Textual evidences

There are numerous verses in the holy Koran and many more sayings of the holy Prophet as well as immaculate Imams stating the norms to be followed in man-God relations, man- nature relations, and man to man relations. Imam Khomeini describes this lot as the set of rules governing the entire human life based on a special theory of life, society, and the world.

As God is omniscient and wise, His commandments must be in harmony with the ultimate purpose of the creation of human beings, i.e. human perfection and advancement in proximity to God. They must be consistent with the Islamic values and vision comprehending all aspects of human nature and all areas of human life including cultural, economic, and political.

Consequently, the religious texts pertaining to economic issues must contain universal fixed laws. To prove this point, we may invoke some textual evidences.

1. There are a number of sayings indicating that Sharia laws are permanent laws. Imam Baqir, to quote just one, says:

“My grandfather the holy Prophet said, ‘O people! What I have allowed are allowed for ever till the Day of Rise, and what I have prohibited is prohibited for ever till the Day of Rise. Beware! God has stated in the Koran what is allowed and what is banned and I have explained them in my practice…’[29]

2. There are innumerable cases where the immaculate Imams explain a Sharia law by invoking a Koranic verse or a saying of the holy Prophet or previous Imams. The jurists contemporary to the immaculate Imams used to invoke Koranic verses and sayings of the holy Prophet and Imams as the foundation of their verdicts. Bearing in mind the fact that successive Imams lived for about two centuries and always invoked the sayings of the holy Prophet and Imams when expressing an opinion in Sharia despite the perpetual changes in the cultural, economic, and political situations, we can infer that these religious texts invoked for judgment contain permanent universal laws rather than norms exclusively applicable to the early days of Islam.

3. The Koranic verses and sayings of the Immaculate Imams expressing Sharia laws are expressions meant to be understood as stating fixed permanent norms. The verbal expressions of these statements enjoy itlaqmaqami. They are asserted with the intention to establish a rule. No time limit is included in these assertions. Hence, rational people infer that the rules established by them apply to all people anytime and anywhere.

4. The majority of the said expressions are stated in the form of conditional statements or haqiqiah propositions[30]. They are verbally unqualified. So, they apply to all those who now live as well as those who will be born in the future. The majority of Koranic verses and sayings of the holy Prophet and immaculate Imams expressing a Sharia law enjoy this feature. Let us see some instances:

On Zakat, God says, “Verily, zakat is to be spent only on the poor, the needy, and the agents employed to collect it.”[31]On Anfal, the Koran says, “They ask you about Anfal. Tell [them] anfal belong to God and Prophet.”[32] On the responsibilities of the Islamic state, Imam Sadiq says,  “The Muslim ruler ought to pay the debt of the citizens [when bankrupted] except for the dowry due to wives.”[33] On loans, Imam Baqir says, “If a person owing money to another person dies, his debt becomes due at once even though the initial moratorium be not yet over.”[34]

In these assertions, the judgment is made in the form of conditional statements in order that the norm thereby established covers all people, all times, and all places. Sharia related texts abound with assertions of this kind. So, Sharia contains permanent universal laws. In some cases, the text indicating a Sharia law does it via accounting for the norm[35] or stating the reason why[36] it is established. The reasons given are usually not confined to a particular time or place. In the case of the majority of textual evidences for Sharia laws, it is hard to assume that the norm thereby established is limited to the time the words are uttered only because such assumption does not save appearances. We should mention, however, that some texts only give temporary tasks. To distinguish between these two groups is the task of ijtihad prior to inferring Islamic economic system.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *