sharia

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sharia,

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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.

Bibliography

See study by S. Kadri (2012).

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Shar’ia

 

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.


Sharia

 

(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.

sharia

, sheria
the body of doctrines that regulate the lives of those who profess Islam
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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