Islamic Law

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Criminal Law

Islamic law, also known as Sharia law, is a legal system based on Islam’s religious and moral principles.

It is applied in many countries where Islam is the dominant religion, including some countries in the Middle East, North Africa, and Southeast Asia.

In the criminal justice context, Islamic law prescribes a range of punishments for various criminal offenses, including theft, adultery, murder, and apostasy. These punishments may include fines, imprisonment, amputation, flogging, and, in some cases, capital punishment.

Islamic law is enforced by courts and judicial systems in countries where it is the prevailing legal system. However, there may be variations in how it is applied, depending on religious scholars’ interpretation of Islamic law and the legal system in a particular country.

Critics of Islamic law have raised concerns about its compatibility with modern human rights standards, particularly in cases where the punishments prescribed by Islamic law may be considered cruel or inhumane. However, proponents of Islamic law argue that it provides a comprehensive and holistic framework for addressing criminal justice issues rooted in Islamic values and principles.

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Last Modified: 03/09/2023


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