Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah told British India’s central legislative assembly in February 1925, “I HAVE no hesitation in saying that the Privy Council have on several occasions absolutely murdered Hindu law and slaughtered Muhammadan law.”
Thus, the gateway to a Quranic interpretation of the Sharia was shut; commentaries were to prevail. In 1897, it ruled that, “It would be wrong for the courts to put their own construction on the Quran in opposition to the express ruling of commentators of such great antiquity and high authority.” Ignorant of Islam, its members relied on English studies of Muslim law.
“The result is that while the people are moving, the law remains stationary, In view of the intense conservatism of the Muslims of India, Indian judges cannot but stick to what are called standard works,” In The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, Allama Iqbal wrote. Courts in Pakistan have rejected this view and have creatively consulted the Quran and hadith. Barring some exceptions, India’s courts did not.
They made it their business to obliterate Muslim law and replace it with a uniform civil code in order to erase the Muslim community’s identity. Barely had Indian Muslims resolved their issues, however, when they were confronted with the onslaught of Hindu revivalists, the Jan Sangh and its present successor, the BJP, for over half a century.
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