Shah Wali Allah’s Approach to Reconciliation among Fiqhī Schools and its Contemporary Relevance: A Juridical Analysis


  • Dr. Muhammad Tayyeb Nadeem Assistant Professor,Department of Sciences & Humanities, National University of Computer & Emerging Sciences, Islamabad



Juridical Interpretation, Reconciliation, Shah Wali Allah, Violent Extremism, Peace and Prosperity, al-Jāddah al-Qawīmah, Islamic Law


Islamic law covers every aspect of practical life of human society and solves even new issues using different approaches of ijtihād since day one. After the fourth-century hijrī (الھجری) some diehard followers of some fiqhī schools initiated arguing against each other thereby underestimating the opinions of the opposing schools for the same of proving the superiority of their juristic opinions. This phenomenon was described by Shāh Walī Allāh (شاہ ولی اللہ) (1703-1762) as "Istikhraji Fiqh".[i] Shāh Wali Allah Dehlvi did not like the strict adherence to any moderate Muslim school of thought as was propagated by the diehard scholars of these schools. After getting enlightened by extensive education and intuition in Dehli and “al-Haramain al-Sharifain” (the two holy cities), Shāh Walī Allāh came to the conclusion that the Dīn (الدین) should be (Re) interpreted as per the prevailing circumstances which was violent extremism in his time. To address the issue, Shāh came up with comprehensive principles of Dīn (Religion) in his great academic work "Hujjat Allāh al-Bālighah" (حجة اللہ البالغة) (“The Conclusive Argument from God”). These principles were intended to clarify the in-depth reality of extremism among Muslim scholars (which often led to violent extremism in his society) and recommended the way forward toward peacebuilding during the violent extremism in Muslim societies and most importantly, to develop the Islamic hermeneutics’ and legal theory of (Re) interpretation which should be acceptable to the traditionalists (Ahl al-Hadīth) (اھل الحدیث) and the rationalists (Ahl al-Rai’) (اھل الرأی) in the light of the true spirit of Islam. Shāh Walī Allāh described this as "al-Jāddah al-Qawīmah"(الجادّۃ القویمة), “balanced approach to deal with Islamic Thoughts” (especially during the violent extremism) which he thoroughly elaborated in his book 'al-Tafhīmāt al-Ilāhiyah" (التفھیمات الإلٰھیة) in Tafhīm no. 66 along with other of his great academic works. The methodology of this paper is to describe and to analyze the Juridical Theory of al-Jāddah al-Qawīmah established by Shāh Walī Allāh for “Peacebuilding in Muslim Societies” in an Islamic Jurisprudential manner and to propose an academic adaptable model to promote peace in Pakistan. Such study has not been done so far as per humble knowledge of the researcher


[i] The term “Istikhrājī fiqh” (استخراجی فقہ) is one of the concepts that has been explained by Shāh Walī Allāh in his different books by meaning that when Fuqahā derive new laws on the derived law by their previous Fuqahā instead of consulatation to Qurān and Sunnah, which is, according to Shāh, the main issue in fiqh and he suggested that such type of exercise should be vanished. For that purpos, Shāh used differe ternms like "تخریج جواب المسالۃ علی اقوال اصحابھم", "تمھید الفقہ علی قاعدۃ التخریج" and "اصحاب التخریج" and "خضتم کل الخوض فی استحسانات الفقھاء من قبلکم وتفریعاتھم۔۔ ۔"etc. It is not derivation of law from Qurān and Sunnah ("استخراج المسائل"). See for detail; Shāh Walī Allāh, “Hujjat Allāh al-Bālighah”, ed. Mufī Sa‘īd Pālanpūrī (Ka, 1:424-27; see also: Shāh Walī Allāh, “al-Tafhīmāt al-Ilāhiyah”, (Dhābhail: al-Mjlis al-‘Ilmī, 1936), 1:215; 1:152; 1:214-15.