Sharia Law: An Insight

· Islam, Law

SHARIA LAW an Insight

I have heard so much about Sharia Law but have little idea of how it affects Muslims and non-Muslims. I will list some of these laws that may throw some light on the laws that governs the lives of Muslims. Anyone wishing for me to add any further aspects of Sharia that I may have overlooked, please provide links in comments. This article will be updated from time to time. 26.03.11

Examples of Sharia Law

Sharia law is based on the Qur’an, and the Sunnah. There are 4 schools of thought on these laws, the Hanbali, the Maliki, the Shafi’i, and the Hanifi. There are also secondary sources. The secondary sources are: Ijma (consensus), Kiyas (analogy), Ijtihad (responsible individual opinion), and Istihsan (Juristic references). Because Islam is entirely based on the immutable Qur’an, and Sunnah, and the Sharia Laws based on Muhammad’s concept of Allah’s commands, Islam must adopt the original values, ethics and morals of Muhammad for his era.

Listed here are some of the derived Sharia laws so we can the values that guide a Muslim and what he expects of others:

Some common laws of “Islamic Sharia” which are regularly practiced in the Islamically ruled (Sharia-based) nations with some minor variations:


  • 1*- Jihad defined as “to war against all non-Muslims to establish the  (Islamic) religion” is the duty of every Muslim and (the) Muslim head of state (Caliph). (The) Muslim Caliphs who refuse to Jihad are in violation of Sharia and (are) unfit to rule.
  • Qur’an:2:216 “Jihad (holy fighting in Allah’s Cause) is ordained for you (Muslims), though you dislike it. But it is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and like a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knows, and you know not.” [Another translation reads:] “Warfare is ordained for you.”
    Qur’an:4:95 “Not equal are those believers who sit at home and receive no injurious hurt, and those who strive hard, fighting Jihad in Allah’s Cause with their wealth and lives. Allah has granted a rank higher to those who strive hard, fighting Jihad with their wealth and bodies to those who sit (at home). Unto each has Allah promised good, but He prefers Jihadists who strive hard and fight above those who sit home. He has distinguished his fighters with a huge reward.”
    Bukhari:V4B52N44 “A man came to Allah’s Apostle and said, ‘Instruct me as to such a deed as equals Jihad in reward.’ He replied, ‘I do not find such a deed.'”
  • 2- A Caliph can hold office through seizure of power meaning through force.
  • 3*- The head of an Islamic State (Caliph) cannot be charged, let alone be punished for serious crimes such as murder, adultery, robbery, theft, drinking and in some cases of rape (Hudood cases) – Codified Islamic Law Vol 3 # 914C of and page 188 of Hedaya the Hanafi manual.
  • 4*- A percentage of Zakat (compulsory alms) must go towards Jihad.
  • 5*- It is obligatory to obey the commands of the Caliph, even if (it is felt) he is unjust.
  • 6- A caliph must be a Muslim, a non-slave and a male.
  • 7- The Muslim public must remove the Caliph in one case, if he rejects Islam.


  • 8*- A Muslim who leaves Islam (apostate) must be killed immediately.
  • 9*- A Muslim will be forgiven for murder of:  a) an apostate, b) an adulterer, c) a highway robber. NB: This allows vigilante street justice and honour killings acceptable.
  • 10*- A Muslim will not received the death penalty if he kills a “non-Muslim.”
  • 11*- Sharia never abolished slavery or sexual slavery and regulates it. A master will not be punished for killing his slave. Slavery still exists amongst Arab Muslims.
  • 12***- Sharia demands death by stoning, beheading, for sins like killing (murder),adultery, prostitution. Sharia permits other corporal punishments like: floggings, beatings, amputation of limbs (hands and feet) and other cruel punishments for sins like: stealing, sexual promiscuity, robbery, burglary etc.
  • 13*- Non-Muslims are NOT Equal to Muslims and must comply to Sharia (pay poll tax-Zizzya) if they are to remain safe in Muslim lands. Non-Muslims are FORBIDDEN to marry Muslim women, or to publicly display wine or pork, recite their own religious scriptures, or openly celebrate their own religious holidays or funerals in Muslim lands. They are prohibited from building new churches or build them taller than mosques. They may not enter a mosque without permission. A non-Muslim is no longer protected if he commits adultery with a Muslim woman or if he leads a Muslim away from Islam (apostasy).
  • 14*- It is a crime for a non-Muslim to sell weapons to someone who will use them against Muslims. 


  • 14a*- Non-Muslims cannot curse a Muslim, say anything derogatory about Allah, the Prophet, or Islam, or expose the weak points of Muslims/Islam. However, Muslim can curse, criticise or say anything derogatory they like to the religions of all others.
  • 15- A non-Muslim cannot inherit from a Muslim.
  • 16- Banks (Islamic transactions) must Sharia compliant and interest is not allowed.
  • 17- No testimony in count is acceptable from people of low-level jobs, such as street sweepers or a bathhouse attendant. Women in such low level jobs such as professional funeral mourners cannot keep custody of their children in case of divorce.
  • 18- A non-Muslim cannot rule even over a non-Muslim minority.
  • 19- Homosexuality is a crime punishable by death.


  • 20*- There is no age limit for marriage of girls under Sharia. The marriage contract can take place anytime after birth and consummated at age 8 or 9 years.
  • 21*- Rebelliousness on the wife nullifies the husband’s obligation to support her, gives him permission to beat her and keep her from leaving the home.
  • 22*- Divorce in only in the hands of the husband and is as easy as saying, “I divorce you” and it becomes effective even if the husband did not intend it.
    • 23- There is no common property between husband and wife and the husband’s property does not automatically go to the wife after his death.
    • 24- A woman inherits half what a man inherits. Sister gets half of what brother gets.
    • 25- A man has the right to have up to 4 wives and wife has no right to divorce him even if he is polygamous.
    • 26- The dowry is given in exchange for the woman’s sexual organs.


    • 27***- A (Muslim) man is allowed to have sex with slave women and also with women captured in battle (concubines,) and if the enslaved woman is married, her marriage is automatically annulled.
    • 28*- The testimony of a woman in court is half the value of a man; two women equal to one man.
    • 29- A woman looses custody if she remarries.
    • 30- A rapist may only be required to pay the bride-money (dowry) without marrying the rape victim.
    • 31*- A Muslim woman must cover every inch of her body which is considered “Awrah,” a sexual organ (object.) Some schools of Sharia allow the face (to be shown) and some don’t.
    • 32- A Muslim man is forgiven if he kills his wife caught in the act of adultery. However, the opposite is not true for women since he “could be married to the woman he was caught with.”


    • 33*- It is “obligatory” for a Muslim to lie if the purpose is “for the furtherance of Islam” and this is known as Taqiyya (Islamic deception.) That means that for the sake of abiding with Islam’s commandments, such as Jihad, a Muslim is obliged to be deceitful to disarm the opponent and should not have any feelings of guilt or shame associated with this deceit  because it is in the cause of defending Islam. [1b]

    The above are clear-cut laws in Islam decided by great Imams after years of examination and interpretation of the Quran, Hadith and Mohammed’s life.

    • 34*- The perpetrators of genocide, mass rape and plunder will not be punished if the repent – Codified Islamic Law Vol 1 # 13.

    • 35*- To prove rape, a woman must have 4 male witnesses. Women’s testimony is not accepted  – Pakistan’s Hudood ordnance 7 of 1979 amended by 8B of 1980. Thousands of raped women and girls in many countries have been charged with Zena (physical relations outside marriage) and punished by Sharia courts for want of witnesses.
    • 36. All modern music including sexually explicit music of any kind is strictly prohibited and punishable by Islamic Sharia code of justice. Only Islamic songs are allowed. [1] [1a]


    The Shariah is the Islamic Sacred Law which was developed hundreds of years ago by Islamic jurists using the Koran and hadith (remembrances about what the Prophet Muhammad said and did during the time he was alive) as guideposts. The Shariah outlines a complete way of life in a legal framework which tells you how to do everything from how to pray to how to go to the bathroom. What does the Shariah law actually state? Here are some examples of Shariah law:

    • 1. Offensive, military jihad against non-Muslims is a communal, religious obligation;
    • 2. A person who is ignorant about Islamic legal opinion must follow the legal opinion of a scholar;
    • 3. The penalty for a Muslim apostate (someone who no longer believes in or no longer follows the tenets of Islam) is death;
    • 4. When slaughtering animals for food, a knife must be used to cut the windpipe and gullet;
    • 5. A woman is only eligible to receive half the inheritance of a man;
    • 6. Marriage may be forced on virgins by their father or father’s father;
    • 7. A non-Arab man may not marry an Arab woman;
    • 8. A woman must seek permission from her husband to leave the house;
    • 9. A Muslim man cannot marry a woman who is a Zoroastrian, an idol worshipper, an apostate from Islam or a woman with one parent who is Jewish or Christian, with the other being Zoroastrian; a Muslim woman cannot marry anyone but a Muslim;
    • 10. A free Muslim man may marry up to four women;
    • 11. Retaliation is obligatory in most cases when someone is deliberately murdered except when a Muslim kills a non-Muslim, a Jew or a Christian kills a Muslim apostate or a father or mother kill their offspring;
    • 12. Non-Muslim subjects (Ahl al-Dhimma) of a Muslim state are subject to a series of discriminatory laws – “dhimmitude”;
    • 13. The penalty for fornication or sodomy is being stoned to death;
    • 14. The penalty for an initial theft is amputation of the right hand. Subsequent thefts are penalized by further amputations of feet and hand;
    • 15. A non-Muslim cannot testify against a Muslim in court; a person who is “without respectability” cannot give legal testimony; a woman’s legal testimony is only given half the legal weight of a man’s (and is only acceptable in cases involving property); to legally prove fornication or sodomy requires 4 male witnesses who actually saw the act;
    • 16. The establishment and continuation of the Islamic Caliphate (by force, if necessary) is a communal obligation;
    • 17. Sodomites and Lesbians must be killed;
    • 18. Laughing too much is forbidden;
    • 19. Musical instruments are unlawful;
    • 20. Creating pictures of animate life is forbidden;
    • 21. Female circumcision, which includes the excision of the clitoris, is obligatory;
    • 22. Slavery is permitted;
    • 23. People may be bribed to convert to Islam;
    • 24. Beating a rebellious wife is permissible; and,
    • 25. Lying is permissible in a time of war (or jihad). [1c]

    to start with, I must explain from which authority I will be excerpting these legal clauses. I will be excerpting them from a book entitled in English as The Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law. In Arabic it is referred to as the Umdat al-Salik and was authored by Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri (d. 1368 A.D.). The English translation was edited and translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller. The book is published by Amana Publications, Beltsville, Maryland, U.S.A.. I will be excerpting from the revised 1994 edition. The book is also available for sale at

    The book is self-described as follows:

    This work is the first translation of a standard Islamic legal reference in a European language to be certified by al-Azhar, the Muslim world’s oldest institution of higher learning. It presents an explanative interpretation of ‘Umdat as-salik, a classic Sunni manual of Sacred Law by Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri (d. 769/1368) that comprises the legal work of Imam Nawawi, the great thirteenth-century Shaf’I hadith scholar and jurisprudent. Ibn Naquib’s famous handbook carefully summarizes the conclusions of Nawawi’s legal encyclopedia al-Majmu’ on all aspects of practicing Islam, from prayer, marriage, jihad, and inheritance to the other facets of Islamic life. [from the rear cover of the book – letter writer’s note]

    The legal texts which I will be quoting are truly representative of orthodox Sunni Muslim legal thinking and do not misrepresent the Sunni Muslim legal point of view in any way. Accordingly, please find excerpted below the legal texts associated with the headings outlined above including all relevant page references. The following symbols within the excerpts mean as follows: A: comment by Sheikh ‘Abd al-Wakil Durubi; N: comment by Sheikh Nuh ‘Ali Salman; n: remark by the translator; and, O: excerpt from the commentary by Sheikh ‘Umar Barakat.

    1. Offensive, military jihad against non-Muslims is a communal, religious obligation

    pp. 599-603

    O9.0 JIHAD

    (O: Jihad means to war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada, signifying warfare to establish the religion. And it is the lesser jihad. As for the greater jihad, it is spiritual warfare against the lower self (nafs), which is why the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said as he was returning from jihad,

    “We have returned from the lesser jihad to the greater jihad.”
    The scriptural basis for jihad, prior to scholarly consensus is such Koranic verses as:

    (1) “Fighting is prescribed for you” (Koran 2:216);

    (2) “Slay them wherever you find them” (Koran 4:89);

    (3) “Fight the idolaters utterly” (Koran 9:36);

    and such hadiths as the one related by Bukhari and Muslim that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:

    “I have been commanded to fight people until they testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and perform the prayer, and pay zakat. If they say it, they have saved their blood and possessions from me, except for the rights of Islam over them. And their final reckoning is with Allah”;

    and the hadith reported by Muslim,

    “To go forth in the morning or evening to fight in the path of Allah is better than the whole world and everything in it.”

    Details concerning jihad are found in the accounts of the military expeditions of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), including his own martial forays and those on which he dispatched others. The former consist of the ones he personally attended, some twenty-seven (others say twenty-nine) of them. He fought in eight of them, and killed only one person with his noble hand, Ubayy ibn Khalaf, at the battle of Uhud. On the latter expeditions he sent others to fight, himself remaining at Medina, and these were forty-seven in number.)


    09.1 Jihad is a communal obligation. When enough people perform it to successfully accomplish it, it is no longer obligatory upon others (O: the evidence for which is the Prophet’s saying (Allah bless him and give him peace),

    “He who provides the equipment for a soldier in jihad has himself performed jihad,”

    and Allah Most High having said:

    “Those of the believers who are unhurt but sit behind are not equal to those who fight in Allah’s path with their property and lives. Allah has preferred those who fight with their property and lives a whole degree above those who sit behind. And to each, Allah has promised great good” (Koran 4:95)

    If none of those concerned perform jihad, and it does not happen at all, then everyone who is aware that it is obligatory is guilty of sin, if there was a possibility of having performed it. In the time of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) jihad was a communal obligation after his emigration (hijra) to Medina. As for subsequent times, there are two possible states in respect to non-Muslims.

    The first is when they are in their own countries, in which case jihad is a communal obligation, and this is what our author is speaking of when he says, “Jihad is a communal obligation,” meaning upon the Muslims each year.

    The second state is when non-Muslims invade a Muslim country or near to one, in which case jihad is personally obligatory upon the inhabitants of that country, who must repel the non-Muslims with whatever they can.

    0.9.2 Jihad is personally obligatory upon all those present in the battle lines (A: and to flee is an enormity) (O: provided one is able to fight. If unable, because of illness or the death of one’s mount when not able to fight on foot, or because one no longer has a weapon, then one may leave. One may also leave if the opposing non-Muslim army is more than twice the size of the Muslim force).

    0.9.3 Jihad is also (O: personally) obligatory for everyone (O: able to perform it, male or female, old or young) when the enemy has surrounded the Muslims (O: on every side, having entered our territory, even if the land consists of ruins, wilderness, or mountains, for the non-Muslim forces entering Muslim lands is a weighty matter that cannot be ignored, but must be met with effort and struggle to repel them by every possible means. All of which is if conditions permit gathering (A: the above mentioned) people, provisioning them, and readying them for war, then whoever is found by a non-Muslim and knows he will be killed if captured is obliged to defend himself in whatever way is possible. But if not certain that he will be killed, meaning that he might or might not be, as when he might merely be taken captive, and he knows he will be killed if he does not surrender, then he may either surrender or fight. A woman too has a choice between fighting or surrendering if she is certain that she will not be subjected to an indecent act if captured. If uncertain that she will be safe from such an act, she is obliged to fight, and surrender is not permissible.


    Those called upon (O: to perform jihad when it is a communal obligation) are every able-bodied man who has reached puberty and is sane.



    0.9.8 The caliph makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians (N: provided he has first invited them to enter Islam in faith and practice, and if they will not, then invited them to enter the social order of Islam by paying the non-Muslim poll tax (jizya) – which is the significance of their paying it, not the money itself – while remaining in their ancestral religions) (O: and the war continues) until they become Muslim or else pay the non-Muslim poll tax (O: in accordance with the word of Allah Most High,

    “Fight those who do not believe in Allah and the Last Day and who forbid not what Allah and His messenger have forbidden – who do not practice the religion of truth, being of those who have been given the Book – until they pay the poll tax out of hand and are humbled” (Koran 9:29),

    the time and place for which is before the final descent of Jesus (upon whom be peace). After his final coming, nothing but Islam will be accepted from them, for taking the poll tax is only effective until Jesus’ descent (upon him and our Prophet be peace), which is the divinely revealed law of Muhammad. The coming of Jesus does not entail a separate divinely revealed law, for he will rule by the law of Muhammad. As for the Prophet’s saying (Allah bless him and give him peace),

    “I am the last, there will be no prophet after me.”

    this does not contradict the final coming of Jesus (upon whom be peace), since he will not rule according to the Evangel, but as a follower of our Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)).

    0.9.9 The caliph fights all other peoples until they become Muslim (O: because they are not a people with a Book, nor honored as such, and are not permitted to settle with paying the poll tax (jizya)) (n: though according to the Hanafi school, people of all other religions, even idol worshippers, are permitted to live under the protection of the Islamic state if they either become Muslim or agree to pay the poll tax, the sole exceptions to which are apostates from Islam and idol worshippers who are Arabs, neither of whom has any choice but becoming Muslim (al-Hidaya sharh Bidaya al-mubtadi (y21), 6.48-49)).

    2. A person who is ignorant about Islamic legal opinion must follow the legal opinion of a scholar

    p. 20


    b5.1 (Muhammad Sa’id Buti:) Because scholars accept the evidence from Koran, sunna and reason as complete and intersubstantiative that the ordinary person or learned one not at the level of textual dedication and ijtihad is not entitled but to follow a qualified mujtahid who has a comprehensive grasp of the evidence – they say that a formal legal opinion (fatwa) from a mujtahid is in relation to the ordinary person just as a proof from the Koran and sunna is in relation to the mujtahid. For the Koran, just as it obligates the scholar thoroughly versed in it to hold to its evidences and proofs, also obligates (n: in the verse quoted above at b2.1) the uninformed person to adhere to the formal legal opinion of the scholar and his ijtihad (ibid., 73).

    3. The penalty for a Muslim apostate (someone who no longer believes in or no longer follows the tenets of Islam) is death

    pp. 595-598


    (O: Leaving Islam is the ugliest form of unbelief (kufr) and the worst. It may come about through sarcasm, as when someone is told, “Trim your nails, it is sunna,” and he replies, “I would not do it even if it were,” as opposed to when some circumstance exists which exonerates him of having committed apostasy, such as when his tongue runs away with him, or when he is quoting someone, or says it out of fear.)

    o8.1 When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostatizes from Islam, he deserves to be killed.

    o8.2 In such a case, it is obligatory for the caliph (A: or his representative) to ask him to repent and return to Islam. If he does, it is accepted from him, but if he refuses, he is immediately killed.

    o8.3 If he is a freeman, no one besides the caliph or his representatives may kill him. If someone else kills him, the killer is disciplined (def: o17) (O: for arrogating the caliph’s prerogative and encroaching upon his rights, as this is one of his duties).

    o8.4 There is no indemnity for killing an apostate (O: or any expiation, since it is killing someone who deserves to die).

    o8.5 If he apostatizes from Islam and returns several times, it (O: i.e. his return to Islam, which occurs when he states the two Testifications of Faith (def: o8.7(12))) is accepted from him, though he is disciplined (o17).

    o8.6 (A: If a spouse in a consummated marriage apostatizes from Islam, the couple are separated for a waiting period consisting of three intervals between menstruations. If the spouse returns to Islam before the waiting period ends, the marriage is not annulled but is considered to have continued the whole time (dis: m7.4).)


    o8.7 (O: Among the things that entail apostasy from Islam (may Allah protect us from them) are:

    (1) to prostrate to an idol, whether sarcastically, out of mere contrariness, or in actual conviction, like that of someone who believes the creator to be something that has originated in time. Like idols in this respect are the sun or moon, and like prostration is bowing to other than Allah, if one intends reverence towards it like the reverence due to Allah;

    (2) to intend to commit unbelief, even if in the future. And like this intention is hesitating whether to do so or not: one thereby immediately commits unbelief;

    (3) to speak words that imply unbelief such as “Allah is the third of three,” or “I am Allah” – unless one’s tongue has run away with one, or one is quoting another, or is one of the friends of Allah Most High (wali, def: w33) in a spiritually intoxicated state of oblivion (A: a friend of Allah or not, someone totally oblivious is as if insane, and is not held legally responsible (dis: k13.1 (O:))), for these latter do not entail unbelief;

    (4) to revile Allah or his messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace);

    (5) to deny the existence of Allah, His beginningless eternality, His endless eternality, or to deny any of His attributes which the consensus of Muslims ascribes to Him (dis: v1);

    (6) to be sarcastic about Allah’s name, His command, His interdiction, His promise, or His threat;

    (7) to deny any verse of the Koran or anything which by scholarly consensus (def: b7) belongs to it, or to add a verse that does not belong to it;

    (8) to mockingly say, “I don’t know what faith is”;

    (9) to reply to someone who says, “There is no power or strength save through Allah”: “Your saying ‘There’s no power or strength, etc.’ won’t save you from hunger”;

    (10) for a tyrant, after an oppressed person says, “This is through the decree of Allah,” to reply, “I act without the decree of Allah”’;

    (11) to say that a Muslim is an unbeliever (kafir) (dis: w47) in words that are uninterpretable as merely meaning he is an ingrate towards Allah for divinely given blessings (n: in Arabic, also “kafir”);

    (12) when someone asks to be taught the Testification of Faith (Ar. Shahada, the words, “La ilaha ill Allahu Muhammadun rasulu Llah” (There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the messenger of Allah)), and a Muslim refuses to teach him it;

    (13) to describe a Muslim or someone who wants to become a Muslim in terms of unbelief (kufr);

    (14) to deny the obligatory character of something which by the consensus of Muslims (ijma’, def: b7) is part of Islam, when it is well known as such, like the prayer (salat) or even one rak’a from one of the five obligatory prayers, if there is no excuse (def: u2.4);

    (15) to hold that any of Allah’s messengers or prophets are liars, or to deny their being sent;

    (n: ‘Ala’ al-Din ‘Abidin adds the following:

    (16) to revile the religion of Islam;

    (17) to believe that things in themselves or by their own nature have any causal influence independent of the will of Allah;

    (18) to deny the existence of angels or jinn (def: w22), or the heavens;

    (19) to be sarcastic about any ruling of the Sacred Law;

    (20) to deny that Allah intended the Prophet’s message (Allah bless him and give him peace) to be the religion followed by the entire world (dis: w4.3-4) (al-Hadiyya al-‘Ala’iyya (y4), 423-24).)

    There are others, for the subject is nearly limitless. May Allah Most High save us and all Muslims from it.)

    p. 109, f1.3

    f1.3 Someone raised among Muslims who denies the obligatoriness of the prayer, zakat, fasting Ramadan, the pilgrimage, or the unlawfulness of wine and adultery, or denies something else upon which there is scholarly concensus (ijima’, def: b7) and which is necessarily known as being of the religion (N: necessarily known meaning things that any Muslim would know about if asked) thereby becomes an unbeliever (kafir) and is executed for his unbelief. (O: if he does not admit he is mistaken and acknowledge the obligatoriness or unlawfulness of that which is there is scholarly consensus upon. As for if he denies the obligatoriness of something there is not consensus upon, then he is not adjudged an unbeliever).

    4. When slaughtering animals for food, a knife must be used to cut the windpipe and gullet

    p. 364-365

    j17.4 The necessary condition for slaughtering any animal which is within one’s capacity to slaughter (O: domesticated or wild) is to cut both the windpipe and the gullet (O: windpipe meaning the channel of breath, and gullet meaning the channel of food and drink which lies beneath the windpipe. ….

    The slaughterer should cut swiftly and not take his time such that he has to cut two or more times.

    5. A woman is only eligible to receive half the inheritance of a man

    p. 477-478

    L6.3 (N: A summary of X’s husband’s share:
    – ½ if there is no inheriting descendant
    – ¼ if there is an inheriting descendant.
    – The husband’s share is not eliminated by anyone.)

    L6.4 (N: A summary of X’s wife’s share:

    – ¼ if there is no inheriting descendant
    – 1/8 if there is an inheriting descendant
    – The wife’s share is not eliminated by anyone.)

    6. Marriage may be forced on virgins by their father or father’s father

    p. 522, m3.13


    m3.13 Guardians are of two types, those who may compel their female charges to marry someone, and those who may not.

    (1) The only guardians who may compel their charge to marry are a virgin bride’s father or father’s father, compel meaning to marry her to a suitable match (def: m4) without her consent.

    (2) Those who may not compel her are not entitled to marry her to someone unless she accepts and gives her permission.

    Whenever the bride is a virgin, the father or father’s father may marry her to someone without her permission, though it is recommended to ask her permission if she has reached puberty. A virgin’s silence is considered as permission.

    7. A non-Arab man may not marry an Arab woman

    p. 523, m4.2

    m4.2 The following are not suitable matches for one another:

    (1) a non-Arab man for an Arab woman (O: because of the hadith that the prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said,

    “Allah has chosen the Arabs above others”)

    8. A woman must seek permission from her husband to leave the house

    p. 538


    m10.3 (A: A husband may permit his wife to leave the house for a lesson in Sacred Law, for invocation of Allah (dhikr), to see her female friends, or to go to any place in the town. A woman may not leave the city without her husband or a member of her unmarriageable kin (def: m6.2) accompanying her, unless the journey is obligatory, like the hajj. It is unlawful for her to travel otherwise, and unlawful for her husband to allow her to.) (n: In the Hanafi school, it is not unlawful for her to travel beyond city limits without a husband or member of her unmarriageable kin unless the distance to her intended destination exceeds ca. 77 km./48 mi. (al-Lubab fi sharh al-Kitab (y88), 1.105).)

    m10.4 The husband may forbid his wife to leave the home (O: because of the hadith related by Bayhaqu that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said,

    “It is not permissible for a woman who believes in Allah and the Last Day to allow someone into her husband’s house if he is opposed, or to go out if he is averse”).

    But if one of her relatives dies, it is preferable to let her leave to visit them.

    9. A Muslim man cannot marry a woman who is a Zoroastrian, an idol worshipper, an apostate from Islam or a woman with one parent who is Jewish or Christian, with the other being Zoroastrian; a Muslim woman cannot marry anyone but a Muslim

    p. 529

    m6.7 It is unlawful for a Muslim man to marry:

    (1) a Zoroastrian woman;

    (2) an idol worshipper;

    (3) an apostate from Islam (murtadd, def: o8);

    (4) or a woman with one parent who is Jewish or Christian, while the other is Zoroastrian.

    (5) (N: It is not lawful or valid for a Muslim man to be married to any woman who is not either a Muslim, Christian, or Jew; nor is it lawful or valid for a Muslim woman to be married to anyone besides a Muslim.)

    10. A free Muslim man may marry up to four women

    p. 530

    m6.10 It is unlawful for a free man to marry more than four women.

    11. Retaliation is obligatory in most cases when someone is deliberately murdered except when a Muslim kills a non-Muslim, a Jew or Christian kills a Muslim apostate, or a father or mother kill their offspring

    pp. 582-584

    o1.1 Retaliation is obligatory (A: if the person entitled wishes to take it (dis: o3.8)) against anyone who kills a human being purely intentionally and without right. ….

    o1.2 The following are not subject to retaliation:

    (2) a Muslim for killing a non-Muslim;

    (3) a Jewish or Christian subject of the Islamic state for killing an apostate from Islam (O: because a subject of the state is under its protection, while killing an apostate from Islam is without consequences);

    (4) a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring’s offspring.

    12. Non-Muslim subjects (Ahl al-Dhimma) of a Muslim state are subject to a series of discriminatory laws – “dhimmitude”

    pp. 607-609


    o11.1 A formal agreement of protection is made with citizens who are:

    (1) Jews;
    (2) Christians;
    (3) Zoroastrians;
    (4) Samarians and Sabians, if their religions do not respectively contradict the fundamental bases of Judaism and Christianity;
    (5) and those who adhere to the religion of Abraham or one of the other prophets (upon whom be blessings and peace).

    o11.2 Such an agreement may not be effected with those who are idol worshippers (dis: o9.9 (n:)), or those who do not have a Sacred Book or something that could have been a Book.

    (A: Something that could have been a book refers to those like the Zoroastrians, who have remnants resembling an ancient Book. As for the pseudoscriptures of cults that have appeared since Islam (n: such as the Sikhs, Baha’is, Mormons, Qadianis, etc.), they neither are nor could be a Book, since the Koran is the final revelation (dis: w4).)

    o11.3 Such an agreement is only valid when the subject peoples:

    (a) follow the rules of Islam (A: those mentioned below (o11.5) and those involving public behavior and dress, though in acts of worship and their private lives, the subject communities have their own laws, judges, and courts, enforcing the rules of their own religion among themselves);
    (b) and pay the non-Muslim poll tax (jizya).


    o11.4 The minimum non-Muslim poll tax is one dinar (n: 4.235 grams of gold) per person (A: per year). The maximum is whatever both sides agree upon.

    It is collected with leniency and politeness, as are all debts, and is not levied on women, children, or the insane.

    o11.5 Such non-Muslim subjects are obliged to comply with Islamic rules that pertain to the safety and indemnity of life, reputation, and property. In addition, they:

    (1) are penalized for committing adultery or theft, though not for drunkenness;
    (2) are distinguished from Muslims in dress, wearing a wide cloth belt (zunnar);
    (3) are not greeted with “as-Salamu alaykum”;
    (4) must keep to the side of the street;
    (5) may not build higher than or as high as the Muslims’ buildings, though if they acquire a tall house, it is not razed;
    (6) are forbidden to openly display wine or pork, (A: to ring church bells or display crosses,) recite the Torah or Evangel aloud, or make public display of their funerals and feastdays;
    (7) and are forbidden to build new churches.

    o11.6 They are forbidden to reside in the Hijaz, meaning the area and towns around Mecca, Medina, and Yamama, for more than three days (when the caliph allows them to enter there for something they need).

    o11.7 A non-Muslim may not enter the Meccan Sacred Precinct (Haram) under any circumstances, or enter any other mosque without permission (A: nor may Muslims enter churches without their permission).

    o11.8 It is obligatory for the caliph (def: o25) to protect those of them who are in Muslim lands just as he would Muslims, and to seek the release of those of them who are captured.

    o11.9 If non-Muslim subjects of the Islamic state refuse to conform to the rules of Islam, or to pay the non-Muslim poll tax, then their agreement with the state has been violated (dis: o11.11) (A: though if only one of them disobeys, it concerns him alone).

    o11.10 The agreement is also violated (A: with respect to the offender alone) if the state has stipulated that any of the following things break it, and one of the subjects does so anyway, though if the state has not stipulated that these break the agreement, then they do not; namely, if one of the subject people:

    (1) commits adultery with a Muslim woman or marries her;
    (2) conceals spies of hostile forces;
    (3) leads a Muslim away from Islam;
    (4) kills a Muslim;
    (5) or mentions something impermissible about Allah, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), or Islam.

    o11.11 When a subject’s agreement with the state has been violated, the caliph chooses between the four alternatives mentioned above in connection with prisoners of war (o9.14).

    13. The penalty for fornication or sodomy is being stoned to death

    p. 610


    o12.1 The legal penalty is obligatorily imposed upon anyone who fornicates or commits sodomy (A: provided it is legally established (def: n11.2(O))) when they:

    (a) have reached puberty;

    (b) are sane;

    (c) and commit the act voluntarily;

    no matter whether the person is a Muslim, non-Muslim subject of the Islamic state, or someone who has left Islam.

    o12.2 If the offender is someone with the capacity to remain chaste, then he or she is stoned to death (def: o12.6), someone with the capacity to remain chaste meaning anyone who has had sexual intercourse (A: at least once) with their spouse in a valid marriage, and is free, of age, and sane. A person is not considered to have the capacity to remain chaste if he or she is has only had intercourse in a marriage that is invalid, or is prepubescent at the time of marital intercourse, or is someone insane at the time of marital intercourse who subsequently regains their sanity prior to committing adultery.

    If the offender is not someone with the capacity to remain chaste, then the penalty consists of being scourged (def: o12.5) one hundred stripes and banished to a distance of at least 81 km./50 mi. for one year.

    14. The penalty for an initial theft is amputation of the right hand. Subsequent thefts are penalized by further amputations of feet and hand


    o14.1 A person’s right hand is amputated, whether he is a Muslim, non-Muslim subject of the Islamic state, or someone who has left Islam, when he:

    (a) has reached puberty;

    (b) is sane;

    (c) is acting voluntarily;

    (d) and steals at least a quarter of a dinar (n: 1.058 grams of gold) or goods worth that much (A: at the market prices current) at the time of the theft;

    (e) from a place meeting the security requirements normal (A: in that locality and time) for safeguarding similar articles (def: o14.3);

    (f) provided there is no possible confusion (dis: o14.2(3)) as to whether he took it by way of theft or for some other reason.

    If a person steals a second time, his left foot is amputated; if a third time, then his left hand; and if he steals again, then his right foot. If he steals a fifth time, he is disciplined (def: o17). If he does not have a right hand (N: at the first offense), then his left foot is amputated. If he has a right hand but loses it after the theft (O: by an act of God) but before he has been punished for it, then nothing is amputated. After amputation, the limb is cauterized with hot oil (A: which in previous times was the means to stop the bleeding and save the criminal’s life).

    • 15. A non-Muslim cannot testify against a Muslim in court; a person who is “without respectability” cannot give legal testimony; a woman’s legal testimony is only given half the legal weight of a man’s (and is only acceptable in cases involving property); to legally prove fornication or sodomy requires 4 male witnesses who actually saw the act

      p. 635


      o24.2 Legal testimony is only acceptable from a witness who:

      (e) is religious (O: meaning upright (o24.4) (A: and Muslim), for Allah Most High says,

      “Let those of rectitude among you testify” (Koran 65:2),

      and unbelief is the vilest form of corruption, as goes without saying).

      o24.3 Nor is testimony acceptable from someone who:

      (3) … is without respectability (def: o24.2(f)), such as a street-sweeper, bathhouse attendant, and the like.

      o24.7 The testimony of the following is legally acceptable when it concerns cases involving property, or transactions dealing with property, such as sales:

      (1) two men;

      (2) two women and a man;

      (3) or a male witness together with the oath of the plaintiff.

      o24.8 If testimony does not concern property, such as marriage or prescribed legal penalties, then only two male witnesses may testify (A: though the Hanafi school holds that two women and a man may testify for marriage).

      o24.9 If testimony concerns fornication or sodomy, then it requires four male witnesses (O: who testify, in the case of fornication, that they have seen the offender insert the head of his penis into her vagina).

      16. The establishment and continuation of the Islamic Caliphate (by force, if necessary) is a communal obligation

      pp. 638-639


      o25.1 (Mawardi:) The reason the office of supreme leadership has been established in Sacred Law is to fulfill the caliphal successorship to prophethood in preserving the religion and managing this-worldly affairs. The investiture of someone from the Islamic Community (Umma) able to fulfill the duties of the caliphate is obligatory by scholarly consensus (def: b7), though scholars differ as to whether its obligatory character is established through reason or through Revealed Law.

      pp. 642-644


      o25.4 The caliphate may be legally effected … (1) by an oath of fealty … (2) … by the caliph appointing a successor … (3) through seizure of power by an individual possessing the qualifications of a caliph (H: meaning by force …) [letter writer’s emphasis]

      17. Sodomites and Lesbians must be killed

      pp. 664-665


      p17.1 In more than one place in the Holy Koran, Allah recounts to us the story of Lot’s people, and how he destroyed them for their wicked practice. There is consensus among both Muslims and the followers of all other religions that sodomy is an enormity. It is even viler and uglier than adultery.

      p17.2 Allah Most High says:

      “Do you approach the males of humanity, leaving the wives Allah has created for you? But you are a people who transgress” (Koran 26:165-66).

      p17.3 The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:

      (1) “Kill the one who sodomizes and the one who lets it be done to him.”

      (2) “May Allah curse him who does what Lot’s people did.”

      (3) “Lesbianism by women is adultery between them.”

      18. Laughing too much is forbidden

      p. 755-756

      r19.0 JOKING

      r19.2 Excessive joking is blameworthy and forbidden, since it eliminates one’s dignity and reserve, and creates resentment in certain situations and people. It also causes immoderate laughter, which kills the heart. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said to his companions,

      “Avoid excessive laughter, for too much laughter kills the heart.”

      19. Musical instruments are unlawful

      pp. 774-775

      r40.0 MUSIC, SONG, AND DANCE

      r40.1 (Ibn Hajar Haytami:) As for the condemnation of musical instruments, flutes, strings and the like by the Truthful and Trustworthy (Allah bless him and give him peace), who

      “does not speak from personal caprice: it is nothing besides a revelation inspired” (Koran 53:3-4),

      let those who refuse to obey him beware lest calamity strike them, or a painful torment. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:

      (1) “Allah Mighty and Majestic sent me as a guidance and mercy to believers and commanded me to do away with musical instruments, flutes, strings, crucifixes, and the affair of the pre-Islamic period of ignorance.”

      (2) “On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will pour molten lead into the ears of whoever sits listening to a songstress.”

      (3) “Song makes hypocrisy grow in the heart as water does herbage.”

      (4) “This community will experience the swallowing up of some people by the earth, metamorphosis of some into animals, and being rained upon with stones.” Someone asked, “When will this be, O Messenger of Allah?” and he said, “When songstresses and musical instruments appear and wine is held to be lawful.”

      (5) “There will be peoples of my Community who will hold fornication, silk, wine, and musical instruments to be lawful ….”

      All of this is explicit and compelling textual evidence that musical instruments of all types are unlawful (Kaff al-ra’a’ ‘an muharramat al-lahw wa al-sama’ (y49), 2.269-70).

      20. Creating pictures of animate life is forbidden




      w50.1 (‘Abd al-Ghaffar ‘Uyun al-Sud:) One should realize that the prohibition of picture making is extremely severe, that it is counted among the enormities, and the threats against doing it are very emphatic. Bukhari and Muslim relate that a man came to Ibn ‘Abbas (Allah be well pleased with him and his father) and said, “My livelihood comes solely from my hands, and I make these pictures. Can you give me a legal opinion about them?” Ibn ‘Abbas told him, “Come closer,” and the man did. “Closer,” he said, and the man did, until he put his hand on the man’s head and said: “Shall I tell you what I heard from the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace)? I heard the Messenger of Allah say,

      “`Every maker of pictures will go to the fire, where a being will be set upon him to torment him in hell for every picture he made.’

      “So if you must, draw trees and things without animate life in them.”

      21. Female circumcision, which includes the excision of the clitoris, is obligatory


      Since I began to study the Shariah, a deliberate mistranslation of the text in the Reliance of the Traveller (the book from which I am excerpting the legal clauses in this letter) regarding female circumcision has been brought to my attention. The mistranslation was brought to my attention through my reading the witness statement of Mark Durie, Senior Associate with the title of Associate Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Applied Linguistics of the University of Melbourne, Victoria, who makes this statement for the respondents, Catch the Fire Ministries Inc, and Pastors Daniel Nalliah and Daniel Scott, who are the subject of a complaint brought by the Islamic Council of Victoria Inc. in the State of Victoria, Australia.

      If you wish to learn more about the case, Mr. Durie’s witness statement is available online at: Also, more information about the case is available online at:

      The information regarding the mistranslation is on page 50 of the witness statement. As Mr. Durie states, the Arabic at e4.3, p. 59 is mistranslated as follows:

      This is translated by Nuh Hah Mim Keller as follows:
      “Circumcision is obligatory (O: for both men and women. For men it consists of removing the prepuce from the penis, and for women, removing the prepuce (Ar. Bazr) of the clitoris (n: not the clitoris itself, as some mistakenly assert). (A: Hanbalis hold that circumcision of women is not obligatory but sunna, while Hanafis consider it a mere courtesy to the husband.)”

      However what the Arabic actually says is:
      “Circumcision is obligatory (for every male and female) by cutting off the piece of skin on the glans of the penis of the male, but circumcision of the female is by cutting out the clitoris (this is called HufaaD).”

      This deceptive translation obscures the Shafi’i law, given by ‘Umdat al-Salik, that circumcision of girls by excision of the clitoris is mandatory.

      The above quotation can be found on page 50, Witness Statement of Mark John Durie,

      22.*** Slavery is permitted


      Although slavery is the subject of elaborate legal prescriptions in Shariah law, the translator of the Reliance of the Traveller, Nuh Ha Mim Keller, declined to translate the Shariah law sections pertaining to slavery because “… the issue is no longer current ….” (p.459) Of course, people in the Sudan and other Muslim countries might disagree with Mr. Keller’s assertion. If you are interested in finding out what the Shariah law is regarding slavery, there are many books which forthrightly discuss the legal prescriptions, one original and esteemed translated source being The Distinguished Jurist Primer, Volume 2 by Ibn Rushd (known as the philosopher, Averroes in the West).

      However, the Koran is unambiguous on the matter of slavery:

      33:50 – “Prophet, We have made lawful to you the wives to whom you have granted dowries and the slave girls whom Allah has given you as booty.”

      23:1 – “Blessed are the believers, who are humble in their prayers; who avoid profane talk, and give alms to the destitute; who restrain their carnal desires (except with their wives and slave-girls, for these are lawful to them) ….”

      24:31 – “Believers, turn to Allah in repentance, that you may prosper. Take in marriage those among you who are single and those of your male and female slaves who are honest.”

      24:33 – “You shall not force your slave-girls into prostitution in order that you may make money, if they wish to preserve their chastity.”

      4: 24 – “You are also forbidden to take in marriage married women, except captives whom you own as slaves.”

      4:92 – “It is unlawful for a believer to kill another believer except by accident. He that accidentally kills a believer must free one Muslim slave and pay blood-money to the family of the victim, unless they choose to give it away in alms.”

      23. People may be bribed to convert to Islam

      p.270, h.8.14


      h.8.14 The fourth category is those whose hearts are to be reconciled. If they are non-Muslims, they are not given Zakat [letter writer’s note: Zakat is a kind of tithe that all Muslims are required to pay], but if Muslims, then they may be given it (O: so that their certainty may increase, or if they are recent converts to Islam and are alienated from their kin).

      Those to be reconciled include:

      (1) the chief personages of a people (O: with weak Islamic intentions) whose Islam may be expected to improve, or whose peers may be expected to enter Islam;
      (2) or the heads of a people who collect zakat for us from Muslims living near them who refuse to pay it, or who fight an enemy for us at considerable expense and trouble to themselves.

      24. Beating a rebellious wife is permissible

      p. 540, m10.12


      m10.12 When a husband notices signs of rebelliousness in his wife (nushuz, dis: p42) (O: whether in words, as when she answers him coldly when she used to do so politely, or he asks her to come to bed and she refuses, contrary to her usual habit; or whether in acts, as when he finds her averse to him when she was previously kind and cheerful), he warns her in words (O: without keeping from her or hitting her, for it may be that she has an excuse. The warning could be to tell her, “Fear Allah concerning the rights you owe to me,” or it could be to explain that rebelliousness nullifies his obligation to support her and give her a turn amongst other wives, or it could be to inform her, “Your obeying me [def: (3) below] is religiously obligatory”). If she commits rebelliousness, he keeps from sleeping (O: and having sex) with her without words, and may hit her, but not in a way that injures her, meaning he may not (A: bruise her,), break bones, wound her, or cause blood to flow. (O: It is unlawful to strike another’s face.) He may hit her whether she is rebellious only once or whether more than once, though a weaker opinion holds that he may not hit her unless there is repeated rebelliousness.

      25. Lying is permissible in a time of war (or jihad)

      pp. 744-745


      R8.2 The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said,

      “He who settles disagreements between people to bring about good or says something commendable is not a liar.”

      This much is related by both Bukhar and Muslim, with Muslim’s version recording that Umm Kulthum added,

      “I did not hear him permit untruth in anything people say, except for three things: war, settling disagreements, and a man talking with his wife or she with him (A: in smoothing over differences).”

      This is an explicit statement that lying is sometimes permissible for a given interest, scholars having established criteria defining what types of it are lawful. The best analysis of it I have seen is by Imam Abu Hamid Ghazali, who says, “Speaking is a means to achieve objectives. If a praiseworthy aim is attainable through both telling the truth and lying, it is unlawful to accomplish through lying because there is no need for it. When it is possible to achieve such an aim by lying but not telling the truth, it is permissible to lie if attaining the goal is permissible (N: i.e. when the purpose of lying is to circumvent someone who is preventing one from doing something permissible), and obligatory to lie if the goal is obligatory. … Whether the purpose is war, settling a disagreement, or gaining the sympathy of a victim legally entitled to retaliate against one so that he will forbear to do so; it is not unlawful to lie when any of these aims can only be attained through lying. But it is religiously more precautionary in all such cases to employ words that give a misleading impression, meaning to intend by one’s words something that is literally true, in respect to which one is not lying, while the outward purport of the words deceives the hearer, though even if one does not have such an intention and merely lies without intending anything else, it is not unlawful in the above circumstances.”

      I hope that you have found these examples of Shariah law to be instructive and educational.

      Yours sincerely,

      Mentat [1c]

      Laws and practices under Sharia

      Marriage laws

      The Muslim man who is not currently a fornicator can only marry a Muslim woman who is not currently a fornicatress or a chaste woman from the people of the book.
      The Muslim fornicator can only marry Muslim fornicatress.
      The number of wives is limited to four,  Mohammed married 15 women and consummated his marriages with 13. (al-Tabari vol.9 p.126-127)
      The Muslim woman who is not currently a fornicatress (morally unrestrained) can only marry a Muslim man who is not currently a fornicator.
      The Muslim fornicatress can only marry a Muslim fornicator.
      The woman cannot marry without the consent of her guardian. If she marries, her husband becomes her new guardian.
      The guardian may choose to marry the virgin without asking her consent, however she can oppose the marriage and then it is cancelled.
      The guardian cannot marry the divorced woman or the widow if she didn’t ask to be married.
      The number of husbands is limited to one, the Muslim Mistress cannot have sex with her slaves.
      Islamic law on marriage differs from one school of thought to another.

      Divorce laws

      A husband may divorce his wife whenever he wants. If the marriage has been consummated, the divorced woman must remain at her ex-husbad’s house for three months before she is allowed to leave. The man has the ability to retract the divorce by having sex with the woman within those three months.A woman who wishes to be divorced needs the consent of her husband. If he consents she has to pay back the dowry. Under certain circumstances (abuse, for instance), the wife may ask a judge to separate the couple.
      If a man divorces his wife three times, he can no longer marry her again unless she marries another man and then divorces him. These are guidelines; Islamic law on divorce is different depending on the school of thought.

      The penalty for theft

      In accordance with the Qur’an and several hadith, theft is punished by imprisonment or amputation of hands or feet, depending on the number of times it was committed.

      The penalty for adultery

      Main article: Stoning to Death in Islam

      In accordance with hadith, stoning to death is the penalty for married men and women who commit adultery.  For unmarried men and women, the punishment prescribed in the Qur’an and Hadith is 100 lashes.

      Dietary laws

      Main article: Islamic dietary lawsSharia dictates that Muslims may only eat from meat that has been slaughtered in the name of Allah and meets stringent dietary requirements. Such meat ius called halal, or “lawful.” Islamic law prohibits a MNuslim from eating pork, and most juridical opinions who also hold monkey, dog, cat,m carnivores and several other types of animal as haram (prohibited.) For the meat of an animal to be halal it must be one of the declared halal species, and the animal may not be killed by excessively cruel or painful means. The traditional means of slaughter is by slicing open the jugular veins at the neck, resulting in quick blood loss; a state of shock and unconsciousness is induced, and death soon follows through cardiac arrest.

      According to the Qur’an, the animal does not have to be slaughtered by a Muslim, but may be slaughtered by a Jew or a Christian (People of the Book) as long as it meets their strict dietary laws. This does not normally apply in modern times as animals are normally not slaughtered by Christians in the name of God. The majority of Christians no longer have rituals associated with slaughter, nor do they ask for God’s permission before the kill. The method of slaughter used by most Christian butchers is also considered inappropriate by many Muslims. (Al-Ma’ida 5: “The food of those who have received the Scripture is lawful for you.”)- this is only provided it is killed in accordance with God’s Law, and in His name. Most Muslims will accept kosher meat as halal. (Qur’an 2:173, 6:121)

      The role of women under Sharia

      Main article: women in IslamIslam does not prohibit women from working, but emphasizes the importance of housekeeping and caring for the families of both parents. In theory, Sunni Islamic law allows husbands to divorce their wives at will, by clearly saying talaq (“I divorce you”). The divorce becomes permanent if the couple has been divorced three times. Women do not have the same right to divorce. In Shi’a Islam, divorce is more involved than this and state proceedings vary. In 2003, for example, a Malaysian court ruled that, under Sharia law, a man may divorce his wife via text messaging as long as the message was clear and unequivocal.  Such a divorce, known as the “triple talaq” is not allowed in most Muslim states. The divorced wife always keeps her dowry from when she was married, and is given child support until the age of weaning, at which point the child may be returned to its father if it is deemed to be best.

      Islam has no (female) clergy, but women may become religious scholars. In practice, it is much more common for men to be scholars than women. Many interpretations of Islamic law hold that women may not have prominent jobs, and thus are forbidden from working in the government. This has been a mainstream view in many Muslim nations in the last century, despite the example of Muhammad’s wife Aisha, who both took part in politics[citation needed] and was a major authority on hadith.

      A Muslim may not marry or remain married to an unbeliever of either sex (2:221, 60:10). A Muslim man may marry a woman of the People of the Book (5:5); traditionally, however, Islamic law forbids a Muslim woman from marrying a non-Muslim man unless he converts to Islam.I


      September 16th, 2010

      We are one of the leading divorce firms of solicitors representing Muslims in divorce and Talaq proceedings in England. This is a particularly complex area of the law and it is vital that where there is likelyto be conflict between the English divorce system and the rights and expectations arising out of Sharia marriage, expert and specialist solicitors are consulted. One of the complexities is that a Talaq (a Sharia or Muslim divorce) is generally not recognised in English law, where the Talaq is obtained in the UK. However; in circumstances where the Talaq is obtained abroad, it is recognised in English law.

      A “talaq” (pronounced Talagh) is essentially an Islamic or Sharia divorce. There are essentially two types of Talaq:

      • A bare Talaq is where a husband husband pronounces three times ‘I divorce you‘. Such a pronouncement has the effect of dissolving the marriage instantly by Sharia law. However; this is not enough to satisfy the English courts
      • A legally binding Talaq, which is legally enforceable in the country where it is obtained is often, although not always, recognised in English law. this is explained in more detail further down in this article.

      There has been some publicity in recent years with some high profile people suggesting that the Sharia divorce laws should have an element of recognition under English law. However; this has not happened yet and is probably some very far way off. If you live in England & Wales then to obtain a divorce you need to go through the English divorce court system. Failure to do this will render any Talaq or Sharia divorce invalid and unrecognised in the UK. That would mean that although you may regard yourself divorced and, to all intents and purposes you may actually be divorced, in law, you might find that you are not divorced and that can lead to all sorts of other legal complexities. For example you would be committing an offence by remarrying.

      Essentially the issue of divorce in English law is completely separate from that of a Talaq in Sharia law. There may well be instances where you need assistance in obtaining both.

      Specialist divorce lawyers such as us are very often asked to deal with marriages and divorces that have taken place abroad. We often need to consider whether a foreign marriage or indeed a foreign divorce is valid in the UK and where it is not we can assist you in resolving any outstanding issues under English law.Often these issues can be relatively straightforward and, sometime they can be extremely complex. The validity of your foreign divorce or Talaq will obviously be of extreme importance if you want to remarry in the UK. However it can also often be a key factor in relation to the settling the financial aspects of your divorce, called Ancillary Relief. Often it can have considerable implications on the finacial aspects of the divorce, whether you divorced in England or whether your Talaq or Sharia divorce can be shown to be valid.

      Through our huge network of contacts and associations in the Muslim community in England & Wales, including many embassies and consulates, we can very often advise and assist you in relation to both your legal English divorce, as well as your Talaq or Sharia divorce. That way we can protect your legal interests as well as ensuringthat you comply with your Sharia obligations.
      We can also assist and advise you where it becomes necessary to obtain declarations as to marital status, for example, where the courts declare that a marriage or divorce should or should not be legally recognised in England and Wales.

      As a very general rule any overseas divorce obtained after 4 April 1988 is only recognised under English law if it is valid in the country it was obtained and at the relevant date, i.e. the date the divorce was granted, either the husband or wife were habitually resident or domiciled in that country or a national of that country. As Talaq divorce is recognised in most Muslim countries then it follows that any Talaq divorce obtained in a Muslim country would be legally binding in England & Wales also, provided the following conditions are satisfied:

      How can I obtain a Talaq Divorce that is legally recognisable in the UK?

      A Talaq divorce which is recognised in law in a Muslim country or jurisdiction will be recognised in the English legal system provided certain formal requirements as set by the Muslim Family Law Ordinance 1961( MFLO) are met. The include the following requirements:

      1. A husband must give notice in writing of the pronouncement of a Talaq divorce to the Chairman of the Union Council of the Ward in which the couple live.
      2. He must give a copy of this notice to his wife.
      3. There are provisions for attempts at reconciliation during this 90 day period also known as ‘iddat’. During this period the marriage is in a state of suspension and the Talaq divorce can be revoked.
      4. At the end of the 90 days (or at the end of the wifes pregnancy if she is pregnant at this time) the divorce will take effect, unless revoked.

      If a full Talaq divorce takes place in a Muslim or Sharia country then it will be recognised under English law only if the above procedures are complied with and

      • the husband or the wife is a citizen of that Muslim country
      • he or she is habitually resident in the Muslim country
      • he or she is domiciled in the Muslim country

      Can a  Talaq be pronounced in the UK only?

      A Talaq divorce pronounced in the UK alone will not be recognised by the English courts. The entire procedure must take place outside the UK and inside the Muslim country.

      Can an application for financial relief (Ancillary Relief) still be brought under the English legal system, even if I have had my Talaq divorce from abroad?

      This is possible, and it is often the case that both parties to the divorce have a valid financial claim, which can be made following the usual process. It is also worth knowing that an application for Ancillary Relief can be brought in English law, often many many years after the parties divorced.

      There is no religious liberty in Islam, for Islam survives as religious totalitarianism that refuses rejection.

      AUSTRALIA (ANS) — In 1980, Egypt amended its constitution to elevate Sharia (Islamic law) as “the principal source of legislation”. This provision — which is now common in Muslim constitutions, including the new constitutions of Afghanistan and Iraq — renders constitutional guarantees of religious liberty and equality before the law illusory. For Sharia’s principal aim concerning religious liberty, is to eradicate apostasy (rejection of Islam) through the elimination of fitna (anything that could tempt a Muslim to reject Islam) and the establishment of dhimmitude (the humiliation and subjugation of Jews and Christians as second class citizens; crippling systematic discrimination; violent religious apartheid). There is no religious liberty in Islam, for Islam survives as religious totalitarianism that refuses rejection.

      Son of a Muslim is a Muslim

      In Egypt, as in virtually all Muslim states, a person’s official religion is displayed on their identity card. According to Sharia every child born to a Muslim father is deemed Muslim from birth.According to Sharia, a Muslim woman is only permitted to marry a Muslim man. (NOTE: This is the main reason why Christian men convert to Islam, and why female converts to Christianity will risk life and liberty to secure a falsified/illegal ID, for without a Christian ID they cannot marry a Christian.)

      If a Father converts to Islam, his Children are Muslim

      If a Christain father converts to Islam (as some do for any number of pragmatic reasons, such as a desire for a Muslim wife or a better job), his Christian children are autonatically deemed Muslim. They have no say in this and may not apostatise, i.e.. revert to Christianity. If a Muslim parent converts to Christianity they automatically lose custody of their children. 


      “As the son of the Muslim father, Senator Obama was born a Muslim under Muslim law as it is universally understood. It makes no difference that, as Senator Obama has written, his father said he renounced his religion. Likewise, under Muslim law based on the Koran his mother’s Christian background is irrelevant.

      Of course, as most Americans understand it, Senator Obama is not a Muslim. He chose to become a Christian, and indeed has written convincingly to explain how he arrived at his choice and how important his Christian faith is to him.

      His conversion, however, was a crime in Muslim eyes; it is “irtidad” or “ridda,” usually translated from the Arabic as “apostasy,” but with connotations of rebellion and treason. Indeed, it is the worst of all crimes that a Muslim can commit, worse than murder (which the victim’s family may choose to forgive).

      With few exceptions, the jurists of all Sunni and Shiite schools prescribe execution for all adults who leave the faith not under duress; the recommended punishment is beheading at the hands of a cleric, although in recent years there have been both stonings and hangings. (Some may point to cases in which lesser punishments were ordered — as with some Egyptian intellectuals who have been punished for writings that were construed as apostasy — but those were really instances of supposed heresy, not explicitly declared apostasy as in Senator Obama’s case.)

      It is true that the criminal codes in most Muslim countries do not mandate execution for apostasy (although a law doing exactly that is pending before Iran’s Parliament and in two Malaysian states). But as a practical matter, in very few Islamic countries do the governments have sufficient authority to resist demands for the punishment of apostates at the hands of religious authorities.” NYT

      Top Ten Reasons Why Sharia is Bad for All Societies

      By James Arlandson

      Traditional Muslims who understand the Quran and the hadith believe that sharia (Islamic law) expresses the highest and best goals for all societies. It is the will of Allah.

      But is Islam just in its laws that Muhammad himself practiced and invented?

      This article says no for ten verifiable reasons.

      Here are four points you must read, before reading this article:

      First, sometimes these ten points quote the Quran or omit it; sometimes they quote the hadith (reports of Muhammad’s words and actions outside of the Quran) or omit it. This is done only to keep down the length of the article. No one should be fooled into believing that these harsh and excessive laws were invented in the fevered imagination of extremists who came long after Muhammad. These harsh and excessive laws come directly from the founder of Islam in his Quran and in his example in the hadith.

      Second, each of these ten reasons has a back—up article (or more) that is long and well documented with quotations and references to the Quran, the hadith, and classical legal opinions. The supporting articles also examine the historical and literary context of each Quranic verse. If the readers, especially critics, wish to challenge one or all of these ten reasons, or if they simply doubt them, they should click on the supporting articles. They will see that Muhammad himself actually laid down these excessive punishments and policies.

      Third, it must be pointed out that these harsh laws are not (or should not be) imposed outside of an Islamic court of law. Careful legal hurdles must be passed before the punishments are carried out. However, even in that case, it will become clear to anyone who thinks clearly that these punishments and policies are excessive by their very nature, and excess is never just, as Aristotle taught us in his Nicomachean Ethics.

      Fourth, in each of the lengthy supporting article (or articles), a Biblical view on these infractions of moral law (or sometimes civil law or personal injuries) is presented. One of the reasons we all sense that these Islamic punishments are harsh and excessive is that Christianity has also filled the globe. Even if one is not a Christian or is only a nominal Christian, he or she has breathed deeply of Christianity by virtue of laws and customs or even driving by churches. New Testament Christianity, when properly understood and followed, offers humanity dignity.

      ‘Islam’ in this article stands for Muhammad, the earliest Muslims, and classical legal scholars.

      Here are the top ten reasons why sharia or Islamic law is bad for all societies.

      10. Islam commands that drinkers and gamblers should be whipped.

      In 2001, Iranian officials sentenced three men to flogging not only for illicit sex (see reason no. nine), but also for drinking alcohol.

      In 2005, in Nigeria a sharia court ordered that a drinker should be caned eighty strokes.

      In 2005, in the Indonesian province of Aceh, fifteen men were caned in front of a mosque for gambling. This was done publicly so all could see and fear. Eleven others are scheduled to undergo the same penalty for gambling.

      After going through two previous confusing stages before coming down hard on drinkers and gamblers, the Quran finally prohibits alcohol and gambling in Sura 5:90—91; they do not prescribe the punishment of flogging, but the hadith does. A poor ‘criminal’ was brought to Muhammad who became angry:

      The Prophet felt it hard (was angry) and ordered all those who were present in the house, to beat him [the drinker dragged into Muhammad’s presence]. (Bukhari, Punishments, nos. 6774—6775)

      Thus, we see no offer of help for the alcoholic when he is dragged before Muhammad and his followers. Why does Muhammad not offer rehabilitation? Why does he immediately go to corporal punishment?

      The later classical legal rulings follow the Quran and the hadith, so we do not need to examine them here.

      It is sometimes argued that Islamic countries are pure, whereas the West is decadent. No one can argue with this latter claim, but are Islamic countries pure? The Supplemental Material, below, demonstrates that Islamic countries still have drinking and gambling in them.

      Here is the article  that supports this tenth point and that analyzes the confusing Quranic verses on drinking and gambling. It analyzes the hadith and later legal rulings.

      9. Islam allows husbands to hit their wives even if the husbands merely fear highhandedness in their wives.

      In 2004, Rania al—Baz, who had been beaten by her husband, made her ordeal public to raise awareness about violence suffered by women in the home in Saudi Arabia.

      Saudi television aired a talk show that discussed this issue. Scrolling three—fourths of the way down the link, the readers can see an Islamic scholar holding up sample rods that husbands may use to hit their wives.

      The Quran says:

      4:34 . . . If you fear highhandedness from your wives, remind them [of the teaching of God], then ignore them when you go to bed, then hit them. If they obey you, you have no right to act against them. God is most high and great. (MAS Abdel Haleem, the Qur’an, Oxford UP, 2004)

      The hadith says that Muslim women in the time of Muhammad were suffering from domestic violence in the context of confusing marriage laws:

      Rifa’a divorced his wife whereupon ‘AbdurRahman bin Az—Zubair Al—Qurazi married her. ‘Aisha said that the lady (came), wearing a green veil (and complained to her (Aisha) of her husband and showed her a green spot on her skin caused by beating). It was the habit of ladies to support each other, so when Allah’s Apostle came, ‘Aisha said, “I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing women. Look! Her skin is greener than her clothes!” (Bukhari)

      This hadith shows Muhammad hitting his girl—bride, Aisha, daughter of Abu Bakr: Muslim no.2127:

      ‘He [Muhammad] struck me [Aisha] on the chest which caused me pain.’

      It is claimed that Islamic societies have fewer incidents of fornication and adultery because of strict laws or customs, for example, women wearing veils over their faces or keeping separate from men in social settings. But these results of fewer incidents of sexual ‘crimes’ may have unanticipated negative effects in other areas, such as the oppression of women. Generally, sharia restricts women’s social mobility and rights, the more closely sharia is followed. For example, in conservative Saudi Arabia women are not allowed to drive cars.  In Iran, the lawoppresses women. For example, women’s testimony counts half that of men, and far morewomen than men are stoned to death for adultery.

      Here is the supporting article for the ninth point. It has a long list of different translations of Sura 4:34, in order to resolve confusion over this verse, circulating around the web. This longerarticle has many links that demonstrate the oppression of women under Islamic law (scroll down to ‘Further discussion’).

      8. Islam allows an injured plaintiff to exact legal revenge—physical eye for physical eye.

      In 2003, in Saudi Arabia a man had two teeth extracted under the law of retaliation.

      In 2003, a court in Pakistan sentenced a man to be blinded by acid after he carried out a similar attack on his fiancee.

      In 2005, an Iranian court orders a man’s eye to be removed for throwing acid on another man and blinding him in both eyes.

      The Quran says:

      5:45 And We ordained therein for them: Life for life, eye for eye, nose for nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth and wounds equal for equal. But if anyone remits the retaliation by way of charity, it shall be for him an expiation. And whosoever does not judge by that which Allah has revealed, such are the Zalimun (polytheists and  wrongdoers . . .). (Hilali and Khan, The Noble Qur’an, Riyadh: Darussalam, 1996)

      This passage allows for an indemnity or compensation instead of imposing the literal punishment of eye for an eye. No one should have a quarrel with this option. According to the hadith, the plaintiff also has the option to forgive, and this is legitimate, provided a judge oversees the process. The problem is the literal law of retaliation.

      The hadith and later legal rulings demonstrate that this excessive option was actually carried out, as do the three modern examples linked above.

      Please go here for the supporting article that cites the hadith and later legal rulings.

      Islamic law calls all of humanity to march backwards 1,400 years BC and to re—impose the old law of retaliation—literally, and the evidence suggest that the Torah never intended the law to be carried out literally, as the supporting article demonstrates.

      7. Islam commands that a male and female thief must have a hand cut off.

      Warning! This short article has photos of severed hands. The reader should never lose sight of the fact that this punishment is prescribed in the Quran, the eternal word of Allah. It does not exist only in the fevered imagination of a violent and sick radical regime like the Taliban, which once ruled in Afghanistan.

      A Saudi cleric justifies chopping off hands here.

      The Quran says:

      5:38 Cut off the hands of thieves, whether they are male or female, as punishment for what they have done—a deterrent from God: God is almighty and wise. 39 But if anyone repents after his wrongdoing and makes amends, God will accept his repentance: God is most forgiving and merciful. (Haleem)

      At first glance, verse 39 seems to accept repentance before the thief’s hand is cut off. But the hadith states emphatically that repentance is acceptable only after mutilation. Muhammad himself says that even if his own daughter, Fatima, were to steal and then intercede that her hand should not be cut off, he would still have to cut it off (Bukhari, Punishments, no. 6788)

      If the reader would like to see more hadith passages, modern defenses of this indefensible punishment (and a refutation of them), and the Biblical solution to theft, they should click on this long supporting article or this shorter one.

      6. Islam commands that highway robbers should be crucified or mutilated.

      In September 2003, Scotsman Sandy Mitchell faced crucifixion in Saudi Arabia. He was beaten and tortured until he confessed to a crime he did not commit: a bomb plot masterminded by the British embassy. The article says of this punishment that it is the worst kind of execution and that two have been carried out in the last twenty years.

      In 2002 Amnesty International reports that even though Saudi Arabia ratified the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Convention against Torture) in October 1997, amputation is prescribed under both Hudud (punishments) and Qisas (law of retaliation). AI has recorded thirty—three amputations and nine cross—amputations where the alternate hand or foot is mutilated.

      The Quran says:

      5:33 Those who wage war against God and His Messenger and strive to spread corruption in the land should be punished by death, crucifixion, the amputation of an alternate hand and foot or banishment from the land: a disgrace for them in this world, and then a terrible punishment in the Hereafter, 34 unless they repent before you overpower them: in that case bear in mind that God is forgiving and merciful. (Haleem)

      It may be difficult to accept, but the hadith says that Muhammad tortured these next people before he executed them. This scenario provides the historical context of Sura 5:33—34. The explanations in parentheses have been added by the translator:

      Narrated Anas: Some people . . . came to the Prophet and embraced Islam . . . [T]hey turned renegades (reverted from Islam) and killed the shepherd of the camels and took the camels away . . . The Prophet ordered that their hands and legs should be cut off and their eyes should be branded with heated pieces of iron, and that their cut hands and legs should not be cauterized, till they died. (Bukhari, Punishments, no. 6802)

      The next hadith reports that the renegades died from bleeding to death because Muhammad refused to cauterize their amputated limbs. Then the hadith after that one reports that the renegades were not given water, so they died of thirst. They probably died of both causes: thirst and loss of blood.

      See this short article for details on another example of Muhammad’s use of torture.

      Islamic law says that these punishments are imposed for highway robbery, and in some cases crucifixion does not need a murder before it is imposed.

      For more information on Muhammad’s brutality and the barbaric laws that flow out of it, go to the back—up article.

      5. Islam commands that homosexuals must be executed.

      In February 1998, the Taliban, who once ruled in Afghanistan, ordered a stone wall to be pushed over three men convicted of sodomy. Their lives were to be spared if they survived for 30 minutes and were still alive when the stones were removed.

      In its 1991 Constitution, in Articles 108—113, Iran adopted the punishment of execution for sodomy.

      In April 2005, a Kuwaiti cleric says homosexuals should be thrown off a mountain or stoned to death.

      On April 7, 2005, it was reported that Saudi Arabia sentenced more than 100 men to prison or flogging for ‘gay conduct.’

      These homosexuals were lucky. Early Islam would have executed them, as these hadith demonstrate.

      Ibn Abbas, Muhammad’s cousin and highly reliable transmitter of hadith, reports the following about early Islam and Muhammad’s punishment of homosexuals: . . .

      ‘If you find anyone doing as Lot’s people did, kill the one who does it, and the one to whom it is done’ (Abu Dawud no. 4447).

      This hadith passage says that homosexuals should be burned alive or have wall pushed on them:

      Ibn Abbas and Abu Huraira reported God’s messenger as saying, ‘Accursed is he who does what Lot’s people did.’ In a version . . . on the authority of Ibn Abbas it says that Ali [Muhammad’s cousin and son—in—law] had two peopleburned and that Abu Bakr [Muhammad’s chief companion] had a wall thrown down on them. (Mishkat, vol. 1, p. 765, Prescribed Punishments)

      Though this punishment of a wall being toppled on them is extreme, the Taliban were merely following the origins of their religion.

      If the reader would like to see the confusion in the Quran on the matter of homosexuality, the severity in the hadith, and excessive rulings of classical fiqh, they should see the supportingarticle. This longer one has links to many discussions on Islamic punishments of homosexuals (scroll down to ‘Supplemental material’).

      4. Islam orders unmarried fornicators to be whipped and adulterers to be stoned to death.


      In 2001, Iranian officials sentenced three men to flogging for illicit sex.

      The Quran says:

      24:2 The fornicatress and the fornicator, flog each of them with a hundred stripes. Let not pity withhold you in their case, in a punishment prescribed by Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of the believers witness their punishment. [This punishment is for unmarried persons guilty of the above crime (illegal sex), but if married persons commit it (illegal sex), the punishment is to stone them to death, according to Allah’s law]. (Hilali and Khan).

      The additions in the brackets, though not original to the Arabic, have the support of the hadith. These command flogging only of unmarried fornicators: Bukhari, Punishments, nos. 6831 and 6833.

      The classical legal rulings follow the Quran and the hadith closely, so we do not need to analyze them here.

      According to this report, in Iran a teenage boy broke his Ramadan fast, so a judge sentenced him to be lashed with eighty—five stripes. He died from the punishment. Though his sad case does not deal with fornication, it is cited here because it shows that lashing can be fatal.


      In December 2004, Amnesty International reports:

      An Iranian woman charged with adultery faces death by stoning in the next five days after her death sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court last month. Her unnamed co—defendant is at risk of imminent execution by hanging. Amnesty International members are now writing urgent appeals to the Iranian authorities, calling for the execution to be stopped.

      She is to be buried up to her chest and stoned to death.

      This gruesome hadith passage reports that a woman was buried up to her chest and stoned to death:

      And when he had given command over her and she was put in a hole up to her breast, he ordered the people to stone her. Khalid b. al—Walid came forward with a stone which he threw at her head, and when the blood spurted on his face he cursed her . . . (Muslim no. 4206)

      The Prophet prayed over her dead body and then buried her. Truthfully, though, how effective was the prayer when Muhammad and his community murdered her in cold blood? The rest of the hadith says that Muhammad told Khalid not to be too harsh, but the Prophet’s words drip with irony. Perhaps Muhammad meant that Khalid should not have cursed her. However, if they really did not want to be harsh, they should have forgiven her and let her go to raise her child.

      Later Islamic legal rulings follow the Quran and the hadith closely, so we do not need to analyze them here.

      Here is the back—up article that supports this fourth reason.

      3. Islam orders death for Muslim and possible death for non—Muslim critics of Muhammad and the Quran and even sharia itself.

      In 1989, Iran’s Supreme Leader issued a fatwa (legal decree) to assassinate Salman Rushdie, a novelist, who wrote Satanic Verses, which includes questions about the angel Gabriel’s role in inspiring the Quran. Now the extremists in the highest levels in Iran have recently renewed  the fatwa.

      In 2005, The Muslim Council of Victoria, Australia, brought a lawsuit against two pastors for holding a conference and posting articles critiquing Islam. Three Muslims attended the conference and felt offended. The two pastors have been convicted based on Australia’s vilification law. While on trial, one of them wanted to read from the Quran on domestic violence (see 9, above), but the lawyer representing the Council would not allow it. The pastors are appealing their conviction.

      In 2005, British Muslims have been campaigning to pass a religious hate speech law in England’s parliament. They have succeeded. Their ability to propagandize has not been curtailed. Opponents of the law say that it stifles free speech that may criticize Muhammad, the Quran, and Islam.

      Here are the classical legal rulings.

      First, the Muslim deserves death for doing any of the following (Reliance of the Traveler pp. 597—98, o8.7):

      (1) Reviling Allah or his Messenger; (2) being sarcastic about ‘Allah’s name, His command, His interdiction, His promise, or His threat’; (3) denying any verse of the Quran or ‘anything which by scholarly consensus belongs to it, or to add a verse that does not belong to it’; (4) holding that ‘any of Allah’s messengers or prophets are liars, or to deny their being sent’; (5) reviling the religion of Islam; (6) being sarcastic about any ruling of the Sacred Law; (7) denying that Allah intended ‘the Prophet’s message . . . to be the religion followed by the entire world.’

      It is no wonder that critical investigation of the truth claims of Islam can never prevail in Islamic lands when the sword of Muhammad hangs over the scholars’ head.

      The non—Muslims living under Islamic rule are not allowed to do the following (p. 609, o11.10(1)—(5)):

      (1) Commit adultery with a Muslim woman or marry her; (2) conceal spies of hostile forces; (3) lead a Muslim away from Islam; (4) mention something impermissible  about Allah, the Prophet . . . or Islam.

      According to the discretion of the caliph or his representative, the punishments for violating these rules are as follows: (1) death, (2) enslavement, (3) release without paying anything, and (4) ransoming in exchange for money. These punishments also execute free speech—even repulsive speech—and freedom of religion or conscience.

      Ultimately, censorship testifies to a lack of confidence in one’s position and message. If the message of Islam were truly superior, one could trust in the power of truth. As it stands, sharia with its prescribed punishments for questioning Muhammad, the Quran, and sharia itself testifies to their weakness since sharia threatens those who dare to differ.

      How confident was Muhammad (and today’s Muslims) in his message that he had to rely on violence and force to protect his message, besides reason and persuasive argumentation?

      For the supporting article that analyzes the Quran and the hadith, both of which orders death to critics, click here.

      2. Islam orders apostates to be killed.

      In Iran an academic was condemned to death for criticizing clerical rule in Iran. The rulers assert that he was insulting Muhammad and Shi’ite laws. He was charged with apostasy.

      This analysis  tracks the application of apostasy laws around the world, citing many examples.

      Apostates are those who leave Islam, like Salman Rushdie (see the linked article in no. three, above), whether they become atheists or convert to another religion. They are supposed to be killed according to the Quran, the hadith, and later legal rulings.

      See the previous point no. three for acts that entail leaving Islam according to Islamic law.

      Here are the articles that support reason no. two.

      This is a short, but full article on apostasy, citing Quranic verses and hadith passages.

      Sayyid Maududi, a respected Islamic scholar, in this booklet argues that Sura 9:11—12 refers to apostates and that they should be put to death (scroll down to ‘The Proof in the Quran for the Commandment to Execute Apostates’).

      This Muslim website has an overview of Islam on apostates. They should be given time to repent, but if they refuse, they must be killed.

      And the number one reason why sharia is bad for all societies . . .

      1. Islam commands offensive and aggressive and unjust jihad.

      Muhammad is foundational to Islam, and he set the genetic code for Islam, waging war. In the ten years that he lived in Medina from his Hijrah (Emigration) from Mecca in AD 622 to his death of a fever in AD 632, he either sent out or went out on seventy—four raids, expeditions, or full—scale wars. They range from small assassination hit squads to kill anyone who insulted him, to the Tabuk Crusades in late AD 630 against the Byzantine Christians. He had heard a rumor that an army was mobilizing to invade Arabia, but the rumor was false, so his 30,000 jihadists returned home, but not before imposing a jizya tax on northern Christians and Jews.

      Money flowed into the Islamic treasury. So why would Muhammad get a revelation to dry up this money flow?

      What are some of the legalized rules of jihad found in the Quran, hadith, and classical legal opinions?

      (1) Women and children are enslaved. They can either be sold, or the Muslims may ‘marry’ the women, since their marriages are automatically annulled upon their capture. (2) Jihadists may have sex with slave women. Ali, Muhammad’s cousin and son—in—law, did this. (3) Women and children must not be killed during war, unless this happens in a nighttime raid when visibility was low. (4) Old men and monks could be killed. (5) A captured enemy of war could be killed, enslaved, ransomed for money or an exchange, freely released, or beaten. One time Muhammad even tortured a citizen of the city of Khaybar in order to extract information about where the wealth of the city was hidden. (6) Enemy men who converted could keep their property and small children. This law is so excessive that it amounts to forced conversion. Only the strongest of the strong could resist this coercion and remain a non—Muslim. (7) Civilian property may be confiscated. (8) Civilian homes may be destroyed. (9) Civilian fruit trees may be destroyed. (10) Pagan Arabs had to convert or die. This does not allow for the freedom of religion or conscience. (11) People of the Book (Jews and Christians) had three options (Sura 9:29): fight and die; convert and pay a forced ‘charity’ or zakat tax; or keep their Biblical faith and pay a jizya or poll tax. The last two options mean that money flows into the Islamic treasury, so why would Muhammad receive a revelation to dry up this money flow?

      Thus, jihad is aggressive, coercive, and excessive, and Allah never revealed to Muhammad to stop these practices.

      For an analysis of the Christian Crusades and the Islamic Crusades, click here.

      For the supporting article of reason no. one, please go here.  It also has a segment on the differences between jihad in Islam and the wars in the Old Testament. Another article on that topic can be read here.   There are vast differences between Islam and Judaism on this topic.

      Therefore, Islam is violent—unjustly and aggressively.


      The nightmare must end. Sharia oppresses the citizens of Islamic countries. Islam must reform, but the legal hierarchy in Islamic nations will not do this because the judges and legal scholars understand the cost: many passages in the Quran and the hadith must be rejected, and this they cannot do. After all, the Quran came down directly from Allah through Gabriel, so says traditional theology. So how can Islam reform? But reform it must. It can start by rewriting classical fiqh (interpretations of law). Again, though, that would mean leaving behind the Quran and Muhammad’s example. How can the legal hierarchy in Islamic nations do this?

      In contrast, the West has undergone the Enlightenment or the Age of Reason (c. 1600—1800+), so western law has been injected with a heavy dose of reason. Also, the New Testament tempers excessive punishments. At least when Christianity reformed (c. 1400—1600), the reformers went back to the New Testament, which preaches peace and love. So religion and reason in the West permit justice to be found more readily—the Medieval Church is not foundational to Christianity; only Jesus and the New Testament are.

      Can Islamic countries benefit from an Enlightenment that may deny the Quran and the hadith? This seems impossible. Islamic law threatens Muslims with death if they criticize Muhammad and the Quran, not to mention denying them.

      Since Islamic law cannot be reformed without doing serious damage to original and authentic Islam—the one taught by Muhammad—then a second plan must be played out. Sharia must never spread around the world. At least that much is clear and achievable. The hard evidence in this article demonstrates beyond doubt that sharia does not benefit any society, for it contains too many harsh rules and punishments.

      One of the most tragic and under—reported occurrences in the West in recent years is the existence of a sharia court in Canada.  Muslims are pushing for a sharia divorce courtingAustralia  as well. Having a court of arbitration if it is based on western law and legal theory is legitimate, but sharia does not hold to this standard. Whether sharia is imposed gradually or rapidly, Canada should promptly shut down any sharia court, and Australia should never allow one. Such a court should never be permitted in the US, the rest of the West, or anywhere else in the world that is battling Islam.

      It is true that the Enlightenment teaches tolerance, but it also teaches critical thinking and reasoning. Sharia cannot stand up under scrutiny. It is intolerant and excessive, and Aristotle in his Nicomachean Ethics teaches the West that excess is never just.

      Thankfully, the province of Quebec, Canada, has forbidden sharia. This is the right initiative.

      Sharia ultimately degrades society and diminishes freedom.

      James M. Arlandson may be reached at

      Supplemental material:

      In private emails to me or on websites, Muslim apologists (defenders) claim that the Islamic way of dealing with vices is superior to the western way, even in Islam’s punishments like flogging and stoning. It is true that the West is filled with decadence, but are Islamic countries pure and pristine through and through, as these Muslim apologists imply? To anyone whose mind has not been clouded by a lifetime of devotion to Islam, the answer to this rhetorical question is obvious. Alcohol and other intoxicants and gambling serve as test cases.

      This article says that Bahrain, an island and independent sate that is connected to Saudi Arabia by a causeway, provides a ‘breathing lung’ for Saudis because this Islamic island allows the free flow of alcohol and a night life. The words ‘breathing lung’ in Bahrain mean that Saudi Arabia suffocates people. On the weekends an average of 40,000 cars line up to cross the bridge.

      This article discusses the smuggling of alcohol in Saudi Arabia and says:

      “Western analysts note that alcohol smuggling of the magnitude underway in Saudi Arabia —— perhaps tens of millions of dollars’ worth of illegal merchandise annually —— would likely involve the complicity of Saudi customs agents and perhaps a higher—level patron.”

      This article reveals how Iranians get around the official ban on alcohol, like beer and vodka and other intoxicants, like opium. A black market has sprung up—just like the one in America during Prohibition.

      This article says that even though the Taliban, the tyrants who formerly ruled Afghanistan, outlawed the growth of poppies, which are the source of opium, the leaders of the Taliban may have profited from the drug trade. The new and democratic government has a hard time keeping this drug under control.

      This article says that authorities in Turkey threaten to imprison online gamblers, and this pagelinks to a report (scroll to the second one) that discusses how Turkey must deal with the problem of monetary interest, alcohol, and gambling. It is revealing to see how Muslim religious leaders try to squirm out of Quranic laws against interest, in order to help Islamic financial institutions make money.

      The purpose of these links is not to condemn Islamic countries or to assert that the West is better than they are. Facts say that the West has many problems. Rather, the purpose is to demonstrate that Islamic countries have their share of problems as well. This means that Islamic countries are also decadent. This means that Islamic punishments do not work entirely (except by scare tactics), but they can drive the sin or crime underground.[5]


      [2] Practice of Sharia Law:
      [6] Islamic Marriage Guide:
    • [A4]*** Sharia for the non-Muslim:–
    • [A5]**Sharia Law I:
    • [A6]**Sharia Law II:
    • [A7] Evolution of Sharia:


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