Introduction to Muslim law

Introduction to Muslim law

Muslim law is a law which governs the people of Muslim religion and provides rules and guidelines on various issues such as , Marriage, Divorce, Inheritance ,Gift etc.
To know about Muslim law and its origin first we must understand that there are two concepts of law, one of divine origin and the other man made. The man made law is the one which is also known as territorial law and it applies to whole of the territory and the people living in it. In India such law are, Indian penal code, Indian contract act, Civil procedure code and many more. The law which is of divine origin is known as Personal law and it is the law which applies to the persons of a particular religious community. Muslim law is one of such law in India.

What is Islam?

Islam is commandment of God (Allah) and establishment of peace. The followers of this path are called Muslims. In Islam all humans are considered to be equal and should live with brotherhood and pray to one God.

Who is a Muslim?

A person is said to be Muslim if he believes
• In mission of Mohammad as prophet
• In one God (Allah)
• And who believes in other essential beliefs of God and Mohammad.

In Narantakath v. Prakkal it was held that the essential of Islam is that there has to be one God ( Allah) and Mohammad is the Prophet any belief contrary to this will not be considered.

Prophet Mohammad

Prophet Mohammad was born in Mecca in 571 A.D. He is said to received the message of God after which he devoted his life in religion and truth, he also had many criticizers who created many hurdles in his path and compelled him to leave Mecca after which he took refuge among his followers in Madina. The portion of Quran which was disclosed to Prophet Mohammad at Mecca deals with philosophy of life and islamic religion and the portion of Quran disclosed in Madina deals with legal principles.

There are two type of believers of Islam
1 Shia sect – They believe that Ali (cousin and son in law of Prophet) should have been the first Caliph. They don’t consider with first three caliphs and term them as usurpers.
2. Sunni sect– They believe that the first three caliphs were most beloved of prophet and its right to consider them as caliph and there is no hereditary in succession.

Basis and primary source of Islam-

The basis of Islam and Muslim law is
Al-Quran. Which is the holy book of Islam and believed to have existed since eternity by its followers. This book contains approximately 6666 verses which are called Ayat. This is in question and answer form and said to be the message of God through his messenger to Prophet Mohammad. Quran is the primary source of Law. It guides people in their daily life and on various problems arising in life, which can not be solved by human beings. It is the divine communication between God and Prophet through Angel Gabriel. It contains passages which are based on jurisprudence and are the primary basis of Shariat.

Other sources of Muslim law

After the death of the prophet the companions of him started guiding themselves with Quran and the sayings of Prophet which are known as Sunnah.
Sunnah – It is the narration of what Prophet said or allowed to do or when he remained silent. They are known as traditions or Sunnat or Ahadis. They were not written anywhere during the life time of Mohammad and are practiced and handed down from generation to generation by authorised persons.

The Ijma –

This is the third source of law on point of time and Importance. When there is nothing provided in Quran and traditions then Ijma is referred. It is the consensus of Opinion of Companions of Prophet.

The Qiyas

It means the reasoning by analogy from the above three sources, I.e., The Quran, The Sunnat, The Ijma.
The Prophet is reported to have said: “Give your rulings in accordance with the provisions of the book and Sunnah if such available. If you do not find such provisions, have recourse to your opinion and interpretation .”

Other than this the secondary sources of Muslim law are
1. Urf or Custom
2. Judicial decisions
3. Legislation
4. Justice, equity, and good conscience.

Conclusion- Thus Muslim law is the law which derives its Source from holy Quran and sayings of prophet. Quran, Hadis, Sunna, Ijma and Qiyas form the body of muslim common law known as Shariat. Shariat includes all aspects of human life and his acts. It guides the followers of the religion of Islam.

It’s a doctrine of duties which provides that what should be done as Farz ( five times prayer to God) and what should not be done as Haram ( wine is haram). In India in comparison to other countries personal laws are followed for decision on particular matters of a particular religion. Our country is a country of different religions and its followers although our constitution provides for Uniform civil code but it can’t be implemented because of the diverse religions and thoughts

Author: Saumya Shukla,
Final year CMP degree college Prayagraj

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