Benefiting the dead from the work of others (3). Between the scientific tradition and the reformist approach

Modern Salafism – as it became clear in the first article of this series – was characterized by two main features:

  • The first: It took a radical and sharp stance on what it described as heresy, and isolated itself from the doctrinal jurisprudence tradition (including the Hanbali tradition, as it became clear – for example – in the issue of the dead benefiting from the work of others), and did not tolerate jurisprudential pluralism. It even contradicted the texts of Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah.
  • The second: It lacked – in its jurisprudence – a systematic consistency, whether in the interpretation of the texts or in walking on their phenomena and generalities, or in following the rational explanations that preserve order and coherence and link the branches of the same issue and expel the meanings in their analogues, and then:
  1. Hajjaj Rashid Rida – in this matter at least – lacked coherence, and deviated from the scientific jurisprudential traditions. A request for predominance and support for one opinion, not with the aim of scientific and critical discussion.
  2. Rather, he departed from the methods of jurisprudential arguments to the use of rhetorical arguments. Seeking to prevail in the debate leading to accusing those with the dissenting opinion of following whims and conforming to social norms; To serve his campaign against “jurisprudential imitation”. Rather, today this method characterizes the general public affiliated with Salafism and the claimants of enlightenment together. Despite the differences between the two teams.

Rashid Rida – as I mentioned in the first article – was the forerunner in the modern era to say that the deceased does not benefit from the relatives that are gifted to him, and that their reward does not reach him. Except for what the text excluded, and it was done exclusively by the dead. In the second article, I explained the defects and shortcomings in Rashid Rida’s arguments and his arguments to prove this opinion. In comparison with his sources (Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn al-Qayyim), especially the book “The Spirit” by Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah. As for this third article, I explain in it 3 additional methodological issues that clarify the impact of ideology on the method of understanding and the conclusions it leads to.

The first issue: making arbitrary judgments

Rashid Rida concluded from his arguments to prove the heresy of reading about the dead and the gift of reward for him and reading at the grave to a number of hasty and inaccurate rulings in view of the reality of doctrinal jurisprudence, but rather in view of the work of Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah; Which shows that Rashid Rida, even if he pleaded with some of the tools of jurisprudential imitation to support his idea, it is not a continuation of it, but rather outside it.

One of those arbitrary rulings is his saying: “Whoever says that the dead person benefits from all his work, even if the worker is not his son, has violated the Qur’an, and he has no argument in the authentic hadith or the correct analogy” (8: 218). The discussion here is not about the benefit of the dead from every work; As it is not possible to be certain about this, but rather that a person may benefit from the work of others, and the second article – from this series – clarified how the apparent meaning of the Qur’an talks about one’s work for himself, while the benefit relates to the work of others, which is not covered by the text of the Qur’an.

Therefore, Ibn Taymiyyah said that the Qur’an “did not say: He does not benefit except from what he strives for.” Rather, it denied a person’s possession other than his striving, and a person benefits from what he possesses and what he does not possess. The negation of ownership does not necessarily mean the negation of usufruct, which Rashid Rida neglected. Rashid Rida has also confused between benefit and reward. The reward is only for the work, but the benefit is more general than that. The hadiths of the Prophet demonstrate that one benefits from the work of others, and jurisprudential analogy bears witness to this, as explained by Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya and his statement in the second article.

Among the arbitrary rulings that Rashid Rida concluded was his saying: The arguments of the opponents are “most of them false theories.” And he said about the imams who say that the dead can benefit from the work of others: “The reason for their negligence and interpretation is that they are trying to correct all the innovations that have spread among their people and those attributed to their schools of thought, and they are not of the people of Islam.” The evidence, but they do not leave the misguidance of interpretation … and some of the scholars of the Sunnah from among the people of narration and theorists followed them on that” (8: 255-256), and it became clear from the second article the inadequacies of Rashid Rida’s inferences and his shortcomings of the texts and his cost of interpreting them; What shows that such releases lack accuracy and responsibility, and that what Rashid Rida insinuated to his opponents may be true (such as his talk that they are not among the people of evidence, and his talk of misleading interpretation).

And from that – also – Rashid Rida’s saying: These people “distorted the words from their places” by absurd interpretations and by claiming abrogation and others (8: 255), and this is a departure from the subject of discussion; Because the discussion is to combine the various evidences (both general and specific) and the interpretation of the texts and expelling their meanings in a coherent way, otherwise what Rashid Rida accused his opponents could be accused of (such as distorting the words from their places).

Consider – for example – how he understood who “strove” in the words of God Almighty: “And that man has nothing but what he strives for” (Surah Al-Najm / verse 39). Although the verse talks about man’s pursuit of himself only, as for including anything else in the text of the verse, it is an interpretation. Consider how Rashid Rida understood that the benefit is the same as the reward. Although there is a clear difference between them, as explained by Ibn Taymiyyah.

Consider how it was understood that the hadith “If the son of Adam dies, his work ceases except for three” is evidence of the interruption of one’s benefit from the work of others. Although the hadith informs about the cessation of a person’s work with his death, as for the work of others, it is for the worker; Its inclusion in the text of the hadeeth is an interpretation.

And consider how Rashid Rida claimed that the term “his guardian” – in the hadith “Whoever dies and owes a fast, his guardian fasts on his behalf” – means: “his son”; Although the wording came in the hadith, “My sister died and she had to fast,” and in another narration, “My kinship.” Then the interpretation of “his guardian” by the child only invalidates the reasoning that the Prophet, may God’s prayers and peace be upon him, made as a justification for the permissibility of Hajj and fasting on behalf of others, which is that it is like The debt is paid on behalf of the deceased, and that is why he said: “God’s debt is more deserving of being paid,” and this does not concern only the child.

The scholars are unanimously agreed that supplication for the dead will benefit him. Whether it was from his son or from someone else, and this is not the work of the dead. Rather, Rashid Rida – with his costly interpretation and his failure to investigate the hadiths and his narrations and with his rejection of the requirements of analogy – accused Ibn al-Qayyim of having “neglected the fact that the hadiths, which he made the sole proof of the benefit of the dead Muslims by any work whose reward is gifted to them from the work of their living, have been mentioned in special works And it is permitted for the children – alone – to undertake it on behalf of their parents” (8: 257). It is not their only argument, nor is it specific to children, as proven by Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn al-Qayyim.

Rashid Rida also reiterated that reading at the grave and dedicating the reward to the dead is an invention of the “later imitators”; Although the benefit of the dead by the work of others was demonstrated by the texts, and that the reading at the grave was reported by some of the Companions and that it was the work of the Ansar, and it is the saying of some of the followers, the saying of Al-Shafi’i, the school of Ahmad and others.

Rashid Rida’s conclusions and his absolute rulings illustrate one of the characteristics of modern Salafism, which is the radical and sharp denial of the existence of evidence that contradicts what it is upon, and the narrowness of the jurisprudential disagreement, and the commission of interpretations to support its opinion, and even the illusion that the text bears only one meaning, which is the understanding they are upon, and this is what he did. Rashid Rida and those who followed him, and this is what those affiliated with the enlightenment do today, while you do not find such behavior among the people of the jurisprudential tradition; Those who follow the path of jurisprudence pilgrims according to its principles and rules and adhere to its ethics.

The scientific mind expands the limits of meaning, while the reformist or whoever claims ideological enlightenment has a prior conviction that he seeks to promote, and has a single orientation that he sees as the right and the necessary, and therefore he does not see any evidence or suspicion of evidence for those who say otherwise. Whereas, if you contemplate the words of Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn al-Qayyim on this issue, you will see high jurisprudential arguments. Understand the arguments of the two groups: those who permit and those who prohibit, with moderation and fairness.

The second issue: the use of rhetorical arguments

Rashid Rida used – in his discussion of the issue and his response to those with the dissenting opinion – constructive phrases that deviate from the scientific jurisprudence methods of pilgrims; He opened the discussion by saying: “O Muslim who is keen on his religion,” as if he is delusional that the discussion is between those who are keen on his religion and those who are not keen on it. Rather, he is the one who rejects everything that contradicts him, and throws the measures of those who oppose him to the wall” (8: 264).

The issue is not between one who follows the predecessors and one who opposes them. Then Rashid Rida concluded the discussion by saying: “Whoever wants to follow guidance and avoid making religion subservient to desire, let him stop at the authentic texts and follow the biography of the righteous predecessors in them and turn away from the measures of some of the successors who promote heresy” (8: 269), and this is an accusation against the imams who say that – and among them Ahmed – by following passion and that they are not guided, just as those who say that the dead benefit from the work of others follow the texts of the Qur’an and Hadith, and their evidence is stronger in text and analogy, and I explained – in the second article – how the texts pretend that the dead benefits from the work of others, but that Ibn Taymiyyah made it clear. The frequency of texts and the agreement of imams that a person may benefit from the work of others.

The third issue: criticism of Rashid Rida’s sources

Rashid Rida relied – in his discussion of the issue – on scarce sources. He was dependent on the book “The Spirit” by Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah. Although he dealt with him selectively and accused him of being negligent, he did not hide his admiration for him, saying: “He was eloquent and lengthy, as usual, with what no one else did.” (8: 257). Then Rashid Rida added – to what he transmitted on the authority of Ibn Al-Qayyim – some quotes from Ibn Muflih, Ibn Abdeen and others, with Al-Shawkani imitating the issue. Although he also accused him of disorder.

Rashid Rida did not comprehend the issue from its doctrinal and hadith jurisprudential sources, nor did he follow a specific system in it, whether in research and sources or in arguments. Especially since this issue has preoccupied – historically – many scholars until they classified individual letters in it. It was written by Taqi al-Din Abd al-Ghani al-Maqdisi (600 AH), Abu Ishaq bin al-Barni al-Hanbali (622 AH), Shams al-Din al-Sarouji al-Hanafi (710 AH) and Taqi al-Din Ibn Taymiyyah (728 AH), as well as Zain al-Din al-Malati al-Shafi’i (788 AH), and Sadr al-Din al-Munawi (804 AH). ), and Shams al-Din ibn al-Qatan al-Masry al-Shafi’i (813 AH), Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (852 AH), Saad al-Din ibn al-Dairi al-Hanafi (867 AH), also Shams al-Din al-Sakhawi (902 AH), Wajih al-Din al-Zubaidi (975 AH), and Ibn Berry al-Hanafi (1099 AH), And Issa bin Issa Al-Safti Al-Hanafi (1143 AH), and some of these letters were printed, and they indicate the importance of the issue and the richness of the discussion in it, in contrast to what Rashid Rida’s words deceive.

And I had criticized – in the second article – Rashid Rida’s way of investing his sources in the pilgrims, as his quotes about his sources and his understanding of them lacked scrutiny and were biased; When he reviewed the book “Al-Furu’” by Ibn Muflih al-Hanbali (763 AH), he said: “I saw in it a lot of disagreement on this issue from the Hanbali scholars and others,” while the text of Ibn Muflih to which he is referred was explicit in that Ahmad’s doctrine and its text is the permissibility of reading at the grave And Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah reported that it is the doctrine of some of the predecessors, such as Ibn Aqil al-Hanbali (513 AH), according to Ali ibn al-Muwaffaq, who was in the class of Junaid (298 AH), and that it is also the doctrine of Abi al-Abbas Muhammad ibn Ishaq al-Sarraj al-Nisaburi (313 AH), and all of this was also conveyed by Ibn Taymiyyah in his letter (51).

Then, Rashid Rida quoted on the authority of Izz al-Din ibn Abd al-Salam al-Shafi’i (660 AH) that he was one of those who permitted reading about the dead (8: 263), and this is wrong. What is known about pride is the opposite. As it happened on the rule that there is no reward or punishment except by earning or causing (note the accuracy of the phrase: there is no reward and there is no reward), and this is what Al-Ezz decided in his books, and it was also transmitted by Abu Abdullah Al-Qurtubi (671 AH) in the book “The Remembrance”.

It is remarkable that Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah added a funny kind of reasoning to the issue, in addition to reasoning by the Qur’an, hadith, analogy and inherited action, which is reasoning by the frequency of visions. It is a secondary reasoning for domestication and expands the limits of consideration. Ibn al-Qayyim said: “The visions of the believers colluded, and the greatest frequency occurred when the dead told them of the arrival of what they gift to them, such as reading, prayer, charity, Hajj, etc.” (Al-Rooh 401), which is not consistent with the behavior of the modern Salafis. Despite their reliance on the books of Ibn al-Qayyim; Ibn al-Qayyim rejected the method of reasoning with the text, the reasonable, inherited work, and true visions, in contrast to the method of Rashid Rida, which is limited in understanding and methodology.

There is an important difference here between the method of jurisprudence of the jurists and the method of Rashid Rida and the modern Salafis, which is that the jurisprudence of the jurists is based on an integrated scientific field and well-established traditions, and a methodological and subsidiary system that takes some of them with reservations until they form a reasonable and coherent system whose branches are related to its origins, and consistency and reasonableness are achieved in it, unlike the “orientation” The reformist, who is motivated by a specific idea or conviction imposed by reality, not by the method or scientific field, and therefore his concerns are partial and selective, and he does not establish a system and lacks consistency; Because its drive is the pressure of reality or the prior conviction of an individual or group, while the scientific tradition has been passed on by generations of scholars throughout history, and has developed a scientific field and a coherent and cumulative methodology.

The difference between the scientific approach and the reformist approach is now clear through this issue, which made it a typical example of jurisprudential criticism, and to show the impact of the difference in the approach in jurisprudence, and Rashid Rida here is just an example that left an impact on the symbols of Wahhabism later, and he had a positive attitude towards Sheikh Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab . Whereas, Sheikh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Al-Qayyim are a continuation of the jurisprudential tradition, even if they have independent opinions and a deductive reasoning in the texts (Ibn Al-Qayyim expanded more in this path), and they are the first to explain the corruption of this minor understanding that Rashid Rida pursued, and they were pluralists who absorbed the difference Perceptions of jurisprudential consideration and the possibility of evidence, and the relevance of each doctrine.

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