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Analogy in shia islam

Analogy is "qiyas" which means to use
logic and reasoning to apply a known law
to a new situation which is not originally
covered in the law.
When a person does not know the specific
law for a detailed item; analogy allows that
person to use deduction in order to
deduce a law from another law from a
similar issue. In doing so, teachings of
In the Shia sect, there are four sources
which jurists study in order to deduce
laws. These sources are referred to as
the "four proofs" which jurisprudence is
based on. They are:
1. Quran
2. Sunnah
3. Consensus
4. Reasoning
The Holy Book is the first sources for the
laws in Islam. Since not all of the verses
reveal laws and regulations; there must be
more that we as Muslims must turn to in
order to completely understand all aspects
of life.
The Sunnah refers to the actions, words,
and assertions of the Holy Prophet and
the Imams. This includes Ahadith and
what people have witnessed the infallibles
do; or what they have asked the infallibles
and passed these messages on to the
generations afterwards.
This refers to the scholars having a
unanimous view on a particular issue;
leading to the proof that it was a view that
has been received from the Holy Prophet.
Nonetheless, in the Shia perspective,
more research needs to be done in order
to ensure that the consensus is backed by
authenticity, as well as just and truthful
This refers to having a clear rule for a
certain issue--and if the rule is definite and
absolute then it is binding and authentic.
Amongst the Sunni sect, analogy or qiyas
is the fourth proof--instead of reasoning.
However, the view of the Shia scholars on
this issue is that because the total of what
has been received from the Prophet
(pbuh) and the Imams is sufficient for our
responsibility--the referral to analogy is
strictly forbidden.
1. It is not necessary that every event and
problem should have a specified rule-since the problems to be solved are
numerous and unlimited. Shia believe
that general rules are applicable to all
situations that are given within the
Shari'ah. The only thing that is needed in
order for a person to be able to derive
such rules he must have competence,
ijtihad, inquiry, and reflection.
2. Qiyas is based on conjecture, surmise, and
superficial similarities--and it is based on
matters which are not intelligible. As stated
previously, one of the sources that the Shia use
to deduce laws and jurisprudence is reasoning.
Reasoning must be backed by certainty and
clarity in order for it to be authentic. If in a
case, a law is not specified--and the matter is
not justifiable according to reason nor does it
contain clarity--it will not be justifiable to follow
conjecture and surmise. Guessing on issues
Once Imam Muhammad Baqir A.S. had
dialogues with Abu Hanifa who
Used to practice analogy, Imam asked Abu Hanifa
who is week among a
man and a woman? Abu Hanifa replied a woman;
Imam said then why a
man has two shares in the willpower however a
woman has one. Imam
further Asked Abu Hanifa what is more important
prayers or fasting? Abu
Hanifa replied prayers, Imam said then why
prayers are forbidden for
woman in menses where as fasting is not, Imam
There is famous tradition of Holy
Prophet Muhammad SAWW that I am
leaving two valuable things behind
me to which you all should refer, the
holy Quran and Ahlul- Bayt (A.S.)
,hold on them and you will not be
"Thus, our aim is not that we should
philosophize or speculate about the rationale
of Islamic laws and precepts. We aim to point
out that since the teachings of Islam cover all
spheres of human life, and since, on the
basis of our belief in the doctrine of Divine
justice, we know that these teachings are not
extravagant and baseless, but are based
upon truth and natural realities and are
constituted on the basis of those realities, so
if we come to know closely those realities which have been systematically studied in
the course of several centuries and their
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