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Shariah Law

September 8, 2014

When most Westerners, even some Muslims among them, think of the Shari’ah Law, they cringe. Immediately, people are reminded of what they heard on the TV or read in the news papers: beheading, chopping of hands and arms, stoning, etc. Few points to remember about Shari’ah Law: a. Shari’ah Law is the Islamic religious law, b. not all Shari’ah laws are from the Qur’an (islamic holy scripture): a large portion of those laws come from the Hadiths (written traditions that are separate from the Noble Qur’an) and c. NOT all Muslim majority nations  practice Shariah Law (yes, even Saudi Arabia–is not 100% adherent to the Law). So, Shari’ah seems scary to some. But does it have any beneifts at all? Yes. Some of the benefits of Shari’ah Law are

1. Non-Muslims are allowed to live in an Islamic state ruled by the Shari’ah Law

-Under the Shari’ah Law Non-Muslims are allowed to live in the state and are NOT obligated to fight a war should the Islamic state go into a war with another country. Non-Muslims are asked to pay a certain tax (jiziyaa) used for the purposes of the state.  The jiziyaa is LOWER than the obligatory zekat tax that Muslims must pay for the poor in their society.  Generally, there is no minimum/maximum requirement for Muslims to pay zekat, but in the modern world they pay 2.5% on gold and savings that they own. So non-Muslim jizyah would be less than 2.5%! 

2. Non-Muslims and Muslims “have rights to free housing, food, shelter, clothing, etc., provided by the Shari’ah-ruled state. The Islamic state will abolish all fiscal fees and rates, water and sewage rates, school fees, import and export licences and fees, council rates, ground rent, road tax and fiscal stamps. According to shari‘ah, these services are the duty of the state; the state in Islam is a guardian and not a collection of fees and rates.” 

3. No one can privatize natural state resources: coal, oil and gas. 

4. Reduction of poverty: one of the main tenets of Islamic faith is helping the poor. In fact, a Muslim’s prayer is considered invalid if he/she does not share some of his property/money with the poor. Zekat is obligatory on Muslims and the minimum zekat tax is 2.5% of gold, silver, cash, stocks, mutual funds, stock options, business merchandise inventory, retirement plans, real estate investments in property, accounts receivable, profits from investments, trusts, long-term insurance, lump sum payments, income, buried precious metals or minerals, livestock (cows, sheep and camels), certain grains and fruits that are stored for profit (e.g. barley, wheat, dates, raisins) 

  • Lump Sum Payments in Terms of Compulsory Pension and Provident Funds
  • Severance Package
  • Income Tax
  • Liabilities which may be deducted
  • Buried Precious Metals or Minerals (Rikaz)
  • Livestock, Animals, Cows, Sheep, Camels
  • Agricultural Produce

It is given to those who live in absolute poverty, for freedom of slaves or those in a bondage, those who live in hardships and cannot meet their basic needs, zekat collectors, non-Muslims who are considering converting to Islam, non-Muslims who are friendly toward Muslims and Islam, those who are in great debt trying to meet their basic needs, those working in God’s way (e.g. missionary work), and travelers. “Zakat should not be given to one’s own parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, or spouses. Also, it is forbidden to disburse zakat funds into investments instead of being directly given to those who are in need” (Wikipedia). 


5. Shari’ah Law forbids interest on debt: people would be less in debt because banks under Shari’ah Law are not ALLOWED to charge people interest for their debts! Now, imagine of paying of your home mortgage where all your payments go toward principal right of the start of repayment? Instead, in non-Shari’ah state you usually pay off interest for first 10 or 20 years of your 30 year loan repayment. That is a lot of interest they take from you if, say, your monthly  mortgage payment is $1500! 

Please watch the video below, all in English. I hope it sheds some light about it.

Additional Sources:


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