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Monday, 25 June 2012 00:00

Is Sharia Law Truly Islamic?

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Sharia Law is used to justify the stoning of adulterers, to justify capital punishment for those who choose to leave Islam, and to justify the whipping and imprisonment of Muslims who choose to drink alcohol. According to mainstream Muslims, Sharia Law is God’s law. The Quran, however, states, “There is no compulsion in religion.” Therefore, spirituality cannot be enforced through governmental or religious institutions.

The term, Sharia is Arabic for ‘path,’ meaning ‘the path to a spiritually fulfilling life.’ In the literal sense it means, “a path towards a source of life sustenance.” (In the context of 7th century desert Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, this idea of sustenance is understandingly linked to a path leading to a water-hole.) Understandably, this path means different roadways for different people. How do we take a morally sound path? This concept starts with the Quran’s mandate of reading the book for oneself, for using our God-given right to self-determination—our right to choose (see Quran 18:29 and 2:256). Individuals are expected to make their own moral choice to follow the Quran, or deviate from its path, but instead we have Sharia Law which forces us to follow the Quran!

Sharia Law in its current state is the antithesis of Sharia. It forces us to be herded like blind sheep. It takes away our right to make the moral decision which we are supposed to be rewarded for in the afterlife. Not only is the practice of Islam not supposed to be enforced, many aspects of Sharia Law is not based on teachings of the Quran.

How was Sharia Law developed? The laws compiled to make Sharia Law are a hybrid of pre-Islamic laws—such as stoning, which is rooted in Jewish laws—secular laws, social norms, and—depending on where you put your finger in history—laws of colonialists.

Not only is Sharia Law an extrapolation of the Quran and Hadith (A collection of sayings and actions claimed to be that of the Prophet and compiled two hundred years after his death), but its enforcement is inconsistent and based on different cultural interpretations. If Sharia Law is God’s law, then why is it enforced differently in different Muslim-majority countries? For example, adultery in Sudan is punishable by stoning, while in Malaysia the adulterers are caned. If Sharia Law is based on Islam then why is there punishment for drinking alcohol when there is no such mandate in the Quran? Saudi Arabia is the perfect example of the distortion between Islam and politics. Sharia Law is used as a tool to assert control. Muslim governments (note I did not say Islamic governments) consolidate power by enforcing submission of their Muslim population in the name of religion. After all, who can argue with God’s law?

The fact remains that Sharia Law is a human construct, fabricated by politicians in partnership with religious Mullahs of the day for their own authoritarian political control.

A fact not often taught to Muslims is that Sharia Law did not exist during Prophet Muhammad’s life, nor did he create one. After all, the Quran is supposed to be the complete book. But look what we’ve done; the Quran and the Hadith now share equal billing!

To be fair to the Muslims of years gone by, the reason the Hadith was compiled was because they wanted to practice an Islam that was as close to that of Prophet Muhammad as possible. The initial sincerity cannot be discounted. But somehow, cultural traditions—like forced marriage and stoning—trumped the Quran’s teachings. Shouldn’t we draw the line when a hadith contradicts the Quran? “… Who is more evil than the one who fabricates lies and attributes them to God (Quran 29:68)?”

Does Sharia Law still sound like God’s law to you?

When a Muslim is imprisoned for expressing his ideas, and then accused of blasphemy against Islam and the Prophet, do you really think the Quran is being upheld? The soul of God is breathed into the fetus of every human being (Ruh, Quran 32:9). Do you think God approves of stoning someone to death when God values life over all else?

Next time Sharia Law is used to substantiate an unjust punishment, as a Muslim, please ask yourself, is Sharia Law truly Islamic?

Suggested reading list:

1. “Shari’a and Islamic Family Law: Transition and Transformation” by Professor Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im in Islamic Family Law in a Changing World: A Global Resource Book.

2. Constructing a Religiously Ideal "Believer" and "Woman" in Islam: Neo-traditional Salafi and Progressive Muslims' Methods of Interpretation (Palgrave Series in Islamic Theology, Law, and History) by Adis Duderija (Oct 11, 2011)

3. For a list of what is NOT in the Quran, please visit:

By Ani Zonneveld, Aslan Media Columnist
*Photo Credit: Kevin Schoenmakers
Read 36305 times

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-4 # Jade 2012-07-05 01:49
Please read Surat Al-Ma'idah and then revisit your article.
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+4 # Ani Zonneveld 2012-09-05 00:17
I did and therefore because you're suppose to take wudu before praying, as an example, it has to be made law? I'm describing an apple and you're describing an orange. That's my take anyway.
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+2 # Jade 2012-07-05 23:37
Also Surat Al-Baqara verse 8 onward
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+2 # Ani Zonneveld 2012-09-05 00:21
Again...what does this have to do with Sharia Law? Unless you're asking me to read it as a way to point out that I'm a hypocrite? If that's the case, just say it to my face.
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0 # Laila Rasheed 2013-04-08 18:47

"Adam went inside the tree to hide." "Eve cut the tree & it bled. The feather that covered Adam & Eve dropped off." So, Tabari I:278 "Now Eve, as you caused the tree to bleed, you will bleed every new moon, & you, snake, I will cut off your feet & you will walk slithering on your face."

"Some camels were originally jinn."

And: Tabari I:279

"It was a tree which made whoever ate from it defecate. But there must be no faeces in Paradise."

Oh, s--t!
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+1 # Pip Power 2013-04-11 12:11

Sura 18:85,86, says that Alexander the Great (Zul-qarinain) followed the setting sun and found that it went down into the waters of a muddy spring. Sura 18:89-98 says Alexander the Great was a Muslim and worshipped Allah and lived to an old age. Actually, Alexander the Great died very young and was by no means a Muslim. The Greek, Alexander the Great lived from 356 - 323 B.C. (Before Jesus). He was 33 years old when he died. Muhammad and Islam did not come along till 610 A.D. (after Jesus), when Muhammad began preaching Allah and his new religion in Mecca. This was over 900 years after Alexander the Great died. Yusuf Ali and the Concise Dictionary of Islam confirm that Zul-qarinain in the Quran is Alexander the Great.

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+1 # abbas 2013-12-21 02:03
all hadith are fabricated by the jews 200 years ago
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0 # abbas 2013-12-21 02:24
must Sharia Law came to islam from the religion of the jews
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0 # abbas 2013-12-21 02:55
alexander was a great man . and he punsh the jews for killing the people of babylan and ellim in iran 2500 years ago and he who destroyed the second temple in jerusalem and by help of god and people he built a long wall to stop Gog and Magog from killing people
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0 # abbas 2013-12-21 03:27
in quran there is no name of Eve.god said adam and his wife . name Eve is only in judaism and christianity
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