Sharia, Islamic law, has applied in several provinces in northern Nigeria since the beginning of this century. It sentences people to death for adultery, murder, homosexuality and once for blasphemy. None of these death sentences have yet been carried out.
The death penalty for blasphemy involved a cleric from a Sufi community, a movement within Islam that is considered heretical to some other Muslims. Sharif also belongs to a Sufi order. It is unclear exactly what the man sang. The singer has a month to appeal against the death penalty.
The court also sentenced a thirteen-year-old boy to ten years in prison for insulting Allah during an altercation with a friend.