All about Sharia law that Taliban will enforce in Afghanistan
- The word Sharia means “the clear, well-trodden path to water”
- Sharia law frameworks are based on both the Quran, Islam’s central text, and the fatwas, rulings of Islamic scholars
- There are 5 different schools of Sharia law, including 4 Sunni and one Shia doctrine
In a first press conference since taking control of capital Kabul on Sunday, that capped off a sweeping nationwide blitz and an unprecedented collapse of the US-backed government, a Taliban spokesperson said issues concerning women’s and media rights will be respected “within the framework of Islamic law”, BBC reported.
Two decades ago, when Afghanistan was under the rule of the Taliban, women were not allowed to get an education or work and were required to wear a burqa since the age of eight. It was mandatory for women to be chaperoned by a male relative and those who did not comply were flogged in public.
What is Sharia Law?
Sharia law is the Islamic legal system. Its frameworks are based on both the Quran, Islam’s central text, and the fatwas, rulings of Islamic scholars. They are guidelines that all Muslims are expected to live by and has set codes for prayers, fasting and donations.
The word Sharia means “the clear, well-trodden path to water”.
In practice, Sharia law can advise Muslims on every aspect of daily life. If a Muslim is invited by their colleagues for a celebration after work, they can turn to a Sharia scholar for advice to ensure they comply with the law. This advice can be taken for nearly every aspect of daily life, including family, finance and business.
How are people punished for breaking the law?
There are two types of punishment for offences against Sharia law, with ‘hadd’ being the category of serious crimes with set penalties. The punishment for ‘tazir’ crimes is left to be decided by a judge.
‘Hadd’ crimes include theft, for which a person’s hands can be amputated, and adultery, for which a person can be stoned to death. Some Islamic organisations say that there are many safeguards for ‘hadd’ offences and they require irrefutable proof.
The United Nations has spoken out against death by stoning, calling it “torture”.
Is there a penalty for conversion?
Switching faiths, or apostasy, is a controversial topic in Islam with many experts saying most scholars believe it is punishable by death. However, some scholars – particularly those engaged with western societies – argue that the punishment should be left to god and that apostasy does not threaten Islam.
According to the Koran, there is no compulsion in religion.
The guidance and rulings are passed by Islamic jurists, with those that become a formal legal ruling called fatwas. There are five different schools of Sharia law, including four Sunni and one Shia doctrine.
The Sunni doctrines include Hanbali, Maliki, Shafi’I and Hanafi, with the one Shia doctrine being Shia Jaafari. These doctrines are different in their approach to the texts from which Sharia law is derived.