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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Almost miraculously no one has died with the introduction of sharia.
▪ And in Borno state, the legislature's speaker has stated that sharia will be adopted very soon.
▪ Jigawa, Kebbi, Yobe and Sokoto states have also set up committees to study the feasibility of sharia.
▪ The pressure for full sharia came not from Kano's religious or political establishment but from the street.
▪ The same will apply in any state where sharia is adopted.
▪ Zamfara already adopted sharia in October, triggering a debate on federalism and civil liberties.
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

Islamic religious law, 1855, from Arabic shari'ah "the revealed law," from shar' "revelation."


n. (alternative form of shari'a English)


n. the code of law derived from the Koran and from the teachings and example of Mohammed; "sharia is only applicable to Muslims"; "under Islamic law there is no separation of church and state" [syn: shariah, shariah law, sharia law, Islamic law]


Sharia (shari'a), Islamic sharia, Islamic law ( ) is the religious legal system governing the members of the Islamic faith. It is derived from the religious precepts of Islam, particularly the Quran and the Hadith. The term sharia comes from the Arabic language term sharīʿah, which means a body of moral and religious law derived from religious prophecy, as opposed to human legislation.

Sharia deals with many topics, including crime, politics, marriage contracts, trade regulations, religious prescriptions, and economics, as well as personal matters such as sexual intercourse, hygiene, diet, prayer, everyday etiquette and fasting. Adherence to sharia has served as one of the distinguishing characteristics of the Muslim faith historically. In its strictest definition, sharia is considered in Islam as the infallible law of God.

There are two primary sources of sharia: the Quran and the Hadiths (opinions and life example of Muhammad). For topics and issues not directly addressed in these primary sources, sharia is derived. The derivation differs between the various sects of Islam ( Sunni and Shia are the majority), and various jurisprudence schools such as Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i, Hanbali and Jafari. The sharia in these schools is derived hierarchically using one or more of the following guidelines: Ijma (usually the consensus of Muhammad's companions), Qiyas (analogy derived from the primary sources), Istihsan (ruling that serves the interest of Islam in the discretion of Islamic jurists) and Urf (customs).

Sharia is a significant source of legislation in many Muslim countries where some countries apply a majority or some of the sharia code, and these include Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Yemen and Mauritania. In these countries, sharia-prescribed punishments such as beheading, flogging and stoning continue to be practiced judicially or extra-judicially. There has been controversy over what some perceive as a movement by various Islamist groups to introduce and implement sharia throughout the world, including in Western countries, but attempts to impose sharia have been accompanied by controversy, violence, and even warfare. Most countries do not recognize sharia; however, some countries in Asia (such as Israel), Africa and Europe recognize parts of sharia and accept it as the law on divorce, inheritance and other personal affairs of their Islamic population. In Britain, the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal makes use of sharia family law to settle disputes, and this limited adoption of sharia is controversial.

The concept of crime, judicial process, justice and punishment embodied in sharia is different from that of secular law. The differences between sharia and secular law have led to an ongoing controversy as to whether sharia is compatible with secular forms of government, human rights, freedom of thought, and women's rights.

Usage examples of "sharia".

Sharia ignored it, and Leroy was left to wonder if Artesia was some sort of spy.

Sharia Bull had already lost one of the lower cannon to the Gundam, but he still had three left.

Sharia Bull bravely supporting him, he had engaged the white Gundam Suit once more in order to gain time, and it had retreated of its own accord, clearly fearing a pincer attack.

Some of the more closed-minded Miss World participants were already carping about the upcoming stoning of a Nigerian woman, in accordance with Islamic Sharia law.