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Unformatted text preview: s to a particular problem, and sometimes the best solution may be known and yet unattainable given the feasibility and practical considerations that might limit one's range of choice. In such situations one must surely do that which is possible under the circumstances. But it is imperative not to abandon ijtihad completely. It is a common and grave error to say that ijtihad is unattainable and that the conditions for its exercise are too exacting to fulfill. To regulate ijtihad is indeed the primary objective of usul al-fiqh and of whatever it has to teach regarding the sources of law and the methods of interpretation and deduction. A grasp of the concepts and doctrines of usul al-fiqh is not only helpful but necessary to ijtihad so as to enable the Muslim jurist and legislator to contribute to the on-going search for better solutions to social issues, and hopefully also toward the development of the outlook that the Shariah, despite its restraints, also possesses considerable flexibility and resources to accommodate social change. IV. With regard to the translation of technical Arabic terms, I have to some extent followed the existing works, especially Abdur Rahim's Principles of Muhammadan Jurisprudence. But in the absence of any precedent, or when I was able to find a better alternative, I have improvised the equivalent English terms myself. Most of the Arabic terms are easily convertible into English without engaging in technicalities, but there are occasions where this is not the case, and at times the choice of terms is determined on grounds of consistency and style rather than semantic accuracy. To give an example, one of the chapters in this book is devoted to the discussion of textual implications (al-dalalat). The five varieties of textual implications, namely 'ibarah al-nass, isharah al-nass, dalalah al-nass, iqtida al-nass and mafhum al-mukhalafah, each signify a different concept for which an exact English equivalent is Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence ~ Kamali 8 difficult to find. I have always tried to give priority to semantic accuracy, but as can be seen this is not the only factor which has determined my choice of 'explicit meaning', 'alluded meaning', 'implied meaning', 'required meaning' and 'divergent meaning' for the foregoing terms respectively. For at times like this, it becomes difficult to be semantically exact as the shades of meaning and concepts tend to be somewhat overlapping. A measure of technicality and arbitrariness in the choice of terms is perhaps inevitable in dealing with certain topics of usul al-fiqh such as the classification of words and the rules of interpretation. On such occasions, I thought it helpful not to isolate the English terms from their Arabic originals. I have therefore repeated the Arabic terms frequently enough to relate them to their English equivalents in the text. But when the reader is not sure of the meaning of technical terms a look at the glossary, which appears at the end of the text might prove useful. The translation of the Qur'anic...
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- Spring '13