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Unformatted text preview: the mediation of reporters or transmitters. The mujtahid thus gains direct knowledge of the opinions of other mujtahidun when they all reach a consensus on a ruling. But transmuted ijma' is established by means of reports which may either be solitary (ahad) or conclusive (mutawatir). In the case of transmission by tawatur there is no problem of proof, and ijma' which is transmitted by tawatur is proven in the same way as acquired ijma'. But there is disagreement regarding ijma' which is transmitted by way of solitary reports. Al-Ghazali points out that a solitary report is not sufficient to prove ijma', although some fuqaha have held otherwise. The reason is that ijma' is a decisive proof whereas an ahad report amounts to no more than speculative evidence; thus, it cannot establish ijma' . [76. Ghazali, Mustasfa, I, 127; Sadr, Ijma', pp. 97-98.] Al-Amidi explains that a number of the ulema of the Shafi'i, Hanafi and Hanbali schools validate the proof of ijma' by means of solitary reports whereas another group of Hanafi and Shafi'i ulema do not. All have nevertheless agreed that anything which is proved by means of a solitary report is speculative of proof (thubut) even if definitive in respect of content (matn). [77. Amidi, Ihkam, I, 281.] Proof by means of tawatur can only be claimed for the ijma` of the Companions; no other ijma' is known to have been transmitted by tawatur. This is the main reason why the fuqaha have differed in their views concerning any ijma` other than that of the Companions. A large number of the ulema of usul have maintained that transmission through solitary reports amounts to speculative evidence only. When ijma' is based on such evidence, it loses its value and the hukm for which ijma` is claimed must be referred back to the source from which it was derived in the first place. Reform Proposals [78. Abu Zahrah, Usul, pp.167-68.] The modern critics of ijma' consider that ijma' according to its classical definition fails to relate to the search for finding solutions to the problems of the community in modern times. Ijma` is hence retrospective and too slow a process to accommodate the problems of social change. These and other considerations concerning the relevance of ijma` to social realities have prompted a response from modern scholars. We have already discussed the view of `Abd al-Wahhab Khallaf in regard to the feasibility of ijma`. Khallaf, however, was not the first to criticise ijma'. An early- critique of ijma' was advanced by Shah Wali Allah Dihlawi (d. 1176/1762), who tried to bring ijma` closer to reality and came out in support of `relativity' in the concept of ijma`. Dihlawi Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence ~ Kamali 175 overruled the notion of universal consensus in favour of relative ijma`. Dihlawi is also critical of the interpretation that is given to the ahadith concerning ijma`. He argues that the Hadith, `My community shall never agree upon an error' did not envisage ijma` at all. Hence the correct meaning of this Hadith may be determined in the light of anot...
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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