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Unformatted text preview: s required in erroneous homicide. However, according to the next ayah in the same passage, to which reference has already been made: 'Whoever deliberately kills a believer, his punishment is permanent hellfire' (al-Nisa', 4:93). The alluded meaning of this text is that freeing a slave is not required in intentional killing. This meaning is understood from the explicit terms of this ayah which provide that the punishment of deliberate homicide is a permanent abode in hell. This would in turn imply that murder is an unpardonable sin, and as such there is no room for kaffarah in cases of murder. This is the alluded meaning of the second ayah; and a conflict arises between this and the inferred meaning of the first ayah. The alluded meaning, which is that the murderer is not required to pay a kaffarah, takes priority over the inferred meaning that renders him liable to payment. Khallaf, 'Ilm, p. 153.] The Shafi'is are in disagreement with the Hanafis on the priority of the alluded meaning over the inferred meaning. According to the Shafi'is, the inferred meaning takes priority over the alluded meaning. The reason given for this is that the former is founded in both the language and rationale of the text whereas the latter is not; that the alluded meaning is only derived from a sign which is basically weaker than the words and the rationale of the text, and that the inferred meaning is a closer meaning and should therefore be given priority over the alluded meaning. It is on the basis of this analysis that, in the foregoing example, the Shafi'is have given priority to the inferred meaning of the text with the result that the murderer is also required to pay the kaffarah. [14. Abu Zahrah, Usul, p.115.] Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence ~ Kamali 123 [13. Badran, Usul, p. 429; V. Divergent Meaning (Mafhum al-Mukhalafah) and the Shafi'i Classification of al-Dalalat The basic rule to be stated at the outset here is that a legal text never implies its opposite meaning, and that any interpretation which aims at reading a divergent meaning into a given text is unwarranted and untenable. If a legal text is at all capable of imparting a divergent meaning, then there needs to be a separate text to validate it. But any attempt to obtain two divergent meanings from one and the same text is bound to defy the very essence and purpose of interpretation. This argument has been more forcefully advanced by the Hanafis, who are basically of the view that mafhum al-mukhalafah is not a valid method of interpretation. [15. Khallaf, 'Ilm, p.153.] Having said this, however, mafhum al-mukhalafah is upheld on a restrictive basis not only by the Shafi'is but even by the Hanafis; they have both laid down certain conditions which must be fulfilled so as to ensure the proper use of this method. Mafhum al-mukhalafah may be defined as a meaning which is derived from the words of the text in such a way that it diverges from the explicit meaning thereof. [16. Hitu, Wajiz, p. 125.] To give an example, the Qur'an proclaims the general rule of permissibility (ibahah) of foodstuffs for human consumption wit...
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