Wednesday, 18 May 2011

"Above His Arsh" The wahabi doctrine of flawed aboveness

Quote :

“How do you people explain away so many narrations that confirm He swt is above His Arsh?
Oh yeah! You then say we don’t know what they mean. Is it even remotely conceivable that Allah’s Messenger pbuh would introduce Allah to His creation and then not explain what the real meaning was and would leave it for people like YOU to explain to us what their ‘ REAL ‘ meaning was. This is a joke.”


We do believe in His aboveness, but in the sense of might or majesty, not direction. 

This is a very common usage of this sort of term, and it is not ambiguous if you know Allaah, or simply that one should always understand words ascribed to Allaah in the most befitting sense possible. 

No one is claiming that the words are unfit. However, some words have several meanings, some of which may be unfit.
That is why it is important to understand them correctly.

Why don’t you try to understand before you write or speak?

If someone knows that Allaah is not like creation, because He is not created, then he will have no problems with any of this.

The only way we can see that creation needs a creator is because we see that they have surfaces/limits/borders. There is nothing else that you can sense with your eyes.

If you say Allaah is in a direction, in the sense that He could be pointed out, then you will have no way to prove the creation’s need for a creator, because something that can be pointed at must have a limit.

You do not find that problematic? 

Listen, if you want to keep the rhetoric at the arrogant and argumentative level, where you try to attribute to us opinions we do not have, and you don’t make an honest effort to understand and address the arguments made, you will be moderated. No arguments here for the sake of arguing. There are plenty of forums for satisfaction of mean lusts.

Al-Qurţubiyy states:
I say accordingly that Aļļaah’s aboveness and His highness refers to His highness of glory and attributes and greatness. That is, nothing is above Him when it comes to the meanings of greatness that are necessarily ascribed to Him, and there is nothing that shares His aboveness with Him. Rather He is the most High in the absolute sense, subĥaanah.1
(Tafsiir Al-Qurţubiyy, 7 / 220)

Note that because aboveness in location is relative, unlike the absolute aboveneness that Al-Qurţubiyy affirms, those who believe in it are bound to attribute flaw to Aļļaah.

In Al-Asnaa Al-Qurţubiyy says this explicitly:

It is said to them [the anthropomorphists who believe Aļļaah is in a place or direction, etc.]:

“If Allaah was specified by a specification, formed by a form, limited by a limit and end, existing in a specific direction, [or] changing by emergent [previously non existing] attributes in Himself, then He would have been emergent and specified by whatever He was specified with in terms of quantity and form, and [thus] requiring a specifier [for the quantity and form], and if He required a specifier, then He would have been in need and emergent. And if this is invalid, then it is true that He is without a limit or an end, and that He is Self-existent in the sense that He does not need a place to confine Him or a body to be in, or something to hold Him, or another that He gets help from. His attributes of His self do not change by His actions or leaving them. (Al-Asnaa, 2/21)

In short, Al-Qurţubiyy says that believing Allaah’s aboveness is one of direction/ location necessitates believing He has a flaw. This is because it necessitates likening Him to things that need a creator to specify it.

It also necessitates another flaw. 

This additional flaw is that they will either have to say that Aļļaah can create a body above Himself, and thereby become below, or that He cannot, and have thereby attributed to Him lack of power to create bodies anywhere He chooses.
They have also made Him, according to their belief, dependent on creating something below Himself, in order to achieve aboveness.

No wonder then, that Ibn Taymiyyah said Aļļaah must create something or another. 
According to him, the Creator would lose His aboveness if He did not! 
Such is the dilemma of the relative aboveness doctrine of wahabism.

1تفسير القرطبي – (7 / 220): قلت: فعلوا الله تعالى وارتفاعه عبارة عن علو مجده وصفاته وملكوته. أي ليس فوقه فيما يجب له من معاني الجلال أحد، ولا معه من يكون العلو مشتركا بينه وبينه، لكنه العلي بالإطلاق سبحانه.
Al-Asnaa Fii Sħarĥi Asmaa’-illaahi-l-Ĥusnaa. Al-Qurţubiyy. 1995: Daar Aş-Şaĥaabah Li-t-Turaatħ.
Jaamiˆu Aĥkaami-l-Qur’aan. Al-Qurţubiyy (671 AH), Sħasuddiin. Ed. Aĥmad Al-Farduuniyy & Ibraahiim Aţfiisħ. Kairo, Egypt: Daar ˆaalam Al-Kutub Al-Mişriyyah, 1384.




Saturday, 7 May 2011

Ibn Kathir on Tawassul

Ibn Kathir on Tawassul
Tafsir-ul-Qur'an al-Azim
Ibn Kathir

وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن رَّسُولٍ إلاَّ لِيُطَاعَ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذ ظَّلَمُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ جَآءُوكَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُواْ اللَّهَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُواْ اللَّهَ تَوَّاباً رَّحِيماً
Translation: We sent not an apostle, but to be obeyed, in accordance with the will of Allah. If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come unto thee and asked Allah's forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah indeed Oft-returning, Most Merciful.(4:64)
Ibn Kathir (rah) endorsing Tawassul in tafsir of above verse:

وقد ذكر جماعة منهم الشيخ أبو منصور الصباغ في كتابه الشامل الحكاية المشهورة عن العتبي قال : كنت جالسا عند قبر النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فجاء أعرابي فقال : السلام عليك يا رسول الله سمعت الله يقول " ولو أنهم إذ ظلموا أنفسهم جاءوك فاستغفروا الله واستغفر لهم الرسول لوجدوا الله توابا رحيما " وقد جئتك مستغفرا لذنبي مستشفعا بك إلى ربي ثم أنشأ يقول : يا خير من دفنت بالقاع أعظمه فطاب من طيبهن القاع والأكم نفسي الفداء لقبر أنت ساكنه فيه العفاف وفيه الجود والكرم ثم انصرف الأعرابي فغلبتني عيني فرأيت النبي صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم في النوم فقال : يا عتبي الحق الأعرابي فبشره أن الله قد غفر له "

Translation: Many have stated this tradition. One of them is Abu Mansur al-Sabbagh (some manuscripts say Abu Nasr) who writes in his book Al-Shamil Al-Hikayat-ul-mashhurah that, according to ‘Utbi, once he was sitting beside the Prophet’s grave when a bedouin came and he said,
“Peace be on you, O Allah’s Messenger. I have heard that Allah says:
‘(O beloved!) And if they had come to you, when they had wronged their souls, and asked forgiveness of Allah, and the Messenger also had asked forgiveness for them, they (on the basis of this means and intercession) would have surely found Allah the Granter of repentance, extremely Merciful.’ I have come to you, asking forgiveness for my sins and I make you as my intermediary before my Lord and I have come to you for this purpose.”

Then he recited these verses: “O, the most exalted among the buried people who improved the worth of the plains and the hillocks! May I sacrifice my life for this grave which is made radiant by you, (the Prophet,) the one who is (an embodiment) of mercy and forgiveness.”
Then the bedouin went away and I fell asleep. In my dream I saw the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him). He said to me: O ‘Utbi, the bedouin is right, go and give him the good news that Allah has forgiven his sins.
[Ibn Kathir, Tafsir-ul-Qur'an al-azim Volume 004, Page No. 140, Under the Verse 4:64]

Important Note: This report is only shown to reveal the beautiful Aqida of Ibn Kathir (rah) and he has declared it to be narrated by "JAMAAH" and considered it Hikayat al "MASHUR"
Please note that Ibn Kathir (rah) nowhere calls it shirk rather uses it as proof in his magnificent Tafsir.
Another reason why this report is shown is to reveal the deceit of Salafis who have deliberately removed this report from the English version of Tafsir Ibn Kathir.
Also note that Many scholars have cited the above report in "Manasik of Hajj and visiting the grave of Prophet (Peace be upon him) and they have done Istadlal from it and none of the classical Imams called this incident as Shirk or Bidah, which proves beyond any shadow of doubt that great Imams of Ahlus Sunnah cited it as Proof and believed in Tawassul, had there been a hint of shirk in such practice then they would have never ignored to refute it let alone citing it in category of recommended deeds.

Salafis Deny Istighatha and Waseela

It is a common trait of neo-Khawarij i.e. Salafis (wahhabiyyah)  that they apply verses revealed for Idols/Mushrikeen upon Prophets and Awliya in order to deny Istighatha and Waseela.

The biggest proof against Istighatha that they use is verse 7:194.

They ignore the context of this verse and also major Tafasir including their highly revered Tafsir Ibn Kathir.

The verse states:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ تَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ عِبَادٌ أَمْثَالُكُمْ ۖ فَادْعُوهُمْ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لَكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ - 7:194
Indeed, those you [polytheists] call upon besides Allah are servants like you. So call upon them and let them respond to you, if you should be truthful.

7:194 in context starts from 7:191 and ends at 7:198.

The passage clearly proves that it also refers to idols who do not have comprehension skills whereas according to Islam especially the Prophet in his grave prays and hears us as attested from many authentic hadiths. It is utter ignorance rather Kufr itself to compare Prophets and Awliya with idols or apply verses revealed for disbelievers upon them, this is actually a trait of Khawarij as attested in Sahih Bukhari.

Above all Islam prescribes no ruling to say Salam to idols but does so to graves.
Islam does not allow visiting idols but prescribes visiting graves.
Islam does not say that Idols hear whereas Sahih hadiths of Bukhari and Muslim prove that inhabitants of graves hear even our footsteps.

Ibn Kathir starts the interpretation of this passage (from 7:191-198) as:

Allah admonishes the idolators who worshipped idols, rivals and images besides Him, although these objects were created by Allah, and neither own anything nor can they bring harm or benefit. These objects do not see or give aid to those who worship them. They are inanimate objects that neither move, hear, or see. Those who worship these objects are better than they are, for they hear see and have strength of their own [Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Salafi Dar us Salam version. Read from 7:191-198]

Salafis also use 16:20-21 which state:

 And those they invoke other than Allah create nothing, and they [themselves] are created. They are, [in fact], dead, not alive, and they do not perceive when they will be resurrected. [Sahih International translation]

Ibn Kathir says about these verses: Then Allah tells us that the idols which people call on instead of Him cannot create anything, they are themselves created, as Al-Khalil (Ibrahim) said: ("Do you worship that which you (yourselves) carve While Allah has created you and what you make!'') (37:95-96).

(They are) dead, not alive) means, they are inanimate and lifeless, they do not hear, see, or think.…. Then he says: So how can anyone hope for any benefit or reward from these idols [Tafsir Ibn Kathir under 16:20-21]

Regarding 46:4-6 then the context itself proves that it is referring to idols.

Ibn Kathir explains: (Bring me a scripture prior to this) meaning, `bring a book from among the Books of Allah that have been revealed to the Prophets, that commands you to worship these idols.'… Then Ibn Kathir says: (And who is more astray than those who invokes besides Allah others who will not answer them until the Day of Resurrection, and who are unaware of their invocations to them) meaning, no one is more misguided than those who invoke idols instead of Allah, asking them for things that they cannot give -- until the Day of Judgment. They (the idols) are unaware of what he asks, they can neither hear, see, or act. This is because they are inanimate, senseless stones. [Tafsir Ibn Kathir under 46:4-6]

Regarding 35:14 Ibn Kathir says: The gods upon whom you call instead of Allah, do not hear your supplication, because they are inanimate and have no soul in them.' [Tafsir Ibn Kathir under 35:14]

Due to brevity issue I have not used other verses which Salafis misuse but these are their biggest proofs.

(Edited by ADHM)

Wednesday, 4 May 2011



Some people say that Taqleed (Adherence to a madhhab of an Imaam) is haraam in the Shari’ah. They insist that a true Muslim should only follow the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and they say that it is equivalent to shirk (polytheism) to follow an Imaam in matters of Shar’iah.
They also claim that the Hanafi, Shaaf’i, Maliki and Hanbali schools were formed some two hundred years after the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam, therefore they are bid’ah (an innovation not approved in the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah).
They also stress that a Muslim should seek guidance directly from the Qur’an and Sunnah, and that no intervention of an Imaam is needed to practice upon the Shari’ah.
Please explain to what extent this view is correct?
The answer to the above mentioned question follows and among the first things to be determined is what is Taqleed.

Definition of Taqleed

Literal: Taqleed is a verbal noun of the root ‘Qa' 'la' 'da’ in the second form. The verb Qaladameans to place, to gird or to adorn with a necklace. When used in conjunction with human beings, it refers to the wearing of a necklace, pendant or any other such similar ornament.
Technical: The acceptance of a statement of another without demanding proof or evidence on the belief that the statement is being made in accordance with fact and proof, is called Taqleed, or, for the purist, Taqleed-ush-shakhsi.

Taqleed – A Qur’aanic Command

The basis for Taqleed is a command from Allah Ta'ala in the Holy Qur'an:
"And, ask the People of Knowledge if you do not know."

Thus the general principle of Taqleed is enshrined in the Qur’aan Majeed. Denial of this principle is, therefore, an act of kufr which expels the denier from the fold of Islam.

Daleel (proof) of Taqleed

Aswad bin Yazid narrates, "Mu'aath came to us in Yemen as a teacher and commander. We questioned him regarding a man who had died leaving (as his heirs) a brother and sister. He decreed half the estate for the daughter and half for the sister. This was while the Rasulullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam was alive." [Kitaabul Faraa-idh: Bukhari and Muslim Shareef]

It will be realised from this Hadith Shareef that Taqleed was in vogue during the time of the Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam.

The questioner (in the Hadith) did not demand proof or basis for the decree. He accepted the ruling, relying on the integrity, piety and up-righteousness of Hazrat Mu,aath radiyallahu anhu. This is precisely Taqleed.

Secondly, Rasulullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam did not criticise or reject the people of his age, who followed Hazrat Mu-aath radiyallahu anhu, nor has any rejection or difference on the issue been narrated by anyone else. The permissibility and validity of Taqleed are therefore evident, especially so because of it’s prevalence in the glorious time of Rasulullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam.

This Hadith further furnishes proof for the concept of Taqleed-us-Shakhsi. Rasulullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam had appointed Hazrat Mu-aath radiyallahu anhu to provide religious instruction to the people of Yemen. It is, hence, evident and certain thatRasulullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam granted the people of Yemen the right and permission to refer to Hazrat Mu-aath radiyallahu anhu in all affairs of Deen.

Huthail bin Shurgbeel said, ‘Abu Musa was questioned, then Ibn Mas’ud was questioned. Ibn Mas’ud was informed of Abu Musa’s statement. Ibn Mas’ud differed with it. Thereafter Abu Musa was informed (of his difference). He then said: "Do not ask me as long as this Aalim of Deen is among you."
It will be understood that Abu Musa radiyallahu anhu in directing the people towards Ibn Mas’ud radiyallahu anhu by his command, "Do not ask me as long as this Aalim of Deen is among you," was mandatory regarding all matters of Deen.

This, in fact, is Taqleed-us-Shaksi which means to refer every religious question to a particular Aalim because of some determining factor, and to act according to his verdict.
These Ahaadith indicate that ‘Taqleed-us-Shakhsi is not a new concept which can refuted. Its existence is from the very epoch of Khairul Qurun (the three eras adjacent to the age ofRasulullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam is an established fact).

Taqleed in General
The faculty of Taqleed is inherently existent in us. If we had refrained from the Taqleed of our parents and teachers then today we would have been deprived of even the basic and preliminary needs of humanity. By nature man is endowed with the ability to imitate and follow others. If this was not the case, we would not have been able to learn our home language. If we had refused to accept unquestioningly (without demanding proof) every command, beck and call of our teachers, then we would have been ignorant of even the alphabet of a language, let alone the study and writing of our books. Our whole life – every facet of it, eating, drinking, donning garments, walking, earning, etc., is connected with this very concept of Taqleed.
If the fundamentals and technical terminology of every branch of knowledge was not acquired on the basis of Taqleed, i.e. without questioning the authority of the masters, then the proficiency in such knowledge could not have been attained.

The Necessity of Taqleed
There are two types of wujoob (compulsory nature of something) in jurisprudence: 1) wujoob biz zaat 2) wujoob bil ghair.
  1. Wujoob biz zaat means compulsory in itself, for example the commission or omission brings about the compulsion, as the commission of salaah and the commission of polytheism etc.
  2. Wujoob bil ghair – these are such acts which are not normally compulsory in themselves, but they constitute the basis for actions commanded in the Qur’aan and hadith and normally it is not possible to execute the commanded practises without also executing their basis. Therefore, wujoob bil ghair means compulsory by virtue of an external factor. It is from here we derived the universal rule, ‘ the basis of a wajib is also wajib’ and this is the exact rule which governs the compulsory nature of Taqleed ush Shakhsi.
Evils of Discarding Taqleed
It is established by observation and experience that in this age most people are governed by selfishness, baneful motives, lust, insincerity, mischief, strife, anarchy, opposition to the consensus of the Ahdul-Haq, and subjection of the Deen to desire. This is manifest and self-evident. The Ahadith on fitan (strife) have forewarned us of the rise of these baneful traits in man. The Ulama are well aware of this. It is for this reason (baneful traits) that in the absence ofTaqleed-us-Shakhsi, great harm, mischief, disruption and corruption will reign in the Deen. One of the destructive evils which will raise its head in the absence of Taqleed-us-Shakhsi is self- appointed Mujtahids. Some persons will consider themselves to be Mujtahids and embark on the process of Qiyas (Shar’i analogical reasoning) and they will consider themselves to be of equal or greater rank than the illustrious Mujtahideen of the early ages of Islam. The previous Mujtahideen have reliably stated that some laws are Mu’all’al (based on certain causes). Citing this some modernists have claimed that the command of wudhu for salaah is mu’all’al, it being the consequence of the early Arabs being camel-herds and goatherds. Since their occupation of tending animals exposed them constantly to impurities, the command of wudhu was formulated. On this basis they claim that since people of the present time live in environments and occupations of greater hygienic conditions, wudhu is no longer necessary for salaah. They conclude thus, the permissibility of salaah without wudhu.
Similarly, it is claimed (by such self-styled mujtahids) that the wujub of witnesses in the Nikah ceremony is mu’all’al, the need of witnesses being occasioned by the occurrence of a dispute which may arrive in the future. The presence of witnesses will facilitate the resolving of disputes between the contending marriage parties. On this basis they conclude that where there exists no danger of dispute, the Nikah will be valid without witnesses.

Another evil resulting from the discarding of Taqleed us Shukhsi is to practice in accordance if the esoteric (zahir) façade of certain Ahaadith whereas such a practice is certainly not lawful. Since the discarder of Taqleed-us-Shakhsi sees himself unchecked and unfettered he follows the dictates of his nafs. 

An example of this type of Hadith is as follows:
"Rasulullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam performed Zuhr and Asr together and Maghrib and Isha together without (the expediency) of fear and journey. [Muslim Shareef]

At face value the Hadith indicates the permissibility of performing Zuhr and Asr as well as Maghrib and Isha even if there exists no valid reason for this practice.
But, without any doubt, the unification of salaah without reason is not held permissible by any authority. The correct meaning of the hadith is arrived at by ta’weel (interpretation) via the faculty of Ijtihaad. Practice in accordance with the mere façade of the words used in such cases will result in an opposition to Ijma (consensus of the Ummat), and such conflict is Haraam.
The summary of what has been said is; Taqleed-us-Shakhsi is the basis for a wajib aspect (viz., acting in accordance with the commands of the Shariah) and the basis of a Wajib is also Wajib, hence Taqleed-us-Shakhsi is likewise Wajib.
One who has discarded Taqleed, even if he does not resort to Ijtihaad himself, nor follows the meaning conveyed superficially by the words, will, in difficult Masa’il accept the verdict of any authority. He will at times follow one Imaam and at other, another. In this way he will sometimes practice in opposition to Ijma, and on occasions, even if the result is not in conflict with Ijma he will resort to the verdict which appeals to his whims and fancies and by means of which worldly motives are available. Thus, he will submit the Deen to the dictates of the nafs. We seek Allah’s protection from such deviation.

Taqleed Restricted To The Four Madhaa’hib
There are numerous Mujtahideen. It may therefore be argued that Taqleed of any Mujtahid should suffice. What is the reason for restricting Taqleed to the four Madhaa’hib?
It was realised from the exposition of the wujub of Taqleed that adoption of different verdicts leads to anarchy. It is therefore imperative to make Taqleed of a Madhab which has been so formulated and arranged in regard to principles (Usul) and details (Furu) that answers to all questions could be obtained either in specific form or in deducted form based on principles, thereby obviating the need to refer to an external source. This all-embracing quality by an act of Allah Ta’aala is found existing in only the four Madhaa'hib. It is therefore imperative to adopt one of the four Madhaa'hib’. This has been the accepted practice coming down the ages from the early times in an unbroken chain of transmission, from generation to generation.
The emphasis on this aspect of Taqleed is so profound that certain Ulama have restricted theAhle-Sunnah wal jama within the confines of the four Madhaa'hib.

A Baseless Question
The anti-Taqleed lobby attempts to hoodwink unwary Muslims by asking the question:
"Did the Madh’habs exist during the time of Rasulullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam and the Sahaabah?"
In response it could be asked:
Did Bukhari Shareef exist in the time of Rasulullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam?
Did the Qur’aan (in the form we have it) exist during the time of Rasulullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam)?
If they respond by saying "Yes", then we to shall retort that the Madh’habs did exists in the time of Rasulullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam.
In fact, this very question posed by deviants', exhibits either their gross ignorance or their deliberate to hoodwink the unwary.
If the madhab did not exist during the time of Rasulullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam and the Sahaabah, the logical conclusion is that the entire Shar'iah which the illustrious Imaam have expounded is not the Shar'iah taught Rasulullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam and the Sahaabah. But, this is absurd and preposterous.
The madhab of all the teaching of the Madhabs are in fact the teachings of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. Nothing in the Madhabs conflicts with the Qur’aan and Hadith. The different ways methods of Ibaadat, etc., which the Madhabs are applying, are the ways and methods of the Sahaabah which they had acquired from Rasulullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam.
The differences were inherited from the Sahaabah and such differences are by Divine Decree, hence Rasulullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam said:
"The differences of my Ummat is a Rahmat."
Whether anyone understands this fact that,Rahmat (Mercy) is emanating out of the authoritative differences of the Fuqahah of the Ummat is of no substance. The fact thatRasulullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam proclaimed such differences to be the effects of Allah’s mercy is sufficient. Thus, there is nothing detestable in the differences prevailing among the Madhabs. These valid and authentic differences do not bring about disunity, as is stupidly asserted by the modernist deviants'. The ignorance of people and their desires are the causes of disunity.
While the terms, Hanafi, Shaaf'i...etc. did not exist in the time of Rasulullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam and the Sahaabah, the teachings of these Madhabs, all had existed.
While Bukhari Shareef did not exist, the Ahaadith contained in the book did exist. It is, therefore, stupid to pose the question of the Madhabs during the time of Rasulullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam. There is unity in this diversity. Deen is the product of wahi, not the result of man’s desires. Since the hawa (desire) cannot find free-play within the chains of Taqleed the aim of the deviates is to refute the concept of Taqleed. But, breaking the chains of Taqleed is to enchain oneself with the shackles of the nafs.

Why Is It Necessary To Make Taqleed Of Only One Imaam? (Taqleed-us-Shakhsi).
The question arises, Why is it necessary to follow one Imaam only?
What is wrong if one mas’ala is taken from one Imaam and another from another Imaam, as was done in the time of the Sahaabah radiyallahu anhum and Tabe’ien. In those times the whole Madhab was not confined to one person.
The answer is that in those times good was prevalent. Generally the lowly desires did not have any matters in the matters of Deen. Whoever used to refer to any of his elders regarding any mas’ala, used to do so sincerely and he also used to act upon the verdict given to him whether it be to his benefit and desires or not.
Later sincerity to that degree and piety did not remain amongst the people. Such urge was present in people to ask one Aalim a mas’ala, if it did not suit them, then they referred that mas’ala to another Aalim until they found a verdict that suited their desires. Gradually, for every mas’ala they had the urge to look for a suitable reply. It is obvious that such people are not seeking the truth.
Sometimes the consequences is very serious, e.g. a person in the state of wudhu touches his wife. A person following the Shaaf'i madhab tells him that "Your wudhu is broken, therefore remake your wudhu". He replies "No, I am a muqalid of Imaam Abu Hanifa Rahmatullahi alaihe; according to him this does not cause the wudhu to break. I can read salaah with the wudhu.
Then the person vomits a mouthful, a person following the Hanafi madhab advises him to make wudhu as his wudhu has broken, according to Imaam Abu Hanifa Rahmatullahi alaihe; this person replies that I am making Taqleed of Imaam Sha’fi Rahmatullahi alaihe, (in this mas’ala) and according to Imaam Shaaf'i Rahmatullahi alaihe vomiting does not cause the wudhu to break. A person can read salaah with such a wudhu. If this person reads his salaah with this wudhu then his salaah will not be valid according to Imaam Sha’fi Rahmatullahi alaiheand not according to Imaam Abu Hanifa Rahmatullahi alaihe.
This is called talfeeq and there is ijma and consensus of opinion that talfeeq is ba’til and impermissible. In reality by doing this a person does not make taqleed of Imaam Shaaf'iRahmatullahi alaihe or Imaam Abu Hanifa Rahmatullahi alaihe, but he is following his desires, and the Shariah has prohibited us from following our desires. Its result is going astray from the path of Allah Taa’la.
Allah Taa’la says in Surah Hud, Ayaat 26:
‘And do not follow your desires (in future too) for it will lead you astray from the path of Allah.’
Therefore it is Necessary to make Taqleed of one Imaam only.
It is for this reason that the Qur’aan-e-Kareem has commended adherence towards Allah (repeatedly). Allah Ta'aala says:
"And follow the way of that person that person who turns towards me."
Generally someone feels according to his strong presumption that Al-Imaam al-A'zam Abu Hanifah Rahmatullahi alaihe is most probably correct and munib (has the quality of ibaadat), that is, his Ijtihaad conforms more with the Holy Qur'aan and Hadith.
That is why he has opted to make Taqleed of Imaam Abu Hanifah Rahmatullahi alaihe. Another person has this strong feeling that Imaam Maalik Rahmatullahi alaiheijtihaad conforms with the Holy Qur’aan and Hadith, therefore, he makes Taqleed of Imaam Maalik Rahmatullahi alaihe.
Someone has this feeling regarding Imaam Shaaf'i Rahmatullahi alaihe ijtihaad, that is why he makes Imaam Shaaf'i Rahmatullahi alaihe taqleed and someone for this very reason makes taqleed of Imaam Ahmed bin Hanbal Rahmatullahi alaihe.
Talfeeq And Changing Madhabs Is Not Permissible
It is not permissible to leave taqleed made upon one Imaam and follow another Imaam when one wishes. When this is done without permission from the Shariah it leads to talfeeq, it also causes one to follow one’s desires resulting in going far away from the truth and being led astray.

Madhab Of The Convert.
What is the hukm (law) for a convert to Islam or for one who wishes to switch from his state of non-taqleed to taqleed? Which Madhab does he have to follow?
If such a person lives in a place where a particular Madhab is dominant, then he should follow the Madhab by virtue of its dominance. If he happens to be in a place where several madhaa’hib are in operation on a more or less equivalent basis, then he will be free to choose any Madhab acceptable to him. However, once the choice is made he will be obliged to remain steadfast on the Madhab of his choice.
In cases where it is difficult to act in accordance with one’s Madhab due to a dearth of Ulama of one’s Madhab; moreover for the one who is not an Aalim, it will be permissible, in fact compulsory, to adopt the Madhab which happens to be predominant in the place where one happens to be. For a person in such circumstances Taqleed-us-Shakhsi of his former Madhab will not be compulsory. He will be obliged to choose from the four madhaaib the madhab which is dominant in his particular circumstance. However, such cases are rare. The general rule in force is the wujub of Taqleed-us-Shakhsi.

The Disease Of Admut-Taqleed
Admut-taqleed (abandonment of taqleed) is a disease spread by Shaitaan. Shaitaan’s plot is always to destroy the Deen and the best and the most effective way to achieve this evil aim is to negate the concept of taqleed. The Sunnah is inextricably interwoven into the fabric of taqleed. Once a man abandons taqleed of the Madhabs he is left with no guidance other than the deviation of his nafs. While he pretends to possess the ability to formulate the Shari'ah directly from the Qur’aan and Hadith, he can venture no further than picking and choosing from the various opinions and rulings of the illustrious Imaams. In so doing, he follows the base desires of his nafs.
Once the authority of the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen has been shrugged off, the Muslim is cut off from his Imaani moorings. He will then drift in the ocean of deception and desire which shaitaan has prepared for him. Admut-taqleed is thus a fatal spiritual disease which can lead to the destruction of one’s Imaan.

The Sunnah
In the present time the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah is confined to the four Madhabs. Whoever searches for the path of the Sunnah beyond the confines of the four Madhabs will deviate in to Baa’til. Since every teaching of the four Madhabs is the Qur’aan and the Sunnah, deviation therefrom is to deviate from the Sunnah. Those who deviate from the Sunnah are destined for Jahannum according to the explicit pronouncement of Rasulullah sallallahu alaihe wasallamwho said:
"Bani Israael split into seventy-two sects. My Ummat will split into seventy-three sects. All of which, save one, will be in the fire"
When he was asked regarding the sects which will be saved from the fire Rasulullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam said:
"That path on which I and my Sahaabah are."

Salvation (Najaat) in the hereafter (Aakhirah) therefore depends on donning the mantle of Taqleed. We should strive to ensure our safety from the ingeniously subtle designs of Shaitaan todrag us with him into eternal punishment.


"Do you want Pick or Fiqh?"

Here's a classic example where combining things from two madhhabs results in an act that's invalid in all four:
Imam Malik considers a marriage contract valid as long as the wali is there.
Two witnesses are not needed. (However, that's only for the contract; in order to proceed to consummation, the witnesses are needed.)
Meanwhile Imam Abu Hanifa requires witnesses but does not require a wali.
A woman can represent herself.
If these two are combined, you have a marriage conducted with no wali and no witnesses.
That's an invalid contract in all four madhhabs.
Fiqh is all about consistency in methodology in handling the evidences. This is why the end up with different results. Combining statements of fuqaha is like mixing two medicines that are both beneficial alone, but toxic when combined.


Al-La Madhhabiyya

Abandoning the Schools of Law is the Most Dangerous Innovation
Threatening the Sacred Law

Shaykh Muhammad Sa`id Ramadan al-Buti(ra)

Sunni Publications, Rotterdam. Second Edition., 2017
Paperback, 160 pages, 190 grams. ISBN 9789079294244

In the last century, a movement has appeared calling for the abandonment of the traditional schools of law [madhahib]. This misleading call, which scholars have termed al-la madhhabiyya, was presented as ‘following the Quran and the Sunna’ and caused much confusion amongst ordinary muslims. 
One of the sources for the spread of this innovation was a book written by Muhammad Sultan al-Ma‘sumi al-Khajnadi al-Makki, which was translated and distributed to English and published as ‘Should a Muslim Follow a Particular Madhhab?’ and ‘The Blind Following of Madhhabs’. 
It was in response to this book, taught and revered by prominent opponents of the schools of law, that Shaykh al-Buti first wrote his ground breaking work. Later editions of this work, the translation of which we have before us, included the aftermath of various debates Shaykh al-Buti was subsequently challenged to by his opponents and also incorporated counter-replies to the likes of
Shaykh Nasir al-Din al-Albani,
Muhammad ‘Id `Abbasi,
Mahmud Mahdi al-Istanbuli and Khayr al-Din Wanli.
This book is a decisive refutation of those who call to the misguidance of abandoning the schools of law, for it is the most dangerous innovation threatening the Sacred Law.



How is Taqlid Ordained by Prophet 
(Peace be upon him)?

The Ahlus Sunnah wa'l Jammah and all their scholars endorse Taqlid.

 Now let us look at a hadith about scholars and their superiority.

Imam at-Tirmidhi made a whole chapter with title:
What Has Been Related About The Superiority Of Fiqh Over Worship

He brought this hadith under it.

 [Note: Salafis have wrongly declared all the hadiths under this chapter as weak except this one as they are ill in Usool ul hadith. However this one even they could not have declared weak]

Narrated Abu Umamah Al-Bahili: "Two men were mentioned before the Messenger of Allah(s). One of them a worshiper, "AND THE OTHER A SCHOLAR" So the Messenger of Allah (s) said: "THE SUPERIORITY OF THE SCHOLAR OVER THE WORSHIPER IS LIKE MY SUPERIORITY OVER THE LEAST OF YOU" ' Then the Messenger of Allah (s) said: 'Indeed Allah, His Angels, the inhabitants of the heavens and the earths - even the ant in his hole, even the fish - say Salat upon the one who "TEACHES THE PEOPLE TO DO GOOD"

[Jami Tirmidhi. Vol. 5, Book 39, Hadith 2685. Kitab ul ILM (Knowledge), Chapter 19. Declared Hasan (good) in Wahabi Dar us Salam version]


The Blindest Following
is the Taqlid of "Salafis"

NOTE: Taqlid is the term used in Islamic Law for the following of the Four Imams(Mathabs) a Shaikh, or Wali. It is used by enemies of Ahl-e-Sunnah to attack the Lovers ofAllah, The Holy Last Messenger (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) and His Deen; calling it “Blind Following.”

People who follow their desires and opinions in conflict with the Shari’ah are described in the Holy Qur’an as the followers of Hawaa (lowly or Nafsani prompting). Such people, while attempting to advertise themselves as intellectuals of independent reasoning, are actually the blindest of followers. They follow their desires, abandoning a superior form of following (Taqlid of the Salaf-as-Saaliheen[1]) for the sake of the Taqlid of their nafs[2]. They suffer from the malady of oblique vision, rendering them worse than the blind.

Those who criticize the illustrious Imams of the Four Madhahib of the Sunnah, and renounce the Islamic concept of Taqlid, have placed around their necks the taqlid of their nafs. They labor in self-deception without even understanding their deviation. They pretend to create the impression that they are men of profound knowledge, hence they themselves have no need for following the A’immah-e-Mujtahideen, such as Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Malik ibn Anas, etc. They dupe ignorant people into believing that they possess the capability of interpreting Holy Qur’an and Hadith and to deduct the problems based on Shari’ah by their self-study. But their following (taqlid) is of the worst kind. They have rejected to follow those authorities that acquired their knowledge from the Sahabah Ikram.

Then they feel proud to announce their taqlid of Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 782 AH) or Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah[3], both of whom appeared centuries after the illustrious A’immah-e-Mujtahideen. While they claim to be mujtahideen capable of interpreting and understanding the Holy Qur’an and Hadith, they make taqlid of Ibn Taymiyyah, who is the limit of their knowledge. They have no further source of knowledge.

Whatever interpretation Ibn Taymiyyah presents, it is blindly and stupidly accepted by the Ghairi muqallideen who dub themselves “Salafis”. But they have no relationship with the noble Salaf-as-Saaliheen.

Ibn Taymiyyah was not among the Salaf-as-Saaliheen, therefore this title is a great misnomer for those who have adopted blind following of their nafs.

The beginning and ending of the knowledge Salafis ascribe to themselves is Ibn Taymiyyah who appeared on the Islamic Horizon seven centuries after Sayyidina Rasulullah(Sallallahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam) and five centuries after Imam Bukhari (Rahmatullahi ‘alaih). Many, if not all, Salafis glean their interpretation of Hadith from the writings of Ibn Taymiyyah and send the message across that their views are the product of their study of Holy Qur’an and Hadith.

While they denounce the superior Taqlid of the Salaf-e-Saliheen!

They readily embrace the taqlid of Ibn Taymiyyah?

Worse than this, they have appointed for themselves as Imam Nasiruddeen al-Albani, who holds no rank in the knowledge of the Shar’iah.

Al-Albani was a man of this present century who died just some months back (1999 AD). So, while they brazenly reject Taqlid, they have adopted the Taqlid of juniors and nonentities. While they denounce the Taqlid of the students of the Sahabah and the Students of the Salaf-e-Saliheen (Tabi’een & Taba’at-Tabi’een), they embrace the taqlid of those who have absolutely no comparison to the rank and status of the Salaf-e-Saaliheen, radiyallahu ‘anhum ajma’een.

All Muslims know that Rasulullah (Sallallahu-‘Alayhi-Wa-Sallam) described three ages as the Khairul Quroon (Noblest Ages). These are the eras attached to the era of Rasulullah(Sallallahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam). These were the ages of the A'immati Mujtahideen, Fuqaha, Muhadditheen, Mufassireen, and all the great Souls of al-Islam. These are the ages of theSahabah, Tabi’een and Taba’at-Tabi’een. The illustrious authorities of these ages are termed the Salaf-us-Saliheen.

The degree of spiritual blindness of the so-called Salafis can now be gauged. What Islamic rationale requires a man to reject and denounce the following of the Taqlid of the Salaf-us-Saliheen and substitute it with the miserable taqlid of incompetent nonentities?

How can Muslims of intelligence reject the Taqlid of the Awliya and the A’immah of the epoch of Khairul Quroon and adopt the taqlid of men who do not possess the quality and character of a Wali of Allah Ta’ala.
Although they claim to be following the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah, they blindly follow Ibn Taymiyyah writings and opinions as interpreted by al-Albani. Yes they are quick to lay claim to be obtaining their rules directly from the Hadith; they lack the courage to state that they are following the Sunnah in the way Ibn Taymiyyah has understood it. In fact, few of them have access to the [real] works of Ibn Taymiyyah.

They simply blindly follow Al-Albani and others whom they have appointed as their Imams, yet they are vociferous in their denunciation of the Islamic Taqlid of the A’immat-i-Mujtahideen of the era of the true Salaf.

The Salafis are quick to cite Imam Bukhari (Rahmatullahi ‘alaih) and the other competent Muhadditheen as evidence for their opinions which they gleaned from the writings of Ibn Taymiyyah. While they cite Imam Bukhari (Rahmatullahi ‘alaih), they follow the interpretation of the Hadith offered by Ibn Taymiyyah and expounded by the modernist Al-Albani.

Never be deceived by those who denounce Taqlid of the Fuqaha, and Awliya of Allah Ta’ala. They are not in reality rejecting the actual concept of Taqlid. They are in fact denouncing the ILLUSTRIOUS PREDECESSORS, the SALAF-E-SALIHEEN. They possess some deep dislike for these Predecessors, hence their criticism. As far as following is concerned, these Salafis also follow, yet they follow blindly.

They offer blind taqlid to Ibn Taymiyyah, Al-Albani, and Ben Baz. And they follow the Madhhab-e-Taymiyyah, Baaziyyah, Albaaniyyah and Wahhaabiyyah.

Their crude criticism of the A’immah Mujtahideen is in fulfillment of the prediction made by Sayyidina Rasulullah (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) who said that among the signs of the Qiyamah is that people of the age will revile the Pious Predecessors (Salaf-as-Saaliheen) of former times. This is what precisely what these deviants are doing. Intelligent people will not be surprised by the miserable conduct of those who denounce the Imams of the Four Madhahib of the Ahlus Sunnah and the Awliya of Allah.

It should be well understood that in every sphere of life, be it mundane or spiritual, taqlid is indispensable, as the Salafis themselves are displaying by their Tariqah of blindly following their Imams. The appropriate designations for the modernist denouncers of Taqlid are “Albanis” or “Baazis,” but not Salafis. There is no relationship between them and the Salaf-us-Saliheen.

When in the presence of the Ulama [and educated] of Ahlus Sunnah, the Salafis pretend to honor and respect the A’immah of the four Madhahib. However, when they preach to unwary and ignorant laymen, they pour out their hidden venom for the Saaliheen Imams in general and for Imam al-A’zam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi Ta’ala ‘alaih) in particular. In this despicable two-facedness, they are emulating the Shi’ah who conceal their true ideologies behind a facade of falsehood.

The Salafis of our time are guilty of having incorporated the Shi’ah concept of Taqiyah[4] into their ideology. May Allah Ta’ala save the Ummah from the evil of the nafs and the snares of Shaitan.
  1. Salaf, in Arabic, literally means predecessors. The Islamic definition of Salaf-us-Saaliheen (Saaliheen Predecessors) defines three, and only three, generations of ‘Ulama who expounded Islamic Law (Shari’ah): 1.) Sahaba Ikram, 2.) Tabi’een, 3.) Taba’at-Tabi’een.
  2. Carnal desires.
  3. Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, one of Ibn Taymiyyah’s students. Do not confuse him with Ibn al-Jawzi (Abu-l-Faraj ibn al-Jawzi), the Hanbali Alim.
  4. Taqiyah is a form of ‘Ibadah practiced in Shi’ism, not al-Islam. Shi’ah believe they absolutely must lie to Muslims and conceal their beliefs and agendas from Muslims, irregardless of the conditions surrounding them. For the adherents of Shi’ism, holy hypocrisy, Taqiyah, is a sacred act that brings great reward when done to Muslims.
  5. Note: In a manner that mirrors the Salafis, the Shi’ah also profess the same nature, where as Salafis profess to follow only the Salaf-as-Saaliheen, yet they cling more to Ben Baz & al-Albani. Shi'ah do the exact same, professing to follow only the A’immati Ahlul-Bayt (radiyallahu ‘anhum), yet they actually adhere to the corrupt and extremely foul ways of their clergymen, commonly known as “Ayatollahs.” This pertains specifically to the Rawafid, who now hide under such names as:
    1. Jafria (also spelled Jafariyya).
    2. Ja’fari Madhhab.”
    3. Imamiyyah.
    4. Hussainiyyah (the dear reader should note that this sectarianist naming convention does notpertain to Hadrat Imam al-Husain ibn Ali ibn Abu Talib, radiyallahu ‘anh, nor his descendents).
    5. Karbala’iyyah.
    6. Ithnaa ‘Ashariyyah (“Twelvers”)
Taqleed can be defined as the acceptance of a Mujtahid’s‘ statements (Fatwa, without knowing his references (evidences).
[Tazeeb, by Imam-Nawai and Irshaad-ul-Fahool by Qadhi Shawkani].

There is a consensus amongst the majority of Muslims that we should follow the four major Imams in matters of Shari’ah.
Such as:
* Those matters in which there is no direct, single and clear meaning in sources of Shari’ah.
* When there exists a difference of opinion between the Sahabah upon an issue, the Imams have tried to show the similarities in them.
We only observe Taqleed in matters of fiqh, not in our Aqeedah.
The unity of Allah, the finality of the Prophet Muhammad (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) and the Day of Judgement etc – are matters of Aqeedah so they are not concerned with Taqleed.
Some say that it is a form of shirk (polytheism) to observe Taqleed of anyone apart from Allah. In particular, to follow only one Imam is a bid’ah. They say that the evidence from all the Imams should be read and weighed in order that only those verdicts based upon strong evidence can be accepted and weak ones rejected.
The view of the Ahl-us-sunnah wa’l Jamaa is that it is impossible for an ordinary Muslim to go directly to the Qur’an and Sunnah and extract religious laws.
This is due to the fact that these sources of knowledge contain many matters which are unclear – thus requiring research into many other sources along with the application of rules which assist in understanding the matter under study. In order to do this, a person needs to possess both a deep and broad knowledge of Islam. Which is both impractical and not incumbent upon each and every Muslim. Allah does not expect all Muslims to become scholars, instead, He orders them to refer to those who have knowledge.
Consider the following verse:
And ask those who recall, if you know not. (Surah 16:43)
and in Surah Nisa :
If they had referred it to the messenger and to those of authority among them, then those of them whose tasks it is to find it out would have known the matter, (4:83).
For those who have the necessary pre-requisites, such as being a master of Uloom-ul-Qur’an, master of Ahadith and their principles, Aqaa’id, fiqh principles, Tafsir and its principles, and al-jarhu wa’ ta’deel (the science of Hadith narrators). They are allowed to take ahkaam from the Shari’ah.
Such a person can be called a Mujtahid. However, many great scholars who were qualified to perform Ijtihad, followed Imams. For example, Qadi Abu Yusuf, Imam Muhammad and Imam Zufar were able to perform Ijtihad but followed the opinionof Abu Hanifah,
There are many categories of Hadith such as Mutawaatir, authentic, none authentic, weak and those which are fabricated. Some are Mansookh which means that certain matters were at first permissible but later made impermissible, for instance talking during the Salaah during the early period of Islam was permissiblebut later on made unlawful. This is why Taqleed is a necessity – the scholars have taken all the above into consideration before issuing their verdict.

Rejectors of Taqleed
Those who tried to reject Taqleed like Ibn Taymiyyah were unsuccessful.
He was however not a Muqallid like the ordinary people. However, his works of literature contain influences from the Hambali school of thought. He always preferred his Fatwas to Imam Ahmad’s.
His followers also claim that they are not Muqallid to anyone and Taqleed is Bid’ah. But, they always offer Taqleed of Ibn Taymiyyah and quote Fatwas from his books???

The following is one such example :
Shaykh bin Baaz (the late popular government scholar of Saudi Arabia) wrote one Fatwa against Milad-un-Nabi and another against travelling to the grave of the Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace).
He wrote that it is impermissible to celebrate the Milad, as Ibn Taymiyyah’s research had stated that this was Bid’ah. Likewise, he stated that to visit the Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) grave impermissible because this was the opinion of Ibn Taymiyyah.
[Milaad un Nabi and Ziyarat Roza Shareef, by Shaykh Bin Baz].

We can see how Shaykh bin Baaz is blindly depending upon Ibn Taymiyyah’s research as The Shaykh also (performs) Taqleed to scholars such as, Ibn Qayam, Ibn Kathir, Ibn-ul-Hadi, Shawkani and Albaani.

This is quite astonishing! These people follow their Imams but still claim that they are not blind followers and call the followers of the four Imams, blind followers! In reality, everyone does Taqleed in one way another. Some follow Imam Abu Hanifahh, some follow Ibn Taymiyyah.

Furthermore, when they are told that a Hadith is weak, authentic or fabricated, they accept this, without researching it themselves. Cosequently, they blindly follow Imam Bukhari, Ibn Abi-Hatim, Hafidhh Mizayy, Hafidhh Asqalani, Hafidhh Dhahbi, and Hafidhh Maqdasi. The fact is that these people do not conduct their own research, but ‘blindly’ follow the research of their Scholars.
When rejecters of Taqleed label a hadith as being authentic, weak or fabricated, they actually imitate scholars of hadith who have previously categorised Ahadith into the above groups.
Also, the technical terms used by the classical scholars to describe the different Ahadith, such as, mursal, mu’dhal, shad, muallal, azeez, and ghareeb, are not mentioned in the Qur’an or Sunnah. To utilise these terms is also a form of Taqleed.
Similarly, to accept principles of hadith and Tafsir and also to interpret the Qur’an and Sunnah in the light of these principles is to follow the imams who have developed these sciences.
People who do not follow Imams should find out the strength of a hadith directly without referring to any Imam. They should also find new terms to describe the hadith, like mursal, shaaz etc. They should invent their own principles of Hadith and Tafsir and then study the Qur’an and sunnah in the light of these new principles. Only then can they save themselves from shirk and bid’ah.

Doubts raised by the objectors of Taqleed
Those who oppose Taqleed argue that there is no need to follow one particular Imam, conduct their own personal research, in the hope that they will find an Imam that has the best opinion. If they think that a particular opinion is wrong they will try and find another until such a time that they follow aspects from all the four Imams.
We say that this is not possible because the Imams have already performed thorough research into the Islamic sources and have utilised their own principles to determine the best opinions.
Thus, you have to follow one Imams principle. Otherwise, you are using your own principles that are most likely to be that of your desires, such as that which is easy to perform.
Imam Shafi’ee is of the opinion that if you touch a woman your wudu breaks. Whereas, Imam Abu Hanifah says that this action does not break the wudu.
Furthermore, Imam Shafi’ee does not accept the Mursal Hadith unlike Imam Abu Hanifah.
If there exists two Hadith, one explaining the Prophet’s (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) words and the other explains the Prophet’s (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) practice, Imam Abu Hanifah accepts the words to have more authority. Whereas, Imam Shafi’ee says that the practices have more authority.
From these examples we know that we cannot follow two Imams. So, how can we follow four or more Imams at one time?

Ibn Taymiyyah says that when a person begins to follow one particular Imam without any valid Islamic reason he begins to follow another Imam, he is actually following his own wishes and not the other Imam and this is Haraam. The great scholars have strongly discouraged for a person to sometimes follow the fiqh of Shafi’ee and at ather times the fiqh of Abu Hanifah.
[Fatwa Ibn Taymiyyah, Volume 20, Chapter of Taqleed]

From Ibn Taymiyah’ Fatwa we have understood at one time we should follow one Imam and Taqleed is a necessity.

Some Objections
When the four Imams have not asked us to follow them, why do we follow them?
When there is no hadith that recommends, following the four Imams.
Why do we follow them?
We recite the Holy Qur’an in the manner of the seven Qurraa’.
They didn’t say “follow us!” nor did the Ahdith say we should follow them.
Did the Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) say only follow Bukhari and Muslim?
Did the blessed Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) say that Bukhari is the most authentic source after the Holy Qur’an?

What the four Imams meant by saying do not follow us, is, “Do not follow our sayings” We do not follow their sayings but follow the Fatwas they gave after exerting great effort in research from the Qur’an and Sunnah.
By saying this they encourage us to follow their deductions, which are guaranteed to be from the Qur’an and Sunnah. Even Imam Muslim and Bukhari did not ask us to follow them. They never told us to accept only the Ahadith written in their books.

Were there four Imams present at the time of the sahaba?
The four Imams of Ahl-us-Sunnah-wa- Jamm’at were not present at the time of the sahaba, the first generation. Just as Bukhari and Muslim were also not present.
However, at that early period of Islam, there were those who possessed great knowledge of Islam and could therefore be referred to as scholars or Imams. Many Muslims would resort to them for advice and guidance in Islamic aspects.
The foremost scholars at that time were four in number as explained below. They are however, included in the first 3 generations and were people from among the best generations. The Prophet (May Allah bless Him and grant him peace) said, “My generation is the best, then the next, then the next….”

Ibn al Qayyim writes that there were four Imams in the time of the Sahaba,
“In Makkah there was Abdullah Ibn Abbas, in Madina there was Zaid Ibn Thabit, in Basra there was Anas Bin Malik and in Kufa there was Abdullah Bin Musood. After they Passed away amongst the Tabe’een were four Imams. Again these were famous, in Madina there was Sa’eed Bin Musayb, in Makkah there was Ata Bin Rab’a, in Yamen there was Ta’oos, and in Kufah there was Ibrahim. There were many other Imams but these were the most famous at that time”.
[Alaam-ul-Muwaqqieen, page 10, by Hafidhh Ibn Qayyim].

It is clear that before the four Imams of the Ahl as-Sunnah-wa’l Jam’a, there also existed, Imams in the days of the sahabah, who were also a source of religious advice. The details of those Fatwas are written in Kitab Musanif Abdur Razaq and Mussanif Ibn Abi Shaibah.

Ibn al Qayyim says that “there were many sahaba at the time but mainly Zaid Bin Thabit, Anas Bin Malik, Abdullah Bin Musood, and Abdullah Bin Abbas were the most famous and they used to give a lot of Fatwas. [Alaam-ul-Mowaqieen, chap On Qay’aas by Hafidhh Ibn Qayyim].
It is the same with the four Imams of the Orthodox Madhabs; Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Malik, Imam Shafi’i, and Imam Ahmad. During their time there were many Muhadditheen and Scholars, but people would come to these four Imams as they were the most famous of their time due to their extensive knowledge and reliability.

The four Imams had differences amongst themselves, so why do we still follow them?
Even Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim had differences between themselves. Imam Muslim in his Book; Muslim, in the first part, has criticised Imam Bukhari. There also existed many differences amongst the sahaba.

So does this imply that we should not follow any of the sahaba or Muslim or Bukhari as they had differences amongst them?

Why don’t we follow the Ahadith in Bukhari and Muslim, and ignore the Imams?

1) If we should ignore the Imams and depend only upon Muslim and Bukhari, why did both these great Imams follow Imam Shafe’ee?
Imam Ibn Atheer has written that Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim were Shafe’ees
[Jamee’ul-usool, biographies of Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim, by Ibn Atheer].
Tajaddin as Subki, has mentioned Imam Bukhari’s name in the list of Scholars belonging to the Shahf’ee School. [Tabaka Al-Sah'fee by Imam Subkee].
Nawaab Siddeeq Hasan Khan has also mentioned Imam Bukhari in the list of Shafe’ee scholars. [Abjad-ul-Uloom By Nawaab Siddeeq Hasan Khan].
When the Muslim and Bukhari was not enough for them so how can it be enough for ordinary Muslims!

2) Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim did not gather all the authentic Ahadith in Bukhari and Muslim. Many authentic Ahadith have been left out.
Imam Bukhari said: I have left many authentic Ahadith out of Bukhari as the book would have been too large. [Muqadamah Fathul Bari, page 9 by Hafidhh Asqalani].
Hafidhh Ibn Kathir says that neither, Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim gathered all the authentic Ahadith. Some of the left out narrations are present in Tirmizee, Ibn Majah, Nasa’i and, Abu-Dawood.
Furthermore, Imam Bukhari himself said that he knew of more than two hundred thousand (200,000) Ahadith that are Musnad. [Uloom-Ahadith and Tareekh Ibn Kathir, biography of Imam Bukhari].

3) Bukhari and Muslim are not easy books to follow as Imam Asqalani wrote 17 volumes of commentary on Bukhari and Imam Ay’nee wrote 25 volumes on Bukhari.
Imam Nawawi wrote a commentary on Muslim. Yet there were some hadith which these great scholars of Islam could not understand. So how can we encourage ordinary Muslims to pickup Muslim and Bukhari and start following them?

4) We should not follow only Bukhari and Muslim otherwise we would become blind followers of Muslim and Bukhari and ignore the hundreds of books of hadith which were written before Imam Muslim and Imam Bukhari were even born!

5) If it is essential to follow only Imam Bukhari or Muslim, then why did Imam Bukhari, himself not follow his own Ahadith narrations? For example:
(a) Hafidhh Asqalani and Imam Ibn Kathir write that Imam Bukhari prayed that:
Allah Almighty should take his life, during the period when he was being persecuted by people.
(Tahdeeb Al Tahdeeb and Tareekh Ibn Khathir, by Hafidhh Asqalani and Hafidhh Ibn Kathir, Biography of Imam Bukhari).
When, Imam Bukhari also states a hadith that the Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant Him peace) said that a Muslim should never ask Allah to take his life [Bukhari, Al Marda]
(b) Imam Bukhari was known to complete the entire recitation of the Qur’an in one night during the month of Ramadhan. This opposes the hadith narration’s which he collected himself that mentions that the Qur’an should be completed within 5 to 7 days. [Bukhari, “Fadaa’il Qur’an”].

Did not the four Imams sayIf you find an authentic hadith which goes against what we say, accept the hadith and ignore us”?
It is correct that if an Imam says something, which opposes an authentic hadith, then we should reject his sayings and follow the hadith. But what exactly does an ‘authentic hadith’ mean?

Is an authentic hadith that which is written in Bukhari or Muslim?
Or is it a hadith, which fulfils the criterion of being an authentic hadith?
Or is an authentic hadith that which has been called authentic by the scholars of Ahadith?
If we believe that authentic Ahadith are those only to be found in Bukhari and Muslim, then we would just be blind followers of Imams Bukhari and Muslim. If we say that authentic hadith are those which fulfil the requirements laid down by hadith principles, then we would just be blindly following those scholars who have written down these principles?
Also, if we say that authentic Ahadith are those which were claimed to be authentic by Muhaditheen, we would simply be following them “blindly.”

It can be concluded, that if we took any of the above opinions we would still be following someone.
Ibn Taymiyyah writes that there has never been anyone from among the Imams who has deliberately opposed the sunnah. When we find a statement from an Imam which goes against the sunnah, the hadith in question does not fulfil the requirements of authentication of that Imam. This each Imam has their own sets of rules which determine if a hadith is authentic or weak so what may be an authentic hadith to one Imam may not be recognised as authentic by another [Rafu’l malaam, pages 15-16, by Hafidhh Ibn Taymiyyah].

An example can be given by looking at the Ahadith, which Abu Hanifahh received from his teachers who were the sahaba of the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] and their students (Tabi’een) (May Allah bless them and grant them peace). As these Ahadith reached Abu Hanifahh through direct narration from the sahabah and their students, no question can be raised as to their authenticity. But when these same hadith reached scholars of later generations the chains of narrators could contain some unreliability. If someone studies a hadith whose narrator is unreliable, and then says that a fatwa of Abu Hanifahhs that is based upon this hadith, is contrary to the sunnah, it would be unfair.
Secondly, whatever the four Imams have said was final. Throughout their lives, the Imams have changed their opinions as they received further information. Also after their deaths, their students would check their respective Imam’s work and modify their opinions to accommodate the new information. Their students, and so on also repeated this again. This structure is known as a school of fiqh (madhhab).
If a fatwa given by a certain school appears to contradict a narration in Bukhari or Muslim, it does not mean that it is against the sunnah as they are following other authentic Ahadith, and therefore, not opposing the sunnah.

Two examples of following blindly

(1) Shaykh Albani writes that the hadith, which is attributed to our Prophet and that states Isa and Imam Mehdi [May Allah bless them and grant them peace] are the same person is completely untrue. Although Imam Ibn Maajah, Imam Hakim, Imam Abdul Burr and other scholars of Islam have quoted the above hadith in their books. The reason this narration is false is because both Imam Ibn Hajar and Imam Bhaihaqi write that the narrator is Muhammad bin Khalid, who is unknown. Furthermore, Imam Dahabi also considers this hadith to be false. Imam Sagani said that this hadith is fabricated, Imam Sayuti said that the people have fabricated this hadith. Imam Qurtubi considers this hadith to be weak. [Silsala Ahadith Da’eefa, Hadith no, 77 by Nasir Uddin Albani].
It can be observed from the above how Shaykh Albani takes the opinions of an aforementioned Imam as evidence. Moreover, if Imam Dahabi says this hadith is untrue then Albani says likewise. If Qadi Shawkani says this hadith is fabricated then Albani also says it is fabricated. What one can say about this reserarch, is Albani following Qur’an, Sunnah or the Imams?
If one reads Albani’s books it can be observed that Albani is always following Imams. If Albani cannot avoid Taqleed then a simple muslim would definitely need to follow an Imam.
When Albani follows Imams such as, Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn Kathir, Shawkani, Dhahabi, Asqalani, or Ibn Abi-hatim he is considered a great scholar and a knowledgeable person. Moreover, when someone else follows Imam Abu Hanifah, or any of the other three Imams then they are considered to be ignorant innovators.
Therefore, having observed the above, evidence one has to draw a conclusion that people have one set of rules for one set of people and another set of rules for other people.

(2) Albani writes that Imam Darmi wrote that there was a great famine in Madinah, the people went to Aisha (Radiall hu anha) to seek guidance. She said to them to go and make a ventilation (a hole) in the roof where our Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) was buried, when they had done this it started to rain. There was a good harvest and the camels fattened, people named that year as a ‘fruitful year’.
This narration is false because one of the narrators is weak, who is Sa’eed bin Zaaid. Imam Ibn Hajar says that this narration is not authentic. Imam Dahbi says Sa’eed’s narration is weak, Imam Saadie says that Sa’eed is unreliable, Imam Nasai says Sa’eed is weak in knowledge, but Imam Ahmed says that Sa’eed is acceptable and the other narrator of this narration is Muhammad Bin Fadaal, who is known to be authentic.
However, during the later stages of his life he suffered memory lapse. We do not know whether Imam Darmei took this narration from Imam Muhammad, before or after he started to suffer from memory lapse, therefore we cannot accept this narration as evidence and Ibn Taymiyyah has refused to accept the above narration.
He writes in his book Al-rad Al- Bakarie that the ventilation in the room of our Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) was not present in the lifetime of Aysha (Radiall hu anha). The ventilation came into existence during the time of Khalifah-Walid bin Abdul Malik, hence the above narration is false.
Aisha (Radiall hu anhu) told the people to make ventilation, was her personal option and this is not acceptable. [at Tawasul,l page no 162 by Nasir aDin Albani].

In the above research it can be seen how Albani is again relying upon Imams and in particular how he is blindly following ibn Taymiyyah.
Now we can ask those people who falsely accuse us of following Imam Abu Hanifah and Imam Shafi’ee.
We ask them why Albani is only following Imam Dahahbi, Imam Asqalani, ibn Tayymiah and Shawkani therefore it can be said that if it is acceptable for Albani to follow Imams then why is it wrong for anyone else to follow Imams?
Let us examine Albani’s research regarding the above four points relating to the narration of Imam Darmi.

The first response to Albani’s research is that he has only quoted the opinion of those scholars who considered Sa’eed bin Zahid to be unreliable. The reason he has chosen to do this is because if he had mentioned the scholars who had praised Sa’eed bin Zahid, then he would have to accept their narrations. This opposed his (Albani) and his Imams (Ibn Taymiah’s) opinion. Let us consider the other opinions of scholars about Sa’eed bin Zahid.

Imam Bukhari mentions that Sa’eed bin Zahid was truthful and a learned man of Hadith. [Tarik al Kabeer by Imam Bukhari (Biography of Sa’eed bin Zahid].
Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn Kathir both agree that Imam Bukhari was the one person in the world who knew hadith, texts and narrations better than anyone else. [Fathawah Ibn Taymiyyah, vol.3, page 200, also Tareekh Ibn Kathir, biography of Imam Bukhari by Hafidhh Ibn Taymiyyah and Hafidhh Ibn Kathir].

Imam Ibn Abe Hatam says Imam Abu-Zohrah said Sa’eed bin Zahid is a reliable person. [Jarhoo wa’ taadil, by Ibn Hatam, biography of Sa’eed bin Zahid].
Hafidhh Asqalani writes that Yahya bin Mu’een said that Sa’eed bin Zahid was a reliable peson. Also, Imam Ajali, Imam Abu-Zahrah say that he was reliable. Imam Nabaan bin hilal says Sa’eed bin Zahid was a master of hadith. But Imam Dar Qutn says that Sa’eed bin Zahid was weak [Tahdeeb al Tahdeeb, by Hafidhh Ibn Hajar Asqualani, biography of Sa’eed bin Zahid].

We are surprised as to why Albani has chosen to discard the opinion of the fact that the forementioned scholars regarding the reliability of Sa’eed bin Zahid.
It may have been due to if Albani recognised the authenticity of Sa’eed bin Zahid by Imam Bukhari and Yahya bin Mu’een, he would have no choice but to accept Sa’eed bin Zahid as a reliable narrator and hence the hadith, remembering that the two Imams (Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Kathir) have said that Imam Bukhari is the most learned person of hadith in the world.

The second objection of Albani regarding this narration is that Muhammad bin Fadaal, the narrator of this hadith suffered from memory lapse at later stages of his life .We do not know whether Imam darmi took this narration from Muhammad bin Fadal before or after he started to suffer from memory lapse, therefore we do not accept this narration.
The answer to the above objection is that Muhammad bin Fadaal was a teacher of both Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim. Imam Bukhari took narrations from him. We have a reliable opinion that Imam Bukhari took the narration from Muhammad bin Fadaal before he started to suffer from memory lapse. Furthermore, Imam Daarmi, like Imam Bukhari, was a learned scholar of hadith and was able to understand and judge when to accept a hadith from a narrator.

Albani’s objection can only be valid if we can establish that Imam Daarmi had a habit of taking hadith from narrators that were suffering from memory problems. There is no proof to suggest this.
If Albani insists upon the idea that Imam Daarmi took the narration from Muhammad bin Fadaal, that is, after he started to suffer from memory lapse, then someone else may say that Imam Bukhari also accepted narrations from Muhammad bin Fadaal after he started to suffer from memory lapse as it cannot be established from historical data as to precisely when he started to suffer from memory lapse.
Hafidhh Asqalani has written in his preface to Fathal Bari that Imam Bukhari took narrations from Muhmmad bin Fadaal before he started to suffer from memory lapse. However Hafidhh Ibn Hajaar did not state the period in which Muhammad bin Fadaal started to suffer from memory lapse or to the fact how he knew that Imam Bukhari took narration from Muhammad bin Fadaal before he started to suffer from memory lapse. We are therefore puzzled as to how Albani has established his suspicion on Imam Daarmi regarding this narration. Likewise, others may be suspicious about Imam Bukhari.

(3) The third objection of Albani regarding this narration is that During the rule of Walid bin Malik, the room of A’isha where our Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) is buried was rebuiltt with a ventilator in the room. From this it can be seen that the ventilator was not made by the order of A’isha, Therefore, the narration that states that A’isha gave the order for ventilator is false.
However, when Walid bin Malik rebuilt A’isha’s room, the ventilator was made again .So we cannot be certain that the ventilation was in existence before rebuilding of the room.
Imam Ibn Jareer Altabree and Hafidhh bin Kathir write in their Tareekh that during Walid bin Malik’s
Governmental period, that the mosque of the Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) was enlarged and during this extension, Aisha’s room (where our Prophet is buried) was enclosed in the Mosque. But they do not mention anything about a ventilator. Therefore, how can it be said that narration regarding a ventilator is not authentic?

Albani says ibn Tamiyyah never accepted this narration. However, ibn Tamiyyah has accepted this narration elsewhere.
Ibn Taymiyyah writes during A’isha’s time there was a famine in Madina and she opened the roof of her room (where our Prophet is buried) this was done because rain is blessing of Allah and it would therefore fall upon our Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) grave. (Iqtida Al-Serat Al-Mustakeem, page 338 by Hafidhh Ibn Taymiyyah).
If this narration was not true then Ibn Tahmiah would have rejected it. But he has not rejected it hence it is acceptable.
(4) Albani says that this was A’isha’s personal opinion.

This can be answered by the following fact that the Sahaba were alive and they did not object to what A’isha did. Therefore she and the sahaba were in agreement. 

This is evidence for the entire Muslim ummah. Except Albani.

Once a young man came to me and asked me why I did not follow Bukhari and Muslim only, he then told me to only follow them, rather than any Imam and not to be an innovator.

I answered him by showing him two Ahadith, and asked him to tell me what he understood by them?

One narration was from Bukhari and the other was from Muslim.
The young man was determined to prove that his interpretation was better than Imam Abu-Hanifah, and Imam Malik, because in their time there was no computer to compile a database of Ahadith. (Imam Google…lol)

The two Ahadith’s were:
1) Imam Bukhari says that Amar Bin Maymoon said that I saw a monkey who had just capulated with another monkey, and the other monkeys were stoning them, so I also started to throw stones at them. [Bukhari, chapter ‘Ayyamul-Jaheeliyeh’ by Imam Bukhari].
2) Anas (Radiall hu anhu) says: The Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) told Ali (Radiall hu anhu) to go and execute a Muslim man who was accused by the people of committing adultery with a slave girl. When Ali (Radiall hu anhu) found him he was bathing in a lake. He then called to him, when he came out of the lake he had no clothes on. Ali (Radiall hu anhu) saw that this person could not commit adultery as he was an eunuchap. Ali (Radiall hu anhu) then let him go. (Muslim Shareef, chapter ‘Tawbah’).

His answer was:
It is clear from this narration of Bukhari that animals should be married according to Islam, and if they commit adultery, they should be punished like humans to make their lives more civilized. Also, from the second hadith, if someone is accused of committing adultery with a woman, he should be killed, but before killing him it should be checked whether he is a eunuch or not.

This is one example of the ijtihaad made by people who encourage others to pick up Muslim and Bukhari and ignore the Imams.


Wahhabiyah (Salafi/Ahlehadith) sect say:  The layperson (those who have no deep learning of the Islamic sciences) should follow the ‘stronger’ proofs and not to ‘blindly follow’ any Scholar.

This Wahhabi sect is against any sort of innovation in religion, yet they are guilty of the biggest innovation, which is forcing the laity to delve into the sources of the religion to do DIY Ijtihād.


Abū Bakr Ahmad al-Khatīb al-Baghdādī (d.463 AH), he mentions in his book al-Faqīh wa ‘l-Mutafaqqih (2/133):
وحكي عن بعض المعتزلة , أنه قال : لا يجوز للعامي العمل بقول العالم حتى يعرف علة الحكم , وإذا سأل العالم فإنما يسأله أن يعرفه طريق الحكم , فإذا عرفه وقف عليه وعمل به وهذا غلط لأنه لا سبيل للعامي إلى الوقوف على ذلك , إلا بعد أن يتفقه سنين كثيرة , ويخالط الفقهاء المدة الطويلة , ويتحقق طرق القياس
“It is related that some of the Muʾtazilites said: It is not permitted for a layman to act upon the fatwa of an ʿĀlim until he knows the reason behind such ruling (ie. proof). So when he (does) ask the ʿĀlim he should ask him so he (himself) comes to understand the ruling (ie. knowing the proof himself). After he does understand it he should apply it (ie. the ruling)’.
 (Al-Khatīb then says:) This is wrong! There is absolutely no way for the layman to do that, except after studying many years, mixing with the fuqahā’ for long periods of time and (then) understand the intricacies of analogical reasoning”.

Imām Abū āmid al-Ghazālī (d.505 AH), he mentions in al-Mustafā fī ʿIlm l-Usūl (pg.373):
العامي يجب عليه الاستفتاء واتباع العلماء . وقال قوم من القدرية : يلزمهم النظر في الدليل واتباع الإمام المعصوم وهذا باطل بمسلكين : أحدهما : إجماع الصحابة فإنهم كانوا يفتون العوام ولا يأمرونهم بنيل درجة الاجتهاد… المسلك الثاني : أن الإجماع منعقد على أن العامي مكلف بالأحكام ، وتكليفه طلب رتبة الاجتهاد محال ; لأنه يؤدي إلى أن ينقطع الحرث والنسل وتتعطل الحرف والصنائع ويؤدي إلى خراب الدنيا
“It is obligatory upon the layman to seek religious edicts (fatāwā) and follow the Scholars, while a group from the Qadarites said: ‘It is obligatory upon the laity to seek the proof and follow Rasūlullāh صلى الله عليه وسلم.’
 (Al-Ghazzālī then says) ‘This (view of the Qadarites) is bāil in two ways, one is; the consensus (Ijmāʾ) of the Companions رضي الله عنهم, for they used to issue rulings to the laity (ʿawām), and they did not command them to attain the level of Ijtihād
 The second (reason why it is bāil) is; that the consensus is upheld that the layperson will be overwhelmed with the religious rulings. His overburdening to attain the level of Ijtihād would be absurd because it will lead to the abandonment of work and future posterity, it will damage trading and craftsmanship which will then lead to the destruction of our world”.

In al-Ihkām fī Usūl al-Ahkām of Imām Sayf al-Dīn al-Āmidī (d.631 AH), he says regarding Taqlīd (4/229):
العامي ومن ليس له أهلية الاجتهاد ، وإن كان محصلا لبعض العلوم المعتبرة في الاجتهاد يلزمه اتباع قول المجتهدين والأخذ بفتواه عند المحققين من الأصوليين . ومنع من ذلك بعض معتزلة البغداديين وقالوا : لا يجوز ذلك إلا بعد أن يتبين له صحة اجتهاده بدليله ونقل عن الجبائي أنه أباح ذلك في مسائل الاجتهاد دون غيرها كالعبادات الخمس والمختار إنما هو المذهب الأول ، ويدل عليه النص والإجماع والمعقول .
“The laity are not from those that have the quality of ijtihād, even if they were to acquaint themselves with some decent knowledge of the sciences related to ijtihād, it is (still) mandatory upon them to follow the Mujtahidīn and take their fatāwā, (this being) in accordance with the verifiers from the Usūliyyīn. (However) Some of the Muʾtazilites of Baghdād prohibited this and said: ‘(even) that is not permitted (ie. taking of the fatwā of the Muftī by the layperson) unless he distinguishes the authenticity of his (Muftī’s) ijtihād with proof’. It is related from al-Jubbā’ī that he permitted that in matters of ijtihād with the exception of a few things like praying of the five (obligatory prayers). The correct view is that of the first school (that it is mandatory for the laymen to take the fatwā of their Muftī without knowing the proof), and upon this is clear proof, Ijmāʾ and common sense”.


Imām Muwaffaq al-Dīn Ibn Qudāmah al-Maqdisī (d.620 AH), the erudite anbalī Scholar also echoes the exact sentiments mentioned by al-Ghazālī, in his Rawdhat al-Nāir wa Jannat al-Manāir (1/383):
وأما التقليد في الفروع فهو جائز إجماعا فكانت الحجة فيه الإجماع ولأن المجتهد في الفروع إما مصيب وإما مخطىء مثاب غير مأثوم…وذهب بعض القدرية إلى أن العامة يلزمهم النظر في الدليل في الفروع أيضا وهو باطل بإجماع الصحابة فإنهم كانوا يفتون العامة ولا يأمرونهم بنيل درجة الاجتهاد وذلك معلوم بالضرورة والتواتر من علمائهم وعوامهم ولأن الإجماع منعقد على تكليف العامي الأحكام وتكليفه رتبة الاجتهاد يؤدي إلى انقطاع الحرث والنسل وتعطيل الحرف والصنائع فيؤدي إلى خراب الدنيا
“As for taqlīd in peripheral issues (furūʿ) then it is permitted according to the scholarly consensus, for there is proof in the scholarly consensus. This is because whether the Mujtahid is correct (in his religious edicts) or whether he errs, (regardless) is rewarded without sin… while a group from the Qadarites said: ‘It is obligatory upon the laity to seek the proof for peripheral issues (furūʿ) also’,

(Ibn Qudāmah then says) and it (this opinion of the Qadarites) is bāil (null) according to the consensus (Ijmāʾ) of the Companions رضي الله عنهم, for they used to issue rulings to the laity (ʿawām), and they did not command them to attain the level of Ijtihād as that is known in our religion by necessity and what was multiply narrated from their scholars and their laity, because the consensus is upheld that the layperson will be overwhelmed with the religious rulings. His overburdening to attain the level of Ijtihād would be absurd because it will lead to the abandonment of work and future posterity, it will damage trading and craftsmanship which will then lead to the destruction of our world”.

Another anbalī Scholar to add is Imām Muammad al-Saffārīnī (d.1188 AH), who mentions in his Lawāmiʾ al-Anwār al-Bahiyyah (2/465):
قال الإمام موفق الدين في الروضة: وأما التقليد في الفروع فهو جائز إجماعا، قال: وذهب بعض القدرية إلى أن العامة يلزمهم النظر في الدليل، واستدل لجواز التقليد بقوله تعالى: (فاسألوا أهل الذكر إن كنتم لا تعلمون)… وأيضا الإجماع فإن العوام يقلدون العلماء من غير إبداء مستند من غير نكير، وأيضا عدم القول بذلك يؤدي إلى خراب الدنيا بترك المعاش والصنائع… قال الإمام مالك: يجب على العوام تقليد المجتهدين في الأحكام، كما يجب على المجتهدين الاجتهاد في أعيان الأدلة، خلافا للمعتزلة البغدادية فإنهم وافقوا القدرية في إيجابهم على العوام الاجتهاد

Imām Ibn Qudāmah mentioned in Rawdhah:
 ‘As for taqlīd in peripheral issues (furūʿ) then it is permitted according to the scholarly consensus (ijmāʿ)’. He also said: ‘Some of the Qadarites are of the view that it is obligatory upon the laity to look at the proof’. (al-Saffārīnī says) The proof that bases the permissibility of taqlīd is taken from the following verse: ‘Ask the people of knowledge if you do not know’… also there is consensus that the laity do taqlīd of the Scholars without (their scholars) providing proof and without being rebuked. Without this opinion (the permissibility of taqlīd) it will lead to the downfall of our worldly life, the abandonment of livelihood and trade…
Imām Mālik said: ‘Taqlīd is obligatory upon the laity of the Mujtahidīn in the Akām just as it is obligatory upon the Mujtahidīn to do Ijtihād with suitable proofs’. (al-Saffārīnī says) the Muʾtazilites of Baghdād were against this for they agreed with the Qadarites that the laymen are obliged to do Ijtihād (also)”.

The above quotes have made it abundantly clear that the common-folk do not look at the proofs of their Scholars in fiqh, nor do they weigh the opinions according to the strength of the proof, and upon this – as clearly mentioned – is ijmā‘, even if they may have some decent amount of knowledge (as mentioned by the Uūlī Scholar, al-Āmidī).

The laypeople cannot be given authority over nusūs (religious texts) and dīnī affairs, just like they cannot be given authority in dunyawī affairs if they do not have knowledge in that particular field, like for example diagnosing illnesses, prescribing medicine, or even operating at the theatre; all of which requires vast knowledge in the subject area, certification and even experience.

This view has gained popularity among the Wahhabiyah/Salafi/Ahlehadith sect
ir al-Dīn al-Albānī advocates this view in his book al-adīth ujjah bi-Nafsih (1/81), first he quotes

āfi Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr:
ولم تختلف العلماء أن العامة عليها تقليد علمائها وأنهم المرادون بقول الله عز وجل: {فَاسْأَلوا أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ لا تَعْلَمُونَ} وأجمعوا على أن الأعمى لا بد له من تقليد غيره ممن يثق بمعرفته بالقبلة إذا أشكلت عليه فكذلك من لا علم له ولا بصر بمعنى ما يدين به لا بد له من تقليد عالمه وكذلك لم يختلف العلماء أنه لا يجوز للعامة الفتيا وذلك – والله أعلم – لجهلها بالمعاني التي منها يجوز التحليل والتحريم
“There is no disagreement amongst the Scholars regarding the obligation upon the common folk to do taqlīd. For they are the ones that are being referred to in the following verse, ‘And ask the people of knowledge if you do not know.’ Scholars also have agreed that the blind must do taqlīd of others, from those who he trusts if he wants to know the direction of the Qiblah when he finds it difficult upon himself to find it. Similarly, one who has no knowledge and insight of what the understanding is regarding what is in front of him, will have to do taqlīd of his scholar. Also, there is no disagreements amongst the Scholars that it is not permitted for the laity to issue religious edicts and that is because – and Allāh knows best – the laity are ignorant of the meanings (meaning they do not undersand it) from that which is permitted and not permitted.”

Before al-Albānī’s view is given, it is imperative to know – from the above – the views Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr in a nutshell:

1. Taqlīd is an obligation upon the common-folk.
2. The common-folk do not understand the detailed proofs.

al-Albānī then makes a distinction:
على أنني أرى إطلاق الكلام في العامي وأنه لا بد له من تقليد لا يخلو من شيء. لأنك إذا تذكرت أن التقليد هو العمل بقول الغير من غير حجة فمن السهل في كثير من الأحيان على بعض أذكياء العامة أن يعرف الحجة لوضوحها في النص الذي بلغه فمن الذي يزعم أن مثل قوله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم: “التيمم ضربة واحدة للوجه والكفين” لا تبين الحجة فيه لهم بل ولمن دونهم في الذكاء؟ ولذلك فالحق أن يقال: إن من عجز عن معرفة الدليل فهو الذي يجب عليه التقليد

(Translation available online)

“However, I (al-Albānī) believe that to generalise about commoners, saying that they all must perform Taqleed, is invalid.
Taqleed is following sayings of others without evidence to prove these sayings.
Many smart commoners can clearly understand evidence if it is presented to them.
Who can deny that a commoner can understand the evidence contained in the Hadeeth, ‘Tayammum (performing dry ablution with sand when water is scarce) is one strike (on the sand) for the face and hands!’
Even those people, who are of minor comprehension, can understand this Hadeeth. Therefore, the truth is that we must say that Taqleed is allowed for whoever cannot search for or understand the evidence”.

Due to the above tacit approval of their Imam it has given way to the illiterates in this sect to always want to look at proofs and weigh up their strengths.
This is known as the ‘rājih qawl’ fitnah that is in vogue.
 Truth be told many from this Wahhabi sect are oblivious with regards to how to recite the Qur’ān properly with its Ahkām, let alone trying to understand complex issues.

(Edited by ADHM)