USL101 - Introduction to Usul-ul-Fiqh

Course Description

In this course we will be exploring foundational understandings and concepts in the traditional science of Usul-ul-Fiqh using al-Waraqat, the famous study text of Imam al-Juwayni on the subject. The origin, history, function and process of Usul-ul-fiqh will be discussed, along with its importance & role in the Islamic sciences as a whole. Some commentary will be provided on current trends, both scholarly and popular, in Fiqh & Usul-ul-Fiqh.

NOTE: Arabic Language Capability is not required for this course, although it is always recommended for courses at Fahm Islamic Education.

By the end of this course you will learn:

What is Usul-ul-Fiqh? Why learn it? Why is it so important to understand today?

We will be studying Imam al-Juwayni’s short study text, al-Waraqat, in some detail. This text introduces introductory terminology and concepts used in Usul-ul-Fiqh that are used to understand more intermediate and advanced works in the subject.

Usul-ul-Fiqh famously started with Imam al-Shafii, but what happened after? The discussion will be restricted to a beginners level.

How does the Arabic language create diversity but still regulate how the sacred texts are understood?

We will discuss how human beings use reason and language to create meaning, and how analogy is used in Fiqh.

What is the difference between Sunnah and Hadith, and what is the role of the Sunnah in Fiqh? There will be some discussion of the Hanafi approach.

Why are scholars necessary to understand the Qur’an and Sunnah? Should we blindly follow scholars? When should we question them?

What is a Fatwa? What are the principles of Fiqh and the Maqasid al-Shariah? When is a Fiqh position representative of the Qur’an and Sunnah and when is it not? How should the everyday Muslim navigate differences of opinion?

How is Usul-ul-Fiqh used (or abused) today by either scholars or everyday Muslims? We will discuss different fiqh trends in the Muslim world and assess them.

Summary & Fees

Course fees: $60/month (CAD)