Comments on: Russia’s Muslim south triples sharia bride price as Islamic law advances http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2010/07/09/russias-muslim-south-triples-sharia-bride-price-as-islamic-law-advances/ Religion, faith and ethics Sat, 23 Apr 2016 23:25:07 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: Jalaluddin http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2010/07/09/russias-muslim-south-triples-sharia-bride-price-as-islamic-law-advances/comment-page-1/#comment-24808 Fri, 09 Jul 2010 09:20:37 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/?p=14204#comment-24808 Interesting, but this article confuses a number of concepts.

-There’s no such thing as a ‘bride price’ in shari’a law, so the headline is straight out wrong. This is a cultural practice which may or may not be shari’a compliant. In shari’a law, there is something called ‘mahr’, which is paid by the groom to the bride herself (not her family) as a form of appreciation and as an assurance of future security. This amount is generally set by the bride herself in accordance with her needs and lifestyle, not by a public authority, so it varies from bride to bride — it can be a small symbolic amount or a large sum. The Wikipedia seems to have good, distinct definitions of ‘bride price’ and ‘mahr\': http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahr

-Is it really good journalistic practice to conflate a bunch of disparate issues (the paintball incidents, bride price, gunning down alcohol sellers)? Especially when none of these things are actually endorsed by shari’a law as any half-trained Muslim scholar knows it? The net effect is to turn this word “shari’a” into a scary, irrational, capricious thing in the minds of many. I would agree that there may be a trend of rising faux-fundamentalism and provincialism — a legitimate story — but it’s definitely not a case of ‘creeping sharia’ in any of these cases.

-It would be good journalistic practice to only use the word ‘shari’a’ with reference to some religious authority, when that authority can be specified. There isn’t really a monolithic shari’a, so a journalist must specific whose interpretation is in force, if any.

]]>