Mutlaq – a word having a specific meaning that does not have a restrictive clause attached to it

Muqayyad – a word having a specific meaning that has a restrictive clause attached to it.

Ruling: If it is possible to practise upon the Mutlaq of the Qur’an unrestrictedly then it is not permissible to add to it a clause using khabar wahid or qiyas.

Example:

فَٱغۡسِلُواْ وُجُوهَكُمۡ

“Wash your faces” [Ma’idah:6]

“Ghusl” with no additional clauses has been ordered in this verse so we will not add to it the condition of intention, order etc. in wudu.

Additional notes:

“Mutlaq denotes a word which is neither qualified nor limited in its application. When we say, for example, a ‘book’, a ‘bird’ or a ‘man’, each one is a generic noun which applies to any book, bird or man without any restriction. In its original state, the Mutlaq is unspecified and unqualified. The Mutlaq differs from the ‘Amm, however, in that the latter comprises all to which it applies whereas the former can apply to any one of a multitude, but not to all…When the Mutlaq is qualified by another word or words it becomes a Muqayyad, such as qualifying ‘a book’ as ‘a green book’, or ‘a bird’ as ‘a huge bird’ or ‘a man’ as ‘a wise man’. The Muqayyad differs from the Khass in that the former is a word which implies an unspecified individual/s who is merely distinguished by certain attributes and qualifications.” [Kamali, pg.110]

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