Our honorable sheikh, may Allah preserve him, and grant victory through him. Assalamu alaikum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatahu
I have a question in the book The Islamic Personality, Volume Three, on the subject of “Conflict with What Disrupts Understanding”:
When saying that audio evidence does not benefit certainty except after ten conditions…, what is meant by “changing the I’rab الإعراب, the conjugation, and the rational opposition”?
Please provide me with examples of “rational opposition”. And Allah reward you with good.
Your brother Abu Muhammad in Austria
Wassalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatahu
First: In order to clarify of what you are asking about, I quote what came in the book, The Islamic Personality Volume Three, in this regard, in the chapter: “Conflict with What Disrupts Understanding”:
[The misunderstanding of the speaker’s intent comes from five possibilities: subscription, transfer, metaphor, implication, and specification; Because if there is no possibility of participation and transmission, then the word is subject to one meaning, and if the possibility of metaphor and implication, i.e. appreciation, is absent, then what is meant by the word is what was established for it, and if the possibility of specification is absent, then what is meant by the word is everything that was put for it, then there would be no defect in understanding, and at that time the meaning is understood of the audio evidence, and this is with regard to the preponderance of conjecture. Because it is sufficient to derive the Shari’a ruling, meaning that if these five possibilities are absent, there is nothing left to conjecture, so the Shari’a ruling is understood. As for the lack of defect in certainty, which is necessary for beliefs, it is not sufficient to negate these five possibilities alone, i.e. it is not sufficient to infer from the audio evidence of the belief, i.e. to express certainty, these possibilities alone are negated, rather other things are necessary along with them. The auditory evidence does not benefit certainty except after ten conditions, which are these five, the absence of transcription, introduction and delay, change of I’rab الإعراب, conjugation, and mental [rational] opposition. If these ten are missing, nothing that disturbs certainty will remain, so the auditory evidence at that time will benefit certainty, and it will be inferred from the faith, it is a priority for the Shari’a ruling, as its indication at that time will be certain, in addition to it being proven with certainty.] End Quote from excerpt from The Islamic Personality Book, Volume Three.
Second: I previously answered a question on 02/27/2010 similar to yours, and for more benefit, I am transferring to you my aforementioned answer, in which it contains the answer to your question and more:
[…Some language scholars separate between the implication from the metaphor, so they limit the metaphor to the appearance of the word, but in a non-real sense, such as [إِنِّي أَرَانِي أَعْصِرُ خَمْراً] “I see me pressing wine”, so the word ‘wine’ is mentioned, but what is meant by it is grapes, and not the true meaning of wine, which is the pressed, fermented grape.
And like [يَجْعَلُونَ أَصَابِعَهُمْ فِي آذَانِهِمْ] “they put their fingers in their ears”, the word “fingers” is mentioned, but what is meant by it is the tip of the fingers and not the true meaning of the word “fingers” which includes the whole finger and not its tip, and so on. For them, metaphor is only the uttered word without its true meaning.
As for the implication, it is when the word that gives the true meaning is omitted, and one of its attachments appears to give the non-real meaning, such as [وَاسْأَلِ الْقَرْيَةَ] “and ask the village”, so the omitted is “people” and it gives the true meaning. As for the aforementioned related to it “the village”, it is the one that gives the non-real meaning, so the question is not for the village but for its people, and so they make the impermissible implication according to this consideration.
What is more correct is that they are the same, because the use of the word in other than the truth is the metaphor, so whether it had something omitted [وَاسْأَلِ الْقَرْيَةَ] “and ask the village” or not [أَعْصِرُ خَمْراً] “I squeeze wine”, [أَصَابِعَهُمْ فِي آذَانِهِمْ] “their fingers are in their ears,” the apparent expression was not used in the true meaning, so the village, i.e. its buildings, was not asked, rather its people were asked, and the wine was not pressed, but the grapes were pressed, and the fingers did not enter the ear, but rather what entered is its tip.
That’s the point.
As for why we mentioned them five and not four, even though we put the implication in the metaphorical chapter, and we think that they are from the same chapter, it is because the research is “what disturbs understanding.” The more precise and detailed the matter, the farther it is from disturbing understanding, so the distinction in implicit and metaphorical terms, between deletion and non-deletion, is more accurate and clearer.
As for the five that must be available with a statement of certainty, the matter is as follows:
As long as what is required of the auditory evidence is certainty, then it must be definitive of the evidence, “and of course the evidence is definitive, except that the research is in understanding the speaker’s intent, so it is related to the evidence.” In order for the indication to be definitive, the auditory evidence must not be subject to possibility. If the text is likely to be abrogated, you cannot take a definitive indication from it until you are sure that it is not abrogated. The same applies if there is an introduction and a delay, or a change in the I’rab الإعراب, or the Tasreef التصريف and derivation, or has a mental [rational] opposition.
1- Abrogation: Allah Almighty says:
[يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا إِذَا نَاجَيْتُمُ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدِّمُوا بَيْنَ يَدَيْ نَجْوَاكُمْ صَدَقَةً ذَلِكَ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ وَأَطْهَرُ فَإِنْ لَمْ تَجِدُوا فَإِنَّ اللهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ]
“O believers! When you consult the Messenger privately, give something in charity before your consultation. That is better and purer for you. But if you lack the means, then Allah is truly All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Al-Mujadila 58:12]
So can you take from it the Najwa rule If you don’t make sure that it is not abrogated? The answer is obvious because it is abrogated…
2- Precedence and delay, Allah Almighty says in verse 142 of Surat Al-Baqarah:
[سَيَقُولُ السُّفَهَاءُ مِنَ النَّاسِ مَا وَلَّاهُمْ عَنْ قِبْلَتِهِمُ الَّتِي كَانُوا عَلَيْهَا قُلْ لِلَّهِ الْمَشْرِقُ وَالْمَغْرِبُ يَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ]
“The foolish among the people will ask, “Why did they turn away from the direction of prayer they used to face?”1 Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “The east and west belong ˹only˺ to Allah. He guides whoever He wills to the Straight Path.” [Al-Baqara 2:142]. Allah Almighty says in verse 144:
[قَدْ نَرَى تَقَلُّبَ وَجْهِكَ فِي السَّمَاءِ فَلَنُوَلِّيَنَّكَ قِبْلَةً تَرْضَاهَا فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ…]
“Indeed, We see you ˹O Prophet˺ turning your face towards heaven. Now We will make you turn towards a direction ˹of prayer˺ that will please you. So turn your face towards the Sacred Mosque ˹in Mecca˺…” [Al-Baqara 2:144].
It is clear that there is an advancement / precedence (taqdeem) and a delay, for it is first the Almighty’s saying
[فَلَنُوَلِّيَنَّكَ قِبْلَةً تَرْضَاهَا] “We will make you turn towards a direction ˹of prayer˺ that will please you.” [Al-Baqara 2:144]. And after Allah (swt) gave him the right to turn of the Al-Masjed Al-Haram, the foolish people said
[مَا وَلَّاهُمْ عَنْ قِبْلَتِهِمُ] “Why did they turn away from the direction of prayer they used to face?” [Al-Baqara 2:142]. If you hear the first verse and you do not understand the introduction and the delay, then it will be difficult for you to understand the meaning of the words, so how will the foolish people say [مَا وَلَّاهُمْ عَنْ قِبْلَتِهِمُ] “Why did they turn away from the direction of prayer they used to face?” [Al-Baqara 2:142] and then you hear the next verse [فَلَنُوَلِّيَنَّكَ قِبْلَةً تَرْضَاهَا] “We will make you turn towards a direction ˹of prayer˺ that will please you.” [Al-Baqara 2:144]? So, as long as the advancement/ precedence and delay are not excluded in the text, you cannot understand what is meant.
3- As for changing the I’rab الإعراب, Allah Almighty says:
[وَمَا يَعْلَمُ تَأْوِيلَهُ إِلَّا اللهُ وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ يَقُولُونَ آمَنَّا بِهِ…] “but none grasps their ˹full˺ meaning except Allah. As for those well-grounded in knowledge, they say, “We believe in this ˹Quran˺” [Aali Imran 3:7]. The difference in I’rab الإعراب between the letter “waw” الواو being connected or an appellate makes the meaning different, and this is explained in the book, The Islamic Personality, Volume Three.
4- As for the tasreef التصريف , Allah, the Exalted, says: [قَالَ فَخُذْ أَرْبَعَةً مِنَ الطَّيْرِ فَصُرْهُنَّ إِلَيْكَ] “Allah said, ‘Then bring four birds, train them to come to you’” [Al-Baqara 2:260] Here, the word “sarhn” is either one that becomes depicted, or one that becomes, and therefore “sarhn” was read with the ‘dham’ الضم on the authority of Hafs, and “sarhn” was read with the ‘kasra’ الكسرة on the authority of Hamza, and both are mutawatir.
If you do not know how to deal with the conjugation, you cannot understand the verse because the word here has a different conjugation. But when you know the conjugation, you understand what is meant, so you say: (فصرهنّ) بالضم بمعنى قَطَعَه أو أماله. وبالكسر بمعنى القطع كما قال الفراء. ‘Fasrahn’ read with the ‘dham’ means cutting it off or tilting it. And when read with the ‘kasr’ means pieces, as stated by Al-Firaa’.
And because the two recitations are Mutawatir (conclusive) and the meaning is the same, the precise meaning between the two recitations is “to cut off”, and the meaning of “فصُرهن” “to cut them apart” is to slaughter them and cut them into parts.
5- The rational opponent, the Most High says: [ذَلِكُمُ اللهُ رَبُّكُمْ خَالِقُ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ]“That is Allah—your Lord! There is no god ˹worthy of worship˺ except Him. ˹He is˺ the Creator of all things” [Al-An’am 6:102]. “all things” is a general term, so if you do not realize that this is specific to the mind other than Allah (swt) then you do not realize what is required, because Allah Almighty is the Creator and not among the creatures, that is, He is not within “all things” in this verse. And this opposition that necessitated specification is a rational opposition, so if the text contains a rational opposition, then you do not understand the meaning of the text without understanding this issue.
In conclusion: you cannot reach the speaker’s intention with certainty unless you remove the possibility of abrogation, changing the syntax, precedence and delay, changing the I’rab, inflection, and the rational opposition. In other words, if you encounter a text, you will not be able to understand the meaning of the words of the text alone unless those five are excluded from it. “Of course, the five that preceded it.” If you do not extract from it, you cannot understand the meaning of the words of the text alone except by combining them with their belongings from the five mentioned.
To put it more clearly:
* If you encounter a text and the abrogation is negated from it, then you understand the meaning / connotation from the words alone, but if the abrogation is not nullified, then the meaning of the words of the text alone cannot be understood except by combining them with the abrogating one.
* And if you encounter a text in which there is no precedence and delay, then you understand the meaning of its words alone, but if the precedence and delay are not excluded, then you cannot understand the meaning of the words of the text alone except by returning the precedence and delay to its origin.
* And if you encounter a text and it is negated when the I’rab الإعراب changed, then you understand the intent from its expressions alone, but if it is changed, then you cannot understand the intent from the text’s expressions alone except by solving the forms of I’rab.
* And if you encounter a text and there is no change in the conjugation of it, then you understand the intent from its expressions alone, but if it is changed, then it is not possible to understand the intent from the expressions of the text alone except by solving the forms of conjugation.
* And if you encounter a text and the rational opposition is negated from it, then you understand the meaning of its words alone, but if it is not negated, then it is not possible to understand the meaning of the words of the text alone except by solving the forms of the rational opposition.
And to sum up the conclusion: What was mentioned in our book in the section on what affects understanding: “… the auditory evidence does not inform certainty except after ten conditions, which are these five, the absence of transcription, introduction and delay, change of I’rab الإعراب, conjugation, and rational opposition…” is in its place in terms of stating certainty. 02/27/2010.] End.
I hope it is clear to you.
Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah
23 Muharram 1445 AH – 10 August 2023 CE
The link to the answer from the Ameer’s Facebook page