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Hajj and Umrah

Defining Fiqh

Whenever a new topic is introduced, the definition, linguistically and in islamic terminology, must be clarified.

In addition to this, al hukm at takleefi or al hukm ash shar'i (the islamic ruling) will be discussed.

Waajib/Fardh = Prescribed obligation, if one does it, he is rewarded and if he does not, he is punishable.
Mustahabb/Mandub/Sunnah = Recommended, if one does it, he is rewarded and if he does not, there is no sin on him.
Mubaah = Permissibile, if one does it or does not, he is neither rewarded nor punishable.
Makruh = Disliked, if one does it, he is not punishable, if one does not, he is rewarded.
Haraam = Impermissible, if one does it, he is punishable, if one does not, he is rewarded.


Lughatan (linguistically):

Some said it means knowing/understanding something, as in the following aayaat:

"They said: "O Shu'aib! We do not understand much of what you say..." [11:91]

"The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein, glorify Him and there is not a thing but glorifies His Praise. But you understand not their glorification. Truly, He is Ever Forbearing, Oft-Forgiving." [17:44]

Others said it means knowing something with a deep understanding. This is based on the above two verses as well as:

"...Indeed, We have explained in detail Our revelations (this Quran) for people who understand." [6:98]

Istilaahan (in Islamic terminology):

Its use by Islamic Jurists has evolved through three levels.

1. It is like the word "ash shar'a", to mean legislation as was used by Imaam Abu Haneefah, may Allah have mercy on him. Thus it includes all the issues of the religion.

2. Al 'ilmu bil ahkaam al far'iyyah ash shar'iyyah al mustamaddah min al adillah at tafseeliyyah, meaning knowledge of the legislated secondary rulings derived from the detailed evidences. This definition excludes issues of 'aqeedah (belief).

This definition includes actions of the hearts such jealousy, fear, hate, love, etc.
This also includes the actions of the limbs such as praying, fasting, giving charity, etc.

3. Al 'ilmu bil ahkaam al far'iyyah ash shar'iyyah al 'amaliyyah al mustamaddah min al adillah at tafseeliyyah. The actions of the heart were excluded by the addition of the word al 'amaliyyah.

It is upon the final definition that the jurists settled.


Sometimes, other words can be used to mean the same as 'Fiqh':

Ad Din - used in the Qur'aan and Hadith linguistically to mean reward/judgement as in[1:3] , path as in [109:6], governance/rule [8:39] and rules/regulation as in [9:29] and [42:13]. Used in the terminology to mean what Allah legislated for His creation from the rulings, from 'aqeedah, actions and manners.

Ash Shar'a - linguistically means 'way'. In the terminology, used to mean rulings of 'aqeedah, actions and manners. It is quite similar to ad din except the shar'iah for each nation was different whereas the din was one.

"Indeed, the religion in the sight of Allah is Islam..." [3:19]

"...To each of you We prescribed a law and a method. Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation [united in religion], but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so race to [all that is] good..." [5:48]

Further Definitions

Ad Din can be categories into three types:

Ad Din al 'aqli - what is recognised without specific guidance, e.g. lying is bad and truthfulness is good.
Ad Din al milli - the specific rules and regulations that were sent to different nations. For example, marriage between siblings was permitted for Aadam's children but was prohibited later.
Ad Din ash shar'i - the perfected and final din that was sent with Muhammad sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam.

Ash Shar'iah and At Tashree'

Shar'iah linguistically means a source of drink and means the same as ash shar'a above in the terminology. At Tashree' is taken from shar'a and means legislation. No one has the right to legislate:

"...The decision is only for Allah, He declares the truth, and He is the Best of judges." [6:57]

However, man has the responsibility of implementing what Allah has legislated:

"...And whosoever does not judge by that which Allah has revealed, such are the Zalimun." [5:45]

The prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam was given the responsibility of tabligh (conveying) and bayaan (explanation):

"O Messenger (Muhammad SAW)! Proclaim (the Message) which has been sent down to you from your Lord. And if you do not, then you have not conveyed His Message. Allah will protect you from mankind. Verily, Allah guides not the people who disbelieve." [5:67]

"With clear signs and Books (We sent the Messengers). And We have also sent down unto you (O Muhammad SAW) the reminder and the advice, that you may explain clearly to men what is sent down to them, and that they may give thought." [16:44]

Note that the sunnah that was inspired to the prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam is there to explain the Qur'aan (what was sent to them).


Linguistically it is from al jahd meaning strive and struggle, in either the religion or the worldly life.

The meaning of ijtihaad in the terminology of the scholars is the deduction of rulings in the issues of fiqh from the rules, regulations and principles already available.

It is important to understand who can do ijtihaad (who is the mujtahid). Some said the mujtahid is the one who has all the knowledge on a subject and can deduct the rulings. Others said one does not need to have memorised all the knowledge but should have the right tools to do so.

A final issue is the common idea that in some cases, Islamic Fiqh does not cover some new issue and that we need to have a new fiqh to deal with such issues. However, this is the place for ijtihaad that is still based on the Qur'aan and Sunnah and the scholars have strongly rejected this claim. The defect is not in the Islamic Fiqh but is in the people's inability to apply it to the new issues.

This is based on the hadith mentioned in the first lesson showing that every matter has been made clear for us.

"I have surely left you on a clear path, its night is like its days"