The foundations of legislation

The foundations of legislation

The foundations of legislation


What are the origins, sources and characteristics of this message? Islamic law is based on unique principles and pillars that make it suitable for every human being, and time and place. The most important of these principles are as follows:


Arnold Toynbee

British Historian
The message of Muhammad’s prophet-hood
“Muhammad devoted his life to achieve his mission of ensuring these two phenomena in the social Arab environment, namely: oneness as an idea in the religion, and law and order in the legislative rulings. This really happened thanks to the comprehensive Islamic system, which included both oneness and executive authority between its folds, and thanks to the fact that Islam became a super driving force that transferred the Arabs from a nation of ignorance to a civilized nation.”

None of the religious obligations exceed the ability or the capacity of the person responsible for carrying out these duties and they do not need effort that exceeds the limit which is needed when carrying out ordinary, every-day actions; because religion is easy. Allah says: {Allâh intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you.}(al-Baqarah:185)

The Almighty also says: {Allâh wishes to lighten (the burden) for you; and man was created weak (cannot be patient to leave sexual intercourse with women).}(An-Nisâ’:28)

Allah (Glorified be He) says: {Allâh burdens not a person beyond his scope.}(al-Baqarah:286)

‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) said: “Whenever, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was given a choice between two things, he chose the easier of the two, as long as it was not a sin. If it was a sin, then he was the last person to do it. By Allah! He never took revenge on his own behalf, but when the prohibitions of Allah Almighty were violated, he took revenge on behalf of Allah.” (Bukhari)


George Sarton

A Lecturer in the Universities of Washington and Harvard
The firm belief
“There is nothing in the five pillars of Islam that might alienate a non-Muslim, and despite the simplicity of its obligations and their small number, they did not need to be changed or reformed in any way in order to firmly establish the Islamic faith in the soul of every Muslim. The practical value of the Islamic faith is self-evident in its strength, stability and how it spread.”

Of the removal of difficulties in the Islamic Shari’ah is that there are only a few obligations. This makes it easy for those responsible for carrying out these obligations to proceed with them without distress or fatigue, since in fatigue there is difficulty, which is something that has been removed by Islam. Allah says: {and has not laid upon you in religion any hardship}(al-Hajj:78)

Furthermore, what is also intended from obligations is to lead those who are required to fulfill these obligations to a life of fulfillment in this world, as well as in the Hereafter. Religious legislations are stipulated only to the extent which is both necessary for a person and humanly bearable. Allah says: {101] O you who believe! Ask not about things which, if made plain to you, may cause you trouble. But if you ask about them while the Qur’ân is being revealed, they will be made plain to you. Allâh has forgiven that, and Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Forbearing. 102] Before you, a community asked such questions, then on that account they became disbelievers }(Al-Mâ’idah:101-102)

Caring for the well-being of the people


Will Durant

American Author
Religion first
“The ethical principles of Muslims, their religion, and their government, were all established on the basis of religion. Islam is the simplest and the clearest of all religions. Its basis is the testimony that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”

It is evident for those who study the laws of the Islamic Shari’ah that it is intended to nurture the well-being of the people, achieve goodness and righteousness, and ward off evil and corruption in the world and the Hereafter, for individuals and groups in every time and place. Allah says: {And We have sent you (O Muhammad [sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam]) not but as a mercy for the ‘Alamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists).}(Al-Anbiyâ’:107)

The wisdom behind the instilling of mercy is to achieve the well-being of the people, otherwise if mercy was not an aim (in sending the religion), the Prophet (pbuh) would not have been described as being merciful. All obligations are aimed at the well-being of the people in this world and the Hereafter, because Allah is not in need of any of His slaves. Their worship does not benefit Him, nor does it harm Him if they commit sins. The Islamic Shari’ah encompasses justice, mercy, well-being and wisdom. Every issue that shifts from justice to injustice, from compassion to coldness, from benefit to harm, and from wisdom to frivolity is not from the Islamic Shari’ah, whatsoever.



Naseem Soussa

An Iraqi-Jewish Lecturer
Islam is peace and safety
“Under the banner of Islam Jews found safety and justice which protect them from the evils of persecution and abuse. Many centuries have passed for them while they live in well-being and wealth.”

The texts combine to consolidate justice as being a general approach in life. We, therefore, find texts calling for the establishment of justice, and others warning against injustice, even when dealing with a violator. Allah says: {O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allâh as just witnesses; and let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just: that is nearer to piety; and fear Allâh. Verily, Allâh is Well-Acquainted with what you do.}(Al-Mâ’idah:8)

Coherence and comprehensiveness

The most important evidence for the truthfulness of a religion and a message is what characterizes it regarding it being comprehensive and coherent. Allah says: {We have neglected nothing in the Book,}(al-An’aam:38)

He (Glorified be He) also says: {And We have sent down to you the Book (the Qur’ân) as an exposition of everything, a guidance, a mercy, and glad tidings for those who have submitted themselves (to Allâh as Muslims).}(an-Nahl:89)

This comprehensiveness is reflected in belief and perception, in worship and in drawing closer to Allah, in ethics and virtues, in legislation and in regulations and provisions, rather it is reflected in all areas of a human’s life.

A balance and moderation

Islam is the only religion which is balanced, follows a middle course (wasat) and calls for moderation. {Thus We have made you [true Muslims – real believers of Islâmic Monotheism, true followers of Prophet Muhammad [sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam] and his Sunnah (legal ways)], a Wasat (just) (and the best) nation,}(al-Baqarah:143)

All of its laws and legislations were prepared with a perfect and accurate balance. {And the heaven He has raised high, and He has set up the Balance} (ar-Rahmaan:7)

Allah commanded Muslims to be balanced in everything. Allah says: }And those who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor niggardly, but hold a medium (way) between those (extremes).}(al-Furqaan:67)

The Prophet (pbuh) forbade extremism. He said: “Beware of extremism in religion, for extremism has brought the destruction of those who came before you.” He commanded people to be balanced and to give everyone his due rights. He (pbuh) said: “Your Lord has a right over you, yourself has a right over you, and your family has a right over you. Give whoever has a right his due right.”