What is Sharia Law?

shariaIf you go looking, its very difficult to find an objective discussion of Islamic Sharia law in English that isn’t either completely theoretical or biased. I’m going to examine a couple of articles on the subject. Both are biased against Sharia, but have lists of specific prohibitions, rather than vague descriptions.

Sharia law is the law of Islam, cast from Muhammad’s words, called “hadith,” his actions, called “sunnah,” and the Quran. Sharia law itself cannot be altered, but the interpretation of Sharia law, called “fiqh,” by imams is given some latitude.

According to billionbibles.org, Sharia law states:

  • Theft is punishable by amputation of the hands
  • Criticizing or denying any part of the Quran is punishable by death
  • Criticizing Muhammad or denying that he is a prophet is punishable by death
  • Criticizing or denying Allah is punishable by death
  • Apostacy (abandoning the faith) is punishable by death
  • Leading a Muslim away from Islam is punishable by death
  • For a man who is an infidel, marrying a Muslim woman is punishable by death
  • Girls’ clitoris should be cut
  • Muslim men have the right to have sexual with any female not wearing a Hijab
  • A woman or girl who has been raped cannot testify in court against her rapist(s)
  • Testimony of 4 male witnesses are required to prove rape of a female
  • A female who alleges rape without producing 4 male witnesses is guilty of adultery
  • Female adultery is punishable by death
  • A male convicted of rape can have his conviction dismissed by marrying his victim
  • A woman can have 1 husband
  • A man can have up to 4 wives
  • A man can marry an infant girl and consummate the marriage when she is 9 years old
  • A man can beat his wife for insubordination
  • A woman’s testimony in court, allowed in property cases, carries ½ the weight of a man’s
  • A female heir inherits half of what a male heir inherits
  • A woman cannot drive a car
  • A woman cannot speak alone to a man who is not her husband or relative
  • Meat must come from animals that have been sacrificed to Allah
  • Muslims are to subjugate the world under Islam
  • Muslims should lie to non-Muslims to advance Islam

According to sharialaws.blogspot.ca (an Islamic source that is none the less quite hostile to Sharia):

  • Denying “scholarly consensus” about Sharia laws turns a Muslim to an apostate
  • Criminals guilty of genocide, mass-rape, and looting will not be punished if they repent
  • The head of an Islamic state cannot be charged in Hudud cases (unlawful sexual intercourse, unfounded accusations of said acts, drinking alcohol, highway robbery, and some forms of theft)
  • A man can unilaterally divorce his wife instantly with no maintenance
  • A wife, if divorced in a regular manner in the course of two to three months, gets    maintenance for maximum of 3 months
  • To remarry her divorced husband–who has often pronounced divorce in a fit of anger–a divorced wife must first marry another person, have sex with him, and get divorced by him voluntarily.
  • For a wife to divorce, she must convince the Sharia Court to negotiate with the husband, who often requires a monetary price for his approval. Without this, the woman cannot marry again.
  • Women’s testimony is not accepted in Hudood cases
  • Evidence of a slave, female singer, or person of low-respect (a street-sweeper or bath house attendant, for example) is not admissible
  • Husbands are obliged to provide only food, clothes and accommodation to wives. Anything else, including cosmetics, doctor’s fees, and medicines, are considered charity. A rebellious wife does not get anything.
  • Adoption is not allowed
  • Custody of young children goes to the mother, provided she prays and does not marry a stranger
  • The father takes custody of boys when they are 9 and girls when they are 7 years old
  • A mother with custody of children cannot go to distant places without permission of the father
  • Women cannot be bride’s guardians
  • The compensation due for a woman’s accidental death is half of a man’s
  • A victim’s daughters cannot pardon the killer
  • If a rapist cannot be punished, he has to pay bride-money without marrying (no other punishment is suggested)
  • A Muslim shall not be put to death for murdering an unbeliever
  • Women judges are not allowed in Hudud cases
  • The presiding officer of a court must be a Muslim. In the cases where the accused is a non-Muslim, the Presiding Officer may be a non-Muslim
  • Testimony of a non-Muslim against false accusation is inadmissible. If they later becomes a Muslim, their evidence is then admissible.
  • There is no retaliation for parents and grandparents for killing their offspring
  • A woman should wear a covering over her head (khimar), a full-length shift, and a heavy slip under it that does not cling to the body
  • It is unlawful for a woman to leave the house with her face unveiled, whether or not there is likelihood of temptation
  • If a woman claims to be having her period but her husband does not believe her, it is lawful for him to have sexual intercourse with her
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About jimbelton

I'm a software developer, and a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, and I blog about movies, books, and philosophy. My interest in religious philosophy and the search for the truth inspires much of my writing.
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