Sunday 18 March 2018

Muslim (Sharia) Law & Jurisprudence - Quran, Sunnah, Ijma, Qiyas and Ijtehad

Muslim Law & Jurisprudence


The Islamic law is referred to as “Sharia Law’. Islam has given the most comprehensive legal system to mankind. Islam has its own personal, civil, criminal, evidence and internation. There are five
basic Sources of Islamic Law
1) The Quran
3) The ijma
4) Qiyas
5) ijtehad

(1) The Quran

Since the text of the Quran is held to be the very word of Almighty
God Himself, it almost goes without saying that the Quran is not
only a source of Sharia but the primary material source.

It is criticised that Quran is not a code of law because of two
main reasons. Firstly, it is argued that Quran is rather a moral
code determining ones way of life. Secondly, it is also said that
Quran is not a code of law as out of its 6666 verses, no more than
about 600 deal with specifically legal matters.

However, one must remember that, unlike western legal systems,
the Sharia makes no distinction between religious and civil
matters; it is the codification of God’s Law, and it concerns itself
with every aspect of legal, social, political and religious life.
Secondly, information is judged by its quality not quantity. It is the
Quran that identifies six specific crimes against religion i.e. ‘Hadd
Punishments” The Quranic legislation also covers a range of
other topics, e.g. homicide, marriage, divorce and inheritance.
There is an authentic hadith of the Prophet that “He who knows the law of inheritance is possessed of half the knowledge of the
world” But if we look at the Quran, the complete outline of the
law of inheritance is encapsulated within only three verses (11, 12
and 176) of Surah Al-Nisa and Ijma and Qiyas, which give the
details of succession, derive their authority from these three
verses only.

No description, however, can fully capture the great importance of
the Quran to Muslims. Objectively, it is the foundation and
framework of Islamic law, and its primary material source.

(2) Sunnah

The Sunna is the second most important source of Islamic law. It
comprises the practices and precedents set by the Prophet
Muhammad himself. The authority of the Sunna ¡s derived from
the text of the Quran. Because the circumstances of each
revelation were thought necessary to correct interpretation, it was
imperative to gather as many traditions as possible about the
actions of the Prophet to fully understand the Quran.

The Sunna clarifies the ambiguities of the Quran. The Quranic
injunction is sometimes implicit; the Sunnah makes it explicit by
providing essential ingredients and details. The details of the acts
of prayer, fasting, alms-giving and pilgrimage were all illustrated
by the Sunna of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him). Again, it was
established by the Sunna that a killer cannot inherit from the
property of his victim. Thus, for answers to many problems to
which the Quran offers no solution jurists turn to the second
source of Islamic Law. For, according to the Quran itself, Prophet
Muhammad was not only in possessions of the Book; he was also
endowed with Wisdom.

But the wide legislative role of the Sunna cannot overcome that
of the Quran because it lacks originality in itself; rather it is just
the elaborations of the Quran put into the practice by the Prophet.
The Words of the Quran are of Divine origin while the words of
the Hadith are words of the prophet reported by people. And it
is obvious that divine words have the utmost precedence.
Secondly, after the death of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him), it
was not earlier than two and a half centuries that the written
hadith compilation from religious scholars came onto the scene
and a lot of fabrication took place into that period.
But Quran is the only book of Allah which has not been distorted and thus It is the only reliable source of Islamic law. There is an authentic
tradition of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) in which he is
reported to have said that if you find any tradition of mine
contrary to the instructions of Quran, then leave my tradition and
follow the Quran.

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