The authority of Reason in deducing religious laws

(Reading time: 15-20 min | Click here for Lesson 1)

“The fixed and changeable in Islamic Legislation” (Pt 2)

This is a translation of lessons given by Ayatullah Sayyid Munīr al-Khabbāz attended in the year 2019-20. For the sake of comprehensibility, there has been additions, removals and paraphrases. Original transcripts can be found here.

1 Introduction and recap

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم و صلی الله علی محمد و آله الطیبین الطاهرین

In this lesson, the Sayyid will review and critique the arguments presented by the Akhbārī scholars against the authority of reason (ʿaql). There are three main arguments put forward by the opponents and we will cover only the first in this writing.

Per our discussion in the last session, we mentioned three areas which we can conceive of change in rulings:

1.1 Scenario A: The change of a ruling while its subject (mowḍūʿ) remains fixed.

We suppose that although the subject as mentioned in the evidence of the ruling has not changed, the ruling changes due to changes in culture over time. This, itself, can be imagined into two different ways:

1.1.1 The ruling is suspended while its subject remains fixed

Example: The religious ruling with regards to the raqīq, a non-Muslim who has been made captive by Muslims in war. The captive become a property of the Muslims and hence it is possible to sell him and inherit from him. And if the captive is a woman, the owner can marry her without a marriage contract but via ownership.

Is it possible to argue for the suspension of this ruling in today’s age? That is, if Muslims were to hold captives from a war they engaged in with non-Muslims, while according to the ruling, these captives still fall under the category of raqīq, and so the subject has not changed, but we argue that human societies in our time see it unfitting of humans to be  under the ownership of other humans and they deem it as an act of oppression, then, by virtue of this universal consensus we no longer apply this ruling even the subjects for its application are present.

1.1.2 To add a new clause to an existing ruling

Example: The evidence that permits the agency (wakālah) of one individual (the agent) by another (the principal) do so without any restriction; the agent can represent the principal under all circumstances. Whereas, current legal systems have made exceptions for this agency contract in cases where the agent loses sanity (e.g, if they enter coma). The same exceptions have been added to the guardianship (wilāyah) relationship between parents and children in the guardian not having authority to manage the affairs of his subordinates when they are mentally capable to do so. Can we then add this sanity clause to the religious version of the wakālah contract as well?

1.2 Scenario B: Our societies agree to a ruling which our religious sources have no affirmative or negative stance towards it. Can we accept this as a new religious ruling by virtue of its widespread acceptance?

Example: In the previous lesson, we gave the example of intellectual property and patent right. If we suppose we cannot find an ijtihādī dalīl that either proves or rejects these rights, can we establish a new ruling because humans have done so?  

1.3 Scenario C: The changing of the wāqiʿ due to the presence of a credible amārah opposing the wāqiʿ.

The lawgiver has granted authority to solitary reports but we know such reports can be mistaken and do not always coincide with the ruling desired by the lawgiver. For example, if we assume the real ruling is the obligation of Friday prayers and an amārah, a solitary report, claims ẓuhr prayers is obligatory, objectively speaking we know the amārah is mistaken. Despite this, can we say the real ruling will change with respect to the person who received the mistaken amārah instead of the real ruling?

In the first two scenarios, there is a heavy reliance on the agreements and conclusions general sound-minded people (ʿuqalā’)have reached. If they reach an agreement backed by arguments all ʿuqalā’ accept, does this grant their conclusions authority to change a ruling, add clauses to it or establish a new ruling?

This moves our discussion on the authority of rational evidences (dalīl ‘aqlī), a topic heavily discussed by Uṣūlī scholars. For this, we will guide our discussion of the hujjīyah of rational evidences using Shahīd al-Ṣadr’s approach in Buhūth fi ‘ilm al-Uṣūl, complemented with our addition of important points.

2 Rational evidence (al-Dalīl al-‘Aqlī)

2.1 Theoretic Reason (‘aql naẓarī) and Practical Reason (‘aql ‘amalī)

Reality does not change and what reason perceives in both the theoretic and practical domains is reality. If what is perceived does not entail a practical stance, it is called theoretic reason and includes things like mathematical equations and the sort. Whereas, if the reality perceived follows with it a practical stance (e.g. the statement “injustice is reprehensible and injustice is desirable”) we label these as realities perceived by practical reason.

2.2 Rulings apprehended from reason

2.2.1 Rulings apprehended from theoretic reason are of two types:

The first are rulings derived from reason independently (mustaqillāt ‘aqlīyah). We do not require the lawgiver to aid our deduction to reach the ruling. Reason itself can independently and comprehensively evaluate the benefits and detriments associated with the situation and present its judgement, from which we can issue a ruling in line with it. This ruling can either be pragmatic (taklīfī) or statutory (waḍʿī):

Taklīfī ruling example: smoking

Reason testifies that smoking bears serious detriments to the human body. Having weighed all the detriments of smoking against its benefits, reason without the help of the lawgiver can conclude that smoking should be forbidden. It has perceived the cause, the complete milāk behind the ruling, and thereof concludes to the effect, the ruling itself.

waḍʿīruling example: marrying a minor (ṣaghīrah):

We posit, as have done some Iranian thinkers, that modern day ʿuqalā’ can conclude with certainty that marriage with a minor entails serious harm to her and hence it is invalid. It has perceived the complete milāk for this ḥukm waḍʿīand so it concludes to the ḥukm waḍʿī.

The second are rulings which reason cannot arrive at independently but requires aid from the lawgiver. More accurately, reason is able to arrive at the major premise but the minor premise needs to be provided by the lawgiver.

We see this in the issue of tarattub:

Minor premise as given to us by the lawgiver: the issuance of two rulings: the command to rescue the drowning person and the command to pray. These commands are both issued upon us such that if we prayed, the person would drown and if we rescued them, the time for prayer would lapse.

Major premise provided by reason: it is not possible for both rulings to be applicable and active (fiʿlī) concurrently. This is because the agent cannot execute both commands at the same time (quṣūr al-qudrah) and what is outside the scope of an agent’s ability does not become obligatory on him.

With this, reason solves the apparent dilemma and asserts that in the stage of fiʿīliyah of the ruling there is a relationship of contingency (tarattub), meaning, the only ruling which is active unconditionally (la bi sharṭ) is the more important of the two, rescuing the drowning person. As for the less important of the two, the command to pray close to its time of expiry, it is only active contingent upon the lack of execution of the more important. This tarattub is a purely rational conclusion, however, without the legislator issuing the two commands, the minor premise, there will be no place for the application of this major rational premise.

2.2.2 Rulings can also be derived from practical reason:

This is usually referred to as mulāzamāt and constitutes of either two rational premises or one shar’ī and one rational. An example of this is an inventor’s rights to his patents. This right is established amongst societies via the use of practical reason. But to arrive at a religious ruling that establishes this right, we need the major premise of mulāzāmah: what reason rules to, so does the shar’. We require this premise in moving from all judgements of reason to rulings of religion. If we prove the validity of this premise via reason itself, then both the premises of our argument for arriving at a religious ruling from a judgement of reason is constituted of two rational premises. However, if we use the religion itself to prove the validity of the premise of mulāzāmah, then one premise naturally is religious and the other rational. This latter approach has been chosen by the likes of al-Baḥrānī (the author of al-Ḥadā’iq) and others. They use reports such as the ṣaḥīḥah of Ḥammād:

ما من شيء الا و فيه كتاب او سنة

“There is nothing except that there is a verse or tradition about it”[1]

Or what has been narrated from the Prophet (ṣ):

أيها الناس إني لم أدع شيئا يقربكم إلى الجنة و يباعدكم من النار إلا و قد نباتكم به

“Oh people, surely I have not left a single thing that brings you closer to paradise and distances you from hellfire except that I have informed you of.”[2]

Proponents of the view that mulāzāmah is proven via religious sources assert that the apparent meaning of traditions like above are that whatever practical reason regards as good or evil, then surely the lawgiver has informed of it in its time.

We are not currently in the position of evaluating this opinion, rather, we wish to clarify that we cannot reach a religious ruling from a rational ruling except with the addition of the premise of mulāzāmah, regardless of whether we prove this premise via reason itself or through religious sources.

3 Authority of Reason

Does reason, in both of its theoretic and practical realms, have authority in being employed in the process of deduction? This question finds greater importance in our age where religion is attacked for allegedly not being able to effectively and comprehensively answer and fulfill the needs of the modern human. Due to this insufficiency on the side of religion, can we rely on the results of theoretic and practical reason as approved by the uqalā’ in changing religious rulings, or adding new clauses to it or formulating a novel ruling?

Here we find disagreement amongst Imāmī scholars between the muḥaddithīn/Akhbārīsand the uṣūlīṣ. Shahīd al-Ṣadr has presented the views of the Akhbārīs, opponents to the authority of reason, in three different claims:

  1. Restriction in issuance (al-Ḍayq fī al-majʿūl) of religious rulings preventing the use of reason
  2. Restriction in the ability of reason to discover religious rulings (al-Ḍayq fī al-kāshifīyah)
  3. Restriction at the stage of tanajjuz

We will cover the first of these three claims here and postpone the latter for next lesson.

CLAIM I

The lawgiver has maintained that the applicability (fiʿlīyah) of all rulings is contingent on it not reaching the agent solely via rational evidences. As an example, assume the lawgiver maintains in a command that smoking is forbidden. This prohibition is only applicable and active when the agent receives its command via religious sources. If it reaches him via rational proofs, the ruling does not apply to him and he does not need to refrain from smoking. This claim is substantiated with reference to a collection of traditions which we divide into four separate categories for the sake of analysis:

3.2 Category A:

In this category we find traditions which signify that no ruling becomes applicable for an agent unless it reaches him exclusively via the instruction of the ma’ṣūm and no other means, such as his own reason.

For example, the authentic report of Zurārah:

اما لو ان رجلا قام ليله و صام نهاره و تصدق بجميع ماله و حج جميع دهره و لم يعرف ولاية ولي الله فيواليه و يكون جميع اعماله بدلالته اليه ما كان له على الله جل و عز حق في ثوابه و لا كان من اهل الايمان

“If a man prays all of his nights, fasts all of his days, gives his entire wealth to charity, performs ḥajj every year of his life, but does not know of the guardianship of the guardian of God so that he follows him and let all of his actions be performed according to his instructions, then, there is no right of reward for him upon God and he will not be considered one of the people of Faith.”[3]

Or similarly:

من دان الله بغير سماع عن صادق الزمه الله التيه الى الفناء

“Whoever chooses to uphold religion for God without instructions from a trustworthy guide (Imām) God will determine for him misguidance into destruction.”[4]

And in the same vein it has been narrated from Imām al-Bāqir (p):

كل ما لم يخرج من هذا البيت فهو باطل

“All which does not that leave this house, it is invalid.”[5]

3.2.1 Reply to Category A:

The traditions are negating acceptance (qabūl) not validity (ṣiḥḥa)

Where the report read “[t]here is no right of reward for him upon God”, the best we can argue is that the report is negating any reward for an action performed on a basis other than the instructions of the Imām and that whoever receives these instructions and insists on disobedience to it, he is not from the people of Faith. These traditions at best negate the reward, not the validity of the actions.

The claim was: all rulings performed on a basis other than the instructions of the Imām do not reach the state of applicability because they are invalid. However, if the traditions are not denoting invalidity, the claim automatically loses effect.

The traditions are negating entitlement to reward due to a fault in the agent and doer (fā’il) not a fault in the action (fi’l)

All actions are entitled to reward as long as the agent and the action are both good. The goodness of an action does not depend on being performed by the instruction of the Imām, but the goodness of the agent does. Therefore, any action that has not reached the agent via his instructions, the goodness of the agent cannot be ascertained. This is the reason why the tradition attributes the reward to the agent himself and not the action: “there is no right of reward for him upon God”.

The traditions are at best negating validity not the ruling

Shahīd al-Ṣadr asserts that these traditions imply that the validity of qurbī actions are contingent on a further condition (besides Islam): the testimony of the agent to Imamate and in short, the condition of Imān. These traditions maintain that no action is valid unless the agent is a believer and testifies to Imamate. They are not commenting on the non-applicability of rulings derived from one or more rational premises. Rather, they maintain that even if the ruling becomes applicable for the agent, if he does not behold the quality of of Imān is, his execution of the ruling is not valid.

In conclusion, this category of traditions signifies no limitation on the applicability and fiʿliyah of ruling derived from one or more rational premises.

3.3 Category B: Traditions prohibiting from analogical reasoning (qiyās)

There are a plethora of reports prohibiting from the use of analogical reasoning in deriving jurisprudential rulings. Mustadrak narrates that al-Sadūq (p) in Kamāl al-Dīn has reported from a chain which ends with Abī Hamza al-Thumālī quoting ‘Ali ibn Ḥussayn (p) as saying:

إن دين الله لا يصاب بالعقول الناقصة و الاراء الباطلة و المقاييس الفاسدة و لا يصاب الا بالتسليم

“Surely the religion of Allah will not be realised with limited minds, invalid opinions and corrupt reasonings. It will not be realised except with submission.”[6]

In another narration Abī Shaybah al-Khurāsānī reports from Imām al-Ṣadīq (p):

إن أصحاب المقاييس طلبوا العلم بالمقاييس فلم تزدهم المقاييس من الحق الا بعدا و إن الدين لا يصاب بالمقاييس

“The people of qiyās seek knowledge with their reasonings, but they do not increase for them in truth nothing but distance. And surely the religion of Allah is not realised with analogical reasonings.”[7]

There is also another narration mentioned in many books with the following wording: “Surely the religion of Allah does not realise with the intellects and there is nothing more distant from the religion of God than the intellects of men”. However, with research it becomes clear that there is an error in narration. The reports befit our inability to decipher and truly carry out tafsīr of the Qur’an but cannot be applied to all of religion. We find a number of narrations portraying the same idea for the specific case of the Holy Qur’an. For example, the report of ‘Abd al-Raḥmān ibn al-Ḥajjāj narrating from Imām al-Ṣādiq (p):

ليس شيء أبعد من عقول الرجال عن القران

“There is nothing more distant from the Quran than the minds of men.”[8]

3.3.1 Reply to Category B

The above narrations are clearly directed at the methodology of deduction used by the Sunnī school of thought on relying on analogical reasoning, istisān, unattested interests (maṣālih mursalah), sad al-dharā’iʿ, the consensus of companions and other speculative (ẓannī) modes of reasoning. The narrations are not directed at definite (qaṭʿi) rational evidences derived from premises accepted by the ʿuqalā’.

However, we do find another narration in this category which favours the proponent more strongly:

عن أبان بن تغلب قال قلت لأبي عبد الله عليه السلام  

ما تقول في رجل قطع إصبعا من أصابع المرأة كم فيها قال عشر من الإبل قلت قطع اثنين قال عشرون قلت قطع ثلاثا قال ثلاثون قلت قطع أربعا قال عشرون قلت سبحان الله يقطع ثلاثا فيكون عليه ثلاثون و يقطع أربعا فيكون عليه عشرون إن هذا كان يبلغنا و نحن بالعراق فنبرأ ممن قاله و نقول الذي جاء به شيطان فقال مهلا يا أبان هكذا حكم رسول الله صلى الله عليه و آله إن المرأة تقابل الرجل إلى ثلث الدية فإذا بلغت الثلث رجعت إلى النصف يا أبان إنك أخذتني بالقياس و السنة إذا قيست محق الدين

Narrated by Abān ibn Taghlib:

“I asked Abī ʿAbdullāh (p): What do you say in regards to the blood-money (as calculated by) camels, of a man who has cut the finger of a woman?

He replied: 10 camels.

I asked: If he cuts two of her fingers?

He replied: 20 camels.

I asked: If he cuts 3 of her fingers?

He replied: 30 camels.

I asked: If he cuts of 4 of her fingers?

He replied: 20 camels.

I said: Glory be to God! If he cuts three of her fingers, he pays 30 camels but if he cuts four, he pays 20! When I heard of this verdict in Iraq, I disassociated from bearer of this news and we attributed it as satanic speech.

He replied: Easy Abān! This is the ruling of the Messenger (ṣ) of God who said: The blood-money of women is the same of men until the one-third threshold, after which it drops to half that of man. Oh Abān! You have judged me according to qiyās, while if the Sunnah is subjected to qiyās, religion is trampled!”[9]

The narration is ṣaḥīḥ contrary to Sayid al-Khu’ī in Miṣbāḥ classifying it weak in chain. The narration is authentic without an iota of doubt and the chain can be found in al-Kāfī and al-Faqīh.

Argument: The report poses a challenge to the use of reason in the deduction of laws. According to the intellects of men, if the blood-money of three fingers is thirty camels, that of four fingers should definitely not be less than thirty, as pointed out by Abān as well. This is a definite ruling of reason: as things increase in severity, so should the corresponding consequences. If we present the same question to the ʿuqalā’, they will not accept the proposition that the blood-money of four fingers would be less than three fingers. But with all of this, the Imām (p) opposes our strongest of intuitions and does not heed to it. He gives no authority to our reasoning and labels it as a form of analogical reasoning trampling the Sunnah! If relying on reason is not prohibited in deduction of laws, how can we free ourselves from the challenge posed by the above report?

Solution:

Abān’s objection to Imām comes after the explanation of the ruling not before it. This is why the Imām prohibits him from relying on his intellect to discern the ruling. That is, the prohibition is pointed at depending on rational premises prior to research in transmitted sources and does not negate the authority and use of reason after such research. In other words, whoever employs reason prior to exhausting research in the transmitted sources of evidence such as the ḥadīth and Qur’an, there is a shortcoming on his side and the use of rational reasoning will not excuse him if they were to lead away from the intended ruling of the lawgiver.

3.4 Category C: Traditions prohibiting from relying on assumptions (ra’y)

These traditions, amongst others, prohibit from relying on the personal opinion and assumptions, regardless of whether they are ẓannī or qaṭʿī, or whether they arise from arbitrary or commonly accepted grounds:

صحيح ابن مسكان قال ابو عبدالله عليه السلام

ما أحد أحب إلي منكم إن الناس سلكوا سبلا شتى منهم من أخذ بهواه و منهم من أخذ برأيه و إنكم أخذتم بأمر له أصل

The authentic narration of ibn Muskān reporting from Imām al-Ṣadiq (p):

“No one is more loved by me than you! People have chosen different paths (in religion); some  have chosen (to lead their paths) with their whims and desires, some with their assumptions and opinions, but you have chosen your path with what has basis.”[10] (You have chosen the path ofImamate which has religious and divine basis)

ما ورد عن ابي جعفر عليه السلام

من أفتى الناس برأيه فقد دان الله بما لم يعلم

It has been reported that Imām al-Bāqir (p) has said:

“Whoever issues religious verdicts according to his assumptions and opinions, he has surely pursued [the] religion [of] God with what he does not know.”[11]

عن طلحة ابن زيد عن ابي عبد الله عليه السلام عن ابيه قال قال امير المومنين علي عليه السلام قال:

لا رأي في الدين

Imām ʿAlī has reportedly said:

“There is no opinion in religion.”[12]

3.4.1 Reply to Category C

First reply

These reports are raised against the use of opinion by Sunnī jurists in the process of deduction. Jurists of the Sunnī school employ modes of reasoning that ultimately return to personal opinion, an approach common amongst them. This entails the use of analogical reasoning, istisān, unattested interests (maṣālih mursalah), sad al-dharā’iʿ, the consensus of companions and other speculative (ẓannī) modes of reasoning. For this reason, when Imām al-Ṣadiq (p) met with Abū Ḥanīfah, he reprimanded him for using opinion-based reasoning:

دخل إبن شبرمة و أبو حنيفه على الصادق عليه السلام فقال لابي حنيفة

إتق الله و لا تقس الدين برأيك فإن أول من قاس إبليس

Ibn Shubrumah says I and Abū Ḥanīfah entered unto al-Ṣādiq (p) who told Abū Ḥanīfah:

“Fear God! And do not use qiyās in religion with your opinions, for surely the first person who reasoned with qiyās was Iblīs.” [13]

و قال أبو جعفر عليه السلام لسملة بن كهيل و الحكم بن عتيبة:

شرقا و غربا فلا تجدان علما صحيحا الا شيئا خرج من عندنا اهل البيت

Imam al-Bāqir has reportedly advised Salmah ibn Kuhayl and al-Ḥakam ibn ʿUtaybah:

“Visit the East and visit the West! You will not find sound knowledge except what exits from us Ahlulbayt.”[14]

Second reply

Assuming these reports are not directed towards Sunnī jurists, they still are not sufficiently forceful to deter from the use of reason. As scholars of Uṣūl have demonstrated, it is not possible to retract from the employment of commonly practiced mindsets of the ʿuqalā’ via absolute statements (iṭlāqāt) such as above. The absoluteness (iṭlāq)of the aforementioned reports is not compelling to categorically reject the common mindsets held and accepted by the ʿuqalā’.Rather, we require clear, explicit and direct objection raised by the lawgiver prohibiting employment of the mindset. If the ʿuqalā’ have agreed that rational arguments composed of commonly accepted premises are authoritative, they will not withhold from using the results of such arguments just because an absolute statement from the lawgiver could potentially entail opposition to them. To withhold from their rational judgements, they will require direct and explicit evidence against its usage.

Furthermore, the juxtaposition of the iṭlāqāt prohibiting from the use of reasonwith the mindset of the ʿuqalā’ accepting of the authority of reason, prevents the iṭlāq from being applicable.  The mindset acts a connected indicator (qarīnah muttaṣilah) not allowing the iṭlāq to form to begin with.

Third reply

If for argument’s sake we assume that the iṭlāqāt are binding and prohibit from the use of reason, reports that grant authority to all types of qaṭʿī knowledge (ʿilm) conflict (taʿāruḍ) with the iṭlāq.

We have reports granting authority to all types of ʿilm, as has been narrated from the Messenger (ṣ):

من أفتى الناس بغير علم لعنه ملائكة السماء و الارض

“Whoever issues religious verdicts without knowledge, the angels of the heavens and earth will curse him.”[15]

And other reports granting authority to reason:

عن هشام عن ابي الحسن موسى عليه السلام:

يا هشام إن لله على الناس حجتين حجة ظاهرة و حجة باطنة فأما الظاهرة فالرسل و الأنبياء و الأئمة ع و أما الباطنة فالعقول يا هشام إن العاقل الذي لا يشغل الحلال شكره و لا يغلب الحرام صبره

Reported by Hishām from Imam al-Kaẓim (p):

“Oh Hishām! Surely Allah has two proofs against the people: the outer and the inner. The outer are his Messengers, Prophets and Imams. The inner is the intellects (of men). Hishām! Surely the rational is the one who is not occupied by the permissible (blessings) from thanking (his Lord) and the impermissible does not overcome his patience.”[16]

These reports can be said to either directly grant authority to reason or as Shahīd al-Ṣadr proposes, they are irshād to the fact considering reason as authoritative is acting by the sunnah. In other words, when we act according to rational evidence built upon ʿuqalāyi premises, we are acting according to the sunnah: the above transmissions have instructed us towards the authority of reason.

More importantly, reports which signify the authority of ʿilm – sourced from transmission or reason – or those which signify the authority of rational conclusions formed by ʿuqalāyi premises, ultimately conflict with reports prohibiting from relying on opinion. This conflict happens at their intersection: the use of reason composed of ʿuqalāyi premises; one side approves of it and the other prohibits it. To resolve the conflict and clarify the correct positions for us, we refer to the Book and find that the Holy Qur’an favours the second category of traditions as supported by verses like:

و لا تقف ما ليس لك به علم  

فبشر عباد الذين يستمعون القول فيتبعون أحسنه اولئك الذين هداهم الله و اولئك هم أولو الالباب

“And do not pursue that of which you have no knowledge” (Q 17:36)

“Give glad tidings to My servant who listen to speech and follow the best of it. Those are the ones Allah has guided, and those are people of understanding.” (Q 39:17-18)

And if we do not find the īṭlāq of the Qur’an binding in favour of the second, we can ultimately say the two categories conflict without resolve, rendering both ineffective in their signification. Thereon, we can no longer resort to the prohibitions and so the authority of reason reins.

3.5 Category D: Traditions signifying the exclusive referentiality of the Book and Sunnah

ما ورد عن أمير المومنين علي عليه السلام

من أخذ دينه من أفواه الرجال أزالته الرجال و من أخذ دينه من الكتاب و السنة زالت الجبال و لم يزل

It is narrated from the Commander of the faithful ʿAlī (p):

“Whoever receives his religion from the mouths of men, they will erase it and whoever receives his religion from the Book and Sunnah, mountains will obliterate but he will not shift.”[17]

و في رواية اخرى عنه عليه السلام

إنما الناس رجلان متبع شرعة و متبع بدعة ليس معه من الله برهان سنة و لا ضياء حجة

In another narration from him (p):

Men are only of two types: followers of legislation and followers of innovation which does not carry with it from God any argument from the Sunnah nor the light of a proof.”[18]

Our response to any argument substantiated with these reports is same as the previous category.

3.6 Summary

In summary from what proceeded, the claim that reason has no authority in religious deduction due to restriction in the nature of the issuance of rulings, namely Claim I, is not substantiated via the proposed traditions. We cannot rely on these traditions to claim that the applicability of religious rulings is contingent on not being sourced from reason.

3.6.1

However, if we ignore our rebuttals and take the claim for granted, Shahīd al-Ṣadr has proposed another objection mentioned in his advanced lessons of Uṣūl. He argues if we accept there is a restriction from the side of issuance, this does not prevent the authority of religious rulings deduced from rational reasonings as long as the kāshfīyah of the authority is complete (tāmmah). Simply put, restriction in issuance does not lead to lack of authority.

Explanation:

If practical reason judges that it is reprehensible for patent right of inventors be ignored, and theoretic reason judges that there is a mulāzāmahbetween the judgements of reason and rulings of the sharʿ, having both of these premises in conjunction, naturally we conclude that the sharʿ must also legally respect patent rights. Having progressed through the premises as presented, it is not possible to argue that the deduced ruling is not binding and authoritative. To regard what one arrives to and discovers, in its complete sense, authoritative as not authoritative is illogical, counterintuitive and difficult to accept. This is alike to what Uṣūli scholars mention with regards to the authority of qaṭʿ. They demonstrate that it is not conceivable for the lawgiver to restraint and deter an agent from his certitude. Similarly, it is not conceivable that the lawgiver deters agents from opposing rulings they have discovered via their practical reason in the minor premise (the reprehensibility of not respecting patent rights) and their theoretic reason in the major premise (the relationship between reason and religious rulings). If the lawgiver did so, it would be counterintuitive and illogical, and would be vacuous regardless, bearing no effect for the agent, for he will not be able to treat it with seriousness.

This is all we intended to present for the first claim and with the grace of God will discuss the second claim in the coming week.

و الحمد لله رب العالمين


[1] Kulayni, al-Kāfī, vol.1, p.59

[2] Kulayni, al-Kāfī, vol.5, p.83

[3] Kulayni, al-Kāfī,

[4] ‘Āmili, Wasā’il al-Shī’a, v.27, p.128

[5] ʿĀmili, Wasā’il al-Shī’a, v.27, p.75

[6] Nūrī, Mustadrak al-Wasā’il, v.17, p.262

[7] Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, v.1, p.56

[8] ‘Āmili, Wasā’il al-Shī’a, v.27, p.203

[9] Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, v.7, p.299

[10] Barqī, al-Maḥasīn, vol.1, p.156

[11] Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, v.1, p.58

[12] Barqī, al-Maḥasīn, vol.1, p.211

[13] Ṭusī, al-Amālī, v.1, p.645

[14] Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, v.1, p.399

[15] Barqī, al-Maḥasīn, vol.1, p.2053

[16] Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, v.1, p.16

[17] ʿĀmili, Wasā’il al-Shī’a, v.27, p132

[18] Majlisī, Biḥār al-Anwār, v.2, p.312

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