Judiciary, Side Feature, The Khilafah

States in the Islamic World Do Not Implement Sharia

The reforms initiated by the King of Saudi Arabia, Salman and his son, Crown Prince Muhammad, affected almost all areas of life, including the judiciary.

Recently the Kingdom Supreme Court ruled to abolish Shariah corporal punishment of whiplashes, to which adulterers, alcohol lovers and petty thieves were usually sentenced. (Source: islamnews.ru)


This event gave rise to comments that Saudi Arabia is moving away from implementing Sharia law in favor of democracy. In fact, the assertion that there are countries governed by Sharia law in the Islamic world is nothing more than a myth. In particular, countries such as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are usually cited as examples. Also Sudan, Afghanistan, Mauritania and some other countries are mentioned.

Revealing the failure of this myth, it is worth noting that any state is characterized by its managerial and economic systems. The definition of the branches of government and their powers, the title of the head of state and the term of his election, the source of the legislative power, the main economic problem, types of property, the monetary policy of the state are only a fraction of the criteria by which the state’s compliance with Sharia requirements should be assessed.

It is wrong to define the system as separate symbolic elements or as separate laws corresponding to Sharia. Moreover, the beard, and even fivefold prayer, as well as pseudo-Islamic rhetoric from the lips of the heads of state in the Islamic world does not at all reflect the conformity of these states to Sharia. Just as the political system of the United States does not become based on Christianity from the fact that the US president takes the oath on the Bible. The mere presence in the name of the names of Iran and Pakistan of such a word as “republic” indicates that the political system of these countries has little in common with Islam, since the legislative power belongs to the parliament, and not to Sharia, as is required in Islam.

Turning to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in principle, it would be enough to say that Islam prohibits the monarchical system of government. Sharia-based states cannot be kingdoms a priori. But still I will give two simple examples: According to information from 2016, Saudi Arabia holds 20% of its gold and foreign exchange reserves in US Treasury bonds. We are talking about US government debt securities with a fixed interest rate.

Yes, yes, you heard right – the so-called state of tawhid (monotheism) earns on usury, which is forbidden by the categorical texts of the Quran and Sunnah.

The following example is from the sphere of foreign policy, which also characterizes states very accurately. In 2011, during the revolution in Egypt, Saudia supported … .. Muhammad Mursi, you thought. But this is not so. Saudi Arabia supported the dictator Hosni Mubarak. After the arrival of Muhammad Mursi, it did not recognize his government, but in 2013, after his overthrow by the Egyptian military, Saudi Arabia expressed its support for the new pharaoh of Egypt, dictator Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. This is just one episode of a well-known fact – Saudi Arabia is a faithful ally of the United States in the Middle East.

Summing up we say:

In the Islamic world there is not a single state that would implement the Sharia of Allah in its entirety. All so-called Islamic states in the past and present of the Islamic world are nothing more than secular democracies, monarchies, republics, or jamahirs, containing some separate elements of Sharia law.

This incorrect statement formed the basis of another false statement that the cause of today’s backwardness of the Islamic world is adherence to Islam. Although in fact the Islamic world after the fall of the Ottoman Caliphate in 1924 never governed by Sharia law.


Fazil Amzaev

Head of the Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir in Ukraine