“And when there comes to them any tiding, whether of peace or of fear (or war), they spread it abroad. If they had only reffered it to the Messenger and to those in authority among them, then those among them who can search the truth about it, would have known (how to dispose of) the matter.” (4:83)
The hypocrites in Madinah spread rumours concerning war and peace. Some simple Muslims fell into their trap and passed on to others whatever they heard. This created an atmosphere of uncertainty. The verse instructs Muslims not to do so but inform the ‘ulul amr’ of whatever they learn. The qualified among them would investigage and let them know the truth.
Though this verse was revealed about a particular situation, yet the principles of exegesis and principles of jurisprudence rely on to the general words of the verse to draw commands and rulings. Accordingly, this verse guides us to contact the people specialised in investigation and act according to their deduction. This is taqleed. Imam Razi has written about this verse.
“So to draw conclusions is evidence, and qiyas (analogical deduction) is the same thing or part of it, and is proof, too. Given that, this verse is evidence of some matters.
(1) Some of the new issues that grow are not understood by the text, but one has to draw conclusion to find out their meaning.
(2) Istinbat (to draw conclusion, to arrive at the truth) is proof.
(3) It is obligatory for the masses to make taqleed of the scholars concerning issues and commands that they face.” (Tafseer Kabeer, v3 p272)
Some people have demurred that this verse was revealed concerning war and so is specific about such situations and cannot be applied to times of peace. (Tahreek Azadi-e-Fikr, Muhammad Ismail, p31)
However, we have stated already that reliance is placed on the text not on the background of specific situation. Imam Razi has answered this objection.
“Allah’s saying And when comes to them any tiding, whether of peace or of fear…… is very general. It encompasses war situations and all legal questions too. War and peace are such that no chapter of Shari’ah excludes them. There is no word in the verse that might make it specific to war. (Tafseer Kabeer v3, p273).
Imam Abu Bakr Jassas Razi has given the same answer in much detail and rejected incidental doubts. (Ahkam Quran, Jassas v2 p263).
This is why the well-known scholar of Ahl-Hadith has written while citing this verse in support of qiyas:
“If we do not get from the verse guidance for the times of peace than how do we cite it for validity of qiyas.” ( Tafseer Fath-ul-Bayan, v2 p33)