Al-Adillah Al-Arba : Four Sources in Islamic Law

Adillah is the plural of the word, daleel, which means proof and evidence. Arba means four.  There are four sources which base the formation for every kind of reasoning in figh.

First one is the Holy Quran. It is not only a book of faith and spirituality but it also compasses rules in any given society and basic laws that govern our daily lives. This book has everything mankind needs:

There is not an animal (that lives) on the earth, nor a being that flies on its wings, but (forms part of) communities like you. Nothing have we omitted from the Book, and they (all) shall be gathered to their Lord in the end. (Al-Anaam 6/38)

Second source is sunnah, which is the complete set of actions and words of Prophet Muhammad(saw) as observed by the sahaba, his companions and followers. Holy Quran states that every Muslim must follow his example in both mundane and other-worldly affairs. 

What Allah has bestowed on His Messenger (and taken away) from the people of the townships,- belongs to Allah,- to His Messenger and to kindred and orphans, the needy and the wayfarer; In order that it may not (merely) make a circuit between the wealthy among you. So take what the Messenger assigns to you, and deny yourselves that which he withholds from you. And fear Allah; for Allah is strict in Punishment.(Al-Hashr 59/7)

 He who obeys the Messenger, obeys Allah: But if any turn away, We have not sent thee to watch over their (evil deeds). (An-Nisa 4/80)

These verses are great examples for those so-called “contemporary” thinkers who claim Holy Quran is enough of a source and some parts of sunnah must be changed or revised. 

Third source is Ijma, which means consensus, agreement. If all scholars agree then it is considered Ijma. But, here the definition of scholar is important. It must be a “mujteheed” kind of scholar. We hope to write about mujteheed in an other article, but basically it means such a scholar who is capable of deriving rules from these two sources, which are Quran and Sunnah.)

Fourth source is Qiyas it means analogy, reasoning and comparison. If a new issues pops up in modern life, a Muslim can reach a conclusion by making comparison about it using the initial three methods. For example drinking wine is prohibited in Holy Quran by a verse. One can easily reach the conclusion of a more modern type of alcoholic beverage like champagne is also forbidden by making this simple “qiyas”







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