The Sharia is Islamic Law, preserved through Islamic scholarship. The Qur'an is the foremost source of Islamic jurisprudence; the second is the Sunnah (the practices of the Prophet, as narrated in reports of his life). The Sunnah is not itself a text like the Qur'an, but
is extracted by analysis of the Hadith (Arabic for "report") texts, which contain narrations of the Prophet's sayings, deeds, and actions. The collection of Hadith
have at their sources, the Prophet's sayings, deeds, and actions. However these were related (verbally and in written form)
since the days of the Prophet up till now, across many individuals starting with the Prophet's companions (sohabah).
Only the names of the companions are disclosed when relating the Hadith. The chain of individuals relating the Hadith over
time was called the sanad, with the individuals relating them being referred to as rawi. The collection of Hadith
are classified according to their believed authenticity and the personal backgrounds of the rawi are explored to ensure
that they were trustworthy and could be trusted upon to relate the Hadith correctly. Today, the leading authorities of the
Hadith are believed to be from the Imams Bukhari and Muslim with their collection of Hadith compiled as references: the Sohih
Bukhari and the Sohih Muslim.
Islamic law covers all aspects of life, from the broad topics of governance and foreign relations all the way down to issues
of daily living. Islamic law which were covered expressly in the Quran were referred to as hudud laws. This covered
the prohibition of murder, extra-marital sex, drinking of alcohol and gambling. The Quran also gives a detailed quantitative
account of the distribution of the estate to beneficiaries of the deceased (fara'id). The Quran also expressly required
the fasting during the month of Ramadhan, payment of the tithe (zakat) to the poor and those who qualified and also
equal retribution in the case of hurt or death (qisas) except where forgiven by the deceased beneficiaries. Other legal
aspects which were not covered expressly by the Quran were presided by judges (takzir) who are given power to make
sentencing decisions and were supposed to closely adhere to the principles of the Quran and Sunnah. Islamic law at the level
of governance and social justice only applies where the government is Islamic.
According to Islam, the Sharia is divinely revealed. It is understood as protecting five things: faith, life, knowledge,
lineage, and wealth. However, it is by no means a rigid system of laws. There are different schools of thoughts and movements
within Islam that allow for flexibility. Moreover, Islam is a diverse religion as many cultures have embraced it and is considered
to be among the fastest growing religions of today.