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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  [33155]  
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As for those matters which the Lawgiver has permitted and allowed, then at times they lead to that which is good, and so are joined to those matters which have been commanded; and at other times they lead to that which is evil, and so are joined to those matters which are prohibited. So this is a great asl that: “al-wasaa‘ilu lahaa ahkaamul-maqaasid (the means take on the same ruling as their aims).”

From this we learn that: “maa yatimmul-waajib illaa bihi fahuwa waajib (whatever is required to fulfill an obligation is itself an obligation).” Likewise, whatever is required to fufill a rmasnoon (recomendation) is itself recommened. Whatever leads to the establishment of a haraam (prohibition) is itself prohibited. And whatever leads to the establishment of a makrooh (detested act) is itself detested.

CHAPTER [THREE]

The adillah (evidences) that fiqh is derived from are four:-

The Book and the Sunnah, and these two are the foundation by which the mukallafoon (the morally responsible) are addressed, and upon which is built their Religion. Then ijmaa’ (consensus) and al-qiyaasus-saheeh (sound and correct analogy), these two are derived from the Book and the Sunnah. So fiqh - in its entirety - does not leave the realms of these four usool (fundamentals).

The majority of the important ahkaam (rulings) are indicated to by these four adillah (evidences). They are indicated to by the nusoos (texts) from the Book and the Sunnah; and the Scholars have ijmaa’ (consensus) about them, and they are indicated to by qiyaasus-saheeh (sound and correct analogy); because of what they entail of benefit, if it is a command; or what they contain of harm, if it is a forbiddance. Very few of the ahkaam have been differed over by the Scholars. In such cases the closest of them to the truth is the one who correctly refers back to these four usool.

CHAPTER [FOUR] CONCERNING THE BOOK AND THE SUNNAH

As for the Book: It is al-Qur‘aanul-’Adheem (the Great Qur‘aan), the Kalaam (Speech) of the Lord of the worlds, which was sent down by the Trustworthy Spirit upon the heart of Muhammad the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam, that he may be from the warners to the whole of mankind - in the clear arabic tongue - regarding all that they stand in need of with regards to what benefits them concerning their Religion and their world. The Book of Allaah is that which is recited by the tongues, written in the masaahif (copies), and preserved in the hearts; regarding which: “No falsehood can approach from before or from behind it, it was sent down from the All-Wise, the One deserving of all praise.”[Soorah Fussilat 41:42].

As for the Sunnah: It is the Prophet sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam’s aqwaal (sayings), af’aal (actions), and his taqreer (tacit approvals) of the sayings and actions of others.

The ahkaamush-shar’iyyah (Sharee’ah rulings) are sometimes taken from a definite text of the Book and the Sunnah; which is defined as that text possessing a clear meaning, which may not have any other meaning, except that single meaning. Sometimes it is taken from the dhaahir (apparent) meaning; which is defined as that which is indicative of the meaning, in a general manner, both through wording and meaning. Sometimes it is taken from the mantooq (explicit meaning); which is defined as being that which is indicative of the ruling due to the wording of the text. Sometimes the ahkaamush-shar’iyyah is taken from the mafhoom (implied meaning); which is defined as that which is indicative of the ruling due to being in agreement with the text; in cases where the mafhoom is equal to, or stronger than the mantooq. Or by divergent meaning if the mafhoom differs from the mantooq in its ruling; whereas the mantooq is linked to a wasf (attribute) or a shart (condition), in the absence of which the ruling differs.

The dalaalah (indications) in the Book and the Sunnah are of three kinds:-

[i] Dalaalah Mutaabiqah: this is where we apply the word to indicate all of its meanings. [ii] Dalaalah Tadammun: when we employ the wording to indicate one of its meaning. [iii] Dalaalah Iltizaam: where we employ the wording of the Book and the Sunnah to indicate the meaning which is a necessary consequence of it; and which follows on and completes it; and what the matter being judged with or being informed of cannot come about, except by it.


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