Qiyas: Shar’i Analogy, By Maulana Ameen Safdar Okarvi

Translated by: M. Afzal Hoosen Elias

1. In the Qur’an Allah has mentioned three categories of people:

a. “Oolul Albab” (The Intelligent ones)

b. “Oolul Absar” (Those with foresight)

c. “Ahluz Zikr” (Those who have knowledge, and those who remember Allah).

The Fuqaha are those who discover the intricacies and complexities of Deen. Allah has ordered them: “And reflect, O you who have eyes (foresight).”

Allamah Jalaluddin Den Suyoti (R.A) states in his Tafseer that the word “I’Ttibar” – take a lesson – (which appears in the above Aayat) means “Qiyas”.

Hafiz Ibn Hajar Asqalani (R.A) and Haafiz Aini (R.a) state in their commentaries of Bukhari: “And Qiyas (analogy) is I’tibar (to reflect/contemplate). and I’tibar is commanded (by Allah), hence Qiyas is also commanded, and the proof for this is in the Aayat “And reflect, O you who have foresight.” [footnote of Bukhari, page 1086]

2. Allah has ordered Muslims to obey the “Oolul Amr” (those in authority), and it is said regarding the “Oolul Amr” that they are the ones who make “Istinbat”. “Istinbat” means that just as a person is required to dig deep into the earth in order to extract the water which lies deep down in the earth, which was placed there by Allah, in a similar way the “Mujtahid” has to ‘dig’ deep into the Qur’an and the Sunnat in order to extract the inner meanings, intricacies, and complexities. He has to bring these to the fore. Therefore, Qiyas is a “Muzhir” that brings things to light and into perspective), it is not a “Muthbit” (something new which is unshakable). Therefore, Ijtihad is that duty executed by the Mujtahid, when he makes Istinbat of the laws contained in the Qur’an and the Sunnat. Hence, for a Ghair Mujtahid (one who is not a Mujtahid), to refer to and follow a Mujtahid is what is called TAQLEED.

3. Allah states in Surah Tawbah (Aayat 122): “And It is not (proper) for the Believers to go out and fight (Jihad) all together. Of every troop of them, a party only should go forth, that they (who are left behind) may get instructions in (Islamic) religion (learn Fiqh), and that they may warn their people when they return to them, so that they may beware (of evil).

Allamah Sarakhsi writes in the foreword of ‘Mabsoot’: Surely Allah has made (preferred) the Fuqaha as the warners.” Nabi (ﷺ) said: “Allah had made from amongst His slaves those who have heard my speech and preserved it, then they convey it to those who were not present (to listen to me). Hence, most of the carriers of Fiqh (Islamic knowledge) do not have the ability to understand/comprehend (the intricacies of) Fiqh, and many of the carriers of Fiqh convey it to those who have a better understanding.” [Darmi, page 75, vol.1 / Ibn Majah, page 21 / Mustadrak Hakim, page 86, vol.1). Imaam Hakim says that this Hadith is ‘Mash’hoor (famous and well-accepted). Allamah Suyoti says that this Hadith is ‘Mutawatir’ (narrated from numerous sources) [ Miftahul Jannat, page 5). Nawab Siddiq Hassan Saheb says that this Hadith is reported from 16 Sahabah (Al-Hirzul Maknool, page 9). From this Hadith, we also learn that the actual aim and object of Hadith is Fiqh. Fiqh is not merely (knowing) the words and meanings of Ahadith. In fact, its meaning is ‘to unearth’ / open up and discover (the inner import thereof). Fiqhi Masa’il is to be extracted from the Ahadith. Thousands of Masa’il from the Fuqaha Sahabah are recorded in ‘Musannaf Abdur Razzaq’ and ‘Musannaf ibn Abi Shaibah’. To follow these Masa’il is known as ‘TAQLEED’.

4. It is reported from Hadhrat Amar bin Aas and Abu Huraira (R.A) that they heard Nabi (ﷺ) saying: If a Hakim (Learned person) makes a ruling, by making Ijtihad, and he is correct in his result, he will receive double reward, but if he makes Ijtihad and his result is incorrect, he will receive one reward. ” (Bukhari, page 1092, vol.2 / Muslim, page 76, vol.2 / Nasai, page 262, vol.2 / Tirmidhi, page 210 / Abu Dawood, page 70)

The Ulama have stated: “The Muslims have reached a consensus that this Hadith refers to a knowledgeable Hakim (Muslim ruler), who is a capable person. If the result of his ijtihad is correct, then he will receive a double reward, one for his Ijtihad and another for being correct. If his result is incorrect, then he will only receive a reward for his Ijtihaad. However, they (Ulama) say that regarding the person who is unlearned (in Islamic Jurisprudence), it is Haram for him to give a ruling on a matter. If he does give a ruling, he will receive no reward, in fact, he will be a sinner. His ruling will not be executed regardless of whether it conforms to the truth or not, because his being correct is coincidental and not aligned to the principles of Islamic knowledge). He will be a sinner with regard to all his rulings, regardless of whether they are correct or incorrect. All of them (his rulings) are rejected. It appears in a Hadith regarding the three types of judges, one who will be in Jannat and two in Jahannam. That judge who recognizes the truth and rules in favor of it will be in Jannat. That judge who recognizes the truth and rules is contrary to it, will be in Jahannam. That judge who rules in ignorance without making attempt to verify the truth) will be in Jahannam.” (Nawawi, page 76, vol.2]

5. It is reported from Hadhrat Abu Huraira (R.A) that a person once came to Nabi (ﷺ) and complained that his wife had given birth to a child that was dark in complexion. Nabi (ﷺ) asked him whether he had camels that were from the same stock but of a different color, he replied in the affirmative. Nabi (ﷺ) drew a parallel between the two and concluded that just as camels born of the same parents can differ in color, so too can human beings. [Bukhari, page 1088, vol.2]

6. Rasulullah (ﷺ) said: Surely I give rulings (Mas’alas) over you, with my reasoning (analogy), in all such matters where Wahi (revelation) has not been revealed to me.” [Abu Dawood, page 71, vol.2]

7. Hadhrat Abu Bakr (R.A) used to say: ‘Indeed, if a matter is presented to Abu Bakr which is not found in the Kitab of Allah, neither in the Sunnat, then I make Ijtihad.” Then he said: “That is my ruling (opinion), if it turns out to be correct, then it is from Allah, and if it is incorrect, then it comes from me, and I seek Allah’s forgiveness from it.” (Jami’u Bayanul Ilm, page 51, vol.2]

8. If Hadhrat Abu Bakr (R.A) could not find a clear cut ruling on a matter in the Qur’an or the Sunnat, then he would consult with the senior and prominent Sahabah, and he would rule on the consensus reached. [Darmi, page 58)

9. Hadhrat Umar (R.A) advised Qadhi Shuraih, that if any matter presents itself, then firstly he should refer to the Qur’an for a solution. If no solution is found there then he must refer to the Sunnat of Nabi (ﷺ). If no solution is found there, then he must draw a solution from the consensus of opinion (if there is such a ruling upon which there was the consensus). If there was no prior consensus on that matter, then he should make ijtihad. (Jamiu Bayanul Ilm, page 52/57/59, vol.2]

10. Whenever Hadhrat Umar (R.A) would give a ruling, he would say: “This is the view of Umar, if it is correct then it is from Allah, and if it is incorrect, then it comes from Umar.” [Mizanu Shirani, page 49, vol.1)

11. When Hadhrat Abdullah ibn Abbaas (R.A) was the Mufti of Macca Mukarrama, then his pattern was such, whenever he gave a ruling, that he first referred to the Qur’an, then to the Sunnat, then to the rulings of Hadhrat Abu Bakr and Umar (R.A). If he found no proof in any of the above then he would give his own view (ruling) on the matter. [Darmi, page 59.vol.1 / Sunan Baihaqi, page 115, vol.1 / Jami’u Bayanul Ilm, page 57-8, vol.2]

12. Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (R.A) was the Mufti of Darul Uloom Kufa. His proclamation was: If any of you is faced with a matter (to rule over) after today, then he should rule in conjunction with the Qur’an. If no such solution is found in the Qur’an, then he should see what Nabi (ﷺ) ruled in a similar matter. If he comes across a matter which is neither in the Qur’an nor the Sunnat, then he should rule as the pious predecessors have ruled. If he comes across a matter which is neither in the Qur’an, nor in the Sunnat, nor have the pious predecessors ruled in a similar case, then he should make Ijtihad and rule accordingly. ” (Nasai, page 264 – Babul Hukm Bi Ittifaqi Ahle Ilm (Chapter on giving a verdict in conjunction with the Learned Scholars).

13. Hadhrats Ubai bin Ka’ab, Abu Darda, and Abu Huraira (R.A) also used to give Fataawa (rulings) from their own Ijtihad (when the previous avenues were exhausted) (Jami’u Bayaanul Ilm, page 58, vol.2]

14. It is stated in the footnote of the Kitab “Fawa’id Salafia”, which is a Kitab of the Ghair Muqallideen, under the Aayat of the Qur’an: “(All of you) Must follow that which has been revealed to you from your Rabb” – If any matter is not proven from the Qur’an or Ahadith, then one may refer to consensus of opinion and Ijtihad because these two are corollaries (branches) to the Qur’an and Sunnat.” [Translation of Wahiduz Zaman’, page 181, vol. 11]

All four proofs are mentioned in the Qur’an. After the order of obeying and following Allah and His Rasool (ﷺ), there is the order of following the ‘Ulool Amr’ (knowledgeable ones), who are the people of ‘Istinbat – i.e. the Mujtahideen. (Refer above for definitions). Similarly, there is reference made to obey the rulings of the Fuqaha, and there is also mention made of Ijma (consensus) being regarded as a valid proof in the Shariah: “And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger (Muhammed ﷺ) after the right path has been shown clearly to him, and follows other than the believers’ way. We shall keep him in the path he has chosen, and burn him in Jahannam – what an evil destination.” [Surah Nisaa, Aayat 115].

In Sahih Bukhari, Imam Bukhari (R.A) has taken proofs from the Qur’an, and from the Ahadith also. He also uses ijma as Shar’i proof. He has quoted Ahadith under the following headings: Hold on fast to the Jamaat of Muslims and their Imam (Page 509, vol.1), One who separates oneself from the Jamaat (of Muslims) even a hand-span, will die a death of ignorance (page 1045, vol.2]. There is an order to even execute those who separate themselves from the Jamaat of Muslims and their Imam… they will leave Islam in the way an arrow leaves its bow… wherever you see them you should kill them. Their killing will be rewardable on the day of Qiyamah. [page 756, vol.2]. “A group will emerge from amongst you, who will be little your Salaat over theirs, and your fasts over theirs, and your actions over theirs, they will recite the Qur’an, which will not pass their throats (have no effect upon them), they will leave the Deen like an arrow leaves its bow (page 756, vol.2). These people will emerge before Qiyamah. Only those who are deficient in age and knowledge will join them. Their Jamaat will be devoid of Fuqaha. They will recite the Qur’an and Ahadith, but it will have no effect upon their hearts and lives. They will leave Islaam as fast as an arrow leaves its bow. It is for this reason that Imaam Bukhari has included ijtihad and Qiyas as valid Shar’i proofs, in fact even if a Mujtahid makes an error in his judgment, he will be rewarded (page 1092, vol.2]. Nabi (ﷺ) has also made Qiyas when he (ﷺ) compared the offspring of camels to that of humans page 1088, vol.2). Then there was the Qiyas of Hadhrat Suleiman (page 477, vol.1). There was the ijtihad of the Sahabah regarding the matter of Banu Quraidha, and Nabi (ﷺ)’s the acknowledgment of both views (page 291, vol.2).

There is consensus that the principles of Fiqh are based upon four sources (Adillae Arba’a), the Qur’an, Sunnat, ijma e Ummat, and Qiyas e Shar’i. The acceptance of Fiqh is the acknowledgment of the four sources. Therefore, the acceptance of the four sources is the acceptance of Imam Bukhari, nor those who deny ijma and Qiyas. There is not a single Hadith in Bukhari which renders the acceptor of ijma or Fiqh as a kafir, Mushrik or Bid’ati Imam Bukhari himself refers to Fiqh as being the fruits of Ahadith Imam Bukhari has in many instances proven his view with the sayings of the Sahabah and the Tabeen. Imam Bukhari stated the Hadith wherein there is a prophecy of a Persian person [page 985, vol.2], who was to compile and structure the Deen during the ‘Khairul Quron’ (best of ages). This prophecy has been echoing on the lips of many that it refers to none other than Imam Abu Hanifah (R.A).

In effect, Imam Bukhari has made apparent the truthfulness of the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat, who are the acceptors of the four sources of fiqh, in particular, Imam Abu Hanifah, who was the Persian Mujtahid from the Khairul Quron.

In Sahih Muslim. Imam Muslim has also mentioned the same regarding the four sources of Fiqh. Hold on fast to the Jamaat of Muslims and their Imam (Page 127, vol.2), One who separates oneself from the Jamaat (of Muslims) even a hand span, will die a death of ignorance”[page 128, vol.2]. There are also many other examples such as these which denote Imam Muslim’s acknowledgment, approval, and sanction of the ‘Adilla-e-Arba’a.

Regarding ijtihad, he mentions the double reward for a Mujtahid, when he correctly rules on an issue and one reward if he errs (page 76, vol.2) The Qiyas of Hadhrat Suleiman regarding the two women [page 77. vol.2]. Nabi’s Qiyas regarding the debt of Hall (page 362, vol.1), etc, etc

There is also mention made of the Persian Mujtahid (page 312, vol.2), The truthfulness of the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat is apparent (in Muslim Shareef), specifically the virtue of the Ahnaf. In opposition to this mention is also made of the deviated and deviating people: ‘Surely Allah will take away knowledge from the people. He will take away the learned people, and knowledge will be taken away with them. Only ignorant people will remain They will pass Fataawa (rulings) without any knowledge. They will be astray and they will lead others astray as well” (page 340, vol.2).

The following Hadith is also mentioned: “There will be such people from the last of my Ummat, who will relate to you that which you have not heard nor have your fathers heard “(page 9, vol.1).

In Jami u Tirmidhi, Imam Tirmidhi also relates Ahadith pertaining to ijma. In the chapter “Babul Fitan”, he mentions holding on fast to the Jamaat. He also reports from Hadhrat Umar (R.A) the words of Nabi (ﷺ): ‘It is necessary for you (O Muslims) to hold on fast to the Jamaat. Save yourselves from separating (from the Jamaat). Surely shaitan is with a single person, and he remains far from two. Whosoever desires Jannat, must remain with the Jamaat.”

Surely Allah will never unite my Ummat (or he has said the Ummat of Muhammad), upon falsehood, and the hand of Allah is the fire (of Jahannam).” upon the Jamaat. Whoever deviates (from the Jamaat) a deviation will be in (page 315)

Regarding Ijtihad, the following narration appears in Tirmidhi: If the Hakim (Muslim ruler) makes a ruling, he must make Ijtihad, if he is correct, then he will receive the double reward, and if he errs, he will receive one reward.” (page 210). It is ascertained that in those Masail wherein there is Ijtihad, the Mujtahid will make the Ijtihad and the others will follow and practice upon his ruling. This is known as TAQLEED. If a non-Mujtahid does not follow the ruling of a Mujtahid, and rather he follows his own understanding, then the doors of Hidayat (guidance) are closed for him (page 435)

In the chapter “Babul Ilm” he mentions the Hadith “That person for whom Allah wishes good, HE bestows him with Fiqh (understanding) of Deen “(page 379).

By mentioning the Hadith ‘Many carriers of Figh, are not Faghis”, he proves that the understanding of the Muhaddith is not a valid proof in the Shariah, but the understanding of the Faqhi does constitute a valid proof in the Shariah (page 380)

In essence, Imam Tirmidhi also extols the virtues and validity of the ‘Adilla Arba’a’.

In Abu Dawod, Imam Abu Dawod (R.A) has proven the validity of ijma by mentioning the Hadith of the 73 sects which are to arise in this Ummat before Qiyamah. He also states The savior of the congregation (of Muslims) is the Jamaat.” (page 164, vol.2).

He who separates from the Jamaat. (page 179, vol.2].

Regarding Ijtihad, he states the Hadith “if the Hakim makes a ruling…” (page 70, vol.2].

In Abu Dawod as well there are numerous examples wherein he proves the “Adilla Arba’a’.

In Nasai, Imam Nasai mentions the Hadith “He who separates from the Jamaat…” “in substantiation of Ijma (page 145-6).

He also mentions the Hadith of “If the Haakim makes a ruling.. ” and many others.

In this present age of ours, a new group has sprung up, who claim to follow the Hadith. In reality, they are far from following the Hadith. They regard as trivial many Ahadith. They find any flimsy excuse to reject most Ahadith. They also regard as insignificant the speech and actions of the Sahabah. They regard themselves as ‘Muhaqqiqen’ (learned researchers and scholars of Deen). These are the ones who are destroying the Shariat-e- Muhammediyyah (S.A.W). They are annihilating the signs of the Sunnat. They devise all sorts of plans and present excuses to reject many Ahadith, which they dub as being “weak”.

May Allah save us from deviating from the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamat, and aligning ourselves with such errant sects. Ameen.


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