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Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence : According to Shi’i Law

This is a translation of one of the best-known academic works of the Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr. Written in plain language to introduce beginners to the science of the principles of Islamic jurisprudence.

Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence is one of the best-known textbooks written by the late Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr (1934-1980). The current volume, the first in a three-volume series, is written in plain language to introduce beginners to the science of the principles of Islamic jurisprudence (usul). Originally entitled Durus fi ‘Ilm al-Usul (Discourses on the Science of the Principles of Jurisprudence), but normally known as Halaqat al-Usul (Discourse on the Principles of Jurisprudence), the book was a revolutionary attempt to innovative and systematic presentation of the principles of Islamic jurisprudence. In the current volume, the late Ayatollah al-Sadr expounds on the discipline of usul and responds to the latest debates and challenges. It was no wonder that following its publication this work replaced other standard textbooks which had hitherto been used to teach the principles of jurisprudence.

About the Author

Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr born in a family of religious scholars in Kazimayn, Iraq, in 1931. As a young seminarian, he attended the courses of various great teachers, attaining the distinguished rank of mujtahid at the age of 30. In his writings, he sought to formulate an Islamic response to the most serious challenges of modernity. He was arrested by Iraq’s Ba’thist regime on April 5, 1980, and executed without trail three days later. The editor, Hamid Algar, is Professor of Persian and Islamic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He has published widely on both Sufism and Shi’ism. He has also written a biographical introduction to the book.

Table of Contents

Definition of the science of jurisprudence (Fiqh)

Definition of the science of the principles of jurisprudence (Usul)

The science of usul, the logic of jurisprudence

The interaction between jurisprudence and usul

The permissibility of the procedure of deduction

Shar’i rulings and their divisions

Types of derivative procedure

General principles

Signification or indication


Dividing meanings into nominal (ismi) and particular (harfi)

What indications are discussed in the principles of jurisprudence?

Absoluteness (al-itlaq)

The authority of apparent meaning and state (hujjiyyat al-zuhur)

Verification of issuance

Non-verbal religious evidence

Rational evidence, rational relationships

Relationships existing among different rulings : the relationship of contradiction between obligation and prohibition

Relationships existing between a ruling and its subject and those to whom it applies : stipulation and actualization

The relationships existing between a ruling and its preliminaries

The relationships existing within a single ruling

The primacy of rational caution

The secondary procedural principle

The principle of the accountability (a1-munajjiziya) of summary knowledge (al-‘ilm al-ijmali)

Dissolving the ambiguous knowledge

The presumption of continuity (al-istihab)

Contradiction between the evidences

Contradiction between procedural principles.

Bibliographic Information

Title: Principles of Islamic jurisprudence: according to Shi’i law

Author: Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad Baqir Sadr

Translator: Arif Abdul Hussain

Publisher: Islamic Publications International (IPI)

 Language: English

Length: 143

ISBN: 978-1889999364

Pub. Date: 2012/12/26


About Ali Teymoori

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