The Qat‘iyyât-Zanniyyât Distinction in al-Juwaynî’s al-Ghyâthî and its Modern Interpretations

This article discusses how Imâm al-Haramayn al-Juwaynî evaluates the question of “politico-juridical ahkâm” within his Giyâth al-Umam and it criticizes Wael B. Hallaq and Patricia Crone’s arguments about al-Juwaynî’s ideas that dwells on that distinction. In the aforementioned book al-Juwaynî differentiates the “politico-juridical ahkâm” into two depending on whether they are certain (qat‘î) or impressionistic (zannî) in terms of their attainment. The certain rules include the issues that directly concern the ummah, while the impressionistic rulings are those that are left to the ijtihâd of the scholars because of the lack of a definitive evidence (dalîl) about them. Grounded theoretically in the literature on the jurisprudential methodology, the seperation between the qat‘î and zannî rules is also introduced in the al-Giyâthî depending on which the issues in the book are discussed. Yet, Hallaq and Crone view this differentiation as an alternative to al-Mâwardî’s theory of caliphate and they accuse al-Juwaynî for “secularizing the caliphate” through enabling powerful military leaders to assume the position of caliphate.

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