The schools of thought

Discussion in 'Islam in General' started by BedouinCEO, Dec 6, 2004.

  1. BedouinCEO

    BedouinCEO New Member

    asalamu alaykum warahmatallahi wabaraktu

    I was looking for some information about schools of thought and if it is wajib amongst the ummah to ascribe to a particular school of fiqh?
  2. Expergefactionist

    Expergefactionist hmmm... Staff Member

    as-Salaamu 'Alaikum,

    Thank you for bringing up this issue. Most of the people I have come across have gone to extremes with regards to this issue. Those who oblige every layman to adhere to a Madhab, and those who oblige every layman to make Ijtihad.

    I read into this issue deeply last year while studying the manners of seeking Fatwa as dealt with by the early and latter and scholars, and what I paste below is just a small section of my study, which I hope proves beneficial to us all, InshaaAllah.


    The Opinion of the Majority: The Layman Has No Madhab:
    This is the opinion of the majority of the Malikis, Shafi’is and Hanbalis, according to Ibn Taymiyah.

    It is also widely reported in Shafi’i sources, that Abu al-Fath al-Harawi - from the students of al-Shafi’i - said: “The Madhab of the generality of the followers (of al-Shafi’i), is that the layman has no Madhab. Hence, if he finds a Mujtahid, he makes Taqleed of him; and if he is unable to find one, but finds instead one who is well-acquainted with a Madhab, he makes Taqleed of him”

    Al-Imam al-Nawawi says: “What is dictated by the evidence is that a person is not obliged to adhere to a Madhab; rather he should ask whoever he wishes.”

    Ibn Qawan al-Shafi’i says in his al-Tahqiqat, “The truth is that it is not incumbent to adhere to a Madhab; Rather, a person should ask whoever he likes, but without seeking allowances (tatabbu’ al-rukhas).”

    Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari al-Hanafi says (as reported by al-Ma’sumi): “It is not obligatory upon anyone from the Ummah to be a Hanafi, or a Maliki, or a Shafi’i, or a Hanbali; rather, it is obligatory upon everyone, if he is not a scholar, to ask someone from Ahl al-Dhikr (people of knowledge), and the four Imams are from amongst the Ahl al-Dhikr.”

    Ibn al-Humam al-Hanafi says in his Tahrir (as quoted by al-Ma’sumi): “Adhering to a particular Madhab is not obligatory, according to the correct opinion, since nothing becomes obligatory, except that which Allah and His Messenger  has commanded; and Allah and His Messenger  did not oblige anyone to adhere to the Madhab of any particular individual from the Ummah, to make Taqleed of all that he says and to leave the sayings of everyone else. Surely, the blessed generations passed without obliging anyone to adhere to a particular Madhab.”

    This is also the opinion of some of the leading Hanafi jurists of modern times, such as ‘Abdul-Fattah Abu Ghuddah - may Allah have mercy on him, (see his comments on al-Ihkam by al-Qarafi p. 231) in addition to Al-Zuhaili who says in his Usul al-Fiqh al-Islami 2/1166 that this is the correct opinion. He further adds, in the footnote of the same page, about the layman, that: “It is not correct for him to have a Madhab, even if he adheres to it.”

    Ibn Muflih al-Hanbali, in al-Furu’, mentions the difference of opinion amongst the Malikis and Shafi’is, saying: “It not being obligatory is the most famous opinion”. Al-Mardawi comments: “And this is the correct opinion”.

    Ibn al-Najjar al-Hanbali says: “A layman is not obliged to adhere to a Madhab…”

    Ibn al-Qayyim says: “This is definitely the correct opinion, since there is nothing obligatory, except that which Allah and His Messenger  made obligatory. And never did Allah or His Messenger  oblige anyone to adhere to the Madhab of one of the Imams, to make Taqleed of one and leave the others.”

    Ibn Taymiyah says: “If a Muslim faces an event without precedence, then he should ask the one he believes issues verdicts in accordance with Allah’s and His Messenger’s  Shari’ah, irrespective of which Madhab he is from. It is not incumbent upon any Muslim to make Taqleed of a particular person amongst the scholars in everything he says” - to his words - “For one to follow someone’s Madhab due to his incapacity to find out the Shar’i ruling from other than him, then that is only permissible, and not something obligatory upon everyone if it becomes possible for one to obtain the knowledge of Shar’ through different means. In fact, everyone is obliged to fear Allah to his utmost, and seek the knowledge of what Allah and His Messenger  have ordained, so that he may perform the ordered and abstain from the prohibited.”

    He also says: “There are two opinions [with regards to this issue] amongst the followers of Ahmad, as well as amongst the followers of al-Shafi’i, and the majority from both groups do not oblige [adherence to one of the Madhabs]. And those who oblige it say: If one adheres to a Madhab, it is not possible for him to oppose it, so long as he is an adherent, or as long as it does not become clear to him that another Madhab is more worthy of being followed.”

    He then discusses the issue of changing Madhabs and saying that if one changes his Madhab for worldly reasons, or merely seeking allowances, then that is, without doubt, condemned; it is like the companion who was known as ‘the migrant for Umm Qais’, who migrated from Makkah to Madinah to marry a woman, about which the Prophet  said: “Indeed actions are based on intentions…”. As for the one who changes his Madhab due to religious reasons, or leaves an opinion in his Madhab when opinion of another Madhab appears stronger to him, then that is not only praiseworthy, but also obligatory, as no one has the right to oppose the verdict of Allah and His Messenger .

    Hence, our conclusion is that, it is not obligatory on a layman to follow a Madhab, but it is still allowed for the one who finds no way but this, to obtain Allah’s ruling on an issue.

    Prohibition of Devising Opinions and Following Allowances:
    By ‘devising opinions’ (Talfiq), we mean the practice of selecting various opinions in a particular issue from the different Madhabs and combining them, such that the end result is considered invalid in the sight of all the Madhabs. An example of this would be for a person to wipe only a part of his head in Wudu, in accordance with the Shafi’i opinion, and then to touch a woman, while believing that does not break Wudu, following the Maliki opinion. Such Wudu, however, is invalid according to both Malikis and Shafi’is, because the Malikis believe in wiping the head in its entireity, whilst the Shafi’is believe that to touch a woman, even without desire, breaks one Wudu.

    Although the majority of the latter scholars from the Malikis, Shafi’is and Hanbalis prohibit Talfiq absolutely, most of the Hanafis allow it. They argue that the phenomenon of Talfiq did not exist at the time of the Companions, as there were many occasions where a Companion would be asked about an issue yet he would not forbid the Mustafti from seeking Fatwa from other than him. Albani al-Husaini mentions many examples from the four Imams and their followers of practicing Talfiq, not to mention praying behind each other, in spite holding different opinions concerning the conditions of Wudu. In addition, many times a layman would ask numerous Muftis, without knowing the Madhabs they adhered to, about different aspect of prayer, which may often result in Talfiq, yet none considered their acts of worship to be invalid.

    However, those who permit Talfiq, do not allow all of its types, and moreover, they stipulate further conditions. Therefore, the type of Talfiq they deem to be prohibited is when the end result in and of itself is Haram, such as the consumption of alcohol or fornication. An example of this is for a person to marry without a guardian, following the Hanafi opinion, and without any witnesses, following the Maliki opinion; The end result of such Talfiq is marrying a woman without guardian nor witnesses, which is essentially fornication, an act clearly forbidden by all scholars. Another type of prohibited Tafliq is that which is prohibited due to additional factors; for example to deliberately hunt out the most lenient opinions from the Madhabs, without any need or excuse. This is very brief discussion of the issue of Talfiq, and if the reader desires to know more of the issue, then the best resource would be Albani al-Husaini’s book “’Umdat al-Tahqiq Fi al-Taqlid wa al-Talfiq”.

    Following allowances (Tatabbu’ al-Rukhas) is for a person to “pick and choose from every Madhab the most lenient opinion for himself”, as stated Ibn Qawan al-Shafi’i. That is, as Imam Ahmad said: “If a person were to act on the opinion of people of Kufa in [permissibility] of Wine (Nabidh), and the opinion of people of Madinah in [permissibility] of music, and the opinion of the people of Makkah in [permissibility] of temporary marriage (mut’ah), he would be considered a Fasiq”. Sulayman al-Taimi said: “If you were to take allowances of every scholar, all the evil will be gathered in you”.

    The one who seeks and follows allowances is considered a Fasiq, according to the correct opinion, which has been expressed explicitly byAhmad (nass), as well as an opinion amongst Shafi’is. Ibn Taymiyah says that if it is allowed for the layman to make Taqleed of whomever he wishes, then what the statements of our [Hanbali] scholars indicate is that it is not permissible for him to seek and follow allowances in any circumstance. Al-Mardawi says that: “Ibn ‘Abdil-Bar mentioned consensus (Ijma’) on this issue, and such a person is regarded to be a Fasiq in the opinion of Ahmad - may Allah have mercy upon him - as well as others”. Although the consensus mentioned by ibn ‘Abdil-Barr is not definitely established, the prohibition of following allowances remains to be the opinion of the vast majority of the scholars. Even the minority who permit it - that is, the majority of the Hanafis - only do so in certain situations, such as a person facing extreme hardship, or a person affected with constant whispering from the devil (wiswas). This is understood from the statement of al-Zuhaili in the section on the occasions when Talfiq is prohibited: “Tatabbu’ al-Rukhas (following allowances) intentionally, that is, for one to deliberately select the most lenient opinion from every Madhab without any necessity or excuse, is forbidden, in order to prevent the means (Sadd al-Dhara’i) which would absolve one of their Shar’i responsibility.”

    However, the correct opinion - and Allah knows best - is that which has been favoured by the majority of the scholars, namely, that Tatabbu’ al-Rukhas is forbidden under all circumstances; since a Muslim is obliged to follow the orders of Allah, and not merely the most lenient opinion, for that entails following desires, and not revelation.

    Point of Benefit:
    Those who oblige every layman to make Ijtihad and abandon Taqleed usually use statements of the four Imams that indicate absolute prohibition of Taqleed in support of their position, such as the statement of Abu Hanifah: “It is not allowed for anyone to follow our opinion if he does not know from where we obtained it”; or that of Malik: “I am only a human being, who is correct and errs. Hence, look into my opinions, and all that which corresponds to the Book and the Sunnah, follow it. And all that conflicts with the Book and the Sunnah, leave it”; or that of al-Shafi’i: “If you find in my book that which opposes the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah  then follow the Sunnah Messenger of Allah  and leave what I said”; or that of Ahmad: “Do not make Taqleed of me, nor Malik, nor al-Shafi’i, nor al-Awza’i, nor al-Thawri. Rather take from where they took”.

    All these statements are correct, but they were not intended for every layman, rather they were addressed to the students of these Imams, while barely any of them was a Mujtahid Mutlaq. They were, however, able to derive rulings from the sources of Islam and assess and evaluate evidences. In this regard, Sheikh Taqi al-Din Ibn Taymiyah says: “[Imam Ahmad] would order the layman to ask (yustafti) Ishaq, Abu ‘Ubaid, Abu Thawr, Abu Mus’ab, whilst he would forbid the scholars from his followers, such as Abu Dawud (the compiler of Sunan), ‘Uthman ibn Sa’id, Ibrahim al-Harbi, Abu Bakr al-Athram, Abu Zur’ah, Abu Hatim al-Sajistani, Muslim (the compiler of Sahih) and others, from making Taqleed of anyone from the scholars. He would say to them: You must refer to the sources, to the Book and the Sunnah.”

    (See al-Manhaj 373-376, al-Tahqiqat 643-645, Majmu’ah 20/116, 124-126, al-Mustadrak 2/241, 258, al-Furu’ 6/492, al-Insaf 11/147, I’lam 6/203-205, Mukhtasar al-Tahrir 103, Hal al-Muslim Mulzam… 14, Rawdhat al-Talibin 11/117, Usul al-Fiqh al-Islami 2/1166)
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  3. Expergefactionist

    Expergefactionist hmmm... Staff Member

    The Opinion of the Minority: The Layman is Obliged to Follow a Madhab:
    This is a minority opinion from the Malikis, Shafi’is and Hanbalis, and a weak opinion, unworthy of being followed, due to the following reasons:

    a) There is absolutely no evidence from the sources of Islam - the Qur’an, Sunnah, consensus (Ijma’) and analogy (qiyas) - nor a statement from one of the four Imams in support of this position.

    Ibn al-Qayyim says: “This is an ugly innovation, which was never claimed by anyone of the Imams of Islam, while they are the most high in ranking, and most respected, and the most knowledgeable of Allah and His Messenger  to oblige the people with that.”

    b) The only argument used by these scholars is the principle of ‘blocking the means’ (Sadd al-Dhara’i) for the layman to pick and choose whatever he likes from opinions, and thereby, freeing himself from Shari’ responsibilities, resulting in chaos. However, the one who looks at this issue justly, realises that this is merely a case of extending Sadd al-Dhara’i beyond that which is necessary, like for one to prohibit the growing of grapes, in case people use it to make wine. Moreover, the Hanafis and Shafi’is - if they do not deny its use altogether - are extremely lenient in applying this principle, so how can they use this as a support for their position. On the other hand, most of those who do not oblige the layman, with that which Allah did not oblige him, explicitly forbid a layman from seeking and following allowances. Moreover, following allowances is as much applicable to a Mujtahid as it is to a layman, as is apparent from the opinion of al-Qadhi Abu Ya’la (see footnote #52) and therefore, obliging the layman alone with adherence to a Madhab is not a solution to the problem.

    c) This opinion necessitates that a person may only ask a Mufti of his own Madhab, even if the Mufti of a different Madhab is more knowledgeable and pious, and the truth lies with him. This also makes unnecessary restrictions on the Mustafti and causes him unnecessary hardship.

    Ibn Taymiyah says: “Sticking to a Madhab necessitates obedience of other than the Prophet  in all that he commands and forbids, and that is opposed to consensus (Ijma’).”

    Ibn al-Qayyim says: “This opinion necessitates the prohibition of asking the scholars of Madhabs different to his, as it equally necessitates the prohibition of adhering to a Madhab similar to, or better than, that of his Imam, as well as other things that this approach entails, the invalidity of which points to the invalidity of the opinion itself. In fact, it necessitates that if he sees a text from the Messenger of Allah  or an opinion of the four Caliphs, aiding someone other than his Imam, that he should abandon the text and the opinions of the Companions, and give precedence to the one to whom he attributes himself.”

    d) Those who oblige the layman with Taqleed of a Madhab say that he must make Ijtihad in choosing a Madhab and then follow it. Moreover, Ibn al-Salah and al-Nawawi from the Shafi’is and Ibn Hamdan from the Hanbalis say that the layman should not simply pick and choose a Madhab as he wishes, nor should he incline to the Madhab of his fore fathers. Undoubtedly, this opinion obliges something on a layman which he is unable to accomplish, since, for a layman to be capable of comparing between Madhabs requires him to possess knowledge of the principles of each Madhab, as well as some background information on its founder, his companions, some of the major books, and generally how close each of the Madhabs are to the revelation, and this, as is apparent, is obliging the Muqallid with that which is far beyond his capacity. Moreover, a layman must also look at the Madhab predominantly followed in his land; for if a layman decides to make Taqleed of the Hanbali Madhab, because he believes it closest to the truth, whilst he is a resident in a country which is predominantly Hanafi, then his ‘Ijtihad’ in finding the most suitable Madhab will be pointless. Surely, the difficulty and inappropriateness of this methodology is only too obvious, as well as it being a divergence from what the layman is required to learn from the basics of the five pillars, to that which is of no benefit to him in this world or the next.

    e) From the evil consequences of obliging the layman to compare between Madhabs is the spread of sectarianism and fanaticism in adherence to a Madhab. One cannot but notice sectarianism amongst the scholars who oblige the layman to make Taqleed of one of the Madhabs. Hence, Ibn al-Salah al-Shafi’i, while discussing this issue, claims to simplify the process of choosing the right Madhab, by arguing that because al-Shafi’i came after the great Imams like Abu Hanifah, Malik and others, he was able to look into their opinions, compare and evaluate, nor was he followed by someone else of his calibre; therefore, it follows that his Madhab is more worthy of being followed. Then came al-Nawawi, who summarised the work of Ibn al-Salah and included it in his Majmu’, using Ibn al-Salah’s argument in preferring the Shafi’i Madhab. Then came Ibn Hamdan al-Hanbali, who relied much on Ibn al-Salah and al-Nawawi’s work, except that he replaced ‘al-Shafi’i’ with ‘Ahmad ibn Hanbal’, and further refuted the Shafi’is in their preference of the Shafi’i Madhab over other Madhabs, arguing that since Ahmad was the last of the Imams, he was able to investigate into the opinions of Abu Hanifah, Malik as well as al-Shafi’i, and then compare and evaluate them; and since there is none after Ahmad of his calibre, it follows that Ahmad’s Madhab is the most worthy of being followed!

    Whereas the truth, as Sheikh Taqi al-Din Ibn Taymiya said, is that: “Most of the people speak out of conjecture and what the hearts desire, for they do not know the reality of the levels of Imams and Sheikhs, nor do they intend to follow the truth completely; rather, everyone’s heart desires that he favours the one he follows, and so he prefers him (over other Imams) based on conjecture, even if he has no proof for that. Sometimes, it may even lead to quarrelling, fighting and disunity, which is something Allah and His Messenger  prohibited.”

    Indeed, it led to wars amongst the Hanafis and the Shafi’is in Asfahan that resulted in the burning and destruction of the city as reported in Mu’jam al-Buldan 1/209. Hanafis and Shafi’is are known for their rivalry throughout Islamic history. It was their fanaticism, which lead some of Hanafis to say: “It is allowed for a Hanafi to marry a Shafi’i woman, but it is not allowed for a Shafi’i to marry a Hanafi woman. We regard them to be like the people of the Book”. Another fanatic, who was a Hanafi, saw in a dream that the Shafi’is will enter paradise before the Hanafis, so he became a Shafi’i. Even Imams such as al-Juwaini, wrote a book insulting the Hanafi Madhab and obliging everyone to follow the Shafi’i Madhab, which al-Kawthari - the “Abu Hanifah fanatic” – rebutted, insulting the Shafi’i Madhab; indeed, in some books, he went further than that and would even cast doubt on his lineage (as he did in his Ta’neeb), while the Prophet explicitly considered such behaviour to be from the acts of Jahiliyah!

    Amongst the examples Hanafi fanaticism is what Muhammad ibn Musa al-Hanafi (d. 506) said: “If I had the authority, I would have charged Jizya on the Shafi’is”. Some Hanafis fanatics even claimed that ‘Isa - peace be upon him - would rule according to the Hanafi Madhab upon his return. Another one of them claimed that al-Khidr would attend the lessons of Abu Hanifah in the mornings, and after his death, he would go to Abu Hanifah’s grave to continue his lessons. Another one of them claimed that Allah called out to Abu Hanifah and said: “You and all those adhering to your Madhab are forgiven”!

    Amongst the signs of such fanaticism in the ranks of the Shafi’is is what al-Nawawi reported from al-Isfara’ini, that a Shafi’i may not pray behind a Hanafi, due to the Hanafis not fulfilling the conditions of Wudu as affirmed by the Shafi’is. Another Shafi’i, al-Subki, claims that Allah told him to adhere to the Madhab of al-Shafi’i in his dream.

    Indeed, it was due to obliging every layman to adhere to a Madhab that once a Sunni Iran, was turned into a Shiite Iran, when the Iranian ruler, Kharabandah ordered the Iranians to adhere to the Shiite Madhab.

    If this is the condition of the learned men amongst the jurists, then what is expected of the layman? Therefore, if the principle of Sadd al-Dhara’i is to be applied, then surely it is more worthy of being applied here, in order to prevent internal conflicts between Madhabs and for the promotion of unity.

    f) A layman cannot be attributed to a Madhab, because a person’s attribution to the Madhab must be based on reasonable links between a person and the Madhab. However, in reality, it is quite common for the layman to not even know the founder of the Madhab he might be attributing himself to, and therefore, such attribution is deemed senseless. Adherence to a Madhab is for those who take up the path of education by gradually learning the books of a Madhab, knowing the evidences and the methodology of deducing rulings according to the principles of a Madhab. As for attributing an ignorant layman to a Madhab, then that is nothing but oppression on that Madhab; for in how many instances, a person who claims to be following certain Madhab, is clueless about the opinions of the Madhab with regards to the basics of ritual purification (Taharah) and prayer. Furthermore, many laymen are, in fact, following their culture, while believing they are following their Madhab. Indeed, many of those who may attribute themselves to a Madhab, might not even be Muslims, if they are those who are drowned in sins that amount to Kufr or Shirk! So from what angle or perspective, or from what justice should a layman be regarded an adherent to any Madhab?

    Ibn al-Humam says in his Tahrir (as reported by al-Ma’sumi): “…majority of the Muqallids say: I am a Hanafi, or a Shafi’i, while having no knowledge about the path of his Imam, hence, he does not become so by merely a claim. This is as if he were to say: I am a jurist, or an author; he does not become as such, by merely a claim, whilst he is far distant from the life of his Imam. Therefore, how can such attribution be valid, by merely a claim, and futile speech without any meaning?!”

    Ibn al-Qayyim says: “A layman cannot have a Madhab even if he adheres to one, for the layman has no Madhab. This is because the Madhab is only for the one who has some insight and a way of deducing rulings, who also has insight into Madhabs befitting his level, or the one who studies a book in the applied Fiqh of that Madhab, and knows the verdicts of his Imam and his sayings. As for the one who has not accomplished any of that, yet says: I am a Shafi’i or a Hanbali, or other than that, then he does not become that merely by his claim. This is as if he were to say: I am a jurist, or a grammarian, or an author, he does not become one merely by a claim.

    What makes it clearer is that the one, who says he is Shafi’i or a Maliki, or a Hanafi, actually claims that he is the follower of that Imam, adhering to his way. This can only be true for him if he were to tread his path in knowledge, understanding and deduction. As for one who is ignorant and distant from the life of the Imam, his knowledge and his path, how can his attribution to him be correct, with merely a claim, and futile speech in every sense?”

    Misconceptions About Ibn Rajab’s Position:
    There are some from the contemporaries who claim that Ibn Rajab in his book ‘al-Radd ‘ala Man Ittaba’a Ghair Madhahib al-Arba’ah’ (Rebuttal of those who follow other than the four Madhabs), obliges the layman to adhere to a Madhab. However, the book does not even deal with the aforementioned issue, for in no place does Ibn Rajab speak about obliging the layman to stick to a Madhab; rather, his book is a general advice to some of his contemporaries amongst the jurists who, according to him, did not reach any level of Ijtihad, while they also freed themselves from Taqleed, and began to issue verdicts that fall outside of the four Madhabs. This also corresponds to what Ibn Taymiyah said that the truth generally does not fall outside the four Madhabs, while in very few issues, it may fall outside of the four Madhabs according to the correct opinion.

    Nor is it correct to understand from the book that Ibn Rajab condemns anyone who opposes the Imam of his Madhab, or claims Ijtihad. This is because Ibn Rajab says in the same book (page 25-26), that in spite of the four Imams and their Madhabs, people have appeared, claiming Ijtihad and do not make Taqleed of any of the Imams; and amongst them are those who are truly Mujtahids and those that are not. What further supports this is that we find Ibn Rajab describing Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah as a “Mujtahid” in his Dha’il Tabaqat. In fact, even Ibn Rajab himself did not adhere to his Madhab in every issue, for he was also known for his verdict on three Talaqs only occurring as one (as mentioned in al-Jawhar by ibn al-Mabrid), an opinion which falls outside of the four Madhabs, which he later left for the majority opinion.

    (See Principles 314-317, al-Wadih 162, Majmu’ah 20/161, Mawsu’at Ahl al-Sunnah 2/988-992, I’lam 6/203-205, al-Mustadrak 2/250, 251, Tasmiyat al-Muftin 72)
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  4. Abu Ilyas

    Abu Ilyas New Member

    Jazakhallah khair Akhee,

    Very comprehensive and Informative, masha'allah..should be an article.There is an article flying around,by certain sufis who have gone to one extreme in this issue and they are using the work of Ibn Rajab which was mentioned as a basis.

    Out of Interest , Abdul-Fattah Abu Ghuddah was this the same Abu Ghuddah who was a student of Al Kawthari (who I understand was a very rigid Hanafi) or have I mistaken him with someone else?

    Was Salaam
  5. Expergefactionist

    Expergefactionist hmmm... Staff Member

    Yes, it is the same Abu Ghuddah.

    Although, to my knowledge, who was not at all like his dear Sheikh al-Kawthari, for he had much respect for Ibn Taymiyah and Ibn al-Qayyim. He published quite a few of their works.

    He was in fact requested to teach in the KSA by Sh Muhammad ibn Ibrahim himself.

    I have read criticisms directed towards him by many senior scholars (such as al-Albani and Bakr Abu Zaid), but justice dictates, that they had nothing against him except his unconditional love and admiration for his teacher, al-Kawthari; which in and of itself, isn't enough to brush aside his scholarship.

    As the Hadeeth goes: "When water reaches the amount of al-Qallatain, it cannot be contaminated with Najis", and Allah knows best.
  6. BedouinCEO

    BedouinCEO New Member

    Barakallahu feek ya aba Zubair, this was truly beneficial, because I've came across individuals who felt like it was wajib in the matter and I wanted to do more research on the matter. Also it's sad that some of the muslims that I've came across with has this certain arrogance about if you don't follow a madhahib you're not a part of ahlul sunnah wal jammah
  7. TT

    TT New Member

    Yeah I have even heard some muftis say that the one who does not follow a madhab is not from Ahlus sunnah wal jammah.

    The above really clarifies things.
  8. asharee_salafi

    asharee_salafi New Member

    Assalaamulekum brother abu zubair,

    can you clarify what you mean from your book.

    do you mean to say that if someone who is a muqalid says

    'i follow the hanafi madhab'

    is wrong in saying so, because he himself doesnt know the rules of the madhab? (i see your point! )

    in saying this

    can you 'also' say HE IS RIGHT IN ONE WAY in terms of when he says the he follows the hanafi madhab he MEANS that

    he is following the hanafi madhab because the imam of the mosque does, and the imam of the mosque has studied hanafi fiqh

    SO IN THAT SENSE OF THE WORD he is a follower of the madhab (because he is attached by those who have studied by the madhab who in turn attached to abu hanifah)

    so when he says he follows a madhab, it depends what he means and what he INTENDS,

    you are correct when some followers of madhab are so taqleedi, but what they learned was cultural and they probably dont even know the rules of let alone where the imaam was born!

    and SECONDLY

    from ibn rajab's book one can say (or can he not)
    that the 4 madhaibs are all correct in one way, yes some opinions may be stronger then others, but generally they are all correct.

    that will include praying beneath your navel(according to some hanafees and some imaams like Muhammed ibn abdul wahab (hanbalee), you said that in one of your lectures)

    it will also mean that some posistions within the madhab like shaving your beard to what the shafees say (imam nawawi) are also correct.


    What you wrote was very good mashAllah,and you hit the nail on the HEAD as always, may Allah reward you walahi.

    but i fear even the 'moderate' salafees may use that(what you wrote) as an excuse to create unneccesary confusion amongst the muslims who adhere to madhabs.

    i know some peopel who read sheikh al alabanis prayer book, and think that it is the final word in the issue, from there theyw ill say that e.g praying below your navel is a BIDAH( not weak but a BIDAH!!)

    and the shafiis have NO evidence to say that touching a woman breaks your wudu

    so on one hand you got very taqleedi al-albani followers

    and on the other hand you got very taqleedi hanafi followers.

    like one brother (a hanafi one) said to me the other day, while he caused a fitnah in the university campus that those who wipe over their socks cant be prayed over ( or he was relectant too because ''all i know is that im hanafi'!)

    and so the arguments starting to occur with some salafees saying

    ''oh but brother follow that what is SAHIH, IF ITS SAHIH THEN THATS IT''

    and then another brother says '' I THINK WE SHOULD JUST FOLLOW THE PROPHET'' { as if the 4 imams didnt!)


    i hope you get my point

    jazak Allah khairun and ASSALAAMULEKUM WR WB.
  9. Break The Cross

    Break The Cross New Member

    as salaamu 'alaykum

    I am looking for sincere advice on this issue, I know the thread is a little old but if someoen could help me with this it would be very good. All this madhhab issues such as peopel claiming "my madhhab says this and that" or people claiming and preaching their own madhhabs have caused me to dislike and discard ALL of them. One could even say I have started growing a little bit of enmity for these followers. Is there any possible way to study the Deen without dwelling into madhhabs? As far as I checked is that most if nto all of the "popular" madhaahib have agreed that the rulings are derived from Qur'aan, Sunnah and Ijma of Sahaabas. Any possible way to stick with these 3 and not go beyond that unless a situation arises where a certain matter is not mentioned in these 3 than either weak ahadeeth or a analogy based upon authentic text could be taken into play. This may sound a bunch of jibberish, but if anyone could state some insight and try to discuss this with me it would be very helpful Insh'Allaah.
  10. Expergefactionist

    Expergefactionist hmmm... Staff Member

    'alaikum as-salaam,

    Did you carefully read post #2 and #3 in this thread?

    Do you have any questions about it?
  11. Break The Cross

    Break The Cross New Member

    Alhumdoolillaah I read post #2 and it was very simple.

    From this post, I accumulated the following conclusions (correct me if Im wrong):

    - For a regular layman, an average Muslim, it is not obligatory to follow a madhhab but he should ask whomever gives verdicts with Taqwa in conformity with the Qur'aan and Sunnah or what is closest to it.

    * My questions are the following: If a person would like to study fiqh, does he have to chose a madhhab? Is there anyway to study Usool ul fiqh without following a particular schools principles?

    - It is not permissible to pick and chose different opinions from diverse madhaahib, while it will result in a haraam act. An example whichw as given was following the Hanafi opinion by marrying without a wali while including the Maailiki opinion of not having witnesses, the end result would be zina'.

    * My question is the following: People say that there are "valid" opinions, such as the ones stated above. How do we know what is a valid opinion and does it not have to have authentic evidence behind it?

    Now I will read #3 Insh'Allaah...
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2006
  12. asharee_salafi

    asharee_salafi New Member


    Can I ask pls,

    I have read this fantastic article on madhabs many times, added to thios the article about the careless mustafti, Its been atremoundous help, after all if Imam shafii says ask the people of knowledge, then what about us and how we sapeak about the Deen, never did I argue about any fiqh issue after this.

    But some questions have arisen on this topic, after some discussions .

    1. Im right in thinking arent I , that if a jahil, non scholar comes to you nad says 'here this hadeeth is sahih follow it' that he should not be followed, after all, most of these people dont even know arabic and have never checked one hadeeth isnad right?

    2. What now if you hear a scholar give you a hadeeth which is contrary to a opinion of what your scholar said.


    You ring sheikh abdullah, and he says that you should pray beneath your navel, ( i.e hands) but then you go to a talk and some sheikh says a hadeeth about putting hands on chest.

    So must you follow that hadeeth , if after all the muqalid follows any scholar irrespctive of his madhab.

    OR do you take that hadeeth, and take it to sheikh Abdullah, and see what he has to say on it?

    What if Sh Abdullah has now reply to the hadeeth, should you follow the other scholar?

    3. I find it preferable to follow one Imaam, rather then going to many, I like to stick to hanbali there anythingw rong with that? After all I find them more precise and if I follow many opinions, then I get confused.


    If now we must follow scholars irrespective of their madhab, then in the UK, where we have so many schools, wouldn't that lead to catastrophy? so in one instance, you ask for the ruling about touching a woman, and then one scholar gives you a hanafi opinion, then on another instance, you ask about where to pray with your hands, so the shafii scholar says, pray on your chest.

    What do you do?

  13. moubeen

    moubeen Active Member

    Sound a bit like Ibn Hazm rahimahullah...
  14. Expergefactionist

    Expergefactionist hmmm... Staff Member

    He should chose a madhab to study, not due to usul, but due to fiqh itself. Usul, you can pretty much study from any madhabs.

    There are some opinions that not only the scholars criticised, but actually fiercely attacked, such as those who allow the drinking of wine, riba al-fadhl, music, etc. These are the opinions a person should stay away from. These are called the genuine errors, or slips of the scholars.

    Depends. If the issue is of difference of opinion, and you do not know which of the opinion is or is not right, then yes, you can conveniently say to the brother: ‘thank you’, and move on.

    But if you know of no difference over an opinion, but it is in fact something very new to you; for instance, you do not know whether or not to drink while standing up, and someone tells you of a hadeeth, then you should act on the hadeeth.

    Your excuse for not acting on the hadeeth is only when you know that there exists another opinion, and therefore, the issue involves more than just a hadeeth.

    Don’t forget the golden rule of the Prophet – SallAllahu ‘alaihi wa-sallam: Ask your heart, even if they give you fatwa after a fatwa.

    If you feel in your heart that the scholar who quoted to you the hadeeth has a stronger argument, then you should follow his fatwa. If, for some reason, you do not trust him with respect to his knowledge of hadeeth and fiqh, then you should simply put your trust in the scholar you think is more knowledge and has more taqwa.

    Yes, fatwa is not binding upon a person, so you can easily go to the other Shaykh and mention to him the hadeeth.

    If the Shaykh thinks you are intellectually able to handle a fiqhi discussion, then he may decide to discuss with you. Otherwise, he is under no obligation to give you a detailed response, and likewise, you are under no obligation to follow all of his fatwas. You follow the fatwa of them one you feel your heart is settled on.

    The bottom line is, so long as you have done your job – i.e. asked a qualified mufti, you are free in the sight of Allah. (meaning, in Allah’s judgement, not that Allah does NOT have a sight!)

    There is nothing wrong with that, but you will make your life difficult for no reason. Imagine, if you are travelling from city to city, and you have decided to stick to the hanbali madhab, what if you cannot locate a Hanbali mufti? What would you do? Why go down that wrote anyway, when your obligation is simpler, just ask any mufti.

    So following Hanafi opinion with respect to touching a woman, and shafi’i opinion with respect to placing the hands between your chest and the navel (and not on the chest), would cause catastrophe? How is that?
    Yunus(nickname) likes this.
  15. Tuwaylib

    Tuwaylib Anti-Defeatist

    assalamu alaikum abuz zubair,

    although, sh. abdul Fattah is much different than his teacher al kawthari, do you know if abdul fattah was influenced by his shaykh in terms of aqeedah? I mean was he upon the sunnah or was he ashari/ matureedi?

    jazakAllahu khair
  16. asharee_salafi

    asharee_salafi New Member

    But what if teh person who quoted the hadeeth is a jahil salafi, or hanafi, or someone whom you don't trust because he is not a mufti?

    True but , I don't just want to follow a scholar and then thats that. I want to bring back teh arguments he puts forth and take it my scholar and see what he says, if my scholar can't answer, then I should follow that opinion right?

    Okay, so he doesn't argue the hadeeth with me, what should I do?

    Lets say that the hadeeth I heard was from someone whom I dont trust as much as another Sheikh,

    So there is some sheikh , though is aqeedah is sound, he quotes loads of hadeeth on a fiqh issue, but MY sheikh, who I beleive is more knowldegable has a diffrence of opinion butd oesn't discuss it with me, can I follow MY sheikh in order to save confusion, and also I trust him more, even though he wont debate the evidence?

    Isn't this a blind following similar to that of the sufis?

    What if I just stick to the madhab ?

    Ahh then I will follow the local mufti and change the way I pray.

    Btw Why are all these salafees making a big deal out of these issues? Why are they they known for this?

    Lol. Yeah, but you know what I mean!
    what kind of a prayer would that be?!?!?!

    Half hanafi, half shafi??

    That would be unheard of wouldn't it?
  17. Die for Allah

    Die for Allah TIOCFAIDH AR LA



    The madhab issue has been magnified way to much in my opinion,it is one of the main causes of confusion for reverts and those who start practicing.

    I still cant understand the argument of those who say "dont blind follow a madhab",at first it seems to make sense but when you look into the issue this argument just falls to pieces.

    I mean if we are supposed to just ask a mufti irrespective of his madhab we would still be blind following him unless ofcourse he has the time to explain in detail all the evidences for a paticular ruling and even then we would have to blind follow what he says and trust everything he has said is correct unless we could get all references off him and go and check in minute detail to make sure,(could anyone do this for every single ruling in the deen?)but what if we cant read arabic?and also how can we have access to all the books needed to check up.This drastic approach just isnt a option in reality.

    So it looks like blind following is the only option for a layman like me,so I think the best I can do is to blind follow a agreed upon ruling which many many scholars have researched and agreed upon ie the rulings of the madhabs simple no more confusion.

    Those people who go around calling people blind followeres are usually the biggest blind followers of the lot who think because they know a few ahadeth that they are mujtahids.

    As far as Im concerned all the madhabs have evidences for their rulings so to follow the position of a madhab is the best way.


    ps a good book to read is "The legal status of following a madhab"by mufti Taqi Uthmani.clears up all the confusion.
  18. Expergefactionist

    Expergefactionist hmmm... Staff Member

    ‘alaikum as-salaam wa-rahamtullah,

    As I said elsewhere:
    Brother Ash’ari Salafi (do you want me to change your username? lol)

    Same thing. It depends on situation to situation. If you know of no difference of opinion with respect to what he is saying, then as a Muslim you are responsible for acting on a hadeeth. If you think he may be misquoting, then you can ask him to show you the text. At the end, it boils down to your belief. If you believe that that is the hukm of Allah and His Messenger, you have no choice but to act accordingly.

    This also depends. If the person who gives you arguments is a mufti, then yes you can follow his fatwa. But if he is not a mufti, but just a layman who brings you arguments, and you know that people have differed over it, then you shouldn’t follow what this layman has to say. Just stick to a mufti, even if he does not give you the arguments for his fatwa.

    This is because it is haram for you to make taqlid of a non-mufti, and wajib to make taqlid of only a mufti.

    Yes you can follow your mufti you trust, even if he does not give you any proof, because we as laymen have nothing to do with proofs. Our proofs are our muftis.

    No it is not. The Sufis oblige the murids to adhere to their Shaykhs in issues that are against Islam by consensus.

    Yet, a layman is not allowed to blind follow scholars were they have clearly erred, and have been censured for that. For instance, you cannot make taqlid of a Shaykh with respect to permissibility of music, when the community of scholars have shunned and severely criticised this opinion, and you can say the same about riba being applied on bank notes, etc.

    Then you would have opposed the vast majority of the scholars from four madhabs, apart from creating unnecessary hardships for yourself.

    … and leave the madhab you decided to adhere to at first. Why go down that route, anyway? Especially in modern times when you have so many issues on which there is no ruling to be found from the classical four madhabs? Deen is simple, so let us keep it simple. Ask any mufti you want and act accordingly. It cannot get simpler than that.

    There are excesses on both sides on this, the Salafis and the hardcore muqallids and the truth is in the middle. They are both guilty of speaking without knowledge, and they are both guilty making a big deal out of these issues.

    What’s wrong with Salah being half hanafi and half Shafi’i? So long as the end result is not something haram by consensus, talfiq, or mixing up of madhabs I permissible; nay, it is inevitable, because practically speaking, a layman cannot adhere to the mufti of one madhab all his life. So issues arise where the mufti of his madhab is not available, and in that situation he must ask any mufti around. Most of the people end up mixing madhabs. In fact, this is what used to happen at the time of the companions. None amongst them ever thought that if he is referring to Ibn ‘Abbas with respect to Salah, then it is haram to go to Ibn ‘Umar and ask him other fatwas about Salah. Talfiq was an unknown phenomena.

    Dear brother waziri,

    ‘alaikum as-salaam wrt,

    This is true. This is why a layman should never be told of a madhab. It is none of his business. Let him refer to his local imam and that is the end of his duty.

    Of course. This is our job as laymen, to blind follow our muftis.

    This is the door to confusion. If you read the early posts in this thread, you will see that those who argued that a layman must follow a madhab, say that it is not enough for him to simply follow whatever madhab his father was following. Rather, he should look into each of the four madhabs and decide for himself as to which of them is the strongest. This defeats the purpose of taqlid because we do not want the layman to be making ijtihad as to which o fthe madhabs is stronger. His only duty is to ask a mufti – any mufti.

    Well, if a person strictly wants to follow a madhab, then he cannot. Why? Because the madhabs tell him NOT to follow a madhab :)
  19. abu hafs

    abu hafs Anti-Shirk

    Salaamualaikum Dear Abuz Zubair,
    How exactly is it possible to give da'wah to a barlewi/quboori if what a muslim is obligated is - to blind follow a Mufti .He could reply to what ever u say as My mufti is more educated than u in interpreting the Quran, Sunnah and the athar of the salaf ,seems like a deadlock.?

    I do see that every layman of every sect does taqleed ....but the question iswhere do we draw the line and is a layman guilty if a mufti (mis)guides him to shirk or are these the aspects of religion which are known by necessity and not to be be blind followed ?
  20. Expergefactionist

    Expergefactionist hmmm... Staff Member

    Very simple.

    There is no taqleed in the asl of iman, that is tawheed and shirk. This is why one is not to be excused for ignorance with respect to tawhid and shirk issues. This is the basis of our religion.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2006

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