- Study a classical text of usul al-fiqh cover-to-cover in Arabic
- The entire series of four courses is spread over one full academic year
- Gain first-hand exposure to the usul principles of the Hanafi madhab
- Start developing the knowledge and skills necessary to access classical texts
- See first-hand how a classical text is explained by a teacher trained traditionally in a madhab
About the Course
Usul ash-Shashi Part-1 is the first of a series of four courses that shall serve as an introduction to the discipline of usul al-fiqh. Classes shall be conducted entirely in Arabic. This usul al-fiqh series extends Qibla’s Arabic-based course offering by following up the fiqh series (Maraqi al Falah) for more advanced students of knowledge who are capable of studying a text directly in Arabic.
Part 2 of the series entirely focuses on linguistic discussions that pertain to deriving practical rulings from the language of the Quran and hadith, with some focus on the legal repercussions of the linguistic debates. Students shall explore Commands, Obligations and their implications, Prohibitions, and particular meanings of Particles in detail.
The text makes extensive use of case studies and practical examples, allowing students to deepen their grasp of the underlying principles of usul al- fiqh, as employed in the Hanafi madhab as well as in the other madhabs, where rulings often differ. Being directly based on the Arabic text itself, the course is also an ideal opportunity for students to develop the usul al-fiqh-specific vocabulary, knowledge, and skills necessary to directly access classical texts. This course thus presents an excellent opportunity for all students of knowledge, whether Hanafi or otherwise, to deepen their understanding of fiqh and Arabic.
القسم الثاني: استعمال اللفظ في المعنى
القسم الثالث: دلالة اللفظ على المعنى
غير واضح الدلالة
القسم الرابع: كيفية الاستدلال باللفظ على المعنى
دلالة اقتضاء النص
اقتضاء الأمر للتكرار
حسن المأمور به
حكم الواجب بالأمر
أنواع الأداء والقضاء
في حروف المعاني
في وجوه البيان وأحكامها
The course will consist of weekly Live Sessions and a Final Examination. Students are highly encouraged to post their questions in the Forum over the course of the week, which are answered during the Live Sessions. Dr. Ashraf shall hold weekly office hours where students can consult with him one-on-one.
Weekly Time Commitment
The course requires an estimated hour to an hour-and-a-half per week outside the live session to review the material and take notes.
The text for the course Imam Nizam ad-Din ash-Shashi’s Usul ash-Shashi shall be provided to students in pdf format
The is conducted entirely in Arabic and assumes students can read and understand the language with the level of proficiency required to attend a class, take notes, ask questions, and read a text in Arabic.
Being a text of usul al-fiqh, students shall benefit greatly from having a working familiarity with fiqh texts in their original Arabic. As such, the Maraqi al Falah series is a recommended, but not required, prerequisite.
What shall I know coming out of the course?
Part 2 of the series picks up where Part 1 left off – on specific linguistic discussions. Students shall be introduced to various linguistic nuances of revelation, how to deal with them and apply them in extracting fiqh rulings from the primary sources. You shall also see a lot of practical application of different scenarios, for example: how the Hanafis used certain hadith to derive rulings, how the Shafi’i and other madhabs may have disagreed with them, and the principles behind the differences in their rulings.
In general, the Usul ash-Shashi series shall cover provide students with exposure to various topics ranging from – who is a qualified jurist; how scholars of fiqh developed their rulings; understanding the proofs pertaining to rulings and the correct scholarly guidelines for what constitutes a proof; and distinguishing between sound rulings and innovation. Students shall also leave with an understanding of the different scholars, their level of knowledge and their different areas of expertise.
Why is this course so special?
This course is being taught directly in Arabic. No translations, no secondary sources – here students shall read directly from the text of an actual classical work of usul al-fiqh with a qualified teacher. This presents a level of exposure to the science of usul al-fiqh, and the Hanafi school of law, that is simply beyond the reach of a course being taught in English.
Why? Simply because working with the actual Arabic words themselves, and not with a translator’s explanatory rendition, is the only way students can get a feel for what it means for the vocabulary of a text to be specific to that science. Reading the text directly in Arabic therefore offers a window of insight into this crucial dimension of understanding, and correctly interpreting, the legacy of scholarship we have been left with.
Studying directly in Arabic to get a direct feel for the scholarly tradition of Islam. This is the real thing.
Why is Traditional Learning key to understanding such classical texts?
The different Islamic sciences have specific technical vocabulary and contextual details that are key to understanding the texts within the sciences correctly. This technical knowledge – the specific details and the greater context of all the different positions that exist in a madhab – is not found in the texts themselves.
The texts of the tradition are written by specialists for specialists – i.e. the authors assume that the reader shall already be familiar with the technicalities. The text is therefore meant to be expounded to students by a qualified person.
Studying under a qualified teacher, who can clarify embedded points in technical vocabulary and give students the correct context for the different positions that exist in a madhab, is thus the only way to learn from classical texts without falling into misinterpretation.
This knowledge can only be taken from people who have directly sat with teachers of the tradition and thereby learnt how the tradition works, and how it is applied. This broader understanding is the key knowledge to correctly understanding the scholarly tradition of our deen. This is traditional knowledge.
And it is not found by reading on one’s own. One must therefore learn from the scholars of the tradition.