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Unformatted text preview: ed ijtihad in the absence of the Prophet. [63. Shawkani, Irshad, p.257; Zuhayr, Usul, IV, 237.] It is also reported in a Hadith that when the Prophet authorised `Amr b. al-`As to adjudicate in some disputes, he asked the Prophet, 'Shall I render ijtihad while you are present?' To this the Prophet replied, 'Yes. If you are right in your judgement, you earn two rewards, but if you err, only one.' It is similarly reported that Sa'd b. Mu'adh rendered a judgment concerning the Jews of Banu Qurayzah in the presence of the Prophet, and that he approved of it. [64. Shawkani, Irshad, p. 257; Kassab, Adwa', p. 80. Ghazali has however expressed some reservations as to the validity of ijtihad in the presence of the Prophet, as he considers that unless the Prophet granted permission, ijtihad in his presence would be discourteous (Mustasfa, II, 104).] Truth and Fallacy of Ijtihad The jurists have differed as to whether every mujtahid can be assumed to be right in his conclusions, or whether only one of several solutions to a particular problem may be regarded as true to the exclusion of all others. At the root of this question lies the uncertainty over the unity or plurality of truth in ijtihad. Has Almighty God predetermined a specific solution to every issue, which alone may be regarded as right? If the answer to this is in the affirmative then it will follow that there is only one correct solution to any juridical problem and that all others are erroneous. This would in turn beg the question of whether it is at all possible for the mujtahid to commit a sin by rendering an erroneous ijtihad. In the face of the Hadith which promises a spiritual reward to every mujtahid regardless of the accuracy of his conclusions, plus the fact that he is performing a sacred duty-is it theoretically possible for a mujtahid to commit a sin? The ulema are in agreement that in regard to the essentials of dogma, such as the oneness of God (tawhid), His attributes, the truth of the Prophethood of Muhammad, the hereafter, and so on, there is only one truth and anyone, whether a mujtahid or otherwise, who takes a different view automatically renounces Islam. [65. Shawkani, Irshad, p. 259.] With regard to juridical or shar'i matters, the majority of ulema, including the Ash'aris and the Mu`tazilah, recognise two types: Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence ~ Kamali 330 1) Juridical matters which are determined by a clear and definitive text, such as the obligatoriness of salah and other pillars of the faith, the prohibition of theft, adultery, and so on. In regard to these matters, once again, there is only one truth with which the mujtahid may not differ. Anyone who takes an exception to it commits a sin, and according to some, even heresy and disbelief. 2) Shar'i matters on which no decisive ruling is found in the sources. There is much disagreement on this. The Ash'aris and the Mu'tazilah have held the view that ijtihad in regard to such matters is always meritorious and partakes in truth regardless of the nature of its results. But according to the four leading imams and many other ulema, only one of the several opposing views on a particular issue may be said to be correct. For it is impossible to say that one and the same thing at the same time regarding the same person could be both lawful and unlawful. [66. Shawkani, Irshad, pp....
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This note was uploaded on 04/13/2013 for the course ISLAM 101 taught by Professor Islam during the Spring '13 term at Harvey Mudd College.
- Spring '13