Every Wednesday, I will share a part of the translation of the book Kitab Al-Kasb (the book of Earning a Livelihood) written by Muhammad Ibn Al-Hasan Al-Shaybani.
Part 25: Mention of the Individual Obligation and the Communal Obligation, and that Conveying Knowledge to People is a Communal Obligation.
Then, the obligatory is two kinds, individual obligation, and communal obligation. The personal obligation is that which is specifically incumbent on every individual to fulfill, such as the pillars of the religion. The communal obligation is that which is absolved from the rest of a community when some discharge it since the objective is achieved, but if people collectively abandon it, then they participate (together) in sinning; like jihad, for its objective is making supreme the word of Allah and the empowering of the religion.
When this objective is achieved by some Muslims, then it (the obligation of jihad) is absolved from the rest of them; but if all remained unreceptive to jihad until the unbelievers conquered some seaports, the Muslims would share in sinning because of it.
Likewise, the washing of the deceased, the praying over him and burial, all that is a communal obligation such that when some carry it out, it is absolved from the rest; but if all of them refrain from it such that the deceased is left neglected among the people thought they know of his situation, then they are all participative in sinning.
Therefore, the conveyance of knowledge to people is a communal obligation, such that when some fulfill it the rest are absolved from it, since the objective is achieved, which is the reviving of the noble Law; and because knowledge is preserved among people through its conveyance by some, such that if they refrain from it (imparting knowledge) until even a part of it is effaced, then they participate collectively in sinning.