Shariah (Islamic Law) >> Sheri'ah (Islamic Law)

SHARI'AH is the code of law for the Islamic way of life which Allah has revealed for mankind and commanded us to follow. The word Shari'ah means a clear straight path or example. Shari'ah, or Islamic law, is the code of conduct for Muslims and is based on two main sources: The Qur'an and the Sunnah of the prophet. It aims towards the success and welfare of mankind both in this life and the life after death.

Shari'ah prescribes a complete set of laws for the guidance of mankind so that good (Ma'ruf) may triumph and Evil (Munkar) disappears from society. It provides a clear and straight path which leads to progress and fulfillment in life and the attainment of Allah's pleasure.

The Qur'an is the main basis of Shari'ah.It states the principles while the sunnah of the prophet provides the details of their application. For example, the Qur'an says: establish salah, observe sawm, pay zakah, take decisions by consultation, do not earn or spend in wrong ways but it does not describe how to do thes things. It is the sunnah of the prophet which gives us the details.

The Qur'an is the main book of guidance and the prophet taught how to follow it The prophet not only told us how to follow the guidance, he also practiced it himself.
Shari'ah has rules for every aspect of life. It is complete and perfect, and guarantees us success, welfare and peace in this life on earth and in the life after death.
Man-Made Law Sheri'ah or Allah's Law
1. Men make laws they feel the need; these laws start from a few and then grow in number over the years. Islamic Law is complete and perfect and cover all aspects of human.
2. Man-made laws are not permanent; they can be changed according to the time and circumstances. For example, in a particle country at a particular time, drinking alcohol may be banned; but this can change when public pressure grows. The American Government once banned alcoholic drink but removed the ban after a time because it could not be applied. Shari'ah is permanent for all people all the time. It does not change with time and conditions. For example, drinking wine and gambling are not allowed under this; it is a law that is valid for time and for all place.
3. Man does not have knowledge of the future. Hence, man-made laws cannot stand the test of time. Allah is All-knowing and All-powerful; He is the most Wise and His laws are the best and are complete.
Man is created being. H is laws are the creation of the created. Allah is the Creator and His laws are for Man, His creation.
4. Man is a created being. His laws are the creation of the created. Allah is the creator and His laws are for Man, His creation.
5. Man-made laws may be suitable for a particular nation or country. They cannot be universal. Allah's laws are for all nations, all countries and for all time. They are universal.
6. Men make laws to suit their own needs. Suppose members of parliament want to decrease the rate of tax on the rich, they would do so, even if the majority of the people suffered and there was high unemployment in the country. Allah is above all needs. He is not dependent on anything, So His laws are for good for all people and not a few, selfish people.
Shari'ah has two other sources: Ijma (consensus) and Qiyas (anal-ogey or reasoning on the basis of similar circumstances). These source must still be based on the Qur'an and the sunnah.
Ijma, or consensus, applies to a situation where no clear conclusion can be made from the Qur'an and the sunnah. In this situation the representatives of the people who are well-versed in the Qur'an and the sunnah will sit together and work out an agreed formula to solve the particular problem. Ijma developed during the period of the al-Khulafa Ur Rashidun.
Qiyas means a reference or analogy or a comparison of one thing with a similar one. It is applied in circumstances where guidance from the Qur'an and the Sunnah is not directly available. A solution to a problem is reached by a process of deduction from a comparison with similar situations in past.


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Category: Shariah (Islamic Law)
Title: Sheri'ah (Islamic Law)
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