- Gain a historical appreciation of the development of Islamic law
- Understand the prophetic origin of legal schools
- Examine how a legal school was developed and refined over time
- Realize why the best option to implement Islam in your life is to follow one of the four schools of law
- See why it isn’t as simple as “just the Qur’an and Sunna”
Have you ever wondered if the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, intended Islam to develop different schools of law? Why have differences of opinion existed and can they can ever go away? How about ijtihad, is this something for everyone? What’s better—to follow the opinion of the founder of a legal school or a scholar that came after him? And can “old” fiqh be used in a modern context?
These are some of the extremely important questions you will be able to answer by the end of the short course The Historical Development of Islamic Law. In this course, you will examine the foundation of the legal schools through a historical analysis of Islamic law in the era of the Prophet, rightly guided caliphs, tabi’in, and the great imams; and then see how a legal school was developed and refined over time. Along with the short course The Sources of Islamic Law, this course will serve as an introduction to a more detailed look at legal methodology in the course The Waraqat Explained.
The course will begin with an exploration of the foundation of legal schools. Specifically, lessons will identify examples that show the probabilistic nature of Islamic law, explain how differences of opinion are a source of mercy, and demonstrate why ijtihad is a complicated process. Most importantly, these lessons will help you understand that the fiqh of the four schools is of prophetic origin and was the direction in which the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, encouraged his followers to go in.
The next portion of the course will provide a hands-on demonstration of how a legal school is formed and refined using the example of the Hanafi school. You will see how a school of law started with the imam, how it developed into a sophisticated school, and how its process of refinement is still happening. Finally, you will see how the fiqh of the schools of law can be used to solve modern cases.
At the end of this course, you will realize why the best option to implement Islam in your life is to follow one of the four schools of law. You will gain a historical appreciation of Islamic law and a deeper insight into legal discussions to help you realize that it isn’t as simple as “just the Qur’an and Sunna.” This conviction in the Sunni approach to law will leave you with an overall peace in your heart with the details of the religion.
This course consists of both pre-recorded lessons and weekly live sessions, in which case studies will be used to illustrate the significance of the historical events in the recordings and expand on specific cases discussed in the recordings.
The material in this course is mainly based on materials from al-Madkhal ila al-Fiqh al-Islami by Dr. Salah Abul Haaj, Tarikh al-Madhahib al-Islamiyya by Shaykh Muhammad Abu Zahra, al-Fikr al-Sami fi Tarikh al-Tashri’ al-Islami by al-Hajawi al-Fasi, Adab al-Ikhtilaf by Shaykh Muhammad Awwama, and Sharh ‘Uqud Rasm al Mufti by Imam ibn Abidin.
- Unit one: The foundation of the legal schools
- I. Fiqh in the Prophetic era
- II. Fiqh in the era of the rightly guided caliphs
- III. Fiqh in the era of the tabi’in
- IV. Fiqh in the era of the great imams
- Unit two: The development of the legal schools with a focus on the Hanafi school
- I. The early history of the Hanafi school
- II. The types of scholars and books, and service to the school
- III. Can this “old” fiqh be used in the modern context?