The Sacred Law - Shariʿah

Justice and Compassion

The Shari’ah is compassion and justice, it is the basis for behaviour and it seeks the welfare of human beings. If its application leads to the opposite, then our understanding and interpretation needs to be re-evaluated in the light of the Texts.

This is so because the interpretation of the Law is a human endeavor (ijtihād ) for those scholars who have the intellectual requisites for it.

Ethical & Moral Principles

Shari’ah refers to wide-ranging moral and broad ethical principles drawn from the Quran and the practices and sayings (hadith) of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.

Allah says in the Holy Quran:


{We have established for you a code of conduct and a religion. Follow it, and follow not the vain desires of those who know not.}

Benefit/ Harm

”Everything that Allah has legislated has benefit for us in this life or the next, or in both lives. And everything Allah has forbidden there is harm if we did it, either in this life or the next, or in both lives.”
Al-ʿIzz Ibn ʿAbdus-Salām

Clear & Profound

Shari’ah: It is a clear path (a code of conduct and a religion) by which Allah leads people to the truth, warning man (and woman) not to erect their desire as a god (45-23), and also by not going along with the caprices (hāwa) of the nihilists, not even of the people of the Book. Following them or the disbelievers in their desires and expectations would empty the heart of the faithful and it would seal it up and cover his sight (45-23).

Such a great calamity when the empty souls will be blown into the abyss of the raging fire (hāwiyya) like scattered moths or other debris. (Sura 101)!

Sharīʿah: Two Basic Categories
Difference in opinion in the Community is a mercy
Islamic Law Today

The Shariʿah: Mercy to Mankind

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The science of the religious law (Shariʿah ) has an internal as well as an external aspect and inculcates inward as well as outward actions. … The inward aspect of religion is the necessary complement of the outward aspect, and vice versa.
Abu Nasr ʿAbdallah b. ʿAli al-Sarrāj al-Tūsī

 Tasawwuf - Sufism in Islam

Shari’ah: Guidance

The word shari’ah (الشَرِعَة ) means "way" and defines the guidance that came with the Qur'an and the life pattern of the Prophet (sallAllāhu ʻaleihi wa sallam). To follow the shari'ah should lead to al-haqīqah (the essential reality). This means following this exact guidance would lead to an unveiling (al-kashf ) of the Real (The Supreme Reality), with Allah's permission (bi-idhniLLāh ).

Consequently, anyone who neglects or raises objections to the shari’ah can never reach this unveiling. This is because there is no act or withholding of an act except the shari'ah has a special wisdom about it and because every act has certain consequences for the spiritual journey towards God (or the Absolute Reality), as explained by Muhyiddīn Ibn Arabī (Futūhāt Ch. 262). The signification of the shari’ah for a Muslim is that he/she observes the attitude of a true servant (’abd ) and that he/ she follows in the footsteps of the Prophet ﷺ.

Qur'an: {Say: If you love God, follow me, and God will love you and forgive your sins, for God is all-forgiving, all-merciful.} (Sura 3, verse 31)

Adhering to the shari’ah without fanaticism is thus the greatest charisma according to Muhyiddīn Ibn Arabī.

Imam Ahmed Vâlsan (rh)

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Shariʿah: Purification & Learning

"As for the noble qualities of the Sacred Law (Shariʿah), its basis is the purification of the soul through the practice of learning, and exercising temperance and patience and justice. And its end is to be distinguished by wisdom, generosity, compassion, and excellence..."

"For by learning one achieves wisdom, and by exercising temperance he achieves generosity, and by exercising patience he arrives at courage and compassion, and by practicing justice he rectifies his actions."

Ar-Raghib al-Isfahani - @IsmailRoyer

أما مكارم الشريعة فمبدؤها طهارة النفس باستعمال التعلم، واستعمال العفة والصبر والعدالة، ونهايتها التخصص بالحكمة والجود والحلم والإحسان. فبالتعلم يتوصل إلى الحكمة، وباستعمال العفة يتوصل إلى الجود، وباستعمال الصبر تدرك الشجاعة والحلم، وباستعمال العدالة تصحح الأفعال

الراغب الأصفهانى


actions, compassion, generosity, justice, learning, patience, practice, purification, soul, temperance, wisdom

Both Outer and Inner Aspect

The Law has an outer and inner aspect. According to the saints and theologians, the religion (dīn ) of Islam is intended to be practiced, both in regard to the inner life of man, as well as in accordance with the outward prescriptions for living a life in compliance with God’s will. This way truth (haqīqah ) may be attained.

The inner aspect of the Law consists of deeds of the heart and spirit and is called the Path (tarīqah ). It is about the purification of the soul (nafs / ego), and the heart (mind - `aql ), and the cultivation of the spirit ( rūh ), God Almighty willing. All this while deriving essential support from the divine revelation (naql).

The inner path harmonizes spiritual life with the acts of the outer, visible life, providing a higher understanding of the religious codes of daily life. Thus compartmentalization is overcome and unity between the inner and the outer is achieved. Also existence itself, the visible and the invisible universe, with all its seemingly complex entities, form a unified whole, bound together by the Breath of the All-Merciful.

Allah knows best and most!

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{The one who erects (has taken) his desire as (to be) his god!} (45-23)

1. Free yourself (your nafs ) from the the slavery of the carnal desires (hawā ), develop your love for God (may His Majesty be exalted) → and obey the divine commands.

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ also said:

موتوا قبل ان تموتوا

Or: “Die before you actually die.”
Choose to die spiritually from your physical desires, so that you live forever.
Shaykh Ahmed Saad

It is about the return to the Lord before actually returning [finally to Allah at death] and it refers to the subjugation of one's animal soul by one's rational soul.
Prolegomena; Sh Syed M Naqib al-Attas

Spiritual advancement is necessarily combined with knowledge of Allah سبحانه و تعالى : It will make the seeker of divine knowledge realise that he needs to wake up from his sleep of love of this world (dunyā) while following the ego (nafs).

Imam Ali (may Allah ennoble his face) said: ”People are asleep as long as they are alive when they die they wake up.”

They are asleep to the infinite bounties of Allah, the All-Merciful, which they receive more or less every day - asleep to His blessings (barakah بركة‎ ) and unthankful, ignoring what their life could have been, had they taken heed.
 About Prophet Muhammad ﷺ

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