A Brief History of the Origin of Islamic Law

Al Fiqh-ul-Islami

Quranic Verses
  • Divorced women remain in waiting for three periods… 2:28
  • And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds. 21:107
  • None of you are to pray asr except in Banu Quraizah.
  • This knowledge is a matter of Deen, so be very selective about who you take your Deen from.
  • Allah is the most merciful to those who show mercy to one another, so have mercy with each other.
  • Oh Allah grant us knowledge and wisdom in Your Deen.
  • Oh Allah bless us in Shaban and allow us to witness Ramadan.
  • May Allah forgive all of our sins and our shortcomings.
  • May Allah unify our minds.
  • May Allah bring our minds and hearts together.
  • May Allah make this community strong, put harmony in this community, put love and compassion and care and togetherness in our hearts.
  • May we always extend the branch of forgiveness to one another.
  • May He forgive us and guide us.
I - The First Dimension of Hadith Jibreel Shows That What we do Matters
  • islam (with a lowercase i) encompasses everything that we do.
  • We negotiate everything that we do through this paradigm - what we do with our hands, bodies, resources the types of business transactions we can commit to, the types of relationships that we are allowed to have.
  • Allah makes it abundantly clear in the Qur’an and Sunnah that He cares about what we do. Therefore, we cannot say that Allah doesn’t care about what we do, only about what we are inside.
  • Since what we do is important, how do we go about doing the things that are pleasing to Allah and staying away from that which is displeasing to Him?
  • Oftentimes people say: “I will only follow the Quran and Sunnah” but if each of us does that on our own, then we will effectively have 1.6 billion opinions in the Muslim world.
  • There is a rhyme, reason and methodology available to us to ensure that what we are doing is sound.
II - The Fiqh of Islam (Islamic Law) Emanated from the First Question of Hadith Jibreel
  • The first legislator was our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saw), whose role was being an essential clarifier of what Allah is communicating to us.
  • We have thousands, upon thousands, of books of Islamic law that were compiled using distinct methodology that is not arbitrary or subjective.
  • All we need to know is what Allah expects from us and how we should act in a way that is pleasing to Him.
  • In the Prophet’s (saw) time there was no need for any opinion besides his (saw).
  • Out of more than 6000 verses in the Quran, only 550 of them deal with the do’s and don'ts of our tradition. This confirms that legal rulings are both an essential and a small part of our tradition.
  • The first 12 years of revelation had very few rulings (ahkaam) and was predominantly dedicated to spiritual, theological cultivation to strengthen the iman and aqeeda of Prophet Muhammad’s (saw) followers.
    • Legal rulings need to have somewhere to settle that is grounded.
    • When you teach your children about Deen, talk about the Magnificence of Allah, the Mercy of Allah, the Love of Allah first and foremost, long before talking about halal and haram.
III - Differences of Opinion is Sunnah
  • Prophet Muhammad (saw) left the door open for differences of opinion (الخلاف المعتبر)
    • Prophet Muhammad (saw) said not to pray Asr until reaching Banu Qurayza
      • Half the companions stopped to pray Asr on the way because they thought the Prophet (saw) was being metaphorical and Maghrib was approaching.
      • Half the companions delayed praying until reaching Banu Qurayza because they thought the Prophet (saw) was being literal.
    • When they came to the Prophet (saw) and told him what had occurred, he (saw) affirmed that both groups performed in a sound and correct manner.
    • He (saw) could have easily said that one was correct and one was not, but he (saw) left it open so that the Ummah can disagree in a manner that is valid.
      • This shows that fiqh is not limited to one opinion, but is subject to differences.
      • This also shows that fiqh has correct and incorrect opinions, and that it isn’t open to any and all interpretation.
  • Valid, recognizable, acceptable difference in opinion is part of our tradition.
  • After the Prophet (saw) passed away, there were some Sahaba who were qualified to render legal opinions.
    • Not all companions were qualified to make legal rulings..
    • Amongst the qualified were
      • Sayidina Abu bakr (ra)
      • Sayidina Umar (ra)
      • Abdullah bin Masood (ra)
      • Abdullah bin Umar (ra)
      • Sayda Aisha (ra)
  • Even companions differed on opinions
    • When a divorce happens there is a certain waiting time that women must wait known as a qura’
      • qura’ means both the time of menstruation and ritual purity from menstruation
      • Sayidina Umar and Abdullah bin Masood (ra) say it means the time of menstruation
      • Zayd ibn Thabit and Sayda Aisha (ra) say it means ritual purity after menstruation
    • This shows us
      • There are only certain qualified people who can speak on opinions
      • Multiple opinions can be correct and held simultaneously.
  • After the companions are the successors (Tabi’een)
    • There were hundreds of thousands and not all of them could deduce opinions
    • Of those who could deduce opinions were
      • Said bin al Musayyib
      • Al Qasim bin Muhammad bin Abi Bakr
      • Ibrahim al Nakhai
      • Imam al Zuhri
    • In this time period, the schools of Islamic opinion were being formed.
      • The people of Madina, known as Ahl al Hadeeth, were led by Said bin al Musayyib, al Qasim bin Muhammad.
      • The people of Iraq, known as Ahl Alraee, were led by Ibrahim al Nakhai.
IV - Development of the Four Schools of Islamic Law
  • After the Tab’ieen came the period of the Mujtahideen
    • Mujtahid means you have mastered all of the sciences of the Arabic language, which are upwards of 17 sciences, along with mastery of Quran, Hadith, people of Hadith, etc.
    • Ijtihaad is not a term to be used lightly
    • Being a mujtahid gives you the ability to access and extract sciences from the Quran/Hadith
    • Among them
      • Sufyan al Thawri
      • Al Laith bin Saad
      • Abu Hanifa - born in the 80th year of hijra
      • Malik - born in the 96th year of hijra
      • Al-Shafi’i
      • Ahmad bin Hanbal
    • As time went on, the opinions of Abu Hanifa, Imam Malik, Al-Shafi’i and Ahmad were codified into schools of Islamic jurisprudence
      • Each school has thousands of scholars by the will and grace of Allah
  • These schools did not develop in a vacuum
    • Nowadays we find people throwing away these schools by saying they cannot provide opinions that are valid about 21st century issues.
    • The vast majority of this Ummah followed these four schools of Islamic jurisprudence for the past 1400 years. We cannot set them aside - on what authority/grounding do we do that?
  • We must not take our Deen from people who choose not to follow the methodologies that have been established for centuries - such as a professor who says that they have analyzed a certain word from the Quran and have come to a conclusion without using our methodology.
  • All four schools use methodologies including
    • Quran
    • Sunnah
    • Ijma - meaning that independent scholars who live independently of one another and arrive at opinions independently of one another that are precisely in unison.
    • Qiyas - analogical reasonings
  • This rich tradition, through the purview of our four madhahib, can manage, understand, and process our reality today.
    • We may not have individual mujtahideen, but we have groupings of scholars who come together from all these schools of thought.

If you consider yourself a “simple Muslim” who wants to know what to do, find a credible scholar in your community/area with credentials and peer review/recognition and follow that scholar. That way, when Allah asks you why you did something, you can point to the scholar who informed you to do so.

  • You cannot stand in front of Allah and say that you did something because your cousin or your professor at a university, who isn’t Muslim, told you to do it.
  1. How am I fulfilling my responsibility to know what Allah expects of me?
  2. Why is it important to recognize the legitimacy of differing opinions in matters of Deen?
  3. What is the possible consequence of following the opinions of unqualified people?

Ramadan Preparation

Communal Harmony

We come together in a way that we don’t do outside of Ramadan

  • We’ll eat together in a way that we don’t do outside of Ramadan
  • We’ll pray together in a way that we don’t do outside of Ramadan

Make it that this month of Ramadan, you will be at the helm of making sure the community is together and that no one is left out.

  • There are many people here who are by themselves
    • As students
    • For medical treatment
    • Pursuing a degree
    • Live alone
    • Have no Muslim family members
  • It’s an individual obligation to invite as many people as you can into your home who you have never even thought to invite.
    • Invite people from different background and walks of life
    • Show Allah that you care about those who testify that he is Allah

Forgive one another

  • To ensure that Allah will forgive you, make sure that you forgive others
  • Know that there is a difference between forgiving someone in your heart and seeking your rights from an individual
    • Ex: If I stole $100 from you, you can forgive me and the $100, but you can choose to forgive someone and still require the $100
    • Forgive so that the heart is clear
  • There is also a difference between what you can forgive and reconciling with the consequences that you suffered are
    • Ex: if I do something wrong and my father reprimands me, that is a consequence, not something that requires forgiveness.
  • Make sure that if you have wronged anyone, that you seek their forgiveness in Ramadan
    • Ex: if there is someone who you have slandered, you must inform them that you have slandered them, and inform everyone who you spoke to that that was a lie, then you can seek forgiveness.

Communal harmony extends to all of creation

  • We have love, mercy, and compassion for all people - this doesn’t mean that we don’t have justice.
  • Disposition of the believer is not to be combative, it is to be a source of mercy.
  • Never stereotype people.