Friday, June 5, 2015

How Sharia Law Differs in Different Locals Between Sunni and Shi'a

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                      

IRAQ:  Let's look at Iraq first since IS is there fighting against Sunni Rebels who have a Shi'a President.  This hasn't been working out very well since Iran is backing the President against his own subjects.   Iraq had at least a few years ago a population of about 31,234,000.  97% were Muslims.with the Shi'a following Jafari Law and the Sunnis following Hanafi Law. It was a Secular state. Now, since IS is taking over and the President is incapable to preside, it's turning into the Caliphate of IS.  If they succeed, all that will be left will be people accepting the Salafist way of believing.  

The Shi'a minority's Ja'fari School is also known as the Imami school.  It is the most important Shi'a system of jurisprudence.  
1. It rejects analogy, consensus, and private judgment.
2. It believes that the hidden Imam is the true head of the state.  In his absence he rules through his spokesmen who are called mujtahids and ayatollahs---interpreters of the will of the Imam.  There are usually several of these mujtahids at a time.  They are not chosen but simply acknowledged by the consensus of the community to be learned, pious, and qualified to issue opinion, fatwa, which is as binding to the faithful as a papal bull is to Roman Catholics.  All the Shi'i Twelvers follow this school.  

Hidden Imam:=  Muhammad al-Mahdi, "The Guided One; the history of the twelfth Imam is mystical and miraculous. Born in 868 AD / 255 AH, Abu'l-Kasim Muhammad (which is the name of the Prophet himself), and when Hasan al-Askari, the Eleventh Imam, died in 874 AD / 260 AH, the seven year old boy declared himself to be the Twelfth Imam and went into hiding. The Shi'ites believed that he hid himself in a cave below a mosque in Samarra; this cave is blocked by a gate which the Shi'ites call Bab-al Ghayba , or the "Gate of Occultation." This is one of the most sacred sites in Shi'a Islam, and the faithful gather here to pray for the return of the Twelfth Imam.

Shi'i Twelvers: Successors of Muhammad, " the Twelve Imams are exemplary human individuals who not only rule over the community with justice, but also are able to keep and interpret sharia and the esoteric meaning of the Quran. Muhammad and Imams' words and deeds are a guide and model for the community to follow; as a result, they must be free from error and sin, known as Ismah or infallibility and must be chosen by divine decree, or nass, through the Prophet." 

The Sunni Hanafi School:  It emphasizes analogy and the principle of equity, which is based on natural law.  It is the most tolerant of the legal schools of Islam.  It is said that the founder believed that the Koran should be translated into the vernacular and that prayers should be conducted in languages other than Arabic.  The Hanafite system was used by the Ottoman Turks and is prevalent in India, Afghanistan and Central Asia.  

Salafists are not even mentioned in the textbook of which IS follows. "Jihadist-Salafism is a transnational religious-political ideology based on a belief in violent jihad and the Salafist religious movement of returning to (what adherents believe is) "true" Islam."   They are not a part of any accepted school of Law in Islam.  They are extremists.  Another definition of Salafi jihadism, offered by Mohammed M. Hafez, is an "extreme form of Sunni Islamism that rejects democracy and Shia rule.  Salafism or Salafi sect  or movement follows a literal interpretation of the Qur'an and Sunnah (practise of the Prophet Muhammad). They are an offshoot of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah group. 

Afghanistan: A country with about 28,395,716 population of which 99% are Sunni of the Hanafi School and Shi'a of the Jafari School.  It is an Islamic state. In Afghanistan the Taliban were of the Deobandi not Salafi school of Islam but "cross-fertilized" with bin Laden and other Salafist-Jihadis.  "(Pashto and Persianدیو بندی‎, Urduدیو بندی‎, Bengaliদেওবন্দHindi:देवबन्दी) is a term used for a revivalist movement within Hanafi Islam.  It is centered primarily in IndiaPakistanAfghanistan and Bangladesh, has recently spread to the United Kingdom, and has a presence in South Africa."

Pakistan, 2nd largest Muslim majority country with 172,800,000 people are 97% Muslims with Sunni and Shi'a following the Hanafi school.  It is an Islamic state.  
Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria-Islam expanded under the Umayyads from 661 to 750.
Syria:  A country ruined by Civil War and IS invading.  Their population used to be 22,505,000 but thousands are now residing in refugee camps or have fled elsewhere.  90% were Muslims with Sunni's following Hanafi school  and Shi'a following Alevi school.  President Assad is an Alawite.  "The Alawites, also known as Alawis (ʿAlawīyyah Arabicعلوية‎), are a religious group, centred in Syria, who follow a branch of the Twelver school of Shia Islambut with syncretistic elements." The Muslim Brotherhood first attacked Assad because of his minority status and the Brotherhood pushing for their form of Islam.  

Alevi Law:  Predominent in Turkey, Alevi – Alevis are sometimes categorized as part of Twelver Shia Islam, and sometimes as its own religious tradition, as it has markedly different philosophy, customs, and rituals. They have many Tasawwufī characteristics and express belief in the Qur'an and The Twelve Imams, but reject polygamy and accept religious traditions predating Islam, like Turkish shamanism.

Egypt: Always a leader of the Middle East, with a civilization going back 32 centuries, Egypt has a population of about 79,089,650 people with 90% Muslim Sunni following the Shafi'i School.  Between the conservatism of the Malikites and the liberalism of the Hanafites, came the Shafi'i school.  As a mean between the two extremes, it is believed to have influenced all schools.  This school is followed in Indonesia, Egypt, East Africa and Lebanon.  
Abdullah I Mosque in Jordan in which 3,000 people may pray
Jordan's Hashemite Kingdom originating in Saudi Arabia has about  5,568,565 people who are 95% Muslim Sunnis of the Shafi'i School.  Islam is a state religion.  

Saudi Arabia,  a state with 27,601,038 people is 100% Sunni of the Hanbali school.  It is the champion of Islamic fundamentalism.  It rejects consensus, analogy, private judgment, and in fact anything that is outside the letter of the Koran and the hadith.  Too conservative to be popular, this rite has only about 3,000,000 followers.  They are among the Wahhabis of Arabia. In other words, they are very Orthodox in their belief and do not allow any Jews into their state.  

Lebanon: Quite the opposite religiously from Saudi Arabia, had only 60% Muslims and 40% Christians at one time with Muslims divided between Sunnis following Hanafi School and Shi'as following Jafari School.  

Yemen: In disarray today, had 23,580,000 people who were 99% Muslims with Sunnis following Shafi'i school and Shi'as following Zaidi school.  The Zaidi school is named after Zayd, the son of the 4th Imam.  They don't believe in the hidden Imam.  They are dominant in Yemen.  It is an Islamic state.  
Ayatollah Khamenei Rules Iran. 

Iran has 76,923,300 people who are 98% Shi'a of the Jafari school.  it is an Islamic state. They have called Israel all sorts of vulgar names and have made it plain that Israel should be wiped out, saying that as they work 24/7 on their nuclear development. It is an Islamic state.  

Libya has 6,173,579 people of which 97% are Muslim Sunnis of the Maliki school. The Malikite school introduced the formula of consensus of the community for the first time.  It is more conservative than the Hanafi school and is followed by the Muslims of North Africa, exclusive of Egypt.  It is a state religion.   

United Arab Emirates with 5,432,746 people of which 76% are Muslims that are Sunni of the Maliki school, also.  It is a state religion.  

Kuwait with only 3,399,637 people who are 85% Muslim of both Sunni and Shi'a follow the Maliki school.  It is a state religion.  

Turkey with 73,722,988 people of which 99% are Muslims with Sunni's following the Hanafi school and Shi'a following the Alevi School, yet it is a secular state.  

"Nondenominational Muslims are Muslims who do not adhere to any specific branch of Islam. Such Muslims may visit any mosque regardless of its sectarian affiliation. Their beliefs may overlap with those of multiple Muslims."  

"Islamism is a term that refers to a set of political ideologies, derived from various fundamentalist views, which hold that Islam is not only a religion but a political system that should govern the legal, economic and social imperatives of the state. Many Islamists do not refer to themselves as such and it is not a single particular movement. Religious views and ideologies of its adherents vary, and they may be Sunni Islamists or Shia Islamists depending upon their beliefs. Islamist groups include groups such as Al-Qaeda, the organizer of the September 11, 2001 attacks and perhaps the most prominent; and the Muslim Brotherhood, the largest and perhaps the oldest. Although violence is often employed by some organizations, most Islamist movements are nonviolent."

Textbook:  Middle East Past &I Present by Yahya Armajani and Thoas M. Ricks

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