2.0 SCIENCES OF HADITH, ‘uluum al hadith
A. DESCRIPTION OF HADITH
Hadith can be words of the prophets,
qawl al rasul, actions, fi’ilu al
rasul, or tacit approval, iqrar, of actions performed infront of him or which
he knew about and he did not indicate disapproval. Hadith also embraces the words and actions of the companions of the prophet
and the general events and phenomena that occurred during the period of prophethood, ‘ahd
al risalat, and the era immediately after it.
STRUCTURE OF HADITH:
A hadith consists of 2 main parts:
the chain of transmitters (sanad) and the text (matn).
Hadith methodology is derived from
the Qur’an. What has been discussed previously about Qur’anic methodology applies to hadith as well.
CLASSIFICATION OF HADITH:
Hadith can be classified by sanad,
number of narrators, or grade of authenticity. There is no unanimity of classification among hadith scholars but the differences
are relatively minor.
Hadith can be classified according
to sanad as: muttasil, munqatiu, mursal, mu’udhal, mudlas, mawquuf, marfuu’.
Each of these terms has a technical definition used by hadith scholars.
Hadith can be classified according
to number of narrators as: famous, mashhur, reported by an overwhelming number
of narrators, mutawatir, or reported by a single narrator, hadith al ahad.. The number of narrators reporting the same hadith indicates authenticity. It is most unlikely
that a large number of people who do not live together can concur in error. Hadith reported by a single narrator, hadith al ahad, should always be suspected and should never be accepted in fundamental matters like ‘aqidat.
A hadith can be classified as: authentic,
sahih; good, hasan; weak, dhaif; strange, shaadh,
ie different from others in text and chain of transmission; faulty, mu’allal,
ie has a hidden reason for not
being sahih even if it is apparently correct.
nabawi is part of unrecitable revelation, wahy ghair matlu’. The content
and meaning are from Allah (SWT) but unlike the Qur’an, the sentence structure, language and words used are from the
prophet (PBUH). Unlike the Qur’an the reporting of hadith from the prophet by the companions and the followers was partly
by meaning; in some cases it is not the exact words or linguistic expressions that the prophet used.
qudsi is similar to the Qur’an in that the language and words are directly from Allah (SWT) and all the prophet
did was to convey them. There are very few hadith qudsi.
B. TRANSMISSION and COLLECTION of
METHODS OF HADITH TRANSMISSION:
Hadith scholars are very particular
about the method of transmission to ensure accuracy. The reporter can listen to the Sheikh reading the hadith, qiraat al Sheikh alayhi. The reporter can read a hadith to the Sheikh who either approves by saying yes or just
keeps quiet signifying consent, an yaqra ala al sheikh fayaqulu na’am aw yaskut.
The sheikh can after a period of teaching give the reporter a written or oral authorisation to report hadith from the sheikh,
al ijaazat. The sheikh can give a written document to the reporter and tell him
to report its contents, al munawalat: khudh hadha al kitaab fa a’rwiihi anni.
The reporter can report a hadith by meaning or can use the exact words he heard. The following words are used in hadith reporting:
haddathana, akhbarana, anba’ana.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HADITH AND QUR’AN
Both Qur’an and hadith are
revelations. The former is recitable revelation (wahy matluw) and the latter is
non-recitable revelation (wahy ghair matluw). The Qur’an is direct speech
of Allah. The meaning of the hadith is from Allah but the words are those of the prophet (PBUH). In some hadiths the meaning
is from the prophet but the words are those of the narrators. Hadiths, unlike Qur’an, were not all transmitted as in
continuity and by many people, mutawaatir.
REPORTING OF HADITH BY COMPANIONS:
The number of hadith reported from
different companions vary; some repprted heavily, some reported only a few whereas some have no hadith reported from them
at all. The older companions who died earlier reported fewer hadith; this is because they died before great interest in reporting
hadith arose. Those who stayed close to the prophet all the time like Abu Hurairat and Ibn Abbas reported more hadith than
HISTORY OF THE COLLECTION AND WRITING
Hadith was not written down during
the era of the prophet (PBUH) and the 4 companions. Reporting of hadith was limited. The few documented hadiths at the time
of the prophet and the 4 rightly-guided khulafa were the exception and not the rule. Writing of hadith was actively discouraged.
It was feared that hadith and Qur'an would be confused. Omar Ibn Abd al Aziz was the first to order systematic collection
and the writing of hadith (Sadi 1408 AH, p 67). Systematic efforts of hadith collection became necessary during the great
fitna due to death of many narrators and the appearance of hadith fabrication to justify partisan stands. Most of hadith collection
was in the era of the followers of the followers, tabiu al tabiin. That is why
most hadith narration chains include a follower who heard the hadith from the companion.
DIFFERENT METHODOLOGIES OF HADITH
The collectors of hadith each developed
a methodology. Those with the most rigorous methodology have the most authoritative collections. However too rigorous criteria
for hadith acceptance left out many authentic hadiths that other collectors with less rigorous criteria have preserved for
The methodology of Imaam Malik in
al muwatta was characterized by the following: reliance only on trusted narrators,
use of mubalaghaat (using the formula the ‘report reached us’ ablaghana), use of mursalaat (
), use of athaar that stopped at tabiin
and tabiu al tabiin, mixing hadith
and fiqh al hadith.
The method of Bukhari in his sahih was very rigorous. He searched widely for hadith and accepted only the most authentic. He accepted only
4000 out of 600,000 hadiths collected. He reported one hadith using several chains of transmitters as further proof of authenticity.
COLLECTIONS OF HADITH
The most important hadith collections
are indicated below in chronological order by date of death of the author:
Malik (d. 179 H): al Muwatta (……hadith);
Ahmad (d. 241 AH): Musnad Ahmad;
al Daarimi (d. 255 AH): Sunan al Daarimi;
al Bukhari (d. 256 H): Sahiih al Bukhari 2761 hadith (no repetition) selected from 600,000;
Muslim (d. 261 H): Sahiih Muslim- 4000 hadiths (no repetitions) selected from 300,000;
Ibn Majah (d. 273 AH): Sunan Ibn Majah;
Abu Daud (d. 275 H): Sunan Abu Daud 4800 hadiths;
al Tarmidhi (d. 279H ); al Jamiu al Sahiih;
Al Nisae (d. 303 H): Sunan al Nisae;
al Tabrani (d. 360 AH): al Mu’jam
Al Hakim (d. 405 AH): al Mustadrak;
al Bayhaqi (d. 458 AH): al Sunan al Kubra;
al Mundhiri (d. 656 AH): al Targhiib wa al Tarhiib;
al Nawawi (d. 767 AH): Riyaadh al Saalihiin;
al Haythami (d. 807 AH): Majmau al Zawaid;
al Suyuuti (d. 911 AH): al Jamiu al Kabiir;
Ibn Abi Shaybat (d. ): Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybat;
Ibn al Athiir (d. ); Jamiu al Usuul;
Some were peimary collectors like
Bukhari and Muslim. Some of the later collectors like Imam al Nawawi put together their collections from hadiths already reported
in the primary collections.
C. DESCRIPTION OF SUNNAT
Sunnat is a type of hadith but is
restricted to words, actions, and tacit approval of the prophet (PBUH) from the start of the revelation to his death, ma sadara ani al rasuuli min qawli, aw fi’ili, aw iqrar min mabdai al wahy hatta wafaatihi. There is a difference
between sunnat that is a basis for law, sunnat
tashriyat, and that which is not, sunnat ghair tashri'iyat). The former is
part of revelation and is legally binding. The latter is not legally binding on all people all the time. It is however recommended
to follow sunnat ghair tashri'iyat as much as practicable because all what the
prophet did or said is guidance to the good and the moral. Another reason for following sunnat
ghair tashri'iyat is that the demarcation from sunnat tashrei may not be clear
and it is better to err on the right that on the wrong.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HADITH AND SUNNAT
The term hadith has a wider scope
that the term sunnat. Hadith includes even rulings that were abrogated. It embraces
the prophet's personal human attributes, sifaat khalqiyyat, food habits, food preferences, health conditions, illness, and medical
AS A SOURCE OF LAW, hujjiyat al sunnat: The sunnat is the second most important
source of legislation in Islam coming only next to the Qur’an. Direct proof of this is found in the Qur'an. A similar
conclusion can be reached by considering that the words and actions of the prophet PBUH) were needed to interpret the Qur’an.
That was the purpose for sending a human messenger. As discussed before Allah had the power to reveal His message to humans
in some other way.
D. HADITH SCIENCES
DEFINITION OF HADITH SCIENCES (ULUUM AL HADITH):
al Suyuuti defined ‘ilm al hadith as the science of the principles by which the status of the chain of transmitters, sanad, and the text, matn, are ascertained, ;ilm bi qawannin yu’urafu biha ahwaal al sanad wa al matn). The main aim of hadith sciences is to make sure
that transmission of information, naql, is correct.
CLASSIFICATION OF ULUM AL HADITH:
al hadith are classified into 2 broad categories: sciences of transmission of hadith, ‘uluum
riwayat al hadith, and sciences of understanding hadith, uluum dirayat al hadith.
There are many sub-disciplines under each of the 2 categories above. The science of critique of hadith, ‘ilm naqd al hadith, Involves critiquing the internal structure of the hadith and its meaning. The hadith
can be critiqued as text, matn, or chain of transmission, sanad. Critique of text, matn, involves identifying defects, ‘illat, establishing if the text is different from the report of other trustworthy
narrators, and finding problems in the text itself such as logical inconsistencies. Hadith scholars have over the centuries
developed criteria that can enable them distinguish an authentic from an unauthentic hadith or to grade it. In order to deal
with false positive and false negative, criteria are set in such a way that it is easier to reject a true hadith than accept
a false one. These same criteria are employed to grade a particular hadith text according to degree of its authenticity. The criteria for accepting a hadith are more stringent than laws of evidence in court.
E. THE CRITERIA FOR ACCEPTING A REPORT,
Criteria used in relation to any
report fall under three categories: personal integrity of the narrator, mental and intellectual capacity of the narrator,
and the integrity of the chain of transmitters, ittisal al sanad. The term adalat al rawi is used to refer to the integrity of the narrator. He or she must be a Muslim, adult, not a sinner,
fasiq, and has social respectability, muru’at.
This personal integrity can be nullified by: disbelief, kufr, minority report,
sinning, fisq, innovations in religion, bid’a,
lying in ordinary conversation, getting reward from reporting hadiths, fanaticism about a madhhab or a sect. The narrator
must have dhabt which includes: good memory, being careful, no experiencing of
illusions, and not reporting what is radically different from the trustworthy reporters.
2.5.3 BIOGRAPHY OF THE PROPHET, SIIRAT
al sirat involves study of the life of the prophet Muhammad (PBUH), his personality, his attributes, all his behavior
in private and in public, his methodology in Islamic work, his leadership and management, and all his interactions with his
companions and others in the society. The lives of the companions are sometimes included within ‘ilm al sirat because they reflect the training of the prophet (PBUH).
Because of its religious importance
‘ilm al sirat is studied separately from history, ’ilm al tarikh. ‘Ilm al sirat is also separate from ‘uluum al hadith because unlike the latter it employs a less rigorous methodology
in collecting, analyzing, and accepting information.
Understanding of sirat, fiqh al sirat, is very important because the life of the prophet was the human and practical manifestation of
the teachings of the Qur’an. Aisha said that the Qur’an was the prophet’s character, kaana khulquhu al Qur’an. We study sirat even today to learn
lessons on how to build our own civilisation and our own society. Study of the sirat
enables us also to understand many verses of the Qur’an. It is also useful in elucidating some matters in Islamic law.
Since the biography of the prophet
is so well documented and in detail, it is further proof of the authenticity of the prophet; he lived a very transparent life
that all could see and yet no negative report about his character has been made even by his enemies. Study of sirat also shows the humanness of the prophet. His greatness is enhanced when his character and achievements are
set against the background that he was a normal human being like all his followers.
The sources of ‘ilm al sirat are: the Holy Qur’an, books of hadith, Arab poetry of that time, and special books of
sirat that were written. The Qur’an is a continuous record and commentry
on the major events during the 23 years of prophethood. Books of hadith record words and actions of the prophet (PBUH) and
his closest companions.
D. MAIN AUTHORS and THEIR BOOKS:
The main scholars of ‘ilm
al sirat in the ancient period were: Muhamad Ibn Ishaq (d. 151 AH), Muhammad bin Omar al Waqidi (d. 207 AH), Abd al Malik bin Hisham (d. 213 AH), Muhammad bin Sa’ad (d. 230 AH), and Ali bin al Hasan ‘Ibn
Asakir’ (d. 571 AH). The early books of sirat were descriptive with their main aim being to preserve the facts for posterity.
The early writers concentrated on the military expeditions and at one time the term maghazi
was used as a synonym for sirat. The writings also high-lighted the actions of the prophet (PBUH) but put less emphasis on those of his companions and other
events in the general society.
E. MAIN AUTHORS and THEIR BOOKS:
The main authors of ‘ilm al sirat in the modern period are: Muhammad Heykal (d. ),
al Mubarakpuri (b. 1942 AH), Abul Hasan al Nadawi (b. ), and Mahmud al ‘Akkad (d. ). Some
characteristics distinguish the modern writers from the ancient ones. The modern writers are more analytical. They comment
on the social, political, and religious significance of the events they report. Some even go ahead to relate the events in
sirat to the experiences of contemporary dawah movements. The modern approach provides a wider context for a fuller understanding
of the biography of the prophet.
SCIENCES OF THEOLOGY, 'uluum usul al ddiin)
usul al ddiin has also been named ‘ilm al tauhid, ‘ilm al kalaam, &
‘ilm al aqidat. It was defined by al Suyuti as the science that deals with obligatory matters of the creed, ‘ilm yabhathu ‘amma yajibu I’itiqadihi. The Islamic creed is characterised by simplicity, basaatat, realism, waqi’iyyat, tolerance,
tasaamuhu, and a humane approach, insaniyat.
There would not have been a necessity for a new and separate discipline on theology if historical events did not demand that.
During the era of the prophet (PBUH)
matters of ‘aqidat were explained and were understood in very simple terms.
There was no need for a special discipline to study ‘aqidat. However soon
after the start of the great fitnat the need for a special discipline became necessary.
There were a lot of confusing discussions about khilafat and pre-destination, qadar. The khawarij and mu’tazilat were instrumental in provoking these discussions. Allah’s attributes, sifat Allah, and the fate of those who commit major sins became controversial intellectual issues. Contact of
Muslims with the ancient civilisations of Egypt, Greece,
Rome, Byzantine, and Persia
introduced many philosophical ideas. Greek logic became popular and Muslim scholars resorted to a deep study of usul al ddiin to be able to respond to those intellectual challenges.
C. MAIN SCHOLARS OF USUL AL DDIIN
Among the famous scholars in usul al ddiin were: Ahmad bin Muhammad Abu Ja’afar al Tahawi
(d. 321 AH), Ali bin Ismail Abu al Hasan al Ash’ari (d. 324 AH), Muhamad bin Muhammad al Maturdi (d. 333 AH), Muhammad
bin al Tayyib Abu Bakr al Baqillani (d. 403 AH), Abdul Qadir al Baghdadi (d. 429 AH), Abd al Malik bin Abd Allah Imaam al
Haramain al Juwayni (d. 478 AH), Muhammad bin Muhammad Abu Hamid al Ghazzali (d. 505 AH), Muhammad bin Omar al Fakhr al Razi
(d. 606 AH), and Muhammad Ibn Abd al Wahhab (d. 1206 AH).
D. MAIN ISSUES OF USUL AL DDIIN
The main issue emphasized in ‘ulum
usul al diin is the one-ness of Allah, tauhid, avoiding shirk in its major
and minor manifestations, and rejection of any innovations in religion that affect the basic aqidat. In most cases there is a need to correct and remind because many Muslims have unconsciously followed
practices that are not accepted in Islam. Many are just plain ignorance. Some are due to syncretism, an attempt to combine
Islam with some other practices or beliefs current in the society. Yet many others are just pure superstition.
2.5.5 SCIENCES OF THE LAW & ITS
FUNDAMENTALS, uluum al fiqh wa usulihi
FIQH, THE ACADEMIC STUDY OF THE LAW
DEFINITION OF FIQH:
There are several definitions of
fiqh. Abu Hanifa defined fiqh as knowldge of an individual of his rights and obligations, ma’arifat
al nafs ma laha wa ma alayha. Al Shafei defined fiqh as the knowledge of legal rules pertaining to conduct that have been derived from their specific evidences, al ‘ilm bi al ahkaam al shar’iyyat al ‘amaliyyat al muktasab bin adillatiha al tafsiiliyyat’
(Nyazee p. 22). Ibn Qudama defined fiqh as knowledge of the legal rulings on
actions whether they are permitted or prohibited and whether they are valid or not, al
‘ilm bi ahkaam al af’al al shar’iyyat ka al hall wa al hurmat wa al sihat wa al fasaad..
IMPORTANCE OF FIQH:
Fiqh being the academic study of
the Islamic legal system is a very important subject. Islamic law regulates the private and public life of Muslims as individuals,
families and communities. It has also greatly influenced the intellectual and psycho-emotional development of Muslims to the
extent that it is true to say that fiqh is the most powerful single change agent in Muslim communities.
THE SCOPE OF FIQH:
Islam is a complete way of life covering
all aspects and details of the life of the individual and the community. In the same way the law of Islam is comprehensive.
Fiqh therefore covers the following fields: physical acts of worship, ibadat; civil
transactions, muamalaat madaniyyat; personal
laws, ahwaal shakhsiyyat; criminal rulings, ahkaam jina’iyyat; judicial rulings, ahkam
qadha’iyyat; constitutional rulings, ahkaam dasturiyyat; international
rulings, ahkaam dawliyyat; and economic rulings, ahkaam iqtisadiyyat.
B. SCHOOLS OF FIQH:
Many schools of fiqh, madhahib fiqhiyyat, arose but only 4 of them survived and spread widely. The founders did not plan to establish
a school. The schools were named after them after their death. Each school is not uniform; there are variations attributed
to the various disciples of the founder.
The hanafi school was initiated by
Abu Hanifa Ibn al Nu’umaan bin Thabit (d. 150 AH). He was severe in criteria for accepting hadith. He used qiyaas and istihsaan widely. He used general principles in specific
The Maliki school was initiated by
Imaam Malik bin Anas al Asbahi (d. 179 AH). He relied on Qur’an, sunnat, consensus,
ijmau; analogy,qiyaas; the practice
of the Madanese, ‘amal ahl al madinat; the opinions of the companions, qawl al sahabat; istihsaan, istislaah, and sadd al dharaei.
The Shafei school was initiated by
Muhammad bin Idris al Qurashi (d. 204 AH). He relied on Qur’an, sunnat, ijma,
& qiyaas. He did not accept the opinions of companions, istihsaan, masaalih
mursalat, and the practice of the Madanese.
The Hanbali school was initiated
by Ahmad bin Hanbal Abu Abd Allah al Shaybani (d. 241 AH). He relied on Qur’an, sunnat, opinion of companions, ijma, qiyaas, istihsaan, istishaab, masalih mursalat ,& sadd al dharaei
Geographical distribution of the
schools of fiqh: The Maliki school is most popular in North
West and West Africa. The Hanbali school is most popular in the Arabian
peninsula. The Hanafi school is most popular in Turkey,
Central Asia, and South Asia. The Shafei school is most popular in parts of
Iraq, parts of Yaman, East Africa,
and South-east Asia.
Basis for different schools of fiqh:
All the schools are valid and all are based on authentic practice of the prophet. The un-initiated may wonder why different
practices can be tolerated in the same religion. The existence and acceptance of these differences is one of the miracles
of Islam and the proof that it is a religion for all times and all places. The prophet in his words and actions provided several
alternatives for a valid action in order to give latitude to the followers even in generations yet unborn to choose the alternative
most suited to their circumstances. Some of the differences among the schools of fiqh are just choice of a different alternative
from among many that are valid. There are matters that were not given in detail in the text as a mercy for the believers so
that they may have some latitude in interpretation. Each school made its own interpretation of such situations but whatever
interpretation is adopted, it falls within the general framework of Islamic principles. We can therefore look at the different
schools as systematizing the wide zone of tolerance and flexibility that Islamic practice provides. It is therefore futile
to argue what school is valid or what is better than the other.
C. USUL AL FIQH
DEFINITION OF USUL AL FIQH:
al fiqh is the basic framework or methodology that jurists use to deduce objective and logical conclusions in the form
of legal rulings, istinbat al ahkam, from the basic sources of Qur’an and
sunnat. Usul al fiqh is analogous to
logic in philosophy in being a methodology of analysis to reach a conclusion. Imaam al Shafei is credited with founding the
discipline of usul al fiqh which he defined in his book al Risalat as knowledge of the legal rulings as derived from their specific evidence, al ‘ilm bi al ahkaam al shar’iyyat al muktasab min adillatiha
al tafsiiliyyat. al Qadh’i al Baydh’awi defined ‘ilm usul al
fiqh as knowledge of the evidence of fiqh in general and how to use the evidence
and the circumstances of the user, ma’arifat dalaa’il al fiqh’ ijmaalan
wa kayfiyat al istifadat minh’a wa h’aal al mustafiid’. Ibn Kh’uldun defined ‘ilm usul al fiqh as dealing with evidence of shariat and how legal rulings are derived from them, h’uwa fi al adillat al sh’ar’iyyat min h’ayth’u tu’ukhadh’ minh’a
al ahkaam. A general definition of ilm al usul is principles by the use of
which the mujtahid arrves at legal rules through specific evidence, ‘al qawaid
allati yatawasalu biha al mujtahid ila ahkaam al shariat al amaliyyat min adillatiha al tafsiliyyat (Nyazee p 29). Usul al fiqh deals with the general principles and not the details, min hayth al jumlat la min hayth al tafsiil.
SOURCES OF ‘ILM AL USUUL AL FIQH:
Qur’an, sunnat, ‘ilm al kalaam, ilm al lughat, & ahkaam shariat. The Qur’an is mainly a source of methdology.
The sunnat is a corpus of legal rulings and practice from which methodological principles can be derived. In its historical
evolution, ilm usul al fiqh, like many other Islamic sciences was influenced by
Greek deductive logic either directly or through Greek impact on ‘ilm al kalam.There
is therefore a need to Islamize some of the current concepts in this discipline. ‘Ilm
usul al fiqh is very particular in its definitions and terminology which requires a good grounding in the Arabic language.
The many legal rulings over the past 14 centuries continue to provide a methodological framework that is a continuous methodological
inspiration for students and practitioners of usul al fiqh.
THE SUBJECT MATTER OF ‘ILM
AL USUUL AL FIQH:
Usul al fiqh does not deal
with the legal rulings themselves; that is the concern of fiqh. Usul al fiqh deals
with the methodology of analyzing evidences, adillat, in order to derive rulings
or conclusions. It is a methodological discipline par excellence. ‘ilm usul al fiqh deals with all sources of
law as basic evidence. The sources of law (in order of importance) that are unanimously accepted : Qur’an, Sunnat, Ijma, qiyaas, Ijma and qiyaas operate together. Scholars are
not unanimous about all the following as secondary sources of law: istihsaan, maslahat
mursalat, istishab, ‘urf, & sadd al dharaei. The evidence may absent, incomplete or weak. There may be a need
for combining weak evidences from more than one source to reach a conclusion.
THE BENEFITS OF ‘ILM AL
USUL AL FIQH:
Usul al fiqh provides a methodological
guideline for the mujtahid so that he can pursue his analysis in a systematic and tried way. It also lends credibility
to the conclusions of the mujtahid because people will know that he followed an
established methodology and was not following his personal whims or fancies. Thus usul al fiqh helps people trust the
conclusions of the mujtahid.
RATIONALISTS, ahl al ra’ay, AND TRADITIONALISTS, ahl al hadith:
There is a division among scholars
of usul al fiqh that also mirrors the dichotomy in tafsir: rationalists, ahl al raay, and traditionalists, ahl al hadith. The former rely a lot on reason while the latter rely more on tradition. One of the motivations
for the rise of usul al fiqh was to close the gap between the school of traditionalists
and the rationalists by providing them with a common methodological framework. The two schools appeared in the second century
of hijra. The former was in Hejaz and relied on riwayat
and athar in explanation of the nass.
The latter arose in Iraq and relied mainly on ijtihad.
IMPORTANCE OF TERMINOLOGY:
Because of the reliance on text,
the use of exact language and definition of terms is very important. Fiqh requires exact language as science requires mathematics
for exactitude. The need for exact definitions makes usul al fiqh a difficult subject
to study. Sometimes too much concern with exactitude in terminology constrains imagination and intellectual exploration that
could open up new areas of thought.
USE OF GENERAL PRINCIPLES:
Sophisticated methods have enabled
usul scholars to derive conclusions even where there is no textual evidence.
They rely on general paradigms that are developed from situations with textual evidence and are used where there is no evidence.
CLOSURE OF THE GATE OF IJTIHAD:
The oft-repeated statement about
the closure of the door of ijtihad needs to be revisited. Ijtihad was never closed
completely. At some time in the history of the ummat ijtihad relating to aqiidat
and fundamentals of the religion was discouraged because of fear of confusion at a time of intellectual ferment when new ideas
and philosophies some contradictory to Islam invaded the ummat starting in the 3rd century AH. The political circumstances
did not allow the few authentic scholars the opportunity to expose and fight those ideas and philosophies. The practical alternative
was to discourage ijtihad on the basic issues of ‘aqiidat for fear that ignorant people may be misled and mislead
others. Ijtihad in other matters was not closed. There were just few new challenges
requiring fresh ijtihad since the physical, social, and political life of the ummat declined and stagnated over a period of about 10 centuries. Even in this period
of decline whenever the need arose there were individuals and groups who could stand up and make fresh ijtihad; Ahmad
Ibn Taymiyat is a very good example. Ijtihad is being revived in our times because
of the new challenges that we are facing and because of the general phenomenon of revival.
MODES OF IJTIHAD:
Nyazee described 3 modes of ijtihad:
(a) literal which stays close to the text, nass (b) Analogy, ijtihad qiyaasi, is used to extend the law to situations not covered by the text (c) general principles of the
law, maqasid al shariat, are used when neither literal nor qiyaasi ijtihad can apply. The maqasid mode of ijtihad is nearest the
spirit of empirical science and research. It involves applying a general law or theory to a particular cause or situation.
Analogy, qiyaas: al Shafei was the first to write about qiyaas in his book al risalat. Qiyaas was defined by al Baaqillaani, al Razi, and al Juwayni.as the assignment of hukm of one problem to another problem about which the law is silent; the assignment being based on the resemblance
between the 2 problems or an underlying cause, ‘illat, ‘haml ma’alum
ala maaluum fi ithbaat hukm lahuma aw nafyihi anhuma bi amr jamei baynahuma min ithbaat hukm aw sifat aw nafyihima’.
The term qiyaas has been used to refer to both qiyaas mantiqi, a type of deductive logic, and qiyaas usuuli, a type of inductive logic. Abu Muhammad Ali Bin Ahmad
bin Hazm (d. 465 AH) accepted qiyaas mantiqi and refused qiyaas usuuli. Taqiu al Ddiin Ahmad ibn Taymiyyat (d. 728 AH) considered only qiyaas
usuuli. Abu Hamid al Ghazzali (d. 505 AH) combined the two. The balanced view is to consider qiyas usuli in most matters use qiyas mantiqi in a few cases where
it is relevant. In most cases both are used in sequence. Qiyaas is considered,
by the majority of jurists, as a valid source of legal rulings, hujjat. The basic
support for qiyaas is the famous hadith of Muadh bin Jabal when sent to Yaman by
the Prophet (PBUH). Four types of qiyaas
can be identified depending on the method used: based on an underlying common cause, qiyaas
al ‘illat, based on similarity, qiyaas al shubhat, based on meaning,
qiyaas al ma’ana, and based on evidence, qiyaas al dalaalat. The pillars of qiyaas are: al asl, al far’u, hukm al asl, and ‘illat (legal
cause). Asl is the first problem for which a ruling exists. Al far’u is the second problem for which no ruling is known. Hukm al
asl is the ruling for the first problem. ‘Illat is the legal cause or
logical link between the first problem and its ruling. The same link is used to apply the ruling of the first problem to the
Illat operates under qiyaas but
because of its theoretical importance we decided to discuss it separately here. A very good reference was a published doctoral
thesis at Azhar by Abd al Hakiim Abd al Rahman Al Sa’adi in 1986. Illat is
the underlying explanation of a matter. In this it is very similar to the causal laws and the theories that are the object
of empirical scientific research. It could be said that the purpose of science is to discover the ‘illat or underlying explanation in order to generalize. ‘Illat
differs from sabab, shart, hikmat, and ‘alamat. Sabab is the cause on the basis of which a primary rule or hukm taklifi
is invoked or is established. Shart refers to facts or actions that must take place
before the cause can take effect and invoke the related hukm. Hikmat is the wisdom behind the illat.