AN EXAMINATION OF THE CAUSES OF JURISTIC DIFFERENCES IN INTERPRETATION IN ISLAMIC LAW
Differing is inevitable among people, because of individual natural differences regarding thinking, understanding, power of assimilation, intellect, etc. Thus, differences and contradictions are a natural outcome. Incidentally people have grossly misconceived differences of opinion among the jurists either due to their ignorance or lack of understanding of the nature of texts of the Qur’an and the Sunnah, and where the text is silent.Modern advocacy for adherence to hadith that has emerged in recent time, has painted a sordid picture of the classical jurists, depicting their works as mere academic exercise. This notion needs to be corrected. Otherwise, the Shari’ah will, in turn, not be suitable and applicable to new situations for which there is no decisive ruling in both the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah.The aim is to show that the nature of the Qur’anic provisions makes the phenomenon of Ikhatilaaf (difference of opinion) among the jurists inevitable, that the nature of the provisions found in the Sunnah gives room for difference of opinion in interpretation among the jurists and that apparent Silence of the Shari’ah regarding some matters has contributed on a large scale, to difference of opinion among the jurists. The juristic differences that arose among the jurists have been contrasted under the following main causes namely; the nature of the Qur’an provisions, the nature of the texts of the Sunnah and silence of the texts term both the Qur’an and the Sunnah.The research methodology of the thesis was doctrinal. In the course of the research, some findings were made. The research found that the nature of evidences found in the Qur’an and the Sunnah give room for interpretation and as a result of that, differences prevail among the jurists of Islamic law. The research recommends that causes of juristic differences in interpretation in Islamic Law should be taken as a course for Islamic Law students in our Universities.