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Arsyad al-Banjari's approaches to rationality : argumentation and sharia

Abstract : The thesis provides an epistemological study of the great Islamic scholar of Banjarese origin, Syeikh Muhammad Arsyad al-Banjari (1710-1812) who contributed to the development of Islam in Indonesia and, in general, Southeast Asia. Moreover, we will focus on Arsyad al-Banjari’s dialectical use and understanding of qiyās or correlational inference, a model of parallel reasoning or analogy in Islamic jurisprudence, that constituted the most prominent instrument he applied in his effort of integrating Islamic law into the Banjarese society. It is, so we claim, this interactive and epistemological stance on the cultural integration of social practices that led Arsyad al-Banjari to cast qiyās into the dialectical framework of “questions and responses” where meaning and knowledge are featured by a suitable balance of competitive and cooperative moves of reciprocal understanding. According to our view, this describes one of the main epistemological features at work in Arsyad al-Banjari’s thought and constitutes the main general aim of our research.This work includes a study of one of the main theoretical sources of Arsyad al-Banjari’s dialectical stance on legal reasoning, namely, the books by Abū Isḥāq al-Shīrāzī (393H/1003 CE-476H/1083 CE), one of the most prominent Shāfi’ī legal theorists of the 5thH/11th century, whose developments on qiyas and dialectic (jadal) constituted a paradigm in the field. Let us mention that al-Shīrāzī classifies qiyās into three kinds: qiyās al-‘illa (correlational inference by occasioning factor), qiyās al-dalāla (correlational inference by indication) and qiyās al-shabah (correlational by resemblance). Precisely it is this classification that shapes Arsyad al-Banjari own work, particularly so in his magnum opus Sabīl al-Muhtadīn. In Sabīl al-Muhtadīn Arsyad al-Banjari does not only diplay a very large use of these main forms of qiyas but he also adds some structural variants to al-Shīrāzī's three-folded classification .In order to delve into the dialectical system of qiyās, we developed an analysis based on a dialogical approach to Per Martin-Löf’s Constructive Type Theory. This approach provides both a natural understanding and a fine-tuned instrument capable of stressing two of the hallmarks of this form of reasoning: 1) the interaction of hermeneutic, heuristic and epistemological processes with logical steps; 2) the dialectical dynamics underlying the meaning-explanation of the terms involved.One of the epistemological results emerging from the present study is that the different forms of qiyās applied by Arsyad al-Banjari represent an innovative and sophisticated form of reasoning. A reasoning that not only provides new epistemological insights into legal reasoning in general, but also furnishes a refined pattern for parallel reasoning which can be deployed in a wide range of problem-solving contexts and does not seem to reduce to the standard forms of analogical argumentation that are studied in contemporary philosophy of science.
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Submitted on : Friday, September 3, 2021 - 11:28:10 AM
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Muhammad Iqbal. Arsyad al-Banjari's approaches to rationality : argumentation and sharia. Philosophy. Université de Lille, 2021. English. ⟨NNT : 2021LILUH011⟩. ⟨tel-03333823⟩

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