Wednesday, 28 November 2012



We often come across Ghayr Muqalideen/Wahabis saying that:

Imam ash-Shafi'i (rah) and other Imams said that when hadith is proven Sahih then that is my Madhab or When you find a Sahih hadith opposing my opinion then take the hadith and throw away my Qawl etc...

From such quotes of great scholars the
Ghayr Muqalideen/Wahabis/Salafis try to misguide innocent Muslims that this wording applies on all people whether layman i.e. even if a nincompoop like Wahabi sees some sahih hadith and starts acting "ON DHAHIR (APPARENT)" meaning of it then It is fine to reject the Qawl of Imam.

This is the biggest daleel rather Dajl which Wahabis use in order to fool innocent people.

Now here is Mawt-e-Wahabi Ba Zubaan-e-Nawawi (rah)

Explaining this quote from
Imam ash-Shafi'i (rah) Imam al-Nawawi (rah) said:
ما نقل عن الشافعي فيه قول على وفق الحديث: * وهذا الذى قاله الشافعي ليس معناه ان كل أحد رأى حديثا صحيحا قال هذا مذهب الشافعي وعمل بظاهره: وانما هذا فيمن له رتبة الاجتهاد في المذهب
Translation: That which is narrated by
Imam al-Shafi'i (rah) that: My opinion is that which corresponds to Hadith. (Imama al-Nawawi said): This which Imam al-Shafi'i (rah) said does not mean that whosoever sees some sahih hadith then starts saying that it is Madhab of Imam al-Shafi'i (rah) and thus starts following the "DHAHIR OF IT". However the reality is that this saying is about that person who has reached the stage of doing "IJTIHAD IN MADHAB"
[Majmua Sharh al Madhahib (1/64)]

So Shame on
Wahabiyyah who misuse the Aqwaal of great scholars in order to misguide people.

Although I have many more proofs but I want to keep it short and sweet so that many people can benefit from this small post.
Imam an-Nawawi (rah) regarding Imam ash-Shafi'i (rah) and other giants saying that “When you find a Sahih hadith then that is my madhab or when you see a Sahih hadith against my statement then throw away my statement”

Imam Nawawi (rah) said: “What Imam al-Shafi’i said: My Madhab is that which conforms to the hadith, this does not mean that everyone who sees a Sahih hadith should say “This is the madhhab of al-Shafiʿi, applying the purely apparent meaning of his statement. 

What he said most certainly applies only to such a person who has the rank of Ijtihad in the madhhab.
It is a condition for such a person that he be firmly convinced that either Imam Al-Shafiʿi was unaware of this hadith or he was unaware of its authenticity.

And this is possible only after having researched all the books of al-Shafiʿi and other similar books of the companions of al-Shafiʿi, those who took knowledge from him and others similar to them.
This is indeed a difficult condition to fulfill.

Few are those who measure up to this standard in our times [that is al-Nawawi’s times, a fortiori ours; amongst those who lived in Al-Nawawi’s century were al-Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, ibn al-Salah, al-Mundhiri, ibn ʿAbdus-Salam, Al-Qurtubi, ibn al-Qattan, al-iyaʼ al-Maqdisi, ibn Qudamah, and ibn Daqiq al-ʿId!].

What we have explained has been made conditional because Imam Al-Shafiʿi had abandoned acting purely on the external meaning of many proofs for criticism of the adith or its abrogation or specific circumstances or interpretation and so forth.
Shaykh Abu ʿAmr [ibn al-Șalah] said, It is no trivial matter to act according to the literal meaning of what Imam al-Shafiʿi said. For it is impermissible for every faqih let alone an ordinary person (ʿammi) to act independently with what he takes to be a proof from the hadith...Therefore, any Shafiʿi that finds a hadith that contradicts his school must examine whether he is absolutely accomplished in all the disciplines of ijtihad, or in that particular topic, or specific question. [If he is] then he has the right to apply it independently 
[Imam Muhayuddin Abi Zakriyah Yahya bin Sharaf an-Nawawi ash-Shafi’i in his great book, Al-Majmuʿ Shar Al-Muhadhab (1/64, Dar al Fikr, Beirut, Lebanon)]



Imam Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti (d. 911 AH) said: 
“The difference found in the four Schools of Islamic law (Hanafi, Shafi, Maliki and Hanbali) in this nation is a huge blessing and an enormous virtue. It has a subtle hidden wisdom the intelligent are able to grasp, but the ignorant are blind of. I have even heard some of them say: ‘The Prophet (s) came with one law, so where did the four Madhabs come from?” (Jazeel al-Mawahib, p.4)

Imam al-Haramayn Abu al-Ma‘āli Abd al-Malik bin Yusuf al-Juwayni mous (419-478 AH) writes in his book Al-Burhan:“The expert scholars have agreed that the masses are obligated (‘alayhim) with following the schools of the (four) Imams who thoroughly investigated and researched, who compiled the chapters (of Fiqh) and mentioned the circumstances of the rulings.” (vol. 2, P. 1146)

Shaikh al-Islam Ahmad Ibn Hajr al-Haytami writes in Tuhfa al-Muhtaj fi Sharh al- Minhaj:“The claim the layman has no madh-hab is rejected, rather it is necessary (yalzamuhu) for him to do taqlīd of a recognised school. (As for the claim: scholars did not obligate following one school), that was before the codification of the schools and their establishment.” (Vol.12 p.491-Kitab al-Zakah)

Imam al-Nawawi writes in Al-Majmu‘ Sharh Al-Muhadhdhab:“The second view is it is obligatory (yalzamuhu) for him to follow one particular school, and that was the definitive position according to Imam Abul-Hassan (the father of Imam al-Haramayn Al-Juwayni). And this applies to everyone who has not reached the rank of ijtihād of the jurists and scholars of other disciplines. The reasoning for this ruling is that if it was permitted to follow any school one wished it would lead to hand-picking the dispensations of the schools, following one’s desires. He would be choosing between Halal and Haram, and obligatory and permissible. Ultimately that would lead to relinquishing oneself from the burden of responsibility. This is not the same as during the first generations, for the schools that were sufficient in terms of their rulings for newer issues, were neither codified nor widespread. Thus on this basis it is obligatory for a person to strive in choosing a madh-hab which alone he follows.” (vol.1 p. 93)

 Shaikh Salih al-Sunusi writes in Fath al-‘Alee al-Malik fil-Fatwa ‘ala madh-hab al-Imam Malik:“As for the scholar who has not reached the level of ijtihād and the non-scholar, they must do taqlīd of the Mujtahid… And the most correct view is that it is obligatory (wajib) to adhere to a particular school from the four schools…” (p.40-41, in Usul al-Fiqh)

Imam Sharani, an undisputed authority in the Shafi school writes in Al-Mizan al-Kubra:“…You (O student) have no excuse left for not doing taqlīd of any madh-hab you wish from the schools of the four Imams, for they are all paths to Heaven…” (p.55 vol.1)

Imām Shams al-Din Dhahabī (673-748 AH) writes in Siyar A‘lam al-Nubalā under Ibn Hazm Zāhirī’s comment:“I follow the truth and perform ijtihād, and I do not adhere to any madh-hab”, “I say: yes. Whoever has reached the level of ijtihād and a number of imāms have attested to this regarding him, it is not allowed for him to do taqlīd, just as it is not seeming at all for the beginner layman jurist who has committed the Qur’ān to memory or a great deal of it to perform ijtihād. How is he going to perform ijtihād? What will he say? On what will he base his opinions? How can he fly when his wings have not yet grown?” (Vol.18, Pg.191)

 In the famous twelve volume Maliki compendium of fatāwā, Al-Mi‘yar al-Mu‘rib an fatāwā ahl al-Ifriqiyya wa al-Andalus wa al-Maghrib, Imam Ahmad al-Wanshirisi records the Fatwa on taqlīd: “It is not permitted (lā yajoozu) for the follower of a scholar to choose the most pleasing to him of the schools and one that agrees the most with him. It is his duty to do taqlīd of the Imam whose school he believes to be right in comparison to the other schools.” (vol.11 p.163-164)

 The Hanbali scholar Imam ‘Ala al-Din al-Mardawi in his major Juristic compendium Al-Insaf, cites the statement of the famous scholar Imam Al-Wazir ibn Hubaira (died 560 ah):“Consensus has been established upon taqlīd of every one of the Four Schools and that the truth does not lie outside of them.”(Vol.11 p.169, Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah).

Imam Badr al-Din al-Zarkashi states in Al-Bahr al-Muhit,“There has been established a consensus amongst the Muslims that the truth is restricted to these (four) schools. This being the case it is not permitted to act upon an opinion from other than them. Nor is it permitted for ijtihād to occur except within them (i.e. employing their principles that is the tools of interpretation).” (vol.6 p.209)

In the commentary of the Shafi text Jam‘ al-Jawami‘, Imam Al-Jalāl Shams al-Din al-Mahalli writes:“And the soundest position (wal-Asahh) is that it is obligatory (yajibu) for the non-scholar/layman and other than him of those (scholars) who have not reached the rank of ijtihād, adherence of one particular school from the madh-habs of the Mujtahid Imams (iltizam madh-hab Muayyan min madāhib al-Mujtahideen) that he believes to be preferable to another school or equal to it.” (Kitab al-ijtihād, p.93)

Imam Rajab al-Hanbali writes in his book: “Refutation of anyone who follows other than the four schools” [A title that emphatically exposes the deception of the Salafi claim that it is they who represent true Islam]:“…that is the Mujtahid, assuming his existence, his duty (Farduhu) is to follow what becomes apparent to him of the Truth. As for the non-Mujtahid his duty is taqlīd.” Elsewhere having indicated in the latter the rarity of the lofty status of ijtihād, he states: “As for all other people who have not reached this level (of ijtihād), it is not allowed (lā yasau‘hu) for them but to do taqlīd of these Four Imams and to submit to that which the rest of the Ummah submitted to.” (Majmoo‘ al-Rasail Ibn Rajab, vol.2 p. 626 and p.624 respectively).

In the famous commentary of the treatise of Imam Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani Al-Risalah, entitled “Al-Fawākih al-Dawāni,” Imam Ahmad al-Nafrawi (died 1126 ah) also confirms the Ijma of all the scholars that following one Imam is obligatory: “The consensus of the Muslims has been established upon the obligation (Wujub) of following one of the four Imams today; Abu anīfa, Malik, Shafi and Ahmad- May Allah be pleased with them… What we explained before, in terms of the obligation of following one of the four Imams, is in relation to those who do not possess the capability of performing ijtihād.” (vol.2 p.574, Bab Fi al-Ruyah wa al-Tathāub, 1997).


Is the Authenticity of a Hadīth Sufficient to Practice upon it?

By Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwamah

The advocates of this notion present their case as follows:

Allah has made it incumbent upon us to follow his beloved Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him), so when a Hadīth has been authentically transmitted from him, it is necessary for us to practice on that Hadīth.
It does not behoove a Muslim to hesitate in practicing on an authentic Hadīth that reaches him. [1] 
Allah did not command anyone to follow any other human being, however knowledgeable he may be, as long as he is prone error.

In essence, this objection comprises of two parts:

Authenticity of the Hadīth is sufficient to practice upon it
We are commanded to follow the Messenger of Allah; Allah never commanded us to follow so and so

The answer to the first part of this objection is similar to that given in the previous chapter regarding the statement, When a Hadīth is authentic, it is my opinion.”
In brief, when we say that the authenticity of a Hadīth is sufficient for practice, it refers to when the Hadīth is suitable for practice, which requires both the text [Matn] and chain [Sanad] of the Hadīth to fulfil a number of conditions, among which are conditions pertaining to the science of Hadīth and juristic theory.

It is not sufficient to analyze the narrators in the chain by simply referring to Taqrīb al-Tahdhīb as some would wish. This is only the task of expert authorities of Hadīth, its related sciences, fundamentals and peripherals.

This distorted notion will lead to the destruction of the Sunnah, which they apparently want to assist, before the destruction of jurisprudence, not to mention the deviance it will cause.

[Consider this objection in light of the following statements of the great scholars of Hadīth:]

Ibrāhīm al-Nakha‘ī mentions, “I hear Ahādīth, after which I examine what is suitable for practice and I practice on it, and I leave the remainder.”[2]
Ibn Abī Laylā mentions, “A person will never attain expertise in Hadīth until he takes [what is suitable] and leaves [what is not suitable] from the Hadīth corpus.”[3]
Abd Allah ibn Wahb mentions, “If it were not for [Imām] Mālik and al-Layth I would have been destroyed, as I used to think that everything transmitted from the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) should be practiced upon.”[4]
Ibn ‘Uqda told a questioner, “Minimize your take of these Ahādīth, as they are not suitable except for those who understand their interpretation. Yahyā ibn Sulaymān reports from Ibn Wahb that he said, ‘I heard Mālik say, ‘Many of these Ahādīth can be a means of deviance. I have mentioned many Ahādīth that I wish I would be lashed twice instead of saying them.”[5]
Shaykh Ismā‘īl al-Ansārī [d. 1417 AH] explains, “This is in relation to those who misinterpret them.” Otherwise, guidance lies in the Sunnah of the Prophet. Allāh mentions, “follow him that you may be guided.”[6] 

However, when a person places something in the wrong place he deviates. It was for this reason that in many verses, Allāh labelled the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) as “wisdom” and wisdom is to place something in its appropriate place.

We learn from these statements that studying Hadīth under the jurists is a means of salvation from destruction, but unfortunately, this reality escapes the minds of the negligent.

Imām al-Tirmidhī after mentioning the Hadīth of Umm ‘Atiyyah that describes the washing of Zaynab, the daughter of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), presents a lengthy analysis and concludes with the following, “In a similar manner have the jurists opined, and they are more knowledgeable regarding the meaning of the Ahādīth.”[7]

In his book, al-Faqīh wa ‘l-Mutafaqqih, al-Khatīb al-Baghdādī [d. 463 AH] writes:

It should be understood that an abundance of writing and narrating Ahādīth will not make a person a jurist; he will only attain deep understanding by deducing its meaning and pondering over it.

Thereafter, he mentions the advice of Imām Mālik:
If you wish to benefit from Hadīth and that Allah uses you to benefit others, then minimize your take of Ahādīth and attain deep understanding.[8]

Once al-Mughīra al-Dhabbī was late in attending the gathering of Ibrāhīm al-Nakha‘ī, so Ibrāhīm al-Nakha‘ī asked him, “O Mughīra, why have you delayed?” He replied, “A shaykh- Hadīth narrator- came to us, so we wrote Ahādīth from him” Ibrahīm said, “I remember that we would never take Ahādīth except from he who can distinguish the Halāl mentioned therein from the Harām and vice versa. Undoubtedly, you will find a shaykh narrating Hadīth, but he will switch its Halāl for its Harām, and vice versa, without even realizing.” [9]

These are some statements concerning the importance of referring to the jurists when examining the Sunnah. We also learn that the matter is not as some claim, i.e. the authenticity of the Hadīth is a sufficient reason for necessitating practice.

There is another issue relating to this claim, and it is necessary to clarify its fallaciousness. 
Studying the lives of our predecessors from the Sahābah and those after them, we learn that they would not suffice on the transmission of the Hadīth to practice and apply it; rather, they would first examine if it were suitable for practice.

In this regard, al-Qādhī ‘Iyādh [d. 544 AH] writes:
Chapter on what has been transmitted from the predecessors and scholars pertaining to the necessity of referring to the practice of the people of Madīnah, and that it is an accepted form of evidence according to them even though it conflicts with the majority.

It has been related that ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) stood on the pulpit and said, “I warn by Allāh the person who narrates a Hadīth when practice is contrary to it.
Ibn al-Qāsim and Ibn Wahb said, “I have noticed that according to Imām Mālik the status of practice is higher than that of Hadīth.”

Imām Mālik said, “There were scholars from the Tābi‘ūn who would narrate Ahādīth, and when they were informed [of conflicting evidence] from others, they would say, “We are not oblivious to this; however, practice has been established contrary to it.”

Imām Mālik says, “I saw Muhammad ibn Abī Bakr ibn ‘Amr ibn Hazm when he was a judge, and his brother, ‘Abd Allah, knew many Ahādīth and he was a truthful person. When Muhammad would pass a ruling on a matter wherein the Hadīth is contrary to it, I would hear ‘Abd Allah scold him and say, “Is there not so and so Hadīth in this matter?” Muhammad would say, “Obviously.” ‘Abd Allah would say, “Then why do you not judge accordingly?” Muhammad would reply, “So where are the people in relation to it i.e. the consensus of the scholars of Madīnah?” He was alluding to the fact that the status of practice is higher than that of Hadīth.

Ibn Mu‘adhdhal said, “I heard a person ask Ibn Mājishūn, ‘Why do you narrate Ahādīth, after which you do not practice on it” He replied, “To show that we do not practice on it deliberately.”

Ibn Abī Zinād said, “’Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azīz would gather the jurists and ask them regarding the Sunnahs and rulings that are practiced on, and would establish them. He would also ask regarding what the people do not practice on, and would omit it even though it was transmitted via a reliable narrator.[10]

Taqī al-Din ibn Taymiyyah [d. 728 AH] writes, “Whichever Sunnah or Athar Imām Ahmad narrates and authenticates, terms Hasan, approves of its Sanad or records in one of his books and did not reject it and did not pass a ruling contrary it, then that is his madhhab. It is also opined that it is not.” [11]

It is important to highlight the words, “…did not refute nor did he pass a ruling contrary it” as this is explicit in that Imām Ahmad, as is the case with the other Imāms, will sometimes prefer a Hadīth that is not authentic over an authentic Hadīth, due to other factors that become apparent to him. We also learn that the authenticity of the Hadīth itself does not necessitate practice upon it.

The salient quality of a scholar is that he partakes of both fields: Hadīth and Fiqh. He should not override one above the other in his academic quest.

In this respect, Ibrāhīm al-Nakha‘ī mentions, “Legal theory [al-Ra’y] is incomplete without Hadīth [al-Riwāya], and Hadīth is incomplete without legal theory.”[12]

Imām al-Khattābī [d. 388 AH] says:
In our time, I have seen the scholars divide into two groups: the partisans of Hadīth and Athar, and the partisans of Fiqh and legal theory. Each group is equal to its counterpart in regards to their need; they are dependent on one another in the acquisition of what they seek. This is because the status of Hadīth is that of the foundation, which is the base, and the status of Fiqh is that of a building, which serves as a branch for it; every building that lacks a solid foundation will inevitably collapse, and every foundation that is void of a building is deserted.[13]

Imām Ahmad [d. 241 AH] mentions:
If a person possesses books on the statements of the Messenger of Allah and the differences of the Sahābah and Tābī‘īn, he is not allowed to practice and pass rulings on whatever he wishes until he inquiries from the scholars which of those narrations are practiced upon, so that his practice may be correct.[14]

It is important to note the words, “…until he enquires from the scholars which of those narrations are practiced upon” as there is an indication therein that perhaps a person may consider a Hadīth authentic and pass a ruling based on its authenticity, and that the authenticity of the Hadīth is a sufficient reason for practice.

However, Imām Ahmad cautions that this sort of hastiness and haphazard method of passing verdicts is impermissible and that it is necessary to ask the people of knowledge, who are the people of Fiqh and understanding, “Should we practice on this particular Hadīth” and they will inform if the Hadīth is suitable for practice.

In the entry of Ibn Hazam in Siyar A‘lām al-Nubalā’, under his statement, “I will follow the truth and exercise ijtihād, and I will not restrict myself to any madhhab

Hāfiż al-Dhahabī writes:
Yes, the one who has reached the rank of ijtihād and a group of Imāms testify to that is not allowed to make taqlīd.
Likewise, a novice and general jurist who memorizes the Qur’ān or a great portion of it cannot exercise ijtihād at all.
How is he supposed to exercise ijtihād?
What will he say?
What will be the premise of his conclusions? How will he fly when is yet to grow wings?
The third category is the accomplished, alert, insightful, traditionist jurist, who has memorized a mukhtasar on the peripheral laws and a book on the rules of juristic theory, and he has studied syntax and he has a share in the virtues, along with his memorization of the Book of Allah and his preoccupation with its commentary and his strong argumentation. This is the rank of the one who has reached restricted ijtihad and is capable of examining the evidences of the imams. Hence, whenever the truth is clear to him in an issue, and a source text is established therein, and one of the luminary Imams has acted upon it, like Abu Hanifah, for example, or Malik, al-Thawri, al-Awza’i, al-Shafi’i, Abu ‘Ubayd and Ishaq, he ought to follow the truth therein and not follow dispensations. He must be cautious. He does not have the option of taqlīd therein after the proof has been established for him…[15]

It is important to note the words, “…whenever the truth is clear to him in an issue, and a source text is established therein, and one of the luminary Imams has acted upon it” and his previous statement, “the one who practices upon an authentic narration which the luminary Imāms did not accept it, then no.”

Adhering to an opinion that no one has articulated is regarded as insanity in the sight of the intellects and scholars alike.

Imām Zufar [d. 158 AH] mentions: I do not debate someone until he admits, “I have erred.” Rather I debate him until he loses his sanity! It was asked, “How does he lose his sanity?” He replied, “He articulates an opinion no one has opined.” [16]

If you object:

What about the statement of Imām al-Subkī regarding the person who finds an authentic narration that no one has practiced upon, whether he is allowed to practice upon he Hadīth?

Imām al-Subkī states, “According to me, it is better that he follows the Hadīth, and he should assume that he is in front of the Prophet and he heard it directly from him. In such a situation, is it permissible for him to delay?
By the name of Allāh, never. Each person is responsible according to his understanding.[17]

Firstly, al-Subki clearly states that this is his personal opinion which means that other scholars differ with him in that it is necessary for an Imām to have practiced upon it, such al-Dhahabī whose statement just passed. This does not mean that the practice of the Imām is superior to the Hadīth without which the Hadīth cannot serve as evidence. Rather, it means that the practice of the Imām is proof that there is no consensus on not practicing upon that Hadīth, because if no one has practiced upon it, it shows that there is another Hadīth, which is preferred over this one. There are numerous statements from the Salaf, some of which has passed, that sometimes a Hadīth can be authentic but practice is not upon it.

Secondly, the words, “he should assume that he is in front of the Prophet and he heard it directly from him. In such a situation, is it permissible for him to delay?” are subtle and require deep understanding. This is regarding a person who heard only one Hadīth on the topic directly from the Messenger of Allāh (peace and blessings be upon him). However, in our situation, that is centuries later and with knowledge of two narrations on the topic, such as the narration of Zayd ibn ThābitMake wudū from what has touched the fire[18] and the narration of Ibn ‘Abbās,The Prophet partook of three morsels from meat and bread, after which he performed Salāt without renewing wudū” [19]

Each Sahābī has taken their respective narrations directly from the Prophet. Thus, it is not permissible for any of them to delay in their practice upon what they witnessed, just as al-Subkī mentioned.

However, those who came later and found both narrations will undoubtedly have to find factors that give preference to one narration above the other, such as the narration of Jābir, “the last action of the Prophet was to not make wudū from that which touched the fire.” [20]

Accordingly, the situation of the one who did not hear directly from the Prophet will differ from the situation of the one who “assumes he is in front in front of the Prophet and he heard it directly from him.”

 The one who will not practice upon one of the narrations will practice upon the other narration knowing that there are two narrations on the topic. As for the one who heard it directly, he will also practice upon one of the narrations but without knowledge of the other narration, due to which he will practice upon what he heard.

Thus, Ibn ‘Abbās witnessed the Messenger of Allāh (peace and blessings be upon him) partake three morsels of meat after which he performed Salāt without renewing his wudū.
When Abū Hurayrah narrated to him the Hadīth, “make wudū from what has touched the fire”,
Ibn ‘Abbās did not practice upon it, because of what he witnessed himself and giving preference over what he heard through an intermediary. It cannot be said to Ibn ‘Abbās, “assume that you are in front of the Prophet…” and it cannot be said, “How can you delay practicing upon what has reached you from the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).
This reminds us of another incident of Ibn ‘Abbās, which has a great lesson in the discussion at hand.

Imām Ahmad narrates:
‘Urwah ibn Zubayr told Ibn ‘Abbās (Allāh be pleased with them), “O Ibn ‘Abbās, you have led the people astray.” He asked, “O ‘Urayyah,[21] how is that?” He said, “You are giving the verdict that when the people make tawāf, they come out of ihram, whereas Abū Bakr and ‘Umar would make the talbiyah of Hajj and would remain in the state of ihram until the day of Nahr.”
Ibn ‘Abbās said, “Rather, you have gone astray by this. I tell you of the Hadīth of the Prophet and you are telling me about Abū Bakr and ‘Umar!” ‘Urwah said, “Undoubtedly, Abū Bakr and ‘Umar were more knowledgeable than you about the Prophet.” [22]

This is our answer to those who are calling for the abandonment of the jurisprudence of Abū Hanīfah, Mālik, al-Shāfi‘ī, Ahmad, in lieu of the jurisprudence of the Sunnah and Qur’ān (Fiqh al-Sunnah wa ‘l-Kitāb) or whatever title it may have.

We will say that we are not happy with you as a substitute for them (i.e. the Imāms) as they were more knowledgeable about the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).
Rather, it is incorrect to say “more knowledgeable” because there is no comparison between you and them in knowledge. Our zeal to adhere to the Sunnah has prompted us to practice according to their understanding of the blessed Sunnah.

Did Allah Commanded Us to Follow Anyone Besides His Messenger?

[As was mentioned above, this objection comprises of two parts.]

The second part of the objection is “We are commanded to follow the Messenger of Allah; Allah never commanded us to follow so and so.” We say to such a person that the implications of your statement is that the Imāms of Islām, who have impressed on the rigid adherence to the Sunnah and that leaving it academically or practically is crookedness, loss and deviation.

Moreover, the implications of your statement is that these Imāms were not upon guidance and the path of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) due to which you wish to follow the Prophet through a different path.

It seems as though you consider them as such, due to what you have heard from those who reject following the four madhhabs based on the verse of Qur’ān, “they have taken their priests and rabbis as gods besides Allāh.” 

Thereafter they mention the Hadīth of ‘Adī ibn Hātim wherein he told the Messenger of Allāh, “They do not worship them” and the Messenger of Allāh responded, “Why not? They made lawful for them the unlawful and made unlawful for them the lawful and the people followed them. That is their worship of them.”

Thus, they tell those who make taqlīd, “You have taken so and so as gods besides Allāh: they make lawful for you and unlawful!”
What a gross misinterpretation of the speech of Allāh. Undoubtedly, the Imāms of Islām attempted their utmost to establish the truth as they understood it from the Qur’ān and Sunnah. As for the priests and rabbis, they would interpolate the divine scriptures to secure their worldly objectives.

It is necessary to review the statements of the Imāms mentioned in the opening of the book, such as Imām Abū Hanīfah’s statement, “The abandonment of the Sunnah is deviance and acquiring knowledge without it is corruption.”

These Imāms adhered more strictly to the Sunnah than the minds of their supporters can fathom. They simply conveyed to the people the instructions and prohibitions of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah), just as a mu’dhdhin repeats the Takbīrs of the Imām for the people in back rows during prayer.

If you ask:
I want to understand the rulings of my religion based on evidence and I fail to understand this particular ruling according to the view of Imām Abū Hanīf. However, I understand it according to the view of Imām al-Shāfi‘ī. Since, I am not content on practicing an action until I understand the evidence, is there leeway for me to practice on the Shāfi‘ī Madhhab?”

The answer is that the underlying cause of shifting from one madhhab to another is one of the following:
The tqalīd was due to certain circumstances that befell the muqallid. There is no problem with this.
One wishes to seek the concessions of the different madhhabs. This is impermissible.
Because of  research and ijtihād in a particular ruling: thus, it will be checked:
If the person in reference fulfils the relevant prerequisites for such a task i.e. giving preference between the evidences of the jurists, and is unprejudiced, then there is no objection with this. Rather, this is an object of pride for Islāmic jurisprudence and Muslim scholars. How can one object to this countless latter-day scholars, have done so, let alone early scholars, such as al-Nawawī, Ibn al-Salāh, al-‘Izz ibn ‘Abd al-Salām et al. (may Allah have mercy on them all).
Even ‘Allāmah Zāhid al-Kawtharī, who despite being criticized as a fanatical adherent of the Hanafī madhhab, left the opinion of Imām Abū Hanīfah in an issue of Waqf, and chose the opinion of the majority because it was supported by authentic narrations and the practice of the Sahābah.

Similarly, in his voluminous work, I’lā’ al-Sunan, ‘Allāmah Zafar Ahmad al-‘Uthmānī has in many instances left the established view of the Hanafī madhhab, despite his strict adherence to the madhhab throughout his book.

However, if he lacks the necessary conditions and is bias in his research, as is the condition of these arrogant pseudo-scholars who violate the respect of the Salaf by claiming to ascribe to them, then this is deviation and disputation. This is what we disapprove of and give no scope for anyone to do, regardless of the labels and titles attached to his name.

We tell these deceived people that shifting from the Hanafī madhhab to the Shāfī‘ī madhhab in this issue will lead to shifting to the Mālikī madhhab, for example, in another issue, and to the Hanbalī madhhab in another issue, until he returns to Hanafī madhhab in a fourth issue or even opts for an opinion from an abandoned school of jurisprudence outside of the four madhhabs.

It was this type of shifting that ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azīz was referring to when he said, “Whoever makes his religion a matter of disputation, will constantly change his view.

Once a person by the name of Abū‘l-Juwayriyyah, who was accused of al-Irjā’ [postponement] came to Imām Mālik and said, “O Abū‘Abd Allah, listen to my view and let me argue with you over it.” Imām Mālik asked him, “And if you silence me?” he replied, “You will follow me.” Imām Mālik said, “If I silence you?” he said, “I will follow you.” Imām Mālik said, “And if a third person comes and silences us both.” He said, “We will follow him.” Imām Mālik said, “Allāh sent Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) with one religion and you wish to constantly shift. ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azīz said, “Whoever makes his religion a matter of disputation, will constantly shift his view.”[23]

Thus, the one who claims to follow evidence in a manner other than following the Imāms will eventually opt for an opinion no one ever adhered to without even realizing. Even worse, he will claim that he is assisting the Sunnah and spreading its message. This stance will pave the way to what proceeds it, which Imām Mālik beautifully notes:

Submit to the jurists and do not dispute with them. If we were to follow every person who was a better debater, we fear that we would eventually reject what Jibrā’īl brought. [24]

In addition, your claim of understanding the evidence of this ruling according to Imām al-Shāfi‘ī and not Imam Abū Hanīfah is similar to the condition of those scholars who left the madhhab of Imām al-Shāfi‘ī and practiced on what they considered to be authentic due the authenticity of the Hadīth in that regard. Rather, your claim is identical to their claim, and you have seen the consequences of that. Allah be pleased with Sufyān ibn ‘Uyaynah who said, “Submitting to the jurists is protection in religion.” [25]

It should be noted that Imām Mālik, Sufyān ibn ‘Uyaynah, and Ibn Wahb, concur on the necessity of referring to the jurists otherwise a person is in danger in his religion. It was for this reason that the scholars of Hadīth understood the value of Fiqh and the Fuqahā’, and they would encourage their students to engage in Fiqh and accompany the Imams of Fiqh.

A person came to Zuhayr Ibn Mu‘āwiyah, so Zuhayr asked him, “Where have you come from?”
He replied, “From Abū Hanīfah.”
Zuhayr said, “Your visit to Abū Hanīfah for one day is more beneficial for you than coming to me for one month.”[26]

In al-Hāwī, Imām al-Suyūtī [d. 911 AH] mentions:

The elders mention, “A Hadīth scholar without Fiqh is a like a pharmacist; he possesses the medicine but lacks the knowledge of what their used for; a jurist without Hadīth is like a physician; he understands the usage of the medicine but does not possess it[27]


[1] As we learn from the answer al-Shāfī‘ī gave to al-Humaydī when he asked if he was going to practice on a particular narration that he related. Al-Shafī‘ī responded, “Did you see me exit from a church with a crucifix on my neck due to which I would listen to Hadīth of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him), yet not practice on it?”
[2] Ibn Rajab, Sharh ‘Ilal al-Tirmidhī, 413:1
[3] Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, Jāmi‘ Bayān al-‘Ilm, 130:2
[4] Ibn Rajab, Sharh ‘Ilal al-Tirmidhī, 413:1
[5] Al-Khatīb, al-Faqīh wa ‘l-Mutafaqqih, 81:2
[6] Sūrat al-A‘rāf, verse 158
[7] Al-Tirmidhī, al-Sunan, 372:3
[8] Al-Khatīb, al-Faqīh wa ‘l-Mutafaqqih, 81:2
[9] A similar report is mentioned in al-Tamhīd of Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, 29:1
[10] Al-Qādī ‘Iyād, Tartīb al-Madārik, 66:1
[11] Ibn Taymiyyah, al-Musawwadah, 530
[12] Al-Asfahānī, Hilyat al-Awliyā’, 325:4
[13] Al-Khattābī, Ma‘ālim al-Sunan, 3:1
[14] Ibn al-Qayyim, I’lām al-Muwaqqi‘īn, 44:1
[15] Al-Dhahabī, Siyar A‘lām al-Nubalā’, 191:18
[16] Al-Saymarī, Akhbār Abī Hanīfah wa Ashābih, 110
[17] Al-Taqī al-Subkī, Ma‘ā Qawl al-Imām, 107
[18] Muslim, Sahīh Muslim, 282:1
[19] Ibid. 284:1
[20] Abū Dāwūd, al-Sunan, 241:1
[21] The diminutive of ‘Urwah
[22] Ahmad, al-Musnad, 252:1
[23] Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, al-Intiqā’, 33
[24] Al-Sha‘rānī, al-Mīzān al-Kubrā, 51:1
[25] Al-Qurashī, al-Jawāhir al-Mudīiyyah, 453:1
[26] Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, al-Intiqā’, 207
[27] Al-Suyūtī, al-Hāwī, 398:2

Muhammad `Awwāmah was born in Aleppo in Syria in 1940 (1358). He began his journey and quest for knowledge in 1953 (1373) when he regularly attended the lessons conducted by Shaykh Muhammad al-Salqīnī. In his early days as a student, he studied under Shaykh `Abdullāh Sirājuddīn. From 1958 (1378), he began studying under Shaykh `Abdul Fattāh Abū Ghudda. He eventually became known for his affiliation to these two illustrious and erudite scholars and he is regarded as their foremost student.


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.

Differences between
al-Albani, Ibn ‘Uthaymin and Ibn Baz
In Fiqh and Aqida

This is a compilation in over 800 pages highlighting both the minor and major differences of opinion that came about from the neo-ijtihadic positions of the three most well known proponents of the modern day “Salafisect – namely, the three recent father figures of the movement:

Nasir al-Albani (d.1999),
‘Abd al-’Aziz ibn Baz (d.1999). 
 Muhammad ibn Salih al-’Uthaymin (d.2001)

All three were (and still are) held in high regard by most forms of contemporary “Salafism”, which itself is a movement that has copious subdivisions and rival factions  - with conflict ridden disunity  ubiquitously present amongst themselves.

They started out (and factions among them still continue) calling for the abandonment of the Four Sunni Schools of Islamic Law, namely, the Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i and Hanbali Madhhabs; all of which emanated from the tangible time of the pious predecessors (al-Salaf al-Salihin), and continue to flourish vibrantly right up till this very day, all over the Muslim world, by the decree of Allah ta’ala. 

Indeed, most Sunni scholars and lay people are still attached to these acknowledged Madhhabs that have stood via the test of time.  Most scholars, especially, since the post-Salaf period have also been linked to the adherence of these recognised Sunni Madhhabs.

Their call to abandon taqlid, which is in reality the following of, and placing trust in the qualified scholarship of the leading and recognised Madhhabs (and not simply “blind following” of random or incompetent individuals), has lead them to use the slogan:

 “A return to the Qur’an and the ‘authentic’ Sunna”

 This catchphrase may sound alluring to the laity who have not generally had the intense training to comprehend how major scholars of the past and present came to derive rulings (ijtihad) from the Sources of the Shari’a (Qur’an, Sunna, Ijma’ and Qiyas), or the precise and nuanced methodology (Usul) utilised by the most elite of scholars (Mujtahid Imams).

 Indeed, a little thought would have lead the sound mind to conclude that all the Mujtahid Imams, and their leading followers, not only had full access to the Qur’an and Sunna over time, but also had the acknowledged, qualified scholarship, academic rigour, and piety to extract rulings from the named Sources of Shari’a.

The question is‘Was there ever a need to make an endeavour to try and reinvent the wheel, when more than 1200 years have passed since the inception of the leading Sunni Madhhabs with their affiliated scholarship, century after century?’
The opponents of the Sunni Madhhabs imprudently contend that this is not only a “good idea”, but something which is a must and an absolute necessity. Such a mentality thus leads to the blustering call to abandon taqlid of all the recognised Madhhabs.

The natural and thought provoking question that arises for the advocates of this incongruous call is

 ‘Why do the very authorities you look up to so much – without much analytical verification (tahqiq) on an individual basis – have such a colossal amount of divergence of opinion (ikhtilaf) between themselves, if they are the major references and authorities who promoted this very call of adhering to the “Qur’an and Sunna” in their time?!’

The work below is by proponents linked to Salafism and so it is to be regarded as being an accurate representation of where and why these three named authorities of theirs differed on many legal questions (masa’il) as well as some matters linked to Islamic beliefs (‘aqa’id).

The very fact that these individuals had such a great number of differences in extracting rulings from the Sources of the Shari’a should lead to alarm bells ringing in the inquisitive readers’ minds, for the simple reason that, it has never been possible to unite all Muslim scholars on just one specific, unified opinion, on every single legal question that has ever arisen in the past, or will be in need of answering in the future.

 This call to reject the Sunni Madhhabs and attempt to reformulate all opinions on the mantra of following the “strongest opinion” as propounded by contemporaries attached to “Salafismis thus not only a fallacy but an abysmal failure on their part, and it is in effect a call that was non-existent, even in the time of the pious Imams from the generation of the Salaf as-Salihin.

 Those who are keen to see how and why the major Imams of early times themselves came to derive legal rulings and what lead to agreement or disagreement may consult the work known as Bidayatul Mujtahid wa Nihaytul Muqtasid by Qadi ibn Rushd (d. 595 AH). 

The link provided for the Bidayatul-Mujtahid is to the English, printed edition.  One may wish to read the English rendition of the Bidayatul Mujtahid as uploaded in the public domain by others:

The work showing the vast array of differences between the three named, contemporary head-figures of “Salafism” is called -  al-Ijaz fi ba’dh ma Ikhtalafa fihi al-Albani wa ibn ‘Uthaymin wa ibn Baz

(A Brief Summary with regards to some of that in which al-Albani, ibn ‘Uthaymin, and ibn Baz differed).



Questions for any
la madh-habi 

Q: So you derive correctly from the Qur’an and the Sunnah for yourself right?
DIY: yes akheee, strictly Qur'an and Sunnah, the sources! 

Q: So how do you understand the hadeeth of the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wasallam when he said “Pray as you have seen me pray?” – Have you seen the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wassallam pray? How do you know how the Prophet sal Allau alayhi wasallam prayed if you have not seen him?
DIY: The description is given in the hadeeth akheee, we take from the hadeeth to understand the Qur'an

Q: O.K, I agree, the description is within the Ahadeeth, however which Ahaadeeth and did you actually go and find these Ahaadeeth for yourself, or just you just simply pick up the book “Kayfiyyah Salat un-Nabi” i.e. How the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wasallam prayed authored by ‘Abdul Azeez Bin ‘Abdullah Bin Baz and then make taqleed of it?
DIY: Akhee, I do not do taqleed of nobody, not even 'Abdullah b. Baz

Q: Do you understand ‘Arabic?
DIY: No but I try in sha Allah

Q: Then how do you go to the Ahaadeeth and determine which ahaadeeth are strong, good, weak and fabricated? Or is it a case of Simon says? or better yet – Albaani says? Which, needless to say, would again be taqleed.
DIY: Usul ul-Ahaadeeth Akhee, Bilal Philips wrote a book on the subject and again I do not follow any scholar akhee, just pure Qur'an and Sunnah 

Q: O.k, for arguments sake, its coming up to Salah and we have five minutes. We both agree that purification is a pre-requestite for Salah, and yet my taps are not working and my sink is blocked. The only water I have is a sink full of soapy water, a toilet that flushes and a bottle of diluted orange juice. Which one should I purify myself with and why and what is the evidence for that?
DIY: The ayah from Surat ul-Ma'idah tells us wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and wash your feet to the ankles. We use clean water!

Q: The only problem is, the ayah from surat ul-Maa’idah that you have quoted does not desribe the wudu as I and and every Muslim knows it, including yourself. For example do you do wudu in the following order? Do you wash your face then your hands? or do you wash your hands then your face? or is there something we are misunderstood here? How do you know which order? How much time do we have left on the clock to decide these matters, hurry, there is six sittah to sort through! which would take somebody months to read, let alone study. Furthermore, do you when washing your hands do it up to the elbow all in the same action before washing the face? and thirdly, I do not see in the Arabic Qur’an the term wash your feet up to the ankles. What I see is the Arabic “wa-amsahuw bi-ru’usi-kum wa arjulakum” in which wa arjulakum litreally means “your legs”. Do you wash your whole legs before Salah? How is this ayah understood and why? What is the evidence? Remember, theres three minutes left to Salah…tick tock.
DIY: Erm, yes I can see why you see this as a dilema, Allah knows best Akhee, we just follow Qur'an and Sunnah and He be pleased with us in sha Allah, we cannot follow no man blindly like our forefathers and the mushrikeen did, it is haram

If you only knew that the four madh-habs have already compiled all of these answers that have left you be-dazzled and struggling to present the masaa’il to my questions sufficiently. You see all a Hanafi has to do is put the Qur’an and kitaab al-Athar down on the table and thats the evidences for his madh-hab right there. The same with the Maaliki, all he has to do is put put the Qur’an and al-Muwatta on the table and thats the evidences for his madh-hab right there. The same with the Shaafi, all he has to do is put the Qur’an and Umdat us-Saalik down on the table and thats the evidences for his madh-hab right there. The same with the Hanbali, all he has to do is place put the Qur’an and Umdat al-Ahkaam down on the table and thats the evidences for his madh-hab right there. What we would have done then is proven our evidences for our madh-hab that are strictly Qur’an and Sunnah, and since all four Imaams and their priciples in deriving from the Qur’an and the Sunnah are from the Salaf, we can also boast we are upon the Qur’an and the Sunnah AND the understanding of the first three generations. Can you boast that, or is your argument destroyed?
DIY: erm akhee ? I .. I ... will ask my teachers and get back to you!!

Today we have the Qur’an, tafaseer, multiple volumes of ahaadeeth and commentary at the click of a button. We are able to reference like never before. Now, your argument is taqleed is wrong and we should follow the Qur’an and the Sunnah by looking up the evidences for ourselves, yet how did the 4th century plus laymen find such evidences and practice them? As they did not have access to Shaykh ul-Islam
DIY: They would ask the people of knowledge akhee

Good answer, they would ask the people of knowledge, I agree a 100% with that. Your only problem now is explaining to me why these people of Knowledge was upon madh-habs and would teach the laymen the masaa’il from their madh-habs. Can you care to explain this fact.

For example Imaam Quduri was a Hanafi, Imaam Bukhaari was a Shaafi, Imaam Barbahaari was a Hanbali, Imaam Nawawi was a Shaafi, Qadi Iyad ibn Musa was a Maaliki, Shaykh Abd ul-Qaadir, Imaam Abdur Rahmaan ibn al-Jawzi, Imaam Muwaffaq ud-Deen Ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdasi, Ibn Taymiyah, Ibn Qayyum al-Jawzi, Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali are Hanbalis and Ibn Katheer and Imaam Dhahabi are Shaafi. Can you at least explain why such great scholars did taqleed of the four Imaams? Whereas you claim their actions are wrong?

To conclude, this argument with you my brother, is it best to follow the Salaf and the early scholars who all compiled the masaa’il for each madh-hab and the 1400 years of scholarship and knowledge that has been passed unbroken, or is it better to follow somebody who popped his head up in the 11th century and claimed “hey, the true knowledge of Islam has been lost since the first three generations, follow me or be killed as a mushrik”?



Wahhabi say:

We only follow Qur’an and Sunnah directly” ?

(Edited by ADHM)