Monday, 3 December 2018

First Qur'an Then Sunna

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
وصلى الله على خاتم النبيين
والعاقبة للمتقين
The first source of judgment for legal matters is the Book of Allah in the methodology of the Sahaba and the Salaf رضى الله عنهم. The second source is the Prophet’s صلوات الله وسلامه عليه Sunna. This is explained in the Hadith of Mu’adh b. Jabal رضى الله عنه:
أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم بَعَثَ مُعَاذًا إِلَى الْيَمَنِ فَقَالَ ‏‏ كَيْفَ تَقْضِي ‏‏ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ أَقْضِي بِمَا فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏‏ فَإِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ ‏‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ فَبِسُنَّةِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏ فَإِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ فِي سُنَّةِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَجْتَهِدُ رَأْيِي ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏‏ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي وَفَّقَ رَسُولَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم
The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) sent Mu’adh to the Yemen and said: “How will you judge?” So Mu’adh said: “I will judge by what is in the Book of Allah”. The Prophet said: “If it is not in the Book of Allah?” Mu’adh said: “Then by the Sunna of the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him). The Prophet said: “If it is not in the Sunna of the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him)?” Mu’adh said: “I shall make ijtihad by my opinion.” The Prophet said: “All praise belongs to Allah Who made the emissary of the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) in agreement.” (Jami al-Tirmidhi #1327)
The muhaddith, Albani, weakened this Hadith due to the anonymity of the companions of Mu’adh bin Jabal who are narrating the incident. However, Albani objected to the content of the Hadith too, stating: “Weakness of the Hadeeth of Muadh in the Opinion and its Disapproval. Before I conclude my talk, I think I must direct the attention of brethren present to a well known hadeeth. It is devoid of one of the books of jurisprudence on account of its weakness in respect of its chain of narrators (isnad) and its contradiction with what we have concluded in this talk, regarding the illegitimacy of discrimination in law between the Quran and Sunnah; and the necessity of taking both. It is hadeeth of Muadh bin Jabal, may Allah be pleased with him, that the prophet, salla Allahu alihi wasallam, said to him when he sent him to Yemen: ‘By what source will you decide ?’ He said: ‘By the Book of Allah’ He then asked: ‘If you don’t find any guidance ?’ He said: ‘By the Sunnah of his Messenger’ He then asked again: ‘And if you don’t find any guidance?’ He said: ‘I will make an effort to form my own opinion.’ He said: ‘Praise be to Allah who made successful the effort of the envoy of the Messenger of Allah, to what the prophet likes.’ As of the weakness of it’s isnad, there is no scope for its explanation now. But I have explained it clearly in the above mentioned book chain. It would suffice now to mention that the Commander of the Believers in the hadeeth Imam Al-Bukhari, may Allah have mercy on him, says that the hadeeth is not recognized (munkar). After this I am permitted to begin to explain the conflict which I pointed. The tradition of Muadh gives the ruler a method of three stages which does not permit to search for any rule with regard to 'Rae' (personal opinion) except that he does not find it in the Sunnah, nor in the Sunnah except that after he does not find it in the Qur'an. It is in relation to Rae a genuine method with all the learned (Ulama), so that they say: ‘Where there is a tradition relating the deeds and utterances of the Prophet, salla Allah u alihi wa sallam, personal opinion is void’. But in relation to Sunnah, it is not true, because Sunnah dictates the Qur’an and clarifies its doctrines. It is then essential to search for a ruling in Sunnah, even if he thinks it is found in the Qur’an as we have mentioned it. Sunnah is not with the Qur’an in the same manner as Rae with the Sunnah. No, definitely not. It is rather necessary to regard Qur’an and Sunnah as being one source with no discrimination between the two whatsoever. This is indicated in a saying of the prophet, salla Allahu alihi wasallam: ‘Certainly I have come with the Qur’an and its like (meaning the Sunnah)’. He said: ‘They are never departed until they come to the Basin’. The compilation mentioned between them is not correct because the separation between them is void as we have explained. (Manzilat as-Sunna fil-Islam pp.21-22):




However, Albani has ignored the statements of senior companions of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم:
عَنْ شُرَيْحٍ ، أَنَّ عُمَرَ بْنَ الْخَطَّابِ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ كَتَبَ إلَيْهِ : إذَا جَاءَكَ شَيْءٌ فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ فَاقْضِ بِهِ , وَلَا يَلْفِتَنَّكَ عَنْهُ الرِّجَالُ , فَإِنْ جَاءَكَ أَمْرٌ لَيْسَ فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ ، فَانْظُرْ سُنَّةَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَاقْضِ بِهَا , فَإِنْ جَاءَكَ مَا لَيْسَ فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ وَلَيْسَ فِيهِ سُنَّةٌ مِنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ، فَانْظُرْ مَا اجْتَمَعَ النَّاسُ عَلَيْهِ فَخُذْ بِهِ , فَإِنْ جَاءَكَ مَا لَيْسَ فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ فِيهِ سُنَّةٌ مِنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَلَمْ يَتَكَلَّمْ فِيهِ أَحَدٌ قَبْلَكَ ، فَاخْتَرْ أَيَّ الْأَمْرَيْنِ شِئْتَ : إنْ شِئْتَ أَنْ تَجْتَهِدَ بِرَأْيِكَ وَتَقَدَّمَ فَتَقَدَّمْ , وَإِنْ شِئْتَ أَنْ تَتَأَخَّرَ فَتَأَخَّرْ , وَلَا أَرَى التَّأَخُّرَ إلَّا خَيْرًا لَكَ
Shurayh narrates that Umar b. al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) wrote to him: “When there comes to you something in the Book of Allah then judge by it. And when there comes to you a matter that is not in the Book of Allah, then look to the Sunna of the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him). And if it is not in the Sunna of the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) then look to that which the people have concensus upon and take that. And if there comes to you that which is not in the Book of Allah, not in the Sunnah of the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) no one before you spoke about it, then you have two options which you may choose according to your will. If you wish you may make ijtihad through your opinion or if you wish you may delay it, and I do not see in delaying anything but good for you.” (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba)
عَنْ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ يَزِيدَ ، قَالَ : أَكْثَرُوا عَلَى عَبْدِ اللَّهِ ذَاتَ يَوْمٍ ، فَقَالَ : يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ , قَدْ أَتَى عَلَيْنَا زَمَانٌ لَسْنَا نَقْضِي , وَلَسْنَا هُنَاكَ , ثُمَّ إنَّ اللَّهَ قَدْ رَأَى مِنَ الْأَمْرِ مَا تَرَوْنَ , فَمَنْ عَرَضَ لَهُ مِنْكُمْ قَضَاءٌ بَعْدَ الْيَوْمِ فَلِيَقْضِ بِمَا فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ , فَإِنْ جَاءَهُ أَمْرٌ لَيْسَ فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ فَلْيَقْضِ بِمَا قَضَى بِهِ نَبِيُّهُ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَإِنْ جَاءَهُ أَمْرٌ لَيْسَ فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ وَلَمْ يَقْضِ بِهِ نَبِيُّهُ فَلْيَقْضِ بِمَا قَضَى بِهِ الصَّالِحُونَ , فَإِنْ أَتَاهُ أَمْرٌ لَيْسَ فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ وَلَمْ يَقْضِ بِهِ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَلَمْ يَقْضِ بِهِ الصَّالِحُونَ فَلْيَجْتَهِدْ بِرَأْيِهِ وَلَا يَقُولُ : إنِّي أَرَى وَإِنِّي أَخَافُ , فَإِنَّ الْحَلَالَ بَيِّنٌ وَالْحَرَامَ بَيِّنٌ , وَبَيْنَ ذَلِكَ أُمُورٌ مُشْتَبِهَاتٌ فَدَعْ مَا يَرِيبُكَ إلَى مَا لَا يَرِيبُكَ
Abd Allah b. Mas’ud said: “He should judge by what is in the Book of Allah, but if a matter comes to him that is not in the Book of Allah, then he should judge by what his Prophet (peace be upon him) judged, and when there comes to him a matter that is not in the Book of Allah nor did his Prophet (peace be upon him) judge it, then he should judge by what the Righteous judged. And when there comes to him a matter that is not in the Book of Allah, nor did the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) judge it, nor did the Righteous judge it, then he should make ijtihad of his opinion.” (ibid)
عَنْ عُبَيْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ أَبِي يَزِيدَ ، قَالَ : كَانَ ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ إذَا سُئِلَ عَنِ الْأَمْرِ , وَكَانَ فِي الْقُرْآنِ أَخْبَرَ بِهِ , وَإِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ فِي الْقُرْآنِ فَكَانَ عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَخْبَرَ بِهِ , فَإِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ فَعَنْ أَبِي بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُما , فَإِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ ، قَالَ فِيهِ بِرَأْيِهِ
Ibn Abbas used to, when asked about a matter, and it was in the Quran, inform of it, and if it was not in the Quran, he would, from the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him), inform of it. And if it was not (there), then from Abi Bakr and Umar (Allah be pleased with them both), and if it not (there), he would give his opinion. (ibid)
What these narrations explain is that the proper methodology for judging any matter is to first refer to the Book of Allah for an answer. If the Book of Allah is silent on the matter, then the judge should refer to the Prophet’s Sunna. If the Sunna is likewise silent on the matter, then the matter is easy, and different companions gave different instructions. According to some, the judge should refer to the concensus on the community, or implement a legal precedent from a preceding ruling of another judge, or refer to the judgment of sayyidina Abi Bakr and sayyidina Umar رضى الله عنهما or the righteous, or else make ijtihad and give his informed opinion.

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