|The following sections highlight what Sharia actually says about important issues. References are to the classic manual, Reliance of the Traveller, considered one of the soundest translations of Islamic law. It is part of the Shaf’i school, which is more moderate than some – in fact, the founder was assassinated by adherents of another group. (Link to Reliance of the Traveler) |
(Literal text from Reliance is in italics).
|Freedom of Conscience and the Free Exchange of Ideas (o8.1) – When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostatizes from Islam, he deserves to be killed.|
(o8.4) – There is no indemnity for killing an apostate (since it is killing someone who deserves to die).
Acts that define “leaving Islam” and being subject to execution are listed in o8.7. They include:
-2- to intend to commit unbelief, even if in the future
-3- to deny the existence of Allah… or any of his attributes
-6- to be sarcastic about Allah’s name, his command, his interdiction… or his threat
-7- to deny any verse of the Quran
-8- to mockingly say, “I don’t know what faith is”
-17- to believe that things in themselves or by their own nature have any causal influence independent of the will of Allah
|Holy War (Jihad)(o9.0) – Jihad means to war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada signifying warfare to establish the religion…|
The scriptural basis for jihad… is such Koranic verses as:
-1- “Fighting is prescribed for you” (Koran 2: 216);
-2- “Slay them wherever you find them” (Koran 4: 89);
-3- “Fight the idolators utterly” (Koran 9: 36);
and such hadiths as the one related by Bukhari and Muslim that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:
“I have been commanded to fight people until they testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and perform the prayer, and pay zakat. If they say it, they have saved their blood and possessions from me, except for the rights of Islam over them. And their final reckoning is with Allah”;(o9.1) – Jihad [against non-Muslims in their own countries ] is a communal obligation… “He who provides the equipment for a soldier in Jihad has himself performed Jihad”
(o9.7) – The caliph makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians until they become Muslim or pay the non-Muslim poll tax in accordance with the word of Allah Most High:
“Fight those who do not believe in Allah and the Last Day and who forbid not what Allah and His messenger have forbidden-who do not practice the religion of truth, being of those who have been given the Book-until they pay the poll tax out of hand and are humbled” (Quran 9.29))(o9.9) – The caliph fights all other people until they become Muslim
|Homosexuality (p17.3) – The Prophet (Allah Bless him and give him peace) said: “Kill the one who sodomizes and the one who lets it be done to him.”|
|Women 3.4 – 3.7 say that a woman may not “conduct her own marriage”, meaning that she is not free to marry by choice. A male guardian is required to validate the marriage agreement. |
m3.8 says that a woman is not free to choose her guardian. It is assigned by family relation. Once she is married, she becomes the charge of her husband’s guardianship.
A Muslim woman may not marry a non-Muslim man (Quran 2:221). An untranslated portion of the Sharia even forbids an Arab woman from marrying a non-Arab man (source).
(m13.4) – A woman has no right to custody of her children from a previous marriage when she remarries.
(m5.1) – It is obligatory for a woman to let her husband have sex with her immediately when he asks her… and she can physically endure it.
(m10.11-2) – It is not lawful for a wife to leave the house except by the permission of her husband.
(m10.11) – When a husband notices signs of rebelliousness in his wife, he warns her in words. If she commits rebelliousness, he keeps from sleeping with her without words, and may hit her, but not in a way that injures her, meaning he may not break bones, wound her, or cause blood to flow.
(o4.9) – The indemnity for the death or injury of a woman is one-half the indemnity paid for a man.
(L10.3) – Divide the universal share so the male receives the portion of two females (Rule of inheritance based on the Quran 4:11)
(m2.3) – It is unlawful for women to leave the house with faces unveiled
(Bigotry toward those outside the Islamic faith)(o4.9) – The indemnity paid for a Jew or Christian is one-third of the indemnity paid for a Muslim. The indemnity paid of a Zoroastrian is one-fifteenth of that a Muslim.
(h8.24) – It is not permissible to give zakat to a non-Muslim.
(e2.3) – It is offensive to use the vessels [dishes] of non-Muslims or wear their clothes.
e8.3 says that a non-Muslim may not touch the Quran.
f21.2 says that non-Muslims are not allowed to ‘mix’ with Muslims at certain events.
g1.2 says that it is permissible for a Muslim to visit a non-Muslim who is ill, but not recommended. (Same with visiting the grave of a non-Muslim relative – g5.8)
(L5.2) – a non-Muslim may not inherit from a Muslim. (or vice versa)
o1.2 states that there is no penalty for a Muslim who kills a non-Muslim
o11.0-11 says that non-Muslim subjects of an Islamic state may live free from harm if they
– pay a special ‘poll’ tax (the jizya)- comply with certain Islamic rules, specifically the penalty for adultery (stoning) and theft (amputation)- distinguish themselves from Muslims by dressing differently- keep to the side of the side of the street when Muslims pass- accept a lesser form of greeting- agree not to build new churches or ring church bells- do not build houses higher than those of MuslimsThe agreement is broken if the non-Muslim breaks the rules, fails to pay the poll tax, ” leads a Muslim away from Islam“, “mentions something impermissible” about Islam, or marries or has sex with a Muslim woman. In this happens, then the non-Muslim is treated as a prisoner and may be lynched – provided they do not first ‘convert’ to Islam before the sentence is rendered (o11.11; o9.14).
(o22.12) – The judge treats two litigants impartially, seating both in places of equal honor, attending to each, and so forth, unless one is a non-Muslim, in which case he gives the Muslim a better seat
See also Rights of Non-Muslims in an Islamic State
|Sex and Honor Killing(o1.2) – The following are not subject to retaliation: … -4- a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring or offspring’s offspring|
o12.2 – The penalty for adultery is stoning. The penalty for unmarried sex (fornication) is 100 lashes.
|Slavery A large section of the Sharia is devoted to codifying the practice of slavery (k32.0). The Reliance of the Traveller omits these rules from the English language translation, perhaps to obscure the comfortable relationship between Islam and slavery. However, parts from other sections address both the capture of slaves and the sanctioning of forced conversion under obvious duress.|
(o9.13) – When a child or a woman is taken captive, they become slaves by the fact of capture, and the woman’s previous marriage is immediately annulled.
(o9.14) – When an adult male is taken captive, the caliph considers the interests (O: of Islam and the Muslims) and decides between the prisoner’s death, slavery, release without paying anything, or ransoming himself in exchange for money or for a Muslim captive held by the enemy. If the prisoner becomes a Muslim (O: before the caliph chooses) then he may not be killed, and one of the other three alternatives is chosen.
(o9.12) Whoever enters Islam before being captured may not be killed or his property confiscated, or his young children taken captive.
o4.9 is one of several rules that establish slaves as property, to be traded as a form of restitution.
o20.2 makes it clear that a slave freed as a method of expiation must be a “sound Muslim.”
|Theft (o14.1) – A person’s right hand is amputated, whether he is a Muslim, non-Muslim subject of the Islamic state |
|Permissible Lying (Taqiyya)(r8.2) – The Prophet said, “He who settles disagreements between people to bring about good or says something commendable is not a liar.” |
Kulthum added, “I did not hear him permit untruth in anything people say, except for three things: war, settling disagreements and a man talking with his wife or she with him (in smoothing over differences)”
This is an explicit statement that lying is sometimes permissible for a given interest…
Speaking is a means to achieve objectives. If a praiseworthy aim is attainable through both telling the truth and lying, it is unlawful to accomplish through lying because there is no need for it. When it is possible to achieve such an aim by lying but not by telling the truth, it is permissible to lie if attaining the goal is permissible and obligatory to lie if the goal is obligatory…
Whether the purpose is war, settling a disagreement, or gaining the sympathy of a victim legally entitled to retaliate against one so that he will forbear to do so; it is not unlawful to; lie when any of these aims can only be attained through lying. But is religiously more precautionary in all such cases to employ words that give misleading impression, meaning to intend by one’s words something that is literally true, in respect to which one is not lying while the outward purport of the words deceives the hearer…
One should compare the bad consequences entailed by lying to those entailed by telling the truth, and if the consequences of telling the truth are more damaging, on is entitled to lie…
|Art and Music r40.1 says that musical instruments are condemned.|
(r40.3) – One should know that singing or listening to singing is offensive (with the exception of songs that encourage piety).
(p44.1) – Every maker of pictures will go to the fire, where a being will be set upon him for each picture he made, to torment him in hell
(w50.2) – Pictures imitate the creative act of Allah (when they are of animate beings).
(o17.9) – It is unlawful to decorate walls with pictures (generally interpreted as pictures of animate beings).
|Additional Notes Sharia is extremely specific in some places (such as instructions on washing one’s anus). However, it does not often address the many routines and nuances of modern life. Bodies of Islamic scholars (fiqh) thus extend the law via fatwas, in which the permissibility of a matter is formally determined by applying the spirit of existing law.|
Apologists sometimes take advantage of the this and try to portray Sharia as fluid and personal. This is disingenuous at best. Sharia is canonical law.
The very existence of Sharia courts, which are prevalent in the Islamic world and even in the UK, affirms that this is more than a set of personal rules. Courts address conflict between separate parties, and typically impose a ruling on one that they would not otherwise choose.
|Further Reading Sharia Law for the Non-Muslim (CSPI)|
Mapping Sharia: Sanctioned Violence (Beyond Reliance)
Jihad in Islamic Law (An in-depth thesis by the Center for Security Policy)
5 True Things About Sharia
Sharia USA: From a Survivor
Sharia vs. the U.S. Constitution
Full Sharia Statutes and Punishments as Enacted by Brunei