with a focus on social cohesion and removing the division and wedges between us.

As a Muslim I stand against Sharia for public consumption, but allow for personal use for people to square their conflicts. We are Americans and the law of the land is our law. There is no substitute for it. 

Please note that almost every paragraph is based on verses from Quran, but I am not quoting them here, as it is written for the general audience and from a common sense point of view.  However, when I give a talk to Muslims, I will quote them.

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at He believes in Standing up for others and has done that throughout his life as an activist. Mike has a presence on national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News; fortnightly at Huffington post; and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site indexes his work through many links.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Warning to Terrorists - the BIG red poster

The acronyms SOB, AH, BS and others are certainly uncouth, but they effectively communicate a purposeful message, hence I made that choice.  The Warning poster to Terrorist is a double edged sword and is at the bottom - the big red poster.

The following comments have been received against the poster below.

  1. sometimes your brain goes on strike I guess”,
  2. “Don’t jeopardize”
  3. “Who gave you the authority to represent Muslims?”
  4.  “Not appropriate and safe for you in today's hostile environment.”
  5.  “this is a mindless drivel”
  6. “You are not qualified to speak for Islam”
  7.  “Do you think your severe warning will have any darn effect on these fanatics”
  8. I second it”
  9. “it is appropriate response”.

In a learning environment, good thoughts and concrete ideas are developed with criticism and feedback; here is why this kind of response is needed. 

  1. Don't bark at the religion for the acts of bad guys. Punishment is set for bad acts, to restore the trust in a given society. When a Rapist is running around in a neighborhood, everyone is apprehensive, but when the guy is caught and nailed, peace of mind is restored in the neighborhood. Instead of catching the guy, if we blame his raising, his family, his religion, his race or nation, and his imam, rabbi, pastor or pundit – we will not restore peace. I intend to aggressively communicate this idea, the right idea, and intend to speak at various law enforcement agencies as well as religious institutions.  
  2. The criminal ought to know that he will be punished; we will not allow the poor alibi of religion, not at all. The Law enforcement and the media people also need to get this in their heads, the purpose of investigations and chasing the bad guys is to restore trust and not to aggravate by barking at a non-entity like Religion. The more you bark at criminal’s religion, race or ethnicity, the worse it gets. You cannot shoot, kill, hang, beat or bury the religion, then why bark at it?

  3. 72 Virgins are promised. Both the terrorists and the communicators of the problem (Media and Politicians) to the world at large have gotten it wrong. The poor guy needs to be outraged at the recruiters that he was duped, and there are no 72 virgins waiting for him, instead the SOB will rot in Jail if we Americans get him, or killed mercilessly if he is caught by the opposite party. No Geneva conventions will be observed by either the terrorist or his chasers.  The Media needs to stop the BS of propagating the falsity with nothing to back up in the Qur'an.

  4. Both the criminal and the law enforcement (coupled with the media and politicians) must be aware that it is the Sin, and not the sinner we are after. The clarity should prevent us from being unjust.  We should not be abusive in disciplining or punishing the wrong doer. As a civil society, we cannot become the very evil we want to eradicate.
  5. We should seek the criminal to lead us to the source of recruiting material and the recruiters by mitigating his punishment. 
  6. The Challenge to “read the right translation/interpretation” of Qur'an applies to both the criminal and the law enforcement. I am certain, the criminal will become a genuine repenter, and the law enforcement will not buy or propagate the dished out non-sense in the market or bark irrelevantly.

This is the right time to forge peace to the society in general, and American society in particular by boldly and loudly getting people to get the message, and i.e.,

I am being assertive, never has any Muslim or other communicated this so clearly and it is time we do that, thank God for the opportunities he has blessed us with to find solutions.   If I don't, no one will speak, and I sincerely hope many of us to speak up, do it on your own or join me.

It is time we separate the evil from good.

Bottom line is to free Islam and Muslims from the stupid stereotyping, and focus on punishing the bad guys and restoring trust in the society. 

You SOB, you are the damned murderer, you messed up the peace, and your ass will nailed big time.

Don’t give me the BS about your job, childhood, parents, kids, siblings, spouse, imam, rabbi, pastor or the pundit. You did it and you'll pay for it.

I am not stupid to buy in your argument that your religion made you do that, and then bark at the religion endlessly. AH, you are the bad guy and you are going to pay for it. I am here to restore justice in the society and not be detracted and scream at your religion like a stupid ass. I can hang you, shoot you, bury you and beat you up to restore justice and trust in the society, and that is my goal

 Note: Mr. Terrorist, I don't condemn you, it is your sin I condemn. If you claim to be a Muslim, just remember, those guys who recruited you, and cheated you with  false promises of Hoories and virgins in paradise were dead wrong. There is no such thing nor is it mentioned in Qur'an, instead you will rot in jail for life. Would you turn in your recruiters for cheating you? Would you read the correct translations of Qur'an, we might minimize your sentence?

This should be the attitude of Law enforcement
Authorized by Mike Ghouse, World Muslim Congress.

Thank you


Mike Ghouse

(214) 325-1916 text/talk 
Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on Pluralism at work place, politics, religion, society, gender, race, culture, ethnicity, food and foreign policy. He is commentator on Fox News and syndicated Talk Radio shows and a writer at major news papers including Dallas Morning News and Huffington Post.  All about him is listed in several links at and his writings are at and 10 other blogs. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.