Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence by MH kamali

The ulema are generally in agreement that the prophet

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Unformatted text preview: ivine revelation and that none would occur in the form of ijtihad. [55. Shawkani, Irshad, p. 255.] The majority of ulema have, however, held that the Prophet in fact practiced ijtihad just as he was allowed to do so. This, it is said, is borne out by the numerous ayat of the Qur'an where the Prophet is invited, along with the rest of the believers, to meditate on the Qur'an and to study and think about the created world. As for the ayah in sura al-Najm quoted above, the majority of ulema have held that the reference here is to the Qur'an itself, and not to every word that the Prophet uttered. That this is so is borne out by the use of the pronoun `it' (huwa) in this ayah, which refers to the Qur'an itself. The majority view adds that the occasion for the revelation (sha'n al-nuzul) of this ayah supports this interpretation. (The ayah was revealed in refutation of the unbelievers who claimed that the Qur'an was the work of the Prophet himself and not the speech of God.) Besides, the Prophet often resorted to reasoning by way of analogy and ijtihad, and did not postpone all matters until the reception of divine revelation [56. Shawkani, Irshad, p. 256; Zuhayr, Usul, IV, 227.] The minority view on this subject overrules the claim of the practice of ijtihad by the Prophet and maintains that if it were true that the Prophet practiced ijtihad, then disagreeing with his views would be permissible. For it is a characteristic of ijtihad to allow disagreement and opposition. Opposing the Prophet is, however, clearly forbidden, and obedience to him is a Qur'anic duty upon every Muslim (alNisa', 4:14 and 58). Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence ~ Kamali 328 There is yet a third opinion on this point which, owing to the conflicting nature of the evidence, advises total suspension. This view is attributed to al-Shafi'i and upheld by al-Baqillani and al-Ghazali. AlShawkani, however, rejects it by saying that the Qur'an gives us clear indications not only to the effect that ijtihad was permissible for the Prophet but also that he was capable of making errors. p. 256; Ghazali, Mustasfa, II, 104.] Nonetheless, the ulema who have maintained this view add that such an error is not sustained, meaning that any error the Prophet might have made was rectified by the Prophet himself or through subsequent revelation. [58. Kassab, Adwa', p. 61.] Thus we find passages in the Qur'an which reproach the Prophet for his errors. To give an example, a text in sura al-Anfal (8:67) provide,: `It is not proper for the Prophet to take prisoners [of war] until he has subdued everyone in the earth: This ayah was revealed concerning the captives of the battle of Badr. It is reported that seventy persons from the enemy side were taken prisoner in the battle. The Prophet first consulted Abu Bakr, who suggested that they should be released against a ransom, whereas `Umar b. al-Khattab held the view that they should be killed. The Prophet approved of Abu Bakr's view but then the ayah was revealed which disapproved of taking ransom from the captives. Elsewhere, in sura al-Tawbah (9:43), in an address to the Prophe...
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