0707-Principles of the Law, Qawaid Al Fiqh

Lecture by Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr. for year 3 medical students at the Kulliyah of Medicine UIA Kuantan on Saturday 20th July 2007

Five major principles, al qawaid al kulliyat al khamsat, are unanimously recognized as the pillars of the law: Intention, qasd; certainty, yaqeen; injury, dharar, difficulty; mashaqqat and custom or precedent, urf. Each is a group of legal rulings or axioms that share a common derivation by qiyaas or are derived from the Qur’an, sunnat, or writings of jurists.


The principle of intention, qa’idat al qasd, states that each action is judged by the intention behind it. Reward is based on the intention. What matters is the intention and not the letter of the Law. Means are judged with the same criteria as the intentions. If the intention is wrong the means is also wrong.


The principle of certainty, qa’idat al yaqeen, states that a certainty cannot be changed by doubt. Existing assertions continue until compelling evidence changes them. All acts are permissible unless there is evidence to the contrary. Declaration of original motive takes precedence over the de facto. 


he principle of injury, qa’idat al dharar, states that injury should be relieved or prevented as much as is possible but cannot be relieved an injury of the same degree. Prevention of an injury takes precedence over pursuit of a benefit of equal worth. Prevention of haram has priority over pursuit of halaal. The lesser of two actions of equal harm harms is selected. A lesser harm is committed in order to prevent a bigger one. An individual could sustain harm in the public interest.


The principle of hardship, qa’idat al mashaqqat, states that difficulty calls forth ease and mitigates easing of rules and obligations. Humans are not obliged beyond their capacity. Necessity, dharuurat, legalizes the prohibited.


The principle of custom/precedent, qa’idat al ‘aadat, states that custom or precedent is a legal ruling and is a source of law unless contradicted specifically by text.

ŠProfessor Omar Hasan Kasule, Sr. July 2007