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Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|Hijab not fard?|
|02/11/04 at 20:42:28|
Where did this idea come about, that hijab is not obligatory? As far as i know, the Quran doesnt exactly say to cover you hair. So how should i respond when confronted with this arguement?
|Re: Hijab not fard?|
|02/11/04 at 21:37:21|
|Well I don't think my post is going to help answer your question but I just wanted to make a comment about this subject. I don't know, I just think some so called "muslim" women who argue that it isn't fard (not meaning you sis) are so retarded. Sorry- but I've always thought that the answer was simple. They just like to make it complicated because their heart isn't truly convinced with the 'haya' concept. Just look at them. Their modernized and influenced by what their society defines as being a strong, independant woman. They think going without hijab is just that. I, on the other hand, believe it is the MOST empowering thing I have ever experienced. It's allowed me to gain self-control, verbally and physically, because I have an image to uphold (which they and every one else is afraid of) and that is of a PIOUS woman who cannot be broken. If that isn't strength and independance than I don't know what is. They just have this warped mentality, I think, that's telling them we're oppressed! ::) The way I see it is that there is a hikmah behind EVERYTHING Allah (swt) puts into law. In the case of hijab, because it DOES give us power and better control especially of our bodies, it allows us to raise a stronger generation of muslims . I think that's the hikmah wa Allahu A3lam.|
Hehehe. Sorry for my blabbing. It's late and your post reminded me of a documentary on Nightline on the Muslim women in France. Some of the things they said just ticked me off.
|Re: Hijab not fard?|
|02/11/04 at 22:30:52|
The Qur'an doesn't *exactly* say to pray 5 times a day either! So what, should we then conclude that it is not obligatory to pray 5 times a day?
The Qur'an is not the only source of law in Islam. The Sunnah of the Prophet, the practice of the early generations of Muslims (the companions and the successors), and the consensus of the scholars, etc, are also sources of law in Islam. To disregard everything and look only at the Qur'an is to disregard a very big portion of Islamic Law.
In the case of hijaab, there are explicit narrations which tell us how the companions of the Prohpet [saw] responded to the verses about covering when they were revealed. Their response shows us how these verses must be interpreted. Furthermore, there are explicit statements from the Prophet [saw] which tell us what must and must not be covered of the woman's body. All of these texts, along with the verses of the Qur'an that talk about covering, produce a resounding conclusion - one which not a single scholar worth the name has challenged in 1400 years - that hijaab is an obligation on all adult women in front of non-mahrem men.
Wassalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh
|02/11/04 at 22:40:27|
|Re: Hijab not fard?|
|02/11/04 at 22:34:36|
|bismillah alrhman alrhim|
alsalamu alaykum wa rhmat Ullahi wa barakatuh
Deja vue! Last year at IAW at my uni, a couple of non-hijabi sisters came up to a couple of other sisters (hijabi and non-hijabi) at the da'wa table with the same argument. We were like :o uh-oh, but they were only playing the devil's advocate. They believed it was fardh but did not know how to break the argument of those who say otherwise
Well, to start, purify your intention that you be pleasing to Allah ta'ala in every way (da'wa is pretty delicate).
You can mention how this argument is something that popped up recently, only in the past 100 yrs. (Were Muslims so in the dark for 13 straight centuries???) In some countries like Syria, women used to go out in full niqab when in public. Now its more 'liberal' (liberal for lowly guys to ogle more - if some of you have been there, you'll know what I mean) Lack of education and colonisation has had a huge affect on the Muslim psyche.
But when it comes down to plain facts, it is mentionned in the Qur'an. The argument they use is that the ayah does not mention that hair specifically has to be covered. The ayah mentions covering. But it also mentions that a believing woman should obstain from displaying her beauty and ornaments...and to draw their veils over their upper torso. Now, if the person believes hair is not part of a woman's beauty, tell him/her to take a walk down any hair care section at a pharmacy for a reality check. (or even read a basic book on social psychology) In addition, the arabic language is quite rich and a full analysis of the words and context they are in has to be considered. And you have to state the obvious that if we were going to interpret the Qur'an without referring to the sunnah, no one would know the complete words and actions of prayer, a pillar of the deen. There are quite a few ahadith that mention the manner in which women dressed after the ayahs for hijab (Qur'an, 24:31, 33:59-60) were revealed (maybe someone can find them and post them?).
Unfortunately, there are so many distractions out there to keep a woman away from hijab. When it comes down to it, once someone is educated about something that is truth, they either accept it (even if partially) or reject it. Not too long ago I had a conversation with an atheist/existentialist, and no matter how many truths he actually agreed to, he wouldn't budge from his 'beliefs' or lack there of. I remember the whole time an ayah kept repeating in my mind. Allah ta'ala mentions in the Qur'an that you cannot make the blind to see or the deaf to hear. Its pretty scary. Once you convey an explanation, with wisdom and sincerity, its up to Allah to guide them...If not at that moment, then maybe later on in the future. Pray for each other.
Wa'Allahu ta'ala a'lam
walsalamu alaykum wa rhmat Ullahi wa barakatuh
|Re: Hijab not fard?|
|02/12/04 at 10:06:59|
Why do we refer to the khimar as hijab? Hijab is the complete works - modest dress, of which the headscarf is a part, the attitude and so on - men must adhere to the dictates of their own hijab too. It isn't the be all and end all of modesty - but it does go a long way towards it, especially in light of the symbolism that it has attained as the idea of covering one's head as a part modest behaviour has declined elsewhere in the last hundred years.
[url="http://www.muhajabah.com/articles.htm"]Al Muhajabah[/url] has some interesting articles on the legal basis of the hijab. In addition, we have some excellent articles from a variety of viewpoints on the hijab in the latest issue of Q News.
The shift from a norm to an exception is an interesting one to look at - in the days of the Prophet (pbuh), the distinguishing factor of believing women was not that they covered their hair with their khimar, but that they drew it across to cover their cleavage.. I've always thought that there is a good relation between the obligatory nature of the beard and headscarf and the historical perceptions that stem from this - as our society shifts more and more from it's traditional patriarchal roots and truly enjoy the freedoms they are accorded in Islam, sisters begin to play a larger role in outwardly representing Islam to society as a whole. The pressures surrounding wearing a hijab now as opposed to a hundred years ago indicate an interesting synergy in this.. Just a thought.
|02/12/04 at 10:07:50|
|Re: Hijab not fard?|
|02/12/04 at 15:10:45|
I think it is mentioned in the QURAN
The word TABARUJ refers to any kind of the women's body that is not supposed to be seen by a man ,and the hair is one of them .so its mentioned that women are not allowed for TABARUJ
Well ,l if we look at the advantage of the hijab for both the female and even male .its is meant for the security of the woman that when she is covered and none of her sensitive part of her body is seen she is safe from any kind of attack (satan encouraged mans attack )which might result as her death and I think this happens though the inention is not to kill her but the fight might make such a tragedic end
Lets say this is an exageration in regard of the very few number of such crimes recorded but still even the very few is a big sin and crime comiited
This is the advantage for the woman and when when no similar or exact crime like i have mentioned above doesnt occur there happens invisible crime the woman might not have idea she is the reason. How ??When a man sees and is attracted by a woman this might drive him to perform illegal contact with another volunteer woman .and this way she has shared the sin despite her no direct role
This is why ALLAHwants to protect us from our own satanic deeds that UN HIJABED causes
|Re: Hijab not fard?|
|02/12/04 at 17:20:01|
I think that argument inherently assumes man is an evil and lecherous beast. In addition, it indicates that woman cannot be likewise and that those who wear hijab are safe. Which they are not. Women who wear headscarfs still have this happen to them - the headscarf is not a magical barrier, whatever symbolism it may have attained.
With the societal changes in gender roles that are evident today, this approach must be questioned too. The bar of modesty is ever being lowered and the sexes are equalising on some fronts, segregating on others.
Interesting article on MuslimWakeup at the mo. I don't agree with most of it, but hey..
|Re: Hijab not fard?|
|02/13/04 at 14:51:15|
[quote]it indicates that woman cannot be likewise and that those who wear hijab are safe. Which they are not. Women who wear headscarfs still have this happen to them - [/quote]
yes I do agree with this but in this case she is not the reason for such a crime to herself and the man who has commited this .
but what will not happen is, as i said
[quote]When a man sees and is attracted by a woman this might drive him to perform illegal contact with another volunteer woman .and this way she has shared the sin despite her no direct role
For example its different when you have kept your belongings in safe place and still stolen than leaving it open.you feel you are the reason for this lose isnt it ?
But any way, why to take risk when the chance to avoid is there ?
|Re: Hijab not fard?|
|02/15/04 at 09:45:51|
That link should take you to an article by Sarah Eltantawi on MuslimWakeup.com. It should give you a pretty good idea about the way "progressives" view the hijab and the choice to wear it.
Note that the article contains no references to any ahadith or sayings of scholars who believe that the hijab is not mandatory (even though one of the first sentences says that many scholars do not believe that hijab is fard). Her entire argument revolves around that notion that hijab is being utilized by male fundamentalist forces to control the opposite sex and introduce some sort of talibanized thinking in the general populace... or at least that's what I understood. Furthermore, she believes that reasoning behind Hijab (as if reasoning comes before the Qur'an and Sunnah... what ever happened to "We hear and we obey") is inherently flawed:
"Well meaning and honorable Muslim men I know have pointed out to me that the hijab protects women against the carnivorous gaze of men; but, aside from the obvious objection to this conception of reality -- why don’t men just control themselves? -- isn’t this insulting to the majority of Muslim men who would never consider assaulting a woman? Isn’t this explanation of hijab therefore a tragic one -- shouldn’t the scarf in this context be a sad, drooping, gray and depressing commentary on the hopelessly animalistic nature of man? I, for one, reject this notion of men, and I suspect that most men do as well."
She goes on the conclude that there is no clergy in Islam (which is true. There are no priests, but there are scholars who are more learned than you or me, no?) and every person needs to make his/her decision in Islam himself/herself ie. Ijtihad is for everyone.
I have to ask. Are we more afraid of her or G. W. Bush?
|Re: Hijab not fard?|
|02/20/04 at 17:42:06|
|ok so let's say tht these people truly believe that hijaab isn't fardh. so i'm guessin they're saying that hijaab is sunnah right? since the female role models of Islam did wear it (Aisha (ra), Fatima (ra) etc.) So just because something is sunnah doesn't mean you don't do it. Sunnah is the way of the prophet ( [saw])'s life right? The perfect example of a Muslim, the one we are all meant to follow..so shouldn't hijaab just fit into those lines right there? |
My answer to ppl who say tht hijaab isn't fardh- "just cuz its fardh dont mean u dont do it. Alot of things in Islam aren't fardh persay. but our Prophet [saw]'s wives did it. The sahaabiyaat (ra) did it during times that were much harder on them than now. and plus hijaab has more advantages than disadvantages. the only thing that holds anyone back from wearing it is their own weak willpower and imaan." and then i go on to tell them abt how im usualli wearing my headphones in class and noone ever knows...haha tht always makes girls wanna wear hijaab.
|Re: Hijab not fard?|
|02/21/04 at 07:57:41|
if they believe in madhabs .... string them in by asking which one they follow...
then go for the knockout punch by telling them the opinion of that school of thought on hijab...
whos going to argue with the greatest scholars and the 4 imams of jurisprudence?!
and theres no difference of opinion that a woman should cover her hair... u can argue niqab... u can argue if u can show ur feet or not... but u can never argue hijab 8)
brother abu_hamza gave a fab explanation...
but the real problem is explaining to someone who has totally disregarded the sunnah... and u can wash ur hands off these people. if u disregarded the sunnah uve disregarded so much of islam... it brings another question... are they still muslim? ???
|Re: Hijab not fard?|
|02/21/04 at 10:31:30|
Salem.. I'm not sure I understand the point you're trying to make.. By this same reasoning, should females who have been given attractive facial features have to wear niqaab as a fard obligation? I don't think so.. Also by that same token, given the equalisation of male and female roles in society, shouldn't the headscarf (which is what I assume you mean by hijab) be incumbent upon males as well? Guys can be just as pretty as girls and girls are a lot more.. forceful these days..
The centrality of the matter is that all Islamic rulings have an Illah - a basis in the texts and are not based on rationality.. Thus, haram/fard are those rulings which have a direct basis in the Qu'ran.. If one looks at classifications such as wajib and the necessary elements for that, one can see the differentiation between commands with qu'ranic backup and without.
Umm Ali - the thing is, covering of one's hair at the time of the four Imam's was considered an intrinsic part of dress anyway in a desert environment - indeed, it was considered a part of modest dress until this century. I'm not very well read, but I can't remember coming across direct verdicts stating it is a direct obligation to cover ones hair as this was a given - the face is the only thing that really came under dispute as this was the obligation upon the wives of the Prophet (pbuh) as compared to that of standard women. The status of the prayers and other clearly fard acts are clearly delineated in mutawatir hadith, along with explanations of the penalties for not carrying these out - they are also explicit commands, ie do regular prayer says Allah (swt), do it five times a day clarifies the Prophet (pbuh). Given that the Qu'ran is for all times and Allah (swt) knows all things, one would expect a direct command on the headscarf if it is really a completely integral part of the religion - for example I have seen some sisters consider other sisters not muslim if they do not wear it. Hmm.
Eh, s'all good.
|02/22/04 at 13:53:43|
|Bismillah al-Rahman Al-Raheem|
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Assalam alaikum wa rahmatullah.
I ask Allah ta’ala to guide my words and protect me from becoming a vehicle for misguidance, and misguided. I further ask Allah tabarak wa ta’ala to safeguard others from my ignorance and unlearnedness.
One needs a solid grasp of arabic to fully contemplate this topic with the kind of thoroughness that is only befitting if one seeks to delve into such deep still waters of fiqh and cause some ripples. And then one needs some serious depth in the ancilliary sciences as well as the instrumental sciences that relate to fiqh and usul al-fiqh. Without this we are just fish trying to swim without water.
Hijab as a colloquial term has come to be understood as incorporating the khimar and the jilbab, and in some views also the niqab [face veil]. Yet, in times past the word hijab was also taken to mean niqab, so one needs to be careful when they read statements attributed to ‘Ulema that say hijab is not mandatory. You need to establish that their use of the term hijab is not actually referring to niqab, in which context to say hijab is not obligatory would be fine, as that is a valid position amongst the ‘Ulema. Such a confusion has been disastrous in perpetuating contentious debate on what has essentially been an accepted ruling for centuries. Unless anyone can cite some, I know of no credible ‘Ulema who consider hijab (as it is colloquially understood) not to be fard, wallahu a’lam. And when citing such names, it is always good to cite those which the Ummah generally agrees upon their status and rank as scholars, rather than those around which contention centres. As for the unlearned, then their view is of no consequence, other than to those who might give them an ear, foolishly.
The ‘Ulema when discussing this subject also referred to other arabic terms which relate to the issue, of which only some include: ardiya [loose outer garment], malahif [cover], mula’ah [sheet], rida’ [large sheet of cloth], and zeena [adornment].
There are a few misconceptions in this thread, which if Allah ta’ala grants me tawfiq, I’d like to try and attempt to address, with no intention of causing offence to anyone.
Firstly, not all ahkam [rulings] have an illah. With respect, an illah is not construed as a basis in the nusus [texts], rather it is a ratio decidendi; the reason behind a rule. Definitely an illah will have a basis in the nusus, but all ahkam should have a basis in the nusus. A hukm contains an illah in the case where there is an illah mentioned or extrapolated in the proof-text(s). Having a basis is not the same as having an illah. An illah is the reason behind which the rule exists, without which the rule is absent. Such as the prohibition of khamr [intoxicants]. The illah here is the quality ob intoxication. So now if a substance has the property of intoxicating, then the rule is activated concerning its prohibition. But if a substance has no such discernible property, then the rule is not effected, and the substance may be considered not to be prohibited (though either way the judgement belongs to one who is authorised and qualified to determine this). Now, the hukm is based upon the text, as is the illah. But they are two different, albeit inter-related aspects. One is the rule itself and the other refers to the reason behind the rule. Given that the hukm shari’i [divine rule] is defined in part as “khitab ash-Shaari’” [the address of the Legislator] then it follows that this address must have a foothold in the text, for it is the text that contains the address of Allah ta’ala, or the Prophet, salallahu alayhi wassalam. Now, that text may or may not also contain an illah [reason] behind that rule. Not all rulings come baggaged with an illah. Some Islamic ahkam have no discernible illah. In which case ‘Ulema try to have recourse to other possible aspects related to the rule such as sabab [cause], hikma [wisdom] or fada’il [benefit]. If the hukm has none of these aspects related to it then it is termed a hukm tawaddu, meaning a rule which we merely obey without knowing the reason, cause, wisdom or benefit behind it. It is solely our uboodiyah [servitude] to Allah ta’ala that makes us adhere to the hukm.
Secondly, whilst haram/fard ahkam definitely may have their basis in the Qur’an, it is not so that they can *only* have their basis in the Qur’an in order for the hukm to carry the legal weight of being fard/haram. Such ahkam can also have a basis solely in the Sunna, and not just the Qur’an. This is a basic premise in usul al-fiqh which is not disputed amongst the usuliyyun [scholars of legal methodology/theory] and fuqaha [jurists].
Thirdly, wajib is a hukm which is used synonymously with fard in terms of its legal weight as a rule, but for the Hanafis it is based on a thanni [probable] evidence rather than a definitive evidence. For them, a fard hukm is one which is based on a qat’i [conclusive/definitive] basis. This is a technical distinction which needn’t really concern other than the specialists of usul and fiqh. The consequence remains the same, that one who performs such an act is rewarded whilst the one who omits it is sinful.
As far as the hukm of the khimar goes then – to this unlearned mind, on the authority of our teachers – it is established without dispute as being fard, and it’s evidence lies both in the Qur’an and Sunna. Some Muslims – even myself previously, may Allah ta’ala forgive me – believe the hukm of hijab is rooted only in the Sunna. This is not right, and Allah ta’ala knows best. This misconception allows some of them to then disregard the hukm due to the unfortunate existence today of scepticism amongst some Muslims surrounding the Sunna as a source of Islamic law. They believe that if it is not in the Qur’an then it cannot be fard/haram. This is blatantly wrong, and at its worst can lead to kufr in some instances, ignorance being one of the possible mitigating factors in an otherwise indefensible position.
The concept of modesty in the Shari’ah has a Shar’a definition, not an ‘urfi [customal] one. It is not a rational conception of modesty, but a Shar’a one. That women covered in such a way prior to the Islamic Shar’iah is of no consequence, it is merely incidental to the hukm. The comprehension of covering the hair is based on a correct understanding of the arabic employed in the Qur’an, and it is a direct hukm attached to the comprehension of the issue of khimar, wallahu ta’ala a’lam. On a basic level, the meanings in the Qur’an can be split into two types: mantuq and mafhoum. The first refers to the direct meaning, and the second to the indirect. Indirect suggests an implied meaning, or a meaning that can be extrapolated, such as when the Qur’an prohibits the saying of “uff” to the parents but does not mention hitting them. The inference is one by greater reason [a fortiori], as in ‘well, if you can’t even say uff to them then by greater reason you can’t hit them’. (As an aside, some of the fuqaha considered this meaning to be contained within the language itself which therefore required no inference from the text as the meaning was direct and apparent, whereas other fuqaha felt it was a meaning derived from ratiocination. It is a subtle scholarly difference of opinion, but one that I mentioned to show the nuanced nature of scholarship at the level of derivation of fiqh.)
Similarly when Allah ta’ala refers to the jalabeeb (cf. jilbab) and the khumur (plural of khimar) then the fuqaha took their cue from how this term was understood then.
Regarding the expectation of a direct command concerning the headscarf, due to the tautology that the Qur’an is for all times and the Knowledge of Allah ta’ala is omniscient, then this is a presumption which cannot suffice as a basis for speculation concerning a hukm, the rejection of which has grave consequences. I defy anyone with a cursory appreciation of authoritative fiqh to cite an agreed-upon source which diverges from the hukm of ‘ijaba [obligation] concerning hijab. To the Knowledge conveyed to us, it *is* a direct ‘amr [command], the status of which is an imperative in the form of obligation, and which is further found in the Book of Allah ta’ala. Those who comprehend fusha [classical] arabic, and have consulted qualified ‘Ulema with access to the books of jurisprudence, will have no doubt as to the veracity of this ruling. If you can show me a scholar who understands the concept of khimar as not also including the covering of one’s hair then I will show you pseudo-scholarship.
Incidentally, some of the male Sahaba [Companions] – radhi’Allahu ‘ajma’een - *did* also wear niqab, in public. And no, that is not a typo, I did say male Companions.
And Allah ta’ala knows best. May He, azza wa jal, forgive me for anything I have conveyed in error, due to my lack of sound knowledge, or my misunderstanding of what I have learned, which, if it has occurred, has occurred unintentionally.
Ma'assalam, keep this wretch in your prayers please,
|02/22/04 at 19:03:06|
|Re: Hijab not fard?|
|02/22/04 at 15:29:52|
How has everyone been keeping? All fine I hope :)
Just a quick comment on the Arabic of the verse. If I remember rightly, does it not insruct women to 'draw their khimaars (meaning the head veils) over their bosoms'? Meaning that pre-Islamic women wore head scarves, but they were tied back exposing the neck and bosom, and now they were being told to draw it over their bosoms. Can't we infer from this that a head scarf is the 'normal' attire for a Muslim woman, and that it must fulfill some conditions?
It's more of a thought than an opinion, really :) I'd like to know whether this is a valid way to defend the 'fard-ness' of the head scarf - what do you all think?
Also, to brother Abu Khaled - could you please, please tell me where I can find more information on those male companions? That information was completely new to me, and I think its fascinating!
ma asalaamah and take care
|Re: Hijab not fard?|
|02/22/04 at 20:32:43|
Excellent post bro khaled. Looking back on mine I seem to have put illah where hukm should be, ratio legis as opposed to ratio decidendi as it were. Bizzare. My apologies peeps and peepettes :(
I will return to this topic in a couple of days to raise some queries (I'm playing devil's advocate I know, but it aids in understanding :)).
For now, just one point - for something to be fard outside of the Qu'ran providing a basis for it's absolute necessity, do the hadith pertaining it to it have to be mutawatir bil-faz?
Gah, work work work,
|02/23/04 at 07:21:18|
|Bismillah Al-Rahman Al-Raheem|
Dear Sister lady_murasaki_sa & Brother Mossy,
Wa-alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah.
I should say from the outset that I rarely post here, not because I don’t like to, but because time has other plans for me usually. And as you are realising, I don’t have in my vocabulary the concept of short (posts), lol. So I would kindly ask that if anyone ever has a direct question, to email (*not* Instant Message) me, where there is more chance of me being able to respond (though it may take a while – the writing as well as the reply, hehe!).
I recall at least two Sahaba – radhi’Allahu anhum – being mentioned to me by our teachers (my recollection may be wrong) who used to wear niqab, there may also have been more. One of them was known as Dihya, radhi’Allahu ‘anh, who was apparently extremely beautiful of look (if memory serves correctly, I believe he used to sometimes get mistaken for our Beloved Nabi, alayhis salatu wassalam, such was his beauty), wallahu a’lam. The remark was secondary to what we were studying at the time so I am sorry, I don’t have any sources to cite for you, and nor did anyone enquire further about this.
Please don’t take the following negatively: I was once sat with one of my teachers, and he was educating us about the method of instruction used traditionally (by traditionally I allude to the way that Islamic teaching was passed down via mutassil asanaid [unbroken chains of transmission] from that Elect First Generation – radhi’Allahu ‘ajma’een - who learnt from the Best of Teachers, alayhis salatu wassalam, and subsequently to our time). I myself enquired about the technique of playing devils advocate but he told me that this was something we tend not to utilise. Our method is to impart the knowledge not debate it. Because the knowledge of how to debate effectively is an advanced one, which is taught at a later stage of one’s studies. I suppose the modern day equivalent would be Critical Thinking. Indeed it *is* something one is taught (if one gets that far, or chooses to go that far), and scholars used to excel in this field, as history testifies marvellously. But it is fraught with danger, so a heart that is free from the sicknesses that can be associated with the atmosphere of debate is necessary. Diseases like one-upmanship, anger, jealousy (e.g. of the superior ability of one’s opponent), exaggeration, excessiveness, etc., must all be treated by the one who wishes to engage in debate. And underpinning debate must be Sacred Knowledge that achieves excellence, so that the anchor is like rock, and the understanding excels too, rather than being just mediocre. Actually mediocrity is something I aspire to. I’ll worry about excellence if I ever manage to reach mediocrity, lol…
Coming back to my point, if one begins to question knowledge - bearing in mind that the level of knowledge we are here referring to is very elementary, and therefore is grounded in such a way as to make it unquestionable. Its basis is incontrovertible and has been revised many many times by great minds (certainly much greater than mine!) before it has reached us in the condensed form we study it – before one has attained full comprehension of that knowledge and all that relates to it in/directly, then one tends to be second-guessing based on how little one knows, not how much. In which case if one just exercises some patience and diligently pursues the acquisition of *more* knowledge, then you tend to find that your questions get answered by the fullness of what you come to learn, and the completion of it. Plus Allah ta’ala rewards your sabr [patience] by giving you what you did not have, along with that which exceeds your expectations, for in sabr lies great thawab [reward]. If we but knew it.
Obviously when exchanging posts with a no one like myself, playing devil’s advocate signifies nothing, but in the presence of one of the People of Allah ta’ala, who may well be a faqih, then it could seem like su adab [poor/bad etiquette], especially since assuming such a role often includes second-guessing what one is being taught. And adab is one of the keys to knowledge. Those who lack adab lack knowledge and tend to just acquire information. For as Imam ash-Shafi’i – radhi’Allahu ‘anh – mentioned, knowledge is that which benefits [aw qama qal]. Bear in mind that teaching is something also based on revelation, and so there is an associated baraka [blessing] attached to the *way* one learns, and not just the fact that one has learnt. We try to also emulate those Pious Predecessors – radhi’Allahu ‘ajma’een - in this too. Which may lead some of us growing up in this millennia to wonder why such rigidity? Why not employ modern methods too? The answer to which is that this is a simple question with a slightly more complex answer. The issue breaks down into two elements. You have the method of teaching and the technique. The method is based on wahy [revelation] whereas the technique consists of various means which assist in maximising the efficiency of this method. These means function in the arena of ibaha [permissibility], so we may pick whichever one is most appropriate. As an example, in Mauritania tulab al-‘ilm [students of knowledge] write on tablets, with chalk. In the US we use paper and pen. These are of the means. However, playing devils advocate is something which operates on the level of the method of learning, and it is a method I was taught that we don’t use. That does not mean there is zero benefit in it, for clearly it is a way to learn. But it is not a way the tulab al-‘ilm learn from. So if one merely wishes to learn then that is one thing, but if one also wishes to obtain the tremendous rewards associated with *how* one learns, in the best of ways, because it is built on the Prophetic model, then one would want to consider this too. That said, this is not a forum for instruction in the formal sense, so please don’t take my words as a rejoinder, for that is not how they are intended. It was just something I wanted to mention. Anyone is free to disregard them.
Moving on, when basic aspects of fiqh have yet to be accepted (such as the hukm of hijab), then that is of greater importance than knowing the usul which underpins that fiqh, and debating aspects of that usul. If one was to study usul before fiqh this could conceivably lead them to never practicing their outward Islam, given that usul is such a vast subject, so sophisticated and complex, the study of which could easily occupy a lifetime (and does!). Plus one needs to have fiqh before they can enter the arena of usul anyway. And it is better that one studies something properly, formally, for that study to be maximally effective and that learning to be optimised. Even myself, I have to ashamedly admit that my fiqh is a kodak fiqh (i.e. snapshots of the fiqh) not a fully-formed comprehensively deep hold on this subject. And I find that many of us who profess (by our words) to have a cursory insight into usul al-fiqh have a kodak understanding. Worse still, often it is taken with an instant camera (e.g. we just read a few articles/books)! So the depth that a zoom and the width that telephoto lenses allow is lacking, lol.
Notwithstanding the preceding paragraph, of course sometimes a Brother/Sister (in reference to no one here) will have a genuine confusion – perhaps due to their exposure to heterodox methodologies as an example - which then becomes an impediment to their understanding, and consequently affects their ability to accept a position of fiqh without the evidence and reasoning behind that position. Such Brothers/Sisters are not insincere, but because they now have a certain mindset, a way of thinking, then that becomes their validating criterion, their filter if you will, for whatever they hear/read. In which case sometimes exceptions need to be made, in order to facilitate the requisite understanding. Ultimately this individual will find that either a re-examination of their paradigm will be required, or they will have to deal with every separate mas’ala [issue] in the same way, which could take forever, and cause a myriad of problems. Learning the proofs and juristic (i.e. legal) reasoning behind every ostensibly contentious ruling of fiqh is a long and arduous endeavour, particularly if one is not ably equipped. They will be batted from pillar to post, and come to feel like a feather in the wind. Each time a new argument is provided, some new reasoning unfamiliar to them, an unheard of proof, a previously unconsidered evidence arises, their existing view will be questioned, and they will feel impelled to revisit their understanding and refine/modify/amend it. Definitely it might become a preoccupation to the detriment of other more worthwhile preoccupations. All this can neatly be avoided and such anxieties sidestepped by adopting the proper methodology, which would able them to know that the fuqaha [cf. mujtahid in this context] proceed(ed) based upon *due diligence* (i.e. the comprehensive and exhaustive consideration of *every* aspect of the corpus juri – ancilliary and instrumental - related to the specific mas’ala being addressed), which is a pre-requisite for ijtihad, a pre-requisite which – by definition – the one who has not attained such dizzying heights cannot undertake, which then renders his/her exercise in ascertaining the proofs/evidences and reasoning futile and worthless. And this is why we submit to the authority to the Imams of Fiqh, the Mujtahideen A’immah, and their Schools, as rarefied by thousands of scholars in subsequent generations, thereby eliminating any cause for doubt that exist today concerning these positions of fiqh. A doubt which it should be pointed out, did not exist amongst the overwhelming majority of fuqaha at the inception of these methodologies, nor one that was borne as their articulation evolved. Rather, this is a phenomenon which was reared its ugly head briefly but was overcome by the sheer force of argument which overwhelmed it, only to again resurface in recent times by the popularisation of such longdead notions, through their resurrection by the mass-circulation of such ideas. The issue is not one of the infallibility of the mujtahideen - a simplistic modern contention raised by the naysayers, and a strawman to boot - but probability, for the condition the Shar’iah stipulates is ghalabat al-thann [least amount of doubt], not most amount of conviction. The former is for the mujtahid in relation to his/her ijtihad, whilst the latter is for the muqallid in relation to the mujtahid. For if it is possible that the mujtahid could err, then it is *probable* that an unqualified and unauthorised muqallid who undertakes the remit of the mujtahid, will. Such a likelihood is magnified ominously in the case of a muqallid who tries to engage in ijtihad, takhrij [the process of selecting an opinion based on preference or suitability if some ambiguity exists]] or tarjih [outweighing/assessing opinions, by selecting the one that preponderates based on the kind of preponderation sought (e.g. correct or preferred or agreed-upon, etc.)] etc., whereas it is diminished and minimised for a mujtahid. Their fallibility is irrelevant. The point is which is the *best* way to follow the Kitab and Sunna (which by extension also includes the sciences related to them which are essential for understanding both properly)?. Through one who has mastery of both, or through oneself who has mastery of neither? And Allah, azza wa jal, knows best.
By the above I do not mean to start some protracted debate on a matter which is tangential to this thread, though central to why we always end up focusing on individual masa’il, rather than treating the underlying causes for that in one fell swoop. Please know also that I wrote the above as a disinterested party.
Brother Mossy, you seem well read masha’Allah, so I am asking the following as clarification for me, not to undermine you. Could you explain what you mean by the phrase *mutawatir bil faz* please? It is new to me. Unless you meant mutawatir bi’l lafz [mutawatir by word]? Let us suppose we ignore the arabic and that you meant mutawatir by word, okay? Then know that this is not the only condition for a hukm to be fard. A key point is that the dalil [evidence/proof] is qat’i [definite/conclusive], and whilst ahadith that are mutawatir in word may be one factor in leading to a qat’i proof, they are (i) not the only condition, and (ii) not a precondition which all usuliyyun stipulate (NB: by condition I do *not* mean shart). Other aspects may lead them to a dalil qat’i too. It is also possible that a legal-value like fard is based on a source that is not the Qur’an and Sunna, but related to them, such as ‘ijma and possibly others, which can provide dalil qat’i. But confining ourselves to the Sunna for the purposes of this dialogue, then no, it need not be only mutawatir by word. You also have the category of mutawatir bi’l ma’na [mutawatir by meaning], where there are such a large degree of separate chains which utilise different words yet convey the same overall import, thus yielding an indisputable meaning. A common thread of meaning if you will.
Moreover the technical distinction which I referred to in my previous post about wajib for the Hanafis vis a vis the other three madhhahib, illustrates this point well. For the usuliyyun differed on what constitutes qat’i [definitive/conclusive] and thanni [probable/indefinite] evidence. It is a subjective criterion insofar as it depends on which methodology a scholar of usul has outlined. Admittedly it is quite an advanced discussion, and one that is beyond this simple mind for now. I am still struggling to swim on the surface and here you are asking me to take a nosedive, and I don’t even have any breathing apparatus! Lol. Insha’Allah one day we hope to become competent enough to dive deeper and uncover areas of knowledge which for now remain veiled from us. Plus our character needs to be purified so we can become a worthy receptacle for such lofty Sacred Knowledges. I know my place, and it is not to venture beyond what is priority for me right now. Others have their own story, so it is for them to decide how they wish to proceed.
And now you will have to excuse me as I need to ask for your patience, because I doubt I will be able to respond to any further queries till maybe almost a week, if not more, by which time this’ll probably be a dim and distant memory. My bad, I regularly start something I don’t finish, I’m terrible like that. Sorry.
Forgive me if something I said caused irritation, it was not my intent, though my means may be questioned.
Please keep this wretch in your du’as ikhwan wa ikhawat,
|02/23/04 at 13:11:18||AbuKhaled|
|Re: Hijab not fard?|
|02/23/04 at 12:20:46|
Could someone please write the term "illah" in Arabic? I can't grasp what word it really is.
Jazakum Allahu khairan
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