In order to understand the nature of Shariah, and the reasons that ShariahfinanceWatch is concerned about the rise of Islamic Banking into our culture, it is good to understand the laws of Islam. Here is an essay, written by a Muslim about the Hadiths of Islam. This is not provided as an endorsement of Islam, but as a learning tool for those unfamiliar with the laws.
comments by Allyson Rowen Taylor
Islam is a religion both of the book and of tradition. Both of these avenues are, to some extent, sacred for the Muslim. In this way it is akin to other major religions of the world. For example, in Catholicism, there is a veneration of both their Sacred Scriptures and their Sacred Tradition (though this veneration is equal in Catholicism). For most Muslim traditions, however, the veneration of the Qur’an and the Hadith (the traditions) is not equal, though perhaps it could be justly said that for all Muslims the Hadith is venerated second only to the sacred Scriptures of Islam (i.e., the Qur’an). This is true for all the major branches of Islam: Sunni, Shiite, and Sufi. However, it is not true that the Sunni Muslims have the exact same Hadith as either of the other branches (and vice-versa). The traditions contained within the Hadith are not uniform among the various major branches of Islam. But, owing to this high veneration of the Hadith among all Muslims, the Hadith has been instrumental and important in shaping Muslim identity.