Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence by MH kamali

Thus it may be difficult to determine whether an act

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Unformatted text preview: the Prophet acted in a certain way which was in accord with the then prevailing custom of the community. For instance, the Prophet kept his beard at a certain length and trimmed his moustache. The majority of ulema have viewed this not as a mere observance of the familiar usage at the time but as an example for the believers to follow. Others have held the opposite view by saying that it was a part of the social practice of the Arabs which was designed to prevent resemblance to the Jews and some non-Arabs who used to shave the beard and grow the moustache. Such practices were, in other words, a part of the current usage and basically optional. Similarly, it is known that the Prophet used to go to the 'id prayers (salat al-'id) by one route and return from the mosque by a different route, and that the Prophet at times performed the hajj pilgrimage while riding a camel. The Shafi'i jurists are inclined to prefer the commendable (mandub) in such acts to mere permissibility whereas the Hanafis consider them as merely permissible, or mubah. [34. Shawkani, Irshad, p. 35ff; Abu Zahrah, Usul, p. 90; Hitu, Wajiz, p. 273.] The legal Sunnah (Sunnah tashri'iyya) consists of the exemplary conduct of the Prophet, be it an act, saying, or a tacit approval, which incorporates the rules and principles of Shari'ah. This variety of Sunnah may be divided into three types, namely the Sunnah which the Prophet laid down in his capacities as Messenger of God, as the Head of State or imam, or in his capacity as a judge. We shall discuss each of these separately, as follows: (a) In his capacity as Messenger of God, the Prophet has laid down rules which are, on the whole complementary to the Quran, but also established rules on which the Qur'an is silent. In this capacity, the Sunnah may consist of a clarification of the ambiguous (mujmal) parts of the Qur'an or specifying and qualifying the general and the absolute contents of the Qur'an. Whatever the Prophet has authorized pertaining the principles of religion, especially in the area of devotional matters (ibadat) and rules expounding the lawful and the unlawful, that is, the Halal and haram, constitutes general legislation (tashri' 'amm) whose validity is not restricted to the limitations of time and circumstance. All commands and prohibitions that are imposed by the Sunnah are binding in every Muslim regardless of individual circumstances, social status, or Political office. In acting upon these laws, the individual normally does not need any prior authorization by a religious leader or the government. [35. Shaltut, Al-Islam, p. 513.] Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence ~ Kamali 54 The question arises as to how it is determined that the Prophet acted in one or the other of his three capacities as mentioned above. It is not always easy to answer this question in categorical terms. The uncertainty which has arisen in answering this question in particular cases is, in fact, one of the main causes of juristic disagreement (ikhtilaf) among the...
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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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