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Unformatted text preview: themselves are entitled to repeal their own ijma' and to enact another one to its place. But once an ijma' is finalised, especially when all of its constituents have passed away, no further ijma' may be concluded on the same subject. Should there be a second ijma `on the same point, it will be of no account. Proof (Hujjiyyah) of Ijma` [21. Khallaf, `Ilm, pp. 46-47; Abu Zahrah, Usul, p. 167.] What proof is there that ijma' is a source of law? The ulema have sought to justify ijma` on the authority of the Qur'an, the Sunnah, and reason. We shall presently discuss the ayat and the ahadith that have been quoted in support of ijma'. It should be noted at the outset, however, that the ulema have on the whole maintained the impression that the textual evidence in support of ijma' does not amount to a conclusive proof. Having said this, one might add that both al-Ghazali and al-Amidi are of the view that when compared to the Qur'an, the Sunnah provides a stronger argument in favour of ijma'. Mustasfa, I, III, Amidi, Ihkam, I, 219.] 1. Ijma' in the Qur'an: The Qur'an (al-Nisa', 4:59) is explicit on the requirement of obedience to God, to His Messenger, and `those who are in charge of affairs', the ulu al amr. Messenger, and those charged with authority among you.'] [23. The ayah (4:59) provides: 'O you who believe, obey God, and obey the It is also suggested that this ayah lends support to the infallibility of ijma`. According to al-Fakhr al-Razi, since God has commanded obedience to the ulu al-amr, the Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence ~ Kamali 161 [22. Ghazali, [20. judgement of the ulu al-amr must therefore be immune from error. For God cannot command obedience to anyone who is liable to committing errors. [24. Razi, Tafsir, III, 243.] The word `amr' in this context is general and would thus include both secular and religious affairs. The former is discharged by the political rulers, whereas the latter is discharged by the ulema. According to a commentary attributed to Ibn 'Abbas, ulu al-amr in this ayah refers to ulema, whereas other commentators have considered it to be a reference to the umara , that is, 'rulers and commanders'. The zahir of the text includes both, and enjoins obedience to each in their respective spheres. Hence, when the ulu al-amr in juridical matters, namely the mujtahidun, reach a consensus on a ruling, it must be obeyed. [25. Khallaf, `Ilm, p. 47.] Further support for this conclusion can be found elsewhere in sura al-Nisa' (4:83) which once again confirms the authority of the ulu al-amr next to the Prophet himself. [26. The ayah (4:83) provides: `If they would only refer it to the Messenger and those among them who hold command, those of them who investigate matters would have known about it.' (Irving's translation, p. 45.)] The one ayah which is most frequently quoted in support of ijma' occurs in sura al-Nisa' (4:115), which is as follows: And anyone who splits off from the Messenger after the guidance has become clear to him and follows a way other than that of the believers, We shall leave him in the path he has chosen, and land him in Hell. What an evil refuge! The commentators o...
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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