Saudi Arabia
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Sunni

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Sunni Muslim (24.4%)

Features Of Constitution

Is there a constitution?3 no, but law functions in its place
Does the constitution state an official religion?3 yes [Basic Law, Article 1]
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion?3 no
Does the constitution protect religious equality/non-discrimination?3 no

Constitution

Constitution Year3 1992
Last Amended3 2013
Source3 Constitute Project
Translation3 Source is an English translation, edited by ARDA staff.
Current as of3 September 24, 2018

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)3

Basic Law (2013)

Article 1.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a[n] ... Islamic State.

Religion: Islam

Constitution: The Holy Qur’an and the Prophet's Sunnah (traditions)

Article 2.

Its national holidays:

• Eid Al-Fitr (a religious feast celebrated on the 1st of Shawal, the 10th month of the Islamic calendar)

• Eid Al-Ad-ha (a religious feast celebrated on the 10th of Dhul-Hijj ah, the 12th month of the Islamic calendar)

Calendar: Hijira (Lunar)

Article 3.

Its national flag:

...

Article of faith (translated as "There is no God but Allah, Muhammad is Allah's Messenger") inscribed in the centre ...

Article 5.

...

(b) ... The most eligible among [the ruling dynasty] shall be invited, through the process of "bai’ah", to rule in accordance with the Book of God and the Prophet’s Sunnah.

Article 6.

Citizens shall pledge allegiance to the King on the basis of the Book of God and the Prophet’s Sunnah ...

Article 7.

The regime derives its power from the Holy Qur’an and the Prophet's Sunnah which rule over this and all other State Laws.

Article 8.

The system of government in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is established on the foundation of justice, "Shoura" and equality in compliance with the Islamic Shari’ah (the revealed law of Islam).

Article 9.

The family ... shall be brought up imbued with the Islamic Creed which calls for obedience to God, His Messenger and those of the nation who are charged with authority ...

Article 10.

The State shall take great pains ... to preserve its ... Islamic values. ...

Article 11.

The Saudi society shall hold fast to the Divine Rope. ...

Article 13.

Education aims at the inculcation of the Islamic creed in the young generation ...

Article 14.

All God-given resources of the country ... shall be owned by the State as specified by the law. ...

Article 17.

Ownership, capital and labour ... are private rights that serve a social function in conformity with Islamic Shari’ah.

Article 21.

Zakat (poor-tax) shall be levied and dispensed to its legitimate beneficiaries.

Article 23.

The State shall protect the Islamic Creed and shall cater to the application of Shari’ah.

The State shall enjoin good and forbid evil, and shall undertake the duties of the call to Islam.

Article 24.

The State shall maintain and serve the Two Holy Mosques. It shall ensure the security and safety of all those who call at the Two Holy Mosques so that they may be able to visit or perform the pilgrimage and "Umrah" (minor pilgrimage) in comfort and ease.

Article 25.

The State shall be keen to realize the aspirations of the Arab Muslim nations ...

Article 26.

The State shall protect human rights in accordance with Islamic Shari’ah.

Article 29.

The State ... shall preserve Arab and Islamic heritage and shall contribute to Arab, Islamic and human civilization.

Article 33.

The State shall build and equip the armed forces to defend the Islamic faith, the Two Holy Mosques ...

Article 34.

Defending the Islamic faith, the society and the homeland shall be the duty of each and every citizen. ...

Article 45.

The source of Ifta (religious ruling) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the Holy Qur’an and the Prophet’s Sunnah. The law shall specify the composition of the Senior Ulema Board and of the Administration of Religious Research and Ifta and its jurisdictions.

Article 46.

... In discharging their duties, the judges bow to no authority other than that of Islamic Shari’ah.

Article 48.

Courts shall apply the provisions of Islamic Shari’ah to cases brought before them, according to the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and the Prophet’s Sunnah as well as other regulations issued by the Head of State in strict conformity with the Holy Qur’an and the Prophet’s Sunnah.

Article 55.

The King shall undertake to rule according to the rulings of Islam and shall supervise the application of Shari’ah ...

Article 57.

...

(b) The Deputy Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers shall be jointly responsible before the King for the applications of Islamic Shari’ah ...

...

Article 67.

Acting within its term of reference, the Organizational Power shall draw up regulations and by-laws to safeguard public interests or eliminate corruption in the affairs of the State in accordance with the rulings of the Islamic Shari’ah. ...

Shura Council Law (1992)

Article 1.

In compliance with Allah Almighty words:

[Those who respond to their Lord, and establish regular prayer; who (conduct) their affairs by mutual consultation; who spend out of what we bestow on them for sustenance] "Shura Sura (Chapter XLII), Verse 38." And [It is part of the Mercy of Allah that thou dost deal gently with them. Wert thou severe or harsh-hearted , they would have broken away from about thee : so pass over ( their faults , and ask for (Allah’s ) forgiveness for them ; and consult them in affairs (of moment). Then, when thou hast taken a decision, put thy trust in Allah. For Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)] "Al-Imran Sura (Chapter III), Verse 159."

And following His Messenger Peace Be Upon Him (PBUH) in consulting his Companions, and urging the (Muslim) Nation to engage in consultation. Shura Council shall be established to exercise the tasks entrusted to it, according to this Law and the Basic Law of Governance while adhering to Quran and the Path (Sunnah) of his Messenger (PBUH), maintaining brotherly ties and cooperating unto righteousness and piety.

Article 2.

The Shura Council shall hold fast to the bond of Allah and adhere to the sources of Islamic legislation. ...

Article 11.

[Oath of office:] "I swear to Allah Almighty to be loyal to my religion ..."

Law of the Provinces (1994)

Preamble

With the help of God, ...

Article 6.

[Oath of office:] "I swear to Allah Almighty to be loyal to my religion ..."

Article 7.

Every emir ... is expected to do the following:

...

• Guarantee human rights and freedom, refrain from any action which affects such rights and freedom except within the limits provided by the Sharia and the Law,

...


Sources

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, the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.

2.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports annual estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivisions 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, the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.

3.  Text from country constitutions was copied from primary documents obtained online using a variety of sources, including the Constitute Project, World Constitutions Illustrated, and government sources. When the text was in a language other than English, it was translated to English by ARDA staff or with web-based translation utilities such as Google Translate. Emphases were added to the text by ARDA staff to differentiate religious content from non-religious content. Text is current to the date listed in the "Current as of" field shown above. Please contact us at support@thearda.com if you are aware of any incorrect information provided on this page.

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