adat                             Indonesian customary law


ahkam                         legal rules, judgments (sg. hukm)


ahwal shakhsiyya        laws of personal status


‘amal                           judicial practice


aya                              a Qur'anic verse


‘ayn                             a tangible thing, equivalent to Latin res


bay‘                             sale; a bay‘ mu'ajjal is a credit sale, a bay‘ salam a forward sale, whereby payment is made at time of contract and item is delivered at later, specified date; bay‘ al-‘urbun is a sale with option of down payment


bid‘a                            innovation; a belief or practice for which there was no precedent in the Prophet's time


daman                         civil liability; in suretyship, contract of guarantee


dayn                            generic property; debt


diya                             a specified amount of money or goods due in cases of homicide or other injuries to physical health unjustly committed upon the person of another; it is the substitute for the law of private vengeance, qisas


faqih                            a specialist in religious law; a jurist (pl. fuqaha')


faskh                           the dissolution of a contractual bond; annulment of a marriage open to the wife or her relatives, adjudicated by a third party


fatwa                           an opinion by a religious-legal scholar, mufti, on a point of law


fiqh                              lit. understanding; the corpus of the Islamic jurists' doctrines, or Islamic substantive law


fuqaha'                        see faqih


furu‘                            lit. branches; the body of positive rules of law, derived from the sources of legal knowledge, the usul al-fiqh


gharar                         risk, uncertainty


hadd                            see hudud


hadith                          an account of what the Prophet said or did, or of his tacit approval of something said or done in his presence (pl. ahadith); the corpus of Tradition that is the Sunna


halal                            lawful, permitted, permissable


haram                          prohibited, forbidden, illicit


hudud                          certain major crimes defined in the Qur'an and assigned specific punishments (sg. hadd)


hukm                           see ahkam


‘ibadat                         ritual practices, acts of worship


‘idda                            the woman's waiting period of three menses, during which there is sexual abstinence, after a divorce or death of the husband


ijara                            contract of lease and hire


ijma‘                            consensus, the unanimous doctrine and opinion of the recognized authorities at any given time; the third of the sources of legal knowledge, the first two being the Qur'an and Sunna


ijtihad                          the use of independent reasoning to advance a legal opinion in cases where the Qur'an and Sunna are not definitive; its opposite is taqlid


ikhtilaf                         difference of opinion among the authorities of law


‘illa                              cause; raison d'être


istisna‘                         a contract providing for manufacture and purchase of specified item


kafala                          an institution corresponding to the surety bond


kaffara                        Qur'anic term for an expiatory and propitiatory act that grants remission for faults of some gravity


khul‘                            a divorce by the wife, with permission by the husband, whereby the wife forfeits maintenance and dower still owed to her, and pays back the dower paid upon marriage


madhhab                     legal doctrine, the Islamic school of law


mahr                            a dower or gift given to the wife by the husband upon marriage, also known as sadaq


mal                              property


maslaha                       the concept of “public interest” or “the general good” that is used as a basis of legal decisions


mudaraba                    limited partnership, also known as qirad, whereby some partners contribute capital and others labor


mufti                            a religious-legal scholar qualified to issue an authoritative legal opinion, or fatwa


mujtahid                      one who practices independent reasoning, or ijtihad


mulla                           a religious scholar


murabaha                    sale at a percentage mark-up


musharaka                  partnership or company


nikah                           marriage (properly, sexual intercourse)


qabd                            possession; taking possession of


qadhf                           a slanderous accusation of unlawful fornication, zina, or of illegitimate descent (which amounts to accusing the mother of zina)


qadi                             a judge


qat' al-tariq                 highway robbery, or robbery with violence, which in certain circumstances is punishable by death


qisas                            see diya


qiyas                            analogical reasoning; the fourth source of legal knowledge, following Qur'an, Sunna, and consensus (ijma‘)


rahn                             a pledge, collateral


ra'y                              personal opinion, or human reasoning, used to arrive at a legal decision


riba                              interest, unjust enrichment, usury


ridda                            apostasy, the act of turning away from Islam


sadaq                           see mahr


sariqa                          theft, for which the Qur'an prescribes cutting off the right hand.


Shari‘a                         the divine, revealed law


shart                            a condition, term, stipulation (in a contract)


Shi‘a                            a sect of Islam, contrasting with the orthodox Sunnis, comprising approx 10% of the Muslim population. Shi‘is differ from Sunnis in that they hold that leadership of the community pertains to the direct descendants of the caliph ‘Ali and his wife Fatima, the Prophet's daughter


shura                           consultation; consultative assembly


shurb al-khamr           the drinking of wine, or other intoxicants


siyar                            field of law concerned with the rules of war and of dealings of non-Muslims, apostates, and rebels; international law


siyasa                          policy, governance, administration



Sunna                           the normative example of the Prophet; the corpus of reports known as hadiths


Sunni                            the major sect of Muslims, those holding that leadership of the Muslim community is not restricted to the direct descendants of the Prophet


sura                             a Qur'anic chapter


tafsir                            exegetic interpretation; commentary on the Qur'an


talaq                            (unilateral) divorce by the husband, repudiation


taqlid                           the acceptance of recognized authoritative opinion or doctrine, the opposite of independent reasoning, or ijtihad


tawhid                         the belief in one God


ta‘zir                            discretionary punishment meted out by a judge in cases not covered by hudud penalties


‘ulama', ulema religious-legal scholars (sg. ‘alim)


usul                              lit. roots (sg. ‘asl), the sources of law, viz. the Qur'an, the Sunna, consensus, and analogical reasoning, as opposed to furu‘; short form for usul al-fiqh (works of) legal theory, methods of deriving positive law


wali                             a guardian, curator


waqf                            a domain constituted into a pious endowment, charitable trust


wilaya                          guardianship over a minor; authority of a father or relative in marriage of his ward


zakat                           obligatory alms, a tax on both landed and moveable property, one of the five pillars of Islam, the others being the confession of faith, prayer, fasting, and pilgrimage


zina                              unlawful fornication, punishable by penal law if the partners are not married to each other or united by the bond of ownership



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