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Introduction to Usul Fiqh :Basic ideas in Ar-Risalah


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Slides from Dr Mohd. Afandi Bin Awang Hamat, IIUM,UIAM

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Introduction to Usul Fiqh :Basic ideas in Ar-Risalah

  1. 1. Basic Ideas in al-Risalah
  2. 2. Introduction • The Risalah opens with an introductory chapter on the religious basis of Islamic jurisprudence. • After the usual homage and expressions of gratitude to Allah, Shafii points out that at the time Muhammad was charged with his divined message, mankind was divided into two groups, namely: • 1-Those who did not believe in Allah and who worshipped idols and stones and other natural objects. • 2-Ahl al-Kitab (People of the Book) who believed in Allah and in the teachings of His earlier prophets, but who had changed Allah’s commands and created falsehood by their tongues, then combining it with the truth that Allah had revealed to them.
  3. 3. • Because of this state of misbelief, Allah decided to send down the last of his prophets, Muhammad, to repair and reconstruct the world into a Allah-fearing community. • Thus Muhammad’s mission, embodied in the term “Islam”, was to provide mankind with the final and definitive religion. • Shafii discussed briefly the place of the Quran in the Islamic religion and the duty of the Muslims to obey the orders of Muhammad, and concluded that it is the duty of all those who seek legal knowledge to gain it by constant appeal to Allah’s Book as communicated to the Prophet. • The Quran, Shafii pointed out , is the basis of legal knowledge. Its provisions constitute a “God declaration” on all matters, physical and spiritual, which men are under obligation to observe.
  4. 4. The Following Chapters • The second chapter of the Risalah is therefore devoted to a discussion of the nature of the legal provisions of the Quran under the title “al-bayan” (God declaration). • “Al-Bayan”, according to Shafii is a collective term which includes general principles of law as well as detailed rules. • He then divided al-Bayan into five categories: • 1. That which Allah declared (in the Quran) as a specific legal provision which admits of no interpretation other than its literal meaning. This category of bayan needs no other explanation than the Quran itself.(p.72) -Al-Baqarah 2: 183-185.
  5. 5. The Following Chapters • 196]
  6. 6. The Following Chapters • And carry out the Hajj and the Umrah for God. But if you are prevented, then whatever is possible of offerings. And do not shave your heads until the offering (i.e the sheep) has reached its destination. Whoever of you is sick, or has an injury of the head, then redemption of fasting, or charity, or worship. When you are secure: whoever continues the Umrah until the Hajj, then whatever is feasible of offering. But if he lacks the means, then fasting for three days during the Hajj and seven days when you have returned, making ten in all. This is for he whose household is not present at the Sacred Mosque. And remain conscious of God, and know that God is stern in retribution.
  7. 7. 11[ .
  8. 8. [ God (thus) directs you as regards your children's (inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females: if only daughters, two or more, their share is two thirds of the inheritance; of only one, her share is a half. for parents, a sixth share of the inheritance to each, if no children, and the parents are the (only) heirs, the mother has a third; if the deceased left brothers (or sisters) the mother has a sixth. (the distribution in all cases is) after the payment of legacies and debts. ye know not whether your parents or your children are nearest to you in benefit. these are settled portions ordained by God; and God is all knowing, all wise. .
  9. 9. 11[ God (thus) directs you as regards your children's (inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females: if only daughters, two or more, their share is two thirds of the inheritance; of only one, her share is a half. for parents, a sixth share of the inheritance to each, if no children, and the parents are the (only) heirs, the mother has a third; if the deceased left brothers (or sisters) the mother has a sixth. (the distribution in all cases is) after the payment of legacies and debts. ye know not whether your parents or your children are nearest to you in benefit. these are settled portions ordained by God; and God is all knowing, all wise. .
  10. 10. • 101102 )
  11. 11. • When you travel in the land, there is no blame on you for shortening the prayers, if you fear that the disbelievers may harm you. The disbelievers are your manifest enemies. • 102. When you are among them, and you stand to lead them in prayer, let a group of them stand with you, and let them hold their weapons. Then, when they have done their prostrations, let them withdraw to the rear, and let another group, that have not prayed yet, come forward and pray with you; and let them take their precautions and their weapons. Those who disbelieve would like you to neglect your weapons and your equipment, so they can attack you in a single assault. You commit no error, if you are hampered by rain or are sick, by putting down your weapons; but take precautions. Indeed, God has prepared for the disbelievers a demeaning punishment.
  12. 12. • 2. That which the Quran mentions in texts that may be interpreted in several ways, and for which the Sunnah provided an explanation of exactly which one was intended.(pp. 73-74)Al-Maidah 5: 6. • 6)
  13. 13. O Ye who believe! when you prepare for your prayer, wash your faces, and your hands (and arms) to the elbows; rub your heads (with water); and (wash) your feet to the ankles. if you are in a state of (Janabah) or ceremonial impurity, bath your whole body. but if ye are ill, or on a journey, or one of you came from offices of nature (toilet), or you have been in contact with women, and you find no water, then take for yourselves clean sands or earth (dust), and rub therewith your faces and hands. God does not wish to place you in a difficulty, but to make you clean, and to complete His favour on you, so that you may be grateful. Wajib just 1 time, but prophet himself doing 3 times What are the precise part of wudu’
  14. 14. 3. That which was clearly stated to be obligatory; and which the Prophet explained in terms of how, why, upon whom, and when applicable and when not. (pp.74-75)Al-Nisa’ 4:103, Al-Baqarah 2:43,196 43) And by steadfast in prayer; practise regular charity; and bow down your head with those who bow down (in worship). Here in more details than previous point, as here it needs all details of performing solat because Allah just mentions in brief about obligation of solat.
  15. 15. • Based on that hadith the Prophet s.a.w had explained how to perform solat, in what time solat must be exercised, what are the pillars and conditions of solat and etc…to answer several questions as suggested by imam al-Shafie in his al-Risalah
  16. 16. 4.That which was explained by the Prophet but not mentioned in the Quran. Allah commanded in the Quran that the Prophet SAW is to be obeyed and his rulings are accepted. Therefore, what is said on the authority of the Prophet, is said on the authority of Allah.
  17. 17. • In this hadith prophet mentioned something that is not mentioned in Quran about the prohibition of gold and silk for men. • Stoning to death • Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar: The Jews came to Allah's Apostle and told him that a man and a woman (who were married) from amongst them had committed illegal sexual intercourse. Allah's Apostle said to them, "What do you find in the Torah (old Testament) about the legal punishment of Ar-Rajm (stoning)?" They replied, (But) we announce their crime and lash them." Abdullah bin Salam said, "You are telling a lie; Torah contains the order of Rajm." They brought and opened the Torah and one of them solaced his hand on the Verse of Rajm and read the verses preceding and following it. Abdullah bin Salam said to him, "Lift your hand." When he lifted his hand, the Verse of Rajm was written there. They said, "Muhammad has told the truth; the Torah has the Verse of Rajm. The Prophet then gave the order that both of them should be stoned to death. 
  18. 18. • •In this hadith the prophet SAW mentioned that anyone who has married and found guilty of zina, is subject to punishment of rajm 
  19. 19. • 5. That which Allah requires His creation to seek through ijtihad by means of qiyas (analogy) or etc. According to Imam al-Shafii, qiyas is a method for reaching a legal decision on the basis of evidence (a precedent) in which a common reason, or an effective cause, is applicable.(p. 77)Al-Baqarah 2: 144 • • 144) • We see the turning of thy face (for guidance) to the heavens: now shall we turn thee to a Qibla that shall please thee. turn then thy face in the direction of the holy mosque: wherever ye are, turn your faces in that direction. the people of the book know well that is the truth from their Lord. nor is God unmindful of what they do. • If we cannot see the kaabah then we must find it via our own ijtihad based on the reason of qiyas to this ayat.
  20. 20. Although in his chapter on al-bayan Shafii discusses certain characteristics of the Quran, that chapter is, apparently , intended to be only an introduction to a fuller treatment of the Quran, from a juridical viewpoint, in subsequent chapters. At the end of chapter II, on al-bayan, he discusses the Arabic eloquence of the Quran- one of its distinguishing features-which, to the Muslims, is the chief evidence of the miracle (I’jaz) of this book.
  21. 21. • Shafii’s critical study of the Quran from a juridical viewpoint led him to the keen observation that the Quranic rules and principles fall into various categories. To begin with, he divides them into general and particular rules: • 1. The general declaration revealed in the Quran intended to be general (amm), which particular is included (khass).(p.97)Al-Nisa 4: 75, Al-kahf 18:77 • 75) • And why should you not fight in the cause of God and of those who, being weak, are ill treated (and oppressed)? whose cry is: our Lord rescue us from this village, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from you one who will protect; and raise for us from you one who will help us. • From all oppressors of that village-General • It is all of them are oppressors? Not but particular some of them
  22. 22. 2.The explicit general declaration of the Quran in which the general and the particular are included.(p.98)Al-Hujurat 49:13.Al-Baqarah,2:183 183( O ye who believe! fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self restraint, Fasting upon all Muslims are it is an obligation from Allah---General But it is excluded upon insane, and women during menstruation, people who are on their journey…….Therefore Fasting is then obliged by Allah only upon those who entitled and not upon these kind of Muslims ----particular
  23. 23. 3.The explicit general declaration of the Quran which appears to be general but is intended to be entirely particular.(p. 100). Al-Hajj 22:73 73( O People! Here is a parable set forth! listen to it! those on whom, besides God, ye call, cannot create (even) a fly or mosquito, if they all met together for the purpose! and if the mosquito should snatch a way anything from them, they would have no power to regain it from the fly. Indeed, (equally weak) those who request and those whom they are requested! O people- general to all people But Intended in this ayah to be entirely particular – all kuffars who worship God besides Allah…..Intended entirely particular .
  24. 24. Then Shafii divides the Quranic legislation into a different set of categories, namely: •1. The category of al-bayan in the Quran, the meaning of which is clarified by context.(p.102) Al-Baqarah 2: 65. •65[ •And well ye knew those amongst you how transgressed in the matter of Sabbath: we said to them: be ye monkeys, despited and rejected. •Context given here… •Matter of sabbath •Becoming monkey •Punishment upon jews
  25. 25. 2. The category of al-bayan in the Quran the wording of which indicates the implicit (al-batin) rather than the explicit (al- zahir).(p.103) Yusuf 12:81-82 81(82( Turn ye back to your father, and say, O our father behold thy son committed theft we bear witness only to what we know, and we could not well guard against the unseen. (82)Ask the town where we have been and the caravan in which we returned, and (you will find) we are indeed telling the truth.
  26. 26. 3. That, of the Quran, which was revealed as general but which the Sunnah specifically indicates is meant to be particular. (p.105). Al-Maidah:38 38( As to the thief. male or female, cut off his or her hands: a punishment by way of example, from God, for their crime: and God is exalted in power. Hand should neither be cut off for the stealing unless the price is a quarter of dinar or more About RM360 or above
  27. 27. • Shafii’s classification of the Quranic legislation into the foregoing categories as we were discussed earlier, was not only new and fresh, but was considered as a great contribution to the understanding of the Quran as a source of law. His distinction between the general , which embodies general rules and principles of law, and the particular ,which means specific rules, clarified for his contemporaries the way toward a deeper understanding of the sources and principles of Islamic law.
  28. 28. Sunnah • Shafii’s specific reference to the Sunnah, the Prophet’s sayings and decisions, to clarify the meaning of a a particular piece of Quranic legislation or ambiguous text, brings the Sunnah into the field of Islamic legislation and indicates its specific role as a source of law. • It is in his discussions of the sunnah and traditions that we find one of Shafii’s greatest contributions to Islamic jurisprudence. • For although the school of tradition laid sufficient emphasis on the Sunnah,in opposition to the school of opinion, in which Shafii himself took an active part in his early career, it was Shafii who made it clear that only an authentic tradition from the Prophet is binding and constitutes an authoritative source of legislation.
  29. 29. Sunnah • Both the Hijazi and the Iraqi jurists often accepted traditions that were based on local custom or embodied a personal opinion as valid for legislation. • Shafii made a distinction between an authentic tradition from the Prophet and a narrative which embodies the opinion of a Companion or a leading jurist; the latter may be useful in clarifying the meaning of a text, but it should not be as binding as a tradition from the Prophet.
  30. 30. Abrogation • Shafii goes on, in the following chapters, to discuss the principle of abrogation, by virtue of which a Quranic communication was repealed by a latter one. • Here, he indicates again the role of the Sunnah in its relation to the Quran, pointing out that the Sunnah merely states which of the Quranic communications are the abrogating ones and which are the abrogated, but he rejects the Hanafi doctrine which states that the Sunnah can abrogate the Quran. • The Quran does not abrogate the Sunnah directly nor does the Sunnah abrogate the Quran; the Prophet, says Shafii, always provided a new Sunnah, in conformity with Quranic legislation, when the Quranic legislation contradicted an earlier Sunnah.
  31. 31. • Thus although he stresses the significance of the Sunnah, he gives it a precise definition as a second authoritative source of law in its relation to the Quran. • The Sunnah includes Muhammad’s sayings and decisions. It is, therefore, not on the same level as the infallible Quranic communications. • However, Shafii argues, Allah had imposed on men the duty of obedience to His Prophet as well as to Him, and he goes on to give evidence that Allah regards disobedience to the Prophet as disobedience to Him. Accordingly, in practice the Sunnah of the Prophet is a source of legislation as valid as the Quran.
  32. 32. • But since Shafii emphasizes the rule that only an authentic Sunnah, transmitted by reliable authorities, constitutes a valid source of law, he devotes a large portion of the Risalah to a study of what constitutes an authentic tradition, who are the reliable transmitters, and why certain authentic traditions are contradictory to one another. This latter category, to which he pays attention, is a novel as his distinction in the Quranic legislation between the general and particular.
  33. 33. Contradictory Tradition • To Shafii there are no contradictory traditions. They appear contradictory only to whose who do not know the circumstances in which they were laid down and who do not realize that certain traditions merely qualify others. • Shafii’s contribution to this field of legal reasoning, although it may raise certain doubts as to the historical evidence of his interpretation, resolved a serious problem for the jurists who were faced with a great mass of contradictory traditions. • Shafii’s method of reconciliation, called al-ta’wil (interpretation), encouraged the acceptance of many a tradition which otherwise would have been in danger of being rejected.
  34. 34. The latter part ... • The latter part of the Risalah deals briefly with ijma’ (consensus), qiyas (analogy), ijtihad (personal reasoning), istihsan (juristic preference), and ikhtilaf (disagreement). • Although these are important jurisprudential subjects, Shafii devotes much less space to them than to the Quran and Sunnah. • Wallahua’lam-----FINISH