Shari’a: The Progression and Use of Islamic Law

In Islam, the word “Shari’a” represents a body of Islamic law. This Arabic term means "way" or "path." The technical use of Shari’a goes back to some passages in the Qur’an. One example is the following late Meccan passage: “We gave you a Shari’a in religion; follow it and do not follow the lusts of those who do not know” (Sura 45:18). Elsewhere, it is said, “To every one of you, we have given a shri’a and a minhaj (a clear way)” (Sura 5:48).

Shari’a is a legal framework in which the public and private aspects of life are regulated to a legal system based on Islam. In other words, Sharia deals with all aspects of day-to-day life, including religion, politics, economics, banking, business law, contract law, sexuality, and social issues. The three main categories of Shari’a are: Ibadat (Worship & ritual regulations), Mu’amalat (Social regulations), and Imama (Organizational rules).

Punishment of Apostasy in Islam

The majority of scholars in Islam stand for the punishment of an apostate. The following key passage in the Qur'an is used: ‘But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks; except those who join a group between whom and you there is a treaty (of peace) or those who approach you with hearts restraining them from fighting you as well as fighting their own people (Sura 4:89-90). Other passages are used with an interpretation to punish apostates: 2:217; 3:72,90; 4:137; 5:54; 16:106.

The concept of Ijtihad in the history of Islamic Jurisprudence

In Islamic law the use of individual reasoning in general is called Ijtihad or Ijtihad al-ra'y, and Mujtahid is the qualified lawyer who uses it. "Exertion" is the literal meaning of Ijtihad. In general usage, this Arabic word denotes the utmost effort, physical or mental, expended in a particular activity. In its Islamic and technical legal connotation, it denotes the thorough exertion of the jurist's mental faculty in finding a solution for a case of law.

Literary Characteristics of the Qur'an

The Qur'an [1] is the fundamental document of the religion of Islam. It is regarded by the faithful as the Holy, revealed, eternal Word of God, preserved on the guarded tablets, lawh mahfuz in heaven (Sura 85:22). It was sent down complete to the lowest heaven in Ramadan, the ninth month of the Muslim calendar[2] and from there it was revealed through the angel Gabriel piecemeal to Muhammad as the occasion required (Sura 2:91). He dictated it to his companions, was written by the hands of the scribes  (Sura 80:50) and the present copy in circulation is the same vowel for vowel  and syllable for syllable  as was first given to Muhammad.[3]

The role of the Qur’an in the development of Islam

The word Qur’an comes from a verb Qara which means to recite. Muslims believe that the Qur’an is the word of God as revealed in Arabic through Gabraiel at intervals. It was recited by Muhammad, written down by his scribes and after his death collected in a book. This has been preserved throughout ages. Its nature and contents has played a decisive role in the development of a faith known today as Islam and its adherents as Muslims.

Tafsir al-Qur'an: Definition, Function and Development


The word tafsir is derived from the Arabic word fasara, which literally means to lift the curtain, to make clear, to show the objective, and hence by analogy tafsir is the body of knowledge which aims to make clear the true meaning of the Qur'an, its injunctions and the occasions of its revelation. This research is based upon the traditional transmitted material about the Qur'an. Although tafsir is an Arabic word the process was known before the age of Islam. Jews and Christians used the term in various ways for their translations and commentaries on the Bible in the past.[1 ]Another word ta'wil has been also used to denote the interpretation or reclamation of meanings of the Qur'an text. Some scholars believe that ta'wil is synonymous with tafsir, others have denied and suggest that tafsir refers to the illumination of the external meaning of the Qur'an while ta'wil is the extraction of the hidden meanings. [2]

Wahdat al-Wujud: a fundamental doctrine in Sufism


The concepts of al-Insan al-Kamel, the perfect man and Wahdat al-Wujud, the transcendent Unity of God are seen as two fundamental doctrines in Sufi 1 Islam. God is the ground of all being and there is nothing except Him. Thus our goal is to go back and be absorbed in Him. It is believed that there is essential unity between humanity and God. Both doctrines are, in fact, complementary. However in this essay we will concentrate on Wahdat al-Wujud.