What are the segments of the injunctions of Sharia?
The injunctions of Sharia are divided into four, which are itiqat (faith), ibadat (worship), muamalat (transactions), and ahlaq (ethics). As far as faith is concerned, there might be no ijtihad (independent judgments on points of the Sharia). For these injunctions are unchangeable as the verses of the Holy Quran and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) have conclusively laid them down and are confirmed by logical proofs as it is. These are far from doubt. They neither increase, nor decrease, nor change.
As for the injunctions, which have connections with worship, these have also been determined by the expressions of the Quran and hadiths are therefore impossible to change. One needs to have faith in them as is. It is clear that there can be no independent judgement of them. For worships such as namaz (performing ritual prayers at stated times), fasting, zakat (almsgiving), hajj (pilgrimage) have been sent down from Divine Determining and have been truly practiced by the Messenger Muhammad (PBUH). There might be no independent judgement of them. For instance, there might be no ijtihad (independent judgments of Islamic law) as regards to the rakats (a series of ritual movements form part of the namaz) of prayers, their numbers, and their times. In just the same way, decisive prohibitions such as polytheism, murder, adultery, illegitimacy, alcohol etc. would not change in the course of time. It is never permissible to make independent judgments about them and to change their natures. If such daring is not a result of ignorance, it means an evil attempt to the sacred things.
In a matter on which there is no a slightest degree of making comment, and again whose meaning is clear and confirmed by the Quranic verses and hadiths, the religion would not grant permission to those who make independent judgments of the Islamic law. One must not act in accordance with independent judgments of law, which are contrary to these decisive proofs.
Just as there can be no ijtihad on Islamic injunctions such as daily prayers, fasting, and almsgiving, so too there can be no ijtihad on injunctions, which have been confirmed by joint decision of religious scholars. They constitute ninety percent of injunctions of Sharia. The secondarily important injunctions, which become subject matters to syllogism and ijtihad, are ten percent.
Ijtihad might be made in conjectural and accessory matters related to worship and transactions, in other words, in the matters about which there is no conclusive injunction.
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