Monday, August 30, 2010

What is Sharia Law?

Ooo...this is going to be a difficult blog post to write. There is just so much information and I’m against super long rambling blog posts, it goes:

Sharia Law comes from the Qur’an (Muslim’s holy book), Hadith (sayings from the prophet Mohammad - peace be upon him), and fatwas (rulings by Islamic scholars).

Sharia Law governs all aspects of Muslim’s life. The Qur’an says there is only one path and that path is Sharia.

Explanation done! Well that was easy...

Actually, not quite so. Speaking for myself, I gave Sharia Law a pretty bad rap. My only real exposure to Sharia was hearing about stonings and amputations. I really had no idea what Sharia meant other than it seemed pretty darn harsh.

Of course, as with most things I have heard about Islam, that ain’t true. Sharia can be (and is) a beautiful thing. Similar to the 10 Commandments, Sharia provides the blueprint to how a Muslim should live their life. Unlike the 10 Commandments, Sharia also includes what could possibly happen to you if you stray from the path.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not all about stoning people who commit adultery, but Sharia does not exactly say “start throwing the rocks” at first accusation. It provides a detailed account of how to prove someone has done something wrong, has built in leniency, and strives to be just in punishment.

And, with all things, it’s not just the West that has the wrong idea of Sharia. Similar to how US Senators (and a former US Governor) tout the US was built on Judea-Christian principles (an eye for an eye anyone?), it’s all open to interpretation and enactment.

Anyway, this blog post is going to be a two parter because, well, there is just more to say.

(I wrote this while under siege from a very large green bug that I thought I had sent to the next life).

Along with my previous sited resources, check out ICNYU's Khutbah Podcast [link]