Skip to Main Content
Banner Image

Islamic Law: Primary Sources

Guide to Islamic law resources in the C J Koh Law Library as well as open access resources.

Primary Sources

There are two primary sources of Islamic law : the Qur'an and Sunnah (traditions and practices of Prophet Muhammad). 


The bibliographies below are helpful as they provide an introduction to the various types of Islamic primary sources and related commentary.


Free internet resource
(Reference should be made to the 3rd edn, by Shaikh Muhammad Ashraf, 1938, compared to the other editions. This edition contains a translation and commentary of the Quran by a qualified legal practitioner)

English and Arabic in parallel columns.

Tanzil is an international Quranic project aimed at providing a highly-verified precise Qur'an text. provides translations based on the Tanzil project.


There are many other English translations of the Qur'an both in print and online. Certain versions may be preferred as specified under Singapore law (You may refer to the section on Singapore > Sources cited under AMLA).

Sunnah & Hadith

Hadith are the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad while Sunnah are the traditions and practices of Prophet Muhammad. The following list of resources are freely available on the internet or may be found in worldwide library collections.

The listings below are in order of authenticity, as set out by Aslihan Bulut, Islamic law guide (Arthur W. Diamond Law Library Research Guides, Columbia University Law School). 

Bukhārī, Muḥammad ibn Ismāʻīl, Sahîh al-Bukhârî, 9 volumes (translated by Muhammad Muhsin Khan, Darussalam 1997) 

Muslim ibn al-Hạjjāj al-Qushayrī, Sạḥīḥ Muslim, 7 volumes (compiled by Abul Hussain Muslim Ibn al-Hajjaj Darussalam 2007)

Abū Dāʼūd Sulaymān ibn al-Ashʻath al-Sijistānī, Sunan Abu Dawud, 5 volumes (Darussalam 2008)

  • Volume 1: Hadith no. 1-1160
  • Volume 2: Hadith no. 1161-2174
  • Volume 3: Hadith no. 2175-3241
  • Volume 4: Hadith no. 3242-4350
  • Volume 5: Hadith no. 4351-5274
  • WorldCat

​Tirmidhī, Muḥammad ibn ʻĪsá, Jami at-Tirmidhi, 6 volumes (Darussalam 2007)

Nasāʼī, Aḥmad ibn Shuʻayb, Sunan An-Nasâʼi, 5 + 1 volumes (Darussalam 2007)

  • Volume 1
  • Volume 2
  • Volume 3
  • Volume 4
  • Volume 5
  • Volume 6
  • WorldCat

Ibn Mājah, Muḥammad ibn Yazīd, Sunan ibn Majah, 5 volumes (Darussalam 2007)

  • Volume 1
  • Volume 2
  • Volume 3
  • Volume 4
  • Volume 5
  • WorldCat

Ibn Ḥanbal, Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad, Musnad al-Imām Aḥmad bin Ḥanbal, 3 volumes (Darussalam 2012)

(Imam Hanbal established the Hanbali mahzab/school of Islamic jurisprudence)

Ibn Ḥajar al-ʻAsqalānī, Aḥmad ibn ʻAlī, Bulūgh al-marām (2nd edn, Darussalam 2002)
(Referred to by legal scholars from the Shafii mahzab)

Nawawī, An explanation of Riyadh al-Saliheen (Qu'ran and Sunnah Society 1998)
Alternative source:
Nawawī, An explanation of Riyadh al-Saliheen (Qu'ran and Sunnah Society 1998)
(Compilation of hadiths by Imam An-Nawawi that had selected hadiths from the six major collections: Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah)


There are also a few resources freely available on the internet:


We wish to thank Zamiq Azmeer '18 (LL.B. (Hon.) NUS) for his advice and invaluable assistance on the recommended primary resources.