Sharia is the Arabic word for Islamic law. In the Islamic state sharia governs both public and private lives of those living within the state. Sharia governs many aspects of day-to-day life; politics, economics, banking, business law, contract law, and social issues. The penalty for theft In accordance with the Qur'an and several ahadith, theft is punished by imprisonment or amputation of hands or feet, e.g. depending on the number of times it is committed. Dietary laws When eating meat sharia dictates that Muslims may only eat from meat that has been slaughtered in the name of God and meets stringent dietary requirements. The role of women under Sharia Islam does not prohibit women from working, but emphasizes the importance of housekeeping and caring for the families of both parents. In theory, Islamic law allows husbands to divorce their wives at will, by clearly saying talaq ("I divorce you") three times in public. In practice divorce is more involved than this and state proceedings vary. Usually, the divorced wife keeps her dowry from when she was married, if there was one, and is given child support until the age of weaning, at which point the child may be returned to its father if it is deemed to be best. In addition, women are generally not allowed to be clergy or religious scholars. Many interpretations of Islamic law hold that women may not have prominent jobs, and thus are forbidden from working in the government. This has been a mainstream view in many Muslim nations in the last century,. Dress codes The Sharia also places a dress code upon its followers. For women, it emphasizes modesty. Men have a dress code which is more relaxed: the loins must be covered from knee to waist. The rationale given for these rules is that men and women are not to be viewed as sexual objects. Domestic punishments Authorization for the husband to physically beat disobedient wives is given. First, admonishment is verbal, and secondly a period of refraining from intimate relations. Finally, if the husband deems the situation appropriate, he may hit her. Freedom of Speech Sharia does not allow freedom of speech on such matters as criticism of the prophet Muhammad.
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