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Chapter Five

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the principle that demonstrates the conflict between the Ẓāhirite school and the prevailing orthodoxy on the important question of the science of uṣūl. The Ẓāhirite school concedes a far greater scope to the absolute wājib and maḥẓūr than the rest of the legal schools. All agree that the statements of the Koran and the tradition ought to be considered as only optional, under no circumstances imperative or prohibitive, respectively. No disagreement exists among the different theological schools of Islam as to whether every sunnah of the Prophet constitutes a binding law. The extremists always went beyond the limit determined by the majority, but their views have never achieved canonical validity. The Ẓāhirīs make use of the mere linguistic form of an interdiction, where the intention is to give advice on proper custom while the other schools this as nothing but a disapproval.

Keywords: Ẓāhirite school; sunnah; canonical validity; Koran; mazhur; uṣūl; wājib

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