Islamic Sharia Law in Present Day Nigeria

Among the Hausa, kings, and chiefs accepted Islam. Some were very devout and contributed to spreading religion. Whether devout or not, the rulers benefited from the opportunities associated with Islam: the wealth of the trans-Saharan trade, the spread of ideas from North Africa, and the ability to forge diplomatic relations with Muslim rulers elsewhere.Islam an established system of public revenue based on tax and a judiciary based on the Sharia law and the alkali courts, started presided over by learned Islamic jurists. The Islamic jurisprudence or Sharia law was allowed to be followed, but people started to practice it by combining the sharia laws with their new existing beliefs and this was obviously in their own interest as they were used to mold their religion accordingly.No doubt Sharia has always been a notion of conflict among Muslims and Christians in Nigeria. As Islam was being introduced into northern Nigeria in the 14th century, Muslims applied the Islamic law Sharia to their everyday lifestyle as they were bound to do so being Muslims and even those Muslims who were in favor of religious freedom, they also felt it hard to cope up with the ‘Sharia’ law.The conflict started with the advent of British rule when the Muslims started feeling unsecured with a disrupted legal system because Nigerian Muslims particularly those of North was not in a position to tolerate any obstruction in between them and the ‘Sharia’ but at the same time they were bound to follow the legal system according to which the Sharia courts came under the supervision of Europeans probably the Christians. While recognizing Sharia law and courts, the British also restricted them in several respects. The 1906 Proclamation limited the application of Sharia to Muslims and provided that these courts could not give certain punishments, such as mutilation, torture, or others which wererepugnant to “natural justice and humanity.”