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The Status of Shar’ia in the Muslim World

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The Status of Shar’ia in the Muslim World. The Distinction between Shar’ia and Fiqh. Shar’ia is the the maxims, admonitions, legal sanctions, and prohibitions enshrined in the Qur’an (Ayoub 117) What is Shar’ia? Qur’an and Sunna -or- Qur’an, Sunna, and classical fiqh

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the distinction between shar ia and fiqh
The Distinction between Shar’ia and Fiqh
  • Shar’ia is the the maxims, admonitions, legal sanctions, and prohibitions enshrined in the Qur’an (Ayoub 117)
  • What is Shar’ia?
    • Qur’an and Sunna -or- Qur’an, Sunna, and classical fiqh
  • Principles/Norms (Shar’ia) vs. Knowledge and Implementation (fiqh) of these laws
    • Shar’ia is not an abstract system of ethics or moral philosophy but a way of life
  • The Four Schools of Jurisprudence
    • Abu Hanifah, d. 767 (Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan)
    • Malik b. Anas, d. 795 (North and West Africa)
    • Idris Shaf’i, d. 819 (Low Egypt, East and Southeast Asia)
    • Hanbal, d. 855 (Saudi Arabia)
    • Jafar al-Sadiq, d. 765
methodology in shar ia
Methodology in Shar’ia
  • Methodology
    • Ijma (Maleki/Shaf’I/Hanbalite)
    • Qiyas and istihsan(Hanafi School)
    • Ray, Urf (Maleki School)
  • Usul al-Fiqh (Roots of Law)
  • Furu al-Fiqh (Branches of Law)
  • Classification of human acts
    • Lawful and obligatory (Halal)
    • Lawful and commended (Mustahabb)
    • Lawful and neutral (Mubah)
    • Not unlawful yet reprehensible (Makruh)
    • Unlawful (Haram)
two main domains of shar ia

Ritual purification (wudu)

Prayers (salat)








Food and drink

Penal punishment


Warfare and peace

Judicial Matters

Two Main Domains of Shar’ia
the status of non muslims and religious freedom in muslim countries
The Status of Non-Muslims and Religious Freedom in Muslim Countries

Abu Zaid is an Egyptian scholar who was declared apostate in 1995, divorced from his wife, and forced to emigrate from Egypt.

Azlina Jailani was a Malaysian Muslim who converted Christianity in 1998 and was subsequently tried for apostasy. Her sentence is still pending

Abdul Rahman was an Afghan Muslim who converted to Christianity in 2006 and was tried for apostasy but not convicted.

family law
Family Law

The new family code in Morocco (2004)

  • Equality:
    • Husband and wife share joint responsibility for the family;
    • The wife is no longer legally obliged to obey her husband;
    • The adult woman is entitled to self-guardianship, rather than that of a male family member, and may exercise it freely and independently;
    • The minimum age of marriage is 18 for both men and women.
  • Divorce:
    • The right to divorce is a prerogative of both men and women, exercised under judicial supervision;
    • The principle of divorce by mutual consent is established.
  • Polygamy:
    • Polygamy is subject to the judge’s authorization and to stringent legal conditions, making the practice nearly impossible;
    • The woman has the right to impose a condition in the marriage contract requiring that her husband refrain from taking other wives;
    • If there is no pre-established condition, the first wife must be informed of her husband’s intent to remarry, the second wife must be informed that her husband-to-be is already married, and moreover, the first wife may ask for a divorce due to harm suffered.