Three Important Points On Specifying The General Rulings Found In The Quraan


1) The Sunnah Can Be Divided Into His Verbal And Deeds.

As stated above the general rulings in the Quraan can be specified by way of the sunnah. This can be the verbal sunnah (as above) or by way of the actual sunnah (his deeds). An example of the specification by way of his (saw) deeds, we find the punishment of adultery in soorah An-Noor (24:2) which orders the lashing of the adulterer, however the sunnah of the messenger has specified this general rule by stoning to death for adultery by a married Muslim.

2) Can The Quraan Specify A General Ruling In The Sunnah?

As stated in the previous post, the general rulings in the Quraan can be specified by the Quraan, Sunnah, Ijmaa and Qiyaas. The general rulings in the Sunnah, likewise can be specified by the Sunnah, Ijmaa and Qiyaas. As to whether the general rulings in the Sunnah can be specified by the Quraan, there is a difference of opinion on this point as it is usually the sunnah that gives the explanation (bayaan) of the Quraan, and this is the proper role of the Sunnah in its relationship to the Quraan.

3) Is There A Difference Of Opinion On Ahad And Qiyaas Acting As A Specifier?

As stated above the general rulings in the Quraan can be specified by an ahad hadeeth. This is in accordance with the majority view, for the general (‘aam) of the Quraan is zanni (speculative) and the khaass (specific) of an ahad hadeeth is Qat’ii (definitive in meaning and application). So a zanni may be specified by way of another zanni or a qat’ee.

Though according to the hanafees this is not the case. They argue that the ‘aam (general) of the Quraan is qat’e (definitive), and the ahad hadeeth and qiyaas for that matter, is zanni (speculative). A qat’ee (definitive) may not, according to them, be limited nor speficied by a zanni (speculative).

This difference of opinion only arises on ahad hadeth, thgere is no difference of opinion on the matter of a mutawaatir hadeeth specifying a general rule found in the Quraan.

[For more info please refer to ‘Principles Of Islamic jurisprudence” Pp. 144-149]

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