The Wahhabi Denial of the Principle of Analogy, Qiyas

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is extracted from Imam Jamil Swiddiqi ibn Muhammad Faydhi az-Zahawi al-Kurdi’s (r.a.), al-Fajr asw-Swadiq fi ar-Radd ‘ala Munkiri at-Tawaswswul wa al-Khawariq, “The True Dawn: A Refutation of Those Denying Miracles & Intercession in Islam”.

Wahhabis reject analogy, qiyas, in legal reasoning just as they reject consensus.  By rejecting it, however, they only intend to discredit the authority of  those truly capable of independent reasoning in deriving legal rulings in the ummah, that is, the  mujtahidun of the four recognised schools of Islamic law.  The Wahhabis allege that the mujtahidun cast aside the Qur’an and sunnah and operate only on the basis of their personal opinions to the point of criticising the a’immah of the ummah for using qiyas as a proof in shari’ah.  They denounce by saying that the a’immah believe that the religion of Islam is deficient and that they complete it by reasoning like of ijma’ and qiyas.  For this, they cite the Qur’anic verse:

... This day have I Perfected your religion for you ... (Surah al-Ma’idah:3)

They say that they find whatever is necessary for life clearly stated in the Qur’an, so what need do they have for qiyas?  They claim the texts take in the whole of life’s eventualities without need of derivation, istinbath, and analogy.

It is amazing that the Wahhabis, for the sake of calumny against the mujtahidun who accept qiyas, themselves, proceed to toy with the Words of Allah (s.w.t.) and verses of Qur’an and manipulate them, changing them from their correct meaning and interpreting them according to their own passion and whim.  And yet they have no interpretation of the superficial sense of the verses of the Qur’an that does not disparage the Creator, in keeping with their literalism, according to which Allah (s.w.t.) is ‘established firmly’ on His ‘Arsh and has hands and a face.  They say that the mujtahidun operate according to their own opinions, even though they go so far as to allow the ignorant riffraff of those possessing their faith to comment upon the Word of Allah (s.w.t.) according to their own limited understanding.

Qiyas is the equating of the branch with the root with respect to the cause of the legal ruling.  Its essential elements are four:  the original root which is the object of comparison; the branch or subsidiary case being likened to root; the ruling governing the root; and the general attribute which is the aspect under which the comparison is being made.

The legal ruling of the new case is not an essential element of it since it is the fruit of the analogy and its consequence.  An example of analogy is when we say a drink made of fermented figs is an intoxicant, then it is forbidden by analogy to wine by the evidence of the statement, “Wine is prohibited,” as narrated by Anas (r.a.) and others in Swahih al-Bukhari and Swahih Muslim.  The original case is wine, that is, the object of comparison.  The new case which is like it is the drink made from fermented figs which is what is being compared to the wine.  The legal ruling in the original case is prohibition.  The general attribute is intoxication.

Analogy counts as a proof because the companions had acted by it repeatedly despite the silence of the others.  In a case like that, the silence is the agreement of custom because of Qur’anic Command, “fa’tabiru”, “consider and reflect!”, or “take warning.”

... Take warning then …! (Surah al-Hashr:2)

It is well known that consideration consists of making an analogy of one thing to another which is not an exception.  Even if this did not constitute an argument, many matters would remain that we see come into existence in the course of time whose legal status is overlooked, and regarding whose status the criteria for judging are absent from the apparent meaning of the texts in the Qur’an and sunnah.  Yet, this does not contradict Allah’s (s.w.t.) Statement:

… there is not a grain in the darkness (or depths) of the earth nor anything fresh or dry (green or withered) but is (Inscribed) in a Record Clear (to those who can read). (Surah al-An’am:59)

What is meant by this Clear Record is the Preserved Tablet, Lawh Mahfuzh, on which Allah (s.w.t.) has Deposited what was and what will be.

We may say that since the root of the analogy is mentioned with its legal ruling in the Book, the branch to which the root’s ruling is applied is considered mentioned as well, for it is built upon the root.  Or again we say it is obvious that the manner in which the content of the Book of Allah Embraces every green and dry is not all explicit.  Rather, many of the legal rulings of Qur’an come into being by pure derivation, istinbathan.  And among the modes of derivation, there is qiyas.  So the Wahhabis’ statement whereby the texts of Qur’an and ahadits pertain to all of life’s phenomena without derivation or analogy is not granted.  Their containing all of life’s phenomena is only complete by their application.


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