Mafhoom al- mukhaalafah refers to the derivable opposite ruling from a text that specifically mentions a ruling which maybe either positive or negative i.e. if the mentioned ruling is positive it will be negative and if the mentioned ruling is negative it will be positive.
Types of Mafhoom al-Mukhaalafah
There are basically six types of mafhoom al-mukhaalafah, namely:
I. Mafhoom as-Sifah: This occurs when a ruling is issued on a qualified object or item with some restriction. For instance the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: "There is zakat in the pasturing sheep" (Abu Daud) One candraw from this hadeeth that there is no zakat on animals that do not graze freely because the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) only mentioned the pasturing ones.
2. Mafhoom ash-Shart: This occurs when a ruling in statement rested on one or more conditions i.e. if that condition is not fulfilled the ruling is also not applicable.For instance Allaah says: " O you who believe! If a faasiq (liar,evil person) comes to you with any news, verify (Q49[al-Hujuraat]:6) One can draw from this verse that if a truthful and trustworthy Muslim comes to one with a piece of information one need not verify it.
3. Mafhoom al-Ghaayah: This occurs when a ruling is connected to a time limit. For instance Allaah says: "and do not go unto them until they are purified " (Q2[Baqarah]:222) i.e. do not have sexual intercourse with your wives until they are free from menses and have taken their bath. We can also conclude from this statement that it is not permissible to have sexual intercourse with when they have not become purified.
4. Mafhoom al-Adad: This occurs when a ruling is attached to a specified number. For instance Allaah says:"The woman and the man (not previously married) guilty of illegal sexual intercourse, flog each of them with a hundred stripes .... " (Q24[Nur]:2). It can also be drawn from this verse that we cannot flog them less than a hundred stripes.
5. Mafhoom al-Hasr: This occurs when a statement is restricted with "innamaa" or some thing similar. For instance the Messenger of Allaah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said: "Innama arriba fin-naseeah" This literally means that ribaa exists only in deferment. From this statement one....
6. Mafhoom al-Laqab: This is when a ruling is passed on some specified items. One may want to conclude that the ruling is applicable to those items only and no more. However this is not correct. For instance if some body says to you" Honour the orphans" it will be wrong to understand from this statement that one should not honour other than the orphans.
Validity of Mafhoom al-Mukhaalafah
There is consensus among the scholars of Usool al-Fiqh and the scholars of the Arabic language that mafhoom al-laqab is not a valid evidence neither in the Shariah nor in the language. As for other mafaaheem al-mukhaalafah, the linguists and majority of the scholars of Usool have accepted their validity if some conditions are fulfilled .However Abu Haneefah (RAH) only recognized the use of mafhoom al- mukhaalafah in the language and the customs of the people but not in the Shariah. He argued that no body has the right to draw a Shari ruling from the mafhoom al-mukhalafah. Insha Allaah next edition we shall discuss the conditions for the acceptability of the mafhoom atmukhalafah.
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited