Siyasa Shar’iyya Legal Definition: Muslim law, regulatory decisions or policy. Regulatory instruments of Sharia law. The legal authority of Muslim theocracies to supplement the broad criminal law principles of the Koran and other Muslim legal texts of sacred origin, on points of detail; to make regulations or policy decisions. Siyasa means politics or in this context, especially policy and is distinguished from the literal content of the Koran, Muslim law, fiqh. Pearl defines siyasa shar’iyya (sharia) as: “The right of the executive branch of the (Muslim) government to complete the Sharia by regulations of an administrative kind.” In their article in the American University International Law Review, the authors offer a description as follows: "Al-siyasa al-shar'iyya (is) a treatise on the general principles of divine government and appointment to the lieutenancy of the prophet and states that it was indispensable for the ruler and his subjects and for those in charge of affairs.... Thinkers ... thus proposed that the proper role of shari'a (as interpreted by the jurists) might be best conceptualized as creating an outer boundary on the legislative power of the state. "Classical legal theory, including the theory of siyasa shar'iyya, had an enormous impact on the political philosophy of the Ottoman state. Justifying its behavior in terms of this theory, the Ottomans imposed as law both unwritten fiqh and, increasingly, statutes, and in part as a result, the empire enjoyed considerable popular legitimacy. The ideal of siyasa shar'iyya came to influence Muslim thought throughout the areas under Ottoman control, including Egypt." REFERENCES: Lombardi, Clark B. and Brown, Nathan, Do Constitutions Requiring Adherence to Shari'a Threaten Human Rights - How Egypt's Constitutional Court Reconciles Islamic Law with the Liberal Rule of Law, J.21 AUILR 379 (2005-2006) Pearl, D., A Textbook on Muslim Law (London: Croom Helm Ltd., 1979), page 20 Categories & Topics: Duhaime's Muslim Law Dictionary Unless otherwise noted, this page was written by Lloyd Duhaime of Duhaime.org Always looking up definitions? Save time with our search provider (modern browsers only) If you find an error or omission in Duhaime's Legal Dictionary, or if you have suggestion for a legal term, we'd love to hear from you!