The Shi’ah – The Divine Code of Living

The Shi’ah – The Divine Code of Living

The Imamiyah Shi’as believe that an ordinance or order of the Islamic code exists for every matter of life. The Divine Law has not even ignored the “diyat” (conciliation money) for injury of a very minor nature. There is no action of a “mukallaf” (a sane, adult person) which does not come under the scope […]

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    The Imamiyah Shi'as believe that an ordinance or order of the Islamic code exists for every matter of life. The Divine Law has not even ignored the "diyat" (conciliation money) for injury of a very minor nature. There is no action of a "mukallaf" (a sane, adult person) which does not come under the scope of the following definitions: "wajib" (compulsory); "haram" (unlawful); mustahabb (desirable); makruh (undesirable) and mubah (lawful). Whether it is a matter of mutual transactions, trade, marriage or a promise and a pledge, the religious code will certainly guide us as to whether it is right or wrong. The personality of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) was the fountainhead of all divine orders. God the Almighty conveyed these orders to the last Prophet (s.a.w.) through "wahy" (revelation through Jibril) or "ilham" (divine inspiration). The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) communicated them to the people according to the circumstances prevailing, particularly to those companions who had been close to him at all times, so that they might carry on the mission of preaching throughout the whole world. There were many ordinances however which could not be taught, because the time for them was not opportune, or because there was no need for them during the time of the Prophet (it is also possible that they could not be promulgated for some particular reason known only to God). Hence some orders were known while some remained secret. The Holy Prophet entrusted these secret ordinances to his (divinely appointed) vicegerents. Later every "wasi" (vicegerent) communicated them to his successor, so that, according to the need of the hour and the spirit of the time, they might be made public. The Holy Prophet taught as much as he thought proper for the situation and as much as the companions could understand according to their intellect. The recipients of this teaching were blessed according to their own capacity. It also happened that one companion received a positive order concerning a certain matter, and others heard a negative order in a matter resembling the former. The result was that the act was one but orders were (seemingly) two. We must ask what the cause of this difference was. The reality of the situation was such that each matter was slightly different from the other: each had a particular distinguishing aspect. Those present who reported what happened at the scene, either did not pay attention to this or that peculiarity, or, if they did recognise it, did not mention this or that particular aspect. Because of inaccurate description of the circumstances, traditions may appear to contradict each other, but in reality they each apply to different circumstances. This inaccuracy caused difficulties in recognising the exact meaning of an instruction given to us by the Prophet. Accordingly, the companions who had the honour of close companionship with the Prophet supported "ijtihad". That is they realised the necessity for a thorough investigation of the text of the hadith and the situation in which it occurred. The different aspects of the hadith were probed, since the apparent meaning of the tradition is often different from the real aim of the codifier. It has been pointed out earlier, that these difference were largely due to faulty copying or shortcomings on the part of the reporters. Those companions of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) who were just and trustworthy and who were also reporters of traditions sometimes reproduced the statement of the Prophet (s.a.w.) in exactly the same words in which they had heard it, while sometimes, in place of the text of the tradition, they would state the order or commandment which was inferred from the tradition in question. In the first instance their position is that of a reporter or traditionalist, and in the second they have the position of learned scholars who declare their opinion about the meaning of the hadiths; the latter are also called "mujtihids". All Muslims who do not have this ability and so therefore follow the opinion of the mujtahid, are called "muqallid". The act of acting on the verdicts of a mujtahid is called "taqlid". After a thorough examination of this matter we find that during the time of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.), the door of ijtihad was open and the companions of the Prophet (s.a.w.) themselves acted upon it; of course at that time ijtihad was not so strong as it is today, because the people could ask the Prophet (s.a.w.) directly about any matter they were not sure of. As time passed, however, and relations between the Arabs and non-Arabs increased, there were difficulties in understanding the correct meanings of the Arabic language. The number of traditions and reports became larger... Source:alhassanain.com

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