A Critical Analysis of ‘Disclosive Quality of Certainty (Qat‘) in Revealing Reality’ in Shi‘i Osul al-fiqh in Light of Modern Epistemology

Document Type : Original Article


1 Phd of Shahid Beheshti University

2 Associate Professor of Shahid Beheshti University


Qat‘ or ‘certainty’ plays a fundamental role in shi‘i’s method of inference of rules (Osul al-fiqh). In this discipline, the reliability of certainty lies for the most part in its disclosive quality in revealing reality. Having analysed the place of authoritativeness (hujjiyya) of certainty, the article at hand critically examines the reasons behind the reliability of certainty in light of the achievements in modern epistemology. Taking the Kantian distinction between the realm of ‘nomena’ and ‘phenomena’ seriously shows that that ‘revealing nature of certainty from reality’ is not a plausible idea. The article then discusses ‘Takhtae’ theory in Imami jurisprudence whose results are in conformity with Kantian epistemology. In conclusion, the article suggests an epistemic turn in the discipline of Osul al-fiqh from certainty to the employment of non-certain (zanni) knowledge which in turn sets the ground for independent rationality (al-mustaqillat al-‘aqliyya) to have more impact upon the inference of Shari‘a precepts (fiqh).


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