Usul al-Fiqh is key to the development of the student of knowledge after working through the process of attaining some proficiency in Arabic and Qur’anic memorization and recitation. As a science its concern is primarily two in number but not limited to such. Its concerns are: authentication of sources and comprehension.
So, there is a concern in this science with identifying and verifying what stands for and constitutes an evidence in Islam in the sense of source and what is a principle of derivation and interpretation. The Quran and the Sunnah, for instance, are sources and Analogy in another instance is considered a principle that is used for derivation of a ruling in the case we have no clear text for a matter.
The study of Usul al-Fiqh is a great benefit to the student of knowledge for a number of reasons. Usul al-Fiqh is the mother of sciences it combines within its frame multiple sciences making its study an intense but quick introduction to them all. Usul al-Fiqh works with principles from Quranic sciences, Hadith Sciences, Arabic and Fiqh and fundamentally provides us a strong research method to read the Quran and Sunnah properly, as well as, identify a well to weakly constructed position in fiqh. Because it is a science which forms the student’s thinking so that he or she is well rounded Usul al-Fiqh is of great benefit.
Many scholars deemed the study of Usul al-Fiqh to best be undertaken in the later stage in study but a minority deemed it allowable if not admirable to be studied in the early stages of study. The reason for this last position is so that the student benefits in his or her progression in study from Usul al-Fiqh. In the sense that this science builds the mind of a scholar and given the temperament of many people in this age to question and be critical the study of Usul al-Fiqh serves as a remedy to the current intellectual chaos we at times experience in the Muslim community because it aids us to properly frame issues and contextual opinions and positions in a principled manner.