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Islamic Sharia Laws (27 Dec 2012 NewAgeIslam.Com)

Shari`ah: Bringing Value to Our Lives (Part- 2)


What Is Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence)?

By Wael Hamza

03 July 2012

Linguistically, fiqh is an Arabic word that means understanding; deep understanding. The word faqih means a person of knowledge and understanding.

In the Qur'an

In the Qur'an, the word fiqh is used to signify deep understanding of matters especially those matters which are related to religion. It is mostly used to mean the understanding of the words of someone else and, for religious matters, the words of Allah and His messenger. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,

“Whomever Allah wants good for, He will grant him fiqh (deep understanding) of the religion.” (Bukhari and others)

Terminology of scholars

For fiqh, there is again a difference in terminology, similar to that mentioned about the Shari`ah. The early scholars of Islam would use fiqh to mean the knowledge and the understanding of the guidance, the rulings, and the way of life Allah prescribed for us. In other words, fiqh is our understanding and knowledge of Allah's Shari`ah.  Imam Abu Hanifa, for example, had a book about `Aqidah (belief) and called it “Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar,” (The Great Fiqh) .The scholars who came later confined the usage of the word fiqh to the knowledge and understanding of the guidance, the rulings and the way of life regarding the actions only, excluding the areas of belief and moral character. This terminology is represented by the famous definition that fiqh is “the knowledge of the Shari`ah rulings which are related to actions from its detailed sources.” (Mohamed Abu Zahrah, Usul Al-Fiqh)

To explain those definitions further, the Shari`ah is Allah's guidance in His Book (the Qur'an) and the tradition of His Messenger (the Sunnah), while fiqh is our knowledge of these rulings after exerting all effort to extract them.  Scholars arrive at those rulings of fiqh through a process called ijtihad, a scientific process to reach the Shari`ah rulings from its sources.  It literally means exerting all possible effort.  Scholars may make mistakes, and for that they are rewarded for their effort and are excused only if they exert all possible effort. When scholars arrive at the right ruling, their reward is doubled.  The Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever makes ijtihad and arrived at a wrong ruling will be rewarded. Whoever makes ijtihad and arrived at the correct ruling will be rewarded twice.” (Bukhari and others)

 Fiqh: An honorable piece of knowledge

Fiqh is a very honorable piece of knowledge.  It is the knowledge and the understanding of Shari`ah, the guidance sent by Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) to mankind. This knowledge is essential for our success in this life and the hereafter.  Those who develop this knowledge are as honorable as the knowledge itself, and we are indebted to them for making the effort to learn and teach Allah's guidance to His creation.  It is a serious job and one of the most rewarding.  Ibn Al-Qayyim describes the people of fiqh in an honorable, yet frightening, way.  He described them to be, “the signatories on behalf of the Lord of the worlds.” (Ibn Al-Qayyem, A’lam Al-Mowaq’in )

Hadn’t it been for the multiple reward Allah gives for those who take on this responsibility and the excuse - and the reward - they get if they make a mistake, no one would dare to shoulder such a responsibility or play such a role. Ibn Al-Qayyim talked about the scholars of fiqh in the introduction of his book mentioned above by saying, “... and if signing on behalf of kings is something that cannot be undermined and is a very  honorable role, how about signing on behalf of the Lord of the heavens and the earth?” He continued to say, “The one who assumes such a position should prepare for it, and should know the value of the responsibility he shoulders; he should declare the truth for Allah will guide him and support him... and he should know that he will be held accountable before Allah.”

Wael Hamza is a Muslim writer, thinker and an active figure in MAS (Muslim American Society ), U.S.A.

Source: www.onislam.net

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-sharia-laws/wael-hamza/shari`ah--bringing-value-to-our-lives-(part--2)/d/9811




  • The freedom, justice, equality, and egalitarian provisions of the initial period of Islam, known as the Era of Bliss, and particularly at that time, are a decisive proof that the Illustrious Quranic Sharia comprises equality, justice, women empowerment and true freedom with its relations and requirements. Hazrat Umar and Hazrat Ali’s works set glaring examples of it. Therefore, I state categorically: our deficiencies and decline up to the present time are the result of our own waywardness and deviation from the illustrious Quranic Sharia.

    By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi - 12/28/2012 5:16:20 AM

  • The article expounds of the fundamental principle of jurisprudence (usul al fiqha) as encapsulated in the Qur'an and interpreted by the classical scholars. As noted in a recent article referenced below, the Qur'an encapsulates a set of juristic notions notably, logical analysis (fiqha) by engaging reason (aql), deep cogitation and reflection (fikr); independent intellectual inquiry (ijtihad), analogical deduction (qiyas), consensus of the scholar/ community (jama‘ah), custom and practice of the community (‘urf), community good (islah), the jurists’ best judgment (istihsan).Practically all these notions are consistent with and even identical to those employed by the American jurists and doctors of law in jurisprudence and constitutional process, except for terminological differences. Hence, regardless of whether the American doctors of law believe in the Qur’an or not, the laws they developed are rooted in the Qur’anic universal notions as has veritably been the case with the classical Sharia law of Islam. Besides, the American Constitution with its supreme emphasis on equity, justice, liberty, empowerment of women and a host of social and egalitarian provisions is far more compatible with the Qur’anic paradigms than the Classical Sharia law of Islam as it stands this day (with all kinds of rulings and notions - many of which are contradictory to the Qur'anic message.) 

    Ref: http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.ca/2012/11/are-muslims-duty-bound-to-participate.html

    By muhammad yunus - 12/27/2012 7:02:42 PM

  • Outstanding and thought provoking topic for those who hav e been bestowed with Eyes of the Heart
    By Mumtaz Hussain - 12/27/2012 12:46:11 PM

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