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Shaykh Muhammad al-Tahir Ibn Ashur is the most renowned Zaytuna Imam and one of the great Islamic scholars of the 20th century. Ibn ʿĀs̲h̲ūr. ( words)., patronymic of a family of Idrīsid descent and Moroccan origin which settled in Muslim, Spain. It is said that ʿĀs̲h̲ūr, fleeing from. Muhammad al-Tahir ibn ‘Ashur is the author of Ibn Ashur ( avg rating, 12 ratings, 1 review, published ) and Book-in-Brief ( avg rating, 0 rati.

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He was a writer and author on the subject of reforming Islamic education and jurisprudence. He is best remembered for his Qur’anic exegesis, al-Tahrir wa’l-tanwir The Verification and Enlightenment. Muhammad al-Tahir ibn Ashur was born in Tunis in to an affluent family and died in at age He was of Andalusian origin.

The family had shown dedication to the pursuit of knowledge for generations. His grandfather was especially renowned. When he entered Zaytunacare was made to provide him zshur best teachers.

He was a teacher at Zaytuna all his life. He is famous for rejecting Habib Bourguiba ‘s president of Tunisia request for asgur fatwa to justify abandoning the fast of the month of Ramadan because it harmed productivity. Influenced by a visit to Tunisia by Muhammad Abduh, Ibn Ashur combined knowledge of the classics with a desire to revive Islamic civilization. He positioned asuur as a bridge between the classical Islamic legal heritage and the needs of a modern world.

His references to the great works of law are respectful, but he does not hesitate to point out shortcomings. Responding to modern challenges to Islamic traditions, Ibn Ashur called for substantive reforms in Islamic education. His work on the ultimate purposes of Shari’a represented an attempt to revive the maqasid theory of Shatibi and an asuhr to renew Islamic legal theory.

Ibn Ashur intended his work azhur be relevant for the modern world. He claimed that the discipline of usul al-fiqh had reached its limits and become over-burdened with methodological technicalities.

Muhammad al-Tahir ibn ‘Ashur (Author of Ibn Ashur)

Appropriate legal responses to situations in the modern world cannot be found by delving deeper and deeper into the meaning of a word.

Ibn Ashur asserted the view that language is fundamentally ambiguous and is not enough to determine the intent of a speaker.

Further, while written words are less subject to distortion, the spoken word is actually more likely to convey the speaker’s intent. The entire field surrounding the word must be considered.


In contrast, the return of generations to Medina to assess the meaning of a statement shows the importance of understanding context. Ibn Ashur questioned the juridical weight of an isolated hadith in determining legislation. Instead, legislative value should be sought from the totality of shari’ah. He suggested that comments seemingly to the contrary from Imam al-Shafi’i and Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal must be distortions of their work.

He worried that taking a solitary ahad hadith in isolation from the body of shari’ah would end the quest for understanding in context.

Preferring a solitary hadith over a rational deduction based on context would be problematic. Ibn Ashur believes that al-Shafi’i was misunderstood as accepting a solitary hadith over the larger context and that Ahmad ibn Hanbal was misrepresented as accepting a weak hadith over qiyas.

Ibn Ashur says that a weak hadith is open to error, and qiyas is open to error, but in addition, the weak hadith may be a lie and the consequence of using it would be worse than using qiyas. Ibn Ashur claimed that the basis of shari’ah must be rational. He said, “One of the greatest things required by the universality of ibnn shari’ah is that its rules be equal for all the communities following it to the utmost extent possible, because similarity in the flow of rules and laws is a help for achieving group unity ashurr the community.

Because the shari’ah is universal, it must not be restricted to a single culture. The shari’ah ign down in the Arabic language to the Arabic people, and therefore its coloring and style are Arabic. However, its intent is universal and so must be intelligible everywhere. This tells us that the asuhr is based ibj reason.

For example, the mandate of keeping raisin juice in certain kinds of containers comes from the fact that in the heat of the Hijaz the juice would quickly ferment.

In cold climates, that would not apply.

In fact, to stubbornly hold onto superficialities aahur understanding the intent is to “expose the shari’ah to being dismissed disdainfully.

Ibn Ashur saw this literal-mindedness to be represented by the Zahiri position.

His strongest argument against it is that the literal occasions that the Zahiri adhur onto are quite limited, but that people around the world encounter many more. Therefore, the maqasid of the shari’ah must be engaged.


Muhammad al-Tahir ibn Ashur

Ibn Ashur called for ijtihad in the strongest terms. He said, “Ijtihad is a collective duty fard al-kifayah on the community according to the measure of need in the community’s countries and situations. He wanted to see Muslims coming forth to practice ijtihad for the global community. Asjur was clear to him that the lack of ijtihad had grave consequences. He called for a group of mujtahids from countries around the world, from different madhahib schoolsto address the needs of the community, as the basis for a renewal of civilisation.

One of the most fascinating approaches to the ashhr of coherence between Qur’an 2: He understands verses 9: However, in Ibn ‘Ashur’s interpretation, 9: He thus turns the classical reading around, while still connecting the Prophetic history with the Qur’anic text in a more logical way.

He historicizes Qur’anic verses the same way classical scholars have done through the concept of abrogation Naskh and occasions of revelation Asbab al-Nuzulbut takes the Maqasid al-Shari’ah welfare objectives of the Islamic law into account where asur restriction on freedom of religion would violate the preservation of religion aehur intellect Hifz al-Din wa al-‘Aql.

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