Following notes on Shariat have been taken from An introduction to Islamic Ideology by Anwar Hashmi.
Shariat literally means “the clear path to be followed”
Shariat means the Canon Law of Islam.
Shariat is the Law of Allah. It is binding upon the Muslims and man has to accept it without question.
It is the knowledge of the rights and duties, whererby a man may fully conduct his life in this world and prepare himself for future life.
Shariat is a complete code of Islamic Law pertaining to the rights and duties of a Muslim.
Shariat objective is to show the best way to man. It is the Law of guidance for the regulation of life in the best interest of man.
“We gave thee a Shari’at in Religoin; follow in and do not follow the lusts of those who do not know.” (Al-Jasiyah: 18)
Shariat is based on four sources
- The Holy Quran
- The Sunnah or practices of Holy Prophet (SAW)
- The Ijma
- And The Qiyas
The Holy Quran:
The Holy Quran is the principle source of Muslims Law.
Quran was revealed in 23 Years.
Zaid Bin Sabit (Katib-e-Wahy) was dictated to write Quranic verses.
Quran has 114 Surahs. 93 Surahs are Makki while 21 are
After the Death of Holy Prophet (SAW) Hazrat Abu Bakr, sent and expedition against Musailma, a false Prophet, wherein during the course of battle 70 Huffaz were killed.
Hazrat Umar advised Hazrat Abu Bakr to get the verses and chapters of the Holy Quran compiled in the form of a Book so that no portion of the Holy Book should be lost.
Hazrat Usman appointed Zaid bin Sabit the Chairman of the Committee for compiling Quran in 651 A.D. They made seven or eight copies of the Quran from the Standard edition and sent to the different provincial governors.
Later, Hajjaj bin Yousuf, the Ummayyad Governor of Iraq inserted vowel points (Airab or Harkat) in the Quran.
Hadith or Sunnah:
The Hadith or Sunnah is the secondary source of Muslim Law.
Hadith literally means ‘saying’ and Sunnah means the doings of the Holy Prophet (SAW)
The chief characteristic of the Holy Prophet (SAW) is that, he not only gave practical rules of guidance, but also gave in his life a practical illustration of all those rule.
“He who tires of my (Prophet’s) Sunnah does not belong to me”
Therefore every Muslim requires, in addition to the Holy Quran, the guidance of Sunnah and Hadith for his life.
Ijma constitutes the third source of Muslim Law (Shariat).
Ijma literally means “agreeing upon” or uniting in opinion”
Ijma is defined as “Consensus of opinion of the companions of the Prophet or of the Muslim jurists on a question of Law.”
Ijma is of two kinds:
If all the Mujtahids of an age give threi consent to a particular point, it is called Ijma-i-Azimah.
If there is no unanimity among the Mujtahid’s on a point but the community as a whole accepts the decision given by some Mujtahids it is Ijma-i-Rukhsah.
There is a difference of opinion regarding the place and position of Ijma. Some say that Ijma is confined to a particular people, But the modern jurists are of opinions that Ijma should not be confined to any age or generation or any country. It is the consensus of opinion of the majority of the jurists in any age and any country.
For complexities in various mattes for which there were no directions or decision in the Holy Quran or Hadith there was the necessity of finding out new ruels and regulations on the basis of Quran and Hadith. There were mutual consultations among the companions or the jurists. The decision on which all the companions or jurists or majority of them agreed is called Ijma.
The Holy Quran says: “Do not like those who separated and divided after they had received the clear proofs.”
And again: “Obey the Prophet and obey those who have authorities among you….”
Hadith Sharif refers:
“He who opposes the people’s decision will die the death of man who died in the days of ignorance…”
“IF anything comes to you for decision, decide according to the Book of Allah, if anything comes to you which is not in the book of Allah, then look to the Sunnah of the Prophet, if anything comes to you which is not in the Sunnah of the Prophet then look to what people unanimously agreed upon”
Qiyas is the fourth important source of Shariat.
Qiyas literally means “comparing with” or “judging by comparing with a thing”.
Qiyas is an anlogical deduction from three sources of law, namely ; the Quran, the Sunnah, and Ijma.
Qiyas is used in those cases which are not discussed in the Holy Quran, in the Sunnah or in the Ijma.
For instance, when the Prophet was sending Muaz bin Jabal as a Governor, he asked him as to what he would do if a new problem arose, He said that he would follow the Quran; if it is not clear in the Quran, he would follow the Sunnah of the Prophet and if the Sunnah of the Prophet failed to satisfy him he would use his own judgement (Qiyas). The prophet appreciated his reply and encouraged him to exercise his individual judgement.