Houston, Texas: â€œShariaâ€™a means highway (Shahrah) and in the religious sense, it is the path that takes one towards the right direction in this world, bringing tranquility in this life and will bring much joy in the life hereafter. The basic principle of Shariaâ€™a is establishment of justice based on the universal accepted values of virtues, to keep the balance in the world.â€
These were the approximate words used to put forth some of the ideas by former Supreme Court Justice of Pakistan Honorable Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday, as he spoke for over an hour at an Open Public Forum at Shahnai Restaurant Banquet Hall in Houston, on the topic of â€œThe Role of Shariaâ€™a Law in Modern Legal World â€“ Useful toll or a liability?â€
â€œIn Quran, New, & Old Testaments, we can read the story of Hadhrat Noah (Peace Be Upon him â€“ PBUh). It is not just a fable, but a lesson for the whole humanity. There are little details given that all the human beings on right path joined the prophet to go into the ark, and then names of several animals and birds are mentioned in much specification: Why? Perhaps that is an indication from Allah SWT to mankind to live in harmony with each other. But today we are fighting furiously with each other. Are we than even worse than animals?â€ These were the powerful closing remarks of Mr. Ramday.
He was on a private trip to Houston, where on the insistence of his friends, he agreed to speak. More than 350 persons attended the program, including some elected County Judges, prominent attorney, lawyers, persons from Republican Party, some people from the Churches, and many expatriate Pakistanis & Muslims from various countries.
Program was emceed by Ms. Sobia Izfaz, while opening address was done by the head of three members host committee Dr. Mohammad Afsar, while another member Tahir Bhatty gave the vote of thanks. The third host committee person was Zafar Kureshi. The Q-&-A session was conducted by well-known Attorney Syed Izfar.
Famous Community Attorney Anwar-e-Qadeer, who used to be Honorable Ramdayâ€™s student, introduced the Honorable Judge.
Mr. Ramdayâ€™s presentation had several quotes from Quran, New & Old Testamentsâ€™; and the idea was to bring to light that the fundamental doctrines of all the people of faith are similar and that there is no conflict. He said that there are certain commandments of Allah SWT and sayings & conduct of Messenger Muhammad (s), which are required to be followed: Beyond them the field is open to legislate and having rulings according to onesâ€™ society and environment.
He appealed to people of all faith to closely examine their behaviors, where at times out of emotions, they stereo-type people based on the acts of few, with whom the faith and people of faith have nothing to do with.
He tackled the issue of coexistence of people of varying backgrounds through the Medina Pact (the first constitution of an Islamic State established by Hadhrat Muhammad (s); what Quran says about people creating chaos in the world through environmental degradation and terrorism (Fasad Fil Ardh) and how with force they need to be tackled; municipal laws & Islamic principles not contradicting, child custody laws, polygamy, homosexuality (commandment of Allah SWT is there for this matter through the story of Hadhrat Lut PBUh), Separation of Church & State, etc.
â€œShariaâ€™a is kind of boogeyman in the western society. I do not know from where such fear is coming because the principles of justice and all the universal good values are part of the basics of laws made within Shariaâ€™a. These are the same as the Ten Commandments given to Hadhrat Moses (Peace be Upon him â€“ PBUh). There are no systems of criminal procedure courts, etc. prescribed by Quran, etc. So the systems of corpus duress get evolved by societies according to their set-ups and environment. There are certain commandments given by Allah SWT through Quran and life of Messenger Muhammad PBUh, which cannot be violated. Other than that Shariaâ€™a and municipal laws can exist together. I was part of a Judiciary Review Board of Pakistan Shariaâ€™a Court, where three court judges & two established scholars did an extensive assessment for almost five years of all the Brisitsh & other manmade laws in subcontinent since 1841: They all were studied word to word and nothing of substance was found in them that was unIslamic, since the values are universal. No faith will ask people to commit crimes. Few things where the spirit of Islam was missing was for instance in the punishment of the crime of murder. What was missing is now part of Pakistanâ€™s law and that is if the people of the deceased pardon the murderer with or without compensation, the court has to nullify the punishment of death or life imprisonment penalty,â€ added Honorable Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday.
Recorded DVD and CD copies of the program are available. For that call 832-419-0302.
Justice Ramday is most widely considered to be one of the most independent minded judges Pakistan has ever produced. He was born in Lahore on January 13, 1945 in the famous Ramday Arain family of (Late) Justice Mr. Muhammad Siddique as the fifth child and the third son. The family is known for outspoken and principled stances throughout its history. His late brother Chaudhary Muhammad Farooq has been recognized as a powerful and courageous Attorney General of Pakistan. His younger brother Chaudhary Asad-ur-Rehman, a politician, was elected as a Member of the National Assembly three times on a PML-N ticket and served as a Federal minister as well.