What is Islamic Sharia Law

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What is Islamic Sharia Law

‘Sharia’ refers to an Islamic law that pertains to various practices and standards that cover religion, political concerns, moral standards, criminal activities, economics, and even personal concerns.  Most of the guidelines indicated in the Sharia law are sourced from the Quran which is the Holy Scripture for Islam followers.  The other basis for the Sharia law is the actual practice of the prophet Muhammad as indicated in the Sunnah.

All moral and/or religious codes associated with Sharia law were established after the death of Muhammad.  In the past, Muhammad’s ways were revered and deemed as the perfect example for Muslims in terms of a way of life and practices.  The word “sharia” itself literally translates to “pathway to be followed.”  With this concept, Islam followers are to follow the path of righteousness as demonstrated by the practice of Muhammad.  Aside from Muhammad’s life, the Quran also lends various provisions and guidelines to Sharia law.  The Quran is touted as the word of God, and so many cultural laws and standards are based on this particular book.

Not all guidelines under Sharia law are being practiced in modern society, though.  Many provisions are also interpreted in different ways by different groups of people.  There are also concerns and controversies regarding the implementation of some provisions under the Islamic Sharia law, especially those that involve sex, marriages, and divorce.  According to Sharia law, being guilty of unlawful activities, like sex outside of marriage, or robbery, for example, have punishments that involve stoning, amputation, or execution.  This particular provision has created much concern in these modern times. And with all the opposition surrounding it, many Islamic countries do not apply these punishments and instead implement other lower types of penalties.  Despite these changes, though, there are vigilante groups that perform the punishments on their own and implement the guidelines under the Sharia law even if they are considered illegal in modern times.

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