To write a preface for a thesis is very common, whatever the field or the content of the thesis may be. I have also maintained this tradition not simply to keep the tradition alive, but on the ground of the legitimacy and causal relationship with the content of my thesis. The topic of my thesis is quite new with which the present generation is not acquainted.
The Sociology of the Quran came on the arena in the present decade and by virtue of polarity of topic it automatically must concern with all those social diseases which are the threats to the meaningful societal and cultural evolution. The Quran is the Book which encompasses the whole human life and hence, if we peep into the pages of the Quran, we will find a lot of material on social pathologies, value deviancies, contradictions and conflicts.
The Quran is based on a definitive philosophy of its own and therefore reluctant to use any term which stands in opposition to this philosophy. I would like to point out that the Quran, while analyzing these problems never calls man as a criminal. Right earnestly maintaining the dignity of man it never uses the term ‘Criminal’, but categorises men’s mistakes in terms of Udwan Khusran, Zanb and Baghi. These variegated terms are used in accordance with the situation to which a person has fallen a prey as a result of commission of wrong. One more implication is to be kept sedulously in mind that the greatest object of the study of Quranic Criminology is to keep the dignity of mankind. If a person is degraded by calling him criminal, the persons, so charged will never regain his lost dignity of personality. He will e ostracized and condemned by the society. With this loss of personality he is nowhere and the chances of socialization and making each individual as a servant of society are lost. In order to maintain this principle, the Quran never calls a man Mujrim but rather an Asee, amendable in all ramification in social life.
Mujrim are those who commit crime by the denial of Almighty Allah and Divine precepts. We will see the use of the term Mujrim in relation to Bani Israel who had rejected the truth and hence allowing no possibility for construction and reconstruction of the personality, dignity and honour of society. This point is the fundamental base of the Quranic Criminology. Indeed it is a new concept not to be found anywhere in the modern sociology.
Apart from the enormous use of criminology in sociology today, very little is to be found as something real. There is nothing except theorization, succinctly added by information about the life of the criminals in jails and penitentiaries. The inevitable corollary is that no definite knowledge about crime and criminology is available. The whole system is like a mushroom growth, either in regard to meanings of crime or the criminology itself. This is in agreement with the views expressed by H.P. Fairchild and G. Duncan in ‘Dictionary of Sociology’.
If we recognize the individual theories propounded by the scholars on their own accord, they will be no more valid on the bases of ‘realism; depth level analysis or micro, macro and meta level. One more defect is to be found on the basis of Quranic methodology. Each of them is just the analysis of the thinking of scholars. The freedom to use them on their own accord on the personal knowledge, they are no more to be taken as valid, because Quran says that ‘man cannot chalk out a moral code for himself.’
Much valid and logicomeaningfully related materials are to be found in Quran and on this basis the entire systems of knowledge in connection with crime has been developed by the legal system of Islam and the propounders of the Fiqh. With this background I hope the scholars of tomorrow will give to the world something definitive, universal and meaningful knowledge about crime and criminology. What an agony that all the scholars of the Muslim World follow the legal juridical system of the West, without understanding difference between Isalamic viewpoint and that of the West. To my mind, Muslim laws as used today create one more pathology aggravating the list of the social problems delineated by scholars. I know the materials provided by me is very brief, it will give definitely a lead to the scholars today to study the Quran in order to develop full knowledge, valid for society. I also hope that the scholars will work to discover the valid laws for all time and space. We should keep in mind that the mumish imitation of the West will never become a source of therapy and development in future. Personal laws are particular whereas the pathological situation is universal. For the realization of meaning and validity, we should tak support from the Quran. This is not something to be charged as personal, but it is imperative law given expression in terms of documentationalization. We have neglected this imperative law altogether. One more difference between Quran and the West is to be discovered in terms of failure of the periodic evolution of the society and as such we are in need of study of Quran from time to time, because changes are inevitable.
The modern criminology is said to be dynamic and scientific. Our study of criminology as developed in the West gave an idea that such a claim is not proved by the men of this field. Dynamism has created dispersion, resulting disorganization and anomie. The definition of crime is also not valid, because there is no authority which may be recognized as authority by the men of this field. Each court can assign different definition and meaning and hence we are left in a state of confusion, as to which is to be accepted asvalid? This cannot be the rule of permanent nature. We have to take them in piecemeal as valid. This will create antagonism, anomaly and confusion. Under this circumstance the criminology of the Quran will lad us to a definitive goal. While discussing the problems, the Quran seems to be wonderfully logical and axiomatic. Every one for all time to come has to inculcate the definitive idea that man cannot chalk out a moral code for himself. I have discussed this problem very briefly, in order to invite the scholars to undertake the responsibility of further research so as to lead the humanity by their continued research and study of the Quran. The definition and meanings provided by the Quran are valid for all the times to come. This is the only guarantee for attaining unity, harmony and solidarity. It is to be remembered that law is one of the systems of culture and the culture is to be followed for attaining balance in life. These laws will certainly provide determinism and consistency.
Modern criminology has one more deficiency. It is unable to create an atmosphere of unity and harmony in culture, value orientation patterning and development of cultural mentality. No nation can exist without attaining solidarity and in this direction our legal system under the shadow of modern legal system of the West cannot provide the cultural mentiality which is the only way for building culture in situation of anomaly and disparity. All the sociologists while talking about cultural system have pungently pointed out that law is one of the exponent preserver and transmitter of culture. One of the logical contentions of the Quran is to be seen in the development of the system of penology which is interlinked with criminology. In the West penology is individualistic, maintaining the disparity of human situation. They say that each individual should be given punishment according to the commission of crime. This individualistic philosophy of the West has violated the basic law of society in individual.
The reader may feel astonished because of our omission of the interlinked part of penology, Penology certainly is a specific field, an hence to magnify this idea we have left penology pointing out that this subject will be studied in future, separately by the scholars of Quranic Socieology. While sentencing the criminal, the court and the police should not stigmatize and victimize the criminal. It means all those who are concerned with crime and the criminal should keep in view the dignity and personality of the criminal. In any case they are not allowed to victimize the individual in a way of deterioration of personality. In all processes of judgment and sentencing, the society as a whole is to be looked into. For entire legal system of Islam including crime and criminal law, the basic philosophy of Quran is to be maintained:
1The Unity in multiplicity.
2Socialization and orientation of criminals.
3The solidarity and the loyalty with the ideal base of Islam – The Principle of Tawheed.
In the end I must mention that I have taken immense help and guidance from my learned supervisor Dr .M. Basharat Ali who has always been generous to help me with his deep insight and high scholarship. In fact completion of this thesis is very greatly due to him. For this I pay respect and offer my thanks to him. I also feel duty bound to offer thanks to those personalities and institutions which helped me in my research and preparation of this thesis. I would also like to thank Messers Shawkat Ali and Shahid Hussain who took pains for typing the whole thesis with great devotion and feelings of sincerity. I have the responsibility to pay homage and thanks to Almighty. Allah for giving me the opportunity to study and understand the Quran and write this thesis.