Politics in Minutes (2016)

Islam and sharia law

The civic laws of most countries in the world today have been decided by people – governments, legislators, judges and constitution writers – rather than set by God or dictated by the doctrine of a religion. Nevertheless, these civic laws often bear a resemblance to the moral code of the predominant faith or faiths of that country; furthermore, some laws, such as those against murder, theft and so on, are universal. In Islamic states, the religious law of Islam – sharia – is the primary source of legislation. Taken from the Qur’an and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah, sharia is accepted in these countries as the infallible word of God, which requires no human additions and cannot be contradicted. Many devout Muslims believe that sharia must be observed over and above the civic law. Unlike other religious laws, it is more than simply a code of ethics and personal morality; it includes rules for political and economic conduct. Sharia constitutes a large part of the legislation of several Arabic countries, and is the basis for laws in most Islamic countries.

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