What were the Demands of Islamic Law?

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The areas of government in Islamic law are few. They include the following principles. First, rulers are under an obligation to seek the advice of the community and to rule firmly once a decision on policy has been reached. Second, government is clearly estab­lished as a trust in the Quran.

Therefore, rulers are enjoined to govern with justice and avoid cruelty to preserve the public interest not to benefit the rich at the expense of the community and to take care of the needy.

Third, rulers are required to accord all religious freedom to all and to administer justice to non-Muslims according to Islamic law, if they so desire, or else let them apply their own laws. Fourth, government must be prepared to defend the country. They are to consult among themselves and are enjoined to obey authority lawfully exercised.

Other than these rules, the relation between government and the governed was subsumed under the general rules of Muslim conduct.

There is neither discussion of methods, nor limitations on the form of government. Once these few and insistent demands of the Sharia are met, the most diverse forms of government in agreement with time and place are permissible.

But, whatever its form may be, the primary function of the state is the protection of human rights.

For it is a matter' of general agreement among Jurists that in the area of "Mu Amalat" or worldly relations, the law has no other purpose than the welfare of the community.


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