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Unformatted text preview: the interpretation of the Quran is fairly extensive. Mahmud Shaltut, for example, underlines this point by noting that at times seven or eight different juristic conclusions have been arrived at on one and the same issue. And he goes on to say that not all of these views can be said to be part of the religion, nor could they be legally binding. These are ijtihadi opinions; ijtihad is not only permissible but is encouraged. For the Shariah does not restrict the liberty of the individual to investigate and express an opinion. They may be right or they may be wrong, and in either case, the diversity of opinion offers the political authority a range of choice from which to select the view it deems to be most beneficial to the community. When the ruler authorises a particular interpretation of the Quran and enacts it into law, it becomes obligatory for everyone to follow only the authorised version . [Shaltut, Al-Islam, P. 498.] Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence ~ Kamali 30 The ulema are in agreement that the specific (Khass) of the Quran (and of Sunnah) is definitive, but they are in disagreement as to whether the general ('Amm) is definitive or speculative. The Hanafis maintain that the Amm is definitive and binding: but the Malikis, Shafiis and Hanbalis hold that the Amm by itself is speculative and open to qualification and specification. We need not, at this point, go into the details of the Amm and the Khass as we shall have occasion to return to this subject later. Suffice it here to explain how the Amm and khass may be related to qati' and zanni. First we may highlight the zanni content of the 'Amm by referring to the Quranic ruling which provides: 'Forbidden to you (in marriage) are your mothers, your daughters, your sisters, your father's sisters and your mother's sisters' (al-Nisa', 4:23). This is a general ruling in that mothers, daughters, sisters, etc. are all 'Amm as they include, in the case of mother not only the real mother but also the step-mother and even the grandmother. Similarly, daughters can include real daughters, stepdaughters, granddaughters and even illegitimate daughters. The application of these terms to all of their various meanings is qati according to the Hanafis, but is zanni according to the majority of ulema. Whenever the zanni of the Quran is explained and clarified by the Quran itself or by the Sunnah, it may become qati', in which case the clarification becomes an integral part of the original ruling. On the subject of prohibited degrees in marriage, there is ample evidence both in the Quran and the Sunnah to specify and elaborate the 'Amm of the Quran on this subject. Similarly, when the Quran or the Sunnah specifies a general ruling of the Quran, the part which is so specified becomes qati'. To give another example of the Amm which can be clearly seen in its capacity as zanni we refer to the Quranic proclamation that 'God has permitted sale but prohibited usury' (al-Baqarah, 2:275). This is a general ruling in the sense that sale, that is any sale, is made lawful. But ther...
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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