What is Sharia Law?

Sharia law is the law of Islam. The Sharia (also spelled Shari’a or Shariah) law is cast from Muhammad’s words, called “hadith,” his actions, called “sunnah,” and the Quran, which he dictated. Sharia law itself cannot be altered, but the interpretation of Sharia law, called “fiqh,” by muftis (Islamic jurists) is given some latitude.

As a legal system, Sharia law is exceptionally broad. While other legal codes regulate public behaviour, Sharia law regulates public behaviour, private behaviour, and even private beliefs. Compared to other legal codes, Sharia law also prioritizes punishment over rehabilitation, and the penalties under Sharia law favour corporal and capital punishments over incarceration. Of all legal systems in the world today, Sharia law is the most intrusive and restrictive, especially against women (see below).

According to Sharia law

• Theft is punishable by amputation of the hands (Quran 5:38).

• 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.

• A Muslim who becomes a non-Muslim is punishable by death.

• A non-Muslim who leads a Muslim away from Islam is punishable by death.

• A non-Muslim man who marries a Muslim woman is punishable by death.

• A woman or girl who has been raped cannot testify in court against her rapist(s).

• Testimonies of 4 male witnesses are required to prove rape of a female (Quran 24:13).

• A woman or girl who alleges rape without producing 4 male witnesses is guilty of adultery.

• A woman or girl found guilty of adultery is punishable by death.

• A male convicted of rape can have his conviction dismissed by marrying his victim.

• Muslim men have sexual rights to any woman/girl not wearing the Hijab.

• A woman can have 1 husband, who can have up to 4 wives; Muhammad can have more.

• A man can marry an infant girl and consummate the marriage when she is 9 years old.

• Girls’ clitoris should be cut (Muhammad’s words, Book 41, Kitab Al-Adab, Hadith 5251).

• A man can beat his wife for insubordination.

• A man can unilaterally divorce his wife; a wife needs her husband’s consent to divorce.

• A divorced wife loses custody of all children over 6 years of age or when they exceed it.

• 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 speak alone to a man who is not her husband or relative.

• Meat to eat must come from animals that have been sacrificed to Allah – i.e., be “Halal.”

• Muslims should engage in Taqiyya and lie to non-Muslims to advance Islam.

• The list goes on…

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Rob Poundall

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