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What is Islamic sharia law?

What is Islamic sharia law

Islamic sharia law

In this article we will learn about Islamic sharia law, what is it and what are its sources, if you want to learn about it then keep reading.

What is meant by Sharia Islamic law?

Islamic Sharia means to apply Allah’s and the prophet’s commands in all matters of life, the Islamic law is built upon the understanding of these rules.

What are the 5 rules of Sharia?

Islamic shariah divides human actions into five categories which include: obligatory, recommended, permitted, disliked, and forbidden.

Obligatory actions are the actions that must be performed like the five daily prayers, performing them will grant you many rewards. Forbidden action is completely the opposite, like stealing, this is an act that is considered a bad deed and is forbidden by Allah and the Islamic rules. Recommended are the actions that are good to do but you don’t have to do them if you don’t want to, like fasting on the white days of every month, it’s a good deed that will grant you many rewards but you don’t have to perform it.

Permitted actions are the actions that there is nothing wrong with doing it, while disliked are the ones that a person shouldn’t do, but still, some people do it anyway.

Most actions fall under the category of permitted actions, Allah rewards humans for their intentions, and the prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) said: “Actions are by intentions, and one shall only get that which one intended.”

The Islamic Sharia covers all the aspects of life including personal acts of worship, and laws that regulate the Islamic Approach to Business and commercial dealings, in addition to marriage and divorce laws.

What is an example of a Sharia law?

One example of a Sharia law is the right of women to carry their own name not having to change it after marriage like what happens in western countries. There are many other examples like the ones regarding inheritance, and child custody. You could learn more about it from Adult Islamic Books and Islamic books.

Islamic law

Islamic law and sharia differ from western law significantly, it not only regulates the relationship between people, state, and crimes. It also includes the relationship between a person and Allah, like the five daily prayers, charity works, and pilgrimage.

The Islamic sharia regulates what Muslims are allowed to do and what is forbidden, there are punishments for committing a forbidden act.

What are the sources of Sharia law?

The Facilitating Jurisprudence mainly came from the understanding of the Quran and sunnah which are used to build Islamic Law. Sometimes the answer to specific matters is not found in Quran or Sunnah, therefore, Islamic scholars use the consensus, and Qiyas to come up with an answer.

1-     The Quran. Quran is the word of Allah that guides humans to the right path, the word of Allah carries answers and instructions to all aspects of life. And that is the main reference for Islamic sharia and law. Sometimes the answer to a matter is not mentioned in the Quran there for scholars turn to one of the other three sources.

2-     The Sunnah: Sunnah refers to the hadiths of the prophet that were documented. It shows us how the prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) used to deal with life situations and his practices. Also, it includes the prophet’s answers to questions regarding legal rulings on various matters.  

3-     Ijma’ (Consensus): if the answer is not found in Quran or Sunnah, scholars turn to the consensus of the scholars based on their understanding of the Quran and Sunnah.

4-     Qiyas (Analogy): if the answer is not found in any of the above sources, then scholars depend on reasoning, and legal precedent to decide new case law. Let’s take an example, smoking wasn’t mentioned in Quran and sunnah because it wasn’t invented in the past therefore when the scholars came up with their rule that says smoking is forbidden, they came to this answer from the prophet saying “Do not harm yourselves or others”. And since smoking is bad for health then it should be forbidden for all Muslims.    

There are four main Islamic doctrines, they are Shafi school, the Hanafi school, the Hanbali school, and the Maliki school. Here is a little information about each one of them and how they came up with their rules.

1- Shafi school

The Shafi doctrine was founded by Muhammad ibn Idris al-Shāfi who was born in 767 AD and died in 802 AD. He was born in Gaza. Al-Shafi’s father died when he was still a little boy, so his mother took him to live with her in Mecca at the age of two years old. He memorized the whole Quran when he was seven and when he was 10, and he memorized Muwatta Malik when he was ten years old.

Al-Shafi said in his book ‘Al-Umm wa Al-Risala’ that his doctrine is based on the closest to Quran and sunnah or what is known among the Companions without disagreement

The approach of Imam Al-Shafi’i in his doctrine:

 Al-Shafi’i explained his method of ijtihad that he relies on as:

The holy Qur’an, the Sunnah of the Prophet, and consensus. The Holy Qur’an is without disagreement the first reference. As for the rest of the references, they are:

  •   Al-Sunnah: Al-Shafi’i considers that the Noble Qur’an and the Sunnah are in the same rank in terms of inference. He also sees that the Sunnah abrogates the Sunnah, but the Qur’an does not abrogate the Sunnah. And if there is any conflict between the Quran and Sunnah then he takes the answer from the Quran.
  •   Ijma’: Al-Shafi’i believes that consensus is an argument, and it cannot be mistaken for it. The Companion’s saying: Al-Shafi’i did not consider the statement of the Companion to be an argument.
  •   Qiyas: Al-Shafi’i is considered an analogy, but without any expansion.
  •   Approval and sent interests: Al-Shafi’i did not take approval and sent interests and did not consider them as a basis for legislation.

2- Hanafi school

This doctrine was founded by Imam Abu Hanifa, his full name is al-Numan bin Thabit bin Zuti al-Kufi, his origins were Persian. He was in the year 80 AH and died in the year 180 AH. Abu Hanifa was the name that everyone called him by. He was known for his honesty. Imam Abu Hanifa knew about twenty companions and heard hadith from seven of them.

He said that his doctrines are based on ijtihad, he explained that he takes the answer from the Holy Quran and then the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him).

The approach of Imam Hanafi in his doctrine:

The holy Qur’an and the Sunnah: he relied his answer mainly on the holy Quran.

  •   Consensus.
  •   The Companion’s Fatwa: he took the answer from the Companion’s opinion if there is no conflict between them. 
  •   Istihsan: Imam Ahmad used to use it when necessary.

3-     The Maliki school of the Islamic sharia.

The founder of the doctrine is Malik bin Anas bin Malik bin Amer, his nickname is Abu Abdullah. His grandfather Malik is one of the senior followers and his grandfather Amer is one of the companions of the Messenger of God (peace and blessing be upon him). Imam Malik was born in the year 93 AH and died in 179 AH. Before he takes the answer from the hadiths he first ensures that the hadith is a strong hadith, not a weak one.

The approach of Imam Malik in the doctrine:

The sources he took his answers from are many including the holy Quran, Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him), analogy, and consensus.

  •   Sunnah: Imam Malik used to argue with the transmitted hadith. The saying of the companion: Imam Malik used to take the saying of the companion and consider it from the Sunnah, as he used to take the saying of the follower.
  •   The saying of the companion: Imam Malik used to take the saying of the companion and consider it from the Sunnah, as he used to take the saying of the follower.
  •   The analogy: Imam Malik used it as evidence, like all other imams.

The sent interest: Imam Malik is the only imam who invoked the sent interests if they were reasonable and appropriate to the purposes of the Sharia, as he took the principle of blocking excuses in most chapters of jurisprudence.

4- Hanbali school:

The founder of the sect is Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, born in 164 AH and died in 241 AH. He was raised as an orphan and his mother raised him well. Their social conditions were difficult, and among the clear characteristics of his personality was self-esteem. He was also patient.

Imam Hanbali doctrine approach:

 Imam Hanbali was an imam in hadith and jurisprudence, and he had specific methods of ijtihad which include the following:

  •   Presenting the texts of the Qur’an and the Sunnah: With regard to the Sunnah, he did not present anything on the correct hadith from an opinion or a companion’s statement or analogy, as he also argued with the transmitted hadith.
  •   Consensus: Imam Ahmad used to say that unanimity abstained, and limited it to the consensus of the Companions.
  •   The Companion’s Fatwa: He used to take the fatwa of the Companions if he was not in conflict.
  •   Measurement: Imam Ahmad used it when necessary.
  •   Istihsan: he used to use it when necessary.
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