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Islamic Studies 46:3 (2007) pp.


The Removal of Blame from the Great Imams: An Annotated Translation of Ibn Taymiyyah's. Raf al Maldm 'anal-A 'immatal-A 'lam

Ahmad b. 'Abd al-Halim b. ?Abdal-Salam b. 'AbdAllah b. Abi '1-Qasimal Khidr b. Muhammad b. Taymiyyah1 (661-728/1263-1328) is arguably the most distinguishedand influential and perhaps one of medieval Hanbali jurist2 was He Harran (presentday Turkey) themost prolific among them.3 born in and livedduring the era of thefirst Mamluks (648-784/1250-1382).However, he was forced to move from his native region and take up residence in Damascus due to the Mongol onslaught fromtheEast.4He lived in turbulent
1 For a discussion of the possible reasons forhim being given thename Taymivyah/ see,Abdul Hakim Ibrahim al-Matroudi, The Hanbali School of Law and Ibn Taymiyyah: Conflict or Conciliation (London: Routledge Curzon, 2006), 199-200 f. 2 'Abd al-Rahman b. Ahmad Ibn Rajab, al-Dhayl 'old Tabaqat al-Handbilah (Beirut:Dar al Ma'rifah, n.d.), 2:388-91; 'Umar b. 'Ali al-Bazzar, al-A'lam al-'Altyyabft Manaqib Ibn Taymiyyah (Beriut: al-Maktab al-Islami, 1400ah), 18-20, 40,77. 3 The total number of works written by Ibn Taymiyyah are not known exactly but there is agreement thathe was a prolific author. See, 'Abd al-Hayy b. Ahmad Ibn al-'Imad, Shadharat al Dhahab fi Akhbar Man Dhahab pamsacus-Beirut: Dar Ibn Kathir, 1992), 8:147. See also, Muhammad b. Ahmad al-Dhahabi,Dhayl Ta'rikh alhtam (Riyadh:Dar al-Mughni, 1990) 326; Muhammad b. Ahmad Ibn 'Abd al-Hadi, al-Vqudal-DurriyyahminManaqibShaykh al-Islam Ibn

Maktabat al-Mua'yyad, n.d.), 64-66; al-Bazzax, al-A'lam, 25-28;Muhammad Taymiyyah (Riyadh: b. 'Abd Allah Ibn Rushayyiq, Asmd'Mu'allafat Shaykhalhlam Ibn Taymiyyah (Beirut:Dar al Kitab al-Jadid,1983), 8, (it is attributed mistakenly toMuhammad b. Abi Bakr Ibn al-Qayyim, d. 751/1350); Mar'i b. Yusuf al-Karmi, al-Kawakib al-Duriyyahfi Manaqib alMujtahid Ibn

Taymiyyah (Beirut:Dar al-Gharb al-Islami, 1986), 78; and cf. al-Matroudi,TheHanbali School of 4

Ibrahim b. Muhammad Ibn Muflih, al-Maqsad al-Arshadfi Dhikr Ashab al-Imdm Ahmad Maktabat al-Rushd, 1410ah), 1:133. (Riyadh:

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was clearlyvisible.Moreover, times when Muslim political fragmentation legal fanaticismand doctrinal laxityprevailed in Muslim lands and he ishistorically portrayed as someone who sought to rectifyboth religious and political disparities and deviancies which led to open encounters with his contemporariesaswell as to long spells inprison.5 Ibn Taymiyyah is often seen through a simplisticanti-rationalist prism, and literalinclinationstowards that is, as someonewith strict Hadith which he over emphasised and preferred to acceptance of broader legal theories and principles. The present textwould sufficeto undermine that view. Raf al Malam 'anal-A'immat aUA'ldm is a short text inwhich the readerobserves Ibn In this treatise, which has a balanced tone par excellence. Taymiyyah as a jurist to and is couched in erudite language,he proceeds argue as towhy a mujtahid might depart from directly acting upon a hadith text and follow insteadhis

methodological principles (usiil).This forms the basis of his delineating the reasons underlying the disagreementsfound among fyluslimjurists in general and theirholding differinglegal opinions and proffering divergentarguments in supportof those opinions. It is interesting that Ibn Taymiyyah turneddown the request of some of to his students compose a treatisein the Science of Jurisprudence (usiilalfiqh) which would contain all of his jurisprudential and opinions preferences in order to be used as a basis for issuing legalverdicts (fatawa). He justified his on out are that rulings refusalby pointing based upon jurisprudentialissues no is and there for the harm independentreasoning (ijtihad) subjectof the law a (mukallafito imitate mujtahid for thatpurpose.6Thus, Ibn Taymiyyah did not see the existence of various jurisprudential approaches to be problematic; he believed that the real problem lay in intoleranceand fanaticism.In rather, thedifferent Raf al-Malam, Ibn Taymiyyah pleads for toleranceby identifying causes to absolve for and seeks disagreements(ikhtilafj jurisprudential possible themujtahid of any blame in committingan error and/or in departing froma hadith inhis judgment. No doubt, Ibn Taymiyyah's espousal of thispositionwas an outcome of various contributoryfactors.In what follows, I hope to give to the reader a which would hopefully provide glimpse of Ibn Taymiyyah's lifeand thought some insightinto the reasonsunderpinningthis sensitivity. The firstsectionof of his contemporaries this Introduction will focus on some of the statements as mentioned in the biographical sources, which reflect their opinions The next section regardingIbn Taymiyyah's "naturaland acquired attributes." of Ibn Taymiyyah's scholarship,such will present some of theunique features
6 Al-Bazzar,

5 Sec, al-Matroudi,TheHanbali School ofLaw, 13-16.

alA 'lam, 35-37.

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as his distinguishedknowledge ofHadith and jurisprudenceand some of his will The last section opinionswith regardto legal imitation(taqlid)and ijtihdd. draw attention to some of the salientpoints inRaf al-Maldm in the hope of
presenting to the reader the sense and context of this treatise before

his students,7 and also his successors.8 He

a full translation of theoriginal Arabic text. offering sources extol the virtues of Ibn Taymiyyah and The biographical biographicalworks are repletewith praise by his contemporaries,especially
was fortunate that his father Shihab


al-Din ?Abdal-Halim b.Abd al-Salam (d. 682/1283) and his grandfather Majd al-Din Abd al-Salam b. Abd Allah (d. 652/1254)?both distinguished legal
scholars in their times?greatly contributed to his early learning. So thorough

was his early trainingthatby the age of twentyor even earlier,he and intense was issuing legal opinions within theHanbali School and according to the statement of the great Hanbali jurist, Muhammad b. Ahmad Ibn 'Abd al-Hadl was also Ibn Taymiyyah's student, the people of (d. 744/1345), who were dazzled by the intensity of his where Ibn Damascus, Taymiyyah lived, while hewas stilla child,hewas intelligenceand acumen.9It isno wonder that
described as a

Ibn Taymiyyah had a phenomenal and prodigious memory and there Often he would be very littlehe would read and fail to commit tomemory.11
would memorize a



was rare to finda and 'Umar b. 'All al-Bazzar (d. 749/1348) remarked that it not His sharp and systematic know about.13 book which Ibn Taymiyyah did to of enabled him memory encyclopaedic proportions and acquire knowledge when Ibn Taymiyyah Muhammad b.All al-Zamalkanl (727/1327)notes that
would answer a

large number

of works

in various


of learning,12

would think thathe did not know any other discipline due to the depth and
comprehensive nature of his answer.14 Even a cursory reading of Ibn


in one

of the traditional


the listener

7 most pre-eminentfiguressuch as IbnKathir, al-Dhahabi, IbnQayyim His students include the


Indeed, the sources also document themore controversial episodes of Ibn Taymiyyah's life that have been discussed and treated especially his doctrinal conflicts and legal interpretations elsewhere. See, Al-Matroudi, TheHanbali School ofLaw, 20-23 for an account of his admirers
and detractors.


and Ibn



13 Ibid. 14 details of the testimonyof leading scholars regarding the breadth of his Ibid., 7. For further
knowledge, see, Ibn 'Abd al-Hadi, al-'Uqud, 3-26; al-Bazzar, al-A'ldm, 22-31 and al-Karmi, al

10 53. 18-19 and al-Karmi, al-Kawdkib, al-A'ldm, Al-Bazzar, 11 8: 144. Ibn Shadhardta al-Dhahab, See, al-'Imad, 12 6 and al-Bazzar, al-A'ldm, See, Ibn 'Abd al-Hadi, al-'Uqud,

Ibn 'Abd al-Hadi, alVqiid, 3.


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Although it philosophy that had seeped into the academic lifeof his day.17 must be mentioned that thanks to his studies in logic, there are undeniable traces of its influenceespecially in his systematic presentation of arguments and his use of explicitreasoningfromestablishedpremises. Aside from the tributes paid to Ibn Taymiyyah's intellectual and scholarly qualities, the biographical sources also mention the strengthand resolve of his character. Al-Bazzar, for example, describes Ibn Taymiyyah as most courageous people who he had not seen the likesof."18 "one of the This

Taymiyyah's works reveals a thoroughnessand an encompassing attention to detail, possible only on the basis of extensive knowledge and sharp As a understanding of the various Islamic and non-traditional disciplines.15 saw a as man "I when asked about scholar him, leading replied though all the sciences [were laid] open beforehis eyes and he took as hewished.'916 Arabic grammarand semanticsas Ibn Taymiyyah not only read theology, as also but he became well exegesis (tafsir), proficientinAlgebra, logic,history and philosophy. As a result,he wrote polemical treatisesrefuting Aristotelian

courage is reflected in his long periods of detention in both Cairo and Damascus. Although Ibn Taymiyyah's detentionswere extremelydistressing for him, it is obvious that he was able to turn them to his advantage by This is perhaps concentratingon scholarlypursuitsof teachingandwriting.19

Kawakib, 55-72, 80-82. 15 See, Al-Karmi, al-Kawakib, 71, 79; al-Bazzar, al-A'lam, 32; Ibn Rajab, Dhayl, 2: 389-393 and min al-Asha'irah (Riyadh: Maktabat 'Abd al-Rahman b. Salih al-Mahmud, Mawqiflbn Taymiyyah 1: al-Rushd, 1995), 262,294. 16 d-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah Khildl Sab'at Muhammad 'Aziz Shams, et al, al-Jami'fi StrutShaykh Qurun (Makkah: Dar 'Alam al-Fawa*id, 1420ah), 258. See also, Ibn al-'Imad, Shadharat al Dhahab, 8:146. 17 Dar al-Kutub al-'flmiyyah, See,Muhammad b. 4Alial-Dawudi, Tabaqat alMufassirin (Beirut: to most notable being 1:49. refute Greek several works Ibn 1983), Taymiyyah composed logic, his,Naqd al-Mantiq (Cairo:Maktabat al-Sunnah al-Muhammadiyyah,n.d.) and volume 9 of his, Majmu* Fatawa Shaykh allslam Ahmad Ibn Taymiyyah (Riyadh: Dar 'Alam al-Kutub, 1991), [henceforth referred to as *Faiawa"\. It is not difficult to see the reason underpinning his Greek logic that Islamic philosophers espoused the scathing attack as itwas through inheriting doctrine of the eternityof theworld; an incongruentaccount of the nature and attributesof with mediatory roles of the 'Intelligences'; a deficient God; thePlatonic cosmological hierarchy notion of prophethood; the creation of theQur'an, etc.All these teachings,as espoused by the philosophers, stood in stark contrast to what Ibri Taymiyyah perceived to be the Sunni or orthodox position thatwas dictated by the text of theQur'an and the Sunnah. See,Wael B.

Greek Logicians (Oxford:Clarendon Press, 1993), xii. Hallaq, Ibn Taymiyyahagainst the 18 69 and al-A 'lam, al-Karmi,al-Kawakib, 91. Al-Bazzar, 19 seen can be This clearly through the vast number of extant treatises.Ibn 'Abd al-Hadi, al Ibn majority of Ibn Taymiyyah's books Rajab, al-Dhayl, 2:403, he observes that the Vqiid, 51; were written in prison oftenwithout any referencesto consult and use. See also, al-Bazzar, al

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what Ibn Taymiyyah meant when he declared, "There is great benefit in it," when he was informed of his imprisonment.20 Indeed, apart from the on scholarly to concentrate detentions these opportunity provided by pursuits, there isno doubt that thesedetentions also added to his fame.21 Important for the comprehensionof the present text is the fact that Ibn Hadith andfiqh.With Taymiyyah was especially noted forhis knowledge in who had just a smattering of Hadith, Ibn Taymiyyahwas not a jurist regardto

more knowledgeable than Ibn Taymiyyah in Qur'an and SunnahP Ibn Taymiyyah's vast knowledge ofHadith had a significantimpact on his opinions.24It enabled him to declare in plain termsthat a correct textdoes not conflict and that several opinions in some of the with correct reason,25 or at best, they were supported schools of law had "no supportingproofs,"26
A 'lam, 24;Muhammad b. 'All al-Shawkani,al-Radr al-Tali' hi Mahasin man ba'd al-Qam al-Sdbi' states if he Ibn Taymiyyah had not been that Matba'at al-Sa'adah, 1348), 1:72, (Cairo: confrontedby all the excessive trials (mihan)he would have presentedmore research. It could be also safely concluded that if Ibn Taymiyyah had not faced all thesemihan, he would have to other areas such as jurisprudence and its probably directed more of his attention fundamentalsorHadith. 20 Al-Karmi, al-Kawakib, 149. 21 Al-Bazzar, alA Ham,78. 22 See, Ibn al-'Imad, Shadharat al-Dhahab, 8:145. ' 23 See, Ibn Abd al-Hadi, */-' Uqiid, 7. 24 to For instance, he used hold the opinion thatwhen thewater is less than qullatayn, it as as soon meets dirt even if its smell, colour or tastehas not been changed. it becomes impure on However, later he changed his opinion concerning this issue aswe findhim denying the use of qullatayn as a measure. This change in Ibn Taymiyyah's opinion seems to reflectthe change in his knowledge of hadith, as he later arrived at the conclusion that the hadith of qullatayn is not correct, going furtherto say that itwas attributed incorrectlyto the Prophet (peace be on him), and these are instead thewords of one of the companions. For other examples, see, Ibn

it. Far from that,he had studied it under several eminent Hadith specialists was So of his time. extensive his (muhaddithun) knowledge ofHadith that it most distinguished Hadith scholars. evoked the admirationof the Muhammad b. Ahmad al-Dhahabi (d. 748/1348), for example, remarked that if someone claimed that if any particular hadithwas not known to Ibn Taymiyyah, it In addition,Yusuf b. could not be counted as a hadith,his claimwill be true.22 *Abd al-Rahman al-MizzI (d. 742/1341) asserts that he had not seen anyone

Taymiyyah, Fatawa, 21: 512-518,22: 71-72 and for another example, see, 'All b.Muhammad al min Fatawa Shaykhal-IsldmIbn Taymiyyah (Riyadh:Maktabat al Ba'li, al-Ikhtiyarat al-Fiqhiyyah to as "al-Ikhtiyarat"]. Riyadh al-Hadithah, n.d.), 16, [henceforthreferred 25 Ahmad b. 'Abd al-Halim Ibn Taymiyyah deals with this issue in various parts of his treatises; see, for instance,his work Dar* Ta'arud al-'Aql wa 'l-Naql (Beirut:Dar al-Kutub al-'Dmiyyah, 1997). 26 For some examples of thispoint, see, Ibn Taymiyyah, Fatawa, 22: 595-596 and 26: 270.

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by "weak evidences. "27


Hanball School of law,Ahmad ibn Hanbal (d. 241/855). There eponym of the for several issued Hanball scholars which Ibn are, instance, by rulings Taymiyyah has argued to be "incorrect."He attributes this to "the misunderstanding of Ahmad ibnHanbal's statementsand words"30 and his discussions and clarificationswere to have a lasting influence on the subsequentdiscussionswithin the school.He does add, however, thatat times

ratherthanof conflict. Moreover, Ibn Taymiyyah's knowledge of the terminologyofHadith influencedhis legal judgements in several disputes involving jurisprudential specifics.Ibn Taymiyyah asserts that the reason behind these disputes lay in themisunderstanding of some of the complex and ambiguous terminologies related to and found in Hadith texts.29 With regard to fiqh> Ibn Taymiyyah possessed a broad and detailed understanding of the statements and jurisprudential terminology of the

On severaloccasions, Ibn Taymiyyah's knowledge ofHadith helped him to deal with the problem of the existence of conflicting jurisprudential opinions.He assertsthat in some cases, all thedifferent opinions have "correct are i.e. in and Hadith all of theseopinions are therefore bases," they grounded accurate but all of them ought not to be simultaneously acted upon.28He of opinion on legal issues as instancesof legaldiversity perceived differences

27 For instance, in theHanbali School there is an opinion which states that the recommended prayer before the obligatory zuhr prayer is four rak'at.This opinion is attributedtoAhmad ibn Hanbal and held and mentioned by several leadingHanbali scholars, such as Abu 'l-Khattab Mahfud b. Ahmad al-Kulwac&ani and Muhammad b. al-Husayn al-Ajurri (d. 360/971). This opinion is based on the hadith reportingthat the Prophet used to pray four raka'at before the 'Asr prayer. See, 'All b. Sulayman Al-Mardawi, al-Insafft Ma'rifat al-Rajih min al-Khilaf *ala Mu'assasat al-Ta'rikh al-'Arabi, n.d.), 2:177. Ibn Madhhab al-Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (Beirut: He asserts that Taymiyyah states that this ruling is not accurate as it is based on a weak hadith. no correct there is hadithwhich supports this ruling.For other examples of thispoint, see, Ibn

Taymiyyah, Fatawd, 21: 512. 28 Ibn Taymiyyah gives various examples of this point, see for example, his, Fatdwa, 22: 335 355. 29 For example, in the issue of the typeof hajjwhich was performedby theProphet (peace be on him), Ibn Taymiyyah attributes the existence of the conflictingopinions in this issue to a number of factors,one ofwhich is themisunderstanding of some terms mentioned in hadiths 22: 292-293 26: this Ibn and 61-79. For further with point. See, Taymiyyah, Fatdwa, dealing 21:122. of this see, ibid., examples point, 30 For examples of thispoint, see, al-Ba'li, allkhtiyarat, 54, 76, 211-212. Another point to note is that Ibn Taymiyyah thinks that thisproblem i.e. the misunderstanding ofAhmad's words, was not only confined to Hanbali scholars,he points out thateven some Imams, such as Ibn 'Abd al Barr of theMaliki School also misunderstood some of Ahmad's texts. See for example, Ibn Taymiyyah, Fatdwa, 22: 589.

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Hanbali scholarswho did correctlyunderstand the statements and words attributedtoAhmad, nevertheless failed to correctlyapply them to the legal issuesunder consideration.31 He furtheradds that internaldiscussions in the matters thatwere presumably school were conflated with newly introduced ascribed to Ahmad ibn Hanbal but on later scrutinywere not entirely accurate32and conversely, Ibn Taymiyyah asserts that there are some issues was thathe where it is claimed that Ahmad did not referto thembut the fact didmake such reference.33 matters of Ibn Taymiyyah's discussions of jurisprudential After a scrutiny it becomes evident that inmost cases he would follow a particular method to reach his jurisprudentialpreferences,or what is known as aUkhtiydratal fiqhiyyah. Ibn Taymiyyah would investigate the various narrations and opinions of his school in a meticulous and comparativemanner and would thereafter preferto a particularopinion.

within Hanbali jurisprudenceprovided the Ibn Taymiyyah's preferences scholars of his school with the platform upon which they could still be identified as Hanbalis and at the same time adhere to "the most correct issues.Thus, on account of opinion" in relation to thevarious jurisprudential his extensiveknowledge in Hadith andfiqh> Ibn Taymiyyah was ideallyplaced to critically examine conflicting reports and/pass judgements on internal

conceptual andmethodological disputesof the school Ibn Taymiyyah's opinions with regard to taqltd and ijtihad also had a This influence is evident in thought. significantimpact on his jurisprudential his position towards thedifferent schools of law. Ibn Taymiyyah had reservations about having excessive bias towardsone to argue forone particular scholar it is that difficult particular scholar, stating as being "the best scholar" because every scholar has strengths where his those he of others.34 mentions that any strict Also, opinion outweighs a no a more is than for scholar which is often generalisation preference single on mere based presumption ifnot caprice. This, according to him, leads to contentious disagreements in theMuslim community which is eipressly forbiddenin Islam.35 Instead of such preferencebetween scholars,Ibn Taymiyyah insists upon tolerance between the various schools of law.He cites the example of the Prophet's Companions who accepted differentviews, declaring that the
31 See, for instance, ibid., 23: 280. 32 See, for instance, ibid., 23:278. 33 See for instance, ibid., 21:179, 300, 407, and 22: 588-590, 621,622, and 25: 241. 34 Ibid., 22: 293. 35 See, ibid., 22: 291-292.

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various parties would be rewarded for their independent reasoning.36 Therefore, Ibn Taymiyyah concludes, the same principlemust be applied to the opinions of other scholars.Those who prefer to imitate al-Shafi'i, for instance, should not disapprove of thosewho prefer to follow Ahmad ibn He assertsthatno one can impose the opinions of his Hanbal and vice versa?7 on school others.38 Furthermore,he insists thatpartial conversion fromone school of law to another in some situationsis even obligatory.For instance,if the imitator (muqallid) knows that certain opinions in his school are in opposition to clear textsand thatcorrectopinions are held by another school of law, he must followwhat is correct even though it is not fromhis own

Similarly, Ibn Taymiyyah asserts that the existence of these "incorrect opinions" in a school of law should not be used as an excuse to attack those scholars.As he explains, this is because those scholarswere mujtahids. In were targets of strongattacks from laypeople reality,however, these scholars
and even some scholars. In an

Taymiyyah composed Raf al-Malam in which he defends the mujtahid which were thought scholars and clarifiesthe reasonsunderlying theirrulings to be in opposition to the texts. Ibn Taymiyyah argues that the leading scholars did not deliberately intend to oppose the sunnah of the Prophet his assertion to (peace be on him) in anymanner. It is clear thathe is limiting those scholars whom he describes as "generally accepted by theMuslim He justifies his assertion in arguingfurther that the leading scholars ummah."40 not did deliberately oppose the sunnah of theProphet (peace be on him) by the fact that "they are in definiteagreementon theobligation of following the while it is allowed that the words of anyone other Prophet (peace be on him),, be accepted or rejected."41 than theProphet can [either] In his attempt to absolve a mujtahid from any blame of contravening most likely reasons direct textual evidences, Ibn Taymiyyah proposes three which lead to disagreementand at times even conflictamong jurists:the first restsupon themujtahid's belief in the non-existenceof a hadith text cited as evidence by his opponent. The second is that themujtahidmay have thought that the implication of the hadith (textualor otherwise) had no connection


to counter

this antagonism,


36 See, ibid., 22:292-293. 37 Ibid. 38 Ibid., 27: 300. 39 See, ibid., 27: 210-216. Cf. also, al-Matroudi,TheHanbali School ofLaw, 84-9. 40 Ahmad b. 'Abd al-Halim Ibn Taymiyyah, Raf al-Malam 'analA'immat al-A'lam (Riyadh: al Ri'asah al-'Ammah li Idarat al-Buhuth al-'flmiyyah,1413ah), 8. 41 Ibid., 9.

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with that aspect of thequestion thathewas investigating. Finally, the mujtahid have that the in the hadith contained had may thought ruling actually been Ibn Taymiyyah argues that the firstreason for the conflict can exist in severalways. Firstly, itmay have been the case that the scholar had no knowledge of the hadith text.According to Ibn Taymiyyah, this is the predominant reason for thedivergencebetween the textand the rulingderived by a mujtahid. This, as he explains, is because of the vastness of the Sunnah. Ibn Taymiyyah does not think that this reasonwas confined to the era before the canonical collections ofHadith as these collections do not contain all of for every scholar to know all the hadiths the Sunnah.Moreover, it is difficult

containedwithin thesecanonical collections,for theirnumber isvery large.43 Secondly, a scholarmay believe that the hadith thatwas citedwas not actually uttered by the Prophet (peace be on him) because themujtahid had received the hadith through an unreliable chain of transmission (isnad).This second case, as Ibn Taymiyyah observes, existedmore widely after the first generation of Islam, because during the firstcentury therewas no need for where contrary to the successive generations studyingchains of transmitters theneed for caution and rigorous evaluative methods were required owing to was extensive fabricationof thehadiths.4* Thirdly, it is possible that the hadith known to themujtahid but he did not base his rulingon it either because he or did not consider it to be relevant.45 forgotthehadith itself The second cause of disagreement,according to Ibn Taymiyyah, is that themujtahidmay have failed to know the indicationsof the text relevantfor the ruling. This may be because of the existence of some "strange'' and words or complex and ambiguous terms in that text anomalous (gharib) which the the intended from mujtahid prevented comprehending meaning. It may also be due to the fact that the mujtahidmight have concluded that there is in no exists in that the textrelevantfor the correspondingruling.46 fact indication The differencebetween this last point and the previous one, as Ibn Taymiyyah explains, is that in the lattercase the scholar did not extract the ruling on this text because of his understanding and his application of the whereas in the formercase what prevented the principles of jurisprudence, scholar from implementingthe relevant text is his failure to grasp the full

42 See, 43 See, 44 See, 45 See, 46 See,

ibid. ibid., 948. ibid., 18-19. ibid., 22-25. ibid., 25-29.

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additional factorsthat Ibn Taymiyyahmentions are, firstly, thatone mujtahid as evidence by another mujtahid on the may discard the hadith cited consideration of the locality of transmitters within the corresponding isndd. or narrations fromparts of Thus, some scholars from Hijaz reject transmitters as Iraq or Sham legitimateevidence unless they initially originated from Ibn Hijaz. Taymiyyah comments that "mostpeople, however, do not use this as a basis fordeeming such a hadith asweak (dallf).So whenever the chain of transmitters is sound, the hadith is authoritative,regardlessof whether it is Hijazi, 'Iraqi, Shami or fromother regions."49 The second additional cause of disagreement is generatedby thedifferent conditions stipulatedby differentscholars for the acceptance of the singular reportedhadith (khahar al-wahid).50 The third additional factorfor creatingconflict iswhat Ibn Taymiyyah
characterises as

extractionof a ruling.47 implicationof the textrequired foran informed The thirdand finalcause forconflict,according to Ibn Taymiyyah, is that themujtahid did not act upon a hadith text because itwas in conflict with or to its weakness that led him believe in that he the that something thought ruling it containedhad been abrogated.48 Ibn Taymiyyah is aware that a mujtahid unquestionably has the right to apply his legal principles (usut)whereby all legal texts are cumulatively understood and assessedwithin a dynamic frameworkof interpretation and a prima analysis as opposed to staticapproach ofmerely takingthehadith text This constitutesan additional cause for facie without any other consideration. a hadith text to be discarded in favour of methodological principles. The

More importantly, Ibn Taymiyyah deals inRaf alMalam with the result of ijtihadand its link to thepromise of a rewardor the threatof a punishment. He asserts that evenwhen thereexistgood reasons to necessitate that a person deserved that the threatof punishment be applied, itmight still not come about due to the existence of a legal or justifiableimpediment (mani), and which he regards as unlikely to be there are various types of impediments lackingas faras themukallaf is concerned, such as repentance (tawbah),asking
47 See, ibid., 29. 48 See, ibid., 31. 49 Ibid., 21-22. 50 See, ibid., 22. 51 See, ibid., 31-33.

"not being aware of any dissenting view." This, according to Ibn Taymiyyah, led to the reluctanceof some scholars in following some of the textualproofs due to the fearof opposing this "perceivedconsensus."51





this form of consensus


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for forgiveness(istighfar), good deeds thaterase sins (alhasandt al-mahiyahli 7 tribulations(bald* sayyi'dtjy al-dunyd)and calamities (masd'ib).52 Ibn Taymiyyah argues that the functionof a threat is to clarifythat the deed associatedwith the threat is a reason for the punishmentmentioned in the threat and thereforethe prohibition of that deed and its reprehensible nature could be inferredfrom the threat. However, he thinks that it is not justified to conclude that if the reason for the threatwas to be found in would necessitate the occurrence of its effect which is the someone, then this He relates this to the fact that the effect depends on the existence punishment. of itsconditions and the removalof all of its impediments.53

with theHanbali school understandingof Islamic law aswell as his relation and other schools. This can be seen clearly from his use of independent reasoning and his "corrections" of various rules and rulingswithin these schools, especially the Hanbali school. Also, these opinions led to Ibn Taymiyyah's readiness to acknowledge his own mistakes54 and to have a forgivingattitude towardshis opponents.55It is likely that this consideration and sensitivitystems from the fact that Ibn Taymiyyah had studiedunder a who belonged to various schools and thus acquired a greatnumber of scholars This cumulative experience,no doubt, diverse legal trainingand education.56 on Islamic law, one which calls formore shaped Ibn Taymiyyah's legacy manifest fromthe intellectualtolerance among juristsand one which is clearly following text.

have undoubtedly influenced his and jurisprudential disputes(ikhtildj)

These opinions of Ibn Taymiyyah regardingthe issues of ijtihdd,taqlld

Raf( al-Maldm should, however be read in the context of the time in which Ibn Taymiyyah lived. This was an era of staunch taqlld in which were and even a degree of fanaticism entrenched allegiances and affiliations not only among the lay public but also in the circlesof the quite widespread,
learned. in

Dar al-Ansar, 1977), 204.

52 See, ibid., 42. 53 See, ibid. 54 See, for instance, al-Ba'li, al-Ikhtiyarat,16, 22, 23-24, 107, 121; Ibn Taymiyyah, Fatawd, 21: 512-518 and 22: 71-72. 55 See, al-Karmi,al-Kawdkib, 139, 174. 56 wa 'l-Ijtima"(Cairo: See,Henri Laoust, Naptriyydt Shaykhal-IsldmIbn Taymiyyah ft al-Siydsah

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an al-A'immataUA'tarn

In the Name ofAllah, theBeneficent,the Merciful His bounties. I testify Praise is due toAllah for that there is no deity except Him; He has no associates in the heavens and the earth.And I testifythat Muhammad isHis slave andMessenger57 and the seal ofHis Prophets?peace be on him and his familyand Companions, continuous prayers and blessings untilwe meet him. To proceed: It is obligatoryupon Muslims, afterbeing loyal toAllah theExalted and His Messenger (peace be on him), to be loyal to the believers, as theQur'an declares, especially to the scholarswho are the inheritorsof the Prophets whom Allah made like stars that serve as guides through (peace be on them], the darkness of the land and the oceans. The Muslims are in agreement as regards their guidance and understanding.For prior to the advent of our ProphetMuhammad (peace be on him), the scholarsof the earlier [Prophets'] communitieswere less inclined to good, whereas the scholars of the Muslim were deemed to be the finestas they carried the mantle community (ummah) on of knowledge bequeathed by theProphet (peace be him) and theyare the reviversofwhatever was forgotten of his Sunnah.Through them the Qur'an is established, and they act upon it; theQur'an speaks through them, and they
articulate whatever

It should be known thatnone of the Imamswho are generally accepted Muslim ummahwould intentionally oppose theProphet (peace be on by the
57 It should be indicated that the two terms (al-Nabi and al-Rasut),have been both rendered into English as "Prophet" due to the fact that inRaf al-Malam the author uses them interchangeably as inmost cases in the text they are both used in association with the Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) and thereforethe discussion regardingthe differencebetween al-nabl and al

the Qur'an


to the rasul among theologianswould not arise in this case. Also, the term (al-kitab) referring as as into has been rendered the rather 'the than the Book' latter Qur'an Qur'an English might lead to confusion especially if the reader isnot aware of such technical terminologies.

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him) in any aspect of his Sunnah,whether small or great.This is because they are in profound agreementregardingthe obligation of following theProphet (peace be on him).58They believe that thewords of anyone other than the Prophet (peace be on him) may be accepted or rejected. If any of their must opinions was found to be in opposition to an authentichadith, then there be a just excuse for that and these excuses fall under one of the three

Firstly,that the scholardid not believe that theProphet (peace be on him) uttered thehadith. [actually] was [actually] did not thinkthatthe issue inquestion Secondly,thatthescholar tobe covered intended the hadith. by Prophetic Thirdly, that the scholarbelieved the ruling[containedin thehadith]to have
been abrogated.

These three categories can be further divided into a number ofmore specific

The firstreason: that thehadithdid not reach the concerned scholar; and whoever is not aware of a hadith, is not held responsible fornot knowing its ruling. Thus, if the hadith did not reach him and he gaVe a jud|ement regardinga particularquestion on the basis of the apparent meaning of a verse or anotherhadithor on the basis of analogy or thepresumption of continuity thenhis opinion might fortuitously with thehadith in one case agree (istishab), while opposing iton another. most likelyreason for most ofwhat is found in theopinions of This is the thePious Predecessors (alsalaf alsalih) thatoppose certainhadith. Indeed, it is simply not possible for any singlemember of the ummah to know all the hadith of theProphet (peace be on him). The Prophet (peace be on him) used to speak, issue legal verdicts (fatawa),pass judgement,or perform an action which was heard or seen by thosewho were present at the time and they,or some of them,would convey it to otherswho would in turn convey it to would reach whomever Allah (the Most High) willed among the othersuntil it scholars from amongst theCompanions of the Prophet, theirFollowers and those who came afterthem. And in another assembly, suchmatterswould be heard or seen by those who were absent from the firstgatheringand they [too]would convey it to were able to.As a result, the firstgroup would know what whomever they was not known by the other and vice versa and so the scholars among the
58 See,Muhammad b. Idris al-Shafi%al-Risalah (Cairo:Matba'at al-Halabi, 1939), 74,104.

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would surpass each other in the Companions and thosewho came afterthem relative levelsof the extentof their knowledge or thequality of it. [Aswe have said], it is absolutely impossible to claim that any one person could encompass all of the hadtthsof theProphet (peace be on him) and this can be illustratedthrough the example of theRighteous Caliphs, who were most knowledgeable regardingthe affairs of theProphet (peace be on him), his Sunnah and othermatters relatingto him, especially [Abu Bakr] al-Siddlq (may

Allah be pleased with him), who was never far from theProphet whether at home or on his travels.In facthe was with himmost of the time to the extent This with him at night to deal with the Muslims' affairs.59 thathe used to stay is also true of cUmarb. al-Khattab (mayAllah be pleased with him) and you will find many hadiths inwhich theProphet (peace be on him) said, "I entered with Abu Bakr and 'Umar" and "I went out with Abu Bakr and 'Umar."60 Despite this,when Abu Bakr (mayAllah be pleased with him) was asked he replied, "There is nothing about the grandmother's share of inheritance, nor I do Allah's know for in Book, you anything foryou in the prescribed Sunnah of theProphet ofAllah (peace be on him), but Iwill ask people [about it]." So he did ask them and al-Mughirah b. Shu'bah and Muhammad b. that theProphet (peace be on him) had Maslamah came forwardand testified This sunnahwas also reported by 'Imran b. Husayn.62 given her a sixth.61 Thus, even thoughnone of these three Companions was of the same statureas Abu Bakr and the other caliphs, theywere the only ones who knew this particular sunnahaboutwhose practice theummahhas since agreedupon.63 Similarly, 'Umar b. al-Khattab (mayAllah be pleased with him) did not know the sunnah relatingto "seekingpermission" (isti'dhdn)[beforeenteringa
Ma'am 'l-Athdr al-TahawI, Sharh (Beirut:Dar al-Kutub al-'flmiyyah, 1399ah),4:330. 60 See for instance, Muhammad b. Isma'il al-Bukhari,Sahih al-Bukhdri [henceforthreferredto as Kitab al-Sulh, Bab al-Sulh bayn al-Ghurama' and Kitab Fada'il al-Sahabah, Bab "Sahib"], Manaqib 'Umar, aswell as the testimonyof the caliph 'All regardingthis in al-Bukhari,Sahih> Kitab Fada'il al-Sahabah, Bab Manaqib 'Umar. 61 al-Mukhtasar min al-Sunan [henceforthreferredto as Muhammad b. 'Isa al-Tirmidhi,al-Jami* ma Bab fi Muhammad b. Yazid Ibn Majah, "Sunan^ Kitab al-Fara'id, Ja' Mirath al-Jaddah; Sunan Ibn Bab Kitab Mirath al-Fara'id, al-Jaddah. Majah, 62 Muhammad b. 'Ali al-Shawkani, See, for a discussion about the authenticityof these reports, Nayl al-Awtarmin Ahadith Sayyid al-AkhyarSharh Muntaqd 'l-Akhbar(Beirut:Dar al-Jil,1973), 6:175-177. 63 See for the discussion about the share of the grandmother, 'Abd Allah b. Ahmad Ibn Ahmad b.Hanbal al-Shaybani (Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, 1405ah), Qudamah, al-Mughrii ftFiqh al-Imdm 6:189; Muhammad b. Ahmad Ibn Rushd, Biddyat aUMujtahidwa Nihdyat al-Muqtasid (Beirut: Dar al-Fikr]n.d.), 2: 262-263 for. 59 Ahmad b. Muhammad

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dwelling] until he was informedabout it by Abu Musa al-Ash'ariwho cited and this iswhile 'Umar was more theAnsar in support of his narration,64 one who related this sunnah to him. Likewise, 'Umar knowledgeable than the did not know that thewife inheritsfrom the blood money of her deceased husband. Instead, he thought that the blood money belonged to the 'aqilah65 until al-Dahhak ibn Sufyan al-Kilabi,who was appointed by the Prophet wrote to 'Umar informing (peace be on him) as a governorof certainregions, him that the Prophet (peace be on him) gave thewife of Ashyam al-Dibibl (mayAllah be pleased with him) [a share] of her deceased husband's blood money. As a result, 'Umar abandoned his opinion in favourof thishadithand said: "If I had not heard thishadith,Iwould have judgedcontraryto it."66 'Umar also did not know the rulingof jizyah for the Magians [followers was of a fire-worshipping until he informed religion] by 'Abd al-Rahman b. "Treat them as you treat thePeople of theBook."67Moreover, when 'Umar reached Sargh [nearTabuk] and was informedthat a plague had strickenal Sham [the region of greater Syria], he consulted the earlyMuhajirun68who were with him at the time. He then asked theAnsar,69 then he asked those who accepted Islam at the time of the conquest ofMakkah, and every one of them told himwhat they thoughtand none of themwas able to inform him of a sunnah from the Prophet (peace be on him) until 'Abd al-Rahman b. 'Awf came and told him of the sunnahof theProphet (peace be on him)with regard to plagues,when he said: "If the plague appears in a landwhile you are in it,
64 See, al-Bukhari,Sahih,Kitab al-Isti'dhan,Bab al-Taslimwa '1-Isti'dhan Thalathan; Muslim b. as to to Sahih referred Muslim "Muslim "1, [henceforthreferred al-Hajjaj al-Naysaburi [henceforth as "Sahi\f\Kitab al-Adab, Bab al-Isti'dhan. 65 meant by 'aqilah in Islamic law.One of the opinions is that There is a discussion aboutwho is it is the paternal uncles and theirchildren,however distant they are in descent.Another opinion states that 'aqilah includes the father,sons, brothers and every agnatic heir. Ibn Taymiyyah holds a different opinion from these two.He assertsthat 'dqilah is "every individualwho helps and supports the person at the time and the place." See, al-Matroudi,TheHanbali School ofLaw, 118-119. 66 See,Malik b. Anas al-Asbuhi,Muwatta* al-ImamMalik (Egypt:Dar Ihya' al-Turath, n.d.),

' withhim)that the Awf (may Allah be pleased be on him)said, Prophet (peace

2: 866; Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Hanbal, Musnad al-ImamAhmad b.Hanbal (Cairo:Mu'assasat Qurtubah, n.d.), 3:452 and Sulayman b. al-Ash'athAbu Dawud al-Sijistani,Sunan Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Fara'io!,Bab fi1-Mar'ah Tarith min Diyat Zawjiha. 67 See,Malik, Muwatta\ 1: 278; also see, 'AbdAllah b. Yusuf al-Zayla'I,Nash alRayah liAhadith al-Hidayah (Cairo: Dar al-Hadith, 1357), 3:448-449 andMuhammad b. Ahmad Ibn 'Abd al Dar al-Kutub al-'Ilmiyyah, 1998), 3: 364. Hadi, Tanqih Tahqlq Ahadith al-Tatiq (Beirut: 68 to Madman. Makkah The emigrants from 69 The Madman followers of the Prophet (peace be on him) who granted him refugeafter the Madinah. hijrah to

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fromit and if do not depart in flight you hear that ithas smittena land,do not another occasion, 'Umar discussedwith Ibn 'Abbas (mayAllah be pleased with both of them) the problem of one who has experienceddoubts concerninghis prayer [i.e.whether he hadmissed an elementof it or not] and 'Umarwas not aware of any sunnab pertaining to thismatter.He was then informed by 'Abd al-Rahman b. 'Awf that theProphet (peace be on him) said On
go towards it."70

that "the one performing the prayer should ignore his doubt and base his on action on whatever is certain to him."71 Finally, 'Umarwas once travelling a particularlywindy day. He asked: "Who can tell us [from the Prophet] with regard to thewind?" Abu Hurayrah (mayAllah be pleased something while Iwas at the back of of 'Umar's request with him) said: "Iwas informed the group so I spurred my ridingcamel to hasten forwarduntil I reachedhim to him what the Prophet (peace be on him) orderedwhen the and narrated
wind would rage."72

were not known to 'Umar until he was Thus, thesewere the issues that informedabout themby thosewho were not his equal in rank. Indeed, there were other issues inwhich 'Umar knew nothing from the sunnab as a resultof which he pronounced a judgement,or issued afatwd on them in a way that

with the Sunnab. An example of might not have been in [direct]conformity on the blood is this his judgement money for fingers, namely that they are whereas both differentfrom one another based on theirdifferent functions, Abu Musa and Ibn 'Abbas (mayAllah be pleased with them),both ofwhom were lesser in degree of knowledge than 'Umar, knew the Prophet's saying, This sunnab "This and this are equal,"73 meaning the thumb and littlefinger. the time of his be with Allah reachedMu'awiyah (may him) during pleased rule, and he judged in accordancewith it and theMuslims felt that itwas incumbentupon them to follow it.The fact that 'Umarwas not aware of this on his part. was not considered a shortcoming hactith Another example is 'Umar and his son 'AbdAllah (mayAllah be pleased with both of them) aswell as othernotable scholarsprohibiting the wearing of a one to enter state is into about of ritual consecration who perfume by the to one to is about Makkah for the who circumambulation and go by (ihram)
70 See, al-Bukhari,Sahih,Kitab al-Tibb, Bab man Kharaja min Ard laTulayimuh; Muslim, Sahih, Kitab al-Salam,Bab al-Ta'un. 71 For the hadtths attributed to 'Abd al-Rahman ibn 'Awf regarding this, see,Muhammad b. Jariral-Tabari, Tahdhlb al-Athdr(Damascus: Dar al-Ma'mun li 1-Turath, 1995), 33. 72 See Ahmad, Musnad, 2: 267 and 'Abd al-Razzaq b. Hammam al-San'ani, al-Musannaf (Beirut: al-Maktab aUslaml, 1403ah), 11: 89. 73 See al-Bukhari,Sahlh,Kitab al-Diyat,Bab idha 'AddaRajulan fa Waqa'at Thanayah.

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of theKa'bah (tawdfiafter throwing the stones at Jamarat al-'Aqabah, not A'ishah (may Allah be pleasedwith her) in which being aware of thehadithof she said: "I perfumed theProphet (peace be on him) forhis ihrdmbeforehe entered into the stateof ihrdm, and I also perfumedhim beforeperformingthe circumambulation hajj (tawdfatifadah) (i.e. after the first state of ihrdm 'Umar used to allow the one who wears leathersocks towipe over them without any restriction[as to time].This was adhered until he takes them off to by a group of the early pious predecessorsbecause the hadith regardingthe was authenticatedby some of those on wiping that time restriction who were not theirequal inknowledge had not reached them.75 was narrated This hadith from the Prophet (peace be on him) throughvarious authentic channels of
transmission.76 elapses)."74

him that theProphet (peace it 'All (mayAllah be pleasedwith him) informed meat [froma hunt] given to him as a present."78 be on him) rejectedthe And likewise 'Ah (mayAllah be pleased with him) who said: "When I used to hear a hadith from the Messenger ofAllah (peace be on him), directly He desiredme to benefit from, whereas if Allah made me benefit fromall that an oath swear to I would make him would relate else anyone something me, and if he did, I would believe him. Abu Bakr toldme?and he was being truthful?and he mentioned thewell-known hadith related to the Prayer of al-tawbah).79 Repentance (saldt
74 Muslim, ?ahih, Kitab al-Hajj, See, al-Bukhari, Sahih, Kitab al-Hajj, Bab al-Tib *indal-Ihram; Bab al-Tib li 'l-Muhrim 'ind al-Ihram. 75 See, Yahya b. Sharaf al-Nawawi, SahihMuslim bi Shark al-Nawawi (Beirut:Dar Ihya' al

The same holds for 'Uthman (mayAllah be pleased with him) who did not know that a woman should spend thewaiting period following thedeath of her husband in thehouse where she livedbeforehis death, until al-Furay'ah bintMalik?Abu Sa'ld al-Khudrfs sister (mayAllah be pleased with both of when her husband passed away theProphet (peace them)?related to him that be on him) told her "Remain inyour house until you fulfiltheperiod statedin matter [four theQur'an for this months and ten days]." 'Uthman (mayAllah be pleasedwith him) thenactedupon thishadith J7 He was also once givenmeat [i.e.while he was in a stateof ihrdm] froma as a was hunted speciallyforhim down to eat huntwhich giftand upon sitting

Turath, 1392), 3:176. 76 See forexample, Muslim, Sahih,Kitab al-Taharah,Bab al-Tawqit fil-Mash. 77 Abu See, Dawud, Sunan, Kitab al-Talaq, Bab fil-Mutawaffa'Anha. 78 See,Ahmad, Musnad, 1:100. 79 IbnMajah, Sunan, Kitab Iqamat al See,Abu Dawud, Sunan, Kitab al-Salah,Bab fi 1-Istighfar;

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'All and Ibn 'Abbas (mayAllah be pleased with them), among others, issued a fatwa that thewoman whose husband died while shewas pregnant, must observe the longerof the two specified waiting periods. The sunnahof on be of Allah the him) regardingSubay'ah al-Aslamiyyah Messenger (peace not be with reached them. had Allah pleased her) Upon thedeath of her (may husband Sa'd b. Khawlah, the Prophet (peace be on him) told her thather waiting period continues to thepoint of the child's delivery.80 Finally, 'All, Zayd, Ibn 'Umar and others (mayAllah be pleased with them all) issued afatwa regardingthewoman who authorizes her husband to determineher dower (almufawwidah) that,"ifher husband passes away, she is not entitled to any dower." The sunnahof the Messenger ofAllah (peace be on him) pertaining to Barwa* bintWashiq (mayAllah be pleased with her) had
however not reached them.81

This is a vast subject area inwhich a tremendousamount of narrations is related from theCompanions of theProphet (peace be on him). As for that which is related from those other than the Companions it runs into the thousands.This was the position with regard to theCompanions who were the most knowledgeable, the most grounded in jurisprudence, the most mindful of Allah and the best among the Muslim community.As for those came are lesser in rank and it goes without saying that who after them, they some of the corpus of the Sunnah was hidden from each and every one of them.Therefore,whoever believes that every authentichadith reached each
and every one of the Imams or indeed any one specific Imam, commits and abhorrent error. a grave

It should not be said that the hadiths have all been documented and compiled and thereforeit is unlikely that theywould have been unknown. This is because thewell-known collections ofHadith were compiled afterthe demise of the Imamswho are followed (mayAllah have mercy on them all). Also, it isnot acceptable to claim that thehadithsof theProphet (peace be on Hadith. Moreover, him) are limitedto those found in the specificcollections of even if this were to be the case, not everythingin these collectionswould be known by a single scholar, and this is highlyunlikely to be the casewith any
Salah, Bab ma Ja' fi ann al-SalatKaffarah; al-Tirmidhi,Sunan, Kitab Abwab al-Salah,Bab ma Ja' fi 'l-Salat 'ind al-Tawbah; Ahmad, Musnad, 1:2. 80 Bab wa Ulat al-Ahmal;Muslim, Sabih, Kitab al-Talaq, See, al-Bukhari,Sahlh,Kitab al-Tafsir, Bab Inqida' al-Tddah. 81 man Tazawwaja wa lamYusami See,Abu Dawud, Sunan, Kitab al-Nikah,Bab fi Sidaqan hatta Mat; IbnMajah, Sunan, Kitab al-Nikah,Bab al-RajulYatazawwaj wa laYafrid laha; al-Tirmidhi, Sunan, Kitab al-Nikah, Bab ma Ja' fi 1-Rajul Yatazawwaj al-Mara'ah faYamut 'Anha qabla an Yafrid laha. The ruling according to thesenarrations is that thewidow will be grantedher full

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person; indeed it is possible that a scholarmight possess a large number of collections ofHadlth and yet not be aware of all of the hadiths contained Hadlth within them. In fact, thosewho came before the emergence of these more knowledgeable in the Sunnah than thosewho collectionswere by far came after them.This is because a largepart of the Sunnah thathad reached them and had been authenticatedby them might not have reached us except or a severed chain of narration or might not throughunknown transmitters have reached us at all. Thus, it can be said that their "Hadlth compilations" were preserved in theirhearts, which contained several times asmuch as that which is found in the physical collections and the one who iswell versed in this issue will have no doubts about this [point]. whoever does not have knowledge of all of the Nor should itbe said that we were to not be considered a mujtahid. This is because if hadiths should stipulate as a condition of themujtahid thathe must be aware of all of the would not be a Prophet's words and actions relevantto legal rulingsthen there singlemujtahid in theMuslim community.Rather, themujtahid's objective should be to know most of the hadiths so that only a few of the detailswill escape him and hence he might only contradictthe fewdetails thathad [not]82 reachedhim. The second reason: that the hadlth had reached the mujtahid but its authenticity, in his opinion, was not established.This may be because the of the hadlth to him or the one before him or any one of [direct]transmitter in thathadlth's chain of transmissionis considered by him to the transmitters be unknown [or unidentifiable],or of doubtful reputation (muttaham),or deficient in memory. It may also be because the hadlth did not reach the a severed chain of mujtahid with a continuous chain but rather with was transmitted to other wording of the hadlth even though the same hadlth with an uninterrupted isnad.This might transmitters scholars by trustworthy be because the one whom themujtahid consideredunknown was known by was narratedby other than thosewhom he or that it others to be trustworthy considered to be impugned authorities (majriihun),or that the hadlthwas narrated through another uninterrupted chain, or that some of the memorizers among scholars ofHadlth narrated the wording of the hadlth were shawahid [i.e. otherCompanions transmitting meticulously, or that there narrations] andmutaha'dt [i.e. thehadlthbeing narratedby another supporting chain of transmittersreaching back to one of the transmittersafter the of thatnarration. Companion] indicatingthe authenticity
' 82 The word (not) ismissing from the printed text of all available published editions ofRaf al Maldm 'anal A Hmmat al-A 'lam. transmitters, or that the transmitter was not precise when transmitting the

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This [second reason] was also very common at the time of the first generation of Successors (tdbi'in) and the second generation of Successors up to the time of thewell known Imams,more so than the (tdbi% %tdbi%ri) reason. more common than the first first Hadiths were generation. Indeed, it is widespread by then and well known but they reachedmany of the scholars through weak channels, even though they had reached others through were considered to be an comparatively authentic channels.Therefore, they authoritative source (hujjah) because theywere transmittedthrough these were not known to those who opposed them authentic channels, and yet they to available them.This iswhy we find that because of theweak transmissions many scholars suspended judgement on account of a hadith until its was properly established,so they would say: "my opinion in this authenticity a issue is such and such.However, if there is hadithnarratedwith regard to was to be established, this [containing another ruling],and if its authenticity would be in accordancewith it."83 then my ruling was deemed to be weak on the basis of The thirdreason: that the hadith one scholar while others disagreed with him, regardlessof the ijtihddof whether the narration of the hadith arrived through another channel or whether the correctopinion was thatof this mujtahid, his opponents, or both to who say that "every of them,according those mujtahid is correct." There can be various causes for this: One of them is that one scholar believes that a transmitterof the concerned hadith is weak whereas the other believes him/her to be And the science related to identifying transmitters is a vast one. trustworthy. one It is possible that the correctmujtahid is the who believes that the transmitter isweak, because he was aware of an impugningfactor. Also, it is

possible that the correctopinion iswith the othermujtahid because he knew that the causewas not an impugningfactor,eitherbecause it did not actually fall into a valid class of impugning factorsor that the transmitter had an of the impugnment upon him. exemptionwhich precludes the effect area vast This is another and the scholars specialising in the subject and their conditions [i.e. the study of the reportersofHadith] transmitters with regard to this issue, just as the have their agreementsand disagreements scholars specialisingin all of theother sciencesdo. Another reason is that themujtahid does not believe that the transmitter heard the hadith from the narrator on the authority of whom he is did transmittingitwhereas anothermujtahid believes that the transmitter

83 Muhammad b. Ahmad al-Dhahabi, Siyar A'ldm al-Nubala" (Beirut:Mu'assasat al-Risalah, 1413ah), 10: 35 and 'Ali b. al-Hasan ibnHibat Allah Ibn 'Asakir,Ta'rikhMadinat Dimashq wa Dar al-Fikr, 1995), 51: 389. DhikrFadliha wa Tasmiyatman Hallaha min al-Amathil (Beirut:

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indeed hear the hadlth [from the narrator on the authority of whom he is And the causes bringingthisabout arewell-known. it]. transmitting
Yet another reason is that the transmitter has two states: a state of

soundness and a stateof confusion (idtirdb), becomes e.g.when a transmitter confusedorwhen his books are burntdown. Therefore, all thathe transmitted while in a sound state is [considered]correctand all thathe transmitted while in a state of confusion is [considered] weak. As a result, itmight not appear was transmitted clear to one mujtahid as regardsthe state inwhich the hadlth was certain that the transmitter whereas anothermujtahid related thathadlth while inhis sound state. Another reason is that the transmitter forgetsthathe related the hadlth and ishence unable to remember it at a laterdate or he actuallydenies thathe ever related the hadlth. Hence, one mujtahidmight believe that this is a defect

whereas anothermujtahidmight necessitating the abandonment of the hadlth believe that it is acceptable to cite that hadlth as evidence?and this topic of well-known. dispute [too] is A furtherreason is that many of the Hijazi scholars hold the view that the Iraqi or Sham! hadlth should not be cited as an evidence unless it originated inHijaz, to the point where some of them remarked: "Give the hadlthsof thepeople of Iraq the same statusas thenarrationsof thePeople of themnor disbelieve them."And another [Hijazi] was theBook; neither affirm asked: "Is the following chain of transmission authoritative: Sufyan from Mansur from Ibrahim from 'Alqamah on the authority of 'Abd Allah b. was: "If itdid not originate in Mas'ud?" The reply Hijaz, thenno." This is due to the fact that they believed that the people ofHijaz had

confusion regarding the hadlths of Iraq which necessitated a suspension of judgementon them. Some of the Iraqis, on the other hand, think the same about thehadlthof thepeople of Sham.Most people, however, do not use this as a basis forweakening a hadlth. So whenever the chain of transmitters is or whether it isHijazi, Iraqi, Sham! from sound, the hadlth is authoritative, other places. Abu Dawud al-Sijistanl (may Allah have mercy upon him) compiled a book on the narrations of hadlthsknown to be related only by inwhich he clarified those hadlths individuals from certain regions (mafdrld), which could only be foundwith continuous chains of transmission in those particular regions and not in other regions. This includes hadlths from Madlnah, Makkah, Ta'if, Dimashq, Hims, Kufah, Basrah and others.There are
reasons other than these as well.

the Sunnah,

so that none

of it had escaped

them, whereas

there was

The fourth reason: that the scholar stipulates some conditions for the memorizer acceptance of hadlthwhich was transmitted by one trustworthy

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but is opposed by others [who do not accept such conditions]. For instance, must be compared towhat is in the some stipulate that thehadith Qur'an and a or must be that the transmitter the established Sunnah?4 jurist if his narration happens to oppose that which can be deduced from textual principles (qiyasal-usul)?5or the stipulationby some that thenarration of the hadith needs to be widespread and known if it deals with an issue known to have occurred frequently at the time of the Prophet.86 There are other well-known within theirrespective conditions, places [ofdiscussion]. The fifth reason: that the hadith has reached the scholar and its has been established to him, but he forgetsthenarration.This can authenticity occur with regard to theQur'an and the Sunnah. For instance, there is the well-known hadith related on the authorityof 'Umar (mayAllah be pleased with him) thathe was asked about thepersonwho is in a stateofmajor ritual but findsno water while he is traveling.'Umar saidhemust not pray impurity water. 'Ammar b. Yasir (mayAllah be pleased with him) then until he finds when you and I said, "O Commander of theFaithful!Do you not remember were [herding]camels andwe were both in statesofmajor ritual impurity and not I rolled in the dust and performedprayerwhile you did performyour to not I that the Prophet And mentioned this remember] [do you prayer? way" (peace be on him) and he replied, "Itwas enough foryou to do it in this and then he struck the groundwith his hands and thenwiped his face and Allah!" So 'Ammar handswith his palms?" 'Umar then said: "O 'Ammar, fear
said, "If you so wish, I will not narrate it," upon which 'Umar remarked, "We

hold you responsible for what you claim."87 Thus, this is a sunnahwhich was witnessed by 'Umar (mayAllah be Moreover, he even issued a pleased with him) and one which he later forgot. even when Ammar (mayAllah be pleased with him) fatwa opposing it and to remember. to he him failed remind sought Despite this,he did not accuse Ammar of lyingbut instead [implicitly] orderedhim to narrate thishadith.
See, Ahmad b. al-Husayn al-Bayhaqi, al-Qird'ah Khalf allmam (Beirut:Dar al-Kutub al 'Ilmiyyah, 1405ah), 203; 'Umar b. 'All Ibn al-Mulaqqin, Tadhkirat al-Muhtdj ildAhddith al Minhdj (Beirut: al-Maktab al-Islami, 1994), 27 and 'Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi Bakr al-Suyuti, Miftdh al-Jannah ft 'l-Ihtijajbi 'l-Sunnah (al-Madinah al-Munawwarah: Madinah University, 1399ah), 10. 85 See, Ibn Rushd, Biddyat al-Mujtahid,2: 216; al-Shawkani, Nayl, 5: 332. 86 for 'Ali b. Muhammad Dar al-Kitab al See, instance, al-Amidi,al-Ihkdm ftUsiilal-Fiqh (Beirut: 'Arabi, 1404ah), 2: 124; 'All b. Ahmad Ibn Hazm, al-Ihkdm ft Usul alAhkdm (Cairo: Dar al Dar al-Afaq al-Jadidah, Hadith, 1404ah), 2: 151; Idem, al-Muhalld (Beirut: n.d.), 4: 117,Yahya b. Dar al-Fikr, 1997), 5: 221. Sharaf al-Nawawi, al-Majmu":Sharh al-Muhadhdhab(Beirut: 87 See,Muslim, Sahih,Kitab al-Hayd, Bab al-Tayammum. 84

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More illustrative of thispoint is [the occasion] when 'Umar delivered a speech to the people inwhich he stated,"No one must exceed thedowry paid by theProphet (peace be on him) to hiswives and thedowry of his daughters [and ifhe does] Iwill returnit [to thepayer]."A woman then said to him: "O Commander of theFaithful! Why do you deny us what was given to us by a heap ofgold, then Allah?" Then she recited{... and you have given one of them takenotfrom it anything}}*Following this 'Umar retractedhis opinion and accepted hers for he had memorised the verse but had forgotten [its

This is similar towhat was narrated about 'Allwho reminded al-Zubayr which theProphet (peace be on during the battle of al-Jamalabout something him) had entrusted to them; so al-Zubayr remembered and gave up the

because of it.90 fighting Incidences of thiskind [i.e. of learninga text and then forgetting it] are frequentamong both the early and laterscholars. The sixth reason: that the scholardoes not know the implicationof the mentioned in the concernedhadith.This can be due to the fact that a term was considered by him to be unfamiliar (gharib)y such as [the terms]:al hadith
almukhabarah, al-muhaqalah, al-muldmasah, al-mundbadhah, al


of which gharar and other such unfamiliar terms about the interpretation scholarsmight disagree. An example is the hadith transmittedby a chain attributed back to the Prophet (peace be on him): "No divorce and manumission [of a slave] in a state of ighldq"91 Ighldqwas interpreted[by were not [fully]aware of who disagreed some] tomean 'coercion'while those

this [linguistic]interpretation. It may sometimes also be because themeaning [of the hadith"]in the scholar's dialect and customaryusagewhich was not [in conformity with] that language employed by the Prophet (peace be on him), so the scholarwould
88 Qur'an 4: 20.

Musannaf of 'Abd al-Razzaq (Beirut:al-Maktab al-Islami, 1403 ah), 11: 241. 91 See, IbnMajah, Sunan, Kitab al-Talaq, Bab Talaq al-Mukrahiwa al-Nasi; Ahmad, Musnad, wa 'l-Athar 6: 276; 'AbdAllah b.Muhammad IbnAbi Shaybah, alKitdb al-Musannaffi i-Ahddith 4: 1409 b. 'Umar 'All Sunan Maktabat 83; al-Rushd, ah), al-Daraqutni, (Riyadh: al-Daraqutni Dar al-Ma'rifah, 1966), 4: 36. (Beirut:

Zamakhshari (Riyadh:Dar IbnKhuzaymah, 1414ah), 1: 294-297. 90 See,Muhammad b. 'Abd Allah al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak 'aidal-Sahihayn (Beirut:Dar al-Kutub al-'Ilmiyyah, 1990), 3: 412-414. See also,Ma'mar b. Rashid al-Azdi, al-Jdmi* published with al

89 Mansur (India: al-Dar See, 'Abel al-Razzaq,Musannaf 6:180; Sa'id ibn Mansur, Sunan Sa'id ibn It 1:195. is also Muhammad b. Futuh al-Humaydi, al-Jam'bayn al-Salafiyyah,1982), quoted by wa Muslim (Beirut: Dar IbnHazm, 2002), 4: 324. See also, 'All b. 'Umar al-Sahihayn:al-Bukhdri al-Nabawiyyah (Riyadh:Dar Taybah, 1985), 2: 232; al-Daraqutni, al-'Ilal al-Waridahfi 'l-Ahadith wa 'l-Athdral-Waqi'ahfi 'AbdAllah b. Yusuf al-Zayla'i, Takhrijal-Ahddith Tafsir al-Kashshafli *l

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correlate it to what he understood from the term in accordance with his tongue, basing this on the principle that a word retains its originalmeaning [untilproven otherwise]. This is like some of the scholars who heard some reports (dthdr) which to some allow a concessionwith regard to nabidh, so they thought it referred types of intoxicants;due to the fact that this term (i.e. nabldh)was used for those [intoxicants]in theirnative tongue, whereas in realitythis termrefersto thatwhich was left in thewater to sweeten it and was consumed before it attained any intoxicating made clear throughseveral qualities. This meaning is authentichadiths92 Similarly, some scholars encountered the term 'khamr' in theQur'an and to intoxicants Sunnah and they thought it referred made fromgrapes only on the basis that thiswas themeaning of the term in theirdialect, but there are authentic hadithswhich confirm that the term khamr is a name for every drink.93 intoxicating Sometimes the scholardid not know the implicationof thehadithbecause was eithera homonym, ambivalent in its the term [used in that text] meaning, or one thathovered between the literalandmetaphorical sense, so the scholar tookwhat he thought is thenearest [to the intended meaning] even thoughthe to turn out be theothermeaning of the term. intended meaning may some of the Again, Companions understood the "white thread and the to black thread" [in the verse dealingwith the time for beginning the fast]94
refer to an actual

[The scholar] sometimes [did not know the implication of the hadith] because its importwas obscure (khafi).This is due to the fact that the
indications that can be drawn from a statement

the entire arm up to the armpit.97

with dry ablution] {and rub therewith your [dealing faces and hands}96to cover


(habl)95 Others

also understood


in the verse

people naturally differin theirability to comprehend them and to grasp their meaning depending on what Allah has bestowed upon them. Then a personmight know the general implicationof a textbut hemight not recognise that this specificcase is included within thatgeneral context. It is
92 See, for instance, Muslim, Sahih, Kitab al-Hajj, Bab Wujub al-Mabit bi Mina; Abu Dawud, Kitab Sunan, al-Ashribah,Bab Sifat al-Nabidh. 93 See,Muslim, Sahih,Kitab al-Ashribah,Bab Bayan annaKull Muskir Khamr.
94 Qur'an

are often very diverse

and so

95 This versewas revealed in the context of settingthe time forbeginning the fasting which is at

2: 186.


96 Qur'an 4: 43. 97 This versewas revealed in the context of dry ablution (al-tayammum).

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possible thathe might recognise that this specificcase is included under that this lateron. This is such a vast subject that general contextbut thenhe forgets can be encompassed by none but Allah. It is also possible that a person commits a mistake by deriving from a statement what is not conceivable within theArabic languagewhich the Prophet (peace .be on him) was sent

The differencebetween this reason and the one before it is that in the whereas previous [instance] the scholardid not know that specific implication in this reason he knows the specificimplicationbut believes that it ought not to be applied based on some principles he had which invalidated that ofwhether he was in realityrightorwrong. implication,regardless Examples of those principles include: that the scholar believes the specified general text (al- (dmmalmakhsus) is not a valid proof, or that the implication (al-mafhiim) is not a valid proof,98or that a general ruling established fora specificcause is applied onlywhere that cause exists,or thata does not necessitateobligation or immediatecompliance, or general imperative of the that thealifznd 1dm[constituents Arabic definite article]do not denote or thatnegated verbs neithernegate its essencenor all of itsrulings, generality, or that the required meaning (alfnuqtada) does not necessitate a general importand as a resulthe would not claim the existenceof a general import in cause [al-ma'ani].99 and the effective theomitted elements (al-mudmardt) with other examples which would need a lengthy discussion And likewise were we to delve into them, as indeedhalf of the disputes thathave arisen in mid al-fiqh come within this field [i.e. the implications]; even though the absolute principles [i.e. Qur'an and Hadith] do not encompass all of the disputed implications.One of the questions in this topic iswhether certain sub-categoriesof classes of implicationsare included under themain class or not. For instance, a scholarmight believe that a certain term is ambivalent (mujmal) due to the fact that it is a homonym (mushtarak),and there is nothing to indicate the preferenceof one of its twomeanings over the other, or other [such] examples.
98 For details related to the discussion on the authorityof the implications, see, 'Abd atMaUk b. 'Abd Allah al-Juwayni,al-Burhdn fi Usul al-Fiqh (Cairo: al-Wafa', 1418ah), 1:298; Idem, al

anyspecific (daldlah). implication

The seventh reason: that the scholar thoughtthat thehadithdid not carry

Dar al-Basha'ir al-Islamiyyah,1996), 2:184; 'Abd Allah b. Ahmad Talkhisfi Usul al-Fiqh (Beirut: Ibn Qudamah, Rawdat al-Nddirwa Junnat al-Munazir (Riyadh: The Imam University, 1399), 262; al-Amidl, al-lhkam, 3: 73. 99 See,Al Taymiyyah: 'Abd al-Salam b. 'AbdAllah, 'Abd al-Halim b. 'Abd al-Salam andAhmad b. 'Abd al-Halim, al-Musawwadahfi usul al-Fiqh, ed.Muhammad Muhyi '1-Dln 'Abd al-Hamid (Cairo:Matba' al-Madani, 1964), 81.

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The eighth reason: that the scholardeems that implicationof the text to be opposed by something indicatingthat it could not have been so intended. Examples include a general termbeing opposed by a specificone, an absolute an absolute imperativeby term (al-mutlaq)by a qualified one (al-muqayyad), that which negates it,or the literal (al-haqiqah)one by that which indicatesa metaphor (al-majaz), and so on. This is also a vast subject; for indeed the conflictbetween thenumerous implicationsof a phrase and the taskof giving preferenceto some of themover others is like awide ocean. The ninth reason: that the scholar thinks that the hadith is opposed by contraryevidencewhich is accepted by all scholars, such as a Qur'anic verse, another hadith, or consensus, thereby indicating the hadith's weakness, This is of two if it is amenable to interpretation. abrogation,or interpretation, types: First: that the scholar believes that the contrary evidence is preferable (rajih) in general, leading to one of the three possibilities [that is, the away from the weakening of the hadith, its abrogation, or its interpretation undesirablemeaning] without specifying any one of them. one that the scholar of the three,so he believes that the Second: specifies away. There is thepossibility,however, that proof is abrogated or interpreted he might commit a mistake regardingthe abrogation by considering the later evidence to be the earlierone. Alternatively,he might err in interpretation by understanding the hadith in a way which itswording does not permit, or which rulesout that interpretation. where there is somethingextraneous And if the new evidencewas to oppose the earlier evidence in general terms, there might be a possibility that the opposing evidence does not give rise to themeaning which the scholar understood. It is also possible that the opposing hadith is not equal in strengthto the firstone in terms of the and the clarityof its text (matn).The authenticityof its chain of transmitters same points and others apart from them could of course also be said for the hadith. first In most cases the claim of a consensus is actually no more than the absence of knowledge about any opposing opinion. And we have found who arrivedat certainopinions on the among the distinguishedscholars those basis of the non-existenceof any contraryopinion, even though the apparent meaning of the evidence necessitates, according to them, other than that opinion. Itwas unthinkable,however, for that scholar to espouse an opinion which was not known to have been held by any earlier scholar, despite knowing that the people disagreewith that view, to the extent that some scholarsqualify theiropinion by saying,"If there is a consensus on this issue then it is themost deserving to be followed. If not, I think the ruling with

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Abu Ja'faral-Baqir.103 obligation isnarrated from This is due to the fact that theultimate aim for many scholars is to know the opinions of the scholarswho were their contemporarieswithin their We also find many regionwhile not knowing the opinions of other scholars. of the early scholarswho only knew the opinions of theMadinans and Kufans, and many later scholars only knew two or three opinions from amongst those of the reputed scholars,while anything outside this was considered by them to be opposed to the consensus because theydid not know of any statement to the contrary [froma reputed scholar] even though they

regardto this issue is such and such."100 An example of this is the statement of the one who says, "I do not know a anyonewho allowed the testimonyof slave"whereas the acceptance of it is Another is the saying,"It is narrated from 'All,Anas, Shurayh, and others.101 whereas this rightof agreed that the partially freed slave does not inherit" All and IbnMas'ud (mayAllah be pleased with inheritance is narrated from a hasan is hadith from theProphet (peace be on him) to that and there them) And finally, "I do not know of anyone who made obligatory the effect.102 prayer upon the Prophet (peace be on him) in the prayer" whereas its

always heard views opposingwhat theyknew. Itwill not be possible for such a person to use a hadith opposed to this will lead to opposing consensus alleged consensus, because of his fear that this or that he believes that it does actually oppose the consensus,whilst [in his mind] consensus is the greatestof evidences.This is the extenuatingreason of many people inmany caseswhere theydid not adhere to the obvious import whereas others cannot of the evidence. Some of them in realitycan be excused, to true and later the aforementioned with regard be excused. This is also

The tenth reason: [the scholar thought that] the hadithwas opposed by evidence indicating the hadith's weakness, abrogation, or contrary whereas his view that this is a contraryevidence is not shared interpretation, by other scholars,or even by thosewho belong to his group, or the contrary evidence isnot in realitytheprevalentone.
ibnMuflih al-Maqdisi, al-Furu'fi 'l-Fiqhal-Hanbtt (Beirut:Dar al-Kutub al 1418 ah), 5: 447 andMuhammad ibnAbl Bakr b. Ayyub known as Ibn al-Qayyim, 'flmiyyah, Ahkam Abl al-Dhimmah (Dammam- Beirut:Ramadi, 1997), 2: 747,793. 101 wa 'l-'Abid. See forexample, al-Bukhari,Sahih,Kitab al-Shahadat,Bab Shahadat al-Ima* 102 See, Ahmad b. Shu'ayb al-Nasa'I, al-Sunan al-Kubrd, Kitab al-Qisamah, Bab Diyat al

100 See,Muhammad

103 See, al-Tabari, Tahdhib al-Atbar, 257; Ismail b. 'Umar Ibn Kathir, Tafsir al-Qur'an al-'Azim Dar al-Fikr, 1401ah), 3: 509; al-Shawkani, Nayl alAwtar, 2: 321-326; al-Zayla'I,Nasb al (Beirut: 1: 427. Rayah,

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An example of this is of the approach ofmany of theKufans who, when an authentic hadith is opposed by the apparentmeaning of a Qur'anic text, believe that the apparentQur'anic text, such as one expressinggenerality,is meaning of a hadith. givenpreferenceover the explicit which isnot in reality A scholar might consider somethingto be apparent apparent; this is because therearemany potential implicationsof a statement. was rejectedby the So, as a result, the hadith of "thewitness and the oath"104 Kufans [on the basis that itwas in opposition to an apparentQur'anic text], even though other scholars know that there is nothing in the apparent Qur'anic text to prevent giving judgementin favourof someone on the basis of one witness and the claimant'soath.And if it should be the case [i.e. even if an apparent Qur'anic text opposing this hadith was to be found], then,

of theQur'an. And according to these scholars theSunnah is the 'interpreter' statements are from well al-Shafi'i known there regardingthisprinciple.Also, Ahmad [ibn Hanbal] has his well known book on the refutationof the of apparent Qur'anic texts (zahir opinion of thosewho claimed the sufficiency to texts with the Sunnah of the al'Qur'an) without the need interpretsuch on in it He evidences be mentioned which the limitation him). Prophet (peace of space preventsus from mentioning here. And another example of this is to reject the hadith (al-khabar) which a or an the of which absolute Qur'anic text, general meaning qualifies specifies or to adds the belief of The thosewho say this text, Qur'anic ruling. Qur'anic is that adding to a text, as well as qualifying an absolute text, is a form of a general text is also [a formof] abrogation. abrogation, and specifying Another example concerns a group of the Madinans who oppose authentic hadiths in preference to the practice of the people ofMadinah, on must have been in agreementnot to act the basis that they (i.e. ahl al-Madinah) upon those hadiths, and their agreement is a proofwhich is given preference over thehadith.For instance,theydid not act upon the hadiths related to the on the basis of this rightofwithdrawal from transactions(khiyar al-majlis)105 Most scholars,however, affirm the existenceof disagreementamong principle. theMadinans on this issue [that is, regardingthe rightof withdrawal from Madinans were in agreementand they transactions]but state that even if the were opposed by other scholars [who are supportedby Hadith evidences],then source most authoritative would be the Hadith. the
104 See,Malik, Muwatta', 2: 721; Ahmad, Musnad, 3: 305;Abu Dawud, Sunan, Kitab al-Aqdiyah, wa l-Shahid; al-Tirmidhi,Sunan, Kitab al-Ahkam, Bab ma ja' fi '1 Bab al-Qada' bi '1-Yamin Yamin ma* al-Shahid; al-Nasa'i, al-Sunan al-Kubra,Kitab al-Qada', Bab al-Hukm bi al-Yamin wa 'l-Shahid. 105 See,Muslim, Sahih,Kitab al-Buyu',Bab Thubut Khiyar al-Majlis.

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Another example is that of some people of the two cities (Madinah and with explicit analogy (qiyasjail) arguing that Kufah) opposing some hadlths cannot be refuted generalprinciples by suchhadiths. And so on with similarareas of dispute regardlessofwhether the scholar orwrong. So, these ten reasons are clear. opposing thehadith is right It is possible inmany cases that the scholar has a proof for not acting which we are not aware of because theways of comprehending upon a hadith knowledge aremanifold andwe cannotknow all ofwhat is in theheartsof the

scholars.The scholarmight havementioned his proof or might not have, and was ifhe were tomention it, it may ormay not have reachedus; and even ifit to reach us we may or may not comprehend the thrustof his argument, ofwhether his proofwas in realitycorrector not. irrespective However, if we allow this possibility [that the proof supporting a mujtahid's argumentisunknown to us], it isnot permittedforus to turnaway from an opinion whose authority is establishedby an authentichadith and is followed by some people of knowledge for another opinion proclaimed by another scholarwho might possibly have an answer to thatproof, even ifhe was more knowledgeable [than the firstscholar].This is due to the fact that theopinions of scholars aremore prone to error then the shar% evidence itself. The shar%evidences areAllah's proof againstall of his servantsand this isnot the casewith regard to the opinion of the scholar. Indeed, it is impossible for the shar%evidences to contain error if they are not contradicted by other similarevidence and thiscannot be said fortheopinion of a scholar. And ifpracticingthis [i.e. followingthe opinion of a scholar in the faceof an opposing shar%evidence]were to be allowed, thennone of the evidences which accept thispossibility [i.e. being open to ijtihdd] will remain as such. what we mentioned earlier] is that the scholar However, the purpose [of a evidence, andwe are might have had valid excuse fornot followingthe shar% excused for not following his opinion. And Allah (Glorified and Exalted is havepassed away; they shallhavewhat they earned He!) says: {This isa people that and you shallhavewhat you earn,and you shallnot he called upon toanswer for what they did.}106

any matter, referit toAllah and the concerning Messenger ifyou are (in truth) believersin LastDay.}107 Allah and the It is not permitted for anyone to oppose an authentic hadith of the Prophet (peace be on him) and give preferenceto the opinion of any human Allah be pleasedwith him and being.On one occasion,when Ibn 'Abbas (may
106 Qur'an 2:134. 107 Qur'an 4: 59.

And Allah (Glorified isHe!) also said, (And ifyou have a dispute

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was asked by aman about an issue,he answeredwith a hadith.The his father) man responded, "[But]Abu Bakr and 'Umar said such and such [with regard to that issue]," IbnAbbas said: "You are about to be struckby stones from the sky! I say to you that theProphet (peace be on him) said such and such, and you reply, "[But]Abu Bakr and 'Umar said such and such!""108 If it is accepted that some of the reasonsmentioned above could cause a scholar to not follow a shar%evidence, and if an authentic hadith is found which contains permissibility, prohibition or another ruling, it is not permissible to believe that a scholarwho did not adhere to it (whose reasons

and his likewho alleged that those among themujtahids Bishr al-Marrisi110 who make a mistake would be punished on account of this mistake. This is one a because the who commits prohibited action would be liable for the threatonly ifhe was aware of theprohibition or ifhe was able to obtain that who are broughtup in thebadiyah knowledge and failed to do so.As for those or are new converts to Islam andwho [remoteplaces away fromcivilisation], commit a prohibited actionwithout being aware of itsprohibition, they will not be sinning, and they cannot be punished with prescribed punishments (hudiid)even if theydid not base theiraction on shar%evidence. Therefore, a fortiori, thosewho were not aware of the prohibiting hadith and based the permissibility of an action upon shar% evidence are more deserving to be
108 Dar Adwa* al-Bayan (Beirut: See,Muhammad al-Amin b.Muhammad al-Mukhtar al-Shanqiti, al-Fikr li 1-Tiba'ah wa '1-Nashr,1995), 7: 328. 109 What ismeant by la'n here, according to the classicalMuslim literature,is to pray or state that a person be rejected from the mercy ofGod permanently or temporarily.But it could also mean in some instances censure and condemnation of the action with which the la'n was associated. See,Muhammad b. Jariral-Tabari,Jami' al-Bayan 'an Ta'wil Ayy akQur'an (Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, 1405 ah), 1: 408; IbnQudamah, al-Mughnl,8: 39; al-NawawI, SahVp Muslim hi Sharh al-Nawawly 9:140-141; Muhammad b.Makram IbnManzur, Lisan al-'Arab (Beirut:Dar Sadir, Maktabat Lebanon, n.d.), 13: 387;Muhammad ibnAbi Bakr al-Razi,Mukhiar al-Sihah (Beirut: 1995), 250. 110 Dar al-Kutub al-'Ilmiyyah, See,Ahmad b. 'All al-Khatib al-Baghdadi,Ta'rikh Baghdad (Beirut: Mu'assasat al-A'lami, 1986), n.d.) 7: 56-66; Ahmad b. 'All Ibn Hajar, Lisan al-Mizdn (Beirut: 2: 29.

fordeparting fromthe texthave been given above) should be punished because on he made theprohibitedpermissibleor vice versa, or thathe gave judgement the basis ofwhat was not revealed byAllah. Similarly, if a hadith contains a mention of a la'n,109 threat, angeror punishment,or somethingsimilar, by the not to it is then who permitted such an action permitted say that the scholar, or undertook it, We know of no would fall within thepurview of that threat. disagreement among the scholars of the ummah with regard to this issue except something narrated from some of the Baghdad! Mu'tazilites such as

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excused. This iswhy such a scholar is rewarded and praised because of his David and independent reasoning.Allah (theExalted) says: {And remember matter into thesheep in which the Solomon,when they gave judgement the of field of certainpeople had strayedby night:We did witness theirjudgement To matter: to each (of them) We SolomonWe inspiredthe(right) of the understanding and .U1 gave Judgement Knowledge} So Solomon was distinguishedforhis understanding [in this case] while both were praised for [having] sound judgementand knowledge. In the two Sahihs of al-Bukhari andMuslim it is narratedon the authorityof 'Amr b. al

"When a judge exercises independentreasoningand gives the right judgement, he will have two rewards,but ifhe errs in his judgement,he will stillhave
earned one reward."112

be on him)said, 'As (may the withhim)that Allah be pleased (peace Prophet

Allahhasnotlaidupon Exaltedsays, AndAllah the {And any you inreligion

hardship} andHe

Therefore, it is clear that themujtahid, despite his error, is rewarded at due to the fact thatarriving because of his ijtihadand hismistake is forgiven or on correct the everyoccasion is either impossible highly unlikely. opinion said, {Allah desiresease for for you, andHe does not desire

you difficulty}}14

prayer elapses]."Others said that this Qurayzah [i.e. even if the time for fAsr was not the intended and theyprayed Asr prayerwhile on theway meaning with eitherof the two groups.115 and theProphet foundno fault to the generalityof the communication ('umum The firstgroup held the lapse of the appointed time [for and therefore considered they al-khitab) The other group feltthey thePrayer] as being includedunder thatgenerality* had the evidence necessitatingthe exclusion of this [the lapse of the appointed time] from the general importof the communication. They understood the command to be an encouragement to them tomake haste in reaching those
111 Qur'an 21: 78-79. 112 Al-Bukhari, ?abihtKitab al-Ftisam,Bab Ajr al-Hakim idha Ijtahada;Muslim, Sahib,Kitab al Aqdiyah, Bab Bayan Ajr al-Hakim idha Ijtahad. 113 Qur'an 22: 78. 114 Qur'an 2:185. 115 Bab $allt al-Talibwa 1-Matlub Rakiban wa Ima'an; See, al-Bukhari,Sahih,Kitab al-Jumu'ah, Bab bi 'l-Ghazw. al-Mubadarah Kitab Muslim, Sahih, al-Jihad,

Muslim it isnarrated that theProphet In the two Sahibs of al-Bukharland Year of theTrench, "None of (peace be on him) said to his Companions in the prayeruntil you reachBanu Qurayzah" and sowhen you should pray the fAsr itwas time forAsr prayer and the companionswere stillon their way, some of them said. "We will not pray (Asr prayer) until we arrive at Banu

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was prohibited. Also, 'AdI b. Hatim and a group of the Companions (may Allah be the Qur'anic verse {...untilyou can identify pleasedwith them) thoughtthatthe referredto [the literal white thread meaning of the from theblack thread)117 would word al*khayt]i.e. thewhite rope and the black rope. So one of them one near eat two white and the other and would his leave black, strings pillow, one fromtheother. of this,theProphet until he could identify Upon learning (peace be on him) said to 'Adi, "Your pillow seems to be very large!It is only whiteness of thedawn and theblacknessof thenight."118 the Therefore, theProphet (peace be on him) indicatedby this that 'Adi had not correctlycomprehended the meaning of theverse,yet theProphet did not censure one who did not observe the fastingof to the of attribute him Ramadan, even though it isone of the major sins. are In contrast [to this] thosewho gave a fatwd to a man who had a whole of his body [i.e. due to head-injury (in the skull) thathe had towash the so he did.He died as a resultand the being in a stateofmajor ritual impurity] Should not they have asked if they did not know? Indeed, the cure for ignorance is inquiry."119 as they Hence thesepeople committedamistake without [proper] ijtihdd were not fromamong thepeople of knowledge.

that theProphet (peace be on him) had takenunder siege. This is an issue upon which there is a well known disagreementamong the jurists,namely, "Can the general be particularised by analogy?" (hal who prayed on al-umum hi 'l-qiyds). However, [myview is that] those yukhass what theydid. the way were more correct in Allah be pleasedwith him) sold two sd'of one when Bilal (may Similarly, type of dates for one sd' of another type of dates, the Prophet (peace be on [on the basis that thiswas a transaction him) ordered him to return it116 Bilal camewithin the sphereof the involvingribd]but he did not indicatethat as such depravity (tafsiq),condemnation (al-la'n) rulings for consuming ribd and sternness(taghliz);because Bilal had not been aware that this transaction

Prophet(peacebe on him) said,"Theykilledhim;may Allah kill them!

116 See, al-Bukhari,Sahih,Kitab al-Wakalah,Bab idhaBa* al-Wakil Shay'an Fasid; Muslim, Sahih, Kitab al-Musaqah, Bab Bay' al-Ta'amMithlan biMithl. 117 Qur'an 2:187. 118 See, al-Bukhari, Sahih, Kitab al-Tafsir,Bab wa Kulu wa'shrabu; Muslim, Sahih, Kitab al Yahsulu bi Tulu* al-Fajr. Siyam, Bab Bayan ann al-Dukhul fi 'l-Sawm 119 See, 'Abd al-Razzaq,Musannaf, 1: 223; Ahmad, Musnad, 1: 330;Abu Dawud, Sunan, Kitab al Taharah, Bab fi 'l-MajruhYatayammam; IbnMajah, Sunan, Kitab al-Taharah, Bab fi '1-Majruh Tusibuh al-Janabah.

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The salaf and the when theyconcluded majority of the juristsacted upon this that the rebelswould not be liable for retaliation, blood-money or expiation, in cases such as shedding theblood of innocentpeople, which they legitimated on grounds of some plausible reason (ta'wtl sa'igh), they [rebels] will not be held responsible even though the killing and fightingthey engaged inwere prohibited.121 The aforementionedcondition for the applicabilityof a threatdoes not need to be repeated in every communication because the knowledge of it is well known and established in thehearts. This is just like the promise [of reward] for carryingout a good deed is for the sake ofAllah and that the prefacedupon itsbeing done with sincerity deed was not rendered void by apostasy. This condition, also, is not mentioned in everyhaditb which promises a reward foran action. And evenwhen the conditions necessitatingthe applicabilityof a threat are present, the threatmight be removed through the existence of an impediment (mdni). There are various typesof such impediments,including repentance,asking for forgiveness, good deeds thaterase sins, tribulationsand of someonewhose intercessionis accepted and the calamities, the intercession Most Merciful. mercy of the are lacking?and this It is onlywhen all of these impediments will not be the case exceptwith regard to the one who was arrogant,rebellious and fled from Allah in a way similar to thatof a camel strayingfrom itspeople?that the threat will be duly applicable to him. This is because the main functionof a threatis to emphasise that thedeed inquestion is a cause for thepunishment mentioned in the threat,thuscreatingthe inference that thedeed isprohibited and reprehensible. However, to say that the existence of the reason for the threat in any personwould necessitate the occurrence of the consequence (i.e the punishment) is indeed an absolutely invalid conclusion. [As we have of a threatdepends upon the presence of its conditions explained], the effect to it. and the removal of all of the impediments
120 See, al-Bukhari, Sahih, Kitab al-Diyat, Bab Qawl Allah Ta'ala wa man Ahyaha; Muslim, ba'd anQal La Qah ilia 'Hah. Kitab al-Iman,Bab Tahrim Qatl al-Kafir Sablhy 121 is Ibn here is the issue of giving amnesty to rebels and, as he What Taymiyyah discussing assertssomewhere else, non-belief isnot a legitimatereason forkilling.

Another example is that theProphet (peace be on him) did not impose retaliation,blood money or expiation upon Usamah b. Zayd when he killed thepersonwho had testified that "There is no God butAllah" in the battle of was permissible to kill him on the basis Usamah believed that it al-Huraqat.120 thathis Islamwas invalid,even though it is clear thathis killingwas unlawful.

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To clarifythis further, thereare threepossibilities with regardto theone a not act badith: did who upon given First: thathis leaving thehadith is permissibleaccording to the agreement of allMuslims. An example of this is thepersonwho did not act upon a badith because he was not aware of it, although he had sought to the best of his ability to findout about it in view of his need for afatwa or a judicial ruling, as we mentioned in the case of the rightlyguided Caliphs and others (may Allah be pleased with them).There is no doubt in anyMuslim's mind that such a personwill not be liable for the sin resultingfrom theneglect of a deed [due to ignoranceof the existenceof theobligation/prohibition]. Second: that the leaving of the badith is not permissible. It is highly unlikely thatwe will find the Imams not acting upon a hadithwithout a

reason,God (theExalted) willing. legitimate [Third:]What might be possible, however, is that some scholarsmay sometimesgive an opinion on an issuedespite the fact that theydid not fully would give theiropinion without comprehend the issue in question, so they for fulfilled the proper requirements giving a rulingon that issue,even having though theyhave some understandingand capacity for ijtihadon it. [It is also possible that] the scholar is deficient in his deduction, so he would conclude with an opinion without an evidence for such conclusion or he would arriveat his even thoughhemight have used some formof ijtihad opinion before having takenhis reasoning to its appropriate conclusion, even where he is basing his opinion on some evidence,or hemight be influenced by a custom or predisposition which preventshim froman exhaustive treatment of the issue which would include a studyof that which opposes his view, even ifhe based his opinion on some ijtihadand reasoning.This is due to the fact that the [precise] limit [or extent] towhich it is necessary to determine ijtihad might not be precisely identified by the mujtahid. This is the reason that the scholarsused to fear that the recognised form of ijtihad (al-Ijtihadal-Mu'tabar) might not have been achieved on a given issue. a indeed sin This is but the punishment for the sin is only applicable if its not did repent.Moreover, the sin can be erased by asking for performer forgiveness, doing good to others, [undergoing]tribulation,intercession,and Allah's Mercy. However, not includedunder this [i.e. the one who is pardoned] is the one who is overcome and defeatedby his desire to the extent thathe supports what he knows to be false, or the one who asserts authoritatively the correctnessor errorof an opinion without knowing the evidence for what he or are two in either affirmation in the claims, Hellfire, negation. Indeed, these as theProphet (peace be on are "The three of him) said, types: two in judges

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the Hellfire and one inParadise; as for the one inParadise, it is a personwho knew the truth so he judged according to it.As for thosewho are in the Hellfire: it is the one who gave judgementamong the people on the basis of ignorance and the one who knew the truthbut gave judgementcontrary to

This is also true with regard to themuftis but thereare impedimentsfor the applicabilityof a threatto a specific person, aswe explained earlier. was theoreticallypossible from If the occurrence of something like that some of the distinguished scholarswho are praised by the ummah?even though it is remote (or even non-existent)?hewill [surely]not be shortof one of the aforementionedreasons [whichnullify the threat]. And even if such an occurrencewere to be found, this not would diminish their statureas Imams at all. This is because we do not believe that thesepeople are infallible;rather we accept that they are capable of sin, and at the same time we wish for them were grantedbyAllah of thehighestof ranks inParadise because ofwhat they were never persistent in and that deeds and they high status, righteous committing sin.We say also that theywere not superior in rank to the Companions (mayAllah be pleased with them). Furthermore,we saywith regard [to the Companions] thatwhich we said regarding the Imams, in and the spillingof blood which referenceto their ijtihddin fatwas, judgements, occurred between them (may Allah be pleased with them all) and other matters [relatedto their ijtihad]. who did not act upon a given text is not Having said that [the scholar] even rewarded [i.e. forhis ijtihad],thisdoes not preventus only excused but from following the authentic hadiths in respect of which we know of no
opposing narrate this.

obligation upon the ummah to act upon them [i.e. authentic hadiths] and to
them?and there is no disagreement among the scholars with regard to




it prevent


from believing

that it is an

[The firstis the definitehadith]; the scholars are in agreementupon the obligation of knowing and actingupon them.This is because both the chains of transmissionand the contents (matan)of thesehadithsare of definite (qatty nature.We have certainty that theMessenger of God (peace be on him) uttered such a hadithaswell as thathe intendedby it that specificform. The second is a hadithof probable, ratherthandefinite,proof. As for the firsttype, it is obligatory to believe in its implication in theory and in practice and there is no disagreement in general among the scholars
122 See, Abu Dawud, Sunan, Kitab al-Aqdiyah, Bab fi '1-QadiYukhti; al-Nasa'I, al-Sunan al Kitab al-Qada', Bab Thawab al-Isabahfi 'l-Hukm. Kubrdy


these hadiths are of two types:

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with regard to this. They might of course differwith regard to some as towhether theyhave definitechains of transmission narrations (al-akhbar), or not and whether the implication of a narration is definite or not. An which were example of this is theirdisagreementover those solitaryhadiths eitherreceivedby theummahwith conviction and belief orwhich theyagreed to act upon. According to the andmost Muslim theologians majority of jurists while some groups of the (mutakallimun),this typeof hadith createscertainty, mutakallimun disagreed. Similarly, a hadithwhich is transmittedfrom various channels, each corroboratingthe other fromcertain specificauthorities, might lead to certain knowledge for the one who is aware of all those channels [of transmission], the status of the transmittersas well as circumstantial and supporting evidences that encompass the narrations;whereas this certainty might be hidden from another scholarwho does not possess this information. This is a Hadith who possessed both critical mind and an why the leading scholarsof exacting approach to knowledge (mayAllah be pleased with them)might
reach absolute

might not even believe in that authenticitylet alone the certaintyof such This is based on the fact that thenarrations which lead to certainty do so on occasions from themultiplicity of theirreportersand at other times from the statusof thesenarrators; through the act of narrating itself;through the

certainty with


to some narrations whereas

other scholars


of the one who


the narration

or from the content

of the

So a narration transmitted by a few transmitters might lead to certain which is known regardingtheirpiety and strong knowledge because of that it such that with lying and memory, preserved them frombeing implicated error.On the other hand, multiple numbers of the same figuresfrom other transmitters This is no doubt the correct might not lead to such certainty. opinion, and it is the opinion of the majority of juristsandHadith scholarsas as well mutakallimun. groups fromamong the On the other hand, some groups of themutakallimun and some jurists adhered to the opinion that ifa number of transmitters led to certaintyin one must lead to certaintyin case, then this same number of other transmitters case. can no There be is doubt this that but this isnot every utterly incorrect, the right place to discuss this. As for thequestion of the influence of circumstantial evidence that isnot we related to the transmitters not of the have it because mentioned Hadith, this circumstantialevidencemight lead to certainty was to And if it by itself. lead to certaintyby itselfthen it shouldnot be considered as dependent on the

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narrationwithout restriction,just as the narration is not dependent on the circumstantialevidence.Rather, both may lead to certaintyat one time or probability at another, and sometimes theymay come together to create while at other timescertainty may arise fromone of them and only certainty probability fromtheother. A personwho has superiorknowledge in the fieldof narrations might be more certainwith regard to the authenticityof some narrations,whereas otherswho are not of his calibre might not attain that levelof certainty. Sometimes the scholarsalso differ with regardtowhether a givenhadith is definitive or not because of their disagreementover whether the hadith is explicit (nass) or apparent (zdhir) in its implication, and if it is apparent whether it contains something which can exclude the less likely meaning. This too is a vast subject, as some scholars be convinced of the of certainity might whereas othersdo not share thatview with them. implicationof some hadiths, The firstgroup might be certain that the given hadith can only admit that particular meaning, or that it is not allowed to interpret the hadith in
accordance with

of interpretation. leads them to achieve certainty With regard to the second type, that is the apparent (al-zahir) text, all recognised scholars subscribeto theopinion that it is obligatory to act upon it matters. If,on the other hand, it contains a rulingpertaining to belief, in legal such as a threat [of chastisement] and similar notions, the scholars have over it: differed Some groups from amongst the juristsadhere to the opinion that if a threatof punishment is promised forthe commissionof an action contained in
the narration

the other meaning,

or because

of some other



upon it and to consider that deed as prohibited, but the hadithwill not unless the narrationwas definite actually be used to establish the threatitself was definite [in termsof same content of a hadith in import. The applies ifthe its authenticity] but only apparent with regard to its implication. The following statement of 'A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) was understood according to thisprinciple. 'A'ishah said to thewife ofAbu Ishaq al-Sabn, "Tell Zayd b. Arqam that he has invalidated his jihad with the Thus they argued that Prophet (peace be on him) unless he repents."123 was because this threat she 'A'ishah expressed knowledgeable and certainof it. We, however, are obliged to act upon her narration in establishing the we do not hold this threatof punishmentdue to the prohibition even though fact that the hadith has only reached us through a solitarynarration.These
123 See for the full text, 'Abel al-Razzaq,Musannaf, 8:185; al-Daraqutni, Sunan, 3: 52.

of a trustworthy

solitary transmitter, then it is obligatory

to act

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scholarspoint out that the threatof punishment is a matter of belief and can Moreover, if the rulingon the only be affirmedthrougha definite (qattj text. action is the subject of ijtihdd, its doer will not be liable to the threat. According to the opinion of this group, the hadithspertaining to threatscan be used to establish the prohibition of deeds generally,but the punishment itselfisnot establishedunless the meaning of thehadith isunequivocal. Another example is the reliance of most scholars upon the variant ofwhich has been establishedfromsome Qur'an, the authority readingsof the of the Companions (mayAllah be pleased with them) even though these readingswere not in the 'Uthmanic mushaf (may Allah be pleased with knowledge and 'Uthman).These narrations contained practice and theoretical were solitary authentic hadiths. They cited these readings to affirm the practice,whilst theydid not recognise them as part of theQur'an due to the fact that recognising them as part of theQur'an is a theoretical issuewhich cannot be establishedexcept throughcertainty. Most of the jurists,however, hold the opinion?and this is also the opinion of the generalityof the pious predecessors (salaf)?that thesehadiths are authoritativeproof in all that they contain of threatsbecause itwas the habit of the Companions of the Prophet (peace be on him) and their Successors to affirmthreatson the basis of these hadiths, just as they also affirmed actingupon them.They would unequivocally declare in general that the threatcontainedwithin thesehadiths is applicable to theone who commits
such actions. This iswidespread in their narrations and fatdwa. Their view is

that the threat of punishment fallswithin those shar% rulings that can sometimes be established by probable evidence and other times by definite

threat,but only a belief that is grounded in certaintyor a high probability, and this is the casewith regardto theoreticalrulings. between a person's belief that Allah has prohibited There is no difference an action and threatened its doer with a general punishment, and his belief thatAllah has prohibited an action and threatened its doer with a specific punishment; both of them are ascribed to Allah (the Exalted). Just as it is acceptable to attribute toHim the firstcategory by the use of unrestricted evidence, [i.e. unrestrictedin termsof the punishmentbeing unspecified],it is likewise acceptable to attributetoHim through the second type of evidence of a specific [which contains a threat punishment]. more deservingand appropriate, hewould be correct. This iswhy theyused to show a degree of leniency in the acceptance of hadiths related to moral wa 'l-tarhib)that they did not show in the hadiths exhortation (al-targhib
Moreover, even if someone were to say that to act upon the threat is

It is not necessary

that there be absolute





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related to legal rulings. [Itwas felt]thatbelieving in the threatencourages the was true, the person souls to abstain fromprohibitedmatters. If that threat would escape the threatened punishment,and if the threat turnedout not to be true, and the consequence of that action would be less severe than that which was threatened, then his mistaken belief that the punishmentwas would not harm him, ifhe were to leave what itwas in reality] greater [than that action. This isdue to the factthat ifhe had believed that thepunishment was less than it was [in reality], he could also have beenmistaken. This could nor denied the extrapunishment,he could true also be ifhe neither affirmed

stillbemistaken. An erroneous limitationof the punishmentmight lead him to find it easier to commit the prohibited act and as a resultbecome liable for the extra punishment (if it is established)or it might create a reason forhim to deserve
such punishment.

Therefore, thepossibilityof an error inbeliefusing either the existenceor non-existenceof a punishment is identical;but escaping possible punishment throughbelieving in the existence of a threat ismore likely, and so is given majority of scholarsgive preference.It is on thebasis of thisprinciple that the an one permittingthe same to act over the evidence the prohibiting preference

Many jurists adopted the principle of precaution (aUhtiydt) in many rulingson thebasis of this argument.Indeed, precautionwith regard to action is almost unanimously treated as meritorious among those possessed of

If an individual's fearof errorby denying a threatstands in opposition to his fearof error in the opposite belief, the residual evidence necessitatesbelief in the existence of the threatand thatpunishment could be avoided on the basis of that belief [affirming the threat]and these are two evidences freeof any opposition. It is not acceptable for one to say that the non-existence of a definite proof for the threat is an evidence for itsnon-existence; as it is in the case of thenon-existenceofmutawdtirnarrationfor the extra readingsnot included in

in general.124

the 'Uthmanic Mushaf. This is because the non-existenceof evidence ('adam al-daltl) does not necessitate the non-existence of thatwhich is derived (al madlul (alayh). One who negates one of the theoreticalissueson the basis of the absence of definite evidence for its existence?as is themethodology of a group of the scholastic theologians (mutakallimun)--isin very clear error. However, when

124 For more details on Ibn Taymiyyah and precaution see,Matroudi, The Hanbali School of
Law, 103-107.

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we know that the existenceof something necessitatesthe existenceof itsproof non-existenceof the proof [whether it be (dalit), and we are able to affirm we can assert or with certaintythe non-existenceof then definite indefinite], that thing. This is on theprinciple thatthe absence of the antecedent (lazim) is a proof for the absence of the consequent (malzum). behind the transmission of theBook motivating factors Having learntthe we know that it is not possible that theummah has ofAllah andHis religion, concealed that which thepeople were in need of receivingas a general proof dmmah). Thus, when there is no common narration about a sixth (Jpujjah obligatory prayer or another surah [of theQur'an], we know for sure that it does not exist. does not come under Having said that,the categoryof threats this rule, as it is not a condition for every threatened punishment that it be manner, just as it is not a condition for establishing conveyed in a mutawdtir the rulingabout thataction. must be acted upon It has been established thathadithscontaining threats in accordancewith what they indicate, with the conviction that the doer of that action is under the threat associatedwith the action. Liability for the punishment, however, depends on the existence of certain conditions and thereare impediments. This principle can be illustrated with some examples: It is authenticallynarrated from theProphet (peace be on him) thathe

said: "May Allah reject the receiverof interest, itspayer, its witnesses and its more It also scribe."125 is than one authentic authentically narrated?through chain of transmission?thattheProphet (peace be on him) said to theone who sold two sd426[of one quality] in exchange for one sd' [of another quality]: "Woe to you! This is usury ( ayn al-riba)"n7And he also said: "Andwheat for
amounts to interest unless


This encapsulates both kinds of interest(riba)?both surplus interest ing were aware but and then those who of the 'l-fadl)129 (riba 'l-nasa),uo Prophet's statement:"Interest is only in al-nasVah?m saw it as permissible to exchange two sd' for one sd' in a direct exchange (yadan bi-yadiri),such as IbnAbbas (mayAllah be pleased with him and his father)and his followers e.g. Abu
125 See,Muslim, Sahih,Kitab al-Musaqah, Bab La*nAkil al-Ribawa Mukilih.
126 A measure of volume. 127 n. 116 above. See,




on the spot ,.."128

128 See, al-Bukhari,Sahih,Kitab al-Buyu',Bab Bay* al-Tamr bi al-Tamr; Muslim, Sahih,Kitab al Musaqah, Bab al-Sarf. 129 more of the same kind of thingbut of Taking somethingof a superiorquality in exchange for poorer quality. 130 on loanedmoney. Taking interest 131 See,Muslim, Sahih,Kitab al-Musaqah, Bab Bay* al-Ta'amMithlan biMithl.

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al-Sha'tha', 'Ata\Tawus, Sa'id b. Jubayrand 'Ikramahaswell as others among the distinguishedMakkans who were among the best of this ummah in knowledge and practice. It isnot permissible foraMuslim to believe thatany or one who imitatesany of them?to the extent that such of them specifically

of having anal intercourse Madinans regardingthe [matter] with distinguished thewife despiteAbu Dawud's narration from theProphet (peace be on him) with hiswife, he has disbelieved in thathe said, "Whoever has anal intercourse was to Does anyone think that it is revealed which Muhammad."132 that which permissible foraMuslim to say that "So and sowere disbelievers in that was revealed to Muhammad?" is it established from theProphet (peace be on him) thathe said: Again, "Allah has rejected ten [categories of people] regardingintoxicants(khamr):the one who squeezes the juice, the one who asks for it to be squeezed, the one who drinks it ... [etc.]"133 Moreover, it is also established throughvarious channels that theProphet (peace be on him) said: "Every intoxicating drink is "m khamr" and he also said: "Every intoxicantis khamr Also, 'Umar (may

imitation is permissible?will be liable for the la'nmentioned for theone who consumes interest because they did this on the basis of a conceivable of the texts. interpretation Another example is that which is narrated from a group of the

withhim)saidina speech Allah be pleased whileon hispulpitinthe presence

of the which befuddles the mind."136 Muhajirun andAnsar: "Khamr is that Allah revealed the prohibition of khamr, and the occasion for its revelation is that they [people] used to drink [it] in Madinah. They only used
to have drinks made from dates, not from grapes at all. Yet there were some

among themost eminentKufan scholars of this ummah?in terms of both practice and knowledge?who believed that khamrwas derived only from grapes, and that the nabtdhproduced fromother than grapes and the nabidh produced fromdates is not prohibited exceptwhere the quantity leads to a state of intoxication. drankwhat theybelieved to be within They, therefore, the permissible limit. It is not permissible to say: "These scholars fall within the threatof punishment [relatedto khamr]" because theyhad an extenuating
132 See, IbnMajah, SunanyKitab al-Taharah,Bab al-Nahi 'an Ityand-Ha'id; al-Tirmidhi,Sunan, Karahat Ityan al-Ha'id. Kitab Abwab al-Taharah,Bab ma Ja' fl 133 See,Ahmad, Musnad, 1: 316;Abu Dawud, Sunan, Kitab al-Ashribah,Bab al-'InabYu'sar U '1 Bab Lu'inat al-Khamr 'ala 'Ashrat Khamr; IbnMajah, Sunan>Kitab al-Ashribah, Awjuh. 134 Kitab Bab laYajuz al-Wudu*bi al-Nabidh wa la l-Muskir; See, al-Bukhari,Sahih, al-Wudu', KitSb al-Ashribah,Bab Bayan annKull Muskir Khamr [Every intoxicating drink Muslim, Sahihy is prohibited]. 135 Bab Bayan annKull Muskir Khamr. See,Muslim, Sahih,Kitab al-Ashribah, 136 min al-'Asal. Bab al-Khamr See, al-Bukhari,Sahih,Kitab al-Ashribah,

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or because of other possible reasonwhich theyused to forman interpretation, At the same time, it is not permissible to affirm extenuatingcircumstances. where that thedrink theyconsumedwas not considered to be a typeof khamr thedrinker is seriouslycensured. must incorporate thisdrinking; there The basis of the general statement was afterall no khamr made fromgrapes in Madinah. The Prophet (peace be on him) had pronounced la'n against the one who sells khamr. Some of the Companions sold khamr [at the timeof 'Umar] and the news of this reached 'Umar (mayAllah be pleasedwith him)who said: "MayAllah fightso and so! (qatalaAllah fuldnan). Does he not know that theProphet (peace be on him) said: 'Allah condemned [those] Jews to whom itwas made prohibited the melted it and then sold it andmade use sellingof the fatof the carcassbut they That particularCompanion was not aware of the prohibition of its price.'"137 of sellingkhamr,yet thisdid not stop 'Umar (may Allah be pleasedwith him) fromoutlining the punishment for this sinfulact even though he knew that the person in question was not aware of the prohibition. [He did it] so that that person and otherswould be discouraged from committing such an act afterbeingmade aware of itsprohibition. Furthermore, theProphet (peace be on him) pronounced la'n against the one who squeezed the juice of khamr and the one who asked for it to be squeezed. Despite this,many juristspermit a person to squeeze grapes for someone else, even ifhe knew thathis intentionis tomake khamr from it. We an text someone who have, therefore, explicit (nass) regardingthe la'n upon a but it is also known that squeezes grapes [for khamr], person might be excused from the rulingbecause of the existenceof an impediment. Similarly, thereare a number of hadithscontaining the la'n of thewdsilah (i.e. thewoman who connects extensions to another's hair) and al-mawsulah but some of the jurists (i.e. thewoman who sits to have thisdone to her),138 considered it to be only disapproved. Another example is that the Prophet (peace be on him) said, "He who drinks from a silvervessel is in fact swallowing the fire ofHell down his Yet, again, some of the jurists belly."139 merely consider this to be strongly disapproved (kardhattanzlyhiyyah).
137 See, al-Bukhari, Sahih, Kitab al-Anbya', Bab ma Dhukira 'an Bam Isra'il;Muslim, Sahih, Kitab al-Musaqah, Bab Tahrim Bay' al-Khamr. 138 See, al-Bukhari,Sahib, Kitab al-Libas, Bab al-Wasl fi 1-Sha'r;Muslim, Sahih, Kitab al-Libas, wa al-Mustawsilah. Bab Tahrim fi '1-Wasilah 139 See, al-Bukhari, Sahih, Kitab al-Ashribah,Bab Aniyat al-Fiddah;Muslim, Sahih, Kitab al Libas, Bab Tahrim Isti'malAwani al-Dhahab wa l-Fiddah.

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Also it is necessary to act by his statement:"When twoMuslims fight each otherwith their swords,both thekiller aswell as the slain will enter the when it comes to the prohibition of two believers fighting Hell-fire"140 each we know that the participants in [the otherwithout just cause. Despite this, are not people of the fire, as they had battles of] al-Jamal and Siffin141 reasons and the fighting and good deeds extenuating interpretations justifying which prevented the otherwise necessary cause (muqtadi) from taking its

The Prophet (peace be on him) said in an authentic hadith, "There are three kinds of people with whom Allah will neither speak on theDay of Resurrection, nor look at them,nor purifythem [fromsins].They will have a
painful chastisement.


refuses to give it to the traveller; so Allah will say to him on theDay of Judgement: 'Today I will deprive you ofMy grace, just as you withheld the surplus of thatwhich you did not create yourself;' a person who pledged allegiance to the Imam but for the sake ofworldly gain, so that if the Imam bestowed on him somethingout of that but ifhe worldly gain,he was satisfied

A person who

has more water

than he needs

and yet he

to another person after [the startof the time of] (asr [prayer] that he was offered a higher price for a commodity than that offered by the second


it, he became


and a person who

swears a false oath


was a group of scholars there who permittedsuchwithholding. The existence an of such opinion, however, does not prevent us from believing in the of this hadith. Conversely, the prohibition of this practice on the strength existence of this hadithdoes not preventus frombelieving that the one who has a reasonable interpretation for the hadith [which led him not to act upon it] is excused and isnot liable forthepunishment stated in thathadith. The Prophet (peace be on him) said, "May Allah reject themuhallil and muhallal lahu."143 This is an authentichadithnarrated from the Messenger of
140 See, al-Bukhari,Sahih,Kitab al-Iman,Bab wa inTa'ifatan min al-Mu'minin Iqtatalu;Muslim, Sahib,Kitab al-Fitan,Bab idhaTawajah al-Muslimanbi Sayfayhima. 141 Dar al-Jil,1992), 4: 566; See, Ahmad b. 'Ali IbnHajar, al-Isdbah ft Tamyiz al-Sahabah (Beirut: 'Abd al-Rahman b.Muhammad Ibn Khaldun, Muqaddimah IbnKhaldun (Beirut: Dar al-Qalam, 1984), 213. 142 See, al-Bukhari,Sahih,Kitab al-Shahadat,Bab al-Yamin ba'd al-'Asr;Muslim, Sahih,Kitab al Iman, Bab Bayan Ghilaz Tahrim Isbal al-Izar. 143 See, IbnAbi Shaybah, Musannaf, 7: 292;Abu Dawud, Sunan, Kitab al-Nikah, Bab fi1-Tahlil; IbnMajah, Sunan, Kitab al-Nikah, Bab al-Muhallilwa 'l-Muhallal lahu;Ahmad b. al-Husayn al Bayhaqi, Sunan al-Bayhaqi alKubra (Makkah: Maktabat Dar al-Baz, 1994), 7: 208. Nikah al Tahiti is a type ofmarriage performedby a person (muhallil) for the purpose of legitimisingthe

is a very severe threat to the one who withholds

surplus water.


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factorsfor concludingwith theseopinions. This is because the first party [i.e. thosewho unreservedlyvalidated the above-mentionedcontractofmarriage], believes thatwhat is in accordance with the general principles is that the contractofmarriage does not become invalidatedby incorrectconditions, just as it is not invalidated by not knowing one of the two remunerations Whereas the second party believes that what is in accordancewith ('iwadayn). the general principles is that the conditionswhich are not stipulated in the contract itself do not affectitsvalidity. It seems thishadtthdid not reach those who held this opinion, as their earlyworks do not mention it. If it had reached them, theywould have mentioned it either to act upon it or in response to it.Alternatively, it might have reached thembut they interpreted it away, or they thought that itwas abrogated or they had some other evidence thatopposed it. Therefore,we know that suchpeople are not liable for this threat,even if theywere to commit tahtilthemselves, believing it to be permissible in that

Allah (peace be on him) and fromhisCompanions (may Allah be pleasedwith them all) through However, a group of scholarsunreservedly many channels. contract the of validated Others validated the marriage of the muhalliL144 contract if the intentionto legitimise her remarriageto her previous husband was not stipulated in the contract itself, and theyhave well-known mitigating

This does not stop us from knowing that tahtil is the cause of such punishment [as a general rule], even if itwas not to apply with regard to particular individualsbecause of the absence of a condition or the presence of

Finally, there isMu'awiyah's (mayAllah be pleased with him) claim of kinshipwith Ziyad ibnAbih even thoughhe was born from thewedlock of al-Harithb. Kildah, becauseAbu Sufyanused to say thathe was fromhis own sperm.This was even though the Messenger ofAllah (peace be on him) said, "If somebody knowingly claims to be the son of any other thanhis real father, Paradise will be forbiddento him."145 He also said, "If somebody claims to be son or attributes the of anyone other thanhis real father, himself in patronage to other than the one who freedhim from slavery,upon him is the la'n of Allah and the angels and all people. Allah will neither accept repentancenor
whom she has been divorced thrice wife, from remarriageof aman (muhallal lahu) to his former and thus irrevocablydivorced. 144 The muhallil is the man who marries the divorcee for the purpose of legitimisingher divorced her. remarriageto her previous husband who had irrevocably 145 See, al-Bukhari,Sahih,Kitab al-Fara'id,Bab man Idda'a ilaGhayr Abih; Muslim, Sahih,Kitab al-Iman,Bab man Raghib 'anAbih.


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ransom fromhim."146 This is an authentichadltb.The Messenger ofAllah had, in any case, also ruled that the child is attributed to the husband of the mother, and this is agreedupon. We know that the one who attributes himself to other than thehusband within the threats of punishment statedabove; but it isnot of hismother falls to out an individual after theCompanions, let alone the single permissible Companions themselves,and to say that the threatis incumbentupon him. It is possible that theywere not aware of the judgementof theMessenger of Allah (peace be on him) that the child is attributedto the husband, and that they thought that the childmust be attributed to the one who caused the pregnancy, and they believed thatAbu Sufyan was the one who made

Umm Ziyad, pregnant. Sumayyah, Indeed thisruling might not have been known tomany people, especially was contraryto thepractice in before the spreadof the Sunnah, and because it be other impediments averting the the pre-Islamic period. There might also erase bad deeds and so on. as that of deeds the threat such good applicability This also is a vast subject area. It includes all prohibitedmatters derived from theQur'an and the Sunnah,whenever some of the Imams were not aware of the prohibiting evidence and they saw an act as permissible,or that the prohibiting evidencewas opposed, according to them, by other evidence which they considered to be preponderant, and theyused their independent reasoning in giving preference to one over the other based on their intellect

and knowledge. Prohibition has implicationssuch as incurringsin, censure,punishment, iniquity [i.e. not meeting what is perceived to be the legal requirementsof righteousnessin Islam], and so on; but there are conditions and impediments to the applicability of these implications.Prohibitions might sometimes be established but these consequences cannot be applied due to the absence of or because theprohibition theirconditions or the existenceof an impediment, does not apply to thatparticularperson even though it is established and can be applied to others. on this issue because the scholars We have only repeated our statements are divided into two camps on thispoint: with regardto any given issue and the Allah has only one ruling jurists?is that one who differs from that position on the basis of an acceptable piece of independentreasoning ismistaken, excused and rewarded.Therefore, the act which was committed by the person who had this interpretationis itself
146 See,Muslim, Saklh,Kitab al-Hajj, Bab Fadl al-Madinah.

of thesola/ heldby the andthe The first: ?which is the position majority

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are not applicable to him due to prohibited but the implicationsof prohibition as not does Allah's attributeof forgiveness He charge a soulwith more than it
can bear.

matter is not considered prohibited for The second is that theprohibited thatperson, as the prohibitingevidence did not reach him, even though it is considered to be prohibited forothers; thus the action itselfof thatperson is not prohibited. The two opinions are in truth similar,and it ismore of a differencein

This then iswhat can be saidwith regardto thebaditbs containing threats where differencesexist [among the scholars], i.e. that the scholars are in agreementon the citationof thesebaditbs for theprohibition of the action to ofwhether theyare in agreementor not which the threat is related,regardless as to the ruling itself.In fact, inmost cases, the need to cite the baditbs of threat is related to areas of disagreement. They differed, however, in was nothing establishing the threaton the basis of such baditbswhere there mentioned earlier. definitiveavailable, aswe have already was to did be asked:why And if it you not say thatbaditbs containing within the area of dispute, but ratherthey lie only in threatscannot be found the area of agreement, and for every action whose doer is censured or tomean an action must be interpreted with wrath or punishment, threatened
prohibition is agreed upon, so that those mujtahids who acted upon


within the threatof will not be included what they thought to be permissible one the believes In who the fact, [in permissibility] is more punishment. serious than the doer; as the former is the one who ordered the latterto do that action, so he is the one who made him liable for the la'n or wrath by implication? We say that the answer can be given inmany ways: The first answer: the ruling of prohibition is either capable of being where there is disagreementor it is not. If it cannot be established established in the event of disagreement,then thisnecessitatesthat therebe no prohibited matter except one that is agreedupon. As a resultevery disputed prohibition would become permissible.This is evidentlyin opposition to the consensus of the ummah, and must of necessity be considered invalid in the religion of And

if prohibitions were to be established despite the presence of disagreement,even if on only one issue, then themujtahid who considered would either be liable to the censure that prohibited action to be permitted what is prohibited or the one who and punishment of the one who permits
commits it, or he would not.

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Now, whether it is said thathe would be liable,or thathe would not be with regard to the establishedprohibition liable, then the samewill hold true which is agreed upon aswell as one found in the hadith containing a threat, which is disputed, as elaboratedupon earlier. In fact the threat is only related to thedoer and the punishment for the one who permits what is prohibited is essentiallymore than that of the without convictionor belief. punishment for the one who did it Therefore, if it is possible that the prohibition be established, despite therebeing a dispute, and themujtahidwho permitted the actionwill not be liable for the punishment ofmaking the prohibitedpermissible because of his an extenuatingreason, then it ismore appropriate that the doer of the action not be liable for thepunishment resultingfrom that action.Also, as thisdoes not necessitate that the mujtahid is included under the effects of this necessitatehis inclusion under the threat;a threat is afterall no more than a under this type (jins) typeof censure and punishment. If the inclusionof threat was censure what said as an answer for and punishment] is acceptable, then [of some of its categories is an answer to the others.There is also no benefit in between the degrees of censure, or how heavy or light the differentiating punishment is, because mild censure and punishment in this context is justas problematic as a heavy one; themujtahid is liable to neither themild nor the heavy censure and punishment.Rather, he is deserving of their opposites,
namely prohibition?such as censure, punishment, etc.?then it equally does not

The second answer: agreementor disagreement with regard to the ruling and its attributes;theyare of an action arematters external to the action itself a occur as lack of resultof knowledge of the issue amongst only incidentaland some of the scholars. If the generalwording (allafz al-'amm) was actuallymeant to referto a specific meaning (alkhass), then therehas to be evidence presented to support This evidencehas to come simultaneously with [thegeneral] the specification. to not those who do communication, according permit any delay in or to the clarification(ta'khir majority of scholars itneeds al-bayan), according not be chronologically simultaneous,being revealed instead at the time it is

reward and recompense.

There is no doubt that those who were addressedby a communication at the timeof the Messenger ofAllah (peacebe on him)were inneed of knowing the ruling contained in that communication. If the generalmeaning conveyed by the la'n upon the one who receivesriba and themuhallil and other similar caseswas intended where there is an agreementupon itsprohibition, and yet this [agreement]could not be known except after the death of the Prophet

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upon, then knowledge of the intended meaning would have been dependent on consensus. Itsuse as evidence, then, would not be valid before the existence means it cannot form the basis for a consensus of the consensus, but this either. This is because the basis for a consensusmust exist before it, and therefore it is impossible for the evidence to follow the consensus, as this would lead to an invalidcircularargument.Since thepeople of consensus then will not be able to cite thehadithas evidence foranymeaning until theyknow that thismeaning is intended,and this cannot be achieved until they have agreement, so the citation depends on the occurrence of the consensus preceding it,whilst the consensus depends on the citation of the hadith, if indeed the hadithwas theirproof. Therefore, thematter becomes dependent upon itselfand thus its existence is impossible,and cannot be an authoritative evidence in the area of disagreementas that evidence simply does not exist. This creates a suspension of the use of hadith to indicate rulings in areas of The [inevitable]consequence of this is thatnone agreementand disagreement. us of the which referto the gravityof an action can also inform of the texts must be absolutely invalid. prohibition of thataction, and this The fourthanswer: this requires thatnone of thesehadith can be relied upon unless it is known that theummah agreedon a givenmeaning for them. would not have been permissible for the first Therefore, it generation (al-sadr to have used thesehadith as evidence. In fact,those who heard these alawwal) hadith directly from the Messenger ofAllah (peace be on him) would not be as evidence. It would have been obligatory upon a allowed to cite them a such and findsthat hears hadith who many scholarshad acted upon person, it and findsno opposition to it,not to act upon it until he is satisfiedthat there is nobody opposing it anywhere in theworld. It is also not allowed for him to cite consensus upon an issueuntil he carriesout a similarlythorough investigation. This will lead to the invalidity of the citationof a hadithof the Messenger mere existenceof one mujtahid holding an ofAllah (peace be on him) by the opposing opinion. As a result, the opinion of one person validates and words of the invalidatesthe Messenger ofAllah (peace be on him).

(peace be on him), and the subsequentdiscussion of the ummah upon all the of that general communication, then thatwould have meant a ramifications of thewords of the Prophet (peace be on postponement in the clarification not acceptable. him) until such time.This is [clearly] The third answer: the ummahwas addressed by such communication so that itwould recognise what is prohibited and avoid it, and will use it as a basis for their consensus, and cite it as evidencewhen they disagree. If the was that prohibitionwould only be derived fromwhat is agreed intention

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If that person happened to be mistaken, then his mistake will have invalidated thewords of the Messenger of Allah (peace be on him). This is to be void by necessity; because if itwere to be said that a hadith known cannot be cited except after knowing the existenceof a consensusupon it, then this leads to the implicationsof textsbecoming dependent upon consensus, were to be true,there and yet this is in opposition to consensus! If it would be no meaning to be derived fromtexts,as only consensuswould have relevance, would have no significance. whereas texts on were to be said that it should be cited as evidence other hand, it the If, would solely on the basis that a conflicting opinion is not known, then this still result in the opinion of one person within this ummah invalidatingthe implicationof a text,and this too is in opposition to consensus and is invalid

by necessity in Islam. The fifthanswer: is that either the belief of the entire ummah in the prohibition is stipulated for a communication to be comprehensive,or the thatprohibition is sufficient. beliefof the scholarsalone regarding were If the first correct, then itwould not be permissible to cite the hadiths on threats as evidence for prohibition until itwas known that the entire ummah?even thosewho were brought up in themost isolatedvalleys and those who recently converted to Islam?believed that the prohibition exists.No Muslim can claim this, nor indeed any sane person, because knowledge subjected to thiscondition ispractically impossible. If itwere to be said that the belief of all scholars in the prohibition is was made a the response would be that the consensus of the scholars sufficient, condition out of fear that the threatof punishment might encompass some of even were where they themujtahids, onlymistaken. This is akin to the layman who did not hear the prohibiting evidence, as fear of this person's falling under it. under the la (nis similarto the fearof amujtahid falling This argument cannot be dismissed by saying that the mujtahid \n andmost righteousof thisummah, whereas that question is among the loftiest on one of the laymenof thisummah, thedifference the fringe of and person is in their statusdoes not necessitate that theybe excluded from the ruling. This is because just asAllah (theExalted) forgivesthemujtahidwhen he makes an honest mistake, He also forgivesthemistake of an unlearned one who was unable to learn. In fact, themischief resultingfrom a layman committinga prohibited act,which he was not aware of andwhich itwas not possible for him to know, is far less than the harm resultingfrom some of the Imams which has been prohibited by theLawgiver, through lack of permittingthat awareness of theprohibition aswell as the incapability of knowing it.For this reason itwas said, "Beware of the lapse of the scholar, forwhen he slips a

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whole community sHpsas a result."147 Allah [On this subject] Ibn 'Abbas (may be pleased with them both) said, "Woe to the scholar from thosewho follow

mistake of a scholarcan be pardoned, despite the enormityof Thus, ifthe the harm caused by his action, then it ismore appropriate that a layman be forgiven,since theharm caused by his action is less severe. fromanother aspect,namely that the Granted, theyare different mujtahid has based his opinion on ijtihadand theharm caused by his mistake is buried within his account of good deeds accumulated through the dissemination of between them knowledge and revival of the Sunnah.Allah has differentiated in this respect so he rewarded themujtahid forhis ijtihadand the scholar for was not shared with the ignorant lay persons. his knowledge and this reward but dissimilar with regard Therefore, theyare equal with regardto forgiveness to reward. Punishing someone who does not deserve punishment is inconceivable, regardlessofwhether he is noble or lowly. Therefore, ruling out this possibility of punishment in the context of a hadith should be understood in away that includesboth parties [i.e. both scholar and layman]. The sixth answer: among the hadiths on threat there are those that are explicit textson the disputed issue, such as "the la(n of themuhallal lahu.nW Some scholars say that thisperson could not possibly incur any sin as he was not an integral part of the first marriage contract,so how is itpossible to say thathe was condemned due to his beliefthat it is obligatory to fulfilthe tahlil person (i.e. themuhallit) isvalid, even ifthe condition attached to it is invalid, then the remarriage by the second (i.e. themuhallal labu)must be permissible. does not believe that the second person has committed This scholar, therefore,
a sin. contract? Hence, whoever believes that the contract of marriage for the first

And even themuhallil is eithercondemned because of the act of tahlilor because of his belief that it is obligatory to fulfilthe condition attached to the or the thirdreason then contract,or because of both reasons. If it is the first the intentof thehadithhas been achieved. If it is the second, then thisbeliefis was a contractof tahlilor not. ofwhether there the cause of the la'n regardless what is This would mean that mentioned in thehadith would not be the actual reason was reason for the la'n and the actual notmentioned in the for the la'n
147 'AbelAllah ibn al-Mubarak al-Marwizi, al-Zuhd (Beirut:Dar al-Kutub al-'flmiyyah,n.d.), 1:520. 148 See, Ahmad b. al-Husayn al-Bayhaqi, al-Madkhal ild alSunan al-Kubra (Kuwait: Dar al Khulafa' li 1-Kitab, 1404), 445. 149 Muhallal lahu is the husband of a woman who divorces her thrice,after which anotherman

who marries her solely for thepurpose of legitimising her remarriageto him.

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hadith and this is not acceptable. If thepersonwho believed in thenecessityof fulfillingthe tahlil contractwas ignorant [of the law] there is no la'n upon him. If he knew that it is not obligatory, then he could not believe in its obligation, except ifhe was an opponent of the Messenger ofAllah (peace be on him) and he would thenbe a disbeliever,and then the hadith9sla'nwould be related to the la'n upon disbelievers.But disbelief isnot linked to thedenial of this minor ruling alone. This would be akin to saying: "Allah has rejected one the who disbelieves in theMessenger's ruling that the stipulation of divorce in a contractofmarriage is invalid." This is a general statement in both wording and meaning and it is spontaneous generality ('umumal-mubtada). It is not permissible to link such including incorrect linguisticusage or suggest an incapabilityof expression similar to one who interprets theProphet's saying,"Anywoman who*marries as without the permission of her guardian, then her marriage is invalid"150 mukatabah.151 being relatedonly to the to And [in the contextof clarifytheunusual nature of this interpretation the hadith on tahlil] itwould mean that the ignorant Muslim would not be included within this hadith nor theMuslim who knows that it is not and he does not stipulate it in the contract obligatory to fulfilthis condition152 an its is that [fulfilment] believing obligation except ifhe was a disbeliever,and the disbeliever does not marry in theway Muslims do, unless if he was a
hypocrite. generality to an unusual ramification, lest the statement be considered as

Indeed, itwould be right to suggestthat such a meaning is unlikely to have was uttered. occurred in the mind of the speaker when thehadith We have citedmany evidences in other places on the fact that thishadith ismeant to address themuhallil who intendedhis action even ifhe did not stipulate it in the contract itself. The same is truealsowith regardto specifiedthreats,such as la'n and the fire and the like,which were explicitly stated in the texts even though disagreement clearly remains.For instance,there is the hadith of Ibn 'Abbas (mayAllah be pleased with him) from theProphet (peace be on him) thathe said, "May Allah reject the femalevisitors to the graves and thosewho build
150 See, 'Abd al-Razzaq, Musannaf, 6:195; Ibn Abi Shaybah, Musannaf, 3: 454; Ahmad, Musnad, 6: 66, Abu Dawud, Sunan, Kitab al-Nikah, Bab fi l-Wali; IbnMajah, Sunan, Kitab al-Nikah, BablaNikahiUabiWalL 151 The mukdtabah is a slavewho ratifiesa contract of emancipation to freeherself in returnfor instalments attaining complete freedom upon completion of the agreed payment. See, Ibn


that occur

in this manner

are very

rare occurrences.

152 e. to I. divorce the wife after ratifyingthemarriage to wave the way for her previous husband to remarry her after divorcingher triply.


al- Arab>

1: 700.

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Al-Tirmidhi said that this is a hasan mosques and [place] lamps on graves."153 hadith.15* Yet, the visitation of graves by women was allowed by some scholars,and disapproved?not prohibited?by others. Another example is thatof 'Uqbah b.Amir (mayAllah be pleasedwith him) on the authorityof theProphet (peace be on him) who said "MayAllah
reject those who have anal intercourse with women."155

We have alreadymentioned the followinghadith: "The threepersons to whom Allah would neither speak on theDay of Resurrection, nor look at them, nor purify them (from sins), and theywill have a painful chastise water in his ment ..."157 Among them is one who refusesto give the surplus possession to one who needs it.

There is the hadxthof Anas (mayAllah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (peace be on him), inwhich he said, "The importer(of commodities) isblessed and the monopolist is rejected."156

whereas some of the Similarly, "the one who sells khamr is rejected"158 it. sold earlypeople more than one channel that the Also, it is established as authentic from Prophet (peace be him) said: "Allah will not look at the one who trailshis The Prophet also said, "There are garment on the ground out of pride."159 threewhom Allah will not speak to, look at, or praise on the Day of will be a painful punishment: the one who wears his Judgementand theirs garmentbelow his ankles, theone who remindsothers of his favours,and the one who sells his product by means ofmaking false oaths."160[This] despite some jurists'statingthat wearing thegarmentbelow the ankles and trailingthe on out the of pride are disapproved and not prohibited. garment ground
153 See, Ibn Abi Shaybah, Musannaf, 2:151, Ahmad, Musnad, 1: 229; Abu Dawud, Sunan, Kitab fi Bab al-Nisa* li 1-Qubur; al-Tirmidhi,Sunan, Kitab Abwab al-Salat,Bab ma al-Kharaj, Ziyarat an 'ala fi Yutakhadh Ja' Karahiyat 'l-Qabr Masjid; aI-Nasa% al-Sunan al-Kubra,Kitab al-Jana'iz, Bab al-Taghliz fi Itikhadh al-Suruj 'ala *1-Qubur. 154 Al-Tirmidhi, Sunan, Kitab Abwab al-Salat,Bab ma Ja' fiKarahiyat anYutakhadh 'ala 1-Qabr Masjid. 155 See, Ahmad, Musnad, 2: 479; Abu Dawud, Sunan, Kitab al-Nikah, Bab fi Jami' al-Nikah; al Alfaz al-Naqilin liKhabar Nasa'i, al-Sunan al-Kubra,Kitab 'Ishratal-Nisa', Bab Dhikr Ikhtilaf Abi Hurayrah. 156 See, 'Abd al-Razzaq,Musannaf, 8: 204. 158 n. See 133 above. 159 See, al-Bukhari,Sahih,Kitab Fada'il al-Sahabah, Bab Qawl al-Nabi law kuntMuttakhidhan Khalila; Muslim, Sahih, Kitab al-Libas, Bab Karahat ma Zad 'ala 'l-Hajah min al-Firashwa '1
Libas. 157 See n. 142 above.

160 See,Muslim, Sahih,Kitab al-Iman,Bab Bayan Ghilaz Tahrim Isbal al-Izar.

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Similarly, there ishis [i.e. theProphet's] saying (peace be on him), "Allah most authentic has rejectedal-wdsilahandd-mawsulatim and this is one of the over hadiths. And there iswell-known disagreement the extensionsof thehair. statement is there his the [i.e. Finally, Prophet's] (peace be on him), "He his abdomenwith Hell Fire"162 who drinks out of silverutensils is only filling some not to of the scholars this be a prohibition. while did deem The seventhanswer: the reasonnecessitating whereas generalityispresent the aforementionedopposite isnot deemed as acceptable because, taken to its logical conclusion, itwould mean its application in issues of agreement and disagreement and this will lead to the inclusion, within the threat of punishment,of somewho do not deserve to be included. The response to this is that if the particularisation[of a ruling] is against the norm, then itsmultiplication (takthiruhu) (i.e. by the inclusion of other than thosewho were intended to be included under it) stands against the norm. As a result the one who is excused for his ignorance, or ijtihad,or

On the other imitation (taqlid),he is exempt from the generalityof the text. hand, the ruling includes thosewho were not excused, in theway that it includes the issues of agreement.This [type] of particularisation (i.e. the were exemption of some people from the generalityof the textbecause they more deservingto be accepted (awla). excused) is less and thereforeit is we were to understand the text in accordancewith The eighth answer: if mention of the reason for the la'n and the would have contained this, then it would hence not apply to the exception because of the existenceof an ruling There is no doubt that the one who promises or issues a threat, impediment. does not have to specifically mention thosewho are exempted because of the
existence of an

consistent with thepropermethodology. If,however,we were to associate the rejection (la'n)with committingan act theprohibition ofwhich is agreedupon, orwe made theholding of a belief mentioned in the hadith.Moreover, that generality in the text has to be more appropriate to specified.If specificationis amust in both cases, then it is case because of itsagreement with the correct apply it in the first methodology a and the absence of implicationof missing syntactical part (idmar). The ninth answer: the reason behind this claim is to negate the inclusion We have alreadymentioned that the in the la'n of the one who is excused. intentionbehind thehadithscontaininga threatis tomake clear that the act in question is a cause for that la'n, so the implicitstatementis as follows: "thisact
161 See n. 139 above. 162 See n. 139 above. opposing consensus as the reason for the la'n, then that reason is not



the statement will


to be

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is a reason for the la'n." This





does not, however,


the fulfilment of

the rulingupon everyperson, although itdoes bring about the existenceof the causewithout its implicationand thereisnothing objectionable in this. We have already established that there is no censure for themujtahid to we say: theone who permits theprohibited act incurs more sin the extent that we one who has an than the doer of that act, but despite this say that the were to be asked:who is to be punished seeingas thedoer of this And if it matter is eithera mujtahid or someonewho follows him (muqallid prohibited We will say: the lahu) and neither of themare includedunder thepunishment? The firstaspect: the aim of the text is to clarifythat this act necessitates ofwhether someone actually commits thatact or not. punishment regardless If itwere assumed that every doer of that act is lacking the [requisite] conditions for the punishment or there is an impediment that prevents the application of the punishment, then thiswould not negate the forbidden quality of the act.Rather, we will know that it is prohibited and [it is hoped] whoever knows of theprohibitionwill refrainfrom it.The existenceof that excuses for the one who commits a prohibited act is somethingbestowed from
Mercy. answer has different aspects: extenuating reason is excused.


theirprohibition. The second aspect: the clarification of a ruling is a reason for the removal of any doubts which prevent the applicability of the punishment. This is because an excuse based on the [mistaken]belief is not meant to last forever; was not the rather,the aim is fordoubts to be removed ifat all possible. If this case then the clarificationof knowledge would not have been obligatory, it would have been better to leave the people in their ignorance,and itwould have been better for them to disregardthe evidence available in disputed issues ratherthan seek to clarifythem. The thirdaspect: the clarification of the rulingand the threatsupport the one who has abstained fromcommittingtheprohibited act in remaining with firmresolve. If itwere not [for the clarification of the ruling and the threat]
the commission of such acts would become widespread.

minor prohibited acts are prohibited This is similar to the principle that even though they can be expiated for [by the commission of certain good deeds]?provided that themajor prohibited acts are avoided. This is the case When it is with all acts on which there is dispute regardingtheirprohibition. clear that theyare prohibited,even though theone who does so on thebasis of might be excused, thisdoes not stop us frombelieving in ijtihador imitation

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cannot be considered as an excuse



whenever it ispossible for exceptwhere one isunable to remove it.Therefore, a person to know the truthand he fallsshort,he isnot to be excused. The fifthaspect: some people who commit the [prohibited] act might which falls shortof the ijtihad thatwould permit perhaps exercise an ijtihad was not of a standard whose imitation that action to the person or an imitator


that an excuse

that could make the action permissible for him. Therefore, this kind of without the example has within it a cause for the applicabilityof the threat As a result, he will be liable to the threat existenceof this specificimpediment. was to be found for and he will be subjected to it,unless another impediment erase or bad deeds, and so on. him, such as repentance good deedswhich Then again, this is problematic,because the personmight think thathis ijtihad or imitationpermits him to do what he did and he could be right sometimes andmistaken at other times. If,however, he sought the truthand did not leave it to his desires, thenAllah does not charge a soul with more
than it can bear.

result it is obligatory to implementit. To clarify this:many imams stated that the doer of a disputed act is blameworthy, among them being Abd Allah ibn 'Umar (may Allah be pleasedwith him).When he was asked about theone who marries awoman to her subsequent remarriageto her previous husband,while she and legitimise her previous husband were not aware of [his intention],he said: "This is fornicationand not marriage.May Allah reject themuhallil and themuhallal more than one channel. It is also This is narrated fromhim through lahu"163 Hanbal (mayAllah have narrated fromothers, among them ImamAhmad ibn to "If he seeks who said, mercy upon him) legitimiseremarriageto a previous This sortof opinion has husband, thenhe is a muhallil, and he is rejected."164

The tenthanswer: [i.e. to the claim that thehadithscontaining threatsare related to the issues of agreementonly]:Whilst understanding these hadiths upon their required meanings leads to the inclusionof somemujtahidswithin the scope of the threat,giving some othermeaning may similarlylead to the inclusion of some mujtahids within it. Therefore, if the inclusion is unavoidable in both cases, then thehadith is freeof opposing evidence and as a

been narrated fromgroups of the imams inmany issuesof disagreement,such as khamr,usury and the like.
163 See,Abu Dawud, Sunan, Kitab al-Nikah, Bab fi l-Tahlil; IbnMajah, Sunan, Kitab al-Nikah, Bab al-Muhallilwa al-Muhallal lah; IbnAbl Shaybah, Musannaf, 7: 292; Yusuf b. 'AbdAllah Ibn wa 'l-Asariid(Beirut:Dar al-Kutub al ma min Ma'arii H-Mawatta' 'Abd al-Barr, al-Tamhid li fi 235. 13: 'Ilmiyyah, 1999), 164 See, IbnQudamah, al-Mughni,7:138.

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If the shar% la'n and the other formsof threatdo not apply except in issues of agreement, then this would mean that these scholars have pronounced rejection (la'n) against someonewho is not permitted to have a la'n pronounced against them and consequently theydeserve the threat which was narrated in severalhadiths such as the statement of theProphet (peace be on him): "Pronouncing la'n against the Muslim is the same as killing him"165 and his statement(peace be on him) in thenarrationof IbnMas'ud (may Allah Muslim is iniquityand fighting be pleasedwith him) that,"Insultingthe him is are These disbelief."166 agreedupon hadiths. It isnarrated from Abu 'l-Darda' (may Allah be pleasedwith him) thathe heard theMessenger of Allah (peace be on him) say: "Verily, insultersand thosewho pronounce la'n will not be given the rightof intercessionon the norwill theybe accepted aswitnesses."167 Day of Judgement And it is narrated from Abu Hurayrah (mayAllah be pleased with him) that the Messenger ofAllah (peace be on him) said: "It is not appropriate for one who is very truthful to pronounce la'n."16* Muslim narratesboth [Imam] of these two hadiths. And it is narrated from 'Abd Allah ibnMas'ud (mayAllah be pleased with him) that the Messenger ofAllah (peace be on him) said: "The believer is
not an

This is narrated by al-Tirmidhi, who said that it is a hasan shameless."169









is he



And in another narration [Prophet (peace be on him) said]: "No person which does not deserve it except that the pronounces la'n against something la 'n will rebound upon him."171 So this is the threat which accompanies this type of la'n, to the extent it is that said that whoever pronounces la'n againstone who is undeservingof it,he will in turn receive la'n, and thiskind of la'n is an iniquity that takes and being awitness [on the the rightof intercession, away truthfulness, Day of one to This mentioned the who [as earlier] applies pronounces Judgement]. la'n againstone who does not deserve it.
165 See, al-Bukhari, Sabih, Kitab al-Adab, Bab man Akfar Akhah bi Ghayr Ta'wil; Muslim, Nafsah. Sabih,Kitab al-Iman,Bab Ghilaz Tahrim Qatl al-Insan 166 Kitab Bab Khawf al-Mu'min min an Yahbata 'Amaluh; See, al-Bukhari, Sahih, al-Iman, Bab Kitab Ghilaz Tahrim al-Insan Nafsah. Muslim, Sahih, al-Iman, Qatl 167 wa Bab al-Nahy 'anLa'n al-Dawab wa Ghayriha. See,Muslim, Sahih>Kitab al-Birr 'l-Silah, 168 See, ibid. 169 See, IbnAbi Shaybah, Musannaf, 6: 162;Ahmad,Musnad, 1: 404. 170 wa 'l-Silah, Bab ma Ja' fi 'l-La'nah. See, al-Tirmidhi,Sunan, Kitab al-Birr 171 See,Abii Dawud, Sunan, Kitab al-Adab,Bab fi 'l-La'n.

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Therefore, if the one who commits a disputed act is not included in the purview of the source text, then he does not deserve it and the one who pronounces la'n against him will be liable to this other threat.This would mean that thosemujtahidswho considered issuesof dispute to fall within the would be liable to thisthreat. ambit of thehadith which is fearedcan exist regardlessof the presence or Therefore, if that a will be known that it is in factnot to be feared, otherwise of dispute, then it and nothing can impede theuse of thehadith as evidence. if the feared possibility is not found in either of the two means possibilities (i.e. thedisagreedupon issueor agreedupon issue) then this that the fearedpossibilitydoes not exist at all However,

That is so because when inseparability(talazum) is established and it is within the scope of a threat known that they (i.e. themujtahids) are included in issues of disagreement, it necessitates that they also fallwithin it in the that is absence of disagreement.Thus, one of twomattersmust be affirmed, which would mean theyare all either the existenceof the cause and the effect which would mean their included or thenon-existenceof the cause and effect as a cause whole. This is becausewhenever the exclusion exists, so too does its whenever the cause isnon-existent,so too is the effect. and conversely, effect Our belief, however, is This is enough to refutethe counter-argument. that the reality is thatmujtahids are not included under either of the two This is because to fall within the scope of possibilities aswe have justclarified. a threat,there must be no mitigating factorspresent in the commission of an excuse isnot included act.The one who has a shar% under any within a threat is circumstances.Likewise, themujtahid excused. Indeed, he is rewarded.A within a threatis therefore absent in his case necessary condition for inclusion as a cannot result he fallwithin its ambitwhether he believes that the and hadithmust be interpretedaccording to its apparentmeaning, or whether there is some dispute in this regard,forwhich he is excused.And this is a devastating implication (of their argument) (ilzammufhim)which cannot be avoided except throughone argument, which is to say: I accept thatamong the who believe that issuesof dispute can stillbe mujtahid scholars thereare those texts within the included and they therefore utilise threats pertainingto threat, in such issues of disputes on the basis of that belief, so theywould, for instance,pronounces la'n against the one who did the action in question. Nevertheless, they aremistaken in thisbelief, although this is a mistake for which theyare excused and [instead]rewarded [fortheirijtibad].

As a result, they would not be included within thepurview of the threat one the who la'n pronounces regarding against anotherwithout legitimate a reason. This is because such threat,according tome, is related only to the

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la'n, theprohibition ofwhich is agreedupon. Therefore,whoever uttersa la'n the prohibition of which is agreed upon, he has exposed himself to the aforementionedthreat.If the la'n is,however, a disputed issue, itwill not be included in the hadiths of threat just as an action which is the subject of or thepermissibility of pronouncing la'n against dispute as to itspermissibility itsdoer isnot included within thehadithscontainingsuch threats. Therefore, just as I exclude the issues of dispute from the firstthreatI should also exclude the issuesof dispute frombeing includedunder the second threat,and I also should believe that the badiths containing threats in both cases do not cover disputed issues,neither of with regard to thepermissibility nor action la'n its the permissibility of pronouncing the against doer whether he held the action to be permissibleor prohibited. In fact,I do not, in either case, permit pronouncing la'n against the doer of the action or pronouncing la'n against the one who pronounces la'n against the doer, nor do I believe that the doer or the imprecator fallswithin a hadith containing a threat. I would not be harsh on the one who pronounces la'n in themanner of one who thoughthe was liable to the threatof punishment; rather,I considerhis la'n upon the doer of a disputed act to be an issue of ijtihad. I do, however, believe he was wrong in his imprecation just as I might believe that the one who permittedthedisputed action is alsomistaken, as thereare threeopinions with regardto such disputed issues:
First: to hold that it is permissible.

and theapplicability Second: tobelievein theprohibition of thethreat. Third: to hold that it is prohibitedbut without such a strong threatof
punishment being applicable.

not seem to

I am inclined to favour this thirdopinion due to the existenceof evidence for theprohibition of the action, but also for theprohibition of pronouncing la'n against the one who commits a disputed action, coupled with my belief that the doer of an act and the imprecator the narrated badiths on threatening do
two cases. imply these

So it could be said to the interlocutor: ifyou were to allow the la'n directed at theone who commits thisact to be considered among the issuesof would also be allowed to use the apparent text as evidence for ijtihad,then it were this.There would thenbe no avoiding thepossibility thatdisputed issues andwhat necessitates it to within thehadithsof threat, intendedto be included be intended exists and thereforeitmust be acted upon. If,however, you did not allow the la'n of thisdoer to be consideredamong the issuesof ijtihadthen this la'n is definitely prohibited. There is no doubt that the one who

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pronounces la'n against a mujtahidwith a la'n that isprohibitedwith absolute even ifhe would fall within thenarrated threat upon the imprecator, certainty as is the case with the one who did this on the basis of an interpretation, pronounced la'n against some of the righteoussalaf. whether you were convinced of Therefore, a circular argument is created theprohibition of pronouncing la'n against thedoer of a disputed act, or you of opinion on this. allowed thedifference Your aforementioned beliefdoes not prevent adducing textspertaining to threatsin either case, and this should be

have mentioned deals only with negating the hadiths9referenceto the threat. Our aim here is to clarify its implicationsfor the prohibition. Therefore, if you were to insist that the hadiths condemning the imprecatordo not treat those la'n that are disputed, then no evidence would remain for the prohibition of such disputed la'n. As we have mentioned, we are discussing such disputed la'n, and if they are not prohibited then they must be

And it can also be said to him (i.e. the objector): our purpose in this argument is not to affirm the applicability of such threats to issues of disagreement,but merely to allow for the use of such hadiths pertaining to threatas evidencewithin such issuesof disagreement.Such hadithscan indicate two rulings: (1) the prohibition of the act itself;and (2) the threat. What you


it could be said: if there is no evidence for itsprohibition, it is not which necessitates such permissible to believe in itsprohibition and yet that to believe in its is established permissibility [i.e. prohibition] through the Or over the permissibilityof cursinghim, but there is no evidence prohibiting such cursing according to this. Therefore it is obligatory to act upon the evidence indicatingthe permissibility of cursinghim because there is nothing to oppose this evidence.This rendersthequestion void.
cursing those who did the action. Moreover, the scholars disagreed

There is also circularityin the argumenton the part of the interlocutor from another perspective.This is that themajority of the textsprohibiting imprecation contain threats themselves.If the citation of a text containing a threat [of cursing] inmatters of disagreementisnot permissible then it cannot be permissible to cite them as evidence for a la'n upon one who commits a disputed action, aswe have clarifiedearlier. were to say, "I cite consensus for the If the interlocutor prohibition of this la'n" itwill be said to him that consensus has only been established for theprohibition of pronouncing la'n againsta specificindividual who isnamed from amongst those of outstanding virtue,whereas you are aware of the or characteristic that disagreementconcerning the la'n upon a generic attribute

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may be found in some people [withoutnaming a particular individual].Itwas does not mean itsapplication to mentioned earlier thatcursinga characteristic and thereare no every individual case, unless the conditions for it are fulfilled case not here. and this is the impediments, It can also be said to him that all the evidences mentioned earlier of restrictingthese hadiths to issues upon indicating the impermissibility which there is agreement can be used here, and they undermine this counter-argument justas theyundermine theoriginalquestion. This is not, however, an example of using evidence as a premise amongst the premises for another evidence, so that it could be argued that this is actually only one evidence despite the prolongation {altatwil)\ because the intentionis to clarifythat the fearedoutcomewhich they thoughtexisted,can be found in both cases (agreementand disagreement); thereforeit should not be considered a feared outcome and as a result it is one evidence that has indicatedthat issuesof dispute are included,and that there isno problemwith

It is not also objectionable that the evidence for one issue is used as a premise in evidence for another issue, even if the two issues are closely

The eleventh answer: the scholars are in agreementon the obligation of acting upon the hadiths containing a threat to the extent that they imply a with regard to the prohibition. Some of them only disagreed specifically on of threats thebasis of hadithnarrated in isolated isndds(dhdd) establishment such threats,whereas there is no credible or significant containing prohibitions based on dhdd haditb. Indeed, itwas disagreementon affirming the habit of the scholars among theCompanions and theirfollowers and the juristsafter them (mayAllah be pleased with them all) in their lettersand treatisesto cite dhddhadith in issuesof disagreementand other issues.In fact,if a hadith contains a threat,this is strongerin emphasising the prohibition, as fromsuch statements. would normally be understood by the intellect this we have already indicated the preferencefor the opinion of those Also,

who act upon them [dhdd hadiths] in rulings and believe in the threats containedwithin them,and that this is theopinion of the majority of scholars. be acceptedwhich contradictsan opinion agreed No argumentcan, therefore, the scholars. upon by The twelfthanswer: the textscontaining such threats within theQur'an are to base opinions upon themmust be and the Sunnah abundant, and considered obligatory in general and absolute termswithout specifying individual culprits.Thus, it could be said that "this is rejected"or "the object ofwrath" or "liable for thehellfire,"especially ifthe actual person inquestion

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were to possess virtue[s'] and good deeds. This is because all humans other than theProphets (peace be on them all) are capable of committing minor and a major sins,whilst that personmight remain siddiq (an extremely truthful of a person) or shahid (amartyr) or righteousas a consequence of the effects sin?as mentioned earlier?being nullified through repentance, seeking good deeds erasingbad ones, trialsand tribulationsexpiating sins, forgiveness, or simply throughthe Will and intercession, Mercy ofAllah.

consumeeach other's and {O youwho believe!Do notwrongfully punishment}',173 do not kill each other, wealth but tradebymutual consent: for verilyAllah is we out of hostility and injustice, Merciful to you! If any ofyou does thesethings, verses shall make him suffertheFire: that is easyfor Allah}174 and other containing a threat or when we speak about what is necessitated by the statements of theProphet (peace be on him), "May Allah reject the one who or "the one who is recalcitrant towardhis parents,or changes drinks khamr"175 or "mayAllah or "MayAllah reject the thief"177 the landmarksof the land"176 reject the one who takes riba, theone who gives it,and the twowitnesses and or "may Allah reject the one who does not pay his zakdt or the scribe"178 or "he who introduces any exceeds the boundaries in this regard"179 innovations [in religion] inMadinah, or gives a shelter to someone who Allah's la n is upon him, aswell as thatof the angels and committed a crime, all the people"180or "the one who trailshis garment on the ground out of or "He who has pride,Allah will not look at him on theday of judgement"181

So when we affirm what is necessitatedby the statementof Allah (The Exalted): {Those who unjustly consume thepropertyof orphans,are actually Fire into theirown bellies:Theywill be enduringa Blazing Fire!};172 swallowing those His limits will who disobey Allah andHis Messengerand transgress and {But shallhave a humiliating will stay: And they be admitted toa Fire, and therethey

174 Qur'an 4: 29-30. 175 n. See 133 above. 176 See,Muslim, Sahib,Kitab al-Adahi,Bab Tahrim al-Dhabh liGhayr Allah Ta'all. 177 See, al-Bukhari, Sahih,Kitab al-Hudud, Bab La'n al-Sariq idha lam Yusam; Muslim, Sahib, Kitab al-Hudud, Bab Hadd al-Sariqah. 178 See note 125 above. 179 See, 'Abd al-Razzaq,Musannaf, 6:269; Ibn Abi Shaybah, Musannaf, 2: 354; Ibn Khuzaymah, al-Sahih,4: 8; al-Bayhaqi, alSunan al-Kubra, 4: 82. 130 See, al-Bukhari,Sahih, Kitab al-Hajj, Bib Haram al-Madinah;Muslim, Sahih, Kitab al-Hajj, Bab Fadl al-Madinah. 181 n. See 158 above.

172 Qur'an 173 Qur'an

4:10. 4: 14.

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Hell-fire necessary forhim andwould declare Paradise forbiddenforhim"186 or "The one who seversthe tiesof kinshipwill not enterParadise"187 and other such hadiths containing such threats, it is not permissible to single out a particularperson fromamong thosewho committed these actions and to say that the relevant threat has befallen that person. This is because of the ways of removingthepunishment. possibilityof repentanceand other

or inhis heart the weight of amustard seed of pridewill not enterParadise"182 or "If somebody claims to "He who acts dishonestly towardsus isnot of us"183 son or be the of any other thanhis real father, attributes himself to other than or "He who will not enterParadise"184 the one who freedhim from slavery, swore a falseoath in order to entitlehimself [to possess] a property, will meet a state or in would be with Allah that [Allah] "He who him"185 angry a a of the Muslim would false make Allah oath, appropriates by swearing right

Itwould also not be permissible to say that this (i.e. the existenceof such hadiths) necessitates pronouncing rejection (la'n) againstMuslims or the ummah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) or pronouncing la'n against the siddiqin or the upright ones. This is because itmight be that whenever theupright righteousone commits one of thoseprohibited actions, there would no doubt be an impedimentpreventing the applicability of the punishment to him, despite the cause of thepunishmentbeing present. were permissible? Hence, whoever did these actions thinkingthat they eitheron the basis of ijtihad,imitationor other similarreasons?the last resort was lifted is that he is from a class of the righteous from whom the threat through an impediment, just as the threat might be impeded by repentance, erase thebad ones, and other such reasons. good deedswhich Note that this is the path thatmust be adopted [with regard to this to this: matter], as thereare only two ugly alternatives The first: to assert the applicability of the threat to each and every individual [committingthe act]with the argument that this ismerely acting upon what isnecessitatedby the texts.
182 See, Muslim, Sahih,Kitab al-Iman,Bab Tahrim al-Kibr. 183 Minna. See,Muslim, Sahih,Kitab al-Iman,Bab Qawl al-Nabiman Ghashshana fa laysa 184 n. See 145 above. 185 See, al-Bukhari,Sahih,Kitab al-Shahadat,Bab Qawl Allah Ta'ala inna l-ladhin Yashtaruna bi 'Ahd Allah; Muslim, Sahih, Kitab al-Iman, Bab Wa'id Man Iqtat'a Haqq al-Muslim bi Yamin Fajiratin bi al-Nar. 186 See,Muslim, Sahih,Kitab al-Iman,Bab Wa'id Man Iqtat'aHaqq al-Muslim bi Yamin Fajiratin bi al-Nar. 187 wa '1-Silah wa 1-Adab, Bab SUat al-Rahim. See,Muslim, Sahih,Kitab al-Birr

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This claim is uglier than the opinion of theKharijls who accused those who committed sinswith disbelief, the Mu'tazilah and others.The invalidity of thisopinion is known by necessity in the religionof Islam, and theproofs for thisare confirmedinplaces other thanhere. The second: to abandon forming opinions and actions based upon what is Messenger ofAllah (peace be on him), assuming required by thehadithsof the that to argue according to them leads to the defamation of those who contravened those hadiths.Yet this abandonmentwould lead tomisguidance and following in the footsteps of thePeople of theBook who have taken their rabbis and their monks and the Messiah, the son of Mary (peace be on him and her), as lords besidesAllah, as theProphet (peace be on him) said, "They did not worship them, [meaning their monks and rabbis], but thesemonks and rabbismade lawful to themwhat Allah has forbidden,and prohibitedwhat

Allah has made lawful, and they obeyed them in this."188 Thus, this ones to indisobedience abandonment leads to obeying the created theCreator. It also leads to an ugly result and incorrect interpretations. This could be of theExalted, {Obey understood from the implied meaning of the statement with authority Allah, and obey the among you. Ifyou Messenger,and those charged to it in and His Allah you do among yourselves, Messenger, if refer differ anything andfairer in theend)}*9 LastDay. That isbetter believe in Allah and the in issues. If every tradition containing various The scholars differ sternness (taghliz), which was opposed by someone meant that this taghliz would not be acted upon, then the would be abandoned or that the tradition outcome necessitatedby this (which is the abandonment of the hadithsof the Prophet) would be greater in enormity than to attribute someone with disbelief or abandonment of the religion. If this feared outcome (i.e. abandonment of the hadiths of the Prophet) was not greater thanwhat was before it (i.e. attributing someone with disbelief or abandonment of the to it. not be inferior will certainly religion), it Therefore, it is a must forus to believe in the entireBook (the Qur'an) was revealedbyAllah to us. And we should not believe and to follow all that in a part of theBook and disbelieve in anotherpart.Our hearts should not be inclined to follow some of the Sunnah and avoid following some of iton the basis of customs and desires. This would indeed be an abandonment of the who have brought wrath upon way of those path in preferenceto the straight us towhat He and those who have Allah themselves, gone astray. May guide loves and is pleasing to Him in terms of speech and action in a state of
188 See, al-Tabari, Tafsir, 10:114; 'Abd al-Rahman Ibn Abi Hatim, Tafiir al-Qur'an (Sayda: al Maktabat al-'Asriyyah,n.d.), 6:1784; al-Bayhaqi,Sunan, 10:116. 189 Qur'an 4: 59.

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goodness and well-being forus and allMuslims. And praise be toAllah the Lord of the worlds, and countless salutations and blessings be upon Muhammad, the seal of theProphets, and upon his familyand his righteous Companions and his wives, theMothers of the Believers, and thosewho follow them in goodness till the Day of Judgement.190

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190 was based on the edition ofRafal-Maldm 'anal'Aimmat al-A 'lam The translationof this text li Idarat al-Buhiith al-'Ilmiyyah, 1413ah). The opinions al-Ri'asah al-'Amman (Riyadh: are text in translated those of the author, Ibn Taymiyyah, and not necessarily the expressed those of the translator.

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