The Editorial Team of Dr. Abd Arrahman al-Muala
(part 1 of 2): Introduction
Man is by nature a sociable being. He cannot live on his own all the time, completely independent of others. People are interdependent. Accordingly, there is friction between them when their personal interests conflict or when what they consider to be their individual rights adversely affects others. Conflicts among them are inevitable. In some cases, one party will be stronger and more aggressive while the other is weak, unable to defend its rights.
For this reason, it is necessary that there is a way to prevent people from oppressing each other, to ensure that the weaker members of society are given their rights, and to determine what is right and what is wrong when the issues are complicated or become insecure. This can only be done by a judge who has the power to issue legal enactments in disputes.
For this reason, we see that the existence of a judge is provided for in Islamic law and also in the laws of all other religions disclosed, both as a religious obligation and as a necessity for human life. God says:
„Truly, We sent Our Messenger with clear evidence and sent the Book and the Balance down with them so that men may practice justice.“ (Quran 57:25)
Islam – the religion that God has wanted for humanity from the time He sent Prophet Muhammad to the day of judgment – shows great concern for the legal system and for those who are designated to carry out its responsibilities. Islam prescribes many legal regulations for this. How else could it be when Islam is a religion of grace, equality and justice? It is the religion that comes to free people from worshiping creation and to persuade them to worship God. It is religion that comes to remove the oppression and inequality of people and bring them the highest level of justice and freedom.
The Messenger of God was the greatest judge. He used to judge in the city of Medina, the first Islamic state, as a judge. He used to name people as judges for other cities. Among these were `Utâb b. Asyad, who was sent to Mecca, Ali b. Abu Talib and Muadh b. Jabal, the two were sent to Yemen.
In the time of the right-led Khalifas, the head of state remained the one who appointed the judges, regulated their affairs, protected their independence, and the governors and political names – and even the Khalifas – were bound by the judges‘ decrees. Umar b. al-Khattaab, the second Khalif, was the first person to make the judge a unit independent of the Khalif and the governors.
In this way, the legal system developed through the early Islamic era, during the Umayyid era and also the Abbasid era. The Supreme Court office was established at that time. The highest court was responsible for appointing and removing judges. It was responsible for monitoring their behavior and their practice. The first person to get this position was Abu Yusuf, the student of the great lawyer Abu Haniefah (may God have mercy on both of them). After that, this office became widespread in the Muslim countries. It continued to exist until the fall of the Ottoman Empire.
The names of many just judges have been preserved in Islamic history. Their names stand for justice and integrity. Many pages in the history books are devoted to the lives and careers of famous judges such as Iyâs b. Muawiyah, Shurayh b. Abdallah, al-`Izz b. `Abd al-Salam and others who have applied the teachings of Islam in the best possible way. They gave us a living example of how a Muslim judge should behave.
We should mention, as we are discussing the Islamic legal system, that Islam has broad guidelines and basic principles regarding the affairs of life and rarely deals with the particular details of life. This is so that these guidelines can remain relevant for all times and places. One of these guidelines is that justice among people is an obligation that must be exercised. As for the way in which this is accomplished, the sacred texts do not elaborate on this. It has been left to the people of every generation to find the most suitable way for their unique living conditions. The only requirement is whichever method is chosen, it must not contradict Islamic law.
(part 2 of 2):
Its Legal Foundations and Islamic Legislation Defining the Legal System and Its Legal Foundations
The legal system in Islam is a system for deciding between individuals in litigation, with the aim of resolving their issues in accordance with the ordinances of divine law to finish orders originating from Quran and Sunnah.
All of God’s messengers (may God be at peace with all of them) were also judges. God says:
“And David and Solomon judged the field in which the sheep of a people ran and grazed at night; and we witnessed their verdict. We gave Solomon full insight, and we gave everyone (of them) wisdom and knowledge. ” (Quran 21: 78-79)
God also says:
“O David, we have made you a successor on earth; therefore judge between people in righteousness and do not follow (your) personal inclinations so that they do not let you stray from the way of God. „Truly those who stray from God’s way will receive a severe punishment because they are the day of reckoning forgot. ” (Quran 38:26)
The Prophet Muhammad, who came with the final and final message, was instructed by God to make judgments in disputes, just as he was instructed to spread the Word of God and call people to Islam. This is mentioned in various places in the Quran, for example God says:
„And you (O Muhammad) should judge between them according to what has been sent down by God.“ (Quran 5:49)
God also says:
“… but if you judge, judge between them with justice. Verily, God loves the righteous ”(Quran 5:42)
And He says,
“ No, by your Lord; they are not rather believers until they make you a judge of everything that is in dispute between them, and then they do not find in your heart any concerns about your decision and submit to your submission. ” (Quran 4:65)
The Sunnah also provides a legal basis for the Islamic legal system. It is run by Amr b. Al-Aas reports that the Prophet said:
“When a judge pronounces judgment, giving his best judgment and being right, he receives double reward (from God). If he makes his best judgment but makes a mistake, he gets a simple wage. ” (Ahmed)
The Messenger of God said:
“You should not wish to be like other people, except in two cases: a man to whom God has given wealth and he donates to the truth and another to whom God has given wisdom, and he gives enactments on its basis and teaches them to others. ” (Sahieh Al-Bukhari, Sahieh Muslim)
Many scholars have reported that there is a legal consensus among Muslims about the legal system of Islam. Ibn Qudamah says:
„Muslims agree that a legal system must be established for people.“
Islamic jurisdiction regulation
Lawyers agree that the duty of a judge is an obligation of society. If some members of society fulfill this obligation, it is enough for everyone. On the other hand, if everyone neglects this, then sin weighs on everyone in society.
The proof that these are obligations is in the Quran:
“O you who believe are on guard in the exercise of justice …” (Quran 4: 135)
It is only necessary that one small number of individuals fulfill the legal obligations because the legal concerns are part of the broad obligation to command the right and forbid the wrong. It is not compulsory for everyone to fulfill this obligation as long as some people do it.
Human affairs will not be resolved properly and upright without a legal system. So it is mandatory that one exists just as it is necessary to have an army. Imam Ahmad, one of the greatest and best known scholars of Islam, said:
„People must have judicial authority or their rights will disappear.“
Legal duties include commanding the good, helping the oppressed, securing people’s rights, and prohibiting oppressive behavior. None of these commitments can be carried out without a judiciary.
A legal system is a necessity for the prosperity and development of nations. It is used to ensure people’s joy, protect the rights of the oppressed, and restrain the oppressor. It is the way to resolve disputes, forbid the wrong, and stop immoral behavior. In this way, just social order can be established in all areas of society and every individual can be assured of their life, property, honor and freedom. In this environment, nations can develop, civilizations can thrive, and people can freely pursue what improves them spiritually and materially.