General Islamic Topic

Types of Khilaf (Disagreements/Differing of Opinions) and The Causes

What are the types of khilaf and their causes?

There are two types of khilaf (disagreements/differing of opinions) which are:

First: Acceptable disagreement/differing of opinion (khilaf maqbul) like the disagreements of the types of Hajj and others.

Second: Non-Acceptable disagreement/differing of opinions (khilaf mazmum). The main causes are:

  • Ignorance (jahil)
  • Oppression (zalim) and extremes
  • Surrendering to one’s wants and desires (hawa nafsu) and misgivings (zan)
  • Contradicting the Prophet’s teachings (mukhalafah manhaj al-nabawi)

An Acceptable Disagreement

It is based on certain requirements:

  • Those who are in the disagreements must be among the Fiqh and religious scholars
  • In things which are the branches (furu’) and not the roots (usul)
  • In the intention of searching for the truth
  • Willing to sacrifice and give the best effort in searching for the truth (ijtihad)

The Causes of Disagreements

  • Differences in understanding and one’s mental ability in processing something
  • Differences in the mastery of certain knowledge
  • Differences in the mastery in the Arabic language
  • Disagreements on the usage of sources in Fiqh
  • Disagreements on the requirements for a valid (sahih) hadith
  • Disagreements on the usul al-fiqh methods, such as:
  • Determining the meaning of homonyms; words with multiple meanings (lafaz al-musytarak)
  • Determining the ruling of something between essential (wajib) and sunnah
  • Determining the ruling of something between the impermissible or prohibited (haram) and undesirable (makruh)
  • Determining absolute (mutlaq) and restricted (muqayyad)
  • Determining a word between the direct (haqiqat) and indirect (majaz) meanings
  • Determining the generality (umum) of the Quranic verse and mass transmitted hadith (sunnah mutawatirah) upon individual-to-individual reports (khabar al-ahad)
  • Determining the generality (umum) of a saying
  • Determining the indication (dalalah) of the expressions (nas) upon the parallel meaning (lahn al-khitab)
  • Determining the rules of exception whether it refers to all of the statements or some of them
  • Determining the indication (dalalah) of divergent meaning (mafhum al-mukhalafah)
  • Disagreements on the readings of the Quran
  • Disagreements due to contradictions between pieces of evidence (dalil)

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