Sharia is based on the Quran as the constitution and tradition of our Beloved Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) according to his Ahlul Bayt (family), his daughter, Fatima Zahra (RA) and 12 Imams (RA).   In other words, Quran and the tradition of 14 Masums (infallible).  Sharia is updated, interpreted and relayed by a Mojtahed (supreme religious leader) or a Marja Taghlid (source of emulation).


Marja Taghlid is a person who enters religious school at age 7, finishes high school, then completes Houze (religious university), works as a religious leader, passes various stages of Hojatul Islam, Seghat Ul Islam, Ayat Ulallah and eventually, Grand Ayatallah, then becomes Marja Taghlid (at age 50).  He has many followers and receives a lot of Zakat and Khoms money, to spend in the path of God.  Marja Taghlid represents the 12th Imam in his absence and Marja’s action is fully approved by the 14 Masums and Allah (SWT).  Marja can answer any question about Islam and his response is called Fetwa (opinion).  Sharia or Islamic law is here to protect and preserve the following principals. 


1.                Way of Life (Deen):  Sharia is here to protect our Deen, our Deen is based on Tohid (oneness of God) and Tohid will give us freedom.  Therefore, Sharia is here to protect our God given freedom.  If we obey God and his commandments (Ebadat), we will be free from obeying Shaytan and our own ego (Nafse).  If we obey God and believe He is the only one that can give us reward and sustenance, and He is the only one that can punish us, then we will not obey corrupt rulers or unjust and unfair political system.   Sharia and Deen will give us freedom from being slave to money, job, position or other worldly attractions.  If we obey Allah (SWT) and do our best to be a good Muslim, a reasonable job, money and power will be given to us by Allah (SWT). 


2.                Life (Hayat):  Sharia protects life.  Life is sacred in Islam.  Therefore, killing, assault, injury, violent acts, torture, and terrorism is a grave sin and prohibited.  Life of an unborn child is sacred too, therefore, abortion is Haram, unless the mother’s life is in danger.  Mercy killing of older people, mentally ill or sick people (euthanasia) or suicide is a grave sin and Haram in Islam.  Capital punishment in the case of murder is allowed. 


3.                Intellect (Aghl):  Sharia wants to protect and preserve intellect, therefore, any substance that impairs the intellect is forbidden.   Alcohol, drugs and mind-altering substances are Haram in Islam.  Good Halal foods, healthy lifestyle and education achievements are good for intellect and are encouraged in Islam.


4.                Lineage (Nasab):  Islam is for preserving lineage.  Every person has the right to know his lineage and have a chance to find out his ancestors.  Therefore, there is no adoption with name change in Islam.  If you decide to take care of an orphan and you are encouraged to do that, but the orphan should know his real parents and his lineage.  Marriage and family is the cornerstone of Islamic community and preservation of lineage. 


5.                Honor (Ezat):  In Islam, we believe honor comes from Allah (SWT).  Those who obey Allah (SWT) are honorable, those who disobey Allah and rebel against God and follow Shaytan, sooner or later, they will be dishonored.  The cornerstone of Islamic society is family.  Therefore, dating is not allowed, even touching (like a handshake) a Namahram (not immediate family) is forbidden.  Premarital sex, extra-marital sex is forbidden.  Muslim youth are obligated to protect their chastity and not to seek sexual pleasure outside marriage to preserve the other person’s honor.  Ghaybat (gossip) is Haram (forbidden).


6.                Wealth and Property:  Sharia protects private property and no one is allowed to confiscate, damage or harm anyone else’s  property.  Even praying in someone’s land without his consent is forbidden.  Economical and financial system in Islam is based on justice and fairness. Usury, giving or receiving interest is Haram.  Muslims must pay their Zakat, Khoms and charity to alleviate poverty and hunger from the community.