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  An Essay Concerning Usul ul-Fiqh
Author: Shaykh ’Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Naasir as-Sa’dee
Source: Risaalah Lateefah Jaami’ah fee Usoolil-Fiqhil-Muhimmah
Article ID : FQH010001  [44956]  
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So at-takleef is reached with: al-buloogh (attainment of maturity) and al-’aql (sanity). However, compensation for injury and harm is required from the makallafeen (morally responsible), and others. So whenever a person reaches maturity and is sane, those general obligation then become required from him to do. And those specific obligations also become required from him, providing he possess those qualities which necessitate that. The naasee (forgetful) and the jaahil (ignorant one) is not held responsible from the point of view of sinning, nor from the point of view of compensating what is harmed or injured.


The statement of a single Sahaabee (Companion) - who is defined as anyone who met the Prophet sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam, having eemaan (certainty of faith) in him, and dying upon eemaan - if it has become widespread and not objected to, but rather it has been affirmed by the Sahaabah (Companions), then it is a form of ijmaa’ (consensus). If it is not known to have become widespread, nor is there known to be anything in opposition to it, then according to the most correct opinion, it is a hujjah (proof). However, if other Companions have disagreed or contradicted it, then it is not a proof.


An amr (command) for something, entails a nahee (prohibition) for its opposite. And a prohibition of something, entails a command for its opposite. A prohibition of something necessitates that matter to be null and void, except if there is a daleel (evidence) indicative of its validity. And a command which follows a prohibition, returns it to what it was prior to this. And both an amr and a nahee necessitate immediate compliance, but they do not require repitition, except when linked to a specific sabab (cause). So it becomes waajib (obligatory) or mustahabb (recommended) to comply whenever that sabab (cause) exists.

Matters in which a choice is given are of varying types. So if the choice was given with the aim of facilitating ease to the makallaf, then the choice is desirable and preferred. If the choice was given to achieve a particular maslahah (benefit), then choosing that which is a greater benefit is obligatory.

Words indicative of generality are: kull, jaami’, al-mufridul-mudaaf (the genetive form of a singular), the indefinite when attatched to a nahee (prohibition), a nafee (negation), an istifhaam (interrogative), or a shart (condition).

And: “al-’ibrah bi ’umoomil-lafdh laa bi khusoosi-sabab [the lesson. or consideration is in the generality of the wording, not in its specific cause of legislation].”

The khaass (specific) can mean the ’aam (general); and visa versa, providing the existance of qaraa‘in (signs) are indicative of this.

The Khitaab (address) of the Lawgiver to any one of the Ummah, or His Speech in any specific issue, actually includes all the Ummah, and all the specific issues, unless there is an evidence indicative of it being khaass (specific). Likewise, the asl (basic principle) conecring the cations of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is that his Ummah is to take him as a model and an example to follow, except when there exists an evidence indicative of that being specific to him.

If the Lawgiver negates an act of worship or a social transaction, then this is indicative of it being invalid; or a negation of some necessary aspect of it. Hence, it does not become totaly invalid beacuse of the negation of some of its recommended aspects.

Contracts are bound or cancelled by all that which is indicative of this, from both statements and actions.

Masaa‘il (issues) are of two types:- [i]: Those that have been agreed upon by the Scholars. So here it is required to picture and to establish the evidence upon it, then to rule accordingly, after picturing and deducing. [ii]: That in which the Scholars have differed. So here it is required to reply to the evidence of the differing opinions. This is the right of the mujtahid (the one capable of employing ijtihaad) and the mustadlil (the one able to employ inductive reasoning). As for the muqallid (blind follower), his duty is to ask the People of Knowledge.

And taqleed is: the acceptance of a saying of someone, without a proof. So the one capable of inductive reasoning, then it is upon him to excersise ijtihaad and istidlaal. as for the one who is incapable, the it is upon him to make taqleed and ask; as Allaah has mentioned both matters in His Saying: “Ask the People of Knowledge if you do not know.” [Soorah al-Anbiyaa 21:7].And Allaah knows best.

And may Allaah extol and send the blessings of peace upon Muhammad, the Messenger of Allaah, and upon his Family, Companions and followers.

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