What is Shari’ah?

Although, both in Western and native discourses, it is common to use Shari‘ah (also commonly spelled Shari‘a or Shari‘at) interchangeably with Islamic law, Shari‘ah is a much broader term. Shari’ah is a rather fungible term in that it can mean different things depending on the context. So, for instance, al-Shari‘ah al-Yahudiyya means Jewish law, Shari‘at Musa means the laws of Moses, and Shari‘at al-Masih means the way of Jesus or the path of Jesus. Shari‘at Muhammad, depending on the usage, could mean the Sunna or tradition of Muhammad or Muhammad’s way of life, but the expression would not be used to refer to Islamic jurisprudence or law…” (from Reasoning with God)

Originally published at www.searchforbeauty.org.

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