In his book Nazarat fi ash-Shari`ah al-Islamiyyah, Dr. `Abdul-Kareem Zeidaan, Professor of Shari`ah, Baghdad University, states the following: “First of all, modern civil law constitutes a basis for other branches of private law, because it regulates the relationship between individuals in a certain society, however diverse their occupations and nature of work are.
Civil law, as far as Islam is concerned, regulates two main branches in social relations. The first branch includes social ties, and the second branch includes transactions (al-Mu`amalat).
Social ties generally encompass family relations such as engagement, marriage, divorce, the rights of the husband and wife, the relationship between parents and children, maintenance (an-Nafaqat), wills (al-Wasaya), inheritance, etc.
Let us take marriage as an example. The Qur’an emphasizes the spiritual objectives of marriage, making them the foundations of marital life. These objectives are realized in: the peace of mind which comes through wholesome sexual experience with the spouse whom one loves; the enlargement of the circle of love and affection between the two families united through marriage; and the nurturing of affection and tenderness between the children under the loving care of their parents.
Allah Almighty says: “And among His signs is that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell with them in tranquility, and He has put love and mercy between you. Indeed, in this are signs for those who reflect.” (Ar-Rum: 21)
Islam also pays great attention to transactions in order to regulate relationships between individuals. It stands to reason that Islam regulates the relationship between man and His Creator, and man and his fellow Muslims. From the time of the Prophet until now, Islam has governed the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims on the basis of peaceful co-existence and mutual respect, as long as they do not plot against Muslims or fight them.
Allah says: “Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits for Allah loves not the transgressors.” (Al-Baqarah: 190)
This is a brief overview of civil laws in Islam that gives you a general idea about how far Islam has preceded modern laws from time immemorial and has governed the relationships between individuals in an attempt to create an atmosphere of mercy and compassion.”