Basics on Sharia – What is Sharia?

Islamophobia takes professional failures and gives them an avenue to flourish as supposed experts in Islam albeit having no credentials at all. That industry is about who can yell the loudest and insult in a way which appeals to the right wing – as well as fear monger the most.

 

Suhaib Webb is a specialist in Sharia and he finds it incredible that most books and media presentations in the West about the Sharia are being produced by people who are untrained, to say the least, in Islamic studies.

Meaning of Sharia

Sharia comes from the word Sh-Ra-3

It has a number of linguistic meanings:

Way, Path, Legislation, Oasis in a desert

Everything that was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (Quran and Sunnah) is called Sharia. Sharia implies those things which are not interpreted such as praying, pilgrimage, being honest, eating certain kinds of meat etc.. This is definitive and non-negotiable.

People confuse two different topics; Sharia and Fiqh.

Sharia is everything that was revealed to the Prophet (p). The text of Sharia is limited. Part of the Sharia is universal and another part is particular. The universal part generally comes from the Quran and the particular part comes from the Sunnah.

The actions of people are not limited. Imam Shafi spoke about a methodology of dealing with these actions of people – Fiqh. Fiqh means to understand. Fiqh is an attempt (when needed) to understand Islam in situations such as when Sharia texts are not clear to us or when there is no text about a topic (such as T-cells, abortion, when somebody is in a vegetative condition in hospital, plastic surgery etc). About 95% of legal rulings in Islam come from Fiqh (thus meaning it’s not necessarily binding). Fatwa: is an opinion.

Harith ibn Amr reported: Some men among the companions of Mu’adh said the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, sent him to Yemen and the Prophet said:

كَيْفَ تَقْضِي

How will you judge?

Mu’adh said, “I will judge according to what is in the Book of Allah.” The Prophet said:

فَإِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ

What if it is not in the Book of Allah?

Mu’adh said, “Then with the tradition (sunnah) of the Messenger of Allah.” The Prophet said:

فَإِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ فِي سُنَّةِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ

What if it is not in the tradition of the Messenger of Allah?

Mu’adh said, “Then I will strive to form an opinion (ijtihad).” The Prophet said:

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي وَفَّقَ رَسُولَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ

All praise is due to Allah who has made suitable the messenger of the Messenger of Allah.

Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 1327, Grade: Sahih

This narration demonstrates the proper procedure for applying Islamic guidance that would eventually develop into the discipline of the principles of Islamic jurisprudence (usul al-fiqh). Taken from: http://abuaminaelias.com/lessons-from-the-journey-of-muadh-ibn-jabal-to-yemen/

The goals/objectives of Sharia

Al Ghazali in the 4th century of Islam wrote about the goals of Sharia (law). The goal of Sharia is not to destroy people but to bring benefit and prevent harm – legal theorists across different eras and geographical plains all concluded the same thing about Sharia (i.e. bring benefit and prevent harm).

Al-Ghazali wrote:

لكننا نعنى بالمصلحة المحافظة على مقصود الشرع ومقصود الشرع من الخلق خمسة وهو أن يحفظ عليهم دينهم وأنفسهم وعقلهم ونسلهم ومالهم فكل ما يتضمن حفظ هذه الأصول الخمسة فهو مصلحة وكل ما يفوت هذه الأصول الخمسة فهو مفسدة

Welfare which we mean here is the protection of the objectives of the law (sharia). Namely, the objectives of the law are five in creation: the protection of religion, life, intellect, family relations, and property. Everything that advances the protection of these five fundamentals is considered benefit, and everything which fails to protect these five fundamentals is considered corruption. Source: Al-Mustasfa min Ilm al-Usul 287

Advertisements

A comment on a Hadith in Sunan Abu Dawud

Note: this is a weak Hadith. It’s been classified as weak by Al-Albani see here. If you come across an Islamophobe asking you to explain it, tell them it is weak.

A man from the Ansar called Basrah said:

I married a virgin woman in her veil. When I entered upon her, I found her pregnant. (I mentioned this to the Prophet). The Prophet (ﷺ) said: She will get the dower, for you made her vagina lawful for you. The child will be your slave. When she has begotten (a child), flog her (according to the version of al-Hasan). The version of Ibn AbusSari has: You people, flog her, or said: inflict hard punishment on him.

Abu Dawud said: This tradition has been transmitted by Qatadah from Sa’d b. Yazid on the authority of Ibn al-Musayyab in a similar way. This tradition has been narrated by Yahya b. Abi Kathir from Yazid b. Nu’aim from Sa’id b. al-Musayyab, and ‘Ata al-Khurasani narrated it from Sa’id b. al-Musayyab ; they all narrated this tradition from the Prophet (ﷺ) omitting the link of the Companion (i.e. a mursal tradition). The version of Yahya b. Abi Kathir has: Basrah b. Aktham married a woman. The agreed version has: He made the child his servant.

Although it’s weak, there some explanation of the statement “the child will be your slave”:

The meaning of ” take the born child as your slave” has been explained by al-khattabi who said, ” I know no scholar who disgaree with the freedom of the child who came through adultery when the mother is free woman. Thus, the meaning of this statement , if this narration is proven authentic, that the prophet wanted him to look after the child and raise him well so and in return the child will serve hi like a slave due to his goodness and kindness towards him”.


See here for more discussion and explanation of this weak hadith here:
http://www.ahlalhdeeth.com/vbe/archive/index.php/t-11618.html

What is Isnad in Hadith Studies

Islamophobes: Think Before you Quote from Tareekh al Tabari

Explanation: Sun Sets in Murky Water Hadith (Sunan Abu Dawud, Musnad Ahmad)

False Stories About Prophet Muhammad – By Ehteshaam Gulam

Did Prophet Muhammad Say “Love of the homeland is part of faith”

Why Islam

Did Abu Bakr and Umar Slap Their Daughters?

A comment on a Hadith which may be confusing some people. This Hadith has Abu Bakr “slap” Aisha and Umar “slap” Hafsa. However, I did a brief search of the Arabic word used in the hadith – the word used for slapped – on an Arabic website. The website said the word وجاء is like طعن.  I checked this word which the site gave as a synonym and it doesn’t mean slap – it seems more like poke.

There’s also a forum discussion saying it doesn’t mean slap but poke here. Here’s the relevant bit from the comment explaining it:

The translation of the Hadith is wrong because the word which was used in the Hadith, in Arabic is ” فوجأت “ which means I poked or hit. This is a form of teaching or alerting about an incident you do not approve besides this is an act that does not cause harm at all.

Example: If your brother does something wrong or you knew he is doing something wrong, you may come to him and poke him with your hand on his waist or shoulder as a way to show your frustration and disapproval for what he does. The same applies here..

Notice the word slapped is used in this translation:

Jabir b. ‘Abdullah (Allah be pleased with them) reported:

Abu Bakr (Allah be pleased with him) came and sought permission to see Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ). He found people sitting at his door and none amongst them had been granted permission, but it was granted to Abu Bakr and he went in. Then came ‘Umar and he sought permission and it was granted to him, and he found Allah’s Apostle (ﷺ) sitting sad and silent with his wives around him. He (Hadrat ‘Umar) said: I would say something which would make the Prophet (ﷺ) laugh, so he said: Messenger of Allah, I wish you had seen (the treatment meted out to) the daughter ofKhadija when you asked me some money, and I got up and slapped her on her neck. Allah’s Messenger (mav peace be upon him) laughed and said: They are around me as you see, asking for extra money. Abu Bakr (Allah be pleased with him) then got up went to ‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) and slapped her on the neck, and ‘Umar stood up before Hafsa and slapped her saying: You ask Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) which he does not possess. They said: By Allah, we do not ask Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) for anything he does not possess. Then he withdrew from them for a month or for twenty-nine days. Then this verse was revealed to him:” Prophet: Say to thy wives… for a mighty reward” (xxxiii. 28). He then went first to ‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) and said: I want to propound something to you, ‘A’isha, but wish no hasty reply before you consult your parents. She said: Messenger of Allah, what is that? He (the Holy Prophet) recited to her the verse, whereupon she said: Is it about you that I should consult my parents, Messenger of Allah? Nay, I choose Allah, His Messenger, and the Last Abode; but I ask you not to tell any of your wives what I have said He replied: Not one of them will ask me without my informing her. God did not send me to be harsh, or cause harm, but He has sent me to teach and make things easy.



However, in this translation (from the site where I looked into the Arabic word) in their English translation they do not use the word slap but rather poke:



Abu Bakr once came and sought permission to see the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He found people sitting at his door and none amongst them had been granted permission, but it was granted to Abu Bakr and he went in. Then came ‘Umar and he sought permission, and it was granted to him, and he found the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, sitting, sad and silent, with his wives around him. He [‘Umar] said,  “I wanted to say something which would make the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, laugh, so he said, “Messenger of Allaah, I wish you had seen [the treatment meted out to] the daughter of Khaarijah [i.e., his wife] when she asked me for some money;  I got up and poked her on her neck.” The Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, laughed and said:“They are around me, as you see, asking for provision.” Abu Bakr then got up, went to ‘Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, and poked her on the neck, and ‘Umar stood up in front of Hafsah and poked her saying, “You ask the Messenger of Allaah for that which he does not possess?” They said, “By Allaah, we do not ask the Messenger of Allaah for anything that he does not possess.” Then he withdrew from them for a month or for twenty-nine days after which this verse was revealed to him



I think it would be extremely unwise and unfair to say they slapped their daughters (to hurt them) in the light of this information.





A comment on a Hadith in Sunan Abu Dawud What is Isnad in Hadith Studies

Islamophobes: Think Before you Quote from Tareekh al Tabari

Explanation: Sun Sets in Murky Water Hadith (Sunan Abu Dawud, Musnad Ahmad)

False Stories About Prophet Muhammad – By Ehteshaam Gulam

Did Prophet Muhammad Say “Love of the homeland is part of faith”

Why Islam