“Islam; a companion book,” now presents the embodying practical devotions, legal transactions, punishments, moralities, foundations of Islamic jurisprudence and theology, together with an exposition of piety and code of morals and spiritual aspect in Islam.
Before giving an account of the present volume contents, it may be proper to give some explanation about Islamic law. The Islamic Law proceeds in its determinations upon two grounds: the text of the Qu’ran and the Sunnah, the Prophet Traditions or the Oral Law.
1) The Qu’ran is considered by Muslims as the basis of their law; and is therefore, when applied to judicial matters, entitled by way of distinction “Al-Shari’a” or the Law. The precepts of the Qu’ran are of two prescriptions: prohibitory and injunctive. In their application, they are always considered as unquestionable and irrefutable.
2) As regards the Sunnah, it literally signifies custom, regulation or institution. The Sunnah stands next to the Qu’ran in point of authority, being considered as a commentary to the Qu’ran. It forms the body of what is termed the Oral Law, because it was not committed to writing by the scribes of the Prophet, it being deduced solely from his traditionary precepts, sayings and practice preserved from mouth to mouth by authorized persons.
After the Prophet’s death, the institutions of the Sunnah were at first quoted by his companions merely to settle occasional disputes or to restrain men from certain actions which the Prophet had prohibited: and thus in the process of time, they became a standard of judicial determinations. The Sunnah applies to many points of both devotional and temporal natures.
Prof. Bosworth Smith remarks: “As to the Pagan Arabs the nice distinctions of property were imperfectly understood; each tribe was governed by its own law and disputed causes were either referred to the determination of the chief or [more frequently] decided by an appeal to the sword.
“Private revenge was not merely tolerated, but encouraged, and the justice and necessity of it inculcated. Hence every dissension was the occasion either of single combat or of civil war, and tradition furnishes us with accounts of above 1,500 battles fought before the introduction of the Islamic system.
“Indeed, half pagan and half Christian, half civilised and half barbarian it was given to Mohammed in a marvellous degree to unite the peculiar excellences of the one with the peculiar excellence of the other.
“Head of the state as well as of the Church, he [Mohammed] was Caesar and Pope in one; but he was Pope without Pope’s pretensions, Caesar without the legions of Caesar. Without standing army, without a fixed revenue, if ever a man had the right to say that he ruled by a right divine, it was Mohammed, for he had all the power without its instruments” .
Dealing with the social changes brought by the Prophet, Dr. Noldeke states: “One fact among others, by which we can estimate the striking impression the Prophet produced upon the Arabs, is that each tribe once submitted, or adopted his religion, it renounced the right of retaliation for the bloodshed in the struggle. Under other circumstances, this renunciation of blood-revenge, or of wergild at least, would have seemed to the Arab the lowest depth of humiliation. This was, indeed, so striking a feature of the new brotherhood that it could not fail to make a silent but deep impression upon the unbelieving multitude who now began to feel the power of the new religion.
“To those who seek miracles, this glorious result, achieved in less than a decade, constitutes a real and splendid miracle of Islam, which alone gives it the title, to be ranked as a great religion and wonderful civilising agency” 
In an exquisitely beautiful passage full of grace and wisdom, the Glorious Qu’ran, draws a contrast between the life and manners of Arabs in the shade of Islam and those in pre-Islamic times; and urges upon the true believers a true union of hearts, and dwells on the real purpose of the advent of the new religion. Here is a rendering of the verses:
“O ye believers, fear God as He deserves to be feared; and die not but as true Muslims and hold ye fast by the Cord of God, all of you, and do not scatter yourselves, and remember God’s goodness towards you, and how that when you were enemies. He united your hearts, and through His grace, ye became brethren, and while ye were on the brink of the pit of fire, He saved you from it; thus clearly God shows His signs, that ye may be guided. And let there be among you some people who invite to the good, and enjoin the right and forbid the wrong; and these are they who shall prosper.” [3:102-103].
The reader shall find in this volume the numerous rules, regulations, directions, institutions and guidances which have been the basis upon which the Empire of Islam was built. The Prophet Mohammed did not only promulgate a religion, but he also laid down a complete social system, containing minute regulations for a man’s conduct in all circumstances of life, with due rewards and penalties, according to his fulfillment or otherwise of these rulings. The social and the religious parts of Islam are so inseparably bound up that it is impossible to cut off the one from the other without destroying both. Religion according to Islam should not only lay down the law of relation of man to God, but should also regulate and distinctly define the proper relation between man and his fellow-beings.
It is also to be rightly hoped that they will contribute to a fuller knowledge of the great cultural heritage of Islam, for only through real understanding will the West be able to appreciate the underlying problems and aspirations of the Muslim world today. A deeper knowledge of the great ideals and lofty dectorines underlying Islam will help toward a revival of that true spirit of charity which neither despises nor fears the notions and teachings of another creed.
This modest endeavour, hopfully, will serve in some degree to remove misconceptions as to the precept of the message of Islam, particularly with respect to tolerance in Islam and the status of woman.
It is relevant to point out to the reader who will come across my interpretation of several verses of the Qu’ran, that it must be remembered that as a miraculous Divine Book, the Qu’ran, when translated, literally, into any foreign language, necessarily loses a great deal of its supernatural elegance and purity of style.
George Sale himself addresses the reader of his so-called translation of the Qu’ran in the following words.
“…Though the reader must not imagine the translation to come up to the original, notwithstanding my endeavours to do it justice.”
Hence my having to render into English exclusively the meaning of the verses, while avoiding any literal translation for the sake of the above argument. My interpretation as set forth in this book is simply according to my personal understanding of the meaning of the verses, notwithstanding my endeavours to do it justice.
For further illumination, of the subject I quote Mr. Bosworth Smith’s opinion of the Qu’ran: “Illiterate himself [i.e. the Prophet Mohammed] yet brought forth a book which is a code of law, a book of common prayer, and a bible in one, and is reverence to this day by a sixth of the whole of the human race, as a miracle of purity of style of wisdom of truth. It was the one miracle claimed by Mohammed, his standing miracle he called it, and a miracle indeed it is.”
 cf. Prof. Bosworth Smith in his “Mohamed and Mohammedanism,” P. 340.
 Dr. Noldeke’s in his book on “Islam,” p. 126.
 Vide Mohd. And Mohamedanism I. Page 34.
Please write: COMMENT in this box to verify that you are human