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Unformatted text preview: which are less clear. Thus the Muhkam (perspicuous) will be preferred to the Mufassar (unequivocal), the latter to the Nass (explicit) and the Nass to the Zahir (manifest). Among unclear words, the Khafi (obscure) takes priority over the Mushkil (difficult), the latter over the Mujmal (ambivalent) and the Mujmal over the Mutashabih (intricate), in an order of priority which again has been stated elsewhere under the rules of interpretation. Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence ~ Kamali 310 Inequality in respect of transmission is mainly concerned with the Hadith: when, for example, the Mutawatir is compared to the Mashhur, the former is preferred to the latter. Similarly the Mashhur takes priority over the solitary (Ahad) Hadith, and the report of a transmitter who is faqih is preferred to the report of a transmitter who is not. Reports by persons who are known to be retentive of memory take priority over those which are transmitted by persons whose retentiveness is uncertain. On a similar note, ahadith that are transmitted by leading Companions are given preference to those transmitted by Companions who are less well known for their prominence and continuity of contact with the Prophet. The Hanafis also consider the action of the transmitter upon his own narration to be a supportive factor which adds to the strength of a Hadith. The Malikis on the other hand prefer a Hadith that is in agreement with the practice of the people of Madinah over one which is not. Similarly, the report of a transmitter who is directly involved in an incident is preferable to other reports. Thus with the Hadith which is reported by the Prophet's wife Maymunah, to the effect that the Prophet married her while both of them were halal, that is outside the sacred state of ihram for the hajj ceremonies; this report is preferred to that of Ibn `Abbas to the effect that the Prophet married Maymunah while he was in the sacred state of ihram. [9. Abu Dawud, Sunan, II, 486-87, Hadith, no. 1839 and 1840; Ghazali, Mustasfa, II, 128; Khudari, Usul, p. 367.] In this way, a Hadith which is supported by a more reliable chain of transmission is preferred to a Hadith which is weak in its proof of authenticity. At times the mujtahid may be confronted with a situation where each of the two conflicting Hadiths is stronger in respect of some of these factors but weaker in regard to others, in which case it is for the mujtahid to assess and determine the overall strength or weakness of the Hadith according to his own ijtihad. The ulema of Hadith are in agreement that a Hadith which is reported by all the six imams of Hadith, namely al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, al-Nasa'i, al-Tirmidhi, and Ibn Majah, takes priority over that which might have been reported only by some and not all of these authorities. Among ahadith which are not reported by all the six authorities, those which are reported by the first two are preferred, and if one of the two conflicting Hadith is reported by al-Bukhari and the other by Muslim, the former is preferred to the latter. [10. Abu Zahrah, Usul, p. 246.] According to another rule of preference, affirmative evidence takes priority over the negative. This may be illustrated by the two rulings of Hadith concerning the right of a slave-wo...
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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