What Is Legal Analogy (Qiyas)?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question

Could you please tell me what is qiyas?

Answer

I hope you’re doing well, Insha Allah.

Qiyas refers to legal analogy. It is to derive the religious verdict for an issue that doesn’t have a specific ruling in the Quran or Sunna through a shared legal basis (‘illa) from established texts. [Haskafi/Nasafi, Ifadat al-Anwar Sharh al-Manar; others]

For more details, refer to reliable introductions to Islamic Law, or the Level One course on How Islam works at SeekersGuidance: How Islam Works: What is Religion, and How It Is Preserved, Transmitted, and Interpreted

Legal Analogy Is Well-Established and Accepted

All four schools of mainstream Islam affirm the legal basis of analogy (qiyas). [Ansari, Lubb al-Usul; Ibn al-Humam, Tahrir]

It is only a minority of Literalists (dhahiris) who denied it. Regarding them, Abu Bakr al-Jassas (Allah have mercy upon him)said, “Their differences [in matters of method] are not of consequence…” [Jassas, al-Fusul fi’l Usul; also related from Juwayni, Nawawi, and others]

The Wisdom and Benefit of Analogy (Qiyas)

Legal analogy allows jurists (fuqaha) to extend the teachings of the Quran and Sunna to new and changing issues, with precision and caution. However, this is only done by those qualified–the mujtahid. [Adib Salih, Tafsir al-Nusus]

And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.

[Shaykh] Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani spent ten years studying with some of the leading scholars of recent times, first in Damascus, and then in Amman, Jordan. His teachers include the foremost theologian of recent times in Damascus, the late Shaykh Adib al-Kallas (may Allah have mercy on him), as well as his student Shaykh Hassan al-Hindi, one of the leading Hanafi fuqaha of the present age. He returned to Canada in 2007, where he founded SeekersGuidance in order to meet the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge–both online and on the ground–in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He is the author of: Absolute Essentials of Islam: Faith, Prayer, and the Path of Salvation According to the Hanafi School (White Thread Press, 2004.) Since 2011, Shaykh Faraz has been named one of the 500 most influential Muslims by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.