34 Facts About Sharia


Sharia is a body of religious law that forms part of the Islamic tradition.

FactSnippet No. 529,336

The Islamic revival of the late 20th century brought along calls by Islamism movements for full implementation of Sharia, including hudud corporal punishments, such as stoning.

FactSnippet No. 529,337

The introduction of Sharia-based laws has been cited as a cause of conflict in some African countries, such as Nigeria and Sudan, and some jurisdictions in North America have passed bans on use of Sharia, framed as restrictions on religious or foreign laws.

FactSnippet No. 529,338

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled in several cases that Sharia is "incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy".

FactSnippet No. 529,339

Sharia rulings fall into one of five categories known as “the five decisions”: mandatory (fard or wajib), recommended (mandub or mustahabb), neutral (mubah), reprehensible (makruh), and forbidden (haram).

FactSnippet No. 529,340

Additionally, since Sharia contained few provisions in several areas of public law, Muslim rulers were able to legislate various collections of economic, criminal and administrative laws outside the jurisdiction of Islamic jurists, the most famous of which is the qanun promulgated by Ottoman sultans beginning from the 15th century.

FactSnippet No. 529,341

Sharia was intended to regulate affairs of the Muslim community.

FactSnippet No. 529,342

In family matters the Sharia court was seen as a place where the rights of women could be asserted against their husband's transgressions.

FactSnippet No. 529,343

This, together with their conception of Islamic law as a collection of inflexible rules, led to an emphasis on traditionalist forms of Sharia that were not rigorously applied in the pre-colonial period and served as a formative influence on the modern identity politics of the Muslim world.

FactSnippet No. 529,344

Many Muslims today believe that contemporary Sharia-based laws are an authentic representation of the pre-modern legal tradition.

FactSnippet No. 529,345

Abduh viewed only Sharia rules pertaining to religious rituals as inflexible, and argued that the other Islamic laws should be adapted based on changing circumstances in consideration of social well-being.

FactSnippet No. 529,346

Sharia championed a creative approach to ijtihad that involved direct interpretation of scriptures as well as the methods of takhayyur and talfiq.

FactSnippet No. 529,347

Sharia drafted the civil codes of Egypt and Iraq (1951) based on a variety of sources, including classical fiqh, European laws, existing Arab and Turkish codes, and the history of local court decisions.

FactSnippet No. 529,348

Full implementation of Sharia theoretically refers to expanding its scope to all fields of law and all areas of public life.

FactSnippet No. 529,349

The various ways in which property can be acquired under Sharia are purchase, inheritance, bequest, physical or mental effort, diya and donations.

FactSnippet No. 529,350

Sharia plays a role beyond religious rituals and personal ethics in some countries with Muslim minorities.

FactSnippet No. 529,351

For example, in Israel Sharia-based family laws are administered for the Muslim population by the Ministry of Justice through the Sharia Courts.

FactSnippet No. 529,352

Unlike common law, judges' verdicts do not set binding precedents under the principle of stare decisis, and unlike civil law, Sharia is left to the interpretation in each case and has no formally codified universal statutes.

FactSnippet No. 529,353

Sharia'sba has been invoked in several Muslim-majority countries as rationale for blocking pornographic content on the internet and for other forms of faith-based censorship.

FactSnippet No. 529,354

However, while most of those who support implementation of Sharia favor using it in family and property disputes, fewer supported application of severe punishments such as whippings and cutting off hands, and interpretations of some aspects differed widely.

FactSnippet No. 529,355

In particular, in countries where Muslim citizens have little experience with rigid application of Sharia-based state laws, these notions tend to be more associated with Islamic ideals like equality and social justice than with prohibitions.

FactSnippet No. 529,356

The issue of "liberty versus Sharia" was called a "momentous civilisational debate" by right-wing pundit Diana West.

FactSnippet No. 529,357

Those who adhere to a confrontational view of Sharia tend to ascribe many undesirable practices to Sharia and religion overlooking custom and culture, even if high-ranking religious authorities have stated the opposite.

FactSnippet No. 529,358

In 1998 the Constitutional Court of Turkey banned and dissolved Turkey's Refah Party over its announced intention to introduce Sharia-based laws, ruling that it would change Turkey's secular order and undermine democracy.

FactSnippet No. 529,359

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.

FactSnippet No. 529,360

Patrick Glenn states that Sharia is structured around the concept of mutual obligations of a collective, and it considers individual human rights as potentially disruptive and unnecessary to its revealed code of mutual obligations.

FactSnippet No. 529,361

Abdel al-Hakeem Carney, in contrast, states that Sharia is misunderstood from a failure to distinguish Sharia from siyasah.

FactSnippet No. 529,362

The expert on terrorism Rachel Ehrenfeld wrote that the "Sharia's finance is a new weapon in the arsenal of what might be termed fifth-generation warfare (5GW)".

FactSnippet No. 529,363

Musawah, CEDAW, KAFA and other organizations have proposed ways to modify Sharia-inspired laws to improve women's rights in Muslim-majority nations, including women's rights in domestic abuse cases.

FactSnippet No. 529,364

In many countries, in legal proceedings relating to Sharia-based personal status law, a woman's testimony is worth half of a man's before a court.

FactSnippet No. 529,365

Sharia recognizes the basic inequality between master and slave, between free women and slave women, between believers and non-believers, as well as their unequal rights.

FactSnippet No. 529,366

Sharia authorized the institution of slavery, using the words abd and the phrase ma malakat aymanukum ("that which your right hand owns") to refer to women slaves, seized as captives of war.

FactSnippet No. 529,367

Sharia argued that these systems shared fundamental freedoms: the freedom of a professor to profess his personal opinion and the freedom of a student to pass judgement on what he is learning.

FactSnippet No. 529,368

For example, Sharia classically recognizes only natural persons, and never developed the concept of a legal person, or corporation, i e, a legal entity that limits the liabilities of its managers, shareholders, and employees; exists beyond the lifetimes of its founders; and that can own assets, sign contracts, and appear in court through representatives.

FactSnippet No. 529,369