Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence by MH kamali

The result of ijtihad may thus vary and several

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Unformatted text preview: . [69. Shawkani, Irshad, p. 262; Zuhayr, Usul, IV, 239; Kassab, Adwa', pp. 102-103.] This view seeks further support in the rule of Shari'ah which authorises the Imam or the mujtahid to appoint as judge another mujtahid who may differ with him in ijtihad. This was, for example, the case when Abu Bakr appointed Zayd b. Thabit as a judge while it was common knowledge among the Companions that Zayd had differed with Abu Bakr on many issues. Had a difference of opinion in ijtihadi matters amounted to divergence from truth and indulgence in error, Abu Bakr would not have appointed Zayd to judicial office. And lastly, the proponents of this view have referred to the Hadith which reads: `My Companions are like stars; any one of them that you follow will lead you to the right path.' Had there been any substance to the idea that truth is unitary, the Prophet would have specified adherence only to those of his Companions who attained to it. Usul, IV, 241.] [70. Shawkani, Irshad, p. 262; Amidi, Ihkam, IV, 152; Zuhayr, These differences may be resolved, as the majority of ulema suggest, in the light of the celebrated Hadith, which we quote again: 'When a judge renders ijtihad and gives a right judgement, he will have two rewards, but if he errs, he will still have earned one reward.' This Hadith clearly shows that the mujtahid is either right (musib), or in error (mukhti'), that some mujtahidun attain the truth while others do not; but that sin attaches to neither as they are both rewarded for their efforts. Hence anyone who maintains that there are as many truths as there are mujtahids is clearly out of line with the purport of this Hadith. If every mujtahid were supposed to be right, then the division of mujtahids into two types in this Hadith would have no meaning. Classification and Restrictions [71. Shawkani, Irshad, p. 261.] In their drive to impose restrictions on ijtihad, the ulema of usul of the fifth/eleventh century and the subsequent period classified ijtihad into several categories. Initially it was divided into two types: firstly, ijtihad which aims at deducing the law from the evidence in the sources, often referred to as 'independent ijtihad'; and secondly, ijtihad which is concerned mainly with the elaboration and implementation of the law within the confines of a particular school, known as `limited ijtihad'. During the first two and a half centuries of Islam, there was never any attempt at denying a scholar the right to Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence ~ Kamali 332 find his own solutions to legal problems. It was only at a later period that the question of who was qualified to practice ijtihad was raised. From about the middle of the third/ninth century, the idea began to gain currency that only the great scholars of the past had enjoyed the right to practice ijtihad. Schacht, 'Idjtihad', Encyclopedia of Islam, IV, 1029.] This was the beginning of what came to be known as the `closure of the gate of ijtihad'. Before the fifth/eleventh century, no trace may be found of any attempt to classify ijtihad into categories of excellence. Al-Ghazali (d. 505/1111) was the first to divide ijtihad into tw...
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