Written by PoliticalIslam.com
(Note: the following article is excerpted from my work-in-progress titled The Islamic World System)
Since Islam is primarily a political system, it would only make sense that it has a legal code. The Islamic legal code is called Sharia (also shariah), meaning the way. The source of the Sharia is the Koran and the Sunna (found in the Sira and the Hadith). Since the Sunni Muslims and Shia Muslims do not agree on which Hadith to use, they have slightly different Sharia systems.
1. Belief-Allah, His angels, His books, His prophets, the Day of Judgment and the decrees of God.
2. Moralities-giving good counsel, humility, patience and so forth.
3. Devotions-the Five Pillars, alms, pilgrimage to Mecca, and jihad.
4. Transactions-business law, marriage, divorce and disputes.
5. Punishments-stoning, amputation, lashings, and retaliation.
Some divide Sharia law into religious law and the rest.
All Sharia is based upon dividing all actions into forbidden (haram, haraam) and permitted (halal). Things that are halal, permitted, are further divided into five classes such as acts that are desirable, but may be omitted. Things that are haraam, forbidden, are divided into three categories, such as strictly forbidden or unclean.
There are four branches to Sunni Sharia law. They differ in small matters, but just like the Shia Sharia law they all agree that kafirs are not equal to Muslims under Sharia law. Said another way, all of the differences between Sharia law schools do affect the law with regards to kafirs. Jihad is included in every school of law.
The important thing about Sharia law is that it is perfect and sacred. Law based upon democratic process is offensive to Islam because such law is based upon people. Sharia law is based upon the Koran and Mohammed, the only perfect guidance. Therefore, it is an offence to Islam for Muslims to have to live under democratic constitutional law. This is the reason that Muslims want to replace our banking laws with Sharia law and replace our family law with Sharia law.
Islam demands that Muslims form their own political units without kafir influence. The thin end of the longest wedge is to demand that Muslims live outside kafir law in family and banking. Already, in England Islamic family law supercedes British law in families. There is no end to Islamic demands for power. So one day, Muslims in Britain will live under their own law, judges and police. The final stage is when Sharia law replaces English law in totality and kafirs have to live under Sharia law as dhimmis. The British have decided not to oppose this process, but for it to happen slowly and smoothly.
There are some Muslims who oppose Sharia law. It is unclear how one could become a Muslim and believe that everything in the Koran is perfect and that the Sunna of Mohammed is ideal pattern of life and then turn around and say that Sharia is not to be lived under for some reason. Each and every law in the Sharia can be traced back to the Koran and Sunna. Any Muslim who denies the truth of the Sharia is a hypocrite and is kufr (has thoughts of unbelief). Once you buy into the Koran and the Sunna, the Sharia is just a step away.
The Sharia is based upon dualistic ethics. As you will see below in the actual laws, kafirs are abused, poorly treated and can be killed in jihad. Women are second class citizens. Slavery is a well regulated business. Dhimmi laws are part of Sharia, as well.
What about a reformed Sharia? Reform means that humans will be discussing which part of the Koran or the Sunna they will be judging as wrong for humans. What part of the Koran or the Sunna is wrong? None, because they are perfect, eternal, universal and complete. How could you improve perfection? If you changed any of the Trilogy, then it would not be eternal. Sharia cannot be improved, reformed or changed.
The source of any change would be human. Humans cannot change what is sacred. To change the Sharia would mean changing Allah. Only Allah could make any changes to Allah. Again, changing the Sharia is a logical impossibility. You can no more reform the Sharia than you can reform a circle.
The actual law
The best to learn about Sharia law is to examine the actual laws. The best source is Reliance of the Traveller, translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller, by Amana Publications, 1994. The Sharia is organized in an outline form and each case quoted below will be referenced by the index number.
Imitating the kafir
Even if the kafir has a better way, a Muslim should not imitate it.
e4.1 It is kufr (unbelief) to turn from the Sunna to imitate the kafir, when one believes that the kafir way is superior to the Sunna.
A woman may be forced to marry a person whom she does not want.
m3.13 ... Whenever the bride is a virgin, the father or the father's father may marry her without her permission, though it is recommended to ask her permission if she has reached puberty. A virgin's silence is considered as consent.
The wife must have sex whenever her husband demands it.
m5.1 It is obligatory for a woman to let her husband have sex with her immediately when:
(a) He asks her;
(b) At home;
(c) She can physically endure it.
The Koran says that a wife can be beaten. Mohammed recommended wife beating in his last sermon at Mecca. Here is the Sharia:
DEALING WITH A REBELLIOUS WIFE
m10.12 When a husband notices signs of rebelliousness in his wife whether in words as when she answers him coldly when she used to do so politely. or he asks her to come to bed and she refuses, contrary to her usual habit; or whether in acts, as when he finds her averse to him when she was previously kind and cheerful), he warns her in words without keeping from her or hitting her, for it may be that she has an excuse.
The warning could be to tell her,
"Fear Allah concerning the rights you owe to me,"
or it could be to explain that rebelliousness nullifies his obligation to support her and give her a turn amongst other wives, or it could be to inform her,
"Your obeying me is religiously obligatory".
If she commits rebelliousness, he keeps from sleeping (having sex) with her without words, and may hit her, but not in a way that injures her, meaning he may not bruise her, break bones, wound her, or cause blood to flow. It is unlawful to strike another's face. He may hit her whether she is rebellious only once or whether more than once, though a weaker opinion holds that he may not hit her unless there is repeated rebelliousness. [...]
Apostacy--leaving Islam. The penalty is death.
o8.1 When person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostatizes from Islam, he deserves to be killed.
The law goes on in great deal about how one may be an apostate. Being sarcastic about Allah or Islam is apostacy.
Jihad is a part of Sharia law since jihad is part of the Trilogy.
Jihad means to war against kafirs and derived from the word mujahada, signifying warfare to establish the religion. ...
o.9.1 Jihad is a communal obligation. When enough people perform it to successfully accomplish it, it no longer obligatory upon others.
o.9.4 Those called upon (to perform jihad when it is a communal obligation) are every able-bodied man who has reached puberty and is sane.
o.9.8 the caliph makes war on Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians (provided that he has first invited them to enter Islam in faith and practice, and if they will not, then invited them to enter the social order of Islam by paying the Muslim poll tax (jizya ...)
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.
The Sharia is very detailed how the dhimmi will live under Islamic domination.
O11.1 a formal agreement with Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, Samarians, Sabians, and those who adhere to the religion of Abraham of one of the other prophets.
o11.3 such an agreement is only valid when the subject peoples:
(a) follow the rules of Islam
(b) and pay the kafir poll tax (jizya)
o11.5 Kafir subjects are obliged to comply with Islamic rules that pertain to the safety and indemnity of life, reputation, and property. In addition, they:
(1) are penalized for committing adultery or theft, though not for drunkenness.
(2) Are distinguished from Muslims by dress
(3) Are not greeted by "as Salamu alakym" (peace to you).
(4) Must keep to the side of the street;
(5) May not build higher than the Muslims' buildings
(6) Are forbidden to openly display wine or pork. ( or to ring church bells or display crosses) recite the Torah or Gospels aloud, or make public display of funerals and feast days.
(7) And are forbidden to build new churches.
There are very good reasons that you do not see any great Islamic paintings or sculpture.
P44.1 The Prophet said:
(1) Every maker of pictures will go to the fire, where a being will be set uipon him for each picture, to torment him in hell.
(2) Whoever makes an image shall be required (on Judgment Day) to breathe a spirit into it, but will never be able to do so.
Mohammed said: Allah Mighty and Majestic sent me as a guidance and mercy to believers and commanded me to do away with musical instruments, flutes, strings, crucifixes and the affair of the pre-Islamic period of ignorance [jahiliyah].
The choices above are some of the more interesting items to find in a book of law.