Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Muslim Law Definition:

The body of law derived from the Koran and other recorded sayings of the Muslim prophet Muhammad (570-632).

Related Terms: Sharia Law, Islamic Law, Fiqh

Also known as Islamic law, the law of Islam, Sharia or Sharia law (or even Shia law).

Some other spellings:

  • Muhammadan law;
  • Mohammedan law; or
  • Mussalman law.

Some Muslim jurists insist that the proper term is Islamic law and others defer to the term of Muslim law or Sharia. A variety of reasons are given for one preference over another. Some suggest that the term Muslim refers to an adherent and that the religion is Islam. On that basis, depending on the weight you give that factor or another, arguments are advanced in regards to prefer the term Islamic law as they are for Muslim Law or even Sharia.

In essence if not in practice and with changes on points of detail as may be preferred in some Muslim jurisdictions, the words have become interchangeable as referring to the unique body of law as binding upon Muslims and derived from the Koran, recorded sayings of the Muslim prophet Muhammad (570-632) and as adjusted from time to time by subsequent religious scholars and even divided into a set of discordant schools of Muslim law. The homogeneity is further diminished by adjustments made by individual Muslim law states which either adopt one school of Muslim law or another in toto, or bring significant changes to the body of law by statute law, usually to reform the severity and simplistic form of the original body of Muslim law.

French: le droit musulman.

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