Islamic Law: Between Sharia, Fiqh and Fatwa

Islamic law which is called either fiqh, shariah or fatwa become an interesting topic in contemporary discourses throughout the word. The trigger of this is the implementation of Islamic law by ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syiria), a borderless Islamic State founded by Abdurrahman al-Baghdadi, that adopts strict interpretation of al-Qur’an and hadith in its implementation.
It is important to differentiate between sharia, fiqh and fatwa. The first is Islamic teachings embodied in both al-Quran and hadith, while the second and the last are merely interpretation and understanding of human being towards al-Quran and hadith. The first has an absolute.truth while the last two have a relative one. Fiqh and fatwa, therefore are subject of mistake because they are a products of human being who do not free from sins in their deeds and thoughts, while shariah is free from false because it is a procducts of Allah and Prophet Muhammad who was free from mistake (ma’sum).
Sharia, a divinely ordained teachings, principally is an untouchable Islamic source by human tought, it presides at Allah’s domain and no human beings can precisely understand what Allah means on the teachings embodied in sharia. The sharia that is understood and interpreted by human reason is not sharia any more but it become fiqh or fatwa those are subject to mistake and false.
The sharia implemented by ISIS is a merely strict understand and interpretation they employ towards al-Quran and hadith. It is not sharia but fiqh or fatwa, fallible understamd and interpretation. Thus, ISIS can not claim that their interpretion is the only truth one and exclude other interpretations as false and mistake because the absolute truth is only Allah and Prophet Muhammad’s domain. If they claim that their interpretation is the only truth, thus they assume that their interpretation is absolute and it means that they equalize themselves with Allah and Prophet Muhammad.
It must be noted that the sharia implementated by ISIS degraded Islam as a religion of peace. It decreased the role of Prophet Muhammad as a mercy and blessing (rahmah) for all human beings. Islamic teachings do not differentiate human beings basing on religion, colour, origin, language, sex etc. All human beings are equal and same in Allah’ s eyes. The only thing differentiate them is their fear towards Allah (taqwa).
Al-Quran, said Shahrur, was revealed not only for Hijazi people and human beings lived in seventh century but for all human beings all over the world and for them living from seventh century to the end of the day. Al-Quran is guidence for them to face and solve social, religious, and spiritual problems facing every epoch of human life. It was a miracle of al-Quran that it was always appropriate to all social conditions.
To make al-Quran suitable for all epoches and human races, Islamic scholars have to classify Quranic verses into particular, specific or historical and universal ones. The first are the verses that are influenced by social conditions when they had been revealed, while the second is the verses revealed free from social factors. The universal verses mean that they do not contradict to the human right principles as had been declared in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by United Nations.
Regarding the first kind of Quranic verses, we have to look for the context in time when they had been revealed. The social condition ceased to the revelation of the verses should be included in understanding the verses. We must look for the spirit behind the revelation of the verses and we have to universalize the spirit behind the revelation of particular Quranic verses.
While the second kind of Quranic verses, universal Quranic verses, we do not need great efforts to comprehend their meanings as they fit already to the universal principles. Therefore, the kind of verses we can implement the real meanings of them in solving many social problems within society. It must be born in mind that universal verses should be prioritized over the particular verses and employed as the parameter for particular ones.

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