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Unformatted text preview: transmission of concepts in words and sentences that belong to the narrators. This is why one often finds that different versions of the one and the same Hadith are reported by people whose understanding or interpretation of a particular Hadith is not identical. The scope of ikhtilaf, or disagreement, over the Sunnah is more extensive than that which may exist regarding the Qur'an. Whereas the ulema have differed in their understanding/interpretation of the text of the Qur'an, there is no problem to speak of concerning the authenticity of the contents of the Qur'an. But disagreement over the Sunnah extends not only to questions of interpretation but also to authenticity and proof, issues which we shall further elaborate as our discussion proceeds. Islam, p. 512.] Priority of the Qur'an over the Sunnah Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence ~ Kamali 59 [54. Shaltut, Al- As Sunnah is the second source of the Shari'ah next to the Qur'an, the mujtahid is bound to observe an order of priority between the Qur'an and Sunnah. Hence in his search for a solution to a particular problem, the jurist must resort to the Sunnah only when he fails to find any guidance in the Qur'an. Should there be a clear text in the Qur'an, it must be followed and be given priority over any ruling of the Sunnah which may happen to be in conflict with the Qur'an. The priority of the Qur'an over the Sunnah is partly a result of the fact that the Qur'an consists wholly of manifest revelation (wahy zahir) whereas the Sunnah mainly consists of internal revelation (wahy batin) and is largely transmitted in the words of the narrators themselves. The other reason for this order of priority relates to the question of authenticity. The authenticity of the Qur'an is not open to doubt, it is, in other words, qati, or decisive, in respect of authenticity and must therefore take priority over the Sunnah, or at least that part of Sunnah which is speculative (zanni) in respect of authenticity. The third point in favor of establishing an order of priority between the Qur'an and the Sunnah is that the latter is explanatory to the former. Explanation or commentary should naturally occupy a secondary place in relationship to the source. Cf. Shatibi, Muwafaqat, IV, 3; Badran, Usul, p. 101.] Furthermore, the order of priority between the Qur'an and Sunnah is clearly established in the Hadith of Mu'adh b. Jabal which has already been quoted. The purport of this Hadith was also adopted and communicated in writing by 'Umar b. al-Kattab to two judges, Shurayh b. Harith and Abu Musa al-Ash'ari, who were ordered to resort to the Qur'an first and to the Sunnah only when they could find no guidance in the Qur'an. [56. Shatibi, IV, 4; Siba'i, Sunnah, p. 377; Badran, Usul, p. 82. Shatibi adds that two other prominent Companions, 'Abd Allah b. Mas'ud, and 'Abd Allah b. 'Abbas are on record as having confirmed the priority of the Qur'an over the Sunnah ] A practical consequence of this order of priority may be see...
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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