The Position of Hadith in Understanding Quran: A Comparison between Mirza Mahdi Isfahani's and Akhbari's Opinions
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)
Mirza Mahdi Gharawi Isfahani, the founder of Khorasan school of thought, known as "Maktab-i Tafkik" (the School of Epistemological Distinction/or School of Seperation), is considered one of the contemporary Qur'an researchers, in addition to possessing absolute ijtihad and proficiency in intellectual sciences. The evidence for this claim is that some of his works belong to the category of Qur'an sciences, such as: “Maʼaref al-Qur'an”, “A Letter to Prince Afsar”, “A Treatise on Cause of I'jaz of Glorious Qur'an”, etc. He based his epistemic views on Qur'anic verses and traditions, and this tendency towards oral tradition and transmission has caused him, who is the first propagator of the Usuli school of Mirza Muhammad Hossein Naini, to be included in the group of Akhbaris. Akhbaris do not regard Usul al-fiqh (Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence) as a method for understanding Qura'nic teachings; On the contrary, they consider it to be derived from public knowledge, while Ayatollah Gharawi Isfahani laid stress on the necessity for Usul al-fiqh. Furthermore, some Akhbaris do not believe in the authoritativeness of Qur'anic clear texts (nusus) and do not regard the literal, manifest meanings (zawahir) of Holy Qur'an as valid proofs after searching for separated indications, while Mirza Mahdi Isfahani believes in the authoritativeness of them (i.e. Qur'anic clear texts). Therefore, the present article seeks to provide a detailed comparison of his viewpoint on the position of Hadith in understanding Qur'an with the Akhbaris' approach to this issue, and to explain their differences.