What is Shariah and What Are It’s Sources?

Key Tenets of Shariah

A Woman Under Sharia: 8 Reasons Why Islamic Law Endangers Women

Shariah in American Courts: The Expanding Incursion of Islamic Law in the U.S. Legal System

Shariah the Threat to America

Mapping Shariah in Mosques


From Mapping Shari’a:

The Reliance of the Traveller, or Umdat al-Salik, was composed in the 14th Century by Shihabuddin Abu al-’Abbas Ahmad ibn an-Naqib al-Misri (1302–1367). It is a classical manual of Shafi’i fiqh, meaning it is an authoritative summation of the Islamic jurisprudence– also known as Shari’a– associated with the Sunni Shafi’i school. al Misri based the Umdat al-Salik on the previous Shafi’i works of Nawawi and Abu Ishaq as-Shirazi.

The Umdat al-Salik is broken into sections dealing with every area of life Shari’a is concerned with– from epistemological questions on “sacred knowledge” to practical legal rulings on marriage, divorce, trade, inheritance, fasting, zakat, etc. As Shari’a is the basis for the Islamic  legal/political doctrine, the section on Jihad is located within chapter 9, “Justice.” It states, plainly:

Jihad means to war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada, signifying warfare to establish the religion. Page 617

As is explained in the Umdat al-Salik– or with any manual of Islamic law, or Shari’a– “scholarly consensus is legally binding.” This means that, for Muslim followers of Shari’a, once a consensus of scholars rules on a matter, it is no longer subject for debate. According to al-Misri:

When the four necessary integrals of consensus exist, the ruling agreed upon is an authoritative part of Sacred Law that is obligatory to obey and not lawful to disobey. Nor can mujrahids [scholars] of a succeeding era make the thing an object of new ijtihad [Islamic legal opinion], because the ruling on it, verified by scholarly consensus, is an absolute legal ruling which does not admit of being contravened or annulled. Page 23-24

The Umdat al-Salik was translated into English by Nuh Ha Mim Keller (a prominent scholar of Islamic jurisprudence based in Jordan), and subtitled, “A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law.” This popular hardcover edition is published in the United States by Amana Publications, and features facing Arabic and English text.

In his introduction to the Umdat al-Salik, Keller notes that:

The four Sunni schools of Islamic law, Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i, and Hanbali, are identical in approximately 75 percent of their legal conclusions, while the remaining questions, variances within a single family of explainers of the Holy Koran and prophetic sunna, are traceable to methodological differences in understanding or authentication of the primary textual evidence, differing viewpoints sometimes reflected in even a single school. Page 3

Even given its age, the Umdat al-Salik is by no means an irrelevant or outdated document. Certificates of authenticity attest to the translation from the governments of Egypt, Syria, and Saudi Arabia– and the text is the first Islamic legal work in a European language to receive certification from the most important seat of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence, Cairo’s al-Azhar University. Kitaabun Books Services in Leicester, England– a UK distributor of the Umdat al-Salik– includes al-Azhar’s praise on their website:

We certify that this translation corresponds to the Arabic original and conforms to the practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni community (Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama’a). — Al-Azhar, the Muslim world’s most prestigious institution of higher Islamic learning (Cairo; February, 1991)

In addition, the opening pages of the Umdat al-Salik contains a similar endorsement from the Muslim Brotherhood-linked International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) in the United States (also from KBS):

There is no doubt that this translation is a valuable and important work, whether as a textbook for teaching Islamic jurisprudence to English speakers, or as a legal reference for use by scholars, educated laymen, and students in this language.”  Dr. Taha Jabir al-’Alwani, International Institute of Islamic Thought (Herndon, VA; December 1990)


The Umdat al-Salik, as translated into English by Nuh Ha Mim Keller, is published in the United States by Amana Publications in Beltsville, Maryland. It is a best-seller on, and can be found online in PDF form at Yousef al-Khattab’s Online Library.

Read It For Yourself

Author: Ahmad ibn an-Naqib al-Misri
Title: Umdat al-Salik (Reliance of the Traveller)(PDF, 1251 pages, 31.7MB)

Relevant Quotes

The quotes below come from the Umdat al-Salik and, crucially, represent what is considered to be an authoritative work of Shari’a from the Shafi’i school of Islamic jurisprudence. As we have seen from the concept of “scholarly consensus” (explained above), the rulings included here are legally binding, according to Shari’a.

On children:

  • When a child with discrimination (O: meaning he can eat, drink, and clean himself after using the toilet unassisted) is seven years of age, he is ordered to perform the prayer, and when ten, is beaten for neglecting it (N: not severely, but so as to discipline the child, and not more than three blows). f1.2

On apostates:

  • Someone raised among Muslims who denies the obligatoriness of the prayer, zakat, fasting Ramadan, the pilgrimage, or the unlawfulness of wine and adultery, or denies something else upon which there is scholarly consensus (ijma’, def:b7) and which is necessarily known as being of the religion (N: necessarily known meaning things that any Muslim would know about if asked) thereby becomes an unbeliever (kafir) and is executed for his unbelief (O: if he does not admit he is mistaken and acknowledge the Obligatoriness or unlawfulness of that which there is scholarly consensus upon. As for if he denies the obligatoriness of something there is not consensus upon, then he is not adjudged an unbeliever). f1.3
  • The following are not subject to retaliation: … (3) a Jewish or Christian subject of the Islamic state for killing an apostate from Islam (O: because a subject of the state is under its protection, while killing an apostate from Islam is without consequences); o1.2
  • When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostatizes from Islam, he deserves to be killed. o8.1
  • In such a case, it is obligatory for the caliph (A: or his representative) to ask him to repent and return to Islam. If he does, it is accepted from him, but if he refuses, he is immediately killed. o8.2

On jihad:

  • The caliph (o25) makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians (N: provided he has first invited them to enter Islam in faith and practice, and if they will not, then invited them to enter the social order of Islam by paying the non-Muslim poll tax (jizya, def: o11.4)-which is the significance of their paying it, not the money itself-while remaining in their ancestral religions) (O: and the war continues) until they become Muslim or else pay the non-Muslim poll tax (O: in accordance with the word of Allah Most High, “Fight those who do not believe in Allah and the Last Day and who forbid not what Allah and His messenger have forbidden-who do not practice the religion of truth, being of those who have been given the Book-until they pay the poll tax out of hand and are humbled” (Koran 9.29) o9.8
  • The caliph fights all other peoples until they become Muslim (O: because they are not a people with a Book, nor honored as such, and are not permitted to settle with paying the poll tax (jizya)) o9.9
  • A free male Muslim who has reached puberty and is sane is entitled to the spoils of battle when he has participated in a battle to the end of it. o10.1
  • As for personal booty, anyone who, despite resistance, kills one of the enemy or effectively incapacitates him, risking his own life thereby, is entitled to whatever he can take from the enemy, meaning as much as he can take away with him in the battle, such as a mount, clothes, weaponry, money, or other. o10.2

6 thoughts on “Shariah

  1. There are two pages in this book on the proper way to perform what my grandmother used to call “Number Two.” Lots of directions, which is really bad if you’ve got one of those urgent occasions!

  2. Pingback: One Christian perspective on civilization jihad - The Layman Online

  3. can i ask a simple question. really not in a provocitive way. do you believe that the regular Muslim guy that studies his qoran and goes to his local mosque, is a threat for USA? verses in the qoran are as irrelevant as verses in the bible about killing idol worshippers? i dont think you’ll find many jews or christians killing, yes there are lots of muslims doing thoses stuff but they are a minority. i know many nice, peaceful muslims in USA. just asking for clarification… thanks

    • The problem is the trend towards more devoutness/sharia adherence that we are seeing due to the jihadist internet propaganda and the radical influence in 80% of US mosques. It only takes a small radical minority to dominate and subdue the peaceful majority. There is also a very prolific prison radicalization going on.

    • Mozer, when it comes to analyzing a religion, one must look at the scriptures of the religion to see what they teach, not at the behavior or beliefs of its adherents. every believer in any religion falls somewhere on a spectrum of belief ranging from total disbelief to total piety. not every adherent of every religion practices everything his religion teaches, nor believes everything it says, or even knows all that it teaches. thus, it is a really bad idea to base one’s views of a religion on the practices and beliefs of adherents one may know; it is best to go to the scriptures of the religion to see what *they* teach. furthermore, it is best to not try to put too much of a “spin” on what is written in the scriptures, because a believer who studies them will naturally use the simplest, most direct interpretation.

      when one makes this type of examination of most of today’s religions, they indeed teach peaceful behavior. of course this does not preclude adherents from rioting and attacking those of other religions; examples of this bad behavior can be found among believers of *every* religion. there is one exception to the rule of general peacefulness of religions, however, and that is islam. the quran and the sunnah both teach that unbelievers are the worst of creatures; allah says in 14 different ayah in the quran that a muslim *cannot* be a true friend of a kufr. muhammed said (in sahih al-bukhari 4:52:220), “i have been made victorious through terror.” he also owned slaves, and after murdering males who had surrendered to him, he raped their wives and daughters. he enslaved people, bought and sold slaves, and kept female slaves to rape. i’m not making this stuff up; it’s all in the sunnah and the various sira (especially ibn ishaq’s “sirat rasul allah”), which form the larger part of islamic scripture. in fact, *NOTHING* is known about muhammed and the first muslims that is *not* in islamic scripture. bad behavior in *pious* muslims is almost a given, because muhammed is the Perfect Man (al-insan al-kamil) and Model of Conduct (uswa hasana) for all muslims (OK, for male muslims, since women are unimportant property in islam); since muhammed was a liar, a thief, a rapist, a mass murderer, and a child molester, it behooves a pious muslim to do those things as well.

      yes, there are lots of muslims who don’t know a lot about their religion, and make friends with their non-muslim neighbors. they don’t follow muhammed’s example, because they aren’t taught about all the things he did. the unfortunate fact, though, is that if a pious muslim teaches a “moderate” muslim what islam’s scriptures teach, the moderate muslim has a decision to make: either become pious and begin deceiving and attacking kufr whenever possible, or leave islam. since muhammed said (sahih al-bukhari 9:84:57), “whoever changes his islamic religion, then kill him,” leaving islam is not just a psychological disruption to a muslim’s life, it also endangers it, because the penalty for leaving islam is death. thus, the average muslim could suddenly (in the eyes of his non-muslim neighbors and friends) become pious and dangerous. thus, my answer to your question is that yes, in general, a muslim presents a non-zero level of danger to public safety that non-muslims in the exact same circumstances would not.

      this does not mean that i believe that all muslim *citizens* should immediately be deported. that would indeed improve public safety, but *citizens* must be treated equally under the law. this means that they must be left to their own devices until suspicion of terrorist activities is cast on them, and then all the usual precautions (warrants, trials for specified charges, etc.) *must* be observed. we are governed as a republic, in which all laws are supposed to apply equally to all, and in which a citizen is presumed innocent of charges until proven guilty by the State in open court. when the law is twisted and ignored, we all suffer, because once the State does that, those running it will see the advantage to doing it again under different circumstances, and they will eventually stop paying attention to citizens and dispose of them at will.

      thus, the first step should be to send all *NON*-citizen muslims out of the country. should they own property that is not easily moved (such as real estate), it should be purchased from them for a fair market value, and the money given to them (the State should not steal from anybody, not even non-citizens). if a muslim citizen got his citizenship by lying, he should be charged in court with that (a crime), and be stripped of his citizenship and deported should he be found guilty. every muslim citizen must be watched by the State for *life*, because bad things can happen to anybody, and when bad things happen, people tend to turn to the religion with which they are most familiar. mohammad youssuf abdulazeez, the chattanooga shooter of 2015, was a fully “westernized” young man, but he was fired from westinghouse after only 10 days of employment. this was an embarrassment to his family, one that could not be fixed (except by death, the usual penalty for causing family dishonor in muslim countries), but jannah is guaranteed to any muslim who dies a “martyr” while killing kufr. my guess is that he got that old-time religion and killed some kufr so that he could achieve jannah, which is not otherwise *guaranteed* to muslims. this could happen to any “moderate” or “westernized” muslim at any time, so every muslim must be watched for life.

      many thanks to the left, the hard-core among whom know full well the dangers of islam. they are using pious muslims as a proxy army to destabilize society so that once collapse begins, they can seize power. no doubt they believe that mass murder of muslims will “fix” the problems their proxy army has caused, but once word gets out that a muslim banlieue or two has been totally slaughtered, most moderate muslims are likely to suddenly become pious. pious muslims have been gang-bangers *far* longer than the left has, and they’re far better liars, cheats, terrorists, and mass-murderers than that left ever will be. my money is on the muslims.

  4. We are a progressive America, why would/should we have to set ourselves back hundreds of years and subject and immerse ourselves into another “peoples” archaic cultural just because they decide to come here. I think it’s backwards. It is a privilege to be able to come here and live free. Other cultures should be willing to assimilate and Americanize their culture to fit into the American parameters in which we have lived for two-hundred and forty years; otherwise, don’t come here, move somewhere else.

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