Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence by MH kamali

The difference between the two classes of obligations

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Unformatted text preview: hen the former is neglected in an act required by the Shari'ah, the act as a whole becomes null and void (batil). If. for example, a person leaves out the bowing (ruku`) or prostration (sajdah) in obligatory prayers, the whole of the prayer becomes null and void. But if he leaves out the recitation of al-Fatihah, the salah is basically valid, albeit deficient. This is the Hanafi view, but according to the majority the salah is null and void in both cases. However, the difference between the Hanafis and the majority in this respect is regarded as one of form rather than substance, in that the consequences of their disagreement are on the whole negligible. [8. Abu Zahrah, Usul, pp. 23-24; Abu `Id, Mabahith, p. 63.] Al-Ghazali is representative of the majority opinion, including that of the Shafi'is, when he writes: `As far as we are concerned, there is no difference between fard and wajib; the two terms are synonymous. According to the Hanafis, fard is based on definitive authority but wajib is founded in speculative proof. Once again, we do not deny the division of wajib into definitive and speculative (maqtu' wa-maznun) and there is no objection to the rise of different expressions once their meaning is clear.' [9. Ghazali, Mustasfa, I. 42.] Wajib is sub-divided into at least three varieties, the first of which is the division of wajib into personal ('ayni) and collective (kafa'i). Wajib `ayni is addressed to every individual sui juris and cannot, in principle, be performed for or on behalf of another person. Examples of wajib (or fard) 'ayni are salah, hajj, zakah, fulfillment of contract and obedience to one's parents. Wajib kafa'i consists of obligations that are addressed to the community as a whole. If only some members of the community perform them, the law is satisfied and the rest of the community is absolved of it. For example, the duty to participate in jihad (holy struggle), funeral prayers, the hisbah, (promotion of good and prevention of evil), building hospitals, extinguishing fires, giving testimony and serving as a judge, etc., are all collective obligations of the community, and are thus wajib (or fard) kafa'i. Thus when a person dies leaving no property to meet the cost of his burial, it is the wajib kafa'i of the community to provide it and to give him a decent burial. Only some members of the community may actually contribute toward the costs, but the duty is nevertheless discharged from the whole of the community. The merit (thawab), however, only attaches to those who have actually taken part in discharging the wajib kafa'i duty. The collective obligation sometimes changes into a personal obligation. This is, for example, the case with regard to jihad, which is a wajib kafa'i, although when the enemy attacks and besieges a locality it becomes the personal duty of every resident to defend it. Similarly, when there is only one mujtahid in a city, it becomes his personal duty to carry out ijtihad. [10. Khallaf, 'Ilm, p. 109; Qasim, Usul, p.218; Abu 'Id, Mabahith, p.69.] Wa...
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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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