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The Importance and Reality of Qiyas and Ijtihad

There is no doubt that for every government, there is always a need to have a set of rules and laws. It is through this that there is stability and consistency in the government. However, be that as it may, we are not discussing any man-made government here, but the Divine System of government, and there is no doubt that the road of peace in this world can only be achieved through Islam. This is the religion which eliminates the barrier in this world between a master and his slave, between white and black, Arab and non-Arab, and all of this can only be achieved if there is a constitution which promulgates this. Through this constitution, the strong from the weak, a lower from a powerful, a rich from a poor can also be eliminated. The first foundation or basis for an Islamic government and for the religion of Allah Almighty on earth is the Holy Quran. A further explanation for this is the Ahadith of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him.


The set of rules and laws which were promulgated to display for a Muslim the correct path and which was based on the Quran and Hadith is called Fiqh. At the same time, there are also other issues in shariah for which there is no clarity or clear distinction to be found in the Quran and Hadith. These have been extracted either proven through consensus or proven through Qiyas and Ijtihad. At the same time, we will find many examples of Qiyas and Ijtihad in the Quran and Ahadith. Therefore, in summary, an Islamic government and the rules which determine this government, are entities which are based on the Quran, the sunnah of the Holy Prophet peace be upon him, the consensus of Ummah and Qiyas.


The ultimate foundation for Fiqh is the Quran, Sunnah and Ijma’ (consensus), and this can be considered as the actual or the absolute command (or foundation of command).  Qiyas is also considered within this category but not in the manner of it being an absolute foundation but as a manifestation of the actual foundation. Hence, in this article, our subject is Qiyas and Ijtihad, therefore, we will only explain this.


The reality of Qiyas and Ijtihad

In the above, we have already indicated that in Islamic jurisprudence, the fourth foundation or pillar is Qiyas. The meaning of Qiyas is “to estimate”. This is the reason that among the Arabs, there is a proverb which indicates that “a well should be estimated against another well”.  In Qiyas, this would mean taking a subsidiary issue and equalizing it with the original and thereby determining the law and cause which is applicable in it. The original would in this regard will be referred to as “Maqees ‘alaih” and the subsidiary issue would be referred to as “Maqees”. As for that element which is common between the both, that is referred to as “‘Illat al-mushtarikah” or the common cause or element and the actual effect of this is considered a command or the net result in layman’s term.


In fact, there is no difference between Qiyas and Ijtihad. They should be considered as synonyms.  Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Shafe’i in the “Al Risaalah” explains, “It was asked. What is Qiyas; is it Ijtihad or they two different things?  He replied that they are two different terms but they have one single meaning.”

(Ar Risaalah. Third chapter – Al Qiyas)


The famous Hanafi jurists. Imam Sarkhasi – May Allah have mercy on him – has mentioned that Qiyas is metaphorically referred to as Ijtihad.

(Usul Al Sarkhasi. Second chapter. page 143)


The basis and proof of Qiyas

There is no doubt that the blessed Ashaab, the Tabe’een, the Aimmah Mujtahideen and the pious predecessors of Islam have always acted upon Qiyas over the years. They also gave a ruling on those issues not clearly mentioned in the form of Qiyas and Ijtihad. However, there have been certain people who are referred to as the Ashaab al-Zaahir who have maintained that this is not permissible. They also maintain that in any law or command of Shariah, the idea of Qiyas cannot be entertained. In fact, they have maintained that Qiyas in this regard and practice upon it is to be considered as false and unacceptable. The first person who went against the idea of Qiyas and totally rejected the concept of Qiyas emanating from the blessed Ashaab, the Taba’een and the pious Mujtahideen was an idiot named Ebrahim Nizaam.


The only reason that this person condemned the pious elders of Islam is because he accused them of practicing on Qiyas and also because they considered this as part of Islamic law. In Baghdad shareef also, some of the Mutakallimeen followed the example of Ebrahim Nizaam. However, they refrained from attacking and insulting the pious elders of Islam but they did maintain that the decisions and laws which were derived by the Ashaab through Qiyas, in reality, they are not Islamic laws but a personal opinion of theirs to create peace and harmony between two groups. Hence, it has nothing to do with the laws of Shariah. They therefore maintain that the practice of Qiyas by the Ashaab cannot be placed as proof or evidence.


After this person, another individual arose who was completely ignorant of the laws of Shariah. In fact, according to certain Ulama, even his own words prove his ignorance. This person’s name was Daud Isbahaani. He did not even care what the pious predecessors had done for Islam and what is it that they meant in their opinions. He simply made a statement that Qiyas and practice upon it is completely false and baseless. He also maintained that Qiyas itself was no proof or basis and neither is one allowed to practice upon this when it comes to shariah. Those who followed this person later on are referred to as “Ashaab al-Zawaahir”. Some of these individuals were so vicious against this concept that they did not even think and claimed that their set of beliefs was backed by eminent individuals such as Hadrat Qatadah, Masruq and Ibn Sireen – May Allah have mercy on them. Ma’azallah!

The entire discussion on this issue has been presented in Usul al-Sarkhasi and Fiqh Ahle Iraq wa Hadeethuhum.


The beliefs and thoughts of Nizaam

It must be borne in mind that Nizaam was a Motazilite in his belief. In fact, his beliefs were based on those who were false Prophets. However, because he feared the severe repercussions which might befall him, he did not openly mention some of his evil beliefs. However, when it came to issues like the splitting of the moon, the Kalimah which was read by the pebbles and stones, water coming out from the blessed fingers of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – etc. He rejected all these miracles with the idea perhaps of paving the way for a complete rejection of the Prophethood of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. He certainly did not grow up in a good environment.  He was influenced by corrupt people around him. This certainly had a bad effect on his intellect and hence, he refuted many basic beliefs of Islam.

(Al-Farq bayn al-Firaq pages 79-80)


Declaration of Ulama about Nizaam

As we have mentioned that the first person to refute the idea of Qiyas was Ebrahim Nizam. However, in spite of the fact that he was a Motazilite in his beliefs, some of his own people actually condemned some of his beliefs as kufr. As for the Ulama of the Ahlus sunnah was Jamaah who condemned this wicked person, they are too many to mention. We will present a brief example from the marginal notes of Fiqh Ahle Iraq which is entitled Al-Farq bayn al-Firaq. This is mentioned between pages 80-91.


The majority of the Motazilites were unanimous about the kufr of Nizam. Hafiz and a few among the Qadriyah actually followed him. However, they also opposed some of his beliefs even though they themselves were corrupt. The majority of the Motazilites considered this person a kaafir. Among them was his own uncle, Abu al-Hazeel. He had mentioned this in his book entitled, “Al-Radd ‘ala Nizaam”. Jubbaa’i has also condemned this person in certain issues and this was mentioned by Abu Mansur Baghdadi. He also wrote a book refuting this heretic. The name of Iskaafi is also mentioned in this regard. In fact, in most of his material, he also condemns Nizaam. As we have mentioned the books written by Ahle Sunnah was Jamaah are too many to mention.


There are three manuscripts from Shaikh Abul Hasan Ash’ari. There are many books from Qala nasi. There is also a voluminous book from Qadi Abu Bakr Baaqillani, and in this book, various principles of Nizaam have been refuted. Hujjatul Islam, Imam Ghazzali – May Allah have mercy on him – has also written “Al-Musaffa”. In this book – volume two, pages 246, 247 under the chapter of Qiyas, he had also rejected and condemned Nizaam the motazilite.


The various proofs and testimony for Qiyas

The majority of the Ulama considered Qiyas to be a sound basis. In regards to proving this is certainly a source within Shariah, they have presented three types of proofs; from

  1. Kitaab
  2. Sunnah
  3. Logical or intellectual proof


There are numerous materials which have been written in regard to explaining all of these. However, for the sake of simplicity, we will summarize it a little.

  1. Kitaab

The Almighty states in surah Ale Imran 3, verse 13:

اِنَّ فِیۡ ذٰلِکَ لَعِبْرَۃً لِّاُولِی الۡاَبْصٰرِ﴿۱۳﴾

No doubt, in it there is teaching after seeing for the men of understanding.

In this verse, the concept of Qiyas has been encouraged and endorsed.

Allah Almighty has also stated:

وَلَوْ رَدُّوۡہُ اِلَی الرَّسُوۡلِ وَ اِلٰۤی اُولِی الۡاَمْرِ مِنْہُمْ لَعَلِمَہُ الَّذِیۡنَ یَسْتَنۡۢبِطُوۡنَہٗ مِنْہُمْ ؕ

And if they had referred it towards the Messenger and their men of authority, then surely, they would have known its reality from those who investigate and can draw conclusion.

(Al-Nisa 4, Verse 83)

In this context it will mean that the command for something will be placed on its example or something similar. This is the reason that when something is joined to its original it is considered as ‘ibarat’. The Almighty states in Surah Nisa, verse 59:
یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اَطِیۡعُوا اللہَ وَاَطِیۡعُوا الرَّسُوۡلَ وَ اُولِی الۡاَمْرِ مِنۡکُمْ ۚ فَاِنۡ تَنٰزَعْتُمْ فِیۡ شَیۡءٍ فَرُدُّوۡہُ اِلَی اللہِ وَالرَّسُوۡلِ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمْ تُؤْمِنُوۡنَ بِاللہِ وَالْیَوْمِ الۡاٰخِرِ ؕ ذٰلِکَ خَیۡرٌ وَّ اَحْسَنُ تَاۡوِیۡلًا ﴿٪۵۹﴾

O believers! Obey Allah and Obey the messenger, and those who have power of command amongst you, then again if there may arise any difference amongst you, refers it to Allah and His messenger, if you have faith in Allah and the Last Day. This is better, and its end is best

This would imply that one is able to deduce through Qiyas a certain element through the Nass (clear command) or one is able to acquire a meaning that the Nass implies a certain meaning. It could also imply that the heart becomes satisfied with its implication and this is only possible when a person is fully aware of various elements within this concept which is the basis of command within that Nass. Perhaps this is the reason that the Almighty Allah has declared that Shariah is a light for the eye and a means of expansion for one’s heart. In surah Zumar, verse 22, this is clearly mentioned:

اَفَمَنۡ شَرَحَ اللہُ صَدْرَہٗ لِلْاِسْلٰمِ فَہُوَ عَلٰی نُوۡرٍ مِّنۡ رَّبِّہٖ ؕ

Will he whose heart Allah has opened for Islam so that he is upon a light from his Lord be like him who is hard heartened?

At the same time, when a person is able to see something through his own eyes, the amount of satisfaction received is certainly much more than if he had to merely hear about a certain thing. This is the reason that the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – has stated that, “News (or khabar) is not like seeing”. The same would be applicable to the state of the heart. When a person studies a specific meaning or implication and becomes aware, then his chest becomes wide and his heart becomes satisfied.



The Qiyas, in other words, Ijtihaad is not necessarily a means to acquire knowledge, and on the other hand, a Mujtahid sometimes makes mistakes and sometimes his conclusion is correct, then how can it be true that a Mujtahid deduces certain conclusions from Quran or Hadeeth through Qiyas and then be completely satisfied with the conclusion derived from it?



Yes, it is true that Ijtihaad is not necessarily a means to acquire knowledge but through Ijithad, certain knowledge is acquired which satisfies the heart. This would mean that through Qiyas apparent knowledge is acquired and that is it. It has been mentioned in Usul Sarkhasi, page 129.

If we see Surah Mumtahinah, verse 10, the Quran declares:

یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اِذَا جَآءَکُمُ الْمُؤْمِنٰتُ مُہٰجِرٰتٍ فَامْتَحِنُوۡہُنَّ

Then if you know them to be believing women, return them not to the infidels.

In this verse, apparent knowledge is implicated. In other words, what you see is what you are deducing.


Examples of Qiyas from the Sunnah

  1. Once Hadrat Sayyiduna Umar – May Allah have mercy on him – asked the Holy Prophet – peace be upon him – about kissing a female during the state of fasting. The Holy Prophet – peace be upon him – replied, “Tell me, if you gargle your mouth with water and then spit it out, will this damage your fast?” Through this hadith shareef, the Holy Prophet – peace be upon him – is educating us about Qiyas. He is educating us about the fact that when you put water in the mouth, the path of drinking or swallowing is opened, however, one does not drink the water. In the same manner, if one kisses one’s wife, the path of carnal desire does open but the act of semen being released does not occur. The act of gargling does not break the fast as long as water is not swallowed, in like manner, the act of kissing one’s wife would not nullify the fast as long as there is no seminal discharge.


  1. Once a female of Bani Khas’am inquired from the Holy Prophet – peace be upon him, “O Prophet of Allah azza wa jall, my father is very old and cannot travel on any animal and Hajj has become Fard upon him. Can I perform Hajj on his behalf?” In reply, the Holy Prophet – peace be upon him – stated, “If there were debts upon your father, would you repay these debts?” She replied, ‘yes’. He then replied, “Therefore it is even more rightful that you fulfil the debt owed to Allah azza wa jall.” In other words, the Hajj which this person has to fulfil, one has to perform this Hajj on his behalf (badal).” In this hadith shareef, there is indication of Qiyas and the manner as to how one should act.


  1. The Holy Prophet – peace be upon him – has stated that, “The saliva of cats is not impure. These are those animals which walk around your house.” In this hadith shareef also, the concept of Qiyas is being indicated. In other words, the act which is indicating to a rule being made easy is the fact that this animal moves around the house and due to this fact, its saliva cannot be considered as impure or Najis.


  1. When the Holy Prophet – peace be upon him – was sending Hadrat Sayyiduna Mu’az bin Jabal – May Allah have mercy on him – to Yemen as a Governor and to propagate Islam. He mentioned to him, “O Mu’az, how will you make your decisions?’ He replied, “From the Quran.” The Holy Prophet – peace be upon him – then asked, “If you are unable to find the solution in the book of Allah azza wa jall then what will you do?” He replied, “I will find a solution in the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet – peace be upon him.” The Holy Prophet – peace be upon him – then asked, “And if you are unable to find an answer in the sunnah of the Prophet, then what?”. He replied, “At that time, I will use my own discretion.” The Holy Prophet – peace be upon him – agreed with this and mentioned, “All Praise is due to Allah azza wa jall who has blessed the emissary of the Prophet with that which pleases the Prophet.”


Logical basis

One of the reasons that we can use to substantiate the concept of Qiyas is that the Quran has also commanded us to see and investigate and this has been described as Waajib and necessary upon us. If we look at the banishment of the kuffaar, this was due to their immense hatred and enmity towards the Holy Prophet – peace be upon him. Therefore, they were commanded to ponder deeply on this issue and on their state and condition. In other words, they were forced to make a decision because if they did not do so, then there was a possibility that these kuffaar would banish them from their lands. In other words, looking at this state, and then comparing it with their own state, one had to make a decision.


Those who oppose Qiyas

As for those people who oppose Qiyas, they also claim to be able to prove their claim using three sources of testimony which are the Quran, the Sunnah and logical proof.



The Almighty azza wa jall states in Surah Ankabut, verse 51:

اَوَ لَمْ یَکْفِہِمْ اَنَّاۤ اَنۡزَلْنَا عَلَیۡکَ الْکِتٰبَ یُتْلٰی عَلَیۡہِمْ ؕ اِنَّ فِیۡ ذٰلِکَ لَرَحْمَۃً وَّ ذِکْرٰی لِقَوْمٍ یُّؤْمِنُوۡنَ ﴿٪۵۱﴾

Does it not suffice them that We have sent down upon you the Book that is recited to them? Undoubtedly, in it there is mercy and admonition for the believers.

Hence, they claim that if we had to resort to Qiyas then it means that the Book of Allah azza wa jall is not sufficient to make a decision. This also something which is against the Divine Command of Allah azza wa jall.


The second and third verse is that which are found in Surah An’am, verses 38 and 59:

وَمَا مِنۡ دَآبَّۃٍ فِی الۡاَرْضِ وَلَا طٰٓئِرٍ یَّطِیۡرُ بِجَنَاحَیۡہِ اِلَّاۤ اُمَمٌ اَمْثَالُکُمۡ ؕ مَا فَرَّطْنَا فِی الۡکِتٰبِ مِنۡ شَیۡءٍ ثُمَّ اِلٰی رَبِّہِمْ یُحْشَرُوۡنَ ﴿۳۸﴾

And there is no one crawling on earth nor any bird that flies on its wings but are the communities like you. We have left out nothing in the Book. Then to their Lord they shall be raised.

وَ عِنۡدَہٗ مَفَاتِحُ الْغَیۡبِ لَا یَعْلَمُہَاۤ اِلَّا ہُوَ ؕ وَ یَعْلَمُ مَا فِی الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ ؕ وَمَا تَسْقُطُ مِنۡ وَّرَقَۃٍ اِلَّا یَعْلَمُہَا وَلَا حَبَّۃٍ فِیۡ ظُلُمٰتِ الۡاَرْضِ وَلَا رَطْبٍ وَّ لَا یَابِسٍ اِلَّا فِیۡ کِتٰبٍ مُّبِیۡنٍ ﴿۵۹﴾

And with Him is the key of unseen, He only knows them And He knows whatever is in the land and in the sea. And the leaf that falls He knows it. And there is not any grain in the darkness of the earth, and nor anything wet and nor dry which is not written in a luminous Book.


These verses also clearly state that everything is to be found in the Book of Allah azza wa jall and adopting Qiyas would indicate that the object is not found in the Quran and this is clearly against the Divine Command of Allah azza wa jall.


In Surah Hujurat, verse 1, the Quran declares:

یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا لَا تُقَدِّمُوۡا بَیۡنَ یَدَیِ اللہِ وَ رَسُوۡلِہٖ وَاتَّقُوا اللہَ ؕ اِنَّ اللہَ سَمِیۡعٌ عَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۱﴾

O believers! Exceed not over Allah and his Messenger and fear Allah. Undoubtedly Allah Hears, Knows.


In Surah Maidah, verse 44, the Quran declares:

اِنَّاۤ اَنۡزَلْنَا التَّوْرٰىۃَ فِیۡہَا ہُدًی وَّنُوۡرٌ ۚ یَحْکُمُ بِہَا النَّبِیُّوۡنَ الَّذِیۡنَ اَسْلَمُوۡا لِلَّذِیۡنَ ہَادُوۡا وَ الرَّبَّانِیُّوۡنَ وَ الۡاَحْبَارُ بِمَا اسْتُحْفِظُوۡا مِنۡ کِتٰبِ اللہِ وَکَانُوۡا عَلَیۡہِ شُہَدَآءَ ۚ فَلَا تَخْشَوُا النَّاسَ وَاخْشَوْنِ وَلَا تَشْتَرُوۡا بِاٰیٰتِیۡ ثَمَنًا قَلِیۡلًا ؕ وَمَنۡ لَّمْ یَحْکُمۡ بِمَاۤ اَنۡزَلَ اللہُ فَاُولٰٓئِکَ ہُمُ الْکٰفِرُوۡنَ ﴿۴۴﴾

Undoubtedly, We have sent down Taurah, wherein is the guidance and light. According to it the Jews were ordered by Our obedient prophets and men of learning and jurists for it was desired from them to preserve the Book of Allah and they were witnesses to it, then fear not people, but fear Me and do not accept mean price for My Signs. And whoso judges not according to what Allah has sent down, they are the persons who are infidels.

All the verses above clearly prove that one should not go before or exceed the Almighty azza wa jall and the Holy Prophet – peace be upon him. And therefore, anyone who does not make a decision according to the Divine Command of Allah azza wa jall then according to the Quran, that person is a disbeliever. Therefore, to accept Qiyas and Ijtihad would also be similar to exceeding the limits of Allah azza wa jall and His Prophet – peace be upon him. And this would also be fisq and completely without basis.


The Hadith

  1. Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah May Allah have mercy on him narrates that the Holy Prophet peace be upon him has stated that, “The Bani Israel were on the right path until the children of the prisoners became more and they began to make Qiyas on those things in the past with those things in the future. They became misguided and also made others misguided”.


  1. The same blessed companion narrates that the Holy Prophet – peace be upon him – has stated that, “This ummah will sometimes practice upon the Quran, sometimes according to the Sunnah and sometimes through Qiyas and Ijtihad and when they do this, they will become misguided.”


  1. Hadrat Sayyiduna Umar – May Allah have mercy on him – has stated that, “Protect yourself against those who make Qiyas because they are enemies of religion. They are unable to protect themselves with the Sunnah and have begun Qiyas and Ijtihad. They are misguided and have also misguided others”.


Logical proof

They base their opinion on two concepts”

  1. Daleel Aqli min Haysud Daleel
  2. Daleel Aqli min haysul Madlul


  1. The first is that the very foundation of this is something which is doubtful. In other words, the element through which a command is established, that element itself is not proven or substantiated.

In other words, this is not established either through Dalaalatun Nass, Ishaaratun Nass or Iqtidaa’un Nass. At the same time, whatever is proven would be considered as the absolute truth from Allah azza wa jall and therefore something which is already in doubt from the very inception, cannot be the absolute truth from Allah azza wa jall. Therefore, this would be indicating incapacity towards the Quran and Sunnah and this is not possible. Or it could also imply that the Quran and Sunnah is in need of something which is doubtful and again this is impossible. At the same time, there is no doubt that we cannot refute the fact that there is always doubt in Qiyas and therefore, this is not something which substantiates absolute knowledge or certainty. The Quran also declares that we should never associate anything with Allah azza wa jall which is not an absolute truth. Hence, in this regard, Qiyas is something which cannot be accepted.


  1. Daleel Ma’qul min Haysil Madlul.

The laws of Shariah imply obedience and ibaadah for Allah azza wa jall. And therefore, in matters of ibaadah and obedience, there is no room for Qiyas. This is the reason that the very foundation of ibaadah cannot be substantiated through Qiyas and Ijtihad. Another reason is that the ibaadah of Allah azza wa jall and the act of obedience to Him is confined to total acceptance of His Command. We are also able to find many laws in matters of punishment, the number of Rak’ah in Salah etc which goes against Qiyas and Ijtihad. Therefore, for one to practice upon a concept like Qiyas or Ijtihad would not be practicing upon actual knowledge but rather practicing upon ignorance.


Our reply to these doubts and issues

We believe that the Quran is sufficient, however, we believe that even though there may be an issue which is not explicitly mentioned, yet there is a type of indication towards a certain command or law. And this is the actual meaning of Qiyas and Ijtihad. This is what is meant when the word, “seeing” is mentioned. Therefore, whatever is the result of Qiyas and Ijtihad it would be according to the command of the Quran. And it would also prove that whatever law and command becomes apparent through Qiyas and Ijtihad, it will also indicate that, “everything is certainly found in the Quran”. Therefore, this can be found in the Quran through the abovementioned methods such as Dalaatun Nass, Ishaaratun Nass and Iqtidaa’un Nass.


Again, this is another name for Qiyas and Ijtihad and the Almighty azza wa jall had certainly given us this command. Therefore, it cannot be termed as exceeding the limits of Allah azza wa jall and the Holy Prophet – peace be upon him. It is actually following the command of the Allah azza wa jall and His beloved Prophet – peace be upon him. This has also been taught to us by the Holy Prophet peace be upon him through the fact that we look at a specific element which is found and then place a ruling on that. At the same time, the basis of this element is that which it to be found through the Almighty azza wa jall because He is the Creator of all causes and means. All we do is merely take an element and then deduce its effect on a subsidiary issue and then place a command on that through Qiyas and Ijtihad. Yes, however, when these objectors claim that “action through Qiyas is false”, they themselves are exceeding the limits of Allah azza wa jall and His Prophet – peace be upon him.


In fact, these people cannot prove from any Nass what they claim. Therefore, when their claim is baseless, it cannot be accepted. As for those Ahadith in which it is mentioned that people have used their own thinking or ideas (to act upon), even in these Ahadith, there is no clear and apparent rejection of Qiyas and Ijtihad. In these ahadith, all of those ideas and practices in the form of Qiyas and Ijtihad have been rejected which people have used to merely satisfy their carnal desires and their personal wishes. This would therefore not imply the Qiyas and Ijtihad of the rightly guided scholars of Islam which clearly is able to substantiate the truth.


In the Usul Sarkhasi, 2/133, it is mentioned, “The words of Hadrat Sayyiduna Umar – May Allah have mercy on him – in the matter of Qiyas are very clear. What he is trying to say is that any opinion which is against the Nass or if there is a Nass present one ignores this. In all of these circumstances, it is like following one’s nafs or personal desire and this has been clearly condemned. (In other words, he has clearly refuted Qiyas and Ijtihad which is based on merely satisfying the nafs or one’s personal wishes).”


In like manner, those who have maintained and made the statement that the Ijtihad and Qiyas of the blessed Ashaab was merely for the purpose of creating peace between two opposing groups or parties and not for the purpose of law is something which is completely baseless and false. In fact, this is also something that is against the truth. In fact, wherever the blessed companions promulgated a set of law to create unity and eliminate differences between two parties, they made this very clear otherwise, the word ‘law and ruling’ is clearly mentioned. In fact, in certain instances, these ruling and decisions became the basis for later Fatwa ruling. In fact, when a Mufti issues a ruling to the person asking a question, there are only certain occasions when the ruling is to create peace between opposing parties. This was also applicable in the time of the blessed Ashaab. Therefore, this opinion that they only gave a ruling to create peace between opposing parties is also therefore not true.


Again, in the Usul Al Sarkhasi, 2/134, it is mentioned, “Those who claim that the decision based on Qiyas by the blessed companions was merely to create peace and unity (between two opposing parties) and not for the sake of issuing a command, is nothing but a baseless accusation. At the same time, it must be borne in mind that the people who conveyed these decisions of the blessed Ashaab to us, were qualified in distinguishing between what is Qada and what is Sulah. (What is a legal decision and what is that decision which was made to bring peace). Therefore, one cannot accuse these people that they did not know the difference and neither can one accuse these people of hiding the truth.”


As for an answer to their question based on logic, we believe that whatever command is revealed through Qiyas and Ijtihad, that is the truth. Although, with Allah azza wa jall we may not be certain that this is the truth. This is similar to that person who reads his Salah in every direction not knowing in which direction the Qiblah is. However, when he becomes aware of the Qiblah, then it is absolutely necessary for him to face the correct Qiblah. In other words, this is the difference between Huqqullah and Huqququl Ibaad. In the beginning, it was under “all directions belong to Allah azza wa jall and it was not necessary for him to find the actual Qiblah”, but when he came to know of the true Qiblah, he had to face in that direction.


As for the issue that perchance there might be a certain issue which is contrary to intellect or Qiyas therefore, Qiyas and Ijtihad in this instance is not allowed. In this regard our opinion is very clear and apparent. If there is an instance wherein something that does not make sense, we also mention that in this case, it is not permissible to use Qiyas. However, to only use this example and to place a blanket ban on Qiyas and Ijtihad is certainly not wise or intelligent.


We have now placed all the arguments for and against. After presenting their arguments and ours, it becomes clear who is on the right path.


When is Qiyas an absolute truth?

It is not to be misunderstood that Qiyas is a proof in every instance or occasion. There are many conditions and rules which come into effect before this is determined. At the same time, this is not something which can be displayed and enacted by any ordinary individual. The person has to be fully qualified in the Quran and the Sunnah, he has to be fully aware of the intricate laws of Fard and Waajib. He has to be fully aware of the laws which are applicable and those which have been abrogated. He needs to know the opinion of the pious predecessors of Islam, what is Ijma Ummah in this regard. The various differences among people. Well-versed in the Arabic language and its grammatical laws and he has to deeply delve in any issue in front of him. Only at that time, is Qiyas and Ijtihad considered a proof. And it also becomes Waajib to practice upon this.


Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Shafe’i – May Allah have mercy on him – has explained that, “Qiyas can only be performed by that person who has the tools of Qiyas. This would include proficient knowledge of the Quran. He needs to be aware of what is Fard, the various rules of Adab, what is applicable and what is abrogated, what is common and what is specific. He must be also proficient in deep analysis. He must also able to look at a Quranic verse and be able to explain this through the Hadith shareef. If this is not found in the Hadith shareef, then he has to explain this according to Ijma ummah. And if it is not found in the Ijma, then he needs to make Qiyas and it is certainly not permissible for anyone to make Qiyas until and unless he is not qualified in what has already been explained.”


Again, this would include such things: what is the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet – peace be upon him? What are the opinions of the pious predecessors of Islam? What are the different opinions in the issue of Ijma and also fully proficient in the Arabic language and its intricacies. He has to also be someone who has a clear mind, someone who can differentiate between objects that are doubtful and not clear and at the same time, he must not be hasty in his decision. He should also listen to his opponents because at times, listening to these people can also be source of warning as well.”

(Ar Risaalah. part 3. Chapter on Qiyas)


The issue of Ijithad and the latter day Ghair Muqallids

The latter day Ghair Muqallids are trapped in following the Motazilites either knowingly or unknowingly. This is the reason that they have condemned the institution of Ijtihad and Qiyas and also the Ulama who practiced upon this. Yet, they may be surprised to learn that one of their own by the name of Mia Nazeer Husain Dehlwi who is considered an eminent Imam among these people admitted that, ‘Qiyas and Ijithad are also sources of proof and also considers the statements of the Aimmah to be true and correct.” This would certainly be a great shock to his followers who call themselves the Ahle Hadith. In one of his Fatawa, he mentions, “As the words of the four Aimmah cannot be considered as misguidance, in like manner, the school of any Mujtahid cannot be considered as Bid’ah. Whoever says the opposite, he is a khabees and a Bid’ati.”


As for those Mujtahids whom he himself considers to be on the right path besides the four Imams, he himself explains, “These would be Imamul Haramin, Imam Ghazzali, Ibn Sam’an who followed the Shafe’i school but were also Mujtahids themselves.” He continues, “As for that person who is honest and truthful, he will also never doubt the stature of Imam Sha’rani in his status of being a Mujtahid.”


Certainly, the words of Mia Nazeer Husain Dehlwi should be a lesson to the latter day Ghair Muqallids who condemn Ijtihad, Qiyas and consider Taqleed as shirk and bid’ah. This is also a lesson to them from the words of their own leader that Ijtihad and Qiyas certainly has a valid basis within Islam and can certainly be considered as the truth. For anyone to think otherwise, is a source of misguidance and error.