This article is written by Joyita Mukhopadhyay, a student of Amity university Kolkata.


Strict starting points and conventions in law have been subjects of examination in numerous nations among scholars, law specialists, and students of history. This has prompted a rich assortment of near lawful writing, enlightening juristic ideas and giving some huge experiences into the establishments of current lawful frameworks. Donald Davis Jr’s. The Spirit of Hindu Law is a near second to the works of art on Indology in analyzing the job of Dharma in Hindu lawful and strict customs. He has embraced a between disciplinary methodology and similar strategy which is both invigorating and uncovering. For Davis, “law is the religious philosophy of common life” and the European thought of law, as rules supported by sanctions implemented by the state, is an unnatural thought created at a specific crossroads in history to serve certain provincial destinations. Among the benefits he recognizes in the idea is that it recognizes and clarifies the hole among ‘rule’ and ‘conduct’ in regular day to day existence and features the higher reason included at whatever point law is conjured. 

The genuine idea of law lies in its fundamental relationship with religion, however the two are various elements and have various tasks to carry out in the public eye. Regardless of a few centuries of purposeful secularization, the state couldn’t expel components of religion from the law even in countries that are generally common, liberal, and just. The approach he receives is to examine some select key ideas drawing support from definitive Sanskrit messages, relate them to the all out Hindu legitimate custom, and lastly draw out their importance to contemporary equity framework in similar circumstances.  Hindu law is believed to be the most ancient legal system which is approximately 6000 years of.Hindu law is based on immemorial custom and secular law which is called Dharma. Dharma played an essential role in forming Indian law.

Provenance of Hindu Law

There are two type of provenance in Hindu law ,they are 

Modern source of Hindu law and ancient source of Hindu law.

Ancient Sources of Hindu Law

Sources of hindu law are divided under 

  1. Shruti
  2. Smriti
  3.  Digest and commentaries 
  4. Customs


It is derived from shru which means to hear ,it signifies what is heard and it is considered as primary source of hindu law The shrutis consist of four vedas and upanishads dealing with the religious right  that contained the meaning attaining true knowledge and moksha . There are four Vedas to be specific, Rig Veda (containing psalms in Sanskrit to be discussed by the main cleric), Yajurva Veda (containing recipes to be presented by the directing minister), Sama Veda (containing sections to be recited by diviners) and Atharva Veda (containing an assortment of spells and chants, stories, forecasts, apotropaic charms and some theoretical songs). 

Every Veda has three sections viz. Sanhita (which comprises for the most part of the songs), Brahmin (discloses to us our obligations and methods for performing them) and Upanishad (containing the quintessence of these obligations). The shrutis incorporate the Vedas alongside their parts.


The word smriti derived from smri which has significance to remember, They are utterance and precepts of almighty which have been heard and remembered by rishis from generation to generation. The smrities are divided into Dharma sutra (prose)and Dharmashatras  ,the exact number of smritis is not defined but Manusmriti is the earliest one. The rules laid down in Smritis can be divided into three categories viz. Achar (relating to morality), Vyavahar (signifying procedural and substantive rules which the King or the State applied for settling disputes in the adjudication of justice) and Prayaschit (signifying the penal provision for commission of a wrong).

Digest and Commentaries

After smriti’s the next step in the development of Hindu law was the number of commentaries and digest based upon smritis. The commentaries is to interpret the law as laid down in the smriti’s. So a writing of a particular smriti is called commentaries while writing on different smrities is called Digest

They are number of commentaries but main commentaries are Daya Bhaga by jimutavahana and Mitakshara by Vijanamshwara 


Custom is viewed as the third wellspring of Hindu law. From the soonest period custom (‘achara’) is viewed as the most noteworthy ‘dharma’. As characterized by the Judicial Committee custom connotes a standard which in a specific family or in a specific class or region has from long use gotten the power of law. 

Custom is a rule source and its position is close to the Shrutis and Smritis yet utilization of custom beats the Smritis. It is better than composed law. There are sure qualities which should be satisfied for announcing custom to be a legitimate one. They are:- 

  1. The custom must be antiquated. The specific utilization more likely than not been drilled for quite a while and acknowledged by basic assent as an administering rule of a specific culture. 

(ii) The custom must be sure and ought to be liberated from such an uncertainty. It should likewise be liberated from details. 

(iii) The custom must be sensible and not against any current law. It must not be corrupt or against any open strategy and 

(iv) The custom more likely than not has been constantly and consistently followed for quite a while. 

Indian Courts perceive three kinds of customs viz: (a) Local custom – these are customs perceived by Courts to have been pervasive in a specific district or territory. (b) Class custom – these are customs which are followed up on by a specific class. Eg. There is a custom among a class of Vaishyas such that departure or deserting of the spouse by the husband repeals the marriage and the wife is allowed to wed again during the life-time of the husband. (c) Family custom – these are customs which are official upon the individuals from a family. Eg. There is a custom in groups of antiquated India that the oldest male individual from the family will acquire the bequests.

Modern Sources of Hindu Law

(I) Justice, Equity – Equity and Good Conscience

Once in a while it may happen that a question precedes a Court which can’t be settled by the utilization of any current principle in any of the sources accessible. Such a circumstance might be uncommon however it is conceivable on the grounds that few out of every odd sort of certainty circumstance which emerges can have a comparing law administering it. 

The Courts can’t decline to settle the debate without law and they are under a commitment to choose such a case moreover. For deciding such cases, the Courts depend upon the essential qualities, standards and guidelines of fairplay and respectability. 

In phrasing, this is known as standards of equity, value and great heart. They may likewise be named as Natural law. This guideline in our nation has delighted in the status of a wellspring of law since the eighteenth century when the British organization clarified that without a standard, the above rule will be applied. 

(ii) Legislations

Enactments are Acts of Parliament which have been assuming a significant job in the development of Hindu law. After India accomplished freedom, some significant parts of Hindu Law have been arranged. Not many instances of significant Statutes are The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, The Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956, The Hindu Succession Act, 1956, The Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956, and so on. 

After codification, any point managed by the arranged law is conclusive. The institution abrogates all earlier law, regardless of whether dependent on custom or in any case except if an express sparing is accommodated in the order itself. In issues not explicitly secured by the classified law, the old printed law contains an application. 

(iii) Precedents

After the foundation of British principle, the chain of importance of Courts was built up. The tenet of point of reference dependent on the standard of rewarding like cases the same was set up. Today, the choices of Privy Council are official on all the lower Courts in India aside from where they have been changed or adjusted by the Supreme Court whose choices are authoritative on all the Courts with the exception of itself.

Schools of Hindu Law

Schools of Hindu law are viewed as the essential wellspring of Hindu law which comprised in the advancement of the Hindu law from its underlying foundations. It is otherwise called the discourses and the digestives of the smritis. These schools have enlarged the extent of Hindu law and unequivocally contributed in its turn of events. These schools have enlarged the extent of Hindu law and unequivocally added to its turn of events. 

The two significant schools of Hindu law are as per the following- 


Daya Bhaga 

Mitakshara School

 Mitakshara is one of the most significant schools of Hindu law. It is a running analysis of the Smriti composed by Yajnvalkya. This school is pertinent in the entire piece of India with the exception of in West Bengal and Assam. The Mitakshara has an extremely wide purview. Anyway various pieces of the nation provide legal counsel contrastingly in view of the distinctive standard principles followed by them. 

Mitakshara is additionally separated into five sub-schools to be specific 

Banaras Hindu graduate school 

Mithila graduate school 

Maharashtra graduate school 

Punjab graduate school 

Dravida or Madras Graduate School 

These graduate schools go under the ambit of Mitakshara graduate school. They appreciate a similar essential rule yet contrast in specific conditions. 

Benaras Graduate School 

This graduate school goes under the authority of the Mitakshara graduate school and covers Northern India including Orissa. Viramitrodaya Nirnyasindhu vivada are a portion of its significant critiques. 

Mithila Graduate School 

This graduate school practices its clout in the regional pieces of tirhoot and north Bihar. The standards of the graduate school win in the north. The significant discourses of this school are Vivadaratnakar, Vivadachintamani, smritsara. 

Maharashtra or Bombay Graduate School 

The Maharashtra graduate school has the power to practice its locale over the regional parts including Gujarat Karana and the parts where there is the Marathi language is capably spoken. The primary specialists of these schools are Vyavhara Mayukha, Virmitrodaya, and so on. 

Madras Graduate School 

This graduate school will in general spread the entire southern piece of India. It likewise practices its specialists under Mitakshara graduate school. The fundamental specialists of this school are Smriti Chandrika, Vaijayanti, and so on. 

Punjab Graduate School 

This graduate school was dominatingly settled in east Punjab. It had set up its own traditions and customs. The primary discourses of this school are viramitrodaya and its built up customs. 

Dayabhaga School 

Dayabhaga school transcendently won in Assam and West Bengal. This is additionally one of the most significant schools of Hindu laws. It is viewed as a review for the main smritis. Its essential centre was to manage parcels, legacy and joint family. As indicated by Kane, it was fused in the middle of 1090-1130 A.D. 

Dayabhaga school was detailed with the end goal of destroying the various ridiculous and counterfeit standards of legacy. The quick advantage of this new condensation is that it will in general expel all the deficiencies and impediments of the recently settled standards and incorporation of numerous cognates in the rundown of beneficiaries, which was confined by the Mitakshara school. 

In Dayabhaga school different discourses were followed, for example, 




Dattaka chandrika

Mitakshara and Dayabhagha schools are differed on important issues as regard to inheritance

Mitakshara the standard of blood relationship or association is followed if there should arise an occurrence of legacy though in the event of Dayabhaga school the legacy is represented by the standard of the contribution of pinda. 

 Mitakshara school the cognates are delayed to agnates or not favored upon agnates while if there should arise an occurrence of Dayabhaga cognates are favored upon the agnates. 

Mitakshara school extended its acknowledgement to a restricted degree with respect to the acknowledgment of the precept of factum valet however Dayabhaga, then again, has extended it acknowledgement to the full degree. 

Under the Hindu law the contrast between the Mitakshara school and the Dayabhaga school isn’t perceived as in the current situation there exists one uniform law of progression for all the Hindus.

Muslim Law

Muslim law is derived from divine the primary source of Muslim lw is sharia. Sharia law is Islam’s legitimate framework. It is gotten from both the Koran, Islam’s focal content, and fatwas – the decisions of Islamic researchers. 

Sharia actually signifies “the unmistakable, very much trodden way to water”. 

Sharia law goes about as a code for living that all Muslims ought to cling to, including petitions, fasting and gifts to poor people. 

It plans to assist Muslims with seeing how they should lead each part of their lives as indicated by God’s desires. The divine communicate to Mohammad prophet who prescribe Quran, so the Quran is the foremost primary source of Muslim.

Features of Quran are

They are divine origin, first source, verse form, admixture of religion law morality , unchangeable &authoritative

Other than Quran another primary sources of Muslim laws are 


The word sunna implies the trodden way and as this significance shows it indicates a practice and point of reference. It is conviction of Muslim that disclosures were two sorts show (zahir) and inward (batin). Show disclosure is correspondence which is made by holy messenger Gabriel under the course of god to Mohammad in the very expressions of god. Quran is made out of show disclosures. 

Interior disclosure is assessments of the prophet which is conveyed now and again on questions that happened to be raised before him. Sunna implies the model conduct of the prophet. The portrayals of what the prophet stated, did or implicitly permitted is called hadis or customs. The conventions, nonetheless, were not decreased to composing during the lifetime of Mohammad. They have been saved as customs passed on from age to age by approved people. The significance of hadith as a significant wellspring of Muslim law has been set down in the Quran itself. 

Sorts Of Traditions: The Traditions Are Of Two Kinds: 

1. Sunnat 

2. Ahadis 

These two have been characterized into the accompanying three classes based on mode or way in which it has really begun: 

Sunnat-ul-come up short i.e., Traditions about which prophet did himself. 

Sunnat-ul-qaul i.e., Traditions about which he urged by words. 

Sunnat —ul-tuqrir i.e., The things done in his quality without his objection. 

The three class of Ahadisare: 

Alhadis – I-mutwair i.e., Traditions that are of open and general legitimacy and are held as totally legitimate. In such hadis the chain is finished. 

Ahadis – I-mashhoor i.eTraditions which are known to a dominant part of individuals, don’t have the character of all inclusive appropriateness. 

Ahadis-I-wahid i.e., Traditions which rely upon secluded people. 

In this way two sources, in particular, the Quran and Sunna may hence be said to frame the crucial underlying foundations of Islamic law. 

3. Ijma 

It was similarly authoritative on the individuals to follow up on a rule (not as opposed to the Quran or hadis ) which had been built up by understanding among exceptionally qualified lawful researchers of any ages. 

Ijma has been characterized by Sir Abdul Rahim as understanding of the legal scholars among the supporters of Prophet Mohammad in a specific inquiry of law. The legitimacy of ijma, as containing a coupling point of reference, depends on a hadis of the prophet which says that god won’t permit His kin to concur on a blunder. Ijma hence becomes a wellspring of law. As indicated by the old style hypothesis, bombing Quran and customs, and accord among the associates of the prophet is perceived as the best guide of law. In this way it is the third wellspring of law, both in purpose of time and significance. 

The authority of ijma as a wellspring of Muslim law is additionally established on Quranand Hadith. The law is something living and evolving. The point of law is to satisfy the necessities of the general public. The rule of ijma depends on the content for example god won’t permit His kin to concede to a mistake and whatever Muslims hold to be acceptable is acceptable before god. Muslims religion doesn’t concede the chance of further disclosure after the passing of the prophet, the standard of ijma is the main expert for enactment in the current Muslims framework. 

Sorts Of Ijma 

Ijma is of three sorts: 

Ijma of the allies of the prophet — is the consensual assessment of partner which is generally adequate, all through the Muslim world and is unrepealable. 

Ijma of legal scholars is the consensual assessment of legal scholars which is accepted as its best ijma after ijma of sidekicks. All the legal scholars ought to sit together and talk about the thinking, and a larger part of the legal advisers is of the view that unanimity to shape ijma. 

Ijma of the individuals — is the assessment of Muslim populace in general may have any significance however in genuine practice ijma of Muslim open had no an incentive with respect to lawful issues yet in issues identified with religion, petition and different observances have more worth connected to it. 

Ijma can’t be limited to a specific period or nation. It is finished when the legal advisers, after due consultation, go to a discovering .it can’t be addressed or tested by any individual law specialist. Ijma of one age might be switched or altered by the ijma of the equivalent or ensuing age. 

4) Qiyas 

This is a last essential wellspring of Muslim law. Qiyas implies thinking by similarity from over 3 sources i.e., Quran, Sunna and Ijma. In Qiyas rules are concluded by the activity of reason. 

Qiyas might be characterized as a procedure of finding by which the law of the content is applied to cases, which however not secured by the dialects are administered by reason of text. Consequently, it ought to be noticed that Qiyas doesn’t indicate to make another law, yet just to apply old built up standards to new conditions. 

Like Hindu law secondary sources or modern sources of Muslims laws are

Judicial decisions


Justice equity and good conscience

Schools of Muslim law

Schools have no territory or regional like Hindu law. The schools of Muslim law can be extensively ordered into two classifications: 

Sunni Schools 

Shia Schools 

Sunni Schools 

In Sunni group, there are four significant schools of Muslim law which are as per the following; 

A. Hanafi School 

Hanafi School is the first and the most well known schools in Muslim law. Before being named Hanafi, this school was known as Koofa School which depended on the name of the city of Koofa in Iraq. Afterward, this school was renamed as Hanafi School dependent on the name of its organizer Abu Hanafee. 

The Prophet had not permitted his words and conventions from being composed, the Hanafi School depended on the traditions and choices of the Muslim people group. In this way, Hanafi School classified the point of reference which in predominance during that time among the Muslim people group. 

The originator of this school Abu Hanafee had not recorded any book for laying the standards of this school and hence this school had developed through his two supporters Imam Muhammed and Imam Abu Yousuf. Them two provided for the Juristic inclination (Isthi Hasan) and arranged the Ijma’s of that period. 

This school turned out to be generally spread in different regions, thus, most of Muslims in nations, for example, India, Pakistan, Syria, and Turkey have a place with Hanafi School. In India, since most of Muslims are from Hanafi School, the Courts choose the instance of a Sunni Muslim according to the Hanafi School except if it is indicated that they have a place with different schools. 

In Hanafi School, Hedaya is the most significant and definitive book which was made over a time of 13 years by Ali receptacle Abu Baker al Marghinani. This book gives laws on different angles aside from the law of legacy. Ruler Warren Hasting attempts to make an interpretation of the Hedaya to English. He named numerous Muslim Scholars to interpret the book. 

In any case, the Sirajiyya is considered as the legitimate book of the Hanafi Law of Inheritance. The book is composed by Sheik Sirajddin, and the principal English interpretation is composed by Sir William Jones. 

B. Maliki School 

This school gets its name from Malik-receptacle Anas, he was the Mufti of Madeena. During his period the Khoofa was considered as the capital of Muslim Khaleefa where Imam Abu Haneefa and his devotees prospered with Hanafi Schools. He found around 8000 customs of the Prophet however went along just around 2000 of them. At the point when the supporters of Imam Abu Haneefa classified their law dependent on Ijma’a and Isthihsan. 

The maliki school gives the significance to the Sunna and Hadis while the Hanafi school gives the significance to the individuals and Isthihsan. According to Maliki School and Law, they infrequently acknowledge the Ijma’a. According to the Law, the individual gave Fatwa testing the sovereign authority of Khaleefa, he confronted ill will and of absence of help from Muslim governments. Accordingly, this Maliki school didn’t get a lot of prevalence. 

In India, there are no adherents of this school however when the Dissolution of Muslim marriage act 1939 came in the image, a portion of the laws and arrangement of this school was considered as they are giving a bigger number of rights to the ladies than some other school. In Hanafi School, if the ladies do not get any updates on her better half, she needs to hang tight work 7 years for Dissolution of the marriage, while in Maliki School the ladies need to sit tight 2 years for Dissolution of the Marriage. 

Mu-atha of Imam Malik is considered as the most definitive book of the Maliki School. This book is additionally the main book composed on the Hadis in Islam and this book is considered as the authority over all Muslims in the World. 

C. Shaffie School 

The Shaffie School gets its name on the name of Muhammad canister Idris Shaffie, his period was between 767 AD to 820 AD. He was the understudy of Imam Malik of Madeena. At that point he began working with the supporters of Imam Abu Haneefa and went to Khoofa. 

He finishes up the thought’s and the hypotheses of Hanafi School and Maliki School in an amicable way. The Imam Shaffie was considered as one of the best legal scholar of Islam. He made the old style hypothesis of the Shaffie Islamic Jurisprudence. 

As indicated by this school, they considered Ijma’a as the significant wellspring of the Muslim law and give legitimacy to the traditions of the Islamic individuals and follows more techniques for Hanafi School. The fundamental commitment of Shaffie School is the Quiyas or Analogy. 

The Al-Risala of Imam Shaffie was considered as the main definitive book of Islamic Jurisprudence. In that book they talk about and decipher the Ijma’a (Consensus), Quiyas (Analogy), Ijthihad (Personal thinking) Isthihsan (Juristic inclination) and Ikhthilaf (Disagreement) in isolated part in his book Risala. His other book Al-Umm is the expert on Fiqh (study of lifestyle). 

The devotees of Shafie School are spread in Egypt, Southern Arabia, South East Asia, Indonesia and Malaysia. 

D. Hanbali School 

The Ahmad receptacle Hanbal is the author of the Hanbali School. He found the Hanbali school in 241 (AD 855). He is the pupil of Imam Shaffie and supports Hadis. He unequivocally restricted the Ijthihad strategies. He presented the hypothesis of following the foundation of Sunna and Hadis and attempt to find the solution all his inquiry. His hypothesis was to come back to the Sunna of the Prophet. At the point when the Imam Shafie left for Baghdad, he proclaimed that the Ahmad container Hanbal was the just one after him who is the better law specialist after him. The adherents of Hanbali school found in Syria, Phalastine and Saudi Arabia. 

Shia Schools 

According to Shia Sect, there are three schools of law. Shia Sect is considered as the minority in the Muslim world. They appreciate the political force just in Iran however they don’t have the larger part in that state moreover. 

A. Ithna-Asharis 

These schools depend on the accompanying of Ithna-Ashari laws. The supporters of these schools are for the most part found in Iraq and Iran. In India likewise there is most of the shia muslim who follows the standards of the Ithna-Asharis School. They are viewed as political quietists. This school is considered as the most predominant school of the shia muslims. the ja’fari fiqh of the shias much of the time indistinct from at least one of the four sunni madhahib, with the exception of mutah is considered as the legitimate marriage. The individuals who follow the Ithna Asharis school accept that the remainder of the Imams vanished and to be returning as Mehdi(Messiah). 

B. The Ismailis 

As per Ismailis school, in India there are two gatherings, the Khojas or Western Ismailis speaks to the adherents of the current Aga Khan, who they considered as the 49th Imam in this line of Prophet, and the Bohoras for example the Western Ismailis are isolated into Daudis and Sulaymanis. 

The Bohoras and Khojas of Mumbai are considered as the devotees of this school. It is viewed as that the supporters of these schools have unique information on strict tenet. 

C. Zaidy 

The adherents of this school are not found in India however are most extreme in number in South Arabia. This faction. of the Shia school is the most predominant among all in Yemen. The devotees of these schools are considered as political activism. They regularly dismiss the twelve Shia school ways of thinking. 

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