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Unformatted text preview: sura al-Tawbah (9:36) which addresses the believers to 'fight the pagans all together (kaffah) as they fight you all together'. The word 'kaffah' which occurs twice in this text precludes the possibility of applying specification (takhsis) to the words preceding it, namely the pagans (mushrikin). Mufassar occurs in many a modern statute with regard to specified crimes and their Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence ~ Kamali 92 penalties, but also with regard to civil liabilities, the payment of damages, and debts. The words of the statute are often self-explained and definite so as to preclude ta'wil. But the basic function of the explanation that the text itself provides is concerned with that part of the text which is ambivalent (mujmal) and needs to be clarified. When the necessary explanation is provided, the ambiguity is removed and the text becomes a Mufassar. An example of this is the phrase 'laylah al-qadr' ('night of qadr') in the following Qur'anic passage. The phrase is ambiguous to begin with, but is then explained: We sent it [the Qur'an] down on the Night of Qadr. What will make you realise what the Night of Qadr is like?[...] It is the night in which angels and the spirit descend [...] (al-Qadr, 97:1-4). The text thus explains the 'laylah al-qadr' and as a result of the explanation so provided, the text becomes self-explained, or Mufassar. Hence there is no need for recourse to ta'wil. Sometimes the ambiguous of the Qur'an is clarified by the Sunnah, and when this is the case, the clarification given by the Sunnah becomes an integral part of the Qur'an. There are numerous examples of this, such as the words salah, zakah, hajj, riba, which occur in the following ayat: Perform the salah and pay the zakah (al-Nahl, 16:44) God has enacted upon people the pilgrimage of hajj to be performed by all who are capable of it (Al-'Imran, 3:97). God permitted sale and prohibited usury (riba ) (al-Baqarah, 2:275). The juridical meanings of salah, zakah, hajj and riba could not be known from the brief references that are made to them in these ayat. Hence the Prophet provided the necessary explanation in the form of both verbal and practical instructions. In this way the text which was initially ambivalent (mujmal) became Mufassar. With regard to salah, for example, the Prophet instructed his followers to 'perform the salah the way you see me performing it', and regarding the hajj he ordered them to 'take from me the rituals of the hajj. [21. Tabrizi, Mishkat, I, 215, Hadith no. 683; Shatibi, Muwafaqat III, 178; Khallaf, 'Ilm, p.167; Badran, Usul, p. 405.] Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence ~ Kamali 93 There are also many ahadith which explain the Qur'anic prohibition of riba in specific and elaborate detail. The value (hukm) of the Mufassar is that acting upon it is obligatory. The clear meaning of a Mufassar is not open to interpretation and unless it has been abrogated, the obvious text must be followed. But since abrogation of the Qur'an and Sunnah discontinued up...
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