Primary Sources of Islamic Law, The Holy Quran and Sunnah Hadith

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 09:04 -- Umar Farooq

Primary Sources of Islamic Law

Following are the primary sources of Islamic law

The Holy Quran

The Quran is the original and one of the primary sources of Islamic Law. Almost all the rules of socio-economic, political and moral life of an individual are derived from it. Besides, it contains many commandments, injunctions, prescriptions, and other rules and regulations for the behavior and relations between individuals and groups. It should however, be noted that Quran is not a book of law. It is a book of guidance for mankind. It is the first source of Islamic Law but it does not contain a detail corpus of legislation. Although some actions are specifically defined in it, which need no interpretation or translation, however, the Quran has drawn in general large boundaries of Islamic Law within which all human actions can be confined. It offers to the Muslims a frame of reference within which they can build up the whole body of laws in accordance with their peculiar conditions and circumstances. Its prescription about such matters as trade and commerce, marriage and divorce, inheritance, penal laws, polygamy, emancipation of women and slaves, charity, zakat, kheraj, jizya and the like are guides for every contingency of life and society.

Sunnah Hadith

Sunnah or Hadith is the second .and equally important primary source of Islamic Law. Sunnah is simply the model behavior of the Holy Prophet. There are three kinds of Sunnah, Sunnah Al-Qualiyah, Sunnah Al-Faliyah. It is the authentic statements of the sayings, deeds, approval or disapproval of actions by the Prophet. Whenever Quran is silent, on ally issue or when its real meaning is hidden from us, then we have to resort to the Sunnah. Sunnah is the scientific commentary of the Holy Quran and without the Quran can be understood. Sunnah is divided into three kinds:

Sunnah Al-Qualiyah i.e. the sayings, statements and utterances of the Holy Prophet called his traditions or Ahadiths

Sunnah Al-Faliyah i.e. deeds and actions of the Holy Prophet consist of his actual performance

Sunnah Al-Tagtiriyah i.e. the deeds which were performed in his life time and were accepted due to his silence

The Sunnah is one of the primary sources of  Islamic law which deals with such matters as revelation, knowledge, pilgrimage/ablution and cleanliness, prayers, funerals, taxes, trade and commerce, inheritance value and character and conduct, administration of justice, marriage and divorce, distribution of wealth, aims and sadqat, responsibilities of the administrators, duties and responsibilities of children towards their parents, of the orphans, widows etc. the most authentic and reliable sources of Sunnah are the collection of Bukhari, Muslim, Ibn-e-Majah, Tinnizi, Malik, Abi Daud etc.