Pinoy Muslims satisfied with parallelism between Philippine and Shari'a laws

A recent poll by the Washington-based Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life revealed that majority of Muslims wanted Shari’a law as the official bylaws of their countries.

But for Filipino Muslims, this is less an entry on their wish list rather than a fact of their lives as Shari’a laws have been partly implemented in the country since 1977. And it was done without it being imposed on Christian Filipinos.

“The Philippine government has recognized Shari’a laws under Presidential Decree
 1083 or the Code of Muslim Personal 
Laws,” said Julkipli Wadi, dean of the Institute of Islamic Studies at the University of the Philippines, Diliman.

“Sa survey na ‘yan, expected naman na gusto ng mga Muslim ang implementation of Shari’a [pero] sa Pilipinas marami ang hindi papayag dahil minority lang ang Muslim,” he noted.

Ominta Lantud, a Muslim public school teacher and businesswoman, agreed with Wadi saying that she is satisfied that the Islamic legal and moral code only applied to them and not to Christian Filipinos.

“Tingin ko hindi pwede na sa buong Pilipinas kasi ang number ng Muslim ay mas kaunti kaysa sa Christian… Hindi pwedeng ipilit sa ibang culture. Sa Muslim lang dapat,” the 38-year-old mother of five explained.

The Shari’a court system was established to resolve cases using Islamic principles of justice, according to “A Primer on the Philippine Shari’a Courts”, commissioned by the Asia Foundation and the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication.

Currently, the Shari’a courts only handle cases relating to personal laws on family relations and property.

Unconscious implementation

Although Shari’a laws are not applicable to Christian Filipinos, the Islamic Studies dean noted that the country is moving towards the “vision” of Shari’a law.

“In fact, the Philippines is moving in a trajectory towards a vision of Maqasid Shar’ia (the goals of Shari'a law) like the RH (Reproductive Health) Law, divorce bill etc. Filipinos are not just conscious about it or in utter refusal to recognize it,” Wadi noted.

He explained that reproductive health was in accordance to the Shari’a law, while the Code of Muslim Personal 
Laws had a provision on divorce, though applicable only to Muslims and non-Muslim married to a Muslim.

“There was unconscious implementation of the Shari’a law’s spirit… Shari’a law is universal,” he added. “Kung titignan ang trend na ‘yun, ang Philippines ay sumusunod sa vision of Shari’a… ‘Yung Polygamy [pwede] avail na rin ng bansa.”

More Shari’a courts

From Dasmariñas City in Cavite, Lantud recalled having to travel all the way back to Marawi City in Mindanao just to secure a copy of her marriage certificate.

The public school teacher wished that she could acquire a simple document without the hassle of taking a few days off from work and leaving her family behind.

“Dapat mayroong Shari’a circuit court sa bawat lugar na may Muslim para hindi na pumuntang Mindanao kung kailangan ng dokumento tulad ng marriage certificate,” she said.

The Code of Muslim Personal 
Laws created five Shari’a district courts and 36 circuit courts in the country. However, all of these courts are located in Mindanao, and mostly in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.

“There should be an expansion of Philippines Shari’a Court in non-Muslim provinces with substantial number of Muslims,” Talib Benito, former dean of Mindanao State University's King Faisal Center for Islamic Studies.

Apart from adding Shari’a courts in Metro Manila, Wadi also wants the Code of Muslim Personal
 Laws revised.

Benito noted that the upcoming Bangsamoro Basic Law will expand Shari’a law to business law, obligations and contracts, and some aspects of criminal law.

“This has been the clamor of Muslims in the Philippines… to be governed by their law. If you understand the civil aspect of the Shari’a law, it is like the civil law of the Philippines. It only differs on marriage and divorce,” explained Benito, who is part of the 15-man Transition Commission that will draft the Bangsamoro Basic Law. — DVM, GMA News

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

Most Popular

  • Do You Have a Bowel Problem?

    Do You Have a Bowel Problem?

    Healthy Living - Tue, Apr 22, 2014 10:34 PM PHT
    Do You Have a Bowel Problem?

    Those sweets are just one category of "fermentable carbohydrates," foods that can wreak havoc on some people's guts (another common irritating class is lactose), causing diarrhea, gas and/or bloating. …

  • The Shocking Reason You May Be Tired

    The Shocking Reason You May Be Tired

    Healthy Living - Fri, Apr 18, 2014 11:33 PM PHT
    The Shocking Reason You May Be Tired

    So my doctor prescribed two medications, including a synthetic thyroid hormone to replace what my body was having trouble making. It turns out that my story is actually quite common, especially since the risk for thyroid disorders tends to increase as you get older-and women are up to eight times more likely than men to develop one. I was also surprised to learn that having an underactive thyroid is the most common problem, but it can be tricky to diagnose. The gold standard for measuring …

  • Weight Loss Mistakes Beginners Make

    Weight Loss Mistakes Beginners Make

    Healthy Living - Mon, Apr 21, 2014 10:38 PM PHT
    Weight Loss Mistakes Beginners Make

    Weight-loss rookies beware: despite your best efforts, you may be making some well-intentioned mistakes that not only halt your progress, but can actually cause weight gain, leaving you feeling anything but motivated. …

  • If You See the Word “Detox,” Run--and 5 Other Diet Claims Never to Believe

    If You See the Word “Detox,” Run--and 5 Other Diet Claims Never to Believe

    Healthy Living - Fri, Apr 18, 2014 9:41 PM PHT
    If You See the Word “Detox,” Run--and 5 Other Diet Claims Never to Believe

    If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. By Ava Feuer, REDBOOK. …

  • Stowaway teen forces review of airport security

    Stowaway teen forces review of airport security

    Associated Press - Tue, Apr 22, 2014 11:29 AM PHT
    Stowaway teen forces review of airport security

    SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A 15-year-old boy found his way onto an airport's tarmac and climbed into a jetliner's wheel well, then flew for five freezing hours to Hawaii — a misadventure that forced authorities to take a hard look at the security system that protects the nation's airline fleet. …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options