Sharia Law Definition

Discover the origins and principles of Sharia law, its application in different countries, and the controversies surrounding it. Explore case studies and learn about the impact of Sharia on societies.

Introduction to Sharia Law

Sharia law, also known as Islamic law, is a religious and moral code of conduct in the Islamic tradition. It is derived from the Quran, the holy book of Islam, and the Hadith, which are the sayings and actions of Prophet Muhammad. Sharia law covers all aspects of life, including religious rituals, family matters, civil transactions, and criminal justice.

Key Principles of Sharia Law

  • Divine Origins: Sharia is believed to be divine law revealed by Allah to guide Muslims in their lives.
  • Interpretation: Sharia is interpreted by scholars known as jurists to apply its principles to modern contexts.
  • Moral Guidance: Sharia aims to promote justice, equality, and compassion in society.

Application of Sharia Law

Sharia law is implemented in various Muslim-majority countries to varying degrees. Some countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, enforce strict interpretations of Sharia in their legal systems, including punishments like stoning and amputation. Others, like Indonesia and Malaysia, apply Sharia principles primarily in family law matters.

Controversies Surrounding Sharia Law

Sharia law has been a subject of debate and controversy, especially in non-Muslim majority countries. Critics argue that Sharia infringes on human rights, particularly women’s rights, due to its harsh penalties and restrictions. Supporters maintain that Sharia provides a moral framework for Muslims to live by and can coexist with modern legal systems.

Case Studies

One prominent example of Sharia law in action is the criminal justice system in Saudi Arabia, where punishments like public beheadings are carried out in accordance with Islamic law. In contrast, countries like Tunisia have enacted reforms to promote gender equality while respecting Islamic principles.


Sharia law embodies the religious and moral principles of Islam and guides the lives of millions of Muslims worldwide. While controversial, Sharia remains a fundamental aspect of Islamic faith and culture.

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