I am confused regarding the ittifaaq/ijmaa’ of the majority of Ulama. The Ulama are saying that since the majority is of the view that stunning animals is permissible, this will be the official ruling of the Shariah. There are other similar issues of difference as well. They say that since the majority is of the view that digital pictures are permissible, therefore, this will be the fatwa of the Shariah. They compare their ittifaaq with the Ijmaa’ of the Fuqaha of former times. Please read the Fatwa of Darul Uloom Karachi. Please explain the issue of the ittifaaq (consensus) of the majority which I believe is being misinterpreted by the Ulama of the day.
1) The consensus (ittifaaq) of the majority of molvis on baatil, is the ittifaaq of the shayaa-teenul ins. It is absolutely ridiculous to compare the consensus of today’s ulama-e-soo’ with the Ittifaaq of the Jamhoor of the Mutaqaddimeen era.
Ittifaaq of the majori-ty on an issue which is explicitly in conflict with the Nass of the Shariah, is ittifaaq on shaitaaniyat and baatil.
In the absence of a directive of the Shariah – in other words, if there is no Nass of the Mutaqaddimeen on an issue which is a recent development, then the issue will simply be referred to the principles of the Shariah. If it is found to be in conflict with these principles, the fatwa of impermissibility will be issued. If there is no conflict, then obviously it will be permissible.
On a new expediency of this nature, e.g., performing Salaat in a plane, so-called suicide bombing as a tactic of Jihad, printing the Qur’aan Majeed with machinery in which the ink used has alcohol, and no other ink is available, kangaroo meat, etc., etc., there is no Nass from the Fuqaha-e-Mutaqaddimeen. The Ulama will study such issues in the light of similar mansoos juziyaat and the usool of the Shariah, and issue their Fatwa.
In matters of this kind, there is bound to be ikhtilaaf-e-raai’ (difference of opinion). It is not permissible to be bigoted and dogmatic and to claim that only ‘my’ view is the Haqq and the view of the others is baatil. But on issues on which there exists explicit rulings of the Shariah which have been transmitted from the era of Khairul Quroon, the slightest divergence will be intolerable and unacceptable. Opinion and the consensus of the ma-jority of donkey-molvis and sheikhs are the effluvium of the nafs and the stunt of Iblees.
Furthermore, the majority view in cases of this nature, i.e. new expediencies, being con-sensus of the jamhoor Ulama-e-Haqq of the time, will be acceptable while at the same time, this ittifaaq of the Jam-hoor of the current era will not be binding on the dissenting Ulama. However, on issues where there exists Nass of the Shariah, any view which is in conflict, be it the opinion of the so-called jamhoor of the time, will be mardood and mal-oon, and those who follow such baatil ittifaaq will come within the scope of the Qur’aanic castigation: “They take their ahbaar and ruhbaan as gods besides Allah and also (they take as god) Maseeh, the son of Maryam.”
This type of baatil ittifaaq is on an issue such as stunning animals prior to Thabah. Thabah is Mansoos Alayh. The full tareeqah of Thabah, from beginning to end, is Mansoos. Changing any mas’alah in this system without valid Shar’i cause is baatil and haraam. It will be Tahreef-e-Shariah (interpolating and mutilating the Shari-ah). In terms of the Nass of the Shariah, inflicting injury on an animal prior to Thabah is haraam. The infliction of injury is of genus significance. It covers all forms of injury. Even the act of sharpening the knife in front of the animal which is to be slaughtered is prohibit-ed. When such an indi-rect act which is not a physical act of injury is also prohibited, then to a far greater degree will the brutality of stunning be prohibited.
Now, since infliction of injury is haraam by the Nass of the Shariah, the ittifaaq of a whole world of moron molvis will be baatil, and it will be haraam for even the awaam (the masses) to submit and follow. They will come within the criticism stated in the aforementioned Qur’aanic aayat.
Ittifaaq of Jamhoor never means validity of an ittifaaq which is in conflict with any Nass of the Shariah or which abrogates a Shar’i hukm. Any ittifaaq of the jamhoor molvis of this era which gives precedence to a method or concept of the kuffaar over and above the method ordained by the Shariah, is kufr. Precisely for this reason has Hadhrat Thanvi (Rahmatullah alayh) said that approval of stunning is tantamount to kufr.
2) We have as yet not read the fatwa of Darul Uloom Karachi. However, we must say that the fatwas issued by this institution are not necessarily reliable. They condone sareeh (explicit) haraam practices, and they are adept in the art of ta’weel baatil. We have criti-cized Mufti Taqi on several issues.
THE MAJLIS 25/05