List Of States Practicing Shari’a Law In Nigeria (2024)

This article will provide you with a detailed list of all the States in Nigeria that are actively practicing Shari’a law as of this year 2024. Nigeria, a country renowned for its multi-ethnic people and rich culture, is equally renowned for its distinctive legal system. One of the distinguishing characteristics of various Nigerian States is the application of Shari’a law, which is based on Islamic principles. As of this year 2024, some States have enacted Shari’a law in varying degrees alongside the federal legal framework. A brief history and the outcome of the current situation of Shari’a law in Nigeria is provided in this blog post.

List Of States Practicing Shari'a Law In Nigeria


Since centuries past, Shari’a law, also known as Islamic law, has been in effect in Nigeria, especially in the Northern part of the country where Islam has a stronghold. It was initially implemented in the pre-colonial period and, after Nigeria got independence in 1960, coexisted with British colonial law. However, the modernization of Shari’a law picked up steam in the 1990s, which led to discussions and arguments about whether it was compatible with Nigeria’s secular constitution. Today, as many as twelve (12) States in the North have adopted and implemented this law.

Since 1999, when then-Zamfara State governor Ahmad Sani Yerima started advocating for the institution of Shari’a at the State level of Government, twelve Muslim-majority States in Nigeria have adopted it as the primary body of civil and criminal law. In that year, the twelve States adopted full Shari’a law, and they established Islamic legal organizations such the Shari’a Commission, the Zakat Commission, and the Hisbah, or “a group expected to promote Islamic virtue while discouraging vice”. We shall briefly discuss each of these States practicing Shari’a law as we continue.


Shari’a law has been implemented into various Nigerian States to differing degrees, particularly in the areas of family law and private concerns. The following States are recognized for upholding Shari’a law in Nigeria this 2024:


In 2000, Zamfara State became the first in Nigeria to fully implement Shari’a law. Both civil and criminal concerns are covered by the implementation. Crimes including stealing, adultery, and drinking while intoxicated are punishable by the amputation and flogging under Shari’a law.


In 2000, Kano State partially enacted Shari’a law, mostly affecting matters of personal status including marriage, divorce, and inheritance. Shari’a courts handle family problems in accordance with Islamic principles, although criminal trials are still handled by the secular legal system.


In Sokoto State, Shari’a law was first implemented in 2000 with a focus on personal status issues. Shari’a courts have been formed by the State to handle matters like inheritance, divorce, and marriage in line with Islamic law.


In 2000, Katsina State enacted Shari’a law, which mostly impacted family and personal concerns. Shari’a courts were formed by the government to deal with issues like marriage and inheritance that fall under Islamic law.


In 2001, Bauchi State also adopted Shari’a law, which prioritized domestic and personal issues. In order to handle matters like marriage, divorce, and inheritance, Shari’a courts were founded, giving people a different legal option.


In 2001, Borno State adopted Shari’a legislation. Personal status disputes are heard by the State’s Shari’a courts, whose rulings are influenced by Islamic law.


In 2001, the Niger State enacted Shari’a legislation, mostly for personal status issues. In order to resolve family-related cases according to Islamic principles, Shari’a courts were founded.


In 2001, Gombe State implemented Shari’a law with a focus on domestic and private issues. Shari’a courts in the State handle matters including marriage, divorce, and inheritance in accordance with Islamic law.

Other States in Nigeria practicing Shari’a Law include:

  • Jigawa State
  • Yobe State
  • Kaduna State, and
  • Kebbi State


There is support for and opposition to the imposition of Shari’a law in several Nigerian States. While supporters claim that it enables a legal framework for Muslims that is more in line with their culture, skeptics raise issues with potential human rights breaches and clashes with the National legal system. The subtleties and differences in how Shari’a law is applied in each State in Northern Nigeria illustrate the intricate interactions between religion, culture, and government in Nigeria. Finding a harmony between religious beliefs and constitutional rights is still a difficult task that calls for careful thought and discussion as the country evolves.

Ezeh Emmanuella

Ezeh Emmanuella is an information enthusiast and the Editor of Nigerian Search Guide. She loves to answer search queries on everything Nigeria. She is also the brain behind Ellacious Designs, an emerging fashion brand in Nigeria today.

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