Ramizah Wan Muhammad(1), Mohamed Affan Shafy(2*)

(1) Scopus ID : 56896961200, Facultyt of Law, International Islamic University Malaysia
(*) Corresponding Author



Malaysia operates a federal parliamentary system. The Constitution recognises Islam as the Federation's religion with the proviso that other religions be practised in peace. Islamic law exists alongside common law. This study analyses how the two laws are harmonised and the features of Islamic law in operation. This paper qualitatively analyses the Federal Constitution of Malaysia and examines the features of Islamic law it contains. In particular, this paper studies the current establishment of Syariah courts, its criminal mandate, the enforcement, and Syariah approach in practice in Malaysian federal territories. This paper's findings may help the improvement and betterment of Islamic law, particularly in harmonising common law jurisdiction with Syariah.



Malaysia menggunakan sistem federal parlementer. Konstitusinya mengakui Islam sebagai agama federasi dengan aturan agama lain boleh dipraktikkan dalam damai. Hukum Islam hadir bersandingan dengan common law. Penelitian ini menganalisis sikap dimana kedua hukum bisa harmonis dan fitur hukum Islam dalam praktiknya. Tulisan ini secara kualitatif menganalisis Konstitusi Federal Malaysia dan memeriksa fitur hukum Islam di dalamnya. Secara khusus, tulisan ini mempelajari pembentukan pengadilan Syariah saat ini, mandat pidananya, penegakannya, dan pendekatan Syariah dalam praktik di teritori federal Malaysia. Penemuan dari tulisan ini dapat membantu mengembangkan dan memperbaiki Hukum Islam terutama harmonisasi antara yurisdiksi common law dan Syariah.


Syariah; Criminal Law; Syariah Courts Malaysia

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A. Book

Laldin, Mohamad Akram, 2008, Shariah and Islamic Jurisprudence, CERT Publications, Kuala Lumpur.

B. Journal Articles

Alam, Shahin & Yazid, Tareq M., “Islamic law and Legal System: Is Islamic law “a Non-National System of Law?”, 4 ShLR I, 2016.

Ismail, Siti, et al., “Faith and Freedom: The Qur’anic Notion of Freedom of Religion vs. the Act of Changing Religion and Thoughts on the Implications for Malaysia, Religions, Vol. 7, No. 7, June, 2016.

Moustafa, Tamir, “The Politics of Religious Freedom in Malaysia”, Maryland Journal of International Law, Vol. 29, No. 1, June, 2014.

Muhammad, R. W., et al., “Challenges in the Enforcement of Shariah Criminal Offences in Selangor: Between Perception and Reality”, Pertanika Journal of Social Science & Humanities, Vol. 23, No. S, October, 2015.

Muhammad, Ramizah Wan, “The Administration of Syariah Courts in Malaysia, 1957–2009” Journal of Islamic Law and Culture, Vol. 13, No. 2–3, October, 2011.

Shuaib, Farid S., “The Islamic Legal System in Malaysia”, Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal, Vol. 21, No.1 January, 2012.

Steiner, Kerstin, “Branding Islam: Islam, Law, and Bureaucracies in Southeast Asia”, Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, Vol. 37, No. 1, April, 2018.

C. Research

Hussin, Nasimah, Muhammad, Ramizah Wan, and Zawawi, Majdah, “Punishment under the Criminal Jurisdiction of Shari’ah Courts of Malaysia: Issues and Prospect for Reform”, in 2nd Global Conference: Reframing Punishment: Opportunities and Problems, Sydney, 2013.

Norani Othman, “Islam, Constitution, Citizenship Rights and Justice in Malaysia”, Islam and the Rule of Law: Between Sharia and Secularization Conference, Berlin, 2008.

D. Miscellaneous

Auf, Yussef, “Islam and Sharia Law: Historical, Constitutional and Political Context in Egypt”, Atlantic Council: Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, 2016,

Hung, Helen Ting Mu, “The Politics of Hudud Law Implementation in Malaysia”. ISEAS, No. 04, 2016.

Prud’homme, Jo-anne, “Policing Belief: The Impact of Blasphemy Laws on Human Rights.” A Freedom House Special Report, 2010.

E. Malaysian Legislations

The Administration of Islamic Law (Federal Territories) Act, 1993. (Act 505).

The Federal Constitution, 1957. (Act 373).

The Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act, 1965. (Act 23).

The Syariah Criminal Procedure (Federal Territories) Act. 1997. (Act 560).


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