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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - Special Reports - These Are The Countries that Follow Sharia Law, 2024

Special Reports

These Are The Countries that Follow Sharia Law, 2024

Sharia Law

Sharia law, derived from the Qur’an and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad, guides the lives of those who adhere to the Muslim faith. Embraced by various Muslim-majority countries, Sharia encompasses a wide range of rules applicable to public behavior, personal conduct, and spiritual beliefs. Understanding its classifications and implementation in different nations sheds light on the diversity within Sharia-based legal systems.

The Five Classifications of Sharia Law

Sharia law categorizes human actions into five classifications, known as “the five decisions.” These include:

  1. Farḍ (obligatory) actions
  2. Mustahabb (recommended) actions
  3. Mubah (permitted) actions
  4. Makruh (disliked) actions
  5. Haram (forbidden) actions

Major Schools of Sharia Law

Various schools of thought, or madhhabs, interpret Sharia law, leading to differences in legal practices. The major schools include:

  1. The Hanafi school: Emphasises reason and analogy, favoured by Sunnis in countries like India, Turkey, China, and Egypt.
  2. The Hanbali school: Known for its conservative approach, adhered to by rulers in Saudi Arabia and the Taliban in Afghanistan.
  3. The Ja’fari school: Focused on reason, favored by Shiites in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, South Asia, and parts of Saudi Arabia.
  4. The Maliki school: Incorporates interpretations from 7th-century Medina, favored in North and sub-Saharan Africa.
  5. The Shafi’i school: Assigns hierarchy to sources, favored in Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, Yemen, and parts of the Middle East.

Sharia Law and Modern Society

Countries adhering to conservative interpretations of Sharia law face criticism for rules perceived as restrictive, particularly against women. Concerns include restrictions on education, mandatory veiling, and punishments such as amputation and stoning. Critics argue that these practices are incompatible with modern principles, including democracy, women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and international human rights standards.

Countries Implementing Sharia Law

Different countries implement Sharia law to varying degrees. Some, like Iran and Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, strictly adhere to classic Sharia principles throughout their legal systems. Most Muslim countries adopt hybrid systems, where Sharia informs specific legal domains, such as family and criminal laws. Some nations maintain separate Sharia-based codes for Muslims and secular codes for non-Muslims. Additionally, certain regions within countries may follow Sharia law selectively.

The diverse interpretations and implementations of Sharia law reflect the complexity of legal systems across Muslim-majority countries. Balancing traditional principles with modern societal expectations remains an ongoing challenge, sparking discussions about the compatibility of Sharia law with contemporary values and human rights standards.

Countries that Follow Sharia Law, 2024

CountriesTypes of Sharia law
AlgeriaMixed (Article 222 of the Family Code of 1983)
EritreaFor Muslims Only
EthiopiaFor Muslims Only
GhanaFor Muslims Only
IndonesiaClassic (some territories)
IsraelFor Muslims Only
KenyaFor Muslims Only
MalaysiaClassic (some territories)
MyanmarFor Muslims Only
NigeriaClassic (some territories)
PhilippinesFor Muslims Only
Saudi ArabiaClassic
SingaporeFor Muslims Only
Sri LankaFor Muslims Only
TanzaniaFor Muslims Only
ThailandFor Muslims Only
UgandaFor Muslims Only
United Arab EmiratesClassic (some territories)

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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - Special Reports - These Are The Countries that Follow Sharia Law, 2024
Poulami Saha
Breaking News Editor at CEOWORLD magazine. Manages breaking news coverage for major events and stories around the world. Skilled at making complicated topics clear and accessible to readers. Reporting allows for voices to be heard and lessons to be learned, and social and digital have allowed the distribution channel to widen.