By Junaid S. Ahmad
The constant touchstone of ‘civilized nations’ is “rule of law, not of men”. This guiding principle is results in the impartial, neutral and “just” conception of the law. The law shall apply equally to all, regardless of rank, race, gender and other such divisions pervading in society. This conception of the law extricates it from the imperfections of society and gives it a sanctimonious status. Thus while shaped and enacted by society, it remains untouched by prejudices and divisions—lending the law a transcendental position. In this conception of the ‘rule of law’, the religious notions of right and wrong are compatible with a law that lords above society and its realities. The law is sacred, much like religion, and while many conceptions of the rule of law do not have a divine origin, the law is conceived of as transcendental, much like religious law.
Junaid S. Ahmad has a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree in law from the USA, and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Law and Policy at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Lahore, Pakistan. He is also the coordinator of the Islamic Studies program at LUMS. He was president of the US-based National Muslim Law Students Association (NMLSA) and is on the Board of the Muslim Peace Fellowship. He is actively involved in Pakistan on a number of different intellectual, educational, and peace and social justice initiatives.