The maxims of fiqh, or al-qawaid al-fighiyyah, are part of a specific science which falls under the category of kb. A maxim is defined as a general rule by which subsidiary fiqh rulings are known by directly.
The maxims of fiqh are mostly comprehensive statements which combine multiple subsidiary issues which resemble one another in purpose and deduction, while others are based on specific Quranic verses’ or Hadith3.
There are five maxims which are considered all-encompassing, and many fuqaha refer issues of fiqh to them; they are commonly referred to as the all-encompassing great maxims of fiqh, or al-qatvaid al-khiyyah al kulliyyah al-kubra; they are:
- All Matters are Considered by their intentions: الامور بمقاصد ها
- Certainty is not removed by doubt. الیقین لا یزال بالشک
- Hardship entails ease. المشقه تجلب التیسیر
- Harm is to be eliminated الضرر یزال
- Customary practices are legislative
The first book to be dedicated to this science was penned by Imam al-Karkhi al-Hanafi (d. 340 AH) and is known as Usid al-Karkhi; it contains 39 principles, some of which are considered maxims while others are dawabit (precepts). Over the centuries, scholars from the different madhhabs have contributed to the science and the author of this work, Imam al-Sa’di k has no less than three books on the subject alone.
For more information and details about the maxims of filth, the reader may refer to the highly beneficial introduction by Dr. Muhammad b. `Abd al-Ghaffar al-Sharif to the book on maxims, al-Majmu` al-Mudhhab fi Qatuirid al-Madhhab by Imam al-Alal al-Shafi (d. 761 AH).
Title: Maxims of Fiqh (Al-Qawaid Al-Fiqhiyyah)
Author(s): Shaykh Abdur-Rahman Bin Nasir As-Sa’di
Translator: Abu Fatimah Azhar Majothi
Publication: Dar Makkah International; U.K
Length: 52 pages
Pub. Date: 2017