Islamic Laws

Subjects of Jurisprudence

The most famous division of jurisprudential subjects is: worship and transactions. Transactions are divided into contracts, one-party contracts and miscellaneous rulings.
Shahīd al-Awal divided jurisprudence into these subjects along the mentioned foundations when he said: “All of this is divided into four parts; worship, contracts, one-party contracts and miscellaneous rulings.”
This division is found in such books of the older scholars like Sharāya‛ al-Islām illī.)aqiq al-H)by Muh
The subject of taqlīd or imitation a scholar is mentioned in the books of jurisprudence along with subjects relating to it as an introduction. They say that it is obligatory for every mukalaf who has not reached the level of ijtihād to follow someone in taqlīd or practice precaution in worship and transactions even if they are recommended or permissible actions, with the exception of self-evident rulings. The condition for practicing precaution is that one knows the areas of precaution (and only a few people actually know this). The actions of a normal person, who does not know the areas of precaution, without performing taqlīd are invalid.[33]
Then the section of worship is mentioned: Worship is an action that depends on having the intention of being close to Allah, for example, prayer.
illī mentioned ten different subjects in the)aqiq al-H)Muh section of worship:
1. Spiritual purification (ahārah)t): Spiritual purification is the usage of a pure substance conditional upon an intention.[34] There are two types of spiritual purification; spiritual purification from physical impurities that stem from the body (al-khabath) and spiritual purification from spiritual impurities (adath)al-h).
Spiritual purification from physical impurity consists of cleaning the body, clothes or anything else from the ten impure substances: urine, feces, blood, semen, carcass, etc. This form of purification does not depend on having an intention.
Spiritual purification from spiritual impurities consists of ū’)wud, ghusl and tayammum. This form of spiritual purification is a condition for such worships as prayer and awāf)t. The form of spiritual purification is broken by different natural actions such as sleep, urination and ejaculation, it is dependant on an intention.
There are eleven items which one can use to spiritually purify something that has become physically impure. They are as follows: water, earth, sun, the change from one body to another, the evaporation of a third of boiling grape juice, transportation, Islam, imitation, removing the physically impure substance and refraining an animal that has eaten physically impure substances in place of food from eating more physically impure substances.
2. Prayer (alāh)s): Prayer refrains one from committing terrible actions. It is the foundation of religion and if it is accepted all other forms of worship will be accepted but if it is rejected all other forms of worship will be rejected.
In this section the obligatory daily prayers are discussed as well as the prayers on the two holy days

#8219;īd), the funeral prayer, the prayer of the signs, the prayer after awāf)t and recommended prayers such as the nawāfil. The conditions of prayer are also discussed along with the foundations of prayer, the precepts to prayer and the actions that invalidate the prayer. The different types of prayer are also discussed, such as the prayer of a traveler, individual prayer, congregational prayer and make-up prayers.
3. Taxes (zakāh): Zakāh is a form of tax which is applicable to nine different items: gold, silver, wheat, barley, dates, grapes, cows, sheep and camels. The conditions of these nine items are discussed in jurisprudence, how much must be paid and how the money should be spent. This form of tax is mentioned in the Qurān, for the most part, next to prayer. A verse that mentions how this tax should be spent is in Sūrah Tawbah, verse 60.
4. The one-fifth tax (khums): Khums is another form of tax taken from one fifth of one’s property. The Sunni religion claims that this tax is applicable to war-booty alone. One fifth of the war-booty is taken and added to the Islamic treasury. The Ahl al-Bayt (a) jurisprudential sect says that war-booty is only one of the items that this tax is applicable to. The following items are added to war-booty: mines, treasure, lawfully obtained money mixed with unlawfully obtained money in such a way that one does not know how much of it is lawful and how much is unlawful and one does not know the rightful owner, land that an unbeliever living in a Muslim country buys from a Muslim, treasures taken from the sea and money saved for over a year. The proof that the Ahl al-Bayt (a) sect uses is the khums verse (al-Infāl:41) and traditions from the Ahl al-Bayt (a).
5. Fasting (awm)s): Fasting is obligatory on a mukalaf, who has come of age and does not have any excuse. One must fast during the month of ān)Ramad in every year. It is also recommended to fast on other days throughout the year, except the two holy days
#8219;īd), for it is forbidden to fast on those days. It is disliked to fast on the tenth day of the month of arram)Muh. A fasting person must refrain from eating, drinking, intercourse, lowering his head under water, putting thick smoke into his throat, etc.
6. Staying in a mosque (i‛tikāf): The Arabic term i‛tikāf literally means staying in a specific place, but when used as a jurisprudential term it means staying for an extended time in a mosque in order to worship. This is an act of worship that a person does by fasting for three or more days in a mosque. The different rules and conditions of this are explained in jurisprudence. I‛tikāf is essentially recommended, but if one performs i‛tikāf for two days, the third day becomes obligatory. One must perform this act of worship in the Holy Mosque of Mecca, the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, the Kufa Mosque, The Basra Mosque, or, at least, the main congregational mosque of a city. One may not perform this act in a small mosque. The Prophet (s) would perform i‛tikāf on the last ten days of the month of ān)Ramad.
7. Pilgrimage (ajj)h): The Arabic term ajj)h literally means intention, but in jurisprudence it is a term which comprises of different actions performed in a specified place (Mecca and its surroundings). It is obligatory on one who meets all of the conditions. The actions of the pilgrimage are as follows: putting on the special rām)ih clothes in Mecca, stopping in ‛Arafāt, staying in al-mash’ar, throwing the stones at the ‘uqbah satan, sacrificing an animal, shaving one’s head, walking around the Ka‛bah seven times (awāf)t), awāf)t prayer, afā and Marwah,)running back and forth between S awāf al-nisā’)t, awāf al-nisā’)t prayer, throwing the stones at the satans, and staying in Mina.
There are three kinds of pilgrimage. The first is called al-tamata‛ and is obligatory on those whose house is more than 92 kilometers from the Holy Mosque of Mecca. The second and third are called al-qirn and al-ifrād respectively. These are obligatory on those whose house is less than the mentioned distance.
8. Small pilgrimage
#8219;umrah): There are two types of the small pilgrimage. The first is called al-tamata‛ and is obligatory on every mukalaf who can perform the pilgrimage and lives more than 92 kilometers from the Holy Mosque of Mecca. The second type is called al-ifrād and is obligatory on anyone who is financially able to perform it, whether the big pilgrimage has become obligatory on him or not, and does not live more than 92 kilometers from the Holy Mosque of Mecca.
The actions that must be performed in the small pilgrimage are: putting on the rām)ih clothes in one of the specified places, awāf)t, awāf)t afā and)prayer, running back and forth from S Marwah and cutting one’s hair.
9. War (jihād): There are two types of war in Islam: offensive and defensive. The Ahl al-Bayt (a) jurisprudential sect claims that offensive war is something that only an infallible can order and becomes obligatory on men. But, the defensive war can become obligatory at any time and can also become obligatory on men and women.
War can also be divided into civil and international war. It is also obligatory to fight a group that leaves the community of an Imām, like the Khawārij and the enemy armies of Jamal and ifīn)S.
The following subjects are also mentioned under the main subject of war: rules pertaining to followers of other revealed religions who are living in Muslim countries and peace treaties between Islamic governments and non-Islamic governments.
10. Enjoining good and forbidding evil
#8219;amr bi al-ma‛rūf wa nahī ‛an al-munkar): Islam is a religion that deals with social issues. The importance of a healthy society is emphasized in the divine laws that were sent for mankind’s success. It is obligatory, according to Islamic law, for everyone to protect good and moral actions and to fight against bad and immoral actions. This is what is mentioned under the subject of enjoining good and forbidding evil. Refer to the verse in Sūrah Āl Imran: 104.
There are conditions pertaining to this that are mentioned in the books of jurisprudence.
After the section of worship, the section of contracts is mentioned. This section has fifteen different subjects:
1. Business (tajārah): Business transactions, buying, conditions of the buyer and seller, conditions of the items being bought or sold, conditions of the contract, the wording of the contract, different kinds of transactions: resale with specification of gain, resale with the specification of loss, and tuliyyah are also discussed. Tuliyyah is the transfer of the sold to the buyer without any addition or subtraction from it.
2. Collateral (rahn): The item that is given is called collateral, the person giving the collateral is called a rāhin. The Rāhin must offer this transaction by using any words that relay his offer and the murtahan, or person who takes the collateral, must accept it by using any words that relay his acceptance.[35]
3. Bankruptcy (mufallas): A bankrupt person is one who does not have enough money to pay back his debts. The Islamic jurist prevents this person from using his property with the intent of him paying back his debts, as much as possible.
4. Limitation of legal competence (ajr)h): The Arabic term ‘ajr)h’ literally means preventing and what is meant is the prevention from spending one’s money. There are many instances where one is prevented from spending his money due to bankruptcy (which was mentioned), a child who has not come of age, an insane person, an incompetent person and a dead person who has made a will for over one-third of his property.
5. Guarantee (amān)d): This is a contract that needs both an offer and an acceptance. There is a difference in guarantees between the Shia and the Sunni. The Ahl al-Bayt (a) jurisprudential sect defines ‘amān)d’ as the transfer of the owed from the debt of the person who owes money to the debt of the guarantor. After this the person who lent money does not have the right to ask the person he lent the money to for his money, rather he must ask the guarantor. Here, the guarantor pays back the debt and then seeks out the person who owed the money in the first place to pay him back. But, the Sunni jurisprudential sect claims that the person who lent the money can get his money from either the person he loaned it to or the guarantor.
6. Peace (ulh)s): The agreement upon giving up) one’s possession of an item or the yield of an utilizable thing or the yield of a right. It is not conditional on there being a fight before it.
The peace that is meant here is not the same as what is meant in the subject of war (jihād). Peace that is mentioned in the subject of war is a political agreement, but the peace that is mentioned here is related to financial matters, for example if one owes an unknown amount of money to another he can make ‘peace’ with that person by paying him a specific amount of money agreed upon by both parties.
7. Partnership (sharkah): Partnership means the ownership of property or a right by more than one person. An example of this is the inheritance that belongs to a few children. They are partners in the inheritance before it is divided up. Another example is when two or more people own a car, horse or piece of land, even if two people share in a piece of virgin land that they cultivated.
There are two types of partnerships: contracted and non-contracted. What were mentioned above are examples of non-contracted partnerships. Examples of contracted partnerships are business partnerships, farmland partnerships and industrial partnerships. There are many rules mentioned in the books of jurisprudence pertaining to contracted partnership.
8. Silent partnership
#257;ribah)mud): this is a type of contracted partnership where there is a partnership between one’s property and another’s work. One or more people give money to another person or persons to conduct business transactions with that money.
9. Silent partnership in farming and running an orchard (mazāri‛ah and masāqāh): These are two types of partnerships similar to āribah)mud. They are both partnerships between money and work. The difference between them is that āribah)mud is a partnership between money and work in business while mazāri‛ah is a partnership between money and work in farming, for example, the owner of a land makes a contract with a farmer and they split up the profits in an agreed upon fashion. Masāqāh is a partnership between money and work in an orchard, for example, the owner of the land makes a contract with the gardener and they split the profits that they make from the fruit.
One of the conditions that must be observed in a partnership between money and work, whether it is āribah)mud, mazāri‛ah or masāqāh, is that if a loss occurs, the person who put up money looses. The profit is, also, not a fixed rate. The person who put up money gets a percentage of the profits, whether they are a lot or a little. In this way the person who puts up the money and the person who works are equal.
10.and 11. Trust and borrowing (wadī‛ah and ‛ārīyah): Wadī‛ah is giving a piece of one’s property to another to protect it. Ārīyah is letting another use one’s property in order to make a profit. Both of these are kinds of trusts with this difference that in wadī‛ah one gives his property to another in order for it to be protected. So, the other person is not allowed to use profits from that property without the owner’s consent. This is the opposite of ārīyah where the other person uses the property in order to gain something from it.
12. Rent (ijārah): This is a contract where one rents the yield of an utilizable thing or a right for a specified price. There are two types of renting. The first is where one rents a piece of property at a specified price, for example if he rents a house, car or even clothes. The second is where one rents another human being, what is meant by this is that he pays for another person to perform a specific action, for example sowing clothes, cutting hair, building a house or other things.
Renting is similar to buying and selling because two pieces of property are being exchanged, with the difference that in buying and selling a piece of property is exchanged with another while in renting a piece of property is exchanged with the utilization of another piece of property.
There is a similarity between renting and ārīyah. In both renting and ārīyah utilization occurs, but in renting the person pays for the ability to use the other’s property and in ārīyah the person does not pay which means he does not have a right in using the property.
13. Representation (wakālah): this is allowing another to perform a certain matter in one’s stead during his life. An example of this is that man, nowadays, needs someone to represent him in a courtroom or a representative in a contract, for example, business contracts, renting, ārīyah, trusts, religious endowments, divore, etc.
The person who has another represent him is called the represented, the person who represents him is called the represent and the action is called representation.
14. Religious endowment and charity (waqf and adaqah)s): Waqf means to give away one’s property to a special group of people. There is a difference of opinion about waqf needing an aqiq Hillī claims that it does)intention of getting closer to Allah or not. Muh not because it is mentioned in the section of contracts, not worship.
There are two types of waqf: specific and general. Each one of these has their own special laws.
15. Religious endowment of a house or yield (sukna and abs)h): These are similar to waqf. The difference is that in waqf the property is given away for ever and the person is not able to retrieve his property. abs)H is when a person allows one to use the yield of his property in order to perform humanitarian services for a specific amount of time, and then the property is returned to its owner.
Sukna is when one allows another to live in his house for a specific amount of time and then the house is returned to its owner.
16. Gifts (hibāt): One of the things that one can do with his possessions is give them to another person. There are two types of gifts: those that something is given in return and those that something is not given in return. One is not able to take back a gift in which something was given in return for it, but one can take back a gift in which something was not given in return for it unless it was a gift given to one’s relatives or the gift is no longer in existence.
17. Contests and archery (sabq and rimāyah): These are two forms of contracts that are conditional on contests involving horses, camels or archery. Islam has forbid all kinds of gambling except these kinds because they improve military skills and improve one’s ability to kill in war. Contests and archery are related to the section on jihād.
18. Will
#257;yā)was): A will is making someone the possessor of an item or yield after one’s death. This is according to the will one makes regarding his possessions and small children (if it is allowed to make a will regarding the raising and protection of one’s children) and occurs after his death. A person is able to make a will on one third of his property and spend it however he likes. The Islamic jurists have divided a will into three parts. First is property, one makes another the owner of a certain part of his property. Second is contracts, one pays another to represent him in performing a pilgrimage, zīyārah, prayer, fast are any other righteous deed. Third is freeing, one frees one of his slaves, for example.
19. Marriage (nikāh): Jurists mention the) conditions of the marriage contract. Then they mention who is forbidden to marry
#257;ram)muh), for example a father and daughter, a mother and son, a sister and brother and so forth. Then they mention the two forms of marriage, permanent and temporary. Then they mention what happens if the marital duties are violated. Then the jurists mention adequate support, which is one of the wife’s rights over the husband.
aqiq Hillī)This is the end of the section on contracts. Muh mentioned that there are 15 different subjects in this section, but then mentioned 19. It is not understood why. Maybe it was a mistake or maybe he mentioned some of the subjects together.

aqiq Hillī mentioned is)The third section that Muh one-party contracts. There are 11 subjects mentioned in this section.
1. Divorce (alāq)t): Divorce is when a man annuls his marriage contract. Divorce is either forever (bā’in) or not (raj‛ī). If the divorce is raj‛ī, the man can return to his marriage during the specified time where the woman cannot remary.
A condition of divorce is that the wife must not be on her menstruation cycle and that there must be two just witnesses present. The Prophet of Islam said: “The most hated permitted action by Allah is divorce.”
2. Divorce at the instance of the wife or both parties (khul‛ and mubārah): These are two forms of bā’in divorce. Khul‛ is a form of divorce where the wife forces the husband to divorce her by giving him some money, for example her dowry or part of it; i.e. whatever the man would accept to divorce her. If he chooses to divorce her he cannot return to her unless she gives him permission.
Mubārah is similar to khul‛, but in this case both parties are forcing the divorce. Here, the woman can choose what she wants, with the condition that it does not surpass her dowry.
3. A pre-Islamic form of divorce (ihār)z): ihār)Z is a form of divorce that was prevalent during the age of ignorance. It is where the husband tells his wife: “You are to me like the back of my mother.” This was enough for the couple to become divorced. Islam does not accept this, it does not accept ihār)z as a divorce. Rather, Islam says that it is forbidden to say this and if one does he must pay the penalty, which is freeing a slave. If one cannot find a slave he must fast two months in a row. If one is unable to fast he must feed sixty poor people. It becomes forbidden for the husband to have intercourse with his wife after he said the mentioned sentence and before he paid the penalty.
4. Abstinence vow of a husband

#299;lā’): Īlā’ is a kind of vow where a husband vows not to perform intercourse with his wife for ever, or at least more than four months, in order to punish her. If the wife takes her case in front of a judge the judge will force the man to take back his vow or divorce his wife. If he decides to take his vow back he will have to pay the penalty. Taking back a vow is forbidden except in this case where it becomes obligatory.
4. Cursing (la‛ān): La‛ān is also related to the relationship between a husband and wife. It is a kind of curse from one side against the other. If a husband claims that his wife committed adultery but does not bring four witnesses he will be subject to the punishment of false testimony, except if he performs la‛ān. If he performs la‛ān his wife will be forbidden for him forever.
La‛ān must be performed in front of a judge. The man must say four times: I bear witness, in front of Allah, that what I said about this woman is true. Then he must say: The curse of Allah be upon me if I am a liar. Then the woman must say four times: I bear witness, in front of Allah, that he is a liar. Then she must say: May Allah be angry at me if he is truthful.
In this way the husband and wife are separated from each other forever.
6. Freeing a slave
#8219;itq): Islam has many teachings regarding slavery. Slaves are only taken from prisoners of war. The purpose behind slavery is not to benefit from the slaves, rather it is for them to live in a Muslim family and to become Muslim. The goal is not to make a slave remain a slave forever, instead it is to teach a disbeliever Islam and then give him social freedom after he has attained spiritual freedom. So, the goal of slavery is to free the slaves and there are many different ways to free a slave in Islam. For this reason, jurists have called this subject freeing a slave, not slavery.
Jurists have said that there are four ways to free a slave:
 A slave owner freeing a slave because of a religious penalty or just getting closer to Allah.
 Freeing part of the slave, half of him, a third of him, a fourth of him or a tenth of him for any reason.
 If a one enslaves his parents, grandparents, children or grandchildren. In Islam this form of slavery does not exist and the relative would be automatically freed.
 If a slave has certain bodily ailments, for example if he is blind or has leprosy.
7. Tadbīr, mukātabah and istīlād: These are three cases which necessitate freeing a slave. Tadbīr is when the slave owner makes a will to free the slave after his death. Mukātabah is when the slave owner and the slave make a contract for the slave’s freedom after he pays some money. Allah orders the slave owners to make a contract with a slave if the slave wants and the slave is a believer. Allah also says that some money should be given to him to help him with life’s expenses.[36] Istīlād is when a women slave bears the slave master’s child. After the slave owner’s death the mother becomes the slave of the child and, as was mentioned earlier, a child cannot be the owner of his mother, so she becomes free.
8. Confession (iqrār): Confession is one of the legal subjects of Islam. If a person claims that he another owes him money he must put forth evidence. If he cannot put forth evidence his claim will be dismissed. But, if the other person confesses to the fact that he owes the plaintiff money, his confession will take the place of evidence.
9. Reward (ju‛ālah): Ju‛ālah is similar to renting a person to perform an action, except in ju‛ālah a specific person is not rented, rather the person says that he would pay a certain amount of money to anyone who performs a specific action.
10. Vows (aymān): Aymān is the plural of the Arabic term yamīn which consists of two types of vows: alaf)h and qasam. If a person vows to perform a certain action it is obligatory on him to perform it. Of course there are conditions:
 If the vow was taken in Allah’s name. It is not obligatory to carry out a vow taken in the Prophet’s, Imām’s or Qurān’s name.
 If the action is permissible. It is not obligatory to carry out a vow made to perform a forbidden or disliked action.
Examples of correct vows are to read so and so good book from cover to cover or to brush one’s teeth every day. If one does not carry out a correct vow he must pay the penalty.
11. Pledge (nadhr): A pledge is different than a vow and it has specific wording. If a person wants to pledge to perform the daily recommended prayers he must say: ”lillah alayi (literally translated as for Allah on me) to perform the daily recommended prayers every day.” The pledge is conditional on the fact that the action is beneficial for one’s religion or worldly affairs. A pledge to perform an action that is neither beneficial nor harmful is invalid.
The wisdom behind carrying out the vow or pledge is because they are types of contracts made with Allah and it is obligatory to be true to one’s contracts that he makes with other people[37], so it is also obligatory on one to be true to the contracts he makes with Allah.
Miscellaneous Rulings
The forth section of jurisprudential rulings is miscellaneous rulings. Miscellaneous rulings does not have a specific aqiq Hillī put everything that was not worship, contracts)definition, rather Muh or one-party contracts into this section. He divided this section into twelve subjects:
1. Hunting and slaughtering animals (ayd)s and āh)dhibāh): Before anything, we will say: “An animal whose meat is lawful to eat becomes lawful when it is slaughtered in a specific way, fished in a specific way, hunted by a trained dog (in relation to some animals) or hunted by a weapon that has a spearhead, like an arrow or spear.”
If an animal is slaughtered or hunted in the above-mentioned method, the rulings of a tadhkīyah[38] will apply to it, not the rulings of a carcass. A carcass is spiritually unclean and is forbidden to eat.
Hunting is only allowed on the wild animals whose meat can be eaten, like gazelle, mountain goats, wild cows and the likes. Hunting is not allowed on domesticated animals like sheep and cows.
The dog that is used to hunt is conditional on his being trained, the animal that an untrained dog retrieves is not allowed to eat. Likewise one is unable to use other predatory animals.
The weapon used to hunt is conditional on it being made out of iron, or at least another material that is mined, so it is not allowed to hunt with a weapon made out of rock. Another condition is that the person hunting or slaughtering an animal must be Muslim and must start his action by the name of Allah. There are other conditions as well.
2. Food and drinks

#8219;amah)at and ashrubah): There are a series of rulings in Islam regarding eating and drinking, given to make sure one uses nature beneficially. Examples of these are hunting and slaughtering animals, which have been mentioned, and food and drinks. Islam generally permits beneficial items and forbids harmful items, but does not satisfy itself with this general principle. In some cases the harm of a certain item is mentioned which necessitates staying away from it or the benefit of an item is mentioned which allows the usage of it.
There are two types of food: animal and non-animal. Animals are divided into two categories: sea animals, land animals. None of the animals in the sea are allowed except fish that have scales. Land animals are divided into two categories: wild and domesticated. From amongst the domesticated animals cows, camels and sheep are permissible. Horses, mules and donkeys are also permissible but it is disliked to eat them. Dogs and cats are forbidden to eat. From amongst the wild animals predatory animals and insects are forbidden to eat, but wild cows, wild donkeys and mountain goats are permissible. Rabbits are also forbidden to eat, even though they are not predatory animals.
Different kinds of birds are allowed to eat, for example pigeons, ducks and chicken. Predatory birds are forbidden to eat.
It is forbidden to eat non-meat items if they are a spiritually unclean substance or a spiritually clean substance that has become spiritually unclean. It is also forbidden to eat anything that is harmful according to the general public. So, for example, it is forbidden to eat poison, even if it is tasty.
It is forbidden to eat dirt, if it is harmful or not. It is also forbidden to drink any intoxicating substance or eat someone else’s food without their permission.
3. Usurpation (b)ghas): Usurpation is using the property or rights of another without his consent. This is forbidden and one would owe the owner if his property becomes destroyed. It is forbidden for one to use anything that has been usurped, so one’s ū)wud would become invalid if performed with usurped water or one’s prayer would become invalid if performed wearing usurped clothes or in an usurped place.
4. Right of pre-emption (shuf‛ah): The right of pre-emption is the right that a partner has to purchase the partnership of a third party who bought it from his partner. So, if two people purchase an item and one of them sells his share the other has the right to purchase the share from the third party at the same price.
5. Cultivation of virgin land yā’ al-amwāt)(ah): Cultivation of virgin land is a piece of deserted land which one uses, even if he brings water or anything else in order to use the land for farming. The Prophet of Islam (s) said: “Whoever cultivates a piece of virgin land, it is for him.”
There are many issues dealt with in this section.
6. Lost property (ah)luqt): The general meaning of lost property is property that that the owner lost and nobody else has obtained it. There are two kinds of this lost property: animal and non-animal.
The finder does not have the right to take the property as his own if it is an animal and he does not fear that it will die. But, if he does fear that it will die, for example, if he finds a sheep in the middle of the desert, he can take it as his own but he must search for its owner. If he finds the owner he must give the sheep to him, but if he does not find the owner then it becomes property with an unknown owner which should be spent on the poor with the permission of a jurist.
If the lost property is not an animal and worth less than half of a mithqāl[39] of a silver coin, the finder can take it as his own. But, the finder must announce that he has found the lost item and search for its owner for one year if it is worth more than the above mentioned amount (of course, items that would go bad, like fruit, are not included in this ruling). If the owner was not found and the finder found the item in the Holy Mosque of Mecca, the finder can do one of two things: he can give it away as charity and give the price of the item to the owner if he ever finds him or he can keep it for the owner. If he found it anywhere outside of the Holy Mosque of Mecca he can do one of three things: he can take ownership of the item and owe the owner the price of the item if the owner is found or he can give it away as charity and pay back the owner if found or keep it as a trust for the owner.
If there is no sign on the item there is no need to announce that one has found it, rather the finder will be able to choose between the three above choices.
7. Inheritance ()farā’id): The rules of inheritance in Islam are obligatory to follow. It is not permissible for the deceased (during his life) to split up the inheritance however he desires or to give all of his possessions to one person. The division of property is done on three levels. If there is a person on one level, the lower levels do not receive inheritance.
The first level: Parents and children and if one’s children died, grandchildren.
The second level: Grandparents, brothers and sisters and if one’s brothers and sisters died, nieces and nephews.
The third level: Aunts and Uncles and their children.
These are according to family relations, but if one is related because of a reason, for example marriage, they inherit in every level.
The amount that everyone inherits is explained in detail in the books of jurisprudence.
8. Judgment
#257;’)qad): What is meant is the judgment made between people in order to settle their disputes. There are many issues addressed in this section that cannot be explained here, but we will mention some brief points: The court system in Islam is a special system that makes sure that justice is served in a precise way. One of the ways to prove this is by mentioning the special conditions that Islam gives for one to become a judge. Some of the conditions are: He must be a mujtahed on a scholastic level and his ijtihād must be established. His morals must also be in congruence with Islam. Another condition is that he must be pious and stay away from sin, even the sins that have nothing to do with being a judge. The judge is not allowed to take money from the defendants or plaintiffs, rather he is awarded a large sum of money from the Muslim treasury.
Confessions and witnesses (and nowadays oaths) are effective in proving or disproving one’s claim in the Islamic court system.
9. Witnesses (shahādāt): Witnessing is a branch of the section of judgment. Confessions are the same. If one claims, for example, that another person owes him money, the other person can either confess or reject the claim. If he confesses it is enough for the judge to order that the money be paid. If he rejects the claim, the plaintiff must bring evidence to prove his claim. One way to bring evidence is having a witness. If he has a witness and all of the conditions of being a witness and giving testimony are observed, his claim will be proved. The defendant does not have to bring proof that he is innocent. Sometimes the defendant has to give an oath that he is innocent.
10. Fixed and open legal punishments (adūd)h and ta‛zīrāt): These punishments are related to Islam’s penal system and are also related to the sections of judgment and witnesses. Islam has given certain punishments for certain crimes which are supposed to be carried out in every situation, every place and every age. These punishments are called adūd)h. There are some punishments that are up to the judge to determine, where he can look at the situation and make the punishment more or less severe. These punishments are called ta‛zīrāt.
We will mention some of the adūd)h, briefly, because mentioning them in length should be done in other books.
 The punishment for adultery of two married people who can easily be with their spouse is stoning. If one of the adulterers was not married or could not easily be with his spouse he or she would be given 100 lashes, except if the adultery was committed with one of his or her close family relatives
#257;ram)muh) where the punishment would be death.
 The punishment for homosexuality is death by the sword, throwing him or her off of a high mountain or building or burning him alive.
 The punishment for wrongly accusing someone of a crime is 80 lashes. Wrongly accusing someone of a crime means accusing a man or woman of committing adultery without having enough witnesses.
 The punishment for drinking alcohol or other liquid intoxicants is 80 lashes.
 The punishment for theft is cutting off the four fingers of the right hand with the condition that the stolen item was worth at least a fourth of a dinār.
 The punishment of an enemy who took up arms against the people is either killing him by the sword, putting him on the cross or cutting off his right arm and left leg or his left arm and right leg.
11. Retaliation
#257;s)qas): Retaliation is another) form of punishment that Islam allows. In reality, this is the right of the victim if he was injured, but not killed or for his inheritor against the criminal. The crime was either murder or seriously injuring one of the victims body parts and the crime was either committed intentionally, similar to second-degree murder or accidentally.
Intentional murder is when the criminal hits the person with the intention of killing him, if he used a weapon or not, and the victim dies. The important thing here is the intention.
Second degree murder is when the criminal intentionally hits the person but without the intention of killing him, but he dies. For example he wanted to wound the person but ended up killing him. Or, if the person wants to punish a child by hitting him and the child dies.
Accidental murder is when the killer did not have any intention at all.
If the murder was committed intentionally the inheritors of the victim have a right called ās)qas. They can use this right and have the murderer executed in an Islamic court. But the murderer is not executed if the murder was committed in the second-degree or unintentional.
12. Fines (dīyāt): Fines are another right that is given to the victim or his inheritors. The difference is that in ās)qas there is the eye for an eye feeling but a) dīyah is a fine.
1. Islamic Laws According to the verdicts of Imam Khomeini and Sayyid Ali Khamene’i
2. Islamic Ethics by Ayatollah Shaheed Dastghayb
3. Hypocrites: A Commentary on Surah Munafiqun by Ayatollah Ja’far Subhani
4. A Glimpse into the life of Prophet Muhammad (s) by Muhammad Muhammadi Eshtahardi
5. Elementary Arabic Morphology 1 by Rashid al-Shartuni
6. Elementary Arabic Syntax 1 by Rashid al-Shartuni
[33] rīr al-Wasīla, page 4)Imām al-Khomeinī ®, Tah
[34] , volume 1, page 4)ūsī, al-Mabsūt)Shaykh T
[35] rīr al-Wasīla, volume 2, page 3)Imām Khomeini ®, Tah
[36] Refer to Sūrah Nūr, verse 33
[37] Refer to 5:1
[38] Opposite of a carcass.
[39] An ancient form of measurement.

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