In this section, we will review all the terms we have come across so far. How many can you remember? Test yourself by covering the definitions on the right hand side.
|Generation of Sam’i||Generation of “listeners”, eyewitnesses, Companions|
|Generation of Jam’i||Generation of “gatherers”, collectors (of hadith), Successors of the Companions|
|Tabi’un||Followers of the Companions of the Prophet|
|Tabi’u al-Tabi’in||Followers of the Successors of the Companions of the Prophet|
|Fiqh||Literally, deep understanding; technically, Islamic Jurisprudence|
|Usul al-Fiqh||Literally, the roots of Islamic Jurisprudence; technically, the study of the principles, proofs and methodologies through which Islamic rulings are inferred|
|Ijtihad||Juristic reasoning, to deduce rulings that are not explicitly stated in the Qur’an and Sunnah|
|Mujtahid||A distinguished jurist; one who is qualified to engage in ijtihad|
|Madhhab||A school of juristic thought. School of legal theory or law|
|Fatwa||A religious answer, verdict or ruling given by a mujtahid or a mufti|
|Faqih||A specialist in Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh)|
|Mufti||A scholar authorised to give specific religious answers or verdicts (fatwas) for the people of a geographical area|
|Bid’ah||Innovations, usually blameworthy innovations in religion, or heresy|
|Ahkam al-Shar‘iyyah||Value-judgments or rulings of the Shari’ah|
- List the 3 main historical phases in the evolution of Usul al-Fiqh and their main topics and contributions to the field.
- Which came first, Fiqh or Usul al-Fiqh, and why?
- Would it be correct to describe Imam Shafi’i as the founder of Usul al-Fiqh?
- List the 4 major Sunni Imams in their chronological order.