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Sharia Law: Important Points

Islamic law Or Shariah:


The Taliban have pledged that women in Afghanistan will have rights “within the bounds of Islamic law,” or Shariah, under their newly established rule. But it is not clear what that will mean.

  • Shariah is based on the Quran, stories of the Prophet Muhammad’s life and the rulings of religious scholars, forming the moral and legal framework of Islam.
  • The Quran details a path to a moral life, but not a specific set of laws.
  • One interpretation of Shariah could afford women extensive rights, while another could leave women with few.
  • Critics have said that some of the Taliban restrictions on women under the guise of Islamic law actually went beyond the bounds of Shariah.
  • The interpretations of Shariah are a matter of debate across the Muslim world, and all groups and governments that base their legal systems on Shariah have done so differently.
  • Shariah lists some specific crimes, such as theft and adultery, and punishments if accusations meet a standard of proof.
  • It also offers moral and spiritual guidance, such as when and how to pray, or how to marry and divorce.
  • It does not forbid women to leave home without a male escort or bar them from working in most jobs.