Archive for May, 2013

Students of fiqh will surely appreciate the following important observation made by a wonderful scholar.

Imam al-Nawawi (d. 676 AH) writes:

 المختار الذي عليه الأكثرون والمحققون من الأصوليين أن لفظة كان لا يلزم منها الدوام ولا التكرار وإنما هي فعل ماض يدل على وقوعه مرة فإن دل دليل على التكرار عمل به وإلا فلا تقتضيه بوضعها وقد قالت عائشة رضي الله عنها كنت أطيب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لحله قبل أن يطوف ومعلوم أنه صلى الله عليه وسلم لم يحج بعد أن صحبته عائشة إلا حجة واحدة وهي حجة الوداع فاستعملت كان في مرة واحدة ولا يقال لعلها طيبته في إحرامه بعمرة لأن المعتمر لا يحل له الطيب قبل الطواف بالإجماع فثبت أنها استعملت كان في مرة واحدة كما قاله الأصوليون

“And the preferred view held by the majority of researchers and al-usuliyin (scholars of juristic methodology) is that the word كان (kaana) does not necessarily imply persistence and repetition. It is about past tense signifying the occurrence for once. If (independent) evidence proves repetition (it may be taken in that sense) otherwise for itself the word does not imply this. Aisha said: “I applied perfume (kuntu utayyibu) on the shirt of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ before he performed tawaf (circumambulation of the Ka’ba),” and it is known that after being with Aisha he never made the pilgrimage except once i.e. the Final Pilgrimage. She used كان (kaana) about a singular happening. And it cannot be said that she may have applied perfume in his ihram for ‘umrah because by consensus it is not permitted for the one performing ‘umrah to apply perfume before tawaf. Therefore it is confirmed that she used كان (kaana) to refer to a singular event as stated by al-usuliyin.”

Al-Nawawi, Abu Zakariyya Yahya bin Sharaf, Al-Minhaj Sharh Sahih Muslim bin Hajjaj, Dar al-Ahya al-Turath al-‘Arabi, Beirut, 1392 AH, vol.3 pt.6 p.21


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