The Sharia law itself cannot be altered, but the interpretation of the Sharia law, called “figh,” by imams is given some leeway.
As a legal system, the Sharia law covers a very wide range of topics. While other legal codes deal primarily with public behavior, Sharia law covers public behavior, private behavior and private beliefs. Of all legal systems in the world today, Islam’s Sharia law is the most intrusive and strict, especially against women.
According to the Sharia law:
• Theft is punishable by amputation of the right hand (above).
• Criticizing or denying any part of the Quran is punishable by death.
• Criticizing or denying Muhammad is a prophet is punishable by death.
• Criticizing or denying Allah, the moon god of Islam is punishable by death.
• A Muslim who becomes a non-Muslim is punishable by death.
• A non-Muslim who leads a Muslim away from Islam is punishable by death.
• A non-Muslim man who marries a Muslim woman is punishable by death.
• A man can marry an infant girl and consummate the marriage when she is 9 years old.
• Girls’ clitoris should be cut (per Muhammad‘s words in Book 41, Kitab Al-Adab, Hadith 5251).
• A woman can have 1 husband, but a man can have up to 4 wives; Muhammad can have more.
• A man can unilaterally divorce his wife but a woman needs her husband’s consent to divorce.
• A man can beat his wife for insubordination.
• Testimonies of four male witnesses are required to prove rape against a woman.
• A woman who has been raped cannot testify in court against her rapist(s).
• A woman’s testimony in court, allowed only in property cases, carries half the weight of a man’s.
• A female heir inherits half of what a male heir inherits.
• A woman cannot drive a car, as it leads to fitnah (upheaval).
• A woman cannot speak alone to a man who is not her husband or relative.
• Meat to be eaten must come from animals that have been sacrificed to Allah – i.e., be Halal.
• Muslims should engage in Taqiyya and lie to non-Muslims to advance Islam.
• The list goes on.
Where in the world is the Sharia law actually in use?
Muslims’ aspired Sharia-ruled state is Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Muhammad. It has no legal code other than the Sharia, which is enforced without mercy (see Sharia law in Saudi Arabia). But the Sharia law is also used in full or in part, nationally or regionally in:
• Afghanistan (89%)**
• Bangladesh (82%)**
• Djibouti (82%)**
• Egypt (74%)**
• Indonesia (72%)**
• Iraq (91%)**
• Jordan (71%)**
• Malaysia (86%)**
• Morocco (83%)**
• The Netherlands*
• Pakistan (84%)**
• Palestinian territories (Gaza strip & the West Bank – 89%)**
• Saudi Arabia
• Sri Lanka
• Thailand (77%)**
• United Arab Emirates (UAE)
• United Kingdom*
• United States of America*
* In the United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom, and other European countries that resist the penetration of Sharia law, it has proven adept at infiltrating elements of the society that are left vulnerable (see Sharia law in America and the Islamization of America).
** Percent of Muslims who favor making Sharia the official law in their country (source: Pew Forum Research, 2013). In many countries where an official secular legal system exists alongside Sharia, the vast majority of their Muslim citizens favor making Sharia the official law. For example, while the Egyptian military may have blocked the Muslim Brotherhood‘s efforts in this direction, 74% of Egypt’s Muslims still favor it. Even in Jordan, Indonesia and Malaysia – Muslim countries with progressive images – the relatively secular ruling elite sit atop Muslim masses, 71%, 72% and 86% respectively of whom want their countries to be ruled by Sharia. And in Iraq, where the United States shed blood and money for over a decade to try to plant democracy, 91% of its Muslims want to live under Sharia.
The number of countries that adopt (elements of) the Sharia law continues to grow around the world, as does the depth of its penetration in the countries that already use it. This penetration is not by happenstance; it is managed to occur in five phases: see Spread of Islam and how to Stop Islam.
Related: The reason why Islam is called the “Religion of Peace“