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Taqrir

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Taqrīr al-Maʿṣūm (Arabic: تقرير المعصوم, lit: silent approval of the Infallible (a)) is the Infallible's (a) silence against a speech or an action made in his presence and it is a sign that he (a) did not oppose it. The Infallible's (a) silent approval is placed next to his words and deeds under the Sunna, which is one of the four sources for deducing Islamic rulings. According to the Shiites, the Infallible's (a) silent approval includes the silent approvals of the Prophet of Islam (s), Lady Fatima (a) and the Twelve Imams (a).

According to Usul scholars, the Infallible's (a) silent approval has credibility in certain circumstances, among which is his awareness about the action made in his presence and his possibility in commenting on it. The reason for the credibility of the Infallible's (a) silent approval is explained in such a way that it is obligatory for Imam (a) to deal with bad deeds, and not doing so is contrary to his infallibility.

Meaning

Taqrir of the Infallible (a) refers the silence of the Infallible (s) against the speech or action made in his presence.[1] In the science of usul, the Infallible's (a) silent approval, with some conditions, indicates the permissibility or correctness of the speech or action made in his presence; [2] with this justification that the Infallible (a) is obliged to prevent a wrongdoer from committing the bad and, to show him the right way if he is ignorant.[3]

For example, if a person performs wudu in the presence of the Infallible (a) and he (a) sees it and does not say anything, this silence is called the Infallible's (a) silent approval and it is considered a sign that such a wudu had been correct.[4] Literally, “taqrir” means “to acknowledge, approve and endorse.”[5]

Significance

The Infallible's (a) silent approval is a topic discussed in the science of usul[6] and, like the speech and action of the Infallible (a), it is a part of the tradition.[7] Tradition, along with the Qur'an, reason and consensus, is one of the four main sources for deduction of religious rulings.[8]

Taqrir is not specific to the Shiites. Sunnis too bring argument from it to deduce jurisprudential rulings.[9] The Shiites consider the silent approvals of the Prophet (s), Lady Fatima (a) and the twelve Imams (a) as proof.[10] But, in the Sunni school, only the silent approval of the Prophet (s) is considered a proof.[11] Unlike the Shiites, who consider the credibility of the silent approval specific to the Infallibles (a), some Sunni scholars consider the silent approvals of the first and the second caliphs, and some others consider the silent approvals of all the companions of the Prophet (s) to be credible.[12]

Reasons for the credibility of the Infallible's (a) silent approval

Some reasons have been mentioned to prove the credibility of the Infallible's (a) silent approval: Some have said that the position of the Infallibles (a) indicates that they (a) seek to take care of religious goals. Therefore, they (a) should not remain silent in the face of irreligious actions or speeches.[13]

Some have argued that enjoining the good and forbidding the evil is obligatory. Since the Infallible (a) would never abandon an obligation, his silence, in the face of any action or speech about which it is possible to comment, indicates that the act or speech has been permissible or correct.[14]

Types of Taqrir

In some works of usul, taqrir – depending on the act against which silence has been made – is divided into two types, action and speech (or ruling),[15] and in other divisions, ideological taqrir has also been added to the previous types;[16] referring to the case, when a person has had special beliefs about issues such as God, the Hereafter and the like, and the Infallible (a) has kept silent about the expression of these beliefs.[17]

Conditions of the credibility of taqrir

Usul scholars consider the Infallible's (a) silence in the face of an action or speech credible if it has the following conditions:

  • The Infallible (a) should have been aware of and paid attention to the speech and action made in his presence.[18]
  • It should have been possible for the Infallible (a) to comment. For example, a person who made an action in the presence of the Infallible (a) should not have left the Infallible's (a) presence immediately.[19]
  • There should not have been any obstacle for the Infallible (a) to comment. For example, the Imam (a) should not have been forced to remain silent because of a danger that threatened his life or that of his Shi'a.[20]
  • Before the silence, the Infallible (a) should not have said a word in rejection of that action or speech.[21]

Notes

  1. Muzaffar, Uṣūl al-fiqh, vol. 3, p. 66.
  2. Muzaffar, Uṣūl al-fiqh, vol. 3, p. 66.
  3. Shīrwānī, Taḥrīr usūl-i fiqh, p. 210-211; Muzaffar, Uṣūl al-fiqh, vol. 3, p. 66.
  4. Aṣgharī, Usūl al-fiqh (Persian Commentary), vol. 2, p. 133.
  5. Aṣgharī, Usūl al-fiqh (Persian Commentary), vol. 2, p. 133.
  6. Baḥrānī, Sharḥ al-usūl, vol. 1, p. 15.
  7. Muzaffar, Uṣūl al-fiqh, vol. 3, p. 61.
  8. Muḥammūdī, Sharḥ-i usūl-i fiqh, vol. 3, p. 285; Shahābī, Taqrīrāt-i usūl, p. 15.
  9. Abū Shahba, al-Wasīṭ fī ʿulūm wa muṣṭalaḥ al-ḥadīth, vol. 1, p. 204.
  10. Muḥaqqiq Dāmād, Mabāḥithī az usūl-i fiqh, vol. 2, p. 45.
  11. Abū Shahba, al-Wasīṭ fī ʿulūm wa muṣṭalaḥ al-ḥadīth, vol. 1, p. 204.
  12. Mūsawī Bujnūrdī, ʿIlm-i usūl, p. 286-287.
  13. Markaz-i Iṭilāʿt wa Madārik-i Islāmī, Farhangnāma-yi usūl-i fiqh, p. 399; Shahrakānī, al-Mufīd, vol. 2, p. 91-93.
  14. Muḥaqqiq Dāmād, Mabāḥithī az usūl-i fiqh, vol. 2, p. 48-50.
  15. Shīrwānī, Taḥrīr usūl-i fiqh, p. 211.
  16. Muḥammadī, Sharḥ-i usūl-i fiqh, vol. 3, p. 111.
  17. Muḥammadī, Sharḥ-i usūl-i fiqh, vol. 3, p. 111.
  18. Muḥammadī, Sharḥ-i usūl-i fiqh, vol. 3, p. 111-112.
  19. Aṣgharī, Usūl al-fiqh (Persian Commentary), vol. 2, p. 133.
  20. Muḥammadī, Sharḥ-i usūl-i fiqh, vol. 3, p. 112.
  21. Narāqī, Anīs al-mujtahidīn, vol. 1, p. 334; Narāqī, Tajrīd al-usūl, p. 71; Anṣārī, Khulāṣat al-qawānīn, p. 134.

References

  • Abū Shahba, Muḥammad b. Muḥammad. Al-Wasīṭ fī ʿulūm wa muṣṭalaḥ al-ḥadīth. Cairo: Dār al-Fikr al-ʿArabī, [n.d].
  • Anṣārī, Aḥmad. Khulāṣat al-qawānīn. 2nd edition. Qom: Al-Maṭbaʿat al-Ilmīyya, 1397 AH.
  • Aṣgharī, ʿAbd Allāh. Usūl al-fiqh (Persian commentary). 2nd edition. Qom: [n.p], 1386 Sh.
  • Baḥrānī, Muḥammad Ṣunqūr ʿAlī. Sharḥ al-usūl min al-ḥalqat al-thānīyya. 3rd edition. Qom: Nashr-i Muʾallif, 1428 AH.
  • Markaz-i Iṭilāʿt wa Madārik-i Islāmī. Farhangnāma-yi usūl-i fiqh. Qom: Pazhūhishgāh-i ʿUlūm wa Farhang Islāmī, 1389 Sh.
  • Muḥammadī, ʿAlī. Sharḥ-i usūl-i fiqh. 10th edition. Qom: Dār al-Fikr, 1387 sh.
  • Muḥaqqiq Dāmād, Musṭafā. Mabāḥithī az usūl-i fiqh. Tehran: Markaz-i Nashr-i ʿUlūm-i Islāmī, 1362 sh.
  • Mūsawī Bujnurdī, Muḥammad. ʿIlm-i usūl. Tehran: Muʾassisa-yi Tanẓīm wa Nashr-i Āthār-i Imām Khomeini, 1379 sh.
  • Muzaffar, Muḥammad Riḍā al-. Uṣūl al-fiqh. Qom: Ismāʿīlīyān, [n.d].
  • Narāqī, Muḥammad Mahdī b. Abī Dhar. Anīs al-mujtahidīn. Qom: Būstān-i Kitāb, 1388 Sh.
  • Narāqī, Muḥammad Mahdī b. Abī Dhar. Tajrīd al-usūl. Qom: Sayyid Murtaḍā, 1384 Sh.
  • Shahābī, Muḥammūd. Taqrīrāt-i usūl. 7th edition. Tehran: Chāpkhāna-yi Ḥāj Muḥammad ʿAlī ʿIlmī, 1321 Sh.
  • Shahrakānī, Ibrāhīm Ismāʿil. Al-Mufīd fī sharḥ usūl al-fiqh. Qom: Nashr-i Dhawi al-Qurbā, 1430 AH.
  • Shīrwānī, ʿAlī. Taḥrīr usūl-i fiqh. 2nd edition. Qom: Dār al-ʿIlm, 1385 Sh.