Don’t know much about Islamic shariah law? Here are the basics.
IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING
KEY TENETS OF SHARIAH
This is the 11th in a series of articles on Shariah. These articles are based in the book, “Shariah—The Threat to America (An Exercise in Competitive Analysis—A Report of Team B II). Click here for the first article.
The following are some of the most important – and, particularly for Western non-Muslims, deeply problematic – tenets of shariah, arranged in alphabetical order. The citations drawn from the Quran, schools of Islam and other recognized sources are offered as illustrative examples of the basis for such practices under shariah.
- Abrogation (‘Al-mansukh wa al-nasikh’ in Arabic—the abrogated and the abrogating): verses that come later in the Quran, chronologically, supersede, or abrogate, the earlier ones. In effect, this results in the more moderate verses of the Meccan period being abrogated by the later, violent, Medinan verses. “When we cancel a message, or throw it into oblivion, we replace it with one better or one similar. Do you not know that God has power over all things?” (Quran 2:106)
- Adultery (‘Zina’ in Arabic): unlawful intercourse is a capital crime under shariah, punishable by lashing and stoning to death. “Nor come nigh to adultery: for it is a shameful deed and an evil, opening the road to other evils.” (Q 17:32) “The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication, flog each of them with a hundred stripes; let not compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day: and let a party of the Believers witness the punishment.” (Q 24:2) “It is not lawful to shed the blood of a Muslim except for one of three sins: a married person committing fornication, and in just retribution for premeditated murder, and [for sin of treason involving] a person renouncing Islam, and thus leaving the community [to join the enemy camp in order to wage war against the faithful].” (Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, and An-Nasa’i)
- Apostasy (‘Irtidad’ or ‘Ridda’ in Arabic): The established ruling of shariah is that apostates are to be killed wherever they may be found. “Anyone who, after accepting Faith in Allah, utters Unbelief, except under compulsion, his heart remaining firm in Faith—but such as open their heart to Unbelief—on them is Wrath from Allah, and theirs will be a dreadful Penalty.” (Q 16:106)
Some atheists were brought to Ali and he burnt them. The news of this event, reached Ibn Abbas who said, ‘If I had been in his place, I would not have burnt them, as Allah’s messenger forbade it, saying, ‘Do not punish anybody with Allah’s punishment (fire).’ I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah’s Messenger, ‘Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.’” (Bukhari, Volume 9, #17) “
Leaving Islam is the ugliest form of unbelief (kufr) and the worst…..When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostasizes from Islam, he deserves to be killed…There is no indemnity for killing an apostate…” (‘Umdat al-Salik, Reliance of the Traveler, Chapter 08.0-08.4)
- Democracy & Islam: Any system of man-made law is considered illicit under Islamic law, for whose adherents Allah already has provided the only law permitted, shariah. Islam and democracy can never co-exist in harmony. “And if any fail to judge by the light of what Allah has revealed, they are no better than unbelievers.” (Q 5:47) “Sovereignty in Islam is the prerogative of Almighty Allah alone. He is the absolute arbiter of values and it is His will that determines good and evil, right and wrong.” (Mohammed Hashim Kamali, Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence, 3d rev. ed., (Cambridge, UK: The Islamic Text Society, 2003), 8.)
“The shariah cannot be amended to conform to changing human values and standards. Rather, it is the absolute norm to which all human values and conduct must conform.” (Muslim Brotherhood ‘spiritual leader’ Yousef al-Qaradawi)
- Female Genital Mutilation: “Circumcision is obligatory….for both men and women.” (‘Umdat al-Salik, e4.3)
- Gender Inequality: Shariah explicitly relegates women to a status inferior to men.
- Testimony of a woman before a judge is worth half that of a man: “And get two witnesses, not of your own men, and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as ye choose for witnesses.” (Q 2:282)
- Women are to receive just one half the inheritance of a male: “Allah thus directs you as regards your children’s inheritance: to the male, a portion equal to that of two females….” (Q 4:11)
- Muslim men are given permission by Allah in the Quran to beat their wives: “As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill conduct, admonish them first, next refuse to share their beds, and last, beat them.” (Q 4:34)
- Muslim men are given permission by Allah to commit marital rape, as they please: “Your wives are as a tilth unto you, so approach your tilth when or how ye will….” (Q 2: 223)
- Muslim men are permitted to marry up to four wives and to keep concubines in any number: “…Marry women of your choice, two, or three, or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with them, then only one, or a captive that your right hands possess…” (Q 4:3)
- Muslim women may marry only one Muslim man and are forbidden from marrying a non-Muslim: “And give not (your daughters) in marriage to AlMushrikun [non-Muslims] till they believe in Allah alone and verily a believing slave is better than a (free) Mushrik, even though he pleases you….” (Q 2:221)
- A woman may not travel outside the home without the permission of her male guardian and must be accompanied by a male family member if she does so: “A woman may not leave the city without her husband or a member of her unmarriageable kin….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.” (‘Umdat al-Salik, m10.3)
- Under shariah, to bring a claim of rape, a Muslim woman must present four male Muslim witnesses in good standing. Islam thus places the burden of avoiding illicit sexual encounters entirely on the woman. In effect, under shariah, women who bring a claim of rape without being able to produce the requisite four male Muslim witnesses are admitting to having had illicit sex. If she or the man is married, this amounts to an admission of adultery. The following Quranic passages, while explicitly applying to men are cited by shariah authorities and judges in adjudicating rape cases: “And those who accuse free women then do not bring four witnesses (to adultery), flog them…” (Q 24:4) “Why did they not bring four witnesses to prove it? When they have not brought the witnesses, such men, in the sight of Allah, stand forth themselves as liars!” (Q 24:13)
- A Muslim woman who divorces and remarries loses custody of children from a prior marriage: “A woman has no right to custody of her child from a previous marriage when she remarries because married life will occupy her with fulfilling the rights of her husband and prevent her from tending the child.” (‘Umdat alSalik, m13.4)
- ‘Honor’ Killing (aka Muslim family executions): A Muslim parent faces no legal penalty under Islamic law for killing his child or grandchild: “…not subject to retaliation” is “a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring’s offspring.” (‘Umdat al-Salik, 01.1-2)
- Hudud Punishments: The plural of hadd, is “a fixed penalty prescribed as a right of Allah. Because hudud penalties belong to Allah, Islamic law does not permit them to be waived or commuted.”69
- “Let not compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day: and let a party of believers witness their punishment.” (Qur’an 24:2)
- “On that account, We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a [Muslim] person—unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land—it would be as if he slew the whole people….The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and his apostle, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land…” (Q 32-33)
- From the Kitab al-kaba’ir (Book of Enormities) of Imam Dhahabi, who defines an enormity as any sin entailing either a threat of punishment in the hereafter explicitly mentioned by the Koran or hadith, a prescribed legal penalty (Hadd), or being accursed by Allah or His messenger (Allah bless him & give him peace). (‘Umdat al-Salik, Book P “Enormities,” at § p0.0)
- “Shariah stipulates these punishments and methods of execution such as amputation, crucifixion, flogging, and stoning, for offenses such as adultery, homosexuality, killing without right, theft, and ‘spreading mischief in the land’ because these punishments were mandated by the Qur’an or Sunnah.” (Islamic Hudood Laws in Pakistan, Edn 1996, 5.)
- Islamic Supremacism: belief that Islam is superior to every other culture, faith, government, and society and that it is ordained by Allah to conquer and dominate them: “And whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him, and in the hereafter he shall be one of the losers.” (Q 3:85):
- “Ye are the best of Peoples, evolved for mankind.” (Q 3:110)
- Non-Muslims are “the most vile of created beings” (Q 98:6)
- Be “merciful to one another, but ruthless to the unbelievers” (Q 48:29)
- “It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet.” (Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood)
- “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth.” (Omar Ahmad, Council on American Islamic Relations co-founder/Board Chairman, 1998)
- Jew Hatred: Antisemitism is intrinsic to shariah and is based on the genocidal behavior of Mohammed himself in wiping out the entire Jewish population of the Arabian Peninsula.
- “And certainly you have known those among you who exceeded the limits of the Sabbath, as we said to them: Be as apes, despised and hated.” (Q 2:65)
- “And you will most certainly find them [the Jews] the greediest of men for life, greedier than even those who are polytheists…” (Q 2:96)
- “O you who believe! Do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; for they are friends but of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.” (Q 5:51)
- “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and his apostle, nor acknowledge the religion of truth, even if they be of the People of the Book [Christians and Jews], until they pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued.” (Q 9:29)
- Jihad: Jihad is warfare to spread Islam:
- “Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, and seize them, beleaguer them and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war…” (Q 9:5)
- “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, not hold that forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth, from among the People of the Book, until they pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued.” (Q 9:29)
- “So fight them until there is no more fitna and all submit to the religion of Allah alone.” (Q 8:39) • “I have been commanded to fight people until they testify that there is no god but Allah and that Mohammed is the Messenger of Allah, and perform the prayer, and pay the 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” (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim – agreed upon – as cited in ‘Umdat al-Salik o9.1 Jihad)
- “Jihad means to wage war against non-Muslims and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada, signifying warfare to establish the religion.” (‘Umdat al-Salik, o9.0, Jihad)
- “Islam makes it incumbent on all adult males, provided they are not disabled or incapacitated, to prepare themselves for the conquest of [other] countries so that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country in the world….But those who study Islamic Holy War will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world….Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those [who say this] are witless. Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all!
- “Does this mean that Muslims should sit back until they are devoured by [the unbelievers]? Islam says: Kill them [the non-Muslims], put them to the sword and scatter [their armies]. Does this mean sitting back until [non-Muslims] overcome us? Islam says: Kill in the service of Allah those who may want to kill 32 you! Does this mean that we should surrender [to the enemy]? Islam says: Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and in the shadow of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! The sword is the key to Paradise, which can be opened only for the Holy Warriors! There are hundreds of other [Qur’anic] psalms and Hadiths [sayings of the Prophet] urging Muslims to value war and to fight. Does all this mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim.” (Ayatollah Khomeini as quoted by Amir Taheri.70)
- Lying/Taqiyya: It is permissible for a Muslim to lie, especially to non-Muslims, to safeguard himself personally or to protect Islam.
- “Let not the believers take the disbelievers as friends instead of the believers, and whoever does that, will never be helped by Allah in any way, unless you indeed fear a danger from them. And Allah warns you against Himself, and to Allah is the final return.” (Q 3:28)
- “‘Unless you indeed fear a danger from them’ meaning, except those believers who in some areas or times fear for their safety from the disbelievers. In this case, such believers are allowed to show friendship to the disbelievers outwardly, but never inwardly.…‘We smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them.’” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Vol 2, 141)
- “Mohammed said, ‘War is deceit.’” (Bukhari vol.4:267 and 269)
- “He who makes peace between the people by inventing good information or saying good things, is not a liar.” (Bukhari vol.3:857 p.533)
- Slander/Blasphemy: In shariah, slander means anything that might offend a Muslim: “… The reality of tale-bearing lies in divulging a secret, in revealing something confidential whose disclosure is resented. A person should not speak of anything he notices about people besides that which benefits a Muslim to relate or prevent disobedience.” (‘Umdat al-Salik, r3.1)
- Underage Marriage: Islamic doctrine permits the marriage of pre-pubescent girls. There is no minimum age for a marriage contract and consummation may take place when the girl is age eight or nine.
- “And those of your women as have passed the age of monthly courses [periods], for them the ‘Iddah [prescribed period before divorce is final], if you have doubts (about their periods), is three months, and for those who have no courses [(i.e. they are still immature) their ‘Iddah (prescribed period) is three months likewise, except in case of death]. And for those who are pregnant (whether they are divorced or their husbands are dead), their ‘Iddah (prescribed period) is until they deliver (their burdens), and whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make his matter easy for him.” (Q 65:4)
- “Aisha narrated: that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years (i.e., till his death).” (Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 7, Book 62, Number 64; see also Numbers 65 and 88)“They may not have menstruated as yet either because of young age, or delayed menstrual discharge as it happens in the case of some women, or because of no discharge at all throughout life which, though rare, may also be the case. In any case, the waiting-period of such a woman is the same as of the woman, who has stopped menstruation, that is, three months from the time divorce was pronounced.
- “Here, one should bear in mind the fact that, according to the explanations given in the Qur’an, the question of the waiting period arises in respect of the women with whom marriage may have been consummated, for there is no waiting period in case divorce is pronounced before the consummation of marriage. (AlAhzab: 49). Therefore, making mention of the waiting-period for girls who have not yet menstruated, clearly proves that it is not only permissible to give away the girl at this age but it is permissible for the husband to consummate marriage with her. Now, obviously no Muslim has the right to forbid a thing which the Qur’an has held as permissible.” (Syed Abu-Ala’ Maududi, Towards Understanding the Qur’an, volume 5, p. 620, note 13)
- Zakat: the obligation for Muslims to pay zakat arises out of Qur’an Verse 9:60 and is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Zakat may be given only to Muslims, never to non-Muslims.
- Zakat is for the poor and the needy, and those employed to administer the (funds); for those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to Truth); for those in bondage and in debt; in the cause of Allah; and for the wayfarer: (thus is it) ordained by Allah, and Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom. (Q 9:60) “Of their goods take alms so that thou mightiest purify and sanctify them….” (Q 9:103) “Zakat is obligatory: (a) for every free Muslim and (b) who has possessed a zakat-payable amount [the minimum that necessitates zakat] (‘Umdat al-Salik, h1.1)
- According to shariah, there are eight categories of recipients for Zakat: The poor; Those short of money; Zakat workers (those whose job it is to collect the zakat); Those whose hearts are to be reconciled; Those purchasing their freedom; Those in debt; Those fighting for Allah (Jihad); Travelers needing money (‘Umdat al-Salik, h8.7-h8.18)
- “It is not permissible to give Zakat to a non-Muslim…” (‘Umdat al-Salik, h8.24)
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