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3 — Knowledge and its opposites

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Legal science is a subcategory of knowledge.

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Knowledge is awareness of the thing known as it actually is.

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Ignorance is to imagine something as other than what it actually is.

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Immediate knowledge is that which does not arise through rational or evidentiary inquiry,1 such as knowledge arising from one of the five senses (hearing, sight, smell, taste, and touch) or from collective transmission.

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Acquired knowledge depends on rational and evidentiary inquiry.

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Rational inquiry is reflection on what is true of the object of inquiry.

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Evidentiary inquiry is the search for evidence. Evidence is that which leads to what is sought.

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Belief is acknowledging two possibilities, one of which is more likely than the other.

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Doubt is acknowledging two possibilities, neither of which is superior to the other.

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Key terms

  • legal science: fiqh
  • knowledge: ʿilm
  • awareness: maʿrifa
  • ignorance: jahl
  • immediate knowledge: ʿilm ḍarūrī
  • acquired knowledge: ʿilm muktasab
  • rational inquiry: naẓar
  • evidentiary inquiry: istidlāl
  • evidence: dalīl
  • belief: ẓann
  • doubt: shakk
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Notes

  1. ‘Evidentiary inquiry’ (istidlāl) is the process of establishing a proposition or legal value on the basis of something (such as a revealed text) that indicates it or gives evidence of it (yadullu ʿalayh). When so used, a text is called an indicator or evidence (dalīl). Its indicating or giving evidence is called its dalāla. ↩
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Source: http://waraqat.vishanoff.com/e/e3/