The Relevance of Islamic Legal Maxims in Determining Contemporary Legal Issues

Muhammad Shettima, Hamma Adam Biu, Muhammad Al-Ameen Deribe


This work intends to review how far the maxims of Islamic law (al-Qawā'id al-Fiqhiyyah) applies to emerging issues upon which there are no exclusive legal authorities. The work started by defining the concept of the maxim and its relationship to other genres of fiqh. It went on to discuss its importance, sources and classifications. An important aspect related to maxims of Islamic law is whether or not it qualifies to be a legal authority. The work has been able to show that maxims are appropriate legal authorities as their strength is based on the legal provisions that support them. Using inductive, doctrinal and hermeneutical methodologies, the authors have attempted to review several works and fatwas that have resorted to certain maxims in discussing legal issues related to several contemporary matters. The work is more significant for identifying conditions that should be followed in applying the maxims to contemporary issues. The work concluded by recommending that researchers should stick to these conditions while investigating maxims and their applications to contemporary issues.


al-Qā'ida al-Fiqhiyyah (maxim of Islamic law), ijtihād (independent legal reasoning), legal authority, emerging legal issue.

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