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Basic Usoolul-Fiqh Volume I: Prioritizing the Fiqh of our Actions

 

 

شروط العمل صحاح

 

There are six precepts that determine the acceptability of our action and for them to be viewed as congruent with “the Sunnah”

 

The six conditions in which our actions must comport with in order to meet the apparatus of “following the sunnah” are

 

سبب

 

  • What is known as the “sabab” or “the reason” why the action was done by the prophet alayhi salatu salam in the first place. So a well known example that comes to mind is the Prophet’s action of “commanding the good and forbidding the evil”. The premise for the prophetic performance of this action was to fulfill certain criteria, those being to convey the message, to warn the person of punishment and to enjoin him/her upon the good, to reduce evil and fitnah and to increase the atmosphere from evil and corruption and into good and benefit. However if a person performs this action in order to make himself seem strong and does it other than for the benefit of the person being commanded, then this action of his deviates from the Sabab of why the prophet alayhi salatu salam did the action.

 

جنس

 

  • What is known as “jins” or “the type” or “form” of deed that was performed. A common example according to the people who lack fiqh is regarding a well known fiqh issue regarding the payment of Zakaatul-Fitr. However we will fully examine this issue in another publication because there is some confusion in this regard. Originally from the basis of this deed is that it is to be payed in food staples. From a dhaahiri (literalist) perspective, it is to be paid in the exact same form as what the companions payed for it during the time of the Messenger of Allah. However this is an invalid opinion as the companions themselves had altered the form of its payment based upon circumstance. However, other valid points of contention which enter the topic is for example is making “du’a” by raising the hands. If someone decides to turn their hands “downwards”, then this is not considered to be a du’a that resembles the Sunnah. 

 

قدر

 

  • What is known as “qadr” or “the extent” of the deed performed. A common example that can be used to explain this is the the performance of four raka’ah for Dhuhur an Asr. If a person decided to make these prayers as two raka’a while having no reason to, as in he is not travelling, or he decides to make it 6 raka’ah, then this action will be rejected and will be considered in opposition to the Sunnah because it does not coincide with the qadr, i.e. the extent of the action.

 

كيفية

 

  • What is known as “kayfiyyah” or “the nature of how” the deed was performed. A common example of an action that may not coincide with the kayf of an action of the Sunnah is for example “slaughtering” the meat. If the person decided to pronounce the basmallah and slaughter the meat, but he slaughtered it with a hammer. This is not considered an action of the Sunnah and the Shariah because the “modality” (kayf) of slaughter was not in accordance with the shariah. 

 

زمان

 

  • What is known as the “zaman” or “the time frame” in which the deed was performed. A common and well known example of this is to pay the Zakaatul-Fitr after the Eid salah has been established in the wake of the completion of Ramadhaan. If the payment happens after the legislated time i.e. before the Eid salaah, then it is accepted, otherwise it will be counted as a “sadaqa” and will not count as a payment of zakaah. Another example will be to intend to perform Salatul-Fajr beyond the time of its passing, or Dhuhr in the time of Asr, or Asr in the time of Maghrib, or Maghrib in the time of Eisha, or Eisha in the time of its passing whether one is of the opinion that it ends in the middle of the night or at Fajr.

 

مكان

 

  • What is known as “makaan” or “the place” in which the deed was performed. An example of the misappropriation of a deed on this issue will be for someone to have the intent and then practice making ‘itikaaf” at a library. ‘Itikaaf in the Shariah cannot happen save and only in the Masjid. It cannot happen in a Library, home, or any other place. 

 

All deeds bereft of any one of these six conditions are not considered to be in accordance to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah alayhi salatu salam.