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Islam / Sharia /
Arabic: madhhab



Madhhabs by country
Algeria Maliki; Ibadi minority
Bahrain Jafari (Shi'i); Shafi'i and Maliki (Sunni)
Egypt Hanafi
Iran Jafari (Shi'i); Hanafi (Sunni)
Iraq Jafari (Shi'i); Hanafi (Sunni)
Israel Hanafi, some Shafi'i
Jordan Hanafi
Kuwait Maliki (Sunni); Jafari (Shi'i)
Lebanon Hanafi (Sunni); Jafari (Shi'i)
Libya Maliki; Ibadi minority
Mauritania Maliki
Morocco Maliki
Oman Ibadi majority, Shafi'i (Sunni)
Palestine Hanafi, some Shafi'i
Qatar Hanbali
Saudi Arabia Hanbali (Sunni); Jafari (Shi'i)
Sudan Hanafi, some Maliki
Syria Hanafi
Tunisia Maliki (also Hanafi)
Turkey Hanafi
United Arab Emirates Hanbali (Sunni); Jafari (Shi'i)
Western Sahara Maliki
Yemen Shafi'i (Sunni); Zaydi Shi'i school

In Islam, a complete system within Muslim Law, Sharia. The madhhabs are often referred to as 'schools' of Sharia.
In Sunni Islam, there are 4 madhhabs, Hanafi, Hanbali, Maliki and Shafi'i. In Twelver Shi'i Islam there is only one madhhab, the school of Jafari. Ibadi Islam also has a madhhab, though not independently named.
Madhhab may also be used to indicate ideology beyond Sharia, but this is a little used meaning of the term.
The 4 madhhabs of Sunni Islam today are really just the survivors of a number of madhhabs defined in the early centuries of Islam. Other important, but extinct madhhabs were the ones of Abu Thawr (dead 854) and at-Tabari (dead 923). A consensus of uniform acceptance has been formed between the 4 schools, and in some societies a Muslim may shift between different madhhabs depending on his personal views and the case in matter.
Despite how hard it may be for the outsider to comprehend, the 4 schools have arrived at the point of accepting other madhhabs as legitimate. This may be deduced to the schools being substantially similar in important matters, while there still are a great number of differences between them.

By Tore Kjeilen