National Profiles > Regions > Western Asia > Oman
Search National Profiles:

  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Ibadi

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Ibadi Muslim (49.8%)

Features Of Constitution

Is there a constitution?3 No, but law functions in its place
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion?3 No


Constitution Year4 not applicable
Last Amended4 not applicable
Source4 International Constitutional Law (ICL)
Translation4 Source is an English translation
Current as of4 May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)4

[ARDA Note: Royal Decree No. 101/96, excerpted below and issued in 1996, functions as Basic Law in Oman; there is no formal constitution.]

Article 1 [Sovereignty]

The Sultanate of Oman is an independent, Arab, Islamic, fully sovereign state with Muscat as its capital.

Article 2 [Religion]

The religion of the State is Islam and the Islamic Shariah is the basis of legislation.

Article 5 [Form of Government]

The system of government is an hereditary Sultanate in which succession passes to a male descendant of Sayyid Turki bin Said bin Sultan. It is a condition that the male who is chosen to rule should be an adult Muslim of sound mind and a legitimate son of Omani Muslim parents.

Article 7 [Oath of the Sultan]

Before exercising his powers the Sultan shall swear the following oath at a joint session of the Oman and Defense Councils:
"I swear by Almighty God to respect the Basic Law of the State and the Laws, to fully protect the interests and freedoms of the citizens, and to preserve the independence of the country and its territorial integrity."

Article 10 [Political Principles]

The political principles are:
- Preserving the State's independence and sovereignty, protecting its security and stability, and defending it against all forms of aggression.
- Reinforcing co-operation and reaffirming ties of friendship with all States and peoples on a basis of mutual respect, common interest, non-interference in internal affairs, compliance with international and regional charters and treaties, and the generally recognized principles of international law, in a manner conducive to the promotion of peace and security between States and Peoples.
- Laying suitable foundations for the establishment of the pillars of genuine Shura Consultation, based on the national heritage, its values and its Islamic Shariah, and on pride in its history, while incorporating such contemporary manifestations as are appropriate.
- Establishing a sound administrative system that guarantees justice, tranquility and equality for citizens, ensures respect for public order and safeguards the higher interests of the country.

Article 11 [Economic Principles]

…Inheritance is a right governed by the Shariah of Islam…

Article 17 [Citizen Equality, No Discrimination]

All citizens are equal before the Law, and they are equal in public rights and duties. There shall be no discrimination between them on the grounds of gender, origin, color, language, religion, sect, domicile or social status.

Article 28 [Religion]

The freedom to practice religious rites in accordance with recognized customs is guaranteed provided that it does not disrupt public order or conflict with accepted standards of behavior.

Article 50 [Oath of Ministers]

Before assuming their powers the Prime Minister, his Deputies, and Ministers shall swear the following oath in the presence of the Sultan:
"I swear by Almighty God that I shall be faithful to my Sultan and my Country, that I shall respect the Basic Law of the State and its implementing regulations; that I shall uphold at all times the integrity of the State and the security of its territories, and shall work to promote fully its interests and the interests of its citizens, and that I shall discharge my duties truly and honestly."


1.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Government Religious Preference (GRP) measures government-level favoritism toward, and disfavor against, 30 religious denominations. A series of ordered categorical variables index the state's institutional favoritism in 28 different ways. The variables are combined to form five composite indices for five broad components of state-religion: official status, religious education, financial support, regulatory burdens, and freedom of practice. The five components' composites in turn are further combined into a single composite score, the GRP score. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson the principal investigator of the World Christian Database and the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.

2.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports the estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. The RCS was created to fulfill the unmet need for a dataset on the religious dimensions of countries of the world, with the state-year as the unit of observation. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivision within Christianity and Islam. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson the principal investigator of the World Christian Database and the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.

3.  Data under the "Features of Constitution" heading are drawn from coding of the U.S. State Department's 2008 International Religious Freedom Reports conducted by researchers at the Association of Religion Data Archives. The article by Brian Grim and Roger Finke describes the coding of the International Religious Freedom reports. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.

4.  The constitutional excerpts shown above are reproduced from the websites given in the "Source" field; the links to these websites were active as of May 2011. Where the constitutional text shown on these websites was provided in a language other than English, this text was translated to English by ARDA staff with assistance from web-based translation utilities such as Google Translate and Yahoo! Babel Fish. Constitutional text was converted to American English where applicable. Constitutional clauses were judged to contain religious content based largely on the standards used in the construction of the Religion and State Constitutions Dataset collected by Jonathan Fox. Emphases were added to the text by ARDA staff to highlight religious content in articles that also contain content that does not pertain to matters of religion. The data on this page were correct to the best of the knowledge of the ARDA as of the date listed in the "Current as of" field shown above. Please contact us at if you are aware of any incorrect information provided on this page.

Bookmark and Share