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Why Study Fiqh? The 'Faqih' versus 'Taqi'

Level 3 of our Madrassah 'Ghazali' course was to introduce teenage students to Imam Abu Hanifa's Madhab (school of thought).

We compiled a workbook based on Imam Quduri's Mukhtasar, front cover is as pictured. Since we finished teaching in 2015, we thought we'd share one of our introductory lessons to Islamic jurisprudence for teenagers. Yayy, Fiqh!

READ! The story of two pious men

A father told his two mature sons to choose a pious and productive life. One chose to get an education and study Shari`ah, understanding the rules of Allah's laws and recognising the limits.

The other son spent his life in dedication for Allah. He took to worshipping in a cave without distractions from the Dunya. One brother became a Faqih (expert in Fiqh) and the other was a devoted `Abd (servant) of Allah. When the two brothers met, the Faqih asked the other what he did in his life and the devout brother said he prayed all the time and make Dhikr. He had a dead rat strung around his neck. The Faqih asked why his brother hung it around his neck and his brother replied the rat was there as a reminder him of his death.
The Faqih replied: The dead rat around your neck has made all your prayers invalid.
What does this tell us about knowledge and good actions?

“Whoever Allah wishes good for, He grants him Fiqh (deep understanding) of the religion” – Hadith: Bukhari

WRITE! What does this Hadith mean?
RasoolAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم is saying that we know Allah loves us because He is helping us to learn our Deen. Also, when we make the intention to study Islam, Allah will make it easier for us to live by the knowledge and pass inshaAllah. Having this knowledge reduces ignorance and allows us to do actions with both good intentions AND the proper way. We cannot say 'bismillah' and eat Haram, that's contradictory. Muslims have to know how to do something good according to Allah's Shari`ah. Gaining Islamic knowledge is a blessing from Allah; some people never get the opportunity to write a Kasra (zair: ِ) under a Laam.

TASK! Memorise this Hadith. Transliteration: 'Man yureed'illahu bihi Khayran, yufaqqih'hu fid-deen'.

“One Faqih is more superior over the Shaytaan, then a thousand worshippers” – Hadith: Tirmidhi

  • Faqih: A person who has understanding, and knowledge of Islamic jurisprudence.
  • Fiqh: Understanding; Islamic jurisprudence.
  • Taqwa: Piety, being aware of Allah's laws, knowing right from wrong, being devout.
  • Shari`ah: Allah's laws, as given to His last messenger.
  • Qur'an: The complete unchanged final revelation sent by God to his last messenger.
  • Sunnah: The compiled actions, sayings and silent approvals of God's last messenger sent to us, Prophet Muhammad. Sunnah means 'way of doing something'.
WRITE! What does the Hadith above mean?
Knowing the rules to the Shari`ah is different to following what you think is right by yourself. By studying Islam’s laws in details, we can stop Shaytaan from whispering things to us and getting into arguments about what the solutions are.

Knowledge is more powerful than ignorance, therefore an ignorant Muslim, no matter how pious his actions appear to be, could be breaking Allah's rules. However, knowledge should not stop at just 'knowing stuff'. 

Muslims must act on their knowledge, it is Waajib and usually Fard to act on the good understanding you gain. Muslims even have to pay a type of Zakat on their Islamic knowledge by teaching it to others.  

Allah bless you, keep us in your Duas.

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