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Maliki usul

2017-01-06
January 6, 2017

 

FOUNDATIONAL ROOT-PRINCIPLES

OF THE MĀLIKIYYAH – 1

 

Al-Qarāfī and other scholars (at-Tusūlī, Ibn Hamdūn, etc.) enumerated twenty root-principles the Mālikiyyah built their methodology upon.

 

Principles I-V: The Book

 

1)    The explicit implication of the Book (Nass al-Kitāb)

What the Book explicitly indicates through an implication making room for no alternative.

Example:

His statement, Exalted is He: «Allāh has permitted sale» (Sūrah al-Baqarah: 275).

This Qur’ānic text is in fact explicit about the lawfulness of purchase and sale, and no divergent implication is countenanced by it.

The nass is an obvious example of a clear word.

 

2)    The manifest implication of the Book (Zāhir al-Kitāb)

What the wording of the Qur’ān indicates through an implication of preponderant likelihood compared to a divergent one.

The zāhir is another instance of a clear word.

Example:

His statement, Exalted is He: «[A]nd forgo any remaining ribā» (Sūrah al-Baqarah: 278).

Allah commanded the mu’minūn to give up any ribā outstanding at the time of the revelation of the āyah.

Two possible implications from the wording of the āyah:

  • Giving up what they had physically taken possession of, including what they had contractually agreed upon, although it was not yet in their hands;
  • Giving up only what they had physically taken into their possession.

The implication (dalālah) of a Divine command is obligatoriness (= the command to do something obligatory), for that is the normal corollary of an imperative verb, so long as no circumstantial pointers take it out of its manifest implication, based on His statement, may He be Exalted: «Those who oppose His command should beware of a testing trial coming to them or a painful punishment striking them» (Sūrah an-Nūr: 63).

Accordingly, the manifest implication is the first one, i.e. they are commanded to forgo any ribā in their hands, physically in their possession or otherwise.

 

Dalālah al-mafhūm is an implied meaning not indicated in the text but arrived at by way of inference.

There are two recognized types:

 

3)    The divergent meaning (Mafhūm al-mukhālafah or Dalīl al-khitāb, as it is interchangeably termed)

Affirming, for what is passed over in silence, the opposite ruling of what is explicitly verbalized, wherever the sole purpose behind mention of the explicitly verbalized ruling is negating its applicability to what is passed over in silence.

It is a meaning derived from the words in the text in such a way that it diverges from the explicit meaning thereof.

The Hanafis and even some Mālikī scholars, such as al-Bājī, essentially refute its permissibility.

Example:

Allah the Exalted says: «Divorced women should receive maintenance (mut`ah)» (Sūrah al-Baqarah: 241), «a duty for all those who have taqwā (al-muttaqīn)» (Sūrah al-Baqarah: 241).

He also says, concerning divorced women whose union has not been consummated: «But give them a maintenance (matti`ūhunna)… a duty for all good-doers (al-muhsinīn)» (Sūrah al-Baqarah: 236).

  • The explicitly verbalized situation: A post-divorce maintenance is a duty on  muhsinīn and muttaqīn;
  • The only purpose for verbalizing that ruling is negating its applicability to lower human categories, negating, that is, the legal obligatoriness of that Divine instruction, which those who have taqwā and good-doers bind themselves by out of their higher conscience;
  • The ruling on the situation passed over in silence, that of the generality of Muslims: the opposite of what is expressly verbalized, i.e. the post-divorce maintenance not being a legal obligation but only a meritorious gift.

Or we could say:

  • The explicit meaning It is a meaning the words in the text: Post-divorce maintenance is a duty;
  • The divergent meaning derived from the words in the text: Post-divorce maintenance is not a duty.

 

4)    The harmonious meaning (Mafhūm al-muwāfaqah or al-Mafhūm bi’l-awlā, the meaning a fortiori, or lahn al-khitāb, the parallel meaning, or fah al-khitāb, the superior meaning, as it is interchangeably termed)

Affirming, for what is passed over in silence, the same ruling as the one applying to what is explicitly pronounced, on an equal footing at least.

It is an implicit meaning on which the text may be silent but is nevertheless in harmony with the pronounced meaning.

Example:

Allah the Exalted says: «People who consume the property of orphans wrongfully consume nothing in their bellies except Fire. They will roast in Searing Blaze» (Sūrah an-Nisā’: 10).

  • The pronounced meaning: The Divine threat against those who devour the property of orphans indicates the prohibition of such a wrongful consumption thereof;
  • The implicit meaning harmonious with it: The Divine threat against those who devour the property of orphans implies the prohibition of destroying such property altogether in a different manner, by for instance burning it. Consuming and burning (or the like) are in fact equal in bringing about the destruction of the orphan’s property, which is the effective cause (‘illah) of the prohibition. That is so even if burning his property goes to an event greater extent of wasting it away than its consumption, since that extra degree of destructiveness is not what the āyah purposively focuses on.

 

5)    The notification of the efficient cause, or the alerting to the effective cause of a ruling, by the Divine address (Tanbīh al-khitāb)

Here, the Divine address informs us of the efficient cause of a ruling.

Example:

Allah the Exalted says: «[Say: ‘I do not find, in what has been revealed to me, any food it is harām to eat except for carrion, flowing blood and pork – for that is rijs (unclean, putrid and a cause of sinful rebellion against Allah» (Sūrah al-An`ām: 145).

  • Carrion, flowing blood and pork are prohibited;
  • The efficient cause (‘illah) of the prohibition of carrion, flowing blood and pork is their nature as rijs;
  • The implication of His statement, may He be Exalted, in this āyah is to alert us to the prohibition of anything that is rijs.

 

Next:

 

The root-principles the Mālikiyyah have extracted from the Prophetic Sunnah. 

 



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