Accepting that a proposition is true or false is called a judgment. The standards used to accurately judge propositions are three:

    • Revelation[1]
    • Normalcy
    • Reason

If a judgement cannot be reached except by appealing to revelation, then the judgement is said to be a revelational judgement (Hukm Shar’i). And if it can be reached by other means, then either this judgement requires repeated experimentation or not. If yes, then it is said to be a nomic judgement (Hukm ‘Adi). If not, then it is said to be a rational judgement (Hukm ‘Aqli).

Standards of judement

Revelational judgements like affirming that the daily prayers are obligatory, or negating that it is obligatory to fast ‘Ashura. Such judgements can only be reached by first appealing to revelation. The validity of revelation as a standard of judgement, obviously depends on the truth of Islam.

Nomic judgements like affirming that fire burns cotton, or negating that the sun rises from the west. A nomic judgement can only be reached by repeatedly experiencing the occurrence of a relation between the subject and the predicate.

Rational judgements like affirming that even numbers are divisible by two, or negating that the whole of any body is smaller than its part. A rational judgement depends on whether or not an absurdity entails from affirming a relation between the subject and the predicate.


[1] “Revelation” meaning: the Quran, and the Sunnah of the Messenger ﷺ.

2 thoughts on “Standards of Judgement

    1. You can think of it this way, but remember that nomic judgments are not limited to the natural sciences. For example: the accuracy of a mass transmitted report is nomically necessary, even if what’s being reported has nothing to do with the natural sciences (e.g. the existence of a foreign country which you know exists, even though you have not visited it yet).

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