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Unformatted text preview: International Islamic University have been generous and supportive of my endeavours. I take this opportunity to thank them once again for their thoughtful appreciation. A tangible result of all this is that this book has now become a recommended text in a number of courses not only in the Faculty of Law but also in other faculties and departments of this University. Mohammad Hashim Kamali International Islamic University, Malaysia. March, 1991. Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence ~ Kamali 11 Chapter One : Introduction to Usul al-Fiqh 1. Definition and Scope Usul al-fiqh, or the roots of Islamic law, expound the indications and methods by which the rules of fiqh are deduced from their sources. These indications are found mainly in the Qur'an and Sunnah, which are the principal sources of the Shari'ah. The rules of fiqh are thus derived from the Qur'an and Sunnah in conformity with a body of principles and methods which are collectively known as usul al-fiqh. Some writers have described usul al-fiqh as the methodology of law, a description which is accurate but incomplete. Although the methods of interpretation and deduction are of primary concern to usul alfiqh, the latter is not exclusively devoted to methodology. To say that usul al-fiqh is the science of the sources and methodology of the law is accurate in the sense that the Quran and Sunnah constitute the sources as well as the subject matter to which the methodology of usul al-fiqh is applied. The Quran and Sunnah themselves, however, contain very little by way of methodology, but rather provide the indications from which the rules of Shariah can be deduced. The methodology of usul al-fiqh really refers to methods of reasoning such as analogy (qiyas), juristic preference (istihsan), presumption of continuity (istishab) and the rules of interpretation and deduction. These are designed to serve as an aid to the correct understanding of the sources and ijtihad. To deduce the rules of fiqh from the indications that are provided in the sources is the expressed purpose of usul al-fiqh. Fiqh as such is the end product of usul al-fiqh; and yet the two are separate disciplines. The main difference between fiqh and usul al-fiqh is that the former is concerned with the knowledge of the detailed rules of Islamic law in its various branches, and the latter with the methods that are applied in the deduction of such rules from their sources. Fiqh, in other words, is the law itself whereas usul al-fiqh is the methodology of the law. The relationship between the two disciplines resembles that of the rules of grammar to a language, or of logic (mantiq) to philosophy. Usul al-fiqh in this sense provides standard criteria for the correct deduction of the rules of fiqh from the sources of Shariah. An adequate knowledge of fiqh necessitates close familiarity with its sources. This is borne out in the definition of fiqh, which is 'knowledge of the practical rules of Shariah acquired from the detailed evidence in the sources'. [Amidi, Ihkam, I, 6; Shawkani,...
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This note was uploaded on 04/13/2013 for the course ISLAM 101 taught by Professor Islam during the Spring '13 term at Harvey Mudd College.
- Spring '13