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In the Name of God بسم الله
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Salam alaykum, I was running through the lectures of Sheikh Arif Abdul Hussain of this Muharram which according to me are somewhat briging new paradigms into the field of qur'anic hermeneutics and his ideas within the shi'ite thought are remarkably innovative, specially considering the stagnation of the system of marja'iyya for two centuries. The need of a refreshing revaluation of our qur'anic interpretation and understanding was really necessary as we are already going through major crisis particularly inside Islam. And the efforts of Sheikh Arif Abdul Hussain in trying to satisfy this intellectual gap are valuable specially considering that the new generation of muslims in the West are higly educated and in a constant exigency of orginal and advanced knowledge. The shi'ite thought is certainly at the edge of a new revolution in terms of Kuhn's concept of scientific revolution. However, until now this revolution was not possible primarily because of our coercive dependency to the textual material belonging to the Ahlul Bayt ie. their eternal role in qur'anic interpretation and understanding. The concept of "essence and form" introduced by Sheikh Arif Abdul Hussain within the framework of hadith ath-thaqalayn is the master key that paves the way for the autonomy of qur'anic interpretation and understanding at a private and community level. The problem that could arise from a traditional point of view is certainly that of looking at the Qur'an and the Ahlul Bayt (the two weights) as having the same weight. To support his thoughts Sheikh Arif Abdul Hussain is relying to a certain extent on the tradition also given by Allamah Tabatabai in his tafseer al-Mizan (see 3:7-9) which says : ‘‘Certainly I am leaving among you two weighty things : The bigger one and the smaller (lighter) one. As for the bigger one, it is the Book of Allah; and as for the smaller one, it is my progeny, the people of my house. Therefore, keep me in mind about these two things; because you shall never go astray so long as you hold fast to them." Here we can see that the Qur'an and the Ahlul Bayt have no equal weight, but one is bigger and the other one is lighter or smaller. The religious and pragmatic consequences of this dichotomy are challenging because the tradition itself opens the Pandora's box of multiple interpretations and actions. -their substantial value are not same -Qur'an has a spiritual essence and a form bound to its own context and the Ahlul Bayt are only representative of their time and space, then restricted by their context also -companions are also representative of their time and space, then restricted by their context and the validity of their judgements are not to be questionned if the pattern "essence and form" is valid -same substantial value of the Ahlul Bayt and the companions -disestablishment of the old system of marja'iyya and elaboration of a new system less coercive and more tractable -from what follows, the hawza system is to be revisited and some courses like usul al-fiqh, fiqh, ilm al-hadith and ilm al-rijal are to be reassessed -establishing new disciplines more human-oriented (sciences)
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