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What are the sources of Muslim Law?

Inquire mind
There are two sources of Muslim Law1. Ancient
2. Modern

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Ancient / Primary Source of Muslim LawPrimary source of ML are those which the Prophet himself directed to be the
source of ML.

1. Quran
2. Sunna or Ahadis (Traditions of Prophet).
3. Ijma ( Unanimous Decisions of Jurist)
4. Qiyas (Analogical Deduction)
Secondary Source
Secondary source of ML explain or modify the primary source of Muslim
personal Law according to the changing needs of the society.
1. Customs
2. Judicial Decisions.
3. Legislation

4.

QuranThe word Quran is derived from the Arabic word Qurra, which means the
reading or that which ought to be read. It is believed that Quran is of divine
origin and was revealed to Prophet Mohammad for the benefit of humankind.
The revelations were the communications of God and were made by angle
Gabriel to Prophet. These communications were in scattered form and were not
systematically revealed. After the prophets death the revealed verses were
collected, consolidated and systematically written under the authority of Osman
who was the third Calipha
Salient Feature of Quran-.
1. Divine origin.
2. First Source.
3. Structure- Quran is the form of verses. Each verse is called Ayat there
are 6237 verses in quran which are contained in 114 chapter, each
chapter of quran is called Sura. The various chapters are arranged subject
wise and have their specific title.
4. Admixture of Religion, Law and Morality.- Quran is the mix of religion,
law and morality. All these at some place mixed in such a manner that it
is difficult to separate them.
5. Different Forms of Legal Rules- In Quran some of the verses have
removed objectionable and evil custom like child infanticide, unlimited
polygamy, gambling, usuary etc. some of them have laid down specific
law making rules to settle the question that actually arouse in day to day
life.
6. Unchangeable.
7. Incompleteness.- it is not a complete code of ML. it generally contains
verses relating to the philosophy of life and religion. Only about 200
verses deal with legal matters, and out of these only about 80 verses
deal with personal law. Only basic principle of MPL are given in Quran.
8. Silence of Quran- on many legal issue the Quran is found to be silent.
For new problem of the society no legal solution were available in the
apparent words of quran.
Sunna or Ahadis (Traditions of the Prophet)

It is the supplement by quran. Only those traditions are accepted in MPL, which
comes from Prophets family. Tradition means what the Prophet, said ( Sunnatul-Qaul), what he did( Sunnat-ul-Fail) and also his silence in questions put before
him (Sunnat-ul-Taqrir) silence, was all taken to be authoritative and become a
precedent as a source of ML.

Schools of Muslim Law- AREA OF THOUGHT IS CALLED THE SCHOOL


SUNNI SCHOOL- (Absolute power in divorce)
1.
2.
3.
4.

Hanifi / Kufa School


Maliki
Shafei
Hanbali

Hanifi or Kufa School


Founder- Imam Abu Hanifi- he is known for his outstanding logical reasoning and
technical legal thought.
Born- 699ad-767 ad
Contribution- Book Qutob Abu Hanifi- it denote the condition of that time of society.
He took 22 years to compile this book
Feature of Hanifi School1. Quran is the primary source of the Muslim, no other source can supersede
Quran.
2. Less reliance on traditions of the prophets unless its authority beyond doubts.
3. Law must be formulated in accordance with the changing needs of the society.
4. Little extension of the scope of Ijma. Ijma may be formed by the jurists of any
age and may used as a source of law.
5. Greater reliance on Qiyas .
6. Custom is a source of law, but it would be a secondary source of ML.
7. Evolving the Doctrine of Istihsan if jurist could not be done under the law then
the principle of jurist equity ( Istihsan) may be applied in interpret ting that law.
Famous Descendent1. Abu Yusuf.
2. Immam Mohamd.
Follower in-

Siriya, Labnan, Turkey, Egypt, India, Pak, China.

Maliki School
Founder- Malik Ibn Anas
BornContribution- Kitab-al-Muwatta
Feature of Hanifi SchoolUnlike Malike School this School give the importance of traditions as a
source of law. It recognize the tradition of the companions, and of successors of the
companion, new rule should be exclusively from the tradition.
Ijam- of such only jurist who lived in Medina. Source of Ijam as a source of law is
Limited under this.
Doctrine of Istidlal (interfering a thing from another thing for public welfare)
introduced.
A married woman and her properties are always supposed to be under the control of
her husband. She can not deal with her own property without the consent of her
husband.
Follower inCentral and west Africa, spain, Kuwait, and Bahrain.
Shafei SchoolFounder- Ash Shafei
BornContributionFeature of Hanifi SchoolHe examine the tradition in the light of legal reasoning and logic in order to get a very
balance and systematic rule of law.
Qiyas- Grater use of Qiyas and established as a source of law, but Qiyas consider only
after considering the Quran.
Ijam- approved it as a source of law, and also enlarged its scope.
Also recognized custome and Maliki Doctrine of Istadlal ( public welfare)

Rejected the Doctrine of Hanifas Istihsan.


A woman is never regarded to be a free agent in her marriage. Even she is
adult, the consent of her guardian is necessary to validate the marriage.
Principle of Usul (principle of law) isatablish.
Doctrine of Istidlal (interfering a thing from another thing for public welfare)
introduced.
A married woman and her properties are always supposed to be under the control of
her husband. She can not deal with her own property without the consent of her
husband.
Follower in-

Hanbli School

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