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Unformatted text preview: .] Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence ~ Kamali 63 [70. Cf. [71. According to the majority of ulema, however, the Sunnah, in all its parts, even when it enacts original legislation, is explanatory and integral to the Qur'an. [73. Cf. Abu Zahrah, Usul, p. 82.] Al-Shafi'i's views on this matter are representative of the majority position. In his Risalah, al-Shafi'i' states: I do not know anyone among the ulema to oppose [the doctrine] that the Sunnah of the Prophet is of three types: first is the Sunnah which prescribes the like of what God has revealed in His Book; next is the Sunnah which explains the general principles of the Qur'an and clarifies the will of God; and last is the Sunnah where the Messenger of God has ruled on matters on which nothing can be found in the Book of God. The first two varieties are integral to the Qur'an, but the ulema have differed as to the third. [74. Shafi'i, Risalah, pp. 52-53.] Al-Shafi'i goes on to explain the views that the ulema have advanced concerning the relationship of Sunnah to the Qur'an. One of these views, which receives strong support from al-Shafi'i himself, is that God has explicitly rendered obedience to the Prophet an obligatory duty (fard). In his capacity as Messenger of God, the Prophet has introduced laws some of which originate in the Qur'an while others do not. But all Prophetic legislation emanates in divine authority. The Sunnah and the Qur'an are of the same provenance, and all must be upheld and obeyed. Others have held the view that the Prophetic mission itself, that is the fact that the Prophet is the chosen Messenger of God, is sufficient proof for the authority of the Sunnah. For it is through the Sunnah that the Prophet fulfilled his divine mission. According to yet another view there is no Sunnah whose origin cannot be traced back to the Qur'an. This view maintains that even the Sunnah which explains the number and content of salah and the quantities of zakah as well as the lawful and forbidden varieties of food and trade merely elaborates general principles of the Qur'an. [75. Shafi'i, Risalah, pp. 52-53.] More specifically, all the ahadith which provide details on the lawful and unlawful varieties of food merely elaborate the Qur'anic declaration that God has permitted wholesome food and prohibited that which is unclean (al-A'raf: 7:157). 388.] The majority view, which seeks to establish an almost total identity between the Sunnah and the Qur'an, further refers to the saying of the Prophet's widow, 'A'ishah, when she attempted to interpret the Qur'anic epithet wa innaka la 'ala khuluqin 'azim ('and you possess an excellent character') (al-Qalam, 68:4). 'A'ishah is quoted to have said that 'his (the Prophet's) khuluq was the Qur'an'. Khuluq in this context means the conduct of the Prophet, his acts, sayings, and all that he has approved. Thus it is concluded that the Sunnah is not separate from the Qur'an. [77. Qurtubi, Tafsir, XVIII, 227.] Furthermore, the majority view seeks to establish an identity between th...
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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