A Definition Of Law

We hope that this study would provide a clear vision to humanity and present in its true perspective the thought and position of the Muslim individual, who unfortunately due to the distortions made by materialistic imperialism has started begging and borrowing alien ideas, thoughts, principles and systems, in gross violation of truth discharged by reality, so beautifully explained by the glorious Qur'an. We sincerely hope Islam will enable mankind to return to Allah's straight path and His Divine Laws, the clue to a peaceful life full of harmony, virtue and happiness.

We earnestly invoke Allah the Merciful to help us enact His Laws and to follow His course. Allah is the Hearer of our humble invocations.

If we contemplate the world around us, ourselves, the nature of our society as well as the texture of relations and events in our environment, we realize that everything in this existence is running according to a perfectly balanced system and exact calculation.

The Universe with its worlds of life, thought, society etc., is by the nature of its existence, the way it moves and the correlations of its elements subject to universal facts, which organize its course, define its role and goal and keep it active and efficient. It is motivated by the potent factor of Humanity.

Through language and its use, the sounds and their pronunciations, the meditation and its ideas, the thought and the course of its movement, the will and the way it acts, the self and its behavior, and last but not the least, the instincts and their inclinations, response and expressions. All of these appear in the feelings of love and hatred that affect human conduct, relations and attitudes resulting in peace and happiness or crime and tension in the society, as well as progress or the decline of civilizations in the course of history.

They also appear in the fluctuations of usages as well as of demand and supply. Besides preserving the inherited physical and biological characteristics and the balance in their appearance and disappearance, they can be perceived in dispersion of the stars, atoms, heavenly bodies and cosmic clusters in their respective orbits.

All these human or cosmic phenomena in this universe, go on and on, in this world of matter, life and thought. They promote such changes as biogenic, birth and extinction join other elements, affect them or are influenced by them, as the case may be, in a limited manner or in certain specific ways of execution.

Such manners of execution, phenomena and the events including perfectly systematic forms of beings are called ‘The Law’.

Thus it is quite obvious that the necessity of the Law is a universal fact, required by every event, cause, phenomena and subject, be it natural or social.

So under this universal and inevitable rule, man's activities, behavior and social relations should he formulated within a legal frame in accordance with a specific manner that would preserve his life, accomplish his humanistic objectives, show the nature of his constitution and plan the course of progress and relationship.

When these human relations in the fields of society, politics, economy etc., are systematized in the set of defined rules, we call them laws, canons or regulations of Allah1; all of which comes within the scope of religion and constitutes a part of it. Since the scope of religion is much wider than just to organize man's external social relations. Actually, religion organizes man's inner self too and morally builds it. It takes care of belief, devotional rites, and the individual's personal activities, such as how to keep clean, to eat, to drink, to wear clothes, to think, etc.

Therefore, the law could be defined as: “The principle which organizes human relations among individuals and groups. This covers all aspects of human life such as social, political, commercial, administrative, financial, family, inheritance work, laud transactions…etc.”

It is thus, obvious that the objective of the existence of the Divine Law is, to subject every manifest, human activity and relation to a balanced and calculated frame of organization and discipline. In Islam, existence is not a confusion, absurdity or loss, as is evident by the following verses of the Qur'an:

أَفَحَسِبْتُمْ أَنَّمَا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ عَبَثًا وَأَنَّكُمْ إِلَيْنَا لَا تُرْجَعُونَ

What! did you then think that We had created you in vain and that you shall not be returned to Us? “He has created everything and has ordained for it a measure.” (23:115)

الَّذِي لَهُ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَلَمْ يَتَّخِذْ وَلَدًا وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ شَرِيكٌ فِي الْمُلْكِ وَخَلَقَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ فَقَدَّرَهُ تَقْدِيرًا

He, Whose is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth, and Who did not take to Himself a son, and Who has no associate in the kingdom, and Who created everything, then ordained for it a measure. (25:2)

اللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَحْمِلُ كُلُّ أُنْثَىٰ وَمَا تَغِيضُ الْأَرْحَامُ وَمَا تَزْدَادُ وَكُلُّ شَيْءٍ عِنْدَهُ بِمِقْدَارٍ

Allah knows what every female bears, and that of which the wombs fall short of completion and that in which they increase; and there is a measure with Him of everything. (13:8)

وَأَنْزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ مُصَدِّقًا لِمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَمُهَيْمِنًا عَلَيْهِ فَاحْكُمْ بَيْنَهُمْ بِمَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ وَلَا تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاءَهُمْ عَمَّا جَاءَكَ مِنَ الْحَقِّ لِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مِنْكُمْ شِرْعَةً وَمِنْهَاجًا وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ لَجَعَلَكُمْ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَلَٰكِنْ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ فِي مَا آتَاكُمْ فَاسْتَبِقُوا الْخَيْرَاتِ إِلَى اللَّهِ مَرْجِعُكُمْ جَمِيعًا فَيُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ فِيهِ تَخْتَلِفُونَ

And We have revealed to you the Book with the truth, verifying what is before it of the Book and a guardian over it, therefore judge between them by what Allah has revealed, and do not follow their low desires (to turn away) from the truth that has come to you; for every one of you did We appoint a law and a way, and if Allah had pleased He would have made you (all) a single people, but that He might try you in what He gave you, therefore strive with one another to hasten to virtuous deeds; to Allah is your return, of all (of you), so He will let you know that in which you differed; (5:48)

  • 1. Every Islamic rule is a law, but we confine this definition to the concept of law in the social arena, as the current technical terms go. The Islamic Laws or Canons are known in Arabic as Shariah