Islamic law represents one of the world’s great legal systems, like Judaic law which influenced western legal systems. Islamic law originated as an important part of the religion.
Sharia an Arabic word meaning “the right path” refers to traditional Islamic law. The Sharia comes from the Koran, the sacred book of Islam, which Muslims consider the actual word of God. The Sharia also stems from the prophet Muhammad’s teachings and interpretations of the teachings by certain Muslim legal scholars. Muslims believe that Allah revealed his true will to Muhammad, who then passed on Allah’s commands to humans in the Koran.
The classic Sharia of the 10th century represented an important part of Islam’s golden age, from that time the Sharia has continued to be reinterpreted and adapted to changing circumstances and new issues. In the modern age the influences of western colonialism generated efforts to codify it.
The Koran set down basic standards of human conduct but does not provide a detailed law code. Muhammad helped clarify the law by interpreting provisions in the Koran and acting as a judge in legal cases. Thus Islam law the Sharia became an intergral part of the Muslim religion.
ISLAMIC LAW TODAY

In the 19 century many Muslim countries came under the controller or influence of western colonial powers, as a result western-style laws, courts, and punishments began to appear within Sharia. Some countries like Turkey totally abandoned the Sharia and adopted new law codes based on European systems. Most Muslim countries put the government in charge of prosecuting and punishing criminal acts. In the area of family law many countries prohibited polygamy and divorce by the husband’s repudiation of his wife.
Modern legislation along with Muslim legal scholars who are attempting to relate the will of Allah to the 20 century reopened the door to interpreting Sharia. This has happened even in highly traditional Saudi Arabia, where Islam began.
Since the 1980’s some countries with fundamentalist Islamic regimes like Iran have attempted to reverse the trend of westernization and return to the classic Sharia. But most Muslim legal scholars today believe that the Sharia can be adapted to modern conditions without abandoning the spirit of Islam law or it’s religions foundations. Even countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia the Sharia is creatively adapted in new circumstances.
http://www.crf-usa.org/america-responds-to-terrorism/the-origins-of-islamic-law.html

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