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Unformatted text preview: legal issues, he does not consistently adhere to the principle of the priority of Hadith over athar. It is interesting to note that the Muwatta' contains 1,720 Hadiths, out of which 822 are from the Prophet and the remainder from the Companions, Successors and others. This would suggest that Imam Malik was not overly concerned with the distinction between Hadith, and athar which was to become the main theme of al-Shafi'i's endeavor to establish the overriding authority of the Prophetic Hadith. [17. Guraya, Origins, pp. 29-34.] Proof-Value (Hujjiyyah) of Sunnah The ulema are unanimous to the effect that Sunnah is a source of Shari'ah and that in its rulings with regard to halal and haram it stands on the same footing as the Qur'an.' [18. Shawkani, Irshad, p. 33.] The Sunnah of the Prophet is a proof (hujjah) for the Qur'an, testifies to its authority and enjoins the Muslim to comply with it. The words of the Prophet, as the Qur'an tells us, are divinely inspired (al-Najm, 53:3). His acts and teachings that are meant to establish a rule of Shari'ah constitute a binding proof.' 'Ilm, p. 37.] While commenting on the Qur'anic ayah which states of the Prophet that 'he does not speak of his own desire, it is none other than wahy sent to him', Al-Ghazali writes that some of the divine Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence ~ Kamali 50 [19. Khallaf, revelation which the Prophet received constitutes the Qur'an, whereas the remainder is Sunnah. The words of the Prophet are hujjah on anyone who heard the Prophet saying them. As for us and the generality of Muslims who have received them through the verbal and written reports of narrators, we need to ascertain their authenticity. [20. Ghazali, Mustasfa, I, 83.] The proof of authenticity may be definitive (qat'i), or it may amount to a preferable conjecture (al-zann al-rajih); in either case, the Sunnah commands obedience of the mukallaf. All the rulings of the Prophet, especially those which correspond with the Qur'an and corroborate its contents, constitute binding law. [21. Khallaf, 'Ilm, p. 37.] In more than one place, the Qur'an enjoins obedience to the Prophet and makes it a duty of the believers to submit to his judgment and his authority without question. The following ayat are all explicit on this theme, all of which are quoted by al-Shafi'i in his renowned work, Al-Risalah (P. 47ff): And whatever the Messenger gives you, take it, and whatever he forbids you, abstain from it (al-Hashr, 59:7). Obey God and obey the Messenger and those who are in charge of affairs among you. Should you happen to dispute over something, then refer it to God and to the Messenger (al-Nisa', 4:58-59). To refer the judgment of a dispute to God means recourse to the Qur'an, and referring it to the Messenger means recourse to the Sunnah. [22. Shatibi, Muwafaqat, IV, 7.] In another passage, the Qur'an emphasizes: 'Whoever obeys the Messenger verily obeys God' (al-Nisa 4:80). And finally, the Qur'an is categorical to the effect that the definitive rulings of the Qur'an and Sunnah are binding on the believers in that they are no...
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