Establishi​ng the Principles – Principles of Understand​ing – Book 1 – Class 23

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

May Allaah reward the sister who provided these notes.  Inshaa’Allaah they will be formatted accordingly.  Baarakallaahu feekum.

Our teacher began with praising Allaah and sending salaat and salaam on the Messenger of Allaah, his family, companions and followers until the Last Day and began:

Going back to our treatise, belonging to Shaykh as-Sa’dee rahimahullaahu ta’aala, we were explaining what الظاهر is.

USF 23.1

So the author said: and at times, the rulings are taken from what is apparent from the phrase. And the apparent meaning of the phrase, with the possibility of another meaning, this is called الظاهر. This is why he said: وتارة تؤخذ من ظاهرهما – any phrase in Islaam, according to the principles of deriving the rulings from the text from the Qur’aan or he Sunnah, it is not all of one level but there are different levels of indication.

Sometimes the phrase is entirely clear in indicating a single meaning without the possibility of another, so such a phrase which  gives only one meaning without the possibility of another accepted linguistically, this is called النَّص

Sometimes the phrase could withstand more than one meaning, but it is more apparent with one of those meaning and this is what is called الظاهر.

Sometimes the certain phrase could withstand more than one meaning and none of the meanings are known, meaning which meaning is meant is not known, so we have to wait until there is clear proof specifying what is meant. The closet example of this are most of the commandments of the Qur’aan like the order to pray – this order is unknown as it could stand more than one meaning. Then the prophet  came and clarified that the prayer is a group of acts: sayings and doing that begin with takbeer (Allaahu akbar) and end with tasleem (as-salaam). Also, the obligatory charity, because such a phrase az-zakaat, could withstand more than one meaning and more than one description of giving out that obligatory charity so it was left unclarified until the prophet clarified it by the sunnah and so on. This is called al-Mujmal, when a phrase could give more than one meaning but there is no apparent meaning from that phrase, this is called al-Mujmal. The author did not mention the third type, which is al-Mujmal.

Then the author said: ما دل على ذلك على وجه العموم اللفظي أو المعنوي

“Whichever (whatever phrase) indicated that (meaning the meaning referred to here*) from the aspect of the generality taken from the word or the meaning.

* إلا ذلك المعنى

ما means: whatever and it is equal to الذي

Basically, this means that the generality is taken from two types, sometimes the word is upon a certain form which gives the power of generality like جاء الطلاب (the students came) – here the ال when pre-fixed to a type: a certain description fitting a certain race or type, it generalises. So here, where did we take the generality from, the word or the meaning? The word. Meaning that the generality was benefitted from the wording and sometimes the generality is taken from the meaning. For example, the word giving more than one meaning, as we have clarified before.

Then we gave different examples to that:

Student says: Haadha khalqullaah

This is an example of mu’awwal, we want an example from الظاهر. إِذَا دُعِيَ أَحَدُكُمْ فَلْيُجِبْ ،

Student says:  فَإِنْ كَانَ صَائِمًا فَلْيُصَلِّ ، وَإِنْ كَانَ مُفْطِرًا فَلْيُطْعِمْ

This is an example of mu’awwal as well.

An example for الظاهر:

The prophet salallaahu ‘alayhi wasalam was asked about doing وضوء from eating camels meat. This is narrated in Aboo Daawood, hadeeth 184, where the prophet salallaahu ‘alayhi wasalam said: تَوَضَأوا منها

تَوَضَأوا منها means: make وضوء from it.

The word تَوَضَأوا منها has an Islaamic meaning, which specified the linguistic meaning and then there is a linguistic meaning that it has. But we have a principle that says a word is given its Islaamic meaning before it is given its linguistic meaning. This is every word and phrase, which is found in the Qur’aanic text or the text of the Sunnah, it is given the Islaamic meaning, just as long as it has one. If it does not, then we go to the linguistic meaning. Al-وضوء has a linguistic meaning, which is cleanliness. And the Islamic meaning to وضوء is what you know.

So تَوَضَأوا منها could give more than one meaning:

1)      Cleanliness

So the prophet salallaahu ‘alayhi wasalam is telling us to wash ourselves from the camel meat, like to wash our hands and face

2)      The washing ritual before prayer.

The apparent meaning of وضوء, which is the Islaamic meaning and it is washing the body parts in a specific way.

Now if the word has its own Islaamic meaning over the linguistic meaning it has, which closest meaning we have to give it? The Islamic meaning and this is agreed upon.

For example, when the prophet salallaahu ‘alayhi wasalam Islaam: بنية الإسلام على الخامس (Islaam was based upon five), which is the five pillars of Islaam.

Then he mentioned إقامة السلام  – when you mention this word الصلاة, what is the first meaning that comes to mind? Do you understand the linguistic meaning or the Islaamic meaning? Islaamic meaning. Because the linguistic meaning is ad-du’aa (invocation) and the Islaamic meaning is the certain act of worship that we do, the prayer. So the principle to this is, as long as the phrase or the term has its own Islaamic meaning, we give it that meaning and if it does not, we go to the linguistic meaning.

So تَوَضَأوا منها , what does this mean now, according to what we have learnt? Does it mean to do وضوء or clean yourself with it? It means to do وضوء. So the الظاهر of this hadeeth (the parent meaning of this hadeeth) is that the prophet Muhammad is commanding us to do وضوء from Camel’s meat and the furthest meaning is to clean yourself from eating camels meat, but this is not meant. Because phrases in Islaamic resources (Qur’aan and Sunnah) are given the Islaamic meanings, just as long as they have one. This is an example to what is called الظاهر – of the types of الظاهر is العموم, generality. So here generality is a type of الظاهر to most scholars. (See whiteboard*)

Generality, is one of the types of الظاهر, because the general term like المشركات (meaning the polytheist women). The al of المشركات  is in the power of كل, which means all or every.

Let me give you a tip on how to figure it out, any al that can substitute كل with, is the al of generality. Instead of المشركات, if you say كل المشركات , if it gives the same meaning then this is the al of generality.

How is generality considered to be of the types of الظاهر? I will give you an example, what could المشركات means all of them, with the possibility of this generality having exceptions.

If we come across a general term and we were to give it one of two meanings:

Either we give this terms it general meaning –including all the individual things that fall under that term. Eg, with المشركات, all types of polytheists such as the Christians, the Hindu’s, the Jews – all of them without exceptions. All of them mean all of them – every single type of polytheist, without excluding anyone.

The other meaning, which is the furthest meaning, which is it indicating some types of المشركات and excluding others. What is the apparent meaning taken from المشركات? All. If one wants to specific and say this is considered an exception, he cannot do so without a clear proof. Because how many people claim they have a proof but when you ponder on it you see that it is not a proof but a doubt and misconception. This proof has to be from the Qur’aan, Sunnah or ijmaa’. Now we have a verse from the Qur’aan that excludes a certain group of polytheists from this ruling. Which ruling? The ruling we referred to in Surah al-Baqarah: وَلَا تَنكِحُواْ ٱلۡمُشۡرِكَـٰتِ  women. So where is the verse that excludes that? Surah al-Maa’idah, verse 5 because it clearly states that it is permissible or lawful to marry the chaste women of the people of the scripture so this excludes وَلَا تَنكِحُواْ ٱلۡمُشۡرِكَـٰتِ, this verse about the chaste women from the people of the scripture excludes from the verse that is general وَلَا تَنكِحُواْ ٱلۡمُشۡرِكَـٰتِ.

So this is what is meant by the generality taken from the wording and the generality taken from the meaning.

المشركات is the generality taken from the wording and تَوَضَأوا منها is the generality taken from the meaning.

Now there is another types of generality taken from the meanng whichis called al-qiyaas and we will come to that later as the author will speak about that later.

What is the link between الظاهر and generality?

What is the definition of الظاهر? Is it not the word or phrase that gives an apparent meaning with a possibility of a further one? Yes

Likewise المشركات, is a general phrase that gives an apparent meaning; all polytheist women and with a possibility of a further meaning: an exception.

What is the ruling of الظاهر? What is our position of الظاهر as Muslims? We must act upon it and it is impermissible for us to choose the overweighed meaning over the overweighing meaning, without proof.

Here the scholars said that this is where most of the people of deviation deviated. So if you understand this topic of الظاهر and مُؤَوَّل, this is a great door of understanding this issue. Because her you will understand where the deviants went wrong because most deviants chose the overweighed meaning over the overweighing meaning.

Now let us go to another line.

The author says: وتارة تؤخذ من المنطوق

At times the ruling is taken from المطوق and on the other side there is something called المفهوم .

The prophet salallaahu ‘alayhi wasalam said: من يريد الله به خير يفقه في الدين – whoever Allaah wants good for, he gives him understanding of the religion.

Most of you, if not all, know this hadeeth and these are the very words of the hadeeth. What did you understand from the words of the hadeeth? What the hadeeth says?

We understood that if Allaah wanted good for someone, he will make him understand the religion.

This ruling, which is that someone understanding the religion is considered Allaah wanting good for him, this meaning we have taken, where have we taken it from? From the text itself.

There is another meaning which is not taken from the text but from what the text proves. So this meaning you have understood from the very words of the text. There is another meaning e understand in opposition the meaning that we have taken from the text, which is what? Which is if Allah did not want good for His slave, He will not make him understand the religion. (see whiteboard) did we not understand that from the hadeeth as well? Yes we did. But is this latter meaning understood from the very words of the hadeeth? No

The meaning taken from the very meaning of the words is called منطوق and the meaning taken from other than the words of the hadeeth, is called مفهوم .

UF 23.2

منطوق linguistically means spoken and مفهوم  linguistically means understood and this is the literal and linguistic meanings of these words.

The technical meaning of منطوق is: ما دل على الحكم في محل النطق

“Whatever pointed out to the ruling in the place of the text.”

So from the very words of the text, like the aforementioned hadeeth.

Now you can understand another meaning which is in opposition  which is: if Allah did not want good for His slave, He will not make him understand the religion

So what is taken from the very words of the text is called منطوق and whatever meaning is taken from elsewhere is مفهوم .

In the future classes you will take the types of مفهوم , how to understand it, which has a مفهوم , what does and does not have a مفهوم .

As an example, the hadeeth is a condition: that if Allah wants good, this will happen and if he does not want good, this will not happen. So this is based upon this – so understanding the religion is based upon Allaah wanting good for a person. So this conditioning type of text is one that has understanding in opposition to it.

Now this which we have understood: is the منطوق (enter text) and مفهوم (enter text) of the hadeeth equal to one another? No it is not as it is in opposition to it.

From the very words of the hadeeth we proved that  the slave understanding the religion is Allaah wanting good for him and in opposition to this is that if Allaah wants bad for oyu, He will not make you understand the religion. These two are not equal but rather opposite.

This example of the hadeeth is the type of where the منطوق is opposite to the مفهوم .

Let me give you another example of what is considered منطوق and مفهوم  and where the مفهوم  is worse than the منطوق.

Allaah says in Surah al-Israa (17), verse 23:

۞ وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعۡبُدُوٓاْ إِلَّآ إِيَّاهُ وَبِٱلۡوَٲلِدَيۡنِ إِحۡسَـٰنًا‌ۚ إِمَّا يَبۡلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ ٱلۡڪِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَآ أَوۡ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُل لَّهُمَآ أُفٍّ۬ وَلَا تَنۡہَرۡهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوۡلاً۬ ڪَرِيمً۬ا (٢٣)

And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour. (23)

Do not say to them: “Uff”.

Now give me the منطوق of this verse.

The منطوق of this verse is that is is impermissible to say “Uff” to your parents.

“It is impermissible to shout at your parents” – is this taken from the very words of the verse? No. so what is it called then? مفهوم

Is the مفهوم  and منطوق opposite? No, the later is worse as shouting is worse as “uff “ expresses discomfort.

So here we have a مفهوم  that is higher and worse/severer than منطوق.

UF 23.3

Let me give you a third example:

Allaah says in Surah an-Nisaa (4), verse 10:

إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يَأۡڪُلُونَ أَمۡوَٲلَ ٱلۡيَتَـٰمَىٰ ظُلۡمًا إِنَّمَا يَأۡڪُلُونَ فِى بُطُونِهِمۡ نَارً۬ا‌ۖ وَسَيَصۡلَوۡنَ سَعِيرً۬ا (١٠)

Verily, those who unjustly eat up the property of orphans, they eat up only a fire into their bellies, and they will be burnt in the blazing Fire! (10)

What is the ruling taken from the very words of this verse? That is it not permissible to eat up the property of orphans. This is taken from the very words of the verse.

Let me give you another meaning and you can decide what position it takes; is it opposite, worse, lesser etc.

Other meaning: it is not permissible to ruin the property of orphans.

The meanings are equal as whether you burn, ruin, drown, use it up or destroy it in any way – it is the same as you are eating up the property of the orphans. All of it makes it unusable by the orphans.

Each meaning – when it is opposite to what is understood in the text, worse or equal, all are considered مفهوم  and each one has a specific technical term.

UF 23.4

Screen Shots >>>

UF 23.1



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