LCH, in responding to my previous letter, asked me to show the exact verse that refers to my argument.
This is an old trick used to deconstruct the already established Islamic fiqh which has developed and passed all tests over the period. This same trick is also largely used by certain people in arguing about covering the head (tudung) ruling for Muslim women. They are simply in the business of deconstructing Islamic jurisprudence which has been well-established and accepted by the mainstream Muslim ummah.
Of course, humans may have different approaches in their efforts to derive the true meaning of certain verses of the Quran. In some aspects, Islam does provide enough room to accommodate differences in opinions as proved by the existence of different schools of thoughts.
But the idea of deconstructing the well-established Islamic fiqh using a flimsy argument that the Quran doesn't specifically mention a specific ruling surely does not hold water. We would forever be going around in circles debating this line of argument without a chance to seek solutions. Our earlier scholars had paved the way forward and put this, effectively, behind us.
The Quran is not meant to replace human brains in that everything has to be specified without leaving room for the human ability to derive its fundamental message.
The phrase 'Give unto Caesar what is Caesar's and give unto Allah what is Allah's' was a concept that the pagans in Mecca were holding when the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was sent to them. Separating state and religion was an act of polytheism as they created parallelism to Allah's supremacy. And the Quran is against any form of polytheism.
I may agree that it is a higher calling to live the Islamic way in a secular country if a secular country allows its Muslim citizens to live the Islamic way. Surely one hand doesn't clap.
A secular country may not be in direct confrontation with Islam if it doesn't coerce its Muslim citizens to embrace secularism while allowing its Muslim citizens to practise Islam in full. But can a secular country allow its Muslim population to be ruled by the syariah law, which also includes the Syariah criminal law (hudud)? Can a secular country allow its Muslim citizens to establish an independent authority to fully administer its Muslim citizens' affairs in the country? Can a secular country allow this independent Muslim authority to enforce Islamic rulings unto its Muslim citizens?
In fact, a secular state should award all these rights to all its citizens of all religions, and not only to its Muslim population. Then only can secularism can claim to be the advocate for the creation of a plural society.
The failure of secular states to live up to this higher calling has actually forced Muslims to seek state power, to be simply allowed to live the Islamic way. Secular states have only themselves to blame for the rising of 'political Islam' amongst their Muslim citizens. Secularism does not provide solutions on how Muslims could live the Islamic way in a secular country.