Sha'aria (or Sharia, Sha'ria)
Sharia (Arabic: شريعة ) is Islamic religious law as interpreted by various sectors of Islam and currently practived.
The term means "way" or "path to the water source"; it is the legal framework within which the public and some private
aspects of life are regulated for those living in a legal system based on Muslim principles of jurisprudence. Sharia is
not, strictly speaking, Muslim law. It includes Muslim law, pre-Muslim Arab cultures and the cumulative cultural and
social accretion of centuries.
Sharia deals with personal life, governance, war, business, sexuality and regulates just about every aspect of life.
Strictly interpreted, like all religious codes, it is not compatible with democratic government, since it would use
theological dictates rather than the will of the people to decide religious questions.
There is no strictly codified set of laws of sharia and there is no central authority for making decisions based on
Sharia. Sharia is a system of devising laws, based on the
Quran (the religious text of Islam),
Hadith (sayings of Muhammad),
Sunnah, ijma, qiyas and centuries of
debate, interpretation and precedent. In most Middle Eastern countries, the constitution declares that Sharia is the
basis of all law. In some countries, this is carried out in practice, according to a strict interpretation, including
such as stoning of adultresses, hanging of homosexuals and maiming of thieves.
Synonyms and alternate spellings: Sha'ria,
Shariah, Sha'ariah etc.
Further Information: See
History of Islam and the Arabs