Thursday, July 07, 2005

The people of insight

Question: I hear people say often that the Hanafi school is ahle ray or the school of qiyas. What do people mean by that and can you give some examples of how qiyas is used in the school of Abu Hanafi. (may Allah be well pleased with him)

Answer: Yes the Hanafis are called Ahlu Al-Ra'y. Sometimes this label is used to blame, falsely implying that they go by opinion and analogy (qiyaas) instead of hadith. In this case Ahlu Al-Ra'y would mean "the people of opinion". Other times it is used to praise, meaning "the people of insight", implying that they dug deeper into the meaning of hadiths and Quran than others.

All of Ahlu Al-Sunnah accept Qiyaas. The Hanafi's are not an exception in this. The Thaahiriy sect, with its most famous proponents Ibn Hazm and Dawood Al-Thaahiriy broke scholarly consensus by denying it. It made them make ridiculous statements such as claiming that just because the Prophet -may allah raise his rank- forbade urinating in still water does not mean one cannot pour urine into it. The sunnis went by obvious analogy and said that pouring is the same, because what is important is that urine should not be put in still water.

... and Allah knows best.