Monday, 22 March 2010

Law, Shari'ah, Fiqh? The superiority of Islamic Jurisprudence & Law?


First of all I'm not a Shari'ah or Law student. So, being a human being I'm bound to make mistakes and if there are mistakes on this entry, please pardon and advise me. Thank you.

The diagram shows our responsibilities as a muslim and how the Shari'ah get its rulings or laws. There are different views regarding the basic concept of law in the West.

These are different definition of law by different Western Scholars.

John Austin - Law is that rule of action which is made by a ruler for his subjects.
Salmond - Law may be defined as the body of principles recognised and applied by state in the administration of Justice(e.g government).
Enger Ehlrich - Law is the collective conscience of a society. Emphasises on customs and traditions.

The problem with John Austin is it may be true about Statuary Law (written law) but it does not cover Personal Law (law that deals with matters of a person with his or her family). Salmond's definition does not cover International Law(law that governs the relationship of independant nations). There are undesirable customs and traditions and it do not express the conscience of the society. The main problem from all of these is that it does not have a complete picture of human life and nature.

Definition of Islamic law:-
1) Unanimously given by Muslim Jurists
2) Islamic Law is not given by any ruler. It has been revealed by God
3) Islamic Law remains valid whether recognised by a state or not.
4) It originates from the Divine Revelation
5) Covers Personal Law,Constitutional Law, International Law, Criminal Law, Mercantile Law, etc.

Jurists have extracted rules of action from the Quran and Sunnah/ Hadith in a systematic manner.This systematic way is called Fiqh Legally it is not final and liable to be reviewed by the jurists and the judges in the light of sound arguments from the Quran and Sunnah/Hadith.

The diagrams were provided to me by my teacher Sheikh Faizal Manjoo, to make me, as a laymen easier to understand the complexity of Islamic Jurisprudence.

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