Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence by MH kamali

In regard to these matters once again there is only

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Unformatted text preview: 260-61; Zuhayr, Usul, IV, 238.] This view has quoted in support the Qur'anic text where in reference to the two judgements of David and Solomon on one and the same issue, God validated only one. The text runs: And when David and Solomon both passed judgement on the field where some people's sheep had strayed to pasture there at night, We acted as Witnesses for their decision. We made Solomon understand it. To each We gave discretion and knowledge [ ...] (al-Anbiya', 21:78-79). Had there been more than one correct solution to a juridical problem, then this ayah would have upheld the judgements both of David and Solomon. It is thus suggested that this ayah confirms the unitary character of truth in ijtihad. Furthermore, when one looks at the practice of the Companions, it will be obvious that not only did they admit the possibility of error in their own judgements but that then also criticised one another. If all of them were to be right in their ijtihad, there would be no point in their criticising one another or in admitting the possibility of error in their own ijtihad. To give an example, the Caliph Abu Bakr is reported to have said in regard to the issue of kalalah (i.e. when the deceased leaves no parent or child to inherit him): 'I decided the question of kalalah according to my opinion. If it is correct, it is an inspiration from God; if it is wrong, then the error is mine and Satan's: 187; Ibn al-Qayyim, I`lam, I, 177.] It is further reported that when `Umar b. al-Khattab adjudicated a case, one of the parties to the dispute who was present at the time said, 'By God this is the truth.' To this the caliph replied that he did not know whether he had attained the truth, but that he had spared no effort in striving to do so. [68. Amidi, Ihkam, IV, 187.] The ahadith and the practice of the Companions on ijtihad clearly entertain the possibility of error in ijtihad. A mujtahid may be right or may have erred, but in either case, his effort is commendable and worthy of reward. The opposite view, which is a minority opinion, maintains that there is no pre-determined truth in regard to ijtihadi matters. Almighty God has not determined one particular solution as truth to the exclusion of all others. The result of ijtihad may thus vary and several verdicts may be regarded as truth Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence ~ Kamali 331 [67. Amidi, Ihkam, IV, on their merit. This view quotes in support the same Qur'anic text, quoted above, which in its latter part refers to David and Solomon with the words: To each We gave discretion and knowledge.' Had either of them committed an error, God would not have praised them thus. It is hence implied that both were right, and that every mujtahid attains the truth in his own way. It is further argued that had there been only one truth in regard to a particular issue, the mujtahid would not have been bound by the result of his own ijtihad. His duty to follow his own ijtihad to the exclusion of anyone else's suggests that every mujtahid attains the truth...
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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.

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