Usul al-Fiqh is a science that deals with Islamic jurisprudence and encompasses knowledge and skills required of Muslim jurists in deducing rulings. It elaborates the correct methodology, sources of guidance and approach that is required to be followed in the process. These requirements and etiquette set standards for an answer, hukm or fatwa being sound, valid and acceptable to follow, minimising the potential for errors. If the correct methodology of Usul Al-Fiqh is not followed, it results in misguidance and deviant ideologies. Just as rules of grammar protect those who follow them from mistakes in expressions, jurisprudence sets standards for interpreting legal texts and making legal arguments which, when followed correctly, protect from making mistakes in arriving at legal rulings.
Imam al-Juwayni, in Al-Waraqat, gives a primer on basics of Usul al-Fiqh with regards to what it encompasses, the rules for interpreting Quran and Sunnah and tools that are available for mujtahids to utilise in their interpretation of sacred texts and deducing rulings. Commentary aims to elaborate key concepts mentioned in this book while keeping in consideration that this book is intended for beginners and those who have just started their journey to learn the wonderful field of Usul al-Fiqh.
COMMENTARIES ON THE WARAQAT:
The Waraqat is one of those basic textbooks in Islamic sciences that has enjoyed many commentaries from variety of schools of thought. Some of the best well known works are;
--- Sharh al-Waraqat; by Imam 'Abd al-Rahman Ibn al-Firkah (d. 690); A shafi'i rendition.
--- Sharh al-Waraqat; by Imam al-Sa'd al-Taftazani (d. 791); a Hanafi rendition.
--- Sharh al-Waraqat; by Imam Jalal al-Din al-Mahalli (d. 864); A shafi'i rendition.
--- al-Anjam al-Zahirat 'ala Hall Alfaz al-Waraqat; by Imam Shams al-Din al-Mardini (d.871); A shafi'i rendition.
--- Sharh al-Waraqat; by Imam al-Kamaliyyah (d. 874); A shafi'i rendition.
--- Sharh al-Waraqat; by Imam Zayn al-Din al-Qasim b. Qutlubugha (d. 879); A Hanafi rendition.
--- Sharh al-Waraqat; by Imam Ibn Malak (d. 885); A Hanafi rendition.
--- Sharh al-Waraqat; by Imam Ibn Zakariya al-Talmisani (d. 900); a Maliki rendition.
--- Qurrat al-'Ayn li Sharh Waraqat Imam al-Haramayn; by Imam Abi Abd Allah Muhammad al-Hattabi (d. 954); A Maliki rendition.
--- Ghayat al-Ma'mun fi Sharh Waraqat al-Usul; by Imam Shihab al-Din Ahmed al-Ramli (d. 957); a Shafi'i rendition.
--- Sharh al-Waraqat; by Imam Ibn Qasim al-'Abbadi (d. 992); a Shafi'i rendition.
--- Sharh al-Waraqat; by Imam Muhammad al-Murabit al-Dala'i (d. 1088) a Maliki rendition.
SOME OF THE VERSIFICATIONS: MANZUMAT
Some of those who have written or versified the Waraqat are;
--- Nazm al-Waraqat; by Imam Kamal al-Din Muhammad Ibn Abi Sharif (d. 907),
--- Nazm al-Waraqat; by Imam Sharaf al-Din Yahya b. Musa al-'Imriti (d. 988),
--- Nazm al-Waraqat; Imam Ibn al-Mufadhal al-Yamani (d. 1058),
--- Nazm al-Waraqat; by Shaykh Muhammad Sayyidi al-Mukhtar (d. 1244),
--- Nazm al-Waraqat; by Shaykh Maa' al-'Aynayn al-Shinqiti (d. 1328).
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ABOUT THIS PRINT:
This print is very an basic translation which is easy to read. The Arabic text can be read from the right hand side of the page and its translation on the left. Below that you can see the notes which add to the benefit of the book.
ABOUT IMAM AL-HARAMAYN AL-JUWAYNI:
He is Imam al-Haramayn Dhia' ul-Din Abd al-Malik ibn Yusuf al-Juwayni al-Shafi'i born in 17 February 1028 / 419 AH and said to have died on 19 August 1085 / 478 AH. He was a Persian Sunni Shafi'i jurist and mutakallim theologian. His name is commonly abbreviated as Al-Juwayni; he is also commonly referred to as Imam al Haramayn, meaning "leading master of the two holy cities", that is, Mecca and Medina. Al-Juwayni was born in a village on the outskirts of Naysabur called Bushtaniqan in modern day Iran. Al-Juwayni was a prominent Muslim scholar known for his gifted intellect in Islamic legal matters. Al-Juwayni was born into a family of legal study. His father, Abu Muhammad 'Abdallah b. Yusuf al-Juwayni, was a well-known master of Law in the Shafi′i community as well as a Shafi'i teacher and his older brother, Abu al-Hassan 'Ali al-Juwayni, was a Sufi teacher of Hadith.
Al-Juwayni grew up in Naysabur, an intellectually thriving area drawing scholars to it. Naturally, Juwayni did not have to search far for his education. At the time, the teachings of the Shafi'i school were closely linked to the Ash'ari theology which al-Juwayni decided to study for several years after the death of his father. He took over for his father at this point and began his teaching career at only 19 years of age. The Seljuks, at the time, were moving quickly in their conquest of eastern Iran and Tughril Beg became the first sultan. Tughril Beg was a Mutazili-Hanafi adherent and at the time, the Ash'arite theological camp and the Hanafi school of legal thought shared a hostile relationship based in differences of opinion regarding doctrine and when Tughril Beg was named wazir in Nishapur, he forbid al-Juwayni to practice or teach the Ash'ari theological perspective.
Al-Juwayni travelled to Mecca and Medina in search of an interim home. He taught and studied there in Hijaz for four years. During this time, al-Juwayni became hugely popularised. He gained a large following and was invited back to Nishapur by the founder of the Shafi'i Madrasa, Khwaja Nizam al-Mulk. Upon his return, Juwayni was appointed to teach the doctrine of the Ash'ari school at the Nizamiyya Madrasa until he died in 1085CE. Al-Juwayni spent his life studying and producing influential treatises in Muslim government; it is suspected that most of his works came out of this period after his return from Mecca and Medina.
Al-Juwayni was the teacher of one of the most influential scholars in the Islamic tradition, namely Imam al-Ghazzali. It was said that he said al-Ghazzali was his greatest achievement and also his diminished status for having produced to great of a pupil. Some of al-Juwaynis popular works are;
--- Kitab al-Irshad ila Qawati' al-Adilla fi Usul al-I'tiqad, also known as; al-Irshad al-'Aqida al-Nizamiyya:
کتاب الارشاد علی قواطع الادله فی اصول الاعتقاد
In this book; "guidebook to conclusive proofs for the principles of belief" helps to illustrate his doctrine. It is intended to outline exactly what has been proven, what can be proven and how those things can be proven. He focuses much of his attention on God and the fundamental Islamic principle that God is the only and all-powerful creator. He explains that we are often caught up in a temporally contingent existence, lost in continuity but that we should realise God's ability to interrupt this continuity at any time. Al-Juwayni focuses a similar amount of attention on legal methodology and is particularly concerned with the methods for discerning difficult debates. He explains abrogation, for example, in great detail.
--- Ghiyath al-Umam
--- Mughith al-Khalq
--- Nihaya al-Matlab fi Diraya al-Madhhab ("The End of the Quest in the Knowledge of the [Shafi'i] School"), his magnum opus, which Ibn 'Asakir said had no precedent in Islam.
--- Mukhtasar al-Nihaya.