The metaphysical and ethical bases of this worship which have been prescribed by religion are called al-Hikmah, and the rituals and limits prescribed for it by religion are called al-Kitab by the Qur’an:


وَأَنزَلَ اللّهُ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَعَلَّمَكَ مَا لَمْ تَكُنْ تَعْلَمُ وَكَانَ فَضْلُ اللّهِ عَلَيْكَ عَظِيمًا (113:4)

And God has revealed to you al-Kitab and al-Hikmah and in this manner taught you what you did not know before, and great is God’s favour upon you. (4:113)


وَاذْكُرُواْ نِعْمَتَ اللّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَمَا أَنزَلَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِّنَ الْكِتَابِ وَالْحِكْمَةِ يَعِظُكُم بِهِ وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ وَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللّهَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ (231:2)

And remember the favours He has bestowed upon you, and the al-Kitaband al-Hikmah which He has revealed to you, of which He instructs you and keep fearing Allah and know that He has knowledge of all things. (2:231)


The Qur’an also refers to al-Kitab as shari‘ah:


ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَاكَ عَلَى شَرِيعَةٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْرِ فَاتَّبِعْهَا وَلَا تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاء الَّذِينَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ (18:45)

Then We set you on a clear shari‘ahregarding religion. So follow it, and do not yield to the desires of men who know not. (45:18)


al-Hikmahhas always remained the same in all revealed religions; however, the shari‘ahhas remained different due to evolution and change in human civilizations and societies:


لِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مِنكُمْ شِرْعَةً وَمِنْهَاجًا وَلَوْ شَاء اللّهُ لَجَعَلَكُمْ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً (5: 48)

We have ordained a law and assigned a path for each of you. Had God pleased, He could have made of you one community. (5:48)


A study of divine scriptures shows that the shari‘ahconstitutes the major portion of the Torah and the hikmah generally constitutes the Injil. The Psalms are hymns which glorify the Almighty and are a forerunner to the hikmah of the Injil. The Qur’an was revealed as a masterpiece of literature comprising both shari‘ahand hikmah giving warning to those who evade it and glad tidings to those who follow it. The fact that the Qur’an is a blend of both shari‘ahand hikmah is clearly mentioned in the verses 2:231 and 4:113 quoted above. About the Torah and the Injil, the Almighty while narrating one of His dialogues which will take place with Jesus (sws) on the Day of Judgement says:


وَإِذْ عَلَّمْتُكَ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَالتَّوْرَاةَ وَالإِنجِيلَ (110:5)

And when I instructed you with the shari‘ahand the hikmah, that is the Torah and the Gospel. (5:110)


al-Hikmah basically comprises the following two topics:


1. Faith

2. Ethics


al-Kitab comprises the following ten topics:


1. The Shari‘ah of Worship Rituals

2. The Social Shari‘ah

3. The Political Shari‘ah

4. The Economic Shari‘ah

5. The Shari‘ah of Preaching

6. The Shari‘ah of Jihad

7. The Penal Shari‘ah

8. The Dietary Shari‘ah

9. Islamic Customs and Etiquette

10. Oaths and their Atonement


This is all as far as the content of religion is concerned.


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