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Unformatted text preview: better for us to follow the ra'y of a Companion rather than our own opinion,' Ibn al-Qayyim accepts this without reservation, and produces evidence in its support. He then continues to explain that the fatwa of a Companion may fall into any of six categories. Firstly, it may be based on what the Companion might have heard from the Prophet. Ibn al-Qayyim explains that the Companions knew more about the teachings of the Prophet than what has come down to us in the form of Hadith narrated by the Companions. Note, for example, that Abu Bakr al-Siddiq transmitted no more than one hundred ahadith from the Prophet notwithstanding the fact that he was deeply knowledgeable of the Sunnah and was closely associated with the Prophet not only after the Prophetic mission began, but even before. Secondly, the fatwa of a Companion may be based on what he might have heard from a fellow Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence ~ Kamali 215 Companion, Thirdly, it may be based on his own understanding of the Qur'an in such a way that the matter would not be obvious to us had the Companion not issued a fatwa on it. Fourthly, the Companion may have based his view on the collective agreement of the Companions, although we have received it through one Companion only. Fifthly, the fatwa of a Companion may be based on the learned opinion and general knowledge that he acquired through long experience. And Sixthly, the fatwa of a Companion may be based on an understanding of his which is not a result of direct observation but of information that he received indirectly, and it is possible that his opinion is incorrect, in which case his fatwa is not a proof and need not be followed by others. Usul, pp. 169-70.] [23. Ibn Qayyim, I`lam, II, 191ff; Abu Zahrah, And lastly, it will be noted that Imam Malik has not only upheld the fatwas of Companions but has almost equated it with the Sunnah of the Prophet. This is borne out by the fact, as already stated in our discussion of the Sunnah, that in his Muwatta', he has recorded over 1,700 ahadith, of which over half are the sayings and fatwas of Companions. On a similar note, Abu Zahrah has reached the conclusion that the four Imams of Jurisprudence have all, in principle, upheld and followed the fatwas of Companions and all considered them to be authoritative, although some of their followers have held views which differ with those of their leading Imams. The author then quotes al-Shawkani at some length to the effect that the fatwa of a Companion is not a proof. Having quoted al-Shawkani, Abu Zahrah refutes his view by saying that it is 'not free of exaggeration'. (We have already given a brief outline of Abu Zahrah's critique of al-Shawkani.) Abu Zahrah then quotes Ibn al-Qayyim's view on this matter which we have already discussed, and supports it to the effect that the fatwa of a Companion is authoritative. But it is obvious from the tenor of his discussion and the nature of the subject as a whole that the fatwa of a Companion is a speculative proof only. [24. Abu Zahrah, Usul, p. 172...
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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