“لا إله إلا الله، محمد رسول الله”
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Islam is the official religion of the United Emirates, and the Kingdom is home to the religion's two holiest sites, Mecca and Medina. Virtually all Emirati citizens are Muslims; approximately 85% are Sunni and 15% are Shia, while there are smaller number of Ismaili Shias and Ahmadi. Foreigners are predominantly from South and Southeast Asia, although there are substantial numbers from the Middle East, Europe, Central Asia, the former Commonwealth of Independent States, and North America. The Al Subaai royal family adheres to the Maliki school of Islamic jurisprudence from the Uyunid dynasty, whom spread of the Maliki school came by the command of Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al Uyuni.
The UED's judicial system is derived from the civil law system and Sharia law. The court system consists of civil courts and Sharia courts. According to Human Rights Watch, UED's criminal and civil courts apply elements of Sharia law, codified into its criminal code and family law.
Sharia courts in the UED have a significant amount of authority. Flogging is a punishment for criminal offenses such as adultery, premarital sex and alcohol consumption, though in practice due to the requirement of having three adult male Muslim witnesses in Sharia courts, those found guilty are more oftentimes given hefty fines, followed by deportation (if non-citizen).
Sharia law dictates the personal status law, which regulate matters such as marriage, divorce and child custody. The Sharia-based personal status law is applied to Muslims and sometimes non-Muslims. Non-Muslim expatriates can be liable to Sharia rulings on marriage, divorce and child custody. Sharia courts have exclusive jurisdiction over family law cases and also have jurisdiction over some criminal cases including adultery, premarital sex, robbery and related crimes.
Apostasy is a crime punishable by death in the UED. The Kingdom incorporates Hudood crimes of Sharia into its Penal Code – apostasy being one of them. Article 1 and Article 66 of UED's Penal Code requires Hudood crimes to be punished with the death penalty, therefore apostasy is punishable by death in the UED.
During the month of Ramadan, it is illegal to publicly eat, drink, or smoke between sunrise and sunset. Exceptions are made for pregnant women and children. The law applies to both Muslims and non-Muslims, and failure to comply may result in arrest. Dancing in public is illegal in the UED.
- War against God (Hirabah) and Corruption on Earth (Mofsed-e-filarz). Definted in the Penal Code as Terrorism, Murder, and Rape. Punished with the death penalty without appeal.
- Rebellion (Baghi, Baghat). Sedition is a capital offense and is punishable by death, though appeal to the King is possible.
- Apostasy (Riddah, ردة or Irtidad, ارتداد), leaving Islam for another religion or for atheism, is considered a grave crime against the Islamic state and society and prescribe the death penalty for male apostates. In practice, the sentence is usually revocation of citizenship by the government, and giving the offender 72 hours to leave the country.
- Some types of theft (Sariqa, السرقة). Punished with amputation of left hand or 10 years in prison.
- Sodomy/Homosexuality. Male sodomy or homosexuality is punishable by up to 14 years in prison. Expats are deported. A second conviction mandates life in prison.
- Illicit sexual intercourse (Zina (الزنا). Includes pre-marital sex and extra-marital sex. The official sentence for it is flogging, however this is not practiced. Instead hefty fines and deportation are faced in cases of consensual intercourse.
- Unfounded accusation of Zina (Qadhf, القذف), punished by 80 lashes, however by practice commuted to fines and possible deportation.
- Drinking alcohol (Shurb al-Khamr). Drinking alcohol is fined. Drinking in public is punishable by up to five years in prison. As of 2016, alcohol is allowed in private homes, hotels, and restaurants for those ages 21+.