Muslims abide under Sharia law, a collection of laws and regulations based on the Islamic religion. The Qur’an and the sayings of the prophet Muhammad, collected in the hadith, are the primary sources of these laws.
“The true way” and “the path leading to the watering spot” are two comparable translations of Sharia, also known as Sharah.
Muslims in Africa and the Middle East follow Sharia law because they consider it God’s plan for humanity. Fiqh, the corpus of Sharia law, is interpreted by Muslim scholars and translated into the fiqh. Sharia law covers all parts of life, including public and private conduct and spiritual beliefs.
Sharia Law is broken down into five distinct categories.
According to Sharia law, all human behaviors fall into one of five categories: compulsory, recommended, permissible, hated, or allowed (al-akm al-khamsa).
- Actions classified as far (or farah or fardh, or even wajib) must be performed regardless of the consequences. These examples show that Sharia Law outlines what one should not do and what one must do. These responsibilities are further divided into two subgroups. janaza (funeral prayer), which does not need the involvement of every member of the community as long as the work is completed, and salat (daily prayer), which each person must conduct for himself.
- Mustahabb activities are suggested but not necessarily behaviors that, if carried out, have the potential to be spiritually beneficial (both now and in the hereafter). From the greeting “as-salamu alaykum” to the voluntary charitable giving “sadaqah,” there are many mustahabb deeds.
- It is permissible for Mubahs to behave neutrally or neutrally. Performing mubah deeds is neither necessary nor discouraged and neither encouraged nor discouraged, either. They do not seek God’s approval, punishment, or reward. In terms of acts, this is the biggest group.
- In Islam, Makruh behaviors are seen as undesirable but not explicitly banned. Although these actions are not punishable, individuals who avoid them will be rewarded. Eating garlic before going to a mosque, cursing or butchering an animal in front of other species are examples of Makruh activities.
- In Islam, haram (banned) activities are those that are explicitly forbidden or prohibited in the Qur’an. Even when done for a good purpose, haram activities should never be committed. There are many opinions when it comes to what is and isn’t permissible in Islam. This concept should not be confused with the Arabic word haram, which translates to “sacred place.”
Major Sharia law schools, often known as madhhabs, include:
Countries with a predominantly Muslim population abide under Sharia law, which is interpreted differently.
Also See: Secular Countries 2022
Because of the wide range of interpretations, countries seldom agree on the same things when it comes to what is permissible and what is not and the appropriate penalties for breaking the law. The term “madhhab” refers to a variety of popular and widely accepted interpretations of the Qur’an.
- Most liberal of all schools, the Hanafi school emphasizes logic and comparison for Sunnis throughout several Asian and Middle Eastern nations.
- As far as Western observers are concerned, Hanbali’s school is the most conservative. Saudi Arabia’s rulers and the Taliban, who retook control of Afghanistan in 2021, both subscribe to the principles taught by this school of thought in the country.
- The Ja’fari school – A school that emphasizes logic and reasoning. Iran, Iraq, South Asia, and Saudi Arabia are among the countries where Shiite Muslims strongly prefer it.
- Medina, where Mohammed resided at one point, is the focus of this institution, which includes the views of Medina’s residents in its teachings. Muslims across most of North and Sub-Saharan Africa strongly prefer it.
- The Shafi’i school is distinct in that it places the Quran at the top of a hierarchy that includes the Sunna, scholars, and analogies/stories. In Yemen, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, and other Southeast Asia, this dish is a local delicacy.
Laws of Sharia and their compliance with the contemporary world
The strictest interpretations of Sharia law, particularly those that discriminate against women, have led many observers, particularly those from secular nations, to criticize the governments that adhere to them.
Women are prohibited from receiving an education, forced to wear the restrictive burqa or niqab veils when they leave the house, and are subject to potentially sexist legislation on the rape of women.
The penalties prescribed by Sharia law may also seem old-fashioned, if not downright vicious, in certain cases. Theft is punishable by amputating one’s hands, adultery is punishable by 100 lashes, and those who reject Islam are subject to the death penalty of stoning (the sin of apostasy).
For the most part, crimes are punished less severely since the burden of evidence is so great for such harsh sentences. However, there is some worry that these sanctions exist in the first place.
Criticisms of Sharia law, on the other hand, contend that it is too strict and incompatible with contemporary values such as the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, democracy and women’s rights, and LGBTQ+ rights.
It is common for critics of Islam to point to phrases in the Qu’ran that might be seen as promoting violence against non-Muslims or a 2002 instance in Nigeria where a woman was stoned to death for having a child out of wedlock examples of how these charges are supported.
It took an appeal for the lady to be freed, but not before her story went global and stirred anger in Muslim and non-Muslim communities alike.
Countries that practice Sharia law include:
The degree to which Sharia law is in effect varies widely from one country to the next. Some nations, like Iran and Afghanistan, under Taliban leadership, allow the rigorous conservative, traditional Sharia precepts to dictate their whole legal system.
Systemic oppression is more likely to be seen as oppressive in these settings.
On the other hand, most Muslim nations choose a hybrid system in which Sharia law informs certain sections of the legal code, but not all of it. On the other hand, Sharia-based rules may govern family and criminal law, but not corporate or commercial law.
Non-Muslims may be subject to distinct, secular family law from Muslims in other mixed legal systems.
To sum it all up, Sharia law is followed by certain nations but not by others. From Professor Jan Michiel Otto’s study and material from later sources, a table has been produced below based on this information.
|Country||Type of Sharia Law||2022 Population|
|Eritrea||For Muslims Only||3662.2440|
|Ethiopia||For Muslims Only||120812.6980|
|Ghana||For Muslims Only||32395.4500|
|India||For Muslims Only||1406631.7760|
|Indonesia||Classic (some territories)||279134.5050|
|Israel||For Muslims Only||8922.8920|
|Kenya||For Muslims Only||56215.2210|
|Malaysia||Classic (some territories)||33181.0720|
|Myanmar||For Muslims Only||55227.1430|
|Nigeria||Classic (some territories)||216746.9340|
|Philippines||For Muslims Only||112508.9940|
|Singapore||For Muslims Only||5943.5460|
|Sri Lanka||For Muslims Only||21575.8420|
|Tanzania||For Muslims Only||63298.5500|
|Thailand||For Muslims Only||70078.2030|
|Uganda||For Muslims Only||48432.8630|
|United Arab Emirates||Classic (some territories)||10081.7850|
|United Kingdom||For Muslims Only||68497.9070|