• marriage-in-islam-beyond-the-words-i-do-part-ii

    MARRIAGE IN ISLAM: BEYOND THE WORDS “I DO” (PART II)

    In the preceding article (Marriage in Islam: Beyond the words “I do” Part I), we had touched on one of the two essential elements to build a happy Muslim family i.e. iman, and the two subdivisions under it, namely; ‘aqeedah and ‘ilm based on a “Muslim happy family model” as elucidated in an article entitled “Model Keluarga Bahagia Menurut Islam”, written by Nur Zahidah Hj Jaapar and Associate Professor Raihanah Hj Azahari. For this second part of the article, we will further explore the second element which is ‘amal and the subdivisions under it, as listed by the writers of the article.

     

    ‘Amal

    This second element is as per stated by Yusuf al-Qaradawi, in his book called “al-‘Ibadah fi al-Islam”. The duo (writers of the article) began elaborating the second element by stating that the precondition to build a happy Muslim family is to associate iman with ‘amal. Or in other words, these two must co-exist. The writers continued that as Muslims, we must put into practice the commandments that Allah prescribed for us, as vicegerents (khalifah) of the Almighty. The branches of ‘amal as spelled out by the writers include niyyah, akhlaq, social, amanah, and physical safety, of which all of these branches will be dealt with, one by one, in the following paragraphs.

     

    There is a quote as shown on the Brainy Quote website by Harold S. Geneen which goes “leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actionsand Marshall Goldsmith; an American leadership guru also once said “one of the most important actions, things a leader can do, is to lead by example. If you want everyone else to be passionate, committed, dedicated, and motivated, you go first!” Based on these two quotes, we can see how important it is to actualise what we believe in and to practise what we have learnt. As human beings, we are not only leaders to our subjects but we are foremost the leaders of our own selves. It is our personal responsibility to lead our lives positively, by doing the acts that Allah orders us to do and to refrain from His prohibitions.

     

    A verse from the Qur’an which mentions both iman and ‘amal in one verse is verse 97 of Surah An-Nahl, whereby Allah says:

    Whoever works righteousness, whether male or female, while he (or she) is a true believer (of Islamic Monotheism) verily, to him We will give a good life (in this world with respect, contentment and lawful provision), and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (i.e. Paradise in the Hereafter)

    (Translation by Muhsin Khan)

    *All qur’anic translations are taken from https://quran.com/

     

    Niyyah

    As Muslims, niyyah or intention forms an integral part of our lives, as the acts of worship that we perform on a daily basis such as in our five daily prayers, in our ablutions, among others, revolves around niyyah; lillahi ta’ala. In fact, in the famous forty hadeeth of Imam Nawawi, the first hadeeth in its compilation is pertaining to niyyah. Whereby it is stated that “Actions are according to intentions, and everyone will get what was intended…” (See: 40hadithnawawi.com).

     

    According to Sayyid Sabiq, in his book; Fiqh al-Sunnah, as cited by the writers of the article, the underlying objectives of building a successful Muslim family are, inter alia, to satisfy the innate fitrah of mankind in having a family of their own, to attain serenity and tranquillity of the soul, to ensure happiness in one’s household, and to produce soleh and solehah offspring.

     

    By having a clear intention in mind, a husband and wife will strive and direct their actions towards realising the goals that a Muslim family should achieve. By contemplating on Surah Luqman, parents will get valuable guidance, on how to educate their children, and concomitantly their own selves. The lessons can be found from verses 13-19, whereby Luqman said to his son:

    • Not to commit syirk (associating Allah with partners)
    • To be dutiful and good to your parents and to give thanks to Allah and to our parents
    • To perform salah, enjoin for al-ma’ruf (goodness) and to forbid from al-munkar and to be patient with the adversities that befall us
    • Not to be arrogant to others
    • Portray humbleness/ moderateness (in walking and in tone of voice)

    (The above are the excerpts of the verses based on the translation by Muhsin Khan)

     

    Akhlaq

    Next, according to Akram Radamursi, in his book al-‘Usrah al-Muslimah fi al-‘Alim al Mu’asir, akhlaq is one of the essential ingredients to build a happy Muslim family, as per stated by the writers in their article. We should inculcate good moral conducts in the lives of our children since small so that they will grow up to become sensible and good-natured individuals. How children behave outdoors very much reflect on the ways they are raised by their parents at home. As Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. is the best of mankind, parents should live their lives by making the Holy Prophet as an example and should shape their children with the same mould as well. Allah s.w.t. says in Surah Al-Qalam, verse 4:

    And verily, you (O Muhammad SAW) are on an exalted standard of character.”

    (Translation by Muhsin Khan)

     

    Books such as Syama’il al-Muhammadiyyah which, inter alia, talks about the manners and moral conducts of the Holy Prophet in his everyday life and Ar-Raheeq al-Makhtum (The Sealed Nectar) which biographs about the Holy Prophet would be a good read for parents and children alike.

     

    Social

    The writers of the article further stated that a construction of a Muslim family must be founded on the concept of husn al mu’asyarah or al-mu’asyarah bil ma’ruf i.e. good social interaction between the members of the family. The definition of “good” must be in accordance with the teachings contained in the Qur’an and Sunnah. As stated by Mahmud Saedon bin Osman in his working paper entitled “Asas Pembentukan Keluarga Bahagia”, as cited in the article, something is not declared as “good” (ma’ruf), unless it is good and blessed by Allah and it is not included in the categories of munkar, ma’siyah and abuse/corruption.

     

    Interactive communications in one’s household are needed to connect each member of the family and for the family members to understand each other better. Dr. Amal Ibrahim Abd El-Fattah Khalil from King Saud bin Abdul-Aziz University for Health Sciences, wrote in his article entitled “The Islamic Perspective of Interpersonal Communication” that family members should make communication among them as a routine and they should improve on how they interact with one another. As communication itself is a process, each family member needs to be patient in understanding one another and in building stronger ties between them.

     

    Bear in mind that in developing good communications between family members, it is not only about expressing one’s thoughts and feelings to another or the others, but it requires a good pair of listening ears, and a pure heart that sympathises and concerns about the matter(s) or feelings shared/expressed. Plus, each member of the family should be proactive in finding and providing solutions for any problem faced by any member of the family.

     

    Amanah

    Amanah is one of the ingredients for a happy Muslim family as stated by Hidayah Allah Ahmad, in his book “Al Shash Mausu’ah al-Tarbiyyah al-‘Amaliyyah li al-Tifl. In an article entitled “Value of Al-Amanah in Human Life” written by Sofiah bt. Samsudin and Md. Sirajul Islam from International Islamic University Malaysia, the writers began their article by providing the definition of amanah based on what was stated by Al-Ragib al-Asfahani, whereby “amanah” is originated from the word “amn”, which means “tranquillity of the heart”. And as cited by the writers, according to Al-Ragib, “amanah” literally means “honesty, straightness and integrity”.

     

    A verse from the Holy Qur’an which talks about amanah can be found in Surah An-Nisaa’ verse 58, whereby Allah says to the effect:

    Verily! Allah commands that you should render back the trusts (al-amanaat) to those, to whom they are due…

    (Translation by Muhsin Khan)

     

    Reflecting on the word amanah in the above verse, the concept of amanah in Islam is very much related with the concept of “takleef” or accountability. In a family, everyone has his/her very own responsibilities be he/she a husband or a wife or a parent or even a child. And in discharging their duties and responsibilities, they are accountable in what they are doing. The duties of parents to their children and vice versa would need a topic on its own. Hence, we will not be listing one by one in this article. But the general idea pertaining to the concept of amanah in one’s family is that, by knowing that each and every member of the family has religious and familial responsibilities and duties to undertake, a family voyage would experience a smooth sailing, in sha Allah.

     

    Physical Safety and Economic Stability

    Islam, being a holistic religion (syumuliyyah) also concerns about the taking care of men’s physical and mental health. I have watched Malay dramas which depicted the characters of a husband having Othello Syndrome (delusional jealousy), which triggered him to abuse his wife uncontrollably whenever he saw his wife with other men (though for office matters), and sometimes a husband or a wife having an anger disorder which negatively affects the rest of the family members. These scenes were not merely fictional, nor were the dramas being exaggeratingly dramatic, but they are occurring in real life. Therefore, we should never take mental health issues lightly as they can lead to an irretrievably broken down marriage or even family, if not taken care of properly.

     

    Islam acknowledges mental health issues, and according to Associate Professor Dr. Ramli Musa, from Kulliyyah of Medicine, International Islamic University Malaysia, the Islamic model that is designed to cure mental illness is known as “bio-psycho-social and spiritual model”, whereby the psycho-social aspect requires the support of the family members. This shows that, family members should not be in denial of nor neglect the mental illness but need to address the matter by providing all the attention, love, help and support that they can give towards the affected member, and to seek professional advice and treatment to cure such mental illness.

     

    On the other hand, when it comes to financial management in a family, both parents especially the husband/father who has the responsibility to provide sustenance for the family, need(s) to ensure the economic stability of the family, avoid extravagant expenditures and inculcate saving habits in their children at an early age. Though wealth can never guarantee happiness, economic stability can help to provide a better living standard for the betterment of the family.

     

    Allah s.w.t. says in the Qur’an, in Surah Al-Israa’, verse 17:

    “Verily, spendthrifts are brothers of the Shayatin (devils), and the Shaitan (Devil – Satan) is ever ungrateful to his Lord”

    (Translation by Muhsin Khan)

     

    CONCLUSION

    Building a happy Muslim family is a golden dream for many. Yet, many choose not to live in accordance to the Islamic tenets. When in fact, the Qur’an and the Sunnah have provided comprehensive guidelines for husband and wife, as well as parents and children to adhere to, in ensuring happiness and harmony in one’s family. Allah s.w.t. says in Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 256:

    “Whoever disbelieves in Taghut and believes in Allah, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break

    (Translation by Muhsin Khan)

    The time has come for each member of the family to make a self-reflection and determine the aspects in life that we can improve, in line with the Islamic teachings to build a family that is filled with mawaddah, sakeenah, wa rahmah, in sha Allah. Wallahu a’lam.

  • marriage-in-islam-beyond-the-words-i-do-part-i

    MARRIAGE IN ISLAM: BEYOND THE WORDS “I DO” (PART I)

    Watching some local drama series on the television, most often than not, when it comes to characters playing the roles as a marriage couple, we would see that if not the husband who is having an extra-marital affair with another lady or a few women, the wife is, with another guy or a few men. And at the end of the day, the ones who have to suffer most of the repercussions of the marital discrepancies are the children, resulting in the family institution being all wrecked and shattered to unamendable pieces.

     

    A family unit having marital problems is the kind of theme that most dramas are portraying. No matter how cliché or common the story lines are, we cannot be in denial that such things do happen to some of our friends or our family members, if not to ourselves. Na’udzubillahi min dzalik. Being imperfect and fallible beings, who sin and make mistakes every single day, it would be too far-fetched, if not impossible, to dream for a “perfect” marriage or family life. Be that as it may, we should always strive to be the best that we can, as a husband or wife or parent for the interest of our own family institution. After all, taking care of our marriage and family is an amanah that should not be taken lightly.

     

    Some people might have a misconception lingering in their minds that marriage in Islam is as simple as the words “I do,” or “Aku terima nikahnya,” This wrong perception must certainly stop and be corrected. With marriage, obligations and responsibilities come into play, and both husband and wife must know and need to shoulder together these duties to build a happy marriage life. Bear in mind that marriage will not be a successful one, unilaterally. It only functions successfully if each and every single unit of the family institution works hand in hand to make it a reality. As one of the primary purposes of marriage in Islam is for procreation, a stable marriage life is needed to build a happy family institution. Hence, in this article we will start with the very basic concept of marriage in Islam, proceeded with the Muslim model of a happy family.

     

    THE CONCEPT OF MARRIAGE IN ISLAM

    In Islam, marriage is not merely to make halal the love-relationship between a man and a woman. Instead, it is a sacred union where marriage itself is considered as an act of worship. The Prophet s.a.w. in a reliable hadeeth narrated by At-Tabarani, had said, “Whoever marries has completed half of his faith. So let him have fear of Allah in the remaining half.” Dr. Aisha Hamdan, the author of “Nurturing Eeman in Children” in quoting this hadeeth has stated that since marriage is regarded as an act of worship to Allah, both husband and wife need to steer and lead their marriage life by observing the commandments that Allah has laid down in respect of marriage. And in so doing, the marriage couple needs to always equip themselves with knowledge so that their marriage life is nurtured and moulded in such a way that is pleasing Allah and in line with the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah.

     

    Considerations prior to marriage

    As people could be easily infatuated with and be blinded by love, it is very pertinent to consider the right person you are going to spend the rest of your life with, as your spouse is the one that will be your support system and your other half, in creating a family that is filled with mawaddah, sakeenah wa rahmah.

     

    Taqwa or righteousness is one of the key considerations in selecting a spouse. Allah says in Surah Al-Nuur verse 32: “Marry those among you who are single, and the virtuous ones among your slaves, male or female; if they are in poverty, Allah will give them means out of His grace: For Allah is Ample-giving, and He knows all things”. In commenting about this verse, the writer of “Tuhfat al-‘Arous (The Bride’s Boon)” stated that “religiousness is the only condition mentioned in the verse for a suitable match”.

     

    And in fact, in a famous authentic hadeeth narrated by Bukhari and Muslim, the Prophet said: “A woman is married for four things: her wealth, her family status, her beauty and her religion. So you should marry the one who is superior in religion, otherwise you will be a loser”. Based on the Quranic verse and the hadeeth of the Prophet, by marrying someone who is faithful to his or her religion, a marriage and family that are erected towards seeking Allah’s pleasure can be achieved, and whenever something is done that is not incompliance with the Islamic faith, the other spouse can help to rectify the wrong done and pull the other back on track towards the truth, as stated by Dr. Aisha Hamdan, in her book entitled “Nurturing Eeman in Children” at page 50.

     

    Marriage and parenting are interrelated. A righteous marriage couple needs to be guided on how to steer and navigate their marriage life towards building a blessed and happy family institution. Below are listed the ingredients to build a happy family from the Islamic perspective.

     

    MUSLIM MODEL OF A HAPPY FAMILY

    In an article written by Nur Zahidah Hj Jaapar from UiTM and Associate Professor Raihanah Hj Azahari from the Department of Fiqh and Usul, Academy of Islamic Studies in University of Malaya, they have come up with a Muslim model of a happy family, containing a number of important elements that need to be worked out and considered by both husband and wife as parents. The two main ingredients are iman and ‘amal. Whereby, the authors divided iman into ‘aqeedah and ‘ilm. Meanwhile, ‘amal will be further divided into niyyah, akhlaq, social, amanah, as well as physical and economic safety/stability. The first part of this article will only touch on iman and the categorisations under it.

     

    Iman

    This element is discussed based on what Akram Radamursi wrote in his book entitled “al-Usrah al-Muslimah fi al-‘Alim al-Mu’asir”. According to the writers of the article, Allah stresses on the importance of protecting our faith and piety (taqwa) in strengthening the relationship among family members. In verse 1 of Surah An-Nisaa’, Allah says:

    O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife [Hawwa (Eve)], and from them both He created many men and women and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you”.

    (Translation by Muhsin Khan)

     

    Dr. Aisha Hamdan in her parenting book (as cited in the preceding paragraph), had elaborated on this point rather beautifully. Since iman is what lies in the heart and to be meant as a “sincere faith” in the six pillars of iman, a child who is nurtured with iman will make a choice in his or her life from within instead of due to the external influences. And with iman in the heart, a child’s actions are directed towards reaping for Allah’s pleasure instead of seeking for worldly gains. Not only children, a husband and wife who have iman will be wary of their conducts and ensure that what they are doing are in line with what their faith preaches. With iman, the structure of a Muslim family is sturdy and firm, and without it, just like a house with broken pillars, it will inevitably collapse and crush to pieces. As iman is the basic foundation of the life of a human being, it is the most crucial element that needs to be instilled in one’s own family.

     

    ‘Aqeedah

    Next, according to the writers of the article, the second element of a Muslim model of a happy family is ‘aqeedah. And this is based on Yusuf Qasim in his book called “Huquq al-‘Usrah fi al-Fiqh al-Islami”. The writers said that the strength of one’s iman is very much connected with the soundness of the ‘aqeedah of each and every individual Muslim including a husband and wife. And the ‘aqeedah is considered as sound and strong when a person’s ‘aqeedah is based on a firm faith and trust in the existence of Allah, in line with the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah, and to refrain from associating Allah with anything else (syirk) as well as a firm belief in the perfect traits/characteristics of Allah.

     

    A verse in the Qur’an which reflects the call for a true ‘aqeedah is as laid down in Surah al-A’raf, verse 59, whereby Allah says:

    We had certainly sent Noah to his people, and he said, “O my people, worship Allah; you have no deity other than Him. Indeed, I fear for you the punishment of a tremendous Day.

     (Translation by Muhsin Khan)

     

    According to Dr. Aisha Hamdan, ‘aqa’id (the plural for ‘aqeedah) connote “those things that people’s hearts affirm and believe in; things that people accept as true”. In elaborating about the relationship between ‘aqeedah and iman, she wrote that iman is founded and based on ‘aqeedah and the connection between ‘aqeedah, iman and family-building is that the existence of these two elements will be some sort of a compass which would direct the hearts of all the entities in a family unit to lead their lives with a sincere intention to please Allah, and to duly follow His commandments because of Him and not to please anybody else, as Allah says in Surah Al-Baqarah verse 165 that: “… those who believe are stronger in love for Allah…”.

     

    ‘Ilm

    The next element is ‘ilm, and this is based on what was written by Yusuf Qaradawi, in his book called “Fi Tariq ila Allah”. According to the writers of the article, knowledge is the most essential precondition in attaining happiness as every single thing in this world needs to be based upon knowledge. As a Muslim who is knowledgeable, he/she needs to act according to what he/she is taught or has learned, especially in being fearful to God (taqwa). As Allah says in the Qur’an, in verse 28 of Surah Faatir:

    …It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allah…

    (Translation by Muhsin Khan)

     

    Seeking and possessing knowledge are very much needed in building a happy and blessed Muslim family as knowledge will drive us to “which is true in life-to the straight path,” as written by Dr. Aisha Hamdan on “the importance of knowledge”.

     

    CONCLUSION

    To conclude the first part of this discussion, by having a profound understanding of the true concept of marriage in Islam, and the underlying objectives that a Muslim marriage aims to achieve, both husband and wife will have a clearer outlook on how they should direct their lives, in becoming righteous servants of Allah and in playing their roles as husband and wife and future parents for their children. The first three essential ingredients in building a happy and blessed Muslim family which are highlighted in this present article, concern with the inner souls and minds of human beings. Despite their intangible nature, iman, ‘aqeedah and ‘ilm are three key-ingredients that need to be strengthened first and foremost, as they lay the basic foundation in building the blocks of a successful marriage or even family life from the Islamic perspective. Without these three, a marriage or even a family life will lose its Islamic essence and true happiness will never be achieved. Wallahu a’lam.

  • confession and retraction

    CONFESSION AND ITS RETRACTION: THE MALAYSIAN EXPERIENCE

    Logically speaking, no one would ever admit his guilt, upon which would entail punishment except if it is the truth. Therefore, confession or al-iqrar is considered as the strongest mode of proof to some. It is in fact, labelled as sayyidul hujaj (the king of all sources of proof) as enumerated in a Pakistani case of Khawand Bakhsh alias Khawando v. The State 2004 P Cr. L J 677 [Federal Shariat Court] at 682.[1] In the local case of Pendakwa Syarie lwn. Jalil Embong & Zaliha Endut (2004) 17 JH(I) 93 at 106, the learned Judge, in explaining about iqrar, had this to say:

    Iqrar is one of the strongest methods of proof in Islam. There is no disagreement among the jurists on this issue. Its legality has been established from the Qur’an as well as from the Sunnah.” (Translation from Bahasa Melayu).[2]

     

    In this makalah, we will explore in brief the concept of confession in Islam and the legal definition of it, as provided in the Malaysian statute. Further down this article, we would see the different approaches taken by the Malaysian Syariah Courts in determining the validity of retracted confession and the rationales of coming to such decisions.

     

    Definition

    Al-iqrar which derives from the root words qarra, yuqarru, qiraaran[3] literally means “admission” or “recognition[4]. Legally speaking, the scholars have come up with their own definitions, as follows:

    Shafi’i:

    • A testimony which is made by the maker of the admission, of a proved right of another person against himself.
    • Recognition (I’tiraf)[5]

    Hanafi:

    • An admission by the maker of the admission regarding the right of another person against himself.
    • A testimony of the maker of the admission through the use of particular wordings, pertaining to a right or interest (thabat al-haq) in favour of another person, and disadvantageous to the right or interest of the maker himself. [6]

     

    Our Syariah Court Evidence (Federal Territories) Act 1997 provides the definition of iqrar in its section 17(1) as “an admission made by a person, in writing or orally or by gesture, stating that he is under an obligation or liability to another person in respect of some right”.

    From all the above definitions, it can simply be understood that al-iqrar means establishing the right or interest of another person in the form of admission, against himself.

     

    The Legal Basis:

    The recognition of al-iqrar as a means of proof can be traced in various verses in the Holy Qur’an. One of the ayaat which highlights this point is verse 135 of Surah An-Nisaa’. Whereby Allah says:

    O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, be he rich or poor, Allah is a Better Protector to both (than you). So follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you may avoid justice, and if you distort your witness or refuse to give it, verily, Allah is Ever Well-Acquainted with what you do.[7]

     

    Ibn ‘Arabi in interpreting this verse, had stated as follows: “…Thus, in the language of law, bearing testimony against oneself is known as acknowledgement (iqrar).[8] From the above verse, it is clear that iqrar is not a newly man-made invention but has gained recognition and inscribed in the Holy Book since thousands of years ago.

    Moreover, al-iqrar can also be seen practised during the era of the Prophet. And the oft-cited case of Ma’iz illustrated the concept of al-iqrar at its best. Whereby, in the case of Ma’iz, he had confessed to the Prophet that he had committed adultery. Only after the fourth time that he had testified to the Prophet did the Prophet call him to know if he was mad, of which, he answered in the negative and the Prophet ordered for him to be stoned to death. From this narrative, the act of Ma’iz testifying to the Prophet about his commission of adultery signified that he had testified against himself and thus connoted al-iqrar.

    Meanwhile, according to ijma’, the Muslim jurists have also come to a consensus when it comes to accepting al-iqrar as a means of proof. On the other hand, based on qiyas or analogy, Wahbah al-Zuhayli stated that if the syahadah is legally accepted as a means of proof without dispute, by analogy, to accept iqrar is more preferable.[9]

     

    RETRACTED CONFESSION

    In Malaysia, the issue of retracted confession had been decided in a few cases, some of which came to different conclusions pertaining to its validity. Before we delve into the cases, let us first define retraction of confession and closely examine the position of retracted confession according to the Muslim jurists.

    According to the Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, to “retract” means to “take back, withdraw”.[10] Simply said, in the present context, a retraction of confession means to withdraw or take back a confession which had been made by the maker/confessor. This discussion can be divided into the rights of Allah, the rights of mankind and ta’zir crimes.

     

    Rights of Allah (hudud offences)

    The Muslim jurists have agreed that retraction of confession in hudud offences would amount to a valid retraction. The effect of such retraction would render the hudud punishment to be substituted with ta’zir punishment if there are other evidences to support it.[11] The authorities to support this view is the case of Ma’iz, whereby when it was reported that Ma’iz attempted to run away during the commencement of stoning, the Prophet said “I wish you should have left him and brought him to me”, and Ibn Qayyim had interpreted the act of Ma’iz, attempting to run away from the scene of the execution of stoning as a connotation of retraction of confession.[12] Further, the retraction of confession creates doubt, and as the saying goes: “udra’ul hudud bil syubuhaat”. Thus, hudud punishment cannot be imposed as the retraction of confession casts doubt and doubt renders a hudud punishment unenforceable.

     

    Rights of Mankind (Qisas)

    According to Al-Qurtubi, a confession involving the rights of mankind cannot be retracted. This finding is based on Surah Al-Qiyaamah, verses 14-15[13], whereby Allah says:

    Nay! Man will be a witness against himself [as his body parts (skin, hands, legs, etc.) will speak about his deeds]. Though he may put forth his excuses (to cover his evil deeds).

     

    From the above two verses, it can be understood that whatever that has been done by a human being would be held accountable. This shall include a confession that was previously made. This finding is in line with the view of most of the jurists, including for the cases of qisas[14] and qazaf.[15] Article 1588 of the Mejelle also makes clear on this point, whereby it reads: “it is not lawful to go back from admissions concerning the rights of people”.[16] This maxim is very much related with the maxim in the Mejelle which states “a person is bound by his own admission[17] Hence, a person who has made a confession pertaining to the rights involving mankind  is bound by the confession made and is not allowed to retract it.[18]

     

    Ta’zir Offences

    According to Anwarullah, since the standard of proof in ta’zir offence suffices, if it only reaches the level of zann or beyond reasonable doubt, thus, it is not the same as in cases involving hudud offences, where retraction creates doubt and thus had punishment cannot be imposed due to the existence of doubt (retraction).[19] On the other hand, retraction in ta’zir offence does not affect the enforcement of ta’zir punishment(s).

     

    MALAYSIAN DECIDED CASES ON RETRACTION OF CONFESSION

    In the Malaysian context, we could see the different approaches taken by the Syariah Courts in deciding on the issue of retracted confession. For instance, in the case of Faridah lwn. Pendakwa Jenayah Kelantan JH 1, Bhg. 1, (1981-82), 89, whereby the Plaintiff was arrested for an attempt to commit illicit sexual intercourse with a man. Initially she admitted, later she made an application to retract such confession. The Court of Appeal in allowing her application had referred to several sources such as Kitab al-Mughni and al-Raudhah, as recorded in Sharkawi Tughah, Vol. 9, page 113, whereby it is permitted for those who have made confession pertaining to the offence of zina or of drinking intoxicants, to retract his/her iqrar as though it has never taken place ab initio. The Court had also referred to Kitab Fathul Wahhab, Vol. 5, page 134, whereby a person who had committed zina but had retracted his/her confession, the judgment must be set aside[20].

    A similar approach had been taken in the case of Che Lah lwn. Pendakwa Jenayah Kelantan JH 1, Bhg. 1, (1981-82), 86. In this case, the accused admitted in respect of the commission of zina with a girl. He later retracted his confession and the issue is whether he would still be liable to the said offence that he initially admitted. It was held that the initial admission cannot be taken as a proof of zina but merely of khalwat because of the existence of retraction.[21] The Court had referred to Kitab Fathul Wahhab, Vol. 5, page 134, whereby it is stated that “if a person has made a confession in zina case then retracts it, punishment cannot be imposed”.

    In contrary, in the case of Pendakwa v. Awang Mat Isa (1979) JH Bhg. 1, 80, the case also involved the offence of zina. At first, the Plaintiff pleaded guilty to the said offence but later wished to retract his confession. The Court, in referring to Kitab Sharkawi Tahrir, Vol. 2, page 141, which stated that “a valid confession cannot be retracted except in cases of murtad, drinking liquor, theft and robbery”, held that the retraction was invalid and convicted the accused to three months imprisonment.[22]

     

    CONCLUSION

    In conclusion, despite that al-iqrar or confession is unanimously accepted as a valid means of proof, the effect of its retraction depends very much on the nature of cases that the maker of the confession is convicted with. Even so, from the decided cases cited above, we could see that the Courts in relying to different authorities have come to different conclusions in accepting the maker’s retraction of confession in setting aside the conviction, despite the nature of the crime is the same i.e. ta’zir offence. Be that as it may, it is worth to be reminded that as Muslims, we are bound to state the truth be it against our own selves. Remember, we may escape the punishment in this world, but never will our deeds we be left unjudged in the Hereafter by the Most Just. Wallahu a’lam.

     

     

    [1] Hamid Jusoh, Islamic Law of Evidence: Sources and Its Applicability with Special Reference to the Practice in Malaysia and Pakistan (Selangor, 2001), vol. 1, 197-198.

    [2] Ibid, 198.

    [3] Ibnu Mazur, Lisan al-‘Arab (Beirut, Lebanon: Daru Ihya’ al-Turath al-‘Arabiy, 1992), vol.11, 98- 99, quoted in Hamid Jusoh, Islamic Law of Evidence: Sources and Its Applicability with Special Reference to the Practice in Malaysia and Pakistan (Selangor, 2001), vol. 1, 95.

    [4] Mahmud Saedon A. Othman, An Introduction to Islamic Law of Evidence (Kuala Lumpur: The Open Press, 2000), 30.

    [5] Muhammad Al-Sharbini Al-Khatib, Mughni al-Muhtaj (Egypt: Mustaffa Al-Babi Al-Halabi, 1958), vol. 3, 228, as quoted in Mahmud Saedon A. Othman, An Introduction to Islamic Law of Evidence (Kuala Lumpur: The Open Press, 2000), 30.

    [6] Mahmud Saedon A. Othman, An Introduction to Islamic Law of Evidence (Kuala Lumpur: The Open Press, 2000), 30.

    [7] See translation by Muhsin Khan at https://quran.com/4/135.

    [8] Hamid Jusoh, Islamic Law of Evidence: Sources and Its Applicability with Special Reference to the Practice in Malaysia and Pakistan (Selangor, 2001), vol. 1, 200.

    [9] Wahbah al-Zuhaili, Fiqh al-Islam wa Adillatuh, Vol.6, 611, quoted in Hamid Jusoh, Islamic Law of Evidence: Sources and Its Applicability with Special Reference to the Practice in Malaysia and Pakistan (Selangor, 2001), vol. 1, 200.

    [10] “Retract,” Merriam-Webster, accessed December 8, 2018, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/retract.

    [11] Hamid Jusoh, Islamic Law of Evidence: Sources and Its Applicability with Special Reference to the Practice in Malaysia and Pakistan (Selangor, 2001), vol. 1, 367.

    [12] Ibid, 368.

    [13] Hamid Jusoh, Islamic Law of Evidence: Sources and Its Applicability with Special Reference to the Practice in Malaysia and Pakistan (Selangor, 2001), vol. 1, 390-391.

    [14] Wahbah al-Zuhaili, Op. cit., Vol. 6, 388, cited in Hamid Jusoh, Islamic Law of Evidence: Sources and Its Applicability with Special Reference to the Practice in Malaysia and Pakistan (Selangor, 2001), vol. 1, 391.

    [15] Ahmad al-Hasri, ‘Ilmu al-Qada’ (Cairo, 1980), Vol. 2, 383, cited in Hamid Jusoh, Islamic Law of Evidence: Sources and Its Applicability with Special Reference to the Practice in Malaysia and Pakistan (Selangor, 2001), vol. 1, 391.

    [16] The Mejelle, Article 1588, http://legal.pipa.ps/files/server/ENG%20Ottoman%20Majalle%20(Civil%20Law).pdf.

    [17] The Mejelle, Article 79, http://legal.pipa.ps/files/server/ENG%20Ottoman%20Majalle%20(Civil%20Law).pdf.

    [19] Anwarullah, Principles of Evidence in Islam, 100, cited in Hamid Jusoh, Islamic Law of Evidence: Sources and Its Applicability with Special Reference to the Practice in Malaysia and Pakistan (Selangor, 2001), vol. 1, 394.

    [20] See footnote 680 in Hamid Jusoh, Islamic Law of Evidence: Sources and Its Applicability with Special Reference to the Practice in Malaysia and Pakistan (Selangor, 2001), vol. 1, 395-396.

    [21] Hamid Jusoh, Islamic Law of Evidence: Sources and Its Applicability with Special Reference to the Practice in Malaysia and Pakistan (Selangor, 2001), vol. 1, 396.

    [22] Ibid, 395.

  • The Admissibility of Qarinah in Malaysia

    THE ADMISSIBILITY OF QARINAH IN MALAYSIA

    Admissibility of Qarinah in Malaysia – In the oft-cited case of Sunny Ang v Public Prosecutor [1966] 2 MLJ 195, the accused person was charged for committing the murder of his girlfriend; Jenny. Interestingly, the prosecutor had successfully proven its case, wholly based on circumstantial evidence as there was no direct evidence to prove the guilt of the accused. That particular case made history as it was the first case in Malaysia to convict a person for murder by relying solely on circumstantial evidence. Circumstantial evidence or qarinah is also recognised as a means of proof under the Islamic law of evidence. According to Ahmad Fathi Bahansi in his book; Nazariyyah Al-Ithbat, as cited in Mahmud Saedon A. Othman’s An Introduction to Islamic Law of Evidence, qarinah literally means “together, accompany or related”.

     

    An example of the recognition of qarinah in the Qur’an can be traced in Surah Yusuf, verse 18, whereby Allah says:

    They stained his shirt with false blood. He said: “Nay, but your minds have made up a tale (that may pass) with you. (For me) patience is most fitting: Against that which you assert, it is Allah (alone) whose help can be sought…”

     

    In the above-cited verse, the connection of it with the issue of qarinah can be discernible by the fact that despite the shirt being stained with “blood”, it was not torn as it should have been, if Prophet Yusuf was really devoured by wolves as falsely claimed by his brothers to Prophet Ya’qub. The condition of the shirt being intact was a qarinah to signify that Prophet Yusuf was still alive at that time, as stated by ‘Abdul Kareem Zaidan, in his work; Nizam al-Qada Fi Al-Syari’ah Al-Islamiyyah, as per cited in An Introduction to Islamic Law of Evidence.

     

    Meanwhile, the technical definition of qarinah in the Malaysian context can be found in the Syariah Court Evidence (Federal Territories) Act 1997, whereby its section 3 provides that qarinah means:

    fact connected with the other fact in any of the ways referred to in this Act”.

    The whole Chapter 2 of the Act, in fact, is dedicated for qarinah. Thus, facts to be regarded as qarinah according to the Act, can be determined by studying Chapter 2 of the Act. Nevertheless, what are listed under the Chapter are not exhaustive as when there is lacunae in the Act, the Court shall apply hukum syara’ as stated in section 130(2) of the Act.

     

    It is however undeniable, that a better understanding of this topic would be attainable by observing how the Malaysian Syariah Courts apply this concept through the decided cases. Hence, in order to know the admissibility of qarinah in Malaysia, this discussion would be divided into two categories: hudud and non-hudud cases.

     

    HUDUD CASES (with ta’zir punishment)

    Syurb al-Khamar (Consumption of Intoxicants)

    The case of Pendakwa Syarie Kelantan v. Yusundy bin Josan & Anor (1994) JH 206 would be of good reference. In this case, the two accused persons were charged for drinking intoxicants under section 25 of the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code. As elaborated in Hamid Jusoh’s Islamic Law of Evidence: Sources and Its Applicability with Special Reference to the Practice in Malaysia and Pakistan, Volume 2, Chapter 2, in this case, the Court had considered the smell/ breath odour of the accused persons as qarinah for drinking liquor. There were other qarinah as well to prove the prosecution’s case which were:

    1. The bottles of liquor that were taken out were in the possession of the accused persons;
    2. The accused persons used glasses containing the liquor from the recovered bottles;
    3. The receipt of purchase of the said bottles were also in the possession of the accused.

     

    This strong circumstantial evidence was regarded as admissible by the Court to convict the accused persons for the commission of the offence. However, it is important to note that despite the actual nature of this offence being that of a hudud offence in Islam, as Malaysia is yet to enforce hudud punishment, the accused were only liable for ta’zir punishment i.e. 6 months imprisonment and 6 strokes of whipping for each accused person.

     

    Zina (Adultery)

    Pregnancy out of wedlock is a kind of qarinah that has been accepted in Malaysia to prove an offence of zina with ta’zir punishment. The legal provision that can be referred to is section 23(3) of the Syariah Criminal Offences (Federal Territory) Act 1997, whereby:

    the fact that a woman is pregnant out of wedlock as a result of sexual intercourse performed with her consent shall be prima facie evidence of the commission of an offence under subsection (2) by that woman”. Whereas, subsection (4) reads as follows: “For the purpose of subsection (3), any woman who gives birth to a fully developed child within a period of six qamariah months from the date of her marriage shall be deemed to have been pregnant out of wedlock.

    These two provisions portray that pregnancy out of wedlock is generally regarded as qarinah in proving a case of zina which is liable for the accused to be convicted with a ta’zir punishment.

     

    A local case to refer to in respect of this matter is the case of Pendakwa Mahkamah Kadi Perak v. Jaffery & Hasliza JH (1991) 105. Based on Hamid Jusoh (op. cit.), this case is about two accused persons who were charged under section 155(2) & (3) of the Perak Administration of Islamic Law Enactment 1965 due to the commission of zina for several times which subsequently led to the woman being pregnant despite having not married with the man. The Court had convicted the two accused persons for the offence of zina relying on circumstantial evidence, i.e. the pregnancy of the woman out of wedlock. And the accused persons were liable for ta’zir punishment i.e. a fine of RM 1,000 or in default, a year of imprisonment.

     

    NON-HUDUD CASE

    In a reported non-hudud case involving the verification of bequest called Nik Salma Zaidah binti Haji Wan Zaid lwn. Nik Hasnah binti Nik Din & Seorang Lagi (2002) 15 JH(II)  143 at 147, the Applicant claimed that the house that she lives in is a bequest made by her step father before he died. In deciding the case, the Court, inter alia considered the issue of an approval letter to build the house and the act of the Appellant remaining in the house for about 8 years without being disturbed, as qarinah to prove the authenticity of the bequest.

     

    CONCLUSION

    To conclude, generally, qarinah is accepted as a means of proof in both hudud and non-hudud cases in the context of the Malaysian Syariah Courts, thus far. However, its applicability needs to be construed based on the facts of each individual case, as qarinah might not be sustainable in proving a case when for instance, the prosecution failed to prove a prima facie case based on qarinah, as in the case of Pendakwa Syarie lwn. Mahadi dan Noridah (1998) 12 JH(I) 55, whereby the qarinah relied upon was in the form of act i.e. “the act of accused who ran away from being arrested as well as the car being used by the accused”, as pointed out by Hamid Jusoh. Plus, as highlighted by Ahmad ‘Abdul Mun’im Al-Bahai, only qarinah that is strong would be acceptable as a basis to prove a case.

  • status agama anak bawah umur

    STATUS AGAMA ANAK BAWAH UMUR & HAK HADHANAH APABILA SALAH SEORANG IBU BAPA MEMELUK ISLAM: ADAKAH ISLAM ATAU KEKAL DENGAN AGAMA IBU BAPA KETIKA BERKAHWIN?

    Status Agama Anak Bawah Umur – Islam sentiasa mementingkan kebajikan anak bagi memastikan anak tersebut dapat membesar dan menjalani kehidupan yang sempurna seperti kanak-kanak lain. Banyak aspek yang perlu diberikan penekanan seperti kesihatan, keselamatan dan pendidikan. Oleh kerana itu, jika ibu bapa bercerai, mereka tetap perlu mengambil berat akan anak mereka kerana ini merupakan tanggungjawab mereka selagi mereka di bawah umur. Bercerai bukan bererti terputus segala hubungan dan tanggungjawab. 

    Terlebih dahulu, lebih baik jika kita melihat pandangan ulama daripada 4 mazhab berkaitan isu di atas. Ulama daripada 4 mazhab tersebut mempunyai pandangan yang berbeza mengenai isu ini. Ada yang mengatakan status agama anak bawah umur sekiranya salah seorang ibu bapa memeluk agama Islam adalah Islam. Akan tetapi, ada juga yang mengatakan sebaliknya. Sudah semestinya pandangan-pandangan yang berbeza daripada ulama ini mempunyai hujah mereka yang tersendiri. 

     

    Pandangan 4 Mazhab Berkaitan Status Agama Anak Bawah Umur Apabila Salah Seorang Ibu Bapa Memeluk Agama Islam.

    Para ulama’ dan fuqaha sudah semestinya mempunyai pandangan yang berbeza mengenai isu status agama anak bawah umur apabila salah seorang pasangan memeluk agama Islam. Hal  ini menunjukkan bahawa isu ini termasuk dalam perkara ijtihadi. Jumhur ulama’ iaitu Mazhab Hanafi, Hanbali dan Syafie berpendapat bahawa di dalam isu ini, anak-anak akan mengikut agama Islam tidak kira yang memeluk agama Islam itu ibu atau bapa. Pendapat ini adalah bersandarkan kepada hadis Nabi SAW yang bermaksud : Daripada ‘A’idz Amr Almuzani, daripada Nabi SAW bersabda : “Islam itu tinggi dan tiada yang lebih tinggi daripadanya”. 

    Berikut pula adalah pandangan ulama-ulama dari setiap mazhab berkaitan penjagaan anak bawah umur apabila salah seorang ibu bapa memeluk agama Islam.

    1. Pandangan Iman al-Imraniyy dari Mazhab Shafie: Imam al-Imraniyy (2000) menjelaskan di dalam kitabnya “al-Bayan Fi Madhhab al-Imam al-Shafie”:
      Maksudnya, “Tidak sabit hak penjagaan anak bagi orang fasik, kerana tidak ada jaminan keselamatan yang kanak-kanak itu akan membesar mengikut caranya. Sekiranya salah seorang daripada ibu bapa itu adalah beragama Islam, maka anak tersebut diberikan kepada yang beragama Islam, dan tidak sabit hak penjagaan kepada orang kafir”.

    2. Pandangan Imam Ibn Abidin dari Mazhab Hanafi:Imam Ibn Abidin menyatakan dalam kitabnya “Radd al-Muhtar ‘Ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar”: Maksudnya, “(Sabit hak penjagaan bagi ibu) iaitu ibu nasab, (walaupun) ibu itu seorang ahli kitab atau majusi atau (selepas perceraian) (kecuali sekiranya ibu itu murtad) sehinggalah dia menjadi muslimah kembali kerana dia akan ditahan (atau si ibu seorang yang jahat) yang mana kejahatannya boleh menyebabkan si anak terbiar seperti berzina, nyanyian, mencuri dan ratapan ketika kematian seperti yang dibahaskan dalam kitab “Bahr al-Ra’iq” dan kitab “Nahr al-Fa’iq”.Ibnu ‘Abidin (1992) berkata lagi: Maksudnya, “Kerana belas kasihan itu tidak berbeza dengan berbezanya agama”.

    3. Pandangan Imam al-Zarqaniyy dari Mazhab Malikiyy:Imam al-Zarqaniyy menjelaskan dalam kitabnya “Sharh al-Zarqaniyy ‘Ala Mukhtasar Sayyidi Khalil”: Maksudnya, “(Hak penjagaan bagi kanak-kanak lelaki sehingga mereka telah baligh dan hak penjagaan perempuan seperti memberi nafakah adalah bagi hak ibu) walaupun ibu itu seorang kafir”.
      Imam Malik mempunyai pandangan yang berbeza mengenai isu ini iaitu anak-anak di bawah umur akan mengikut agama Islam sekiranya yang memeluk agama Islam itu ialah bapanya. Akan tetapi, sekiranya ibu yang memeluk Islam, anak-anak tersebut tidak perlu ikut memeluk agama Islam. Hal ini kerana, mengikut Imam Malik, seorang anak dinasabkan kepada bapanya dan bukan ibu. Oleh yang demikian, anak-anak akan ikut memeluk agama Islam hanya apabila bapanya memeluk agama Islam. Jika ibunya yang memeluk agama Islam, anak-anak tidak akan mengikut agama baru ibunya iaitu Islam dan kekal dengan agama asal ketika ibu bapa mereka berkahwin.
    4. Pandangan Imam al-Buhutiyy dari Mazhab Hanbaliyy:
      Imam al-Buhutiyy  berkata dalam kitabnya “Kashshaf al-Qina’ An Matn al-Iqna”: Maksudnya, “(Tidak ada) penjagaan juga (bagi orang kafir ke atas kanak-kanak Islam). Bahkan kemudaratannya lebih besar kerana ia akan memberi fitnah daripada agamanya dan mengeluarkannya daripada agama Islam, dengan cara mengajarnya dan mendidiknya dengan kekufuran. Perkara yang demikian itu kesemuanya merupakan kemudaratan”.

    Di sini dapat kita simpulkan bahawa Mazhab Shafie dan Hanafi lebih lebih cenderung kepada pandangan bahawa di dalam isu status agama anak bawah umur selepas salah seorang ibu bapa memeluk agama Islam, anak-anak adalah mengikut agama Islam tidak kira sama ada yang memeluk agama Islam itu ibu atau bapa. Pandangan tersebut adalah berdasarkan hadis Nabi SAW:

    Daripada A’idz bin Amr Almuzani, daripada Nabi SAW bersabda : “Islam itu tinggi dan tiada yang lebih tinggi daripadanya”.

    Berkaitan dengan isu penjagaan anak atau hadhanah, Mazhab Shafie dan Hanbali juga berpendapat bahawa tiada hak penjagaan bagi orang bukan Islam. Hak penjagaan anak tersebut akan diberikan kepada yang beragama Islam. Hal ini adalah bagi memelihara keselamatan akidah anak tersebut dan menghindarinya daripada sebarang kemudharatan jika sekiranya anak tersebut diletakkan di bawah jagaan orang bukan Islam. Ibu bapa yang bukan beragama Islam tidak layak untuk mempunyai hak penjagaan anak kerana dibimbangi ibu atau bapa yang bukan beragama Islam akan mempengaruhi agama anak tersebut. Dalam erti kata lain, akidah anak yang beragama Islam tersebut mungkin akan terjejas.  

    Pandangan ulama daripada Mazhab Maliki menyatakan bahawa boleh sekiranya penjaga si anak seorang yang bukan beragama Islam. Akan tetapi menurut Wahbah al-Zuhailiy, ulama Mazhab Hanafi dan maliki memberi kebenaran kepada ibu atau bapa yang bukan beragama Islam untuk menjaga anak hanyalah sehingga anak itu mencapai umur mumayyiz. Setelah anak itu mumayyiz ataupun akidah anak itu didapati terjejas ketika di bawah jagaan ibu atau bapanya yang bukan Islam, maka anak itu hendaklah diserahkan kepada penjaganya yang Islam walaupun sebelum anak itu mencapai umur mumayyiz. 

    Selain pandangan daripada 4 mazhab iaitu Mazhab Shafie, Hanafi, Maliki dan Hanbali, terdapat juga fatwa-fatwa lain berkaitan dengan hak hadhanah dan juga status agama anak bawah umur apabila salah seorang ibu bapa memeluk agama Islam dan juga Di dalam Persidangan Penyelarasan Undang-Undang Syarak/Sivil kali Ke-19, semua ahli persidangan tersebut telah bersetuju bahawa:

    “Menasihati Kabinet supaya tidak meminda Perkara 12(4) Perlembagaan Persekutuan, Seksyen 51 Akta Membaharui Undang-Undang (Perkahwinan dan Perceraian) 1976 dipinda supaya orang yang memeluk Islam diberikan hak untuk membubarkan perkahwinan sivilnya di Mahkamah Sivil, mana-mana pasangan yang memeluk Islam yang mempunyai anak-anak yang di bawah umur 18 tahun hendaklah menjadi orang Islam selaras dengan Hukum Syarak dan hak hadhanah hendaklah diputuskan oleh Mahkamah Sivil dengan mengambil kira kebajikan dan maslahah anak.”

    Terdapat juga fatwa-fatwa kontemporari daripada ulama yang baru dikeluarkan. Antaranya adalah pandangan daripada Dr Abd al-Rahman bin Hasan al-Nafisah yang bermaksud:

    “Mudah-mudahan pandangan yang tepat -Allah lebih Mengetahui adalah apa yang disebut dalam mazhab imam Abu Hanifah dan Malik yang membenarkan hak penjagaan kepada ibu bukan Islam. Hal ini kerana athar yang ada menunjukkan bahawa tabiat seorang ibu (sama ada dia seorang Islam atau tidak) dalam perasaan kasih sayang kepada anak-anaknya dan penjagaan mereka melebihi ayah mereka. Tetapi ini tidak menafikan hak bapa pada anak-anaknya. Si ibu tidaklah melebihi kekuatan si ayah apabila si anak melepasi tahap kanak-kanak. Apabila si anak melepasi tahap kanak-kanak, dia dapat mengetahui banak perkara dan membezakannya. Sekiranya si ibu adalah muslimah, wajib si anak berada bersama si ayah untuk pendidikannya. Sekiranya si ibu bukan muslimah (dan ini asas masalah), dibimbangi selepas baligh si anak akan terbiasa dengan agamanya. Oleh itu, wajib si anak bersama si ayah”.

    Selain itu, Dr Abd al-Latif al-Fatur juga ada berkata di dalm kitabnya iaitu “Fatawa Wa Qadaya Fiqhiyyah Mu’asirah” yang membawa maksud:

    Islamnya penjaga bukanlah syarat dalam hak penjagaan kanak-kanak, kerana belas kasihan ibu biologi tidak terkesan ke atasnya dengan perbezaan agamanya (si ibu) dengan agama kanak-kanak tersebut. Ia menjadikan ibu itu lebih berhak dengan penjagaannya (kanak-kanak tersebut), kecuali jika ditakuti ke atasnya akan memberi kesan dengan penjagaannya atau kanak-kanak itu diberi makan yang haram dalam Islam, maka si ibu umpama orang yang jahat lagi tidak beramanah ke atas penjagaan si anak”.

     

    Muzakarah Jawatankuasa Fatwa Majlis Kebangsaan Bagi Hal Ehwal Ugama Islam Malaysia

    Seterusnya Muzakarah Jawatankuasa Fatwa Majlis Kebangsaan Bagi Hal Ehwal Ugama Islam Malaysia kali ke-87 memutuskan bahawa:

    Setelah meneliti keterangan, hujah-hujah dan pandangan yang dikemukakan, Muzakarah berpandangan bahawa di dalam Islam, Jumhur Ulama telah bersepakat bahawa apabila salah seorang ibu atau bapa memeluk Islam, agama anak di bawah umur juga adalah Islam dan penjagaan anak hendaklah diletakkan di bawah ibu atau bapa yang beragama Islam.

    Oleh yang demikian, Muzakarah bersetuju memutuskan bahawa apabila salah seorang pasangan (ibu atau bapa) memeluk agama Islam, status agama anak bawah umur pasangan tersebut adalah secara langsung beragama Islam.

    Muzakarah juga bersetuju memutuskan supaya Perkara 12(4) Perlembagaan Persekutuan yang memperuntukkan bahawa agama seseorang yang di bawah umur 18 tahun hendaklah ditetapkan oleh ibu atau bapa atau penjaganya tidak perlu dipinda.

    Institut Pengurusan dan Penyelidikan Fatwa Sedunia (INFAD), Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) ada membuat beberapa syor berkaitan isu ini. Seperti yang dapat kita lihat, keempat-empat mazhab fiqh mempunyai pandangan yang berbeza berkaitan isu ini. Oleh itu kita dinasihatkan agar tidak mengeluarkan kenyataan yang menyalahkan dan menyesatkan mana-mana pandangan mazhab fiqh Islam. Menurut pandangan dari segi fiqh, pandangan yang mensyaratkan bahawa penjaga si anak sama ada ibu atau bapa harus islam adalah lebih tepat demi menjaga kemaslahatan dan akidah anak tersebut.

    Perkara 11(1) Perlembagaan Persekutuan ada menyatakan peruntukan berkaitan dengan  hak kebebasan beragama bagi setiap individu di Persekutuan Malaysia. Peruntukan ini merangkumi hak untuk mengamalkan dan menganut sesuatu agama tetapi ianya tertakluk kepada 11(4). Perkara 11(4) mengehadkan dan membuat sekatan terhadap penyebaran agama bukan Islam kepada orang Islam. Penulisan ini lebih memfokuskan kepada isu pertukaran agama yang melibatkan salah seorang dari ibu bapa bukan Islam kepada Islam, manakala seorang lagi masih kekal dengan agama bukan Islam, status agama anak bawah umur dan juga isu berkaitan hak penjagaan anak. 

    Berdasarkan peruntukan undang-undang yang sedia ada iaitu Perkara  12(4) Perlembagaan Persekutuan, ia ada menyatakan bahawa agama bagi seseorang yang berada di bawah umur hendaklah ditentukan oleh ibunya atau bapanya atau penjaganya. Peruntukan ini sekaligus menyatakan bahawa persetujuan daripada salah satu pihak sahaja sudah mencukupi bagi menentukan agama seorang kanak-kanak yang di bawah umur. Hal ini adalah kerana, di dalam Perkara 12(4), perkataan yang digunakan adalah “parent or guardian” dan bukannya “parents or guardian” yang bermaksud ibu atau bapa atau penjaga. Bukannya ibu dan bapa dan penjaga. 

    Seterusnya berdasarkan Seksyen 95 Akta Pentadbiran Undang-Undang Islam (Wilayah-Wilayah Persekutuan) 1993 memperuntukkan bahawa seseorang yang tidak beragama Islam boleh masuk Islam jika dia sempurna akal dan mencapai umur lapan belas tahun; atau jika dia belum mencapai umur lapan belas tahun, ibu atau bapa atau penjaganya mengizinkan kemasukannya. Peruntukan di bawah akta ini juga menyatakan bahawa sudah memadai jika keizinan untuk memasuki agama Islam bagi seseorang yang berada di bawah umur diberi oleh salah seorang daripada tiga individu yang disebutkan di atas. Tidak perlu mendapat keizinan ketiga-tiganya sekali. 

     

    Isu Berbangkit Serta Hak Hadhanah

    Isu status agama anak bawah umur setelah ibu atau bapa memeluk agama islam menjadi perdebatan dalam kalangan masyarakat. Hal ini tidak boleh dipandang remeh kerana ianya merupakan satu isu yang berkaitan dengan akidah dan akidah juga merupakan sesuatu asas penting dalam kehidupan setiap muslim. Agama Islam mengajar kita untuk sentiasa bertolak-ansur. Akan tetapi perlu diingatkan bahawa tiada tolak ansur di dalam sesetengah perkara contohnya perkara yang melibatkan akidah seseorang muslim itu sendiri. 

    Masyarakat kita sendiri juga sering berselisih pendapat mengenai isu status agama anak bawah umur apabila salah seorang ibu bapa mereka memeluk Islam. Isu ini menjadi perhatian masyarakat oleh kerana ianya melibatkan dua kaum dan agama yang berbeza iaitu Islam dan bukan Islam. Sudah semestinya pihak masing-masing ingin mempertahankan hak mereka. Tidak salah sekiranya mereka ingin pertahankan hak akan tetapi perlu diingatkan bahawa kita mempunyai undang-undang yang melindungi hak agama masing- masing. 

    Orang Islam tertakluk di bawah undang-undang syariah manakala orang bukan Islam tertakluk di bawah undang-undang sivil. Adalah tidak wajar sekiranya masyarakat atau sesiapa sahaja pertahankan sesuatu hak tanpa melihat kepada peruntukan undang-undang sedia ada. Di dalam masalah ini, sebolehnya kita mahu kedua-dua belah pihak mendapat keadilan yang sewajarnya. Oleh itu, hendaklah kita berbalik kepada peruntukan undang-undang kedua dua belah pihak bagi mendapatkan pertimbangan yang baik. Dalam kebanyakan kes, biasanya akan ada pertembungan di antara dua bidang kuasa iaitu di antara bidang kuasa mahkamah syariah dengan mahkamah sivil. 

    Terdapat banyak isu yang akan timbul selepas berlakunya perceraian misalnya tuntutan nafkah iddah, nafkah anak, mutaah, harta sepencarian dan yang sering menjadi rebutan pasangan yang sudah bercerai adalah hadhanah. Tuntutan hadhanah atau hak jagaan anak yang akan menjadi lebih sukar sekiranya ia melibatkan pasangan Islam dan bukan Islam. Hal ini terjadi apabila salah seorang pasangan bukan Islam tersebut memeluk agama islam dan menuntut hak jagaan anak.

    Pelbagai persoalan akan timbul iaitu persoalan tentang siapa yang lebih berhak menjaga anak tersebut dan juga bagaimana dengan status anak tersebut. Adakah anak tersebut akan kekal dengan agama asal ibu bapanya ketika berkahwin atau akan ikut menganut agama Islam dan siapa yang berhak terhadap hak penjagaan anak tersebut?

    Antara kes-kes yang berkaitan dengan isu di atas adalah kes Subashini Rajasingam Lawan Saravanan Thangathoray. Suami iaitu Saravanan telah memeluk agama Islam dan dia juga turut mengislamkan anak sulungnya yang pada ketika itu berusia 4 tahun. Isterinya, Subashini, membantah tindakan Saravanan yang telah mengislamkan anak lelakinya kerana tidak mendapatkan persetujuannya terlebih dahulu. 

    Mahkamah Persekutuan memutuskan bahawa ayah kepada kanak-kanak tersebut berkuasa untuk mengislamkan anaknya berdasarkan Perkara 12(4) Perlembagaan Persekutuan yang menyatakan bahawa agama seseorang yang berada di bawah umur lapan belas tahun hendaklah ditentukan oleh ibu atau bapa atau penjaganya. 

    Oleh disebabkan itu,dalam kes ini, secara tidak langsung ayah tersebut berhak untuk mengislamkan anaknya walaupun tanpa persetujuan daripada ibu anak tersebut. 

    Kes seterusnya ini berlainan sedikit daripada kes di atas tetapi turut mendapat perhatian masyarakat iaitu kes Viran a/l Nagapan v Deepa a/p Subramaniam.

    Di dalam kes ini, perayu telah memeluk Islam pada tahun 2012 dan telah mendaftarkan pemelukan Islam kedua-dua anaknya yang merupakan hasil daripada perkahwinan sivilnya dengan responden. Perayu juga telah memohon  pembubaran perkahwinan sivilnya dengan responden di Mahkamah Tinggi Syariah Seremban.

    Mahkamah kemudiannya memberikan perintah pembubaran perkahwinan tersebut dan memberikan hak jagaan dua orang anak kepada perayu manakala responden diberikan hak untuk melawat dan akses ke atas anak tersebut. Responden pula memfailkan petisyen untuk perceraian di mahkamah tinggi sivil seremban dan juga perintah hak jagaan anak. Mahkamah Tinggi Sivil Seremban kemudiannya membubarkan perkahwinan tersebut dan responden diberikan hak jagaan penuh ke atas dua orang anaknya itu. Terdapat campur tangan dari pihak IGP dan juga AG di dalam kes ini . pertembungan di antara perintah daripada Mahkamah Syariah dan Sivil telah menimbulkan isu-isu yang melibatkan kepentingan awam. 

    Dalam mengambil kira sama ada perintah hak penjagaan Mahkamah Tinggi sepertimana disahkan oleh Mahkamah Rayuan patut kekalkan ia menjadi perlu untuk mengambil kira kebajikan kanak-kanak itu, yang merupakan pertimbangan paling utama dalam menentukan hak penjagaan kanak-kanak itu. Andaian bahawa seorang kanak-kanak muda lebih elok bersama ibunya dan bukan bapanya merupakan andaian yang boleh dipatahkan dan bahawa andaian itu sendiri tidak semestinya suatu faktor penentu. Ia perlu diimbangi bersama faktor-faktor lain yang relevan dan pertimbangan yang pertama dan penting sepatutnya kebajikan kanak-kanak.

    Bagi tujuan menjadikan kebajikan anak-anak suatu yang paling utama ia adalah perlu untuk mengambil kira perkara-perkara seperti kelakuan pihak-pihak, status kewangan dan sosial mereka, jantina dan umur kanak-kanak itu, hasratnya setakat mana ia boleh ditentukan ber-gantung kepada umut kanak-kanak, laporan sulit pegawai kebajikan sosial dan sama ada dalam jangka panjang ia lebih kepada kepentingan, kebajikan dan kegembiraan kanak-kanak itu untuk bersama ibu atau bapa.

    Apabila anak lelaki dan anak perempuan disoal secara rahsia, ia didapati bahawa anak lelaki itu memilih untuk tinggal dengan bapanya dan tidak berhasrat untuk tinggal dengan ibunya, manakala anak perempuan itu telah menyatakan dia ingin tinggal dengan ibunya. Ia jelas bahawa kedua-dua kanak-kanak itu pasti dengan pilihan mereka, telah selesa dan dijaga dengan baik. Oleh itu, dengan mengambil kira kebajikan kanak-kanak tersebut ia menjadi jelas bahawa ia tidak perlu untuk mengganggu urusan sekarang. Dalam keadaan itu, perintah hak penjagaan yang diberikan oleh Mahkamah Tinggi patut diubah agar hak penjagaan anak perempuan kekal dengan responden manakala hak penjagaan anak lelaki berpindah kepada perayu. 

    Dua kes yang telah disebutkan di atas mempunyai sedikit perbezaan. Di dalam kes Viran a/l Nagapan v Deepa a/p Subramaniam, keputusan mahkamah didapati lebih terbuka dan luas dalam membuat keputusan yang telah memberikan hak jagaan anak lelaki kepada perayu dan juga hak jagaan anak perempuan kepada responden. Ianya bukan sahaja tertumpu kepada isu pengislaman kanak-kanak itu sahaja akan tetapi sudut kebajikan kanak-kanak tersebut perlu di ambil kira sebagai faktor sampingan.

    Pertikaian yang timbul di dalam isu ini berkemungkinan besar disebabkan oleh 2 perkara:

    1. Mahkamah Syariah mempunyai bidang kuasa untuk memutuskan sesuatu hak penjagaan anak.
    2. Mahkamah Syariah tidak mempunyai bidang kuasa ke atas individu yang bukan beragama Islam. 

    Keputusan yang telah dibuat oleh hakim-hakim di dalam kes di atas adalah berdasarkan pentafsiran dan kepentingan anak itu. Sekiranya anak itu selesa tinggal dengan ibunya maka mahkamah akan beri hak penjagaan kepada ibunya, begitu juga sebaliknya.

    Bagi mengatasi isu ini, beberapa pindaan terhadap Akta Membaharui Undang-undang (Perkahwinan dan Perceraian) 1976 harus dilakukan bagi mengelakkan timbul pertikaian yang lebih teruk di masa hadapan. Kita sudahpun berhadapan dengan beberapa kes yang menyebabkan pertembungan di antara dua bidang kuasa berbeza yang akhirnya menimbulkan kekecohan dan juga kekeliruan dalam kalangan masyarakat. Pertembungan di antara dua bidang kuasa ini jika tidak diselesaikan akan menimbulkan pelbagai masalah berkenaan isu yang sama.

    Di dalam kedua-dua kes yang disebutkan di atas, masing-masing ingin mempertahankan bidang kuasa mereka iaitu di antara Mahkamah Syariah dan Mahkamah Sivil terhadap isu tersebut. Sekiranya, keputusan Mahkamah Syariah diterima, pihak satu lagi akan menganggap bahawa mereka didiskriminasikan ataupun haknya mereka dinafikan kerana mereka tidak boleh mendengar perbicaraan yang dijalankan di Mahkamah Syariah. Begitu juga sebaliknya jika keputusan mahkamah sivil yang diguna pakai di dalam isu ini.

    Penghakiman di dalam kes Indira Gandhi a/p Mutho iaitu kes yang terbaru berkaitan dengan isu di atas adalah berbeza berbanding kes-kes yang sebelumnya. Ada beberapa isu berbangkit yang mendapat perhatian iaitu berkaitan dengan pendaftaran penukaran agama kepada agama Islam dan juga keizinan untuk memeluk agama islam dari ibu atau bapa atau penjaga. 

    Berkaitan dengan isu pertama, persoalan yang timbul adalah:

    • Adakah Pendaftar Mualaf atau wakilnya boleh mendaftarkan penukaran agama Islam anak-anak pihak tersebut. 

    Mahkamah Persekutuan menyatakan bahawa had kuasa bagi Pendaftar Mualaf telah ditentukan di dalam Enakmen Pentadbiran Agama Islam (Perak) 2004.

    Seksyen 96(1) mensyaratkan kehendak-kehendak bagi pemelukan agama Islam seseorang iaitu:

    • (a) orang itu mestilah mengucapkan dua kalimah Syahadah dalam bahasa Arab secara yang semunasabahnya jelas;
    • pada masa dia mengucap dua kalimah Syahadah itu, orang itu mestilah sedar bahawa kalimah itu bermakna “Aku naik saksi bahawa tiada Tuhan melainkan Allah dan aku naik saksi bahawa Nabi Muhammad S.A.W. ialah Pesuruh Allah”; dan
    • pengucapan itu mestilah dibuat dengan kerelaan hati orang itu sendiri.

    Seksyen 106(b) pula mensyaratkan keupayaan untuk memeluk agama Islam bagi kanak-kanak yang belum mencapai umur lapan belas tahun, ibu atau bapa atau penjaganya mengizinkan secara bertulis pemelukan agama Islam olehnya.

    Di dalam kes ini, dapat dilihat bahawa kedua-dua keperluan seksyen tersebut tidak dipenuhi. Oleh itu, Mahkamah Persekutuan memutuskan bahawa pengeluaran sijil perakuan memeluk agama Islam tersebut adalah tidak sah. Mahkamah Persekutuan menekankan bahawa ia tidak membincangkan mengenai fakta pemelukan agama Islam tetapi kesahan perakuan dan pendaftaran.

    Isu kedua adalah: 

    • Izin memeluk agama Islam dari ibu atau bapa atau penjaga

    Bagi isu kedua ini, Mahkamah hendaklah memutuskan sama ada kedua-dua ibu bapa perlu memberikan izin sebelum anak-anak yang lahir dalam perkahwinan sivil memeluk agama Islam. Perkara 12 (4) Perlembagaan Persekutuan menyatakan bahawa, bagi maksud hak berkenaan pendidikan agama seseorang yang di bawah umur lapan belas tahun hendaklah ditetapkan oleh ibu atau bapanya atau penjaganya.

    Tafsiran terhadap hak-hak asasi dalam Perlembagan Persekutuan tidak boleh di ambil secara literal. Mahkamah berpendapat bahawa isu penukaran agama adalah sebuah isu yang besar yang boleh memberikan impak terhadap kanak-kanak tersebut. Justeru, tindakan membenarkan kanak-kanak menukar agama tanpa kebenaran kedua-dua ibu dan bapa akan menimbulkan isu dan berlawanan dengan kepentingan yang terbaik bagi anak.

    Mahkamah telah mengambil pendekatan secara menyeluruh yang membawa maksud perlunya keizinan dari kedua ibu dan bapa dengan merujuk kepada Seksyen 5 Akta Penjagaan Budak 1961 yang memperuntukkan bahawa ibu hendalaklah mempunyai hak dan autoriti yang sama sebagaimana yang dibenarkan oleh undang-undang kepada bapa. Hak bagi kedua-dua mereka terhadap penjagaan anak hendaklah sama. 

    Mahkamah Persekutuan memutuskan bahawa pasangan yang memeluk Islam dan pasangannya yang bukan Islam mesti memberi persetujuan bagi penukaran agama anak bawah umur kepada Islam.

    Hakim Zulkefli yang mengetuai panel itu berkata keputusan tersebut dicapai sebulat suara walaupun penukaran agama adalah isu yang menimbulkan perbalahan, namun keputusan mahkamah tidak dipengaruhi oleh kepercayaan agama.

    Persetujuan daripada Indira Gandhi dan bekas suaminya Muhammad Riduan Abdullah, (dahulu dikenali sebagi K. Pathmanathan) adalah diperlukan sebelum sijil penukaran agama kepada Islam dapat dikeluarkan kepada ketiga-tiga anak mereka. Pendekatan membenarkan penukaran agama anak atas persetujuan hanya satu pihak akan menimbulkan persoalan yang sukar.

    Pertimbangan utama mahkamah ialah untuk melindungi kebajikan kanak-kanak. Mahkamah tidak membuat penghakiman berdasarkan prinsip kepercayaan mana-mana pasangan.

  • li'an

    LI’AN: HUSBANDS, BEWARE!

    LI’AN: INTRODUCTION – In Islam, the relationship between a man and a woman can be legalised by way of a valid marriage solemnisation in accordance with the hukum syara’. With marriage, a household is hoped to be showered with love, affection and harmony between its members. The warmth and tranquillity that are expected to be gained from a husband-wife relationship could be reflected by the verse in the Qur’an which equates a wife as a garment/ clothing for the husband, and vice versa. Allah says in Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 187:

    هُنَّ لِبَاسٌ لَكُمْ وَأَنْتُمْ لِبَاسٌ لَهُنَّ ۗ

    Translation by Muhsin Khan:They are Libas [i.e. body cover, or screen, or Sakan, (i.e. you enjoy the pleasure of living with her – as in Verse 7:189) Tafsir At-Tabari], for you and you are the same for them.”

    Ironically, the reality that we have to swallow about marriage is just like what Sylvester Stallone had said in a film entitled Rocky Balboa that “the world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. This saying applies similarly in a marriage life. Some marriages survive a long-lasting happiness, whilst some people ended up having a wrecked marriage whereby the marriage eventually dissolves through a divorce. Hence, in this article we would discover a type of oath namely; li’an which could dissolve a marriage solemnisation.

     

    THE DEFINITION OF LI’AN

    Linguistically, li’an derives from the Arabic word; la’ana which means “to curse” or “to condemn” as stated in Kamus Arab-Indonesia Al-Munawwir by Ahmad Wirson Munawwir (1997). Whereas, The Oxford Dictionary of Islam defines it as: mutual repudiation. It is a mutual one in the sense that when a husband accuses his wife of committing adultery (zina) without providing four credible witnesses, by following the instructions laid down in Surah An-Nur, verses 6-7, the wife may then deny the allegation by repudiating in the same manner. The curse (la’nat) takes place at the fifth oath, whereby the wrath of Allah will fall on them if they are lying.

     

    AUTHORITIES FROM THE QUR’AN AND HADITH ON LI’AN

    Li’an is not a new creation of men but has long been recognised and inscribed in the Holy Qur’an.

    In Surah Al-An’am, verse 6-7, Allah says:

    And those who accuse their wives [of adultery] and have no witnesses except themselves – then the witness of one of them [shall be] four testimonies [swearing] by Allah that indeed, he is of the truthful. And the fifth [oath will be] that the curse of Allah be upon him if he should be among the liars.

    And in a hadith reported in Sahih Muslim, it was narrated that:

    Ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with them) reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) saying to the invokers of curse: Your account is with Allah. One of you must be a liar. You have now no right over this woman. He said: Messenger of Allah, what about my wealth (dower that I paid her at the time of marriage)? He said: You have no claim to wealth. If you tell the truth, it (dower) is the recompense for your having had the right to intercourse with her, and if you tell a lie against her, it is still more remote from you than she is...”

     

    THE OCCURRENCES OF LI’AN

    Abd al-Fattah Ibrahim in his book entitled Ahkam al-Usrah fi al-Shari’ah al-Islamiah explains that li’an can take place in two occurrences:

    1. When a husband alleges his wife of committing zina (adultery) but could not bring forth four witnesses.
    2. When a husband denies the nasab of the child borne by the wife due to uncertainty in the process of the child delivery.

     

    PILLARS (ARKAN) AND CONDITIONS OF LI’AN

    Meanwhile, Basri Ibrahim in his book called Pemantapan Sistem Kekeluargaan, page 209, lists out the pillars of li’an into four, namely:

    1. The one who pronounces the li’an (the husband):
      The husband must be the legitimate husband of the wife who has been pronounced li’an upon, and the husband must be of sound mind.
    2. The person who has been pronounced li’an upon (the wife):
      The wife must be the legitimate wife of the husband (who pronounces the li’an) and of sound mind.
    3. The cause (sabab) of li’an:
      The cause of li’an as discussed above is either due to the denial of nasab of the child borne by the wife or accusing/alleging a wife of committing zina.
    4. The pronouncement (lafaz) of li’an:
      The pronouncement of li’an must be in the correct order/sequence. The majority of the scholars (ulama’) are of the view that li’an would be valid if pronounced in the Arabic language or even in other languages. Nevertheless, according to the Hanbali madzhab, any husband and wife who can speak Arabic should pronounce li’an in Arabic as illustrated in the Qur’an.

     

    THE CONDITIONS OF LI’AN

    On the other hand, the conditions of li’an as highlighted by Jabatan Kehakiman Syariah Negeri Kelantan on its online portal are:

    1. The qazaf (the allegation of adultery by the husband towards the wife) must precede the li’an.
    2. The li’an of the husband is followed by the li’an of the wife.
    3. Both of the husband and wife must pronounce the words of li’an.  This is because the pronouncement of li’an is elucidated clearly in the Qur’an and must be pronounced accordingly.
    4. All the five oaths/swears of li’an must be pronounced successively, one after another (mu’allat). 
    5. The Judge must advice the parties not to tell lies whilst pronouncing li’an. 

    According to the above portal, all of the above conditions must be fulfilled for a li’an to be valid.

     

    THE DURATION OF THE DENIAL OF PATERNITY (NASAB)

    Muslim scholars have formed different opinions on the duration of the denial of paternity or in other words, for how long can a husband deny the paternity of the child borne by his wife? In a book entitled Pemantapan Sistem Kekeluargaan written by Basri Ibrahim, the majority of the Muslim scholars (jumhhur fuqaha’) opine that a husband cannot deny his paternity upon a child borne by his wife, after his wife gave birth to/delivered the child.

    On the other hand, according to the writer, the Shafi’i madzhab permits the denial of paternity of a child to be done throughout the wife’s pregnancy until the child is born. Whereas, the scholars of the Hanafi madzhab are of the view that the denial of paternity should be made abruptly as soon as the child is born or during the process of delivery, for the li’an to be valid. In contrast, if the li’an is made after that, the li’an would not be valid. The justification for the view is that the silence of the husband before this connotes that the husband is pleased (redha) with the child. 

    Meanwhile, the Maliki madzhab holds the same view as the Hanafi School, but with two extra conditions attached. Firstly, the husband has not consummated the wife within a period which could cause the wife to be pregnant.  Secondly, the denial of paternity must be done before the birth of the child. If the husband remains silent until the birth of the child, even after one day, the li’an of the husband will not be valid, and the husband will be imposed with a hadd punishment for qazaf due to alleging the wife of committing adultery.

     

    THE CONSEQUENCES OF LI’AN

    Now, we have come to the penultimate part of the discussion on li’an, whereby we would explore the effect(s) of the pronouncement of li’an that both husbands and wives must know before they even think of pronouncing li’an. Wahbah al-Zuhaily in his kitab entitled Al-Fiqh al-Islami wa Adillatuh explains the consequences of li’an as follows:

    1. The hadd punishment for qazaf upon the husband will lapse and the same applies to the wife, whereby the hadd punishment for zina would lapse as well once li’an is made by both parties. 
    2.   It is forbidden for the husband and wife to resume conjugal relation even prior to the faraq   (judicial separation) decreed by the Judge.
    3. The parties should be separated (faraq).
    4. Li’an is a type of oath which would prohibit the parties who pronounced it from reconciling the marriage forever (haram mu’abbad).
    5. If the li’an is made to deny the nasab of the child borne by the wife, the husband is not obligated to the wife and the child as there is no link of lineage intertwined between them (the husband and the child).

     

    CONCLUSION

    In conclusion, li’an shows that apart from the pronouncement of talaq, a marriage can be dissolved when a marriage couple pronounce li’an towards each other, provided that all of the conditions and pillars of li’an (as discussed above) are fulfilled. The pronouncement of li’an should not be treated as a jest, as the wrath or curse of Allah would befall upon those who are not being truthful whilst pronouncing li’an. 

    Looking at the Malaysian context particularly in the State of Selangor, li’an is covered under Section 51 of the Islamic Family Law (State of Selangor) Enactment 2003, whereby the provision briefly states the consequences of li’an. The Section reads: 

    Where the parties to a marriage have taken oath by way of li’an according to Hukum Syarak before a Syarie Judge, upon judgment, the Syarie Judge shall order them to be farak and be separated and to live apart forever.

    From the above provision, similar to what have been discussed above, li’an would result in the parties to the marriage to be judicially separated (faraq) forever as li’an causes a marriage to be haram mu’abbad.

    Meanwhile, under Section 36 of the Syariah Criminal Offences (Selangor) Enactment 1995, a man who alleges his wife of committing adultery without bringing forth four witnesses, and refuses to pronounce li’an is said to have committed qazaf, and would be liable for “a fine not exceeding five thousand ringgitor for “imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to both.”

    The punishment for qazaf as prescribed in Surah An-Nur, verse 4 which amounts to 80 lashes can only be duly imposed if the proposal to implement hudud law in Malaysia becomes a success. Wallahu a’lam. 

  • the-validity-of-ruju

    THE VALIDITY OF RUJU’ BY RESUMING SEXUAL INTERCOURSE & THE REFUSAL OF WIFE’S CONSENT TO RECONCILE

    QUESTION REGARDING THE VALIDITY OF RUJU’: I am Harith Shah Aqlan from Kerinchi, Kuala Lumpur. I have a question with regards to the validity of ruju’ that I made to my wife. I have pronounced one talaq outside the Court to my wife on January this year and the Court had validated and confirmed the said talaq. After a month from the date of pronouncement of talaq, I have resumed cohabitation with my wife without expressly uttering the word ruju’. I would like to know whether the said ruju’ is valid, and would the consequence remains the same if my wife refuses to consent to the said ruju’? Wassalam, thank you.

     

    ANSWER:

    Wa’alaikumussalam. Thank you for the questions Mr. Harith. We would try our level best to attend to your queries. It is important to bear in mind that the issue of ruju’ or reconciliation in marriage should not be taken lightly as the misconceptions of it might lead to serious consequences. Before we provide the general concepts of ruju’, it is best for us to firstly determine the underlying issue(s) in this case, which are:

    • Whether resuming cohabitation is a valid ruju’ based on hukum syara’
    • Whether the refusal of consent of the wife to ruju’ affects the validity of ruju’?

    There are several verses in the Holy Qur’an pertaining to ruju’. In Surah At-Talaq, Allah says in verse 2 which goes:

    Then when they are about to fulfil their term appointed, either take them back in a good manner

    In another Surah of the Qur’an, Allah says to the effect:

    الطَّلاَقُ مَرَّتَانِ فَإِمْسَاكٌ بِمَعْرُوفٍ أَوْ تَسْرِيحٌ بِإِحْسَانٍ

    Then when they are about to fulfil their term appointed, either take them back in a good manner or part with them in a good manner.”Al-Baqarah: 229

    The wordings in the above two verses which state “when they are about to fulfil their term appointed” signify that ruju’ or reconciliation of marriage is only permitted during the time of ‘iddah.

    According to The Oxford Dictionary of Islam, ‘iddah is defined as “The waiting period a woman must observe after the death of her spouse or a divorce, during which she may not remarry, based on the Quran 2:228 and 2:238 . The waiting period after a divorce is three months, and after the death of a spouse it is four months and ten days. Any pregnancy discovered during this period is assumed to be the responsibility of the former husband.

    And according to Taqiy al-Din Abi Bakr bin Muhammad al-Husayni (2001), ruju’ can only be made upon “a wife who has been consummated, and has been divorced with one or two talaq, without accepting any payment (khulu’) and must be made during the time of ‘iddah”. This is cited in an article entitled Rujuk: Peruntukan Undang-undang dan Pelaksanaannya di Malaysia by Raihanah Abdullah and Zulzaidi Mahmod.

    This means, ruju’ can only be made when a woman is divorced with a talaq raj’i (revocable divorce), whereas, ruju’ cannot be made upon a wife who has been divorced with talaq ba’in (irrevocable divorce) as an irrevocable divorce requires a new ‘aqad (marriage contract). Having understood the general concepts of ruju’, let us proceed with the issues.

     

    WHETHER RESUMING COHABITATION IS A VALID RUJU’ BASED ON HUKUM SYARA’

    In answering this issue, we have to firstly determine the position of the wife when the “ruju’” (resuming cohabitation) was made. Construing the facts of the present case, the “ruju’” was made a month after the wife was divorced with one talaq. This means, the wife was still in her ‘iddah period as an ‘iddah period for a divorced woman is three periods of purity equivalent to approximately three months for a woman with a normal menstrual cycle. A reconciliation is thus can be made as the talaq was a talaq raj’i (revocable divorce) and the wife was still in her ‘iddah period.

    The question is thus, not whether a ruju’ can be made upon the wife, but, whether the so-called “ruju’” which was made by the act of the husband, i.e. resuming cohabitation with the wife, was a valid one. It would be of significance for us to know the rukun (pillars) of ruju’, and whether all the pillars are fulfilled.

    A Kuala Terengganu case of Abdullah Fuad bin Mamat v Maliza bt Awang [2013] 1 SHLR 76 had elucidated about the pillars of ruju’ rather clearly by referring to Kitab Mughni al-Muhtaj, Volume 5, page 2. The three pillars of ruju’ are: “…the husband, the pronouncement used and the wife (former wife in the period of ‘iddah)”.

    The kitab further elaborated on the first pillar of ruju’ by stating: “… the conditions of the husband who wishes to reconcile are the same as the conditions to marry, which are: a person who has attained the age of maturity (baligh), of sound mind, done willfully (not coerced nor under duress), not a murtad…”

    Thus, in order to satisfy the requirements of the first pillar of ruju’, as the husband, you must ensure that all of these conditions are met during the act of reconciliation. 

    Moving on to the second pillar of ruju’ which is the pronouncement used. What is interesting in this present case is that, there is no mention of any form of pronouncement (verbal) of ruju’ being made. Nevertheless, the “ruju’” was made through an act of resuming cohabitation. Therefore, we have to determine whether resuming cohabitation with the divorced wife (talaq raj’i) during her period of ‘iddah, would constitute a valid form of ruju’. 

    The case of Norshinah bte Kamaridun v Baharuddin bin Othman [2005] 4 SHLR 158 would be of good reference as this case also discusses on the validity of ruju’ by way of resuming cohabitation. This case referred to Kitab Mughni Muhtaj, Volume 5, at page 6, which states: “There would be no ruju’ by way of sexual intercourse.” Nevertheless, there are actually differences of opinions of the four madhahib with regards to this matter.

    According to Raihanah Abdullah and Zulzaidi Mahmod (2010) in their article entitled Rujuk: Peruntukan Undang-undang dan Pelaksanaannya di Malaysia, the Shafi’i madzhab only acknowledges a reconciliation (ruju’) by way of pronouncement (verbal) and does not ratify reconciliation by way of conduct, and that would include reconciliation by resuming cohabitation.

    On the other hand, the writers continued to write that some of the Hanbali, Maliki and Hanafi sects accede to reconciliation by way of conduct. Meanwhile, Kitab Hashiah I’anat al-Talibun, Volume 4, page 34 states that Imam Abu Hanifah opines that sexual intercourse as an invalid form of reconciliation of marriage. This is quoted in the aforementioned case of Norshinah bte Kamaridun v Baharuddin bin Othman [2005] 4 SHLR 158.

    The question here is therefore, what is the position here in Malaysia, considering that the official madzhab of our country is the Shafi’i madzhab as emphasised by the then Director-General of JAKIM; Dato’ Haji Othman Mustapha in an article on JAKIM’s website in 2014. The definition of hukum syara’ needs to firstly be clarified. Since the inquirer resides in Kuala Lumpur, the interpretation section of the Islamic Family Law (Federal Territory) Act 1984 may be cross –referred. 

    Section 2 of the Act defines hukum syara’ as “Islamic Law according to any recognized Mazhab”. From this definition, it can simply be understood that the opinions of all the four major madzhab would be acceptable. Nevertheless, based on the case of Norshinah bte Kamaridun v Baharuddin bin Othman [2005] 4 SHLR 158 and the case of Norhasnizar bt Yusoff v Sazli bin Yeop [2009] 2 SHLR 185, the approach of the Courts has been to follow the opinion of the Shafi’i sect, first. Only if the opinion of the Shafi’i madzhab runs in contrary with the public policy would the opinions of other sects be referred to.

    Thus, applying the Shafi’i madzhab, reconciliation of marriage by way of resuming cohabitation with the divorced wife would not constitute a valid ruju’, regardless if the conjugal relation is accompanied with intention (niyyah) or not. This is in line with the decision by the then Syariah Subordinate Chief Judge; Tuan Mawardi Che Man in Norhasnizars case mentioned above.

     

    WHETHER THE REFUSAL OF CONSENT OF THE WIFE TO RUJU’ AFFECTS THE VALIDITY OF RUJU’

    As discussed in the foregoing paragraphs, the pillars of ruju’ do not include the consent of the wife i.e. the person with whom the husband wishes to reconcile with. The issue of refusal of consent of the wife in the context of ruju’ has been discussed in the case of Abdullah Fuad bin Mamat v Maliza bt Awang [2013] 1 SHLR 76. 68]. In this case, the Court had referred to Kitab al-Fiqh al-Islami wa Adillatuhu written by Dr Wahbah al-Zuhaili which states that the consent of the wife is not required to reconcile.

    Despite that, in order to provide remedy for a wife who refuses to consent upon the ruju’ with valid reasons according to hukum syara’, the drafters of the legislation have foreseen such an event by providing Section 51(9) in the Islamic Family Law (Federal Territory) Act 1984 which states: “If after a revocable divorce the husband pronounces a ruju’ but the wife has not consented to the ruju’ for reasons allowed by Hukum Syara’, she shall not be ordered by the Court to resume conjugal relations, but the Court shall appoint a conciliatory committee as provided under section 47 and that section shall apply accordingly.

     

    CONCLUSION:

    In conclusion, with regards to the first issue, despite the “reconciliation” by way of resuming cohabitation was made during the period of ‘iddah, the “ruju’ would not be a valid one. This is in lieu of the Malaysian Syariah Courts’ inclination to follow the Shafi’i madzhab regarding this matter, whereby the Shafi’i madzhab does not accede to ruju’ by way of conduct.

    On the other hand, with regards to the second issue, a wife’s refusal of consent would not affect a reconciliation made by a husband. Nevertheless, in this case, since the ruju’ by way of the husband resuming cohabitation with the wife without any form of pronouncement does not constitute a valid ruju’, whether the wife consents or does not consent to the ruju’ would be of no significance in this present case.

    Even if there is a valid ruju’, a wife’s refusal of consent towards the ruju’ would not affect the validity of the reconciliation of marriage. Nevertheless, if the wife refuses to reconcile to the marriage with valid reasons in accordance with hukum syara’, applying Section 51(9) of the Islamic Family Law (Federal Territory) Act 1984, the Court would not order the wife to proceed with ruju’, but the Court shall appoint a conciliatory committee as provided under Section 47 of the Act and that Section would apply accordingly. Wallahu a’lam. Thank you.

  • difference-between-khulu-fasakh-peguam-syarie-faiz-adnan

    DIFFERENCE BETWEEN KHULU’ AND FASAKH

    QUESTION REGARDING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN KHULU’ AND FASAKH: Assalamu’alaikum. I am Nazira (not my real name) from KL Sentral. I have been married for two (2) years and we do not have any child. The first year of our marriage was filled with love, trust, respect and happiness. Starting from the second year of our marriage, my husband started to show his true colours, the sides I have never seen of. He would easily become fumed with anger over small matters. All along prior to that moment, he had never raised his voice to me what more to lift up his hands or feet.

    Things changed 360° now that he started to scold me every now and then, even when I talked nicely to him and did not do anything wrong. Sometimes he would say mean things to me and would use foul languages that were very downgrading, negative and had definitely broke my heart to pieces. At first I felt very strange towards his drastic changes. One day, as I was about to put his trousers into the washing machine, I found a crumpled loose sticky note written on it, the words; “Sayang, breakfast I dah hidangkan atas meja ni. Sorry, I kena pergi kerja dulu, ada urgent matter”. I knew it for sure that it was not my handwriting and I started to get fishy over it.

    To cut things short, I later found out that he had eloped and got married with another lady in Thailand for five months already without my knowledge, a fact he didn’t deny of. In fact, he expressly confessed that to me when I pressured him to tell me the truth. I felt dejected and cheated by the news. That explained why he rarely returned home especially during weekends, though all this while he said to me that he had to go for outstations. He had also failed to provide maintenance for myself for three months in a row already. When I asked him for money, he would say that I am now earning almost as much as him, why would he provide maintenance for me. Furthermore, he did not even divide the night turns fairly between his two wives. Moreover, he had been negligent in his five daily prayers and had started to play lottery. At times, he had hit me on the back and had slapped my face whenever he got angry for instance, due to his loss at a lottery.

    I could not stand anymore his hot-temperedness, his ill conducts, his failure to provide maintenance and his unfair treatments. When I asked him to divorce me, he would laugh off and say that why would he divorce me when he could take advantage over me by ordering me to do house chores, free of charge for himself and his second wife? I have had enough and would like to seek for divorce by myself since he refused to let me go. Should I proceed with khulu’ or fasakh, as I am confused between the two terms and concepts. Hopefully to get my inquiry answered. Thank you. Wassalam.

     

    ANSWER:

    Wa’alaikumussalam Puan Nazira. Thank you for posting a question, in sha Allah we would try our utmost level best to assist you in answering your query and to bring you out from the problems that are shackling you. First and foremost, we would like to express our deepest sympathy and concern towards the predicament and atrocities that have been tested upon you. What we need to bear in mind is that, a marriage life is not at all times a bed of roses. Similar to the ocean tides, sometimes there are ups and downs in sailing through a marriage voyage. Islam regards divorce as abominable as what is reported in a hadeeth by Abu Dawud, “Among lawful things, divorce is most hated by Allah.

    Nevertheless, if every available and reasonable recourse to reconcile fails, divorce is permitted as the last resort if it is indeed the best interest of both concerned parties, since Islam never desires a marriage to continue in a suffering way. Yet, a divorce must only take place in a peaceful and amicable manner as Islam urges divorcing parties to separate with kindness as Allah says in the Qur’an, “A divorce is only permissible twice: after that, the parties should either hold together on equitable terms, or separate with kindness.  The Holy Quran 2:229.

    Pertaining to your question, a few issues can be summarised as follows:

    • What are khulu’ and fasakh?
    • Whether there are grounds to apply for divorce under khulu’ or fasakh?

     

    WHAT ARE KHULU’ AND FASAKH/DIFFERENCE BETWEEN KHULU’ AND FASAKH

    Based on text book entitled The Islamic Family Law in Malaysia written by Najibah Mohd Zin et al., 2016, just as the Islamic law allows a husband to release his wife by way of pronouncement of talaq, a wife is also given the right to release herself from the marriage by way of ta’liq, khulu’ and fasakh, though judicial sanction is required. The right to exercise khulu’ is clearly mentioned in the Qur’an, whereby Allah says:

    It is not lawful for you to take from women whatever that has been given to them (as dower) except in the case where both fear that they may not be able to keep within the limits imposed by God. And if you fear that they may not be able to keep the limits of God, it is no sin for either of them if the woman ransoms herself (Al-Baqarah: 229).

    From the above cited verse, a marriage can be dissolved if the woman wilfully would like to pay compensation for her release. A wife is permitted to pay a sum of money to release herself, the amount of which is mutually agreed by both parties or fixed by the court, and this is known as khulu’. Based on the legal traditions, the applicant wife does not need to prove the breakdown of marriage to apply for khulu’. This can be seen in a prominent hadeeth of the Prophet which reads:

    Ibn Abbas reported that Jamilah, the wife of Thabit b Qais came to the Prophet and said ‘O Messenger of Allah, I do not blame Thabit about his character and piety, but I dislike being ingratitude in Islam. The Messenger of Allah asked if she was prepared to return the garden given to her by Thabit. “Yes” she said. The Prophet said to Thabit “accept the garden and give her a single divorce.

    Based on the above hadeeth, there need not be a proof of a breakdown of marriage, as the applicant wife did not even find any fault on the part of the husband. It would suffice if she is able to prove that she dislikes her husband and because of that, she is afraid that the continuance of marriage in such a state would cause her not to perform her marital obligations as a wife, which thereafter could lead her to become nusyuz.

    Whereas, fasakh is an option that can be exercised by a husband or a wife to end the marriage through judicial process by invoking ground(s) that is/are acceptable under the Islamic law. Based on The Islamic Family Law in Malaysia written by Najibah Mohd Zin et al., 2016, initially, the law was meant to safeguard the rights of women who are exposed to marital abuse and neglect. However, after the amendment, the law gives equal opportunity for both men and women alike to invoke fasakh, though a wife tends to benefit more from the provision, as a man is conferred with the right to dissolve a marriage by pronouncing talaq. The basis of invoking fasakh is harm or dharar. In Malaysia, section 52 of the Islamic Family Law (Federal Territory) Act 1984 specifically governs the provision relating to fasakh.

     

    WHETHER THERE ARE GROUNDS TO APPLY FOR DIVORCE UNDER KHULU’ OR FASAKH

    As discussed above, section 52 of the Islamic Family Law (Federal Territory) Act 1984 specifically provides for the dissolution of marriage or fasakh. The provision lays down grounds that are not exhaustive.

    Referring to the facts that you have presented, there are a few grounds under section 52 of the Act which can be invoked, namely, section 52(1)(b), section 52(1)(h)(i),(vi) and (l).

    Section 52(1)(b) provides for failure to maintain for a period of three months as one of the grounds of fasakh. A decided case to refer to is the case of Cik Pah v Abdul Aziz b Ahmad, whereby the wife claimed that the husband was insolvent and failed to provide maintenance. The Court ordered the wife to take an oath (yamin istizhar) and to swear that she remained faithful to the husband. The judge was satisfied that the husband was impoverished but adjourned the case for nine days with three days grace period for the husband to prove that he could pay the maintenance. The wife repeated her claim and she was ordered to take an oath with the consent of the husband and subsequently the court granted a fasakh divorce. This case shows that a failure to maintain is one of the acceptable grounds to dissolve marriage through fasakh.

    For your information, yamin istizhar is a form of oath which is aimed to strengthen and clarify the claims and to deny any allegation that is put forward against the applicant, after the applicant has successfully proven his/her claim.

    Next, section 52(1)(h)(i) provides “that the husband treats her with cruelty, that is to say, inter alia, habitually assaults her or makes her life miserable by cruelty of conduct”. This section does not merely cover for physical assault. In fact, any form of mental/psychological assault is also governed by this provision. A case to refer to is the case of Hasnah v. Zaaba (1995) 10 JH 59, whereby the wife claimed that the husband had habitually assaulted her and made her life miserable by cruelty of conduct. The Syariah High Court judge decided that cruelty has taken place whereby the husband had habitually assaulted the wife by beating and cursing her, which made the wife’s life miserable. The Court permitted the application of the wife to dissolve the marriage through fasakh. From the facts of the case that you have presented, we could see that the conducts of your husband such as beating and slapping your face whenever he got fumed with anger could constitute “cruelty” under section 52(1)(h)(i).

    On the other hand, a case to refer to with regards to mental assault is the case of Zarina bt Syaari v. Mohd Yusof b. Omar (2005) ShLR, Vol. 4, 173, whereby the learned judge of the Syariah Lower Court (Federal Territories) had decided that the refusal to communicate on the part of the husband, cheating the wife by marrying another without her knowledge, and refusal to sleep with the wife amounted to mental cruelty which were habitual. The court held that the term ‘habitual assault’ was relevant in cases of mental and emotional assault. Thus, the wife has to prove that the actions took place habitually, continuously and repeatedly. 

    Referring to the facts that you have presented, your husband had on several occasions mentally assaulted you by swearing to you using foul languages which were very degrading and cruel. Based on the above decided case, for a case involving the mental and psychological aspects of the applicant, since the term used in the provision is “habitual”, you must prove to the Court that the cursing and swearing were done continuously and on a frequent basis.

    Based on Section 52(1)(h)(vi) of the Islamic Family Law (Federal Territory) Act 1984, a wife can apply for fasakh if her husband marries more than one wife and does not treat her equitably in accordance with the requirements of Hukum Syara’. In this case, your husband had admitted that he had married a second wife. It is undeniable that polygamy is allowed in Islam. This point can be elucidated by a verse from the Qur’an which reads, “then marry from among [other] women such as are lawful to you – [even] two, or three, or four: but if you have reason to fear that you might not be able to treat them with equal fairness, then [only] one – or [from among] those whom you rightfully possess. This will make it more likely that you will not deviate from the right course.(Surah An Nisaa – Women, 4:3).

    Nevertheless, as expressly mentioned in the aforementioned verse, if the husband fears that he might not act justly between all his wives, then he is allowed to marry only one wife. Based on the facts that you have textually conveyed, your husband had not been fair in the night turns and had spent most of his time with his second wife. That is a clear form of unlawful neglect. Thus, section 52(1)(h)(vi) can be invoked as a ground to annul your marriage via fasakh.

    Lastly, section 52(1)(l) of the Islamic Family Law (Federal Territory) Act 1984 regards “any other ground that is recognized as valid for dissolution of marriages or fasakh under Hukum Syara’” to be a ground to dissolve the marriage through fasakh. This provision widens the scope of fasakh, so as not to restrict it to only the specified grounds which are listed expressly in the provisions. This is because; to list down expressly the exact and specific grounds for fasakh would be numerous and therefore impractical. Thus, any other ground to dissolve the marriage through fasakh that is recognised by Hukum Syara’ would suffice.

    In this case, your husband had not lived in accordance with the Islamic tenets by neglecting the performance of prayers when in fact, the establishment of prayers is compulsory for a person who has attained puberty. Allah says in the Qur’an, “…Indeed, prayer has been decreed upon the believers a decree of specified times.” (Quran 4: 103). Whereas, the prohibition of gambling is recorded in the Qur’an, in Surah Al-Maa’idah, whereby Allah says, “O you who believe! Intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic drinks), and gambling, and Al Ansaab (stone altars for sacrifices to idols, etc.), and Al Azlaam (arrows for seeking luck or decision) are an abomination of Shaytaan’s (Satan’s) handiwork. So avoid (strictly all) that (abomination) in order that you may be successful. Shaytaan (Satan) wants only to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants (alcoholic drinks) and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah and from As Salaah (the prayer). So, will you not then abstain? (Al-Maa’idah 5:90-91).

    A husband has a duty to lead the marriage and his family by observing the commandments ordered by Allah and the Prophet and to refrain from committing acts that are prohibited by the religion of Islam. By neglecting his prayers and playing lottery, your husband had brought himself towards destruction. Allah says in the Qur’an, “…and do not throw [yourselves] with your [own] hands into destruction [by refraining]. And do good; indeed, Allah loves the doers of good.He had also failed to be a good example as the leader of the family. His conduct of playing lottery had also proven to cause harm to your physical body as you have said that he would physically assault you whenever he suffered a loss after playing the lottery.

    Thus, his acts could fall under subsection (l) as your husband had acted cruelly by breaching the commandments and prohibitions of hukum syara’. 

     

    CONCLUSION:

    In conclusion, having studied the facts that you have presented, we believe that the more suitable action for you to take is to apply for an annulment of marriage through fasakh instead of to apply for khulu’, as your case matches several grounds for an application of fasakh under section 52(1)(b),(h)(i),(vi) and (l) of the Islamic Family Law (Federal Territory) Act 1984. It is however important to note that, a fasakh application must be supported with satisfactory evidence to be adduced to the Court, otherwise the Court might simply strike off the application due to want of proof. It is advisable for Puan Nazira to consult and seek the aid and expertise of a Syarie lawyer (Peguam Syarie) as this issue involves complicated matters which are best dealt by the expert in this respective field. Wallahu a’lam. Thank you.

  • HAKAM: ANOTHER WAY OUT FOR MUSLIM WOMEN TO GET A DIVORCE

    HAKAM: ANOTHER WAY OUT FOR MUSLIM WOMEN TO GET A DIVORCE

    HAKAM INTRODUCTION: Talaq is a right which is only conferred upon a husband to divorce his wife. Nevertheless, this right is not absolute and is in fact a restricted one as it is only permitted to be pronounced twice. As Allah says in the Qur’an,

    A divorce is only permissible twice; after that, the parties should either hold together on equitable terms or separate with kindness” (Al-Baqarah: 229).

    However, a wife is granted the privilege to seek divorce by way of khulu’ (redemption), ta’liq, and fasakh. These rights require sanctions from the Court as stated in the Islamic Family Law in Malaysia by Najibah Mohd Zin, et al. (2016). The brief definitions of the above three types of divorce by a wife are laid down below:

    • Khulu’: A divorce pronounced by the husband by way of redemption after the amount of the payment of tebus talaq (the wife compensates for her release) is made {See s 49 of the Islamic Family Law (Federal Territory) Act 1984 (hereinafter referred to as IFLA 1984) and Surah Al-Baqarah: 229}. 
    • Ta’liq: A divorce due to breach of any stipulation by the husband which is pronounced during the marriage solemnisation, as required by statutes. The breach could be the basis for the wife to lodge a complaint in the Syari’ah Court and it is for the Court to grant the divorce if the breach is satisfactorily proven {See page 175 of the Islamic Family Law in Malaysia by Najibah Mohd Zin, et al. (2016)}.
    • Fasakh: A dissolution of marriage through a Court order due to certain acceptable grounds which are recognised under the Islamic law {See page 193 of the Islamic Family Law in Malaysia by Najibah Mohd Zin, et al. (2016) and s 52 of the IFLA 1984}. 

    Most Muslim women in Malaysia are only aware of these three types of divorce that they could seek in Court. Little did they know the existence of divorce by means of hakam which is less time-consuming and could be a way out for marriages that are hanging on by a thread. 

     

    THE DEFINITION OF HAKAM

    Linguistically speaking, tahkim connotes “conferring power to impose punishment upon someone”, as cited in an article entitled; “Hakam dalam Mahkamah Syariah: Analisis Pelaksanaannya di sisi Prinsip Syariah di Malaysia” written by Hammad Mohamad Dahalan and Mohamad Azhan Yahya. Whereas, the Article provides the technical definition of hakam as “a process where the disputing parties appoint a person each as a hakam (arbitrator) to solve the issue of contention arising between them, in accordance with hukum syara’”. 

    The concept of hakam is not something foreign nor is it a new invention, as it is not only judicially recognised in the context of the Malaysian Islamic Family Law but in fact, it has been encouraged by the Qur’an to be practiced in solving disputes between two parties. The verse related to this is enshrined in Surah An-Nisaa’, verse 35. Allah says:

    And if you fear dissension between the two, send an arbitrator from his people and an arbitrator from her people. If they both desire reconciliation, Allah will cause it between them. Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Acquainted [with all things]

    Reflecting on the above verse, the uniqueness of appointing hakam as an alternative dispute resolution can be seen, whereby the disputing parties are given the right to appoint the arbitrators of their choice. The qualifications required for a hakam before he is appointed would be explained later as we discuss this matter further.

    Through a divorce by way of tahkim, a wife who desires to get a divorce is able to get what she wishes for by following the procedures, as spelled out under Section 48 of the IFLA 1984. 

     

    PROCEDURES OF HAKAM

    A divorce by way of hakam commences the moment a wife files a claim of divorce under Section 47 of the IFLA 1984. Under Section 47(2) of the Act, upon receiving an application for divorce, the Court will issue a summons upon the other party (in this case would be the husband) including a copy of the application and the statutory declaration made by the wife. The summons requires the husband to appear before the Court, in order to inquire whether the husband consents to the divorce or otherwise. 

    If the husband refuses to consent to the divorce, the Court will as soon as possible appoint a conciliatory committee (jawatankuasa pendamai – JKP). The persons appointed under the conciliatory committee, consist of a Religious Officer as Chairman and two other persons, one for the husband and the other for the wife as stated under Section 47(5) of the Act.

    Section 47(14) of the Act states that “where the committee submits to the Court a certificate that it is unable to effect reconciliation and to persuade the parties to resume the conjugal relationship, the Court shall advise the husband to pronounce one talaq before the Court”. Nevertheless, if the husband does not wish to be present in Court to pronounce the talaq or if the husband refuses to pronounce the said talaq, the Court will then refer the case to the attention of hakam and thereby, Section 48 of the Act will apply.

    The State of Selangor has taken the first leap in gazetting the Hakam (State of Selangor) Rules 2014 (hereinafter referred to as the Hakam Rules 2014), which provides detailed guidelines on the implementation of hakam in the Malaysian Syariah Court practice. Rule 3(3) of the Hakam Rules 2014 provides that the Court is required to ensure that syiqaq (constant quarrels between husband and wife which affect the marital harmony – Rule 2 of the Hakam Rules 2014) exists between the husband and wife before the parties are brought before the hakam. This shows that the provision on the appointment of hakam cannot be simply invoked as to avoid from the occurrence of arbitrary or even unnecessary divorce. 

    As stated in a book entitled “Managing Marital Disputes in Malaysia: Islamic Mediators and Conflict Resolution in the Syariah Courtswritten by Sven Cederoth Cederroth and Sharifa Zaleha Syed Hassan, normally a marriage situation is said to be in a state of syiqaq when the husband refuses to let go off the wife (divorce) or when the wife is unable to seek for divorce by means of ta’liq or fasakh due to unavailable grounds. Other instances of syiqaq are listed under Rule 4 of the Hakam Rules 2014. 

     

    THE APPOINTMENT OF HAKAM

    Referring to Rule 4 of the Hakam Rules 2014, hakam can only be appointed from among the close relatives (saudara karib) of the husband and wife who fulfils the qualifications as listed out under sub-rule 8(1) and (2). As interpreted under Rule 4(2) of the Hakam Rules 2014, “close relatives” are referring to “any man who is related by consanguinity, affinity or fosterage and having knowledge on the circumstances of the case”. 

    The qualifications of a hakam as listed out under sub-rule 8(1) are: 

    (a) Professing the religion of Islam;

    (b) Male;

    (c) Possessing a sound mind and reached the age of maturity (mukalaf);

    (d) Just and trustworthy (amanah); and

    (e) Acquiring basic knowledge on family affairs and Hukum Syara’

    Meanwhile, based on Rule 11 of the Hakam Rules 2014, this complies with the directions given by the Court as well as Hukum Syara’ in conducting the Majlis Tahkim (proceeding). Nevertheless, the hakam who is conferred with full authority from the Principal (the husband/wife), has wider power which is to:

    (i) pronounce one talaq or khulu’ before the Court (hakam for the husband)

    (ii) accept the pronouncement of khulu’ before the Court (hakam for the wife) 

    Thus, from here we could see that through hakam, a wife’s wish to dissolve a marriage (even when her husband refuses to consent) can be realised as a hakam with full power is conferred with the authority to pronounce the talaq or khulu’ in order to release the wife from the marriage.

     

    DETERMINATION ON THE TYPES OF DIVORCE

    In order to determine which type of divorce would be pronounced, under Rule 12 of the Hakam Rules 2014, the hakam needs to identify which party causes the syiqaq. Referring to Rule 12(2), if the syiqaq 

    (a) appears to be caused by the husband or both husband and wife, both Hakam shall propose divorce by talak;

    (b) appears to be caused by the wife, both Hakam shall propose divorce by khuluk and the rate of ‘iwadh shall be determined by Hakam;

    (c) cannot be determined in terms of its cause and the husband claims divorce, both Hakam shall propose divorce by talak; or

    (d) cannot be determined in terms of its cause and the wife claims divorce, both Hakam shall propose divorce by khuluk and the rate of ‘iwadh shall be determined by Hakam.

    Whereas, based on Rule 15, either the divorce is made by way of talaq or it is made by way of khulu’, a divorce by way of tahkim has the effect of talaq ba’in. This means, a new ‘aqad is needed if the parties wish to reconcile after the talaq or khulu’ is made. 

     

    CONCLUSION

    In conclusion, the option that is available for a wife who wishes to dissolve her marriage but whose husband refuses to consent is to resort to hakam. This type of divorce acts as a tool to end the “torture that a wife “is compelled” to go through, for having to sail the voyage of marriage which has irretrievably broken down and has lost the essences of mawaddah, sakeenah wa rahmah. In addition, a divorce by way of hakam is also time-efficient as Rule 16(1) of the Hakam Rules 2014 states that (subject to sub-rule (2)) the duration of the proceeding shall not exceed thirty days from the date of the appointment and declaration issued by the Court. Moreover, the application for a divorce by appointing hakam is also budget-friendly as the parties who are planning to apply for hakam are only required to pay the filing cost which is affordable.

    By raising awareness on hakam (especially to Muslim women), they will know that there exists another right of divorce that Muslim women can resort to, apart from khulu’, fasakh and ta’liq. When other means are to no avail, this type of divorce is hoped to be a saviour for Muslim women who are left “gantung tak bertali” by their inhumane and egoistic husbands. Divorce by way of tahkim can be a form of warning to all husbands out there, that the right to pronounce talaq upon their wives is not absolute. Last but not least, this post aims to urge all of the Muslim women out there, to increase their level of legal literacy as many are still clueless about this right that is statutorily conferred to them, which in turn would detriment their very own lives and interests. Furthermore, All Muslim women and men alike should know their obligations as well as their rights as husbands and wives, in order to ensure that they will discharge their duties responsibly and will not allow others to infringe their rights, naively and ignorantly.  Wallahu a’lam.

    Article published for Peguam Syarie Faiz Adnan.

  • CHILD MARRIAGE FROM THE LEGAL AND SYARIAH POINTS OF VIEW

    CHILD MARRIAGE: FROM THE LEGAL AND SYARIAH POINTS OF VIEW

    INTRODUCTION: The marriage solemnisation of a 41 year old Kelantanese man to an 11 year old Thai girl (child marriage) sometime in June this year, has sparked outrage among the locals as well as human rights activists abroad, detesting a young child to become someone else’s bride. This much publicised news still remains a spotlight and attracted debates, whether to ban it altogether or to keep it within strict bounds. The question here is what is the position of child marriage in the Islamic context? Does Islam really permit a child to tie the knot?

     

    THE CONCEPT OF MARRIAGE IN ISLAM

    1. Before we delve further into the matter and explore the opinions of the Islamic scholars pertaining to it, it is best for us to firstly understand the concept of marriage in Islam. Marriage in Islam is considered as a sacred contract and is in fact encouraged by our beloved Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. if all the marriage requirements are duly met. A hadeeth reported by ‘Abdullah Bin Mas’ud in the Translation of Sahih Muslim, Book: 8 reads:

      0 young men, those among you who can support a wife should marry, for it restrains eyes (from casting evil glances) and preserves one from immorality; but he who cannot afford it should observe fast for it is a means of controlling the sexual desire.

    2. But what most of us fail to notice is that, with marriage comes responsibility. This issue of responsibility is what we need to concern most about when it comes to child marriage, as to whether a young child is capable to shoulder the responsibility of being a wife and a future mother. What we need to bear in mind is that marital commitments are not a one-man responsibility but a joint responsibility of both parties to the marriage contract.
    3. Looking at the requirements of marriage in Islam, we could see that there is no mention of a specific age for a bride or a groom to validly enter into a marriage solemnisation. Despite of the silence on the minimum age requirement for marriage in the Islamic faith, both parties to a marriage need to reach “comprehensive maturity” before an akad can be contracted. This is quoted in an article entitled; “An Islamic Human Rights Perspective on Early and Forced Marriages: Protecting the Sanctity of Marriage” published by Islamic Relief. A profound sense of maturity is therefore a necessity in marriage in order for the parties to fully understand the rights and responsibilities aroused out of marriage.

     

    THE DEFINITION OF CHILD IN ISLAM

    1. Next, the definition of “child” in Islam also requires contemplation. It is worth to be highlighted that, unlike the Western perspective on the definition of “child”, a “child” according to the shari’ah is not ultimately be defined according to a specified age. This is based on an article entitled “Child Marriage and Minimum Age of Marriage under Islamic Family Law” by Zanariah Noor. The Convention on the Rights of the Child (hereinafter referred to as “CRC) in its Article 1 defines a child to be a person under the age of eighteen (18) years unless if the laws of certain countries fixed a lower age. Malaysian laws also adopt the minimum age set by CRC, except for the Adoption Act 1952 which sets the age of under 21 years old for a person to be defined as a child.
    2. On the other hand, in Islam, the determinant is the state of puberty (bulugh). Based on the article entitled; “Child Marriage and Minimum Age of Marriage under Islamic Family Law” by Zanariah Noor, a state of puberty can be determined based on two ways:
      1. Physical change
      2. Age
    3. Referring to the above article, a female is said to have reached the age of puberty when she starts to discharge blood from the womb (haidh), whereas, a male attains the age of bulugh when there is an emission of seminal liquid (maniy). On the other hand, when there is no apparent physical change, the state of bulugh is determined by looking at the age of the person. If a person has attained the age of 15 years (Hanafi, Hanbali, Shafi’i madhahib) or the age of 17 years (Maliki madhab), he/she is said to have attained the age of puberty.

     

    JURISTIC OPINIONS ON CHILD MARRIAGE

    1. On the issue of releasing a child for her to be wedded with someone, there are differences of opinions among the Islamic scholars. Based on an article entitled; “Bayan Linnas Siri ke-141: Perkahwinan Kanak-kanak Mengikut Perspektif Syariah”, which can easily be accessible via the official website of the Federal Territory Mufti, the scholars which totally prohibit child marriage are Ibn Syubrumah and Abu Bakr al-Asam. The justification of the prohibition is based on the verse from the Qur’an which reads:

      وَابْتَلُوا الْيَتَامَى حَتَّى إِذَا بَلَغُوا النِّكَاحَ فَإِنْ آَنَسْتُمْ مِنْهُمْ رُشْدًا فَادْفَعُوا إِلَيْهِمْ أَمْوَالَهُمْ

      And try orphans (as regards their intelligence) until they reach the age of marriage; if then you find sound judgement in them, release their property to them” (Surah An-Nisaa’: Verse)

    2. According to the above article, the wajh al-dilalah of the above verse is that the age of minority ends at the age of marriage. Thus, there would be no such thing as child marriage based on this interpretation.
    3. On the other hand, the views which assent to child marriage can be further divided into two. The first view opines that child marriage is permissible, depending on the age of bulugh. Thus, no matter how “young” a person is, if she has already attained the age of puberty, it would be valid for her to get married. In contrast, the second view allows child marriage, even though the child has not attained the age of puberty. Nevertheless, the marriage can only be solemnised by “a person who is closest to the child, takes responsibility upon the child the most, loves her the most, knows best the maslahah (interest) of the child”. The person refers to the wali of the girl, i.e. the girl’s father. This opinion is held based on various authentic authorities from the Qur’an and hadeeth. 
    4. The verse of the Qur’an to support this contention is from Surah At-Talaq, Verse 4 which states to the effect:

    وَاللَّائِي يَئِسْنَ مِنَ الْمَحِيضِ مِنْ نِسَائِكُمْ إِنِ ارْتَبْتُمْ فَعِدَّتُهُنَّ ثَلَاثَةُ أَشْهُرٍ وَاللَّائِي لَمْ يَحِضْنَ

    And those of your women as have passed the age of monthly courses, for them the ‘Iddah (prescribed period), if you have doubts (about their periods), is three months, and for those who have no courses [(i.e. they are still immature) their ‘Iddah (prescribed period) is three months likewise, except in case of death].

    Based on the interpretation of this verse by al-Jassas as cited in the above-mentioned article, the part of the verse which goes وَاللَّائِي لَمْ يَحِضْنَ means a child who has not attained the age of maturity (bulugh). This means, if a child has to observe a period of ‘iddah, impliedly, a child can get married.

     

    THE STATEMENT OF MUFTI ON CHILD MARRIAGE

    1. The question now is: what is the stance of the Federal Territory Mufti with regards to the validity of child marriage? Construing the official written statement of the Federal Territory Mufti on this issue, the Mufti stated that the hukm of a child marriage depends on the laws in Malaysia. In Malaysia, the shari’ah law only permits a marriage to be contracted the earliest at the age of 18 (male) and 16 (female), and any marriage contracted below the specified minimum age, requires a prior written consent from the Hakim Syar’ie. This is laid out under Section 8 of the Islamic Family Law (Federal Territory) Act 1984.
    2. Nevertheless, he further stated that although the hukm of a child marriage is valid (sah) (provided that all the arkan of nikah are fulfilled), a child can only get married if he/she has attained the age where he/she is capable to discharge well the responsibilities that are tied together with a marriage contract and must understand the consequences of marriage such as pregnancy, the duty to provide maintenance, duty to provide conjugal relations, among others.
    3. Interestingly, the Official Website of the Federal Territory Mufti had just published a new article dated 7th August 2018, which refined the discussions on child marriage in the shari’ah perspective by narrowing down the discussion in the context of siyasah shar’iyyah. The article entitled; Bayan Linnas #145: Isu Perkahwinan Kanak-Kanak Menurut Perspektif Siyasah Syar’iyyah defined siyasah shar’iyyah as “a branch of study which studies about administerial affairs of an Islamic State in the context of the laws, policy and system, in accordance with the usul of Islam, despite the non-existence of a specific dalil (proof) in the nas syara’”.
    4. Thus, based on the concept of siyasah shar’iyyah, the Article stated that the Malaysian government has a right to curb child marriage through the implementation of laws and policies in order to ensure the interests of the children are protected, due to the fact that the nature of marriage entails marital responsibilities and obligations which might not be able to be carried out well by young children.
    5. Meanwhile, based on the Islamic principle of maslahah mursalah (simply translated as the consideration of public interest), the Article further stated that the Government has the right to enforce laws which limit the age of marriage involving children, if the laws are ordained in order to protect the interests and welfare of the children. This is as long as the laws are not in contradiction with nas qat’ie. 
    6. Next, based on the principle of sadd az-zari’ah (blocking the means of evil), the Article continued that the Government can hinder/disallow child marriage as a means to prevent from any occurrence of unwanted child exploitation, child abuse, and other detrimental effects arousing from a child marriage (if solemnised arbitrarily).  
    7. Lastly, based on the principle of istihsan (juristic preference), the Article indicated that, despite the existence of legal authorities (dalil) which permit child marriage (as pointed out above), by applying istihsan on the basis of maslahah (protecting the interests of the children), the interests of the children are prioritised and preferred over the contentions which authorise or legalise child marriage. 

     

    CONCLUSION

    1. In conclusion, the issue of child marriage should not be downplayed by any party, irrespective of race and creed. The interests and welfare of the children should be the paramount consideration before a Shari’ah Court Judge gives his written consent to permit the marriage solemnisation. Besides, the standard operating procedure (SOP) which has been outlined by the Syariah Judicial Department in cases of approving underage marriage applications should be supported, so as to avoid from any occurrence of marital abuse among innocent and vulnerable children.
    2. Despite the existence of juristic opinions which permit child marriage as discussed in the foregoing discussions, based on the principle of siyasah syar’iyyah that has been elaborated above and as what has been pointed out in the official written statement of the Federal Territory Mufti, the Government has the power/authority to limit the minimum age of marriage in order to uphold justice (protecting the interests of vulnerable children and preventing from any incidence of child exploitation or abuse). Following the call to raise the minimum age of marriage for Muslims, as what have been reported in several local news portals, the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (MAIS) had took the first leap before the other Islamic Religious Councils of the rest of the States in Malaysia, by proposing to amend the minimum age of marriage (by increasing the minimum age limit of marriage).
    3. Nevertheless, the proposal to increase the minimum age of marriage for Muslims in Malaysia should not be misunderstood as a means to illegalise what Allah permits (permitting child marriage in certain strict conditions and circumstances, in line with the Shari’ah, which would certainly not jeopardise children’s lives). Instead, as summed up by the Honourable Mufti of the Federal Territory, looking at the ‘urf in Malaysia, child marriage is best disallowed in accordance with law by following the Islamic principles of maslahah mursalah, sad al-zari’ah and istihsan. Whereas, exceptions would only be applicable in certain remote cases, after adhering to very strict conditions set by the Court. Wallahu a’lam.

    Article published for Peguam Syarie Faiz Adnan

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