Jamal Badawi



The issue of Female Circumcision

There is, however, a more authentic Hadeeth in which Prophet Muhammad (P) is reported to have passed by a woman performing circumcision on a young girl. He instructed the woman by saying:

“Cut off only the foreskin (outer fold of skin over the clitoris; the prepuce) but do not cut off deeply (i.e. the clitoris itself), for this is brighter for the face (of the girl) and more favorable with the husband.”

While the Prophet (P) did not explicitly ban this practice, his words project a great deal of sensitivity to the instinctive needs of females and their matrimonial happiness and legitimate enjoyment. Reference to the brightness of the face and to better relationship with the husband is clear indications of his sensitivity and compassion. They also stand in contrast to the arguments that female circumcision “controls” the woman’s sexual appetite and hence contributes to sexual morality and virtue in society.

Shariah (Islamic law) divides actions into five categories; mandatory, commendable, permissible, detestable and strictly forbidden. Female circumcision falls within the category of the permissible. It was probably on this basis that some scholars opposed a sweeping ban of this practice.

The remaining question then relates to the first procedure. Some (e.g. the late Rector of Al-Azhar University, Sheikh Gad Al-Haque) argued that since the Prophet (P) did not ban female circumcision, it falls within the category of the permissible.



Both genders are entitled to equality before the law and courts of law. Justice is genderless. According to the Quran, men and women receive the same punishment for crimes such as theft (5:38), fornication (24:2) 23 murder and injury (5:45).


On Mount Nur with Dr Jamal Badawi

“I have read many books, but Hasan Al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, has been most inspirational.

More than any other individual, he has epitomised twentieth century Islamic thought and ideology.”


In response to the enforcement of Hijab in some Muslim countries, Badawi says:

”When we say choice, there is no even liberal democracy in our century that allows free choice in the absolute sense. For instance, even in the Western world if a woman or man wants to make a ‘choice’ of walking naked in a public place, we know that this is not regarded as an acceptable ‘choice’.”

“That shows that societies have the right to set reasonable limits on choices so as not to harm society at large or its ‘moral values’. It is in the same vain that it would not be inappropriate for an Islamic state to set those reasonable limits.”


Religion and Politics

Is there evidence in the Quran that the establishment of an Islamic system of government is mandatory?

Jamal Badawi:

There are numerous evidence showing this.  In the Quran in (3:154) “Indeed, this affair is wholly Allah’s.”  In the Quran in (7:54) “Is it not His to create and to govern?”  Again as we explained in the previous question some people’s problem is that they stop at the creation but when it comes to God’s right as a the Creator to govern and tell us what to do is separate.  This beautiful and very concise verse put them both together that if one admits that God is the creator then one has to admit that He is the one who should govern.  Govern here doesn’t simply mean that he should govern the universe in terms of physical phenomena but also moral laws, social laws, political laws, economic laws.  These are all ultimately are the authority and domain of God.  In a similar way there is an interesting quotation in the Quran in (43:84) “It is He Who is Allah in heaven and Allah on earth; and He is full of Wisdom and Knowledge.”  It is not like some people think where the domain of God is only the spiritual things because God is so busy to worry about our worldly affairs.  As God is Lord in Heavens and as the spiritual part of our lives should be dedicated to Him so should our earthly life.  Our earthly life is not all just prayers, supplications or rights.  Earthly rights include economics as much as it includes social and political.  This shows us what the orientation of Islam is.  There are two quotations in the Quran which have the same expressions in (6:57) and (12:40) “He is the best of judge” and “the command is for none but Allah.”  These are broader citations which address the question of servitude and the acceptance of God’s directives.

In one really interesting section it descried those who refuse to rule or judge in accordance with what God revealed as unbelievers, wrongdoers and rebells.  In the Quran in (5:47-53) “Let the people of the Gospel judge by what Allah hath revealed therein. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (no better than) those who rebel.”  Then it goes on to describe specific things then in the end of the verse it says that whoever doesn’t judge according to what Allah has revealed are wrongdoers.  Later it says they are rebells against God.  If a person who is in a position of rule doesn’t comply with these rules then all three descriptions apply to him.  Interestingly enough the same section directs its message to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) telling him as in verse 52 to “Judge thou between them by what Allah hath revealed.”  Even the Prophet himself was directed to implement the law of God.  This section ends by asking people “Do they then seek after a judgment of (the days of) ignorance?” And then it says “But who, for a people whose faith is assured, can give better judgement than Allah.”  The Quran is full of indications that are direct, indirect, explicit, implicit that show without any shred of doubt that the establishment of Islamic order or rule is mandatory that Muslims must establish.

We also find that in the Prophetic Tradition many times he speaks about having an ameer and a leader.  In one case he said that if three people are traveling they should chose one of them as their head or leader.  What then do we expect if there is a whole State?  There is no doubt historically speaking that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) did not only act as a prophet in the common notion but he was also a statesman, he was the head of a State, he conducted affairs of Muslims, he established the mechanism that looked after the implementation of those rules.  In fact many times when we look at the Quran we notice that it addresses believers in the plural.  Even in matters of prayers it addresses people in plural showing the collective orientation and how we have to act together as a community to implement the will of God.  Many times the Quran speaks about certain rules or aspects of criminal law which one person can not implement so the very fact that these rules are mentioned in the Quran shows us that there must be some organized State and leadership that makes sure that rules are implemented in a faire and impartial way.  The evidence is overwhelming that we can not separate religion from the State in Islam.

In the last part of the program we tried to give quite a few citations from the Quran which showed quite clearly that Islam makes it incumbent on the Muslim community to establish an Islamic system of Government based on divine directives.  We can’t simply say the spiritual part is the domain of the Quran and the rest is left to others.  The Quran made it clear that those who do not rule and judge in accordance with God’s revelation are unbelievers and rebells against God.

It is not enough in an Islamic System to  apply the penalty of adultery when it is proven to the common man while those in power commit the same thing at a much larger scale and they get away with it, which is not what Islam teaches and what the Prophet (PBUH) indicated in terms of the impartiality of the application of the law.  It would not be representative of true Islam to start immediately implementing aspects of criminal law in a brutal way without allowing transitory time to change a decaying society and move it towards the ideals of Islam.  The philosophy of criminal law in Islam is not just punishment, chopping hands or heads but is the idea of reforming society and preventing the cause of crime before a punishment can be applied.  Again it is not a system which brutally does things without looking into the wisdom of legislation and why the penalties were there and what the prerequisites were to implement them.

The only difference remains that an Islamic State can not be ruled by a non-Muslim because it is an ideological state, there is no apology for that.  It would be rather cosmetic to say that anyone could become president because no Buddhist or Muslim will ever be the president of the United States or the prime minister of Canada or the prime minister of Britain.  Being an Ideological state ruled by the Quran it has to have  a person rule who believes in what he is implementing.

Islam by definition is a voluntary and conscious submission to the will of God.  It is illogical to say that one has to believe.  As much as freedom of religion is emphasized there is the same emphasis on the respect of religion.  This is why turning away from truth and belief in the supremacy of God after the person had accepted religion, especially if it is done publicly and in a way that causes descent and as legal manipulation to take advantage of personal law, which varies between Muslims and non-Muslims, by causing commotion in a society or by disturbing public order. 

Of course the question of freedom, like in any other place should not be used to slander others and accuse or attack them unfairly.  Freedom of expression doesn’t mean the freedom to spread corruption and it has to be within general decency while respecting the rights of others, public order and security of the state.

An interview with Jamal Badawi on Muslim participation in North American politics

If a Muslim believes that there is any human being who has the right to make laws other than Allah then obviously this is total divergence from the path of Islam.

Or any person who believes that secularism is superior to the law of Allah, he’s violating the basic Quranic tenets (WA man ahsan min Allahi hukmun li qawmi yuminu) ‘who is better in giving us the rule in judgment than Allah, Our Creator’. That’s one issue that all Muslims should agree to.

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