Shariah is Human

Koonj has a great post which makes the point that we humans interpret and create all laws, even religious law.

Religion and religious law must always be the human reading of a law. The notion of a “God’s-eye-view” law is a tempting and beautiful one. However, it is one of those things for which we yearn on earth, similar to perfection, eternal life, perfect beauty, endless love, and so on. Earthly life is not made for such things.

A human being cannot access “God’s-eye-view” law or religious law.

Paradoxically, religion and religious law must always be more or less human–but always somewhat human.

To claim that you have access to God’s-eye-view of law is to claim that you have God’s view, which approximates blasphemy.

So to claim that your perspective on religion/religious law is infallible, is, in a way, to claim divinity. And as even Ibn Arabi says, the Lord is the Lord wa in tanazzal, and the servant is the servant, wa in ta’arruj (will not translate for fear of doing it poorly).

[…] Some of us think that literalism is safe refuge from our own readings, but there is never any refuge from our own readings. Whether you read one of the seven inner meanings and the seven inner meanings of the inner meanings of each Qur’anic verse – or whether you try to go from a “linear atomistic” (see Mustansar Mir) reading of each line, – or whether you struggle to read the Qur’an using the Qur’an itself as its commentary – or whether you use a scholar’s readings – we ordinary human beings always use words, our limited five senses and our limited spiritual senses, to try to KNOW.

By Zack

Dad, gadget guy, bookworm, political animal, global nomad, cyclist, hiker, tennis player, photographer


  1. Above referred post by Koonj is a good piece of philosophy.

    Let us talk of the general practice. Say there is a perfect model of a flower vase. Now, this is copied by some-one, even the one who made the first one, it will never be perfectly the same but will be the same allowing some tolerances in dimensions. While dealing with the eye view of God, we have to keep the point in view that God has allowed some tolerances to human beings because no human being can be perfect, this having being declared by God in the Book. Creator is God and only He knows what He has created.

    Coming on to the Law of God, God sent many Messengers so that they practically show to the human beings by their own way of life how to go nearest to perfection in the eyes of God. Also message of God revealed to the Messengers and compiled in the Book clearly lays down the lines how to practice God’s laws and, if the need be (chances of which are bleak because God is perfect and His message can not be imperfect), promulgate a law.

    Different points of view about the law revealed by God are due to personal bias of the reader. In all over worldly affairs, when we wish to learn anything, we keep our opinion (bias) far away otherwise we will not learn correctly but, when it comes to learning religion, we give first place to our opinion. Why so?

    May God guide us, the believers, to the right path. Aameen.

  2. Koonj: Thanks. We are okay.

    Dad: You probably misunderstood her point. Her argument is that it is impossible to separate human interpretation from the law revealed by God.

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