The term “Islamic Sharia”(Arabic meaning, Path or a way) is the most sanctified and the most consecrated law of the religion Islam. Sharia law is not only a law but it is actually a complete code of Muslim life. Sharia provides guidance and assistance to all aspects of human life including daily routines, politics, clothing, food, sports, amusements, religious and familial obligations of a human and it also provides guideline for financial dealings as well. Traditional Muslim scholars believe that Islamic Law or Sharia expresses the most prestigious and the highest goals and moral values for other societies in the world as well.
The Origin and Sources of Sharia
The principle sources of the Islamic law or Sharia are Hadith, Quran and Sunnah. Hadith are the sayings of the Holy Prophet and Sunnah is the teaching and practices of the Holy Prophet. The secondary sources of Sharia are Ijma or Comsensus, Ijtihad or responsible individual opinioin, Kiyas or analogy and Istihsan or Juristic References.
Schools of Sharai Law
There are basically four important and mains schools of Islamic law or Sharia:
Hanbali: This school of sharia is widely practiced in some parts of Northern Nigeria and in Saudi Arabia as well.
Maliki: This school of sharai is based on the practices and teachings of the people of Madina during the life of the Holy Prophet.
Shafi: This school of thought gives so much importance on the saying and opinions of the companions (Sahaba) of the Holy Prophet.
Hanifi: Among the four Madhhab, the Hanifi school of Islamic law is the most oldest nad the most liberal school. Today, the Hanifi school is widely practiced in Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, China, India, Albania, Turkey and in Mauritius.
Topics of Islamic Law or Sharia
The Islamic Law or Sharia can easily be categorized into five major braches:
- Ibadah which is also called ritual worship
- Mu’amalat or contracts and transactions
- Adab or manners and morals
- I’tiqadat or beliefs
- ‘Uqubat or the concept of punishment
A Muslim scholar named Ahmad Ibn Naqib Al-Misri of Shafi school of fiqh has divided the Sharai Islamic Law into topics such as Purification, The funeral prayer, prayer, the poor tax, the Pilgrimage, Fasting, Inheritance, Trade, Divorce, Marriage and Justice.
Brief Explanation of some Important Concepts of Shraia
The concept of purification is that Muslims have to purify themselves after doing certain activities and after contacting with impure substances and animals. Muslims can purify themselves with the help of water and sometimes soil is also used under certain conditions.
Muslims are bound to pray five times day, pay taxes in the form of Zakat to the poor and needy people and must visit to all the Holy Place at least once in their life. Sharia encourages all Muslims to visit to their fellow men and women in the period of sickness and dying.