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June 23, 2017

Qiyas Analogical Deduction in Islam in Light of Quranic Texts

Juristic Deduction/ Analogy/ Qiyas

Definition of Analogy
All the four schools of jurisprudence agree that, in matters which have not been provided for by a Quranic or traditionally text, nor determined by consensus of opinion the law may be deduced from what has been laid down by any of these three authorities, by the use of Qiyas, which is generally translated as analogy.
The root meaning of the word Qiyas is measuring, accord, equality. As a source of laws it is defined by the Hanafis as an extension of law from the original text to which the process is applied to a particular case by means of a common illat or effective cause, which cannot be ascertained merely by interpretation of the language of the text, by the Malikis as the accord of a deduction with the original text in respect of the illat or effective cause of its law and by the Shafis as the accored of a known thing with a known thing by reason of the equality of the one with the other in respect of the effective cause of its law.
In plain language Qiyas is a process of deduction by which the law of a text is applied to cases which, though not covered by the language are governed by the reason of the text. The reason of the text, which is technically called illat or effective cause is the rukn i.e. constituent of analogy and the extension of the law of the text to which the process is applied is its legal effect.
Analogy as a source of laws being subordinate and subsidiary to the Quran the tradition and the Ijma, these latter in the language of Muhammadan lawyers are called its authorities (asl) or texts (nass).

Arguments against Analogy/ Qiyas

The Zahiris, some Hanbalis and Ibn Hazm deny the authority of analogy as a valid source of laws, except in matters which are the rights of men and are ascertainable by the exercise of our senses and reason. They contend, “that any other view of analogy would virtually amount to making laws which is the sole privilege of God.
In support of their contention they rely upon the following texts;

  • We (that is God speaking through the Prophet) have send down the Book as authority for you.
  • There is nothing fresh nor dry, but is to be found (that is the rule in every matter is laid down) in the revealed book, say, God has not by his revelations made anything unlawful to man except a dead body or the flowing blood of an animal.
  • Say, whatever is not found to be forbidden in the Book of God is lawful to men.
  • The affairs of the Israelites were in proper order, until those born of slave girls increased in numbers, and began to deduce from what had been laid down things which had never been laid down, and thus they themselves went astray and led others astray.

Arguments in Support of Analogy

It is admitted by the Sunni Jurists with reference to the first two of above texts that the law for guidance of Muslims in every matter is to be found in the Quran but they point out that the law on some questions alone has been laid down in express terms, and as regards the rest, the Quran merely affords indications from which inferences have to be drawn.
As to the warning contained in the last mentioned text against the example of the Israelites, that was called for by the ignorance and prejudice of those addressed but no such charge can be made against Muhammadan Jurists as a body. The principle underlying the text which lays down that nothing that has bot been declared unlawful by God can be made lawful, is fully admitted; but it is not claimed that analogy can be used for such a purpose.
The Sunnis on the other hand rely upon the authority of the following texts in support of analogy;
Did you think they would get away? They thought that their forts would protect them, but his punishment reached them from the quarter they had not anticipated. The inspired fear in their hearts, and they pulled down their houses with their own hands, and so did the Muslims. So ye who have judgment take warning.

Example of Prophet Muhammad which support Qiyas

When the Prophet sent Muhdh to Yemen as Governor he said to him; how are you going to decide cases; Muadh Answered; by the light of what is in the book of God. The Prophet next asked; And if you do not find anything in the Quran to guide you?, I will decide in the way the Prophet has been doing. But inquired the Prophet; if you do not find any precedent from me what then? I will do my best by exercising my judgment. The Prophet there upon exclaimed “Praise be to God who ahs so disposed the delegate of his Prophet as to be able to satisfy him.


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