Books and Documents

Islamic Sharia Laws (05 Mar 2012 NewAgeIslam.Com)

The Classical Sharia Law of Islam – a Western Perspective: the Diabolic Face of Islam

By Muhammad Yunus, New Age Islam

March 05, 2012

Muhammad Yunus, co-author (Jointly with Ashfaque Ullah Syed), Essential Message of Islam, Amana Publications, USA, 2009

A popular Australian website [Australian Islamist Monitor, Islam under Scrutiny]        summarily tables the key rulings of the Classical Islamic Sharia [Re. Sharia Law in brief] and concludes that it “can only generate brutality, hatred, and nothing but Islamic fascism.”   

The article refers to the popular perception among the Muslims of the Sharia Law being a ‘word of God’ and traces its origin to the era of the Prophet Muhammad and the first four Caliphs. Following a brief commentary on the four law schools, it enumerates the following common laws of Islamic Sharia “which are regularly practiced in Islamically ruled (Sharia-based) nations with some minor variations”:  

Ref: “http://islammonitor.org/index.php?id=4050&option=com_content”

1- Jihad defined as “to war against all non-Muslims to establish the religion” is the duty of every Muslim and Muslim head of state (Caliph). Muslim Caliphs who refuse jihad are in violation of Sharia and unfit to rule.

2- A Caliph can hold office through seizure of power meaning through force.

3- The head of an Islamic State (Caliph) cannot be charged, let alone be punished for serious crimes such as murder, adultery, robbery, theft, drinking and in some cases of rape (Hudood cases) - Codified Islamic Law Vol 3 # 914C of and page 188 of Hedaya the Hanafi manual.

4- A percentage of Zakat (alms) must go towards jihad.

5- It is obligatory to obey the commands of the Caliph, even if he is unjust.

6- A caliph must be a Muslim, a non-slave and a male.

7- The Muslim public must remove the Caliph in one case, if he rejects Islam.

8- A Muslim who leaves Islam (apostate) must be killed immediately.

9- A Muslim will be forgiven for murder of : a) an apostasy b) an adulterer c) a highway robber. Making vigilante street justice and honor killing acceptable

10- A Muslim will not get the death penalty if he kills a non-Muslim.

11- Sharia never abolished slavery and sexual slavery and highly regulates it. A master will not be punished for killing his slave. Slavery still exists amongst Arab Muslims.

12- Sharia dictates death by stoning, beheading, for sins like killing, adultery, prostitutions; and other Quranic corporal punishments like: amputation of limbs (chopping hands and feet), floggings, beatings and other forms of cruel and unusual punishments even for the sins like: stealing, sexual promiscuity, robbery, burglary etc.

13- Non-Muslims are not equal to Muslims and must comply to Sharia (pay Zizzya: poll tax) if they are to remain safe. They are forbidden to marry Muslim women, publicly display wine or pork, recite their own religious scriptures, or openly celebrate their religious holidays or funerals. They are forbidden from building new churches or building them higher than mosques. They may not enter a mosque without permission. A non-Muslim is no longer protected if he commits adultery with a Muslim woman or if he leads a Muslim away from Islam.

14- It is a crime for a non-Muslim to sell weapons to someone who will use them against Muslims. Non-Muslims cannot curse a Muslim, say anything derogatory about Allah, the Prophet, or Islam, or expose the weak points of Muslims. However, Muslims can curse, criticize or say anything derogatory they like to the religions of others.

15- A non-Muslim cannot inherit from a Muslim.

16- Banks must be Sharia compliant and interest is not allowed.

17- No testimony in court is acceptable from people of low-level jobs, such as street sweepers or a bathhouse attendant. Women in such low level jobs such as professional funeral mourners cannot keep custody of their children in case of divorce.

18- A non-Muslim cannot rule even over a non-Muslims minority.

19- Homosexuality is punishable by death

20- There is no age limit for marriage of girls under Sharia. The marriage contract can take place anytime after birth and consummated at age 8 or 9.

21- Rebelliousness on the part of the wife nullifies the husband’s obligation to support her, gives him permission to beat her and keep her from leaving the home.

22- Divorce is only in the hands of the husband and is as easy as saying: “I divorce you” and becomes effective even if the husband did not intend it.

23- There is no common property between husband and wife and the husband’s property does not automatically go to the wife after his death.

24- A woman inherits half what a man inherits. Sister gets half of what brother gets.

25- A man has the right to have up to 4 wives and wife has no right to divorce him even if he is polygamous.

26- The dowry is given in exchange for the woman’s sexual organs.

27- A man is allowed to have sex with slave women and also with women captured in battle (concubines), and if the enslaved woman is married her marriage is annulled.

28- The testimony of a woman in court is half the value of a man; that is, two women equal to one man.

29- A woman looses custody if she remarries.

30- A rapist may only be required to pay the bride-money (dowry) without marrying the rape victim.

31- A Muslim woman must cover every inch of her body which is considered “Awrah,” a sexual organ. Some schools of Sharia allow the face and some don’t.

32- A Muslim man is forgiven if he kills his wife caught in the act of adultery. However, the opposite is not true for women since he “could be married to the woman he was caught with.”

33-It is obligatory for a Muslim to lie if the purpose is obligatory and is known as Taqiyya (Islamic Deception). That means that for the sake of abiding with Islam’s commandments, such as jihad, a Muslim is obliged to lie and should not have any feelings of guilt or shame associated with this kind of lying.

Conclusion: The truth remains, scores of rulings of the Classical Sharia Law are in direct conflict with the Quranic paradigms. Hence a recent article posted on this website on the subject referenced below concludes: “It is time that the Muslim elite and leadership put their act together to achieve a gigantic paradigm leap - from the Classical Sharia Law of Islam to a Modern Islamic Law (Sharia), accommodating Western secular values - within the broader framework of the Qur’an. Their complacence and inaction may lend strong credence to Khaled Abou El Fadl’s agonizing concern: "Is it possible that the day will come when ours will be designated a "vanished civilization."

Ref: The Classical Islamic Law (Islamic Sharia Law) is NOT a Word of God

-        Epitome of Justice and Equity for a thousand years of Islamic civilization - now a threat to Islamic civilization and World peace, warranting an urgent paradigm shift in Islamic Juristic thoughts.



Muhammad Yunus, a Chemical Engineering graduate from Indian Institute of Technology, and a retired corporate executive has been engaged in an in-depth study of the Qur’an since early 90’s, focusing on its core message. He has co-authored the referred exegetic work, which received the approval of al-Azhar al-Sharif, Cairo in 2002, and following restructuring and refinement was endorsed and authenticated by Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl of UCLA, and published by Amana Publications, Maryland, USA, 2009.




  • @Meru Rahman. Your comments are promising - but the saddest part is the internet-wise educated youth are almost blind to the consequences they and their posterity may face because of the negative impression the calssical Sharia law is creating in the minds of the West. Taking present day example, there is hardly any public concern in the West over the colossal loss of life and collateral damages of the Iraq war waged on fictitious grounds, or of the sufferings of the Palestinians. In thier heart, they seem to treat us as civilizational inferiors.
    As for acid throwing on women, it is on the rise in Pakistan and has greatly declined in Bangladesh -as this carries capital punishment.

    By muhammad yunus - 3/13/2012 8:29:25 PM

  • I would like to stretch little more on Khaled Abou El Fadl’s agonizing concern: "Is it possible that the day will come when ours will be designated a "vanished civilization.” I foresee so called “vanished civilization” little bit differently. I believe there will be a day; we’ll find ourselves in much more mainstream modern Islamic laws in compliance with Quranic paradigms as well as accommodating with Western secular values including laws of the land in each Islamic ruled country.

    However, Sharia laws will continue to be scrutinized until then by numbers of people and website bloggers around the world for its brutality and unkind practices among the Islamic ruled nations; and moreover trying to connect somehow with the entire Islam. Of course, it’s the perception but unfortunately in many cases perception are realities; unless something changes its course by the people created such failed Sharia laws in the first place.

    Furthermore, don’t think it will ever come from the backward Muslim elite groups, or leaders to make the much needed changes but more likely it will come from forward, internet driven, and innovated thinker younger generations, which will lead us all to think and act in a compassionate way to one another in God’s world that we all live in despite our religious values. I believe it’s already started in several parts of world giving the true meaning of freedom and prosperity how all human should live under the one rule of God called inalienable rights for all.

    Not sure if you’re aware of a documentary movie receiving Oscar, “Saving Face” in 2012. Please find attached New York Times link below describing it briefly.

    I was surprised to see how women in Pakistan get acid thrown on their faces by men in today’s environment in many cases for simply saying, “NO” to their marriage proposals, and shockingly rarely nothing ever being done to those men for committing such virtual crimes, and believe it’s not uncommon in many parts of the world, and otherwise we wouldn’t discussing about it. I am not a woman but my mom, sisters, wife, daughters, coworkers, and friends are, and not saying Sharia laws condone such behaviors, or somehow it’s connected but you can’t ignore the fact that it was rarely mentioned anywhere about women’s rights in all 33 Sharia Laws posted by Mr. Yunus. It seems simply men made laws to protect the certain groups, and to suppress underprivileged ones, and totally disconnecting it from the Quranic paradigms. Just look at # 32.

    “A Muslim man is forgiven if he kills his wife caught in the act of adultery”. However, the opposite is not true for women since he “could be married to the woman he was caught with.” Seriously!!! Unfortunately, Classic Sharia Law # 32 touches in describing slightly protecting such behaviors according to the article.

    Fortunately, world has been taking a note on the Sharia Laws recently more thane ever, and knows very much needed changes are just around the corner because Sharia laws times are up of the brutality they’ve caused over the years on all unfortunate ones, especially; on women. God bless us all.

    By Meru Rahman - 3/12/2012 1:34:31 AM

  • Roy Brown raises a valid point. The Torah, the Bible and the Quran condemn homosexuality. The fact that homosexuality is biological was not known until recently. The scriptural injunction must now be understood as saying that willed sexual deviancy is a sin. Persecution of and discrimnation against homosexuals must now be considered to be as wrong as punishing someone for being left-handed or colour-blind. I am of course talking about consenting adults.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 3/8/2012 2:18:46 PM

  • @ Muhammad Yunus, Thanks for that clarification. Regarding gay rights: we saw at the UN Human Rights Council today that there is a massive misunderstanding among the Islamic States about this. They boycotted a debate aimed at discussing discrimination and violence on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. It was not about "gay rights" but the human rights of gays.
    By Roy Brown - 3/8/2012 9:15:13 AM

  • @Roy W Brown. Your remark that the modern Sharia (which is simply an Arabic word for law that most educated people Muslims and otherwise are not aware of) of Muslim majority countries should be benchmarked against “universal values such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and with international human rights law.” The recommendation made in the article “Modern Islamic Law (Sharia), accommodating Western secular values - within the broader framework of the Qur’an” was in the context of the argument tabled in the article that “The Western secular laws stand more Qur’an-compatible than the Classical Islamic Law (Islamic Sharia Law).” [Re, Sec. 6]. This was elaborated as follows:
    “Paradoxically, except for some non-negotiable areas (gay rights and marriage, extramarital sex, unqualified freedom of speech, ultra vires legislative power of the consensual majority as well as the Head of State for example), the Western secular notions are more attuned to the Qur’anic message, that is, more Qur’an-compatible than those espoused by the Classical Islamic law. This is no window dressing or turning coat to appease the West.
    More than a hundred years ago, the Egyptian scholar, Muhammad Abduh, wrote that the 19th century advancement of Europe commenced only after “Europe began to throw off their bondage and reform their condition, reordering the affairs of their life in a manner akin to the message of Islam, though oblivious of who their real guide and leader was. So were enunciated the fundamental principles of modern civilization….” [8].
    Hasan al-Banna (1906-1949), the Egyptian scholar and Islamic activist who founded the Muslim Brotherhood extolled the merits the Western civilization as the epitome of the Qur’anic message [9]. Shaykh Rifa‘a Rafi‘ al-Tahtawi (1801-1873), a traditional Al-Azhar scholar and an admirer of Western scientific advancement said upon his return from France that he “found (in France) true Islam but no Muslims, while in Egypt, he found many Muslims but no true Islam—meaning that in his view, the civic virtues embraced by French society embodied a more true representation of Islam than the Muslim societies of his time.” [10]. Thus the Muslim countries who are aspiring to build people oriented democratic societies as in the West, may consider to take a Western model, but not like Turkey’s Kemal Ataturk (1881-1938) who had expunged the Islamic symbols (Arabic script, traditional dresses, hijab etc.) from the social and political fabric of the nation and replaced the Islamic Sharia Law of his country with Swiss and Italian based legal system. Today’s Muslim countries must not cut their intellectual moorings from Islam as it is inextricably ingrained in Muslim psyche.

    I hope this clarifies the context of the reference to the Western Secular Laws.

    By muhammad yunus - 3/6/2012 9:42:21 PM

  • Agreed that the law must be on fairness and humanity rather than old thought like manusmriti or sharia.
    By satwa gunam - 3/6/2012 10:38:59 AM

  • I have two comments: The impunity granted to the Caliph (item 3) means that the Sharia is incompatible with the rule of law. What is needed is for modern Islamic scholars to bring the Sharia into line, not with Western values but with universal values such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and with international human rights law: the ICCPR. There is no Quranic obstacle to them doing so.
    By Roy W Brown - 3/6/2012 12:36:47 AM

  • I did not know that many of the sharia laws are incompatible with the Quran's teachings. Although I used to think about some of the sharia laws that, I felt, could not be part of Islam, but I dare not speak it to anybody lest their wrath should fall on me. But now I have gained confidence after reading this.
    By Aiman Reyaz - 3/5/2012 6:23:58 PM

  • Janab Younus Sb. So kind of you, spared time to guide me. Insha Allah I'll try and continue in future too. I salute to your grave concern for the cause of humanity.
    By Raihan Nezami - 3/5/2012 1:13:50 PM

  • The classical Sharia laws should be of historical interest only just like Manusmriti or Hammurabi's Code. Modern Islamic Laws should be formulated by jurists and elected legislators, and should conform to the Quranic fundamentals, namely peace, equity, justice, fairness and reason, as well as to contemporary ethos.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 3/5/2012 1:10:04 PM

  • Dear Raihan Nizami: All the points are against the spirit of Islam as preached by Muhammad (PBUH) and encapsulated in the Qur'an, and most of them may not be in practice in the Isalmic countries but you ought to know that they can indeed remain embedded in the labyranthine discourses and precednts of constantly growing the Classical Islamic Law (which is nothing but a cumulative juristic tradition). As noted in the conclusion of my referenced article, "the application of Islamic law by Islamists and extremist Muslim outfits such as in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan is pushing those countries to anarchy and civil war. Most alarmingly, some of its preposterous rulings and notions that remain buried in its exhaustive discourses feed Islamophobia, Islamopathy, radicalization, Islamofacism, violent sectarianism and international terrorism, demonize Islam and its Prophet, and trivialize the entire global Muslim country in the eyes of the rest of the world. The Australian website only corroborates my conclusions. Kindly read the article when you have time because simply denying a 'biopsy report' (speaking figuratively)can be suicidal.
    By muhammad yunus - 3/5/2012 11:29:05 AM

  • Most of the points raised in the article published on the site http://islammonitor.org are baseless against the spirit of Islam and Sharia law which are not being practiced in the Muslim countries.
    By Raihan Nezami - 3/5/2012 8:47:42 AM

  • I would suggest that humanity and fairness must be the criteria by which the modern religious laws must be drawn and the remaining must be ignored. It is a great thought and articulation. Hope more agree with yunus to take this further especially in islamic majority country
    By satwa gunam - 3/5/2012 8:34:00 AM

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