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The four fundamental sources of the osol al-fiqh I heard are

  • Qur'an
  • Sunnah
  • consensus of Muslim jurists (ijma),
  • qiyas (analogical reasoning)

a) Do all four of these sources, have equal authority, or one prevails over the other?

For example:

  1. Qur'an
  2. Sunnah
  3. consensus of Muslim jurists (ijma)
  4. qiyas (analogical reasoning)

b) Do most of the scholar accept these four Sources?

For example:

Ibn Taymiyyah opposed the use of consensus of jurists, replacing it with the consensus of the sahaba.


Reason of question:

I see some question on this site, regarding the scholar view even though there is clear Quran/Hadith indication, so are the scholar views at par with Quran/Sunnah.

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    There's certainly an order! You are confusing shari'a with osol al-fiqh. However the topic that causes you trouble is more about the details. IMHO opinion only the qur'an can be regarded as the source of shari'a as it only comes from Allah without any doubt, the others are supportive sources and they are not limited to 4. Maybe What are basic osol al-fiqh differences and similarities between the 4 existing legal sunni schools of thoughts? already covers your inquiry.
    – Medi1Saif
    Nov 11, 2022 at 8:08
  • @Medi1Saif It becomes very hard to cope with some questions as they heavily depend on what are the user views/opinions, some even discredit Hadith(not_taking_it_as_a_reliable_source). It can be seen in questions asking whether music is halal, imitation of kufar etc. The point is that the questionnaire is trying his best to justify what is Haram, by searching for people of the same principals or any loose hands.
    – AbduRahman
    Nov 11, 2022 at 8:55
  • @Medi1Saif Yes the link helps, I was also looking for any plus and minus in list, However the 4 mentioned are all common and accepted by 4 madhabs. I think this question should be taken to meta for further discussion .
    – AbduRahman
    Nov 11, 2022 at 9:01
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    it is true that " the qur'an can be regarded as the source of shari'a as it only comes from Allah without any doubt, the others are supportive sources". In shia view, based on The Hadith al-Thaqalayn, the Islamic prophet Muhammad introduces the Quran and his progeny as the only sources of divine guidance after his death. we can consider his progeny as supportive sources. link: islamquest.net/fa/archive/fa10152
    – Blue snow
    Nov 11, 2022 at 11:00

1 Answer 1

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The simple answer is no the osol have a clear order however the details make a clear distinction between the schools of thoughts.

First of all there's a difference in these osols themselves:

There are textual resources which are regarded as divine or divenly inspired.
These are the qur'an which each Muslim regards as the word of Allah and therefore a devine text which is free of any doubts.

The sunnah however is devinly inspired, but it can be sahih, da'if and even fabricated therefore there's a level of doubt in it and the acceptance of some reports mainly the ahaad varies between the madhhabs. Further the qualification of ahadith is a matter of ijtihad it can be correct or incorrect.

All kinds of consensus are beside the qur'an and sunnah reported resources, but there's a very light disagreement among scholars on what ijma' actually is and which kind is accepted. For example statement of imam Ahmad leave the impression that he denied ijma' beyond the ijma' of the sahabah at least ehe exclaimed doubts whetehr such a consesnus is possible. It is questionable that this is still the accepeted view among hanabalies.

Qiyas is not an individual sources it is rather a deduction of sources and here applies ijtihad: This means how to interpret sources and which to chose to deduce an analogy. It is regarded as a major tool by the hanafi's, as a less important resource for the maliki's and a resource in absence of a text -no matter of its level of trust- for shafi'is and hanbalis. Some of them will regard fatwas of earlier scholars like sahabah and tabi'yn as such a resource.

In other words the qur'an over rules all the osol, the sahih sunnah comes close to this and may for example extend its meaning. Ijma' as any other source should respect these to primary resources for example the sahabah had consensus on compiling the qur'an as a moshaf even if neither the qur'an nro sunnah clearly ordered this (nor did they declare it as non permissible). Qiyas or annalogy requries a jursitic precedent or analogy in the textual reports.
This order is agreed upon by all four school of sunni mainstream. However the dhahiri's for example clearly reject qiyaas and deny it.

Further a comment on your reason for the question: The existance of a "clear text" doesn't mean that there's only one interpretation of the text. The maliki's speak of 16 levels of interpretation of a verse of qur'an and the same amount for hadith this may start by a supperficial meaning and needs deep knowledge of Arabic. So the procedure to deuce a ruling from a text needs a high level of knowledge and efforts.

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  • Thanks, I might discuss this on meta.Islam that should the conflicting views of scholars be given any significance if there is Prohibition from Quran/Saheeh_Hadith. IMO the questionnaire is looking for loose-hand or variance for a certain prohibition.
    – AbduRahman
    Nov 13, 2022 at 5:28

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