‘Shari’ah’ is simply the Arabic word which in definition encompasses all Islamic law as commanded by Allah. Currently, there is often a huge blur between the authentic teachings and religion of Islam, and the disconnected culture of various Muslim-majority countries. Living in the predominantly non-Muslim West, with our media often featuring coverage of questionable human rights violations in Muslim-majority countries, the term ‘shari’ah’ has become unfortunately associated with notions of oppression and dictatorship.
It is frustrating and unfortunate that as Muslims, we often spend more time refuting inaccurate claims as to what Islam isn’t rather than simply celebrating everything that it is. It might surprise some people to know, for example, that shari’ah law dictates that all Muslims must be kind to their neighbours. It dictates that Muslims must be respectful to non-Muslim minorities. It specifies that Muslims must never forcibly coerce anyone to religion, and that Muslims who emigrate must respect and live by the law of the land they reside in.
There is such a beautiful, yet uncelebrated side to shari’ah, which I intend to explore and discuss in a variety of posts, through which you can browse below: