09 August 2008

Is it the Court’s Fault?

During my lunch with two other colleagues and my lecturer few months ago, one of my friends expressed his dissatisfaction to the decision made by the judge of Shariah court to declare a woman as an apostate (murtad). He, one of the supporters of an organization, upheld its thought that the woman should be sentenced to death as prescribed in Shariah law. Besides, he stated how he opposes the system of judiciary in Malaysia which he claimed as allowing man to come before the court to apply permission to commit sins (which I am very confuse with that statement). Allow me to specify a little bit facts of the case.

The case involved a woman who was a non-muslim, then embraced Islam before her marriage with a Muslim man, a citizen of Iran. Later, she applied for the declaration of apostasy from the court after her husband had ‘disappeared’ without reason and cannot be traced. She also submitted that she embraced Islam just for sake of allowing her to marry her husband and she never believe in Islamic teaching. In addition, while she  was carrying on her life as a muslimah, she still eats pork and worships idols.

Then my lecturer gave his opinion (which I agree with even though I am hardly agreeing with him on other issues hehehe). My teacher said this case involved the matter of faith(iman) which man has no power to control and we cannot simply blame the court for allowing the woman's application since faith is a grant from Allah. I, with full of patience, keep my mouth shut and continue enjoying my meal while keep on listening to my lecturer’s ‘lecture’ hehehe.

Lately, in my hostel, the same issue had arisen, but this time by another friend of mine and my lecturer was not there so I have to stand to ‘our’ opinion. It is very unfortunate when they could not understand the fact that the respective judge had no option but to allow or reject the application for declaration of apostasy requested by the women. Even if the judge rejects the request, the woman is already an apostate although her documents state otherwise. Plus, there will be serious conflicts if her document states that she is a muslimah when the reality is not. She will receive privileges of a muslimah. Let say the woman is poor, than she deserves to receive zakah since her document says she is a muslimah. Then how about nasab(lineage)? faraid(inheritance)? When she dies where should we bury her body? In a muslim or Christian cemetery? There so many bad consequences that might take place if the court reject the application.

In fact, as my lecturer said, the case involved the matter of faith. The court has no power to decide how a person should believe. Even if the court says no, she is already murtad. Nothing we can do to change that fact if she herself has no believe in Islamic teaching. The most we could do is to persuade her to reconsider her act and stay as a muslimah. For what purpose we keep the name Islam in her document when she is no longer a muslimah? Is there any benefit to muslim society? I do not think so, in fact it will bring so many problems as I had mention above.

Yes, there is no doubt at all, Qur’an and Sunnah are the highest law in Islam. Every muslim believes in that but we must understand that Malaysia does not apply a complete set of Shariah law. I have mentioned in my earlier post that Malaysia only applies part of Shariah especially in Munakahat and Mu’amalat. Yes there is jurisdiction for hudud’s crime such as qazaf(false accusation) and wine-drinking but the punishment has been ta’zir-ize(not the same as prescribe in Shariah).

After explaining the above, I asked my friend what he would do if he is the one that should decide the case. He answered he will sentence her to death. I said the court has only two options, to allow or to decline. He replied, the court has three choices, the two that I had mentioned and another one is to sentence her to death. This had cause me feel like laughing but I refrained myself from it since we were debating, hahaha. Obviously he did not understand what I had said or pretended that he did not understand or he refused to understand. I do not sure which one.

Then I make a decision to re-explain the situation with some addition, I said even if the judge sentenced the woman to death. The death penalty will not be imposed on her since Shariah court has no power whatsoever to deliver the death penalty. In fact, the power of Shariah court is very limited to fine, canning and imprisonment only. The debate session finally ended with my presumption that he understood what I had explained. For the current situation, until Shariah is completely enforced in Malaysia, that would be the best decision for me, if we are force to choose between those two options.


ijad said...

salam.. apa khabar..

ijad said...

salam.. saya telah link blog ni..