While believing fully in Allah and His Messenger and other things which are the part of an abstract
faith, and an elaborated faith, a Muslim needs some rules and regulations to spend his life. There
are three major sources of Law:
The Holy Quran is the last book of Allah and a complete code of life. In it where beliefs are fully
mentioned, the complete details of the map of life are also given. Every word of it is safe. This Holy
Book was revealed on the Holy Prophet (PBUH), and completed in about 23 years. This is that light
which shed out the darkness of ignorance and infidelity; and enlightened the world with knowledge
and thought. Its recitation is beneficial, and in its use, a salvation of humanity.
Allah revealed the Holy Quran to the Holy Prophet(PBUH), and wisdom too. Hadith is that
commentary on the theory and practice of the Holy Quran, which was taught to the Holy Prophet
(PBUH) by Allah. What was said or what was told, and what happened before his eyes, or which he
liked, or on which he remained quiet, are the three things which constituted Hadith. His sayings are
called theoretical Hadith; traditions a practical Hadith, and things on which he remained quiet, are
called oral Hadith. Quran and Hadith are the sources of guidance. The religion depends on the Holy
Quran and the traditions of the Prophet (PBUH).
Fiqah means knowledge. In the terminology of Shari,ah, the comprehension of the matters relating
to life and their solution in the light of Quran and Hadith, is called Fiqah. The knowledge of the
subject of Fiqah is the knowing of the personal responsibilities, and the molding of Islamic Society
in its life. The position of Fiqah is like a law, and a model. Therefore the books of Fiqah reveal all
those details which help to establish the Islamic set up. The basic principles of Fiqah and their
sources, which make the rules and maxims, are four:
- Al Kitab
- Al Sunnah
It is the Holy Quran – first and basic source of Islamic Law. The plain orders of the Holy Quran are
called Nasus. The thing which has been permitted by the Holy Quran is called a Commandment.
The thing which Allah ta,ala has forbidden is called prohibition. Therefore the Commandments and
prohibitions of the Holy Quran are of basic importance in religion.
The traditions of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) are called Sunnah. This is the second source of Islamic
Law. The custom of his practical life which has reached to us is called Hadith. The way these
traditions have reached us is called narration, and the people who transmitted them are called
Third source of Islamic Law is Ijma. It means to assemble at one point and to agree on it. For
example in an age if there is any preposition which is neither mentioned in the Holy Quran nor in
the hadith and the Muslim Jurists find out a unanimous solution which is not against the spirit of
Quran and Hadith, then the acceptance of this decision acquires the status of Shariah for other
Muslims. It is called the Ijma-e-Ummat. Its importance is clear from the saying of the prophet
"Allah’s hand is with the group"
It means that Allah ta’ala helps those who assemble for the sake of truth.
Some of the rules relating to Ijma are as under: it is necessary for Ijma-e-Ummat that the Islamic
Jurists of that age should agree. The succeeding Jurists of the later age do not go against the
previous decision of their predecessors. The Ijma of the Jurists of the earlier period superceeds the
Ijma of later period. If the few scholars agree among the Muslim, and no scholar opposes it then it
also becomes an Ijma of Muslim nation.
It means guess to make one thing equivalent or similar to the others. In Shariah, Qiyas is a guess
that in the light of the circumstances of the known rule enables a Jurist to give a verdict on an issue
about which there is no rule of Shariah. Qiyas is the fourth source of Islamic Law.
Through Qiyas, the directive can be given about an issue on which there is available neither any
plain injunction of the Holy Quran, nor of the Hadith, and nor the Ijma of the Muslim nation.
To know the injunctions of Shariah by the method of Qiyas, or comprehension is called
consensusness. Once the Holy Prophet asked Hazrat Ma’az bin Jabel at the time appointing him
the governor of Yemen "Ma’az, how will you decide the matters of the public. He (PBUH)
questioned, "What will you do in case there is no indication in the Quran?"Hazrat Ma’az submitted’
"Then I will decide according to the narrations of the Prophet (PBUH) of Allah". He (PBUH) asked,
"If you do not find any injunction in both, the Quran and Sunnah." Hazrat Ma’az replied, "O prophet
(PBUH) then I shall use my mind to guess." He (PBUH) felt pleased and said.
"I am grateful to Almighty Allah who has
given this opportunity to the
representative of the Prophet of Allah,
which pleases Allah and His messenger."
Qiyas or consensus is not the take of everybody. It requires that a person who guesses, or the
consensusner should have some qualities. He should be a great scholar of the holy Quraan and
hadith. He must have an extensive knowledge of Islamic rules (Fiqah), and the verdict of the jurists
of the Muslims of every age; and an awareness of the decisions of different ages of such matters or
on which Ijmaa was conducted. He should be the master of the Arabic language, and its
peculiarities. He should be, by nature pious and righteous. The decision of the scholar having these
qualifications attains the status of Shariah.