What is Shariah Law and should you be Worried?
Sharia Law is not what you think it is
If you believe that ‘Sharia Law‘ means terrorism, or an Islamic law that offers no human rights (especially women rights) and only teaches hatred towards people of other beliefs, then…
- You either got your understanding of Sharia law from some of the main stream media or websites with a hidden agenda against Islam
- Or you didn’t bother to ask a Muslim or an Imam (Muslim religious person)
Ask non-Muslims ‘What is Sharia Law’ and you’ll get a lot of criticism even though the person(s) criticizing sharia knows nothing about Sharia Law but…
Will still claim to have a deep knowledge of shariah law.
What does “Shari’a” MEAN?
In order to understand what ‘Shari’a Law’ is, we first need to understand what “Shari’a” actually means.
The word Sharia comes from the Arabic root word ‘Shar’a’, which means…
“Path” or ‘Road’
Path or road to what?… you say
Path or road to your salvation and the pleasure of your Creator (Allah – SWT).
That is what Sharia means in Arabic. It doesn’t mean something bad or negative, nor terrorism. It is something positive.
They might not know it but even Christians and Jews have a Sharia Law we call ‘The Commandments’. Yes, the Sharia Laws given to all Prophets, including Moses, Abraham, Jesus (Peace Be On Them All), and the last Prophet Muhammad (SAAWS).
10 Sharia Laws found in Islam, Christianity and Judaism
Did you know that by following the below 10 commandments, you are actually implementing Sharia Laws.
- I am the Lord thy God, thou shall not have any gods before me.
- You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything.
- You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
- Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
- Honor your father and your mother.
- You shall not murder.
- Thy shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- Thy shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
Yes, Christians and Jews in the Middle East have used “Sharia” to describe their own religion.
Just in case you forgot what Sharia means…
In Arabic, “Shari’a” literally means “path,”.
Remember when I used the word ‘Salvation’ above?
What I meant by ‘Salvation’ is…
If you follow the above 10 Commandments, you’ll be following a path that (Insha-Allah) will let all of us to salvation and the mercy of God.
Again, Sharia is just a set of moral guidance and principles (from God) everyone of us should follow.
Meaning and Origins of the word ‘Sharia’
On the main page of Teaching of Islam website, I did mention that I am not a scholar nor claiming to be one. What I know about Shariah law is what my parents taught me plus what I was taught by many Imams (Muslim scholars) while growing up.
I don’t remember hearing from the Imams or telling me anything bad about Shari’a law.
In fact, I remember them clearly giving me an example that helped me understand the meaning of Shari’a law…
Taking your neighbor’s trash to the dumpster is a form of Shariah law.
Shari’a Law According to some anti-Muslim
If you visit some websites (and there are plenty) setup by some anti-Muslim with an agenda against Islam, they will describe or define Shari’a law as follow:
- Sharia Law is the law of Islam
- Shariah is a cast from Muhammad’s (PBUH) word called “Hadith”
- Shari’a law is derived from Muhammad’s (PBUH) action called “Sunnah”
- Shariah law regulate public and private behavior and even private belief
- Sharia law favors corporal and capital punishments
and so on.
Now, let me answer some of the above description of what Sharia law is listed above…
Sharia law is the law of Islam
That is not true. Unfortunately, many get their information about Sharia law (or about anything for that matter) either through the media, from someone who doesn’t know Islam but still hates it…
Or from someone who has an agenda against Islam because of what he/she was told, or made to believe after the horrible events of 9/11.
The term ‘Sharia'(also known as Sharia’a, and Shariah) has been tossed around so many times that one will end up believing they understand what Sharia is.
Shariah is Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) law
That is incorrect. The Prophet (PBUH) teachings, laws and rulings were based on the Quran and commandments of Allah(SWT) by interpreting verses in the Quran and act as a judge when there were conflicts or argument between two people, between tribes, and so on.
Shari’a is Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) Sunnah
Shariah and Sunna are two different things. Sunnah (Sunnan – plural) are the transmitted records of the sayings, deeds and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Shari’a, as an Islamic law, derives from the commandments of God and the inclusion of Prophet Muhammad’s (SAAWS) judgements or rulings.
Only if you took the time to research ‘Sharia’ you’ll come to learn that all Sharia means is ‘Path’.
What many are saying about Shariah Law
According to some people I talked to and what I saw on many websites, Shariah law means:
- If you steal, your hands will be amputated
- If you deny or criticize the Quran or any part of it, your punishment is death
- Criticizing Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) or even deny that he is a Prophet, death will be your punishment
- Denying Allah (SWT) is punishable by death
- Reverting back to your previous beliefs, from Islam will get you a death penalty
And too many more to mention all of them here.
Quranic Verses Or Prophet’s Sayings (SAAWS) Used For Sharia Misinformation
What’s funny is that they (people with an agenda against Islam) will list either a Quranic verse or a Hadith (Saying of the Prophet Muhammad – PBUH) to make their case strong, however, they will leave out the next or previous verse so you miss the real interpretation or the meaning of the verse.
Plus, the cutting off of the hands is a serious matter and cannot be done for just any theft. Just like with any ruling in Islam, there are tough conditions that must be met.
They will also mention or list countries that implement the Sharia law where in fact, many countries included in their list actually will not cut off your hands if you steal but put you in jail, or punish you with a death penalty if you deny Allah (SWT) and even if you do not believe in the Prophet Muhammad (SAAWS).