Sunday, January 05, 2003

Voices of Resurgent Islam (1983) edited by John L. Esposito is very interesting. Consider the following selection, from the chapter by Yvonne Y. Haddad (pages 83-84):

Sayyid Qutb wrote a book on Islam and Peace in which he affirmed that peace is the essential character of Islam. It proceeds from the integration of creation with the law of life and the laws governing humans.

...

Islam insists that there is no compulsion in religion; however, the compulsion comes into being "against those who oppose its way by force." In this manner, Islam has placed a certain responsibility on Muslims. These include the following: 1) It is the duty of Muslims to protect the believers that they do not stray away from the religion, permitting the use of force to repel force. 2) Islam must be guaranteed freedom of propagation, otherwise it becomes incumbent on Muslims to "eradicate" any oppressive powers on the earth which impede the dawah of Islam. 3) Muslims must be able to affirm God's sovereignty on earth and remove those who usurp this sovereignty by legislating laws. 4) Muslims must be free to establish the great justice that all people may enjoy its benefits. "This means that Muslims must combat oppression and injustice wherever they are found, even though it is the oppression of the individual against himself, the oppression of a society against itself or the oppression of the government against its constituents"

On the other hand, the chapter on Qaddafi's Islam shows Qaddafi (in 1978) saying that the Quran is accurate, but the Sunna is not necessarily binding; pointing to historical disputes about the validity of the traditions.

And in the section on Muslim Perspectives on a Resurgent Islam, Kemal A. Faruki (p286) writes about Pakistan:

Similarly with adultery (zina), Ordinance VII prescribes stoning to death at a public place for the married man or married woman guilty of this offence. In this case a difference of opinion has persisted as to the permissibility of stoning which is not mentioned in the Quran but derives its authority from hadith literature references which are imputed by many. This has been the subject of a special examination by expert evidence before the sharia court.

I haven't finished this book yet, but so far I've found it fascinating. As it is on reserve at the library, I can only get it on weekends.

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