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  • Thursday, 13 June 2024
Islamic Jurisprudence: Qiyas

Islamic Jurisprudence: Qiyas


Name. Baran Khan

In Islamic jurisprudence, we study Qiyas which means a form of strong Reasoning in Islamic law. The ruling of qiyas is to be in personal opinion (ra’y)/reasoning to solve the issue. The literal meaning of qiyas is measuring, the weight, and quality of something, the value of something and the traditional meaning is expanding the Islamic law (shariah). Qiyas is used when a new case came (furu) and people do not know what the effect is or cause (illah). However, the original ruling was already given in the text that, if the new case has the same effect or cause (illah) then the rule (hukm) will be applied in the new case which is the same ruling in the original case. These all are pillars of al-qiyas.

For example: drinking alcoholic beverages such as beer (new case furu’) mostly contain wheat and corn which contains less alcohol (original case al AsI) and also benefits the human because they reduce heart attack etc but the original ruling is (ruled hukm) for alcohol which is prohibited because when you will drink alcohol your mind not be in his place (unstable) (cause illah) so beer also contains alcohol whether it should less or more but it is prohibited because it had a cause (illah), the rule (hukm) will apply on the new case because it has the same effect.

Further qiyas is mostly accepted by Sunni and it is the 4th pillar in Shariah (Islamic law) i.e. 1. Quran, 2. Sunnah, 3rd.  ijmah. “The Bernard G. Weiss, also can say that qiyas is accepted by later generations and in earlier times not accepted as they accept now”.[1] This means the earlier generation are merely dependent on the book of God (Quran) and Sunnah (action of the prophet), but as later the Islamic law was developing they accepted qiyas. The qiyas accepted by all four sunni schools i.e. Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i and Hanbali, however, hanbalis accepted later and also argued with Imam Ahmad that is  “there is no qiyas in the Sunnah, and examples are not to be made up for it.”[2]

Nevertheless, shaflii proved a Quran proof for qiyas that is “wherever you come from, turn your face to the sacred Mosque; wherever you may be, turn your faces towards it, so that people will not have any argument against you except for the wrongdoers among them. Do not fear them; fear me, so that I may perfect my favour to you and you may be rightly guided.”(2:150).[3]

The shafii limited the scope of qiyas and also authorized the qiyas which means not every person can do qiyas except those who have authority i.e. should know the Quran and its basic principles, should know the Sunnah and ijmah (consensus) and should be good in terms of memory keep things memorized and a sane mind. If a scholar takes a decision then it should be reasonable and sounds well. If any of these qualifications are missing then he could not consider for qiyas mean eligibility criteria was not complete.

Apart from that Imam Bukhari is against the qiyas, terminology was that “which included religious innovation (bid’a), ra’y (personal opinion), and tamthil (liking God’s attributes to His creation).”[4]This means that it brings changes to Islamic law (shariah) to some extent.

Another Quran proof for qiyas, “We have sent the book down to you with the truth so that you may judge among mankind by means of what God has shown you.”(4:105)[5]

Qiyas proof from Sunnah, is that “the Prophet himself acted as a judicial authority in Medina, and also reportedly appointed several persons as judges in various parts of Arabia”[6]. Its means the Prophet itself used qiyas (used his personal reasoning to appoint judges for different parts of Arabia). Furthermore also for personal matters personal reasoning will apply to solve the problem.

There are three types of qiyas in which the cause or effect (illah) is different i.e.

 1st Qiyas al-Awl (Analogy of the superior) it means that the effect or the cause of the new case has a higher effect than the original.

 2nd is Qiyas al-Musawi (Analogy of equals) that the cause or effect of the new case is the same or uniform to the original case.

3rd is Qiyas al-Adna (Analogy of the inferior) which means the effect or cause of the new case is lower than the original case.

Now it has a possibility when you give your personal opinion it can be weak, can be strong and can be beneficial for others and can be detrimental for others. Because in this you put your own reasoning own idea own analysis to solve the issue or matter.

For example: “just as tayammum is lawful in the absence of water during a journey, so qiyas can be employed in the absence of tradition (khabar)”[7] mean it is lawful but qiyas is take place when there is no justification in Quran and Sunnah or in ijmah then qiyas will take place with the good reasoning in law.

In the modern era qiyas is accepted more while in earlier time it does not, also we can argue that sometimes qiyas decisions come can be based on a person's own interest and also a conflict of interests also came in here. We are not saying that qiyas is not good, it is good practice it helps to solve the issues of people but it also should be in honest decision. Moreover, it can be possible that the four schools of law have their own view or different perspective on the same thing because all minds are not the same so here also conflict can come and may create new problems so not all the time things can be accepted sometimes they can be rejected as well. Nevertheless, it’s a good practice to give your own reasoning in Islamic law it’s something that how is your mental capability and how you deal with the matter or issues and how you take decisions or how you solve the issue, and also it kind of you giving you opinion.



[1] Qiyas-1, slides from, Sunni perspective.

[2] Qiyas-1, slides from, early support for qiyas.

[3] The Quran by Maulana Wahiduddin khan.

[4] Qiyas-1, slides from imam bukahri’s criticism.

[5] The Quran by Maulana Wahiduddin khan.

[6] The principle of qiyas in Islamic law an historical perspective by Ahmad Hasan.

[7] The principle of qiyas in Islamic law an historical perspective by Ahmad Hasan.

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