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In Malaysia and Indonesia, there is growing support for the implementation of Syariah law as the official law of the land. Ms Hasyimah Ayuni, a Malaysian pursuing a masters degree, feels that as a Muslim, it is her duty to adhere to Islamic principles and believes that Syariah laws should take precedence over other laws in the country. She argues that as Islam covers all aspects of life, it is logical for Malaysia to use Syariah laws instead of the common law system that is currently in place. According to a study by the Pew Research Center, a majority of Malaysian and Indonesian Muslims support the idea of making Syariah the official law of the land, with 86% of Malaysian Muslims and 64% of Indonesian Muslims in favor of this.

Ms Hasyimah’s interest in Syariah law was sparked by a court case in Kelantan that challenged the validity of certain Syariah laws. She believes that these laws, based on sources like the Quran, are the best guarantee for the well-being of both Muslims and non-Muslims. However, there are debates within these communities about the extent to which Syariah regulations should apply, and concerns about how Islam’s influence could affect diversity and social freedoms. Despite these debates, political analyst Azmi Hassan notes that the belief in the superiority of Syariah law is widespread among Malaysian Muslims, regardless of their background or status.

Syariah law provides moral and legal guidance on various aspects of life including marriage, divorce, inheritance, contracts, and criminal punishments. The Pew Research Center study highlights the significant support for Syariah among Muslims in Malaysia and Indonesia. However, the implementation of Syariah law raises questions about its implications for diversity and social freedoms in these countries. While 63.5% of Malaysians are Muslims according to official statistics, the debate surrounding the role of Syariah law in governing these communities continues to evolve.

Ms Hasyimah’s personal journey towards embracing Syariah law reflects a broader trend of growing support for its implementation among Muslim communities in Malaysia and Indonesia. The desire to live in accordance with Islamic principles, coupled with a belief in the superiority of Syariah laws based on religious sources, is driving the push for its adoption as the official law of the land. However, as discussions around the implications of Syariah law for diversity and social freedoms continue, the debate remains complex and multifaceted. Despite differing opinions and perspectives, the belief in the governance of Syariah law as the ultimate form of law among Malaysian Muslims reflects a broader cultural and religious trend within these societies.

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