Imam Bukhari (رحمۃ اللہ علیہ )Was a Mujtahid Mutlaq
Munir Ahmad Mughal
Punjab University Law College; Superior Law College; LIMIT Law College, Lahore
May 30, 2012
We are living in the 21st century of the Christian Era which corresponds to the 15th century of the Islamic Calendar after Hijrah of the Messenger of Allah (صلی اللہ علیہ و آلہ وسلم) from Makkah al-Mukarramah to al-Madinah al-Munawwarah. Our age is called the Modern age. The World has become a global village and science and technology are holding every field in serving humanity. Problems are new, issues are new, and at the same time many and multiple, difficult and complex. Modern students, researchers, writers, teachers, litigants, lawyers and judges all need answers of various questions they are facing or may face as holders of the responsibility put on their shoulders. Modern questions are to be answered in the modern way that could be understood by a modern man. The reason is that Modern Muslim lawyers and Judges are trained in Modern Law. Hence concepts familiar to them are the best tools to make them understand how is the Islamic Law fully competent to meet any challenge of our times aptly and most satisfactorily on any touch stone of the modern times.
Modern questions need answers in modern context in modern way and modern language. Modern people want logic, reason, consistency, brevity, relevance and authority behind every answer. They want to remain progressive in meeting the modern challenges and at the same time to remain faithful to Islam. They are conscious of the basic principles of their faith which are based on purity (nazafat) and modesty (haya) of thought and action. Why have we lost our past glory is the real question. One of the many answers is that by behaving in the same way as that glory was gained. One of the many manners was the behaviour of honesty and wishing well of all in which we were also included.
Sahih Bukhari is one of the Six Most Authentic Collections of the Ahadith of the Messenger of Allah (صلی اللہ علیہ و آلہ وسلم). What was the status of Imam Bukhari as a Mujtahid? Was he Hanafi , Shafi`i , Maliki or Hanbali?
The Thesis: My thesis is that Imam Bukhari was an absolute jurist (Mujtahid Mutlaq/مجتہد مطلق).
The Argument: To prove this I have made an attempt to explain who is a jurist (mujtahid/مجتہد) and who is an absolute jurist (Mujtahid Mutlaq/مجتہد مطلق); collected all his opinions and tested them on the touchstone of an absolute jurist (Mujtahid Mutlaq/مجتہد مطلق). The question posed is also modern as mostly it has been considered by the jurists that Imam Bukhari was a Muhaddith and not Jurist and that even as a Muhaddith he followed the Shafi`i School of thought.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 58
Keywords: Imam Bukhari, Mujtahid Mutlaq
JEL Classification: K40working papers series
Date posted: May 2, 2012 ; Last revised: June 1, 2012
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