By Ghulam Ghaus, New Age
26 October 2019
This part of the Refutation
is based on the jurisprudential principle of Zahir and Nass and
that when they conflict with each other the Nass is preferred.
Before delving into the
subject, we would like to define Zahir and Nass. Linguistically
the term Zahir means ‘apparent’, ‘plain’, manifest and ‘clear’ etc.
Technically, Zahir means “whatever becomes apparent to a listener from
his hearing only” or in the words of Imam Bazdawi “It (Zahir) is a name
for every speech the aim of which became apparent to listener by its wording”
whereas Imam Sarakhsi defines “what can be understood by pure hearing without
thinking..” Zahir has a clear meaning and yet is susceptible and open to
the possibility of an alternative interpretation. The main reason of this is
that its apparent meaning is not always in harmony with the context in which it
takes place because Zahir is not the principle theme of the text.
denotes a clear text which clarifies the reason why a sentence is expressed.
The implication of Nass is that which is aimed by the speaker, while the
meaning of Zahir is not meant by the speaker.
An example is thus given
that when some disbelievers of Makka claimed that both ‘bay’ (trade) and ‘Riba’
(usury) are the same. The Quran refers to their statement, “That is because
they say: “Trading is only like ‘Riba (usury)’”, (2:275).
So in response to these
people and to differentiate between trade and usury, Allah Almighty revealed
the verse “But Allah has permitted trading (bay’) and has forbidden Riba
This verse is Nass
in its showing differentiation between both of these terms ‘trade’ (bay) and
‘usury’ (Riba) as not being the same. And this verse is Zahir in
its meaning that trade is lawful and usury is prohibited.
The ruling of Zahir
and Nass is to act upon both of them. However if there is a conflict
between the two, a preference is given to the Nass over the Zahir.
Let us ponder over the Zahir
and Nass related to the verse 9:5 “kill the Mushrikin wherever you
find them”. This verse is Zahir in its commanding the believers to
kill the Mushrikin wherever they are found, whereas this verse is Nass
in its commanding the believers to fight against the religious persecutors and
violators of peace-treaty in the state of war. The purpose of this verse being
revealed was to grant permission of killing the religious persecutors and the
militants in the state of war; as this was the situation of “kill or be
killed”. The very purpose can be understood easily if all the war-related
verses are taken into account, such as the verses “And if any one of the
Mushrikin seeks your protection, then grant him protection so that he may hear
the words of Allah. Then deliver him to his place of safety. That is because
they are a people who do not know” (9:6), “And fight in God's cause against
those who wage war against you, but do not commit aggression; for, verily, God
does not love aggressors” (2:190).
Thus we find that the verse
9:5 is Nass to involve several points; 1) fighting should be on the
basis of persecution and not account of religious belief, 2) fighting should
take place after the peace-treaty is dismissed and the war is declared, 3)
fighting should take place in the state of war. These three points were the
main purpose of this verse being revealed. On the contrary, the Zahir of
this verse demands that since the word mentioned in this verse is Mushrikin and
that is in plural form, so all of them should be killed everywhere. However the
Nass (the purpose of the revelation of this verse) goes against the Zahir
(apparent meaning) of this verse. And this is very popular principle also
taught in the textbooks of Madrasas that when the Nass and Zahir
conflict with each other, the Nass is always preferred.
In other words, let me
repeat that the command of fighting against the Mushrikin of Arab was revealed
because they had persecuted the Muslims and violated the peace-treaty, and not
because they had committed Shirk or Kufr. And it is in this sense that this
verse is Nass. As for the Zahir of this verse, this is not in
harmony with the Nass of this verse and there is consensus among the
scholars of the past (Salaf) and of the present that when Zahir and Nass
oppose each other, a preference is always given to Nass and not to the Zahir,
so as to get better understanding of the Quran.
Having understood the verse
9:5 under the principle of Zahir and Nass, it would not be correct
for the ISIS or any other similar outfits to deduce the ruling of killing the
Mushrikin in the context of 21st century which is dominantly
different from the context of the early days of Islam.
Refutation of Jihadi Ideology That Uses the Verse,
‘Kill the Mushrikin Wherever You Find Them’ To Justify Terrorism in 21st
Century: Linguistic Analysis of the Word ‘Mushrikin’ Part-1
Refutation of Jihadi Ideology: Who Are The Mushrikin
Mentioned In The Quranic Verse 9:5? - Part 2
A regular Columnist with NewAgeIslam.com, Ghulam Ghaus
Siddiqi Dehlvi is an Alim and Fazil (Classical Islamic scholar), with a
Sufi-Sunni background and English-Arabic-Urdu Translator. He has also done B.A
(Hons.) in Arabic, M.A. in Arabic and M.A in English from JMI, New Delhi. He is
Interested in Islamic Sciences; Theology, Jurisprudence, Tafsir, Hadith and
Islamic mysticism (Tasawwuf).
New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism
Educating and reforming is essential. Unless we educate
those who get wrong vision about Islam, we can’t make any service to Islam, Muslims
and the country.
Such verses, if misinterpreted and misapplied, leave a
great impact on public dealings living in any country. Given this fact, we
should present what is wrong with Jihadist ideologies and how they can be