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Question of the Day
Dr. Ali Gomaa's Books
The Issue of Terminology in Juristic Methodology and its Application on Defining Analogy
Publisher: Cairo: Dar al- Hidayah. 1993
In this book Dr. Ali continued his emphasis on the importance of defining terms correctly and referred to the dilemma of having multiple definitions for the single term and he applied this issue on defining analogy.
Sectioned into two main parts, the book offers a set of theoretical and practical solutions to the problem of the improper use of some terms of Islamic Jurisprudence. Dr. Ali starts his research with a chapter on explaining definitions and terms that are pertinent to Juristic Methodology and the importance of understanding the placement and the usage of these terms so they can be applied correctly on jurisprudence. In the second chapter Dr. Ali applied the necessity of using the accurate terminologies to the issue of analogy adding that the consequences of manipulating these terms or misplacing them lead to intellectual crisis. Dr. Ali gave an example by the usage of the term “science” which indicates in the western references to be only the kind of knowledge that is attained through empirical experience based on senses. This modern definition of science disregards other methods by which knowledge can be attained like intellectual and spiritual Gnostic knowledge.
This modern definition of science had its impact on the classical Islamic definition of science which defines science as the evidence- based realization that is identical with reality. This definition does not limit science to only experience with senses but it broadens the horizons to other ways of experience. The usage of the modern term “science” deems the Islamic sciences as irrelevant because the new term does not qualify the Islamic disciplines to be counted as a science. The danger of the mixing of terms lies in the possibility of confusing the mind of the uneducated so he would assume that the Islamic sciences do not belong to science.
This new definition of science had an impact on theological questions by deeming them as irrelevant to science which automatically place them as myth to some people. This phenomenon of changing the meaning of terminologies impacted other terms like religion, civilization, government and heritage.
Dr. Ali extensively explains the issue of terminologies and applies it on analogy as one of the main sources of Islamic jurisprudence. He points out to the chaos created by the mal use of many terms, difference between a notion and a term, among other matters, need to be addressed in separate researches, given the broadness and complexity of their nature.