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Title: A study of the evolution of ijtihād (legal reasoning) in the development of the zakāt law during the 1st century A.H.
Author: Siddiqui, Muhammad Akhtar Saeed
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1981
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The gradual evolution of zakat law during the 23 years of the prophetic life of ruhammad positively reflects a major and effective role of ijtihad in the formulation and evolution of the detailed regulations of the law. Beside the Qur'an which was in fact a binding and normative source for the ijtihidio activity of the Prophet, his own personal judgement and wisdom constituted the second major source in this regard. Consultation with the Companions and the selective adoption of the ancient Arab traditions/legal customs as well as those of AbI a'-K4tah might be considered as the secondary sources of subjective nature. Whereas the interpretation of the relevant Qur'anic texts, the formulation of the applicative details, deduction and derivation from the general explicit rules in the Qur'anic texts were the major parts of the ijtihidio methodology of the Prophet, the new legislation and the selective adoption from the above mentioned secondary sources can not be denied altogether. Moreover, certain guiding principles which were presumably followed in the process of ijtihad during the Prophet's time can be deduced. After the Prophet, the changing conditions of the time of the Older Companions (10 A.H. to 35 A.B.) demanded not only the systematisation of implementative details of the law and legal solutions to new problems, but aneed of some addition and alterations in the old law was also felt. In all these spheres certain ijtihidic/legislative steps on the part of the older Companions can be proved. Beside the authoritative sources, namely the Qur'an and the practices of the Prophet's time, the major sources for the ijtihidic activity of the Companions were their individual reasonings and mutual consultation. The criteria of preference and acceptance of the proposals on the eve of mutual consultation, however, seems to be gradually moved towards argumentation and rationalisation instead of seeking a final approval by a central authority. During the period of the Younger Companions (35 A.H. to 73 A.H.) which was generally a time of internal conflicts and civil riots, the ijtihidic/legislative activity appears to have been increasingly shattered. Mutual consultation over ijtihidic issues and the central leadership of Caliph in this regard could not be retained at all. This, as well as several other factors, eventually resulted in a shift of control over the ijtihidic activity from the hands of the government to the private jurists. Hence different and sometimes contradictory fatiwi on the part of the individual jurists began to be issued and practised in different regions. Whereas the Qur'an, the laws of the Prophet's time and the relevant statements of the Prophet were given a status of the coercive and authoritative sources, the precedents of the period of the Older Companions as well as individual reasoning was held as a major source for the ijtihidic activities of private jurists. The last mentioned, i.e. individual reasoning, however, gradually lost its value against a growing trend of respect for early precedents. During the time of the Successor Jurists (73 A.B. to 101 A.H.) while the political conditions had been improved and a specific system of government had been established, ijtihidic activity as compared to the preceding time appears to have flourished. Its control, however, could not be regained by the government throughout the period until the time of 'Umar b. 'Abd al-'Acts. Only in his brief reign (99 A.H. to 101 A.H.) can an effective involvement of the government on the ijtihidic/juristlc activity be proved. A specific development of the Successor's time as a whole was a growing trend among the jurists towards evolving and formulising the general principles and technical theories for the law and to apply them in the derivative details. Whereas this trend refined and systematised the process of expansion making the law more uniform and balanced in all its derivative details, the same trend was also responsible for creating some technical complexities in the law.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available