variants or sharia or less commonly shariat
or sharʽ or shar
or sheri
or sheria
or sheriat
plural -s
often capitalized
: the body of formally established sacred law in Islam based primarily on Allah's commandments found in the Koran and revealed through the sunna of Muhammad, governing in theory not only religious matters but regulating as well political, economic, civil, criminal, ethical, social, and domestic affairs in Muslim countries, and commonly in practice being supplemented by the customary law of a region compare adat

Word History


Arabic sharīʽah

First Known Use

1855, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of shariʽa was in 1855

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Cite this Entry

“Shariʽa.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jul. 2024.

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