President Nasheed has asked German scholars with expertise in Sharia law to help apply it to certain fields in the Maldives, during his visit to Berlin.
“I have done my homework and I am quite aware of the amount of German discourse in Islamic jurisprudence”, President Nasheed said, according to German news site deutschenachrichten.
Nasheed told the German press that Maldivian law was based on Sharia, but warned them about “jumping to the wrong conclusions.”
“We are a tolerant and free country, and we want to keep it that way,” he said.
Press S for the President’s Office Mohamed Zuhair said that Germany was a country where a large number of experienced and professional scholars live.
”In the 20th century, the highest standard of Islamic universities was also in Germany,” Zuhair said.
Zuhair said the government had discussed the request for German assistance with the Islamic Ministry, which had expressed its approval.
However spokesperson for the Islamic Ministry Sheikh Ahmadullah said he had no information about the matter and did not want to comment.
Zuhair explained that “many Islamic books also were preserved in Germany” and believed that “German religious scholars would be more experienced than Maldivian scholars.”
”The origins of Sharia code would not be changed,” Zuhair said. ”They will only help in some areas like taxation.”
He said the president had received very positive answers in response to his interest.
State Minister for Islamic Affairs Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed said if good advice was given “it should always be heard and acted upon.”
Shaheem said people should realise “that there are Islamic scholars all around the world, and not only in Arabic countries.”
“The are good scholars in many countries,” Shaheem said, “even in those where Islamic people are in a minority.”
”Even a scholar like Sheikh Bukhari (a famous scholar of the Hadiths) was not from an Arabic country,” Shaheem explained.
“If a scholar in another country can give the right information on Sharia law, we have to accept it. But if anyone gives the wrong information, we have scholars here who can tell us the right way to implement Sharia.”