Definitions and descriptions of Sharia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia)

Posted by Shadra_Institute 3:04 AM, under | No comments

Sharia has been defined as

  • "Muslim or Islamic law, both civil and criminal justice as well as regulating individual conduct both personal and moral. The custom-based body of law based on the Quran and the religion of Islam. Because, by definition, Muslim states are theocracies, religious texts are law, the latter distinguished by Islam and Muslims in their application, as Sharia or Sharia law."[19]
  • "a discussion on the duties of Muslims," —Hamilton Alexander Rosskeen Gibb[20]
  • "a long, diverse, complicated intellectual tradition," rather than a "well-defined set of specific rules and regulations that can be easily applied to life situations," —Hunt Janin and Andre Kahlmeyer[21]
  • "a shared opinion of the [Islamic] community, based on a literature that is extensive, but not necessarily coherent or authorized by any single body," —Knut S. Vikor[22]
From the ninth century, the power to interpret and refine law in traditional Islamic societies was in the hands of the scholars (ulema). This separation of powers served to limit the range of actions available to the ruler, who could not easily decree or reinterpret law independently and expect the continued support of the community.[23] Through succeeding centuries and empires, the balance between the ulema and the rulers shifted and reformed, but the balance of power was never decisively changed.[24] At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the Industrial Revolution and the French Revolution introduced an era of European world hegemony that included the domination of most of the lands of Islam.[25][26] At the end of the Second World War, the European powers found themselves too weakened to maintain their empires.[27] The wide variety of forms of government, systems of law, attitudes toward modernity and interpretations of Sharia are a result of the ensuing drives for independence and modernity in the Muslim world.[28][29]

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