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Assalamoalaikum, What's the ruling of this: Can I pray behind my friend?

My friend is generally Sunni, but he's got some strange views on inheritance law. He thinks generally the Quranic law on inheritance should be applied, but if it leads to an unjust situation, then the Quranic principle should be followed, and the inheritance ruling should change. Example of his view: Zahra and Ali are siblings. Their dad dies, leaving inheritance. Ali is wealthy and married into a wealthy family. But Zahra is poor, and she has a disabled poor husband, who has no family. And she was raped, so has a child to look after too. She is the only one who can look after the family. My friend said the inheritance should be given equally in this case, as otherwise it would contradict the maqasid for justice. But I said the correct view is that still the 2:1 rule should be applied, and his view contradicts ijma and the Quran. But he thinks he's applying the spirit of the Quran. He says he's following sheikh Jasser Auda's view on this. Am I allowed to pray behind such a person? JazakAllah khair Wasalam

Answer: A ruling established by a verse of the Holy Quran cannot be cancelled out on the basis of maqaasid1 (that is following the spirit of the law or objectives). This is an extremely dangerous idea that ultimately leads to nullifying the law of Allah taala in its totality. Muslims must beware of any individual who promotes such baseless views. To elaborate: [1] Islam has a long intellectual history spanning fourteen centuries. During this entire time the scholars of Islam never used this approach to interpret the sacred texts. One may look at the works of all four schools of law (fiqh) and none say that the pretext of maqasid could be used to redistribute inheritance. The same can be said for the other rulings based on text. There have been hundreds of books compiled throughout this time that contain the fatwas of leading authorities and Mujtahid Imams. Not a single fatwa exists that outlines such a revision of a ruling established by the Holy Quran. Yet it is obvious that such situations would have arisen time and again during this long period. Thus it is fair to say this idea is opposed to Ijma. The Holy Quran says: Whoever cuts himself off from the Messenger after the right path has become clear to him, and follows other than the way of the Believers, We shall let him have what he chooses, and We shall admit him to Jahannam, which is an evil place to return. (4:115). The scholar Imam Ibn al-Mundhir (d. 318 ah), in his compendium of scholarly consensuses (Ijma`aat), has stated in Ijma` no. 288, that all the scholars of Islam have agreed that if a man leaves a brother and sister, the son will receive double the share of the daughter.2 [2] It is an idea also explicitly refuted by many explicit verses of the Holy Quran that obligate adherence to revelation above all else: i. We order you to judge between them according to what Allah has sent down. Do not follow their desires, and beware of them, lest they should turn you away from some of what Allah has sent down to you. If they turn away, be assured that Allah intends to make them suffer for some of their sins. Surely, many of the people are sinners. (Sura al-Maida:49) ii. Surely, We have revealed to you the Book with the truth, so that you may judge between people according to what Allah has shown you. So be not (used) as an advocate by those who betray their trust. (Sura al-Nisa:105) iii. O you who believe, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. Then, if you quarrel about something, revert it back to Allah and the Messenger, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is good, and the best at the end. (Sura al-Nisa:59). [3] The Sunna also categorically refutes this methodology in interpreting sacred texts.
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Maqsad is the singular and means aim or objective. Its plural is Maqaasid Ibn al-Mundhir, Al-Ijma`, p. 33, First Edition 2001, Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyyah.

i. The Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: Verily, Allah does not remove sacred knowledge suddenly. Rather he removes it by taking away the [true] scholars. Then there are left ignorant people who are asked questions, and they answer with their personal opinion. Thus they misguide others being themselves misguided. (Bukhari) In this hadith we are told that any ruling not based on sound evidence is nothing but ignorance and misguidance how more misguided then will a ruling be that actually opposes a sacred text? ii. The famous incident, recorded in Sahih al-Bukhari, in which Li`aan (imprecation) occurred between Shurayk bin Sahmaa and his wife is another evidence from the Sunna. According to Islamic law without four witnesses an Islamic court cannot implement the punishment of stoning to death. The absence of such evidence however does have consequences. The two sides are made to take an oath. The husband takes an oath that his wife has indeed committed adultery. The wife then takes an oath that she is innocent of the accusation. This is known as Li`aan (Imprecation). If they both take oaths in this manner, the case is thrown out of court and nothing more is done. However the imprecations simultaneously dissolve the couples marriage. In the story of Shurayk, both husband and wife took the imprecation. The case ended there, but the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said that the people should observe the looks of the child when it is born to see who it takes after. When the child was born it had the looks of Shurayk and not the man accused of committing adultery. It was then the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said that even if the child had come with the looks of the accused he would not have had the man and woman stoned because the ruling of the Book of Allah states that four witnesses are required. From this we learn that regardless of the apparent evidences and human inferences, the laws of the Book of the Allah can never be challenged, even if the scholar making the deductions is the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) himself. [4] The best communicator and guarantor of the Lawgivers maqaasid (objectives) are the texts themselves. We can only be sure we have realised what Allah taala wanted, that is the objective of any text, by doing what the text demands. To argue an objective that ends up cancelling out a text thus is clearly highly dangerous. It eventually leads to the pristine law of Islam being made a mockery of in the hands of the irreligious. It will open the door (yet still closed) to the following situation: An individual will argue that such and such is the wisdom or objective for such and such a Quranic ruling. This individual may be correct in his discerning the wisdom or reason for Gods ruling. In that case obviously his view will only further cement the ruling. The text will not be compromised. But then you have another person not as intellectually rigorous who argues that actually the greater objective or wisdom is something else that appeals to his mind. In this case however, purely due to his own inner weakness, the text is cancelled out. Thus the only safe ground is to adhere closely to the texts, and never to oppose them. Take the example of the inheritance of siblings. A new distribution thought up by a human simply cannot encompass the depth of the wisdom in the Quranic ruling. There are multiple reasons why the Quranic distribution will always be the most just. We can attempt to mention some of these. In the Islamic system a female does not have the financial burdens and responsibilities that are placed upon a man. These duties include providing for his mother, sisters, wife and children. A daughter has none of these legal and

moral responsibilities. Thus by giving a son twice the share of a daughter is actually looking after the needs of many more people in society. This perfectly illustrates the fundamental flaws in this methodology. [5] From a technical, or usuli perspective, this idea is also wholly untenable. The reason is that the expert scholars (fuqaha) consider the strength of a verse of the Holy Quran to be definitive (qati`). Any benefit or idea of justice perceived by a human at the most will be speculative (zanni). It is a rule that the qati` always takes precedence over the zanni. The reason for this is that there can be no room for a mistake whatsoever in what God revealed, but a human assessment will always be prone to flaws. There are many reasons that could lead a human opinion, due to its speculative nature, to an unjust decision. The same can never be said of any decision securely founded on the Holy Quran and Sunna. For example, it is possible that a daughter hide her real wealth from outsiders. So if she were to be given an equal share to her brother, it would end up doing injustice! For, Islamically, whereas she is not required to provide financial maintenance for others, her brother is. [6] This methodology of interpretation is also rejected by reason. To explain, the very notions of the aim and greater objective of the Shari`ah stems from the original shariah rulings based on their detailed evidences rooted in the Book of Allah Almighty. In other words justice, interest and moral correctness is what the Quran and Hadith have shown us are justice, interest and correctness. Thus it would be logically impossible and false for a person to claim that the Book of Allah or the Sunna are opposing justice or benefit. [7] Finally, some people misuse certain incidents in Islamic history to support this idea so it is important that the reality of these incidents be clarified. One of the principal evidences quoted by them is that Umar ra. suspended the punishment of cutting the hand of the thief during the famine that afflicted Arabia. This they claim is proof of maqaasid being used to leave a text of the Holy Quran. Namely the verse: As for a man or a woman who commits theft, cut off the hands of both to punish them for what they earned,-a deterrent punishment from Allah. Allah is Mighty, Wise. (Sura al-Maidah:38). They maintain that the greater maqsad or aim in the sight of Umar was the preservation of life. The truth is that this is not an example of leaving the ruling of the text of the Holy Quran due to following the greater objective. Anyone who is familiar with the books of Islamic jurisprudence will be familiar with the highly sophisticated science that exists to interpret texts. This science elaborates the qualifications, conditions or exceptions that apply to a text via other texts or the Arabic language itself. Umar was the most proficient of people in discerning these subtleties. Thus he appreciated the ruling of cutting the hand had come with several conditions which were also established by texts and when that condition is not found the ruling does not apply. And this is not called suspending or leaving the ruling. This can be appreciated with an example. The Holy Quran states: And establish prayer.. (aqeemus-salaah). Based on this, children should also offer prayers. But Muslims parents do not force their children to offer Salah. Are they leaving the above text of the Holy Quran? No, because

everyone knows that the obligation established by this verse is conditioned by another text that says the obligation therein only applies at the time of puberty. The Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: The pen (of accountability) is raised from three; the sleeper till he wakes, the child till he reaches puberty and the insane person till he is cured. (Musnad of Imam Ahmad). This also was the reason why Umar left implementing the punishment. He appreciated that the above punishment was accompanied by the following Prophetic qualification: Repel the punishments in doubt, (Jami al-Tirmidhi). Thus it was clear to him that there was definitely an element of doubt in relation to the cause of stealing in these circumstances. The robber may have stolen during the famine to enrich himself and out of greed, but there was also the possibility that he did it out of compulsion. And in circumstances of compulsion, according to the Shari`ah, the responsibility is somewhat lifted from a person, hence the reason why consuming carrion or swine for a starving person is not sinful. Thus with this element of doubt a vital condition for acting upon the verse of Sura al-Maidah was not found, thus it could not be implemented. In other words this was an example of Umars ra. meticulous care in acting upon the sacred texts, and not an example of using reason to leave them. In conclusion, using the maqaasid in the way mentioned in the question is against Ijma of the Muslims. It also clearly contradicts the Holy Quran and Sunna and as such is nothing but clear misguidance. Therefore, along with it being necessary to warn others of such individuals, it will not be permitted to offer prayers behind a person who espouses such views. And Allah Ta`ala Knows Best. Mufti Muhammad Sajaad 17th Rajab 1434 27/05/13