This is a concept proposal, and is part of the Solutions Series.
I would like to propose a mathematical methodology for formulating a “Quranic Constitution.” The proposed result of this project aims to serve as the theoretical foundation for a future Quranic State. My generation should not expect such a State to arise in our lifetimes, nor should we expect the methodology proposed here will be accepted by the traditional majority, which thrives in ambiguity and divisions today. However, we should expect the tide to turn eventually. Perhaps such a project will help future generations.
The need for this project, clearly stated, is the following: To remove reliance on traditional models of formulating sharia, which have been exposed as severely flawed in previous essays (“Contradictions” and “Hidden History“) and to come up with a universal (unifying) model for deriving law, using tools such as Boolean Algebra/Truth Tables/Binary Decision Diagrams and Propositional Calculus etc.
If the Quran is required to be our only source of law, that is, it contains all the axioms, as is stated in verse 6:114, then this goal should be achievable. Note: The scope of this project is very focused, even myopic. It is not concerned with abstract truths and philosophical meanings of the “pre-text” (as today’s academics in the field of Islamic Studies call it.) It is only concerned with the “text” (Quran) and formulating a mathematical way to judge the validity of legal propositions with regards to the text. Everything outside of this domain, is out of scope.
Such a project can be accomplished in three phases, each requiring distinct and highly specialized skill-sets.
In Phase 1, the following specializations are needed:
1. Classical Arabic Linguistics and Lexicology
The task in this first phase will be to lay out all the “decisive” verses of the Quran, as indicated in verse 3:7:
He it is Who has revealed the Book to you; some of its verses are decisive, they are the basis of the Book, and others are allegorical; then as for those in whose hearts there is perversity they follow the part of it which is allegorical, seeking to mislead and seeking to give it (their own) interpretation. But none knows its interpretation except Allah, and those who are firmly rooted in knowledge say: We believe in it, it is all from our Lord; and none do mind except those having understanding.
So the “decisive” verses of the Quran are those that are non “allegorical” (i.e. stories/representations/metaphors) and these verses form the “basis” of the Quran. For our purposes, any verse which is non-allegorical and also provides a rule (containing Do/Don’t content) will be included in the raw dataset. This will necessarily include all the verses which contain legal prescriptions, inheritance laws, axioms of governance and economic etc.
The skill-sets required for Phase 2 are the following:
2. Logic: Boolean Algebra/Truth Tables, Binary Decision Diagrams and Propositional Calculus etc.
This second team will be required to formulate Truth Tables and/or BCDs, which are logical devices to evaluate the validity of propositions that are fed into them, based on the axioms they are composed of. The logicians will source the entire set of decisive rule-verses compiled in Phase 1 as the axioms. If/When this logical structure is constructed, it alone will determine what is allowed/forbidden in the Constitution.
Only those propositions that are proven to be valid can then be turned into laws. If the Quran is complete and sufficient to provide a basis for law, which is its own claim, then simply applying logical consistency should be all that is needed. It is astonishing that our own people have such little confidence in God’s wisdom, that they simply refuse to accept His Quran as being sufficient to provide the sole basis of law. Instead we get mirred in interpretations, which opens the way for divisions, fostered by competing non-Quranic sources being raised to axiomatic status. Instead, our goal should be to apply consistent and rigorous logic, without introducing our own biases, and then analyze the result. This methodology employs tools to do that, which did not exist until very recently in human history.
Once the above is achieved, Phase 3 will begin. For this, we need to add a few more skill-sets:
3. Constitutional Law
4. Human Right Law
This third team will work with the second, being bounded by the scope of the Tables constructed in Phase 2, in order to construct the actual letter of the constitution. They will do this by giving all their proposed rules to the logician, who will frame them as propositions to be evaluated by the tables. This system will determine what is allowed and what is forbidden, according to the Quran. The advantage of this is that we will have a clear deductive proof for why a proposition is valid or invalid.
This will ensure that every clause of every article in the Constitution can be shown to be deductively valid, from the Quran’s point of view, with a proof accompanying it’s inclusion. Just as Phase 1 and 2 will create the skeletal structure, Phase 3 will cover it with muscle.
This does not mean the result will be a static constitution which will be set in stone. This methodology simply provides a clear definition of the scope of flexibility granted to humanity in forming its laws, within the boundaries stipulated directly by God. There will always be issues on which two competing and mutually exclusive laws will both be valid according to the Quran. So there is still space for human agency within this model, allowing the Quranic State flexibility in adapting to changing circumstances. Such a universal system will guide a Quranic society and keep it on track, while still allowing room to adapt.
Furthermore, with the hard boundaries of the law clearly defined, many of the old and highly controversial aspects of ‘sharia law’ will be corrected, e.g. the case of slavery, which was analyzed previously, and proven to be contradicting the Quran, and yet historically allowed by sharia. I know of many other ‘sharia laws’ which clearly contradict the Quran, and it should be obvious that developing such a system is the best method to counter such corruptions of Divine Law systematically.
This above is a short and brief concept proposal. So how and where to begin? Obviously, the best way to carry out such a project would be within a university, or a government funded task force. However, I highly doubt that will happen, at least in the current climate within our civilization, where the status-quo thrives on divisions and traditionalism. But we need not wait for a climactic change to begin. It is possible to complete this project with a small group of individuals, with verifiable credentials and the required skill-sets, who would be willing to devote their spare time to this effort, collaborating via the internet. I can play the part of a ‘coordinator,’ setting up the forum and tools needed for them to collaborate, and even provide some funding if needed. I do not know what the final product will be, nor would I interfere with the outcome. The specialists will be in control, being bounded only by the rules of deductive logic, which itself will ultimately determine the result. So if any qualified reader is interested, or knows anyone that might be interested, please contact me and we can discuss this concept further. Just keep in mind, the scale of this project is immense, and it would probably take a decade to be realized.