Understanding Usul al-Fiqh
  • Book Title:
 Understanding Usul Al Fiqh
  • Book Author:
 Abu Tariq Hilal
  • Total Pages
251
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UNDERSTANDING USUL AL-FIQH – Book Sample

Contents – UNDERSTANDING USUL AL-FIQH

Introduction to this edition  1

  • Introduction 2

Basic Terms in Islamic Jurisprudence  5

  • 11 Fiqh 5
  • 12 Usul al-Fiqh 8
  • 13 Shari‟ah  10
  • 14 Hukm Shara‟i  10
  • 15 Types of Hukm Shara‟i  11
  • 16 The Application of Shar‟iah  13

Daleel  16

  • 21 Structure of Daleel  16
  • 211 Riwayah  17
  • 212 Dalalah  18
  • 213 Sources of Hukm Shar‟i  23

Qur‟an  24

  • 31 Revelation of the Qur‟an  26
  • 32 Arrangement of the Qur‟an  29
  • 33 Compilation of the Qur‟an  34
  • 34 Open & Hidden Meaning?  42
  • 36 The Muhkamaat (clearcut) and Mutashaabihaat (ambiguous)  42
  • 37 Asbaab an-nuzool (Circumstances of revelation)  45
  • 38 Abrogation (Naskh)  46

Sunnah  57

  • 41 The Sunnah is a Definitive Source  58
  • 42 Types of Sunnah  60
  • 43 Basic Terms in Hadith  66
  • 431 Types of Hadith:  66
  • 44 Reconciling a perceived conflict between two or more Ahadith  69
  • 45 The Application of the Sunnah  73

Ijma‟ as-Sahabah  77

  • 51 The meaning of Ijma‟  77
  • 52 Examples of Ijma‟ as-Sahabah  77
  • 53 Daleel indicating the Authority of Ijma‟ as-Sahabah  79
  • 54 Who is a Sahabi?  81

Qiyas  83

  • 61 The meaning of Qiyas  83
  • 62 Daleel indicating the authority of Qiyas  84
  • 63 The Process of Qiyas  88
  • 64 The Arguments of those who reject Qiyas  90
  • 65 „Illah from the Text or the Mind?  95
  • 66 The areas of Ahkam Shari‟ah which do not contain „Illah  96
  • 67 Types of Ahkam Shariah where an „Illah can be found  99
  • 68 Customs and Traditions cannot be an „Illah  106
  • 69 Difference between Manaat al-Hukm (reality of the rule) & „Illah  107

Sources of Hukm Shar‟i not agreed upon by all the Ulema  110

  • 71 Ijma‟ al Ummah  110
  • 72 Ijma‟ al Mujtahideen  113
  • 73 Ijma‟ Ahlel Bayt  113
  • 74 Ijma‟ Ahlel Medinah  115
  • 75 Istihsan  117
  • 751 Types of Istihsan:  117
  • 76 Masalih Al Mursalah  119
  • 761 Types of Masalih Al Mursalah  120
  • 77 Laws revealed before Islam (Shar‟a man qablana)  123

Ijtihad  138

  • 81 Evidences for Ijtihad from the Sunnah  142
  • 82 Evidences for Ijtihad from Ijma as-Sahabah  144
  • 83 Qualifications for performing Ijtihad  146
  • 84 Types of Mujtahid  149
  • 85 Reasons for differences of opinion among the Mujtahideen  150
  • 851 Differences in the Legislative Sources  150
  • 852 Differences in Interpreting the Text itself  152
  • 853 Differences in Methodology of Usul al-Fiqh  152
  • 854 Differences in Understanding the Arabic Language  152

A Brief Overview of Some Schools of Thought  157

  • 91 Era of the Prophet (Saw)  157
  • 92 Era of the Sahabah (ra)  159
  • 921 Why was there difference of opinion amongst the Sahabah (ra)?  164
  • 93 Era of the Tabi‟een  165
  • 931 Ahlel Hadith & Ahlul Ra‟ee  165
  • 932 Ahlel-Hadith (The People of Hadith)  166
  • 933 Ahlel-Ra‟ee (The People of Reason)  166
  • 94 Madhab of Imam Abu Hanifah  168
  • 941 Students of Imam Abu Hanifa & Their Books  170
  • 95 Madhab of Imam Malik  170
  • 951 Books and Students from the Madhab Imam Malik  173
  • 96 Madhab of Imam Shafi‟i  174
  • 961 Books and Students from Imam Shafi‟i‟s Madhab  176
  • 97 Madhab of Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal  177
  • 971 Imam Ahmad and „Ilm-Ul-Kalaam  178
  • 972 Students from the Madhab of Imam Hanbal  181
  • 973 Ibn Taymiyyah  181
  • 98 Madhab of Ibn Hazm  182
  • 99 Introduction to Madhab of Imam Zayd and Imam Jafar  182
  • 991 Madhab of Imam Zayd  187
  • 992 Madhab of Imam Jafar  190
  • 993 Imam Jafar and Public Life  193
  • 994 Fiqh of Imam Jafar  193

Do We Need a New School or Madhab?  198

  • 101 Reason for Differences of Opinion among the Mujtahideen  201

Taqleed 203

  • 111 Daleel for performing Taqleed  203
  • 112 Muslims must ask for Daleel  205
  • 113 Taqleed is forbidden in the „Aqeedah (Belief)  206
  • 114 Muqalid shifting from one Opinion to Another  207

Topics Related To Islamic Jurisprudence  210

  • 121 Wahy (Revelation)  210
  • 1211 Forms of Wahy  211
  • 1212 Differences between the Revelation of Qur‟an and Sunnah  213
  • 122 Role of „Aql  214
  • 123 Does the Shariah Apply on Non-Muslims?  217
  • 124 Was Prophet Muhammed (saw) a Mujtahid?  218
  • 125 Can Fiqh be Changed?  221
  • 126 Need for a Minority Fiqh?  223

Conclusion  228

  • Bibliography  231
  • Glossary  233

Introduction to this edition

Various books on Usul al-Fiqh are available in English, however after reviewing them it becomes clear that most are written for academic purposes rather than for the normal reader. In this regard the excellent book written by Abu Tariq Hilal entitled „Studies in Usul al-Fiqh‟ stands out. It was written in a clear simple style understandable to the average reader.

I have slightly restructured the book so that the definitive sources of law are discussed before those upon which there is disagreement amongst the scholars. The chapters on the Quran, Qiyas, Ijtihad and Taqleed were brief in the original. I have added to these and in some cases rewritten sections where elaboration was required. In this age of doubt and scepticism I felt it necessary to add some textual evidences and much needed references for some definitions and Ahadith. To distinguish this amended version from the original a new title has been given that keeps to the simplicity of the original.

It is clear that in writing the original, Abu Tariq referred to Sheikh Taqiuddin  an-Nabhani‟s  (ra)  masterpiece  „Shaksiyyah  Islamiyyah‟ (The Islamic Personality). I have done the same, as well as referring to  the  excellent  book  „Teyseer  al  wusool  Ila  al-Usul‟  (To  make understanding  Usul  easy)  by  Sheikh  Ata  ibn  Khalil  Abu  al-Rishta (May Allah protect him).

I would like to thank Sheikh Abu Omar al-Khazraji for his support and checking of the book, Maulana Umar Farooq Nadwi for reviewing it, Qari Fazlul Karim for helping with the Arabic as well as my wife, Shifaa for her valuable input and support.

Abu Ismael al-Beirawi

1.2 Usul al-Fiqh

Usul al-Fiqh is the collection of principles pertaining to the methodology for the extraction of Fiqh. Ibn al-Hajib defined it as,

„the principles by which the mujtahid derives the legal rules of conduct from the specific evidences‟.2

The concept  of Usul al-Fiqh  is comparable  to adhering  to the methodology when conducting a scientific experiment. Similarly, adhering to the methodology in deriving Fiqh (rulings) is referred to as Usul al-Fiqh. This methodology provides a way for a person to derive Islamic rulings from the legislative sources in Islam.

The collections of principles related to Usul al-Fiqh are many. A few examples of these rules are discussed in the following section.

A. Legislative Sources:

9 Understanding Usul al-Fiqh

Adopting specific sources to derive laws is a major subject in Usul al-Fiqh.  The  Qur‟an,  Sunnah,  Ijma‟  as-Sahabah  (consensus  of  the companions) and  Qiyas (analogical deduction) are four sources in Islam, which are accepted by almost all of the scholars. However, there  are  other  additional  sources  such  as  Maslahah  al  Mursalah (public  interests)  or  Ijma‟  al  Ummah  (consensus  of  the  Ummah), which are not widely accepted.

B. Arabic Language:

Within the Arabic language, there are rules for understanding the structure of an Ayah or a Hadith. The rules of grammar in the Arabic language define the meaning of the Ayah or Hadith. Therefore, understanding the rules of grammar and their application is one use of the Arabic language in Usul al-Fiqh.

C. Interpreting the text of Qur‟an and Sunnah:

Unless the text of the Qur‟an and Sunnah is correctly understood, no  ruling  can  be  deduced  from  it.  The  linguistic  structure  of  the text in Qur‟an and Sunnah varies from one style to another. Some examples  of  these  linguistic  styles  are:  Dhanni  (speculative  text), Qata‟i  (definitive  text),  „Aam  (general  text),  Khass  (specific  text), Haqiqi  (literal  text),  and  Majaazi  (metaphorical  text).  The  rules  to distinguish and differentiate between these styles are an important subject in Usul al-Fiqh.

Another essential aspect involved in interpreting the text of the Qur‟an and Sunnah are issues surrounding abrogation of rulings from the Qur‟an and Sunnah. The study of abrogation involves issues such as, what constitutes abrogation, how to understand it in relation to other Ayahs or Ahadith, and how to reconcile these differences.

Some Muslims claim there is no need for Usul al-Fiqh, thinking one can directly go to the text of the Qur‟an and Sunnah and derive laws. Such a claim really illustrates ignorance in understanding

Understanding Usul al-Fiqh 10

Islam. It is impossible to derive laws without being equipped with the necessary tools. These tools enable us to understand the text of the Qur‟an and Sunnah, and without understanding the text; one would not be able to extract laws.

As an example, without being aware of the rules of Arabic grammar for interpreting the text of Qur‟an and Sunnah, one would not be able to differentiate whether the command in the Ayah or Hadith for a certain action is Haram (forbidden) or Makruh (undesirable). Therefore, Usul al-Fiqh is a definite pre-requisite to derive rulings.

Since rulings are derived based on Usul al-Fiqh, a variation in Usul al-Fiqh may result in different rulings. This is one of the reasons that there might exist more than one ruling on some issues.

The end product of Usul al-Fiqh is Shari‟ah (or Fiqh). The difference between Usul al-Fiqh and Shari‟ah is that the latter is concerned with the rulings related to our actions, and Usul al-Fiqh is concerned with the methodology applied to deduce such rulings.

Shari‟ah

The linguistic meaning of the word Shari‟ah is a non-exhaustive source of water with which people satisfy their thirst. Thus, the linguistic significance of Shari‟ah is that the Islamic laws are effectively a source of guidance. As water is the fundamental basis of life, the Islamic laws are an essential source for guiding human life.

Shari‟ah is composed of all the laws derived from the legislative sources of Islam. These laws are not just limited to areas covering marriage or divorce; rather, the Islamic laws cover every action performed by an individual or a society. The term Shari‟ah is also a synonym for Fiqh.

Hukm Shara‟i

11 Understanding Usul al-Fiqh

The text of both the Qur‟an and Sunnah address many topics such as,  stories  of  previous  nations,  the  Day  of  Judgment,  and  others. However, the text, which specifically addresses our actions of what

to do or what not to do, is referred to as Hukm Shar‟i.

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