Role of the All Ceylon Jamiathul Ulama — A Response

Response to ‘Bizarre Ruling by the All Ceylon Jamiathul Ulama’ by Ms. Nelum Withanage – ‘Sri Lanka Guardian’, published on the April 16, 2017.

by Mohammed Dahalan

( April 21, 2017, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) It was a very unpleasant surprise to read the above article which was full of malicious distortions and mischievous untruths in addition to vituperative and slanderous language of the author. I have been constrained to not to respond in the same tone as my Islamic upbringing has barred me from using abusive and insulting language in communication.

“And when the foolish address them (with bad words) they reply back with ‘Salamaa’ (peaceful words of gentleness).” (Holy Quran 25:63)

“Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “The one initiating abuse incurs the sin of abusing as long as the other did not return it.” (Muslim)

At another place, “Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:
“The believer does not defame abuse, disparage, nor vilify.” (Tirmidhi)

Ms. Withanage has introduced President of the ACJU Mufthi Rizwi as a ‘self-proclaimed leader’. Not knowing the facts and truths would be a very good reason for anyone to not to make any noise as it only exposes the foolishness of that person. ACJU was started in 1924 and incorporated by the Act of Parliament No. 51 in Year 2000. In addition the administrative provisions are explicitly specified in the approved constitution of this esteemed organization. Mufthi Rizwi has been elected as the President of ACJU by its membership in accordance with these constitutional provisions. Please correct your unfounded and baseless accusation of ‘self-proclaimed leader’ against Mufthi Rizwi.

You make another strange accusation against Mufthi Rizwi saying that he created the ‘Halal’ problem. Many companies involved in export trade wanted certain items to be certified as permissible (Halal) by an authority acceptable to the purchasing authorities, particularly in Middle East, Europe and USA. International Halal trade is worth more than trillion Dollars and countries like Thailand established the best Halal laboratory in the world to win over a fair share of this International Trade. With the introduction of processed food items, even the local Muslims wanted Halal certification. Unfortunately majority of Non-Muslims think Halal or permissible concept is solely confined to food items. Islamic concept of Halal (permissible) and Haram (not permissible) is very comprehensive and applied to a very broader spectrum of human activities. Also one should not forget the fact that Permissible (Halal) and Impermissible (Haram) concepts are found in all religious teachings, may be with varying guidelines with regard to criterion. This is the background of the Halal issue in short and local anti-Muslim extremists found a very fertile area to indulge in a vituperative hate campaign based on this. For your information, Halal certification is still going on and it brings millions of Dollars in foreign exchange.

Ms. Withanage is using very abusive language to identify Mufthi Rizwi as Terrorist, Pervert, Morally Corrupt, Sex Maniac and a Pedophile. This puritan, Ms. Withanage must be ashamed about herself for the use of morally decadent language in the public arena. ACJU has published their clarifications about the statement by Mufthi Rizwi and Ms. Withanage or any other could find it by accessing the following web link.

In a piece of legislation that was effective in the Central and Sabaragamuwa provinces, which was called the Kandyan Marriage and Divorce Act, the minimum age for a girl to get married was stipulated as 12. Very strangely, Ms. Withanage has failed to call this as pedophilic. Do not go far, please glance through daily newspapers. These news items will prove that Pedophilia has reached almost epidemic levels in our society. Ms. Withanage! Kindly pay attention to the following statistics.

Jan 26, 2016 Colombo: Sri Lanka’s National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) says it is working on protecting children who have been subject to abuse as over 10,000 child abuse cases were reported last year in the island. The Authority says it has received 10,732 complaints on different forms of child abuse during the year 2015. NCPA Chairperson, Dr. Natasha Balendra said this is a slight increase over the 10,315 cases reported in 2014.

Please read the news item published in the Sinhala daily ‘Dinamina’ on Aug 2, 2011 where Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne wanted to make laws to reduce marriageable age to 15. Where were you Ms. Withanage during that period? Please study and analyze the reasons given by Hon. Minister justifying the lowering of marriageable age to 15, which have been very strongly substantiated by the sociological research conducted recently by competent persons.

Director of AIDS prevention unit, Dr. Sisira Liyanage states that approximately 140000 incidents of sexual misconduct are taking place daily. In another research conducted by the Sociology Department of Kelaniya University, 800 to 1000 abortions are done daily. Prof. Mayura Samarakoon of the Sociology Department of Sri Jayawardhanapura University states that there is a substantial increase in the killing of new born infants. Ms. Withanage has no concern about this moral decadence taking place in this Dharmadeepa. Minister Senewiratna states that most of the morally corrupt practices are taking place due to the reason that the very young indulging in sexual misconduct. When the marriageable age is reduced they can indulge in sex within the parameters of the marital bond, instead of killing through abortions and killing the new born conceived out of wedlock. Islam provides solutions to human problems and one may fail to understand the wisdom behind Islamic teachings, if one only indulges in the superficial aspects of social problems.

Ms. Withanage has made another unjustifiable accusation about ‘Islamic Law’. Instead of bashing ‘Islamic Law’ in a state of ignorance, we would like to draw the attention of Ms. Withanage to the monumental work ‘Islamic Jurisprudence-An International Perspective’ written by late C. G. Weeramantry, who was a Professor of Law at Monash University in Australia and was formerly a Justice of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka and a Justice of the International Court of Justice. Following is brief description of this monumental work.

“Islamic jurisprudence is a much misunderstood system. The misunderstanding is due to lack of information and to centuries of prejudice. This book seeks to present information, not at present available in a single work, on the pioneering efforts of Islamic jurists to develop a comprehensive body of human rights, principles and practice, as well as a corpus of international law principles. The attempt to develop such international law principles long anticipated any similar work in other legal or cultural systems. Human rights doctrine based upon the Qu’ran and the Sunna of the Prophet was expressed in terms which will strike the reader as surprisingly modern. In international law, Islamic treatises anticipated the work of Grotius by eight centuries. It is hoped that this systematic exposition, not attempted before in such detail, will help considerably in reducing misunderstanding and the resulting tensions, as well as being of considerable value to the Islamic world. The work will be of interest not only to lawyers, but also to philosophers, historians, sociologists, political scientists and students of international affairs”.

Ms. Withanage, please take time to read this book. I would like to suggest you to read another important book written in Sinhala by Senior Advocate Karunarathna Herath titled “Muslim Neethiya” (Muslim Law). Please do not write without knowing the facts.

Instead of trying to banish Mufthi Rizwi and his ilk to Saudi Arabia, we would like to suggest to Ms. Withanage that it would be better if she could gain more meaningful knowledge before put her views in the public arena.

Author: Sri Lanka Guardian

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