Arab5008m muslim Intellectual Encounter with Contemporary Thought Module summary

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2.5 Ja'fari jurisprudence

Jaʿfarī school of thoughtJa`farite SchoolJaʿfarī jurisprudence or Jaʿfarī Fiqh[note A] is the school of jurisprudence of most Shi'a Muslims, derived from the name of Jaʿfar as-Ṣādiq, the 6th Shi'a Imam. Jafaris are also know as Twelvers

It differs from the four schools or madhhabs of Sunni jurisprudence in its reliance on ijtihad, as well as on matters of inheritance, religious taxes, commerce, personal status and the allowing of temporary marriage or mutʿa.[1] However, despite these differences, there have been numerous fatwas regarding the acceptance of Jaʿfarī fiqh as an acceptable Muslim madhhab by Sunni religious bodies. These include the Amman Message and a fatwa by Al-Azhar.

2.5.1 Branches Usuli

This school of thought utilizes Ijtihad by adopting reasoned argumentation in finding the laws of Islam. Usulis emphasize the role of Mujtahid who was capable of independently interpreting the sacred sources as an intermediary of the Hidden Imamas and , thus, serve as a guide to the community.This meant that legal interpretations were kept flexible to take account of changing conditions and the dynamics of the times.[2] This school of thought is predominant among most of Shi'a.

According to idea developed by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, two kinds of Ja'fari jurisprudence can be recognized. One as Conventional Fiqh and another as Dynamic Fiqh. In Dynamic Fiqh, which is backed by the famous text book Javaher-al-Kalem (Arabic: جواهر الكلم‎), one should consider the concept of time, era, and age (Arabic: زمان‎) as well as the concept of place, location and venue (Arabic: مکان‎). He stated that these two concepts have key role in the understanding and extraction of commandments.[3] Akhbari

This school of thought takes a restrictive approach to ijtihad. This school has almost dead now and has very few followers left to this day. Although, some neo-Akhbaris have emerged in indian subcontinent but they do not belong to the old akhbari movement of bahrain. [2]

2.5.2 Sub-articles Non-controversial fields

  • Ja'fari Islamic banking

Islamic banking (or participant banking) (Arabic: المصرفية الإسلامية‎) is banking or banking activity that is consistent with the principles of Islamic law (Sharia) and its practical application through the development of Islamic economics. Sharia prohibits the fixed or floating payment or acceptance of specific interest or fees (known as Riba or usury) for loans of money. Investing in businesses that provide goods or services considered contrary to Islamic principles is also Haraam (forbidden). While these principles may have been applied to historical Islamic economies, it is only in the late 20th century that a number of Islamic banks were formed to apply these principles to private or semi-private commercial institutions within the Muslim community. Controversial fields

These are the fields of the Ja'fari jurisprudence that are controversial among Muslims.

  • Nikah Mut'ah

Nikāḥ al-Mutʿah (Arabic: نكاح المتعة‎ "pleasure marriage"), is a fixed-term marriage in Shi'a Islam. The duration of this type of marriage is fixed at its inception and is then automatically dissolved upon completion of its term. The marriage is contractual and is subject to renewal. Financial payments may be made between the couple, usually with the male paying the female known as mahr or dower.

Nikāḥ al-Mut‘ah should not be confused with Nikāḥ-e-Misyar (المسيار), or Misyar marriage, one of the forms of non-conventional marriage in Sunni Islam .

  • Taqiya

Taqiyya (alternate spellings taqiya, taqiyah, tuqyah), meaning religious dissimulation,[1] is a practice emphasized in Shi'a Islam whereby adherents may conceal their religion when they are under threat, persecution, or compulsion. This means a legal dispensation whereby a believing individual can deny his faith or commit otherwise illegal or blasphemous acts while they are under those risks.

Taqiyya was developed to protect Shi'ites who were usually in minority and under pressure. In the Shi'a view, taqiyya is lawful in situations where there is overwhelming danger of loss of life or property and where no danger to religion would occur thereby.

The majority Sunni Muslims rarely found it necessary to hide their beliefs. However, there are examples of practicing Taqiyya among Sunnis where it was necessary. In the Sunni view, denying your faith under duress is "only at most permitted and not under all circumstances obligatory".

  • Wilayah al Faqih

Guardianship of the Jurist or Providence of the Jurist (Arabic: ولاية الفقيه, Persian: ولایت فقیه, Urdu: ولایت فقیه, Wilayat al Faqih) is a post-Age-of-Occultation theory in Shi'a Islam which holds that Islam gives a faqih (Islamic jurist) or fuqaha (jurists) custodianship over people. Ulama supporting the theory disagree over how encompassing custodianship should be. One interpretation - limited Guardianship of the Jurist - holds that guardianship should be limited to non-litigious matters (al-omour al-hesbiah) including religious endowments (Waqf)[2] judicial matters and the property which no specific person is responsible for it. Another - "Absolute Guardianship of the Jurist" - maintains that Guardianship should include all issues for which Prophet of Islam and Shi'a Imam have responsibility, including governance of the country. The idea of guardianship as rule was advanced by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in a series of lectures in 1970 and now forms the basis of the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The constitution of Iran calls for a faqih, or Vali-ye faqih (Guardian Jurist), to serve as the Supreme Leader of the government. In the context of Iran, guardianship of the jurist is often referred to as "rule by the jurisprudent," or "rule of the Islamic jurist".

  • Bada'

  • Badā' (meaning: "revealing after concealing", or "alteration in the divine will") is a Shia concept regarding God. It refers to God revealing His true will about a decision, wherein the people thought His will had already been made on that issue. The Shia do not believe that God had no knowledge of the ultimate outcome.

The Shi’a concept of Bada’ can be thoroughly explained through the words of Ayatollah Morteza Motahhari (a disciple of Ayatollah Khomeini):

“In Islam there is an issue called bada' (revision). The concept of bada' has an apparent meaning which few would regard as acceptable. Some have even criticized the Shi'ah for believing in bada'. The meaning of bada' is revision in Divine Destiny (qada'), meaning that God has not fixed a definite and final form for the course of human history. In other words, God Says to man: "You yourselves are in charge of the fulfilment of Divine Destiny, and it is you who can advance, stop or reverse the course of history." There is no blind determinism either on the part of nature or the means of life or from the viewpoint of Divine Destiny, to rule over history.”

Furthermore, bada' does not occur in the knowledge of God (which is absolute and unchanging, and is described as "al-lawh al-mahfûz” – i.e. the protected tablet), it can only occur in the knowledge of humans and angels (which is not necessarily absolute, and is described as "lawhu 'l-mahw wa 'l-ithbat” – i.e. the tablet that can be erased and re-written). An example of this is stated by Imam Ali:

"You read the Book (i.e., the Qur'an) at night as well as day; so is there anyone among you who knows what was revealed in it? If it had not been for a verse in the Book of Allah, I would have informed you of what has happened (in the past), what will happen, and what shall happen until the Day of Resurrection. And that is the verse: 'Allah erases and confirms what He Wishes, and with Him is the Mother of the Book.' [Surah Ar-Ra'd: 39]..."

This last passage is significant; in it, although Imam 'Ali claims to have the access to 'ilmu 'l-ghayb (knowledge of the unseen) he acknowledges that it is totally dependent upon the will of Allah.

2.5.3 Notes

  • ^A In Arabic script: جعفري, strict transcriptions: Jaʻfarī or Ǧaʿfarī, /d͡ʒaʕfariː/; from the name: جعفر, Jaʻfar/Ǧaʿfar, /d͡ʒaʕfar/.

  1. ^ Nasr, Vali (2006), The Shia Revival, Norton, p. 69

  2. a b [Oxford concise dictionary of Politics,2003:487]

  3. ^ (Persian: صحيفه نور)

  • Oxford concise dictionary of Politics,2003

2.5.4 External links

  • "Jafari: Shii Legal Thought and Jurisprudence" from Oxford Islamic Studies Online


  • Some of Shi'a Islamic Laws books


  • Islamic Laws of G.A. Sayyid Abulqasim al-Khoei


  • Islamic Laws of G.A. Fazel Lankarani



  • Towards an Understanding of the Shiite Authoritative Sources


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