Sharia or Islamic law, from

(Islamic Law)

Sharia is Islamic Law.  It is the religious legal system that governs the political, social and moral duties of faithful Muslims.  It is what is meant by “God’s Law.”

The Sharia was derived from the Sunnah – the way of life of Muhammad as recorded in the Hadith (traditions).  It pulls various Quran verses and historical narrations into an organized body of rules.

Although Muslims as individuals often decide which parts of Sharia to follow or ignore, the Quran (33:21) says that it is not fitting for a believer to choose for themselves (i.e., disregard) any matter already decided by Allah.

Likewise, a government that limits God’s Law in any way is an enemy of Allah and must be fought.  The establishment of Sharia is the fundamental objective of every Islamic terror group.  Once an Islamic state is in place, the Quran (9:29) and Sharia (o9.8) make it mandatory for Muslims to fight those Jews and Christians who will not convert or accept inferior status.

This reality is left out by proponents of Sharia in the West, who hide behind the cloak of religion and expose only the more benign personal rules (such as those dealing with prayer and hygiene).  This is to make it appear as if detractors are religious bigots whose real problem is intolerance for a different set of beliefs about God and worship.

In fact, Sharia is explicitly opposed to religious freedom, freedom of conscience and the free exchange of ideas.  It is violent, openly bigoted toward non-Muslims, discriminatory, and unflinchingly sexist.  Large sections deal with the practice of slavery.  None of this changes by affixing a “phobia” label or otherwise insulting detractors.

The following sections highlight what Sharia actually says about important issues.  References are to the classic manual, Reliance of the Traveller, considered one of the soundest translations of Islamic law.  The full version in PDF form can be found here.

(Literal text from Reliance is in italics).

Freedom of Conscience and the Free Exchange of Ideas

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

(o8.4) – There is no indemnity for killing an apostate (since it is killing someone who deserves to die).

Acts that define “leaving Islam” and being subject to execution are listed in o8.7.  They include:

-2- to intend to commit unbelief, even if in the future

-3- to deny the existence of Allah… or any of his attributes

-6- to be sarcastic about Allah’s name, his command, his interdiction… or his threat

-7- to deny any verse of the Quran

-8- to mockingly say, “I don’t know what faith is”

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

Holy War (Jihad)

(o9.0) – Jihad means to war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada signifying warfare to establish the religion…

The scriptural basis for jihad… 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 idolators 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”;

(o9.1) – Jihad [against non-Muslims in their own countries ] is a communal obligation… “He who provides the equipment for a soldier in Jihad has himself performed Jihad”

(o9.7) – The caliph makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians until they become Muslim or pay the non-Muslim poll tax 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” (Quran 9.29))

(o9.9) – The caliph fights all other people until they become Muslim


(p17.3) – The Prophet (Allah Bless him and give him peace) said: “Kill the one who sodomizes and the one who lets it be done to him.”


m3.4 – 3.7 say that a woman may not “conduct her own marriage”, meaning that she is not free to marry by choice.  A male guardian is required to validate the marriage agreement.

m3.8 says that a woman is not free to choose her guardian.  It is assigned by family relation.  Once she is married, she becomes the charge of her husband’s guardianship.

A Muslim woman may not marry a non-Muslim man (Quran 2:221).  An untranslated portion of the Sharia even forbids an Arab woman from marrying a non-Arab man (source).

(m13.4) – A woman has no right to custody of her children from a previous marriage when she remarries.

(m5.1) – It is obligatory for a woman to let her husband have sex with her immediately when he asks her… and she can physically endure it.

(m10.11-2) – It is not lawful for a wife to leave the house except by the permission of her husband.

(m10.11) – When a husband notices signs of rebelliousness in his wife, he warns her in words. If she commits rebelliousness, he keeps from sleeping with her without words, and may hit her, but not in a way that injures her, meaning he may not break bones, wound her, or cause blood to flow.

(o4.9) – The indemnity for the death or injury of a woman is one-half the indemnity paid for a man.

(L10.3) – Divide the universal share so the male receives the portion of two females (Rule of inheritance based on the Quran 4:11)

(m2.3) – It is unlawful for women to leave the house with faces unveiled

(Bigotry toward those outside the Islamic faith)

(o4.9) – The indemnity paid for a Jew or Christian is one-third of the indemnity paid for a Muslim. The indemnity paid of a Zoroastrian is one-fifteenth of that a Muslim.

(h8.24) – It is not permissible to give zakat to a non-Muslim.

(e2.3) – It is offensive to use the vessels [dishes] of non-Muslims or wear their clothes.

e8.3 says that a non-Muslim may not touch the Quran.

f21.2 says that non-Muslims are not allowed to ‘mix’ with Muslims at certain events.

g1.2 says that it is permissible for a Muslim to visit a non-Muslim who is ill, but not recommended.  (Same with visiting the grave of a non-Muslim relative – g5.8)

(L5.2) – a non-Muslim may not inherit from a Muslim. (or vice versa)

o1.2 states that there is no penalty for a Muslim who kills a non-Muslim

o11.0-11 says that non-Muslim subjects of an Islamic state may live free from harm if they

– pay a special ‘poll’ tax (the jizya)

– comply with certain Islamic rules, specifically the penalty for adultery (stoning) and theft (amputation)

– distinguish themselves from Muslims by dressing differently

– keep to the side of the side of the street when Muslims pass

– accept a lesser form of greeting

– agree not to build new churches or build houses higher than those of Muslims

The agreement is broken (meaning that the non-Muslim may be lynched) if he breaks the rules, fails to pay the poll tax, “leads a Muslim away from Islam“, “mentions something impermissible” about Islam, or has sex with a non-Muslim woman.

(o22.13) – The judge treats two litigants impartially, seating both in places of equal honor, attending to each, and so forth, unless one is a non-Muslim, in which case he gives the Muslim a better seat

See also Rights of Non-Muslims in an Islamic State

Sex and Honor Killing

(o1.2) – The following are not subject to retaliation: … -4- a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring or offspring’s offspring

o12.2 – The penalty for adultery is stoning.  The penalty for unmarried sex (fornication) is 100 lashes.


A large section of the Sharia is devoted to codifying the practice of slavery (k32.0).  The Reliance of the Traveller omits these rules from the English language translation, perhaps to obscure the comfortable relationship between Islam and slavery.  However, parts from other sections address both the capture of slaves and the sanctioning of forced conversion under obvious duress.

(o9.13) – When a child or a woman is taken captive, they become slaves by the fact of capture, and the woman’s previous marriage is immediately annulled.

(o9.14) – When an adult male is taken captive, the caliph considers the interests (O: of Islam and the Muslims) and decides between the prisoner’s death, slavery, release without paying anything, or ransoming himself in exchange for money or for a Muslim captive held by the enemy. If the prisoner becomes a Muslim (O: before the caliph chooses) then he may not be killed, and one of the other three alternatives is chosen.

(o9.12) Whoever enters Islam before being captured may not be killed or his property confiscated, or his young children taken captive.

o4.9 is one of several rules that establish slaves as property, to be traded as a form of restitution.

o20.2 makes it clear that a slave freed as a method of expiation must be a “sound Muslim.”


(o14.1) – A person’s right hand is amputated, whether he is a Muslim, non-Muslim subject of the Islamic state

Art and Music

r40.1 says that musical instruments are condemned.

(r40.3) – One should know that singing or listening to singing is offensive (with the exception of songs that encourage piety).

(p44.1) – Every maker of pictures will go to the fire, where a being will be set upon him for each picture he made, to torment him in hell

(w50.2) – Pictures imitate the creative act of Allah (when they are of animate beings).

(o17.9) – It is unlawful to decorate walls with pictures (generally interpreted as pictures of animate beings).

Additional Notes

Sharia is extremely specific in some places (such as instructions on washing one’s anus).  However, it does not often address the many routines and nuances of modern life.  Bodies of Islamic scholars (fiqh) thus extend the law via fatwas, in which the permissiblity of a matter is formally determined by applying the spirit of existing law.

Further Reading

Reliance of the Traveller
Sharia Law for the Non-Muslim (CSPI)
5 True Things About Sharia
Sharia USA: From a Survivor

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5 Responses to Sharia or Islamic law, from

  1. θ says:

    What we know of the term “Shari’ah” is a set of regulations or procedures dealing with Moslems in righteousness for salvation, namely conversion, rites, alms, self-discipline, pilgrimage, et cetera, whereas other term “Hudud” (penal code) deals with:
    1. punishment on Moslems who happen to such a Non-Moslem thing, i.e. sins (such as mistaken killing, retaliation, fornication, stealing, blasphemy, apostasy) which is meant for restoration of Ummah overall and for their atonement personally.
    2. punishment on the Non Moslems (Jizya, slavery, Azl, stoning, banishment) for different reasons other than restoration and atonement.

    Shari’ah is for good ones of Moslems, whereas Hudud is for the bad ones.

  2. θ says:

    Getting a woman’s consent is too much essential in Islamic matrimony, and somewhat a man can be “compelled” by a familial pressure of the wife’s household to maintain a strict Monogamy with her.
    A special Arabic phrase “Wa in khiftum” (And if ye feared) infers a permission for the wife’s family, such as her parent and brothers, to exert the necessary “compulsion” personally on a husband to maintain Monogamy as long as her life. Prophet Muhammad pressured Ali to maintain Monogamy with Fatima.

    Q.4, v.3 And if ye feared that ye won’t be just with the orphan girls, then marry those that ye get consent of the free women, two or three or four. But if ye [get pressured] fear that you won’t be just, then marry only one or those your right hand possesses. That is more suitable that ye may not deprive.

  3. θ says:

    Radical side of the Moslem world is counterpart of the warmongering military industry and polity in the West. Yes, Islam is much more than religion. A political aspect of Islam is not equal with churches, Jesuit, Buddhist Theravada, Shikh and Hindu Mahayana, et cetera.

    Political Islam is parallel with the American political ideologies such as Neo Conservatism, Reagenism, American Zionism, Liberal Hawk, and Pax Americana. Despite appearing like anti-Political Islam, the West plays a game of deceit by maintaining, providing, guaranteeing and sustaining the major movements in Political Islam in modern ages, such as Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia, Salafism in Morocco and North Africa, Brotherhood in Turkey and Jordan.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Whay is funny is, the right-wing medias keep likening the Political Islam with Communism and Trotskyism, but in fact none of the major movements of Political Islam (Sunnis) aligns with Russia and China except the Shi’ites of Iran and Syria.
    Therefore, it is more correct to say that the Political Islam is more like the American political ideologies. In fact, the strong and remaining Middle East regimes – notably Salafism, Brotherhood, Wahhabism – have none else but the Western backups.

  5. θ says:

    Even the most “absurd” right-wing circles understand the term of “necessary evil”, that the Western choice of doing “Political Correctness” with Political Islam is counted as a lesser of two evils for them rather than having entire old regimes throughout the Middle East turn en-masse to Russia and China.

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