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In Islamic jurisprudence, qiyās (Arabic: قياس‎) is the process of deductive analogy in which the teachings of the hadith are compared and contrasted with those of the Qur'an, in order to apply a known injunction (nass) to a new circumstance and create a new injunction. Here the ruling of the Sunnah and the Qur'an may be used as a means to solve or provide a response to a new problem that may arise. This, however, is only the case providing that the set precedent or paradigm and the new problem that has come about will share operative causes (عِلّة, ʿillah). The ʿillah is the specific set of circumstances that trigger a certain law into action. An example of the use of qiyās is the case of the ban on selling or buying of goods after the last call for Friday prayers until the end of the prayer stated in the Quran 62:9. By analogy this prohibition is extended to other transactions and activities such as agricultural work and administration.[1] Among Sunni Muslim in recent centuries Qiyas has been accepted as a fundamental source of Sharia law along with Ijmāʿ and secondary to the Qur'an, and the Sunnah.

Sunni interpretations

Late and modern Sunni jurisprudence regards analogical reason as a fourth source of Islamic law, following the Qur'an, prophetic tradition and binding consensus. While Muslim scholarship in the later period traditionally claimed that analogy had existed in Islamic law since their religion's inception,[2] modern scholarship generally points to Muslim scholar Abu Hanifa as the first to incorporate analogical reason as a source of law.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] Since its inception, analogical reason has been the subject of extensive study in regard to both its proper place in Islamic law and its proper application.

Validity as a source of law

Among Sunni traditions, there is still a range of attitudes regarding the validity of analogy as a method of jurisprudence. Imam Bukhari, Ahmad bin Hanbal, and Dawud al-Zahiri for example, rejected the use of analogical reason outright, arguing that to rely on personal opinion in law-making would mean that each individual would ultimately form their own subjective conclusions.[11][5][12] Bernard G. Weiss, one of today's foremost experts on Islamic law and philosophy, explains that while analogical reason was accepted as a fourth source of law by later generations, its validity was not a foregone conclusion among earlier Muslim jurists.[13] Thus, while its status as a fourth source of law was accepted by the majority of later and modern Muslim jurists, this was not the case at the inception of Muslim jurisprudence as a field.

Opposition to qiyas came from a number of angles. Professor Walîd b. Ibrâhîm al-`Ujajî Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University explains the opposition to qiyas as coming from multiple angles:[2]

Some of them argued that qiyâs is contrary to reason. One argument given in this light was that: “Delving into this method is intellectually repugnant in its own right”. Another argument was: “Islamic legal rulings are based on human well-being, and no one knows human well-being except the One who gave us the sacred law. Therefore, the only way we can know the sacred law is from the revelation.” Other scholars said that qiyâs is not contrary to reason, but prohibited by the sacred law itself.

Scott Lucas, when mentioning Ahmad Dallal’s position on Salafism, states that Dallal:

...declared that Salafism "is better understood as a method of thinking of, or an approach to, authoritative sources than as a distinct school of thought" that includes the elevation of the Qur’an and sound hadith at the expense of the opinions attributed to the eponyms of the four Sunni schools and the rejection (or sever curtailment) of qiyas[14]

Imam Bukhari

Imam Bukhari maintained a negative position towards qiyas, as he held views aligned with the Zahiris of his time.[15] Scott Lucas states that Bukhari’s rejection of qiyas was placed within the context of what Bukhari perceived as invalid techniques of ijtihad, which included religious innovation (bid’a), ra’y, and tamthil.

Lucas also points out common mistakes other scholars make when analyzing Bukhari’s position on qiyas. The biggest source of confusion for scholars is the fact that, while rejecting qiyas, Bukhari accepts the idea of tashbih (comparison), which seems similar to analogy.[16] However, this is not the case, as tashbih is a comparison used in explanation (such as a metaphor), whereas qiyas applies a specific legal ruling to another case.

Bukhari is also known for his criticism of those who say that the Prophet used qiyas, and he devoted a section of his Sahih to the topic. Bukhari states:

If the Prophet was asked about something about which he had not received a revelation, he either said, ‘I do not know’ or did not reply until he received a revelation. he did not [reply] by means of ra’y or qiyas, due to the [Qur’anic] verse, "…in accordance to what God has shown you" (4:105).[17][18]

Ahmad Ibn Hanbal

On Ahmad's views, Christopher Melchert states “Ahmad and his fellow traditionalists of the ninth century expressly condemned the Hanafi exercise of qiyas…”[19] When compared with Dawud al-Zahiri's intensely negative stance towards qiyas, Melchert also states “Ahmad ibn Hanbal could likewise be quoted, as we have seen, in total rejection of ra’y (opinion) and qiyas (analogy)."[20]

Ahmad ibn Hanbal has been quoted as saying "There is no qiyas in the Sunnah, and examples are not to be made up for it”[21][22][23]

Support for its validity

Early support for the validity of analogical reason in jurisprudence came from Abu Hanifa and his student Abu Yusuf.[11] Al-Shafi'i was a proponent of analogical reasoning as well, though his usage was less frequent than that of Abu Hanifa.[5]

Acceptance of analogical reason gradually increased within the Muslim world. With the Malikite and Hanbalite schools eventually granting full acceptance as the Hanafites and Shafi'ites already had done, the overwhelming majority of Sunni jurists from the late period onward affirmed its validity.[7] Japanese scholar of Islam Kojiro Nakamura defined the orthodox Sunni schools in regard to their eventual acceptance of analogy in descending order of that acceptance: Hanafis, Malikis, Shafi'is, Hanbalis and Zahiris.[10] Much work was performed on the details of proper analogy, with major figures such as Al-Qastallani, Al-Baqillani, Al-Juwayni and al-Amidi from the Shafi'ite school and Ibn Abidin from the Hanafite school providing rules and guidelines still used to this day.

Application as a source of

Late and modern Sunni jurisprudence regards analogical reason as a fourth source of Islamic law, following the Qur'an, prophetic tradition and binding consensus. While Muslim scholarship in the later period traditionally claimed that analogy had existed in Islamic law since their religion's inception,[2] modern scholarship generally points to Muslim scholar Abu Hanifa as the first to incorporate analogical reason as a source of law.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] Since its inception, analogical reason has been the subject of extensive study in regard to both its proper place in Islamic law and its proper application.

Validity as a source of law

Among Sunni traditions, there is still a range of attitudes regarding the validity of analogy as a method of jurisprudence. Imam Bukhari, Ahmad bin Hanbal, and Dawud al-Zahiri for example, rejected the use of analogical reason outright, arguing that to rely on personal opinion in law-making would mean that each individual would ultimately form their own subjective conclusions.[11][5][12] Bernard G. Weiss, one of today's foremost experts on Islamic law and philosophy, explains that while analogical reason was accepted as a fourth source of law by later generations, its validity was not a foregone conclusion among earlier Muslim jurists.[13] Thus, while its status as a fourth source of law was accepted by the majority of later and modern Muslim jurists, this was not the case at the inception of Muslim jurisprudence as a field.

Opposition to qiyas came from a number of angles. Professor Walîd b. Ibrâhîm al-`Ujajî Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University explains the opposition to qiyas as coming from multiple angles:[2]

Some of them argued that qiyâs is contrary to reason. One argument given in this light was that: “Delving into this method is intellectually repugnant in its own right”. Another argument was: “Islamic legal rulings are based on human well-being, and no one knows human well-being except the One who gave us the sacred law. Therefore, the only way we can know the sacred law is from the revelation.” Other scholars said that qiyâs is not contrary to reason, but prohibited by the sacred law itself.

Imam Bukhari, Ahmad bin Hanbal, and Dawud al-Zahiri for example, rejected the use of analogical reason outright, arguing that to rely on personal opinion in law-making would mean that each individual would ultimately form their own subjective conclusions.[11][5][12] Bernard G. Weiss, one of today's foremost experts on Islamic law and philosophy, explains that while analogical reason was accepted as a fourth source of law by later generations, its validity was not a foregone conclusion among earlier Muslim jurists.[13] Thus, while its status as a fourth source of law was accepted by the majority of later and modern Muslim jurists, this was not the case at the inception of Muslim jurisprudence as a field.

Opposition to qiyas came from a number of angles. Professor Walîd b. Ibrâhîm al-`Ujajî Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University explains the opposition to qiyas as coming from multiple

Opposition to qiyas came from a number of angles. Professor Walîd b. Ibrâhîm al-`Ujajî Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University explains the opposition to qiyas as coming from multiple angles:[2]

Scott Lucas, when mentioning Ahmad Dallal’s position on Salafism, states that Dallal:

...declared that Salafism "is better understood as a method of thinking of, or an approach to, authoritative sources than as a distinct school of thought" that includes the elevation of the Qur’an and sound hadith at the expense of the opinions attributed to the eponyms of the four Sunni schools and the rejection (or sever curtailment) of qiyas[14]

Imam BukhariImam Bukhari maintained a negative position towards qiyas, as he held views aligned with the Zahiris of his time.[15] Scott Lucas states that Bukhari’s rejection of qiyas was placed within the context of what Bukhari perceived as invalid techniques of ijtihad, which included religious innovation (bid’a), ra’y, and tamthil.

Lucas also points out common mistakes other scholars make when analyzing Bukhari’s position on qiyas. The biggest source of confusion for scholars is the fact that, while rejecting qiyas, Bukhari accepts the idea of tashbih (comparison), which seems similar to analogy.[16] However, this is not the case, as tashbih is a comparison used in explanation (such as a metaphor), whereas qiyas applies a specific legal ruling to another case.

Bukhari is also known for his criticism of those who say that the Prophet used qiyas, and he devoted a section of his Sahih to the topic. Bukhari states:

If the Prophet was asked about something about which he had no

Lucas also points out common mistakes other scholars make when analyzing Bukhari’s position on qiyas. The biggest source of confusion for scholars is the fact that, while rejecting qiyas, Bukhari accepts the idea of tashbih (comparison), which seems similar to analogy.[16] However, this is not the case, as tashbih is a comparison used in explanation (such as a metaphor), whereas qiyas applies a specific legal ruling to another case.

Bukhari is also known for his criticism of those who say that the Prophet used qiyas, and he devoted a section of his Sahih to the topic. Bukhari states:

On Ahmad's views, Christopher Melchert states “Ahmad and his fellow traditionalists of the ninth century expressly condemned the Hanafi exercise of qiyas…”[19] When compared with Dawud al-Zahiri's intensely negative stance towards qiyas, Melchert also states “Ahmad ibn Hanbal could likewise be quoted, as we have seen, in total rejection of ra’y (opinion) and qiyas (analogy)."[20]

Ahmad ibn Hanbal has been quoted as saying "There is no qiyas in the Sunnah, and examples are not to be made up for it”[21][22][23]

Support for its validity

Early support for the validity of analogical reason in jurisprudence came from Ab

Ahmad ibn Hanbal has been quoted as saying "There is no qiyas in the Sunnah, and examples are not to be made up for it”[21][22][23]

Early support for the validity of analogical reason in jurisprudence came from Abu Hanifa and his student Abu Yusuf.[11] Al-Shafi'i was a proponent of analogical reasoning as well, though his usage was less frequent than that of Abu Hanifa.[5]

Acceptance of analogical reason gradually increased within the Muslim world. With the Malikite and Hanbalite schools eventually granting full acceptance as the Hanafites and Shafi'ites already had done, the overwhelming majority of Sunni jurists from the late period onward affirmed its validity.[7] Japanese scholar of Islam Kojiro Nakamura defined the orthodox Sunni schools in regard to their eventual acceptance of analogy in descending order of that acceptance: Hanafis, Malikis, Shafi'is, Hanbalis and Zahiris.[10] Much work was performed on the details of proper analogy, with major figures such as Al-Qastallani, Al-Baqillani, Al-Juwayni and al-Amidi from the Shafi'ite school and Ibn Abidin from the Hanafite school providing rules and guidelines still used to this day.

Sunni scholar Baghawi gave a commonly accepted definition of analogy in Islamic law: analogical reasoning is the knowledge by which one learns the method of deriving a ruling from the Quran and prophetic tradition. In this case, the above-mentioned ruling should not already be apparent in the Quran, prophetic tradition or consensus. If there is no derivation involved due to the explicitness of the ruling in the Quran and prophetic tradition, then such a person is not, by definition, a mujtahid.

Shi’a interpretations

The Inquisition that took place in the middle of the 9th century, which was initiated by the caliph al-Ma’mun, ensured the persecution of many scholars who did not agree with the caliph’s rationalistic views. The most famous of these persecuted scholars is Ahmad ibn Hanbal, who maintained his view that the Qur'an was not created, but eternal.

Wael Hallaq argues that the Mihna was not just about whether or not the Qur'an was created. The issues of ra’y, qiyas, and rationalism were all represented within the Inquisition, and Hallaq states “The Mihna thus brought to a climax the struggle between two opposing movements: the traditionalists, whose cause Ibn Hanbal was seen to champion; and the rationalists, headed by the caliphs and the Mu’tazilites, among whom there were many Hanafites”[32]

Mu'tazilite scholar Abu'l Husayn al-Basri, a major contributor to early Muslim jurisprudence, said that in order for a jurist to perform analogical reason, they must possess a thorough knowledge of the rules and procedures for which allows the application of revealed law to an unprecedented case, in addition to basic knowledge of the Qur'an and prophetic tradition.

Not all of the Mu'tazila followed Sunni jurisprudence. Al-Nazzam in particular denied the validity of analogical reason wholesale, preferring to rely on pure reason instead.

The Inquisition that took place in the middle of the 9th century, which was initiated by the caliph al-Ma’mun, ensured the persecution of many scholars who did not agree with the caliph’s rationalistic views. The most famous of these persecuted scholars is Ahmad ibn Hanbal, who maintained his view that the Qur'an was not created, but eternal.

Wael Hallaq argues that the Mihna was not just about whether or not the Qur'an was created. The issues of ra’y, qiyas, and rationalism were all represented within the Inquisition, and Hallaq states “The Mihna thus brought to a climax the struggle between two opposing movements: the traditionalists, whose cause Ibn Hanbal was seen to champion; and the rationalists, headed by the caliphs and the Mu’tazilit

Wael Hallaq argues that the Mihna was not just about whether or not the Qur'an was created. The issues of ra’y, qiyas, and rationalism were all represented within the Inquisition, and Hallaq states “The Mihna thus brought to a climax the struggle between two opposing movements: the traditionalists, whose cause Ibn Hanbal was seen to champion; and the rationalists, headed by the caliphs and the Mu’tazilites, among whom there were many Hanafites”[32]

Christopher Melchert similarly argues that the Mihna demonstrated a relationship between the Hanafis of Baghdad, who were associated with the heavy use of qiyas, and the Mu’tazilites.[33]

Before the Middle Ages there was a logical debate among Islamic logicians, philosophers and theologians over whether the term qiyas refers to analogical reasoning, inductive reasoning or categorical syllogism. Some Islamic scholars argued that qiyas refers to inductive reasoning, which Ibn Hazm (994-1064) disagreed with, arguing that qiyas does not refer to inductive reasoning, but refers to categorical syllogism in a real sense and analogical reasoning in a metaphorical sense. On the other hand, al-Ghazali (1058–1111) and Ibn Qudāmah al-Maqdīsī (1147-1223) argued that qiyas refers to analogical reasoning in a real sense and categorical syllogism in a metaphorical sense. Other Islamic scholars at the time, however, argued that the term qiyas refers to both analogical reasoning and categorical syllogism in a real sense.[34]

References


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