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Unformatted text preview: l a tendency or make one general rule. For
example, the rule “al Mashaqqah Tajlib al Taysir ÇáÜÜãÜÔÜÜÞÜÉ
ÊÜÌÜáÜÈ Ç áÊÜíÜÓÜÜíÜÑ” which means adversity warrants
alleviation is derived from several texts of the Qur’an and Sunnah.44 42 Reported by Malik, Ibn Majah and Al Daraqutni. 43 Reported by al Tirmithi, Abu Dawud and al Nasa’i. 44 See Shaikh Mustafa al Zarqa, al Madkhal al Fiqhi al ‘Amm, 1st part, 2nd Vol., Syrian
University Press, 1958, pp.977-978, where he quoted several of these individual texts. 26 Yet some other rules are based on human common sense and
rationality (including tautology) such as “La Ijtihad fi Mawrid al Nass
áÇ ÇÌÜÊÜåÜÇ Ï ÝÜí ãÜæ Ñ Ï ÇáÜäÜÜÕ”, which means there
should be no effort spent to derive a shari’ah opinion when it is given
by a text, or “al Tabi’ Tabi’ ÇáÜÊÜÇ ÈÚ ÊÜÇ ÈÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÚ”, i.e.
that which follows should be treated as a follower”.
Similarly, the major premises of the Islamic economic system
are derived by the same approach. Some of them are found in the
Qur’an and the Sunnah such as the absence of interest (Riba)45 and
the presence of Zakah.46 Some are derived from surveying several
texts such as the preference of equitable income and wealth
distribution,47 or the state’s responsibility in guaranteeing subsistence
living to everybody.48 Yet a third kind of premises is derived from
human common sense and rationality such as considering the
improvement of the economic lot of people as a general objective of
the Islamic economic system, and planning the government policies
and decisions accordingly. 45 The Qur’an 2:275 and 278. 46 It came in 28 places in the Qur’an. 47 See, for example, the Qur’an, 59:7, verses of Zakah, and verses of inheritance, and see
the sayings on issues of brotherhood and care of the poor and needy, etc.
48 See, for example, the several sayings on guaranteeing debts and dependents of the
deceased, collecting and rationing food in travel with shortage of foods, guaranteeing the
material needs of non-Muslim citizens, etc. 27 17. Moreover, it must be noticed that the usul methodology depends heavily on mathematical logic. The principles of analogy
ÞíÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÇÓ are only an application of the mathematical
principles of equality, transitivity, addition, etc. Analogy, in its several
varieties, consists of finding the similarities (and differences) between
something with a known Shari’ah ruling, and an other thing whose
ruling is to be determined; and deriving the latter’s from the former’s
in accordance with these similarities (and differences). Analogy is an
indispensable tool for deriving the Islamic economic system.
18. While the Usulist works with the texts of the sources of Islam, the Islamic economist, in exerting his/her effort to discovering the
Islamic economic system, works in addition with texts of Fiqh. In
other words, Fiqh is an indispensable source of knowledge for Islamic
economists. For instance, in developing financial instruments
compatible with Shari’ah, a deep understanding of the Fiqhi positions
on Mudarabah, partnership, sale contracts, lending and Riba is
19. In a lump sum, the methodology of deriving the Islamic economic system from the basic sources of Islam is very similar to the
methodology through which general theories and rules of fiqh were
developed. Making utmost utilization of the texts of the Qur’an and
Sunnah to draw the general “shape” or basic pillars of the Islamic
49 For more on the Fiqh foundation of the Islamic economic system, refer to Zarqa, Op. cit. 28 economic system and fitting individual cases within those pillars
while taking at the same time, the fiqhi heritage as a useful vehicle to
understand these texts.
20. Moreover, as there is similarity between the exertion of efforts [Ijtihad ÇÌÜÊåÜÇ Ï] required in the elaboration of the Islamic
economic system and the Ijtihad Ç ÌÜÊÜåÜÇ Ï required to derive the
Islamic fiqh system, there is also similarity in the tools of testing their
applicability. Application in real life and empirical data represent a
true testing ground for the validity of the Islamic economic system.
They also provide a basis for a necessary feed-back process in the
working out of the operational rules of the system. Zakah, for
instance, is based on the doctrine of justice and the inadequacy of the
market system to achieve distributive justice.50 Zakah general
principles are derived from the texts of the Qur’an and Sunnah. These
include the main zakahable items and classification of deserving
categories. Finally, Zakah operational rules, such as distinction
between apparent and non-apparent types of funds, collection in kind
or in cash, extent of state interference in the process of collection and
distribution, etc. Most of these rules are derived by Muslim scholars
through its application in real life. So that a continuous process of f...
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- Fall '08