What are the sources of the Shariah?

Written by R on . Posted in Abdur Rashid Siddiqui, Author, Trade Books

The Sources of the Shariah

Usually, books on Islamic law mention four sources of the Shariah: the Qur’an, the Sunnah (practice) of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), ijma’ (Scholarly Consensus) and ijtihad (Independent Juristic Reasoning). However, ijma’ takes place as a result of the ijtihad of the Companions or, later on, other jurists. So, in fact, there are only three sources of the Shariah. These terms are briefly explained below:

 

The Qur’an
The Qur’an is Allah’s speech sent down to the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) through the Archangel Jibril (Gabriel). It is inimitable, unique and protected from corruption by Allah. The Qur’an is a Book of Guidance. Its purpose is to provide guidance for human beings so that they can fulfil their role of vicegerency and stewardship on earth in order to live a life of moral excellence here and attain salvation in the Hereafter. Thus, the Qur’an covers a vast number of subjects: moral, social, economic, political and legal, as well as matters relating to creed and metaphysics.
The Sunnah
While the Qur’an gives basic principles regarding how life on earth is to be lived, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) demonstrated through his practice how these principles were to be implemented. He was the model that the believers are required to follow. During his prophetic ministry, he reformed men, changed society, organised a community and established a state inspired by the guidance provided in the Qur’an. In this way, the Sunnah is the second source of the
Shariah. The authority of the Sunnah is based on the explicit statements recorded in the Qur’an to this effect.The Sunnah is preserved by the ummah’s continuous consensus from the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) about his practical example. It is also recorded in the books of Hadith, which are collections of the Prophet’s sayings, actions and tacit approval.

Ijtihad/ Ijma’ (Independent Juristic Reasoning)
This is an Islamic legal term which refers to the use of reason and judgement to determine Shariah rulings. This comes into operation when both the Qur’an and the Sunnah are silent on a particular issue. This can only be undertaken by thoroughly competent scholars. They can arrive at their opinion (ra’y) by using analogy (qiyas), juristic preference or equity or public good. Ijtihad provides a mechanism to derive guidance with regard to new issues and problems faced by the community.
The consensus or agreement reached on a specific issue through independent juristic reasoning during the time of the first four Rightly-guided Caliphs and the Prophet’s Companions is called Ijma’ Al-Sahabah (the consensus of the Prophetic Companions). This is accepted as binding. Later scholarly consensus by qualified Muslim jurists may be followed, but it can be changed subsequently by other scholarly consensuses. Today, it is possible that jurists living in a particular country arrive at a consensus on a particular issue. But this consensus will be acceptable elsewhere, or globally, only when an assembly of world renowned jurists and scholars endorse it. Ijma’ provides a good mechanism for maintaining the unity of the community in the face of changing situations. Thus, ijtihad is a vital tool which ensures the Shariah’s dynamism and enables the ummah (the faith-community of Islam) to face new challenges as and when they arise.

Revive Your Heart – More Reviews!

Written by R on . Posted in From Kube Shelves, Trade Books

As Salaam Alaykum,

Alhamdulillah we’ve been getting a lot more positive feedback on ‘Revive Your Heart‘ and we wanted to share what other people have been saying about this title.

“His writing style is conversational. You feel as if your older brother is sitting next to you having a heart to heart and offering some really sincere advice. If you enjoy his lectures, you will enjoy his writing style.

As Nouman is a student of knowledge and an Arabic teacher, much of what he discusses focuses on in his book are different translations and the roots, connotations, and synonyms of the Arabic used in the Quran”

AboutIslam.net

“One thing I have always appreciated about Nouman Ali Khan is his honesty. You can tell when something seriously grieves him in his videos just from the way he talks or when something ridiculous cracks him up. It’s the same for Revive Your Heart. Revive Your Heart was written to suggest how Muslims can find peace in chaotic times. In a world that revolves around technology, social media and globalisation, it is easy to get distracted and disheartened by every day life. ”

Pardon My Writings
“This book reminds us not just about the temporary nature of this life, but how we should nurture our heart so it’s ready for the Hereafter. It also touches upon the pertinent issues and challenges affecting the Muslim communities such as the issue of leadership, disunity in the Muslim Ummah and the unacceptable attitudes some Muslim communities have towards women and daughters, despite the beautiful teaching of Islam that call us to honour them.

What we like the most about the book is how Khan makes enormous efforts to explain the meaning of important words or verses in the Qur’an so that the reader may actually understand and appreciate the message and beauty of their religion. Nowadays, the ongoing developments in technology and everything around us can easily distract us from our duties and purpose in life. It is as if our physical body is just going through the motions, and our hearts (and ruh (soul)) are dying.”

Productive Muslim

“In its essence, it’s a book that calls into question the importance of reviving your heart, to not get caught up in life to the point where you forget your spirituality and character-building. To at least form a habit of remembering God in our lives as the busy lifestyle we all may lead, can take us away from the bigger picture. To just having a moment of peace, reflection and a sit-down conversation with God.”

i.Reads

“His profound explanations of disarmingly simple words and phrases is by far the book’s greatest strength, as it opens up the world of the Qur’an in a way few other sermonic texts do. This book will no doubt prove popular as a devotional work for the faithful Muslim reader, and it might also benefit those who want to understand what it means to be Muslim beyond the headlines and in the midst of modern life.”

Publishers Weekly

To find out more about Revive Your Heart, click here!

P.S. The e-book version is available on Amazon 

Sneak Peek: A Treasury of Hadith

Written by site_admin on . Posted in Trade Books

A Treasury of Hadith: A Commentary on Nawawi’s Selection of of Forty Prophetic Traditions

Ibn Daqiq al-Id

translated by Mokrane Guezzou

This classical short commentary on Imam Nawawi’s famous collection of forty-two traditions of the Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him and give him peace, is an authoratative introduction to key Islamic principles and teachings. Accounted as a hadith master, in this collection Imam Nawawi collated together those traditions that he considered were axial to the entire Islamic faith.

Translated in accessible English and presented in a beautiful gift format, this is a book to treasure.

Ibn Daqiq al-Id (d.1302) was a Shafi’i mujtahid imam, who was educated in Damascus, Alexandria and Egypt. Accounted as one of the greatest scholars in Islam in the fundamentals of law and belief, he wrote extensively in the areas of law, principles of jurispudence, hadith and tenets of faith.

Imam Nawawi (d.1277) was accounted as an Imam of the later Shafi’i school, and was known for his piety and knowledge.

 

Twinkle, Twinkle by Dawud Wharnsby

Written by site_admin on . Posted in Trade Books

Read this poem, Twinkle Twinkle by Dawud Wharnsby, and then look at the image below.

Twinkle, twinkle satellite,
shining like a star so bright.

Cluttering up the evening sky.
You’re not a star you are a lie.

Twinkle, twinkle satellite,
Man-made garbage in the night.

(Text taken from For Whom the Troubadour Sings )

 

Every single satellite orbiting Earth, in a single image

(Image originally posted at http://bgr.com/2014/03/06/satellite-maps-image-earth/)

Book Review: New Directions in Islamic Education

Written by site_admin on . Posted in Abdullah Sahin, Trade Books

The prestigious British Journal of Religious Education has positively reviewed Abdullah Sahin’s New Directions in Islamic Education. 

Bill Gent, Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit, UK, said, “a timely and highly significant contribution to the ongoing debate about the nature and purpose of Islamic education … well-substantiated and linguistically sophisticated …  This book certainly demands both respect and serious reading and response by educationalists, philosophers, Qur’anic scholars and statisticians, amongst others.”

To read the full review, or cite the article, please visit: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01416200.2013.872880#.UtfzAdJdXj4 (paywall)

Nana Asma’u: Educating Muslim Women in the Twenty-First Century

Written by Ceyda Birol on . Posted in Author, Beverly Mack, Trade Books

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The nineteenth-century example of a Muslim woman scholar is not mere history, but is vibrant in twenty-first century North America.  Muslim women around the United States and Canada are quietly building on the model of women’s education that was begun across the Atlantic in another age.  Their aim is to pursue education according to the Qur’anic mandate, through the use of illustrative poems written by West African scholar Nana Asma’u (1793–1864). As explained in Educating Muslim Women: The West African Legacy of Nana Asma’u, 1793–1863, Asma’u’s scholarship extended from affiliation with illustrious scholars in the Maghreb region of North Africa to educational work among the people in northern Nigeria. She knew four languages (Arabic, Fulfulde, Hausa, Tamchek), and she acted on the Prophetic tradition that a teacher must adjust the delivery of a class to match the abilities of the student.  Therefore, she wrote in Arabic for international scholars, in Fulfulde for her extended Fodio (‘learned’) family members, and in Hausa for those displaced by the Sokoto jihad (1804-8), led by her father, Shehu Usman dan Fodio.

The Qur’anic Philosophy of History and Muslim Futures (Part Two)

Written by Ceyda Birol on . Posted in Muhammad Mojlum Khan, Trade Books

 

Islam and scienceThe Qur’anic approach to and interpretation of history is multi-layered and much more complex than is usually thought. The processes of historical evolution and change are not neutral according to the Islamic philosophy of history. According to the Qur’an, God is on the side of those who fear Him and do (what is) good. (Surah al-Nahl 16: 127) The classical Qur’anic commentators like Fakhr al-Din al-Razi state that the ‘fear of God’ here refers to the respect that people show for God’s commands while ‘doing good’ means the kindness, generosity and benevolence that people show towards each other. In other words, people who personify virtue, ensure that fairness and justice underpin all their affairs, and treat people as fairly and equitably as possible without undue bias and favouritism, are assured of Divine help and support. By contrast, those who spread corruption and disorder, oppress the weak by their wrongdoing and failure to observe justice, the historical process defeats the purpose of such evil-doers. In the words of the Qur’an, And when Abraham was tried with certain commands by his Lord. He fulfilled them. Then God said to him: I am about to make you a leader of men. Abraham said, but what about my descendants? God replied: My pledge does not include the wrongdoers. (Surah al-Baqarah 2: 124)

Detox Your Heart

Written by Ceyda Birol on . Posted in Sayeda Habib, Trade Books

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Is your health at its best right now? Are you carrying any emotional baggage around? If we are stressed or unhappy, our physical health will suffer, it’s as simple as that.  For example, when we are happy about one thing, we will often experience other things in a positive light too. The opposite also applies. Think back to the last time that something bad happened to you. How did you feel? How did the negative experience impact your health, your relationships, your work and your confidence?

How do we learn to remove these negative emotions so we can return to a place of feeling happy and motivated again? Let’s explore some general ways through which we can detox ourselves and create healing on an emotional level.

Shift your location

Have you ever noticed how you feel in a particular location at home or at work? For example, you go to your desk, you sit down, and you are in ‘work mode’ immediately, or you enter your home at the end of the day, and you know exactly what needs to be done because you are in ‘mum’ or ‘dad’ mode. The brain is wonderful at anchoring emotions and places to each other. This is how a particular food, smell, place, or sound will trigger off a specific memory. For something to become an anchor, it has to have been carried out a few times. Take a moment to imagine this every day activity. Imagine that you are feeling down, and you sit down to relax in your favourite armchair. Each time you feel a little low, that is the place you go to, because it is your favourite corner of the house. Perhaps it is the most inviting space for you. Each time you sit in the armchair in this state of being low, your mind will associate this emotion with this space. In time, your mind will associate that location to that feeling automatically. The next time you sit in the same place, this emotion may come up without you even realising it, or having it to begin with when you initially sat down. So, if you are now realising that you have an ‘anchor’ where you feel down, then now is the time to do something to break that association. The next time you feel a bit down, notice where you are, and immediately change location. If you are sitting or lying down, stand up and walk around. Indeed, this is really as simple as it sounds. Changing our physiology allows us to change our state, often instantly!

The Qur’anic Philosophy of History and Muslim Futures (Part One)

Written by Ceyda Birol on . Posted in Muhammad Mojlum Khan, Trade Books

Islam and science

The history of a civilisation often holds the key to understanding its present condition. A critical study and evaluation of history should enable us to learn lessons from the past as well as to understand our present existential condition. A people who cannot understand the present cannot therefore hope to advance, progress and move towards a brighter future. That is the key to why the future often lies in the past. The Holy Qur’an has referred to the significance of the past on more than one occasion. As it happens, a quarter of the Qur’an consists of historical data, referring to past events, anecdotal information about the ancients, stories of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joseph, and Jesus, and reminding us of the fate that had befallen the peoples of Ad, Thamud, Madian and their likes. The purpose of such information is simple: so that we may learn lessons from the past, and if we fail to take heed we will only have ourselves to blame, without God’s ultimate plan not being frustrated in any way.

The early Muslims understood this very well. That is why they were successful in all spheres of human activity, making rapid political progress, economic development, cultural advancement as well as making great intellectual contributions. Their achievements have, in many ways, remained unmatched to this day. They became paragons of peace and progress, cultivators of the human sciences as well as patrons of art and architecture, symbols of civility and culture, and the originators of a dazzling global civilization, stretching from the Pyrenees in the West to the Indus Valley in the East. As Robert Van de Weyer pointed out, ‘Chinese and Indian civilizations glittered for well over a thousand years, but by the medieval period both were losing their brightness. Greek civilization shone with great intensity for a short period, and then was overtaken by the bolder and less subtle civilization of Rome; Islamic civilization spread westwards across the Roman world, and then eastwards to India and beyond, and for almost a thousand years its achievements in all spheres of human endeavor were dazzling.’

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