What is Sharia Law?

Masjid Arrahman / Introducing Islam  / What is Sharia Law?

What is Sharia Law?

In Islam, there are guidelines that organise the life of every Muslim in order to act and behave ethically in the light of Islam. However, the term “Sharia Law” is contemporary and it has been used out of its context because it is misinterpreted, and hence it distorted the image of Islam.

In the holy Book, Quran, and the authentic Hadith, there are divine orders that are guidelines for every Muslim to be a true believer and a good representative of Islam.These orders can be categorised into two sections. Firstly, the orders that relate to worshipping Allah through, for example, prayers (five times a day), fasting (the holy month of Ramadan), khums (one-fifth of the net profit) and alms (both khums and alms are for charity purpose), and pilgrimage (to Mecca if the financial and other circumstance of the Muslim allow him/her to travel).

Secondly, the orders that relate to the relation between a Muslim and his/her society.For example, there are orders that call every Muslim to protect the environment; to respect his/her neighbours; to respect non-Muslims; to work and trade honestly, to refrain from any sort of abusing and to respect the public system.   

Notably, there are other divine orders that have a direct impact on both the self and the society, such as prohibiting every Muslim from drinking alcohol (liquors); from taking drugs; from committing adultery; from stealing; from gambling; and from dealing with Riba (unjustified interest rate or increment on a debt).

Under this umbrella, life in Islam is extremely precious. Thus, committing suicide is prohibited in Islam. In this regard, Islam calls for mercy and saving the life of others because this religion seeks the prosperity of the mankind.

Drawing on these explanations, “Sharia Law” (‘Sharia’ denotes ‘religious’ and ‘Law’ denotes ‘guidelines’) delineates the Islamic religious guidelines, which are presented earlier, to be adopted by every Muslim in order to achieve the message of Islam.


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