Islamic Law


Islamic Law

Islamic Law
by Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (rahmatullah ‘alayh)


We want Islamic law to conform to our liking, so much so that we will find some Fatwa (Islamic ruling) to justify our actions.

The ordinary laymen, and so too, many who are highly qualified in the secular field, read the Qur'an Sharif and authentic Hadith kitabs [1] such as Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim and find some Ayah (verse) or Hadeeth to justify their actions.

The Ayah or Hadith is often taken out of context and expounded to justify grave and major sins. 

Each Ayah and Hadith has an explanation and commentary.
If there was no need for explanations, we would not have had Allama Sayyid Mahmud Baghdadi (rahmatullah ‘alayh), Ibn Kathir (rahmatullah alayh) and other Mufassirin (commentators of the Qur`an Sharif), or Hafez Asqalani(rahmatullah ‘alayh), Mulla Ali Qari (rahmatullah ‘alayh) and other Muhaddithin [2] writing volumes in commentary.
Therefore, just reading and presenting an Ayah from the Qur'an Shareef or a Hadeeth from a kitaab is insufficient to justify one's actions.


Although there are so many law books and medical journals at the disposal of the layman, not everyone is qualified to understand, explain, and interpret these. One has to spend many years studying and researching under one already qualified in law, medicine, etc. before one can do so.
 If some quack has to give a wrong opinion or an incorrect diagnosis, he would be sued for malpractice. 


In the field of Ifta [3], only those qualified in the science of Qur'an and Hadith may issue verdicts. No matter how many certificates, degrees and other qualifications and titles a person may have acquired in the secular field, these do not give him (or her) the license and authority to issue Fatwas (rulings) in the sphere of religion.


Then there are so many who have a superficial knowledge of just the Arabic language, but they consider themselves qualified to interpret the Qur'an Sharif and Ahadith.

The Sahabah (radiyallahu' anhum), who were perfectly acquainted and well-versed in the Arabic language, were still required to formally learn the Qur'an Sharif from Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). It would therefore be false and arrogant of a person with a basic study of Arabic to lay claim to having more knowledge and understanding than the noble Sahabah (radiyallahu ‘anhum) by presenting his own commentary of the Qur'an. 


So many who have not studied Shariah under the guidance of Ulama-e-Haq, reject the teachings of the Mujtahidin[4] and present their own concocted theories and commentaries. Others are quick to quote Ayat and Ahadith in support of their sinful actions or misinterpret the same. 


Such people should seriously heed the warnings of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) regarding their careless and erroneous statements and ignorant behaviour.


Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

 “Whosoever, in interpreting the Qur'an, says therein anything of his own opinion commits a mistake even if he is correct.”[5]


In another narration, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) mentioned: 

“Whosoever interprets the Qur'an without knowledge, let him seek his abode in the Fire.” [6]               



 “Whoso interprets the Qur'an according to his opinion, let him seek his abode in the Fire.” [7]


Regarding misquoting Ahadith, Rasulullah (sallallahu' alayhi wasallam) stated explicitly: 

“Be careful of (narrating) traditions from me except what you know. Whoso imputes falsehood to me intentionally, let him then seek his abode in the fire.”[8]


Yes, when it comes to etiquette, character, the stories of the Ambiya (‘alayhimus salam) and nations of the past, the causes of rise and decline; paradise and hell, reward and retribution, then read and quote authentic Tafsir or translation. However, when it comes to the laws of Shariah, Fatawa (Islamic rulings), and commentary of the Qur'an and Hadith, leave it to those who have spent years mastering these sciences and are experts in these fields.


Nowadays, the title of ‘Mufti'[9] has also become very cheap. Some spend a few months or a year in a Darul Ifta [10] and become rubber stamp “Mufti so and so”.Before enquiring about matters of Deen, verify the person's qualifications, just as we do in worldly matters.


Women have a weakness; if a woman gives a powerful speech on a subject, having read some Islamic books, she is asked questions on all subjects. The speaker, too, will sometimes reply to all questions, even though unaware or ignorant.


Just giving a good speech is no qualification to answer all questions on the Qur'an Sharif and Sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam).


We should be cautious and selective regarding whom we acquire Ilm-e-Deen [11]. There is a famous statement by Muhammad bin Sirin (rahmatullah ‘alayh):

“This knowledge is a matter of Deen, so be careful whom you take your Deen from.”


We should keep these points in mind, and we should also not lay claim to qualifications we do not possess.


[1] kitaabs: Books

[2] Muhaddithin: Scholars of Hadith

[3] Ifta: Legal Shar'i injunctions

[4] Mujtahideen: Scholars certified to interpret Islamic Law

[5] Tirmidhi

[6] Tirmidhi

[7] Tirmidhi

[8] Tirmidhi

[9] Mufti : Muslim Jurist

[10] Darul Ifta: Institution offering a course concentrating on Islamic Law and passing verdicts.

[11] Ilm-e-Deen : knowledge of religion/Islam