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Islam is built on the foundation of faith, but its edifice is held together by the cementing force of law which is based upon submission to the Divine Will. In other words, it is Allah Whose Will is the primary source of law in a Muslim society and when such a society comes into existence, the Quran and the Messenger prescribe for it a code of life called the Shariah.
In essence, all of Shariah is contained in the Quran. It is the primary, original and fundamental source from which all principles, ordinances and injunctions of Islam are drawn. It contains a set of juridical injunctions which are the basis of Islamic law and which concern the life of human beings in every detail.
The Quranic law deals With beliefs, morality, worship, civil transactions, punishment for intentional injury to the human body, property and honour, murder: breach of public peace such as robbery; offences against religion such as non-payment of Zakat, against indecency; adultery; use of intoxicants, as gambling and offences against the established government such as rebellion.
From the Quranic point of view, Sovereignty belongs to Allah and therefore, the law formulated by Him in the form of the Quran is the fundamental law according to which He wants a Muslim to live both in his private and social life. It provides for him the knowledge of right and wrong, of the difference between the straight path and that which leads him astray.
The Quranic law deals With beliefs, morality, worship, civil transactions, punishment for intentional injury to the human body, property and honour, murder: breach of public peace such as robbery; offences against religion such as non-payment of Zakat, against indecency; adultery; use of intoxicants, as gambling and offences against the established government such as rebellion.
The Quran lays down rules and regulations relating to social life, commerce and economics, marriage and inheritance, penal laws and international conduct.
It lays down injunctions to arbitrate with justice, not to offer bribes, to give true evidence and to give full weights and measure: “Give full measure when measure, and weigh with a balance that is straight…” (17: 35).
Contracts are safeguarded by commands to put them in writing, to fulfill one’s undertakings, to return a trust or deposit to its owner and not eat up the property of orphans: “Come not nigh to the orphan’s property except to improve ” (17: 34).
And: “Those who unjustly eat up the property of orphans, eat up a fire into their own bodies…… ” (4: 10)
The law of war deals with the distribution of booty and the treatment of the conquered people in a fair and just manner.
On social matters, it deals with institutions like marriage and divorce. Family law is fairly exhaustive and here the main emphasis is laid on behaviour towards women, orphans, relatives, slaves and dependents.
In matters of inheritance, the Quran lays down regulations for a just distribution of wealth left behind by a deceased person. Theft is prohibited and its punishment is laid down. Drinking wine, games of chance and charging interest are prohibited without a penalty being fixed. There are laws concerning false accusations, blood money and retaliation: “We ordained therein for them;
Life for life, eye for eye, nose for nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth and wounds equal for equal….(5: 45)
The reasons for Quranic legislation on these matters was to settle questions that actually arose for decision as also to repeal objectionable customs like infanticide, gambling, usury, unlimited polygamy and dissatisfaction with the prevailing Arabian standards of behaviour. Some Quranic Laws were brought in for effecting social reforms such as raising the legal status of women, settling the question of succession and inheritance, providing protection for the rights of orphans and minors and some to lay down the principles of punishment for the purpose of securing peace and order in society. Some verses were revealed in order to give details for rules that had already been revealed, for example it is said: lawful unto you (for food) are all four footed animals with the exception named.. ” (5: 1) Further in 5: 3, it gives a list specifying exactly the exception to which the earlier verse refers.
The Quranic law is perpetual and everlasting. It does not change with the Passage of time. It is complete and final because no aspect of human life has been left without guidance and nothing more is needed to supplement all that is provided by it. The Quran says: ”
” Nothing have We omitted from the book”. (16:89)
And also: and We have sent down to thee a Book explaining al Book ” (16: 89)
It is the only law that concerns human life till its ultimate end in the Hereafter Moreover, its laws are in keeping with the exact nature of human life, obviously, because it is from the Creator Who knows the nature and needs of His creation.