Salafi Movement on Misunderstanding the Phrase "When A Hadith Is Sahih That Is My Madhab"

Discussion in 'Fundamentals of Law (Usul)' started by Abdul-Qadir, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. Abdul-Qadir

    Abdul-Qadir New Member

    The Statement "If the Hadith is Authentic, that is my Madhhab"

    One of the most misunderstood statements of Imâm al-Shâfi‘î is his famous phrase: “When the authenticity of the hadîth is established, that is my madhhab.” The Ulema of the School explained, contrary to the populist approaches of “Salafîs,” that this principle addresses the jurists who are capable of sifting the abrogating and sound hadîths from the abrogated and unsound ones as well as extract the rulings from their collective evidence according to the principles of the Law and those of the Arabic language. [1] Al-Nawawî said:

    What Imâm al-Shâfi‘î said does not mean that everyone who sees a sahîh hadîth should say “This is the madhhab of al-Shâfi‘î,” applying the purely external or apparent meaning of his statement. What he said most certainly applies only to such a person as has the rank of ijtihâd in the madhhab. It is a condition for such a person that he be firmly convinced that either Imâm al-Shâfi‘î was unaware of this hadîth or he was unaware of its authenticity. And this is possible only after having researched all the books of al-Shâfi‘î and similar other books of the companions of al-Shâfi‘î, those who took knowledge from him and others similar to them. This is indeed a difficult condition to fulfill. Few are those who measure upto this standard in our times. [2]

    What we have explained has been made conditional because Imâm al-Shâfi‘î had abandoned acting purely on the external meaning of many hadîths, which he declared and knew. However, he established proofs for criticism of the hadîth or its abrogation or specific circumstances or interpretation and so forth. Shaykh Abu ‘Amr [Ibn al-Salâh] said: “It is no trivial matter to act according to the apparent meaning of what Imâm al-Shâfi‘î said. For it is not permissible for every faqîh – let alone a layman (‘âmmî) – to act independently with what he takes to be a proof from the hadîth… Therefore, whoever among the Shâfi‘îs finds a hadîth that contradicts his School must examine whether he is absolutely accomplished in all the disciplines of ijtihâd, or in that particular topic, or specific question. [If he is,] then he has the right to apply it independently. If he is not, but finds that contravening the hadîth bears too heavily upon him–after having researched it and found no justification for contravening it–then he may apply it if another independent Imâm other than al-Shâfi‘î applies it. This is a good excuse for him to leave the madhhab of his Imâm in such a case.” [3]

    [1] See, in particular, Shaykh al-Islâm Taqî al-Dîn al-Subkî’s Ma‘nâ Qawl al-Imâm al-Muttalibî Idhâ Sahha al-Hadîthu Fahuwa Madhhabî; Ibn al-Salâh’s Adab al-Muftî wa al-Mustaftî; and the first volume of al-Nawawî’s al-Majm‘.

    [2] I.e. al-Nawawî’s times, a fortiori ours. Among those who lived in al-Nawawî’s century were al-Fakhr al-Râzî, Ibn al-Salâh, al-Mundhirî, Ibn ‘Abd al-Salâm, al-Qurtubî, Ibn al-Munayyir, Ibn al-Qattân, al- Diyâ’ al-Maqdisî, Ibn Qudâma, and Ibn Daqîq al-‘îd!

    [3] Al-Nawawî, al-Majm‘ Sharh al-Muhadhdhab (1:64), citing Ibn al-Salâh’s Fatâwâ wa Masâ’il (1:54, 1:58-59). Cf. al-Tahânawî, I‘lâ’ al-Sunan (2:290-291).
  2. AbuMubarak

    AbuMubarak Well-Known Member

    i wonder when these four imams (plus there were many others) gave their opinions, did they know it was going to be a source of differentiation between muslims? did they think they were establishing four distinct schools of thought, or were they just scholars who gave their opinion and when they gave that opinion they said, if you see something better, then take it
  3. Butterknife al-Batil

    Butterknife al-Batil <A HREF="showthread.php?t=70991"></A>

    These scholars never intended to create such catastrophic groups calling themselves Mathhaahib and attributing to the scholars. It was those who came afterward that actually started these schools, so in a way you can say the scholars are in fact under continuous slander whenever someone claims to follow a Mathhab

    Imagine using principles derived by a person who never met Rasooolullaah nor was he receiving Wahi, and making them a criteria of approaching the Deen

    Their fiqh changed according to the ahadeeth they came to know, there was never blind bigotry as you see today, so the concept of 'Ahl ul-Hadeeth' is correct, just not the sectarian groups that call themselves with that name
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  4. al-suyuufi

    al-suyuufi Naql-head

    Back then pretty much every scholar had his own madhab, it was all about ijtihad then and then students used their principles of ijtihaad. From the hundreds or thousands of madhabs it just turned out that the 4 we know of survived.
  5. junaid123

    junaid123 Member

    the difference was present at their time itself. Not that the differences raised later their death.
    those who are capable of ijtehad, they do so anyway. And laymen arent able to see generally better than a mujtahid,because laymen arent aware about any usool at all.
  6. AbuMubarak

    AbuMubarak Well-Known Member


    just as a layman cannot make hukm, but he must also live life. one scholar says touching a woman breaks your wudu, another says not, so he reads a hadith and it says the prophet touched his wife and it did not break his wudu, why can he not then take that as an example? why does he have to know the legalistic differentiations to accept what he just read with his own eyes in a saheeh collection?

    this is what turns people away from madh'hab because it actually divorces a man from thinking and commands him to just blindly accept someone else's decision
  7. Abdul-Qadir

    Abdul-Qadir New Member

    Assalamu alaykum dear brother, i think you are misunderstanding the concept here,

    no one is saying reject a hadith, but as brother junaid said, he the person is not a mujtahid, he does not know the hadith wether it is abrogated or not, wether it is general or not,wether it is restricted, specific, wether it is the only hadith on the matter or wether there is more evidences from the Quran or other Hadiths, he the layman probably does not even know arabic. this is why he needs to know the fiqhi rulings concerning the hadith, and it is not as easy as if a hadith is sahih then take it.

    however having said that, if he can tell clearly that his madhab has gone against a clear ruling or ijma then that is when he needs to abandon that particular ruling of his madhab.

    or also if he realises that his madhab did not come across that particular hadith.

    everyone from the time of the companions to the salaf, did taqlid of someone else, unless they themselves were mujtahids.

    and as many of the salaf stated, to beware of a layman being a self mujtahid (iin other words try and evaluate things yourself or try looking into the evidences yourself), as this would lead a person to lack of fiqh and he would tend to take things literally, and also it would lead him into making halal into haram and vice versa. and this is why they would burn their books in fear of people taking evrything they say literally and not understanding a matter.

    tell me, it is impossible to say so and so madhab or scholar went against a hadith, they may have made ta'weel of the hadith and thereby misinterpretated it, but non of the salaf, if they knew a hadith was sahih would ever reject it.

    Allahu Alim
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  8. AbuMubarak

    AbuMubarak Well-Known Member


    i am not saying it is the layman to make any hukum, i am saying that if i follow one madhhab and it says touching a woman breaks the fast or wudu, and then i read where the prophet touched a woman and still fasted or kept wudu, and this has not been abrogated by anyone, then why am i bound to a madhhab instead of following a hadith that is clear and accepted by other muslims?
  9. Abdul-Qadir

    Abdul-Qadir New Member

    well that is what Imam Nawawi was saying, that IF the hadith a person reads and it contradicts his madhab, then he should try and see how his madhab explained/understood this hadith, if he is still not convinced on the answer he recieves from his madhab, he can act upon the hadith ON A CONDITION, that another scholar or madhab has acted upon this hadith.

    what however is CONDEMING, is laypeople by reading one hadith or picking up bukhari, sees many ahadiths which are sahih, he then tries to act upon these hadiths, whilst not knowing that particular hadith and its fiqhi ruling.

    another thing you have to understand is that a person may see a hadith and he only understands it literally, when the hadith itself is not intended literally, so if he makes it literal, he has completely changed the meaning of what was actually intended by Allah and His Messenger. and vice versa, a hadith maybe intended literal, but the person makes qiyas or ta'weel on the hadith and has changed its intended meaning completely, so he has changed what Allah and His Messenger has intended.

    and this process is difficult or literally impossible for a layman to know what was intended By Allah and His Messenger, that is why we have scholars.

    i give yo an example of this:

    "Shafis say that one should pray eid salah in masjid and not in open space (musallah)."

    now there argument is strong, the fact that the Messenger did it does not necessarily prove it is a sunnah, and they explain the actions of The Messenger as saying the population was soo large at the time of eid, that the Messenger had to do it out in open field, it was impossible for him to gather everyon einside the masjid.

    now this is their understanding of the ahadiths that speak about praying outside.

    so what do you say to that? how do you prove them wrong?

    now you have to now try and prove the actions were specifically intended by the Messenger, to intentionally establish it as a sunnah.

    do you think you can do that?

    so my whole point being is that sometimes one needs to know wether a particular hadith is intended specifically to establish a sunnah or was there a reason behind it.

    and that is why our understanding is not what judges what is right and what is wrong. (unless one has reached a certain level or the matter is clear)
  10. Abdul-Qadir

    Abdul-Qadir New Member

    Imam al-Nawawi said:

    "Any Shafi‘i who finds a hadith going against his madhhab should look into the matter [as follows]: If he possesses the complete requirements of ijtihad without restriction, or in that chapter, or [even] in that point [alone], he may independently practice upon [the hadith]. If he does not [possess it] and finds it difficult to go against the hadith, and his search for a valid explanation of the hadith [within his madhhab] does not provide a convincing solution, then he may practice upon the hadith with one condition, which is that another independent [mujtahid] imam other than al-Shafi‘i should have practiced upon it. This would then be a valid pretext for him to leave the madhhab of his imam."

    [Al-Majmu (1/136)]
  11. junaid123

    junaid123 Member

    he said so because its mentioned in hadith.
    he said because its mentioned in hadith otherwise.
    and now he is confused and because dont know any idea of science of nasikh wa mansukh. his decision is no way safety be it the right one in reality because at any time he may change his position by learning the reasoning mentioned by another scholar against his position.
    because the sahihness of a hadith wasnt based upon eye of muhaddith. Its all related with the chain of usool hadith-fiqh-nasikh wa mansukh. Taking one chain by not caring other chain , makes the building pillarless.
    there is always a border of thinking, by the same way there is border of freedom. By thinking without any usool, sects has been created with different philosophy. There is a level for every laymen to think, and that has been made obligated by Allah. When person fullsills this obligation by using the power of thinking, Allah guides him To Islam.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  12. AbuMubarak

    AbuMubarak Well-Known Member

    i hope you didnt type all that thinking it was clarifying anything
  13. junaid123

    junaid123 Member

    then why should i spend my time akhi al karim if it doesnt suppose to clearify something??
  14. AbuMubarak

    AbuMubarak Well-Known Member

    thats my point akhi

    we are not scholars debating the intricacies of fiqh, we are laymen trying to pray

    Allah will hold each of us accountable for our deeds, if i touch a woman, i want to know if my wudu is broken, i read one scholar he says yes, three others say no, i gotta pray, why would i take the more difficult? merely because imam so and so used one branch of thought process and not another?

    if i were to ask you which is right and which is wrong, you would say they are both right, so to me, it is too confusing

    i dont see this confusion in the sunnah, even though i can see different decisions at different times

    meanwhile, salat is going out and i am not sure what to do

    i think i will keep my wudu and pray, and as long as its within the sunnah, i am comfortable

    i will let you scholars work out the details
  15. AbuMubarak

    AbuMubarak Well-Known Member

    akhi, i am not trying to troublesome here

    33 years in islam, and still going

    i have never followed a madh'hab, never been a "salafi", always just a plain muslim trying to live this deen

    i have always shied away from anyone or anything telling me i cannot think for myself, whether that was school, work, or even in this deen

    i have seen too many muslims led astray by others telling them that they know nothing, follow me, and i will teach you

    sheikh so and so and imam so and so have done a lot of damage to brothers i know and have known

    so to me, if its not something i can read and deduce for myself, i leave it alone

    i am not disrespecting knowledge nor scholars, we need them

    but moreso, i have to return to my Lord and I have to answer for what i have done, and one thing i do not want to do is use the excuse "so and so told me"

    i see brothers of knowledge, students of knowledge, and even scholars debate and debate and debate, and never am i impressed to follow them, because to me, if islam is clear there should be little debate about an issue,

    so islam is clear, so who is making the confusion? it is us, mankind, trying to make things difficult when they are not

    there are four opinions from four imams about an issue, i feel comfortable picking any of the four, because all of them are correct and as long as i see the hadith they are working with, i am comfortable that things will be ok
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  16. junaid123

    junaid123 Member

    yes akhi, debates starts when a person reads 2 different meaning hadith. IT wouldnt happen if he would follow a madhab and ask to bring the evidence of that madhab. And as long as it is sahih, he just keeps following it, instead bringing his "own eyes" to judge the pureness of the sahihness of a hadith.Because that will open the door of debating.
    none asks this question first time except those who read 2 different type of hadith in which one said it breaks and another one says it doesnt. Like as a hanafi we never "cared" to know does touching a woman break my wudhu or not, or by toching privat parts break wudhu or not. What we learn is what are the reasons which breaks, and fullstop.we laymen arent encouraged to start questions with "IF" We dont need to ask by mentioning every individuell material. It was just an example.
    this thought process is stablished via usool of shariah. this thinking is no way near to the usoolness thought process of laymen.
    no, i will say my one is more right with chances present of it being wrong. Because i have to prefer one , and there i use the aql of mujtahid whose thikning power is more islamic and reasonble than mine.
    to know what sunnah is, there are also differences among ulama, and its not because imam said so, its because how sahaba(rd) understood it. For example in hajj time prophet(sw) sat somewhere for a while. Some sahaba(rd) thought that it is sunnah to seat there in time of hajj, other sahaba(rd) said he(sw) just take rest, and nothing else than that.Our shariah is based upon the hadith with the understanding of sahaba.via this tabii had differences and so on. They all prefer to follow someone instead using their own "thinking process" of sunnah.
    because you have mentioned that you choose by having 4 schools opinion, i had to mention you the sentence which is being said by ulama refering to such cases.

    "Do not start from where they [scholars] ended, but start from where they have started"

    And laymen dont pick from 4 schools evidence.If you wish to do so then above^^ sentence is good to start with.
    may Allah give us death upon iman.ameen.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  17. Abdul-Qadir

    Abdul-Qadir New Member

    dear brother abu mubarak,

    the answer to your question is simple about wudu and touching woman.

    1. if you are able to look into the differences of opinion and able to assess which opinion is stronger then by all means do so.
    (at this stage one can look into the evidences, but i doubt we are at that level to do so)

    2. if not then you should either follow the madhab you are upon if you are upon one, or if not then follow the jumhour, as they are most likely to be correct.or follow the scholar who you think has more knowledge and taqwa
    (at this stage evidences mean nothing, and if you look into them you are more than likely to get even more confussed).

    simple as that.

    my post was not to do with following a school of thought, my post was to do with people who reject taking the salaf's understanding (wether that be from the four imams or other than them), and they do their own ijtihad and go direct to Quran & Sunnah, and then they force you to follow their opinions, as if their understanding of the Quran and Sunnah is better than that of the salaf.

    that is my point, that i would rather follow a madhab than follow a scholar of today who makes his own ijtihad (wether his entitled to or not)

    i hope i have clarified myself.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  18. Abdul-Qadir

    Abdul-Qadir New Member

    jazakallahu khair for that. this is the exact point i am trying to get across.
  19. AbuMubarak

    AbuMubarak Well-Known Member

    alhamdulilah for you all, i truly appreciate it, it shows that IslamicAwakening is not a cesspool of namecalling, but brothers who are striving to implement this deen

    sometimes we may fall, but we always get up and keep it movin
  20. Abdul-Qadir

    Abdul-Qadir New Member

    lastly my apologies if me or the other brother seemed harsh in our posts, forgive us.

    we were only trying to give you a better understanding of things.

    jazakallahu khair

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