Friends, do you know for nearly 150 years all the non-Muslims in India were ruled by Shariat criminal law?

In this article we shall discuss how, when and by whom Shariat law was applied on Hindus and all non-Muslims in India and how it was finally stopped.

After Babur established the Mughal empire, there were demands from the Islamic clergy, who had high influence over the Mughal emperors to impose Shariat law on the entire population. But, please note, the Hindus (which also included Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains) had their own civil and criminal laws. Hence, no Mughal emperor dared to take this step.

BUT, after Mughal dynasty was firmly established, Aurangzeb took the step of imposing Shariat criminal law over all non-Muslims. He also imposed Jizya tax on all non-Muslims.

He thus brought together hundreds of scholars of Islam from all over the Muslim world to organize such laws. The result was a text jurisprudence in the Hanafi school, known as the Fatawa-e-Alamgiri, meaning “The Religious Decrees of Alamgir”. It was known as the Fatawa al-Hindiya in the rest of the Muslim world and is well-respected as a compendium of Hanafi law.

Using the Fatawa-e-Alamgiri as a guidebook, Aurangzeb sent officials throughout the empire to enact Islamic law. As such, alcoholism, gambling, and prostitution were combated by the imperial government. Shariat Criminal law was imposed on Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Hindus were also punished by stoning to death for adultery, limbs ere amputated for theft etc.

Around 1690A.D., the Shariat was firmly established in areas ruled by Mughals, especially the Northern half of India.  The successive Mughal emperors followed Aurangzeb in keeping the Shariat law imposed over non-Muslims.

How the Hindus got freed from clutches of Shariat finally?

The British started regulating Indian laws immediately after capturing Bengal in 1757.

The Regulating Act, 1773 made first attempts to limit Shariat only to Muslims. The Regulating act, 1773 kept getting amended nearly every 20 years where in the intensity of application of Shariat got gradually reduced.

And the Shariat criminal law was finally abolished in 1860 with the imposition of Indian Penal Code which continues till today (though it has been subject to numerous amendments).

No history book in India teaches this dark chapter. That’s why although Mullah rule is history, Hindus are still behaving like Muslims. There are many Muslim customs followed by Hindus and are actually Islamic traditions (Refer here).

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