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Usul al-Fiqh

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The Oxford Dictionary of Islam What is This? Covers the religious, political, and social spheres of global Islam in the modern world

    Usul al-Fiqh

    Roots of law. The body of principles and investigative methodologies through which practical legal rules are developed from the foundational sources. The primary base of law is the Quran. The second source is the Sunnah, reports about the sayings, actions, or tacit approvals of the Prophet. The third source is the consensus (ijma) of all Muslim interpretive scholars in a specific age on a legal rule about an issue not covered in the Quran or Sunnah. Most Sunni scholars consider consensus binding; others, including Shii scholars, say such consensus is impossible. The fourth source is analogy (qiyas), or rule by precedent. Some Hanafis, such as Ibn Abidin and Maliki jurists, consider urf (custom) to be an additional source of law. In addition to these basic sources, several presumptions and principles aid the jurist in deriving interpretive rules: preference (istihsan), unregulated interest (maslahah mursalah), and the presumption of continuity (istishab). This field is also concerned with hermeneutic and deductive principles

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