Sharia

Sharia

Overview
Sharia law, is the moral code and religious law
Religious law
In some religions, law can be thought of as the ordering principle of reality; knowledge as revealed by a God defining and governing all human affairs. Law, in the religious sense, also includes codes of ethics and morality which are upheld and required by the God...

 of Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

. Sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law
Sources of Islamic law
Various sources of Islamic law are used by Islamic jurisprudence to elucidate the Sharia, the body of Islamic law. The primary sources, accepted universally by all Muslims, are the Qur'an and Sunnah. The Qur'an is the holy scripture of Islam, believed by Muslims to be the direct and unaltered word...

: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 in the Sunnah
Sunnah
The word literally means a clear, well trodden, busy and plain surfaced road. In the discussion of the sources of religion, Sunnah denotes the practice of Prophet Muhammad that he taught and practically instituted as a teacher of the sharī‘ah and the best exemplar...

. Fiqh
Fiqh
Fiqh is Islamic jurisprudence. Fiqh is an expansion of the code of conduct expounded in the Quran, often supplemented by tradition and implemented by the rulings and interpretations of Islamic jurists....

 jurisprudence
Jurisprudence
Jurisprudence is the theory and philosophy of law. Scholars of jurisprudence, or legal theorists , hope to obtain a deeper understanding of the nature of law, of legal reasoning, legal systems and of legal institutions...

 interprets and extends the application of sharia to questions not directly addressed in the primary sources by including secondary sources. These secondary sources usually include the consensus of the religious scholars
Ulama
-In Islam:* Ulema, also transliterated "ulama", a community of legal scholars of Islam and its laws . See:**Nahdlatul Ulama **Darul-uloom Nadwatul Ulama **Jamiatul Ulama Transvaal**Jamiat ul-Ulama -Other:...

 embodied in ijma
Ijma
Ijmāʿ is an Arabic term referring to the consensus of the Muslim community. Various schools of thought within Islamic jurisprudence may define this consensus as that of the first generation of Muslims only; the consensus of the first three generations of Muslims; the consensus of the jurists...

, and analogy from the Quran and Sunnah through qiyas
Qiyas
In Islamic jurisprudence, qiyās is the process of deductive analogy in which the teachings of the Hadith are compared and contrasted with those of the Qur'an, in order to apply a known injunction to a new circumstance and create a new injunction...

.
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Encyclopedia
Sharia law, is the moral code and religious law
Religious law
In some religions, law can be thought of as the ordering principle of reality; knowledge as revealed by a God defining and governing all human affairs. Law, in the religious sense, also includes codes of ethics and morality which are upheld and required by the God...

 of Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

. Sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law
Sources of Islamic law
Various sources of Islamic law are used by Islamic jurisprudence to elucidate the Sharia, the body of Islamic law. The primary sources, accepted universally by all Muslims, are the Qur'an and Sunnah. The Qur'an is the holy scripture of Islam, believed by Muslims to be the direct and unaltered word...

: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 in the Sunnah
Sunnah
The word literally means a clear, well trodden, busy and plain surfaced road. In the discussion of the sources of religion, Sunnah denotes the practice of Prophet Muhammad that he taught and practically instituted as a teacher of the sharī‘ah and the best exemplar...

. Fiqh
Fiqh
Fiqh is Islamic jurisprudence. Fiqh is an expansion of the code of conduct expounded in the Quran, often supplemented by tradition and implemented by the rulings and interpretations of Islamic jurists....

 jurisprudence
Jurisprudence
Jurisprudence is the theory and philosophy of law. Scholars of jurisprudence, or legal theorists , hope to obtain a deeper understanding of the nature of law, of legal reasoning, legal systems and of legal institutions...

 interprets and extends the application of sharia to questions not directly addressed in the primary sources by including secondary sources. These secondary sources usually include the consensus of the religious scholars
Ulama
-In Islam:* Ulema, also transliterated "ulama", a community of legal scholars of Islam and its laws . See:**Nahdlatul Ulama **Darul-uloom Nadwatul Ulama **Jamiatul Ulama Transvaal**Jamiat ul-Ulama -Other:...

 embodied in ijma
Ijma
Ijmāʿ is an Arabic term referring to the consensus of the Muslim community. Various schools of thought within Islamic jurisprudence may define this consensus as that of the first generation of Muslims only; the consensus of the first three generations of Muslims; the consensus of the jurists...

, and analogy from the Quran and Sunnah through qiyas
Qiyas
In Islamic jurisprudence, qiyās is the process of deductive analogy in which the teachings of the Hadith are compared and contrasted with those of the Qur'an, in order to apply a known injunction to a new circumstance and create a new injunction...

. Shia jurists prefer to apply reasoning ('aql
'Aql
‘Aql , is an Arabic language term used in Islamic theology or philosophy to the intellect the rational faculty of the soul or mind. It is the normal translation of the Greek term nous...

) rather than analogy in order to address difficult questions.

Muslims believe sharia is God
Allah
Allah is a word for God used in the context of Islam. In Arabic, the word means simply "God". It is used primarily by Muslims and Bahá'ís, and often, albeit not exclusively, used by Arabic-speaking Eastern Catholic Christians, Maltese Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Mizrahi Jews and...

's law, but they differ as to what exactly it entails. Modernists, traditionalists and fundamentalists all hold different views of sharia, as do adherents to different schools of Islamic thought and scholarship
Fiqh
Fiqh is Islamic jurisprudence. Fiqh is an expansion of the code of conduct expounded in the Quran, often supplemented by tradition and implemented by the rulings and interpretations of Islamic jurists....

. Different countries, societies and cultures have varying interpretations of sharia as well.

Sharia deals with many topics addressed by secular law, including crime
Islamic criminal jurisprudence
Islamic criminal law is criminal law in accordance with Islamic law. Strictly speaking, Islamic law does not have a distinct corpus of "criminal law," as sharia courts do not have prosecutors, and all matters, even criminal ones, are in principle handled as disputes between individuals...

, politics
Political aspects of Islam
Political aspects of Islam are derived from the Qur'an, the Sunna , Muslim history, and elements of political movements outside Islam....

 and economics, as well as personal matters such as sexual intercourse, hygiene
Islamic hygienical jurisprudence
Hygiene is a prominent topic in Islam. Islam has always placed a strong emphasis on personal hygiene. Other than the need to be ritually clean in time for the daily prayer through Wudu and Ghusl, there are a large number of other hygiene-related rules governing the lives of Muslims...

, diet
Islamic dietary laws
Islamic dietary laws provide direction on what is to be considered clean and unclean regarding diet and related issues.-Overview:Islamic jurisprudence specifies which foods are ' and which are '...

, prayer, and fasting
Sawm
Sawm is an Arabic word for fasting regulated by Islamic jurisprudence. In the terminology of Islamic law, Sawm means to abstain from eating, drinking , having sex and anything against Islamic law...

. Where it has official status, sharia is applied by Islamic judges, or qadis. The imam
Imam
An imam is an Islamic leadership position, often the worship leader of a mosque and the Muslim community. Similar to spiritual leaders, the imam is the one who leads Islamic worship services. More often, the community turns to the mosque imam if they have a religious question...

 has varying responsibilities depending on the interpretation of sharia; while the term is commonly used to refer to the leader of communal prayers, the imam may also be a scholar, religious leader, or political leader.

The reintroduction of sharia is a longstanding goal for Islamist movements in Muslim countries. Some Muslim minorities in Asia (e.g., in India
Islam in India
Islam is the second-most practiced religion in the Republic of India after Hinduism, with more than 13.4% of the country's population ....

) have maintained institutional recognition of sharia to adjudicate their personal and community affairs. In western countries, where Muslim immigration is more recent, Muslim minorities have introduced sharia family law, for use in their own disputes, with varying degrees of success e.g., Britain's Muslim Arbitration Tribunal
Muslim Arbitration Tribunal
The Muslim Arbitration Tribunal is a form of alternative dispute resolution which operates under the Arbitration Act 1996 which is available in the United Kingdom to Muslims who wish to resolve disputes without recourse to the courts system. The "tribunals" were set up by lawyer Sheikh...

. Attempts to impose sharia have been accompanied by controversy, violence, and even warfare (cf. Second Sudanese Civil War).

Etymology



In The Spirit of Islamic Law, Professor Bernard G. Weiss stated "In archaic Arabic, the term sharì'a means "path to the water hole". When we consider the importance of a well-trodden path to a source of water for man and beast in the arid desert environment, we can readily appreciate why this term in Muslim usage should have become a metaphor for a whole way of life ordained by God."

In Understanding Islamic Law: From Classical to Contemporary, Professor Irshad Abdal-Haqq stated "Shar'iah, or more properly Al-Shari'ah, literally means the pathway, path to be followed, or clear way to be followed, and has come to mean the path upon which the believer has to tread. In original usage Shar'iah meant the road to the watering place or path leading to the water, i.e., the way to the source of life. The technical application of the term as a reference to the law of Islam is traced directly to the Quran, wherein the adherents of Islam, the believers, are admonished by Allah (God) to follow the clear and right way, the path of Shari'ah: Then we put thee on the (right) Way of religion so follow thou that (Way), and follow not the desires of those who know not."

According to Abdul Mannan Omar in his Dictionary of the Holy Quran, the word at 45:18 (see Abdal-Haqq above) derives from the "Quranic root" shara'a. Derivations include: Shara'a (as prf. 3rd. p.m. sing.), meaning "He ordained", appearing once in the Quran at verse 45:13; Shara'u (prf. 3rd. p.m. plu.) "They decreed (a law)" appearing once at 42:21; Shir'atun (n.) "Spiritual law", used at 5:48; finally, Shariatun (act. 2nd. pic. f. sing.) "System of Divine Law, Way of Belief and Practice" is used at 45:18.

Definitions and descriptions


Sharia has been defined as:
  • "Muslim or Islamic law, both civil and criminal justice as well as regulating individual conduct both personal and moral. The custom-based body of law based on the Quran and the religion of Islam. Because, by definition, Muslim states are theocracies, religious texts are law, the latter distinguished by Islam and Muslims in their application, as sharia or sharia law."
  • "a discussion on the duties of Muslims," —Hamilton Alexander Rosskeen Gibb
    Hamilton Alexander Rosskeen Gibb
    Sir Hamilton Alexander Rosskeen Gibb , also commonly referred to as "H. A. R. Gibb", was a Scottish historian on Orientalism.-Early life and education:...

  • "a long, diverse, complicated intellectual tradition," rather than a "well-defined set of specific rules and regulations that can be easily applied to life situations," —Hunt Janin and Andre Kahlmeyer
  • "a shared opinion of the [Islamic] community, based on a literature that is extensive, but not necessarily coherent or authorized by any single body" —Knut S. Vikor


From the 9th century, the power to interpret and refine law in traditional Islamic societies was in the hands of the scholars (ulema
Ulema
Ulama , also spelt ulema, refers to the educated class of Muslim legal scholars engaged in the several fields of Islamic studies. They are best known as the arbiters of shari‘a law...

). This separation of powers served to limit the range of actions available to the ruler, who could not easily decree or reinterpret law independently and expect the continued support of the community. Through succeeding centuries and empires, the balance between the ulema and the rulers shifted and reformed, but the balance of power was never decisively changed. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the Industrial Revolution and the French Revolution introduced an era of European world hegemony that included the domination of most of the lands of Islam. At the end of the Second World War, the European powers found themselves too weakened to maintain their empires. The wide variety of forms of government, systems of law, attitudes toward modernity and interpretations of sharia are a result of the ensuing drives for independence and modernity in the Muslim world.

Traditional perspectives



The majority of Muslims regard themselves as belonging to either the Sunni or Shi'a sect
Sect
A sect is a group with distinctive religious, political or philosophical beliefs. Although in past it was mostly used to refer to religious groups, it has since expanded and in modern culture can refer to any organization that breaks away from a larger one to follow a different set of rules and...

 of Islam. Within these sects, there are different schools of religious study and scholarship. The schools within each sect have common characteristics, although each differs in its details.

Sunni



In addition to the "Basic Code" of the Quran and Sunnah, traditional Sunni Muslims also add the consensus (ijma
Ijma
Ijmāʿ is an Arabic term referring to the consensus of the Muslim community. Various schools of thought within Islamic jurisprudence may define this consensus as that of the first generation of Muslims only; the consensus of the first three generations of Muslims; the consensus of the jurists...

) of Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

's companions (sahaba
Sahaba
In Islam, the ' were the companions, disciples, scribes and family of the Islamic prophet...

) and Islamic jurists (ulema
Ulema
Ulama , also spelt ulema, refers to the educated class of Muslim legal scholars engaged in the several fields of Islamic studies. They are best known as the arbiters of shari‘a law...

) on certain issues. In situations where no concrete rule exists in the sources, law scholars use qiyas
Qiyas
In Islamic jurisprudence, qiyās is the process of deductive analogy in which the teachings of the Hadith are compared and contrasted with those of the Qur'an, in order to apply a known injunction to a new circumstance and create a new injunction...

 — various forms of reasoning, including analogy, to derive law from the essence of divine principles and preceding
Precedent
In common law legal systems, a precedent or authority is a principle or rule established in a legal case that a court or other judicial body may apply when deciding subsequent cases with similar issues or facts...

 rulings. The consensus of the community, public interest, and other sources are used as an adjunct to sharia where the primary and secondary sources allow. This description can be applied to the major schools of Sunni fiqh, which include the Hanafi
Hanafi
The Hanafi school is one of the four Madhhab in jurisprudence within Sunni Islam. The Hanafi madhhab is named after the Persian scholar Abu Hanifa an-Nu‘man ibn Thābit , a Tabi‘i whose legal views were preserved primarily by his two most important disciples, Abu Yusuf and Muhammad al-Shaybani...

, Shafi'i
Shafi'i
The Shafi'i madhhab is one of the schools of fiqh, or religious law, within the Sunni branch of Islam. The Shafi'i school of fiqh is named after Imām ash-Shafi'i.-Principles:...

, Maliki
Maliki
The ' madhhab is one of the schools of Fiqh or religious law within Sunni Islam. It is the second-largest of the four schools, followed by approximately 25% of Muslims, mostly in North Africa, West Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and in some parts of Saudi Arabia...

 and Hanbali
Hanbali
The Hanbali school is one the schools of Fiqh or religious law within Sunni Islam. The jurisprudence school traces back to Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal but was institutionalized by his students. Hanbali jurisprudence is considered very strict and conservative, especially regarding questions of dogma...

. The Zahiri
Zahiri
Ẓāhirī , is a school of thought in Islamic jurisprudence and Aqida. The school is named after one of its early prominent jurists, Dawud ibn Khalaf al-Zahiri Ẓāhirī , is a school of thought in Islamic jurisprudence and Aqida. The school is named after one of its early prominent jurists, Dawud ibn...

 madhhab, though small, is often considered a Sunni school of thought as well. The Salafi
Salafi
A Salafi come from Sunni Islam is a follower of an Islamic movement, Salafiyyah, that is supposed to take the Salaf who lived during the patristic period of early Islam as model examples...

 movement also looks to the actions and sayings of the first three generations of Muslims for guidance, in addition to the Quran and Sunnah, attracting followers from many Muslim cultures and schools of fiqh.

Shi'a



Shi'a Muslims also extend the "Basic Code" with fiqh, and in some aspects reject analogy. At the same time, they believe Islam was long designed to meet today's innovations and culture. During the period after Prophet's death, Sunni scholars developed, at the same time the Shi'a Imams
Imamah (Shi'a doctrine)
Imāmah is the Shia doctrine of religious, spiritual and political leadership of the Ummah. The Shīa believe that the A'immah are the true Caliphs or rightful successors of Muḥammad, and further that Imams are possessed of divine knowledge and authority as well as being part of the Ahl al-Bayt,...

 were alive teaching and spreading the original message of Islam. Since the twelve Imams are descendants of the Prophet's family, Shi'a believe they have a greater right on leadership and spreading the message of Islam, as a result Shi'a view them as an extension of the original Sunnah taught by the Prophet himself. A recurring theme in Shi'a jurisprudence is logic
Logic
In philosophy, Logic is the formal systematic study of the principles of valid inference and correct reasoning. Logic is used in most intellectual activities, but is studied primarily in the disciplines of philosophy, mathematics, semantics, and computer science...

 (mantiq
Logic in Islamic philosophy
Logic played an important role in Islamic philosophy .Islamic Logic or mantiq is similar science to what is called Traditional Logic in Western Sciences.- External links :*Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy: , Routledge, 1998...

), something most Shi'a believe they mention, employ and value to a higher degree than most 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 Quran and Sunnah.

In Imami-Shi'i law, the sources of law (usul al-fiqh) are the Quran, anecdotes of Muhammad's practices and those of The Twelve Imams, and the intellect ('aql
'Aql
‘Aql , is an Arabic language term used in Islamic theology or philosophy to the intellect the rational faculty of the soul or mind. It is the normal translation of the Greek term nous...

). The practices called Sharia today, however, also have roots in comparative law and local customs (urf
Urf
Urf العرف is an Arabic Islamic term referring to the custom, or 'knowledge', of a given society. To be recognized in an Islamic society, Urf must be compatible with Sharia law...

).

Most Shia Muslims follow the Ja'fari
Ja'fari jurisprudence
Jaʿfarī school of thought, Ja`farite School, Jaʿfarī jurisprudence or Jaʿfarī Fiqh is the school of jurisprudence of most Shi'a Muslims, derived from the name of Jaʿfar as-Ṣādiq, the 6th Shi'a Imam...

 school of thought.

Modern perspectives


Muslims have responded in a variety of ways to the forces of modernity. These responses cross the lines of tradition, sect and school. They affect the way sharia is interpreted by individuals in their personal lives, and the extent to which sharia is implemented in the public sphere by the state. These diverse movements can be referred to collectively as contemporary sharia(s).

Spectrum of Muslim legal systems


The legal systems in 21st century Muslim majority states can be classified as follows:

Sharia in the secular Muslim states: Muslim countries such as Mali
Mali
Mali , officially the Republic of Mali , is a landlocked country in Western Africa. Mali borders Algeria on the north, Niger on the east, Burkina Faso and the Côte d'Ivoire on the south, Guinea on the south-west, and Senegal and Mauritania on the west. Its size is just over 1,240,000 km² with...

, Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

 and Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 have declared themselves to be secular. Here, religious interference in state affairs, law and politics is prohibited. In these Muslim countries, as well as the secular West, the role of sharia is limited to personal and family matters.

The Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

n legal system is based on English Common Law and the constitution guarantees freedom of religion and separation
of church and State. However eleven northern states have adopted sharia law for those who practice the Muslim religion.

Muslim states with blended sources of law: Muslim countries including Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

, Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

 and Malaysia have legal systems strongly influenced by sharia, but also cede ultimate authority to their constitutions and the rule of law. These countries conduct democratic elections, although some are also under the influence of authoritarian leaders. In these countries, politicians and jurists make law, rather than religious scholars. Most of these countries have modernized their laws and now have legal systems with significant differences when compared to classical sharia.

Muslim states using classical sharia: Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 and some of the Gulf states do not have constitutions or legislatures. Their rulers have limited authority to change laws, since they are based on sharia as it is interpreted by their religious scholars. Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 shares some of these characteristics, but also has a parliament that legislates in a manner consistent with sharia.

Factors influencing the modern role of sharia


Against the backdrop of differing religious sects, scholarship, classical schools of thought, and governmental implementations, the following forces are at work influencing future developments in sharia law.
Rapid exchange of cultures and ideas

Around the world, Muslims are becoming more connected by the Internet and modern communications. This is leading to wider exchanges of ideas and cultures. Reactionary and fundamentalist movements are unlikely to halt this trend, as the sharia itself defends the right to privacy within the home.
Schools of thought

Legal scholar L. Ali Khan claims that "the concept of sharia has been thoroughly confused in legal and common literature. For some Muslims, sharia consists of the Quran and Sunnah. For others, it also includes classical fiqh
Fiqh
Fiqh is Islamic jurisprudence. Fiqh is an expansion of the code of conduct expounded in the Quran, often supplemented by tradition and implemented by the rulings and interpretations of Islamic jurists....

. Most encyclopedias define sharia as law based upon the Quran, the Sunnah, and classical fiqh derived from consensus (ijma) and analogy (qiyas). This definition of sharia 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 Sunnah. The Quran and the Sunnah 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."
Revival of the religion

Simultaneously with liberalizing and modernizing forces, trends towards fundamentalism and movements for Islamic political power are also taking place. There has been a growing religious revival in Islam, beginning in the eighteenth century and continuing today. This movement has expressed itself in various forms ranging from wars to efforts towards improving education.

A return to traditional views of sharia: There is a long-running worldwide movement underway by Muslims towards a better understanding and practice of their religion. Encouraged by their scholars and imams, Muslims have moved away from local customs and culture, and towards more universally accepted views of Islam. This movement towards traditional religious values served to help Muslims cope with the effects of European colonization. It also inspired modernist movements and the formation of new governments.

The Islamist movement: Since the 1970s, the Islamist movements have become prominent; their goals are the establishment of Islamic states and sharia within their own borders, their means are political in nature. The Islamist power base is the millions of poor, particularly urban poor moving into the cities from the countryside. They are not international in nature (one exception being the Muslim Brotherhood
Muslim Brotherhood
The Society of the Muslim Brothers is the world's oldest and one of the largest Islamist parties, and is the largest political opposition organization in many Arab states. It was founded in 1928 in Egypt by the Islamic scholar and schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna and by the late 1940s had an...

). Their rhetoric opposes western culture and western power. Political groups wishing to return to more traditional Islamic values are the source of threat to Turkey's secular government. These movements can be considered neo-Sharism.

The Fundamentalist movement: Fundamentalists, wishing to return to basic religious values and law, have in some instances imposed harsh sharia punishments for crimes, curtailed civil rights, and violated human rights. These movements are most active in areas of the world where there was contact with Western colonial powers.

Extremism: Extremists have used the Quran and their own particular version of sharia to justify acts of war and terror against Western individuals and governments, and also against other Muslims believed to have Western sympathies.
Friction between the West and Islam, particularly with regard to the Palestinian question
Israeli–Palestinian conflict
The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The conflict is wide-ranging, and the term is also used in reference to the earlier phases of the same conflict, between Jewish and Zionist yishuv and the Arab population living in Palestine under Ottoman or...

, continues to fuel this conflict.

Immutability of God's will


Although there are many different interpretations of sharia, and differing perspectives on each interpretation, there is consensus among Muslims that sharia is a reflection of God's will for humankind. Sharia must therefore be, in its purest sense, perfect and unchanging. The evolution or refinement of sharia is an effort to reflect God's will more perfectly.

Distinction between sharia and customary law


According to Jan Michiel Otto, Professor of Law and Governance in Developing Countries at Leiden University
Leiden University
Leiden University , located in the city of Leiden, is the oldest university in the Netherlands. The university was founded in 1575 by William, Prince of Orange, leader of the Dutch Revolt in the Eighty Years' War. The royal Dutch House of Orange-Nassau and Leiden University still have a close...

, "Anthropological research shows that people in local communities often do not distinguish clearly whether and to what extent their norms and practices are based on local tradition, tribal custom, or religion. 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." Otto's analysis appears in a paper commissioned by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Netherlands)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the Dutch ministry of foreign affairs: it is occupied with the external relations of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, including European cooperation and International development...

.

Origins


According to Muslims, sharia law is founded on the words of Allah
Allah
Allah is a word for God used in the context of Islam. In Arabic, the word means simply "God". It is used primarily by Muslims and Bahá'ís, and often, albeit not exclusively, used by Arabic-speaking Eastern Catholic Christians, Maltese Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Mizrahi Jews and...

 as revealed in the Quran, and traditions gathered from the life of the Prophet Muhammad. Muhammad was born ca. 570 CE in Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

, a trading city in the Arabian desert. In addition to being a center of trade on the caravan routes, Mecca was a place of pilgrimage for Arabs of many beliefs. The focus of religion in Mecca was the Ka'aba, a stone building believed to have been built by Adam at the beginning of time, and rebuilt by the Prophet Abraham
Abraham
Abraham , whose birth name was Abram, is the eponym of the Abrahamic religions, among which are Judaism, Christianity and Islam...

 and his son Ishmael
Ishmael
Ishmael is a figure in the Hebrew Bible and the Qur'an, and was Abraham's first born child according to Jews, Christians and Muslims. Ishmael was born of Abraham's marriage to Sarah's handmaiden Hagar...

.

Mecca was inhabited by the Quraysh, a mostly pagan tribe with some Jews and Christians among them. Muhammad was orphaned at an early age, and came under the protection of an uncle. He grew up to become a trader and married his employer, a prosperous merchant named Khadija. It was in middle age that Muhammad began to speak of revelations received from Allah through the angel Gabriel. Muhammad told others of his revelations, and attracted followers who transcribed them onto available materials. Over the twenty three years from his first revelation until his death, Islam became the dominant force in the Arabian peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

 and Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

, and a serious challenge to the Byzantine
Byzantine
Byzantine usually refers to the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.Byzantine may also refer to:* A citizen of the Byzantine Empire, or native Greek during the Middle Ages...

 and Sasanian empires. After Muhammad's death, the revelations were collected and organized into the Quran, and accounts of his life eventually formed the basis for the Sunnah.

In pre-Islamic Arabia, bonds of common ancestry formed the basis for tribal association. The advent of Islam brought the tribes together under a single religion. As Islam is not just a religion, but also a complete way of life, a new common basis of law and personal behavior (Sharia) began to take shape.

Sharia continued to undergo fundamental changes, beginning with the reigns of caliph
Caliph
The Caliph is the head of state in a Caliphate, and the title for the ruler of the Islamic Ummah, an Islamic community ruled by the Shari'ah. It is a transcribed version of the Arabic word   which means "successor" or "representative"...

s Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr was a senior companion and the father-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He ruled over the Rashidun Caliphate from 632-634 CE when he became the first Muslim Caliph following Muhammad's death...

 (632–34) and Umar
Umar
`Umar ibn al-Khattāb c. 2 November , was a leading companion and adviser to the Islamic prophet Muhammad who later became the second Muslim Caliph after Muhammad's death....

 (634–44), during which time many questions were brought to the attention of Muhammad's closest comrades for consultation. During the reign of Muawiya
Muawiyah I
Muawiyah I was the first Caliph of the Umayyad Dynasty. After the conquest of Mecca by the Muslims, Muawiyah's family converted to Islam. Muawiyah is brother-in-law to Muhammad who married his sister Ramlah bint Abi-Sufyan in 1AH...

 b. Abu Sufyan ibn Harb
Abu Sufyan ibn Harb
Sakhr ibn Harb , more commonly known as Abu Sufyan was a leading man of the Quraish of Mecca. He was a staunch opponent of the Islamic prophet Muhammad before accepting Islam later in his life.-Opposition to Islam:...

, ca. 662 CE, Islam undertook an urban transformation, raising questions not originally covered by Islamic law. Since then, changes in Islamic society have played an ongoing role in developing sharia, which branches out into fiqh
Fiqh
Fiqh is Islamic jurisprudence. Fiqh is an expansion of the code of conduct expounded in the Quran, often supplemented by tradition and implemented by the rulings and interpretations of Islamic jurists....

 and Qanun
Qanun
Qanun refers to laws promulgated by Muslim sovereigns, in particular the Ottoman Sultans, in contrast to shari'a, the body of law elaborated by Muslim jurists. It comes from the Greek word kanon...

 respectively.

Among the Muslims, tribal laws were adapted to conform to sharia "for they could not form part of the tribal law unless and until they were generally accepted as such." Additionally, Noel James Coulson, Lecturer in Islamic law of the University of London
University of London
-20th century:Shortly after 6 Burlington Gardens was vacated, the University went through a period of rapid expansion. Bedford College, Royal Holloway and the London School of Economics all joined in 1900, Regent's Park College, which had affiliated in 1841 became an official divinity school of the...

, states that "to the tribe as a whole belonged the power to determine the standards by which its members should live. But here the tribe is conceived not merely as the group of its present representatives but as a historical entity embracing past, present, and future generations." So, while "each and every law must be rooted in either the Qur'an or the Sunnah," without contradiction, tribal life brought about a sense of participation. Such participation was further reinforced by Muhammad who stated, "My community will never agree in error".

Fiqh



The formative period of fiqh
Fiqh
Fiqh is Islamic jurisprudence. Fiqh is an expansion of the code of conduct expounded in the Quran, often supplemented by tradition and implemented by the rulings and interpretations of Islamic jurists....

stretches back to the time of the early Muslim communities. In this period, jurists were more concerned with pragmatic issues of authority and teaching than with theory. Progress in theory happened with the coming of the early Muslim jurist Muhammad ibn Idris ash-Shafi'i (767–820), who laid down the basic principles of Islamic jurisprudence in his book Al-Risala
Al-Risala (book)
Al-Risala is the best known work of al-Shafi'i, noted especially for its clear Islamic jurisprudence. In this work, al-Shafi'i outlines four different sources of Sacred Law and their relative importance in determining what God wills man to do. According to Al-Risala, the first source of Sacred...

. The book details the four roots of law (Quran, Sunnah, ijma, and qiyas) while specifying that the primary Islamic texts (the Quran and the hadith
Hadith
The term Hadīth is used to denote a saying or an act or tacit approval or criticism ascribed either validly or invalidly to the Islamic prophet Muhammad....

) be understood according to objective rules of interpretation derived from careful study of the Arabic language.

A number of important legal concepts and institutions were developed by Islamic jurists during the classical period of Islam, known as the Islamic Golden Age
Islamic Golden Age
During the Islamic Golden Age philosophers, scientists and engineers of the Islamic world contributed enormously to technology and culture, both by preserving earlier traditions and by adding their own inventions and innovations...

, dated from the 7th to 13th centuries.

Categories of human behavior


Fiqh classifies behavior into the following types or grades: fard
Fard
also is an Islamic term which denotes a religious duty. The word is also used in Persian, Turkish, and Urdu in the same meaning....

 (obligatory), mustahabb
Mustahabb
Mustahabb is an Islamic term referring to recommended, favored or virtuous actions.-Definition:Mustahabb actions are those whose status of approval in Islamic law falls between mubah and wajib...

 (recommended), mubah
Mubah
'Mubah' is an Islamic Arabic term denoting an action as neither forbidden nor recommended, and so religiously neutral. This is one of the degrees of approval in Islamic law....

 (neutral), makruh
Makruh
In Islamic terminology, something which is makruh is a disliked or offensive act . Though it is not haram and therefore not a sin, a person who abstains from this action will be rewarded. Muslims are encouraged to avoid such actions when possible...

 (discouraged), and haraam
Haraam
Haraam is an Arabic term meaning "forbidden", or "sacred". In Islam it is used to refer to anything that is prohibited by the word of Allah in the Qur'an or the Hadith Qudsi. Haraam is the highest status of prohibition given to anything that would result in sin when a Muslim commits it...

 (forbidden). Every human action belongs in one of these five categories.
Actions in the fard category are those required of all Muslims. They include the five daily prayers, fasting, articles of faith, obligatory charity, and the hajj
Hajj
The Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest pilgrimages in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so...

 pilgrimage to Mecca.

The mustahabb category includes proper behavior in matters such as marriage, funeral rites and family life. As such, it covers many of the same areas as civil law in the West. Sharia courts attempt to reconcile parties to disputes in this area using the recommended behavior as their guide. A person whose behavior is not mustahabb can be ruled against by the judge.

All behavior which is neither discouraged nor recommended, neither forbidden nor required is of the Mubah; it is permissible.

Makruh behavior, while it is not sinful of itself, is considered undesirable among Muslims. It may also make a Muslim liable to criminal penalties under certain circumstances.

Haraam behavior is explicitly forbidden. It is both sinful and criminal. It includes all actions expressly forbidden in the Quran. Certain Muslim dietary and clothing restrictions also fall into this category.


The recommended, neutral and discouraged categories are drawn largely from accounts
Hadith
The term Hadīth is used to denote a saying or an act or tacit approval or criticism ascribed either validly or invalidly to the Islamic prophet Muhammad....

 of the life of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. To say a behavior is sunnah
Sunnah
The word literally means a clear, well trodden, busy and plain surfaced road. In the discussion of the sources of religion, Sunnah denotes the practice of Prophet Muhammad that he taught and practically instituted as a teacher of the sharī‘ah and the best exemplar...

 is to say it is recommended as an example from the life and sayings of Muhammad. These categories form the basis for proper behavior in matters such as courtesy and manners, interpersonal relations, generosity, personal habits and hygiene.

Topics of Islamic law


Sharia law can be organized in different ways:

Sharia can be divided into five main branches:
  1. ibadah
    Ibadah
    The Arabic word ibadah or ibada, usually translated "worship", is connected with related words literally meaning "slavery", and has connotations of obedience, submission, and humility. In terms of Islam, ibadah is the ultimate obedience, the ultimate submission, and the ultimate humility to Allah ...

     (ritual worship)
  2. mu'amalat (transactions and contracts)
  3. adab
    Adab (behavior)
    Adab, in the context of behavior, refers to prescribed Islamic etiquette: "refinement, good manners, morals, decorum, decency, humaneness". While interpretation of the scope and particulars of Adab may vary among different cultures, common among these interpretations is regard for personal standing...

     (morals and manners),
  4. i'tiqadat (beliefs)
  5. 'uqubat (punishments).


"Reliance of the Traveller", an English translation of a fourteenth century CE reference on the Shafi'i school of fiqh written by Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, organizes sharia law into the following topics:
  1. Purification
  2. Prayer
  3. Funeral prayer
  4. Taxes
  5. Fasting
  6. Pilgrimage
  7. Trade
  8. Inheritance
  9. Marriage
  10. Divorce
  11. Justice


In some areas, there are substantial differences in the law between different schools of fiqh, countries, cultures and schools of thought.

Purification


In Islam, purification has a spiritual dimension and a physical one. Muslims believe that certain human activities and contact with impure animals and substances cause impurity. Classic Islamic law details how to recognize impurity, and how to remedy it. Muslims use water for purification in most circumstances, although earth can also be used under certain conditions. Before prayer or other religious rituals, Muslims must clean themselves in a prescribed manner. The manner of cleansing, either wudhu or ghusl
Ghusl
Ghusl is an Arabic term referring to the full ablution required in Islam for various rituals and prayers. The ablution becomes mandatory for any adult Muslim after having sexual intercourse, any sexual discharge , completion of the menstrual cycle, giving birth, and death by natural causes.Islam...

, depend on the circumstances. Muslims' cleaning of dishes, clothing and homes are all done in accordance with stated laws.

Prayer


Muslims are enjoined to pray five times each day, with certain exceptions. These obligatory prayers, salat
Salat
Salah is the practice of formal prayer in Islam. Its importance for Muslims is indicated by its status as one of the Five Pillars of Sunni Islam, of the Ten Practices of the Religion of Twelver Islam and of the 7 pillars of Musta'lī Ismailis...

, are performed during prescribed periods of the day, and most can be performed either in groups or by oneself. There are also optional prayers which can be performed, as well as special prayers for certain seasons, days and events. Muslims must turn to face the Kaaba
Kaaba
The Kaaba is a cuboid-shaped building in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and is the most sacred site in Islam. The Qur'an states that the Kaaba was constructed by Abraham, or Ibraheem, in Arabic, and his son Ishmael, or Ismaeel, as said in Arabic, after he had settled in Arabia. The building has a mosque...

 in Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

 when they pray, and they must be purified in order for their prayers to be accepted. Personal, informal prayer and invocation is practiced as well. Classic Islamic law details many aspects of the act of prayer, including who can pray, when to pray, how to pray, and where to pray.

Funeral prayer


Muslims are encouraged to visit those among them who are sick and dying. Dying Muslims are reminded of God's mercy, and the value of prayer, by those who visit them. In turn, the visitors are reminded of their mortality, and the transient nature of life. Upon death, the Muslim will be washed and shrouded in clean, white cloth. A special prayer, Janazah, is performed for the deceased, preferably by the assembled Muslim community. The body is taken to a place which has ground set aside for the burial of Muslims. The grave is dug perpendicular to the direction of Mecca, and the body is lowered into the grave to rest on its side, with the face turned towards Mecca. Classic Islamic law details visitation of the ill, preparation of the dead for burial, the funeral prayer and the manner in which the Muslim is buried.

Alms


All Muslims who live above the subsistence level must pay an annual alms, known as zakat
Zakat
Zakāt , one of the Five Pillars of Islam, is the giving of a fixed portion of one's wealth to charity, generally to the poor and needy.-History:Zakat, a practice initiated by Muhammed himself, has played an important role throughout Islamic history...

. In the modern sense, this would be Islam's equivalent to US Social Security
Social Security (United States)
In the United States, Social Security refers to the federal Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance program.The original Social Security Act and the current version of the Act, as amended encompass several social welfare and social insurance programs...

 or UK National Insurance
National Insurance
National Insurance in the United Kingdom was initially a contributory system of insurance against illness and unemployment, and later also provided retirement pensions and other benefits...

. This is not charity, but rather an obligation owed by the eligible Muslim to the poor of the community. The amount is calculated based on the wealth of the Muslim. There is no fixed rate stated in Quran; but the generally practiced rate is 2.5 percent. Eligibility and total payable varies; depending on the type and quantity of wealth being assessed. If the Government wishes to create a comprehensive and robust welfare state, the rate can be increased. Wealth includes savings, jewelry and land. Classic Islamic law details the tax, how it is assessed, its collection, and its distribution.

Fasting


During the Islamic month of Ramadan
Ramadan
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which lasts 29 or 30 days. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex during daylight hours and is intended to teach Muslims about patience, spirituality, humility and...

, Muslims abstain from food, drink, and sex between dawn and sunset. Exceptions to this obligation are made for children who are pre-pubescent, the infirm, travelers, and pregnant women. During Ramadan, the daylight hours will often begin and end with a large meal. After dinner, many Muslims participate in special communal prayers held during Ramadan. The end of Ramadan fasting is celebrated
Eid ul-Fitr
Eid ul-Fitr, Eid al-Fitr, Id-ul-Fitr, or Id al-Fitr , often abbreviated to Eid, is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting . Eid is an Arabic word meaning "festivity," while Fiṭr means "breaking the fast"...

 with special prayers, gatherings of family and friends, and specially prepared meals. Muslims may also fast on other special days of the year, and to make up for missed days of fasting. Classic Islamic law details the exact definition of the fast, the times of fasting, how a fast may be broken, who must fast, and permitted exceptions to the fast.

Pilgrimage


At least once in each Muslim's lifetime, they must attempt a visit to the Holy Places
Hajj
The Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest pilgrimages in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so...

 of Islam located in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The focus of this journey is the Kaaba
Kaaba
The Kaaba is a cuboid-shaped building in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and is the most sacred site in Islam. The Qur'an states that the Kaaba was constructed by Abraham, or Ibraheem, in Arabic, and his son Ishmael, or Ismaeel, as said in Arabic, after he had settled in Arabia. The building has a mosque...

, a small rectangular building around which a huge mosque
Masjid al-Haram
Al-Masjid al-Ḥarām is the largest mosque in the world. Located in the city of Mecca, it surrounds the Kaaba, the place which Muslims worldwide turn towards while performing daily prayers and is Islam's holiest place...

 has been built. This pilgrimage, known as the Hajj, begins two months after Ramadan each year. Dressed in symbolically simple clothing, Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba
Tawaf
Tawaf is one of the Islamic rituals of pilgrimage. During the Hajj and Umrah, Muslims are to circumambulate the Kaaba seven times, in a counterclockwise direction...

 seven times, often followed by a drink from a special stream
Zamzam Well
The Well of Zamzam is a well located within the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, east of the Kaaba, the holiest place in Islam...

. Next, a symbolic search for water
Sa'yee
Sa'ee is the back and forth movement between the hills of Safa and Marwah in Mecca. It is an integral part of the Islamic Hajj and Umrah, symbolizing the search for water by Hajara in order to give to her son Ismail....

 is performed by travelling back and forth between two nearby peaks. On the eighth day of the month, the pilgrims travel to Mina
Mina, Saudi Arabia
Mina is a location situated some 5 kilometres to the east of the Islamic holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. It stands on the road from Mecca's city centre to the Hill of Arafat....

 in the desert and spend the night in tents. The following day, over two million Muslims gather on the slopes of Mount Arafat
Mount Arafat
Mount Arafat or Mount Arafah is a granite hill east of Mecca. It is also known as the Mount of Mercy . The hill is the place Muslims believe the Islamic prophet Muhammad stood and delivered the Farewell Sermon to the Muslims who had accompanied him for the Hajj towards the end of his life...

, where the afternoon is spent in prayer. The Feast of Sacrifice
Eid ul-Adha
Eid al-Adha or "Festival of Sacrifice" or "Greater Eid" is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide to commemorate the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of obedience to God, before God intervened to provide him with a sheep— to sacrifice...

, celebrated by Muslims worldwide, is performed by pilgrims in Mina the next day, and includes the slaughter of an animal. Finally, the pilgrims perform a ritual Stoning of the Devil
Stoning of the Devil
Stoning of the Devil or stoning of the jamarat is part of the annual Islamic Hajj pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Muslim pilgrims fling pebbles at three walls called jamarat in the city of Mina just east of Mecca. It is one of a series of ritual acts that must be performed in...

 by tossing pebbles at three pillars. Classic Islamic law details the manner in which the pilgrim dresses, behaves, arrives, departs and performs each of these rituals.

Trade


Islamic law recognizes private and community property, as well as overlapping forms of entitlement for charitable purposes, known as waqf
Waqf
A waqf also spelled wakf formally known as wakf-alal-aulad is an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law, typically denoting a building or plot of land for Muslim religious or charitable purposes. The donated assets are held by a charitable trust...

 or trusts. Under sharia law, however, ownership of all property ultimately rests with God; while individual property rights are upheld, there is a corresponding obligation to share, particularly with those in need. The laws of contract and obligation are also formed around this egalitarian Quranic requirement, prohibiting unequal exchanges or unfair advantage in trade. On this basis, the charging of interest on loans is prohibited, as are other transactions in which risks are borne disproportionately to the potential returns between parties to a transaction. The limits on personal liability afforded by incorporation are seen as a form of usury in this sense, as is insurance. All these inequities in risk and reward between parties to a transaction, known collectively as riba
Riba
Riba means one of the senses of "usury" . Riba is forbidden in Islamic economic jurisprudence fiqh and considered as a major sin...

, are prohibited. For this reason, Islamic banking and financing are partnerships between customers and institutions, where risk and reward are distributed equitably. Partnerships, rather than corporations, are the key concept in collective Islamic business. Financing and investments are accomplished in this manner, as purchases and resales, with equity shifting over time between the institution and the client as payments are made or returns are recognized. Conversely, no individual is shielded from the consequences of poor judgement or bad timing. The Islamic financial and investment models have taken root in the West and begun to flourish, even as the financial underpinnings of large Western corporations collapse under the weight of unevenly distributed risks. Classic Islamic law details the manner of contracting, the types of transactions, the assignment of liability and reward, and the responsibilities of the parties in Islamic trade.

Inheritance


The rules of inheritance under sharia law are intricate, and a female's portion is generally half the amount a male would receive under the same circumstances. Up to one third of a person's property may be distributed as bequest
Bequest
A bequest is the act of giving property by will. Strictly, "bequest" is used of personal property, and "devise" of real property. In legal terminology, "bequeath" is a verb form meaning "to make a bequest."...

s, or wasiyya, upon their death. After debts are settled, the remainder of the estate will be divided among the family of the deceased according to the rules of inheritance, or irth. In Islamic societies, inherited wealth and property do not easily accumulate to, or remain in, certain families. Large concentrations of property will be divided into smaller portions over time among male inheritors. Property will tend to flow to other families as female inheritors take their shares into their marriages. Classic Islamic law details the division of property, the shares family members are entitled to, adjustments and redistributions in the shares, orders of precedence among inheritors, and substitution among inheritors.

Marriage


The laws governing Islamic marriage vary substantially between sects, schools, states and cultures. The following outline is general in nature.

There are two types of marriage mentioned in the Quran: nikah
Nikah
Marriage in Islam is an Islamic prenuptial contract between a man and woman to live as husband and wife. It is a formal, binding contract considered integral to a religiously valid Islamic marriage, and outlines the rights and responsibilities of the groom and bride involved in marriage proceedings...

and nikah mut'ah. The first is more common; it aims to be permanent, but can be terminated by the husband in the talaq
Talaq (Nikah)
In Islam there are separate rules for divorce for men and women under the terms of Islamic law . When a man has initiated a divorce the procedure is called . When a woman has initiated a divorce it is called khula ....

 process, or by the wife seeking divorce using khul'.

In nikah the couples inherit from each other. A dowry known as mahr
Mahr
In Islam, mahr is an amount of money paid by the groom to the bride at the time of marriage which she can spend as she wishes. The English concept of "dower", the gift of funds to the wife in the event she becomes widowed, closely approximates mahr. The terms "dowry" and "bride price" are...

 is given to the bride, a legal contract is signed when entering the marriage, and the husband must pay for the wife's expenses. For the contract to be valid there must be two witnesses under Sunni jurisprudence. There is no witness requirement for Shia contracts. In Sunni jurisprudence, the contract is void if there is a determined divorce date in the nikah, whereas, in Shia jurisprudence, nikah contracts with determined divorce dates are transformed into nikah mut'ah.

Under Shia jurisprudence, nikah mut'ah is the second form of marriage. It is "Haram" in Sunni Islam according to Muslim scholars. It is a fixed-term marriage, which is a marriage with a preset duration, after which the marriage is automatically dissolved. Traditionally the couple does not inherit from each other, the man usually is not responsible for the economic welfare of the woman, and she usually may leave her home at her own discretion. Nikah mut'ah does not count towards the maximum of four wives the Quran allows to Muslim men. The woman is still given her mahr dowry, and the woman must still observe the iddah
Iddah
In Islam, iddah or iddat is the period a woman must observe after the death of her spouse or after a divorce, during which she may not marry another man. The period, three months after a divorce and four months and ten days after the death of a spouse, is calculated on the number of menses that a...

, a period of five months at the end of the marriage where she is not permitted to remarry in the case she may have become pregnant before the divorce took place. This maintains the proper lineage of children. There is controversy about the Islamic legality of this type of marriage since the Prophet Muhammad is said by Sunnis to have prohibited the practice after having temporarily allowed it.

A third type of marriage contract, known as misyar, is emerging in Sunni Islam. This marriage is not for a fixed period of time like nikah mut'ah, but is similar in other respects including lack of inheritance, lack of financial responsibility and freedom of movement on the part of the wife. In misyar marriage, the couple need not cohabit. There is lots of controversy regarding this form of marriage.

Muslims do, on occasion, marry according to urf
Urf
Urf العرف is an Arabic Islamic term referring to the custom, or 'knowledge', of a given society. To be recognized in an Islamic society, Urf must be compatible with Sharia law...

, or local custom, without following the requirements set forth in sharia law. This may be done for various reasons, such as an inability of the couple to obtain permission from the bride's guardian. In these cases, they may find their marriage to be unrecognized at a later point, and have difficulty availing themselves of legal remedies under sharia.

Requirements for Islamic Marriages:
  • The man who is not currently a fornicator may marry only a woman who is not currently a fornicatress or a chaste woman from the people of the Book (jews, christians, and muslims).
  • The woman who is not currently a fornicatress may marry only a man who is not currently a fornicator.
  • The fornicator may marry only a fornicatress.
  • The Muslim woman may marry only a Muslim man.
  • Permission for a virgin female to marry must be given by her guardian, usually her father.
  • Any Muslim woman may demand her guardian marry her to a Muslim male, provided he is suitable. If the guardian refuses, a judge will effect the marriage.
  • The father, or in some cases the paternal grandfather, may choose a suitable partner for a virgin girl.
  • The guardian may not marry the divorced woman or the widow if she did not ask to be married.
  • Without the permission of the girl an Islamic marriage is considered invalid.
  • It is obligatory for a man to give bride wealth
    Bride price
    Bride price, also known as bride wealth, is an amount of money or property or wealth paid by the groom or his family to the parents of a woman upon the marriage of their daughter to the groom...

     (gifts) to the woman he marries – "Do not marry unless you give your wife something that is her right."

Polygamy

In sharia law, a Muslim man is permitted up to four wives under the rules for nikah
Nikah
Marriage in Islam is an Islamic prenuptial contract between a man and woman to live as husband and wife. It is a formal, binding contract considered integral to a religiously valid Islamic marriage, and outlines the rights and responsibilities of the groom and bride involved in marriage proceedings...

. All wives are entitled to separate living quarters at the behest of the husband and if possible. All should receive equal attention, support, treatment and inheritance. In modern practice, it is uncommon for a Muslim man to have more than one wife; if he does so, it is often due to the infertility of his first wife. The practice of polygamy has been regulated or abolished in some Muslim states.

Historically, Muslim rulers have often remarried the wives of their conquered opponents in order to gain ties of kinship with their new subjects. In these cases, the wives of leaders have sometimes numbered in the tens or even hundreds. In Ottoman Turkey, the practice also filtered down to the aristocracy. This became the basis for the Western image of a powerful, wealthy Muslim with a vast harem
Harem
Harem refers to the sphere of women in what is usually a polygynous household and their enclosed quarters which are forbidden to men...

.

Divorce


The laws governing divorce vary substantially between sects, schools, states and cultures. The following outline is general in nature.

A marriage can be terminated by the husband in the talaq
Talaq (Nikah)
In Islam there are separate rules for divorce for men and women under the terms of Islamic law . When a man has initiated a divorce the procedure is called . When a woman has initiated a divorce it is called khula ....

process, or by the wife seeking divorce through khul'. Under faskh a marriage may be annulled or terminated by the qadi judge.

Men have the right of unilateral divorce under classical sharia. A Sunni Muslim divorce is effective when the man tells his wife that he is divorcing her, however a Shia divorce also requires four witnesses. Upon divorce, the husband must pay the wife any delayed component of the dower. If a man divorces his wife in this manner three times, he may not re-marry her unless she first marries, and is subsequently divorced from, another man. Only then, and only if the divorce from the second husband is not intended as a means to re-marry her first husband, may the first husband and the woman re-marry.

In practice, unilateral divorce is only common in a few areas of the Islamic world. It is much more common for divorces to be accomplished by mutual consent.

If the wife asks for a divorce and the husband refuses, the wife has a right, under classical sharia, to divorce by khul'. Although this right is not recognized everywhere in Islam, it is becoming more common. In this scenario, the qadi judge will effect the divorce for the wife, and she may be required to return part, or all, of her dowry.

Under faskh, a qadi judge can end or annul a marriage. Apostasy
Apostasy
Apostasy , 'a defection or revolt', from ἀπό, apo, 'away, apart', στάσις, stasis, 'stand, 'standing') is the formal disaffiliation from or abandonment or renunciation of a religion by a person. One who commits apostasy is known as an apostate. These terms have a pejorative implication in everyday...

, on the part of the husband or wife, ends a Muslim marriage in this way. Hardship or suffering on the part of the wife in a marriage may also be remedied in this way. This procedure is also used to annul a marriage in which one of the parties has a serious disability.

Except in the case of a khul' divorce initiated by a woman, the divorced wife generally keeps her dowry
Dowry
A dowry is the money, goods, or estate that a woman brings forth to the marriage. It contrasts with bride price, which is paid to the bride's parents, and dower, which is property settled on the bride herself by the groom at the time of marriage. The same culture may simultaneously practice both...

 from when she was married. A divorced woman is given child support
Child support
In family law and public policy, child support is an ongoing, periodic payment made by a parent for the financial benefit of a child following the end of a marriage or other relationship...

 until the age of weaning. The mother is usually granted custody of the child. If the couple has divorced fewer than three times (meaning it is not a final divorce) the wife also receives spousal support
Alimony
Alimony is a U.S. term denoting a legal obligation to provide financial support to one's spouse from the other spouse after marital separation or from the ex-spouse upon divorce...

 for three menstrual cycles after the divorce, until it can be determined whether she is pregnant. Even in a threefold divorce, a pregnant wife will be supported during the waiting period, and the child will be supported afterwards.
Child custody

In a divorce, the child will stay with its mother until it is weaned, or until the age of discernment
Sin at-tamyiz
Sin at-tamyiz refers to the age at which a child is able to care for him or herself, no longer requiring adult assistance to eat, dress, or clean themselves. Although it is generally seen as varying individually, Abu Hanifah, founder of the Hanafi school of Islamic jurisprudence, states that it...

, when the child may choose whom it lives with. The age of discernment is seven or eight years.

Justice


The concept of justice embodied in sharia is different from that of secular Western law. Muslims believe the sharia law has been revealed by God. In Islam, the laws that govern human affairs are just one facet of a universal set of laws governing nature itself. Violations of Islamic law are offenses against God and nature, including one's own human nature. Crime in Islam is sin. Whatever crime is committed, whatever punishment is prescribed for that crime in this world, one must ultimately answer to God on the Day of Judgement.
Legal and court proceedings

Sharia judicial proceedings have significant differences with other legal traditions, including those in both common law
Common law
Common law is law developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive branch action...

 and civil law
Civil law (legal system)
Civil law is a legal system inspired by Roman law and whose primary feature is that laws are codified into collections, as compared to common law systems that gives great precedential weight to common law on the principle that it is unfair to treat similar facts differently on different...

. Sharia courts traditionally do not rely on lawyers; plaintiffs and defendants represent themselves. Trials are conducted solely by the judge, and there is no jury system (as is found in civil law in countries such as Russia and France). There is no pre-trial discovery
Discovery (law)
In U.S.law, discovery is the pre-trial phase in a lawsuit in which each party, through the law of civil procedure, can obtain evidence from the opposing party by means of discovery devices including requests for answers to interrogatories, requests for production of documents, requests for...

 process, and no cross-examination
Cross-examination
In law, cross-examination is the interrogation of a witness called by one's opponent. It is preceded by direct examination and may be followed by a redirect .- Variations by Jurisdiction :In...

 of witnesses. Unlike common law, judges' verdicts do not set binding precedents under the principle of stare decisis
Stare decisis
Stare decisis is a legal principle by which judges are obliged to respect the precedents established by prior decisions...

, and unlike civil law, sharia does not utilize formally codified statutes (these were first introduced only in the late 19th century during the decline of the Ottoman Empire, cf. mecelle
Mecelle
The Mecelle code was the civil code of the Ottoman Empire in the late 19th and early 20th centuries...

). Instead of precedents and codes, sharia relies on jurists' manuals and collections of non-binding legal opinions, or hadith
Hadith
The term Hadīth is used to denote a saying or an act or tacit approval or criticism ascribed either validly or invalidly to the Islamic prophet Muhammad....

, (ulama
Ulama
-In Islam:* Ulema, also transliterated "ulama", a community of legal scholars of Islam and its laws . See:**Nahdlatul Ulama **Darul-uloom Nadwatul Ulama **Jamiatul Ulama Transvaal**Jamiat ul-Ulama -Other:...

, particularly a mufti
Mufti
A mufti is a Sunni Islamic scholar who is an interpreter or expounder of Islamic law . In religious administrative terms, a mufti is roughly equivalent to a deacon to a Sunni population...

); these can be made binding for a particular case at the discretion of a judge.

There are three categories of crimes in sharia law, qisas
Qisas
Qisas is an Islamic term meaning "retaliation," and follows the principle of an eye for an eye, or lex talionis, first set forth by Hammurabi, and subsequently included in the Old Testament and later legal codes...

, hudud
Hudud
Hudud is the word often used in Islamic literature for the bounds of acceptable behaviour and the punishments for serious crimes...

, and tazir
Tazir
In Islamic Law, tazir refers to punishment, usually corporal, that can be administered at the discretion of the judge, called a Qadi, Kadi, as opposed to the hudud...

. Qisas involves personal injury and has several categories: intentional murder (first-degree), quasi-intentional murder (second-degree), unintentional murder (manslaughter), intentional battery, and unintentional battery. A qisas offense is treated as a civil case rather than an actual criminal case. If the accused party is found guilty, the victim (or in death, victim's family) determines the punishment, choosing either retribution (qesas-e-nafs), which means execution in the case of intentional murder, imprisonment, and in some cases of intentional battery, the amputation of the limb that was lost; or compensation (diyya
Diyya
Diyya is compensation paid to the heirs of a victim. In Arabic, the word means both blood money and ransom.-Islamic and Arab tradition:The Qur'an specifies the principle of Qisas Diyya (plural: Diyyat; ) is compensation paid to the heirs of a victim. In Arabic, the word means both blood money and...

) for the loss of life/limb/injury. The sharia judge (or, in modern sharia systems like those of Iran or Iraq, the state) can convict for and legally punish only qesas crimes on his own authority. However, the state itself may prosecute for crimes committed alongside the qisas offense. If the victim's family pardons the criminal, in addition to the sharia punishment he would normally receive a tazir prison sentence (such as ten to twenty years in prison) for crimes such as "intentional loss of life", "tazir assault and battery" "disturbance of the peace", and so forth.

The second category of crimes is hudud (or hadd). Hudud crimes are crimes whose penalties were laid down by the Quran, and are considered to be "claims against God". The hudud crimes are:
  • adultery (zina), which includes adultery, fornication, incest/pedophilia, rape, and pimping
  • apostasy/blasphemy
  • defamation (meaning false accusation of any of these things)
  • sodomy/lesbianism (or sodomy rape)

  • theft
  • use of intoxicants (alcohol/drug use)
  • "waging war against God and society" (hirabah
    Hirabah
    Hirābah is an Arabic word for “piracy”, or “unlawful warfare”. Hirabah comes from the root hariba, which means “to become angry and enraged”. The noun harb Hirābah is an Arabic word for “piracy”, or “unlawful warfare”. Hirabah comes from the root hariba, which means “to become angry and...

    , uniquely known as moharebeh
    Moharebeh
    Moharebeh is the title of a crime in Islamic law. Mohareb refers to the perpetrator of the crime. Moharebeh has been translated in English language media sources variously as "waging war against God," "war against God and the state," "enmity against God." Mohareb has been translated by English...

    /mofsed-e-filarz
    Mofsed-e-filarz
    Mofsed-e-filarz is the title of capital crime in the Islamic Republic of Iran, that has been translated in English language sources variously as "spreading corruption on earth", "spreading corruption that threatens social and political well-being", "corrupt of the earth; one who is...

    in Iran: armed robbery, terrorism, armed violence)

Hudud penalties for these cases are not punishments tailored to the offense, but are intended to be deterrents, setting an example for the general public and prosecuting the most flagrant violations. The process is extremely exacting: at least two witnesses are required to corroborate the evidence, with four witnesses required in the case of sex crimes, so that in most such cases the most severe penalties are difficult, if not impossible, to impose. Circumstantial evidence is not allowed to be part of the testimony. When the severest penalties are imposed, the case is usually so obvious, obscene or flagrant that conviction is virtually inevitable.

Very often, Westerners mistake hudud punishment for the punishment regularly given under sharia law, but that is inaccurate; hudud punishments are only meant as a deterrent for rare cases. Most punishments are given under tazir rules.

As a result most countries do not prosecute hudud offenses (the exceptions being Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan under the Taliban, which regularly managed to prosecute offenses in the hudud manner) Almost all other countries, such as Iran, would usually punish the same offense as a tazir crime.

The third category of crimes is tazir. It covers all other offenses not mentioned already. It is a "claim of the state" and it receives a discretionary sentence. The punishment may not be more severe than the punishment of a hudud crime. It can range, depending on the crime or circumstances, from death to imprisonment to even community service. Circumstantial evidence is allowed, and most countries prosecute their crimes as tazir crimes, due to the flexibility of the evidence-gathering and sentencing. The punishment is meant to fit the crime. For example, a rapist may not be able to be prosecuted for zina, but would still be convicted of tazir rape, or in theft, they would be found guilty of tazir theft and given prison time rather than amputation. A murderer would still spend time in prison if he had received the forgiveness of the family. The heavy hudud penalties of amputation and stoning are not applied (although some countries do use corporal punishment). Most modern countries such as Iran have a fixed penal code that regulate what sentences should be given depending on the crime and circumstances of the case.

The rules of evidence
Rules of evidence
Rules of evidence govern whether, when, how, and for what purpose, proof of a legal case may be placed before a trier of fact for consideration....

 in sharia courts also maintain a distinctive custom of prioritizing oral testimony.
A confession, an oath, or the oral testimony of a witness are the main evidence admissible in a hudud case, written evidence is only admissible when deemed reliable by the judge, i.e., notaries. Testimony must be from at least two witnesses, and preferably free Muslim male witnesses, who are not related parties and who are of sound mind and reliable character; testimony to establish the crime of adultery, or zina must be from four direct witnesses. Forensic evidence
Forensic identification
Forensic identification is the application of forensic science, or "forensics", and technology to identify specific objects from the trace evidence they leave, often at a crime scene or the scene of an accident. Forensic means "for the courts"....

 (i.e., fingerprints, ballistics, blood samples, DNA etc.) and other circumstantial evidence
Circumstantial evidence
Circumstantial evidence is evidence in which an inference is required to connect it to a conclusion of fact, like a fingerprint at the scene of a crime...

 is likewise rejected in hudud
Hudud
Hudud is the word often used in Islamic literature for the bounds of acceptable behaviour and the punishments for serious crimes...

 cases in favor of eyewitnesses, a practice which can cause severe difficulties for women plaintiffs in rape cases. Testimony from women is given only half the weight of men, and testimony from non-Muslims may be excluded altogether (if against a Muslim). Non-Muslim minorities, however, could and did use sharia courts, even amongst themselves.

Sharia's rules on written evidence necessarily diminish the utility of written contracts to structure economic relations, and Timur Kuran
Timur Kuran
Timur Kuran is a Turkish economist, Professor of Economics and Political Science, and Gorter Family Professor in Islamic Studies at Duke University...

 has noted the predominance of a "largely oral contracting culture" in pre-modern Islamic society.

In lieu of written evidence, oaths are accorded much greater weight; rather than being used simply to guarantee the truth of ensuing testimony, they are themselves used as evidence. Plaintiffs lacking other evidence to support their claims may demand that defendants take an oath swearing their innocence, refusal thereof can result in a verdict for the plaintiff. Taking an oath for Muslims can be a grave act; one study of courts in Morocco found that lying litigants would often "maintain their testimony 'right up to the moment of oath-taking and then to stop, refuse the oath, and surrender the case." Accordingly, defendants are not routinely required to swear before testifying, which would risk casually profaning the Quran should the defendant commit perjury; instead oaths are a solemn procedure performed as a final part of the evidence process.

In some countries, sharia courts, with their tradition of pro se representation, simple rules of evidence, and absence of appeals courts, prosecutors, cross examination, complex documentary evidence and discovery proceedings, juries and voir dire
Voir dire
Voir dire is a phrase in law which comes from the Anglo-Norman language. In origin it refers to an oath to tell the truth , i.e., to say what is true, what is objectively accurate or subjectively honest, or both....

proceedings, circumstantial evidence, forensics, case law, standardized codes, exclusionary rules, and most of the other infrastructure of civil and common law court systems, have as a result, comparatively informal and streamlined proceedings. This can provide significant increases in speed and efficiency, and can be an advantage in jurisdictions where the general court system is slow or corrupt, and where few litigants can afford lawyers. In Nigeria, where imposition of sharia was highly controversial, even Nigeria's justice minister was compelled to admit that in sharia courts, "if a man owes you money, you can get paid in the evening. Whereas in the regular courts, you can sit in court for ten years and get no justice." Other systems, such as those of Iran, Iraq, and Pakistan, use a civil sharia code similar to western countries, and do have defense attorneys, prosecutors, and appeals courts. They also have a supreme court, and a definite civil law style penal code, but are still heavily based on the informality and simplicity of a "pure" sharia court, and trials often still take a matter of hours or sometimes days.
Penalties

The punishment depends on whether the criminal was convicted of qesas, hudud or tazir.

In a tazir crime, the penalty would be usually a prison sentence, corporal punishment in some countries, or a execution in a more serious case (such as a case that was not prosecuted as hudud, like rape/drug trafficking). Since hudud crimes are extremely hard to punish, this is the usual route that would be taken. Stoning and amputation would certainly not be carried out in a tazir sentence, and the punishment would not be fixed, but discretionary. Most countries have a civil code that regulates the penalties that should be received in a tazir crime, such as a death sentence in the case of drug trafficking, aggravated rape, or prison time in the case of other offenses.

In the rarest of rare case (more common in Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan ) when a person is convicted of a hudud crime, the punishment is much harsher.

In accordance with the Quran and several hadith, theft is punished by imprisonment or amputation of hands. Several requirements are in place for the amputation of hands, they are:
  • There must have been criminal intent to take private (not common) property.
  • The theft must not have been the product of hunger, necessity, or duress.
  • The goods stolen must: be over a minimum value, not haraam, and not owned by the thief's family.
  • Goods must have been taken from custody (i.e., not in a public place).
  • There must be reliable witnesses.


All of these must be met under the scrutiny of judicial authority.

In accordance with hadith, stoning to death is the penalty for married men and women who commit adultery. In addition, there are several conditions related to the person who commits it that must be met. One of the difficult ones is that the punishment cannot be enforced unless there is a confession of the person, or four male eyewitnesses who each saw the act being committed. All of these must be met under the scrutiny of judicial authority For unmarried men and women, the punishment prescribed in the Quran and hadith is 100 lashes.

The "four witness" standard comes from the Quran itself, a revelation Muhammad announced in response to accusations of adultery leveled at his wife, Aisha
Aisha
Aisha bint Abu Bakr also transcribed as was Muhammad's favorite wife...

: "Why did they not produce four witnesses? Since they produce not witnesses, they verily are liars in the sight of Allah
Allah
Allah is a word for God used in the context of Islam. In Arabic, the word means simply "God". It is used primarily by Muslims and Bahá'ís, and often, albeit not exclusively, used by Arabic-speaking Eastern Catholic Christians, Maltese Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Mizrahi Jews and...

."

Punishments are authorized by other passages in the Quran and hadiths for certain crimes (e.g., extramarital sex, adultery), and are employed by some as rationale for extra-legal punitive action while others disagree:
Leaving Islam/Apostasy


In most interpretations of sharia, conversion by Muslims to other religions or becoming non-religious, is strictly forbidden and is termed apostasy
Apostasy
Apostasy , 'a defection or revolt', from ἀπό, apo, 'away, apart', στάσις, stasis, 'stand, 'standing') is the formal disaffiliation from or abandonment or renunciation of a religion by a person. One who commits apostasy is known as an apostate. These terms have a pejorative implication in everyday...

. Non-Muslims, however, are allowed to convert into Islam. Muslim theology equates apostasy to treason, and in most interpretations of sharia, the penalty for apostasy is death. During the time of Muhammad, treason and apostasy were considered one and the same; nowadays, many scholars differentiate between treason and apostasy, believing that the punishment for apostasy is not death, while the punishment for treason is death.

The accusation of apostasy may be used against non-conventional interpretations of the Quran. The severe persecution of the famous expert in Arabic literature, Nasr Abu Zayd
Nasr Abu Zayd
Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd was an Egyptian Qur'anic thinker and one of the leading liberal theologians in Islam. He is famous for his project of a humanistic Qur'anic hermeneutics.- Biography :...

, is an example of this. Similar accusations and persecutions were famously leveled against the author Salman Rushdie.

Dietary



Islamic law does not present a comprehensive list of pure foods and drinks. However, it prohibits:
  • Swine
    Pig
    A pig is any of the animals in the genus Sus, within the Suidae family of even-toed ungulates. Pigs include the domestic pig, its ancestor the wild boar, and several other wild relatives...

    , blood
    Blood
    Blood is a specialized bodily fluid in animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells....

    , the meat of dead animals and animals slaughtered in the name of someone other than God.
  • Slaughtering an animal in any other way except the prescribed manner of tazkiyah (cleansing) by taking God's name, which involves cutting the throat of the animal and draining the blood. Slaughtering with a blunt blade or physically ripping out the esophagus is strictly forbidden. Modern methods of slaughter like the captive bolt
    Captive bolt pistol
    A captive bolt pistol is a device used for stunning animals prior to slaughter....

     stunning
    Stunning
    Stunning is the process of rendering animals immobile or unconscious, without killing the animal, prior to their being slaughtered for food.-History:...

     and electrocuting are also prohibited.
  • Intoxicants
    Psychoactive drug
    A psychoactive drug, psychopharmaceutical, or psychotropic is a chemical substance that crosses the blood–brain barrier and acts primarily upon the central nervous system where it affects brain function, resulting in changes in perception, mood, consciousness, cognition, and behavior...



The prohibition of dead meat is not applicable to fish
Fish
Fish are a paraphyletic group of organisms that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic vertebrate animals that lack limbs with digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish, as well as various extinct related groups...

 and locust
Locust
Locusts are the swarming phase of short-horned grasshoppers of the family Acrididae. These are species that can breed rapidly under suitable conditions and subsequently become gregarious and migratory...

s. Also hadith literature prohibits beasts having sharp canine teeth, birds having claws and talons in their feet, Jallalah (animals whose meat carries a stink in it because they feed on filth), tamed donkeys, and any piece cut from a living animal.

Liquor and gambling


Liquor and gambling are expressly prohibited in the Quran, and sharia law.

Muhammad is reported to have said: "He who plays with dice is like the one who handles the flesh and blood of swine."

Abd-Allah ibn Amr reported that Muhammad prohibited all games of chance and card playing that caused financial gain or loss.

Customs and behaviour



Practitioners of Islam are generally taught to follow some specific customs in their daily lives. Most of these customs can be traced back to Abraham
Abraham
Abraham , whose birth name was Abram, is the eponym of the Abrahamic religions, among which are Judaism, Christianity and Islam...

ic traditions in Pre-Islamic Arabia
Pre-Islamic Arabia
Pre-Islamic Arabia refers to the Arabic civilization which existed in the Arabian Plate before the rise of Islam in the 630s. The study of Pre-Islamic Arabia is important to Islamic studies as it provides the context for the development of Islam.-Studies:...

n society. 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
    Basmala
    Basmala or Bismillah is an Arabic noun used as a collective name for the whole of the recurring Islamic phrase b-ismi-llāhi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīmi, It is sometimes translated as "In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful"...

    " (in the name of God) before eating and drinking.
  • Using the right hand for drinking and eating.
  • Saying "As-Salaam Alaikum" (peace be upon you) when meeting someone and answering with "Wa 'alaikumus salam" (and peace be upon you).
  • Saying "Alhamdulillah
    Alhamdulillah
    Alhamdulillah or is an Arabic phrase meaning "Praise to God" or "All praise is due to Allah," similar to the Hebrew phrase Halelu Yah...

    " (all gratitude is for only God) when sneezing and responding with "Yarhamukallah" (God have mercy on you).
  • Saying the "Adhan
    Adhan
    The adhān is the Islamic call to prayer, recited by the muezzin at prescribed times of the day. The root of the word is meaning "to permit"; another derivative of this word is , meaning "ear"....

    " (prayer call) in the right ear of a newborn and the Iqama
    Iqama
    The word iqamah or ikamet refers to the second call to Islamic Prayer, given immediately before the prayer begins. Generally speaking, the iqamah is given more quickly and in a more monotone fashion, as compared to the adhan, as it is addressed to those already in the mosque rather than a...

     in its left.
  • In the sphere of hygiene
    Hygiene
    Hygiene refers to the set of practices perceived by a community to be associated with the preservation of health and healthy living. While in modern medical sciences there is a set of standards of hygiene recommended for different situations, what is considered hygienic or not can vary between...

    , it includes:
    • Clipping the moustache
    • Cutting nails
    • Circumcising the male offspring
    • Cleaning the nostrils, the mouth, and the teeth and
    • Cleaning the body after urination and defecation
  • Abstention from sexual relations during the menstrual cycle
    Menstrual cycle
    The menstrual cycle is the scientific term for the physiological changes that can occur in fertile women for the purpose of sexual reproduction. This article focuses on the human menstrual cycle....

     and the puerperal discharge, and ceremonial bath after the menstrual cycle, and Janabah (seminal
    Semen
    Semen is an organic fluid, also known as seminal fluid, that may contain spermatozoa. It is secreted by the gonads and other sexual organs of male or hermaphroditic animals and can fertilize female ova...

    /ovular
    Ovule
    Ovule means "small egg". In seed plants, the ovule is the structure that gives rise to and contains the female reproductive cells. It consists of three parts: The integument forming its outer layer, the nucellus , and the megaspore-derived female gametophyte in its center...

     discharge or sexual intercourse).
  • Burial rituals include funeral prayer of bathed and enshrouded body in coffin cloth and burying it in a grave.

Rituals


There are two festivals that are considered Sunnah.
  • Eid ul-Fitr
    Eid ul-Fitr
    Eid ul-Fitr, Eid al-Fitr, Id-ul-Fitr, or Id al-Fitr , often abbreviated to Eid, is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting . Eid is an Arabic word meaning "festivity," while Fiṭr means "breaking the fast"...

  • Eid al-Adha


Rituals associated with these festivals:
  • Sadaqah
    Sadaqah
    or Saddka is an Islamic term that means "voluntary charity".This concept encompasses any act of giving out of compassion, love, friendship or generosity.-Hadith on Sadaqah/Saddka:...

     (charity) before Eid ul-Fitr prayer.
  • The Prayer
    Prayer
    Prayer is a form of religious practice that seeks to activate a volitional rapport to a deity through deliberate practice. Prayer may be either individual or communal and take place in public or in private. It may involve the use of words or song. When language is used, prayer may take the form of...

     and the Sermon
    Sermon
    A sermon is an oration by a prophet or member of the clergy. Sermons address a Biblical, theological, religious, or moral topic, usually expounding on a type of belief, law or behavior within both past and present contexts...

     on Eid day.
  • Takbir
    Takbir
    The Takbīr or Tekbir is the Arabic term for the phrase ' . It is usually translated "God is [the] Greatest," or "God is Great". It is a common Islamic Arabic expression...

    s (glorifying God) after every prayer in the days of Tashriq. (Normally these days are considered to be the ones in which pilgrim
    Pilgrim
    A pilgrim is a traveler who is on a journey to a holy place. Typically, this is a physical journeying to some place of special significance to the adherent of a particular religious belief system...

    s stay at Mina
    Mina, Saudi Arabia
    Mina is a location situated some 5 kilometres to the east of the Islamic holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. It stands on the road from Mecca's city centre to the Hill of Arafat....

     once they return from Muzdalifah
    Muzdalifah
    Muzdalifah is an open, level area near Mecca in Saudi Arabia associated with the Hajj. It lies just southeast of Mina on the route between Mina and Arafat. Each year on the 9th day of the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah, after an afternoon of prayer at Arafat , Muslim pilgrims visit Muzdalifah in...

     i.e., the 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th of Dhu al-Hijjah
    Dhu al-Hijjah
    Dhu al-Ḥijjah is the twelfth and final month in the Islamic calendar.This is a very sacred month in the Islamic calendar, marking the end of the year. It is in this month in which the Hajj takes place....

    .)
  • Sacrifice of unflawed, four legged grazing animal of appropriate age after the prayer of Eid al-Adha in the days of Tashriq.

Dress codes


The Quran also places a dress code upon its followers. The rule for men has been ordained before the women: Allah then says in the Quran, All those men in whose presence a woman is not obliged to practise the dress code are known as her mahram
Mahram
In Islamic sharia legal terminology, a mahram is an unmarriageable kin with whom sexual intercourse would be considered incestuous, a punishable taboo...

s
. Men have a more relaxed dress code: the body must be covered from knee to waist. However, under sharia law, women are required to cover all of their bodies except hands and face.Covering the face is the subject of some divergence of opinion amongst the scholars – some consider it to be compulsory since the face is the major source of attraction, whilst others consider it to be highly recommended. The rationale given for these rules is that men and women are not to be viewed as sexual objects
Sexual objectification
Sexual objectification refers to the practice of regarding or treating another person merely as an instrument towards one's sexual pleasure, and a sex object is a person who is regarded simply as an object of sexual gratification or who is sexually attractive...

. 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).

There are many different opinions, however, as to whether the veil or headscarf
Headscarf
Headscarves or head scarves are scarves covering most or all of the top of a woman's hair and her head. Headscarves may be worn for a variety of purposes, such as for warmth, for sanitation, for fashion or social distinction; with religious significance, to hide baldness, out of modesty, or other...

 is a real Quranic obligation. Some scholars such as Yusuf al-Qaradawi
Yusuf al-Qaradawi
Yusuf al-Qaradawi is a controversial Egyptian Islamic theologian. He is best known for his programme, ash-Shariah wal-Hayat , broadcast on Al Jazeera, which has an estimated audience of 60 million worldwide...

 claim it is, while others, such as Mohammed Arkoun
Mohammed Arkoun
Professor Mohammed Arkoun was considered at the time of his death to have been one of the most influential scholars in Islamic studies contributing to contemporary islamic reform...

, Soheib Bencheikh
Soheib Bencheikh
Soheib Bencheikh is an Islamic religious leader and author and would-be French politician.Bencheikh graduated in Islamic theology at Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt, and at the Free University of Brussels, Belgium. He holds a doctorate in Religious Sciences from the Ecole Pratique des Hautes...

, Abdoldjavad Falaturi
Abdoldjavad Falaturi
Abdoldjavad Falaturi was a German scholar of Iranian origin.He studied Islam in Iran, up to the highest possible level, before going to Germany where he studied philosophy He has also written several other official publications for education in Germany on Islamic theology Abdoldjavad Falaturi...

, Gamal al-Banna
Gamal al-Banna
Gamal al-Banna is an Egyptian Islamic scholar, author, and trade unionist. He is the youngest brother of Hassan al-Banna , the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood...

 claim it is not. However, the first group appears dominant: "Jamal al Banna has been for a number of years one of the few mainstream Muslim scholars to argue that the Muslim headscarf, or hijab, is not an Islamic obligation."

Historical developments and contemporary issues



During the 19th century, the history of Islamic law took a sharp turn due to new challenges the Muslim world
Muslim world
The term Muslim world has several meanings. In a religious sense, it refers to those who adhere to the teachings of Islam, referred to as Muslims. In a cultural sense, it refers to Islamic civilization, inclusive of non-Muslims living in that civilization...

 faced: the West had risen to a global power and colonized a large part of the world, including Muslim territories. In the Western world, 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
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 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, Nenezich 2006).
  • Secularists believe that the law of the state should be based on secular principles, not on Islamic legal doctrines.
  • Traditionalists believe that the law of the state should be based on the traditional legal schools. However, traditional legal views are considered unacceptable by some modern Muslims, especially in areas like women's rights or slavery.
  • Reformers believe that new Islamic legal theories can produce modernized Islamic law and lead to acceptable opinions in areas such as women's rights. However, traditionalists believe that any departure from the legal teachings of the Quran as explained by the Prophet Muhammad and put into practice by him is an alien concept that cannot properly be attributed to "Islam".

Contemporary practice


There is tremendous variety in the interpretation and implementation of Islamic law in Muslim societies today. Liberal movements within Islam
Liberal movements within Islam
Progressive Muslims have produced a considerable body of liberal thought within Islam or "progressive Islam" ; but some consider progressive Islam and liberal Islam as two distinct movements)...

 have questioned the relevance and applicability of sharia from a variety of perspectives; Islamic feminism
Islamic feminism
Islamic feminism is a form of feminism concerned with the role of women in Islam. It aims for the full equality of all Muslims, regardless of gender, in public and private life. Islamic feminists advocate women's rights, gender equality, and social justice grounded in an Islamic framework...

 brings multiple points of view to the discussion. Some of the largest Muslim countries, including Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

 and Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, have largely secular constitutions and laws, with only a few Islamic law provisions in family law. Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 has a constitution that is officially strongly secular. India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 and the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 are the only countries in the world that have separate Muslim civil laws, wholly based on sharia. In India, Muslim civil laws are framed by the Muslim Personal Law board
All India Muslim Personal Law Board
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board is an organization constituted in 1973 to adopt suitable strategies for the protection and continued applicability of Muslim Personal Law in India, most importantly, the The Muslim Personal Law Application Act of 1937, providing for the application of the...

 while, in the Philippines, it is framed by the Code of Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 Personal Laws
. However, the criminal laws in both the countries are uniform.

In September 2008, newspapers in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 stated the government had "quietly sanctioned" the recognition of sharia courts. This refers to situations where both sides in a legal dispute freely choose a sharia court as a binding arbitrator rather than taking a matter before the official courts. The decision did not break new ground: the decisions of similar Jewish beth din
Beth din
A beth din, bet din, beit din or beis din is a rabbinical court of Judaism. In ancient times, it was the building block of the legal system in the Biblical Land of Israel...

 court arbitrations have been recognized in England for over 100 years. Neither party can be forced into arbitration by a sharia or a Jewish court.

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
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 and Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 maintain religious courts for all aspects of jurisprudence, and the Mutaween
Mutaween
The word mutaween most literally means "volunteers" in the Arabic language, and is commonly used as a casual term for the government-authorized or government-recognized religious police of Saudi Arabia....

 (religious police) assert social compliance, while Somaliland
Somaliland
Somaliland is an unrecognised self-declared sovereign state that is internationally recognised as an autonomous region of Somalia. The government of Somaliland regards itself as the successor state to the British Somaliland protectorate, which was independent for a few days in 1960 as the State of...

, and Maldives
Maldives
The Maldives , , officially Republic of Maldives , also referred to as the Maldive Islands, is an island nation in the Indian Ocean formed by a double chain of twenty-six atolls oriented north-south off India's Lakshadweep islands, between Minicoy Island and...

 adopted sharia in legal aspects but with a western style of judiciary system (Common law or civil law). Laws derived from sharia are also applied in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

 and Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

. Sharia law is officially recognised by the justice system in Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 in matters of personal status of Muslims if they choose a sharia court, e.g., marriage, divorce, guardianship.) Judges' salaries are paid by the state. Lebanon also incorporates sharia law for Muslims in family matters. Some states in northern Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

 have reintroduced sharia courts
Sharia in Nigeria
In Nigeria, Sharia has been instituted as a main body of civil and criminal law in 9 Muslim-majority and in some parts of 3 Muslim-plurality states since 1999, when then-Zamfara State governor Ahmad Rufai Sani began the push for the institution of Sharia at the state level of government.-States:As...

. In practice the new sharia courts in Nigeria have most often meant the reintroduction of harsh punishments without respecting the much tougher rules of evidence and testimony. The punishments include amputation
Amputation
Amputation is the removal of a body extremity by trauma, prolonged constriction, or surgery. As a surgical measure, it is used to control pain or a disease process in the affected limb, such as malignancy or gangrene. In some cases, it is carried out on individuals as a preventative surgery for...

 of one/both hands for theft and stoning
Stoning
Stoning, or lapidation, is a form of capital punishment whereby a group throws stones at a person until the person dies. No individual among the group can be identified as the one who kills the subject, yet everyone involved plainly bears some degree of moral culpability. This is in contrast to the...

 for adultery
Adultery
Adultery is sexual infidelity to one's spouse, and is a form of extramarital sex. It originally referred only to sex between a woman who was married and a person other than her spouse. Even in cases of separation from one's spouse, an extramarital affair is still considered adultery.Adultery is...

.

Many, including the European Court of Human Rights
European Court of Human Rights
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg is a supra-national court established by the European Convention on Human Rights and hears complaints that a contracting state has violated the human rights enshrined in the Convention and its protocols. Complaints can be brought by individuals or...

, consider the punishments prescribed by sharia in some countries to be 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 crimes of adultery, blasphemy, apostasy and homosexuality, amputations for the crime of theft, and flogging
Flagellation
Flagellation or flogging is the act of methodically beating or whipping the human body. Specialised implements for it include rods, switches, the cat o' nine tails and the sjambok...

 for fornication
Fornication
Fornication typically refers to consensual sexual intercourse between two people not married to each other. For many people, the term carries a moral or religious association, but the significance of sexual acts to which the term is applied varies between religions, societies and cultures. The...

 or public intoxication.

A bill
Bill (proposed law)
A bill is a proposed law under consideration by a legislature. A bill does not become law until it is passed by the legislature and, in most cases, approved by the executive. Once a bill has been enacted into law, it is called an act or a statute....

 proposed by lawmakers in the Indonesian province of Aceh
Aceh
Aceh is a special region of Indonesia, located on the northern tip of the island of Sumatra. Its full name is Daerah Istimewa Aceh , Nanggroë Aceh Darussalam and Aceh . Past spellings of its name include Acheh, Atjeh and Achin...

 would implement sharia law for all non-Muslims, the armed forces and law enforcement officers, a local police official has announced. The news comes two months after the Deutsche Presse-Agentur
Deutsche Presse-Agentur
Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH is a news agency founded in 1949 in Germany. Based in Hamburg, it has grown to be a major worldwide operation serving print media, radio, television, online, mobile phones, and national news agencies. News is available in German, English, Spanish, and Arabic.The DPA...

 warned of "Taliban-style Islamic police terrorizing Indonesia's Aceh".

Democracy



Sharia law involves elements of a democratic system, namely electoral procedure, though syntax as to what a "democracy" constitutes leaves this in question. Legal scholar L. Ali Khan argues 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".

However, European and American courts have generally ruled against the implementation of Sharia law, both in jurisprudence and within a community context, based of Sharia's religious background. Whereas groups within a number of nations are actively seeking to implement Sharia law, in 1998 the Constitutional Court of Turkey banned and dissolved Turkey's Refah Party
Welfare Party
The Welfare Party was an Islamist political party in Turkey. It was founded by Ali Türkmen, Ahmet Tekdal and Necmettin Erbakan in Ankara in 1983 as heir to two earlier parties, Milli Nizam Partisi and Milli Selamet Partisi , which were banned from politics...

 on the grounds that "Democracy is the antithesis of Sharia", which latter of which Refah sought to introduce.

On appeal by Refah the European Court of Human Rights determined that "sharia is incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy". 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
European Convention on Human Rights
The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms is an international treaty to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms in Europe. Drafted in 1950 by the then newly formed Council of Europe, the convention entered into force on 3 September 1953...

. 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".
Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam

Several major, predominantly Muslim countries criticized the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly . The Declaration arose directly from the experience of the Second World War and represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled...

 (UDHR) for its perceived failure to take into account the cultural and religious context of non-Western
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

 countries. Iran claimed that the UDHR was "a secular
Secularism
Secularism is the principle of separation between government institutions and the persons mandated to represent the State from religious institutions and religious dignitaries...

 understanding of the Judeo-Christian
Judeo-Christian
Judeo-Christian is a term used in the United States since the 1940s to refer to standards of ethics said to be held in common by Judaism and Christianity, for example the Ten Commandments...

 tradition", which could not be implemented by Muslims without trespassing the Islamic law. Therefore in 1990 the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, a group representing all Muslim majority nations, adopted the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam
Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam
The Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam is a declaration of the member states of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference adopted in Cairo in 1990, which provides an overview on the Islamic perspective on human rights, and affirms Islamic Shari'ah as its sole source...

.

Ann Elizabeth Mayer
Ann Elizabeth Mayer
Ann Elizabeth Mayer is an Associate Professor of Legal Studies in the Department of Legal Studies and Business Ethics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.- Biography :...

 points to notable absences from the Cairo Declaration: provisions for democratic principles, protection for religious freedom, freedom of association and freedom of the press, as well as equality in rights and equal protection under the law. Article 24 of the Cairo declaration states that "all the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic shari'a".

Professor H. Patrick Glenn
H. Patrick Glenn
H. Patrick Glenn is the Peter M. Laing Chair of the Faculty of Law at McGill University. He specializes in comparative law, private international law, and civil procedure...

 asserts that the European concept of human rights developed in reaction to an entrenched hierarchy of class and privilege contrary to, and rejected by, Islam. As implemented in sharia law, protection for the individual is defined in terms of mutual obligation rather than human rights. The concept of human rights, as applied in the European framework, is therefore unnecessary and potentially destructive to Islamic societies.

Many secularist, human rights, and leading organisations have criticized Islamic states' stance on human rights. In 2009, the journal Free Inquiry
Free Inquiry
Free Inquiry is a bi-monthly journal of secular humanist opinion and commentary published by the Council for Secular Humanism, which is part of the Center for Inquiry. Philosopher Paul Kurtz is the editor-in-chief and Thomas W. Flynn the editor. Feature articles cover a wide range of topics from a...

summarized this criticism in an editorial: "We are deeply concerned with the changes to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly . The Declaration arose directly from the experience of the Second World War and represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled...

 by a coalition of Islamic states within the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 that wishes to prohibit any criticism of religion and would thus protect Islam's limited view of human rights. In view of the conditions inside the Islamic Republic of Iran, Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, Syria, Bangdalesh, Iraq, and Afghanistan, we should expect that at the top of their human rights agenda would be to rectify the legal inequality of women, the suppression of political dissent, the curtailment of free expression, the persecution of ethnic minorities and religious dissenters — in short, protecting their citizens from egregious human rights violations. Instead, they are worrying about protecting Islam."

Freedom of speech


Qadi 'Iyad argues that sharia does not allow freedom of speech in such matters as criticism of Muhammad
Criticism of Muhammad
Criticism of Muhammad has existed since the 7th century, when Muhammad was decried by his non-Muslim Arab contemporaries for preaching monotheism. During the Middle Ages he was frequently demonized in European and other non-Muslim polemics...

. Such criticism
Criticism of religion
Criticism of religion is criticism of the concepts, validity, and/or practices of religion, including associated political and social implications....

 is blasphemy
Blasphemy
Blasphemy is irreverence towards religious or holy persons or things. Some countries have laws to punish blasphemy, while others have laws to give recourse to those who are offended by blasphemy...

 and punishable by death.

Slander, gossip, and backbiting, or "ghiba" is regarded as a major sin.

Homosexuality



Homosexual activity is illegal under sharia, though the prescribed penalties differ from one school of jurisprudence to another. For example, these Muslim-majority countries may impose the death penalty
Capital punishment
Capital punishment, the death penalty, or execution is the sentence of death upon a person by the state as a punishment for an offence. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences. The term capital originates from the Latin capitalis, literally...

 for acts perceived as sodomy
Sodomy
Sodomy is an anal or other copulation-like act, especially between male persons or between a man and animal, and one who practices sodomy is a "sodomite"...

 and homosexual activities: Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

, Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

. In contrast, in some Muslim-majority countries such as Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

 (outside of Aceh province), Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 and Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, same-sex sexual acts are illegal but there is no specific penalty.. In Turkey, homosexual acts in private between consenting individuals are legal.

Women



In terms of religious obligations, such as certain elements of prayer, payment of the zakat poor-tax, observance of the Ramadan
Ramadan
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which lasts 29 or 30 days. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex during daylight hours and is intended to teach Muslims about patience, spirituality, humility and...

 fast, and the Hajj pilgrimage, women are treated no differently from men. There are, however, some exceptions made in the case of prayers and fasting, as women are relieved from the duty of the five daily prayers or fasting during their menstruation.

There are no priests or clergy needed in order to perform rites and sacraments in Islam. The leader of prayer is known as an imam. Men can lead both men and women in prayer, but women do not traditionally lead men in prayer. In practice, it is much more common for men to be scholars than women, however in the early days of Islam, female scholars were much more common. 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." Married women may seek employment although it is often thought in patriarchal
Patriarchy
Patriarchy is a social system in which the role of the male as the primary authority figure is central to social organization, and where fathers hold authority over women, children, and property. It implies the institutions of male rule and privilege, and entails female subordination...

 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 grants women the right to inherit property from other family members, and these rights are detailed in the Quran. A woman's inheritance is different from a man's, both in quantity and attached obligations. For instance, a daughter's inheritance is usually half that of her brothers. Sharia law requires family members females or males to support each other as needed; compare female inheritance in Salic law. Men are fully obliged to financially maintain their household, whereas women are not; it is often said that even if the woman is a millionaire and he is poor, he is still obliged to spend on her. She is not obliged to share her wealth with her husband unless she does so out of kindness.

Islamic jurists have traditionally held that Muslim women may enter into marriage with only Muslim men, although some contemporary jurists question the basis of this restriction. On the other hand, the Quran allows a Muslim man to marry a chaste woman from the People of the Book, a term that includes Jews, Sabians
Sabians
The Sabians of Middle Eastern tradition were a monotheistic Abrahamic religious group mentioned three times in the Quran: "the Jews, the Sabians, and the Christians." In the Hadith they are nothing but converts to Islam, while their identity in later Islamic literature became a matter of...

, and Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

s. However, fiqh law has held that it is makruh (reprehensible) for a Muslim man to marry a non-Muslim woman in a non-Muslim country.

In 2003, a Malaysian court ruled that, under sharia law, a man may divorce his wife via text messaging
Text messaging
Text messaging, or texting, refers to the exchange of brief written text messages between fixed-line phone or mobile phone and fixed or portable devices over a network...

 as long as the message was clear and unequivocal.

The divorced wife always keeps her dowry
Dowry
A dowry is the money, goods, or estate that a woman brings forth to the marriage. It contrasts with bride price, which is paid to the bride's parents, and dower, which is property settled on the bride herself by the groom at the time of marriage. The same culture may simultaneously practice both...

 from when she was married, and is given child support
Child support
In family law and public policy, child support is an ongoing, periodic payment made by a parent for the financial benefit of a child following the end of a marriage or other relationship...

 until the age of weaning. The mother is usually granted custody of the child. If the couple has divorced fewer than three times (meaning it is not a final divorce) the wife also receives spousal support
Alimony
Alimony is a U.S. term denoting a legal obligation to provide financial support to one's spouse from the other spouse after marital separation or from the ex-spouse upon divorce...

 for three menstrual cycles after the divorce, until it can be determined whether she is pregnant.

Women's rights


Status of women under Islamic law prior to the 19th century
Islamic law grants women some legal rights they did not have under Western legal systems until the 19th and 20th centuries. Noah Feldman
Noah Feldman
Noah Feldman is an American author and professor of law at Harvard Law School.-Education and career:Feldman grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, where he attended the Maimonides School....

, a Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 law professor, has noted:
Status of women under Islamic law since the 19th century
At this point in history the aforementioned exploration of freedom is no longer true — that is to say that whilst it is arguable that women had more extensive legal rights under Islamic law than they did under Western legal systems in the past, it is no longer true today.

Slavery and emancipation



The major juristic schools of Islam have traditionally accepted the institution of slavery. However, Islam has prescribed five ways to free slaves, has severely chastised those who enslave free people, and regulated the slave trade. The source of slaves was restricted to war in preference to killing whole tribes en masse, as was the tradition at the time. Slaves also had more rights under Islam as an owner could not mistreat them. Many slaves were freed after a certain period of time, if they accepted to convert to Islam, or if they were ransomed.

Sharia and non-Muslims



Based on Quranic verses and Islamic traditions, classical sharia distinguishes between Muslims, followers of other Abrahamic monotheistic religions, and pagans or people belonging to other polytheistic religions. As monotheists
Monotheism
Monotheism is the belief in the existence of one and only one god. Monotheism is characteristic of the Baha'i Faith, Christianity, Druzism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Samaritanism, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism.While they profess the existence of only one deity, monotheistic religions may still...

, Jews and Christians have traditionally been considered "People of The Book," and afforded a special status known as dhimmi
Dhimmi
A , is a non-Muslim subject of a state governed in accordance with sharia law. Linguistically, the word means "one whose responsibility has been taken". This has to be understood in the context of the definition of state in Islam...

 derived from a theoretical contract - "dhimma" or "residence in return for taxes". There are parallels for this in Roman and Jewish law. Hindus were originally considered pagans and given the choice between conversion to Islam and death (or slavery), as pagans are not afforded the rights and protections of the dhimma contract. By the Middle Ages, the Hindus and Buddhists of India had come to be considered dhimmis by their Muslim rulers. Eventually, the largest
Hanafi
The Hanafi school is one of the four Madhhab in jurisprudence within Sunni Islam. The Hanafi madhhab is named after the Persian scholar Abu Hanifa an-Nu‘man ibn Thābit , a Tabi‘i whose legal views were preserved primarily by his two most important disciples, Abu Yusuf and Muhammad al-Shaybani...

 school of Islamic scholarship
Fiqh
Fiqh is Islamic jurisprudence. Fiqh is an expansion of the code of conduct expounded in the Quran, often supplemented by tradition and implemented by the rulings and interpretations of Islamic jurists....

 applied this term to all non-Muslims living in Islamic lands outside the sacred area
Hejaz
al-Hejaz, also Hijaz is a region in the west of present-day Saudi Arabia. Defined primarily by its western border on the Red Sea, it extends from Haql on the Gulf of Aqaba to Jizan. Its main city is Jeddah, but it is probably better known for the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina...

 surrounding Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Classical sharia attributes different legal rights and obligations to different religious groups; in practice, this consisted of curbs on the rights and freedoms of non-Muslims. However, the classical dhimma contract is no longer enforced. Western influence has been instrumental in eliminating the restrictions and protections of the dhimma contract, thereby contributing to the current state of relations between Muslims and non-Muslims living in Islamic lands.

According to law professor H. Patrick Glenn
H. Patrick Glenn
H. Patrick Glenn is the Peter M. Laing Chair of the Faculty of Law at McGill University. He specializes in comparative law, private international law, and civil procedure...

 of the Canadian McGill University
McGill University
Mohammed Fathy is a public research university located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The university bears the name of James McGill, a prominent Montreal merchant from Glasgow, Scotland, whose bequest formed the beginning of the university...

, located in Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

, Quebec
Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

, "Today it is said that the dhimmi are 'excluded from the specifically Muslim privileges, but on the other hand they are excluded from the specifically Muslim duties' while (and here there are clear parallels with western public and private law treatment of aliens – Fremdenrecht, la condition de estrangers), [f]or the rest, the Muslim and the dhimmi are equal in practically the whole of the law of property and of contracts and obligations."

Classical sharia incorporated the religious law
Religious law
In some religions, law can be thought of as the ordering principle of reality; knowledge as revealed by a God defining and governing all human affairs. Law, in the religious sense, also includes codes of ethics and morality which are upheld and required by the God...

s and court
Court
A court is a form of tribunal, often a governmental institution, with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters in accordance with the rule of law...

s of Christian
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

s, Jews
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 and Hindus
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

, as seen in the early Caliphate
Caliphate
The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

, Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus was the Arabic name given to a nation and territorial region also commonly referred to as Moorish Iberia. The name describes parts of the Iberian Peninsula and Septimania governed by Muslims , at various times in the period between 711 and 1492, although the territorial boundaries...

, Indian subcontinent
Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent
Muslim conquest in South Asia mainly took place from the 13th to the 16th centuries, though earlier Muslim conquests made limited inroads into the region, beginning during the period of the ascendancy of the Rajput Kingdoms in North India, from the 7th century onwards.However, the Himalayan...

, and the Ottoman Millet
Millet (Ottoman Empire)
Millet is a term for the confessional communities in the Ottoman Empire. It refers to the separate legal courts pertaining to "personal law" under which communities were allowed to rule themselves under their own system...

 system. In medieval Islamic societies, the qadi
Qadi
Qadi is a judge ruling in accordance with Islamic religious law appointed by the ruler of a Muslim country. Because Islam makes no distinction between religious and secular domains, qadis traditionally have jurisdiction over all legal matters involving Muslims...

(Islamic judges) usually could not interfere in the matters of non-Muslims unless the parties voluntarily choose to be judged according to Islamic law, thus the dhimmi
Dhimmi
A , is a non-Muslim subject of a state governed in accordance with sharia law. Linguistically, the word means "one whose responsibility has been taken". This has to be understood in the context of the definition of state in Islam...

communities living in Islamic states usually had their own laws independent from the sharia law, such as the Jews who would have their own Halakha
Halakha
Halakha — also transliterated Halocho , or Halacha — is the collective body of Jewish law, including biblical law and later talmudic and rabbinic law, as well as customs and traditions.Judaism classically draws no distinction in its laws between religious and ostensibly non-religious life; Jewish...

courts. These courts did not cover cases involved other religious groups, or capital offences or threats to public order. By the 18th century, however, dhimmis frequently attended the Ottoman Muslim courts, where cases were taken against them by Muslims, or they took cases against Muslims or other dhimmis. Oaths sworn by dhimmis in these courts tailored to their beliefs.

Non-Muslims were allowed to engage in certain practices (such as the consumption of alcohol and pork) that were usually forbidden by Islamic law. Zoroastrian
Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism is a religion and philosophy based on the teachings of prophet Zoroaster and was formerly among the world's largest religions. It was probably founded some time before the 6th century BCE in Greater Iran.In Zoroastrianism, the Creator Ahura Mazda is all good, and no evil...

 "self-marriages", that were considered incestuous under sharia, were also tolerated. Ibn Qayyim (1292–1350) opined that non-Muslims were entitled to such practices since they could not be presented to sharia courts and the religious minorities in question held it permissible. This ruling was based on the precedent that the prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 did not forbid such self-marriages among Zoroastrians despite coming into contact with Zoroastrians and knowing about this practice. Religious minorities were also free to do whatever they wished in their own homes, provided they did not publicly engage in illicit sexual activity in ways that could threaten public morals.

Comparisons with common law


Parallels to common law concepts are found in classical Islamic law and jurisprudence including ratio decidendi
Ratio decidendi
Ratio decidendi is a Latin phrase meaning "the reason" or "the rationale for the decision." The ratio decidendi is "[t]he point in a case which determines the judgment" or "the principle which the case establishes."...

(illah). Several fundamental common law institutions may have been adapted from similar legal institutions in Islamic law and jurisprudence, and introduced to England after the Norman conquest of England by the Normans, who conquered and inherited the Islamic legal administration of the Emirate of Sicily, and also by Crusaders during the Crusades. In particular, the "royal English contract protected by the action of debt is identified with the Islamic Aqd, the English assize of novel disseisin is identified with the Islamic Istihqaq, and the English jury is identified with the Islamic Lafif." The English trust and agency institutions in common law were possible adapted from the Islamic Waqf and Hawala institutions respectively during the Crusades. It is worth noting, however, that transferring property to another for the "use" of another developed largely in response to the requirements of feudal inheritance law. Trust law, in particular, is a creature of equity which derived from the parallel jurisdiction of the Lord Chancellor to decide matters independently to the Royal Courts.

Other English legal institutions such as "the scholastic method, the license to teach", the "law schools known as Inns of Court in England and Madrasas in Islam” and the "European commenda" (Islamic Qirad) may have also originated from Islamic law. The methodology of legal precedent and reasoning by analogy (Qiyas) are also similar in both the Islamic and common law systems. These similarities and influences have led some scholars to suggest that Islamic law may have laid the foundations for "the common law as an integrated whole".

Comparisons with civil law


One of the institutions developed by classical Islamic jurists that influenced civil law
Civil law (legal system)
Civil law is a legal system inspired by Roman law and whose primary feature is that laws are codified into collections, as compared to common law systems that gives great precedential weight to common law on the principle that it is unfair to treat similar facts differently on different...

 was the Hawala, an early informal value transfer system
Informal value transfer system
An informal value transfer system refers to any system, mechanism, or network of people that receives money for the purpose of making the funds or an equivalent value payable to a third party in another geographic location, whether or not in the same form...

, which is mentioned in texts of Islamic jurisprudence as early as the 8th century. Hawala itself later influenced the development of the Aval
Aval
Aval , in Spain, is a joint commitment to payment of an obligation in favor of the creditor or beneficiary. It is granted by a third party, in case the principal debtor does not fulfil the obligation of payment of a credit title....

in French civil law
Law of France
In academic terms, French law can be divided into two main categories: private or judicial law and public law .Judicial law includes, in particular:*civil law ; and*criminal law ....

 and the Avallo in Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 law. The "European commenda" limited partnership
Limited partnership
A limited partnership is a form of partnership similar to a general partnership, except that in addition to one or more general partners , there are one or more limited partners . It is a partnership in which only one partner is required to be a general partner.The GPs are, in all major respects,...

s (Islamic Qirad
Qirad
The qirad was one of the basic financial instruments of the medieval Islamic world. It was an arrangement between one or more investors and an agent where the investors entrusted capital to an agent who then traded with it in hopes of making profit...

) used in civil law as well as the civil law conception of res judicata may also have origins in Islamic law.

International law


Islamic law also made "major contributions" to international admiralty law
Admiralty law
Admiralty law is a distinct body of law which governs maritime questions and offenses. It is a body of both domestic law governing maritime activities, and private international law governing the relationships between private entities which operate vessels on the oceans...

, departing from the previous Roman and Byzantine
Byzantine law
Byzantine Law was essentially a continuation of Roman Law with Christian influence, however, this is not to doubt its later influence on the western practice of jurisprudence...

 maritime laws in several ways. These included Muslim sailors being "paid a fixed wage
Wage
A wage is a compensation, usually financial, received by workers in exchange for their labor.Compensation in terms of wages is given to workers and compensation in terms of salary is given to employees...

 "in advance" with an understanding that they would owe money in the event of desertion
Desertion
In military terminology, desertion is the abandonment of a "duty" or post without permission and is done with the intention of not returning...

 or malfeasance
Malfeasance
The expressions misfeasance and nonfeasance, and occasionally malfeasance, are used in English law with reference to the discharge of public obligations existing by common law, custom or statute.-Definition and relevant rules of law:...

, in keeping with Islamic conventions" in which contracts should specify "a known fee for a known duration", in contrast to Roman and Byzantine sailors who were "stakeholders in a maritime venture, in as much as captain and crew, with few exceptions, were paid proportional divisions of a sea venture's profit, with shares allotted by rank, only after a voyage's successful conclusion." Muslim jurists also distinguished between "coastal navigation, or cabotage
Cabotage
Cabotage is the transport of goods or passengers between two points in the same country by a vessel or an aircraft registered in another country. Originally starting with shipping, cabotage now also covers aviation, railways and road transport...

," and voyages on the "high seas
International waters
The terms international waters or trans-boundary waters apply where any of the following types of bodies of water transcend international boundaries: oceans, large marine ecosystems, enclosed or semi-enclosed regional seas and estuaries, rivers, lakes, groundwater systems , and wetlands.Oceans,...

", and they also made shippers "liable
Legal liability
Legal liability is the legal bound obligation to pay debts.* In law a person is said to be legally liable when they are financially and legally responsible for something. Legal liability concerns both civil law and criminal law. See Strict liability. Under English law, with the passing of the Theft...

 for freight in most cases except the seizure
Search and seizure
Search and seizure is a legal procedure used in many civil law and common law legal systems whereby police or other authorities and their agents, who suspect that a crime has been committed, do a search of a person's property and confiscate any relevant evidence to the crime.Some countries have...

 of both a ship and its cargo
Cargo
Cargo is goods or produce transported, generally for commercial gain, by ship, aircraft, train, van or truck. In modern times, containers are used in most intermodal long-haul cargo transport.-Marine:...

." Islamic law also "departed from Justinian's
Justinian I
Justinian I ; , ; 483– 13 or 14 November 565), commonly known as Justinian the Great, was Byzantine Emperor from 527 to 565. During his reign, Justinian sought to revive the Empire's greatness and reconquer the lost western half of the classical Roman Empire.One of the most important figures of...

 Digest
Pandects
The Digest, also known as the Pandects , is a name given to a compendium or digest of Roman law compiled by order of the emperor Justinian I in the 6th century .The Digest was one part of the Corpus Juris Civilis, the body of civil law issued under Justinian I...

and the Nomos Rhodion Nautikos in condemning slave jettison", and the Islamic Qirad was also a precursor to the European commenda limited partnership
Limited partnership
A limited partnership is a form of partnership similar to a general partnership, except that in addition to one or more general partners , there are one or more limited partners . It is a partnership in which only one partner is required to be a general partner.The GPs are, in all major respects,...

. The "Islamic influence on the development of an international law of the sea" can thus be discerned alongside that of the Roman influence.

Legal education



The origins of the Ijazah
Ijazah
An ijazah is a certificate used primarily by Sunni Muslims to indicate that one has been authorized by a higher authority to transmit a certain subject or text of Islamic knowledge...

 dates back to the ijazat attadris wa 'l-ifttd ("license to teach and issue legal opinions") in the medieval Islamic legal education
Legal education
Legal education is the education of individuals who intend to become legal professionals or those who simply intend to use their law degree to some end, either related to law or business...

 system, which was equivalent to the Doctor of Laws qualification and was developed during the 9th century after the formation of the Madh'hab legal schools. To obtain a doctorate, a student "had to study in a guild
Guild
A guild is an association of craftsmen in a particular trade. The earliest types of guild were formed as confraternities of workers. They were organized in a manner something between a trade union, a cartel, and a secret society...

 school of law, usually four years for the basic undergraduate
Undergraduate education
Undergraduate education is an education level taken prior to gaining a first degree . Hence, in many subjects in many educational systems, undergraduate education is post-secondary education up to the level of a bachelor's degree, such as in the United States, where a university entry level is...

 course" and ten or more years for a post-graduate
Postgraduate education
Postgraduate education involves learning and studying for degrees or other qualifications for which a first or Bachelor's degree generally is required, and is normally considered to be part of higher education...

 course. The "doctorate was obtained after an oral examination to determine the originality of the candidate's theses," and to test the student's "ability to defend them against all objections, in disputation
Disputation
In the scholastic system of education of the Middle Ages, disputations offered a formalized method of debate designed to uncover and establish truths in theology and in sciences...

s set up for the purpose," which were scholarly exercises practiced throughout the student's "career as a graduate student
Graduate school
A graduate school is a school that awards advanced academic degrees with the general requirement that students must have earned a previous undergraduate degree...

 of law." After students completed their post-graduate education, they were awarded doctorates giving them the status of faqih
Faqih
A Faqīh is an expert in fiqh, or, Islamic jurisprudence.A faqih is an expert in Islamic Law, and, as such, the word Faqih can literally be generally translated as Jurist.- The definition of Fiqh and its relation to the Faqih:...

(meaning "master of law
Master of Laws
The Master of Laws is an advanced academic degree, pursued by those holding a professional law degree, and is commonly abbreviated LL.M. from its Latin name, Legum Magister. The University of Oxford names its taught masters of laws B.C.L...

"), mufti
Mufti
A mufti is a Sunni Islamic scholar who is an interpreter or expounder of Islamic law . In religious administrative terms, a mufti is roughly equivalent to a deacon to a Sunni population...

(meaning "professor of legal opinions
Fatwa
A fatwā in the Islamic faith is a juristic ruling concerning Islamic law issued by an Islamic scholar. In Sunni Islam any fatwā is non-binding, whereas in Shia Islam it could be considered by an individual as binding, depending on his or her relation to the scholar. The person who issues a fatwā...

") and mudarris (meaning "teacher"), which were later translated into Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 as magister
Magister (degree)
Magister is an academic degree used in various systems of higher education.-Argentina:...

, professor
Professor
A professor is a scholarly teacher; the precise meaning of the term varies by country. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences; a teacher of high rank...

and doctor
Doctor (title)
Doctor, as a title, originates from the Latin word of the same spelling and meaning. The word is originally an agentive noun of the Latin verb docēre . It has been used as an honored academic title for over a millennium in Europe, where it dates back to the rise of the university. This use spread...

respectively.

Role in economic development and corporate law


Sharia classically recognizes only natural persons, and never developed the concept of a legal person, or corporation
Corporation
A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter...

, i.e., a legal entity that limits the liabilities
Limited liability
Limited liability is a concept where by a person's financial liability is limited to a fixed sum, most commonly the value of a person's investment in a company or partnership with limited liability. If a company with limited liability is sued, then the plaintiffs are suing the company, not its...

 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. Thus, sharia has no native tradition of corporate law
Corporate law
Corporate law is the study of how shareholders, directors, employees, creditors, and other stakeholders such as consumers, the community and the environment interact with one another. Corporate law is a part of a broader companies law...

. This, combined with egalitarian rules of inheritance for male descendants (compare with primogeniture
Primogeniture
Primogeniture is the right, by law or custom, of the firstborn to inherit the entire estate, to the exclusion of younger siblings . Historically, the term implied male primogeniture, to the exclusion of females...

)
, hindered the concentration of wealth and the development of larger and more sophisticated enterprises, according to Timur Kuran
Timur Kuran
Timur Kuran is a Turkish economist, Professor of Economics and Political Science, and Gorter Family Professor in Islamic Studies at Duke University...

 of American Duke University
Duke University
Duke University is a private research university located in Durham, North Carolina, United States. Founded by Methodists and Quakers in the present day town of Trinity in 1838, the school moved to Durham in 1892. In 1924, tobacco industrialist James B...

, located in Durham
Durham, North Carolina
Durham is a city in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It is the county seat of Durham County and also extends into Wake County. It is the fifth-largest city in the state, and the 85th-largest in the United States by population, with 228,330 residents as of the 2010 United States census...

, North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

. Prohibitions on interest, or "riba
Riba
Riba means one of the senses of "usury" . Riba is forbidden in Islamic economic jurisprudence fiqh and considered as a major sin...

" also disadvantaged Muslims vis-à-vis non-Muslim minorities in accessing banks and insurance when these services were first introduced by Westerners. Interest prohibitions, also imposed secondary costs by discouraging record keeping, and delaying the introduction of modern accounting. Such factors, according to Kuran, have played a significant role in retarding economic development in the Middle East. Though, it is argued, the West caught up in the economic crises at the outset of the 21st century when many of the aforementioned economic policies backfired on a global scale and threatened to bankrupt entire countries.

Qanun


After the fall of the Abbasids in 1258, a practice known to the Turks
Turkish people
Turkish people, also known as the "Turks" , are an ethnic group primarily living in Turkey and in the former lands of the Ottoman Empire where Turkish minorities had been established in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Romania...

 and Mongols
Mongols
Mongols ) are a Central-East Asian ethnic group that lives mainly in the countries of Mongolia, China, and Russia. In China, ethnic Mongols can be found mainly in the central north region of China such as Inner Mongolia...

 transformed itself into Qanun
Qanun
Qanun refers to laws promulgated by Muslim sovereigns, in particular the Ottoman Sultans, in contrast to shari'a, the body of law elaborated by Muslim jurists. It comes from the Greek word kanon...

, which gave power to caliphs, governor
Governor
A governor is a governing official, usually the executive of a non-sovereign level of government, ranking under the head of state...

s, and sultans alike to "make their own regulations for activities not addressed by the sharia." The Qanun began to unfold as early as Umar I (586-644 CE). Many of the regulations covered by Qanun were based on financial matters or tax systems adapted through the law and regulations of those territories Islam conquered. Qanun in Arabic means law or rules.

See also



  • Ban on Sharia law
    Ban on Sharia law
    A ban on sharia law is legislation that would ban the application or implementation of Islamic law in courts in any secular jurisdiction.-United States:...

  • Caliphate
    Caliphate
    The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

  • Dīn
    Dīn
    is an Arabic word commonly associated with Islam, but also used in Arab Christian worship. The term is sometimes translated as "religion", but as used in the Qur'an, it refers both to the path along which righteous Muslims travel in order to comply with divine law, or Shari'a, and to the divine...

  • Glossary of Islam
  • Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists
  • Halakha
    Halakha
    Halakha — also transliterated Halocho , or Halacha — is the collective body of Jewish law, including biblical law and later talmudic and rabbinic law, as well as customs and traditions.Judaism classically draws no distinction in its laws between religious and ostensibly non-religious life; Jewish...

     – Jewish law
  • Islam and the arts
    Islam and the arts
    -Performing arts:Many Islamic rulings relating to the performing arts are gender and event specific.-Music:There is no clear position in Islam regarding Music....


  • Islamic Sharia Council
    Islamic Sharia Council
    The Islamic Sharia Council is a London-based, quasi-Islamic court that provides legal rulings and advice to Muslims in accordance with Islamic Sharia based on the four Sunni schools of thought. It primarily handles cases of marriage and divorce and, to a lesser extent business and finance...

     – a United Kingdom court with no legal authority
  • Islamic theology
    Islamic theology
    Islamic theology is a branch of Islamic studies regarding the beliefs associated with the Islamic faith. Any religious belief system, or creed, can be considered an example of aqidah. However, this term has taken a significant technical usage in Islamic history and theology, denoting those...

  • Ma'ruf
    Ma'ruf
    Ma'ruf is an Islamic term meaning that which is commonly:*known*understood*recognized*acknowledged*acceptedThe word is most often found in the Qur'anic exhortation, "Amr bil Ma'ruf wa Nahy an al Munkar ." This is often translated as "Command the good and forbid the evil," but this translation...

  • Mizan
    Mizan
    Mizan is a comprehensive treatise on the contents of Islam, written by Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, a Pakistani Islamic scholar. It is published in Urdu by Al-Mawrid Institute of Islamic Sciences. The book is also available in the form of different booklets...

     – a comprehensive treatise on the contents of Islam written by Javed Ahmad Ghamidi
  • Theonomy
    Theonomy
    Theonomy is a theory in Christian theology that God is the sole source of human ethics. The word theonomy derives from the Greek words “theos” God, and “nomos” law. Cornelius Van Til argued that there "is no alternative but that of theonomy or autonomy"...


Specific issues
  • Diyya
    Diyya
    Diyya is compensation paid to the heirs of a victim. In Arabic, the word means both blood money and ransom.-Islamic and Arab tradition:The Qur'an specifies the principle of Qisas Diyya (plural: Diyyat; ) is compensation paid to the heirs of a victim. In Arabic, the word means both blood money and...

     – compensation for crimes
  • Islamic inheritance jurisprudence
    Islamic inheritance jurisprudence
    Islamic Inheritance jurisprudence is a field of Islamic Jurisprudence that deals with inheritance, a topic that is prominently dealt with in the Qur'an. It is often called Mīrāth, and its branch of Islamic law is technically known as ʿulm al-farāʾiḍ...


  • Qisas
    Qisas
    Qisas is an Islamic term meaning "retaliation," and follows the principle of an eye for an eye, or lex talionis, first set forth by Hammurabi, and subsequently included in the Old Testament and later legal codes...

     – retaliatory crimes
  • Tazir
    Tazir
    In Islamic Law, tazir refers to punishment, usually corporal, that can be administered at the discretion of the judge, called a Qadi, Kadi, as opposed to the hudud...

     – less-severe crimes (thus, "crimes against individuals", not God)

Schools of jurisprudence
  • Hanafi
    Hanafi
    The Hanafi school is one of the four Madhhab in jurisprudence within Sunni Islam. The Hanafi madhhab is named after the Persian scholar Abu Hanifa an-Nu‘man ibn Thābit , a Tabi‘i whose legal views were preserved primarily by his two most important disciples, Abu Yusuf and Muhammad al-Shaybani...

  • Hanbali
    Hanbali
    The Hanbali school is one the schools of Fiqh or religious law within Sunni Islam. The jurisprudence school traces back to Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal but was institutionalized by his students. Hanbali jurisprudence is considered very strict and conservative, especially regarding questions of dogma...

  • Ja'fari jurisprudence
    Ja'fari jurisprudence
    Jaʿfarī school of thought, Ja`farite School, Jaʿfarī jurisprudence or Jaʿfarī Fiqh is the school of jurisprudence of most Shi'a Muslims, derived from the name of Jaʿfar as-Ṣādiq, the 6th Shi'a Imam...


  • Maliki
    Maliki
    The ' madhhab is one of the schools of Fiqh or religious law within Sunni Islam. It is the second-largest of the four schools, followed by approximately 25% of Muslims, mostly in North Africa, West Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and in some parts of Saudi Arabia...

  • Shafi'i
    Shafi'i
    The Shafi'i madhhab is one of the schools of fiqh, or religious law, within the Sunni branch of Islam. The Shafi'i school of fiqh is named after Imām ash-Shafi'i.-Principles:...



Sources


  • al-Misri, Ahmad ibn Naqib (edited and translated from Arabic
    Arabic language
    Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

     (with commentary) by Nuh Ha Mim Keller
    Nuh Ha Mim Keller
    Nuh Ha Mim Keller is an American Muslim translator of Islamic books and a specialist in Islamic law, as well as being authorised by Abd al-Rahman al-Shaghouri as a sheikh in sufism in the Shadhili Order...

    ). Reliance of the Traveller – A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law
    Umdat al-Salik wa Uddat al-Nasik
    Umdat as-Salik wa 'Uddat an-Nasik is a classical manual of fiqh for the Shafi'i school of Islamic jurisprudence...

    (1994 revised edition). Amana Publications ISBN 978-0-915-95772-9.
  • ash-Shafi'i, Muhammad ibn Idris (1993). Risala: Treatise on the Foundations of Islamic Jurisprudence. Islamic Texts Society. ISBN 0-946621-15-2. Ayaz, Maryam (2007). "Sharia'h and Profits". Apvision Revolutionary Islamic Profitability Models. Apvision Private Limited
    Apvision Private Limited
    Apvision Private Limited is a privately held software company based in Pakistan, which specializes in Islamic Banking software and technology solutions.The company was incorporated in 2000 and acquired by AMZ Ventures Limited AMZVL in year 2006...

    .
  • Bakhtiar, Laleh; Reinhart, Kevin (1996). Encyclopedia of Islamic Law: A Compendium of the Major Schools. Kazi Publications, ISBN 1-56744-498-9.
  • Berg, Herbert (2005). "Islamic Law." Berkshire Encyclopedia of World History 3. p. 1,030. In History Reference Center [database online]. Available from Snowden Library (accessed February 11, 2008).
  • Brown, Daniel W. (1996). Rethinking Traditions in Modern Islamic Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
    Cambridge University Press
    Cambridge University Press is the publishing business of the University of Cambridge. Granted letters patent by Henry VIII in 1534, it is the world's oldest publishing house, and the second largest university press in the world...

    . ISBN 0-521-65394-0.
  • Coulson, Noel James (1964). A History of Islamic Law (Islamic Surveys). Oxford: Oxford University Press
    Oxford University Press
    Oxford University Press is the largest university press in the world. It is a department of the University of Oxford and is governed by a group of 15 academics appointed by the Vice-Chancellor known as the Delegates of the Press. They are headed by the Secretary to the Delegates, who serves as...

    .
  • Darwish, Nonie (2008). Cruel and Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law
    Cruel and Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law
    Cruel and Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law is a book authored by human rights activist Nonie Darwish and Thomas Nelson....

    . Thomas Nelson
    Thomas Nelson (publisher)
    Thomas Nelson is a publishing firm that began in Scotland in 1798 as the namesake of its founder. Its former US division is currently the sixth largest American trade publisher and the world's largest Christian publisher. It is owned by the private equity firm Kohlberg & Company...

    . ISBN 9781595551610.
  • Dien, Mawil Izzi (2004). Islamic Law: From Historical Foundations to Contemporary Practice. Notre Dame, Illinois: University of Notre Dame Press
    University of Notre Dame Press
    The University of Notre Dame Press is a university press that is part of the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana, United States.-External links:*...

    .
  • Doi, Abd ar-Rahman I.; Clarke, Abdassamad (2008). Shari'ah: Islamic Law. Ta-Ha Publishers Ltd. ISBN 978-1-842000-85-3 (paperback); ISBN 978-1-842000-87-8 (hardback).
  • El-Fadl, Khaled Abou (2003). Reasoning with God: Rationality and Thought in Islam. Oneworld. ISBN 1-85168-306-2.

  • Glenn, H. Patrick
    H. Patrick Glenn
    H. Patrick Glenn is the Peter M. Laing Chair of the Faculty of Law at McGill University. He specializes in comparative law, private international law, and civil procedure...

     (2007). Legal Traditions of the World – Sustainable Diversity in Law (3rd edition). New York City; Oxford: Oxford University Press
    Oxford University Press
    Oxford University Press is the largest university press in the world. It is a department of the University of Oxford and is governed by a group of 15 academics appointed by the Vice-Chancellor known as the Delegates of the Press. They are headed by the Secretary to the Delegates, who serves as...

    . ISBN 978-0-199-20541-7.
  • Harnischfeger, Johannes (2008). Democratization and Islamic Law – The Sharia Conflict in Nigeria. Frankfurt; New York City: Campus Verlag and Chicago: University of Chicago Press
    University of Chicago Press
    The University of Chicago Press is the largest university press in the United States. It is operated by the University of Chicago and publishes a wide variety of academic titles, including The Chicago Manual of Style, dozens of academic journals, including Critical Inquiry, and a wide array of...

     (distributor). ISBN 978-3-593-38256-2.
  • Horrie, Chris
    Chris Horrie
    Chris Horrie is a journalist and writer specialising in investigative journalism, finance and profiles of major public figures.As a freelance feature writer his work can be found in the following British newspapers: The Independent, Independent on Sunday, Evening Standard, Mail on Sunday, The...

    ; Chippindale, Peter (1991). What Is Islam? A Comprehensive Introduction. Virgin Books
    Virgin Books
    Virgin Books is a United Kingdom book publisher 90% owned by the publishing group Random House, and 10% owned by Virgin Enterprises, the company originally set up by Richard Branson as a record company.-History:...

    . ISBN 0-7535-0827-3.
  • Kafadar, Cemal (1996). Between Two Worlds: The Construction of the Ottoman State. University of California Press
    University of California Press
    University of California Press, also known as UC Press, is a publishing house associated with the University of California that engages in academic publishing. It was founded in 1893 to publish books and papers for the faculty of the University of California, established 25 years earlier in 1868...

    . ISBN 0-520-20600-2.
  • Lewis, Bernard
    Bernard Lewis
    Bernard Lewis, FBA is a British-American historian, scholar in Oriental studies, and political commentator. He is the Cleveland E. Dodge Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University...

     (1984). The Jews of Islam. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press
    Princeton University Press
    -Further reading:* "". Artforum International, 2005.-External links:* * * * *...

    . ISBN 978-0-691-00807-3.
  • Liebesny, Majid &, and Herbert J. (editors) (1955). Khadduri. Law in the Middle East: Volume I: Origin and Development of Islamic Law. Washington D.C.: Middle East Institute
    Middle East Institute
    The Middle East Institute is a non-partisan think tank and cultural center in Washington, DC. Founded in 1946, MEI is the oldest institution in Washington dedicated exclusively to the study of the Middle East. Its founder, architect and philanthropist George Camp Keiser, assembled a team of...

    .
  • Mumisa, Michael (2002). Islamic Law: Theory & Interpretation. Amana Publications. ISBN 1-59008-010-6.
  • Musa, A. Y. (2008). Hadith as Scripture: Discussions on The Authority Of Prophetic Traditions in Islam, New York: Palgrave
    Palgrave Macmillan
    Palgrave Macmillan is an international academic and trade publishing company, headquartered in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom and with offices in New York, Melbourne, Sydney, Hong Kong, Delhi, Johannesburg. It was created in 2000 when St...

    .
  • Otto, Jan Michiel (2008). Sharia and National Law in Muslim Countries – Tensions and Opportunities for Dutch and EU Foreign Policy – Law, Governance, and Development. E-book
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    An electronic book is a book-length publication in digital form, consisting of text, images, or both, and produced on, published through, and readable on computers or other electronic devices. Sometimes the equivalent of a conventional printed book, e-books can also be born digital...

    : Amsterdam University Press
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    Amsterdam University Press is a university press that was founded in 1992 by the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. It is based on the Anglo-Saxon university press model and operates on a not-for-profit basis...

    . ISBN 978-6-611-98832-6.
  • Safi, Omid
    Omid Safi
    Omid Safi is Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill where he specializes on Islamic mysticism , contemporary Islamic thought and medieval Islamic history. He has served on the board of the Pluralism project at Harvard University.- Progressive Islam :Professor...

     (2003). Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism. Oneworld Publications
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    Oneworld Publications is a British independent publishing firm founded in 1986 by Novin Doostdar and Juliet Mabey to publish non-fiction for general and academic markets. Based in Oxford, it publishes across a wide range of subjects, from history, current affairs, and religion to philosophy,...

    . ISBN 1-85168-316-X.
  • Shahin, Omar
    Omar Shahin
    Sheikh Omar Shahin is a Jordanian native, living in the United States. He came to the United States in 1995, and became a U.S. citizen in 2003. He was Imam at the Islamic Center of Tucson in Arizona from 2000 until 2003, when he joined the board of directors and executive committee of the North...

     (2007). The Muslim Family in Western Society: A Study in Islamic Law. Cloverdale Corporation
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    . ISBN 978-1-929569-30-4.


Further reading

  • Ali, Abdullah Yusuf (2000). The Holy Quran * Translated by Abdullah Yusuf Ali. Wordsworth Editions. ISBN 978-1-85326-782-6. A popular translation of the Quran
  • Khan, Muhammad Muhsin (1996). The English Translation of Sahih Al Bukhari With the Arabic Text. ISBN 978-1-88196-359-2. The complete translation (in nine volumes) of a popular Sunni collection of hadith
  • Hussain, Jamila. Islam: Its Law and Society. The Federation Press. ISBN 1-86287-499-9. A modern discourse on Sharia law
  • Potz, Richard: Islamic Law and the Transfer of European Law, European History Online
    European History Online
    European History Online is an academic website that publishes articles on the history of Europe between the period of 1450 and 1950 according to the principle of open access. EGO is issued by the Institute of European History in Mainz in cooperation with the Center for Digital Humanities in Trier ...

    , Mainz: Institute of European History, 2011, retrieved: November 28, 2011.

External links