Establishing the Principles: Principles of Understanding – Book 1- Class 5

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Our teacher began with praising Allaah and sending salaat and salaam on the Messenger of Allaah, his family, companions and followers until the Last Day and began:

Review of the Text>>>

أنَّ الفِقْهُ إمّا مسائلُ

Annal Fiqhu immaa masaa’il

That Fiqh is either issues

  • What is  مسائل?

It is the plural of مسألة (mas’alah).

  • What is  مسألة?

 It is an issue which is asked about; issue in which you demand an evidence for.

وإمّا دلائلُ

Wa imma dalaa’il

Or either evidences

  • دلائل is the plural of دليل (daleel)
  • What is a دليل ?


  • What do you use the evidence for?

To prove (those) issues.

We said before that there are evidences and there are issues, and that you use those evidences in order to give those issues the rulings they deserve.

فَالفِقهُ: هُوَ مَعرِفَةُ “المَسائِلُ” وَ”الدَّلائِلُ”

Fal-Fiqhu: huwa ma’rifatu’l masaa’ilu wa’d-dalaa’ilu

So, al-Fiqh is knowing the issues and the evidences.


وَهَذِهِ “الدَّلائِلُ” نَوْعَان:

Wa haadhihi’d dalai’lu naw’aan

And those evidences are of two types:

كُلِّيَّةٌ: تَشْمَلُ كُلَّ حُكمٍ مِنْ جِنْسٍ وَاحِدٍ مِن أَوَّلِ الفِقهِ إلى آخِرِهِ،

Kulliyyatun: tashmalu kulla hukmin min jinsin waahid(in)

  1. General: Covers every ruling of a single kind, from the beginning of Jurisprudence to its end.

كَقَولِنا:”الأَمْرُ لِلْوُجُوبِ، وَالنَّهْيُ لِلتَّحْرِيمِ” وَنَحْوِهِما.

وَهذِهِ هِيَ “الأُصُولُ الفِقْه”.

Kaqawlinaa: “al-Amru lil wujoob” wa “an-Nahyu li’t-Tahreem”, wa nahwihimaa.

Wa hadhihi “Usoolu’l Fiqh”.

Such as our saying: “The Command is for Obligating” and “The Forbidding is for Impermissibility” and so on. And this is “Usoolul Fiqh”.

 Points of Explanation:

1. General means it doesn’t speak about an issue in particular. Rather, it is a Principle covering many issues.

It doesn’t speak about for example, the ruling in prayer, or the ruling of night prayer or the ruling of using a siwaak or the ruling of approaching your wife in the day of fasting, or the ruling of slandering your brother. It doesn’t speak about an issue in particular. Rather it is a principle under which many issues fall.

2. The Shaykh mentioned as an example the principle which says: “The command is for obligating”.

This means that whenever we come across a command in the Qur’an or the Sunnah, then the default result to this command is >>> Obligation, not recommending.

Examples given:

[2:43] >>> it has a command:

وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ

“And perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and give Zakaat..”

أقيموا الصلاة

Perform the prayer >>> is a command

آتُوا الزَّكَاةَ

Give out Zakaah . >>> is a command

Whenever you find a command in the Qur’an or the Sunnah, it means that whatever is commanded here is obligatory by default, according to the principle of “The Command is for Obligating“, especially if it comes from someone who is superior to you—from Allaah to His creation, or from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم to anyone else.

This command which comes from above to below, from someone who is superior to someone who is under, the result is obligation. The command implies obligation.

[17:26]>>> it has a command:

وَآتِ ذَا الْقُرْبَىٰ حَقَّهُ

And give to the kindred his due.

Giving the kindred his due, is this optional?

No, it is not optional. Why, because it is a command.

So what if it is a command, and what?

The principle is: Command is for obligating. And whenever we find a command, it is to make something obligatory upon you.

[17:35] it has a command:

وَأَوْفُوا الْكَيْلَ إِذَا كِلْتُمْ وَزِنُوا بِالْقِسْطَاسِ الْمُسْتَقِيمِ

And give full measure when you measure, and weigh with a balance that is straight. That is good (advantageous) and better in the end.



وَأَوْفُوا الْكَيْلَ

Give full measure when you measure >>> it has a command

Giving the full measure, is it optional?

No. Why, because Allaah said أوفوا (give) and it is a command and a command implies obligating.

If I ask you about this principle “The Command is for Obligating”, am I talking about a certain issue in particular?

No. It’s a general principle.

What do we mean when we say this is a General Principle?

It means that all commands fall under this umbrella. All commands found whether in the QUr’an or in the Sunnah, all types of commands fall under this Principle—its a general principle. General means cover many individuals.

This Principle has to be taken from an evidence.

Based upon what did they say that the command is for obliging?

 Based upon the saying of Allaah subhanahu wa ta’aala in Surah 24:63:

فَلْيَحْذَرِ الَّذِينَ يُخَالِفُونَ عَنْ أَمْرِهِ أَن تُصِيبَهُمْ فِتْنَةٌ أَوْ يُصِيبَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

And let those who oppose the Messenger’s (Muhammad) commandment (i.e. his Sunnah legal ways, orders, acts of worship, statements, etc.) (among the sects) beware, lest some Fitnah (disbelief, trials, afflictions, earthquakes, killing, overpowered by a tyrant, etc.) befall them or a painful torment be inflicted on them.

We are not supposed to explain this Principle but since the Shaykh gave examples, we have to give you an idea about it.

The evidence of this Principle is in verse Surah 63 of Surah 24, as Allaah inflicted on him–who opposes the Messenger’s command—a painful torment. And surely, the torment is only deserved when someone leaves something that he should do, and not something that he has the option of doing— rather (this is) what he should do.

For example:

If you are commanded to do something and if you do not do it, you are threatened with a punishment— does that mean that that thing is obligatory upon you to do or optional?

It is obligatory because if it was optional, there wouldn’t be any punishment.

Then the Shaykh gave another example:

And the Forbidding is for Impermissibility.”

This is in opposition. Whenever there is Forbidding, it is not to leave something preferably, rather it is to point out that something is impermissible and not just disliked.

Like Allaah’s saying in the previous verse:

لَّا تَجْعَلْ مَعَ اللَّـهِ إِلَـٰهًا آخَرَ فَتَقْعُدَ مَذْمُومًا مَّخْذُولًا

Set not up with Allah any other ilah (god), (O man)! (This verse is addressed to Prophet Muhammad , but its implication is general to all mankind), or you will sit down reproved, forsaken (in the Hell-fire).

لَّا تَجْعَلْ

Do not set up >>> this is a forbidding

The General Principle is: “A forbidding is for impermissibility not for disliking.”


Whenever there is a Forbidding, whether in the Qur’an or the Sunnah, then the default result it gives is for Impermissibility.

When Allaah says, “Set not up with Allaah any other gods.


Can you say, “Ok, I’ll think about it, maybe I’ll do it and maybe I won’t.”

Is this accepted? No, because this is a command. This is a forbidding from Allaah where we have no choice.

Allaah said:

وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَوْلَادَكُمْ خَشْيَةَ إِمْلَاقٍ

And kill not your children for fear of poverty. [17:32]


وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا

And kill not >>> this is a forbidding

Can we say, well, maybe I will and maybe I won’t.

No, because this is forbidding and it concluded impermissibility.

وَلَا تَقْرَبُوا الزِّنَىٰ

Come not near to illegal sexual intercourse. [17:33]

وَلَا تَقْرَبُوا

Come not (do not come near)>>> this is a forbidding


Can we say this is optional?

No, because this is a forbidding and the default result a forbidding gives is impermissibility.

وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللَّـهُ إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ

And do not kill anyone which Allah has forbidden, except for a just cause. [17:34]

لَا تَقْتُلُوا

And do not kill >>> this is a forbidding

لَا تَقْرَبُوا مَالَ الْيَتِيمِ إِلَّا بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ حَتَّىٰ يَبْلُغَ أَشُدَّهُ

And come not near to the orphan’s property except to improve it, until he attains the age of full strength. [17:34]

لَا تَقْرَبُوا

Come not near >>> this is a forbidding

Forbidding implies Impermissibility. This is Usoolu’l Fiqh.

Usoolu’l Fiqh are general evidences in the sense that they are general principles taken from the Quran and the Sunnah. They do not include or concern a certain specific issue; rather it is a principle which gathers many examples under it.

When the Principle says, “the forbidding“, which (kind of) forbidding?

Any kind of forbidding.

  • when you say “any” i.e.   something in general,  then  this is Usoolu’l Fiqh
  • but when you start saying “this and that”  i.e. something  in particular, then this is al-Fiqh

To repeat:


Which forbidding are we talking about?

Any and every kind of forbidding.

How many?

Unlimited—in the Qur’an and the Sunnah are many.

The commands– how many commands?

Many, unlimited, countless (exageration) because of how many commands there are.



Q1. IF I say, performing prayer is obligatory because Allaah said: أقيم الصلاة what did I do here?

A1. Fiqh

Q2. If I say, using siwak is a Sunnah”, because of the Prophet’s saying:


السواك مطهرة للفم  ورضاة للرب

as-Siwaaku mat-haratun lil fami wa mardhaatun li’r- Rabb.

The Siwaak is cleansing to the mouth and a pleasing to the Lord.


What am I talking about here, Fiqh or Usoolu’l Fiqh?

Q2. Al Fiqh

Did I mention a general principle here? Is siwaak something general or particular?

It is something particular, specific, in detail.

If I’m talking about a specific; detailed; particular thing, giving an issue the ruling it deserves, this is Fiqh.

“The Siwaak is cleansing to the mouth and a pleasing to the Lord.—this is an evidence.

 Siwak is a Sunnah—this is the Ruling.

(Al-Fiqh is) fitting a certain ruling to a certain issue, (so) this is al Fiqh and not Usoolu’l Fiqh.

Q3. If I say, the ruling passed onto an individual includes the rest of people. What do you think this is?

A3. Usoolul Fiqh, because this is a general principle. “Whenever you see a ruling passed to a certain individual, it includes the rest of the people.”



Allaah said in the Qur’an:

لَّا تَجْعَلْ مَعَ اللَّـهِ إِلَـٰهًا آخَرَ

Laa taj’alu ma’a’llaahi ilaahan aakhar

Set up not with Allaah other gods.

Who is Allaah speaking to?

He was speaking to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم   and not everyone, because if He was speaking to everyone, He would have said: لا تجعلوا (Laa taj’aloo) the plural style of speaking meaning: [You (all) do not set up rivals]. Allaah didn’t say that, rather He said: لا تجعل (laa taj’alu) [you do not set up with Allaah other ilaah].

The Ruling here is passed on to certain individual, but does that mean it is specified to that certain individual?

No it applies to all.


“The Ruling passed on to an Individual includes the rest (of people). “

Q4. Which ruling?

 A4.Any ruling.

The Teacher added that we shouldn’t ask about exceptional case. Here, we are teaching the principles. Do not busy your mind with what is exceptional, because when you do so, you are looking for oddity. Don’t look for oddity, look for the principles, how things originally are.

~~~ End of Dars~~~

الحمد لله

Transcribed by UmmuYusuf Iman al-Filibiniyyah

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