Legal Theory (Usul Al Fiqh)

Module Overview

This course aims to deliver a comprehensive understanding of the roots of law according to the Hanafi and Shafi School. Students will engage with the principles and investigative methodologies through which practical legal rules are developed from the foundational sources. The primary base of law is the Qur’an. The second source is the Sunnah, reports about the sayings, actions, or tacit approvals of the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him and his family). The third source is the consensus (ijma) of all Muslim interpretive scholars in a specific age on a legal rule about an issue not covered in the Qur’an or Sunnah. The fourth source is analogy (qiyas), or rule by precedent. Some Hanafis, such as Ibn Abidin and Maliki jurists, consider customs (urf) to be an additional source of law. In addition to these basic sources, several assumptions and principles aid the jurist in deriving interpretive rules: preference (istihsan), unregulated interest (masla- hah mursalah), and the presumption of continuity (istishab).

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:
  • Obtain adequate knowledge-of the sources of Shari’ah that regulate a Mukallaf (legally responsible) person
  • Apply traditional Usul al Fiqh to the modern era
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the understanding of the methodology of Islamic lawmaking
  • Confidently recall the position of the Hanafi and Shafi’i schools of thought on different usuli principles
  • Apply traditional Usul al Fiqh to the modern era
  • Understand the origins of the differences in the schools of Islamic law
  For overview of all the subjects and courses we teach, please visit our Curriculum page