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Justifying the Role of Prophetic Narration in Ḥanafī Jurisprudence

The Case of al-Zaylaʿī’s (d. 762/1361) Nab al-rāya as a adī Companion to al-Marġīnānī’s (d. 593/1197) al-Hidāya
Usman Ghani
p. 99-109

Résumés

La Hidāya de Burhān al-Dīn al-Marġīnānī (m. 593/1197) est considérée comme étant l’un des manuels juridiques les plus importants dans l’école ḥanafite, car elle concentre de manière détaillée, précise et sûre, une tradition juridique qui s’est développée sur plusieurs siècles. Al-Marġīnānī se contente cependant de la méthode classique qui consiste à utiliser les adī-s pour justifier les jugements légaux des juristes ḥanafites, sans aucune tentative de les classer ni de commenter leur authenticité.
Consicent de cette limite, Ǧamāl al-Dīn al-Zaylaʿī (m. 762/1361) a rédigé son Nab al-rāya fī taǧ aādī al-Hidāya pour tenter d’authentifier et d’identifier la source (taǧ) des adī-s cités dans la Hidāya. Cet ouvrage est ensuite devenu une source importante et une référence indispensable pour les juristes ultérieurs de l’école ḥanafite. En tant que juriste ḥanafite et spécialiste du adī, nous devons considérer les facteurs qui ont poussé al-Zaylaʿī à sourcer les adī-s utilisés dans la Hidāya et déterminer la méthodologie qu’il a mise en œuvre pour accomplir cette tâche difficile.

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Texte intégral

Introduction

1Burhān al-Dīn al-Marġīnānī’s (d. 593/1197) al-Hidāya is regarded as one of the most significant legal primers in the Ḥanafī school of law, as it represents a refined, distilled and reliable version of a legislative tradition that developed over many centuries. The significance of the text can be seen in that in many Islamic seminaries (madāris)—regardless of their jurisprudential affiliation—training in Islamic law is considered incomplete without being familiar with this work. Nevertheless, al-Marġīnānī employs the usual method of utilizing adī to justify and support legal rulings among Ḥanafī jurists, without making any attempt to classify and comment on the authenticity of the adī being cited. Conscious of this practice, Ǧamāl al-Dīn al-Zaylaʿī (d. 762/1361) authored Nab al-rāya fī taǧ aādī al-Hidāya, as an attempt to authenticate and provide the source of extraction and authentication (taǧ) of the adī quoted in al-Hidāya and consequently, his work became an important source and indispensable reference for later jurists of the Ḥanafī school. As a Ḥanafī jurist and adī scholar, we need to consider the factors that stimulated al-Zaylaʿī to reinforce the adī evidences utilised in al-Hidāya and determine the methodology that he adopted in fulfilling this arduous task. For example, was he an ardent supporter of the adī used as evidence by al-Marġīnānī, or did he have a more balanced approach when attempting to authenticate the adī? This article will discuss the aforementioned issues, highlighting areas within the work of al-Zaylaʿī that contributed to the corpus of Ḥanafī jurisprudential texts.

Burhān al-Dīn al-Marġīnānī’s (d. 593/1197) al-Hidāya

  • 1 For his biography, see ‘Abd al-Qādir b. Abī al-Wafāʾ al-Qurašī (775/1374), al-Ǧawāhir al-muīʾa, p (...)
  • 2 For his biography, see al- Qurašī, op. cit., v. 1, p.93‒94.
  • 3 Al-Laknawī, al-Hidāya, p. 17‒18. See also, al-Banǧāwī, al-ulāa al-Bahiyya, p. 23.
  • 4 Al-Laknawī, p. 17.
  • 5 Calder, Islamic Jurisprudence in the Classical Era, p. 30.

2Al-Marġīnānī’s al-Hidāya is a commentary on his original work Bidāyat al-mubtadī which is an amalgam of two texts, al-Ǧāmiʿ al-aġīr which is attributed to Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan al-Šaybānī (d. 187/803),1 and the Mutaar of Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. Ǧaʿfar al-Qudūrī (d. 428/1037).2 Al-Šaybānī’s al-Ǧāmiʿ al-aġīr is one of the six books that form the āhir al-riwāya. That is one of the foundational works of the Ḥanafī school of law and one which is considered to be the most reliable (al-muʿtamad) in the school. The other five books are al-Mabsū, al-Ziyādāt, al-Ǧāmiʿ al-kabīr, al-Siyar al-kabīr, al-Siyar al-aġīr.3 It is named āhir al-riwāya as it is narrated from al-Šaybānī with an uninterrupted, consecutive chain of transmitters.4 Al-Qudūrī’s Mutaar is also considered to be the finest of the Ḥanafī main texts (mutūn) which al-Marġīnānī has selected. The reason for this amalgam, al-Marġīnānī mentions: 5

3It appeared to me in my early days that there should be a work of fiqh containing every topic, small of compass, large of meaning; a book informing of agreement amongst the meandering paths. I found the Mutaar of al-Qudūrī the finest of books, presenting the highest degree of skill and delight. And I observed that the great ones of the age, old and young, desired to memorise al-Ǧāmiʿ al-aġīr. So, I formed the intention of combining them, in such manner as not to go beyond these two texts, save where necessity demanded. And I called my book the Bidāyat al-mubtadī.

  • 6 Nyazee, Al-Hidāyah, The Guidance, p. 3; see also Meron, Marġīnānī, His Method and His Legacy, p. 4 (...)

4In addition to the Bidāyat al-mubtadī, al-Marġīnānī intended to write a commentary on this work ascribing the name Kifāyat al-muntahī. However, this commentary became exceedingly long which became the reason for him to divert his attention towards writing the commentary of al-Hidāya. Al-Marġīnānī mentions in his introduction: 6

5I resolved by writing the introduction to the Bidāyat al-mubtadī, that I would, with the help from God, the Exalted, write its commentary, which I would call Kifāyat al-Muntahī. I commenced work on it, with my resolve being weakened somehow (by other occupations). When I was close to completion, it appeared to be somewhat lengthy, and I feared that recourse to it would be lessened due to its length. I, therefore, diverted my attention and concern from it towards another commentary that I would call al-Hidāya. In this I would reconcile, with God’s help, the selected narrations, with sound legal reasoning, letting go of the extra details on each topic so as to avoid copiousness. Yet, it will contain the governing topics from which ordered sections emerged.

6The influence and significance of this text can be seen insofar that in many Islamic seminaries (madāris)―regardless of their jurisprudential affiliation―training in Islamic law is considered incomplete without studying this work and is therefore, included within the curriculum of the Islamic seminaries.

  • 7 Al-Banjāwī, al-ulāa al-Bahiyya, p. 20‒22; see also Nyazee, op. cit., p. 11.
  • 8 Nyazee, op. cit., p. 11.

7Al-Marġīnānī, famously known as āib al-Hidāya is considered to be a high-ranking jurist within the Ḥanafī school. Al-Laknawī (d. 1886) in his commentary on al-Hidāya refers to al-Marġīnānī as the leading imām of his time and he further adds that there are six grades of jurists in the Ḥanafī school out of which al-Marġīnānī is a part of. The first grade is that of the full muǧtahid in the school (muǧtahid fī al-mahab) such as Abū Yūsūf (d. 182/798), al-Šaybānī, and other students of Abū Ḥanīfa (d. 150/767). The second grade is that of the muǧtahid in legal rulings (muǧtahid fī al-masāʾil) who is able to settle issues on which there is no narration from the jurists of the first grade, however, such a jurist stays within the principles (uūl) and rulings (qawāʿid) of the school and employs them to settle new issues, such as al-Ṭaḥāwī (d. 321/933), al-Karḫī (d. 340/952), al-Saraḫsī (d. 483/1090), etc. The third grade is that of those who are capable of elaborating issues, highlighting the underlying reasoning and identifying the proper rule (aṣḥāb al-taǧ) such as al-Rāzī (d. 370/981). The fourth grade is that of those jurists who are able to prefer, through legal reasoning, one opinion over another from among the opinions prevailing in the school (aṣḥāb al-tarǧīh) like al-Qudūrī and al-Marġīnānī. The fifth grade is that of the muqallidīn who are able to distinguish between the stronger and weaker opinions, such as al-Nasafī (d. 710/1310), al-Mawṣilī (d. 683/1284), etc. The sixth grade is that of those who have no ability to distinguish between the strong and weak opinions.7 Al-Marġīnānī’s status can be valued by the grade he is placed upon. Conversely, others have contested this grade suggesting that he has a higher status.8

8As al-Hidāya is an amalgamation of al-Ǧāmiʿ al-aġīr and the Mutaar, al-Marġīnānī adopts an exceptional methodology in stating the law, which is in the primary text and thereafter he offers his commentary and discusses different opinions, and he endeavours to justify the law by utilizing evidence from the Qurʾān, adī and other subsidiary legal evidences. When utilizing adī, al-Marġīnānī quotes the narration without stating the classification. More emphasis and focus were given on teaching legal reasoning and fiqh, which is why he did not pay any attention to the classification of adī used.

Ǧamāl al-Dīn al-Zaylaʿī’s Nab al-rāya fī taǧ aādī al-Hidāya

  • 9 See brief biography by al-ʿAsqalānī (852/1449), al-Durar al-kāmina, p. 188‒189; see also, ʿAwwāma, (...)

9Conscious of this practice, Ǧamāl al-Dīn al-Zaylaʿī9 (d. 762/1361) authored Nab al-rāya fī taǧ aādī al-Hidāya, as an attempt to authenticate and provide the source of extraction and authentication (taǧ) of the adī quoted in al-Hidāya. Consequently, his work became an important source and indispensable reference for later jurists of the Ḥanafī school. We need to consider the factors that stimulated al-Zaylaʿī to reinforce the adī evidences utilized in the al-Hidāya and determine the methodology that he adopted in fulfilling this arduous task.

  • 10 Brown, The Canonization of al-Buārī and Muslim, p. 210.
  • 11 Ibid., p. 222.
  • 12 Ibid.

10As stated earlier, al-Marġīnānī utilizes adī without focusing on the classification and authentication. It may be because as Brown asserts the traditions of the Prophet were prima facie compelling for Muslim scholars. Certainly, among their own colleagues, the jurists of a particular legal school felt no pressure to provide rigorous chains of transmission for adī used in elaborating their common body of law. In such circumstances, it was necessary to go beyond simple attributions of Prophetic authority. The issue of adīs authenticity arose only when opinions clashed, when competing parties challenged the reliability of one another’s evidence.10 The debate with the other schools of law can be seen in al-Marġīnānī’s commentary. He attempts to justify his school’s position by providing necessary evidence to prove the position of the Ḥanafī school. In addition, during the classical period, amongst the different schools of law, the aīayn canon (al-Buḫārī and Muslim) became a common measure of authenticity. In the mid-5th/11th century, prominent adherents of the Šāfiʿī, Ḥanbalī and Mālikī schools all began employing the aīayn canon as a measure of authenticity in polemics and exposition of their school’s doctrines.11 It was not until the 8th/14th century, that the Ḥanafī school also adopted the aīayn canon for this use.12 This may be the reason why the task of reinforcing and authenticating the adī in the al-Hidāya was undertaken by al-Zaylaʿī. We also find that there were other works written on the authentication of adī in the al-Hidāya, e.g.:

  • Al-Tanbīh ʿalā aādī al-Hidāya wa-l-ulāa, by Maḥmūd b. ʿUbayd Allah al-Ḥāriṯī (d. 606/1210).
  • Al-Ġāya fī šar al-Hidāya, by Aḥmad b. Ibrāhīm al-Surūǧī (d. 710/1311).
  • Al-Kifāya fī maʿrifat aādī al-Hidāya, by ʿAlī b. ʿUṯmān al-Mārdīnī famously known as Ibn al-Turkamānī (d. 747/1347).
  • Al-ʿInāya fī taǧ aādī al-Hidāya, by ʿAbd al-Qādir b. Muḥammad b. Abī al-Wafāʾ al-Qurašī (d. 775/1374).13
  • 14 ʿAwwāma, Muqaddima, p. 6.
  • 15 ʿAwwāma, p. 10‒12.
  • 16 Ibid. See also Brown, op. cit., p. 171.
  • 17 The word ġarīb in the sciences of adī is defined as rare and scarce and terminologically it is d (...)
  • 18 Al-Zaylaʿī, Nab al-rāya fī taǧ aādī al-Hidāya, p. 39. See also Sadeghi, The Logic of Law Mak (...)
  • 19 Ibid., p. 39‒40.
  • 20 Al-Šahrazūrī, Maʿrifat anwāʿ ʿilm al-adī, p. 194‒200. See also Ibn al-Ṣalāḥ al-Šahrazūrī, op. (...)

11However, the pre-eminence of al-Zaylaʿī’s Nab al-rāya exceeds all of the above mentioned and his book has been widely accepted by other schools of Islamic law and it became an indispensable reference works for jurists. In his work, he has striven to gather all the aādī and statements of the companions (āār), hence stipulating under every section the evidences of the opposing schools of law.14 The quality of al-Zaylaʿī on this point is that he stipulates these without any bias towards his own Ḥanafī school. To elaborate further on his methodology, his focus is not only on providing the taǧ of the narration used by al-Marġīnānī, but also, to criticize and declare the narration reliable or unreliable. He also, clearly identifies mistakes, if any, and compensates with rectification. In areas where al-Marġīnānī does not clarify the school’s position with a adī, he provides the evidence along with any corroborations (mutābaʿāt/šawāhid). As mentioned previously, he also highlights the evidence of other schools of law and if there is any discussion on the narration pertaining to the text or chain of narration he elaborates on that without any bias towards his own school. Furthermore, he endeavors to provide other collections of adī as evidence shifting away from total reliance on the six canonical collections. e.g. he will quote al-abrānī, al-Bazzār, al-Bayhaqī, etc.15 Furthermore, al-Zaylaʿī’s methodology is also to include comments on the quality of the sources and their compilers. As an example, the al-Mustadrak ʿalā al-aīayn of al-Ḥākim al-Naysābūrī (d. 403/1014), was severely criticized by scholars regarding the narrations used in his collection and also because of his lenient methods in adī classification. Al-Zaylaʿī commented on al-Ḥākim’s method by stating “simply because a transmitter is used in one of the aīs (al-Buḫārī and Muslim), al-Zaylaʿī explains, does not mean that if he is found in another adī, that adī meets the standards and conditions of al-Buḫārī and Muslim”.16 Another example of al-Zaylaʿī’s skill and aptitude in the scrutiny of adī is the narration quoted by al-Marġīnānī in the section of leading prayer (imāma regarding women), “move them behind insofar as God has moved them behind”. From this, al-Marġīnānī establishes the ruling that “it is not permitted for men that they be led by a woman or a minor” and as evidence he considers this statement “move them behind insofar as God has moved them behind” as a adī of the Prophet. Al-Zaylaʿī’s initial verdict is that this is a strange adī elevated to the Prophet “adī ġarīb marfūʿ.17 Commenting further, he states that this adī is in the Muannaf of ʿAbd al-Razzāq (d. 211/826) and is however stopped (muwqūf) at the companion Ibn Masʿūd (d. 33/653), implying from the outset that it is not a Prophetic adī. He further quotes from Aḥmad b. Ibrāhīm al-Surūǧī (d. 710/1311) in his al-Ġāya fī šar al-Hidāya, a passage that captures the dramatic clash of a jurist’s lenient and lax attitude toward the adī with a more qualified expert in adī: my teacher al-Ṣadr Sulaymān used to relate it as: “Wine is the root of abominations, and women are the snares of the devil. Move them behind insofar as God has moved them behind.” He referenced this to the ḥadīṯ collection of Musnad of Razīn b.Mu‘awiya (d. 535/1141). This ignoramus (Ǧāhil) also mentioned that it is in the Dalāʾil al-nubuwwa of al-Bayhaqī (d. 458/1066). I examined it carefully but did not find the saying in it as a Prophetic or as a non-prophetic tradition. What I found in it as a Prophetic saying was: “Wine is the epitome of sin. Women are the snares of the devil and youth is a form of madness”. Nowhere in it can be found: “Move them behind insofar as God has moved them behind.”18 Another example of al-Zaylaʿī’s method is in the chapter of purification, e.g. the text states, “the required obligation of passing water (mas) is part of the forehead, and this is one fourth of the head”; al-Marġīnānī comments: “The rule is based upon what was related by al-Muġīra b. Šuʿba (d. 38/670), that the Prophet arrived at a camp of some tribe, he passed water (urinated), performed ablution and passed water over his forehead and socks.” Here al-Zaylaʿī comments on this particular adī of the Prophet: “This adī is a combination of two adī, which are both narrated by al-Muġīra b. Šuʿba but the author (al-Marġīnānī) has made them one”. So, the wording of the adī in which it states “(the Prophet) performed ablution and passed water over his forehead and socks” is narrated by Muslim and the wording of the adī “the Prophet arrived at a camp of some tribe, he passed water (urinated)”, is narrated by Ibn Māǧa. Thereafter, al-Zaylaʿī provides corroborative reports for the aforementioned narrations.19 What is also noteworthy at this point here is that al-Marġīnānī combined the two adī to form one which is known as interpolation/interpolated idrāǧ/mudraǧ in the science of adī. Ibn al-Ṣalāḥ al-Šahrazūrī (d. 643/1245) mentions several categories of interpolations in adī out of which one is where part of a text of adī is interpolated into the text of another adī with a different chain of narration (isnād). He concludes by vehemently stating: “Be aware that it is not permissible to practice any form of the aforementioned interpolation deliberately.”20 It can be assessed from the aforementioned examples, how important the need was for having a book which focuses on the authenticity of the prophetic narrations and how lenient and lax the jurists were when stating them.

  • 21 Quṭlūbaġā (d. 879/1501), Munyat al-almaʿī fī mā fāt al-Zaylaʿī, in Nab al-Rāya fī taǧ aādī a (...)

12In sum, the work of al-Zaylaʿī is an indispensable source to study especially with reference to the al-Hidāya of al-Marġīnānī. Al-Zaylaʿī has attempted to authenticate the adī by providing the correct sources and also establishing the level of authenticity of the narrations used hence providing corroborations where necessary. He also provides the evidence used by other schools of law without any bias which is also the reason why his book acclaimed recognition and prestige among other schools of law. Furthermore, Ibn Ḥaǧar al-ʿAsqalānī (d. 852/1449) compiled an abridgement of al-Zaylaʿī’s work naming it al-Dirāya fī taǧ aādī al-Hidāya. Also, Qāsim b. Quṭlūbuġā (d. 879/1501) has compiled Munyat al-almaʿī fī mā fāt al-Zaylaʿī, in which he locates the narrations which were missed out by al-Zaylaʿī. Both aforementioned works are in print and available. However, the works mentioned earlier i.e. al-Tanbīh ʿalā aādī al-Hidāya wa-l-ulāa, by Maḥmūd b. ʿUbayd Allāh al-Ḥāriṯī (d. 606/1210), al-Ġāya fī šar al-Hidāya, by Aḥmad b. Ibrāhīm al-Suruǧī (d. 710/1311), al-Kifāya fī maʿrifat aādī al-Hidāya, by ʿAlī b. ʿUṯmān al-Mārdīnī famously known as Ibn al-Turkamānī (d. 747/1347), al-ʿInāya fī taǧ aādī al-Hidāya, by ʿAbd al-Qādir b. Muḥammad b. Abī al-Wafāʾ al-Qurašī (d. 775/1374) are available in manuscript form.21

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Bibliographie

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al-ʿAsqalānī (d. 852/1449), Aḥmad b. ʿAlī b. Ḥaǧar, al-Durar al-kāmina fī aʿyān al-miʾat al-āmina, Bayrūt, Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyya, 1997.

Ibn Quṭlūbaġā, Qāsim (d. 879/1501), Munyat al-almaʿī fī mā fāt al-Zaylaʿī, in Naṣb al-rāya fī taḫrīǧ aḥādīṯ al-Hidāya, Bayrūt, Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyya, 2010.

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Notes

1 For his biography, see ‘Abd al-Qādir b. Abī al-Wafāʾ al-Qurašī (775/1374), al-Ǧawāhir al-muīʾa, p. 42‒44 ; see also Chaumont, “al-Šaybānī”.

2 For his biography, see al- Qurašī, op. cit., v. 1, p.93‒94.

3 Al-Laknawī, al-Hidāya, p. 17‒18. See also, al-Banǧāwī, al-ulāa al-Bahiyya, p. 23.

4 Al-Laknawī, p. 17.

5 Calder, Islamic Jurisprudence in the Classical Era, p. 30.

6 Nyazee, Al-Hidāyah, The Guidance, p. 3; see also Meron, Marġīnānī, His Method and His Legacy, p. 410‒416.

7 Al-Banjāwī, al-ulāa al-Bahiyya, p. 20‒22; see also Nyazee, op. cit., p. 11.

8 Nyazee, op. cit., p. 11.

9 See brief biography by al-ʿAsqalānī (852/1449), al-Durar al-kāmina, p. 188‒189; see also, ʿAwwāma, Muqaddima, p. 5‒8.

10 Brown, The Canonization of al-Buārī and Muslim, p. 210.

11 Ibid., p. 222.

12 Ibid.

13 Quṭlūbaġā, Munyat al-almaʿī fī mā fāt al-Zaylaʿī, p.15; see also, Šayḫ, al-awābi al-fiqhiyya, p. 51‒53.

14 ʿAwwāma, Muqaddima, p. 6.

15 ʿAwwāma, p. 10‒12.

16 Ibid. See also Brown, op. cit., p. 171.

17 The word ġarīb in the sciences of adī is defined as rare and scarce and terminologically it is defined as when a single transmitter is alone in each generation in relating a particular adī. However, al-Zaylaʿī has confined this term to its literal meaning. See Ibn al-Ṣalāḥ al-Šahrazūrī, translated by Eerik Dickinson, An Introduction to the Sciences of adī, p. 194.

18 Al-Zaylaʿī, Nab al-rāya fī taǧ aādī al-Hidāya, p. 39. See also Sadeghi, The Logic of Law Making in Islam, p. 67‒68.

19 Ibid., p. 39‒40.

20 Al-Šahrazūrī, Maʿrifat anwāʿ ʿilm al-adī, p. 194‒200. See also Ibn al-Ṣalāḥ al-Šahrazūrī, op. cit., p. 73‒75.

21 Quṭlūbaġā (d. 879/1501), Munyat al-almaʿī fī mā fāt al-Zaylaʿī, in Nab al-Rāya fī taǧ aādī al-Hidāya, p.15. See also, Šayḫ, al-awābi al-fiqhiyya li-akām fiqh al-usra min Kitāb al-hidāya li-l-Imām al-Marġīnānī, p.51‒53.

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Usman Ghani, « Justifying the Role of Prophetic Narration in Ḥanafī Jurisprudence »MIDÉO, 34 | 2019, 99-109.

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Usman Ghani, « Justifying the Role of Prophetic Narration in Ḥanafī Jurisprudence »MIDÉO [En ligne], 34 | 2019, mis en ligne le 10 juin 2019, consulté le 04 décembre 2021. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/mideo/2798

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Auteur

Usman Ghani

PhD, Assistant Professor, American University of Sharjah

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Institut Dominicain d'Études Orientales

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