The Basic Structure of Islamic Shari’ah
by Hafiz Aslam
Nahmaduhoo wa nu-saallee alaa Rasooli hilkareem; Bismil’laahir-rahmaa nir-raheem.
1. The three fundamental beliefs of Islam
There are two sections of the Islamic Shari’ah; the first is beliefs (Aqidah) and the second is actions (A’mal ). Believing in the following three beliefs, sincerely and whole heartedly is a condition of being a true Muslim. There is no value of any Islamic practice, if you do not completely agree with the following three beliefs and the way they are practiced.
i Oneness of Allah سبحانه وتعالى (Tawheed )
Allah سبحانه وتعالى the most high is alone. He is the Most Honorable, the Wise. He is the creator and sustainer of the Heavens and the Earth and all beings therein. He creates as he wills (He plans) and chooses as He pleases. All beings therein, declare the praises and Glory of Allah سبحانه وتعالى. Only He knows of all matters, whether they are secret or open. With Allah سبحانه وتعالى are the keys of the unseen treasures that only He knows.
ii Prophethood (Risaalah).
Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم was born in 570 A. D. He is the seal of Prophethood and no new Prophet will be born after him. He is the best creation of Allah سبحانه وتعالى and the best of all the human beings. Al Qur’an is the word of Allah سبحانه وتعالى which was revealed to him and all of his Companions (Sahaabah) were his true disciples.
iii Life after death (Aakhirah)- One of the signs of the last Hour (Qiyaamah) is that the Prophet Jesus (Eesa عليه السلام) son of Mary (a.s), will return to this world and that (Imam) Mahdi will be born in the same era any time before the last Hour. The knowledge of when it will happen is known to Allah سبحانه وتعالى only. There are five stages of the Aakhirah:
1st stage – ending of the universe (everything is destroyed).
2nd stage – Period of time behind the curtains (Barzakh )
3rd stage – resurrection after a long period of time.
4th stage – accounts and intervention (Shafa’at).
5th stage – heaven or hell.
NB. If you do not believe in the above three beliefs exactly, you are out of Islam. If you agree, do not attempt to argue with others about Islamic deeds or practice (fiqh) if they do not agree with any of the above beliefs.
2. Three actions (A’maal).
i. Worship (Ibaadah)
ii. Business & trade ( Muaamalat)
iii. Society ( Mu’aashirat , Politics & Government).
All kinds of worship is due to Al’laah (swt) only. It is essential for believers to complete all actions for the sake of Allah (swt) with good etiquettes and attitude (Akhlaq & Aadaab). In each field of life (cultural) there are many specific Islamic manners and etiquettes which are the key for being a good citizen in any society and therefore complete the Islamic actions.
3. Four sources of Islamic Fiqh (Usool Arb’ah).
i Al Qur’an
ii. Sunnah (The regular practice of our Prophet and his Companions).
iii Ijma’a of Ummah (Consensus of the Ummah / Muslim community )
This means that if the answers can’t be found by the companions from the first two sources (Qur’an and Sunnah), the answer found must not contradict the first two sources and the consensus of the rest of the Ummah must not contradict the first two sources and also the consensus of the companions. It is stated as Kufr to disagree with the first three agreed sources.
iv Qiyaas (Judicious reasoning on matters) which must not contradict the first three sources or any authentic Hadith.
4. Four great Jurists (A’immah Ar’ba’ah)
There were many Imams in the subject of Fiqh Islamiyah, but Ahlus sun’nah wal Jama’ah Muslims agree on the four Imams of Fiqh Islamiyah from the third century. Respect all of them but following one of them accurately is the sign of a true Ahlus sun’nah wal Jama’ah Muslim and it is the best solution to follow the Islamic Shari’ah for non- scholars.
i Imam Aazam Abu Hanifah Nu’maan ( passed away 150 A. Hijrah) ii Imam Malik bin Ans Madani ( 179 A.H)
iii Imam Muhammad bin Idrees Shafie (204 A.H). iv Imam Ahmed Bin Hanbal (241 A.H) Rahmtul’laahiAlayhim.
5. Technical terms of Fiqh Islamiyah
Fiqh Islamiyah is subdivided into the following eight technical terms referring to the words and actions of Muslims. Haraam is clear and all other with conditions are known as Halaal. The actions which do not fall under these principles are innovative. These eight categories are:
Fardh. Wajib. Sun’nah. Mustahab. Mubaah. Makrooh Tanzehi. Makrooh Tehreemi. Haraam.
6. Men of true practice (Rijaa lul’laah )
Imam Bukhari (256. A. H) and several other scholars have compiled the Hadith and Fiqh Islamiyah. There are many people among the Islamic Ummah who always follow the Shari’ah. They guide and lead other believers of the Muslim Ummah accordingly. They told us what the main beliefs of Islam are, as well as telling us what halal, haram, eemaan, kufr, tawheed, shirk, sunnah and bid’ah (innovation) are. Amongst those leaders, there are ten greatly recognised intellectual scholars from the Indian subcontinent from the last century whom the Ahlus sunnah-Jama’ah Hanafiyah (Sunni Hanafi) are fortunate in being able to follow their undisputed explanation of beliefs and Islamic opinions (Fatwas) and they are named as:
1- Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi (1905). 2- Taj Mahmood Amroti Raashdi (1929).3- Ashraf Ali Thanvi Chisty (1943).
4- Hussain Ali mianvee Naqshbandi.(1945).5- Shabir Ahmad Usmani (1949). 6-Muhammad Kafaytullah Dahlvi (1952).
7-Hussain Ahmad Madani (1957). 8-Ahmad Ali Lahori, Qadri (1961). 9- Abdu Shakoor Lakhnavi (1962).
10 – Qaari Muhammad tayyib Chisty (1983 ). Rahmatul’laahi alayhim ajmaeen. Aameen.
By: M. Aslam Rashidi. 10/ 01/11
For more information please contact: U. K. Hanafiyah Foundation Manchester .