Usul al-Fiqh (Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence)

Introduction to Hanbali Usool: Explanatory Notes on Ibn ‘Uthyameen’s al-Usool min ‘ilm al-Usool

These are my complete notes on the book as taught to us by Ust. Ahmad Zayn al-‘Abidin in Arabic. Sh. Ibn ‘Uthyameen’s work is a very useful book to get an introduction to Hanbali usool. There are not enough good books in the English language on Hanbali fiqh and usool and this is my modest attempt to introduce the usool of the school to English speakers. Please note that I did not write down every single thing that Ust. Ahmad mentioned but only that which I personally found beneficial and felt was sufficient for the explanation of the text. Sh.…

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Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence)

Rulings on Interest (al-Ribaa) in Hanbali Fiqh

The following are my notes from the chapter on al-Ribaa (interest) from the Hanbali text Akhsar al-Mukhtasarat. The source of the notes are my teacher Sh. Muhammad Gamal Aly with whom I am studying the text and Sh. Bajabir’s commentary on the book. Definition Ribaa means an increase in a particular item. The word is derived from a root meaning increase or growth It is prohibited according to the Qur’an, Sunnah, and consensus of the scholars It is one of the seven major destructive sins It does not refer to any and every type of growth in a sale but…

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Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence)

Conditions for a Valid Contract in Hanbali Fiqh

There is a difference of opinion among Muslim scholars as to what constitutes a valid contract. The evidences behind their conclusions are discussed in more advanced classes. In the Hanbali school, the following seven conditions must be met for a contract to be considered valid: Both parties willingly agree to the contract If forced, then it is invalid Exception: if a ruler intercedes on behalf of the buyer because the latter’s rights were violated in some way, then in this case the ruler can force the seller to sell based on the original agreement between the two Both parties be among…

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Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence)

How to Properly Perform the Istikhara Prayer

Why Do We Pray Istikhara Prayer (صلاة الاستخارة)? This prayer is prescribed because a believer comes across numerous choices in his/her life that leaves him/her puzzled and uncertain about which choice to make. This may lead him/her to be unable to make a decision due to fear of making the wrong choice. Therefore, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) advised the believers to use this prayer as a form of seeking guidance from Allah on the matter. The specific supplication (du’a) prescribed by the Prophet (pbuh) asks Allah to guide the decision of the person to whatever is good for him/her in…

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Islamic Texts
Seeking Knowledge, Usul al-Fiqh (Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence)

Islamic Philosophy of Knowledge

The following are my notes from a lecture explaining one of the chapters in Shaykh al-Uthyameen’s book al-Usool min ‘ilm al-Usool. It is a basic level book on Hanbali usool. Definition of knowledge: Knowledge is a definitive realization of something based on its true reality Not having any realization or understanding of something is referred to as plain ignorance Ex: if someone asks you when the battle of Badr took place and you respond, “I don’t know.” Realization or understanding of something based on a false reality is referred to as compound ignorance Ex: if someone thinks that the battle…

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Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence)

Things Considered Impure (Najas) in Hanbali Fiqh

There is a difference of opinion among Muslims scholars as to what type of things are considered impure (najas). The evidences behind their conclusions are discussed in more advanced classes. In the Hanbali school, the following things are considered impure (najas): Any intoxicating liquid This includes any hashisha that intoxicates Any bird or animal that is not allowed to be eaten and is larger than a cat Examples: lions, wolves, dogs, pigs, eagles, elephants, vultures, etc. Anything originating from such animals is also considered impure, such as, their saliva, snot, meat, milk, sperm, urine, feces, etc. Any carcass that has flowing blood…

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Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence), History, Usul al-Fiqh (Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence)

Introduction to Hanbali Fiqh

Notes from Abu Zahra’s ‘The Four Imams: Their Lives, Works, and Their Schools of Thought’ Overview of Imam Ahmad’s Life Imam Ahmad did not write a book on fiqh (jurisprudence) In the beginning of his career, he refused anything to be recorded from him on the subject of fiqh. He didn’t consider it proper He would even forbid transmitting books from other jurists He would even forbid his students to write down his own fatwas and opinions Later in life his students convinced him and he allowed them to transmit his fatwas and opinions He learned from Shafi’ the method…

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