The View Of Aboo Haneefah On Hypothetical Fiqh Issues


Aboo Haneefah would even derive verdicts for incidents that had not yet taken place during his time, a practise that the scholars before him disliked. They deemed it to be a waste of time because it occupied people’s time with matters in which there was no benefit.
Aboo Haneefah on the other hand, saw things in a different light: he felt that the job of the mujtahid is to prepare people to accept a ruling in fiqh, for though a matter might not occur during the life of the mujtahid, it might occur afterwards.

Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdaadee relates an issue which clearly shows Imaam Aboo Haneefah’s view in this issue:

When Qataadah came to Koofa, Aboo Haneefah met him and said, “What do you say about a man who leaves his wife for so many years that his wife supposes him to be dead, She  (then) marries another, but her first husband then returns to her. What do you say regarding her dowry?

In answer to this question, Qataadah said, “Woe unto you! Has this matter occurred?

Aboo Haneefah said, “No.”

He said, “Then why do you ask e about that which has not occurred?

Aboo Haneefah replied, “Indeed we are preparing for the problem before it arrives, and when it does arrive, we know its ins and outs.

Hence, his school came to be known as the “supposers”, or the school of those who hypothesized occurrences, saying, “Suppose that such and such were to happen or suppose that such and such occurred.

Through deductions and the study of hypothetical issues, the number of issues in the fiqh of Imaam Aboo Haneefah are indeed many. The author of “Al-‘Inaayah Sharh Al-Hidaayah” estimated those issues to approximately 1,270,000!

Because of his many deductions, some spiteful critics have said, “He is the most ignorant of people regarding what has occurred, and the most knowledgeable regarding that which has not occurred.

[Taken from “The Sunnah And Its Role In Islamic Legislation” Pp.490-492]

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