Shi’i Jurisprudence and Constitution: Revolution in Iran by Amirhassan Boozari (auth.)

By Amirhassan Boozari (auth.)

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151 Grammatically, this verse is an imperative sentence. The question is whether or not the rule mentioned in the verse is also imperative. In other words, has the rule derived from Divine’s Sovereignty or Divine’s Guidance? If this command would not have been mentioned in the Qur’an, would derivation of its purpose be out of the reach of rational people? 152 The question is: Is there any difference between what God ordains and what the rational minds would find through their rational investigation of the rule?

117 To elaborate on what is meant by circular reasoning, an Usūlī jurist may argue that there is a duty to acquire knowledge about God. When found mandatory by God’s rule, it will amount to the interference of God’s will on its enforcement. Differentiating between the nature of an act and duty, ʽAllāma makes further argument that a Divine Interference transforms the duty of knowing God into something that prerequisites compliance. Such transformed duty would be unbearable for someone who has not yet acquired knowledge about God.

Similar reasoning can be employed in responding to Ashʽarites’ rejection of reason’s capability to determine the nature of an act. For Shīʽī Usūlīs, the aforementioned Ashʽarī proposition constitutes an incomplete truth because it fails to provide a cause for the act of legislation and an effect for its outcome. It also ignores the critically important absence of jazāf (arbitrariness and disproportional factor) in the Divine rulings. Performance of an act is ruled to be mandatory or prohibited because the Legislator, prior to His Ruling, has determined its inherent benefit or detriment.

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