Unformatted text preview: fuqaha'. The ulema have on the whole attempted to ascertain the main trust, or the direction (jihah) of the particular acts and saying of the prophet. An enquiry of this nature helps to provide an indication as to the value of the Sunnah in question: whether it constitutes an obligation, commendation, or ibadah on the one hand, or a prohibition or abomination (karahah) on the other. When the direction of an act is known from the evidence in the sources, there remains no doubt as to its value. If, for example, the prophet attempts to explain an ambiguous ruling of the Qur'an, the explanation so provided would fall in the same category of values as the original ruling itself. According to the majority of ulema, if the ambiguous of the Qur'an is known to be obligatory' or commendable, the explanatory Sunnah would carry the same value. For example, all the practical instructions of the Prophet which explained and illustrated the obligatory Salah would be wajib and his acts pertaining to the superiority prayers such as Salah on the occasion of lunar and solar eclipse salat al-khusuf wa al-kusuf) would be mandub .[36. Hitu, Wajiz, p. 274; Badran, Bayan, p. 41.] Alternatively, the Sunnah may itself provide a clear indication as to whether a particular rule which it prescribes is wajib, mandub, or merely permissible. Another method of ascertaining the value of a particular act is to draw an analogy between an undefined act and an act or saying whose value is known. Additionally, the subject-matter of the Sunnah may provide a sign or an indication as to its value. With regard to prayers, for example, the call to prayers, or adhan, and the call which immediately precedes the standing to congregational prayer (i.e. the iqamah) are indications as to the obligatory nature of the prayer. For it is known from the rules of Shari'ah that adhan and iqamah precede the obligatory Salah only. A salah which is not obligatory such as the 'id prayer, or Salat al-istisqa' ('prayers offered at the time of drought'), are not preceded by the preliminaries of adhan or iqamah. Another method of evaluating an act is by looking at its opposite, that is, its absence. If it is concluded that the act in question would have been in the nature of a prohibition had it not been authorized by the Prophet, then this would imply that it is obligatory. For example, circumcision is evaluated to be an obligation. Since it consists essentially of the infliction of injury for no obvious cause, had it not been made into an obligation, then it would presumably be unlawful. Its validation by the Shari'ah, in other words, is taken as an indication of its wujub. This explanation is basically applicable to all penalties that the Shari'ah has prescribed, although in most cases the value of the prescribed punishment is understood from the direct rulings of the relevant texts. And lastly, an act may require the belated performance (qada') of a wajib or a mandub, and as such its value would correspond to that of its prompt performance (a...
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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