What is fiqh in shafii? The characteristics of the science of fiqh?
The science of fiqh has many special characteristics. The most significant of them are:
- Its source is the Revelation (wahy): The Qur’an and the Prophet’s Sunnah are the main sources of fiqh. In cases, whose rulings are not clearly defined in the Qur’an or Sunnah, Muslim jurists determine the ruling for the case in question by making an analogy to similar cases found in the Qur’an and Sunnah.
- It encompasses all aspects of life: The religion revealed by Allah Almighty encompasses all aspects of human life. People have responsibilities towards themselves, their families, their environment, and their Creator. Fiqh is the science that teaches them about those rights and responsibilities. It also defines the principles of administering a nation and defines how such relations should be with other nations. Therefore, fiqh is a very comprehensive Islamic science.
- It has connections with ethics: The rulings established by fiqh are in accordance with Islamic morals and ethics. Fiqh diligently aims to protect much needed virtues such as honesty, righteousness, justice, rights of others etc.
- It aims for the welfare of both individuals and society as a whole: Fiqh observes not only the common benefits of Muslim society but also the benefits of individuals as well. It pays attention not to restrict the individual freedom provided that it does not conflict with the public good.
- Its rulings are appropriate to be applied at all times: Fiqh gives the authority to qualified Muslim jurists to issue rulings for newly emerged problems based on arising circumstances. Thus, fiqh can produce rulings that are applicable at all times and in all circumstances.
Main Branches of The Science of Fiqh
- FURU’ AL-FIQH: It is the branch of fiqh that explains the practical rulings of Islam such as rulings related to ritual prayer, fasting, obligatory alms, sacrifice, marriage, divorce, etc. together with their proofs from the sources.
- USUL AL-FIQH: It is the branch of fiqh that shows the methods of deduction of religious rulings presented by Furu’ al-fiqh, explains the general principles, provides information about the schools of Islamic law, and teaches how to evaluate the incidents from a different perspective.
Source: Fiqh1 (According To The Shafi’i School Of Islamic Law), Erkam Publications