Louis Palme / Feb 19, 2012

Sharia implies “the clear, well-trodden path.”  Sharia Law1  provides Muslims with religious and political guidelines for their journey on earth.  It is derived from commands in the Quran (14%) and the example of Muhammad (86%). 

The key to understanding how Sharia Law differs radically from the Western concept of law is found in the Sharia definition of good and bad: “The basic premise of this school of thought is that the good of the acts of those morally responsible is what the Lawgiver (syn. Allah or his Messenger) has indicated is good by permitting it or asking it be done. And the bad is what the Lawgiver has indicated is bad by asking it not be done. The good is not what reason considers good, nor the bad what reason considers bad. The measure of good and bad, according to this school of thought, is the Sacred Law, not reason.” (Para. a1.4)  To illustrate how the legal concepts of the Islamic “Lawgiver” differ significantly from those based on reason, here are some familiar commands from Mosaic Law:


·       Love your Neighbor (or “the Golden Rule”):  “Those who follow [Muhammad] are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another. (Quran 48:29)   Islam always distinguishes between Muslims and non-Muslims.

·        Do not Murder:  Sharia exceptions: Murdering an apostate (Para. o4.17) and a parent murdering his/her children or his/her children’s children (Para.  o1.2(4))   The latter exception applies to honor murders.

·       Do not commit Adultery:  Sharia exceptions: Sex with multiple wives (m6.10), sex with slaves and captives (Quran 33:50), and sex with temporary wives (Quran 4:24).

·       Do not steal:  Sharia exceptions: Forcible seizure, snatching and running, and theft by betraying a trust (embezzlement). (Para. o14.6)   Corruption is rampant in Islamic states due to these exceptions.

·       Do not bear false witness:  Sharia exceptions: It is OK to break the intent of the oath, as long as you don’t break the letter of the oath. (Para. o19.1) and “When it is possible to achieve such an aim by lying but not by telling the truth, it is permissible to lie if attaining the goal is permissible.” Examples including protecting Islam or a Muslim. (Para. r8.2)


Reliance of the Traveler contains some purely religious sections, including Prayer, Alms, Fasting, and the Pilgrimage.  However, a substantial portion is devoted to non-religious topics, such as Personal Hygiene, Legal Rulings, Trade, Inheritance, Marriage and Divorce, and Justice (including Apostasy and Jihad).  Note:  Marriage is not a religious act in Sharia Law, as neither the imam nor the mosque is involved, since marriage is basically a business transaction between the guardian and the groom.  (Para. m3.2)  The manual covers every aspect of life from birth to after burial, when the dead person in the grave is coached on how to answer angels Munkar and Nakir. (Para. w32.0)


The stipulations of both the religious and non-religious sections are in the form of what is obligatory, permissible, or  not permissible.  To give you an idea of the scope of the coverage, Reliance of the Traveler contains one list of over 440 “enormities” compiled by Ibn Hajar Haytami.  (Para. w52.1).  Here is a sampling of those sins: drinking from a gold or silver vessel, plucking eyebrows, raising one’s eyes to the sky during prayer, a male wearing silk or gold, dying the hair, not lending one’s stud animal for use, for a woman to leave the house with perfume on, showing others the weak points of the Muslims, playing stringed instruments, and composing poetry or singing about things offensive to Muslims.


The most serious Sharia Law capital crime is blasphemy -- insulting Islam or Muhammad.   A Muslim is considered an apostate – subject to being killed by anyone – for being sarcastic about the Quran, any part of Islam, any ruling of Sharia Law, or any of Allah’s messengers. (Para. o8.7)   Non-Muslims who are viewed as dhimmis, or protected people, lose that protection and can be killed if they lead a Muslim away from Islam or mention something impermissible about Allah, Muhammad, or Islam. (Para. o11.10)    These provisions of Sharia Law are often used to persecute and drive out apostates and non-Muslims, but those people are supposedly protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.   Honor killings are rooted in the capital crime of apostasy.


Sharia Law also includes a set of crimes that invoke hudud penalties, which are the penalties specified in the Quran and therefore cannot be mitigated or reduced.  They include amputating the right hand of a thief, amputating the right hand and left foot of an armed highway robber, stoning an adulterer, flogging a fornicator or sodomizer 100 lashes and banishing the person 50 miles for one year, flogging a false accuser of adultery 80 lashes, and flogging a person 40 lashes for drinking even a glass of wine. (Para. o12.0 – o16.7)  Except for the latter crime, all of these penalties apply to Muslims and non-Muslims alike in an Islamic State. These penalties are never revoked, but only “postponed” until the country becomes an Islamic State.


What is disturbing about Sharia Law is its relentless bias against women -- in violation of every modern concept of civil or human rights.  A woman’s testimony is worth only half that of a man (Quran 2:282) and her inheritance is one-half that of a man. (Quran 4:11)  Female Genital Mutilation is ”obligatory” for women. (e4.3) Young women may be forced to marry without their consent to total strangers. (Para. m3.13(1)  A husband may beat his wife (Para. m10.12) and confine her to the house (Para. m10.12(2).  A husband can divorce a wife at will (Para. n3.2), marry multiple wives (Para. m6.10), and he automatically gets custody of children at age 7 (Para. m13.5) or if the mother remarries (Para. m13.4).  Worse yet, women are forced to abide by Sharia Law rulings against them because challenging rulings of the “Lawgiver” is an act of apostasy, punishable by death. (Para. o8.7(19))


In the U.S. today, it is the political aspect of Sharia Law that has become most intrusive into our daily lives.  This is based on Sharia’s insistence that Christianity and Judaism are “remnant cults” which are no longer valid. (Para. w4.1(2) Furthermore, wherever Muslims live and practice their rules is considered “Muslim lands,” so “there is virtually no country on the face of the earth where Muslims have an excuse to behave differently than they would in an Islamic country, whether in their commercial or other dealings.” (Para. w43.5)  The result is that Islamists (those pushing political Islam) are insisting on special prayer rooms, work breaks for prayer, segregated swimming pools, the right to wear niqabs and hijabs, and the refusal of employees to come into contact with alcohol, pork, or dogs.  However, Sharia Law provides specific exceptions for these situations, but the Islamists ignore those exceptions in order to advance their Islamic agenda.  For example, an employee can skip a prayer (and join it to a later prayer) “if he fears harm in earning his living  .  .  .  giving leeway to workers for whom it is impossible to leave their work.“ (Para. f15.18(5))  Also, “looking at a woman is permissible for testimony in court, for commercial dealings, and so forth, in which cases looking is permissible to the degree required.“ (Para. m2.11)   Photos for identification are permitted (Para. w50.4) and the purchase of an automobile and other required insurance is also lawful even though it is considered a form of gambling. (Para. w42.4)  Non-Muslims must respectfully say “No!” to the Islamist agenda, and fight it in court if necessary.   The tide is turning against the Islamist agenda.   Twenty-four states are currently considering anti-Sharia legislation.  Recently, Dearborn, MI, was ordered to pay out a $100,000 settlement for wrongful imposition of Sharia Law against non-Muslims who fought back in court.


Note:  If there are any questions about this brief summary, please send them to:   OneKafir@gmail.com


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The most complete concise sourcebook for Sharia Law is ‘Umdat al-Salik, or Reliance of the Traveler, compiled by Ahmad ibn Niqib al-Misri (d. 1368).  This “classic manual of Islamic Sacred Law” was translated into English by Nuh Ha Mim Keller in 1991. The 1,200 page volume has been certified by Al-Azhar University (Egypt) and the International Institute of Islamic Thought (USA).  Many of the provisions have been brought more up-to-date with commentary by ‘Umar Barakat (d. 1890). While the volume represents the Shafi’i School of jurisprudence, it is identical with 75 percent of the other three Sunni Schools of Islamic law.  Most of this manual can be accessed on-line at: http://www.shafiifiqh.com/maktabah/relianceoftraveller.pdf .  References in the text are to this manual or the Quran.


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