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Din and Shariah

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Suleyman View Drop Down
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    Posted: 16 May 2005 at 11:57am

Din and Shariah by Maulana Maududi-Towards Understanding Qur'an


So far we have been dealing with Din or Faith. We now come to a discussion of the Shariah of the Prophet Muhammad (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him). But let us first be clear about the difference between Din and Shariah.

Distinction between Din and Shariah
In the foregoing chapters we said that all the Prophets who have appeared from time to time propagated Islam, that is the belief in God with all His attributes, faith in the Day of Judgment and faith in the Prophets and the Books; they asked people to live a life of obedience and submission to their Lord. This is what constitutes al-Din and it was common to the teachings of all the Prophets.

Apart from this Din there is the Shariah, the detailed code of conduct or the canons comprising ways and modes of worship, standards of morals and life and laws that allow and proscribe, that judge between right and wrong. Such canon law has undergone amendments from time to time and though each Prophet had the same Din, he brought with him a different Shariah to suit the conditions of his own people and time. This process ended with the advent of Muhammad, the last Prophet (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him), who brought with him the final code which was to apply to all mankind for all times to come. Din has undergone no change, but all the previous Shariahs stand abrogated because of the comprehensive Shariah that Muhammad brought with him. This is the climax of the great process of training that was started at the dawn of the human era.


The Sources of Shariah
We draw upon two major sources to learn about the Shariah of Muhammad, the Qur'an and the Hadith. The Qur'an is a divine revelation -- each and every word of it is from Allah. The Hadith is a collection of instructions issued or the memoirs of the last Prophet's conduct and behavior, as preserved by those who were present in his company or those to whom these were handed down by the first witnesses. These were later sifted and collected by divines and compiled in the form of books among which the collections made by Malik, Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud. Nasa'i and Ibn Majah are considered to be the most authentic.

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