the era of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu
‘alaihi wasallam’), also known as the era of legislation (‘tashree’), there
exist only 2 sources of Islamic Laws, the Quran and the Sunnah. The Quran is
the divine revelation, the literal word of Allah whereas the Sunnah is the
application of the Quran which acted a blueprint. It includes the words,
actions and approvals of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam’).
The Quran was revealed gradually by Allah
to Prophet Muhammad through the Angel Gabriel for a period of 23 years starting
from his prophethood in 609 CE until 623 E. The sections were revealed by the
Prophet to solve the problems in Makkah and Madeenah. Many of the Quranic
verses were the direct answers to questions raised by the people whether
Muslims or non-Muslims. Besides, some other verses were answer to a particular
incident brought to the Prophet (sallallahu
‘alaihi wasallam’). The Sunnah were revelaed through the similar ways. For
the Arabs, they were used total freedom. Thus, this method of legislation
suited them well because they would understand the reasons of enacting the law.
The Prophet rearranged the sequence
and order of the surahs upon the year of his demise. The general content of the
Quran can be divided in to two phases. The first phase is known as the Makkan
Period from 609 CE to 6622 CE. The prophethood began in this period and the
migration of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu
‘alaihi wasallam’) to Medina marks the end of this period. The second phase
of this period is the Madeenan Period which started after the Hijrah in 622 CE.
The end of this period was signified by the death of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam’).
The basic principles of the Quranic
legislation includes the removal of difficulty. The Islamic system provides man
guidance in order to give them an ethical lifestyle. Some authorities claimed
that it creates difficulty for men to live. However, it was to improve the
needs of the people. It is mean to eliminate unnecessary problems and hardships
of the men. It can be proven by the verses stated in the Quran. “Allah wishes
for you ease and He does not wish difficulty for you”1, “Allah
does not burden a soul more than it can bear”2, “Allah
wishes to lighten the burden for you, for man was created weak.”3 And
that “He did not make any difficulty for you in the religion”4
For example, legal concessions such as permission to break-fast, shorten and
join prayers when travelling were enacted together with the divine laws.
1 Surah Al-Baqarah (2) :185
2 Surah Al-Baqarah (2): 286
3 Surah An-Nissa (4): 28
4 Surah Al-Hajj (22): 78