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AQ may prescribe a law suitable to ppl at the time of its enactment, or it may serve a

particular limited purpose.


However, its suitability may later disappear or its unique purpose & objectives may hv
been achieved.
Numbers of rulings which were abrogated:
the waiting period of women whose husband had passed away,
Bequest
Prohibition to muslims from visiting the graveyards
Qiblah (Direction to face during prayer)

Distinctive features of the Quran


1. Actual Words of Allah
The Quran consists manifest revelation which is defined as communication from
Allah to the Prophet Muhammad, conveyed by the angel Gabriel, in the very words of
Allah.
* The Prophet task is to convey the message from Allah to mankind.
* Manifest revelation differs from internal revelation and the latter consists of
inspiration (ilham) of concepts only (i.e. God inspired the Prophet and he conveyed
the concepts in his own words.)
* All the sayings of the Prophets fall under the category of internal revelation, and as
such they are not included in the Quran.
* And truly, this (the Quran) is a revelation from God, the trustworthy angel [Gabriel]
has brought down, upon your heart, in the plain Arabic language. (Al-Shuara;
26:192-194)
The Qur'an was revealed gradually over a period of 23 years in relation to particular
events.
* The Qur'an explains the rationale of graduality in its revelation in (al-Furqan;
23:32).
* Reasons for graduality in the revelation :
Afforded the believers the opportunity to reflect over it and to retain it in their
memories.
In view of the widespread illiteracy of the Arabs at the time, had the Qur'an
been revealed all at once, they would have found it difficult to understand.
The Qur'an legislation concerning matters which touched the lives of the
people. It was revealed piecemeal so as to avoid hardship to the believers.
Facilitated continuous contact and renewal of spiritual strength so that the
hostility of the unbelievers toward the new faith did not weaken the hearts of
the Muslims.
* The ban on the consumption of alcohol is one of the example of graduality in
legislation.
* Consumption of alcohol was not restricted in the early years
Later, the moral advice established in (al-Baqarah; 2:219).
Then offering prayers while under the influence of alcohol was prohibited (alNisa:4:43).
Finally a total ban on wine drinking was imposed (al-Maidah, 5:93).
The Quran was revealed in 2 distinct periods of the Prophet's mission in Mecca and
Madinah
* Meccan chapter are generally short.
Address form: O people or O mankind
Order to prostrate
Received during the first 12 1/2 years of the Prophets residence in Mecca.
Mainly devoted to matters of belief, the Oneness of God, the necessity of the
prophethood of Muhammad, the hereafter, disputation with the unbelievers
and their invitation to Islam.
* Madinan chapter are detailed and convey a sense of serenity.
Address form; O you who believe and O people of the Book
Referring to hypocrites.
Received after the Prophets migration to Madinah over a period of just over 9
1/2
years.

Emphasis was shifted to principles of regulating the political, legal, social and
economic life of the new community.
He knowledge of the Meccan and the Madinan contents of the Quran gives one an
insight into the context and circumstances in which the ayat were revealed; it is
particularly relevant to the understanding of the incidence of abrogation (naskh) in
the Quran.

2. Revealed in Arabic language.


* The Quran explicitly states that it is all communicated in pure and clear Arabic.
* The trustworthy angel [Gabriel] has brought down (the Quran), upon your heart, in
the plain Arabic language. (26:193-194)
* Since the Quran consists of manifest revelation in Arabic, a translation of the
Quran into any language, or its commentary whether in Arabic or other languages,
are not a part of the Quran.
3- Miracle of Prophethood which is reflected in at least 4 aspects:
First: Linguistic excellence & Inimitable
* No piece of literature can match the literary excellence of the content and form of
Quran.
* It is neither poetry nor prose; its rhythm, genre and word structure are unique.
* ...if you are truthful.(al-Baqarah; 2:23)
* It is the spiritual miracle of the prophethood of Muhammad, who never learned to
read/write.
Second: Narration of historical events
* The accuracy of the Quranic narratives concerning events which took place
centuries ago is generally confirmed by historical evidence.
Third: Accurate prediction of future events.
* Example: The defeat of the Persians by the Roman empire (al-Rum, 30:2). The
Romans were defeated by the Persians when the latter took Jerusalem in 614 A.D.
But 7 years later the Persians were defeated when the Romans won the battle of
Issus in 622 A.D.
Fourth: Scientific truth concerning the creation
* E.g.: All life originated in water (al-Anbiya', 21:30); Originally the universe
consisted of fiery gas (Ha-mim, 41: 11); Matter is made up of minute particles
(Yunus, 10:62); Fertilisation of certain plants is facilitated by the wind (al-Hijr,
15:22), Embryology.
Fifth: Humanitarian, legal and cultural reforms (unprecedented in the history of
nations)
* E.g.: In the sphere of government, the ruler and the ruled were both equally
subjected to adjudication under the rule of law. In the area of transactions, the
Quran established mutual agreement as the norm and essence of all contracts.

4.
*
*
*
*

Complete and comprehensive.


The Quran is not simply a code of law or a constitutional document.
The Quran calls itself huda, or guidance.
And We have sent down to you the Book as an exposition of everything... (alNahl;16:89)
Out of over 6,235 ayat, less than one-tenth relate to law and jurisprudence, while
the remainder are largely concerned with matters of belief and morality, and a
variety of other themes.

*
5 .Transmitted with continuous testament
* The Quran was transmitted from the Prophet to the next generation by a large
number of people that cannot be expected to agree upon a lie, if all of them
together.
* The implication is there is no doubt about the authenticity of the Quran.
* We will protect it. (Al-Hijr; 15:9)

Characteristics of Quranic Legislation


1. General & Specific ; Brevity (Ijmal) and Detail (Tafsil)

The Quran is general and brevity


* The larger part of the Quranic legislation consists of an enunciation of general
principles which require a great deal of elaboration.
* Some of these text have been explained & elaborated by the Quran itself and the
Sunnah.
* Thus, a unique relationship was forged between the Quran & the Sunnah - the two
are integral to one another and inseparable.
* Some general texts are open to interpretation as it is speculative -zanni.
* Matters which are liable to change (e.g. economy, politics)
Example 1: The fulfillment of contracts
Devour not the properties of one another unlawfully, but let there be lawful trade
by mutual
consent.(al-Nisa; 4:29)
Example 2: The prohibition of usury
God has permitted sale and prohibited usury. (al-Baqarah; 2:275)
The Quran has not elaborated detail and specific varieties of lawful trade &
usurious transactions.
There are certain varieties of sale which are specifically forbidden by the Sunnah.
* Reasons: In it lies the essence of comprehensive guidance and of the permanent
validity of the Quran.
We have neglected nothing in the Book (al-An'am, 6:38)
Provided scope and substance for an ever-continuing series of commentaries
and interpretations.
The ulema and mujtahidun throughout the centuries have attempted to derive a
fresh message, a
new principle from the Quran that was more suitable to the
realities of their times and the
different phases of development in the life of
the community.
The Quran is specific and detail on:
* Matters which are deemed to be unchangeable.
E.g. matters relating to belief, man's relationship with god, transcendental
matters (ghaybiyyat), the basic principles of morality, family matters, the
prohibited degrees of relationship in marriage, inheritance and specific
punishments for certain crimes.
* Matters which lead to disputes so as to prevent conflict among people.
* The prevalence of certain entrenched social customs of Arabia which were
overruled and abolished.
E.g. status of women and just distribution of property within the family.
Exception:
* In the area of ritual performances, such as pray, fasting and pilgrimage, although
these are unchangeable, the Quran is nevertheless brief (and most of the
necessary details have been supplied by the Sunnah).
* Ritual performances are all of a practical in nature and require clear instructions
which are best provided through practical methods and illustration.
Example: Pray (salah) & legal alms (zakat)
Perform the salah, and pay the zakat (al-Nahl, 116:44)
2.

2. Definitive (qati) and Speculative (zanni)


Definitive and clear - has only one meaning and admits no other interpretations, no
open to itijihad.
* Their validity may not be disputed by anyone
* Everyone is bound to follow them.
* If rejects or denies its validity automatically renounces Islam.
* The rulings of the Quran on the essentials of the faith e.g. prayer, fasting,
prescribed penalties in crime are all definitive.
Example 1: Inheritance
In what your wives leave, your share is a half, if they leave no child (al-Nisa',
4:12).
Example 2: Punishment for adultery
The adulterer, whether a man or a woman, flog them each a hundred stripes. (alBaqarah, 2:196)
Speculative and ambiguous- Open to interpretation and ijtihad.
Example 1: Punishment for robbery
..in an exemplary way or to crucify them or to amputate their hands and
feet
from opposite sides or to banish them from the land. (al-Ma idah: 5:33)
* Confusion arises from the combination of phrases which contain differential
penalties. This is mainly due to the use of the article or between the 3 phrases
which provide 3 different penalties for the offence in question.
* Not known for certain - which of the 3 penalties are to be applied to the offender.
* The way of interpretation is according to majority view and minority view.
Majority view - if the offender kills and rob the victim, then killed and crucified;
if only robs the victim, then mutilation of hands; if no killing and no robbery,
then banishment.
Minority view - it is for the ruler to determine one or a combination of these
penalties in individual cases.

*
*
*

Example 2: Ablution
you who have believed ..wash your feet to the ankles (al-Maidah, 5:6).
This text is definitive on the requirement of wiping of the head.
However, since it does not specify the precise area of the head to be wiped, it is
speculative in regard to this point.
Hence we find that the jurists are unanimous in regard to the first, but have
differed in regard to the second aspect of this injunction

General (Am) & Specific (Khass) Text/Ruling


*

Specific - Definitive -All school


General - Definitive -Hanafis
- Speculative - Malikis, Shafis and Hanbalis (Majority view)

Example: God has permitted sale but prohibited usury(al-Baqarah; 2:275).


*
*
*

This is a general ruling i.e. any sale is made lawful.


But there are certain varieties of sale which are specifically forbidden by the
Sunnah
e.g. sale of unripe fruit on a tree.
Thus, the general ruling has been specified by the Sunnah

3. The Five Values (al-ahkam al-khamsah)


* The Quran does not employ these categories. It is the fuqaha' who have attempted
to specify in juristic manuals.
* Only the wajib and haram incorporate legal commands and prohibitions.
* The rest are largely non-legal and non-justiciable in a court of law.
* Commands and prohibitions in the Quran are expressed in a variety of forms which
are often open to interpretation and ijtihad.
Whether a particular injunction in the Quran amounts to a binding command or a
mere recommendation or permissibility cannot always be determined from the words
and sentences of its text.
It is for the mujtahid to determine the precise value of such injunctions in the light
of both the language of the text as well as the general objectives and principles of
the Shariah.
Obligatory (wajib) or Commendable (mandub)
* When God commands and praises something, or recommends a certain form of
conduct, or refers to the positive quality of something all such expressions are
indicative of command
* Obligatory- when there is a definite, demand/a clear emphasis on doing something
Forbidden (Haram) or Reprehensible (Makhruh)
* When God demands the avoidance of a certain conduct, or when He denounces a
certain act and identifies it as a cause for punishment, or when a certain conduct
is cursed and regarded as the work of Satan and when its harmful effects are
emphasised, or when something is proclaimed unclean, a sin and a deviation all
such expressions are indicative of prohibition
* Forbidden - If he language is explicit and emphatic in regard to prohibition.
Permissible (Mubah) /(Halal)
* When God explicitly declares something permissible or grants a permission in
respect of doing something, or when it is said that there is 'no blame and no sin'
accrued from doing something
all such expressions are indicative of permissibility
4. Ratiocination (ta'lil) in the Quran
* ++Literally = 'causation',or 'search for the causes
refers to the logical relationship between the cause and effect.
Cause - How? E.g. How the accident happened?
* Juridical usage = the rationale of an injunction, its value and its purpose/objective.
Reason/justification -Why? E.g. Why must pray?
Example: - Intoxication is the rationale of the prohibition in wine-drinking.
- Theft is the rationale of amputation of the hand.
* Al-Quran is basically independent of ratiocination. The believers are supposed to
accept its rulings regardless of whether they can be rationally explained.
* On numerous other occasions, the jurists have identified the 'illah through
reasoning and ijtihad.
* However, there are instances where the Quran justifies its rulings with a reference
to the benefits that accrue from them, or the objectives which they may serve.
Such explanations are often designed to make the Quran easier to understand.
Example 1: relationship between members of the opposite sex
Tell the believing men to reduce their vision and guard their private parts. That is
purer for them.
(al-Nur; 24:30)

The text then goes on to provide justification that in doing so they will attain
greater chastity of character and conduct. averting the glance is justified as it
obstructs the means to promiscuity and zina.

Issue: Whether the existence of talil in the Quran gives the mujtahid the green
light to enquire into the causes and reasons behind its injunctions.
(i) The majority of ulema held that the ahkam of the Shariah contemplate certain
objectives, and when such can be identified, it is not only permissible to pursue
them but it is our duty to make an
effort to identify and to implement them.
Reasons:
1. The majority view takes into account the analysis that the rules of Shariah
have been introduced in order to realise certain objectives and that the
Lawgiver has enacted the detailed rules of Shariah, not as an end in
themselves, but as a means to realising those objectives.
2. In this way, any attempt to implement the law should take into account not
only the externalities of the law but also the rationale and the intent behind
it.
3. It is necessary that the mujtahid identifies it so as to be able to implement
the law in accordance with its purpose.
Verily, in this is indeed a sign for people who think. (al-Nahl; 16:69)
Do they not contemplate within themselves? (al-Rum; 30:8)
*

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(ii) Minority view (the Zahiris)


The opponents maintain that divine injunctions embodied in the clear text have no
causes unless the Lawgiver provides us with clear indications to the contrary.
Thus it would not only be presumptuous on the part of the mujtahid to adopt an
inquisitive approach to divine injunctions, but searching for the rationale and the
objective of the Quranic rules amounts to no more than an exercise in speculation.
They argued that the believer should surrender himself to the will of God, which
can best be done by unquestioning acceptance of God's injunctions.
To look into the motive, purpose and rationale of such injunctions, and worse still,
to accept them on their rational merit, is repugnant to sincerity in submission to
God.
Furthermore, in his attempt to identify the rationale of an injunction, the mujtahid
can only make a reasonable guess which cannot eliminate the possibility of error.
There may even be more than one cause or explanation to a particular ruling of
the Quran, in which case one cannot be certain which of the several causes might
be the correct one.
There seems to be a confusion on the part of the opponents of talil as to the
purpose and nature of talil. They seem to have perceived this phenomenon as a
sign of impudence & impropriety in belief.
In reality, this need not the case. One may attempt talil while remaining totally
faithful to the divine origin and essence of the Quran. To exercise talil does not
lessen either the binding power or the holiness of the divine injunctions.
Example: We may offer various interpretations of the rationale of performing the
salah or of giving zakah; but whether we can understand the reason or not, salah
and zakah are still obligatory upon Muslims.

5. Occasions of Revelation (asbab al-nuzul)


* Explain the events which are related to the revelation of its particular passages.
-history
* The well-known occasions have been related to the next generations by reliable
Companions.
Significance of knowing the occasions of revelation:
1. Knowledge of words and concepts is incomplete without the knowledge of the
context and the nature of the audience.
* Ignorance may lead to the omission/ misunderstanding of a part/even the whole of
an injunction.
* An incidental meaning/a shade of expression may at times reflect the main
purpose of a particular text and this cannot be known without the knowledge of
the occasions of revelation.
Example:
A question may convey other meanings such as elucidation, surprise,
reprimand, etc.
A command may mean a mere permissibility, a recommendation, a threat, etc.,
depending on the circumstances in which it is issued and the nature of the
audience.
2. The Quran comprises passages which are in the nature of probability (zahir) and
ambiguity (mujmal).
*
This can be clarified by reference to the circumstances in which they were
received.
Example
1:
Some of the Quranic passages had been revealed concerning the unbelievers, but
were taken by some commentators to be of general application to Muslims and
non-Muslims alike.
Example
2:
There were also passages in the Quran which were revealed in reference to the
conduct of people who had died before the revelation of certain rulings, and yet
these were taken by some commentators to be of general application.
3- Informative of the conditions of the Arab society at the time.
* Their customary and linguistic usages and their nuances of expression were
naturally reflected in the Quran.
* The peculiarities of Arab social customs often gave exegesis of the Quranic text a
perspective and offered solutions to some of the doubts which would otherwise be
difficult to understand.
* The asbab al-nuzul take full cognizance of the customary practices of Arabian
society and the relationship, if any, of such practices to Quranic legislation.
Example:
'Our Lord punish us not, if we forget or make a mistake' (al-Baqarah, 2:286)
* This verse was held to be referring to unbelief i.e. when words which partake in
unbelief are uttered inadvertently. This is forgiven just as are words of unbelief
that are expressed under duress.
* However, the exemption here is not extended to similar pronouncements.
Such as statements of divorce, freeing of a slave, or sale and purchase, for freeing
a slave was not known in the custom of the Arabs nor were the inhibitions over oathtaking .