Islamic Law and Ethics are inseparable as the Islamic law is the main central domain of the ethical Islamic thought. Islamic law is not a mere low but also an epistemological system of great norms and sophistication. Islamic law is based on Fiqh, Shar`,Shari`ah.
Fiqh means Understanding or discerning.
Understanding of Religion is din,
Understanding of spiritual law is ilm,
Understanding of legal statute is al-hudud.
The Fiqh process is highly formal and gives a better understanding of human moral life, fiqh is more and directly in relation with morality in contrast to other two forms i.e. shar` and shari`ah. Fiqh law is not in the form of legislation but rather perceived and produced and therefore understood and then practiced by keeping in mind the moralities and the values. The correlation of Islamic Law and morality or ethics goes side by side; one thing is based on the other highly interlinked. Ethics and moralities of today's world lie within the Islamic law itself. In our normal living of today and so called updated norms of the society and this world are at one or other point and time has some coherence with the religion. As law teaches and guides for the ethics and morality, and so is the morality that has Conexions many at times based on religion and Islamic law and that is therefore ethics.
Sha`r and sharia`h; these two terms often are taken as Islamic law; terms refer to the way of understanding and knowing and enforcing the law. On broader spectrum sharia`h is like a highway or a lamp leading to the moralities and the way to ethical life. Sharia`h is focused on certain specific contents that too morally only by a way leads to the life, whereas shari`an on the other hand is tackling with bottle divine concept in the history and therefore the morality and ethics too. Fiqh understands of what is the way of life that stays within permissible limits and also gives understanding of staying away from the prohibited ones. The Fiqh understanding is based on four tools Usul, Hadith, Quran, Ijma and Qayas.
Non Islamic Notions of Law & Morality
Aristotle's four virtues of Courage, temperance, justice and wisdom which is though transformed with accordance to Islamic and religious perception but more or less talking the same moralities and virtues and their importance. The virtues are more or less on the larger scale are same but the notions are different and so once perceived differently by different philosophers, their theories and their religious approaches, e.g. On Courage by Aristotle is being into the battle field, by Aquina is to achieve the just and the martyrdom, by Al-ghazali is the encounter of the soul with God's just and the punishment.
On Justice; Aristotle's notion is of getting ones due from the community. Al-ghazali internal harmony in terms of soul and outer harmony in terms of people among society. Philosophical virtues and norms are taken as principle but not as practice by non Islamic virtues as Aquinas. Aquinas and Christian virtues are of faith (sida), hope and charity. The notion of value and virtues is to judge that where how and when one thing can be given preference over the other.
Islamic Ethical & Moral Theory that may not be present in Islamic Legal Theory
Islamic ethical and moral theory is based on five fundamental pillars, Iman, Salah, Zakah, sawm and Hajj.
Two kinds of acts are involved
1. Acts pertaining to worship of God.
2. Acts pertaining in relation to our fellow beings.
These are the essentials as per obligations commandments given by but therefore the act of obedience and the understanding of an individual in the practice of these commandments as per obligation only one's act just for the sake of fulfilling the objection and the other way is doing the same act within the sense of obligation and a little more that is having your inner involvement by getting involved into the already given and described act with all the goodness but still the notion of getting into the act with sense of selfness and to perceive the same act internally with the spiritual and soul involvement makes the greater difference and thus resulting in the greater happiness. Al-ghazali does not credit the philosophical virtue to attain the ultimate happiness. According to al-ghazali something at the divine and the spiritual level is required in order to attain that very level of happiness and gratification and then he points out four main virtues in order to achieve that spiritual level of understanding, that is Guidance ( hid ayah) , Direction (rushd) ,Leading (tasdid) , and support (tay`id).
Al-ghazali clearly draws attention and clarify the difference of virtue theory and theological theory, that virtue theory is looking for the justice from the God and Theological theory is adherent to Truth and Haq. having shown in the truthfulness and the faithfulness to the given commandments , assists it to move in the way to get the divine assistance, the more you strive to live according to these commandments therefore it increases the possibility of receiving Gods kindness and mercy and gifts.
Islamic Theology and Law & Spirituality
Islamic Law is based on five fold model which is 1. Wajib that is required, 2. Mandud that is recommended, 3.Mubah that is Permissible, 4. Makrooh that is discouraged or disliked, 5. Haram that is Forbidden/Prohibited.
Then on the other hand the religion Islam is also enlightening the path to make decisions and to clarify the ambiguity of our thoughts by having a knowledge of shari`a and thus showing us better understanding and discriminating the right and wrongness of the act . Islam is not about imposing theories but it is mainly about imprinting into our minds and then every thing is been is been proved by reasoning and debate on circumstantial basis as in Qur'an and Hadith .Islam and spirituality always have doors open , whenever we have a complicated or complexes issue and if it is not clearly understood because it is not clearly mentioned in Qur'an , in that case that case can be tested by using the testimony of Hadith , and even if that method is not somehow clarifying the issue up to the mark even then religion Islam is not given the deadlock and still there are the authentic ways of testing your own judgment. In accordance with Ahkam-e-sharia it is further divided into four main categories; SHARI`A that is the way/ path of source of whatever and then there Islamic connotation of this is Hudood which will further describe the haram and halal aspects of Islam. FIQH here we are talking about understanding and having a merely understandable knowledge to understand the matter. In Islamic perspective it is the understanding of the way that leads to the life and tells to stay within permissible and does not allow going to the prohibited areas. USUL-ul-FIQH ; this connotes to the root of understanding or to the basis of the foundation , Islamic meaning foundation of understanding the way leading to life , that stays within the revolution and also gives a permissible way to lead to the right and possible ways of action .
ITEHAD ; this mainly involves the highest level of the intellectual effort, Islamic virtues being in the Islamic domain ijthad touches the highest level of human intellectual effort in order to design a legal epistemology and leads the formulation of the basis of understanding from revolution that how human beings should live and lead their lives.