When one Christian ministry was asked about which law should be followed: God’s Law or man’s law, it responded:
The simple answer is that Christians are to obey human law except where that human law violates God’s Law. Our supreme duty is to obey God. Since God tells us to also obey human laws, we should. But, when they come in conflict, we are to “obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29).
Another Christian site, which advertises that it answers questions based upon the Bible, states that it is permissible to disobey governmental authorities “…if they demand that we disobey something God has commanded.” Such sentiment is even more pronounced amongst Orthodox Jews, who, like Muslims, have a highly complex and intricate legal system that they consider divine (called the halacha). A contemporary Jewish Rabbi writes, in response to a legal verdict regarding copyright laws, that “…the issue of interaction between halacha and civil law is complex. Indeed, there are times when the civil law, in conflict with the halacha, is not binding.”
Even a popular kosher company has as its motto the tongue-in-cheek phrase, ‘We answer to a Higher Authority’. The Law of God, for all three religions, is of course ultimately supreme, and cannot be compared to the laws of men.
While such sentiments might be common to all religious people who believe in Divine Law, it is very easy for xenophobes and fear-mongers to misrepresent such feelings, and stir up public sentiment against such people. This fear-mongering becomes even more palpable when it is directed against a minority group that is already viewed as a potential fifth-column.
For Muslims too, the exact same sentiments that conservative Christians and Jews have about the law of God also ring true. No man has the right to morally challenge what God has decreed to be good and evil, and if someone does so, it should come as little surprise that religious people will always choose the law of God over the law of man.
Islam is a complete package – a complete message and way of life. To fraction it into its component, then examine them individually, will yield little or no understanding of Islam’s holistic whole. Inevitably aspects of Islam examined separately, without a wide-ranging grasp of its totality, will be taken in a fragmented context, in which case aspects may take on the appearance of extremism.
However, when viewed from a comprehensive perspective by any fair person, Islam will be found sensible in all its aspects and practices. Could it be otherwise for a faith that powers one of the greatest living civilizations – one whose dynamism and creativity supplied a foundation for countless aspects of modern society?
Shariah is the Islamic Law – the disciplines and principles that govern the behavior of a Muslim individual towards his or herself, family, neighbors, community, city, nation and the Muslim polity as a whole, the Ummah. Similarly Shariah governs the interactions between communities, groups and social and economic organizations. Shariah establishes the criteria by which all social actions are classified, categorized and administered within the overall governance of the state.
Shariah literally means ‘a well-trodden path to water,’ the source of all life, representing the Path to Allah, as given by Allah, the Originator of all life.
Hence the law of God has Supreme authority that cannot be challenged or altered to suit our own thinking and comforts.
May Allah help us and guide us in following the Shariah and implementing it. Aameen!