Usul al-Fiqh (Hanafi) - Terms

This note outlines the twenty core concepts which are used to interpret the nass in order to deduce ruling in accordance with the Hanafi approach

 

 

Term Definition
خاص A word which has one literal meaning and refers to a singular concept.
عام A word which has one literal meaning and refers to parts within a concept.
مشترك A word which has more than one literal meaning and no one meaning has been given preference.
مؤول A word which has more than one literal meaning but one meaning has been given preference.
محكم A word with a clear meaning which is not subject to interpretation and has no possibility of abrogation.
مفسر A word with a clear meaning which is not subject to interpretation and has the possibility of abrogation.
نص A word with a clear meaning which is subject to interpretation and the context supports the meaning.
ظاهر A word with a clear meaning which is subject to interpretation and the context is silent on its meaning.
خفي A word with a clear meaning which is subject to interpretation but the context does not support its meaning.
مشكل A word with an unclear meaning but the meaning is discoverable through the context.
مجمل A word with an unclear meaning and the meaning is not discoverable through the context but the meaning is available elsewhere.
متشابه A word with an unclear meaning and the meaning is not discoverable through the context nor is the meaning available elsewhere.
حقيقة A word which is used with a meaning for which it was literally prescribed.
مجاز A word which is used with a meaning other than that which it was literally prescribed.
صريح A word which is used with a meaning where the audience can instantly determine the intent of the speaker.
كناية A word which is used with a meaning where the audience cannot instantly determine the intent of the speaker.
عبارة النص Evidence established through the direct subject matter of the text.
إشارة النص Evidence established through an allusion found in the text.
دلالة النص Evidence established through an inference found in the text.
إقتضاء النص Evidence established through criteria required to validate the text.