What is the sharia law that the Taliban will apply and how will it affect Afghan women?

Woman Sharia Taliban

The Taliban commanders affirmed they will have rights that are governed “within Islamic Law.” But what does this mean?

The return of the Taliban government to Afghanistan will mean a return to sharia, the group’s interpretation of Islamic religious law, a senior Taliban commander declared on Wednesday after the militant Islamist group swept the country, ousting the US-backed government. The seizure of power has sparked fear and speculation about the future of Afghanistan.

“There will be no democratic system,” Taliban commander Waheedullah Hashimi said in an interview with Reuters. “We are not going to discuss what kind of political system we should apply in Afghanistan because it is clear. It is the sharia and that’s it”.

Here are some of the basics.

What is sharia?

In Arabic, sharia is derived from a word that means the path, or “the clear and well-traveled path to the water.” In practice, it is understood, interpreted and applied differently around the world, depending on different traditions, cultural contexts and the role of Islam in government.

It is a set of religious norms that guide the daily life of Muslims, including prayer and fasting, and is mainly based on the Quran, the holy book of Islam, as well as the words and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad. Leaders, clergy, and practitioners adopt diverse approaches to traditions and precedents.

This could include a role for sharia in criminal law – a strict punishment code that is applied in very few countries – or Islamic personal law that governs issues such as marriage, inheritance, and child custody, which is more. common throughout the Muslim world.

How have the Taliban applied their interpretation of sharia in Afghanistan?

The last time the Taliban controlled the country, between 1996 and 2001, the militants applied a harsh interpretation of sharia. Women were forced to wear a burqa – the garment that covers the face from head to toe – and could be beaten if they ventured out alone without a male guardian. In addition, girls’ schools were closed and people who broke Taliban rules could be publicly executed, flogged or stoned.

Parts of Afghanistan have remained under or reverted to Taliban rule in the past two decades. In those areas, the group continued to impose a strict regime, amid some modest signs of reform.

What do the Taliban say about sharia?

The history of the extremist rule of the Taliban leaves many to remain fearful, despite some attempts to adopt a conciliatory tone.

Hashimi, the commander, told Reuters that the rights of Afghan women would be in the hands of a council of Islamic scholars. He outlined a system that bears striking similarities to the previous Taliban government.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told reporters earlier this week that the Taliban would respect women’s rights within the norms of Islamic law, but did not elaborate. He also offered a vague promise to defend press freedom, conditional on journalists not working “against national values.”

Abdulaziz Sachedina, a professor of religion and politics at George Mason University specializing in Islamic studies, said he believes it will take time and effort for the Taliban to implement policies related to Sharia. “It is easy to say: ‘We will implement sharia.’ But it is not easy to put it into practice,” he said.

Sachedina said that sharia does not offer codified systems for the modern nation-state, such as commercial laws and administrative laws. “There is nothing in the sharia that says this is the way to run the state,” he said. “Sharia is very far from the modern nation-state as we know it today.

Interpretations vary throughout the Muslim world and often within countries. Unlike the Islamic State or the leaders of Saudi Arabia, the Taliban identify themselves as a group of traditional Sunni Muslims who follow the Hanafi law school, one of the four traditional Sunni schools of Islamic law.