Don’t equate constitution with shariah, says lawyer

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Source: FMT News

Jasser Auda (left) and Ab Kadir Ismail.
Pic from FMT News

PETALING JAYA: An official of the Shariah Lawyers Association has disputed Islamic scholar Jasser Auda’s view that the Malaysian constitution is in line with the spirit of the shariah.

Ab Kadir Ismail, who heads the association’s Selangor chapter, said no man-made body of laws could claim to be in the spirit of the shariah if it did not explicitly recognise God’s omniscience and omnipotence.

“There is no provision in the constitution that says Allah is superior and that the main sources of law are the Quran and Sunnah,” he said.

Auda, the chairman of the London-based Maqasid Institute, told a recent forum that he disagreed with calls to amend the Malaysian constitution, saying it already placed importance on peace, stability, and justice as required by Islam.Auda also said a legal system would be Islamic it fulfilled the shariah objectives of protecting and preserving faith, life, intellect, lineage and property.

Kadir said Muslims were not obliged to consider the constitution as supreme law because they must reserve that status for the shariah.

Akberdin Abdul Kader, a shariah and civil lawyer, is more accepting of Auda’s view.

“I agree that the articles in the constitution concerning the fundamental liberties are in line with Islam,” he told FMT, but he added that the status of shariah law in Malaysia needed to be lifted.

He said it was time for the shariah legal system to be centralised at the federal level and applied uniformly across the states.

He called for the full implementation of the shariah, adding that he believed it could be made applicable to Muslims alone.