Strict Standards: Non-static method ExprParser::addMessages() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/world/public_html/learn/extensions/ParserFunctions/ParserFunctions.php on line 32


Learn more about Sharia

Jump to: navigation, search
Not to be confused with Shahryar.

Sharia (شريعة translit: Sharī‘ah) refers to the body of Islamic law. The term means "way" or "path"; it is the legal framework within which public and some private aspects of life are regulated for those living in a legal system based on Muslim principles of jurisprudence.

Sharia deals with many aspects of day-to-day life, including politics, economics, banking, business law, contract law, sexuality, and social issues. Some Islamic scholars accept Sharia as the body of precedent and legal theory established before the 19th century, while other scholars view Sharia as a changing body, and include Islamic legal theory from the contemporary period.[citation needed]

Before the 19th century, legal theory was considered the domain of the traditional legal schools of thought. Most Sunni Muslims follow Hanafi, Hanbali, Maliki or Shafii, while most Shia Muslims follow Jaafari (Hallaq 1997, Brown 1996, Aslan 2006).


[edit] Etymology

The term Sharia itself derives from the verb shara'a, which according to Abdul Mannan Omar's Dictionary of the Holy Qur'an connects to the idea of "system of divine law; way of belief and practice" (45:18) in the Qur'an.

Legal scholar L. Ali Khan explains that "the concept of sharia has been thoroughly confused in legal and common literature. For some Muslims, sharia consists of the Qur'an and Sunnah. For others, it also includes classical fiqh. Most encyclopedias define sharia as law derived from the Qur'an, the Sunna, and classical fiqh derived from consensus (ijma) and analogy (qiyas).This definition of sharia inappropriately lumps together the revealed with the unrevealed. This blending of sources has created a muddled assumption that scholarly interpretations are as sacred and beyond revision as are the Quran and the Sunna. The Qur'an and the Sunna constitute the immutable Basic Code, which should be kept separate from ever-evolving interpretive law (fiqh). This analytical separation between the Basic Code and fiqh is necessary to" dissipate confusion around the term Sharia.<ref> The Second Era of Ijtihad, 1 St. Thomas University Law Review 341 </ref>

[edit] General

Mainstream Islam distinguishes between fiqh, which means 'understanding of details' and refers to the inferences drawn by scholars, and sharia, which refers to the principles that lie behind the fiqh. Scholars hope that fiqh and sharia are in harmony in any given case, but they cannot be sure.<ref> On the Sources of Islamic Law and Practices, The Journal of law and religion [0748-0814] Souaiaia yr:2005 vol:20 iss:1 pg:123</ref>

Sharia has certain laws which are regarded as divinely ordained, concrete and timeless for all relevant situations (for example, the ban against drinking liquor as an intoxicant). It also has certain laws which derived from principles established by Islamic lawyers and judges (Mujtahidun).

The primary sources of Islamic law are the Qur'an and Sunnah.

To this, traditional Sunni Muslims add the unanimity (ijma) of Muhammad's companions (Sahaba) on a certain issues, and drawing analogy from the essence of divine principles (Qiyas).

Qiyas — various forms of reasoning, including by analogy — are used by the law scholars (Mujtahidun) to deal with situations where the sources provide no concrete rules. The consensus of the community or people, public interest, and others are also accepted as secondary sources where the first four primary sources allow.[citation needed]

Shi'a Muslims reject this approach. They strongly reject analogy (Qiyas) as an easy way to inovations (bid'ah), and also reject consensus (ijma) as having any particular value in its own. During the period that the Sunni scholars devloped those two tools, the Shi'a Imams were alive, and Shi'a view them as an extension of the Sunnah, so they view themselves as only deriving their laws (Fiqh) from the Qur'an and Sunnah. A reoccuring theme in Shi'a jurisprudence is logic (Mantiq),<ref></ref> something Shi'a believe they mention, employ and value to a higher degree than Sunnis do. They do not view logic as a third source for laws, rather a way to see if the derived work is compatible with the Qur'an and Sunnah.

In Imami-Shi'i law, the sources of law (usul al-fiqh) are the Qur'an, anecdotes of Muhammad's practices and those of the 12 Imams, and the intellect (aql). The practices called Sharia today, however, also have roots in local customs (Al-urf).[citation needed]

Islamic jurisprudence is called fiqh and is divided into two parts: the study of the sources and methodology (usul al-fiqh - roots of the law) and the practical rules (furu' al-fiqh — branches of the law).[citation needed]

The comprehensive nature of Sharia law is due to the belief that the law must provide all that is necessary for a person's spiritual and physical well-being. All possible actions of a Muslim are divided (in principle) into five categories: obligatory, meritorious, permissible, reprehensible, and forbidden. Fundamental to the obligations of every Muslim are the Five Pillars of Islam.

[edit] Sections of Sharia law

Sharia law is divided into two main sections:

  1. The acts of worship, or al-ibadat, these include:
    1. Ritual Purification (Wudu)
    2. Prayers (Salah)
    3. Fasts (Sawm and Ramadan)
    4. Charities (Zakat)
    5. Pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj)
  2. Human interaction, or al-mu'amalat, which includes:
    1. Financial transactions
    2. Endowments
    3. Laws of inheritance
    4. Marriage, divorce, and child care
    5. Foods and drinks (including ritual slaughtering and hunting)
    6. Penal punishments
    7. Warfare and peace
    8. Judicial matters (including witnesses and forms of evidence)

See mu`amalat laws according to 5 major schools of jurisprudence and The Majallah

[edit] Divergent developments after the 19th century

During the 19th century the history of Islamic law took a sharp turn due to new challenges the Muslim world faced: the West had risen to a global power and colonized a large part of the world, including Muslim territories. Societies changed from the agricultural to the industrial stage. New social and political ideas emerged and social models slowly shifted from hierarchical towards egalitarian. The Ottoman Empire and the rest of the Muslim world were in decline, and calls for reform became louder. In Muslim countries, codified state law started replacing the role of scholarly legal opinion. Western countries sometimes inspired, sometimes pressured, and sometimes forced Muslim states to change their laws. Secularist movements pushed for laws deviating from the opinions of the Islamic legal scholars. Islamic legal scholarship remained the sole authority for guidance in matters of rituals, worship, and spirituality, while they lost authority to the state in other areas. The Muslim community became divided into groups reacting differently to the change. This division persists until the present day (Brown 1996, Hallaq 2001, Ramadan 2005, Aslan 2006, Safi 2003).

  • Secularists believe the law of the state should be based on secular principles, not on Islamic legal theory.
  • Traditionalists believe that the law of the state should be based on the traditional legal schools. However, traditional legal views are considered unacceptable by most modern Muslims, especially in areas like women's rights or slavery [1].
  • Reformers believe that new Islamic legal theories can produce modernized Islamic law [2] and lead to acceptable opinions in areas such as women's rights [3].
  • Salafis believe that the traditional schools were wrong, and therefore failed, and strive to follow the generation of early Muslims.

[edit] Contemporary practice of Sharia law

There is tremendous variance in the interpretation and implementation of Islamic law in Muslim societies today. Liberal movements within Islam have questioned the relevance and applicability of sharia from a variety of perspectives. Several of the countries with the largest Muslim populations, including Indonesia, Bangladesh and Pakistan, have largely secular constitutions and laws, with only a few Islamic provisions in family law. Turkey has a constitution that is officially strongly secular, but where the state systematically favours Sunni Islam.[citation needed] India is the only country in the world which has separate Muslim civil laws, framed by Muslim Personal Law board, and wholly based on Sharia. However, the criminal laws are uniform.

Some controversial sharia laws favor Muslim men, including polygamy and rejection of alimony.

Most countries of the Middle East and North Africa maintain a dual system of secular courts and religious courts, in which the religious courts mainly regulate marriage and inheritance. Saudi Arabia and Iran maintain religious courts for all aspects of jurisprudence, and religious police assert social compliance. Laws derived from sharia are also applied in Afghanistan, Libya and Sudan. Some states in northern Nigeria have reintroduced Sharia courts. In practice the new Sharia courts in Nigeria have most often meant the re-introduction of harsh punishments without respecting the much tougher rules of evidence and testimony. The punishments include amputation of one/both hands for theft, stoning for adultery and apostasy.

Many (including the European Court of Human Rights) consider the punishments prescribed by Sharia as being barbaric and cruel. Islamic scholars argue that, if implemented properly, the punishments serve as a deterrent to crime. In international media, practices by countries applying Islamic law have fallen under considerable criticism at times. This is particularly the case when the sentence carried out is seen to greatly tilt away from established standards of international human rights. This is true for the application of the death penalty for the crime of adultery, and other such punishments such as amputations for the crime of theft and flogging for fornication or public intoxication. [4]

An unusual secular-state example was the rejected proposal<ref>Dispute Resolution in Family Law: Protecting Choice, Promoting Inclusion : Marian Boyd</ref> for a Sharia arbitration court to be established in Ontario, Canada. That province's 1991 arbitration court law allows disputes to be settled in alternative courts to avoid congestion and delay in the court system. The proposed sharia court would handle disputes between Muslim complainants. Critics claimed that misogyny which they held to be inherent in Sharia might influence the Canadian justice system, but proponents argued that those who do not wish to go by the court's rulings are not forced to attend it. Moreover, these sharia courts in Canada would be only orthodox in a limited way as they respect the priority of Canadian civil law. Anybody not satisfied with a ruling from the sharia court could appeal to a civil court. Accordingly, this sharia court would be only a very pale version of Sharia.

On September 11, 2005, Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty stated in a telephone interview that religious arbitration would no longer be allowed. However, the proposed changes to the Ontario Arbitration Act[5] do not specifically mention religious arbitration, but reduce the power of private arbitration in the area of family law, and introduce other changes. Specifically, under the proposed changes family arbitrators will be regulated, participants in family law arbitration cases will not be able to give up their right to appeal an arbitrator's decision to a court, and a pre-nuptial agreement to resolve family law matters, should they arise, through an arbitrator rather than through a court will no longer be binding.

Nevertheless, the proposed changes were condemned by parts of the Muslim community.[citation needed]

Though Islamic law is interpreted differently across times, places and scholars, following fundamentalist's literal and traditional interpretations, it is legally binding on all people of the faith and even on all people who come under their control.[citation needed]

It is important to note however, that no country today is following Islamic law/shariah as was prescribed at the beginning of islam. This is why most of these countries have a lot of corruption; the shariah has not been properly applied, rather the governments have picked and choosed, if deciding to follow it at all.

[edit] Laws and practices under Sharia

[edit] Marriage laws

  • The Muslim man who is not currently a fornicator can only marry a Muslim woman who is not currently a fornicatress or a chaste woman from the people of the book.
  • The Muslim fornicator can only marry a Muslim fornicatress.
  • The number of wives is limited to one. In times where there the population if smaller than normal, such as times of war, up to four can be taken, but only if they are treated equally and with the consent of the first wife.
  • The Muslim woman who is not currently a fornicatress can only marry a Muslim man who is not currently a fornicator.
  • The Muslim fornicatress can only marry a Muslim fornicator.
  • The guardian may choose a suitable partner for a virgin girl, but the girl is free to contest and has the right to say 'no'.
  • The guardian cannot marry the divorced woman or the widow if she didn't ask to be married.
  • The number of husbands is limited to one.
  • "Do not marry unless you give your wife something that is her right." It is obligatory for a man to give dowry(gift)to the woman he marries.[6]

[edit] Divorce laws

  • A woman who wishes to be divorced needs the consent of her husband. If he consents she does not have to pay back the dowry.
  • A man who divorces a Post-adolescent or pre-menopausal women must wait three months before divorcing her to ensure that she is not pregnant.
  • Under certain circumstances (abuse, for instance), the wife may ask a judge to separate the couple.
  • If a man divorces his wife three times, he can no longer marry her again unless she marries another man and then divorces him.
  • These are guidelines; Islamic law on divorce is different depending on the school of thought.[7]

[edit] The penalty for theft

In accordance with the Qur'an and several hadith, theft is punished by imprisonment or amputation of hands or feet, depending on the number of times it was committed and depending on the item of theft and the situation.<ref>Qu'ran, Surah Al-Maeda, 5:38</ref><ref>Islamic Law: Myths and Realities, by Denis J. Wiechman, Jerry D. Kendall, and Mohammad K. Azarian,</ref>

[edit] The penalty for adultery

In accordance with hadith, stoning to death is the penalty for married men and women who commit adultery.<ref>Sahih Bukhari Vol 8 Book 82 Hadith 815, Sahih Bukhari Vol 8 Book 82 Hadith 826</ref> For unmarried men and women, the punishment prescribed in the Qur'an and hadith is 100 lashes.<ref>Qur'an, Surah Al-Noor 24:2, Sahih Bukhari Vol 8 Book 82 Hadith 818</ref>

[edit] The role of women under Sharia

Main article: women in Islam

In terms of religious obligations, such as the daily prayers, payment of Zakat, observance of the Ramadan fast and pilgrimage, women are treated no differently from men. There are, however, some exceptions made in the case of prayers and fasting. Women are not obliged to fast during menstruation, pregnancy, for forty days after childbirth or while nursing if there could be any threat to her health or her baby's.

Verse 4:24 allows women to be taken as sex slaves: "Also (forbidden are) women already married, except those (captives and slaves) whom your right hands possess." Some scholars' (Arberry, Dawood, Sher Ali) interpretation of verse 65:4 also allows marriage to pre-pubescent girls. Muhammad himself did this when he married Aisha at the age of 6 and consummated the marriage when she was 9. "The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with 'Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death)" (Book #62, Hadith #88). However, it is debated whether or not Aisha was pre-pubescent or not.

Islam has no clergy, but women may become religious scholars. In practice, it is much more common for men to be scholars than women. Early Muslim scholars such as Abu-Hanifa and Al-Tabary held that there is nothing wrong with women holding a post as responsible as that of judge. Many interpretations of Islamic law hold that women may not have prominent jobs, and thus are forbidden from working in the government. This has been a mainstream view in many Muslim nations in the last century, despite the example of Muhammad's wife Aisha, who both took part in politics and was a major authority on hadith. Islam does not prohibit women from working, as it says "Treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers."<ref>the last sermon of Muhammad</ref> Married women may seek employment although it is often thought in patriarchal societies that the woman's role as a wife and mother should have first priority.

Islam unequivocally allows both single and married women to own property in their own right. Islam restored to women the right to inherit property, in contrast with some cultures where women themselves are considered chattels that can be inherited. A woman's share of inheritance is completely hers and no one, including her father or husband, can make any claim on it. However rich a woman may be, her male relatives in order of closeness are required to financially support her. It is her prerogative to forgive the male relatives their obligations of support.

According to Islamic Law, adult women cannot be forced to marry anyone without their consent. Besides all other provisions for her protection at the time of marriage, it was specifically decreed that a woman has the full right to her Mahr, a marriage gift, which is presented to her by her husband and is included in the nuptial contract. Like the man, however, the woman can divorce her husband with out resorting to the courts, if the nuptial contract allows that. A Muslim may not marry or remain married to an unbeliever of either sex (2:221, 60:10). A Muslim man may marry a woman of the People of the Book (5:5); traditionally, however, Islamic law forbids a Muslim woman from marrying a non-Muslim man unless he converts to Islam.

In theory, Sunni Islamic law allows husbands to divorce their wives if there is a justifiable reason, by clearly saying talaq ("I divorce you") three times. The divorce becomes permanent if the couple has been divorced three times but in the Qur'an it is frowned upon.[citation needed] In 2003, for example, a Malaysian court ruled that, under Sharia law, a man may divorce his wife via text messaging as long as the message was clear and unequivocal. [8] Such a divorce, known as the "triple talaq" is not allowed in most Muslim states. The divorced wife always keeps her dowry from when she was married, and is given child support and until the age of weaning, at which point the child may be returned to its father if it is deemed to be in its interests. The wife also receives spousal support as long as she remains single, and the sum of this is usually designated in the marriage contract, but can be varied by the courts according to need.

See also ma malakat aymanukum.

[edit] Dress codes

This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims.
Please help Wikipedia by adding references. See the talk page for details.

The Qur'an also places a dress code upon its followers. The rule for men has been ordained before the women: "say to the believing men to lower their gaze and preserve their modesty, it will make for greater purity for them and Allah is well aware of all that they do." Women are required to cover all of their body, except face and hands. Allah says in the Qur'an, "And say to the believing women that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts and do not display their ornaments except what appears thereof, and let them wear their khumūr over their bosoms, and not display their ornaments except to their husbands or their fathers, or their sons,  . . ." (surat an-Nur verse 31). All those in whose presence a woman is not obliged to practice the dress code are known to be her mahrams. Men have a more relaxed dress code: the loins must be covered from knee to waist. The rationale given for these rules is that men and women are not to be viewed as sexual objects. Men are required to keep their guard up and women to protect themselves. In theory, should either one fail, the other prevents the society from falling into fitna (temptation or discord).

Turkey, a predominantly Muslim country, has controversial laws against these dress codes in schools and work places. After the declaration of the Republic in 1923, as part of revolutions brought by Atatürk, a modern dress code was encouraged. It is against the law to wear a head scarf while attending public school in Turkey,<ref> "The Problems of Turkey Rest on Women's Heads", Washington Post, October 29, 2000.</ref> as well as France, where the recently enacted rule caused huge public controversy.<ref>"Effort to ban head scarves in France sets off culture clash", USA Today, February 3, 2003.</ref>

Some view Islamic women as being oppressed by the men in their communities because of the required dress codes. However, in more moderate nations, where these dress codes are not obligatory, there are still many Muslim women who practice it. Some choose to wear such clothes of their own free will because they believe it empowers women and discourages being viewed as sexual objects.

One of the garments some women wear is the hijāb (of which the headscarf is one component). The word hijab is derived from the Arabic word hajaba which means 'to hide from sight or view', 'to conceal'. Hijāb means to cover the head as well as the body.

[edit] Domestic punishments

For more details on the Islamic view of adultery, see Zina (sex).

In many contemporary analysis by western scholars, the term beating is misinterpreted in many ways. The faith stresses for a civilized confrontation between the husband and wife. Everything is with reason and no conduct can be acted without reason. As men, women also have individual moral rights in Islam. There are many ignorant, illiterate and barbaric people not following the hadith correctly, they are illmannered and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the Sharia. Many who have misinterpreted It is interesting that this latter fourteen-centuries-old qualifier is the criterion used in contemporary American law to separate a light and harmless tap or strike from "abuse" in the legal sense. This makes it clear that even this extreme, last resort, and "lesser of the two evils" measure that may save a marriage does not meet the definitions of "physical abuse," "family violence, " or "wife battering" in the 20th century law in liberal democracies. The Noble Prophet himself never mistreated his wives.

{{quotation|Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more [strength] than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in [the husband's] absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them [first], [Next], refuse to share their beds, [And last] Separation; but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means [of annoyance]: For Allah is Most High, great [above you all].|[[[Qur'an]] 4:34

The Arabic verse uses idribu¯hunna (from the root daraba ضرب), whose commonest meaning in Arabic has been rendered as "beat", "hit", "scourge", or "strike". Besides this verse, other meanings for daraba used in the Qur'an (though not with a human direct object) include 'to travel', 'to make a simile', 'to cover', 'to separate', and 'to go abroad', among others. For this reason — particularly in recent years (e.g. Ahmed Ali, Edip Yuksel) — some consider "hit" to be a misinterpretation, and believe it should be translated as "admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and separate from them." Certain modern translations of the Qur'an in the English language accept the commoner translation of "beat" but tone down the wording with bracketed additions. Whatever idribu¯hunna is meant to convey in the Qur'an -- and multiple, complementary meanings are quite common in Islam's holy book -- the verb is directed, not at a single husband, but to the community as a whole.

Several Hadith urge strongly against beating one's wife, such as: "How does anyone of you beat his wife as he beats the stallion camel and then embrace (sleep with) her? (Al-Bukhari, English Translation, vol. 8, Hadith 68, pp. 42-43), "I went to the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) and asked him: What do you say (command) about our wives? He replied: Give them food what you have for yourself, and clothe them by which you clothe yourself, and do not beat them, and do not revile them. (Sunan Abu-Dawud, Book 11, Marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah), Number 2139)". Others hadiths do indicate that husbands have a right to discipline their wives in a civilized manner to a certain extent:

Fear Allah concerning women! Verily you have taken them on the security of Allah, and intercourse with them has been made lawful unto you by words of Allah. You too have right over them, and that they should not allow anyone to sit on your bed whom you do not like. But if they do that, you can chastise them but not severely. Their rights upon you are that you should provide them with food and clothing in a fitting manner. (Narrated in Sahih Muslim, on the authority of Jabir.)


According to Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, head of the European Council for Fatwa and Research:

{{quotation|If the husband senses that feelings of disobedience and rebelliousness are rising against him in his wife, he should try his best to rectify her attitude by kind words, gentle persuasion and reasoning with her. If this is not helpful, he should sleep apart from her, trying to awaken her agreeable feminine nature so that serenity may be restored, and she may respond to him in a harmonious fashion. If this approach fails, it is permissible for him to smack her lightly with his hands, avoiding her face and other sensitive parts. In no case should he resort to using a stick or any other instrument that might cause pain and injury.

However, punishments are authorized by other passages in the Quran and Hadiths for certain crimes (e.g., extra-marital sex, adultery), and are employed by some as rationale for extra-legal punative action while others disagree (quotations provided by Syed Kamran Mirza):

Quran-24:2 "The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication—flog each of them with hundred stripes: Let no compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by God, if ye believe in God and the last day."
Quran-17:32 "Nor come nigh to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to other evils)."

[edit] Customs and behavioral laws

Practitioners of Islam are generally taught to follow some specific customs in their daily lives. Most of these customs can be traced back to Abrahamic traditions in Pre-Islamic Arabian society.<ref>Ghamidi(2001), Sources of Islam</ref> Due to Muhammad's sanction or tacit approval of such practices, these customs are considered to be Sunnah (practices of Muhammad as part of the religion) by the Ummah(Muslim nation). It includes customs like saying Bismillah (in the name of God) before eating and drinking<ref>Sunan al-Tirmidhi 1513</ref> and then using the right hand for the purpose,<ref>Sahih Muslim 2020</ref> saying As-Salamu Alaykum (peace be upon you) when meeting someone and answering with Wa alaykumus-Salam (and peace be upon you),<ref>Sahih Bukhari 6234</ref> saying Alhamdulillah (all gratitude is for only Allah) when sneezing and responding with Yarhamukallah (God have mercy on you),<ref>Sahih Bukhari 6224</ref> and similarly saying the Adhan (prayer call) in the right ear of a newborn and the Iqama in his/her left. In the sphere of hygiene, it includes clipping the moustache, shaving the pubes, removing underarm hair, cutting nails, and circumcising the male offspring;<ref>Sahih Muslim 257</ref><ref>Sahih Muslim 258</ref> cleaning the nostrils, the mouth, and the teeth;<ref>Sahih Muslim 252</ref> cleaning the body after urination and defecation,<ref>Sunan Abu Da'ud 45</ref> and also abstention from sexual relations during the menstrual cycle and the puerperal discharge,<ref>Qur'an 2:222</ref> and ceremonial bath after the menstrual cycle, puerperal discharge, and Janabah (seminal/ovular discharge or sexual intercourse).<ref>Qur'an 4:43, 5:6</ref> Burial rituals include funeral prayer<ref>Ghamidi, Various types of the prayer</ref> of bathed<ref>Sahih Bukhari 1254</ref> and enshrouded dead body in coffin cloth<ref>Sahih Muslim 943</ref> and burying it in a grave.<ref name="cul">Ghamidi(2001), Customs and Behavioral Laws</ref>

[edit] Festivals

Main articles: Eid, Eid ul-Fitr, and Eid ul-Adha

There are two festivals that are considered Sunnah.<ref name="cul"/><ref>Sunan Abu Da'ud 1134</ref>

  1. Eid ul-Fitr
  2. Eid ul-Adha

Rituals associated with these festivals are:<ref name="cul"/>

[edit] Dietary laws

Main article: Islamic dietary laws

Islamic law does not present a comprehensive list of pure foods and drinks. However, it sanctions:<ref name="die">Ghamidi(2001), The dietary laws</ref>

  1. prohibition of swine, blood, meat of dead animals and animals slaughtered in the name of someone other than Allah.
  2. slaughtering in the prescribed manner of tadhkiyah (cleansing) by taking Allah’s name.
  3. prohibition of intoxicants

The prohibition of dead meat is not applicable to fish and locusts.<ref>Sunan ibn Maja 2314</ref><ref>Nisai 59</ref><ref>Al-Zamakhshari. Al-Kashaf, vol. 1, (Beirut: Daru’l-Kitab al-‘Arabi), p. 215</ref> Also hadith literature prohibits beasts having sharp canine teeth, birds having claws and tentacles in their feet,<ref>Sahih Muslim 1934</ref> Jallalah(animals whose meat carries a stink in it because they feed on filth)<ref>Nisai 4447</ref>, tamed donkeys<ref>Sahih Bukhari 4199</ref>, and any piece cut from a living animal<ref>Sunan Abu Da'ud 2858</ref>.<ref name="die"/>

[edit] Muslim apostates

Main article: Apostasy in Islam

In most interpretations of Sharia, conversion by Muslims to other religions, basically one of the freedoms guaranteed under universal human rights, is strictly forbidden and is termed apostasy. Muslim theology equates apostasy to treason, and in most interpretations of sharia, the penalty for apostasy is death.

In many Muslim countries, the accusation of apostasy is even used against non-conventional interpretations of the Quran. The severe persecution of the famous expert in Arabic literature, Prof. Hamid Nasr Abu Zayd is an example of this. In some countries, Sunni and Shia Muslims often accuse each other of apostasy. The current civil strife in Iraq is explained by many in terms of the extremely harsh religious opposition between Sunni's and Shia's in Iraq.

[edit] Illegal sexual relations: adultery, fornication and homosexuality

Main article: Zina (sex)

Adultery (fornication) is a crime and except in the case of rape, both man and woman are equally guilty. Thus it is said in Surah An-Noor (24th Chapter of the Quran): (24:2) "The woman and the man guilty of adultery, inflict on each of them one hundred lashes. Let not compassion move you in their case because it has been prescribed by Allah, if you believe in Allah and the life Hereafter (i.e. on the fact that since these are Allah's Commandments, their results are bound to appear forth) and let a party of the believers witness their punishment (so as to make sure that the punishment has been given according to Law)."

There are many references in the Qur'an which have been cited as referring to gay and lesbian behavior. Some obviously deal with effeminate men and "masculine women." Sura 4:20-21: "Against those of your women who commit adultery, call witnesses four in number from among yourselves; and if these bear witness, then keep the women in houses until death release them, or God shall make for them a way. And if two (men) of you commit it, then hurt them both; but if they turn again and amend, leave them alone, verily, God is easily turned, compassionate." Unmarried sex is permitted with slaves and captives of war (Quran 4:24), but the captive women must consent to marriage if the Muslim man wishes to marry her.

Some translations of the Qur'an call for the long-term or permanent house arrest of women guilty of adultery -- they are to be confined to "houses of death." An accurate translation is that their husband (or their parent or guardian) is to keep them -- not abandon them. Also, if they repent of their sin, God will accept their repentance. A woman can only be found guilty if four witnesses testify against her. Verse 21 seems to call for physical punishment for men who engage in same-sex activity, followed by their release if they abandon the practice. Verse 24:2 calls for a man or woman guilty of adultery or fornication to be flogged 100 times.

Homosexuality, moreover, is an abomination and a grave sin. In Hadith, Muhammad clarifies the gravity of this abomination by saying: "Allah curses the one who does the actions (homosexual practices) of the people of Lut," repeating it three times; saying in another Hadith: "If a man comes upon a man then they are both adulterers." Here, he considered homosexuality tantamount to adultery in relation to the Shari’ah punishments because it is an abomination on the one hand, and the definition of adultery applies to it on the other hand.....As for lesbians, Muhammad said about them: "If a woman comes upon a woman, they are both adulteresses." The homosexual receives the same punishment as an adulterer. This means, that if the homosexual is married, he/she is stoned to death, while if single, he/she is whipped 100 times.

[edit] Treatment of non-Muslims

Under Sharia law non-muslims are goverened by the laws of their own specific communities however it codifies the treatment of dhimmis (Arabic) and rayahs (Turkish) in relation to the Muslim state and in cases of over-lapping jurisdiction.

The core component of treatment is the jizya, or tax specifically upon non-Muslims. The jizya originates in the Koran [9:29], which says "Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued." The "Book" refers to the People of the Book, Jews and Christians, but the jizya was extended to all conquered non-Muslims. The jizya ultimately is less that the Zakah (money given to the poor and needy) and Sadaqah (charity) that Muslims give. In practice, this was rarely the case. In addition, when Dhimmis gave the jizya, they customarily had to bow low to the ground and then rise to be slapped once in the face. This practice was to fulfill the command that Christians and Jews "feel themselves subdued" (Quran 9:29).

The religious police could stop Muslims who were engaging in Islamically illegal activities (i.e. drinking alcohol, not wearing Hijab, not having a beard, etc). It would often be difficult to differentiate between Muslim and dhimmis, so the religious police sometimes had non-Muslims wear a distinctive color or identity marker so that they wouldn't be harassed by the religious police. Distinctive clothing had the additional effect of humiliating dhimmis and attracting abuse from passers-by. See yellow badge.

In addition, Dhimmis are forbidden to build or repair churches or synagogues. Bells, crosses, sacred books and other public demonstrations of religion, including laments at funerals, are forbidden. Dhimmis are also required to stand in the presence of Muslims, to address them in low tones and to give them the right of way on narrow streets (they must pass on the left). In early days, Dhimmis were not permitted to ride horses or camels, which were reserved for Muslims. Dhimmis could ride Donkeys. A Dhimmi's house is not permitted to be higher than a Muslims house. (Cite: The Legacy of Jihad by Dr. Andrew Bostom).

[edit] Sharia, democracy and human rights

Many democrats, and several official institutions in democratic countries (as the European Court for Human Rights) are convinced that Sharia is incompatible with a democratic state. The reasons for this involves several of the most basic aspects of democracy and universal rights:

  • Sharia does not recognise pluralism in the political sphere
  • Major differences in criminal law and criminal procedure;
  • Shariah's rules on the legal status of women;
  • The way Shariah intervenes "in all spheres of private and public life".

These incompatibilities have been clarified in several legal disputes.

In 1998 the Turkish Constitutional Court banned and dissolved Turkey's Refah Party on the grounds that the "rules of sharia", which Refah sought to introduce, "were incompatible with the democratic regime," stating that "Democracy is the antithesis of sharia." On appeal by Refah the European Court of Human Rights determined that "sharia is incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy"<ref>Judgement in the case of Refah Partisi and Others v. Turkey, Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights, February 13 2003</ref><ref>Hearing of the European Court of Human Rights, January 22 2004 (PDF)</ref><ref>ECHR press release Refah Partisi (2001)</ref> Refah's sharia based notion of a "plurality of legal systems, grounded on religion" was ruled to contravene the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. It was determined that it would "do away with the State's role as the guarantor of individual rights and freedoms" and "infringe the principle of non-discrimination between individuals as regards their enjoyment of public freedoms, which is one of the fundamental principles of democracy". It was further ruled that

[T]he Court considers that sharia, which faithfully reflects the dogmas and divine rules laid down by religion, is stable and invariable. Principles such as pluralism in the political sphere or the constant evolution of public freedoms have no place in it. […] It is difficult to declare one’s respect for democracy and human rights while at the same time supporting a regime based on sharia, which clearly diverges from Convention values, particularly with regard to its criminal law and criminal procedure, its rules on the legal status of women and the way it intervenes in all spheres of private and public life in accordance with religious precepts.

—<ref>Refah Revisited: Strasbourg's Construction of Islam, by Christian Moe, Norwegian Institute of Human Rights, published at the site of The Strasbourg Conference</ref>

On the other side, legal scholar L. Ali Khan concludes "that constitutional orders founded on the principles of Sharia are fully compatible with democracy, provided that religious minorities are protected and the incumbent Islamic leadership remains committed to the right to recall".<ref>WILL THE EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS PUSH TURKEY TOWARD ISLAMIC REVOLUTION? by Professor Ali Khan</ref><ref>L. Ali Khan, A Theory of Universal Democracy: Beyond the End of History, The Hague, Kluwer Law International, 2003, ISBN 90-411-2003-3</ref> However, Christian Pippan argues, that this contradicts the political reality in most Islamic states. "While constitutional arrangements to ensure that political authority is exercised within the boundaries of Sharia vary greatly among those nations",<ref>Nathan Brown, Islamic Constitutionalism in Theory and Practice in Cotran, Eugene and Adel Omar Sherif (eds.), Democracy, the Rule of Law and Islam, London, Kluwer Law International, 1999</ref> most existing models of political Islam have so far grossly failed to accept any meaningful political competition of the kind that Khan himself has identified as essential for even a limited conception of democracy. Khan, writes Pippan, dismisses verdicts as from the European Court of Human Rights or the Turkish Constitutional Court "as an expression of purely national or regional preferences."<ref>Bookreview of Khan's "A Theory of Universal Democracy: Beyond the End of History" by Christian Pippan for "The European Journal of International Law"</ref>

Several major, predominantly Muslim countries criticized the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) for its perceived failure to take into account the cultural and religious context of non-Western countries. Iran claimed that the UDHR was a "a secular understanding of the Judeo-Christian tradition", which could not be implemented by Muslims without trespassing the Islamic law. Therefore the Organization of the Islamic Conference adopted the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, which diverges from the UDHR substantially, affirming Sharia as the sole source of human rights. This Declaration was severely criticized by the International Commission of Jurists for allegedly gravely threatening the inter-cultural consensus, introducing intolerable discrimination against non-Muslims and women, restricting fundamental rights and freedoms, and attacking the integrity and dignity of the human being.

[edit] The teaching of sharia laws

[edit] The Algerian case

In Algeria, "islamic education" starts at the first year of primary school, but it limits itself to islamic moral values. In junior high, Islamic punishments and laws are introduced (The penalty for theft, Marriage... etc.). In high school things get more "serious" since the subject's name changes into "islamic sharia" and deals with subjects such as Stoning and Zina.

The Algerian matric includes the "islamic sharia" subject in its exams for all disciplines (Humanities, Mathematics....etc) even if the student is not Muslim.

[edit] See also

Personal tools
what is world wizzy?
  • World Wizzy is a static snapshot taken of Wikipedia in early 2007. It cannot be edited and is online for historic & educational purposes only.