DHARÛRIYYAH – NADHARIYYAH
الضروريات - النظرية
Literally Dharûriyyah: Indispensable things. The quality of what is indispensable or necessary.
As an Islamic term: Essentials and incontestible matters of religion. The explicit and definite orders, rules and meanings. The principles and pillars of religion which are obligatory to have îmân in. Muhkamât and nass of the Qur’an.
Literally Nadhariyyah: Matters deduced or concluded by reasoning.
As an Islamic term: The secondary matters of religion, denial of which will not lead to kufr but makes the denier ahl al-bid’ah. The orders, rules and meanings, which are not definite and explicit and open to an interpretation that is based on the Sunnah and made by mujtahidîn, who have the authority of ijtihad.
For example, to perform the maskh (wiping with wet hands) on the head is a dharûriyyah and fardh, but how much of the head should be washed is a matter among the nadhariyyah and open to ijtihad. According to Imam ‘Adham Abu Hanifa, it is one-quarter of the head, while according to Imam Malik whole head should be wiped.
While ninety per cent of the Qur’an is dharûriyyah and muhkamât, ten per cent of it is nadhariyyah and open to ijtihad. This ten per cent of the religion is the part which madhabs are connected with. The rest of the ninety per cent cannot be deduced or concluded by reasoning. For the orders and prohibitions are definitely and explicitly decreed by Allah. There is no permission for the ijtihad on the âyahs the meanings of which are clear and explicit. Interpreting them is kufr.
You know that it is different to know the existence of a thing than to know its quality and essence. Also, a single proposition comprises numerous judgements. Some of them are necessary (dharûrî), and some are secondary (nadharî) and controversial…
… From now on we shall distinguish between the necessary (dharûrî) and that which is not necessary. Thus, the necessary (dharûrî) statements understood from the Qur’an’s answer are not to be denied. It is like this: Dhu’l-Qarnayn was a person whose existence is corroborated by Allah. Under his arrangement and guidance, a barrier was constructed between two mountains in order to be protected from the corruption of dhâlims and nomads. And, Ya’juj and Ma’juj were two corrupting tribes. When the command of Allah comes, the barrier will be destroyed. And so on. According to this analogy, the statements indicated by the Qur’an are the dharûriyyah of the Qur’an. Denying even a letter of them is not possible.
However, the Qur’an does not definitely indicate the limits of realities and details of circumstances for those subjects and their predicate. Rather, in accordance with the rule, “If a general statement is particular, it does not express any of the three types of signification (Dalalat salasah)1 ” and as is stated in the logic “It is sufficient to think a judgement with a cause of the subject and predicate”, it is established that the Qur’an does not indicate them but may accept them. It means that those details are from among the judgements of nadhariyyah. They are referred to other indications.2 The opinions for ijtihad arise from them. In those judgements of nadhariyyah, there is a scope for interpretation. The disagreement of muhaqqiqîn about them is a proof of their being nadhariyyah.
Rational Arguments (67)
…hadith comprises three propositions:
The First: This is the prophet’s word. This proposition is the result of — if there is — tawâtur.
The Second: The meaning intended by this word is haqq and right. As for this proposition, it is the result of the proof born from miracles. Both of these have to be agreed upon. One who denies the first proposition becomes an arrogant and a liar, while one who denies the second deviates into dhalâlah and falls into darkness.
The Third: The meaning intended by this word is this. And this is the jewel found in this shell; I am showing it. As for this proposition, it is the result of ijtihad, not the desires. In any event, someone who is a mujtahid is not obliged to follow other mujtahids. In this third proposition, disagreements boil up. All the “qâl u qîl”3 testifies to this. If it proceeds from an ijtihad, the person who denies it is neither an arrogant nor deviated into kufr. For a general matter is not extinguished through a particular thing being denied. Therefore, all houses should be entered by their own door since each has its own door and each lock has its own key.
Rational Arguments (47)
1 (Dalalat salasah: Three types of signification in the logic.
1. Dalalat Mutabiqiyyah: Signification by conformity.
2. Dalalat Tadhammuniyyah: Signification by inclusion.
3. Dalalat Iltizâmiyyah: Signification by implication.
For example, the proposition “Zakat is given to the poor among Muslims but not to the rich.”:
Through dalalat mutabiqiyyah (Signification by conformity), it is deduced from this proposition that zakat can be given only to poor Muslims.
Through dalalat tadhammuniyyah (Signification by inclusion), it is deduced from this proposition that zakat cannot be given to the person ‘A’ who is rich.
Through dalalat iltizâmiyyah (Signification by implication), it is deduced from this proposition that there is a difference between the rich and the poor, in the matter of zakat.) (Tr.)
2 [The hadiths of the Prophet (asm)] (Tr.)
3 (The narrations in the form of “said or it is said”)