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The Foundations of the Knowledge of Usul – Book Sample
The Benefits of Jurisprudence – The Foundations of the Knowledge of Usul
Usul ul-Fiqh is a noble science, of the utmost importance, immensely rewarding, (by which one is) able to obtain a capacity co extract legal rulings from evidences on a sound footing.
The first person to make this an independent science was Imam ash-Shafl’i Muhammad Ibn Idris, then many other scholars followed him in that and authored many books, which ranged from prose, poetry and brief and long volumes until it became an entity in its own right with discernible features.
‘Al-Ahkam’ (rulings) is the plural of hukm and linguistically means a judgment, which has been necessitated by the speech of the legislator relating to the actions those burdened with carrying out the obligations of the legislation (al-mukalifin) are mandated, either by request, or choice, or state.
The intent behind our saying ‘the speech of the legislator’ is: The Quran and the Sunnah.
The meaning of our words ‘relating to the actions of those burdened with carrying out the obligations of the legislation’ is: what is connected to actions, whether in word or deed, to do something or leave it. So this excludes whatever is associated with belief, so it is not called a ruling with regards to this terminology.
The meaning of our statement ‘al-mukalifin’ is: whoever is included by the process of being burdened to fulfil the obligations of the legislation, which excludes the young and the insane.
The meaning of our statement ‘mandated’ (talab) is: commands and prohibitions, whether it be by way of obligation or preference.
THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF USOL
The meaning of our word ‘choice’ (takhyir) is in whatever is permissible, and what is meant by our word state (wad’) is: what is correct or otherwise as dictated by the Legislator through signs or descriptions which are to be implemented or cancelled.
The Types of Rulings in the Shariah – The Foundations of the Knowledge of Usul
The types of commands (in the Shariah) fall into two categories: Taklifiyah and Wad’iyah.
The Taklifiyah are five: wajib (obligation), mandub (encouraged to undertake), muharram (prohibited), makruh (disliked) and mubah (permissible).
1 –Wajib: linguistically means what has fallen or what is compulsory. Technically it means: what the legislator has ordered as a matter of obligation, like the five daily prayers.
So excluded from our statement ‘what the legislator has ordered’ is what is forbidden, disliked and permissible. And also excluded from the statement ‘by way of obligation’ is that which is only encouraged (mandub).
Therefore, something wajib is that which if carried out will bring reward for the one carrying it out, and the one that fails to do so deserves to be punished. It is also called Fard’, faridah, ha tam and lazim.
2 –Mandub: linguistically means something or someone appointed or designated. Technically it means: what the legislator has ordered but not by way of obligation (recommended), such as supererogatory prayers.
So what is excluded from our statement ‘what the legislator has ordered’ is whatever is forbidden, disliked and permissible. And what is also excluded from our statement ‘not by way of obligation’ is that which is wajib.
So when something is mandub, the doer is rewarded for carrying our the action, and not punished for leaving it. It is also called Sunnah, masniin, mustahab and nafal.
The Foundations of the Knowledge of Usul
3 – Muharram: linguistically means: forbidden and technically it means: what was forbidden by the legislator as an obligation to avoid, such as disobedience to parents.
So what is excluded from our statement ‘forbidden by the legislator’ is: wajib, mandiib and mubah (permissible). And what is also excluded from our statement: ‘an obligation to avoid’ is that which is disliked. So when something is muharram (forbidden), it means the one who leaves it is rewarded and the one who commits it deserves to be punished. It is also known as Mahziir or mamnu.
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