Using Ahad Reports for Aqa’id and Hudud
What is the agreed upon verdict of the Shafi School with regards to using ahad reports to establish a point of obligatory belief or hudud?
Wa alaykum salam wa rahmatuLlahi wa barakatuHu,
In regards to using ahad reports on points of belief, some scholars maintained that ahad reports are not accepted for such. For instance, in Imam al-Haramayn’s abridgment of Qadi Abu Bakr al-Baqillani’s al-Taqrib wa al-Irshad, Kitab al-Talkhis v. 2, p. 430, it is stated that ahad reports are not accepted for “usul al-aqa’id.”
Imam Abu Bakr Al-Bayhaqi said, “The perspicuous scholars [Ahlul Nathar] among our companions do not utilize ahaad (singularly narrated reports) reports as proof in the Divine Attributes if such reports do not have a foundation in the Qur’an or in Ijma‘ [scholarly consensus]. Instead, they interpret them figuratively.” (Taken from Al-Asma’ was-Sifat, Kawthari Edition page 357)
While in al-Bahr al-Muhit v. 4, p. 262, Zarkashi stated that using ahad reports here is permissible.
In regards to hudud, in al-Ihkam fi Usul al-Ahkam v. 2, p. 117, Sayf al-Din al-Amidi related that ahad reports are accepted.
And Allah knows best.
Shafiifiqh.com Fatwa Dept.