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the religious law of Islam. As Islam makes no distinction between religion and life, Islamic law covers not only ritual but many aspects of life. The actual codification of canonic law is the result of the concurrent evolution of jurisprudence proper and the so-called science of the roots of jurisprudence (usul al-fiqh). A general agreement was reached, in the course of the formalization of Islam, as to the authority of four such roots: the Qur'an in its legislative segments; the example of the Prophet Muhammad as related in the hadith; the consensus of the Muslims (ijma), premised on a saying by Muhammad stipulating "My nation cannot agree on an error"; and reasoning by analogy (qiyas). Another important principle is ijtihad, the extension of sharia to situations neither covered by precedent nor explicable by analogy to other laws. These roots provide the means for the establishment of prescriptive codes of action and for the evaluation of individual and social behavior. The basic scheme for all actions is a fivefold division into obligatory, meritorious, permissible, reprehensible, and forbidden.

Numerous schools of jurisprudence emerged in the course of Islamic history. Four coexist today within Sunni Islam, with one or more dominant in particular areas—Maliki (N and W Africa), Hanafi (Turkic Asia), Shafii (Egypt, E Africa, SE Asia), and Hanbali (Saudi Arabia; see Ibn Hanbal, AhmadIbn Hanbal, Ahmad
, 780–855, Muslim jurist and theologian. His disciples founded the fourth of the four major Sunni schools of jurisprudence, the Hanbali. Ibn Hanbal's conception of law was principally influenced by hadith which led him to reject the officially sanctioned
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). While these schools of jurisprudence vary on certain rituals and practices, they are often perceived as complementary rather than mutually exclusive. Twelve-Imam Shiite jurisprudence is often referred to as Jafari. Islamic law is an important legal influence, to a greater or lesser degree, in nearly all nations with a Muslim majority population; the primary exception is Turkey, which has been a secular state since AtatürkAtatürk, Kemal
, 1881–1938, Turkish leader, founder of modern Turkey. He took the name in 1934 in place of his earlier name, Mustafa Kemal, when he ordered all Turks to adopt a surname; it is made up of the Turkish words Ata and Türk [father of the Turks].
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See study by S. Kadri (2012).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city (since 1938) under oblast jurisdiction and the administrative center of Shar’ia Raion, Kostroma Oblast, RSFSR. Situated on the left bank of the Vetluga River. Railroad junction. Population, 26,000 (1974). Industry is represented by the Shar’iadrev Production Association, an experimental machine shop, a milk plant, a garment factory, a furniture factory, and a plant that manufactures reinforced-concrete structural members. There are also two logging and timber distribution establishments. Educational institutions include a pedagogical school, a medical school, and a sovkhoz technicum. The city has a museum of local lore and a people’s amateur theater.



(literally, “correct path,” “correct way of behaving”), the body of Islamic religious, ethical, and legal precepts, based on the Koran, sunna (sacred tradition), and fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence).

The sharia was developed in the Arabian Caliphate between the seventh and 12th centuries. In addition to precepts on the fundamental religious obligations of Muslims, it includes the norms of Islamic state, civil, criminal, and procedural law. The sharia is in force in countries where Islam is the state religion, and it is applied especially in the spheres of marriage, the family, and inheritance.

After the October Revolution of 1917, the Soviet government at first restricted the jurisdiction of the sharia and later eliminated sharia courts; those norms of the sharia that conflicted with Soviet laws were made inoperative. The norms of the sharia have no legal force in the USSR, and the precepts of the sharia are preserved only in the rituals and way of life of some Muslims.

In most foreign countries where the population professes Islam, the norms of the sharia have been incorporated into secular law. The sharia continues to be regarded as the source of Islamic law and one of the foundations of Muslim ideology.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


, sheria
the body of doctrines that regulate the lives of those who profess Islam
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
The bishops said that a lasting peace could not be achieved under the Shar'ia (Islamic) law because of religious and cultural diversity in Sudan.
For Australians the call to solidarity with the US comes on several grounds -- that the states of the world have to defend themselves against free-floating terror; that bin Laden and his organisation want to dominate the world and impose a particular form of shar'ia; that solidarity should be based on cultural and historical connection.
For its leaders, structuring Afghan society according to their interpretation of Shar'ia promotes human dignity, insulates men and women from corruption, and shields citizens from the corrosive influence of decadent Western practices.
They controlled traditional educational institutions and the shar'ia courts (which covered the areas of civil law and disputes).
The controversial POP is tasked with regulating behaviour of men and women according to Islamic Shar'ia law.
*** Then The MB Nominated Its Millionaire No 2 Khairat Al-Shater To Run On May 23 For President And Impose Shar'ia; It's A Brazen Power Grab, Having Hijacked The Jan 2011 Revolution From The Young Liberals;
Chapter 5 will be extremely helpful for the average American in today's context of fear of Shar'ia law.
This week, he was shown in a video titled "Guardians of Shar'ia," with three other al-Qaeda commanders discussing the terror group's policy of encouraging attacks against the West by individuals and small cells.
Arabic speakers have become sick of the abuse of the word "Shar'ia".
Each one has a different way (hodos in Christian Greek, halachah in Jewish Hebrew, shar'ia in Muslim Arabic, marga in Hindu Sanskrit, magga in Buddhist Pali, tao in Chinese Taoism) to reach Theos, but all are centered on the one goal.
Dadashbeyli, an Azeri citizen, worked with radical Islamic groups and Iranian intelligence agents to set up a state with Shar'ia laws.
The party and group gave examples of compromises they made during the drafting process, such as agreeing on changing Article 2 from "the provisions of Shar'ia law are the main source of legislation" to "the basics of Shari'a law are the main source of legislation."