The authority of a jurist (2)
Hadhrat Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehlvi has written in Hujjatullahil Baaligha that sometimes even when a rigorously authenticated Hadith reaches a jurist, the jurist doesn’t develop a sense of certainty about that Hadith. Then that jurist doesn’t abandon his reasoning but instead raises objections.
For e.g. Hadhrat Fatima bint Qais (May Allah be well pleased with her) testified before Hadhrat ‘Umar (May Allah be well pleased with him) that when her husband had divorced her, the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) didn’t fix any maintenance for me nor arranged a place for me to stay.
Hadhrat ‘Umar (May Allah be well pleased with him) said: I cannot abandon the Book of Allah on the testification given by anyone. I order that such a divorce lady will receive maintenance and a place to stay as well.
Even Hadhrat ‘Aisha (May Allah be well pleased with her) said: O Fatima! Don’t you fear Allah?
Now think. No Companion can lie. Thus, it cannot be that Hadhrat Fatima bint Qais (May Allah be well pleased with her) was lying. It is also not possible that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) ruled against the Holy Quran. Thus, it has to be that this incident occurred before the revelation of those verses or that that situation had some peculiarity which the Prophet knew.
Thus, a jurist should exercise his reasoning in such situations. For this reason, Hadhrat ‘Umar (May Allah be well pleased with him) ignored that rigorously authenticated Hadith and ruled as per his reasoning.
This shows that every rigorously authenticated Hadith is not to be acted upon and reasoning (Ijtihaad) is also necessary.
[Excerpted from Haqeeqatul Fiqh, Vol. 2, Pg. No. 83, 84]