Which Countries Are Ruled by Sharia Law

Which Countries Are Ruled by Sharia Law

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What is Sharia? In Arabic, Sharia means path or the way. It is not actually a body of law instead
they are broad ethical and moral principles that have been taken
from the sayings of Prophet Muhammad and the
Holy Book of Quran. These broad principles are
deduced by experts to come up with certain moral
instructions and legal decrees. The laws that surface from
Sharia interpretation is known as ‘fiqh’ in
Arabic or Islamic law. Sharia offers to its follower’s guidance
on how to lead an ethical life. Although there is no country that runs
on absolute Sharia law most Muslim countries incorporate Sharia at a
certain level in their legal structure. Some countries even
consider it to be the highest source of law
in their constitution. Sharia laws are usually
seen in application where laws are concerned
with personal matters such as domestic violence,
divorce, marriage, child support, inheritance,
family matters etc. Several Muslim countries also
use Sharia in criminal justice. What are the types of
punishment under Sharia Law? Sharia is not only about punishment. It also guides its followers
about how to pray, treat family members
and their neighbours. It desists Muslims to gossip, lie,
rob, perform adultery or kill. This is why there are
certain punishments in Quran for not following
these guidelines. There are different types of punishments
that have been set by various countries who follow Sharia to
judge people for their offense. However, Islam has always
required proof before a punishment is carried
out on a person. For crimes like adultery, rape or murder
the punishment could death by stoning. Several international organisations have
spoken against the way of punishment as it is inhumane and cruel to end
a life in such a degradable way. Another crime which is unforgivable
in Muslim countries is apostasy which means to change your religion from
a Muslim to some other religion. Honour killings have also
been observed in several Muslim countries as a
part of the Sharia law. This however, is denied by
the Sharia experts saying that Islam doesn’t permit
such treatment towards women. Yet there are countries
that have been following Sharia Law mixed with
their National laws. Most common way of punishment for small
offences is caning or whipping in public. Here are some countries that use
Sharia law in their legal system: 1. Nigeria – Nigeria is
one of the countries that trials Muslims
through Sharia law. There are 9 countries
in Nigeria where Sharia law has been primarily
stated as a main body of criminal and civil law
and another 3 where some parts of the state have
instated Sharia law. The Nigerian government calls the Sharia
Court as the Federal Court of Appeals. It co-exists within the
Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria and forms a part of
the Unified Courts System. Most appeals from the north and
north-eastern part of the country or any cases that requires Sharia law
to intervene is taken up by them. Usually there are conflicts
between the traditional courts and Sharia Court
because all cases related to Islam although
reviewed by Sharia also have to follow the laws
of the Nigerian courts. There have been many skirmishes
over implementation of Sharia law especially in
non-Muslim minority states. Nevertheless, there are
states that abide by the rule and even though
there have been many controversies related
to the decisions of Sharia Court they continue
to exist in Nigeria. 2. Qatar –The Sharia law
forms the main part of legislation in
Qatar’s constitution. Punishments such as flogging and
stoning are common and legal. Death penalty is given to people who
go against their national security. Adultery here is punishable
by death especially when there is a non-Muslim man and
a Muslim woman involved. Even non-Muslims are judged
according to Sharia laws. There are many
expatriates and foreign nationals who have
received lashes in public. 3. Somalia – They have been following
Sharia as their legal law system. There are 99.8% Muslims in this country. The people are judged
according to the Sharia laws. 4. Saudi Arabia – The Saudi Arabian
law is based on Sharia law. The punishments by the Sharia
Courts are quite severe. If found guilty for rape, murder,
armed robbery, witchcraft, apostasy, adultery or continuous drug use
the punishment could be death. Amputation of hand for robbery is
also carried out as a punishment. Homosexuals are punished by
death, flogging or imprisonment. 5. Oman – Another state where Sharia forms
a part of the legal system is Oman. Sharia here deals with all types of
matters from family to criminal. The women do face legal
discrimination especially when it comes to divorce, marriage,
child custody and inheritance. 6. Brunei – Sharia law is
the legal system in Brunei and it is applicable
even to the non-Muslims. The women enjoy a better
position here compared to the other Muslim countries where
Sharia is applicable. The punishments for crimes include
fines and prison sentences for crimes like pregnancy out of wedlock, not
attending prayers on Friday etc. Flogging and cutting of hands is also a
part of punishments for worse crimes. 7. Jordan – The legal system of Jordan has
a combination of Customary and Sharia law. The Muslims of the country approach
the Sharia courts which take care of family matters only such as marriage,
divorce, custody or adoption. 8. Indonesia – The Aceh
is the only part of the nation where Sharia law
has been established as an addition to the
law system by the Central government – it
is not a replacement. Sharia courts here are
free from any outside influence and will apply
only to the Muslims. The people here welcomed Sharia
as the majority are Muslims. Aceh has lately been in news for
whipping a woman and ten other men publicly for crimes such as
adultery, gambling, drinking etc. There are many more countries
that follow Sharia law and some even don’t have
official Sharia courts. Countries like Kenya,
Uganda, Eritrea, Niger, Syria, Jordan and
Uganda along with many more Muslim countries use Sharia law to
take care of family and criminal matters.

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