Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence by MH kamali

The sovereignty of the people if the use of the word

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Unformatted text preview: rd 'sovereignty' is at all appropriate, is a delegated, or executive sovereignty (sultan tanfidhi) only. [Cf. Zaydan, al-Fard wa al-Dawlah, p. 29.] Although the ,consensus or ijma' of the community, or of its learned members, is a recognised source of law in Islam, in the final analysis, ijma' is subservient to divine revelation and can never overrule the explicit injunctions of the Quran and Sunnah. The role of the ballot box and the sovereignty of the people are thus seen in a different light in Islamic law to that of Western jurisprudence. And lastly, unlike its Western counterpart, Islamic jurisprudence is not confined to commands and prohibitions, and far less to commands which originate in a court of law. Its scope is much wider, as it is concerned not only with what a man must do or must not do, but also with what he ought to do or ought not to do, and the much larger area where his decision to do or to avoid doing something is his own prerogative. Usul al-fiqh provides guidance in all these areas, most of which remain outside the scope of Western jurisprudence. II. Two Approaches to the Study of Usul al-fiqh Following the establishment of the madhahib the ulema of the various schools adopted two different approaches to the study of usul al-fiqh, one of which is theoretical and the other deductive. The main difference between these approaches is one of orientation rather than substance whereas the former is primarily concerned with the exposition of theoretical doctrines, the latter is pragmatic in the sense that theory is formulated in light of its application to relevant issues. The difference between the two approaches resembles the work of a legal draftsman when it is compared to the work of a judge. The former is mainly concerned with the exposition of principles whereas the latter tends to develop a synthesis between the principle and the requirements of a particular case. The theoretical approach to the study of usul al-fiqh is adopted by the Shafii school and the Mutakallimun, that is the ulema of kalam and the Mu'tazilah. The deductive approach is, on the other hand, mainly attributed to the Hanafis. The former is known as usul al-Shafi'iyyah or tariqah al-Mutakallimin, whereas the latter is known as usul al-Hanafiyyah, or tariqah al-fuqaha'. Al-Shafii was mainly concerned with articulating the theoretical principles of usul al-fiqh without necessarily attempting to relate these to the fiqh itself. As a methodologist par excellence, he enacted a set of standard criteria which he expected to be followed in the detailed formulation of the rules of fiqh. His theoretical exposition of usul al-fiqh, in other words, did not take into consideration their practical Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence ~ Kamali 17 application in the area of the furu'. In addition, the Shafi'is and the Mutakallimun are inclined to engage in complex issues of a philosophical character which may or may not contribute to the development of the practical rules of fiqh. In this way subjects such as the 'ismah of the proph...
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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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