Muslim Law

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Muslim law is divine law as opposed to man-made law which is passed by legislatures. The concept of unity of God unlike Hindus who believe in the plurality of gods. Muslims believe that Muhammad was the last prophet sent by God (Allah) and the Quran is the only revealed book of Allah. Muslims recognize preachers and religious leaders after Muhammad, but they are not considered prophets. Islamic society was not divided on the basis of caste like Hindu society and everyone was seen as an equal in the sight of God.

Arab society before the revelations of Prophet Muhammad

  • The society was governed by customs and usages which varied from tribe to tribe. The disputes were referred to the chief of the tribe.
  • But most practices were affected by corruption, status of women was very low, gambling, barbarism were substantial problems.
  • Islam deeply reformed all of this, to such an extent that the Arabs called the period before the Prophet Muhammad, as the Aiyyam-il-Jahiliya, that is, the period of ignorance, of the desert or savagery.

Prophet Muhammad

  • Born in 571 AD, raised by grandfather Abdul Muttalib after the death of his mother and father
  • The first wife was Kadija, the third wife was Aisha (daughter of Abu Bakr)
  • Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet, married Ali (the cousin of the prophet)
  • At 40, while meditating in a cave called Hira, he received his first revelation from the god Wahi which was communicated to him by Gabriel (Angel of Revelation)
  • His first disciples were Kadija, Waraqa (a blind scholar), Abu Bakr, Umar and Usman
  • He faced opposition and was chased, humiliated, mistreated and dragged by the hair of the temple in Mecca.
  • As a result, the prophet and his followers fled to Medina in 622 AD. This is considered to be the start of a new era for Arabia and is called Hijra i.e. migration because in Medina he formed a political group called Umma and later there was a war between supporters and opponents of Muhammad in which Mohammad emerged triumphant and became the supreme political and religious ruler of Arabia and later many tribes joined his kingdom.
  • Prophet Muhammad died at the age of 63, leaving no heir to the throne.
  • Two groups were formed on a political rather than a religious basis.
    • Group one wanted Ali to be the successor – Shias
    • Group two wanted an election – Sunis