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Mohammad Hashim Kamali


This latest issue of IAIS Malaysias flagship journal, Islam and Civilisational Renewal (ICR), contains six substantive articles, all with actionable policy recommendations, in addition to five viewpoints and eight significant event reports and speeches. I am confident that our readers will benefit from this expert body of work, characterised by honest scholarship, depth of learning and originality of thought.

Our lead article, written by myself, is entitled Principles and Philosophy of Punishment in Islamic Law, with Special Reference to Malaysia. An exploration of conventional fiqhi approaches to hudud, it argues that, while the Quran makes the implementation of hudud conditional on a consideration of repentance and reform in offenders, fiqhi expositions ignore these principles. I recommend that: 1) a more holistic reading of the Quran be developed, advancing a fresh understanding of hudud leading to fundamental reform; 2) ulama, politicians and other interested parties show the moral courage and initiative necessary to implement reform, preferably through new legislation; and 3) existing court procedures be revised to allow space for the surrounding circumstances of a case, including the conditions of the offender and the possibility of repentance.

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