Usul al-Fiqh is the term used by Muslim experts of law to describe the processes required to extract laws from their sources.
The sources of law in Islam are:
- The Qur’an
- Sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) and the Twelve Imams (the Sunnah)
- The agreement of Shi‘a experts of law on a legal issue (consensus or Ijma)
- Reason (Aql)
Usul al-Fiqh studies the connection between words and meanings, so that experts of law can have a better understanding of the words and phrases used in the Qur’an and sayings of the Prophet and the Imams.
It also studies what experts of law can use as proof when they make Islamic rules.
Establishing and proving the legality of procedural principles or methods for deriving a ruling is the main objective in this science.
Usul al-Fiqh is very important in helping Muslims understand the rules of Islam.