Shaykh al-Albaani: Is a muhaddith also a faqeeh? And what exactly is fiqh?

al-asalaah 7, p. 71/3
asaheeha translations

Q: “What relation does the science of fiqh have with the science of hadeeth? And is it necessary for a muhaddith (scholar of hadeeth) to be a faqeeh (scholar of fiqh), or just a muhaddith?”

Shaykh al-Albaani:

A faqeeh must be a muhaddith, but a muhaddith does not have to be a faqeeh because a muhaddith is naturally a faqeeh. Did the Companions of the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to study fiqh or not? And what was the fiqh that they used to study? It was what they used to take from the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), hence they would study hadeeth.

As for these fuqahaa who study the statements of the scholars and their fiqh, but don’t study the hadeeth of their Prophet who is the very source of fiqh, then it is said to such individuals: it is obligatory for you to study the science of hadeeth as we truly cannot imagine sound fiqh without knowledge of hadeeth in terms of hifdh, and knowing that which is authentic and that which is inauthentic; and at the same time we cannot imagine a muhaddith who is not a faqeeh.

So the Qur’aan and the Sunnah are the source of fiqh – all fiqh. As for the fiqh that is common these days, then this is the fiqh of the scholars and not the fiqh of the Book and the Sunnah. Yes, some of this fiqh is taken from the Book and the Sunnah, and some of it is merely opinions and ijtihaads, but in much of these (opinions and ijtihaads) they oppose the hadeeth because they did not have comprehensive knowledge of it.”

Shaykh al-Albaani: Is a muhaddith also a faqeeh? And what exactly is fiqh?

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