In the United States, Muslims follow their religious code of life, and it is a normal thing. The constitution of the US guarantees freedom to follow one’s religion as long as it does not violate the rights of other US citizens. In the past few years, you must have witnessed a tremendous change in the situation as far as public view point about the shariah law in the United States is concerned. There are numerous misconceptions about the shariah. In order to address these false notions, it is pertinent to understand the true nature of Islamic Shariah.
Definition of Shariah:
The literal meaning of the word sharia is “the way”. Shariah law means the set of values, and religious laws that are helpful and provide guidance for different aspect of life. Fiqh is another term used in relation with Islamic law. It is the human attempt to understand and apply the shariah law.
Foundation of Shariah:
Shariah law is established on Quran and Sunnah. Religious scholars exercise their skills to interpret different verses of Quran and Sayings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). This process of interpretation is called Qiyas. When an agreement or consensus is reached on an issue, it is known as Ijmah of religious scholars on a particular topic. This entire process is Fiqh. This quality of interpretation and consensus makes it practical in different cultures and societies.
Shariah Law and Muslims in the US
As you know the fact that the US constitution allows its citizen to follow their sacred laws as long as they do not violate rights of others. United States has citizens from all religions. They are allowed to follow their sacred laws and standard of living.
The most important parts of Sharia are following the five pillars of Islam such as Prayer, Fast, Charity, pilgrimage. Muslims in the US follow these fundamental duties without violating the rights of others. The concept of Halal and Haram is very important in the everyday life of Muslims. Muslims follow their own eating and drinking habits, their personal lifestyle without creating any hurdle in the life of other non Muslims.
You must have heard some myths attached with the shariah Law in the US which are being mentioned here:
1: Following Shariah Law in the united States is conflicting with the American way:
It has been enshrined in the US constitution that liberty to follow religion and all other religious practices will be ensured for each and every citizen as long as it respects the life of others. In addition to Islam, other religions also follow the same rule and practice their respective religion.
2: By following Shariah law Muslims will become anti-American:
Shariah is basically a way of life, governed by Islamic principles deduced from Quran and Sunnah. Islam is a religion of peace. It teaches co existence. In the US, other religious groups also follow their sacred laws. The crucial parts of Sharaiah such as daily prayer, fast, pilgrimage, and charity does not have anything to do with anti-americanism. But you can witness that Muslims are contributing a lot in the development of the US.
3: Muslims have a plan to enforce shariah in the US:
By observing the different Muslims practicing their shariah way of life, you can observed that there is no proof of the fact that Muslims are trying to enforce shariah in the US.
Anti Shariah Movement in the US
Anti shariah movement has originated from islamophobia. The proponents of Anti-shariah movement believe that Shariah is basically an oppressive system and it violates the freedom of individuals and is not a suitable way of life. Shariah is based on Quran and Hadith and these are rigid. The rivals of shariah misunderstand the Sahriah and forget the principle of interpretation and consensus. The process of fiqh allows variety and flexibility.
Shariah Ban in the US:
In the US, there is a ban in different states on the use of any foreign law. It means that there is also a ban on shariah law. These states include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Tennessee.