Shariah is the code of conduct religious law of Islam. There is a misconception that the Shariah and Quran are synonymous, and I can not emphasize enough that they are not. Though the Quran is a major component of Shariah, but laws are also drawn from many other sources, like interpretation of Hadiths, Sunnah, Fatwa etc. There are over one hundred sects of Islam and each sect interprets these sources according to their own philosophy, but women are subservient to men in every sect. Many countries and cultures have varying interpretation of Shariah e.g. Yemen, Iran, Pakistan, Sudan etc.These countries have legal system strongly influenced by Shariah.
Here are some of the examples:
- The woman’s testimony is equal only to half of the man’s testimony; this is gross misinterpretation of Qurani Sura, which states that woman’s testimony is half of the man’s testimony on the financial transactions.
- Man is allowed to have four wives.
- In case of rape women is expected to bring forth four male witnesses or it is construed as adultery and she is stoned to death.
- Man is allowed to beat his wife if she disobeys him.
- Man’s status is higher than that of a woman.
These are some of the examples that are from Quran and then there are many more from local laws and custom from the so called Islamic countries. Shariah Law has no place in today’s society where much is left on man’s interpretation. Many Islamic scholars over the centuries have interpreted Quran according to their own opinions, which is Fatwa. In Sunni Islam Fatwa is not binding, whereas in Shia law it maybe binding.