The Arabic word shari`ah refers to the laws and way of life prescribed by Allah (SWT) for his servants. The shari`ah deals with the ideology and faith; behavior and manners; and practical daily matters. “To each among you, we have prescribed a law and a clear way. (Qur ‘an 5:48) Shari`ah includes the Qur’an and the sunnah of the Prophet (saas). The Qur’an is the direct word of Allah (SWT), and is the first most important source of guidance and rulings. The Sunnah of the Prophet (saas) is the second source of guidance and rulings.

The sunnah is an inspiration from Allah (SWT), but relayed to us through the words and actions of the Prophet (saas), and his concurrence with others’ actions. The sunnah confirmed the rulings of the Qur’an; detailed some of the concepts, laws and practical matters which are briefly stated in the Qur’an (e.g. definition of Islam, Iman, and Ihsan, details of salah, types of usury); and gave some rulings regarding matters not explicitly stated in the Qur’an (e.g. wearing silk clothes for men).