Unformatted text preview: gainst them, then We destroy them with utter destruction.' Could it be said that total destruction is a form of evil? There is no certainty as to the correct meaning of Mushkil, as it is inherently ambiguous. Any explanation which is provided by the mujtahid is bound to be speculative. The mujtahid is nevertheless bound to exert himself in order to discover the correct meaning of Mushkil before it can be implemented and adopted as a basis of action. II.3 The Ambivalent (Mujmal) [35. Khallaf, 'Ilm, p.173; Badran, Usul, p. 413.] Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence ~ Kamali 98 Mujmal denotes a word or text which is inherently unclear and gives no indication as to its precise meaning. The cause of ambiguity in Mujmal is inherent in the locution itself. A word may be a homonym with more than one meaning, and there is no indication as to which might be the correct one, or alternatively the Lawgiver has given it a meaning other than its literal one, or the word may be totally unfamiliar. In any of these eventualities, there is no way of removing the ambiguity without recourse to the explanation that the Lawgiver has furnished Himself, for He introduced the ambiguous word in the first place. Words that have been used in a transferred sense, that is, for a meaning other than their literal one, in order to convey a technical or a juridical concept, fall under the category of Mujmal. For example, expressions such as salah, riba, hajj, and siyam have all lost their literal meanings due to the fact that the Lawgiver has used them for purposes other than those which they originally conveyed. Each of these words has a literal meaning, but since their technical meaning is so radically different from the literal, the link between them is lost and the technical meaning becomes totally dominant. A word of this type remains ambivalent until it is clarified by the Lawgiver Himself. The juridical meaning of all the Qur'anic words cited above has been explained by the Prophet, in which case, they cease to be ambivalent. For when the Lawgiver provides the necessary explanation, the Mujmal is explained and turns into Mufassar. The Mujmal may sometimes be an unfamiliar word which is inherently vague, but is clarified by the text where it occurs. For example 'al-qari'ah' and 'halu ' which occur in the Qur'an. The relevant passages are as follows: The stunning blow (al-qari'ah)! What is the stunning blow? What will make you realise what the stunning blow is? It is the Day on which the people will act like scattered moths; and the mountains will be like carded wool (al-Qari'ah, 101:1-5). Truly man was created restless (halu'an); so he panics whenever any evil touches him; and withholds when some fortune befalls him (al-Ma'arij, 70:20-23). The ambivalent words in these passages have thus been explained and the text has as a result become self-explained, or Mufassar. The Mujmal turns into the Mufassar only when the clarification that the Lawgiver provides is complete; but when it is incomplete, or insufficient to re...
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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