6 Hous. J. Int'l L. 23 (1983-1984)
Juristic Classification of Islamic Law

handle is hein.journals/hujil6 and id is 31 raw text is: JURISTIC CLASSIFICATION OF ISLAMIC LAW*
Khizr Muazzam Khan**
Most jurists are in the habit of classifying the sources of Islamic
law into two main categories:
1. Chief Sources:
(a) The Quran.
(b)  The Sunnah     -   authentic tradition  of the
Prophet Muhammed (Peace
be upon him).
(c) The Ijma -    consensus of opinion.
(d) The Qoyas - judgment upon juristic analogy.
2. Supplementary Sources:
(a) 4-Istihsan - the deviation, on a certain issue,
from the rule of a precedent to
another rule for a more relevant
legal reason that requires such
(b)  41-lstislah -   the unprecendented judgment
motivated by public interest to
which neither the Quran nor
the Sunnah explicitly refer.
(c) 4-Ub- the custom and the usage of a particu-
lar society, both in speech and in
But this classification of sources is by no means a decisive or authorita-
tive one. During the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammed, only the first
two chief sources were recognized as binding. Even the Sunnah de-
rived its authority from clear injunctions of the Quran. Individual
opinions did exist, but only in the absence of an applicable text in the
Quran and Sunnah, and within the spirit of the two chief sources. The
forming of individual opinions in such cases was urged by the Prophet
* This article was written while the author was in Saudi Arabia, and many of the
sources are available only in Arabic. The Journal will be pleased to convey to the author
any reader inquiries. All translations, except where noted, are by the author.
** LL.B., 1974, Punjab University Law College, LL.M., 1982, University of Missouri
Law School; Specializing in International Trade Law in Saudi Arabia, the U.S., and Paki-
stan. Author of In Defense of OPEC, an historical perspective of OPEC; Legal Index of
the Quran, a legal reference guide. Co-founder of Journal of Contemporary Issues in Mus-
lim Law. The contribution to this article of S. Ramadan's writings is gratefully

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