Sharia is the Islamic law that governs all aspects of Muslim life. It is derived from the Quran and the Hadith (the sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad). Muslims believe that Sharia is the will of Allah, and that it should be followed in all aspects of life.
Sharia covers a wide range of topics, including crime, politics, economics, and personal matters such as marriage, divorce, and inheritance. In Muslim countries, Sharia is often codified into law, and it is followed by both Muslims and non-Muslims. In other countries, Muslims may choose to follow Sharia in their personal lives, even if it is not codified into law.
Sharia has been a controversial topic in the West, with some people accusing it of being barbaric and outdated. However, Muslims believe that Sharia is a compassionate and just system that is relevant to the modern world.
The Origins of Sharia
Sharia, or Islamic law, is derived from the Quran and the Hadith, which is the sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad. Sharia law is based on the Five Pillars of Islam, which are faith, prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and pilgrimage. Sharia law covers all aspects of Muslim life, including marriage, divorce, inheritance, business, and crime. Sharia is not a static set of laws; it is interpreted by Islamic scholars, or jurists, who strive to apply it to changing circumstances. In some Muslim countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Sharia is the sole source of law, while in others, such as Egypt, it is one source of law alongside secular statutes.
The Pillars of Sharia
There are four main Pillars of Sharia:
1. The Profession of Faith – This pillar includes the belief in the oneness of God and the acceptance of Muhammad as His Messenger.
2. Prayer – Muslims are required to pray five times a day.
3. Almsgiving – Zakat, or almsgiving, is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. It is obligatory for all Muslims who are able to do so to give 2.5% of their wealth to the poor and needy.
4. Fasting – Muslims are required to fast during the month of Ramadan.
5. Pilgrimage – Every Muslim who is able to do so is required to make the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lifetime.
The Five Pillars of Islam
In Islam, Sharia is the moral code and religious law that guides Muslims. The Sharia comes from two primary sources: the Quran, which is the holy book of Islam, and the Hadith, which is the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad. Sharia law covers all aspects of Muslim life, from family relations and marriage to finance and business. There are five main pillars of Islam that Muslims follow:
The first pillar is the belief in one God, known as tawhid. Muslims believe that there is only one God who created the universe and is worthy of worship.
The second pillar is prayer, or salah. Muslims are required to pray five times a day: at dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset, and evening. Prayer is a way for Muslims to connect with God and give thanks for His blessings.
The third pillar is charity, or zakat. Muslims are required to give a portion of their income to those in need. Charity is an important way to help those less fortunate and to show gratitude to God.
The fourth pillar is fasting, or sawm. Muslims fast from dawn to dusk during the month of Ramadan. Fasting is a way to discipline the body and to focus on God.
The fifth pillar is pilgrimage, or hajj. Muslims are required to make a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lifetime. The hajj is a journey to the holiest city in Islam and a chance to stand in the presence of God.
The Schools of Sharia
There are four schools of sharia, or Islamic law: the Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i, and Hanbali. Each school is named after its founder and they each have different approaches to jurisprudence. The schools do not always agree on legal rulings, but they are all based on the Quran and the Hadith (sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad).
The Hanafi school is the oldest and most populous of the four schools. It is prevalent in countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India. The Hanafi school is known for its flexibility and its reliance on individual interpretation of the Quran and Hadith.
The Maliki school is the second oldest and is predominant in North and West Africa. The Maliki school is known for its strict adherence to the literal text of the Quran and Hadith.
The Shafi’i school is the third oldest and is found in East Africa, Southeast Asia, and parts of the Arabian Peninsula. The Shafi’i school is known for its focus on legal precedent.
The Hanbali school is the fourth and final school of sharia. It is found in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. The Hanbali school is known for its literal interpretation of the Quran and Hadith.
The Application of Sharia
Sharia, or Islamic law, is a set of guidelines for living that Muslims believe were revealed by God to the Prophet Muhammad. Sharia covers a wide range of topics, from criminal law to banking, but its most well-known application is in the area of personal morality, where it sets out strict guidelines for how Muslims should conduct themselves in their daily lives. Some of the more controversial aspects of sharia relate to its treatment of women, which has been criticized by some as being unfair and discriminatory. However, Muslims believe that sharia is a just and fair system of law that is applicable to all people, regardless of gender.