Ijtihad and the Islamic State

Following is another conversation I picked up between two brothers.

He was also a greatly inward looking scholar, having explained many of the features of alame gaib. (pls read dakaekul akhbar). his IYHEA E ULUMUDDIN or the rennaissance of the knoledge of Deen is considered to be the milestone of islamic scholastics.

Imams Ghazzali, Abu Hanifa, Malik, Shafii and Hanbal (RH) do not really need any certification from us. They earned what they earned with their Rabb. We will be responsible for ourselves only. They will not know us on the day of Judgement and neither will we know them. We will not be allowed to blame them and neither will they claim that they wanted us to follow them if the path shown by them happened to be misguided. “La Yu kallifullahu Nafsan Illa usaha”.

i do not know, but i feel so great praising those vanguards of islam always – imam bukhari, muslim, tirmizi, abu daud, ibne maza, ibne hisham, al jassas, ibne aseer, ibne kaseer, imam gazzali, and so many. when i praise them, i feel that at least my words will bring me some blessings as Allah SWT is pleased with them.

now regarding imam gazzali, whatever i have read in his literature, i surmized him more focussed on DEEN and less on shariah. i have not read the history of his time. i have read what he has written- and what he has written are priceless jewels. i may be wrong but he has given me a huge perspective to understand AD DEEN.

JZK my dear brother. Please allow me to make my point now.

We have agreed that Ijtihaad is the way to resolve issues in new or changed circumstances.

It is possible to do Ijtihaad by qualified Mujtahid.

The Door of Ijtihiad should not be closed.

Clash between Mutazilites and Asharites lead to orders to close Ijtihaad

This lead to subsequent stagnation of Muslims in various fields.

By the 14th century Islamic State could not react to a changed Europe due to Scientific Revolution, Renaissance and Enlightenment.

Colonization of Muslim lands begin by 17th century leading up to the abolishment of the only valid Islamic ruling system for Muslims.

Islamic system replaced by non Islamic (jaahil) system where either people through representative system or Kings through hereditary process or dictators through coups become LAWMAKERS. This we agreed belongs only to ALLAH swt.

The nation state or republic and its people claim SOVEREIGNTY through legislative powers. This is contradictory to our kalimah where only ALLAH is the sole Sovereign.

The destruction of the highest political office in Islam started with “closing the doors of IJTIHAAD” because of the philosophical debates between two extreme viewpoints. Although such mystics or rationalist philosophies more than international politics appealed to mass people but they eventually brought SHIRK and KUFR acceptance upon Muslims without them realizing what they had done!!!!

 

there are few things we need to note. firstly the DEEN. AD DEEN. AD DEEN is fixed and made absolute from hazrat adam (AWS) to the last of the man on earth.
Agreed.
no one can make any change in the DEEN. AD DEEN is the absolute prerogative of Allah SWT.
Deen is established through the Messengers. Only one Messenger came with the Deen for all the Nations and that is Rasulallah salliallahu alaihi wa sallam. Simply stated, only the Deen of Islam RECEIVED through the last Prophet (SAW) is applicable as the Universal Deen and even if Musa AS lived in the time of Ar Rasool (SAW) he AS would have no option but to follow Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Do you agree?
Then comes Shariah. depending on the physical evolution of the human beings and the society, its complexity of interactions, Shariah has changed. Salat was not 5 times in previous Shariah. Saom was not also 30 days.

Hang on my dear brother. What do you mean by “physical evolution”? your assumptions  stem not from Holy Prophet (SAW) but from the Theory of Evolution. If so, then you are  wrong. Here is the reason – If salah and sawm were directly related to “physical evolution” as you suggested then the number of salah and days of sawm would change every now and then, based on changed circumstances. Still worse it could vary from one place to another based on that same logic. We know that it is not the case and therefore suggesting a scientific rationale behind the salah and sawm, amongst other hukms, is clearly not from Islam.
Shariah has changed through risalat. for us, the aqida of the ahlul sunnah wal jama’ is that the door of qias and izma will remain open forever. the decisions on which izma has been established will be considered as part of shariah. that is how we are free to decide if use test-tube technology will be acceptabel to shariah or not, but this decision can not be subjective. the subtle point is establishing izma. we are unable to make use of these two instruments (qias and izma) today due to many reasons and that is beyond my discussion here.

Does the ahlus sunnah wa jamaat have a different aqeedah than Prophet Muhammad (SAW)? If not, then any one who holds the aqeeda of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) holds the aqeeda of Islam. Nobody has a monopoly on aqeeda. Going back to the spirit of your question, you are saying that the door of “IJTIHAAD” (as I understood from you) will remain open forever, right?
the 4 imams have done splendid jobs. the ummah is indebted to their extra-ordinary academicia and formulations. none is lesser than the other, although i follow the mazhab of imame azam hazrat abu hanifah (RA)

Most people here will also agree with you about the contributions of the 4 great Imams (RahimAllahuhum). My question went a bit deeper than that. Were the 4 great Imams lawmakers? We now know that Islam does not have any lawmakers. Then they were Fuqaha, Jurisprudents, i.e. they could deduce the science behind the law and its “derivative” as another brother mentioned, effectively making themselves scientists of law. They were independent MUJTAHID. So, is it possible to have independent mujtahid now in our present time? since that science of Ijtihaad can be learned, just as the 4 great Imams have already proved?

finally hazrat imam gazzali (RA)…. he has done great job in Ahea E Deen. his focus was not shariah, he fought to rid the conceptual garbage strewn on the structure of AD DEEN through the over zealous themes adopted by devious academics.

May be. But his biography says that he was an “expert” in Shafii madhab and was a qadi and the Chief of the Nizamiyyah school of Shariah and Fiqh. Nizamiyyah was of course the most famous school of Fiqh, hadeeth and siyasat established by Nizam ul Mulk during the reign of Abbasid Caliphs. He became an ascetic for about 25 years before returning to Nizamiyyah. He taught in Damascus at the Grand Mosque of the Umayyads and also in the Holy cities. He obviously was a master of philosophy, logic, theology, mysticism and many other subject areas. But he also had critics. His critics were the rationalists, especially Ibn Rushd, whose works were banned at that time. Could it be possible that the Asharite Sufi philosophy, which was expounded by Imam Ghazzali (RH) was the precursor to “closing the doors of Ijtihaad”? The reason is that the rationalists, Mutazilites, and the Ahsarites (Imam Ghazzali’s Sufi theologian followers) clashed with their dogmas, which greatly confused the Ummah by taking them to two extreme points, so that finally the rulers had to shut the door of Ijtihaad.

he was also a greatly inward looking scholar, having explained many of the features of alame gaib. (pls read dakaekul akhbar). his IYHEA E ULUMUDDIN or the rennaissance of the knoledge of Deen is considered to be the milestone of islamic scholastics.

Imams Ghazzali, Abu Hanifa, Malik, Shafii and Hanbal (RH) do not really need any certification from us. They earned what they earned with their Rabb. We will be responsible for ourselves only. They will not know us on the day of Judgement and neither will we know them. We will not be allowed to blame them and neither will they claim that they wanted us to follow them if the path shown by them happened to be misguided. “La Yu kallifullahu Nafsan Illa usaha”.
I AM TELLING YOU WHAT I KNOW. MY KNOWLEDGE IS LIMITED AND WEAK. THE TRUTH LIES WITH THE ALMIGHTY.

MAY ALLAH SWT REWARD YOU FOR YOUR VALUABLE CONTRIBUTIONS.

Alhamdulillah!! It is the Rahmah
of Allah swt that Believers will differ on issues so that
“even if a Believer steals, his brother can help
him”. Not by helping him steal but by helping him
correct himself. What pleasure can a Believer get by knowing
that his fellow brother is committing wrong or even worse
taking steps towards bidah, shirk etc. There is no benefit
in this. Furthermore if Believers can not check their
understanding with other Believers then should they
go to the Kaafirs to check their Aqeeda?!?!?
 
Some comments on Golam Kibria vi’s fleeting
remarks….
 
just a fleeting remark:

the 4 imams have not made any basic law of shariah.
So, in Islam we do not have lawmakers.

Then who are the 4 great Imams
and how do they compare with the lawmakers in Islam today?
They were Faqih (jurisprudents) as per history. What does
that mean … they could understand Muslims’ problems
pertaining to new or changed circumstances, of their time,
in order to link them back to the original twin sources of
law in Holy Shariah. Therefore, the divine law is a fixed
value system whereas the Fuqaha can use their Usool al Fiqh
(science of jurisprudence) to deduce hukm for changed
circumstances.
Can we call Imam Ghazzali, OR AQ
Gilani (RH) Fuqaha? Besides I wonder why they did’nt
have their own school of thought just like the Imams before
them. Maybe because Islam is a practical deen providing
practical solutions for mankind, not just a set of thoughts
and rituals.
they have made recommendations for individual
scenarios, taking 4 sources as the postulates, quran,
sunnah, kias and izma.
 
Therefore, in modern times, if a
faqih could diagnose a problem correctly then he too
can make recommendations attempting to be as close as
possible to the letter and spirit of the 1st generation. So,
the system of jurisprudence in Islam is not a “7th
century, barbaric, fundamentalist” legal system at all.
As a matter of fact, from your statement it is the only
jurisprudence available in the world today that has a fixed
value system as well as a “science” or Usool to
link the current circumstances with the permanent values.
 
for example, qisas is a divine decree and imams have
only formalized their modalities to materialize such
punishment, in shariah, the origin of which is in quran.
 
the description of salah is there in quran, but it does not
say how many rakat in each wakt. hadis comes into play and
the imams organize the information into actionable decision
through their mazhabs…
In this regard, I have a genuine need
for understanding. What is the role of Imam Ghazzali (RH) in
Fiqh or any other branch. What was his contribution
towards furthering the cause of Islam, if at all that
was his objective.
i would say, the tip of the iceberg can be revamped,
era to era, in order to suit time, but the mammoth chunk of
knowledge upon which this tip is floating will remain
unchaged till the last day of this planet, and they reamain
the 4 basic sources as described above.
 
I agree. But what is wrong
with our societies today then? Why are we stuck in the 15th
century colonial era…. somehow we were able to reduce the
most dynamic jurisprudence in all of history into an
academic exercise for learning, memorizing and qirat
competitions.
We have no dearth of hujurs who
want to come on talk shows to race with each other
for fatwa production!! The 4 great Imams were notorious
(all of them) for filling up pages of students’ books
with “I dont Know” statements. And here we
are…how to come out of this, any suggestions, any
one..
wa salaam,

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