ʿĀm: General. Ilmu al-‘amma is general religious knowledge that is expected of every Muslim of sound mind to know, such as the obligation to perform the five daily prayers.
ʿĀzīma: Original and unmodified rule.
Ḍarūriyyāt: Essential needs in life to ensure the spiritual and material well-being of humankind.
Dilāla: Meaning, implication.
Fatwa: An explanation to a specific question on Muslim law.
Ḥājiyyāt: Basic needs in life that can relieve hardship and difficulty, and facilitate the normal functioning of life.
Iftāʾ: Act of issuing a legal opinion (fatwa).
Ijtihād: Utmost effort expended by a jurist in formulating a religious ruling which is unclear from the primary sources.
Istiḥsān: To deem something as good; juristic preference and consideration for public interests and justice based on an independent interpretation.
Istinbāt: Process of deriving certain rules or meanings from a text.
Khāṣ: Specific. A word or a text which conveys a specific meaning.
Mansūkh: A ruling which has been abrogated by later religious injunctions or rulings.
Maṣlaha: Public good or interest.
Mufaṣṣal: Detailed. That which is clear in its meaning and its purposes are established from explicit texts or interpretation.
Mujmal: Vague. Terms and texts which are ambiguous and may contain more than one meaning.
Mujtahid: Qualified jurist with a mastery of the sciences of the Quran, Sunnah, Qiyas (analogy) and various other fields.
Muqayyad: Conditional and qualified.
Mustaftī: One who requests for a religious ruling (fatwa).
Muṭlaq: Unspecified and unqualified. It differs from ʿām, as the latter comprises all to which it applies, whereas the former can apply to any one of a multitude, but not all.
Mazhab al-Ṣaḥāba: The opinion of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad regarding a religious ruling.
Nāsikh: That which abrogates a religious injunction or ruling.
Qiyās: Deductive analogy. Process of taking an established ruling from Islamic law and applying it to a new case, in virtue of the fact that the new case shares the same operative causes (‘illah) for which the original ruling was applied.
Rukhṣa: Concession or concessionary rule, modified due to presence of mitigating factors.
Sadd dharīʿa: Blocking the means to an expected harm or danger, or opening the means to an expected beneficience; where the end posesses the likelihood or unlikelihood of materialising should the means be unblocked or left unopened.
Taḥsīniyyāt: Optional needs in life which are of less importance than ḍarūriyyāt and ḥājiyyāt, which function to enhance and complete their fulfillment; taḥsīniyyāt includes things such as commendable customs, rules of ettiqutte and moral standards.
Tadarruj: Gradual approach in establishing religious rulings to ensure that they are implemented in an effective and comprehensive manner.
‘Urf: Customs and norms of a particular society which are collectively practised and accepted by people of sound nature.