Demystifying Shariah: What It Is, How It Works, and Why It's Not Taking Over Our Country

Demystifying Shariah: What It Is, How It Works, and Why It's Not Taking Over Our Country

by Sumbul Ali-Karamali

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Overview

A direct counterpoint to fear mongering headlines about shariah law—a Muslim American legal expert tells the real story, eliminating stereotypes and assumptions with compassion, irony, and humor

Through scare tactics and deliberate misinformation campaigns, anti-Muslim propagandists insist wrongly that shariah is a draconian and oppressive Islamic law that all Muslims must abide by. They circulate horror stories, encouraging Americans to fear the “takeover of shariah” law in America and even mounting “anti-shariah protests” . . . . with zero evidence that shariah has taken over any part of our country. (That’s because it hasn’t.) It would be almost funny if it weren’t so terrifyingly wrong—as puzzling as if Americans suddenly began protesting the Martian occupation of Earth.

Demystifying Shariah explains that shariah is not one set of punitive rules or even law the way we think of law—rigid and enforceable—but religious rules and recommendations that provide Muslims with guidance in various aspects of life. Sumbul Ali-Karamali draws on scholarship and her degree in Islamic law to explain shariah in an accessible, engaging narrative style—its various meanings, how it developed, and how the shariah-based legal system operated for over a thousand years. She explains what shariah means not only in the abstract but in the daily lives of Muslims. She discusses modern calls for shariah, what they mean, and whether shariah is the law of the land anywhere in the world. She also describes the key lies and misunderstandings about shariah circulating in our public discourse, and why so many of them are nonsensical.

This engaging guide is intended to introduce you to the basic principles, goals, and general development of shariah and to answer questions like: How do Muslims engage with shariah? What does shariah have to do with our Constitution? What does shariah have to do with the way the world looks like today? And why do we all—Muslims or not—need to care?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807038000
Publisher: Beacon Press
Publication date: 08/11/2020
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 1,229,435
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Sumbul Ali-Karamali is a Muslim American who grew up in California, answering questions on Islam ever since she can remember. After becoming a corporate lawyer, she earned an additional degree in Islamic law. She specializes in synthesizing academic material for general audiences and is the author of The Muslim Next Door and Growing Up Muslim. A popular speaker on topics related to Islam and Muslims, she hopes to promote intercultural understanding with her work, at least when she’s not watching Star Trek reruns, listening to opera, or (reluctantly) white-water rafting with her husband. Connect with Sumbul on her website: www.sumbulalikaramali.com.

Table of Contents

Introduction

PART I: THE BASICS AND FOUNDATIONS OF SHARIAH

CHAPTER ONE
Shariah in a Nutshell

CHAPTER TWO
Muhammad and the Birth of Islam

CHAPTER THREE
The Qur’an: The Primary Source of Shariah

CHAPTER FOUR
The Sunna: The Second Source of Shariah

CHAPTER FIVE
Sunni, Shi‘a, and Others

PART II: THE STORY OF SHARIAH

CHAPTER SIX
What Shariah Is and How It Works

CHAPTER SEVEN
Religious Minorities within the Shariah System

CHAPTER EIGHT
Shattering a Millennium and Disrupting a Civilization

CHAPTER NINE
Shariah in Postcolonial Muslim-Majority Countries

CHAPTER TEN
The Scary Stuff: Punishments

CHAPTER ELEVEN
Shariah in Everyday Life

CHAPTER TWELVE
The Disinformation Campaign and Shariah in America

PART III: RECOGNIZING THE PROBLEM

CHAPTER THIRTEEN
Islamophobia and Why We Have the Stereotypes

Conclusion
Acknowledgments
Notes
Index

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