Shariah is a religious law that governs the people following the Islamic faith. Many people from Islam believe in the principles stated under Sharia law more than they believe in human created laws. According to them, Prophet Muhammad was told about this law by the angel named Gabriel (Jibril) sent by the the God himself. They believe that it is a law that must be followed by all the Muslims because this law is directly established by the God himself, and not by a human being. Though Shariah is not a legal law system, it is followed by a large number of Muslims.
The Sharia law is said to be derived from various sources:
- Quran: Quran is considered to be a holy book by the Muslims and they believe that the teachings mentioned in the book were told to Prophet Muhammad through the angel Gabriel (Jibril).
- Hadith: After the death of Prophet Muhammad, the people close to him answered the questions of people and sorted out their confusion by giving the answers that they believed to be similar to Prophet Muhammad’s answer. These answers and stories were later called the Hadith.
- Sunnah: This includes the actions and words of Muhammad.
- Fatwas: Fatwas are the opinions and learned interpretation of the Islamic scholars.
- Consensus from the community by achieving recurrence.
Where is it followed?
As mentioned above, the Sharia law is not a legal system, that means this law is not followed by each and every Muslims. There are only a few locations that follow this law like the Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Brunei, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan and Mauritania. Also it is not necessary that they follow every single rule of this law. Most of them follow only a number of rules and use laws other than Shariah too. The punishments such as punishment by death, death by stoning, breaking limbs, flogging, beheading etc stated in the law are sometimes used and sometimes not.
What does Sharia Law include?
The Sharia law not only deals with public behavior, but also private behavior and personal matters. It includes punishment for various crimes, politics, economics, marriage contracts, hygiene, diet, prayer, fasting etc.
These are the categories of Shariah law:
The first one is the ‘fard’ that contains rules related to acts of worship which is considered to be compulsory for Muslims and includes:
- Believing that there is only one God, Allah and no one else.
- Praying for five times a day.
- Fasting during the ninth month of Islamic year. During this month, a person restrains himself from eating, drinking, smoking etc before the break of dawn till the sunset.
- Giving money to needy and in charities.
- Pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lifetime for all the adults who are physically and financially capable for it.
The second section ‘mustahabb’ deals with economical and legal relationships of people with each other. A few topics with which this section deals are:
- Marriage, divorce, child custody
- Foods and drinking
- Penal punishments
- Judicial matters
- Warfare and peace
- Inheritance laws
- Financial transactions
Next category ‘Haraam’ includes things that are completely forbidden by the Quran. No Muslim is allowed to do any of the activities that are included under this rule.
The fourth category ‘Muhab’ includes rules that are permissible, neither forbidden nor compulsory.
Fifth category known as the ‘Makruh’ includes behavior traits that may not be treated as crimes but are unwanted.
Related to women
The Sharia law is not taken as a very good law for girls. It contains rules that disrespect girls and also doesn’t support gender equality. A few rules that shows that the Sharia law considers girls inferior to boys include that the female inherits only half of what a male heir inherits, a male is a degree above a female in status etc. Also there are a few rules related to marriage, divorce, remarriage, custody of the children etc, that also shows that women are not given as much importance as a man.
The Sharia law is not a legal law but some Muslim states follow it more than any jurisdiction. There have been incidents that prove their belief that killing a person who deserves to die is not a crime. They do not need any laws or order for any such actions. They trust the rules blindly even if the rules are not humanly correct.
The law governs every religious, private and social behavior of a person and also includes punishments for almost all kinds of crimes.