Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Objective of Usool ul-Fiqh


Usool ul-Fiqh has two main objectives:

1) To verify that the Adillah Al-Ijmaaliyah are definitely (Qat’an) from the Wahi (divinely inspired revelation). This means that is essential for these Adillah (evidences) like the Qur’an, Ijmaa’ and others to be definitely proven to be from Allah. This is because Allah (swt) says:

وَلَا تَقْفُ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ
“And do not pursue that of which you have no knowledge”      [TMQ Al-Israa 36]


And He (swt) says:

إِنَّ الظَّنَّ لَا يُغْنِي مِنَ الْحَقِّ شَيْئًا
“Verily speculation does not avail anything against the truth”   [TMQ Younus 36]

Therefore, the (Asl) (foundation) which is built upon must be definite in respect to proving that it is from Allah. This is because if it is not definite (Zhanni) then the possibility of difference can occur in respect to whether it is from Allah or not? And for the Masdar (source) to be considered as a Hujjah (valid proof) then it is necessary for the Daleel Al-Qat’iy (definite evidence) which is the ‘Burhaan Al-Qaat’i’ (decisive proof) to establish its consideration as a Hujjah. This is so that the Muslim is convinced and assured that what he is undertaking in terms of actions are in line with the commands of Allah and what He (swt) has forbidden.

2) The application of the Qawa’id of Usool ul-Fiqh upon the detailed Shari’ah evidences like the Ayaat, the Ahadith and others is for the purpose of arriving at the practical Ahkam Shari’ah that bind the Muslims in their lives so that they adhere to them when undertaking actions. This objective is of the most noble of objectives and that is because Allah (swt) created the human and revealed the Shari’ah to him so that he abides by its Ahkam in his life of the Dunyaa. He will then be held to account upon that on the Day of Judgement where it will either be Jannah (paradise) or the Naar (fire).

Allah (swt) said:

وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ
“And I did not create the Jinn and the human being except to worship Me”                           [TMQ Adh-Dhaariyaat 56]

And He (swt) said:

فَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْرًا يَرَهُ ﴿٧﴾ وَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرًّا يَرَهُ
“So whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it and whoever does an atom’s weight of bad (evil) shall see it”   [TMQ Az-Zalzalah 7-8]

The following is a practical example in respect to the manner of how to apply the Qawa’id (principles) of Usool ul-Fiqh upon the detailed Shari’ah evidences, in order to deduce or extract a practical Shar’i Hukm (ruling):

Allah (swt) states:

وَالَّذِينَ يُتَوَفَّوْنَ مِنكُمْ وَيَذَرُونَ أَزْوَاجًا يَتَرَبَّصْنَ بِأَنفُسِهِنَّ أَرْبَعَةَ أَشْهُرٍ وَعَشْرًا
“And those who are taken in death among you and leave wives behind - they, [the wives, shall] wait four months and ten [days]”   [TMQ Al-Baqarah 234]

And Allah (swt) said:

وَأُولَاتُ الْأَحْمَالِ أَجَلُهُنَّ أَن يَضَعْنَ حَمْلَهُنَّ
“And for those who are pregnant, their term is until they give birth” [TMQ At-Talaaq 6]

1) If we were to take the Qaa’idah (principle) from the Qawa’id of Usool: ‘The later Nass (text) abrogates the former Nass (text)’ then the Ayah from Surah At-Talaaq would be abrogating the Ayah from Surah Al-Baqarah because it was revealed after it. The period of waiting (‘Iddah) of the pregnant woman whose husband had died would be completed by her giving birth in accordance to the Qawl of Allah (swt):

وَأُولَاتُ الْأَحْمَالِ أَجَلُهُنَّ أَن يَضَعْنَ حَمْلَهُنَّ
“And for those who are pregnant, their term is until they give birth”  [TMQ At-Talaaq 6]

2) There are scholars of Usool who say that the Naskh (abrogation) requires another Daleel that indicates the abrogation of an Ayah by another, in addition to the issue of one being advanced and the other being delayed (i.e. in terms of the time of revelation). These scholars combined these two Daleels that appeared to be contradictory and said:

The one whose husband dies whilst she is pregnant could perceive a contradiction in respect to the length of time of her ‘Iddah (waiting period) and particularly if she was to give birth after her husband’s passing in less than four months and ten days. As such they presented the following solution:

It is possible to reconcile between the two evidences in the following way. The pregnant woman whose husband has passed away waits for the longer of the two time periods. If she gives birth before four months and ten days from the date of his death, then she waits until the four months and ten days is completed. And if that time comes to an end before she has given birth then she waits until she has given birth.


And this Tawfeeq (reconciliation) between the two evidences represents an application of the Qaa’idah (principle) in Usool ul-Fiqh that states: ‘Working with the two evidences is better (or more appropriate) than neglecting one of them’.

Adapted from the Book AlWaadih Fee Usul Al Fiqh by Shekh Muhammad Hussein

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