Quran as a source of Islamic Law

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Quran as a source of Islamic Law

Quran is the primary source of Islamic Law; but it is not in codified form. It covers all aspects of human action, e.g. moral, ritual, legal and worldly aspects. All Usulis are unanimous on the point that Holy Quran is the base of Islamic law; thus providing the primary legislation on Islamic legal system. Its authenticity as the source of law lies in the fact that it is direct speech of God. All other sources derive their authenticity and validity from Quran.

Sources of Islamic Law:
Primary Sources:

Secondary Sources:

Qiyas; and
Justification of Quran as a primary Source of law:

Following points are considered when it is declared that the Holy Quran is primary source of law;

Quran as a divine source:

The entire ummah agrees that the Holy Quran is the divine source of law. It is thus binding on the jurists to have recourse to it while discovering any law. It was revealed on the Holy Prophet PBUH by way of tawatur thus obviating every possibility of its being changed by any human being.

On the other hand jurists also agree that the Quran covers all aspects of human life either expressly or by implication. There is a statement of al Shafi that “There is no incident that befalls one of those who follow the din of Allah without there being evidenced in the book of Allah providing guidance for it”

Meaning of word “Quran”

The word Quran is derived from Arabic word Qir’at which means reading or reciting.


The Usulis are generally reluctant to define the Quran because according to them book of as wider scope as of Quran can’t be confined within a definition. However they’ve attempted to define the same but have mentioned simultaneously that the definition is for the purpose of recognition of the book and should not be considered comprehensive.

Al-Bazdawi defines it in following words;

“The Quran is the book revealed to the messenger of Allah, Muhammad (PBUH) as written in the masahif and transmitted to us from him through an authentic continuous narration without doubt.”

Attributes of Quran:

The Quran is a speech of Allah Almighty revealed to Muhammad (PBUH); it is specified in Al Najm: 3 that “And He does not speak of His own desire, it is all revealed on Him”

The Arabic words of the Quran as well as their meanings are both revealed, thus no translation or tafseer can become part of Holy Quran;

The Quran is transmitted to us by way of Tawatur.

The ijaz of Quran is that the human beings are unable to imitate it or to bring about something similar to it.

Methods of deriving laws from Quran:

Law can be derived through;

Established fundamental versus;
Through sunnah interpreting the verses of Quran;
Through Ijtehad on the Verses;
Through Ijma of Ummah; and
Through Qiyas on the Verses.
Nature of Quranic Reference:

There are two basic systems of Quranic legislation;

Quranic reference: He it is who has sent down to thee the book, in it are verses basic and fundamental; they are the foundation of the book, other are allegorical (3:7).
Kinds of Ahkam in Holy Quran:

Two main categories of Ahkam have been classified by Muslim Jurists;

Hukm –e- taklifi; and

The term takliif indicates the presence of element of difficulty in any act. Hukm-e-taklifi is a hukm which demands from human being to do a particular act in a specific way. Following are classifications of act;

Wajab:  These are obligatory hukms

Mandoob: These are recommended act. To obey them is recommended and disobeying is not a sin.

Haram: These are forbidden acts; doing anything haram is strictly forbidden and is a sin.

Makruh: These are the acts which are recommended to be avoided.

Mubah: these are acts of indifference these are neither prohibited nor recommended.


It is a communication; which declares a thing to be a cause of condition of a rule or an impediment to it. It becomes effective only when the cause arises and not otherwise, e.g. blood relation is a cuase of inheritance.

Legislative functions of Holy Quran:

Holy Quran deals with both civil and criminal laws.

Quranic reference on the law of contract:

O ye who believe; when you contracta debt for a fixed term reduce it into writing.

O ye who believe fulfill your agreements (Al-Maida:1)

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