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Sunnah is the second primary source of Islamic law. if the Mujtahid does not find a text in the Quran for a case he has to settle, he has recourse to the Sunnah for the derivation of the Hukms. there is a special bond between Quran and Sunnah which must not be served as Sunnah is the explanation of the Holy Quran.
2. Meaning of Sunnah:
I. Literal meaning:
The word Sunnah stands for the
"Well known path" or the "Well-trodden path which is followed again and again.
II. Technical meaning:
"What was transmitted from the messenger of Allah (P. B. U. H) of his words, act and 9tacit) approvals."
3. Kinds of Sunnah:
Following are the kinds of Sunnah.
(i) According to its of nature.
(ii) According to its written record.
I. According to its nature:
According to its nature, Sunnah is of following types.
(i) Sunnah al Qawliah:
It is saying or narration of the Holy Prophet (P. B. U. H) through which he intended the laying down of the law or the explanation of the Ahkam.
(i) "La darar Wa-la dirar"
(No injury is to be caused and none is to be borne)
(ii) Sunnah Al Filiyah:
It is defined as the deeds and practices of the Holy Prophet (P. B. U. H) having a legal content like his prayers facts etc.
(iii) Sunnah Taqritiyah:
It is defined as the commission of certain acts, by wondor deed. if something was done in a particular way and Holy Prophet (P. B. U. H) maintained silence without expressing disproval to it, his silence in such a case is called Taqir or Tacit approval and is considered a Sunnah.
II. According to its written record:
Sunnah may also be classified according to its entire written record, that is Ahadith.
(A) Division of Ahadith:
With respect to its narration, Ahadith are divided into two types.
(i) Hadith Muttasil.
(ii) Hadith Mursal.
(i) Hadith Muttasil:
The Ahadith whose chain of narration is complete. these are the ones in which the narrator are mentioned from the beginning of the sand upto the Holy Prophet (P. B. U .H) and no narrator is missing.
Types of Hadith Muttasil:
It is one that is related by such a large number of people that thier agreement to falsehood cannot be conceived. twatur is of two.
When all the narrators agree about the words as well as meaning the hadith is called Twatur Lafzi. for example. following Hadith is Twatur Lafiz."He who attributes falsehood to me should person his abode in the fire."
Twatur Manawi (Meaning)
It is a hadith which conveys the same meaning even it the words are not exactly the same.
(b) Hadith Mashhur:
The mashhur tradition is one the number of whose reporters do no reach the level of twatur in the first generation. thus if one or two companions related the tradition form the prophet but in the next generation the generation of tabium, a very large number related form them and so on till the end of the chain when the traditions were compiled the such a tradition is called mashhur.
(c) Hadith Ahad:
The hadith ahad or the Khabar Wahid is reported by one or two persons from the beginning of its chain upto its end when all traditions were recorded.
(ii) Hadith Mursal:
Hadith Mursal is one that is not continuous and one one more names of the narrators are missing from the chain of narration the jurists disagreed about the employment of a Mursal hadith as proof for a Hukm.
4. Sunnah as a source of law:
Allah Almighty has delegated legislative powers to the Holy Prophet (P. B. U. H). the Quran from time and again makes the Prophetic Sunnah as obligatory on the Muslims the reason why Sunnah is treated as a source of law is based on the argument that Sunnah of Holy Prophet (P. B.U.H) was also revealed on him.
"And came to you from God the light (Prophet) and the book." (Surah Al-Maida 15)
"And remeber what is read in your houses out the Quran and the Hikam (Sunnah) (Surah-Al-Ahzaab 34)
The authority of the Sunnah as a source of law is derived from the Quran. following Quran verses throws light on the importance of Sunnah.
"If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to the Allah and his Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H)." 9Surah-Al-Nisa 59)
"And he does not speak of his own desire all is revealed on him". (Sura-Al-Nahal)
"He who obyes the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) obeys. (Surah Al Nisa: 80)
II. Legislative function of Sunnah:
Sunnah is the second primary source of law. the jurists must recourse to the Quran first for the search of the Hukm and should not move to the Sunnah unless the search in the Quran has been completed. more often than not, it is not possible for the jurist to understand the meaning of the text of the Quran from the derivation of the ahkams, unless he has recourse to the explanation and commentary of the Quran which is sunnah itself.
(i) Qualification for Sunnah as a source of law:
It is not every Sunnah that is a source of law. to qualify Sunnah as a source of law, it is necessary that the acts must have a legal content. the purpose of the saying or acts of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) should be the laying down of the law or its elaboration.
(ii) Original law-making by Sunnah:
Where some Hukm is not mentioned in the Quran and Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) decides it according to its own wisdom, it becomes a source of original law making.
(iii) Legislative function of Sunnah with respect to Holy Quran or relationship btween Quran and Suuna:
Quran laid down the basic principles and Sunnah explains these principles. the legislative function of Sunnah with respect to the Holy Quran or the relationship between Quran and Sunnah can be discussed as under.
(a) Specification of General Rule:
The Ahkams in the Quran is in general, undetermined. form the Sunnah restricts or qualifies theses ahkams.
Quran says that "for the male two shares of the female the Sunnah explains that the murderer will not inherit.
(b) Elaboration of Ahkams:
The Ahkams in Quran are general in unelaborated form. the Sunnah elaborates these Ahkams.
Quran order prayer, Sunnah provied for timing, number and rak' as of prayers.
(c) Analogy on the basis of rule in Quran:
The Sunnah may add supplement the legal provision of the Quran.
Quran prohibits marriage of two sisters with one man Sunnah prohibits it with maternal or paternal aunt.
(d) Lainkage of case with well known principle:
Sunnah links a case with the well-known principle mentioned in the Holy Quran.
Quran has permitted all good things and has commanded the avoidance of khabaith. the Sunnah has liked with the Khabaith the consumption of animals with molars and birds with claws.
(e) General principles laid down by Sunnah:
Some times Sunnah lays down a genera principle.
Sunnah lays down the principle.
"No injury is to be caused or borne."
Quran mentions a number of cases in which injury to others has been prohibited.
(f) Explanation of the implicit:
The Quranic injunctions are sometimes implicit and the Sunnah makes it explicit by providing the details.
Quran provides that the hands of each theif are to be cut. the Sunnah restricts this to the thief who steals wealth equivalent to the Nisab and from the protective custody.
5. Difference between Sunnah and Hadith:
Hadith is the noun derived from the word "Hadatha" which means a tale or verbal communication of any kind. in legal sence Hadith means saying of Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) which must be practiced. Sunnah and Hadith means one and the same thing, yet there are few differences between these two terms.
(i) As to meaning:
Hadith means saying off Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H).
Sunnah refers to every saying of Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) and to every act which he did or performed and every act which was permitted to be done by him.
Sunnah is bigger in scope.
Hadith is narrow in scope as it refers to only the sayings of Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H).
(iii) As to element:
Sunnah is a complete term which has three elements.
Hadith is one element of Sunnah.
(iv) As to Activity:
Hadith consisted in some sort of activity. there must be saying of the Holy Prophet. (P.B.U.H)
In Sunnah, there may be no activity. it may be that act of Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) where he kept quite in case he saw people doing a particular thing.
(v) As to collection:
Hadith have been collected and compiled in a proper form.
Collection of Sunnah was never made and it is out of collection.
To conclude, I can say, that Sunnah is the second primary source of Islamic law. it is interlinked with the Quran insofar as it restricts its general meaning or qualifies its absolute texts or explains its difficult words.
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