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Mukhtasar - 5

2017-01-07
January 7, 2017

 

KHALĪL’S ABRIDGMENT:

Bilingual text and explanation (5)

 

Author’s introduction

(مُقَدِّمَةُ المُؤَلِّف)

 

وَأَعْتَبِرُ مِنَ المَفاهيمِ مَفْهومَ الشَّرْطِ فَقَطْ.

Of the implicit (divergent) meanings, I pay regard only to the conditional meaning.

 

وَأُشيرُ ب: (صُحِّحَ) أَوْ (اُسْتُحْسِنَ) إِلَى أَنَّ شَيْخاً غَيْرَ الَّذينَ قَدَّمْتُهُمْ صَحَّحَ هذا أَوْ اِسْتَظْهَرَهُ،

By the phrases “it has been declared sound” or “it has been deemed appropriate” I indicate the fact that a learned master (shaykh) other than the aforementioned ones declared any such thing sound or personally deemed it outwardly correct,

 وَ(بِالتَّرَدُّدِ) لِتَرَدُّدِ المُتَأَخِّرينَ في النَّقْلِ أَوْ لِعَدَمِ نّصِّ المُتَقَدِّمينِ،

whereas by “hesitation” I indicate the later scholars’ hesitation in transmitting a ruling, alternatively, the absence of any text on the mas’alah transmitted by the earlier scholars;

وَبِ: (لَوْ) إِلَى خِلافٍ مَذْهَبِيٍّ.

lastly, by “if” (law) I indicate a disagreement inside the school.

وَاللهَ أَسْأَلُ أَنْ يَنْفَعَ بِهِ مَنْ كَتَبَهُ أَوْ قَرأَهُ أَوْ حَصَّلَهُ أَوْ سَعَى في شَيْءٍ مِنْهُ، وَاللهُ يَعْصِمُنا مِنَ الزَّلَلِ وَيُوَفِّقُنا في القَوْلِ وَالعَمَلِ، ثُمَّ أعْتَذِرُ لِذَوِي الأَلْبابِ مِنَ التَّقْصيرِ الواقِعِ في هذا الكِتابِ.

Allah is the One I ask to benefit by it whoever writes it down or reads it or attains knowledge of it or busies himself with any aspect thereof. May Allah safeguard us from slips and may He grant us success in our deeds and sayings. Thereafter, I apologize to the possessors of inner cores for the shortcomings appearing in this book.

وَ أَسْأَلُ بِلِسانِ التَّضَرُّعِ وَالخُشوعِ، وَخِطابِ التَّذَلُّلِ وَالخُضوعِ: أَنْ يُنْظَرَ بِعَيْنِ الرِّضَا وَالصَّوابِ، فَما كانَ مِنْ نَقْصٍ كَمَّلوهُ، وَمِنْ خَطَإٍ أَصْلَحوهُ؛ فَقَلَّما يَخْلُصُ مُصَنَّفٌ مِنَ الهَفَواتِ، أَوْ يَنْجُو مُؤَلِّفٌ مِنَ العَثَراتِ.

I ask by the tongue of humble imploration, and by the address of abasement and submissiveness, that readers might looked at it through the eye of satisfaction and properness. Let them complete whatever is incomplete and put right whatever is wrong in it. Rarely, in fact, is a writing free from lapses and an author rescued from blunders.    

 

“(Of the implicit meanings,) I pay regard to”:

The verb a`tabiru can mean to pay consideration to a thing, which is its import here, to draw a lesson (‘ibrah) from it, to test it, or to stipulate it as a condition.

 

“Of the implicit (divergent) meanings”:

Mafāhīm, implicit meanings, is the plural of mafhūm, implicit meaning.

In the Law, we speak of:

·        The mantūq, i.e. the pronounced. It is what the wording indicates in the locus of verbalization itself, i.e. the meaning is understood from the wording itself, without any need to move onto it from another meaning;

·        The mafhūm, i.e. the implied. It is what the wording indicates in other than the locus of verbalization, i.e. the meaning is not in the wording itself, and it is necessary for the mind to move from the meaning of the first word to this different meaning.

Let us apply this division to the Qur’ānic āyah prohibiting the utterance of ‘ugh!’ to one’s parents:

·        The prohibition of uttering ‘ugh!’ to one’s parents is the mantūq, since the wording indicates it in the very locus of verbalization;

·        The prohibition of hitting them is the mafhūm, since the wording (impliedly) indicates it in other than the locus of verbalization.

 

The implicit meaning or mafhūm is thus the meaning the explicitly pronounced wording has not indicated, but has rather implied.

There are two categories of implicit meanings:

a)     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 sometimes interchangeably termed)

Affirming, for what is passed over in silence but implied, 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 yet is in harmony with the pronounced meaning.

Example: If Allah, in an explicit text of the Qur’ān, has prohibited the utterance of ‘Ugh!’ to one’s parents, a fortiori He has prohibited by the same text, pursuant to the implicit meaning thereof harmonious with such a prohibition, what is worse than that, such as verbal or physical abuse of them.

 

The harmonious meaning (mafhūm al-muwāfaqah) is of two types:

·        Fah al-khitāb, the superior meaning: what is implied and not pronounced is more entitled to the judgment (hukm) than what is explicitly pronounced;

·        Lahn al-khitāb, the parallel meaning: what is implied and not pronounced is equally entitled to the judgment as what is explicitly pronounced.

Lexically speaking, the two terms are synonymous, and both indicate a meaning understood by the addressee, to the exclusion of others, from an allusive reference rather than an explicit utterance. They are distinguished in the technical vocabulary of the legal experts for the sake of a more exact definition.

Example of fah al-khitāb: The aforementioned prohibition of abusing one’s parents.

Another example is Allah’s statement, may He be Exalted: «Among the People of the Book there are some who, if you entrust them with a pile of gold, will return it to you» (Sūrah Āl ‘Imrān: 75). A fortiori would they return to you, as a loyally discharged trust, what is less than a pile of gold (qintār). Likewise with His statement in the same āyah: «But there are others among them who, if you entrust them with just a single gold coin, will return it to you» (Sūrah Āl ‘Imrān: 75). With even greater force, then, they would fail to return what is worthier than a single dīnār.

A third example is Allah’s statement, Exalted is He: «Whoever does an atom’s weight of gold will see it. Whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it» (Sūrah Āl ‘Imrān: 75). The divergent implied meaning is that, a fortiori, what is weightier than one atom will be seen since He who is not heedless of the tiniest thing will not be heedless of the weightier ones.

Example of lahn al-khitāb: 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 al-Baqarah: 241).

  • 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 and equally entitled to the judgment applicable thereto: 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 efficient 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.

We have thus a vertical motion (↑) from a meaning to what is higher than it, and a horizontal motion (→) from a meaning to what is equal to it.

There is no third category of harmonious meanings, i.e. no reverse vertical motion (↓) from a meaning to what is lower than it. Had it been said, ‘Do not kill the boy!’, no prohibition against hitting him might be implied, since the prohibition of what is more severe does not necessarily entail the prohibition of what is lighter.

 

b)    The divergent meaning (mafhūm al-mukhālafah or dalīl al-khitāb, as it is interchangeably termed)

Affirming, for what is passed over in silence but implied, the opposite ruling of what is explicitly pronounced, wherever the sole purpose behind mention of the explicitly pronounced 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.

In other words, making a judgment (hukm, also translated as ruling) dependent on something implies the negation thereof in respect of other than it.

This implied meaning must be in harmony and not in disharmony with the pronounced meaning.

Example: The fact that in explicit texts of the Qur’ān Allah has made it incumbent on people of taqwā and good-doers to give maintenance to their divorced women, the sole purpose for pronouncing that meaning being the negation of its applicability to the generality of Muslims, implies that such a maintenance is not a legal obligation on them.

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

 

“Of the implicit meanings, I pay regard only to the conditional meaning”:

There are ten different types of divergent meanings, with different degrees of probative cogency:

1.     Mafhūm as-sifah (The meaning implied from the descriptive attribute)

2.     Mafhūm ash-shart (The meaning implied from the condition)

3.     Mafhūm al-‘illah (The meaning implied from the efficient cause)

4.     Mafhūm al-laqab (The meaning implied from the inert noun, whether a proper noun or a noun of the genus). It is not a proof according to the bulk of the savants

5.     Mafhūm al-istithnā (The meaning implied from the exception)

6.     Mafhūm al-‘adad (The meaning implied from the number)

7.     Mafhūm al-makān (The meaning implied from the place)

8.     Mafhūm az-zamān (The meaning implied from the time)

9.     Mafhūm al-hasr (The meaning implied from the restrictive specification). It is the only type of divergent meaning deemed valid by Imām al-Bājī [Cf. Al-Ishārah ilā Ma`rifah al-Usūl wa al-Wajāzah]. Example: His, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam, statement: “Clientage is only for the one who sets a slave free” (reported by Mālik in the Muwatta’), the outward wording whereof indicates the fact that no clientage can accrue in favour of one who does not set a slave free (= it cannot accrue in favour of the buyer of the slave).

10.                       Mafhūm al-ghāyah (The meaning implied from the end-point, time- or place-wise, of a thing)

In Shifā al-Ghalīl fī Hall Muqfal Khalīl, Ibn Ghāzī elaborated on each one of them, after he joined them in a verse of poetry:

{Sif washtarit ‘allil wa-laqqib thunyā * wa-‘udda zarfayni wa-hasran aghyā.}

 

Khalīl has told us that in his abridgment he has only taken into consideration the conditional meaning, mafhūm ash-shart.

According to the grammarians, shart, the first term of a conditional sentence (if …), is the opposite of jazā or the answer to the condition (then …).

For the experts in usūl al-fiqh, the shart or condition, as we know, is part of declaratory law. It is that attribute whose absence necessitates the absence of the hukm (judgment, ruling), but whose presence does not automatically bring about its (conditioned) object (mashrūt). Thus, the presence of ablution is a necessary condition of prayer, without which prayer is invalid, but its presence does not necessitate prayer, since I may or may not perform salāt with that ablution.

Here are some examples of meanings implied from a condition:

Allah the Exalted says, about the irrevocably divorced women: «If they are pregnant, maintain them until they give birth» (Sūrah at-Talāq: 6).

·        Condition: If … then …;

·        Implied divergent meaning: No maintenance is owed to an irrevocably divorced woman who is not pregnant.

He says: «If any of you do not have the means to marry free believing women, you may marry believing slave-girls» (Sūrah an-Nisā’: 25).

·        Condition: If … then …;

·        Implied divergent meaning: A man with the means to marry a free mu’minah is not allowed to marry a mu’minah slave.

He also says: «If you are travelling in the land, there is nothing wrong in you shortening the salāt» (Sūrah an-Nisā’: 101).

·        Condition: If … then …;

·        Implied divergent meaning: It is not permissible for the sedentary man (who is in his place of residence) to shorten the salāt.

 

“By the phrases “it has been declared sound” or “it has been deemed appropriate” I indicate the fact that a learned master (shaykh) other than the aforementioned ones declared any such thing sound or personally deemed it outwardly correct”:

Once the author has singled out the four jurists and identified each one of them through what specifically indicates his choice, being incapable of overlooking views which other than them had declared sound, deemed appropriate or personally advocated, he referred to their juristic choices by the terms suhhiha (“it has been declared sound”) or ustuhsina “it has been deemed appropriate”.

 

“… whereas by “hesitation” I indicate the later scholars’ hesitation in transmitting a ruling, alternatively, the absence of any text on the mas’alah transmitted by the earlier scholars”:

The later scholars are from Ibn Abī Zayd al-Qayrawānī onwards, and the earlier scholars are the likes of Mālik and Ibn al-Qāsim.

 

“… lastly, by “if” (law) I indicate a disagreement inside the school”:

 

By the word law (“if”) he indicates a disagreement in the school, i.e. the existence of a view conflicting with the first view in the madhhab. 

 

 

By this, we have completed our survey of Khalīl’s introduction and dived into the balsamic waters of his Abridgment.



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