Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Shariah Law

Question: "What is Sharia Law?" What authority does it have in Islam? Is it based upon the Quran or upon some other holy scripture? Is it Sharia Law that dictates theocratic rule of nations?

Answer: The Quran contains very few direct laws which basically comprise the Shariah of Allah. Other than that, based on the recorded practice of the Prophet and the new legal situations as they arose, jurists tried to formulate laws based on their knowledge of the Quran, Hadith and Law itself. These have, over the years, come to be regarded as the Shariah Laws. There is a debate among Muslims as to whether these jurists' laws, as formulated centuries ago, are directly applicable to all people at all times, or whether they are open to further improvement based on the fundamental directives in the Quran, and the current situations specific to our time and age. The Shariah Laws thus have various versions depending on the works of different jurists, and thus the Shariah Laws in use in Saudi Arabia are slightly different from the ones in Iran.
Also, for a broader perspective on Shariah, check out http://khalidzaheer.com/essays/kzaheer/islamic%20shariah/what_is_islamic_and_what_is_not.html

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