"Islamic law" redirects here. For Islamic jurisprudence, see Fiqh.
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The areas of Islamic law include:

Other classifications

Shari'ah law has been grouped in different ways, such as:[97][98] Family relations, Crime and punishment, Inheritance and disposal of property, The economic system, External and other relations.

"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: Purification, prayer, funeral prayer, taxes, fasting, pilgrimage, trade, inheritance, marriage, divorce and justice.

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


Application by country

File:Use of Sharia by country.svg
Use of Sharia by country:
  Sharia plays no role in the judicial system
  Sharia applies to Muslim's personal law
  Sharia applies in full, including criminal law
  Regional variations in the application of sharia

Most Muslim-majority countries incorporate sharia at some level in their legal framework, with many calling it the highest law or the source of law of the land in their constitution.[99][100] Most use sharia for personal law (marriage, divorce, domestic violence, child support, family law, inheritance and such matters).[101][102] Elements of sharia are present, to varying extents, in the criminal justice system of many Muslim-majority countries.[103] Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Brunei, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan and Mauritania apply the code predominantly or entirely.[103][104]

Most Muslim-majority countries with sharia-prescribed hudud punishments in their legal code, do not prescribe it routinely and use other punishments instead.[99][105] The harshest sharia penalties such as stoning, beheading and the death penalty are enforced with varying levels of consistency.[106]

Since 1970s, most Muslim-majority countries have faced vociferous demands from their religious groups and political parties for immediate adoption of sharia as the sole, or at least primary legal framework.[107] Some moderates and liberal scholars within these Muslim countries have argued for limited expansion of sharia.[108]

With the growing muslim immigrant communities in Europe, there have been reports in some media of "no-go zones" being established where sharia law reigns supreme.[109][110] However, there is no evidence of the existence of "no-go zones", and these allegations are sourced from anti-immigrant groups falsely equating low-income neighborhoods predominantly inhabited by immigrants as "no-go zones." [111][112]


Main articles: Islamic religious police and Hisbah

Sharia is enforced in Islamic nations in a number of ways, including mutaween and hisbah.

The mutaween (Arabic: المطوعين، مطوعيةmuṭawwiʿīn, muṭawwiʿiyyah)[113] are the government-authorized or government-recognized religious police (or clerical police) of Saudi Arabia. Elsewhere, enforcement of Islamic values in accordance with sharia is the responsibility of Polisi Perda Syariah Islam in Aceh province of Indonesia,[114] Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Gaza Strip) in parts of Palestine, and Basiji Force in Iran.[115]

File:Taliban beating woman in public RAWA.jpg
Official from the Department of Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, beating a woman in Afghanistan for violating local interpretation of sharia.[116][117]

Hisbah (Arabic: حسبةḥisb(ah), or hisba) is a historic Islamic doctrine which means "accountability".[118] Hisbah doctrine holds that it is a religious obligation of every Muslim that he or she report to the ruler (Sultan, government authorities) any wrong behavior of a neighbor or relative that violates sharia or insults Islam. The doctrine states that it is the divinely sanctioned duty of the ruler to intervene when such charges are made, and coercively "command right and forbid wrong" in order to keep everything in order according to sharia.[119][120][121] Some Salafist suggest that enforcement of sharia under the Hisbah doctrine is the sacred duty of all Muslims, not just rulers.[119] The doctrine of Hisbah in Islam has traditionally allowed any Muslim to accuse another Muslim, ex-Muslim or non-Muslim for beliefs or behavior that may harm Islamic society. This principle has been used in countries such as Egypt, Pakistan and others to bring blasphemy charges against apostates.[122] For example, in Egypt, sharia was enforced on the Muslim scholar Nasr Abu Zayd, through the doctrine of Hasbah, when he committed apostasy.[123][124] Similarly, in Nigeria, after twelve northern Muslim-majority states such as Kano adopted sharia-based penal code between 1999 and 2000, hisbah became the allowed method of sharia enforcement, where all Muslim citizens could police compliance of moral order based on sharia.[125] In Aceh province of Indonesia, Islamic vigilante activists have invoked Hasbah doctrine to enforce sharia on fellow Muslims as well as demanding non-Muslims to respect sharia.[126] Hisbah has been used in many Muslim majority countries, from Morocco to Egypt and in West Asia to enforce sharia restrictions on blasphemy and criticism of Islam over internet and social media.[127][128][129]

Legal and court proceedings

Sharia judicial proceedings have significant differences from other legal traditions, including those in both common law and civil law. 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. There is no pre-trial discovery process, and no cross-examination of witnesses. Unlike common law, judges' verdicts do not set binding precedents[130][131] under the principle of stare decisis,[132] and unlike civil law, sharia is left to the interpretation in each case and has no formally codified universal statutes.[133]

The rules of evidence in sharia courts also maintain a distinctive custom of prioritizing oral testimony.[134] Witnesses, in a sharia court system, must be faithful, that is Muslim.[135] Male Muslim witnesses are deemed more reliable than female Muslim witnesses, and non-Muslim witnesses considered unreliable and receive no priority in a sharia court.[136][137] In civil cases, a Muslim woman witness is considered half the worth and reliability than a Muslim man witness.[138][139] In criminal cases, women witnesses are unacceptable in stricter, traditional interpretations of sharia, such as those found in Hanbali madhhab.[135]

Criminal cases

A confession, an oath, or the oral testimony of Muslim witnesses are the main evidence admissible, in sharia courts, for hudud crimes, that is the religious crimes of adultery, fornication, rape, accusing someone of illicit sex but failing to prove it, apostasy, drinking intoxicants and theft.[140][141][142] Testimony must be from at least two free Muslim male witnesses, or one Muslim male and two Muslim females, who are not related parties and who are of sound mind and reliable character. Testimony to establish the crime of adultery, fornication or rape must be from four Muslim male witnesses, with some fiqhs allowing substitution of up to three male with six female witnesses; however, at least one must be a Muslim male.[143] Forensic evidence (i.e., fingerprints, ballistics, blood samples, DNA etc.) and other circumstantial evidence is likewise rejected in hudud cases in favor of eyewitnesses, a practice which can cause severe difficulties for women plaintiffs in rape cases.[144][145]

Muslim jurists have debated whether and when coerced confession and coerced witnesses are acceptable. The majority opinion of jurists in the Hanafi madhhab, for example, ruled that torture to get evidence is acceptable and such evidence is valid, but a 17th-century text by Hanafi jurist Muhammad Shaykhzade argued that coerced confession should be invalid; Shaykhzade acknowledged that beating to get confession has been authorized in fatwas by many Islamic jurists.[146]

Civil cases

Quran recommends written contracts in the case of debt-related transactions, and oral contracts for commercial and other civil contracts.[139][147] Marriage is solemnized as a written financial contract, in the presence of two Muslim male witnesses, and it includes a brideprice (Mahr) payable from a Muslim man to a Muslim woman. The brideprice is considered by a sharia court as a form of debt. Written contracts are paramount, in sharia courts, in the matters of dispute that are debt-related, which includes marriage contracts.[148] Written contracts in debt-related cases, when notarized by a judge, is deemed more reliable.[149]

In commercial and civil contracts, such as those relating to exchange of merchandise, agreement to supply or purchase goods or property, and others, oral contracts and the testimony of Muslim witnesses triumph over written contracts. Sharia system has held that written commercial contracts may be forged.[149][150] Timur Kuran states that the treatment of written evidence in religious courts in Islamic regions created an incentive for opaque transactions, and the avoidance of written contracts in economic relations. This led to a continuation of a "largely oral contracting culture" in Muslim nations and communities.[150][151]

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.[152] 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."[153] Accordingly, defendants are not routinely required to swear before testifying, which would risk casually profaning the Quran should the defendant commit perjury;[153] instead oaths are a solemn procedure performed as a final part of the evidence process.

Main article: Diyya

Sharia courts treat women and men as unequal, with Muslim woman's life and blood-money compensation sentence (Diyya) as half as that of a Muslim man's life.[154][155] Sharia also treats Muslims and non-Muslims as unequal in the sentencing process.[156] Human Rights Watch and United States' Religious Freedom Report note that in sharia courts of Saudi Arabia, "The calculation of accidental death or injury compensation is discriminatory. In the event a court renders a judgment in favor of a plaintiff who is a Jewish or Christian male, the plaintiff is only entitled to receive 50 percent of the compensation a Muslim male would receive; all other non-Muslims [Buddhists, Hindus, Jains, Atheists] are only entitled to receive one-sixteenth of the amount a male Muslim would receive".[157][158][159]

Saudi Arabia follows Hanbali sharia, whose historic jurisprudence texts considered a Christian or Jew life as half the worth of a Muslim. Jurists of other schools of law in Islam have ruled differently. For example, Shafi'i sharia considers a Christian or Jew life as a third the worth of a Muslim, and Maliki's sharia considers it worth half.[156] The legal schools of Hanafi, Maliki and Shafi'i Sunni Islam as well as those of twelver Shia Islam have considered the life of polytheists and atheists as one-fifteenth the value of a Muslim during sentencing.[156]


Anti-democracy, pro-Sharia public demonstration in 2014 in Maldives.

A 2013 survey based on the opinion of 38,000 individuals by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that support for making sharia the official law of the land is very high in many Muslim-majority Islamic countries.[160] A majority of Muslims favor sharia as the law of land in Afghanistan (99%), Iraq (91%), Niger (86%), Malaysia (86%), Pakistan (84%), Morocco (83%), Bangladesh (82%), Egypt (74%), Indonesia (72%), Jordan (71%), Uganda (66%), Ethiopia (65%), Mali (63%), Ghana (58%), and Tunisia (56%).[161] Among regional Muslim populations elsewhere, significant percentage favored sharia law: Nigeria (71%), Russia (42%), Kyrgyzstan (35%), Lebanon (29%), Kosovo (20%), Tanzania (37%).[160] In Muslim-majority countries such as Egypt, Jordan, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Lebanon and Turkey, 40% to 74% of Muslims wanted sharia law to apply to non-Muslims as well.[160] A 2008 YouGov poll in the United Kingdom found 40% of Muslims interviewed wanted sharia in British law.[162]

Since the 1970s, the Islamist movements have become prominent; their goals are the establishment of Islamic states and sharia not just 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). Their rhetoric opposes western culture and western power.[163] Political groups wishing to return to more traditional Islamic values are the source of threat to Turkey's secular government.[163] These movements can be considered neo-Sharism.[164]


Fundamentalists, wishing to return to basic Islamic religious values and law, have in some instances imposed harsh sharia punishments for crimes, curtailed civil rights and violated human rights. Extremists have used the Quran and their own particular version of sharia to justify acts of war and terror against Muslim as well as non-Muslim individuals and governments, using alternate, conflicting interpretations of sharia and their notions of jihad.[165][166]

The sharia basis of arguments of those advocating terrorism, however, remain controversial. Some scholars state that Islamic law prohibits the killing of civilian non-combatants; in contrast, others interpret Islamic law differently, concluding that all means are legitimate to reach their aims, including targeting Muslim non-combatants and the mass killing of non-Muslim civilians, in order to universalize Islam.[165] Islam, in these interpretations, "does not make target differences between militaries and civilians but between Muslims and unbelievers. Therefore it is legitimated (sic) to spill civilians’ blood".[165] Other scholars of Islam, interpret sharia differently, stating, according to Engeland-Nourai, "attacking innocent people is not courageous; it is stupid and will be punished on the Day of Judgment [...]. It’s not courageous to attack innocent children, women and civilians. It is courageous to protect freedom; it is courageous to defend one and not to attack".[165][167]


File:Ground Zero Mosque Protesters 11.jpg
A protester opposing the Park51 project, carries an anti-sharia sign.

Compatibility with democracy

Further information: Islamic ethics, Islam and democracy, Shura and Ijma

Ali Khan states 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".[168][169] Other scholars say sharia is not compatible with democracy, particularly where the country's constitution demands separation of religion and the democratic state.[170][171]

Courts in non-Muslim majority nations have generally ruled against the implementation of sharia, both in jurisprudence and within a community context, based on sharia's religious background. In Muslim nations, sharia has wide support with some exceptions.[172] For example, in 1998 the Constitutional Court of Turkey banned and dissolved Turkey's Refah Party on the grounds that "Democracy is the antithesis of Sharia", the latter of which Refah sought to introduce.[173][174]

On appeal by Refah the European Court of Human Rights determined that "sharia is incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy".[175][176][177] Refah's sharia-based notion of a "plurality of legal systems, grounded on religion" was ruled to contravene the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. It was determined that it would "do away with the State's role as the guarantor of individual rights and freedoms" and "infringe the principle of non-discrimination between individuals as regards their enjoyment of public freedoms, which is one of the fundamental principles of democracy".[178]

Human rights

Several major, predominantly Muslim countries have criticized the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) for its perceived failure to take into account the cultural and religious context of non-Western countries. Iran declared in the UN assembly that UDHR was "a secular understanding of the Judeo-Christian tradition", which could not be implemented by Muslims without trespassing the Islamic law.[179] Islamic scholars and Islamist political parties consider 'universal human rights' arguments as imposition of a non-Muslim culture on Muslim people, a disrespect of customary cultural practices and of Islam.[180][181] In 1990, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, a group representing all Muslim majority nations, met in Cairo to respond to the UDHR, then adopted the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam.[182][183]

Ann Elizabeth Mayer 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".[184]

In 2009, the journal Free Inquiry summarized the criticism of the Cairo Declaration in an editorial: "We are deeply concerned with the changes to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by a coalition of Islamic states within the United Nations 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."[185]

H. Patrick Glenn states that sharia is structured around the concept of mutual obligations of a collective, and it considers individual human rights as potentially disruptive and unnecessary to its revealed code of mutual obligations. In giving priority to this religious collective rather than individual liberty, the Islamic law justifies the formal inequality of individuals (women, non-Islamic people).[186] Bassam Tibi states that sharia framework and human rights are incompatible.[187] Abdel al-Hakeem Carney, in contrast, states that sharia is misunderstood from a failure to distinguish sharia from siyasah (politics).[188]

Freedom of speech

Blasphemy in Islam is any form of cursing, questioning or annoying God, Muhammad or anything considered sacred in Islam.[189][190][191] The sharia of various Islamic schools of jurisprudence specify different punishment for blasphemy against Islam, by Muslims and non-Muslims, ranging from imprisonment, fines, flogging, amputation, hanging, or beheading.[189][192][193] In some cases, sharia allows non-Muslims to escape death by converting and becoming a devout follower of Islam.[194]

Blasphemy, as interpreted under sharia, is controversial. Muslim nations have petitioned the United Nations to limit "freedom of speech" because "unrestricted and disrespectful opinion against Islam creates hatred".[195] Other nations, in contrast, consider blasphemy laws as violation of "freedom of speech",[196] stating that freedom of expression is essential to empowering both Muslims and non-Muslims, and point to the abuse of blasphemy laws, where hundreds, often members of religious minorities, are being lynched, killed and incarcerated in Muslim nations, on flimsy accusations of insulting Islam.[197][198]

Freedom of thought, conscience and religion

According to the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights,[199] every human has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change their religion or belief. Sharia has been criticized for not recognizing this human right. According to scholars[14][200][201] of traditional Islamic law, the applicable rules for religious conversion under sharia are as follows:

  • If a person converts to Islam, or is born and raised as a Muslim, then he or she will have full rights of citizenship in an Islamic state.[202]
  • Leaving Islam is a sin and a religious crime. Once any man or woman is officially classified as Muslim, because of birth or religious conversion, he or she will be subject to the death penalty if he or she becomes an apostate, that is, abandons his or her faith in Islam in order to become an atheist, agnostic or to convert to another religion. Before executing the death penalty, sharia demands that the individual be offered one chance to return to Islam.[202]
  • If a person has never been a Muslim, and is not a kafir (infidel, unbeliever), he or she can live in an Islamic state by accepting to be a dhimmi, or under a special permission called aman. As a dhimmi or under aman, he or she will suffer certain limitations of rights as a subject of an Islamic state, and will not enjoy complete legal equality with Muslims.[202]
  • If a person has never been a Muslim, and is a kafir (infidel, unbeliever), sharia demands that he or she should be offered the choice to convert to Islam and become a Muslim; if they reject the offer, he or she may become a dhimmi. failure to pay the tax may lead the non-muslim to either be enslaved, killed or ransomed if captured.[202]

According to sharia theory, conversion of disbelievers and non-Muslims to Islam is encouraged as a religious duty for all Muslims, and leaving Islam (apostasy), expressing contempt for Islam (blasphemy), and religious conversion of Muslims is prohibited.[203][204] Not all Islamic scholars agree with this interpretation of sharia theory. In practice, as of 2011, 20 Islamic nations had laws declaring apostasy from Islam as illegal and a criminal offense. Such laws are incompatible with the UDHR's requirement of freedom of thought, conscience and religion.[205][206][207][208] In another 2013 report based on international survey of religious attitudes, more than 50% of Muslim population in 6 out of 49 Islamic countries supported death penalty for any Muslim who leaves Islam (apostasy).[209][210] However it is also shown that the majority of Muslims in the 43 nations surveyed did not agree with this interpretation of sharia.

Some scholars claim sharia allows religious freedom because a Shari'a verse teaches, "there is no compulsion in religion."[211] Other scholars claim sharia recognizes only one proper religion, considers apostasy as sin punishable with death, and members of other religions as kafir (infidel);[212] or hold that Shari'a demands that all apostates and kafir must be put to death, enslaved or be ransomed.[213][214][215][216] Yet other scholars suggest that Shari'a has become a product of human interpretation and inevitably leads to disagreements about the “precise contents of the Shari'a." In the end, then, what is being applied is not sharia, but what a particular group of clerics and government decide is sharia. It is these differing interpretations of Shari'a that explain why many Islamic countries have laws that restrict and criminalize apostasy, proselytism and their citizens' freedom of conscience and religion.[217][218]

LGBT rights

Main article: LGBT in Islam

Homosexual intercourse is illegal under sharia law, though the prescribed penalties differ from one school of jurisprudence to another. For example, only a few Muslim-majority countries impose the death penalty for acts perceived as sodomy and homosexual activities: Iran,[219] Saudi Arabia,[220] and Somalia.[221] In other Muslim-majority countries such as Egypt, Iraq, and the Indonesian province of Aceh,[222] same-sex sexual acts are illegal,[223] and LGBT people regularly face violence and discrimination.[224] In Turkey, Bahrain and Jordan, homosexual acts between consenting individuals are legal.[citation needed] There is a new movement of LGBT Muslims, particularly in Jordan, the UK with Imaan and Al-Fatiha in America.[citation needed] Books such as Islam and Homosexuality by Siraj Scott has also contributed to playing a proactive role in LGBT- and Islam-related ideas.[original research?]


Domestic violence

Many scholars[15][225] claim Shari'a law encourages domestic violence against women, when a husband suspects nushuz (disobedience, disloyalty, rebellion, ill conduct) in his wife.[226] Other scholars claim wife beating, for nashizah, is not consistent with modern perspectives of the Quran.[227]

One of the verses of the Quran relating to permissibility of domestic violence is Surah 4:34.[228][229] In deference to Surah 4:34, many nations with Shari'a law have refused to consider or prosecute cases of domestic abuse.[230][231][232][233] Shari'a has been criticized for ignoring women's rights in domestic abuse cases.[234][235][236][237] Musawah/CEDAW, KAFA and other organizations have proposed ways to modify Shari'a-inspired laws to improve women's rights in Islamic nations, including women's rights in domestic abuse cases.[238][239][240][241]

Personal status laws and child marriage

Shari'a is the basis for personal status laws in most Islamic majority nations. These personal status laws determine rights of women in matters of marriage, divorce and child custody. A 2011 UNICEF report concludes that Shari'a law provisions are discriminatory against women from a human rights perspective. In legal proceedings under Shari'a law, a woman’s testimony is worth half of a man’s before a court.[138]

Except for Iran, Lebanon and Bahrain which allow child marriages, the civil code in Islamic majority countries do not allow child marriage of girls. However, with Shari'a personal status laws, Shari'a courts in all these nations have the power to override the civil code. The religious courts permit girls less than 18 years old to marry. As of 2011, child marriages are common in a few Middle Eastern countries, accounting for 1 in 6 all marriages in Egypt and 1 in 3 marriages in Yemen. However, the average age at marriage in most Middle Eastern countries is steadily rising and is generally in the low to mid 20's for women.[242] Rape is considered a crime in all countries, but Shari'a courts in Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Syria and Tunisia in some cases allow a rapist to escape punishment by marrying his victim, while in other cases the victim who complains is often prosecuted with the crime of Zina (adultery).[138][243][244]

Women's right to property and consent

Sharia grants women the right to inherit property from other family members, and these rights are detailed in the Quran.[245] A woman's inheritance is unequal and less than a man's, and dependent on many factors.[Quran 4:12][246] For instance, a daughter's inheritance is usually half that of her brother's.[Quran 4:11][246]

Until the 20th century, Islamic law granted Muslim women certain legal rights, such as the right to own property received as Mahr (brideprice) at her marriage, that Western legal systems did not grant to women.[247][248] However, Islamic law does not grant non-Muslim women the same legal rights as the few it did grant Muslim women. Sharia recognizes the basic inequality between master and women slave, between free women and slave women, between Believers and non-Believers, as well as their unequal rights.[249][250] Sharia authorized the institution of slavery, using the words abd (slave) and the phrase ma malakat aymanukum ("that which your right hand owns") to refer to women slaves, seized as captives of war.[249][251] Under Islamic law, Muslim men could have sexual relations with female captives and slaves without her consent.[252][253]

Slave women under sharia did not have a right to own property, right to free movement or right to consent.[254][255] Sharia, in Islam's history, provided religious foundation for enslaving non-Muslim women (and men), as well as encouraged slave's manumission. However, manumission required that the non-Muslim slave first convert to Islam.[256][257] Non-Muslim slave women who bore children to their Muslim masters became legally free upon her master's death, and her children were presumed to be Muslims as their father, in Africa,[256] and elsewhere.[258]

Starting with the 20th century, Western legal systems evolved to expand women's rights, but women's rights under Islamic law have remained tied to Quran, hadiths and their faithful interpretation as sharia by Islamic jurists.[253][259]

Parallels with Western legal systems

Elements of Islamic law have influenced western legal systems. As example, the influence of Islamic influence on the development of an international law of the sea" can be discerned alongside that of the Roman influence.[260]

Makdisi states Islamic law also influenced the legal scholastic system of the West.[261] The study of legal text and degrees have parallels between Islamic studies of sharia and the Western system of legal studies. For example, the status of faqih (meaning "master of law"), mufti (meaning "professor of legal opinions") and mudarris (meaning "teacher"), which were later translated into Latin as magister, professor and doctor respectively.[261]

There are differences between Islamic and Western legal systems. For example, sharia classically recognizes only natural persons, and never developed the concept of a legal person, or corporation, i.e., a legal entity that limits the liabilities of its managers, shareholders, and employees; exists beyond the lifetimes of its founders; and that can own assets, sign contracts, and appear in court through representatives.[262] Interest prohibitions also imposed secondary costs by discouraging record keeping, and delaying the introduction of modern accounting.[263] Such factors, according to Timur Kuran, have played a significant role in retarding economic development in the Middle East.[264]

See also


  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, under ‘sharia’.
  2. ^ Ritter, R.M. (editor) (2005). New Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors – The Essential A-Z Guide to the Written Word. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 349.
  3. ^ a b c "S̲h̲arīʿa" Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Brill Online, 2014
  4. ^ Rehman, J. (2007), The sharia, Islamic family laws and international human rights law: Examining the theory and practice of polygamy and talaq, International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family, 21(1), pp 108-127
  5. ^ DeLong-Bas, Natana J. (2004). Wahhabi Islam: From Revival and Reform to Global Jihad (First ed.). Oxford University Press, USA. p. 93. ISBN 0-19-516991-3. 
  6. ^ a b Coulson, N. J. (2011), A history of Islamic law, Aldine, ISBN 978-1412818551
  7. ^ a b Esposito, John (2001), Women in Muslim family law, Syracuse University Press, ISBN 978-0815629085
  8. ^ Hamann, Katie (December 29, 2009). "Aceh's Sharia Law Still Controversial in Indonesia". Voice of America. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
  9. ^ Staff (January 3, 2003). "Analysis: Nigeria's Sharia Split". BBC News. Retrieved September 19, 2011. "Thousands of people have been killed in fighting between Christians and Muslims following the introduction of sharia punishments in northern Nigerian states over the past three years".
  10. ^ [1]. Library of Congress Country Studies: Sudan:. "The factors that provoked the military coup, primarily the closely intertwined issues of Islamic law and of the civil war in the south, remained unresolved in 1991. The September 1983 implementation of the sharia throughout the country had been controversial and provoked widespread resistance in the predominantly non-Muslim south ... Opposition to the sharia, especially to the application of hudud (sing., hadd), or Islamic penalties, such as the public amputation of hands for theft, was not confined to the south and had been a principal factor leading to the popular uprising of April 1985 that overthrew the government of Jaafar an Nimeiri".
  11. ^ Otto, Jan Michiel. Sharia and National Law in Muslim Countries. Amsterdam University Press. ISBN 978-90-8728-048-2. 
    • Stahnke, Tad and Robert C. Blitt (2005), “The Religion-State Relationship and the Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief: A Comparative Textual Analysis of the Constitutions of Predominantly Muslim Countries.” Georgetown Journal of International Law, volume 36, issue 4; also see Sharia Law profile by Country, Emory University (2011)
  12. ^ Taher, Abul (September 14, 2008). Revealed: UK’s first official sharia courts. The Sunday Times
    • Inside Britain's Sharia courts Jane Corbin, The Telegraph (April 7, 2013)
    • Bowen, J. R. (2009). How could English courts recognize Shariah?, U. St. Thomas Law Journal, 7, 411
  13. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica, see article on Shari'ah (Islamic law), 2006
    • Otto, J. M. (2008). Sharia and National Law in Muslim Countries (Vol. 3), Amsterdam University Press
  14. ^ a b Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im, Islamic Foundations of Religious Human Rights, in RELIGIOUS HUMAN RIGHTS IN GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE : RELIGIOUS PERSPECTIVES, pp 351-356 (John Witte Jr. & Johan D. van der Vyver eds., 1996).
  15. ^ a b Hajjar, Lisa. "Religion, state power, and domestic violence in Muslim societies: A framework for comparative analysis." Law & Social Inquiry 29.1 (2004); see pages 1-38
  16. ^ Al-Suwaidi, J. (1995). Arab and western conceptions of democracy; in Democracy, war, and peace in the Middle East (Editors: David Garnham, Mark A. Tessler), Indiana University Press, see Chapters 5 and 6; ISBN 978-0253209399
  17. ^ "About the Author" at Brotherhood of the Gods[dead link] Paperback by Irshad Abdal-Haqq,
  18. ^ Irshad Abdal-Haqq founded the Journal of Islamic Law (later renamed the Journal of Islamic Law & Culture), for which he wrote extensively until January 2002, when ownership was transferred to DePaul University.[17]
  19. ^ a b Abdal-Haqq, Irshad (2006). Understanding Islamic Law – From Classical to Contemporary (edited by Aminah Beverly McCloud). Chapter 1 Islamic Law – An Overview of its Origin and Elements. AltaMira Press. p. 4.
  20. ^ a b Weiss, Bernard G. (1998). The Spirit of Islamic Law. Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-8203-1977-3.
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  22. ^ As of 2011,Bernard G. Weiss is a professor of Arabic and Islamic studies at the Middle East Center of the University of Utah.[20][21]
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Further reading

External links