or consensus is one of the four sources of Islamic jurisprudence. The Qur'an and theSunnah are two primary and foundational sources, while
(analogical reasoning)are two secondary sources.
“Classical Muslim methodology (
) refers to the basic textual sources and methodsused in producing Muslim attitudes in different spheres of life including internationalrelations. These sources are the Qur'an, Sunnah,
(consensus), and ijtihad (the useof human reason or
) in elaboration and interpretation of the Shari'ah.
includesthe fourth major
source of Muslim thought, the qiyas (analogy) ...”
"... no one at all should [give an opinion] on a specific matter by merely saying: It ispermitted or prohibited, unless he is certain of [legal] knowledge, and this knowledgemust be based on the Qur'an and the sunna, or [derived] from
From dogma to norms to laws/codes,
is recognized to have a pivotal place in Islamicdiscourse and socio-religious unity."This important doctrine played a vital role in the integration of the Muslim community. Inits early phase it manifested itself as a general average opinion, a common feeling of thecommunity, and as a binding force of the body of law against unsuccessful and strayopinions. In the classical period it developed with its complex theory and ramifications. Itbecame a decisive authority in religious affairs. All religious doctrines were standardizedthrough
. Its rejection was considered heresy, indeed sometimes tantamount tounbelief."
"It must be noted ... that unlike the Qur'an and Sunnah,
does not directly partake ofdivine revelation. As a doctrine and proof of Shari'ah,
is basically a rational proof.The theory of
is also clear on the point that it is a binding proof."
plays a crucial role in the development of Shari'a. The existing body of fiqh is theproduct of a long process of
can put an end to doubt, and when it throws its weight behind a ruling, thisbecomes decisive and infallible.
has primarily been regarded as the instrument ofconservatism and of preserving the heritage of the past. ...
enhances the authority ofrules that are of speculative origin. Speculative rules do not carry a binding force, butonce an
is held in their favor, they become definitive and binding. ... Lastly,
represent authority. Once an
is established it tends to become an authority in its own
right, and its roots in the primary sources are gradually weakened or even lost.”
AbdulHamid A. AbuSulayman.
The Islamic Theory of International Relations: New Directions for Islamic Methodology and Thought
[Herndon, VA: The International Institute of Islamic Thought, 1987], pp.58-59.
Al-Shafi'i's Risala: Treatise on the Foundations of Islamic Jurisprudence
[translated byMajid Khadduri; Cambridge, UK: The Islamic Texts Society, 2nd Edition, 1987], p. 78.
The Doctrine of Ijma': A Study of the Juridical Principle of Consensus
[New Delhi,India: Kitab Bhaban, 2003. See Introduction.
Mohammad Hashim Kamali.
Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence
[Cambridge, UK: Islamic TextsSociety, 2003], p. 228.
Kamali, p. 231.
Kamali, p. 232.