Rule of Islamic law

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Rule of Shari'ah or rule of Islamic law is when the legal code of a political entity is based on Islamic law. There are debates as the extent of this implementation[1]; differing interpretations of sharia have existed since time immemorial.[2]


In the Islamic Republic of Iran, politicians from the constitutionally allowed Islamic parties[3] use "rule of law" when they mean rule of Shari'ah. "Islamic law" and "rule of law" are used interchangeably and if asked about the "rule of law" they explain that all laws have to be in compliance with Shari'ah. Democratic reformers also call for the retention of Shari'ah.


In the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,before the anti-Qaddafi revolution, the Qur'an was designated the constitution of the land though in practice the Qur'an was not the main source of legislation.


In the Federal Republic of Nigeria, there are 12 states with Shari'ah out of the 38 states.


In Sudan, Shari'ah is the official law although secular reforms to it have happened in recent years.

Saudi Arabia

The Basic Law of Saudi Arabia make it clear that no deviation from the Qur'an and Islamic jurisprudence is permissible. This is the objective of the Saudi Arabian kingdom.[4] Prince Salman has though instituted laws which go against the will of the country's clerical elite and their view of shari'ah in recent years, including allowing women to drive.


The Union of Islamic Courts waged jihad to establish the rule of Islamic law in Somalia.[5] They were defeated[6] at the Battle of Jilib in the last week of 2006, by armed intervention led by Somali Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi, though the insurgency continues to this day in Somalia and Somaliland and still strives to forcibly implement their interpretation of shari'ah.


Commentators point to the basic lack of human right under rule of Islamic law.[7] The right to dissent and freedom from fear becomes virtually non-existent under most interpretations of Islamic law as it is to be applied by the state.[8]

See Also

Further Reading

  • Family and the Courts in Modern Egypt: A Study Based on Decisions by the Sharia Courts 1900-1955 ISBN 978-9004107427
  • Enemy in the Mirror ISBN 978-0691058443
  • Mawdudi & the Making of Islamic Revivalism ISBN 978-0195096958

External Links