Opinion and Commentary

Can Muslims live by Australian laws?

South Australian Islamic Lawyer Belal Moraby outlines the reasons that all Muslims are indeed able to live by Australian laws and in Australian society. "Committed Muslims, like all others, seek to be socially accepted in a vibrant and legally aware community."

There is a perception that Muslims have difficulty integrating into western societies, such as Australia.

Can Muslims live by our laws? Can a practising Muslim, who is committed to Islamic principles, live within a non-Muslim legal framework? How can Muslims integrate when they have their own laws?

Muslims can, have and should adapt to western culture.

The concept of natural law – justice, equity and fairness are clearly present in the main source of Islamic law, the Quran.

Even the revered and final prophet for all Muslims, Muhammad (swt*), sought refuge under a just Christian King Al-Najashi, in Abyssinia (modern day Ethiopia).

Under Al-Najashi, Muslims were allowed to practise their religion unhindered.

Similarly, when Muslims ruled Mecca and the many neighboring provinces, Christians and Jews were free to practice their religion unhindered, whilst living under local laws.

Certainly, there are differences and peculiarities do exist between say a family with western roots, and a family with eastern roots.

Sure, it may be common to see a Muslim family gathering with friends at a local Mosque, rather than at a pub. Dress code may be a little different.  Kebab may be on the menu.

Putting all of that aside, both families are committed to a happy existence and are obligated to follow Australian laws. The differences in lifestyle choices do no more than to add to the cultural richness and diversity for which Australians should be proud.

When a person lives in a particular country, they agree, whether expressly or implicitly, to adhere to the rules and regulations of that country.

The prophet Muhammad (swt*) said that it is necessary upon a Muslim to listen to and obey the ruler, as long as one is not ordered to carry out a sin. Muslims can and do follow laws.

There will always be individuals who do the wrong thing, and these people are found within all religions and cultures, all over the world.

But the message for all members of the community, irrespective of creed, remains the same – justice, equity, fairness, the love for life, family and education and serving one’s community.

Committed Muslims, like all others, seek to be socially accepted in a vibrant and legally aware community.

*swt: an abbreviated Islamic mark of respect

Belal Moraby is a Muslim and lawyer at TGB. Belal is fully qualified to take instructions for Islamic Wills.

For further information, assistance with your legal matter or assistance with an Islamic Will, contact us.