Islamic law has been developed through evolution under different stages. The stages are five in number. Now we will discuss the five stage or periods of Islamic development.
The first period extend from 1. A.H. (622 A.D) to 10 A.H. (632 A.D), i.e. the last ten years of the Prophets life. This is the most important period because Quran and Hadith are concerned with this period. At this period, most of the legal verses of the Quran were revealed and this period is related to most important judicial decisions and traditions of the Prophet. The Prophet used the guidance of human beings. All the problems were solved by the Quran and Sunnah during this period. The first period of evolution of Islamic law came to an end with the demise of the Prophet.
The second preoid extends from the date the demise of the Prophet (632 A.D) and lasted for about a century. Two significant works were performed during this second period –
a. Collection of Quran and Hadith.
b. Study of law as a science.
At the beginning of this period, Hazrat abu Bakar ® were selected as head of the state. The third caliph of Islam Hazrat Usman ® collected and edited Quran with the help of Zaid who was a companion of Prophet. During this period Hadith which is the second sources of Islamic law was complied in book. Hadith was discussed at the Medina, Damascus and at Kufa. Four caliphs administered the country from 10 A.H to 40 A.H during this period. The second period came to an end in 132 A.H.
This period extends from 132 A.H to the third century of the Hijri years. This period is remarkable for three events:
a. Collection of Hadith ;
b. Development of four Sunni schools; and
c. A systematic and scientific study of law .
The jurist of this period especially abu Hanifa, Shafei and Malik formulated the principle of the science of Usul or Islamic Jurisprudence. The main aim of the science of Usul is to interpret the texts of the Quran, Hadith and Ijma and deuce Qiyas in the light of the three sources.
In this period, the works of compilation of Hadith was completed. Six authentic books on Hadith including Bokhari and Muslim were complied. These books have permanent influence of Islamic Jurisprudence. Besides the doctrine of Istihsan, Istislah were introduced in this period.
This period extends forms the third century of Hijri to 1922 A.D. This period is treated as the periods of Ijtihad and Taqlid. The classification of the Jurist or lawyers in this periods was graded into seven different categories stating from Imams of four schools. The later jurists hold the lower rank. In this period a large number of eminent commentators like Tabari, Jamaksari, Baidabi, Bhajjali, fikhruddin were born. Besides, Ibn Hammam, Ibn Nazim and Ibn Abedin made a lot of contributions to the development of Hanafi schools.
The fifth periods of the evolution of Islamic law began with the fifth century of the Hijri, i.e. with the abolition of caliphate and this period has not came to an end.