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Opponents of Sharia argue that it is a totalitarian system because it covers so many aspects of life. Sharia provides rules, recommendations, and injunctions on a wide range of topics including religious practice, ritual purity, diet, clothing and modesty, marriage, divorce, inheritance, charitable giving, investments, business contracts, criminal law, etc.

Because Sharia has its foundation in divine revelation (Muslims believe the Qur’an, the Muslim holy book, to be the word of God), opponents allege that it is inflexible, takes away human choice, and therefore is contrary to freedom. This portrayal of Sharia is highly simplistic and fails to recognize that there is always a human element in the interpretation and implementation of religious guidance and injunctions. The current rhetoric always focuses on Sharia (divine guidance), yet fails to mention fiqh, the human process of understanding divine revelation which allows also for flexibility and diversity in the application of Sharia.

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