Category Archives: Usuul

06 Jul

The general specified by the the ‘aql

Specifying the general by means of 'aql [intellect]. 


An example of this can be seen in the following Verse of the Qur'aan:


Allaah is the Creator of everything


The intellect tells us that Allaah did not create Himself.


They have differed as to if the intellect can be considered from among the things which can specify [the general]. Some of the scholars have said it is not from those things which can specify. The reason is because when the intellect shows that something cannot be entered under the generality of a word, then that word was never coined for it [i.e. for that something to be a part of its generality] to begin with. Allaah does not come under the word “thing” in the aforementioned Verse so there is no need to talk about its specification [takhsiis]. 


The majority of scholars say that intellect is from among the things which can specify [the generality of a word]. This is because the word[s] "everything" was coined in the language for the general and includes everything. In this Verse, it is not possible to keep the word upon that generality because intellect dictates that Allaah and His Attributes are not a part of the word.


The effects of this difference of opinion becomes apparent when we discuss those who say that the general prior to have been made specific is definitive proof while after takhsiis [specification] it becomes speculative proof. 


For when you consider intellect to be from among those things which specify, then you consider the general which is specified by it to be speculative proof. 


Some of the Hanafi scholars who have made a distinction between the general which has been specified and the general which is preserved maintain that when the general is specified by 'aql [intellect] it remains definitive proof as long as it is not specified by some other form of evidence.


As for the majority of scholars, if they consider intellect to act as a specifying agent, then the general which has not been specified is of stronger standing as far as evidence goes when compared to the general which has been specified by intellect or other forms of evidence.


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