Unformatted text preview: The jurists are also in agreement to the effect that the laws of the previous religions are not to be sought in any source other than that of the Shari'ah of Islam itself. For the rules of other religions do not constitute a binding proof as far as the Muslims are concerned. The Shari'ah, in other words, is the exclusive source of all law for the Muslims. Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence ~ Kamali 206 [1. Abu Zahrah, Usul, p. [2. Abu Zahrah, In view of the ambivalent character of the evidence on this subject, however, the question has arisen as to the nature of the principle that is to be upheld: whether to regard the laws preceding the Shari'ah of Islam as valid unless they are specifically abrogated by the Shari'ah, or whether to regard them as basically nullified unless they are specifically upheld. In response to this, it is said that laws that were introduced in the previous scriptures but which are not upheld by the Shari'ah, and on which no ruling is found in the Qur'an or the Sunnah are not, according to general agreement, applicable to the Muslims. The correct rule regarding the enforcement of the laws of the previous revelations is that they are not to be applied to the followers of Islam unless they are specifically upheld by the Shari'ah. Isma'il, Adillah, p.320.] Once again the question arises as to whether the foregoing statement is in harmony with the Qur'anic proclamations that were quoted above. The general response given to this is that the Prophet of Islam was ordered to follow the previous revelations as a source of guidance only in regard to the essence of the faith, that is, belief in God and monotheism. It has thus been pointed out that the word huda `guidance' in the second ayah, and hudahum 'their guidance' in the third ayah quoted above only mean tawhid, or belief in the oneness of God, which is undoubtedly the norm in the Shari'ah of Islam. Their guidance cannot be upheld in toto in the face of clear evidence that some of their laws have been abrogated. The reference is therefore to that aspect of guidance which is in common between Islam and the previous religions, namely tawhid. It has been further suggested that the reference to 'Prophets' in the second ayah above is confined, as the text itself suggests, to the Prophets of Bani Isra'il, and the holy Prophet Muhammad is not one of them. [4. Ghazali, Mustasfa, I, 134; Abu Zahrah, Usul, p. 242; Isma'il, Adillah, p.325] The Qur'an on many occasions refers to the rules of previous revelations on specific issues, but the manner in which these references occur is not uniform. The Qur'an alludes to such laws in the following three forms: 1. The Qur'an (or the Sunnah) may refer to a ruling of the previous revelation and simultaneously make it obligatory on the Muslims, in which case there remains no doubt that the ruling so upheld becomes an integral part of the Shari'ah of Islam. An example of this is the Qur'anic text on the duty of fasting which provides: 'O believers, fasting is prescribed for you as it was pre...
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This note was uploaded on 04/13/2013 for the course ISLAM 101 taught by Professor Islam during the Spring '13 term at Harvey Mudd College.
- Spring '13