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Lesson 29
Legislative Rules

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Main Points

The fundamental rules of Islamic legislation

        ·  The General Objectives of Shari`ah are to realize the interests of people: necessities, needs, and welfare.

        ·  Necessities: they are the essentials of human life in order to preserve: faith, life, intellect, property, and  honor.

        ·  Needs: they are what people need to avoid drudgery, and be able to tolerate the hardships of commitments, responsibilities, and the burdens of life.

        ·  Welfare: It refers to  those aspects that lead to the improvement of the living conditions, appearances of people, and their social relations.

        ·  In legislation, these goals follow an order of precedence , i.e. necessity, needs, and lastly welfare.

        ·  When examining the issue of necessities, several rules should be taken into account:

       a) Harm should be eliminated in a legal manner.

       b) Harm should not be eliminated by another harm.

       c) Individual harm should be tolerated to ward off a public harm.

       d) Lesser harm can be tolerated to avoid a more severe one.

       e) Repelling harm has precedence over bringing benefits.

       f) Necessity knows no laws.

       g) Necessity is weighed with its own standard.

        ·  Rulings for lifting restrictions in pursuing needs:

       a) Hardships justify simplification as exemplified by the allowances ordained by Allah, the Almighty, in cases of: travel, illness, compulsion, forgetfulness, ignorance, prevalence of trials, tribulations, and insufficiency.

       b) Legislation should lift restriction.

       c) Needs are treated like necessities in permitting (some) prohibited things.[5]

        ·  The deeds of competent persons are either: Allah's Right, people's right, a right of both.

        ·  Allah's Right is embodied in: acts of worship, Zakah (the poor's due) and other financial obligations, punishments for adultery, larceny and robbery, depriving the killer from inheritance and expiations.

        ·  The competent person's right is related to his financial rights over others.

        ·  What combines the two rights (that of Allah and that of people) are the punishment for slandering a woman with adultery and retaliation for killing.

        ·  There is no room for Ijtihad (independent reasoning based on religious sources) for what has been ruled by a clear-cut text.

        ·  The Mujtahid (qualified scholar) must be well-informed in the Arabic language, knowledgeable of the sciences of the Qur’an, efficient in the sciences of the Sunnah, and expert in deducing analogical rulings.

        ·  The gradation of legislation during the Prophet's life-time required the partial or total repeal of some rulings, but after his death (peace be upon him) no repealing of a ruling in Qur’an or Sunnah is accepted.

        ·  A ruling text can not be repealed except with another equal or stronger text. The strongest of all is the Qur’an and the Sunnah, Mutawatir, then the Sunnah which is not Mutawatir, and finally analogy.


The aims of Islamic Legislation:

Preserving Faith:

Allah says:

]وَقَاتِلُوهُمْ حَتَّى لاَ تَكُونَ فِتْنَةٌ وَيَكُونَ الدِّينُ لِلّهِ فَإِنِ انتَهَواْ فَلاَ عُدْوَانَ
إِلاَّ عَلَى الظَّالِمِين

(البقرة: 193)

 This means: “And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah) and (all and every kind of) worship is for Allah (Alone). But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Azh-Zhalimun (the polytheists, and wrong-doers).” (2, Al-Baqarah: 193)

Allah says:

]وَالْفِتْنَةُ أَشَدُّ مِنَ الْقَتْلِ[
(البقرة: 191)

This means: “And Al-Fitnah (temptation, to disbelieve after one has believed) is worse than killing.” (2, Al-Baqarah: 191)

Allah says:

]وَالْفِتْنَةُ أَكْبَرُ مِنَ الْقَتْل[
(البقرة: 217)

This means: “And Al-Fitnah is worse than killing.” (2, Al-Baqarah: 217)

Allah says:

]وَاتَّقُواْ فِتْنَةً لاَّ تُصِيبَنَّ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ مِنكُمْ خَآصَّةً[
(الأنفال: 25)

This means: “And fear the Fitnah (affliction and trial, etc.) which affects not in particular (only) those of you who do wrong (but it may afflict all the good and the bad people).” (8, Al-Anfal: 25)

Allah says:

]إِلاَّ تَفْعَلُوهُ تَكُن فِتْنَةٌ فِي الأَرْضِ وَفَسَادٌ كَبِيرٌ[
(الأنفال: 73)

This means: “If you (Muslims of the whole world collectively) do not do so (i.e. become allies, as one united block with one Khalifah - chief Muslim ruler for the whole Muslim world to make victorious Allah's Religion of Islamic Monotheism), there will be Fitnah (wars, battles, polytheism, etc.) and oppression on earth, and a great mischief and corruption (appearance of polytheism).” (8, Al-Anfal: 73)

  Preserving the lives of the people:

Allah says:

]وَلاَ تَقْتُلُواْ النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللّهُ إِلاَّ بِالْحَقّ[
(الأنعام: 151)

 This means: “And kill not anyone whom Allah has forbidden, except for a just cause (according to Islamic law).” (6, Al-An`am: 151)

Allah says:

]وَلَكُمْ فِي الْقِصَاصِ حَيَاةٌ يَاْ أُولِيْ الأَلْبَابِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ[
(البقرة: 179)

This means: “And there is (a saving of) life for you in Al-Qisas (the Law of Equality in punishment), O men of understanding, that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious).” (2, Al-Baqarah: 179)

Preserving the mind:

Allah says:

]يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِنَّمَا الْخَمْرُ وَالْمَيْسِرُ وَالأَنصَابُ وَالأَزْلاَمُ رِجْسٌ مِّنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ فَاجْتَنِبُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُون.َ إِنَّمَا يُرِيد الشَّيْطَانُ أَن يُوقِعَ بَيْنَكُمُ الْعَدَاوَةَ وَالْبَغْضَاء فِي الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِر وَيَصُدَّكُمْ عَن ذِكْرِ اللّهِ وَعَنِ الصَّلاَةِ فَهَلْ أَنتُم مُّنتَهُونَ[ (المائدة: 90 – 91)

This means: “O you who believe! Intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic drinks), gambling, Al­Ansab, and Al­Azlam (arrows for seeking luck or decision) are an abomination of Shaytan's (Satan) handiwork. So avoid (strictly all) that (abomination) in order that you may be successful. Shaytan (Satan) wants only to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants (alcoholic drinks) and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah and from As-Salat (the prayer). So, will you not then abstain?” (5, Al-Ma’idah: 90 - 91)

Preserving property:

Allah says:

]وَلاَ تَأْكُلُواْ أَمْوَالَكُم بَيْنَكُم بِالْبَاطِلِ وَتُدْلُواْ بِهَا إِلَى الْحُكَّامِ لِتَأْكُلُواْ فَرِيقًا مِّنْ أَمْوَالِ النَّاسِ بِالإِثْمِ وَأَنتُمْ تَعْلَمُون[
(البقرة: 188)

 This means: “And eat up not one another's property unjustly (in any illegal way e.g. stealing, robbing, deceiving, etc.), nor give bribery to the rulers (judges before presenting your cases) that you may knowingly eat up a part of the property of others sinfully.” (2, Al-Baqarah: 188)

Allah says:

]وَلاَ تُؤْتُواْ السُّفَهَاء أَمْوَالَكُمُ الَّتِي جَعَلَ اللّهُ لَكُمْ قِيَاماً[
(النساء: 5)

This means: “And give not unto the foolish your property which Allah has made a means of support for you.” (4, An-Nisa’: 5)

Allah says:

]يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَأْكُلُواْ أَمْوَالَكُمْ بَيْنَكُمْ بِالْبَاطِلِ إِلاَّ أَن تَكُونَ تِجَارَةً عَن تَرَاضٍ مِّنكُمْ وَلاَ تَقْتُلُواْ أَنفُسَكُمْ إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ بِكُمْ رَحِيمًا[ (النساء: 29)

This means: “O you who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves unjustly except it be a trade amongst you, by mutual consent. And do not kill yourselves (nor kill one another). Surely, Allah is Most Merciful to you.” (4, An-Nisa’: 29)

Allah says:

]وَآتُواْ الْيَتَامَى أَمْوَالَهُمْ وَلاَ تَتَبَدَّلُواْ الْخَبِيثَ بِالطَّيِّبِ وَلاَ تَأْكُلُواْ أَمْوَالَهُمْ إِلَى أَمْوَالِكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ حُوبًا كَبِيرًا[
(النساء: 2)

This means: “And give unto orphans their property and do not exchange (your) bad things for (their) good ones; and devour not their substance (by adding it) to your substance. Surely, this is a great sin.” (4, An-Nisa’: 2)

Abu Bakrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that while the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was delivering a sermon on the Day of Sacrifice at Mina during the Farewell Pilgrimage, he said:

“Verily your blood and property are as sacred and inviolable as the sanctity of this day of yours, in this month of yours, and in this city of yours. Behold! Have I conveyed this message to you?” (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Preserving the honor of the people:

Allah says:

]إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُحِبُّونَ أَن تَشِيعَ الْفَاحِشَةُ فِي الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيم فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لا تَعْلَمُونَ[
(النور: 19)

 This means: “Verily, those who like that (the crime of) illegal sexual intercourse should be propagated among those who believe, they will have a painful torment in this world and in the Hereafter. And Allah knows and you know not.” (24, An-Nur: 19)

Allah says:

]إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَرْمُونَ الْمُحْصَنَاتِ الْغَافِلاتِ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ لُعِنُوا فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ[  (النور: 23)

This means: “Verily, those who accuse chaste women, who never even think of anything touching their chastity and are good believers, are cursed in this life and in the Hereafter, and for them will be a great torment.” (24, An-Nur: 23)

Removing restriction:

Allah says:

]مَا يُرِيدُ اللّهُ لِيَجْعَلَ عَلَيْكُم مِّنْ حَرَجٍ وَلَـكِن يُرِيدُ لِيُطَهَّرَكُم[
(المائدة: 6)

 This means: “Allah does not want to place you in any restriction, but He wants to purify you, and to complete His Favor on you.” (5, Al-Ma’idah: 6)

Allah says:

]هُوَ اجْتَبَاكُمْ وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ مِنْ حَرَجٍ[
(الحج: 78)

This means: “He has chosen you (to convey His Message of Islamic Monotheism to mankind by inviting them to His religion, Islam), and has not laid upon you in religion any restriction.” (22, Al-Hajj: 78)

Allah says:

]َيُرِيدُ اللّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلاَ يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْر[
(البقرة: 185)

This means: “Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you.” (2, Al-Baqarah: 185)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“No harm (should be done to others) nor wrong (in retaliation).”
(Reported by Ahmad and Ibn Majah)