In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Most Merciful
Who was the first to create the science of Usool Fiqh?
By Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-’Uthaymeen may Allah have mercy on him
The shaykh mentioned this point of benefit in his explanation of the fiqh poem “al-Waraqaat”. This particular excerpt can be found in his introduction to the book.
Imaam Shaafi’ee (Muhammad bin Idrees 204 AH) was the first to gather Usool Fiqh into a compilation. These foundations were known before him (and found) in the Quran and Sunnah, however Imaam Shafi’ee (may Allah have mercy on him) was the first to compile and gather them.
The Messenger (peace be upon him) used generality and clarified that generality is in using a certain wording.
Whenever he (peace be upon him) said,
“Peace be upon us and upon the righteous slaves of Allah…” He said,
“Indeed whenever you say that then you are sending peace upon all of the righteous slaves in the heavens and earth” (Bukhari and Muslim narrated ibn Mas’ood)
Where do we derive that we are sending peace upon all righteous slaves?
Answer: From the generality of the statement “upon (righteous) slaves of Allah”. So “slaves” is plural and therefore it is general.
The same is also in the noble Quran. Allah said,
“…and for those who are pregnant, their term is until they give birth…” (Surah Talaq: 4)
This ruling is general in regards to divorce, voided contracts, and death (between) spouses.
Where do we derive that these things are general?
Answer: We take it from it the story of Subay’ah al-Aslamiyah who finished her postnatal period after the death of her husband in the night. It was then allowed for the Prophet (peace be upon him) to marry her. And these are actions which are general.
The point is that usool fiqh has it foundations in the Quran and Sunnah. However the first to compile and author about it was Imaam Shaafi’ee may Allah have mercy on him.
And it has been authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
“Whoever begins a good deed in Islaam will receive the reward of that good deed and as well as those who follow it until the Day of Judgment.” (Muslim)
Translated by: Michael AbdusSalaam Deonarain
الفقير الى الله