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Usul Fiqh before and after Imam Shafie

Slides from Dr Mohd. Afandi Bin Awang Hamat, IIUM,UIAM

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Usul Fiqh before and after Imam Shafie

  1. 1. Discipline that relates to The Study of Usul al-Fiqh and THE HISTORY OF Usul al-Fiqh before and after Imam al-Shafie
  2. 2. Discipline that relates to The Study of Usul al-Fiqh For the study of jurisprudence, mastery of many other branches of learning are necessary as a preparation, and these consist of the following: 1. Arabic: syntax, conjugation, vocabulary, semantics, oratory as the Quran and Traditions are in Arabic, without knowing at least the usual standard of the Arabic language and literature it is not possible to benefit from the Quran and the Traditions. 2. Commentary upon the Holy Quran (tafsir). Taking into consideration the fact that the jurisprudents must use the Quran as a point of reference, some knowledge in the study of the commentaries upon the Quran is absolutely essential. 3. Logic, called mantiq in Islam. Every branch of learning in which reasoning is used stands in need of logic.
  3. 3. 4. The study of the Traditions. The jurisprudent must have a sound knowledge of the Traditions and must be able to distinguish the different types of Traditions and they become acquainted with the language of the Traditions as a result of their frequent application. 5. The study of the Transmitters (rijal). The study of the Transmitters means knowing the identities and natures of those who have transmitted the Traditions. Later it will be explained how the Traditions existing in the sanctuary of books of Traditions cannot be accepted without examination. The study of the Transmitters is the examining and scrutiny of the men who make up the chains (isnad) of reporters of the Traditions.
  4. 4. Usul al-Fiqh before Imamal-Shafie Historical records go to the fact that the first one who wrote a book on usul al-fiqh was Imam Abu Hanifah Himself, and Imam Abu Yusuf Ibn Ya’acub ibn Ibrahim Al-Ansari (well known student of Imam Abu Hanifah), and also Imam Muhammad ibn Al-Hasan Ash-Shaybani, also another well known student of Imam Abu Hanifah wrote a book on Usul al-Fiqh.
  5. 5. The Time of Successors of the Successors The first work reportedly produced on Usul al-fiqh was Kitab al-Ra’y by Abu Hanifah (d. 150 A.H.) In this work, he described the methods of derivation of rules from the Quran and the Sunnah.  He was followed by his two disciples; Abu Yusuf ibn Yaa’cub ibn Ibrahim (d.182 A.H) and Muhammad ibn Hasan al-Shaybani (d. 189 A.H.), who produced Kitab al-Usul and Kitab Usul al-fiqh respectively.  Later on, al-Shafii produced his renowned treatise on usul known as al-Risalah. This is the first comprehensive work on usul al- fiqh, which is extent, for works produced by Abu Hanifah and his disciples before al-Shafii were reportedly lost.  AI-Sayyid Hasan al-Sadr of the Shi 'ah claimed that Muhammad al-Baqir (57-115H) and his son, Ja'far al-Sadiq (83-149H)5 were the first who discussed various foundations of the science of usul al-fiqh.
  6. 6. The Time of Successors of the Successors Sheikh AI-Afghani and Ahmad Hasan in this regards have mentioned: "the first man to write or compile (sannafa) the science of usul al-fiqh as far as we know was Abu Hanifah al-Nu'man. [For instance] he elucidates the methodologies of istinbat in his Kitab al-Ra'y. He was followed by his two disciples, Abu Yusuf Ya 'qub b. Ibrahim aI-Ansari and Muhammad b. Hasan al-Shaybani, then followed by Muhammad b. Idris al-Shafi'i".
  7. 7. The Time of Successors of the Successors In defending his theory, Ahmad Hasan refers to Ibn al- Nadim's Fihrist in which the Ibn Nadim lists the books written by Abu Yusuf and al -Shaybani which were among the lists of books on usul al-fiqh. He further argues that the term usul al-fiqh had been 'used by Abu Yusuf in his criticism of the scholars of Syria for their ignorance of usul al-fiqh . According to Ahmad Hasan, the above reports indicate that scholars preceding al-Shafi'i and some other jurists had formulated the principles of usul al-fiqh before him. But as explained by many jurists that these books were lost and there is no news at all about all of these books.
  8. 8. As their writings did not reach us, which means we do not know exactly what they wrote. Therefore, we cannot consider something being the first writing in a branch of knowledge unless that piece of writing is in our hands. The first of these writings that has reached our hands and is considered today as the earliest book in this science is the well known book of Al- Risalah (The Treatise) by Imam Ash-Shafie. This is in line with the view of Ibn Khaldun as he mentioned in his famous book of al- Muqaddimah, in the section in which he discusses the various sciences and skills, tells us that, "The first person in the study of the Usul al- fiqh to write a book was imam al-Shafi`i, who wrote his famous of al-Risalah.
  9. 9. The well known Muslim scholar Imam Al-Razi also confirmed this fact when he wrote about the qualities and the merits of Imam Al-Shafie by saying: “Before Imam Al-Shafie, scholars used to talk about the subjects of usul al-fiqh, argue and prove things without having any framework or logical sequence of a whole sciences. Al-Shafie was the one who founded usul al-fiqh and formulated a way or a process for all people to know the levels of Shariah sources and what take precedence over the other. Therefore, ascribing usul al-fiqh to Al-Shafie is like ascribing the science of reason and philosophy to Aristotle.” (Introduction to Al-Risalah, printed by Mustafa Al-Babi Al-Halabi, Cairo 1983, p. 4)
  10. 10. In regards to al-Risalah as the first book written on usul al-Fiqh, Observers of this book have divided this book into 4 different chapters that were discussed by imam al-Shafie. They said as follows: ‫ويمكن‬‫الم‬ ‫المباحث‬ ‫لها‬ّ‫أو‬ ‫أربعة؛‬ ‫عناصر‬ ‫إلى‬ ‫الرسالة‬ ‫مباحث‬ ‫تبويب‬‫تصلة‬ ‫والعام‬ ‫كالخاص‬ ،‫بالقرآن‬‫والنسخ‬،‫والمنسوخ‬‫ة‬ّ‫ص‬‫الخا‬ ‫المباحث‬ ‫والثاني‬ ‫باإلج‬ ‫خاص‬ ‫والثالث‬ ،‫الحديث‬ ‫واختالف‬ ‫اآلحاد‬ ‫خبر‬ ‫ة‬ّ‫ص‬‫وخا‬ ،‫ة‬ّ‫ن‬‫بالس‬،‫ماع‬ ‫بالقياس‬ ‫والرابع‬. Al-Risalah was divided into 4 different chapters: First chapter highlights the various issues of al-Quran; general, particular, naskh and mansukh, Second chapter highlights various discussion about Sunnah such as hadith ahad and its position, and also different categories of hadiths, Chapter 3 highlights about the meaning and position of Ijmak and chapter 4 highlights about various issues on al-Qiyas.
  11. 11. Usul al-Fiqh AfterImamal-Shafie Ibn al-Nadim mentioned books which were written in the field of Usul al Fiqh after the Risalah, including al Nasikh wa al Mansukh and al Sunnah by al Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (d 233 AH). Al Sunnah, however, is more a book on Tawhid and basic Islamic beliefs "Aqa'id" than of jurisprudence. Al-Imam Ahmad also wrote book - Ta'at al Rasul "Obedience to the Messenger". Ibn Qayyim quotes from it often in his book, I'lam al Muwaqqi'in, and From the quoted passages in Ibn Qayyim's book, it is apparent that the book is indeed an important subject of jurisprudence, and the methodology of dealing with the Sunnah.
  12. 12. The sources also mention that Dawuud al Zahiri (d 270 AH) wrote al Ijma' "Consensus", Ibtal al Taqlid "On the Abolition of Imitation", Khabar al Wahid "On the Single-Individual Narration", al Khabar al Mujib "On the Obligating Narration", al Khusus wa al 'Umum "On the Particular and the General", al Mufassar wa al Mujmal "The Concised and the Detailed",
  13. 13. The Hanafi scholars produced several works. Such as 'Isa ibn Abban (d 220 Ah) Ithbat al Qiyas, "Validating Analogical Deduction", and Ijtihad al Ra'i, "The Exercise of legal Reasoning". Al Barza'i (d 317) wrote Masa'il al Khilaf "Issues of Disagreement", Abu Ja'far al Tahawi (d 321) wrote Ikhtilaf al Fuqaha' "Disagreement of the Jurists", which was laten on summarized by Abu Bakr al Jassas (d 37O). Al Karabisi al Najafi (d 322) wrote al Furuq "Differences"
  14. 14. Also jurists from Hanafi School 'Ali ibn Musa al Qummi, (d 305) wrote Ma Khalafa Fihi al Shafi'i al 'Iraqiyiin Fi Ahkam al Qur'an "Instances in which al Shafi'i Opposed the Iraqis in the Legal Interpretation of the Qur'an", Also he wrote other books such as : Ithbat al Qiyas (validating the qiyas), al Ijtihad (Reasoning) and Khabar al Wahid (Single narrator of Hadith). Abu al Hasan al Karkhi (d 340) also one of the leading jurist in hanafi mazhab wrote his well-known book al Usul "The Sources"
  15. 15. Jurists from Mazhab of al-Imam al Shafi'i produced the following works:- Abu Thawr (d 240) wrote Ikhtilaf al Fuqaha' "Disagreement of the Jurists". Abu 'Abd Allah Muhammad ibn Nasr al Marwazi (d 294) also wrote a book on the same subject which is Ikhtilaf al Fuqaha' "Disagreement of the Jurists". Abu Abbas ibn Surayj (d 305) wrote a book refuting both 'Isa ibn Abban and Muhammad ibn Dawud al Zahiri on matters in which they differed with al Imam al Shafi'i. Ibrahim ibn Ahmad al Marwazi (d 340) wrote Al Umum wa al Khusus "The General and the Particular" and Al Fusul fi Ma'rifat al Usul "Chapters About Knowledge of Legal Source- Methodology".
  16. 16. Some of scholars during that time devoted their attention to producing commentaries on al Shafi'i's al Risalah; Example such as : Abu Bakr al Sayrafi (d 330), Abu al Walid al Nisaburi (d 365 or 363), Abu Bakr al Jawzi (d 388) and Abu Muhammad al Juwayni, the father of the famous Imam al Haramayn, teacher to al Imam al Ghazzali. Commentaries on the Risalah are also attributed to five other scholars, namely: Abu Zayd al Jazuli, Yusuf ibn 'Umar, Jamal al Din al Afqani, Ibn Fakihani, and Abu al Qasim 'Isa ibn Naji.
  17. 17. Scholars came later on and wrote many books in this important branch of knowledge, added to the writings of Al-Shafie and contributed to the development of its formula and order. Amongst the well known books in this science written by Shafie scholars are: Al-Burhan by Al-Juwayni, Al-Mustasfa by Al-Ghazali, Al- Mahsul by Al-Razi and Al-Ihkam fi Usul Al- Ahkam by Al-Amidi and many others.
  18. 18. As for the books written by Hanafi scholars they include Al-Usul by Abi Al-Hasan Al-Karkhi, Al- Usul by Fakhr Al-Islam ‘Ali ibn Muhammad Al- Bazdawi and Al-Usul by Abi Bakr Al-Gassas Ar- Razi. In addition to these traditional books, there is a work of modern Usulists that make the science itself easy to the modern reader. Amongst these we can note Usul Al-Fiqh by Abdul-Wahab Khallaf, Usul Al-Fiqh by Muhammad Al- Khudari and Taysir Usul Al-Fiqh by Sheikh Abdullah Yusuf Al-Judai and others.
  19. 19. Although, it is not that important to highlight the shiah writers and compilers on usul al-fiqh, but according to some Muslim scholars they said that the first book Among Shi`ite `ulama’, was compiled by Sayyid Mortaza. It was mentioned that Numerous books on Usul al-Fiqh were compiled by him, and the most well-known of which is Thariyah (The Medium). Seyyid Morteza was the brother of Sayyid al-Razi who was the compiler of the famous book of Nahj al-Balagha, the book of sermons, letters, and sayings of Imam Ali RA.