What is Sharia?

January 7, 2016

What is Sharia?


Earlier this week, UTT published the first in a series of articles about sharia (Islamic law) entitled “Understanding the Threat” which amplified the fact that sharia is the focal point and driving force behind everything jihadis across the globe are doing.

Today, we will breakdown what sharia actually is and its origins.

All Islamic sources define Islam as a “complete way of life governed by sharia.”

According to the most widely used text book in Islamic junior high schools in the United States (What Islam is All About), “The Shari’ah is the ideal path for us to follow.”

There are two sources of sharia:  the Koran and the Sunnah.

Islam is the system of life under sharia.  Those who submit to Islam and the sharia are called “Muslims.”

The Koran (also Quran or Qur’an)

According to Islam, the Koran is the “uncreated word of Allah,” who is the Islamic god, and the contents of the Koran were revealed to the Prophet Mohammad between the years 610 A.D. and 632 A.D. in the Arabian peninsula through an angel.  The Koran has 114 chapters or “suras” which are arranged in no particular order.  They are generally arranged by size from largest to smallest.  However, the first chapter is approximately the smallest, and the sizes of the chapter vary so this is not a perfect rule.

The Islamic scholars have authoritatively listed the chapters of the Koran in chronological order.  This is very important because Allah said in the Koran (2:106, 16:101) that whatever comes chronologically last overrules anything that comes before it.  This is called “abrogation.”  Allah revealed his message to Mohammad progressively over time.  By the time it was all revealed, what came last was the most important and overrules anything that was said earlier.

“It is a Qur’an which We have divided into parts from time to time, in order that though mightest recite it to men at intervals: We have Revealed it by stages.” (Koran 17:106)

So, for instance “Let there be no compulsion in religion” (Koran 2:256) is overruled or abrogated by “Whoever seeks a religion other than Islam will never have it accepted of him” (Koran 3:85) which is why we get “Take not the Jews and the Christians as your friends…” (Koran 5:51).  Chapter 5 in the Koran is the last chronologically to speak about relations between Muslim and non-Muslims.

Chapter 9 is the last to discuss jihad.

“Fight and slay the unbeliever wherever you find them, capture and besiege them,  and lie in wait for them in each and every ambush (strategem of war).” (Koran 9:5)

Furthermore, every verse in the Koran has been legally defined in the Tafsir.  The most authoritative Tafsir scholar in Islam is a man named Ibn Kathir.  For instance, the Tafsir defines a portion of verse 9:5 above as follows:  “This is the Ayah (verse) of the sword…’and capture them’ (means) executing some and keeping some as prisoners…’and besiege them, and lie in wait for them in each and every ambush’ (means) do not wait until you find them.  Rather, seek and besiege them in their areas and forts, gather intelligence about them in the various roads and fairways so that what is made wide looks ever smaller to them.  This way, they will have no choice, but to die or embrace Islam.”  (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Vol 4, pages 375-376)


The Tafsir is taught at mosques in the United States on a regular basis.  There is no such thing in Islam as a “personal interpretation” of a particular verse of the Koran.

The Sunnah

The Sunnah is the example of the Prophet Mohammad who is considered the al Insan al Kamil in Islam – the most perfect example of a man.  If Mohammad did it or said it, it is an example for all Muslims to follow for all time.

His words and deeds are recorded in the authoritative biographies (Sira) and the collection of the Hadith or stories about him. In Islam there are many Hadith scholars, but the most authoritative are by men named Bukhari and Muslim.

The Prophet said, “The hour of judgment will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them. It will not come until the Jew hides behind rocks and trees. It will not come until the rocks or the trees say, ‘O Muslim! O servant of God! There is a Jew behind me. Come and kill him.”  Al-Bukhari: 103/6, number 2926. Volume: Jihad; Chapter: Fighting the Jews

The above quote from Mohammad is doctrine in Islam.  Mohammad said it and it is authoritatively recorded by Bukhari, the most authoritative hadith scholar in all of Islam.  This is why the above quote is not only in the Hamas Covenant, it is taught at the first grade level in Islamic schools.

Example:  Why is it okay for a 60 year old Muslim man to marry an 8 year old girl?  Because Mohammad married Aisha when she was six (6) years old and consummated the relationship when she was nine (9). Mohammad is the perfect example, therefore, it is a capital crime in Islam to suggest this is wrong behavior.

The Koran, as understood with the Koranic concept of abrogation, and the Sunnah form the “Sharia” or the way for all Muslims to follow. This is a totalitarian legal system and cannot be altered or amended because it comes from Allah and was exemplified by the actions and words of Mohammad.  Therefore, when it comes to the definition of jihad, the obligation of jihad, the law of jihad, the obligation of the Caliphate (Islamic State), the rules under the Caliph, and relations between Muslims and non-Muslims, there is no disagreement among any of the scholars.

If Allah said it chronologically last in the Koran, Mohammad said it, and Mohammad did it, how could there be a legal “gray area” in sharia?

  1. “Fight and slay the unbeliever wherever you find them, capture and besiege them,  and lie in wait for them in each and every ambush (strategem of war).” (Koran 9:5)
  2. Mohammad said:  “I have been commanded to fight people until they testify that there is no god but Allah and that Mohammad is the Messenger of Allah.”  Hadith reported by Bukhari and Muslim
  3. Mohammad went out and fought many battles against non-Muslims until they converted to Islam or submitted to Islam.  Those who did neither were killed.

Any questions?

Islamic Law, jihad, Permissible Lying, sharia, UTT , , , , , , , , , , ,
About JG
John Guandolo is a US Naval Academy graduate, served as an Infantry/Reconnaissance officer in the United States Marines and is a combat veteran, served as a Special Agent in the FBI from 1996-2008, and was recruited out of the FBI by the Department of Defense to conduct strategic analysis of the Islamic threat. He is the President and Founder of Understanding the Threat (UTT).
  1. My experience: Some muslims I know through work show true gratefulness for the opportunity to live in America and raise their family’s in safety and prosperity here. I have talked with them about the tension and they have told me about the trials and dangers of living in the Middle East and how they are happy to be Americans. Others, has been very standoffish. Others take a, “tough guy” attitude – short on conversation and with a distinct lack of humour. Just not normally friendly in a work setting as I have experienced among various second generation Euro-ethnics (which is to expected) but also Latinx folks from various countries… Cubans are especially gratefully to be Americans. – again, my personal observations only in the volume I observed. But in terms of the muslim folks I know…my feeling is that the agnostic ones are complacent – even if they donate and suspect their donations *might* end up in ugly hands. The ones I’ve met who are all cold shoulder… I think they may be a little more involved in reading their iman’s newsletter.

  2. Its sick and America has no room for this kind of hate.

  3. […] In previous posts UTT published “How Does Sharia Define Jihad?” found here, and “What is Sharia?” found here. […]

  4. These who are muslims or who convert to Islam only use sharia as a defense for their own evil behavior; killing people is so much easier if one can blame it on his false god. The q’uran does not respect life whereas the God of the Bible gives life. Only fools follow someone other than Jesus Christ.

  5. […] enemy clearly articulates that sharia (Islamic Law) is the basis for everything they […]

  6. […] enemy clearly articulates that sharia (Islamic Law) is the basis for everything they […]

  7. […] UTT has documented in articles here, here, here, here and here and in videos here, here, and here, there is only one Islam and one […]

  8. Virginia Pollock June 15, 2017 at 2:13 pm Reply

    Common sense would tell that Mohammad was a sycopath and ruled with an army.
    What he did in his life is repulsive.
    How can anyone say different it is historical.
    This man says Allah, or a special god , not the same god of Christianity or any other faith, rules Supreme. His God, his rules.
    Mohammad did this to suit us war like purpose and enslave his prisoners.
    It is almost laughable that modern thinkers would attach any reasonable acceptance of this Briuts nonsense .
    There can only be a devious reason why governments give this “junk ideology ” credence.
    Islam means submission and they have found out that the freedoms of democracy are hard and impossible to control so they introduce and begin infiltrating an ideology that is all about control.
    The leaders wish to be the Grand supreme leaders to rule the world with Islam as their weapon.
    This ideology is inherently evil and this method to unit the world is evil.

  9. […] For more on “Sharia” see the UTT article HERE. […]

  10. […] Petraeus had taken a few hours to study the enemy’s basis for all of their actions – sharia – and understood the driving force in the Global Movement – the International Muslim […]

  11. […] For more on “Sharia” see the UTT article HERE. […]

  12. […]  The commonality between all of these assailants is that they are all Sharia adherent Muslims – ie they are […]

  13. #wearelosingthewar January 9, 2016 at 10:03 am Reply

    Trump is the only candidate who seems to understand Sharia.
    The USA really has no chance to win this war against evil without him and yet the Mainstream media and liberal elite ridicule him. They are idiots and are being used as tools by the Muslims who are here.
    We must remove all Muslim brotherhood members from our government and our country. Same for the mosques that are used to recruit jihadi’s and teach hate. This has been going on for a LONG LONG time in our country. Obama has embolden them as has every moron who grabs a microphone and says “this is not what Islam is all about” after acts of terrorism are committed in this country, Philadelphia being the latest.

  14. EXCELLENT publication. All UTT’s publications are terrific, but this is some “cream of the crop”.

  15. Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
    Gal 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
    Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
    Gal 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *