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