Introduction to Ahkaam - Lesson 3

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Introduction to Ahkaam - Lesson 3

Postby Muntazir » 20 May 2010, 18:38

We have come to know that Ahkaam [Jurisprudence] are Islamic Laws, laws or instructions from the almighty God, for the betterment of all mankind.

Man is incapable of solving all his problems, and therefore he needs divine guidance in all aspects of his life.

No one will agree to follow a religion that does not solve his or her problems; meaning, the main reason for a person to completely rely on a particular school of thought, is because it provides perfection of life into this world and in the hereafter. And as we study the different kinds of schools of thought, we come to realize that this perfection can only be found in the religion of Islam and in its divine teachings. Hence, it is necessary for all Muslims to study the divine laws of Islam to reach to the perfection and hence to one’s Lord.

Divine laws, at times, are not quite understood by people. As an example: Why did our Creator wish to prescribe 2 raka’ats [units] of prayers in salaatul Fajr [morning prayers] and not 3 or 4? These are instructions that have only been concealed to the Infallibles or not at all.

The Sources of Ahkaam are Four:

1. Kitaab [Qur’an]
2. Sunnat [The Sayings and Actions of the Prophet [s.’a.w]]
3. Ijmaa’ [Consensus]
4. ‘Aql [Intellect and Reason]

1. Kitaab [Qur’an]

By Kitaab, we mean Qur’an – the eternal miracle and the first and the main source of Islam. This is the first source from which Ahkaam is obtained, and it contains hundreds of verses which the Jurists extract the laws of Ahkaam from. These verses are called as “Ayaat al-Ahkaam”, like the verse below:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلَاةِ فَاغْسِلُوا وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ وَامْسَحُوا بِرُءُوسِكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ إِلَى الْكَعْبَيْنِ ۚ وَإِنْ كُنْتُمْ جُنُبًا فَاطَّهَّرُوا ۚ وَإِنْ كُنْتُمْ مَرْضَىٰ أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ أَوْ جَاءَ أَحَدٌ مِنْكُمْ مِنَ الْغَائِطِ أَوْ لَامَسْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ فَلَمْ تَجِدُوا مَاءً فَتَيَمَّمُوا صَعِيدًا طَيِّبًا فَامْسَحُوا بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيكُمْ مِنْهُ ۚ مَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيَجْعَلَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِنْ حَرَجٍ وَلَٰكِنْ يُرِيدُ لِيُطَهِّرَكُمْ وَلِيُتِمَّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ
[O ye who believe! when ye prepare for prayer, wash your faces, and your hands (and arms) to the elbows; Rub your heads (with water); and (wash) your feet to the ankles. If ye are in a state of ceremonial impurity, bathe your whole body. But if ye are ill, or on a journey, or one of you cometh from offices of nature, or ye have been in contact with women, and ye find no water, then take for yourselves clean sand or earth, and rub therewith your faces and hands, Allah doth not wish to place you in a difficulty, but to make you clean, and to complete his favour to you, that ye may be grateful.] (5:6)

From which [the verse above] we come to know about Wudhoo [Ablution].


Kitaab, as a word, means: Maktub [written]. And the reason we call Qur’an as Kitaab, is because it was sent down already written; meaning: The Prophet [s.’a.w] got revelations already in words and sentences, he did not have to think and write them from his own-self.

2. Sunnat [The Sayings and Actions of the Prophet [s.’a.w]]

By Sunnat, we mean: The Sayings, Actions and the Silent Approval of the Infallibles [‘a.s].

This is the second source from which Ahkaam is obtained, and there are thousands of traditions in the books of the Ahadith which speaks of the Sunnat, and as for the Jurists, they first study these traditions and then, according to their authenticity, use them. Like the traditions on Wudhoo.


Sunnat, as a word, means: Manner. And as the sayings, actions and the silent approval of the infallibles represents their manners, it is therefore called Sunnat.

3. Ijmaa’ [Consensus]

By Ijmaa’, we mean: Consensus between the scholars and the Jurists, in a particular law in Ahkaam. Like the consensus of Prophibition on following a dead [Mujtahid] as a start.


Ijmaa’, according to the Shi’a school of thought, its authenticity and importance of Consensus goes back to Sunnat.

4. ‘Aql [Intellect of Reason]
By ‘Aql, we mean: The strength, from our Creator, through which we are capable of thinking and differentiating between good and evil, and other than these. This source is as authentic as the Kitaab and the Sunnat.
as-Salaamu 'aleykum warahmatullah

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