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Sharia or sharia law (Arabic: شريعة‎{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} (IPA: [ʃaˈriːʕa]), is the basic Islamic legal system<ref>Oxford English Dictionary, under ‘sharia’.</ref> derived from the religious precepts of Islam, particularly the Quran and the Hadith. The term sharia comes from the Arabic language term sharīʿah, which means a body of moral and religious law derived from religious prophecy, as opposed to human legislation.<ref>Ritter, R.M. (editor) (2005). New Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors – The Essential A-Z Guide to the Written Word. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 349.</ref><ref name=shariaeoi>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref><ref>Rehman, J. (2007), The sharia, Islamic family laws and international human rights law: Examining the theory and practice of polygamy and talaq, International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family, 21(1), pp 108-127</ref>

Sharia deals with many topics, including crime, politics, and economics, as well as personal matters such as sexual intercourse, hygiene, diet, prayer, everyday etiquette and fasting. Adherence to sharia has served as one of the distinguishing characteristics of the Muslim faith historically.<ref name=WahhabiIslam>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> In its strictest and most historically coherent definition, sharia is considered in Islam as the infallible law of God.<ref name="Coulson, N. J. 2011">Coulson, N. J. (2011), A history of Islamic law, Aldine, ISBN 978-1412818551</ref>

There are two primary sources of sharia: the Quran, and the Hadiths (opinions and life example of Muhammad).<ref name="Esposito, John 2001">Esposito, John (2001), Women in Muslim family law, Syracuse University Press, ISBN 978-0815629085</ref> For topics and issues not directly addressed in these primary sources, sharia is derived. The derivation differs between the various sects of Islam (Sunni and Shia), and various jurisprudence schools such as Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i, Hanbali and Jafari.<ref name=hmr/><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> The sharia in these schools is derived hierarchically using one or more of the following guidelines: Ijma (usually the consensus of Muhammad's companions), Qiyas (analogy derived from the primary sources), Istihsan (ruling that serves the interest of Islam in the discretion of Islamic jurists) and Urf (customs).<ref name=hmr/><ref name=mm221/>

Sharia is a significant source of legislation in various Muslim countries. Some apply all or a majority of the sharia code, and these include Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Yemen and Mauritania. In these countries, sharia-prescribed punishments such as beheading, flogging and stoning continue to be practiced judicially or extra-judicially.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref><ref name="nabiad"/> The introduction of sharia is a longstanding goal for Islamist movements globally, including in Western countries, but attempts to impose sharia have been accompanied by controversy,<ref>Hamann, Katie (December 29, 2009). "Aceh's Sharia Law Still Controversial in Indonesia". Voice of America. Retrieved September 19, 2011.

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  • Tibi, Bassam (2008). Political Islam, World Politics and Europe. Routledge. p. 33. "The shari'a was imposed on non-Muslim Sudanese peoples in September 1983, and since that time Muslims in the north have been fighting a jihad against the non-Muslims in the south."</ref> Most countries do not recognize sharia; however, some countries in Asia, Africa and Europe recognize parts of sharia and accept it as the law on divorce, inheritance and other personal affairs of their Islamic population.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation

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  • Stahnke, Tad and Robert C. Blitt (2005), "The Religion-State Relationship and the Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief: A Comparative Textual Analysis of the Constitutions of Predominantly Muslim Countries." Georgetown Journal of International Law, volume 36, issue 4; also see Sharia Law profile by Country, Emory University (2011)</ref> In Britain, the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal makes use of sharia family law to settle disputes, and this limited adoption of sharia is controversial.<ref>Taher, Abul (September 14, 2008). Revealed: UK’s first official sharia courts. The Sunday Times
  • Inside Britain's Sharia courts Jane Corbin, The Telegraph (April 7, 2013)
  • Bowen, J. R. (2009). How could English courts recognize Shariah?, U. St. Thomas Law Journal, 7, 411</ref>

The concept of crime, judicial process, justice and punishment embodied in shari'a is different from that of secular law.<ref>Encyclopædia Britannica, see article on Shari'ah (Islamic law), 2006

  • Otto, J. M. (2008). Sharia and National Law in Muslim Countries (Vol. 3), Amsterdam University Press</ref> The differences between sharia and secular laws have led to an ongoing controversy as to whether sharia is compatible with secular forms of government, human rights, freedom of thought, and women's rights.<ref name=naim96/><ref name=hajjar2004/><ref>Al-Suwaidi, J. (1995). Arab and western conceptions of democracy; in Democracy, war, and peace in the Middle East (Editors: David Garnham, Mark A. Tessler), Indiana University Press, see Chapters 5 and 6; ISBN 978-0253209399</ref>

Sharia sections
Intro  Etymology and origins  History  Definitions and disagreements  Application  Support  Criticism  Parallels with Western legal systems  See also  References  Sources  Further reading  External links  

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