Hasan Mahmud

Suppose a medicine is marketed by a venerable pharmaceutical giant, as a panacea to cure headache. Experience nonetheless, shows that it does not cure headaches but upsets the stomach. What we do with such a medicine?

Of the more than six thousand laws in each of Hanafi and Shafi’i schools many are good, some are outdated, some need reformation and some are to be simply rejected. Fact is, most Muslims never read the laws; and nearly no article either supporting or opposing Sharia law quotes the laws. Let us look into the Sharia laws from the most authentic books to know what they really are. Once Muslims know these laws it would be easier for them to decide if these laws can run a modern state.

In Sharia, Hudood (Diyat and Qisas included) crimes (beyond human authority to make any change) are (1) Theft, (2) Robbery and Tyranny against State, (3) Adultery /Fornication, (4) Defamation, (5) Drinking, (7) Murder/Injury and (8) Apostasy. Some sources also include rape and “Running away from the battlefield of Jihad” in it. All other laws fall into Tazi’r section that Muslims are allowed to update. Please note that variations among different sources exist.                                              

1.     Head of Islamic State cannot be charged for Hudood crimes.[1]

2.     Women’s witness is not accepted in Hudood crimes.[2]

3.     Women judges are not allowed in Hudood crimes. [3]

4.     Denying “Scholarly consensus” about Sharia laws turns a Muslim to an  apostate.[4]

5.     Criminals of genocide, mass-rape, looting etc (Hiraba) will not be punished if they repent.[5]

6.     Proof of adultery and rape are either confession of the accused or at least four Muslim adult male witnesses.[6]

7.     Men can marry and keep up to four wives at one time.[7]

8.     Men can divorce wives instantly; in such case she gets no maintenance.[8]    

9.     A wife, if divorced in a regular manner, gets maintenance only for maximum of 3 months.[9]

10. To remarry the previous husband a divorced wife must marry and have sex with another person and get divorced by him voluntarily. [10]

11. Except few obvious cases such as impotency, the only way for a wife to get divorce is to convince the Sharia Court that will negotiate with the husband who often puts monetary price for his “approval”. Untill divorce is complete the wife cannot marry but the husband can.[11]

12. Evidence of a slave, female singer or a person of low-respect (street-sweeper, bath house attendant etc) is not admissible.[12]

13. Husbands are obliged to provide only food, clothes and accommodation to wives. Anything else including doctor’s fees, medicines etc is a charity to her. A rebellious wife does not get anything.[13]

14. Adoption is not allowed in Sharia.[14]

15. Custody of kids goes to the mother provided she prays and does not marry a stranger. No such law is applicable to father. The father gets boys when boys are 9 and girls are 7 years old. Kids belong to the father.[15]

16.  A mother with custody of kids cannot go to distant places without permission of the father.[16]

17.  A husband is allowed to beat his disobedient wife or wives.[17]

18. A Husband is allowed to divorce wife or wives instantly and marry other women.[18]

19. Sisters inherit only half of what their brothers do.[19]

20. Women’s testimony in Business transactions is worth half of men’s.[20]

21. Women cannot be Bride’s guardians.[21]

22. Women’s Blood Money is half of men’s.[22]

23. The murderer has to pay blood money or compensation if the family members want it, as follows: [23]

100,000 riyals if the victim is a Muslim man

50,000 riyals if a Muslim woman

50,000 riyals if a Christian man

25,000 riyals if a Christian woman

6,666 riyals if a Hindu man

3,333 riyals if a Hindu woman”

24. If the victim has son/s and daughter/s, then daughters cannot claim blood-money from the killer.[24]        

25. If a rapist cannot be punished (no reason cited), he pays bride-money to the victim.[25]

26. A Muslim shall not be put to death for murdering an unbeliever.[26]

27. The judgeof Sharia court shall be a Muslim. In the cases where the accused is non-Muslim, the judge may be a non-Muslim.[27]

28. No retaliation for parents and grandparents for killing their offsprings. [28]

29. The husband is not obliged to pay for his wife’s cosmetics, doctors fees, the purchase of medicine for her, and similar expenses.[29]

30. No reason is required to divorce one’s wife.[30]

31. It is recommended for a woman to wear a covering over her head (khimar), a full-length shift, and a heavy slip under it that does not cling to the body.[31]

32. A majority of scholars (n: with the exception of some Hanafis) have been recorded as holding that it is unlawful for women to leave the house with faces unveiled, whether or not there is likelihood of temptation. It is unlawful for women to be alone with a marriageable man. [32]

35. In Shiite law a man can marry a woman for a fixed time from few seconds to several years.[33] Rich men from the Middle East travel to Southern India to take advantage of this law on poor women, so do rich Iranian men with their women. The suffering of those women and children born out of this practice is beyond comprehension.

36. If a woman claims to be having her period but her husband does not believe her, it is lawful for him to have sexual intercourse with her.[34]

37. The Caliph makes war upon Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians (if they don’t become Muslims or pay Jiziya tax) and the war continues.[35]

38. Being unyielding towards the unbelievers, hard against them and detesting them …..is a decree of Allah. [36]

Many of the Sharia laws are created based on Hadises (“Prophet’s Examples”); here is a short list.

1.     Wife must shave her pubic hair if husband returns home at night after a long  journey.[37]

2.      A man will not be asked in hereafter as to why he beat his wife.[38]

3.      If a woman were to prostrate to another person (besides Allah) it would have been her husband. [39]

4.     Women can visit mosques but must not use perfume. [40]

5.     A divorced woman must marry another man and must have intercourse before she is divorced by him to remarry her former husband.[41]

6.     Majority of women are in hell.[42].

7.      One must seek Allah's refuge from women, slaves and camels.[43]

8.     If a woman abandons her husband’s bed for the night then the angels curse her until morning. [44]

9. Prayer is annulled by a passing woman, dog and a monkey.[45]

10. A woman enters slavery of her husband in marriage.[46]

11.  A woman is like a rib---that is why she has the crookedness.[47]

12.  Nothing is more harmful to men than women.[48]

13. A woman advances and retires in the shape of a devil; so when one of you sees a woman, he should come to his wife and have intercourse with her. [49]

14. The house, the wife and the horse are bad luck.[50]

15. Women are more harmful to men than anything else.[51]

16. Because of Eve women are unfaithful towards their husbands. [52]

17. A husband should not tell his wife secrets, amount of property…etc. no musical instruments for her. [53]

18. Women should beg a man not to divorce her.[54]

19.  Marriage gives the man the right to enjoy a woman's “private parts”.[55]

20. There is no maintenance allowance or lodging for the wife who has been given an Instant divorce (Tin Talak).[56]

21. One can have sexual intercourse with a captive woman. If she has a husband then her marriage is abrogated after she becomes a captive.[57]

22. Companion of the Prophet raped war-captives.[58]

23. Some Jihadis practiced coitus interruption with captive women.[59]

24. A woman can’t travel a day’s journey without her mahram. [60]

25. Menstruation is a defect in women for they cannot fast and pray during their periods.[61]

26. People ruled by a woman will never be successful.[62]

27. Prophet has no concern for a woman who cries loudly, shaves her hair and tears her clothes in bereavement. [63]

To undo such wrongdoings of centuries in the name of Islam is a daunting task and obviously cannot be done overnight. But we have to start from somewhere. 

To all the aye sayers and the nay sayers to Sharia Law, I humbly suggest that they read the laws and ponder over them. That, for the nonce may aid in loosening some tough mental knots, paving the way for a just and peaceful society, Inshallah!


       [1] Hanafi law page 188 and Codified Islamic law Vol 3 - 914 C

[2] (a) Hanafi Law-Page 353, (b) Shafi’i Law- page 638 Law#o.24.9, (c) Criminal Law in Islam and the Muslim

               World –page 251, (d) Tafsir of Translation of the Qura’an by Muhiuddin Khan page 239, (e)

               Codified Islamic Law Vol 1 – 133 and Vol 2 – 576 and (f) Penal Law of Islam – page 44, 45 (Quote

               - “The evidence of women is originally inadmissible on account of their weakness of understanding,

               their want of memory and incapacity of governing”)

       [3] Codified Islamic Law Vol 2 # 554

[4] Shafi law# o8.7.7

[5] Codified Islamic Law Vol 1 - law#13

[6] (a) Shafi’i Law # o.24.9, (b) Text of Pakistan’s Hudood Ordinances#7 of 1979 amended by 8B of 1980,

     (c) Qura’an translated by Muhiuddin Khan, pages –239 and 928 (Tafsir- explanation section)

[7] All Sharia schools

[8] (a) Hanafi Law –Page 81 and 523, (b) Shafi’i Law# n3.2, n3.5 (Instant but not under compulsion), (c) Deen

             Ki Bnate - Maolana Ashraf Ali Thanvi- page 254 Law 1537, 1538, 1546 and 2555, (d) Website –

             Sunnipath.com etc.

[9] (a) Hanafi Law-Page 145, (b) Shafi’i Law- Page 546 Law#m.11.10.3

[10] (a) Islamic Laws – Grand Ayatollah Sistani – page 469 Law# 2536, (b) Hanafi Law –Page 15, (c) Shafi’i

               Law - Page 673 Law# P.29.1, (d) Maksudul Mumeneen – page 231, (e) Deen Ki Bnate – Maolana

               Ashraf Ali Thanvi page 252 Law# 1543 – (2)

[11] (a) Hanafi Law –Page 112, (b) Shafi’i Law# n.5.0, n7-7& w-52-1-253-255, (c) Sharia the Islamic Law- Dr.

             Abdur Rahman Doi - page 192.

[12] (a) Hanafi Law –Page 361, (b) Shafi’i Law- page 636 Law#o.24.3.3

[13] (a) Hanafi Law-Page 140, (b) Shafi’i Law- Page 544 Law#m.11.4, (c) Tafsir of Translation of the

                 Qura’an by Muhiuddin Khan page 867.

[14] (a) Sharia the Islamic Law – Dr. Abdur Rahman Doi – page 463, (b) all Sharia books

[15](a) Shafi’i Law- Page 550 Law#m.13.0, (b) Hanafi Law-Page 138-139

[16] (a) Codified Islamic Law Vol 1 Law# 405, (b) Iranian Law

[17] (a) Shafi’i Law# m.10.12 Page-541 & o.17.4 Page 619, (b) All Sharia schools

[18] (a) Hanafi Law- Page 31, (b) Sharia the Islamic Law – Dr. Abdur Rahman Doi - page 147 etc.

[19] All schools of Sharia Law

[20] (a) Shafi’i Law- Page 637 Law#o.24.7, (b) Hanafi Law-Page 352

[21] (a) Hanafi Law-Page 138-139, (b) Shafi’i Law# m.3.4.1- page 518)

[22] (a) Shafi’i Law# o4.9

       [23] Wall Street Journal, 9th April 2002      

       [24] (a) Sharia the Islamic Law – Dr. Abdur Rahman Doi - page 235

[25] (a) Shafi’i Law #m.8.10, Codified Islamiv Law Vol 1 - page 301

[26] Penal Law of Islam – page 149, Shafi law # o1.2, o2.2

[27] Criminal Law in Islam and the Muslim World - Institute of Objective Studies, New Delhi –

       Pages- 251, 445 and 448

       [28] (a) Shafi law# o.1.2.4, (b) Codified Islamic law Vol 1 – 65 A & B

       [29] (a) Shafi’i Law m11.4 (b) Tafsir of the Qura’an, translated by Muhiuddin Khan, page – 867

       [30] (a) Sharia the Islamic Law- Dr. Abdur Rahman Doi, p173.

       [31] Shafi’i Law f5.6

       [32] Shafi’i Law m2.3

[33] Mut’a Marriage, - Sharia of Shia sect. It is not allowed in Suuni law.

       [34] Shafi’i law e.13.5

[35] Shafi’ law o9.8

[36] Shafi law #w59.2

     [37] Sahi Bukhari 7.62.173

       [38] Sunaan Abu Dawood 11.2142.

       [39] (Sunaan Abu Dawood 11.2135).

       [40] Sunaan Abu Dawood 2.0565

       [41] Malik’s Muwatta 28.7.18

       [42] Shahih Bukhari 1.6.301

       [43] Sunaan Abu Dawood 11.2155

       [44] Shahih Muslim 8.3366

       [45] Shahih Bukhari 1.9.490

       [46] Ehiya Ulum Al Deen – Imam Gazzali Vol - 2 Page 279 - Taaj Publishing house

       [47] Shahih Bukhari 7.62.113

       [48] Shahih Bukhari 7.62.33

       [49] Shahih Muslim 8.3240

       [50] Shahih Muslim 26.5523

       [51] Shahih Muslim 36.6603

       [52] Shahih Muslim 8.3471

       [53] Page 675 - A Dictionary of Islam, 1994 by T.P Hughes; Publisher Kazi Publications, Inc. 3023-

               27 West Belmont Avenue, Chicago, IL 60618

       [54] Shahih Bukhari 7.62.134

       [55] Shahih Bukhari ;7.62.81

       [56] Shahih Muslim 3514 and 3530

       [57] Shahih Muslim 8.3432.

       [58] Shahih Bukhari 5.59.637

       [59] Shahih Bukhari 7.62.137

       [60] Shahih Muslim 7.3105

       [61] Shahih Bukhari 3.31.172

       [62] Shahih Bukhari 5.59.709

       [63] Shahih Muslim 1.0187, 0188