Understanding Sharia

18-05-2015

The Sharia – literally meaning 'path' – is the normative value system of Islam which guides the individual in their interaction with Allah (God) and society. Although the Sharia includes a number of clear precepts, it is not a set of deterministic rules and therefore requires interpretation. This is the subject of Islamic legal studies (fiqh). Recently, reference to the Sharia has become an important component of identity politics both within and outside the Muslim world. It is therefore necessary to understand who interprets the Sharia and on what basis.

The Sharia – literally meaning 'path' – is the normative value system of Islam which guides the individual in their interaction with Allah (God) and society. Although the Sharia includes a number of clear precepts, it is not a set of deterministic rules and therefore requires interpretation. This is the subject of Islamic legal studies (fiqh). Recently, reference to the Sharia has become an important component of identity politics both within and outside the Muslim world. It is therefore necessary to understand who interprets the Sharia and on what basis.