Every human action has a divine command associated with it, making it obligatory, recommended, permissible, offensive, or unlawful. We cannot infer these commands with our minds–the only way to learn about them is by learning them from the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). The goal of the science of sacred law (fiqh) is to summarize what the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) taught us about all human actions, whether related to worship, trade, investment, food, hunting, oaths, entertainment, marriage, divorce, inheritance, legal procedures, or public policy.  This four-part series of courses will introduce you to the science of sacred law as it relates to all aspects of life, focussing in this first part on the rules of purification and prayer.

Curricular Context
    • Complete level One before taking this course
    • Take this course before taking the second part of this course.

Course Outline

Session 1 Biography of Author; Author’s Introduction; The Five Rulings; Personal vs.Communal Obligatory Knowledge
Session 2 Purification;  Integrals & Nullifiers of Ablution; Etiquettes of the Washroom
Session 3 Major Ritual Impurity
Session 4 Wiping Over Socks; Dry Ablution; Types of Filth
Session 5 Rulings Related to the Different Types of Bleeding for Women
Session 6 The Prayer – Times; Sunnah Prayer; Conditions & Integrals
Session 7 Sunnahs & Nullifiers of the Prayer
Session 8 Prostration of Forgetfulness; Forbidden Times to Pray; The Congregational Prayer
Session 9 Joining Prayers & the Friday Prayer
Session 10 Special Prayers for Particular Circumstances
Session 11 Clothing
Session 12 Rites of the Deceased & the Funeral Prayer
Session 13 Zakat on Wealth
Zakatable wealth
Conditions for obligation of Zakat
Session 14 Zakat on livestock
Session 15 Zakat on gold and silver
Zakat on agriculture
Session 16 Zakat on trade
Zakat on mines
Zakat on buried treasure
Session 17 Zakat al Fitr
Deserving Recipients
Distributing Zakat
Session 18 Fasting
Session 19 Sunnan of fasting
Disliked acts during Fasting
Sunna Fasts
Session 20 Unlawful Days of Fasting
Excuses for not Fasting
Session 21 Itikaf (spiritual retreat)
Session 22 Hajj
Conditions for obligation
Necessary acts
Session 23 Sunnas of Hajj and Umrah
Prohibitions in Ihram
Session 24 Omission of Pilgrim rites

What You Will Learn:

  • Describe the historical development of the Shafi‘i school
  • Learn the rules of purification, prayer, clothing, funeral rites, fasting, zakat, and Hajj
  • Memorize the definitions of key terms related to the rules of purification, prayer, clothing, funeral rites, fasting, zakat, and Hajj
  • Appreciate the depth of the Muslim scholarly tradition

About the Course Text

This course is an explanation of Matn Abi Shuja’ , written by the learned and pious Shafi‘i scholar from Basra, Ahmad ibn al Hussein al-Asfahani (d. 500’s AH / 1100’s CE), more famously known as, Abu Shuja‘. Abu Shuja‘ taught the Shafi‘i school for 40 years in Basra, working as a scholar and judge, before retiring at the end of his life to Medina, where he worked as a servant at the mosque of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). His Matn Abi Shuja‘, a short introduction to the Shafi‘i school of sacred law, is one of the most blessed textbooks of the school–although it was written almost a millennium ago, it remains an integral part of Shafi‘i fiqh curricula all over the world, and has been the subject of dozens of commentaries and super-commentaries ever since it was written all the way down to the present age.