U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Islam
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 10-01-2011, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Logan Township, Minnesota
15,511 posts, read 13,328,790 times
Reputation: 7407

Advertisements

This thread is intended to be primarily directed to non_Muslims and hopefully will help to clear at least some misconceptions.

To begin.Shariah is not one specific set of laws. The word Shariah literally means "Path to the watering place" like all things there is often more than one path. There are 5 standards of Islamic Jurisprudence in today's world. Each of these is called Shariah. The 5 established Madhabs (way of thinking) of Islamic Jurisprudence are : Hanafi, Hanbali, Maliki, Shafi'i commonly followed by Sunni courts and Jafa'ari, which is recognized by the Shi'i. Each of these Madhabs is called Sharia.

The Hanafi Madhab is the oldest:

Quote:
The schools originated in different places and it had some impact on their decisions and methods.


In the early Islamic times the governors would appoint qadis to judge the subjects of their newly acquired territories. They tried to base their decisions on the Qur'an and act according to what they knew to be the Muslim practice (sunna), but when none of these sources were available, they had to judge themselves, whatever seemed right to them personally. This usually included considerations of what was customary in the area. Judgement based on own opinion (ra'y) became common practice of the early jurists, and a system of logic to support the decisions was being formed.



The Hanafi school was formed in Kufa, and it preserves many of the older Mesopotamian traditions. It based its rulings largely on ra'y - results of logic deduction of its scholars.



The Maliki school comes from Medina, and it reflects its origin in its decisions too. This school ruled heavily in favour of the practice (sunna) of the local community of Medina, because at the time it was formed, the word sunna did not yet mean "practice of the Prophet".


These two schools, especially the Hanafi, were countered by the movement of the Traditionists (ahl al-hadith), who opposed themselves to the exponents of ra'y (ahl/ashab al-ra'y). The traditionists relied only on the Hadith they were collecting at that time.



The most extreme exponent of that movement became Dawud b.Khalaf az-Zahiri (d.270/884), who founded a school which believed in following only the literal meanings (zahir) of the Quran and Hadith. This school, also called Dawudi in Iraq, has even became a state school of the Almohads for some time in 580/1184, and the famous Ibn al-Arabi and Ibn Hazm belonged to it. Elements of Zahiri legislation remain in Moroccan laws.
The Shi'i of Iran formed their own Madhab which is not recognized by the Sunni and that is the Jafa'ari.

There did come to be some common rules among the Madhabs as to what would be the source for Sharia. These being:

Quote:
Imam Ash-Shafi'i (d. 204/820 in Egypt) was the first one to systematise Islamic Law. Originally, he studied both in Iraq and in Medina, but disagreed with the methodology of those older schools, in favour of the Traditionists, but did not fully accept their ideas either.
In his tractate, the "Risala", balancing the two trends, he laid down the sources of Law, Usul al-Fikh,.
He fixed them (in order of priority) to be:
Quran
Sunna of the Prophet, based on: Hadith from the Prophet Hadith from the Companions of the Prophet
Ijma (consensus of the Umma - Muslim community)
Ra'y - reasoning. Primarily kiyas (resoning by analogy), but also istihsan.
His system had become the basis of Islamic jurisprudence, and it was subsequently used by all the schools.
Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (d. 241/855), founder of the latest of the four madhabs had followed Shafi'i method with ever greater emphasis on the ahadith, avoiding reasoning as far as possible, but not completely denying it. The infamous Wahhabis too belong to the Hanbali madhab.
Thus, the difference between the schools is primarily in the various weight given to those four components, and in some original decisions remaining from the very beginnings of these schools, and belonging to its first masters.
Only four of them have survived after 700/1300.
"Notwithstanding their divergent doctrinal roots, the orthodox schools of law share a common legal theory which asserted itself in the 3d/9th century, and which accepted Shafi'is (and the Traidtionists') principle of the overriding authority of the traditions from the Prophet as the only evidence of sunna but subordinated its practical application to the consensus of the scholars." Encyclopaedia of Islam, article "Fikh"
For the source of the quoted parts and additional information go HERE

MosNon Mulims when they think of Sharia are thinking only of what they hear of being practiced in Iran and to a lesser degree in Saudi. Jafa'ari is only practiced in Iran. It is a very small Madhabof Sharia and is not recognized by non-Shi'i Muslims.

The different Madhabs are practiced in different countries.

Quote:
Their geographical distribution is as follows:


Hanafi Both Moghul and Ottoman empires were Hanafi, that means their former subjects would normally be Hanafi: Turkey, Central Asia, the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh.


Maliki school is followed in Algeria, Tunis, Morocco, Mauritania, Libya, Kuwait, Bahrain, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.


There are Shafi'is in Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somali and North Yemen, but the main concentration of the Shafi madhab is in South East Asia: Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Muslim minorities of mainland SEA and the Philippines are exclusively Shafi. (Comment by Ibrahim J.D. Underwood, Student Web Page)
Hanbalis are concentrated in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, North East of Oman and the rest of the Arab Emirates.



Syria, Jordan, and Palestine have Hanafi laws since the Ottoman sultan Selin the Grim (1512-1520) imposed Hanafi judicial system on all its subjects, but because he did not insist on any changes in the matters of worship, they mostly retain Shafi'i rites.



Egypt is unique in traditionally representing, maintaining and accomodating all the four schools. Each Mamluk Madrassa in Egypt has four sections to accomodate students of each school. Until Muhammad Ali, there were four courts as well, but he had limited it to Hanafi legislation.
The point I am trying to get across is Sharia is 4 different things. to understand what is meant by Sharia, one needs to know what Madhab is being spoken of.

I will come back later and explain the differences between each Madhab. But the Madhabs range from being very liberal to extreme fundamentalism.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 10-01-2011, 05:31 PM
 
Location: Log home in the Appalachians
10,517 posts, read 10,348,367 times
Reputation: 6871
Woodrow, I have a question, just how does Sharia conflict with the laws of this country and our constitution? If a person who is born into the Islamic faith and immigrates to this country are they bound by those laws even though they are in direct conflict with the laws of this land?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-01-2011, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Logan Township, Minnesota
15,511 posts, read 13,328,790 times
Reputation: 7407
In addition to the 5 Madhabs I mentioned above there are also 2 other schools of thought coming into popularity, although they are not considered legitimate Madhabs, the adherents of them see them as being valid Madhabs. Wahabism is the most noted one as it is what is usually mentioned when speaking of the Taliban. It is an extreme form of Hanbali and is approaching being like the Jafa'ari.

A very recent innovation is Salafi, the salafi while extremely strict in regards to what is halal (permitted) or Haram (forbidden) generally have no interest in criminal law and their version of Sharia is concerned only with civil matters.

In Islam only 5 crimes/sins require an earthly punishment. This is also the area the madhabs differ. The Jafa'ari insist the maximum punishment allowed is the only one that can be used. If a person is guilty the maximum punishment is required. No excuses, leniency or extenuating circumstances are considered.

The Hanafi Madhab is the most lenient, in that leniency is to be the choice. When ever possible no human earthly punishment is to be used and the person's own repentance to Allaah(swt) is considered satisfactory punishment. Nearly all countries that follow the Hanafi Madhab have no death penalty.

The Shafi'i madhab is very similar to the Hanafi. We differ primarily in the manner we do our 5 daily prayers.

The Hanbli Madhab of Saudi is the strictest Madhab among us Sunni.

Most Muslims are Sunni and nearly all of us follow either the Hanafi or Shafi'i madhab of Sharia. I believe the Shafi'i out number us Hanafi, but in the Western Nations the Hanafi is the most common Sharia one will find.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-01-2011, 06:58 PM
 
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
13,856 posts, read 23,018,394 times
Reputation: 6692
I remember a bit of this from the class I took on Islam and the African, also Middle Eastern, history classes I took that dealt with Islam. (On Maliki I think it's also fairly common in West Africa)

There is a tendency in the West to think of the Islamic world in too monolithic a fashion. The madhabs/movements do all share several core values, but as indicated a proponent of Hanafi in Albania is likely to have noticeable differences of opinion from a Hanbali in the Emirates.

In fact I think when you first came here I asked what madhab or school you felt closest to and was pleased you answered as knowing struck me as helpful.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-01-2011, 07:51 PM
 
Location: Logan Township, Minnesota
15,511 posts, read 13,328,790 times
Reputation: 7407
Quote:
Originally Posted by ptsum View Post
Woodrow, I have a question, just how does Sharia conflict with the laws of this country and our constitution? If a person who is born into the Islamic faith and immigrates to this country are they bound by those laws even though they are in direct conflict with the laws of this land?
It really should have no effect on any non-Muslim as Sharia can only be applied to Muslims. (if it is truly following the Qur'an and of any Madhab except Jafa'ari)

For here in the USA the Hanafi, Maliki or Shafi'i madhabs would only be concerned with civil laws and to be applied only in cases in which all parties are Muslim. zit does not seem to be possible that either the Hanbli or Jafa'ari madhabs could ever have a chance of being implemented here. As there are far too few adherents of either in the US, the Majority of Muslims in the US are either Hanafi or Shafi'i with Maliki being a very close third.

You will find the Hanbli Madhab only in Arabic nations as it is designed for the Arab culture. The Jafa'ari is strictly a Shi'i Madhab and used as the major madhab in Iran, although in a few countries with a significant Shi'i population such as Afghanistan and Egypt you will find it as a second Madhab applied to shi'i only.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-01-2011, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Logan Township, Minnesota
15,511 posts, read 13,328,790 times
Reputation: 7407
Quote:
Originally Posted by ptsum View Post
Woodrow, I have a question, just how does Sharia conflict with the laws of this country and our constitution? If a person who is born into the Islamic faith and immigrates to this country are they bound by those laws even though they are in direct conflict with the laws of this land?
After my rant in the above I just noticed I never did answer your question. A Muslim migrating to another country is obligated to abide by the laws of the country he moves into. If he can not do so he is obligated to leave such country.

As for if he would be obligated to follow the sharia of the nation he moved from, only if it is legal in the country he has moved into. An individual is never to implement shariah on his own. It has to be administered through a legal court. Of course that will differ from country to country depending on what madhab is followed. For example a person living in Saudi under Hanble would have to follow the Shafi'i Madhab if he moved to Indonesia.

the opposite also is true as a Sunni who follows the Hanafi Madhab I would have to follow the Jafa'ari if I moved to Iran. Hence it is doubtful I will move to Iran.

Last time I was in Iran, I was a Christian and therefore exempt from Sharia law. However now that I am Muslim I would be obligated to follow the Jafa'ari Madhab if I moved to Iran. Since I strongly disagree with Jafa'ari, I will stay here in the USA.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-01-2011, 08:11 PM
 
Location: Logan Township, Minnesota
15,511 posts, read 13,328,790 times
Reputation: 7407
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas R. View Post
I remember a bit of this from the class I took on Islam and the African, also Middle Eastern, history classes I took that dealt with Islam. (On Maliki I think it's also fairly common in West Africa)

There is a tendency in the West to think of the Islamic world in too monolithic a fashion. The madhabs/movements do all share several core values, but as indicated a proponent of Hanafi in Albania is likely to have noticeable differences of opinion from a Hanbali in the Emirates.

In fact I think when you first came here I asked what madhab or school you felt closest to and was pleased you answered as knowing struck me as helpful.
Peace Thomas,

Yes you did ask. I was pleased to find a non-Muslim who had knowledge of Madhabs and knew that Sharia is not one thing. It does differ by country and culture.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-01-2011, 09:00 PM
 
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
154 posts, read 188,028 times
Reputation: 67
"What is Sharia Law?"


A great thing!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-01-2011, 09:11 PM
 
Location: Logan Township, Minnesota
15,511 posts, read 13,328,790 times
Reputation: 7407
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAAR84 View Post
"What is Sharia Law?"


A great thing!
Ameen Brother. When properly used Shariah (True Sharia) brings great freedom and not oppression. It does make for a relaxed constructive life free from the burden of fear. The intent of shariah is not to punish the wrong doers but to guide us away from that which is wrong or harmful.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-01-2011, 09:36 PM
 
40,275 posts, read 26,848,697 times
Reputation: 6066
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAAR84 View Post
"What is Sharia Law?"
A great thing!
"What is Sharia Law?"
Like ALL religious laws, an unacceptable imposition for any civilized society. Secular laws are the only acceptable laws for any society. God takes care of His own policing. Only impotent Gods would need human laws and punishments.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Islam
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top