Aspects of Shari'ah Law

Flash cards on areas of Islamic law including Family Law, Inheritance, Crrime, Justice and Punishment

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  • Created by: JMitch
  • Created on: 31-05-13 12:15

Shariah Law - The Basics

  • The Shariah is not only concerned with criminal and civil law - it also includes the relationship with Allah, motives and conscience

The Shariah is broken down into 5 actions: 4 are Halal (allowed) and one is Haram (Forbidden)

  • Fard - Obligatory actions - this could include Salah, belief in the Shahada
  • Mandub - Recommended actions - This could include going on Hajj once
  • Mubah - Permitted actions - could include polygamy and taking of pain killers
  • Makrah - Disliked actions which are allowed - inc. Abortion and Divorce
  • Haram - Forbidden - e.g. drinking of Alcohol

It is a rigid system of law - since the process of Fiqh and Ijtihad closed in the 10th Century. 'Society does not shape the Sharia'ah it is shaped by it'

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Laws of Transactions

There are 4 types of Transactions:

  • Bay - Sale
  • Hibah - Gift
  • Ijarah - Hire
  • Ariyah - Loan

You have to be considered to be of prudent judgement to make a transaction - linked to puberty

'God hath permitted trade but forbidden Usury' (Sura 2:275) - Loans from Islamic banks do not incur interest - This helps to spread Allah's Wealth

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Family Law

  • Patriarchal Law with Men at the head of the Family - they have the right to polygamy and divorce by repudiating their wives three times
  • BUT - repudiating their wives three times is believed to be a mis-translation from three periods of time according to a debate on Radio 4
  • Women do have the right to their dowry and have property entitlements
  • 'Men are the protectors and maintainers of women ... but the righteous are devoutly obedient' (Sura 4:34)
  • Women can divorce if they are ill treated or are not maintained by their husbands
  • Fathers have no legal relationships to illegitimate children hence why marriage and chastity if women is important for Islamic women
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Succession Laws

A 1/3rd of the estate of the deceased can be passed onto heirs, the rest is Zakah to redistribute Allah's wealth

Inheritance (Faraidh) is distributed as follows:

  • A Spouse receives a fixed sum and then:
  • Firstly to Direct legitimate descendants (Children or adopted children) or the deceased's Parents
  • Secondly to the deceased's grandparents or any siblings and their children
  • Finally to the deceased's Aunts and Uncles and their children (cousins)

A man will receive twice the amount of a women in the same position because they are the providers but there is a 'share for men and a share for women' (Sura 4)

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Justice system

The Criminal Justice System aims to preserve the Ummah and the 5 necessities of Islam:

  • Religion (Hence why Apostasy criminal)
  • Life (Murder is outlawed)
  • Wealth (Usury is banned)
  • Intellect (Education and learning encouraged whilst drinking intoxicants is banned)
  • Lineage (Adultery and unchastity is outlawed)

The criminal system aims to protect society, reform the criminal and retribution for the crime via punishment

The Criminal Justice System has some defining principles

  • 'The accuser is bound to present positive proof' (Hadith) - the burden of proof is on the accuser and the accused is innocent until proven guilty
  • 'Men are as equal as the teeth of the comb' (Hadith) - all are equal in the eyes of the Law
  • No written/circumstantial evidence is allowed or any cross examinations - testimonies of witnesses are the only evidence that can be submitted
  • Women can provide evidence in the court but count as only half a witness
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Crime and Punishment

Zulm is the wrong doing against Allah and anything that contributes to this is a crime

Hudud offenses are crimes with specified fixed (Hadd) punishments:

  • Apostasy - Death
  • Highway Robbery - Death
  • Theft - Amputation of the hand ('As for the theif, male or female, cut off their hand' Sura 5:41)
  • Adultery (Married) - death by stoning; unmarried 100 lashes
  • Unproven accusation of unchastity - 80 lashes
  • Drinking an intoxicant - 80 lashes

Quesas offenses are physical crimes punished by retaliation (Qisas) or blood money (Diyah):

  • E.g. Murder - 'The laws of equality are prescribed to you in the case of murder' (Sura 2) but victims family can offer Mercy by accepting Blood Money

Ta'azir - crimes whose punishments are at the discretion of the Qadi (Judge)

Capital Punishment is allowed for murder or Fasaf-Fil-ardh (Spreading Mischief in the land) which is vague but includes, terrorism, adultery, apostasy, homosexual activity

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