Islamic Sharia can simply be defined as the code or rules according to which a Muslim is expected to act in his individual life as well as in society. It is the moral code that explains the law, ethics and system that every Muslim is to follow in every matter of his life. This includes his personal matters (such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, hygiene, eating habits, clothing etc), business or commercial transactions (property, rental, lease, or mortgage etc), and social life (role in society, as a muslim etc). Hence, Islamic Sharia covers every aspect of a Muslim’s life. It governs almost every decision that a Muslim makes.
There are four sources of Islamic Sharia. Quran and Sunnah are considered as the primary sources. There are several hundred verses in Quran explaining different aspects of Islamic Sharia. Same is the case with Sunnah. Actions and traditions of Holy Prophet (PBUH) are examples of Islamic Sharia and how a Muslim should lead his life. Companions of Holy Prophet (PBUH) have narrated different actions and words of Holy Prophet (PBUH) explaining Sharia and Sharia Laws.
The role of Sharia is very important in a Muslim’s life. It distinguishes between what’s rightful and why and what’s prohibited and the reason behind it. For example, in early years of Islam, alcohol was not prohibited; however, later on, it was strictly prohibited due to its ill effects. Islamic Sharia is not just limited to Muslims. It also provides protection and safeguard to all the non-Muslims living in an Islamic state.
Currently, Sharia is not implemented in majority of the Muslim countries except for Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and few other Arab states. Critics of Islamic Sharia believe that this system of governance is not applicable in modern world. It is also a widespread view that Islamic Sharia isn’t compatible with democracy (that seems to be the primary mode of government nowadays).
The purpose of Islamic Sharia is to provide a safe, just and morally correct society where everyone feels secure, whether he belongs to Islam or not.