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Glossary

                       Fiqh means school of thought
 
                       Haram means forbidden
 
                       Sharia, or Islamic jurisprudence, is the legal interpretation of the Qur'an as used for civil and criminal law.  Sharia poses a difficult question for secular communities.  Should adoption of Sharia as civil code by Islamic segments of the community be allowed?  Because the legal judgment is based on a specific fiqh and there is no distinction made in Sharia between civil and criminal activity, interfaith and multi-sect communities are indescriminately exposed to a particular "brand" of Islam.  Even in communities that adopt Sharia for civil compliance only, without a distinction between civil and criminal activity, a stoning death execution for adulterer, fornicator or even rape victim becomes a possibility if a particularly extreme fiqh is chosen.  Extreme clothing restrictions lead to the suppression of movement and job opportunities for women. 
In most western societies the allowance for Sharia is the same as that for the Ten Commandments or Principles for Higher Living and that is the recognition that it is a good and moral code. Judgments resulting from infractions are spiritual.  Submission to fiscal or physical redress of Sharia violations are voluntary and cannot violate constitutional, federal, provincial or local law; however, several Sharia movements are petitioning for civil code authority within Islamic communities wishing to segregate from secular society.

                       Taqiyya is based on Qur'an sura 3:28: "Let not the believers take for friends or helpers unbelievers rather than believers. If any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah; except by way of precaution, that ye may guard yourselves from them."
According to the Jafari fiqh, the basis of Shia jurisprudence, in instances where a Muslim's life or limb is threatened, a Muslim is allowed to live as if he were not Muslim in so far as necessary to assimilate into the community.  There are strict guidelines for this observance.  For example, if it may lead to the death of an innocent person, it is not permissible. This is because it is forbidden to kill another human being to save your own life.
According to ibn Kathiri fiqh, one variant of Sunni jurisprudence, taqiyya is permitted only to guarantee one's own safety to the extent that a Muslim can pretend to be a friend to a non-believer but are not allowed to truly be a friend to a non-believer.