Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine
Rajab / Shaban 1423 H
October 2002
Volume 15-10 No:190

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Religion


Misconceptions about the word 'Akbar'
Islamic Personal Law is the Best


Zakir Naik

Misconceptions about the word 'Akbar'

Why do Muslims take the name of Emperor Akbar while calling people to pray?

1. Non-Muslims misunderstand that Emperor Akbar’s name is taken in the Adhaan

Once, when I attended a conference in Kerala, a non-Muslim minister spoke just before my speech. He was highlighting the achievements of the Indian Muslims and their role in the progress of India. He said that amongst the Indian kings, the greatest was Emperor Akbar. No wonder the Muslims take his name five times a day, while calling people to pray. During my speech however, I clarified this misconception.

2. The word ‘Akbar’ in the Adhaan has nothing to do with Emperor Akbar

The word ‘Akbar’ mentioned in the Adhaan which is given to call people to pray has nothing to do with Emperor Akbar of India.The words in the Adhaan were used centuries before the birth of Emperor Akbar.

3. 'Akbar' means 'Great'

The Arabic word ‘Akbar’ means ‘great’. When we say ‘Allahu Akbar’ in the Adhaan we proclaim that ‘Allah is Great’ or ‘Allah is the Greatest’ and we call people to worship the one and only Allah who is the Greatest.

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Islamic Personal Law is the Best

Why don't Muslims in India follow the Islamic Criminal Law?
When Muslims in India insist on having a separate Muslim Personal Law for themselves,
why don't they also insist on implementing the Islamic Criminal Law for the Muslims;
for example implementing the rule that the robber's hands should be chopped off if a Muslim robs?

1. Muslim Personal Law

The Muslim Personal Law is a law concerning an individual person and the persons closely related to him, e.g. laws relating to marriage, divorce, inheritance, etc. It includes laws which are mutually agreed upon by a group of people. This law does not include any crime or an act that will harm the society directly.

2. India is secular And democratic

In any country, the Personal Law may differ for different groups of people and for different communities. Since India is a secular and democratic country, it allows different groups of people to follow their own personal law if they wish.

3. Islamic Personal Law is the Best

Muslims believe that compared to all the different types of personal laws available in the world, the best and the most result oriented is the Islamic Personal Law. Muslims of India prefer following the Muslim Personal Law also because of their own belief in Islam.

4. Criminal Law

Criminal law is that law which is associated with a crime or an act which directly affects the society e.g. robbing, raping, murdering, etc.

5. The Criminal Law should be the same for all people

In any country, the criminal law unlike the Personal Law cannot be different for different groups of people. It has to be same for all people of different groups and different religions e.g. In Islam, if a person robs, his hands are chopped off. This punishment is not prescribed in Hinduism. If a Hindu robs a Muslim, what would be the robber's punishment? The Muslim would want the hands of the robber to be chopped, while the Hindu law would not agree.

6. The Muslims in India alone cannot separately follow
the Islamic Criminal Law without involving the non-Muslims

Even if a Muslim agrees, that as far as he commits a crime he should be given the punishment according to Islamic Criminal law, it would not be practical. In case an allegation is made against a Muslim for robbery and if the witnesses are non-Muslims, and if each one follows his own Criminal Law, the punishment in Islam for bearing false witness is 80 lashes, whereas in the Indian Criminal Law, a person giving false witness can easily escape. Thus, for a non-Muslim to falsely accuse a Muslim of any crime is very easy, if both follow their own criminal law. However, if both follow the Indian Law where the punishment is lenient for false witnesses and robbers, it will encourage both the robber to rob as well as encourage the witnesses to give false witness for their own benefit.

7. Muslims in India would prefer the Islamic Criminal Law to be implemented on all Indians

We Muslims would prefer that in India the Islamic Criminal Law be implemented on all the Indians, since, chopping the hands of a thief will surely reduce the rate of robbery in India. Similarly, 80 lashes for giving false testimony will prevent a person from giving false witness.

8.  Islamic Criminal Law is most Practical

Islam besides pointing out a crime, it also gives you a solution showing how to prevent the crime e.g. chopping the hands of a robber, death penalty for the rapist. The punishment is so severe that it is a deterrent for the criminal to commit the crime. He will think a 100 times before committing a crime. Thus, if crime has to be reduced or stopped in India, the best solution is to implement 'The Common Islamic Criminal Law'.

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