1 – Legal science and its roots
A Leaflet on the Sources of Law
In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate.
1 — Legal science and its roots
Here are some pages encompassing information on various subdivisions of ‘the roots1 of legal science’. That is a phrase composed of two distinct parts, ‘roots’ and ‘legal science’. A root is that on which something else is built, whereas a branch is that which is built on something else. Legal science is awareness of those revealed legal values that are arrived at by diligent inquiry.
- information, awareness: maʿrifa
- root: aṣl
- legal science: fiqh
- branch: farʿ
- revealed: sharʿī
- legal value: ḥukm
- diligent inquiry: ijtihād
- Uṣūl could be translated in many ways, including sources, roots, foundations, or principles. I have rendered it roots so that the contrast with branches will make sense, but al Juwaynī’s own definition suggests instead the idea of foundations.
Instead of “leaflet,” I suggest “folios,” which seems to me to be more precise. While I appreciate your effort to retain the literal etymology of “leaf,” the gulf between the common understanding of “leaflet” in English and a book on usul al-fiqh is vast.
Thank you, Alan. I will ponder this for version 2.0.