Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence by MH kamali

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Unformatted text preview: jib is also divided into wajib muwaqqat, that is, wajib which is contingent on a time-limit and wajib mutlaq, that is, 'absolute wajib', which is free of such a limitation. Fasting and the obligatory salah are examples of contingent wajib, as they must each be observed within specified time limits. But performing the hajj or the payment of an expiation (kaffarah) are not subject to such restrictions and are therefore absolute wajib. Provided that one performs the hajj once during one's lifetime and pays the kaffarah at any time before one dies, the duty is discharged. [11. The Mu'tazilah have held the view that a flexibility of this kind Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence ~ Kamali 281 negates the whole concept of wujub, as in their view wajib precludes the element of choice altogether. But the majority of ulema refute this by saying that there is no necessary contradiction in dividing the wajib into wajib muwaqqat and wajib mutlaq. For details see Ghazali, Mustasfa, I, 43-44.] Furthermore, the absolute wajib is called absolute because there is no time-limit on its performance and it may be fulfilled every time whenever the occasion arises. This is, for example, the case regarding one's duty to obey one's parents, or the obligation to carry out hisbah, namely, to promote good and to prevent of evil as and when the occasion arises. A consequence of this division is that wajib muwaqqat materialises only when the time is due for it; it may neither be hastened nor delayed, but within the given time limits the mukallaf has a measure of flexibility. Furthermore, to fulfill a contingent wajib it is necessary that the mukallaf have the intention (niyyah) specifically to discharge it. [12. Khudari, Usul, p.33; Khallaf, `Ilm, p. 108.] Lastly, the wajib is divided into quantified wajib (wajib muhaddad) and unquantified wajib (wajib ghayr muhaddad). An example of the former is salah, zakah, payment of the price (thaman) by the purchaser in a sale transaction, and payment of rent in accordance with the terms of a tenancy agreement, all of which are quantified. Similarly, enforcement of the prescribed penalties (hudud) falls under the rubric of wajib muhaddad in the sense that the hadd penalties are all specified in terms of quantity. The unquantified wajib may be illustrated by reference to one's duty to support one's close relatives, charity to the poor, feeding the hungry, paying a dower, (mahr) to one's wife, the length of standing (qiyam), bowing and prostration in salah, wiping the head in ablution (wudu') and quantifying the ta'zir penalties for offences which are punishable but in regard to which the Lawgiver has not quantified the punishment. (It is for the judge to quantify the punishment in light of the individual circumstances of the offender and the offence.) Consequently, the mukallaf, be it the individual believer, the qadi or the imam, enjoys the flexibility to determine the quantitative aspect of the unquantified wajib himself. [13. Ghazali, Mustasfa, I, 47; Khallaf, 'Ilm, p. 110; Abu Zahrah, Usul, p. 35; Khudari, Usul, p. 42.] A consequence of this division is that if the quantified wajib is not discharged within the given timelimit, it constitutes a liability on the person (dhimmah) of the individual, as in the case of unpaid zakah or an unpaid debt. Failure to discharge a wajib ghayr muhaddad, on the other hand, does not result in a per...
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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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