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 27: Negating the Obligation of Narrating Everything a Jurisprudent Heard, and the Explication of This Position.
He (Imam Muhammad Ibn Al-Hasan Al-Shaybani) says, “It is not mandatory on the jurisprudence to narrate everything that he has heard except to the absent person who is about to depart, (especially regard to) that which the jurisprudent knows to be not well-known among the people of that person’s country.”
This means that the elucidation is principally compulsory, but the time to do it is flexible, and it only becomes nigh on fear of its lapsing, as we have explained in the hadith of Mu’adh (see Part 24). And the one who comes to the jurisprudent has the objective of learning from him what is not widely known in his country, and which is of benefit to his people, so that he may counsel them about it upon his return to them, for Allah says, “Why not have a group from every band of them stay behind to apply themselves to understanding of the religion and to preach to the people when they return to them, that they may be aware?” [Al-Quran, Surah al-Tawbah, verse 122].
If he (the learner) is not resolved to return (soon), then the time for teaching is ample for the teacher, but if he is resolved to depart (for home) then the time becomes constricted and thereafter will not allow for delaying elucidation. This is as in the case of the prayer being obligatory after the time for it has arrived, while the period of time to perform it is ample. When the end of the time period approaches then the time to perform it is narrowed and does not allow for further delay thereafter.
This is with regard to what is not widely known among the people of his country, but as for what is widely known among them, then, there is no need nor necessity, for the returning person can obtain it for himself from the scholars of the people of his country, and the people of his country (too) can obtain it through their own scholars even without referring to the person who is returning to them.
The believers are as a single soul, as stated by the Messenger of Allah, “The believers are as a single soul.” [Narrated by Muslim, Ahmad and Abu Nu’aym]. This means that if a part of the body suffers the whole body suffers, and if a part of the body obtains comfort then all the other organs participate in it.
If the narration is something widely known among the people of his country, it will not be effaced by his teacher’s refraining from elucidating it; but if it is not widely known among them, then refraining from elucidation will lead to its effacement with respect to them. Just as it is not permissible for him to abandon elucidation to the people of his own country such that it becomes effaced, so it is not permissible to abandon elucidating to the person who travels to find him from another place for this objective when it is not widely known among the people of his country.