The Difference Between Shari’ah Fiqh And Usool al-fiqh Explained

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The Difference Between Shari’ah Fiqh And Usool al-fiqh

I saw a post on Facebook saying, ‘if the Sharee‘ah law is so good, why are Afghans running fleeing from Taliban concur’. Though I couldn’t save the post to show it here, it is a kind of not-happy scenario. It’s sad that most people don’t understand the difference between sharee‘ah , fiqh and usool al-fiqh.

That’s said, this article is not to give a reply to the post on Facebook. But to explain The Difference Between Shari’ah Fiqh And Usool al-fiqh

The differentiation could explain briefly. Shari’ah is the entire religion; fiqh is knowledge of the practical, minor shari‘ah rulings that are derived from detailed evidence; and usool al-fiqh is knowledge of the evidence for sharia rulings and the ways in which these rulings are derived from the evidence, in general, or in detail.

So let’s dive in.

In Arab, the term shari’ah refers to a water source, this source is available for people, by which they satisfy their tasty, get cool water for their animals while filling their bucket as well.

The Arabs do not call a water source shari’ah unless the water is flowing without interruption, and is visible and can be seen.

You can find the linguistic definition from the book – Lisaan al-‘Arab (8/175).

However, the shari‘ah terminology refers to shari’ah as the entire religion (Islam). The rule explains the Generosity and the Greatness of Allah which outlined to humans the commands and prohibitions, halaal and haraam.

Whoever follows the shari’ah of Allah, regarding as permissible (halaal) that which He has permitted and regarding as forbidden (haraam) that which He has prohibited, will triumph.

And the opposite is for whoever is against it.

Allah, may He be exalted, says: “Then We put you, [O Muhammad], on an ordained way [sharee‘ah] concerning the matter [of religion]; so follow it and do not follow the inclinations of those who do not know” – [al-Jaathiyah 45:18].

In shari‘ah terminology, fiqh refers to knowledge of the practical, minor shari‘ah rulings which are derived from detailed evidence and proof.

Al-Mawsoo‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah (1/13).

Ibn Hazm (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The definition of fiqh is: knowledge of the rulings of shari’ah as derived from the Qur’an and the words of the one who was sent with it (the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)), for these rulings can only be taken from him.

What is implied by this definition is: knowledge of the rulings of the Qur’an, and what abrogates and what is abrogated of it (an-naasikh wa’l-mansookh); and knowledge of the rulings in the hadiths of the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), what abrogates and what is abrogated of it, and what is soundly narrated of it and what is not; and knowledge of the matters concerning which there was consensus among the scholars and what they differed about; and knowledge of how to refer differences of opinion to the Qur’an and Sunnah of the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). This is what is meant by having knowledge of the rulings of shari’ah. End quote.

Al-Ihkaam fi Usool al-Ahkaam (5/127).

The Difference Between Shari’ah Fiqh And Usool al-fiqh

Usool al-fiqh is knowledge of shari‘ah evidence and the way in which that evidence is interpreted in order to reach a ruling, in general terms or in detail.

Sharh Mukhtasar ar-Rawdah (1/106).

That said, The benefit of usool al-fiqh is that it enables a person to attain the ability to derive shari‘ah rulings from the evidence by means of a sound process.

In short, it should be clear by now that, Sharee‘ah means the entire religion; fiqh is knowledge of the practical, minor shari‘ah rulings that are derived from detailed evidence; while usool al-fiqh is knowledge of the evidence for shari‘ah rulings.

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