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Introduction to Fiqh

Fiqh in Arabic literally means understanding Fiqh is the study of Islamic law Islamic law is different from Western law Its not restricted to public behavior, like Western Law Islamic law deals with personal life: o You and Allah o you and yourself o you and other people, and o communities and others

We will study you and yourself, and you and Allah

For a person to make the prayer long and the khutbah short is a sign of a persons fiqh (understanding) Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

Later, the word fiqh came to mean understanding the laws of the religion

We will be learning primarily Fiqh from the Shafi school. This is just to keep it simple. Books of Fiqh usually start with purification (i.e. wudhu, types of water) Note: wouldnt deal with inward things like taqwa because its an individual, spiritual thing Usually goes through the five pillars, then business, then marriage, the last chapter is about freeing slaves. Fiqh topics are still relevant to our time. Fiqh is concerned with the bare minimum essentials, and everything else is additional worship.

Purification
Usually books start with this subject because its important to prayer, and prayer is the most important thing in a Muslims life. From a broader point of view, you should focus on purification on all aspects of your life. Allah says in the Quran Allah loves the people who constantly turn back to Him, who repent to Him, and purify themselves.

Essentials 1. Make intention to make wudhu a. If a person knows theyre doing wudhu, then its ok b. From the beginning, you have to intend to do wudhu 2. Wash your face 3. Wash your hand and arms up to your elbow 4. Wiping the head 5. Washing the feet 6. Has to be done in this order If you make a mistake, then you have to go back and make wudhu in the order. In the Quran, Allah says in the 5th surah, O you who believe, if you stand up to prayer then wash your faces, your arms up to the elbow, your head, then wash your feet. Schools of thought took this to mean if you stand up to pray, you should do these things in this order

1. Intention

2. Wash your face Goes from the hairline to the chin, and earlobe to earlobe Washing means water has to flow over it

3. 4.

Wash your hand and arms From the fingertips to the elbow Minimum is once, but you have to make sure the whole limb gets wet Nailpolish and toenail polish are a problem because water doesnt reach it Doesnt matter if you do left or right first Wiping your head In Shafii school, its only a small part at the front of the head for both men and women Best to just wipe your whole head If youre a lady, you can just wet your hand or finger, put it into the hijab, and wipe it to the side

5. Washing the feet Have to be washed up to the ankle o Up to means up to and including

These are the bare minimum. Everything else is sunnah (i.e. washing mouth, sniffing water, doing each action three times, saying bismillah first, saying shahada after, starting with your right) We should try and do as much sunnah as we can, so its still recommended. But if you need to make a quick wudhu, or you didnt have much water, then you just have to do the bare minimum. If while youre praying and you realize youve forgotten to do the obligatory parts, you have to stop and re-do your wudhu from where you forgot. But if you forget a sunnah, you dont have to stop.

What Breaks Wudhu?


Anything that comes out of your front of rear passages (urine, feces, passing a stone, giving birth, having a catheter inserted and removed). Going to the washroom. If a person vomits or bleeds, it doesnt break wudhu according to the Shafii. Anything coming out of anything other than your private parts doesnt break wudhu. Loss of cognition for any reason (Fainting, losing consciousness, intoxication, getting high, epilepsy, going crazy). Sleep where you lose awareness of everything around you, not if youre nodding off. Unless youre sitting flat with your behind fully planted on a surface. If a male and female who are not related touch each other (according to Shafii; all other schools say it doesnt. Hanbali say its only if its passionate. Hanafi say not even if its passionate). For the unmarried people, if its passionate touching make wudhu. If youre married, and you touch your spouse, it doesnt break your wudhu. A friendly kiss doesnt break wudhu; if youre aroused, then you should make wudhu, if not then dont make wudhu. Touching an impurity (Pee, if a dog licks you, blood, etc.) does not break wudhu, but you still have to wash it off.

Next time: different stages of impurity.