Hisbah

Friday, September 4, 2015

Have you wondered why some Muslim fathers, brothers or cousins are ready to kill a woman in their own family? Here is the answer: The concept of hisbah in Islam teaches that God has appointed Muslim men to be judges over their family, friends and neighbors in order to insure that everyone adheres to the religion of Islam and complies with all its requirements (Quran  9:70; also 3:103). It is the duty of an entire Islamic community as well as its individual members to live out this assignment.

Hisbah is an Arabic word that means accountability. In hisbah, a person interferes in another individual’s personal life and forces him or her to adopt certain beliefs and behavior under penalty of death. Muhammad said: “Whoever sees an evil must change it with his hand [by using force]. If he cannot do so, then with his tongue [through teaching]. If he still cannot do so, then with his heart [through love and compassion], which is the weakest form of faith” (Hadith).

There are four elements in hisbah: the person who errs, the error, the person who performs the judgment, and the act of judgment. The many components of this procedure include the use of advice, harsh words, threats, isolation, beatings, physical violence, torture and finally killing (compare Romans 2:1).

PRAYER

Merciful and compassionate Father, you are long-suffering and full of love and grace. We are sinners. Without your grace, we would all be condemned and lost. Without the cross of Jesus, we would all be miserable and wretched!

Your Word tells us: “God alone… is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?” (James 4:12, NLT).

So today, I am bringing to you a people who see themselves as judges over others. Help them realize how you see them, and may they experience your free grace. Forgive them for their sin. Open their eyes so they can see and their ears so they can hear that God has come in Christ. He has visited us to redeem us and help us all.

Shower your blessings upon Muslims of every walk, of every conviction, and in every society.  Show them your face. Bring them to the cross. Fill them with your Holy Spirit. O Great Shepherd of the sheep, make them lie down in green pastures, lead them beside quiet waters and guide them in paths of righteousness. For your name’s sake, amen.

PROMISE

The LORD is our judge; the LORD is our lawgiver; the LORD is our king; he will save us (Isaiah 33: 22,
NIV).

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