While asking a question to an Alim some people put a condition that the proof should be referenced from Qur’an. Ulama also try to fulfill this request and struggle to establish their answer from Qur’an. However, when the Usool (Sources of Proof) in Shariah are four, Qur’an, Hadeeth, Ijmaa’ Ummah and Qiyas, then every Alim has a right to establish his answer either from Qur’an or from Hadeeth etc. How far would one go to establish proof from Qur’an? If all the masa’il (juristic problems) could be deduced from the Qur’an alone, then what would be the need for the remaining sources?
Some people claim that Qur’an contains information about everything, so much so that they would go at length to provide proofs for electricity and trains from Qur’an. Whereas everything being in the Qur’an does not mean this at all, otherwise it should also provide information about weaving and mending clothes. Then it would not remain Qur’an rather an industrial manual. Just imagine if someone were to search for ways of mending shoes in Tibb e Akbar; would he not be insane?! And if for an instance such things were written in Tibb e Akbar, then it would not be a book of medicine. Similarly we cannot expect such useless information to be in Qur’an, which is a book for the field of spiritual medicine. If Qur’an were to contain such information, it would create a deficiency in the Qur’an.
Qur’an has all the information about deen, however it is not necessary that everything must be mentioned explicitly. Qur’an provides us with principles through which the Mujtahideen (those who have excelled in religious academic to a level of self judgment based on the Usools) deduce different scenarios. Thus, Qur’an mentions one such principles as :
مَا آَتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانْتَهُوا
What ever Rasulullah (salallahu alayhi wasallam) commands you then accept that, and whatever he prohibits you from, then abstain from it. (59:7)
In light of this principle all the rulings from the ahadeeth of Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasallam fall within the ambit of this principle. Hence, we have complete right to establish the proof from Ahadeeth. It also mentions elsewhere in Qur’an:
فَاعْتَبِرُوا يَا أُولِي الْأَبْصَارِ
..Then consider O people of sight (59:2)
The meaning of I’tibaar (consider) is to use an example and analogize it onto another. This shows that some ruling can also be deduced through the process of I’tibaar. (In jurisprudence this process is called Qiyas). So then why do we feel the need to restrict ourselves to Qur’an?
These days a sect has come up called the Qur’aniya, who only adhere to Qur’an. These people have even left behind the Gher Muqallids (those who do not attribute themselves to one of the four schools of thought). The Gher Muqallid had only denied the Qiyas, while these people have even denied the ahadeeth.
One Alim of this sect (Qur’aniyah) was asked, “How do you substantiate the number of units (Rak’aat) for your daily prayers from Qur’an? Although Qur’an indicates a general ruling for obligatory Prayers, and some verses even indicate towards the timing for these prayers, yet there is no mention of the number of units in Qur’an. So where do you get these number of units from? If it is from ahadeeth, then you have to accept the ahadeeth as a source of proof otherwise bring forth the verse which shows these numbers of units.”
The Alim sought a day to find out the answer. This in itself showed the fallacy of their understanding, that without knowledge they went ahead to practice something which they had no proof for. Anyway, he returned the next day after his research and provided the following verse:
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ فَاطِرِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ جَاعِلِ الْمَلَائِكَةِ رُسُلًا أُولِي أَجْنِحَةٍ مَثْنَى وَثُلَاثَ وَرُبَاعَ
Praise be to Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, Who made the angels, messengers with wings, two, or three, or four…(35:1)
Such was the proof for the question posed to the Alim. SubhanAllah! Its parable is like “I ask for food and you give me shoes”. The ayah talks about the angels and the number of their wings. What does that have to do with the number of units in Salah? If the only intent was to display the numbers, then this was not the only ayah, one could have used other ayaat as well. Hence it comes in the Qur’an:
فَانْكِحُوا مَا طَابَ لَكُمْ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ مَثْنَى وَثُلَاثَ وَرُبَاعَ
… marry of the women, who seem good to you, two or three or four…(4:3)
The same numbers are mentioned in this ayah as well; apart from that, we do not seem to be worried about the context in which the numbers are brought, whether it is for Salah, or women. Astaghfirulla hil Adheem!
Hence the Ulama should not take such a discourse in answering questions, that they have to establish their answer from the Qur’an or that the answer has to have a logical reasoning for it (in cases where Sareeh Nasus are present). This is because in some places one will not find any underlying reason, or sometime if there is, it may be too weak. Thus complying with such a condition is in fact weakening the roots of Shariah.
One person related to me his incident of when he inquired from a gentleman (modernist), “Why do you shave your beard? It is a sin to do so and one should repent from this”.
The gentleman replied, “If you bring me proof of the beard from Qur’an then I will also repent from it.”
The person responded, “Yes, I can give you the proof from Qur’an. See the ayah :
قَالَ يَا ابْنَ أُمَّ لَا تَأْخُذْ بِلِحْيَتِي وَلَا بِرَأْسِي…
He said: O son of my mother! Clutch not my beard nor my head!…(20:94)
From this we understand that Haroon alayhi salam had a beard, otherwise how would Musa alayhi salam clutch his beard!”
So, I (Maulana Thanvi rehmatullahi alayh) asked this person, “How would you have answered if the gentleman had replied to you by saying that this verse is merely a proof for the Wujood (presence) of beard and not an evidence for Wujoob (obligation). To establish the Wujood you did not have to go towards Qur’an, you could have simply held your own beard and shown the presence of it.”
The person said, “Come now, he does not have that much intellect to argue like that!
I said to him, “That’s it, that’s the difference between us students of knowledge and you. We cannot give evidence which according to ourselves is weak. Our tongues refrain from giving such evidences. We try our best to give a reasoning which will be so sound that even the most intellectual of people would not be able to counter it, whether it is according to the temperament of the questioner or not.”
Thus remember it well that such an attitude of succumbing to the questioner’s demand is very detrimental. These people must feel so happy that they have made a close connection with the Shariah, but their connection is just like that of the man who befriends a bear.
One person raised a bear and taught him to fan him. When the master would sleep, this bear would stand and fan him.
Some people tried to caution him saying, “He is an animal; there is no knowing what he could do. Don’t take such a work from him, that you sleep away and leave him free”.
But the man would reply, “No, No, my bear is educated, I have no fear regarding him.”
One day the man slept and the bear fanned him as usual. Right then a fly came and sat on the man’s nose. The bear tried to shoo it away but it came back.
Some flies are like that, the more you shoo them away, the more they come back. Anyway, this fly annoyed the bear a lot. He would shoo it away and it would come back again. The bear got so annoyed, that he left the fan aside and looked for a big rock, thinking that if the fly comes back again he will surely kill it. The fly did indeed come back, and the bear made an aim and threw the rock at the fly on the master’s nose. We cannot say for sure if the fly died or not, but master got his brains scrambled.
In this example, the bear tried his level best to aid his master, and his intention was only to remove the harm from his master, but we all understand that this friendship in reality was a fatal mistake. Similarly, these poor people (Qur’aniyah or Gher Muqallids) are aiding the Shariah like the bear aided his master (i.e they end up destroying the Shariah in their endeavour to uphold it).
Khutbaat Hakimul Ummat, vol. 2, pg. 120-124