Quran – fundamental source of Islamic laws
Something from which laws and sciences of Islam are derived is known as the source and origin. These sources are four: Quran, Sunnah of the Prophet, traditions and life history of the Imams; and intellect.
The Holy Quran is the most important and reliable source of Islamic sciences and recognitions, because every Muslim has faith that this Quran was revealed from Almighty Allah upon the heart of the Prophet and no sort of distortion and changes have appeared in it. Therefore, such a distinction is not there for any heavenly scripture.
Distinction of words, meanings and connotations of Quran is also a clear matter. Even though the finality of evidence of the apparent form of Quran is subject to discussion, it does not need discussion and argument because:
Firstly: Quran is the program of life and a book of practical acts, which is revealed in a simple and eloquent language, which is understandable to ordinary human beings.
Secondly: Muslims of the early period of Islam, by hearing the verses, understood their duties and acted upon them and did not have any kind of doubt in it. The Holy Prophet (s) also, in his propagation, recited the Holy Quran to the people and reasoned through it.
Third: The Quran has also repeatedly urged people to contemplate and ponder on the verses and asked them to take benefit from them for their lives. In any other instance such contemplation would have been absurd.
On the basis of this, one should not doubt in the argumentation of the apparent aspect of Quran and relying on it and one should wait for confirmation of the proof. In order to prove it, some verses may also be resorted to:
Almighty Allah says:
إِنَّ هَذَا الْقُرْءَانَ يَهْدِى لِلَّتِى هِىَ أَقْوَمُ وَيُبَشِّرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ الَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ الصَّلِحَتِ أَنَّ لَهُمْ أَجْراً كَبِيراً
“Surely this Quran guides to that which is most upright and gives good news to the believers who do good that they shall have a great reward.” (17:9)
كِتَابٌ فُصِّلَتْ آيَاتُهُ قُرْآناً عَرَبِيّاً لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ
“(It is) a Book of which the verses are made plain, an Arabic Quran for a people who know.” (41:3)
يَأَهْلَ الْكِتَبِ قَدْ جَآءَكُمْ رَسُولُنَا يُبَيِّنُ لَكُمْ كَثِيراً مِّمَّا كُنتُمْ تُخْفُونَ مِنَ الْكِتَبِ وَيَعْفُواْ عَن كَثِيرٍ قَدْ جَآءَكُم مِّنَ اللَّهِ نُورٌ وَ كِتَبٌ مُّبِينٌ * يَهْدِى بِهِ اللَّهُ مَنِ اتَّبَعَ رِضْوَ نَهُ سُبُلَ السَّلَمِ وَيُخْرِجُهُم مِّنَ الظُّلُمَتِ إِلَى النُّورِ بِإِذْنِهِ وَيَهْدِيِهمْ إِلَى صِرَ طٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ
“O followers of the Book! indeed Our Apostle has come to you making clear to you much of what you concealed of the Book and passing over much; indeed, there has come to you light and a clear Book from Allah. With it Allah guides him who will follow His pleasure into the ways of safety and brings them out of utter darkness into light by His will and guides them to the right path.” (5:15-16)
And He says:
الر تِلْكَ ءَايَتُ الْكِتَبِ الْمُبِينِ
“These are the verses of the Book that makes (things) manifest.” (12:1)
كِتَابٌ أَنزَلْنَاهُ إِلَيْكَ مُبَارَكٌ لِّيَدَّبَّرُواْ آيَاتِهِ وَلِيَتَذَكَّرَ أُوْلُواْ الْأَلْبَابِ
“(It is) a Book We have revealed to you abounding in good that they may ponder over its verses, and that those endowed with understanding may be mindful.” (38:29)
وَهَذَا كِتَبٌ أَنْزَلْنَهُ مُبَارَكٌ فَاتَّبِعُوهُ وَاتَّقُواْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ
“And this is a Book We have revealed, blessed; therefore follow it and guard (against evil) that mercy may be shown to you.” (6:155)
قُلْ أَىُّ شَىْءٍ أَكْبَرُ شَهَدَةً قُلِ اللَّهُ شَهِيدٌ بَيْنِى وَ بَيْنَكُمْ وَ أُوحِىَ إِلَىَّ هَذَا الْقُرْءَانُ لِأُنذِرَكُم بِهِ وَ مَن بَلَغَ
“Say: Allah is witness between you and me; and this Quran has been revealed to me that with it I may warn you and whomsoever it reaches.” (6:19)
The Holy Quran has introduces itself with titles like: Light, Manifest Book, evidence, guide for the pious, guides to that which is most upright, gives good news to the believers, guides them to the right path, this Quran has been revealed to me that with it I may warn you and whomsoever it reaches, A Book of which the verses are made plain, an Arabic Quran, a Book We have revealed to you abounding in good that they may ponder over its verses, and that those endowed with understanding may be mindful. On the basis of this, it is not possible to have any doubt in argumentation through this book.
Some traditions also confirm the finality of proof of the apparent form of Quran:
Zaid bin Arqam said: “One day Allah’s Messenger (s) stood up to deliver sermon at a watering place known as Khum situated between Mecca and Medina. He praised Allah, extolled Him and delivered the sermon and exhorted (us) and said: Now to our purpose. O people, I am a human being. I am about to receive a messenger (the angel of death) from my Lord and I, in response to Allah’s call, (would bid good-bye to you), but I am leaving among you two weighty things: the one being the Book of Allah in which there is right guidance and light, so hold fast to the Book of Allah and adhere to it. He exhorted (us) (to hold fast) to the Book of Allah and then said: The second are the members of my household; I remind you (of your duties) to the members of my family, I remind you (of your duties) to the members of my family, I remind you (of your duties) to the members of my family.”
The Messenger of Allah (s) presented the Holy Quran as a reliable and permanent source of Islam, so that it would remain forever and will be useful for Muslims.
On the basis of this, Quran is the most important, most reliable, most trustworthy source of the sciences and laws of Islam and it can fulfill the cultural and religious needs of the community. Sciences and laws of Quran have originated from reality and have been compiled in accordance to nature, that is why they do not become outdated through the ages and as a result of progress of knowledge and human civilization, their value is not decreased. As much as the awareness of man increases and intellectuals ponder on this heavenly book, as much lofty meanings would they derive from it. We don’t have any religious scripture, which has been so much studied as the Holy Quran and even then it remains worthy of further research and to derive more perfect matters and new meanings. A large number of books have been written regarding the interpretation and sciences of Quran, but there still exists scope for writing more detailed commentaries. Muslim jurisprudents have written detailed researches on the verses of legislation, but the door of jurisprudence and deriving solutions of problems is still open.
Since it is not possible to mention all those details here, we would mention only some of the topics of the Holy Quran and those interested in further details, may refer to books of Quranic commentaries.
The major subjects of the Holy Quran can be divided into a few groups:
1. Principles and fundamentals of belief, recognition of God, His names and His qualities, resurrection and life of the hereafter, purgatory and Judgment Day, scroll of deeds, accounting of deeds on Judgment Day, Paradise and its bounties, Hell and its chastisement, prophethood and need of sending the prophets, special qualities of the prophets, miracles of the prophets, conveyance of the message of God to people and the difficulties that they had to bear in this way, determination and initiative of the divine prophets in religious propagation, Imamate and guidance of Muslim community and qualifications of the Imam.
2. Stories, incidents and explanation of numerous efforts of the prophets in the path of religious propagation.
3. Encouraging people to adopt faith in God, resurrection and prophethood.
4. Glad tidings to believers and righteous persons of heavenly rewards and bounties of Paradise and warning the infidels and evil-doers of the chastisement of the hereafter.
5. Invitation to monotheism and confrontation with different kinds of polytheism.
6. Invitation to contemplation on the creation of the earth, heavens, stars, sun, seas, mountains, plants, trees, wind and rain, astonishing aspects of man and animals.
7. Reminding for the bounties of heavenly bounties and reminding how to recognize and how to value them.
8. Description of the believers and their good deeds, description of the disbelievers and hypocrites and their evil deeds.
9. Explanation of the circumstances of the past nations and their good or bad ends.
10. Discussions of the prophets with the people of their times within the subjects of monotheism, resurrection and prophethood.
11. Exposition of good morals and inviting people to them.
12. Mention of evil traits of character and need of avoiding them.
13. Miracles of the prophets.
14. Calling people to the worship of One God and urging them to perform the rituals of servitude like Prayers, fast, Hajj, Zakat and Khums.
15. Some political rules and regulations.
16. Some of the rules of business transactions.
17. Laws of inheritance and bequests.
18. Some laws of adjudication, witnessing, retaliation, penalties and blood monies.
19. Invitation to piety and discipline of the self.
20. Invitation to guarding of the self and controlling the selfish desires.
21. Explanation of some of the rules and problems of worship acts.
22. Condemnation of injustice and oppressors and mention of their terrible chastisement in the hereafter.
23. Paths of salvation of man and calling to it.
24. Factors of misfortune of man and warning about them.
25. Call to the unity of Ummah of Islam and prohibition of discord.
On the basis of this, the Holy Quran is the most independent and reliable sources of recognition of the laws of Islam, which can fulfill the different needs of people in Islamic societies throughout history. The Messenger of Allah (s) also left this valuable book as a gift among the Muslims and asked the Ummah to always remain attached to it and to take benefit of its commands and guidance.
Even though Quran is a book, which is very self sufficient, it does not make us needless of other sources of Islamic sciences like: Practice and life history of the Holy Prophet (s), traditions and biographies of the Holy Imams (a), because all subjects are not explained in Quran, rather only the general laws are mentioned and the explanation of their secondary matters have to be derived from Sunnah of the Prophet.
 Sahih Muslim, Vol. 4, Tr. 1873