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Hanafi Salafism: An Oxymoron?

The Islamic Schools of Jurisprudence (madhabs) were formed over a thousand years ago at a time when shari’ah (Islamic law) was practised and Islamic legal theory flourished. It was during this period that jurisprudence took shape as an Islamic science, flourishing as discussion and debate on controversial juristic issues became widespread.

With scholars spread throughout the Islamic lands, individual jurists would attempt to deal with the array of new customs and problems found in their own respective regions. As is inevitable, certain scholars would come to prominence, their knowledge illuminating others as well as setting a yardstick for jurists to come. Consequently, the reputation of certain jurists (fuqaha) would attract students, not only from that specific region but from across the Islamic world. Furthermore, scholars in agreement with the principles of the jurist would also join him so as to create a legal paradigm, this being the starting point for the formulation of the Schools of Thought. As the Schools multiplied, various juristic manuals were compiled, many a time the opinions of the jurist was noted and recorded by his students. Across the Islamic empire a number of scholars were renowned for their grasp of Islamic law and theological understanding, jurists such as Malik ibn Anas, Al Awza’i, Al Laith ibn Sa’d, Sufyan Al Thawri, and Abu Hanifah. Later generations included Muhammad ibn Hasan Al Shaibani, Abu Yusuf, Ibn Al Qasim, Al Shafi’i and Ahmad ibn Hanbal.

The schools of the early jurists came to be powerful institutions enriching the Islamic legal system providing it with many functions, one of these being the ability to deal with unprecedented issues from various angles allowing future jurists to deal with any given issue comprehensively regardless of time or place. However, a brief look into the history of the Schools of law clearly demonstrates that there have been periods in Islamic history where key protagonists belonging to various schools would instigate negative partisanship viewing the schools as ends in themselves rather than merely as a means to understand the Islamic sources of authority. As a result of this distorted outlook, the schools subsequently became institutions of disunity which in turn led to the stagnation of the Muslim ummah (nation) as the development of Islamic thought and law had now become nearly non-existent. This rigid view of the schools of thought led to many adherents viewing other schools with suspicion and reproach, and thus, the mutual understanding and open-mindedness that once existed in the formulative years had now been lost.

In contemporary times, such rigidity has continued whereby adherents of a school of law continue to treat others with suspicion even when there is a legitimate difference of opinion. This is seen no more so than in the staunch opposition found directed by the Madhabis (those who remain ardent in strictly adhering to one school of thought) towards the Salafis, viewing them with contempt although in reality there exists no grounds for doing so. Similarly, there are Salafis who incorrectly claim that the Hanafis have relegated the Qur’an and Sunnah below the sayings of Abu Hanifah – something which clearly demonstrates the Salafis’ ignorance. The Madhabis have advocated a strict adherence to one school of Islamic law. The salafis on the other hand have tended to not to focus on schools of thought, but the sources of Islamic authority themselves. Misunderstandings on both sides have led to a sustained conflict between Salafism and Madhabism which is continuously exacerbated by ignorance, arrogance and insincerity.

This article is merely an attempt to bring about discussion between Salafis and Madhabis with the intention to instigate mutual understanding, unity, and the revival of Islamic thought.

We note firstly that both sides use terminology sparingly without the slightest inclination as to what these terms actually mean. Over time the usage of words tend to warp their meanings and we come to the point where two people use the same term yet argue two very different things. Thus it is clearly apparent that there needs to be some clarification as to the definitions of Salafism and Madhabism, whereby many disagreements take place due to ignorance of their defining characteristics. Aristotle once said, “How many a dispute could have been deflated into a single paragraph if the disputants had dared to define their terms.”

The most widespread school of thought in the world today is that of Imam Abu Hanifah (may Allah have mercy on him). The majority of British Muslims are also Hanafis given that most have a South Asian origin and South Asians are predominantly Hanafi. Yet, the term ‘Hanafi’ proves to be allusive for many of those who ascribe themselves as such, since adherence to the Hanafi School of law can be in many different ways and its ambiguity raises the question as to whether ‘following’ Abu Hanifah’s jurisprudence means to adhere to the end result of his evidence-based reasoning (ijhtihad), or the actual methodology (usul) by which he arrived at a particular outcome.

In the same way, many Salafis are not entirely clear as to what Salafism entails, assuming that it is simply to follow the Qur’an and Sunnah – a problematic definition since it implies that others do not. There are none who claim that Abu Hanifah or any other great Imam for that matter did not adhere to the Qur’an and Sunnah – he (may Allah have mercy on him) was one of the four major Imams who have been accepted by the ummah. Thus, it is preposterous to assert, or even imply for that matter, that he disregarded the Islamic sources of Law, and likewise, it is also incorrect to claim that his understanding of Islam had detracted from the way of the Companions. Scholars such as Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Al Qayyim who are widely accepted as having been major proponents of Salafism often quoted and endorsed many views of Abu Hanifah. Ibn Taymiyyah stated that many a time he would ask his opponents to prove whether he had ever contradicted the way and views of the first three generations of Muslims (which Abu Hanifah belonged to). Furthermore, Saudi Arabian scholars are characterised by many as the archetypal Salafis, yet they too endorse many distinctive opinions of Imam Abu Hanifah as they do other Imams. In fact, there is no single genuine Salafi who rejects the four schools of thought.

In examining the methodology of all the great Imams and scholars, we may conclude that they all had the same approach which can be summarised as follows: 

  1. They consider the Qur’an and Sunnah as the eternal and infallible sources of legislation.
  2. They refer to Arabic language as the main tool to interpret the texts of legislation.
  3. They accept the consensus of the Ummah as binding and therefore they see it as a source of legislation.
  4. They strive to follow the truth insofar as they are able to.

There are a number of statements where the four Imams clearly state that in the case of incongruity between their opinions and a hadith, the hadith should always take precedence. A key Quranic instruction is the verse,

“O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger, and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination.”[1]

Problems have occurred when both Madhabis and Salafis blindly and fanatically adhere to the injunctions of their respective Imams without considering the methodology that accompanies them. Consideration of these fundamental principles, the foundations upon which each Imam built his conclusion, should not be ignored. To illustrate this, we find that great scholars within each school would adopt opinions different to those of their respective Imams. For instance, Imam Abu Yusuf, one of the main students of Imam Abu Hanifah, opined as his teacher did with regards to the permissibility of trading in trusts/endowments (waqf). However, when he visited Madinah, Ismail ibn Ulayyah narrated to him that Umar ibn Al Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) gave away his shares in Khaibar (which were part of a trust/endowment) as charity and never sold them. Imam Abu Yusuf altered his position and said, ‘Had Imam Abu Hanifah known of this, he would have adopted it’.

Another example is taken from the great Maliki scholar Ibn Abd Al Barr (368- 463) who stated that Zakah is obligatory on figs although Imam Malik in the Muwatta’ considered it non-applicable as it did not fit his definition of a commodity upon which Zakat is due. Ibn Abd Al Barr said, “Had Imam Malik known that figs can be stored without being spoilt, he would have declared Zakat obligatory on it.”[2] Examples of this nature are numerous and the underlying principle is that true adherence to a school is where one follows the methodology and approach of his Imam rather than merely following each verdict as an isolated ruling. Some may argue that it is impractical for the laity to understand the principles by which the Imam of a school of thought derived his opinions. The response to this is to point out that the matter is not for the laity to study and understand the detailed principles in Islamic Law, but instead for them to be open-minded and possess the flexibility that allows them to adopt other opinions once they are satisfied that it is closest to the truth (while remaining tolerant of other orthodox views). However, those who study Islamic law can, to a certain extent, understand the origins of the legal opinion and the method by which it was derived, and thus will be held accountable by Allah accordingly.

It should also be emphasised that following a particular school does not free a person from putting any effort to follow the truth that has been revealed by Allah the Most High. Allah will not hold people accountable for their lack of adherence to a specific school, but rather for their identification of the correct ruling in any particular matter. Therefore, once an adherent of a school of thought becomes aware of another opinion in opposition to the one adopted by their school of thought, they have been afforded a good enough grounds to investigate further – it is incorrect for anyone to assume that they are not obliged to investigate merely because the opinion does not source from their school.

In conclusion, it is perfectly possible for a Hanafi to ascribe to Salafism whilst a Salafi may be an adherent of a school of thought being convinced of its methodology.  To be a Hanafi is to ascribe to a certain understanding of the Qur’an and Sunnah, whereas Salafism is to ascribe to an Islamic methodology and outlook, namely that of the earliest generations of Islam. There is no contradiction between the two since they are not in the same category. One is to follow an interpretation of the Islamic sources of authority – fiqh; and the other is to have a distinguished manner by which to practise one’s faith and approach its different aspects – manhaj. Once this is understood, we can call for a revival of the relationship between adherents of the various schools whereby they should strive to follow the same methodology of their Imams. There also needs to be an endeavour where those who attribute themselves to Salafism need to understand what truly is blameworthy when it comes to following Schools of Thought.

Furthermore, we should not limit Salafism to a method of deriving Islamic law, but instead as a way by which to follow the early generations in all aspects of the faith such as believing in and preserving the Orthodox Islamic creed (aqidah), worshipping Allah, keeping away from sins, maintaining morals and etiquettes, and implementing Islamic rules of engagement with Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

It is up to us to achieve a breakthrough in uniting Muslims, something which will undoubtedly ensure a lasting revival since we learn from history that the recovery of a nation is preceded by a revitalisation in its thoughts and ideas. Likewise, such a revival equips the ummah with the necessary tools to free its thinking from narrow-mindedness, partisanship, shallowness, ignorance, and an inferiority complex.  Allah says,

“And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah, and be not divided among yourselves, and remember Allah’s Favour on you, for you were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together, so that, by His  Grace, you became brethren – you were on the brink of a pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus Allah makes His signs clear to you, that you may be guided.”[3]

 

 


Notes
Source: www.islam21c.com
[1] Quran 4:59
[2] See: Tafsir Al Qurtubi (Al Jami’ li Ahkam Al Qur’an); surah Al Ma’idah, verse 141.
[3] Qur’an 3:103

About Shaikh (Dr) Haitham Al-Haddad

Dr. Haitham al-Haddad is a jurist and serves as a judge for the Islamic Council of Europe. He has studied the Islamic sciences for over 20 years under the tutelage of renowned scholars such as the late Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia as well as the retired Head of the Kingdom's Higher Judiciary Council. He specialises in many of the Islamic sciences and submitted his doctoral thesis on Islamic jurisprudence concerning Muslim minorities. Shaikh Haitham is highly respected having specialised knowledge in the field of fiqh, usul al-fiqh, maqasid al-shari'ah, ulum al-Qur’an, tafsir, aqidah, and fiqh al-hadith. He provides complex theories which address the role of Islamic jurisprudence within a western environment whilst also critically re-analysing the approach of Islamic jurists in forming legal rulings (ifta’) within a western socio-political context. He has many well known students most of whom are active in dawah and teaching in the West. The shaikh is an Islamic jurist (faqih) and as such is qualified to deliver verdicts as a judge under Islamic law, a role he undertakes at the Islamic Council of Europe as Islamic judge and treasurer. Dr Haitham al-Haddad also sits on various the boards of advisors for Islamic organisations, mainly in the United Kingdom but also around the world.

75 comments

  1. Excellent, what a blog it is! This website gives useful facts to us, keep
    it up.

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  3. Masoodul Hameed

    Alone, we will be judged!
    Allah says in Quran that every human will be brought alone in His presence on the day of judgement !!!

    Doing what?

    Presenting his conclusion he(he, as an INDIVIDUAL)reached and for what reason from all the ideas floating around him in the world.

    If his reason and his efforts for those conclusion was exclusively and sincerely to reach towards his Creator and Master, but he made mistake and he drew or followed wrong conclusion, hopefully his Creator and his Master would forgive his mistake, for his efforts and sincerity, in looking for the truth.

    However if he simply followed those conclusions reached by others (his elders and people gone before him) and they were wrong conclusions then on what basis Allah would forgive his mistaken conclusion. He neither put in any effort nor his sincerity was towards Allah. His sincerity was towards those whom he trusted and followed blindly. Allah mentions this phenomenon in Quran.

    So every human is supposed to accept his own personal responsibility in reaching towards his Creator and Master. Allah has made this task easy for him by sending His Messengers and His Message in this world. But again it remains his own responsibility to accept the Message and Messenger by his own efforts and his sincerity ONLY towards his Creator and Master.

    Rest is all extra baggage! Better to be done without!!

  4. Illham Jamali

    An endless bottomless pit
    Oh Muslims, I have never seen a more sad people than us. We’re the greatest example for the world that simply being idealistic means nothing at all. There are people who walk the earth saying God doesn’t exist while we’re here fighting over such matters. The religion has come a long time ago, what the hell are we doing discussing these matters as if we doubt the other’s faith. Then to the extent that we need a shaikh to speak on the topic is such a tragedy.

    It’s called practical idealism. But our Islam doesn’t go any further than the light being reflected from the books into our eyes huh? Leave meditation alone, we don’t even acknowledge our own blemishes let alone sparking arguments with other muslims. But it’s okay. There’s a whole other movement instilling the virtues of the extraordinary in progress anyways, and it’s not by Muslims. The only difference between us and Banu israel is prayer and the mention of the most blessed man in the world(s).

    If only we had more bright thinkers like the people of this site. Great job, amazing article, really diggin’ it.

    Enough of my ranting ^_^ Cheers to Humanistic Psychology and Asalamu’alaikum to the Muslims. Remember: The meaning to the ahadith and Qur’an aren’t just in the apparent meaning. They go much, much, much deeper. Our jurists(r) realized this, we don’t.

    Wasalam ^_^

  5. Knowledge is about change.
    Sheikh,

    I think one of the problems here is that we need to recognise that we are always following an individuals opinion. Where for example you have quoted that Abu Yusuf etc later retracted one of Imam Abu Hanifahs rulings, yes I agree this shows a freedom of thought, but it also shows that they were still working within the confines of the METHODOLOGY of that school of thought so nothing has changed here.

    Also, we need to understand that EVERY scholar has his / her own methodology. This is why the hadiths within Bukhari are not the same as Hadiths within Muslim – because they had their own methodology of how to determine hadith were authentic. Consequently, no matter what you do you are ALWAYS following a person and never directly following Quran and Sunnah. You are always relying on a persons judgment.

    Also, I think the article is ALMOST suggesting that Fuqaha and jurists no longer need to to follow any school since they can now determine the ‘truth’ for themselves. What people dont understand is that no matter what you do, even if you were the greatest jurist the world has ever seen, you would never be able to come arrive at ONE version of following Quran and Sunnah. The complexity of Quran and Hadith ensures that you will always be a minority or majority opinion. Consequently, you’re ALWAYS following a school of thought, even if it is your own.

    Finally and my most significant point. There are currently 2 million muslims in the UK. In London Islamic knowledge is rampant everywhere, yet ironically there is no real change in the UK. To be a person of knowledge, whether hanafi or salafi is to exact change. Change within yourself, change amongst others. This is the purpose of Islamic knowledge. If a Sufi follows a madhab and his character and behaviour is better than any salafi in the UK, I would argue that the Sufi is following more Quran and Sunnah, regardless of the Salafu knows more. You see its not about knowledge, its about application. You can be Salafi all you like , or a Madhabi but the real question is how much have you changed. What is your conduct towards your parents, non-muslims, do you read qiyam etc. It is knowledge which is all-pervading, refining your character, eyes, ears and tongue. This is knowledge which reaches the heart and it is this which is Quran and Sunnah. As for everything else, this dispute will always exist, who is right, who is wrong and Allah swt knows best.

    • Assalaamu Alaikum
      This is a good comment, one of the most “decent” ones on the net!
      In my country, South Africa , there is such a great upheavel of talk about salafis, that I’m wondering if maybe I’m doing something wrong.
      Now the ignorant and rebellious muslims are using this to their advantage Shari advice is laughed at and discarded because the’ adviser is labelled a ” salafi”, and shaitaan is having a field day!
      Any sheikh that gives some advice that’s hard to digest is labelled, so we who grew up knowing we follow the hannafi school of thought, are wondering what’s going on!
      I’m trying to get some information about salafis and my head is paining at how digusting some muslims speak about other muslims when ultimately its only الله who knows who is correct.

      This article has given me some good understanding or I mysef would be sinning, shukrn …may الله reward you

  6. Follow Islam by looking the righteous followers but don’t take every opinion from one Imaam..after all, Imaams are ummati and not Messengers(alihimussalaam)
    Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarrakatuhu

    No, dear brothers & sisters…..

    …On one side my dear Hanafi brothers state that they should be muqallid because they are not mujtahid but they do something of choosing from amongst Imaams(May Allah subhanahu be merciful to them)and this is nothing but insult to others(rihamhumullah). We(Salafi/Ahle-Hadeeth) do not consider ourselves to be judges to judge our Aslaaf(Pious Predecessors) and appoint one amongst them to be our Imaam and reject others’ guidance. We love them, we respect them, we take all their opinions which are in accordance with Qur’an & Sunnah and for their short comings which they came across while deducing ruling from Qur’an and Sunnah, we humbly admit that they have erred.

    if you say that you take opinion of an Imaam provided it doesn’t go against any Qur’anic ayaat or sahi ahadith, we(Ahle Hadeeth) are with YOU but not to follow each and every word of an Imaam as though it is revealed by Allah to him,never, Allah reveals his aayaats only to his MESSENGERS(upon whom be peace and blessings of Allah subhana-wata’ala).However, why hanafi? why not Muhammadi?

    Let me be very clear about my faith, I being an Ahle-Hadeeth believes that we must use our intellect only to find the truth; What Allah subhanahu and Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasallam has commanded and once it’s clear then just follow it, whether it’s seems rational/reasonable or not. WE JUST HAVE TO FOLLOW IT!!!…

    To follow Islam you needn’t to be a scholar but you must possess the knowledge of basics tenets of Islam.

  7. dear brothers and sisters
    Asalaamu Alaikum

    No scholar today can compare to the four great imams. Regardless of what they look like or where they originate from. I therefore have come to the conclusion that following a madhab of any one of the schools of thought is vital. untill one reaches such rank…(mujtahid)?

    May the Almighty Allah guide us all on the straight path.

    p.s
    Why take the risk, stay smart and be on the safe side.

  8. Christ will follow…..?
    I wonder, Christ (PBUH) will follow Hanafi, Hambli, Shafai……. which school of thought, and if HE will follow Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) then WHY we Can’t? please can any Taqleed(Deen-Closed/Band) reply this?

  9. Tolerance by
    salam..i wish Salfi scholar teach their followers to have tolerance and respect for those who donot agree with their interpretation of rather then ‘converting muslims into to salafism muslim

  10. Spoken by a true salafi sheikh!
    Sawrwb, maybe some clarification on these points would extend the information.

    “The response to this is to point out that the matter is not for the laity to study and understand the detailed principles in Islamic Law, but instead for them to be open-minded and possess the flexibility that allows them to adopt other opinions once they are satisfied that it is closest to the truth (while remaining tolerant of other orthodox views).”

    How can the Lay person,with all good will, rely on the fatwa of a modern scholar whose repute is frankly never the same as Abu Hanifa or of those closely succeeding him who disiagreed with the Iamam (ra). This would imply that such a modern scholar has a) the tools of ijtihad of that madhab, or any other, b)new found evidence that the 1000 year old madhab never found. Such a position to me seems highly unlikely and any such new results when studied, come from a misunderstanding or changing in usool, or disregard for them from the new method that comes with a modern salafi scholar. The mistakes of some muhadditheen, although genuine, are still worrying enough to push the sincere believer from deviating from the dead to the living. The above paragraph pushes ones naffs to start to think about having the ability to differentiate and for the layman this is as impossible as coming to the fatwa! Any student of Noor al Iddah or any basic manual will be convinced by the arguments therin, and the usool and ahadith brought forward. This was the amazing quality of the real salafiyyah, these blessed generations, which no matter how much we like to label ourselves, we cannot compare to. The whole concept of following a madhab is to guard ourselves from our naffs and picking and choosing a ruling which we could never differentiate.

    More importantly, this leaves the door open for the one with just enough knowledge to read a hadith book, to find a Sahih hadith to present it alone in an attempt to persuade a layman who is told that he should “go with the strongest view” (usually with a hidden agenda!)

    Ibn Taymiyah reported that Imam Ahmed Ibn Hanbal used to:
    “Instruct the lay person to ask Ishaaq, Abu Obaid, Abu Thaur and Abu Mus’ab. However, he used to prohibit his own Companions like Abu Dawood. Uthman ibn Sa’eed, Ibrahim al-Harbi, Abu Bakr al-Athrum, Abu Zar’ah, Abu Hatim and Muslim (among others) to follow anyone. He would say to them:
    “You must follow the sources of the Qur’an and Sunnah.” Fatawa ibn Taymiyah: vol. 2, page 240. He was apparently Salafi, but his words betray the label one would like to impose on him. He would make the layman ask the scholars, and make the mujtahiddeen consult the suources.

    Abu Yusuf said: “The lay person must follow the jurists since he is not capable of understanding the Hadith independently”. Hidayah: vol. 1, page 226

    To fully appreciate the requirements just to fully comprehend a hadith are staggerring and scary when a mujtahid scratches the surface in terms of terms, histroy, context, language, isnad, verification, conflicts, then to compare it with other evidence from the reams of ahadith and tertiary information. The salaf all had ijma on taqleed of an imam. They only differed as to whether a mujtahid with the necessary tools to come to a ruling could then follow anothers. Imam Shafii and Ahmad said that it is unacceptable, and Abu Hanifa said that it is. Again, To accept that either of these giants in scholarship said this without ample evidence is to mock the religion insofar as qualified scholarship is concerned.

    I think this short piece muddies the water as a pose to clarifying it. I would recommend a book called “the legal status of following a madhab” By a modern scholar of the hanafi madhab, Taqi Usmani. It is a book of Quotes from the salaf, as all good books that deal with this type of “not new” argument are. As a note, I asked where on the scale between layman and Mujtahid mutlock Taqi Usmani is, from a sincere hanafi student, 1 being Abu Hanifa, and 7 being the Layman. He said 6, maybe 5 but probably 6. This is the true state of knowledge today, the sincere will attest that the best in the world are struggling to use the tools designed by the salaf, and the ignorant will attest that they have come up with a new way and they can use it any time they want!

  11. query!
    alhamdulillah very good article. u stated:
    [quote]”There is no contradiction between the two since they are not in the same category. One is to follow an interpretation of the Islamic sources of authority – fiqh; and the other is to have a distinguished manner by which to practise one’s faith and approach its different aspects – manhaj.”[/quote].

    from my understanding only an adept scholar can take the ‘manhaj’ (as u defined above). A lay person (or a student of knowledge) has no choice but to take the ‘fiqh’ only (or study the manhaj). wouldnt it be clearer if u differentiated between the scholar and lay person when explaining the above, e.g. an adept scholar who turns a blind eye to manhaj, and a lay person (or student) who tries playing with the manhaj??????

  12. More fuel
    Asalam all

    I wanted to say, the article is confusing and Ive known many Salafi
    brothers for years. However, after spending months with them, they
    really want to convert me from Hanafism to their way. I mean they
    play cool and they then hit you like tyson. Everything from our
    scholars, sufism, blindfollowing, Indian Islam has been thrown at me.
    They ‘pure way’ according to the Salaf? Amazing how not one of them
    has ever shown any wisdom in manners and real friendship. Pretty much
    like the tabligh jamat who are a inept group focusing on numbers and
    not strength. True, theres good in all of us, but to be called a grave
    worshipper or a mubtadi or mushrik is unreal. I have denunced many friends
    at Uni for being a Salafi, solely because their narrow view of the ummah.
    Saudi world or nothing to speak. Shocking thing is I knew a female saudi
    student from Madinah who glorified the EDL and wanted to march with them.
    Not something you would find in any Muslim in the UK what ever the level of
    faith.

    Scholars need to wake up, stop the money printing press and focus on their
    own faults first.

    Peace and out.

    Miah

  13. Abdullah Kundeeri

    The shaikhs view on Al Albani
    In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

    “He who is asked something he knows and conceals it will have a bridle of fire put on him on the Day of Resurrection”

    Assalamu alykum warahmatullahi wabarakaatu

    The hanafi oxymoron is somewhat an anomalous account which is idiosyncratic.
    If we look closely at the past 15-20 years there seems to be an echo of accolade for Muhammad Naasir-ud-Deen Al-Albani for his prudence and tenacity for the revival of Hadeeth and credence for the irrefutable notion of the pure salafi minhaj. Books composed by him have caused convoluted feelings for follows of a school of thought. This automony has caused a deep impetuous on how the layman upto this day has looked at general muslims, and caused a scalable decimated towards unification of the ummah.

    Follows of Al-Albani, till this day are fostered to think all hanafis are blind following and that Imam Abu Hanifa – rahmeemullah, was scholar with weakness and his works multifaceted with faults. How can Shaykh haithams short talk calm all the anomalies that have bifurcated families up to point when a son stalks to his ikhwaan ‘ My parents are brelvees, ahle bid’ah, asharites.. so on’.

    It is a anecdote to remember, that many people around the UK at one stage where taunted that they follow an Imam and not the prophet of Allah, salallahu alayhi wa’sallam. People where beaten on doorsteps of masaajids
    for being hanafis. Musallis were reticent yet stoic as they followed a classical imam who hadnt been belittled for centuries until this decade to such extremes.

    It is understood that shaikh Haitham is a looking for a panacea towards a common goal. But hasnt he overlooked the fact that works of Al-Albani is common as cornflakes in every loquacious imam and followers like himself.

    If we look closer at this banal argument one will release that strangley enough the salafis themselves are rifted and cantankerous. Imams selected from a blatantly elite and haughty regime. When their own country has shariah on a convivial term, it is also digressed and conducive to temperate aspects. Millions pumped to produce a streamline Islam to mix the east-west and stall muslims to levity in their deen. Going to the Haram in Makkah and Madinah is a clear insight how the irresolute leaders are profit driven, when the naas are unclear of ritual and indecipherable to simple tenents. The scholars need to wake up, face the mistakes their elders have made and be clear with the ummah. When we have the likes of racist regimes coming town by city to obliterate us, we need to look at the reasons of real failure. Interest ‘Riba’ in 99% of the muslim households in form of mortgages and spending, loaning. Major Sins prosaic in every home in the form of ‘Music, tv, internet – pornography, lack of segregation, free mixing’ Further on to our role in the UK and imitating ounce by ounce the life of a westerner from education, mindframe to insolence and irreverance to the classical Quran, Sunnah and Shariah.

    A debate this is not.

  14. thesubmittedone

    Ma Sha Allah, I’m proud of my brothers and sisters here, have a few points to make…
    As Salaamu 3laykum wa Rahmat-Ullahi wa Barakaatuhu Ya ‘Ayyuha-l-Mu’mineen!

    I love seeing this type of discussion. Much can be learned from this, if only we were to apply this holistically throughout our Ummah, we would rise to be the light of the world! I’m proud to see the etiquette and good manners displayed here in discussing tense subjects.

    That being said, I feel the need to point out a thing or two. First, in any discussion about Taqleed as well as the modern Salafism we need to keep ourselves in the context of today. Allah will reward us and punish us based on the actions we do now, within the environment we are in now. We should all remember the Qur’anic principle that we will not be taken to task for what those before us have done, good or bad. That being said, that is no excuse to not learn and understand what those before have done and apply what we can and should apply from what insight we glean.

    So with that long-winded introduction, lol, what I want to remind all of us here about is that today we have much greater access to the books of Hadith, as well as the Qur’an itself, than the average laymen just 100 years ago! The internet has been a major game-changer, so to speak. Now, some might think I’m a proponent of modern Salafism just from that statement alone, but please don’t apply any label to me, except a Muslim (Oh, Allah, accept my submission to You). Yes, this has given the average layman a much more prudent and accessible way in learning on his/her own, however, in reality he/she is not learning on their own, for the sources he/she is learning from are hopefully sources that also understand and use Taqleed well.

    It is my opinion that the best and most insightful of our brother scholars today should really come together and form a centralized Madhhab based on the methods and Qiyas of the major four Madhahib! That sounds like an impossibly grand task, but I don’t think it is seeing how accessible all the books are nowadays! Furthermore, with the communications technology Allah has granted us all of these scholars can cooperate fully without any issues of time all the while maintaining strong (local) community ties.

    We can effectively have a large group of scholars who adhere to any one of the Madhahib, with their various methods and jurisprudence, having difference of opinions yet coming to conclusions based on consultation with each other. I just don’t see why not… and I really believe that Allah would be pleased with our display of unity!

    Anything I said here that is good is from Allah, and anything I said here of falsehood is from myself and Satan. May Allah guide us to what is better!

  15. The author of the above article is not well versed
    Firstly, “Verily, the statement: “When the Hadith has been authenticated, then it is my mathhab” has been narrated from each of these four Imams who were free from personal opinion. The audience to whom this statement (“When the Hadith is Sahih, it is my mathhab.”) was directed, is on his (the imam’s) Ashaab (the Fuqaha of his Mathhab) who were the great and illustrious Aimmah among the great ‘Ulama of his mathhab
    Next ” ISTAWA:” is a major point of difference wherin the 4 Imam’s followers dont give form to God,But Salafi god has arms, face body etc. THat he sits on a throne. like the Hindu & Christian god THe concept of which is not there in non salafis.”..Their view was that these Qur’anic verses and hadiths were to be understood according to their literal meanings. The implication is that whatever is indicated by the original meaning of these words and phrases, they were to be understood as an attribute of God. However, when it is was brought to their attention that understanding such words according to their original linguistic meanings would necessitate that God resembles His creation, since possessing hands, eyes, a face, and feet are characteristics exclusively designated to the creation, they said,”We acknowledge that God has a real face, foot, hands, and eyes. However they are neither like those of the creation nor are they as you may think of them.” Initially this reply appears to be acceptable, but the confusion that follows from embracing such a position becomes clearer when they are asked,”Does God have limbs and body parts?” They respond:”Absolutely not!” When further asked,”Do you agree that hands and feet are limbs of the body?” They respond, “Yes. We concur.” But when it is said that, “God does not have hands or feet,” they adamantly reply, “You can’t say that!” For this reason, many scholars have declared the aforementioned Hanbali scholars as well as others in later times(5) to be anthropomorphists, given that they first insult the intelligence by negating God’s possession of limbs, and then affirming that He does have them, “But not as we understand them to be.”
    Next is “Tawassul”
    Proofs For Tawassul
    The Permissibility of Asking Allah for Things by Some of His Creation
    If performing tawassul had been blasphemy, then the believers, i.e., the Holy Nabi, Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim, his Companions, and the Salaf and Khalaf of this nation would not have done it. Yet it is mentioned in the sahih hadith of the Holy Nabi that the Holy Nabi used to ask Allah by saying:

    which means: Without doubt, this is tawassul. The Holy Nabi, Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim, used to teach this supplication (du’a’) to his Companions and order them to say it. This issue was expounded upon in different books and treatises refuting Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab.
    There is a hadith related by al-Hakim that mentions after Adam ate from the tree, he performed tawassul by our Holy Nabi, Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim. He did that, because he saw the name of the Holy Nabi written on the ‘Arsh, Adam said:
    It was also related by Ibn Hibban, that upon the death of Fatimah Bint Asad, may Allah raise her rank, the Holy Nabi, Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim, with his own honorable hands, put her in her grave and said:
    There is a hadith classified as sahih{12}, that a blind man asked the Holy Nabi, Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim, to make a supplication (du’a’) to Allah to return his sight. The Holy Nabi ordered him to make ablution (wudu’) and pray two rak’ahs and then say:
    “O Allah, I ask You and direct myself to You by Your Holy Nabi, Muhammad, the Prophet of Mercy. O Muhammad, I ask Allah by you to fulfill my need. O Allah, enable him to intercede for me.”
    The blind man did what the Holy Nabi taught him to do{13} and Allah brought his sight back. Moreover, as related by at-Tabaraniyy, the tawassul made by the blind man was used by the Companions and Salaf after the death of the Holy Nabi.

  16. The author of the above article is not well versed
    Firstly, “Verily, the statement: “When the Hadith has been authenticated, then it is my mathhab” has been narrated from each of these four Imams who were free from personal opinion. The audience to whom this statement (“When the Hadith is Sahih, it is my mathhab.”) was directed, is on his (the imam’s) Ashaab (the Fuqaha of his Mathhab) who were the great and illustrious Aimmah among the great ‘Ulama of his mathhab
    Next ” ISTAWA:” is a major point of difference wherin the 4 Imam’s followers dont give form to God,But Salafi god has arms, face body etc. THat he sits on a throne. like the Hindu & Christian god THe concept of which is not there in non salafis.”..Their view was that these Qur’anic verses and hadiths were to be understood according to their literal meanings. The implication is that whatever is indicated by the original meaning of these words and phrases, they were to be understood as an attribute of God. However, when it is was brought to their attention that understanding such words according to their original linguistic meanings would necessitate that God resembles His creation, since possessing hands, eyes, a face, and feet are characteristics exclusively designated to the creation, they said,”We acknowledge that God has a real face, foot, hands, and eyes. However they are neither like those of the creation nor are they as you may think of them.” Initially this reply appears to be acceptable, but the confusion that follows from embracing such a position becomes clearer when they are asked,”Does God have limbs and body parts?” They respond:”Absolutely not!” When further asked,”Do you agree that hands and feet are limbs of the body?” They respond, “Yes. We concur.” But when it is said that, “God does not have hands or feet,” they adamantly reply, “You can’t say that!” For this reason, many scholars have declared the aforementioned Hanbali scholars as well as others in later times(5) to be anthropomorphists, given that they first insult the intelligence by negating God’s possession of limbs, and then affirming that He does have them, “But not as we understand them to be.”
    Next is “Tawassul”
    Proofs For Tawassul
    The Permissibility of Asking Allah for Things by Some of His Creation
    If performing tawassul had been blasphemy, then the believers, i.e., the Holy Nabi, Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim, his Companions, and the Salaf and Khalaf of this nation would not have done it. Yet it is mentioned in the sahih hadith of the Holy Nabi that the Holy Nabi used to ask Allah by saying:

    which means: Without doubt, this is tawassul. The Holy Nabi, Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim, used to teach this supplication (du’a’) to his Companions and order them to say it. This issue was expounded upon in different books and treatises refuting Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab.
    There is a hadith related by al-Hakim that mentions after Adam ate from the tree, he performed tawassul by our Holy Nabi, Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim. He did that, because he saw the name of the Holy Nabi written on the ‘Arsh, Adam said:
    It was also related by Ibn Hibban, that upon the death of Fatimah Bint Asad, may Allah raise her rank, the Holy Nabi, Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim, with his own honorable hands, put her in her grave and said:
    There is a hadith classified as sahih{12}, that a blind man asked the Holy Nabi, Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim, to make a supplication (du’a’) to Allah to return his sight. The Holy Nabi ordered him to make ablution (wudu’) and pray two rak’ahs and then say:
    “O Allah, I ask You and direct myself to You by Your Holy Nabi, Muhammad, the Prophet of Mercy. O Muhammad, I ask Allah by you to fulfill my need. O Allah, enable him to intercede for me.”
    The blind man did what the Holy Nabi taught him to do{13} and Allah brought his sight back. Moreover, as related by at-Tabaraniyy, the tawassul made by the blind man was used by the Companions and Salaf after the death of the Holy Nabi.

    • @syed king

      Ibn Kathir stated that the Muslims accept the apparent meaning of, Al-Istawa, without discussing its modality, neither equating it with the attributes of the creation, or altering or denying it (in any way or form). We also believe that the meaning that comes to those who equate Allah with the creation is to be rejected, for nothing is similar to Allah. [Tafsir Ibn Kathir – Surah Al A’raf 7:54]

      “Allah is not to be described except as He has described Himself or as His Prophet has described Him. Any attribute that He has ascribed to Himself or that His Prophet has ascribed to Him, is an attribute in a real sense, and is not metaphorical. If it was metaphorical, then it would have been necessary to explain it in a manner different from the apparent meaning, so it would have been said: What is meant by vision is such and such, what is meant by hearing is such and such, and so on; it would have been explained in a way different from what one would understand from the apparent meaning. As the approach of the salaf is to affirm the attributes without interpreting them in a way different from the apparent meaning, this proves that they are not to be understood in a metaphorical sense; rather they are plain facts.”
      [End quote from al-Muntazam by Ibn al-Jawzi, speaking of the events of 433 AH; Siyar A‘laam an-Nubala’, 16/213]

      Imaam Abu Haatim ar-Raazee (d. 277H) said: “A sign of the Jahmiyyah is that they call the Ahl us-Sunnah ‘Mushabbihah’ (Anthropomorphists).”[Ahl us-Sunnah of Abu Haatim ar-Raazee (p.21-22) and Sharh Usool ul-I’tiqaad (no.92).]

  17. Muhammad Ilyas

    the comment written by mr safa is amaaazing..masha allah.
    opened up my eyes…could do with more of that

  18. Muhammad Ilyas

    the comment written by mr safa is amaaazing..masha allah.
    opened up my eyes…could do with more of that

  19. Al-Albanee
    Here you go KS, this will give you a more concise understanding of Al-Albanees writings:

    http://www.ummah.net/Al_adaab/albintro.html

  20. Al-Albanee
    Here you go KS, this will give you a more concise understanding of Al-Albanees writings:

    http://www.ummah.net/Al_adaab/albintro.html

  21. great article well balanced
    see link for response on – Is Taqleed The Only Option For The Common Person? – Shaykh Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaanee

    http://calltoislam.com/pdf/Is Taqleed The Only Option For The Common Person – Shaykh Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaanee.pdf

    also other articles related to the taqleed /madhab/how to seek ilm;

    http://calltoislam.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=category&sectionid=34&id=201&Itemid=78

  22. great article well balanced
    see link for response on – Is Taqleed The Only Option For The Common Person? – Shaykh Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaanee

    http://calltoislam.com/pdf/Is Taqleed The Only Option For The Common Person – Shaykh Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaanee.pdf

    also other articles related to the taqleed /madhab/how to seek ilm;

    http://calltoislam.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=category&sectionid=34&id=201&Itemid=78

  23. Trust
    Salaam Aleikum Everyone.

    Many thanks for the article and all the responses.

    I think everyone is trying to make some sense out of the issues raised.

    I think the main issue here is that of trust….

    Who do we trust when it comes to interpreting the qur’an and Sunna as pertains to our current living circumstances?

    Do we trust the Mudhabs and their schools which have been in operation for more than a thousand years or modern day scholars?

    I’m not sure i can agree with the suggestion that me, the common man should be able to assess differences of opinion, weigh up arguments of the scholars and pick and choose based on MY judegment because quite frankly, i dont trust my opinion and judegment as i dont have the necessary skills, the arabic, the qur’anic knowledge, the hadith knowledge with hadith science as pertains to the vast complexicity of that science, arabic grammer, on and on.

    I would like to posit an analogy if i may. I have been a doctor and have studied medicine for more than 15 years. If i give you a medical opinion, would you be in a position to understand the basis of my opinion….Perhaps some understanding,if i explained it to you, but never a complete understanding unless you study the prerequistes sciences: biochemistry, physiology, anatomy, pathology, statistics and public health medicine etc all of which would take you years of work.

    Now imagine you couldnt speak english and almost all the science you needed to learn in order to understand my opinion were in english….it makes it even harder..

    The truth of the matter is that in all walks of life and on a daily basis we all respect learned authority be it doctors, car mechanics, solicitors etc. We may have a very basic understanding of the processes involved unless we ourselves become the very learned authorities we wish to seek help and advice from.

    We cannot become doctors, dentists lawyers, plumbers , language experts in ourselves as we have limited time and aptitude, so we trust those that have attained that rank and persued the path of knowledge to that end.

    Even so, with the advent of ‘patient choice’ after presenting a balanced argument for a particular treatment many patients opt against established medical practice with great detriment to their health on the basis of their follwoing their own opinion (which may be based on what they have read in a newspaper or due to their own inclinations) which is really as a result of insufficient background prerequisite scientific knowledge to be able to frame the various arguments in sufficient detail and due proportion.

    Hence as i have stated earlier, I simply do not trust myself for the reasons listed to make a just judgement as to which opinion is superior when it comes to differentiating between legitimate differences of opinion on Islamic matters.
    We trust…..we must trust….so each one of us look to whom we trust.

    A last point with regards to legitimate differences of opinion: why can’t we just accept these as is, namely ligitimate? (the same as the differences that arose amongst the noble companions were tolerated).

    Swimming in a sea of intolerence is bound to get tiring…..

    Salaams

    Safa

  24. Trust
    Salaam Aleikum Everyone.

    Many thanks for the article and all the responses.

    I think everyone is trying to make some sense out of the issues raised.

    I think the main issue here is that of trust….

    Who do we trust when it comes to interpreting the qur’an and Sunna as pertains to our current living circumstances?

    Do we trust the Mudhabs and their schools which have been in operation for more than a thousand years or modern day scholars?

    I’m not sure i can agree with the suggestion that me, the common man should be able to assess differences of opinion, weigh up arguments of the scholars and pick and choose based on MY judegment because quite frankly, i dont trust my opinion and judegment as i dont have the necessary skills, the arabic, the qur’anic knowledge, the hadith knowledge with hadith science as pertains to the vast complexicity of that science, arabic grammer, on and on.

    I would like to posit an analogy if i may. I have been a doctor and have studied medicine for more than 15 years. If i give you a medical opinion, would you be in a position to understand the basis of my opinion….Perhaps some understanding,if i explained it to you, but never a complete understanding unless you study the prerequistes sciences: biochemistry, physiology, anatomy, pathology, statistics and public health medicine etc all of which would take you years of work.

    Now imagine you couldnt speak english and almost all the science you needed to learn in order to understand my opinion were in english….it makes it even harder..

    The truth of the matter is that in all walks of life and on a daily basis we all respect learned authority be it doctors, car mechanics, solicitors etc. We may have a very basic understanding of the processes involved unless we ourselves become the very learned authorities we wish to seek help and advice from.

    We cannot become doctors, dentists lawyers, plumbers , language experts in ourselves as we have limited time and aptitude, so we trust those that have attained that rank and persued the path of knowledge to that end.

    Even so, with the advent of ‘patient choice’ after presenting a balanced argument for a particular treatment many patients opt against established medical practice with great detriment to their health on the basis of their follwoing their own opinion (which may be based on what they have read in a newspaper or due to their own inclinations) which is really as a result of insufficient background prerequisite scientific knowledge to be able to frame the various arguments in sufficient detail and due proportion.

    Hence as i have stated earlier, I simply do not trust myself for the reasons listed to make a just judgement as to which opinion is superior when it comes to differentiating between legitimate differences of opinion on Islamic matters.
    We trust…..we must trust….so each one of us look to whom we trust.

    A last point with regards to legitimate differences of opinion: why can’t we just accept these as is, namely ligitimate? (the same as the differences that arose amongst the noble companions were tolerated).

    Swimming in a sea of intolerence is bound to get tiring…..

    Salaams

    Safa

  25. Re: MN – Typical answer from somone who has no answer
    Regardless of what you would like to believe, or would like other people to believe, the article says it is acceptable for one not to adhere to Taqleed, while at the same time saying it is ok to adhere to Taqleed!

    Rather then brand my posts a ‘rant’ in order to try and discredit them, why dont you answer the simple question posted, not just by myself but also by other posters:

    ‘please explain how a layman is going to understand the strength of evidence of a ruling, when he has no knowledge of the principlies and methods by which rulings are derived from the Quran and Hadith, Usulul Fiqh, the Arabic language, the history of Fiqh etc. Most ‘Salafis’ (in this country at least) dont even know Arabic.’??

    [b]”The fact is that a vast number of Muslims go to uni”[/b] – No the MAJORITY of Muslims don’t go to uni. And for those that do, how does a degree in IT, Sociology, Medicine, Law, Sports, etc. qualify one to understand the principlies and methods by which rulings are derived from the Quran and Hadith, Usulul Fiqh, the Arabic language, the history of Fiqh etc??

    Please answer the question.

    [b]”pathetic approach to this most divine faith.”[/b]

    This “pathetic” approach you attribute to the followers of Taqleed, is the approach taken by the MAJORITY of the Ummah since the time of the Prophet (pbuh). If you had bothered to read my posts, and the evidence stated within them, you would see this is an indisputable FACT. (Its funny how all the arabic text has dissapeared from my posts, as it was there when i first posted them!)

    The fact is you can not answer the evidence posted, as it is from the most prominent scholars from the past, those very scholars who the (self proclaimed) Salafis like to quote on other matters, yet ignore when the matter of Taqleed is brought up!!

    I suggest you read what Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, just to name a couple of scholars had to say regarding Taqleed. According to YOU they took a “pathetic approach” to following islam.

    If you wish to believe the average laymen has greater or equal knowledge to that of the great Sahabah, the Muhadditheen and the most prominent Fuqaha than so be it.

    And by the way im not a Deobhandi, but just for the record, why so much hate for the Scholars of Deobandh? Did a Deobandhi steal your girlfriend in school or summat!!

  26. Re: MN – Typical answer from somone who has no answer
    Regardless of what you would like to believe, or would like other people to believe, the article says it is acceptable for one not to adhere to Taqleed, while at the same time saying it is ok to adhere to Taqleed!

    Rather then brand my posts a ‘rant’ in order to try and discredit them, why dont you answer the simple question posted, not just by myself but also by other posters:

    ‘please explain how a layman is going to understand the strength of evidence of a ruling, when he has no knowledge of the principlies and methods by which rulings are derived from the Quran and Hadith, Usulul Fiqh, the Arabic language, the history of Fiqh etc. Most ‘Salafis’ (in this country at least) dont even know Arabic.’??

    [b]”The fact is that a vast number of Muslims go to uni”[/b] – No the MAJORITY of Muslims don’t go to uni. And for those that do, how does a degree in IT, Sociology, Medicine, Law, Sports, etc. qualify one to understand the principlies and methods by which rulings are derived from the Quran and Hadith, Usulul Fiqh, the Arabic language, the history of Fiqh etc??

    Please answer the question.

    [b]”pathetic approach to this most divine faith.”[/b]

    This “pathetic” approach you attribute to the followers of Taqleed, is the approach taken by the MAJORITY of the Ummah since the time of the Prophet (pbuh). If you had bothered to read my posts, and the evidence stated within them, you would see this is an indisputable FACT. (Its funny how all the arabic text has dissapeared from my posts, as it was there when i first posted them!)

    The fact is you can not answer the evidence posted, as it is from the most prominent scholars from the past, those very scholars who the (self proclaimed) Salafis like to quote on other matters, yet ignore when the matter of Taqleed is brought up!!

    I suggest you read what Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, just to name a couple of scholars had to say regarding Taqleed. According to YOU they took a “pathetic approach” to following islam.

    If you wish to believe the average laymen has greater or equal knowledge to that of the great Sahabah, the Muhadditheen and the most prominent Fuqaha than so be it.

    And by the way im not a Deobhandi, but just for the record, why so much hate for the Scholars of Deobandh? Did a Deobandhi steal your girlfriend in school or summat!!

  27. unity
    As for unity, if this (minor thing) is a matter over which people stop supporting their Muslim brothers against the disbelievers, then I suggest they worry about much more than the article!

  28. unity
    As for unity, if this (minor thing) is a matter over which people stop supporting their Muslim brothers against the disbelievers, then I suggest they worry about much more than the article!

  29. Radd ala c0nfus1ng
    Its seems quite apparent from c0nfus1ng’s rant that he has not understod the article, since the ustadh doesn’t call away from taqlid but rather a lax approach in one’s deen whereby we allow others to fully take the helms.

    What c0nfus1ng would prefer is that we all remain ignorant like the deobandis mawlanas who are ignorant and refuse the lift the laity out of their pathetic approach to this most divine faith. I don’t know, it must be an Asian thing whereby we keep the people as dumb as possible (as the [i]peers[/i] like to do) so that some dodgy mawlana who in reality couldnt care less about Islam runs the show (and line their pockets).

    This whole debate about taqlid is redundant and nobody is claiming that a layman so leave the wisdom of the scholars – the shaikh merely discusses the importance of the laity being a bit proactive with matters of their faith where they at least put themselves in a position where they are able to understand two opposing views.

    Of course, the deobandis would have us believe that the laity are quite unable to do anything, although this in reality is merely an illusion the elite use to misguide the masses. The fact is that a vast number of Muslims go to uni, and having studied that far they could easily give some time to learn matters of their faith.

    The proof in the pudding is the mere difference between the Salafis and deobandis, whereby the Salafi laity have come to be equal to the deobandi mawlana class – and at most time even more knowledged than them. This shows us that the laity can be brought (with a culture of learning) up to the level where they study the basics of Islamic sciences (as a standard) and have a more hands-on approach to their religion and their comatosed minds. May Allah help us!

  30. Radd ala c0nfus1ng
    Its seems quite apparent from c0nfus1ng’s rant that he has not understod the article, since the ustadh doesn’t call away from taqlid but rather a lax approach in one’s deen whereby we allow others to fully take the helms.

    What c0nfus1ng would prefer is that we all remain ignorant like the deobandis mawlanas who are ignorant and refuse the lift the laity out of their pathetic approach to this most divine faith. I don’t know, it must be an Asian thing whereby we keep the people as dumb as possible (as the [i]peers[/i] like to do) so that some dodgy mawlana who in reality couldnt care less about Islam runs the show (and line their pockets).

    This whole debate about taqlid is redundant and nobody is claiming that a layman so leave the wisdom of the scholars – the shaikh merely discusses the importance of the laity being a bit proactive with matters of their faith where they at least put themselves in a position where they are able to understand two opposing views.

    Of course, the deobandis would have us believe that the laity are quite unable to do anything, although this in reality is merely an illusion the elite use to misguide the masses. The fact is that a vast number of Muslims go to uni, and having studied that far they could easily give some time to learn matters of their faith.

    The proof in the pudding is the mere difference between the Salafis and deobandis, whereby the Salafi laity have come to be equal to the deobandi mawlana class – and at most time even more knowledged than them. This shows us that the laity can be brought (with a culture of learning) up to the level where they study the basics of Islamic sciences (as a standard) and have a more hands-on approach to their religion and their comatosed minds. May Allah help us!

  31. Who suggested it?
    Assalamu alaikum

    Following Shaykh Haytham rebuttal of the marriage contract last year, I noticed an unprecedented sense of alliance developing between some sincere Salafis and large numbers of Madhabis in this country and I thought to myself, it was only a matter of time that this kind of unity will become a source of grave concern for the enemies of Islam and that they would try to engineer some kind of friction to undermine it.

    My sincere advice to Shaykh Haytham who I admire is that he should look carefully at the events leading up to his decision to write this article. He must identify the person or persons who first suggested or encouraged him to write this article and avoid taking advice from them from now on for they are likely to be agents of discord.

    As a community we are facing onslaughts from all directions. The last thing we need now is to start fighting amongst ourselves over matters that have remained unresolved for centuries.

    I also ask all those who are contributing to this forum, to maintain the necessary adab (etiquette). Matters of schalarly differences should remain amongst the scholars.

    Wassalam

    Abdun lillah

  32. Who suggested it?
    Assalamu alaikum

    Following Shaykh Haytham rebuttal of the marriage contract last year, I noticed an unprecedented sense of alliance developing between some sincere Salafis and large numbers of Madhabis in this country and I thought to myself, it was only a matter of time that this kind of unity will become a source of grave concern for the enemies of Islam and that they would try to engineer some kind of friction to undermine it.

    My sincere advice to Shaykh Haytham who I admire is that he should look carefully at the events leading up to his decision to write this article. He must identify the person or persons who first suggested or encouraged him to write this article and avoid taking advice from them from now on for they are likely to be agents of discord.

    As a community we are facing onslaughts from all directions. The last thing we need now is to start fighting amongst ourselves over matters that have remained unresolved for centuries.

    I also ask all those who are contributing to this forum, to maintain the necessary adab (etiquette). Matters of schalarly differences should remain amongst the scholars.

    Wassalam

    Abdun lillah

  33. confusion, confusion
    I have a lot of repect for Shaykh haytham for his open mindedness. This article is good to start off with but becomes extremely confusing and self contradictory towads the end. The conclusions seem premature and inconsistent with the first half of the article. I also find it bizarre that shaikh haytham expects every person to study usul alfiqh and apply it by themselves. It one of the most complex of siences. It is also strange that he acknowledges that the imams followed qur’an and sunnah and they were brilliant scholars of the early generations, yet gives the layman the layman the licence to critically assess their verdicts.
    I have come accross too many salafi scholars and brothers who seem oblivious to the intricacies of fiqh and usul al-fiqh. i hate to say it but this article demonstrates that too.
    I hope the shaykh reads the comments because some of them are very constructive while others blindfolowing. All the evidence is right here for the intelligent. And if it can’t be seen, that is exactly why we do taqleed.Somehow we think we think we can simplify a thousand yr old legal tradition for mass consumption! Try that with any other tradition and see what people think of it.
    Lastly, the problem with ummah’s unity today is not that we differ, we’ve done that from century 1. The problem is that we call each other mushrik, mubtadi and deviant based on our differences. a quick browse of the internet will show you whether this is generally a salafi tendency or a madhabi one. If u think aqeeda fifferences justify this attitude, read the intro of shah waliulah’s hujjatullah albalighah. You will see that there r subsidiary matters of aqeedah that difference is tolerated in. Thus the matters of legimate difference (al umoor al mujtahadah feeha)is another area people might want to study.
    O Allah show us the truth as truth and give us the ability to follow it; and show us falsehood as falsehood and grant us the ability to avoid it. Aameen.

  34. confusion, confusion
    I have a lot of repect for Shaykh haytham for his open mindedness. This article is good to start off with but becomes extremely confusing and self contradictory towads the end. The conclusions seem premature and inconsistent with the first half of the article. I also find it bizarre that shaikh haytham expects every person to study usul alfiqh and apply it by themselves. It one of the most complex of siences. It is also strange that he acknowledges that the imams followed qur’an and sunnah and they were brilliant scholars of the early generations, yet gives the layman the layman the licence to critically assess their verdicts.
    I have come accross too many salafi scholars and brothers who seem oblivious to the intricacies of fiqh and usul al-fiqh. i hate to say it but this article demonstrates that too.
    I hope the shaykh reads the comments because some of them are very constructive while others blindfolowing. All the evidence is right here for the intelligent. And if it can’t be seen, that is exactly why we do taqleed.Somehow we think we think we can simplify a thousand yr old legal tradition for mass consumption! Try that with any other tradition and see what people think of it.
    Lastly, the problem with ummah’s unity today is not that we differ, we’ve done that from century 1. The problem is that we call each other mushrik, mubtadi and deviant based on our differences. a quick browse of the internet will show you whether this is generally a salafi tendency or a madhabi one. If u think aqeeda fifferences justify this attitude, read the intro of shah waliulah’s hujjatullah albalighah. You will see that there r subsidiary matters of aqeedah that difference is tolerated in. Thus the matters of legimate difference (al umoor al mujtahadah feeha)is another area people might want to study.
    O Allah show us the truth as truth and give us the ability to follow it; and show us falsehood as falsehood and grant us the ability to avoid it. Aameen.

  35. Another Angle of Taqleed VII
    [b]Why I can’t follow the most authentic view?[/b]

    On what basis will a person determine which view is that most authentic? If he uses his own discretion to ascertain the most authentic view, he is incapable in accomplishing this. If he has reached the stage whereby he is able to determine the most authentic view then there is nothing wrong with this. (Atharul Hadīthish Sharīf 112) However, it is important to note that for a person to reach this position he should be well qualified in all branches of knowledge starting from basic Arabic grammar right up to the intricacies of hadith and tafseer. Furthermore, in determining whether a person is fit for this lofty position or not his personal opinion will not be accepted.

    [b]If a narration is authentic it is my madh’hab[/b]

    When a narration is established as saheeh then this will be my madh’hab. This has been narrated from all our illustrious fuqaha and in fact it is the maxim of every believer. However, it is important to understand what is meant by this statement and to whom it is addressed.

    It is important to realize that any hadith cannot be taken on face value, even though it might be saheeh. There are many factors which could affect the status of practicing on any hadith. Our illustrious fuqaha رحمهم الله تعالى have made painstaking efforts in sifting out and clarifying for us which Ahadith should be used and which should be left out. Not every hadith is ma’mool bih (practiced upon).

    Ibn Wahb رحمه الله تعالى narrates that he heard Imam Malik رحمه الله تعالى say:

    “Many ahadith could be a means of misguidance.”

    What did this great Imām mean by saying hadith could be a source of misguidance? He meant that not all ahadith are suitable to be practiced upon. Even though it might be authentic but it could be abrogated, there could be other Ahadith on the topic too, it could be a speciality of Nabi صلى الله عليه وسلم, or the hadith could be going against other principles of Islam (despite the fact that it is saheeh. An example of this is found in Saheeh Muslim).

    Ibn Wahb رحمه الله تعالى also explains:

    “Any person who has hadith but does not have an Imām in fiqh is astray.”

    Great words from a great personality! This great scholar is pointing to the fact that merely having a lot of narrations is not sufficient. One has to have the understanding of how to apply them. Which narration fits where? How to join the puzzle together?

    The statement “when a hadith is authentic it is my madh’hab” has been addressed to those people who have reached this level; the level of ijtihād.

    Furthermore, in trying to attribute any narration as the madh’hab of an Imām, one needs to be certain that the Imām did not know of this narration. It is very possible that the Imām did not act upon this narration despite knowing about it. In order to know if the Imām knew about the narration, one needs to study all the works of the Imām and his students. This is an extremely studious task. Imām Ghazāli رحمه الله تعالىcommenting on one narration says that this hadith did not reach Abu Hanifa. Ibnul Humām رحمه الله تعالىcomments on what Imām Ghazāli رحمه الله تعالىsaid by saying that Imām Abu Hanifa رحمه الله تعالىdid know about it and he mentioned it in his musnad. Even after reading all the books of an Imām we can still not say with certainty that the Imām did not know about it. If a narration is not found in Saheeh Bukhari it does not mean he did not know about it. Similar is the case here.

    Many great scholars the likes of Ibn Abil Jarood who was a student of Imām Sahfi’i , Abul Waleed an-Nisaburi and Abul Hasan al-Karaji رحمهم الله تعالى tried to follow this statement. However, those who came after them criticized them and showed where they slipped up. It was no ordinary people who tried to apply the above statement. They were great scholars of their times. Therefore, if they erred in their endeavour despite their lofty academic ranks, does it make sense for any laymen like me or you to try to implement this statement???

    Above we have seen how scholars of hadith differ in their conditions in classifying a narration as saheeh. According to whose classification of saheeh will we apply the statement if a hadith is authentic?

    These are just a few glimpses into the intricacies of what taqleed and ijtihād entails. This should be sufficient for a person with sober understanding to realize that:

    التسليم للفقهاء سلامة في الدين

    Submitting to the fuqahā is safety in Dīn.

    And Allah knows best

  36. Another Angle of Taqleed VII
    [b]Why I can’t follow the most authentic view?[/b]

    On what basis will a person determine which view is that most authentic? If he uses his own discretion to ascertain the most authentic view, he is incapable in accomplishing this. If he has reached the stage whereby he is able to determine the most authentic view then there is nothing wrong with this. (Atharul Hadīthish Sharīf 112) However, it is important to note that for a person to reach this position he should be well qualified in all branches of knowledge starting from basic Arabic grammar right up to the intricacies of hadith and tafseer. Furthermore, in determining whether a person is fit for this lofty position or not his personal opinion will not be accepted.

    [b]If a narration is authentic it is my madh’hab[/b]

    When a narration is established as saheeh then this will be my madh’hab. This has been narrated from all our illustrious fuqaha and in fact it is the maxim of every believer. However, it is important to understand what is meant by this statement and to whom it is addressed.

    It is important to realize that any hadith cannot be taken on face value, even though it might be saheeh. There are many factors which could affect the status of practicing on any hadith. Our illustrious fuqaha رحمهم الله تعالى have made painstaking efforts in sifting out and clarifying for us which Ahadith should be used and which should be left out. Not every hadith is ma’mool bih (practiced upon).

    Ibn Wahb رحمه الله تعالى narrates that he heard Imam Malik رحمه الله تعالى say:

    “Many ahadith could be a means of misguidance.”

    What did this great Imām mean by saying hadith could be a source of misguidance? He meant that not all ahadith are suitable to be practiced upon. Even though it might be authentic but it could be abrogated, there could be other Ahadith on the topic too, it could be a speciality of Nabi صلى الله عليه وسلم, or the hadith could be going against other principles of Islam (despite the fact that it is saheeh. An example of this is found in Saheeh Muslim).

    Ibn Wahb رحمه الله تعالى also explains:

    “Any person who has hadith but does not have an Imām in fiqh is astray.”

    Great words from a great personality! This great scholar is pointing to the fact that merely having a lot of narrations is not sufficient. One has to have the understanding of how to apply them. Which narration fits where? How to join the puzzle together?

    The statement “when a hadith is authentic it is my madh’hab” has been addressed to those people who have reached this level; the level of ijtihād.

    Furthermore, in trying to attribute any narration as the madh’hab of an Imām, one needs to be certain that the Imām did not know of this narration. It is very possible that the Imām did not act upon this narration despite knowing about it. In order to know if the Imām knew about the narration, one needs to study all the works of the Imām and his students. This is an extremely studious task. Imām Ghazāli رحمه الله تعالىcommenting on one narration says that this hadith did not reach Abu Hanifa. Ibnul Humām رحمه الله تعالىcomments on what Imām Ghazāli رحمه الله تعالىsaid by saying that Imām Abu Hanifa رحمه الله تعالىdid know about it and he mentioned it in his musnad. Even after reading all the books of an Imām we can still not say with certainty that the Imām did not know about it. If a narration is not found in Saheeh Bukhari it does not mean he did not know about it. Similar is the case here.

    Many great scholars the likes of Ibn Abil Jarood who was a student of Imām Sahfi’i , Abul Waleed an-Nisaburi and Abul Hasan al-Karaji رحمهم الله تعالى tried to follow this statement. However, those who came after them criticized them and showed where they slipped up. It was no ordinary people who tried to apply the above statement. They were great scholars of their times. Therefore, if they erred in their endeavour despite their lofty academic ranks, does it make sense for any laymen like me or you to try to implement this statement???

    Above we have seen how scholars of hadith differ in their conditions in classifying a narration as saheeh. According to whose classification of saheeh will we apply the statement if a hadith is authentic?

    These are just a few glimpses into the intricacies of what taqleed and ijtihād entails. This should be sufficient for a person with sober understanding to realize that:

    التسليم للفقهاء سلامة في الدين

    Submitting to the fuqahā is safety in Dīn.

    And Allah knows best

  37. Another Angle of Taqleed VI
    [b]Why should I follow an Imām of fiqh?[/b]

    Why do I have to follow an Imām of fiqh? Why can’t I follow an Imām of hadīth? It is unanimously accepted that the Sahīh of Imām Bukhāri is the most authentic book after the book of Allah Ta’ala. Why can’t I follow Sahīh Bukhāri?

    The sphere of a muhaddīth is different from that of a faqīh. A muhaddīth deals with matters relating to the chain of narrators and the words of a hadīth whereas a faqīh deals with the understanding and the practical implications of a hadīth. Furthermore, the muhaddīthoon do not have a fully codified madhhab. This is accepted fact to which even the muhaddīthoon agree. Whenever Imām Tīrmīdhī رحمه الله تعالى commented on anything relating to the sanad of any narration he always quoted the muhaddīthoon and whenever he related some relating to a fiqhi ruling he only quoted the fuqaha.

    The great muhaddīth, Imām Suyfān ibn Uyaynah رحمه الله تعالىmentioned:

    التسليم للفقهاء سلامة في الدين

    Submitting to the fuqahā is safety in Dīn. (Atharul Hadīthish Sharīf 116)

    Imām Tirmidhi رحمه الله تعالىsaid:

    سنن الترمذى – (ج 3 / ص 316 رقم الحديث 990 )

    وكذلك قال الفقهاء وهم أعلم بمعاني الحديث

    The fuqahā are more knowledgeable of the meaning of ahādīth.

    Shaykh Awwamah حفظه الله تعالىquoting Mawlana Binnorī رحمه الله تعالىexplains that it is important to understand that the muhaddithoon followed certain fiqhi rulings. Based on the rulings they followed they chose which ahādīth to add in their compilations. For example, Imām Bukhāri رحمه الله تعالىopined that a person should do raful yadayn therefore, he added those narrations which prove his viewpoint. So his ahādīth are based on his fiqh and not vice versa. (Atharul Hadīthish Sharīf 152)

    Our honourable ustadh Shaykhul Hadīth Mawlāna Fadhlur Rahmān حفظه الله تعالىexplains that when our illustrious ulama mention that Bukhāri and Muslim are the most authentic books it does not mean that each and every narration is the most authentic and given preference over other ahādīth. What is meant is that on a whole these two books are the most authentic. (Who are the blind followers? 78)

    It should also be understood that by default it does not mean that any narration appearing in Bukhāri is given preference. Allāmah Irāqi رحمه الله تعالىmentioned 110 reasons of any narration been given preference. It is only at number 102 that he mentioned if any narration is in Bukhāri or Muslim will it be given preference over other narration.

    Allāmah Shawkāni رحمه الله تعالى listed forty-two reasons which pertaining to the sanad which could be a means of giving preference to any narration. Only at listed number 41 did he mention that a hadīth appearing in Bukhāri or Muslim could also be a reason of preference. (Atharul Hadīthish Sharīf 150)

  38. Another Angle of Taqleed VI
    [b]Why should I follow an Imām of fiqh?[/b]

    Why do I have to follow an Imām of fiqh? Why can’t I follow an Imām of hadīth? It is unanimously accepted that the Sahīh of Imām Bukhāri is the most authentic book after the book of Allah Ta’ala. Why can’t I follow Sahīh Bukhāri?

    The sphere of a muhaddīth is different from that of a faqīh. A muhaddīth deals with matters relating to the chain of narrators and the words of a hadīth whereas a faqīh deals with the understanding and the practical implications of a hadīth. Furthermore, the muhaddīthoon do not have a fully codified madhhab. This is accepted fact to which even the muhaddīthoon agree. Whenever Imām Tīrmīdhī رحمه الله تعالى commented on anything relating to the sanad of any narration he always quoted the muhaddīthoon and whenever he related some relating to a fiqhi ruling he only quoted the fuqaha.

    The great muhaddīth, Imām Suyfān ibn Uyaynah رحمه الله تعالىmentioned:

    التسليم للفقهاء سلامة في الدين

    Submitting to the fuqahā is safety in Dīn. (Atharul Hadīthish Sharīf 116)

    Imām Tirmidhi رحمه الله تعالىsaid:

    سنن الترمذى – (ج 3 / ص 316 رقم الحديث 990 )

    وكذلك قال الفقهاء وهم أعلم بمعاني الحديث

    The fuqahā are more knowledgeable of the meaning of ahādīth.

    Shaykh Awwamah حفظه الله تعالىquoting Mawlana Binnorī رحمه الله تعالىexplains that it is important to understand that the muhaddithoon followed certain fiqhi rulings. Based on the rulings they followed they chose which ahādīth to add in their compilations. For example, Imām Bukhāri رحمه الله تعالىopined that a person should do raful yadayn therefore, he added those narrations which prove his viewpoint. So his ahādīth are based on his fiqh and not vice versa. (Atharul Hadīthish Sharīf 152)

    Our honourable ustadh Shaykhul Hadīth Mawlāna Fadhlur Rahmān حفظه الله تعالىexplains that when our illustrious ulama mention that Bukhāri and Muslim are the most authentic books it does not mean that each and every narration is the most authentic and given preference over other ahādīth. What is meant is that on a whole these two books are the most authentic. (Who are the blind followers? 78)

    It should also be understood that by default it does not mean that any narration appearing in Bukhāri is given preference. Allāmah Irāqi رحمه الله تعالىmentioned 110 reasons of any narration been given preference. It is only at number 102 that he mentioned if any narration is in Bukhāri or Muslim will it be given preference over other narration.

    Allāmah Shawkāni رحمه الله تعالى listed forty-two reasons which pertaining to the sanad which could be a means of giving preference to any narration. Only at listed number 41 did he mention that a hadīth appearing in Bukhāri or Muslim could also be a reason of preference. (Atharul Hadīthish Sharīf 150)

  39. Another Angle of Taqleed V
    [b]Why one madhhab?[/b]

    If all four madhāhab are correct why do I have to restrict myself to only one madhhab?

    If a person does not confine himself to one madhhab he will ultimately fall prey to the evil of his nafs. He will always be looking for what suits his whims and desires. This will cause a lot of harm to his religion. If someone decides to pick and choose the most prudent view he will be putting himself in difficulty. Therefore there is security and ease in confining oneself to one madhhab.

    Following one scholar is an established practice from the time of the honourable Sahaba and Tabi’oon رضوان الله تعالى عليهم اجمعين. Imām Bukhari رحمه الله تعالىnarrates on the authority of Ikrimah رحمه الله تعالى:

    حدثنا أبو النعمان حدثنا حماد عن أيوب عن عكرمة : أن أهل المدينة سألوا ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما عن امرأة طافت ثم حاضت قال لهم تنفر قالوا لا نأخذ بقولك وندع قول زيد قال إذا قدمتم المدينة فسلوا فقدموا المدينة فسألوا فكان فيمن سألوا أم سليم فذكرت حديث صفية رواه خالد وقتادة عن عكرمة – صحيح البخاري 1758 دار الفكر

    The people of Madina asked Ibn Abbās the ruling of a woman who makes (her first tawāf) of the Ka’ba and thereafter experiences her menses (before she can make her final tawaf). Ibn Abbās told them that she may go home without completing her final tawāf. The people of Madina said, “We will not follow your verdict and abandon the verdict of Zayd.” Ibn Abbās replied, “When you reach Madina then enquire from him…” (Bukhāri 1758)

    Ibn Shihāb az-Zuhri رحمه الله تعالىcommanded his student Yunus ibn Yazīd al-Ayli رحمه الهه تعالىthat obey him and make wudhu if you eat anything cooked on a fire. Yunus رحمه الله تعالىreplied I will not follow you and leave the view of Sa’eed ibnul Musayyab. Zuhri رحمه الله تعالىkept silent. (Atharul Hadīthish Sharīf 79)

  40. Another Angle of Taqleed V
    [b]Why one madhhab?[/b]

    If all four madhāhab are correct why do I have to restrict myself to only one madhhab?

    If a person does not confine himself to one madhhab he will ultimately fall prey to the evil of his nafs. He will always be looking for what suits his whims and desires. This will cause a lot of harm to his religion. If someone decides to pick and choose the most prudent view he will be putting himself in difficulty. Therefore there is security and ease in confining oneself to one madhhab.

    Following one scholar is an established practice from the time of the honourable Sahaba and Tabi’oon رضوان الله تعالى عليهم اجمعين. Imām Bukhari رحمه الله تعالىnarrates on the authority of Ikrimah رحمه الله تعالى:

    حدثنا أبو النعمان حدثنا حماد عن أيوب عن عكرمة : أن أهل المدينة سألوا ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما عن امرأة طافت ثم حاضت قال لهم تنفر قالوا لا نأخذ بقولك وندع قول زيد قال إذا قدمتم المدينة فسلوا فقدموا المدينة فسألوا فكان فيمن سألوا أم سليم فذكرت حديث صفية رواه خالد وقتادة عن عكرمة – صحيح البخاري 1758 دار الفكر

    The people of Madina asked Ibn Abbās the ruling of a woman who makes (her first tawāf) of the Ka’ba and thereafter experiences her menses (before she can make her final tawaf). Ibn Abbās told them that she may go home without completing her final tawāf. The people of Madina said, “We will not follow your verdict and abandon the verdict of Zayd.” Ibn Abbās replied, “When you reach Madina then enquire from him…” (Bukhāri 1758)

    Ibn Shihāb az-Zuhri رحمه الله تعالىcommanded his student Yunus ibn Yazīd al-Ayli رحمه الهه تعالىthat obey him and make wudhu if you eat anything cooked on a fire. Yunus رحمه الله تعالىreplied I will not follow you and leave the view of Sa’eed ibnul Musayyab. Zuhri رحمه الله تعالىkept silent. (Atharul Hadīthish Sharīf 79)

  41. Another Angle of Taqleed IIII
    [b]Why one of four?[/b]

    There were many mujtahids in the past. Why do I have to restrict myself to following one of the four madhāhib? Why can’t I follow any other madhhab?

    One of the conditions in following a madhhab is that it should continue to develop after the founder of the madhhab. For example, in the Hanafi madhhab the students of Imām Abu Hanifa Imām, Imām Abu Yusuf and Imām Muhammad رحمهم الله تعالىcontinued to build on the foundation laid by Imām Abu Hanifa رحمه الله تعالى. Ulama and scholars who came later on continued to review, codify, explain and expand on the Hanafi madhhab. It is in this manner that we have a fully codified and systemic madhhab. This has been the case with the other three madhāhib also. In contrast to other schools of thought which were not codified, researched and recorded as the above mentioned madhāhib. The views of other mujtahids were passed on as knowledge (i.e. their views were quoted when discussing a mas’alah but it was not accepted as a madhhab to be followed). It is for this reason that some of their views are found scattered in different books.

    From the above explanation we also understand that the four madhāhib are not the works of a single individual. However, it is the conglomeration of the united efforts of the ulama throughout the ages.

  42. Another Angle of Taqleed IIII
    [b]Why one of four?[/b]

    There were many mujtahids in the past. Why do I have to restrict myself to following one of the four madhāhib? Why can’t I follow any other madhhab?

    One of the conditions in following a madhhab is that it should continue to develop after the founder of the madhhab. For example, in the Hanafi madhhab the students of Imām Abu Hanifa Imām, Imām Abu Yusuf and Imām Muhammad رحمهم الله تعالىcontinued to build on the foundation laid by Imām Abu Hanifa رحمه الله تعالى. Ulama and scholars who came later on continued to review, codify, explain and expand on the Hanafi madhhab. It is in this manner that we have a fully codified and systemic madhhab. This has been the case with the other three madhāhib also. In contrast to other schools of thought which were not codified, researched and recorded as the above mentioned madhāhib. The views of other mujtahids were passed on as knowledge (i.e. their views were quoted when discussing a mas’alah but it was not accepted as a madhhab to be followed). It is for this reason that some of their views are found scattered in different books.

    From the above explanation we also understand that the four madhāhib are not the works of a single individual. However, it is the conglomeration of the united efforts of the ulama throughout the ages.

  43. Another Angle of Taqleed III continued
    [b]continued from above:[/b]

    6. The manner of pronouncing or reading the i’rab (diacritical mark) of any word also leads to differences of opinions.

    If a person slaughters an animal and a foetus comes out from the womb of the mother, does the foetus need to be slaughtered or shall the slaughtering of the mother suffice?

    ذكاة الجنين ذكاةَ ُامه (مسلم)

    The slaughtering of the foetus is the slaughtering of the mother.

    The word ذكاةwhen read with a dhammah gives the meaning that the foetus does not have to be slaughtered separately, whereas when read with a fathah means that it needs to be slaughtered.

    Will it be correct for a person to open English translations of Qurān and hadith and start deriving laws???

    Together with the above there are many other reasons of differences of opinion. For more details refer to the following books:

    1. اثر الحديث الشريف في اختلاف الأئمة الفقهاء رضي الله عنهم الشيخ محمد عوامه

    Which translates as: the effect hadith had in causing the Jurist to differ.

    2. اثر الاختلاف في القواعد الاصولية في اختلاف الفقهاء الدكتور مصطفى الخن

    Which translates as: the effect of principles in causing the Jurist to differ.

    3. اثر اللغة في اختلاف المجتهدين عبد الوهاب عبد السلام

    Which translates as: the effect of linguistics in the differing of Jurist.

  44. Another Angle of Taqleed III continued
    [b]continued from above:[/b]

    6. The manner of pronouncing or reading the i’rab (diacritical mark) of any word also leads to differences of opinions.

    If a person slaughters an animal and a foetus comes out from the womb of the mother, does the foetus need to be slaughtered or shall the slaughtering of the mother suffice?

    ذكاة الجنين ذكاةَ ُامه (مسلم)

    The slaughtering of the foetus is the slaughtering of the mother.

    The word ذكاةwhen read with a dhammah gives the meaning that the foetus does not have to be slaughtered separately, whereas when read with a fathah means that it needs to be slaughtered.

    Will it be correct for a person to open English translations of Qurān and hadith and start deriving laws???

    Together with the above there are many other reasons of differences of opinion. For more details refer to the following books:

    1. اثر الحديث الشريف في اختلاف الأئمة الفقهاء رضي الله عنهم الشيخ محمد عوامه

    Which translates as: the effect hadith had in causing the Jurist to differ.

    2. اثر الاختلاف في القواعد الاصولية في اختلاف الفقهاء الدكتور مصطفى الخن

    Which translates as: the effect of principles in causing the Jurist to differ.

    3. اثر اللغة في اختلاف المجتهدين عبد الوهاب عبد السلام

    Which translates as: the effect of linguistics in the differing of Jurist.

  45. Another Angle of Taqleed III
    [b]Differences of Opinion Arising from the Noble Ahādith:[/b]

    Our illustrious scholars have laid down some principles and conditions for accepting a narration. Generally there are five conditions for any narration to be considered saheeh. However, we find that there are differences of opinion in establishing these five conditions. Below are two of these conditions with some examples:

    1. Continuous chain of narrators.

    Some scholars like Imām Bukhāri رحمه الله تعالىand others say that in establishing that the chain is continuous it should be proven that every narrator met with the person he is narrating from. To the contrary, other scholars like Imām Muslim رحمه الله تعالى are of the opinion that the mere possibility of the narrator and the one above him meeting is enough in establishing the continuity of the chain[1].

    Based on this difference, if there is any narration where it cannot be proven that two narrators met, then according to those scholars who are of the same opinion as Imām Bukhāri رحمه الله تعالى,such a narration cannot be used to establish any ruling. However, those who hold the same opinion as Imām Muslim رحمه الله تعالىwould consider such a narration to be acceptable.

    2. The narrators should all be trustworthy.

    Under this condition the following different points of contention exists:

    Is it sufficient that the narrator be a Muslim and no criticism has been made against him? Is it sufficient that he appears to be trustworthy or does it have to be confirmed that he is trustworthy?

    Is it sufficient for one Imām to say he is trustworthy or is it necessary for two Imāms to testify? Which criticisms are acceptable and which are not?

    Many narrators have been criticized by some and confirmed as trustworthy by others. Whose opinion do you follow?

    One narrator might have tens of ahadith. Those who accept him will accept all his narrations as well and those who do not accept him will not accept his narrations. Thus, those who accept these narrations will conclude differently from those who do not accept it, thereby ending with a difference in opinion.

    3. Sometimes there are contradictory narrations on a topic and both narrations are authentic. For example, what is the preferred time to perform Fajr salāh; should it be performed whilst it is still dark or should it be delayed a little?

    4. Vast majority of scholars accept weak narrations in the absence of any strong narration. In fact they give preference to a weak narration over analogy which is an accepted source of Islāmic Jurisprudence. Those scholars whose accept weak narrations in establishing a ruling will differ with those who do not accept weak narrations as strong enough proof.

    5. Another reason why we have differences of opinions is that sometimes there are different wordings of a narration. Different scholars chose different wordings which led to difference in the outcome. It is for this reason that scholars, including the muhaddithoon, prefer those narrations which were narrated by fuqahā (jurists) as they understand the implications of different wordings, and thus are more precautious when narrating any narration. An example of this reason is as follows:

    A narration appears in the Sunan of Imām Abu Dāwood رحمه الله تعالىregarding prayer upon the deceased. The wordings of different narrations differ resulting in a difference in the juristic ruling derived there from.

    عن ابن أبى ذئب حدثنى صالح مولى التوأمة عن أبى هريرة قال قال رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم- « من صلى على جنازة فى المسجد فلا شىء عليه » سنن أبى داود

    Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah رضي الله تعالى عنهnarrates that Rasulullah صلى الله عليه وسلمsaid: “Whoever prays over a deceased in the masjid, then there is nothing against him”.

    Other narrations have the wordings: “Then there is nothing for him”.

    Those scholars who take the wordings of “then there is nothing against him” permit salāh on the deceased in the masjid, and to the contrary those who take the wording “then there is nothing for him” disapprove of salāh on the deceased in the masjid.

    In Arabic the difference is between لَهand عَلَيْه. This is one book, one narration, from one Sahābi with the difference of just two letters yet the whole ruling changes. The cause of this is not that anybody changed any narration on their own accord, but this is how the hadith was narrated.

    From this we can see how intricate the Arabic language is. This leads us to another reason of why we have differences of opinions.

  46. Another Angle of Taqleed III
    [b]Differences of Opinion Arising from the Noble Ahādith:[/b]

    Our illustrious scholars have laid down some principles and conditions for accepting a narration. Generally there are five conditions for any narration to be considered saheeh. However, we find that there are differences of opinion in establishing these five conditions. Below are two of these conditions with some examples:

    1. Continuous chain of narrators.

    Some scholars like Imām Bukhāri رحمه الله تعالىand others say that in establishing that the chain is continuous it should be proven that every narrator met with the person he is narrating from. To the contrary, other scholars like Imām Muslim رحمه الله تعالى are of the opinion that the mere possibility of the narrator and the one above him meeting is enough in establishing the continuity of the chain[1].

    Based on this difference, if there is any narration where it cannot be proven that two narrators met, then according to those scholars who are of the same opinion as Imām Bukhāri رحمه الله تعالى,such a narration cannot be used to establish any ruling. However, those who hold the same opinion as Imām Muslim رحمه الله تعالىwould consider such a narration to be acceptable.

    2. The narrators should all be trustworthy.

    Under this condition the following different points of contention exists:

    Is it sufficient that the narrator be a Muslim and no criticism has been made against him? Is it sufficient that he appears to be trustworthy or does it have to be confirmed that he is trustworthy?

    Is it sufficient for one Imām to say he is trustworthy or is it necessary for two Imāms to testify? Which criticisms are acceptable and which are not?

    Many narrators have been criticized by some and confirmed as trustworthy by others. Whose opinion do you follow?

    One narrator might have tens of ahadith. Those who accept him will accept all his narrations as well and those who do not accept him will not accept his narrations. Thus, those who accept these narrations will conclude differently from those who do not accept it, thereby ending with a difference in opinion.

    3. Sometimes there are contradictory narrations on a topic and both narrations are authentic. For example, what is the preferred time to perform Fajr salāh; should it be performed whilst it is still dark or should it be delayed a little?

    4. Vast majority of scholars accept weak narrations in the absence of any strong narration. In fact they give preference to a weak narration over analogy which is an accepted source of Islāmic Jurisprudence. Those scholars whose accept weak narrations in establishing a ruling will differ with those who do not accept weak narrations as strong enough proof.

    5. Another reason why we have differences of opinions is that sometimes there are different wordings of a narration. Different scholars chose different wordings which led to difference in the outcome. It is for this reason that scholars, including the muhaddithoon, prefer those narrations which were narrated by fuqahā (jurists) as they understand the implications of different wordings, and thus are more precautious when narrating any narration. An example of this reason is as follows:

    A narration appears in the Sunan of Imām Abu Dāwood رحمه الله تعالىregarding prayer upon the deceased. The wordings of different narrations differ resulting in a difference in the juristic ruling derived there from.

    عن ابن أبى ذئب حدثنى صالح مولى التوأمة عن أبى هريرة قال قال رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم- « من صلى على جنازة فى المسجد فلا شىء عليه » سنن أبى داود

    Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah رضي الله تعالى عنهnarrates that Rasulullah صلى الله عليه وسلمsaid: “Whoever prays over a deceased in the masjid, then there is nothing against him”.

    Other narrations have the wordings: “Then there is nothing for him”.

    Those scholars who take the wordings of “then there is nothing against him” permit salāh on the deceased in the masjid, and to the contrary those who take the wording “then there is nothing for him” disapprove of salāh on the deceased in the masjid.

    In Arabic the difference is between لَهand عَلَيْه. This is one book, one narration, from one Sahābi with the difference of just two letters yet the whole ruling changes. The cause of this is not that anybody changed any narration on their own accord, but this is how the hadith was narrated.

    From this we can see how intricate the Arabic language is. This leads us to another reason of why we have differences of opinions.

  47. Another Angle of Taqleed II
    [b]Differences of Opinion Arising from the Understanding of the Noble Qurān:[/b]

    1. Difference in the tafseer (interpretation) of a word.

    Above we have discussed an example. There is a difference in the tafseer of the word quroo and therefore difference in the ruling.

    2. Could shadh (isolated) methods of recitation be used in establishing a ruling?

    There are various modes and methods in which the Noble Qurān could be recited. Some methods are well established whilst others are not. Those methods which are not so well established are known as shadh or isolated modes of recitation.

    Some scholars accept shadh recitations as sufficient enough proof to establish a ruling whilst others stand to differ. Ulamā who accept the usage of shadh methods of recitation as a legitimate means of establishing any ruling would conclude differently from those who do not accept it. An example of this is the ruling regarding keeping fast of kaffārah of breaking an oath; should it be continuous or not. The normal famous Qirā’ah reads as:

    لا يؤاخذكم الله باللغو في أيمانكم ولكن يؤاخذكم بما عقدتم الأيمان فكفارته إطعام عشرة مساكين من أوسط ما تطعمون أهليكم أو كسوتهم أو تحرير رقبة فمن لم يجد فصيام ثلاثة أيام ذلك كفارة أيمانكم إذا حلفتم واحفظوا أيمانكم كذلك يبين الله لكم آياته لعلكم تشكرون (89)

    Allah does not hold you accountable for your laghw (ineffectual) oaths, but He does hold you accountable for the oath with which you have bound yourself. Its expiation is to feed ten poor persons at an average of what you feed your family with, or to clothe them, or to free a slave. However, if someone cannot afford a slave, he has to fast for three days. That is expiation for the oaths that you have sworn. Take care of your oaths. That is how Allah makes His signs clear to you, so that you may be grateful. [5:89]

    However, the Qirā’ah of Sayyiduna Ubayy and Ibn Mas’ood رضي الله تعالى عنهماreads as:

    فصيام ثلاثة أيام متتابعات

    He has to fast for three consecutive days

    Those scholars who accept this recitation will conclude that the fast needs to be consecutive whereas those who do not accept this recitation will not conclude so.

  48. Another Angle of Taqleed II
    [b]Differences of Opinion Arising from the Understanding of the Noble Qurān:[/b]

    1. Difference in the tafseer (interpretation) of a word.

    Above we have discussed an example. There is a difference in the tafseer of the word quroo and therefore difference in the ruling.

    2. Could shadh (isolated) methods of recitation be used in establishing a ruling?

    There are various modes and methods in which the Noble Qurān could be recited. Some methods are well established whilst others are not. Those methods which are not so well established are known as shadh or isolated modes of recitation.

    Some scholars accept shadh recitations as sufficient enough proof to establish a ruling whilst others stand to differ. Ulamā who accept the usage of shadh methods of recitation as a legitimate means of establishing any ruling would conclude differently from those who do not accept it. An example of this is the ruling regarding keeping fast of kaffārah of breaking an oath; should it be continuous or not. The normal famous Qirā’ah reads as:

    لا يؤاخذكم الله باللغو في أيمانكم ولكن يؤاخذكم بما عقدتم الأيمان فكفارته إطعام عشرة مساكين من أوسط ما تطعمون أهليكم أو كسوتهم أو تحرير رقبة فمن لم يجد فصيام ثلاثة أيام ذلك كفارة أيمانكم إذا حلفتم واحفظوا أيمانكم كذلك يبين الله لكم آياته لعلكم تشكرون (89)

    Allah does not hold you accountable for your laghw (ineffectual) oaths, but He does hold you accountable for the oath with which you have bound yourself. Its expiation is to feed ten poor persons at an average of what you feed your family with, or to clothe them, or to free a slave. However, if someone cannot afford a slave, he has to fast for three days. That is expiation for the oaths that you have sworn. Take care of your oaths. That is how Allah makes His signs clear to you, so that you may be grateful. [5:89]

    However, the Qirā’ah of Sayyiduna Ubayy and Ibn Mas’ood رضي الله تعالى عنهماreads as:

    فصيام ثلاثة أيام متتابعات

    He has to fast for three consecutive days

    Those scholars who accept this recitation will conclude that the fast needs to be consecutive whereas those who do not accept this recitation will not conclude so.

  49. Another Angle of Taqleed
    There are many reasons which contribute to why there exist differences of opinion. The nature of the Arabic language, the pronunciation of words, diacritical marks (i’rāb), method of transmitting any narration, the criteria for accepting any narration are just some of the many reasons which leads to differences of opinions.

    It is important to understand that one bounty which Allah Ta’ala favoured on this ummah is that differences of opinion are not only allowed but considered as a mercy.

    If differences of opinion were something bad we would not have found any differences in the golden era of the honourable sahabah رضوان الله تعالى عليهم اجمعينwho were in the company of Nabi صلى الله عليه وسلم. In fact, when we study the noble Quran we find that many places Allah Ta’ala left open for differences. If He wished he could have cleared things right from the inception.

    Regarding the iddah (waiting period) of a divorcee Allah Ta’ala mentions:

    ({والمطلقات يتربصن بأنفسهن ثلاثة قروء (228)}

    A divorcee should keep herself for three quroo (2:228)

    What is the meaning of quroo? Does it mean impure period (menstruation) or pure period (between the menses)? Sahabah رضوان الله تعالى عليهم اجمعينhad differences amongst themselves. Great personalities the likes of Sayyiduna Ibn Mas’ood رضي الله تعالى عنهand others opine that it is haidh, whereas other great personalities the like of Sayyidatuna Aisha رضي الله تعالى عنهاopine that it refers to the clean period.

    Had differences of opinion been disliked in the shariah, Allah Ta’ala would have simply changed the word and make the meaning clear.

  50. Another Angle of Taqleed
    There are many reasons which contribute to why there exist differences of opinion. The nature of the Arabic language, the pronunciation of words, diacritical marks (i’rāb), method of transmitting any narration, the criteria for accepting any narration are just some of the many reasons which leads to differences of opinions.

    It is important to understand that one bounty which Allah Ta’ala favoured on this ummah is that differences of opinion are not only allowed but considered as a mercy.

    If differences of opinion were something bad we would not have found any differences in the golden era of the honourable sahabah رضوان الله تعالى عليهم اجمعينwho were in the company of Nabi صلى الله عليه وسلم. In fact, when we study the noble Quran we find that many places Allah Ta’ala left open for differences. If He wished he could have cleared things right from the inception.

    Regarding the iddah (waiting period) of a divorcee Allah Ta’ala mentions:

    ({والمطلقات يتربصن بأنفسهن ثلاثة قروء (228)}

    A divorcee should keep herself for three quroo (2:228)

    What is the meaning of quroo? Does it mean impure period (menstruation) or pure period (between the menses)? Sahabah رضوان الله تعالى عليهم اجمعينhad differences amongst themselves. Great personalities the likes of Sayyiduna Ibn Mas’ood رضي الله تعالى عنهand others opine that it is haidh, whereas other great personalities the like of Sayyidatuna Aisha رضي الله تعالى عنهاopine that it refers to the clean period.

    Had differences of opinion been disliked in the shariah, Allah Ta’ala would have simply changed the word and make the meaning clear.

  51. re: bint ahmed
    “it would appear to me that he uses this as an argument to adopt such Taqleed. Why? Just because a large number / the majority of people do something, this in itself does not justify it.”

    You are 100% correct, in stating that just because the mojority do something, it does not necessarily make it correct. However my point was that the majority of the Ummah for the past FOURTEEN centuries have adhered to Taqleed.

    Therefore those who say Taqleed is incorrect and is simply ‘blind following’, are saying the MAJORITY of the UMMAH for the past 14 centuries have been ‘blindly following’. This includes a long line of illustrious scholars such as Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, just to name a couple.

    And just to clarify I wasn’t using the fact that the majority of the Ummah adhere to Taqleed to justify one in doing so, although it is further evidence in itself.

    I was merely pointing out that those very scholars who the so called Salafis oh so love to quote, adhered to Taqleed themselves and were ardent upon the fact that it is necessary for most people to do so.

  52. re: bint ahmed
    “it would appear to me that he uses this as an argument to adopt such Taqleed. Why? Just because a large number / the majority of people do something, this in itself does not justify it.”

    You are 100% correct, in stating that just because the mojority do something, it does not necessarily make it correct. However my point was that the majority of the Ummah for the past FOURTEEN centuries have adhered to Taqleed.

    Therefore those who say Taqleed is incorrect and is simply ‘blind following’, are saying the MAJORITY of the UMMAH for the past 14 centuries have been ‘blindly following’. This includes a long line of illustrious scholars such as Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, just to name a couple.

    And just to clarify I wasn’t using the fact that the majority of the Ummah adhere to Taqleed to justify one in doing so, although it is further evidence in itself.

    I was merely pointing out that those very scholars who the so called Salafis oh so love to quote, adhered to Taqleed themselves and were ardent upon the fact that it is necessary for most people to do so.

  53. To Shaykh Haytham
    Ya Shaykh

    Clear this confusion please:
    You say
    “It should also be emphasised that following a particular school does not free a person from putting any effort to follow the truth that has been revealed by Allah the Most High. Allah will not hold people accountable for their lack of adherence to a specific school, but rather for their identification of the correct ruling in any particular matter. Therefore, once an adherent of a school of thought becomes aware of another opinion in opposition to the one adopted by their school of thought, they have been afforded a good enough grounds to investigate further – it is incorrect for anyone to assume that they are not obliged to investigate merely because the opinion does not source from their school.”

    Is everyone therefore OBLIGED to investigate every matter of deen on whichh there is a difference amongst the fuqaha?
    Your reference for this monumental ruling?

  54. To Shaykh Haytham
    Ya Shaykh

    Clear this confusion please:
    You say
    “It should also be emphasised that following a particular school does not free a person from putting any effort to follow the truth that has been revealed by Allah the Most High. Allah will not hold people accountable for their lack of adherence to a specific school, but rather for their identification of the correct ruling in any particular matter. Therefore, once an adherent of a school of thought becomes aware of another opinion in opposition to the one adopted by their school of thought, they have been afforded a good enough grounds to investigate further – it is incorrect for anyone to assume that they are not obliged to investigate merely because the opinion does not source from their school.”

    Is everyone therefore OBLIGED to investigate every matter of deen on whichh there is a difference amongst the fuqaha?
    Your reference for this monumental ruling?

  55. Abu
    Bro Abu Aqilah

    You say
    “whilst indeed some (many?) self-proclaimed Salafis may effectively be practising Taqleed of other / modern scholars, others do not follow the scholars per se but base their opinions upon the evidence presented by scholars, old & new. I see no reason why even a layman may not strive to understand evidence-based opinions offered by scholars & adopt a position that appears to be most strongly evidenced.”

    please explain how a layman is going to understand the strength of evidence of a ruling, when he has no knowledge of the principlies and methods by which rulings are derived from the Quran and hadith, Usulul Fiqh, the Arabic language, the history of Fiqh etc. Most ‘Salafis’ (in this country at least) dont even know Arabic.

    Can thier choosing one ruling over another be anything other than based on personal whim and desire???

  56. Abu
    Bro Abu Aqilah

    You say
    “whilst indeed some (many?) self-proclaimed Salafis may effectively be practising Taqleed of other / modern scholars, others do not follow the scholars per se but base their opinions upon the evidence presented by scholars, old & new. I see no reason why even a layman may not strive to understand evidence-based opinions offered by scholars & adopt a position that appears to be most strongly evidenced.”

    please explain how a layman is going to understand the strength of evidence of a ruling, when he has no knowledge of the principlies and methods by which rulings are derived from the Quran and hadith, Usulul Fiqh, the Arabic language, the history of Fiqh etc. Most ‘Salafis’ (in this country at least) dont even know Arabic.

    Can thier choosing one ruling over another be anything other than based on personal whim and desire???

  57. Hanafi Salafi in Fiqh or Aqeedah
    The article is in relation to Fiqh. A Hanafi by Fiqh who is Hanbali by Aqeedah would also be worth talking about.

    The fact of the matter is that most Hanafi scholars in the centuries have been opposed to those who are Hanbali by creed, evidenced by their Maturidi texts (where the Hanbalis have been severely refuted without praise). On the other hand, the Hanaabilah have always had a more flexible approach to Fiqh, evidenced by the multiple Riwaayaat of Imam Ahmed in many issues of the law. It is a combinationm of these factors that leads to the need of making such articles like the one Sheikh HH has.

    Please google the ‘dumb hanbali butcher’ that would spark off both these debates off at once.

  58. Hanafi Salafi in Fiqh or Aqeedah
    The article is in relation to Fiqh. A Hanafi by Fiqh who is Hanbali by Aqeedah would also be worth talking about.

    The fact of the matter is that most Hanafi scholars in the centuries have been opposed to those who are Hanbali by creed, evidenced by their Maturidi texts (where the Hanbalis have been severely refuted without praise). On the other hand, the Hanaabilah have always had a more flexible approach to Fiqh, evidenced by the multiple Riwaayaat of Imam Ahmed in many issues of the law. It is a combinationm of these factors that leads to the need of making such articles like the one Sheikh HH has.

    Please google the ‘dumb hanbali butcher’ that would spark off both these debates off at once.

  59. c0nfus1ing states that “the fact of the matter is the MAJORITY of the Ummah, and Scholars (regardless of their school of thought) adhere to Taqleed” & it would appear to me that he uses this as an argument to adopt such Taqleed. Why? Just because a large number / the majority of people do something, this in itself does not justify it. There are countless historical examples of large numbers of people adopting beliefs & practices that have subsequently been deemed to be erroneous.

    Also, whilst indeed some (many?) self-proclaimed Salafis may effectively be practising Taqleed of other / modern scholars, others do not follow the scholars per se but base their opinions upon the evidence presented by scholars, old & new. I see no reason why even a layman may not strive to understand evidence-based opinions offered by scholars & adopt a position that appears to be most strongly evidenced. Surely that is a more sensible position to adopt than that of accepting an opinion or practice simply because that is the one that you have been brought up to accept? If the opinions of each of the commonly accepted four imaams are correct, then is it a sin to adopt the position of one in one matter & another in another (as long as this is not done simply to suit one’s own desires)?

    Finally, I don’t think that Salafis criticise the four imaams & to suggest this is a disingeneous emotional fallacy. They criticise the blind followers of & following of these imaams. There is a difference.

  60. c0nfus1ing states that “the fact of the matter is the MAJORITY of the Ummah, and Scholars (regardless of their school of thought) adhere to Taqleed” & it would appear to me that he uses this as an argument to adopt such Taqleed. Why? Just because a large number / the majority of people do something, this in itself does not justify it. There are countless historical examples of large numbers of people adopting beliefs & practices that have subsequently been deemed to be erroneous.

    Also, whilst indeed some (many?) self-proclaimed Salafis may effectively be practising Taqleed of other / modern scholars, others do not follow the scholars per se but base their opinions upon the evidence presented by scholars, old & new. I see no reason why even a layman may not strive to understand evidence-based opinions offered by scholars & adopt a position that appears to be most strongly evidenced. Surely that is a more sensible position to adopt than that of accepting an opinion or practice simply because that is the one that you have been brought up to accept? If the opinions of each of the commonly accepted four imaams are correct, then is it a sin to adopt the position of one in one matter & another in another (as long as this is not done simply to suit one’s own desires)?

    Finally, I don’t think that Salafis criticise the four imaams & to suggest this is a disingeneous emotional fallacy. They criticise the blind followers of & following of these imaams. There is a difference.

  61. MashAllah
    excellent article

  62. MashAllah
    excellent article

  63. Would you like to tell us all who these ‘scholars from the Shafi’is, Malikis, Hanbalis’ are?

    Despite what the so called ‘Salafis’ (self proclaimed) would like to belive, the fact of the matter is the MAJORITY of the Ummah, and Scholars (regardless of their school of thought) adhere to Taqleed.

    This has been the case for 14 centuries and continues to be the case till this very day.

    Like i said before there are very few scholars qualified to decide which are the stronger of the differences of opinion, as the FACT is very few scholars in the world today are well versed in ALL the different schools of thought.

    But let’s say there are many scholars, as you claim, who are capable of Ijtihad. This would be irrelevant to the (so called) Salafis anyway, as they themselves claim to be able to derive rulings by themselves.

    Therefore if they follow the many scholars out there who you claim are qualified, than wouldn’t they be blindly following those scholars? Just because a scholar is qualified to deduce a ruling, it doesn’t make his student or follower qualified to do so.

    So if your blindly following (as the so called salafis like to say) a modern scholar, what’s the difference between you and somone who follows a Madhab? The difference is the Scholars of all 4 Madhabs are far more qualified than the Scholars of today, im sure you wont argue that point!

    IJTIHAAD: When a mas’alah cannot be clearly found in the Qur’aan and Ahadeeth, the analogies and evidences have to be considered to find out its decree. This is known as Ijtihad and Qiyas. If this is agreed upon, it is called Ijma’a. That is why the Ulama of Usool have written that Qiyas does not establish the decree, but it just makes it evident.

    A ruling which existed in the Qur’aan or Ahadeeth, but was not quite apparent for the common people to understand, a Mujtahid having done Qiyas on its analogies or by analysing evidently, implicitly or by way of necessity, would make it evident. Imam Bukhari rahmatullahi alaihe has compiled a specific chapter regarding this.

    Are you telling me you really beiieve the average laymen is capable of deducing his own rulings from the Quran and Hadith? And that if they don’t deduce their own rulings they are ‘blindly following’?

    If it were unlawful for the carpenter, the sailor, the computer programmer, the doctor, to do any act of worship before he had mastered the entire textual corpus of the Qur’an and thousands of hadiths, together with all the methodological principles needed to weigh the evidence and comprehensively join between it, he would either have to give up his profession or give up his religion.

    I think you’ll find those who criticize the illustrious Imams of the Four Madhahib of the Sunnah, and renounce the Islamic concept of Taqleed, have placed around their necks the taqleed 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.

    In reality they also follow (taqlid). Yet 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, and other illustrious scholars who came centuries after the A’immah-e-Mujtahideen.

    Although they claim to be following the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah, they blindly follow Ibn Taymiyyah’s writings and opinions as interpreted by al-Albani.

    They are quick to lay claim to be obtaining their rules directly from the Hadith; yet 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.

    I’ll leave you with something to ponder over:

    Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, along with a long long list of other illustrious scholars all adhered to Taqleed of one of the Madhabs… so next time you qoute one of them, why note quote their rulings on the status of Taqleed?

    P.S I’m not a ‘deobandi brother assuming all are ignorant except a few elite’, and neither are the MAJORITY of the Ummah for the past 14 centuries.

  64. Would you like to tell us all who these ‘scholars from the Shafi’is, Malikis, Hanbalis’ are?

    Despite what the so called ‘Salafis’ (self proclaimed) would like to belive, the fact of the matter is the MAJORITY of the Ummah, and Scholars (regardless of their school of thought) adhere to Taqleed.

    This has been the case for 14 centuries and continues to be the case till this very day.

    Like i said before there are very few scholars qualified to decide which are the stronger of the differences of opinion, as the FACT is very few scholars in the world today are well versed in ALL the different schools of thought.

    But let’s say there are many scholars, as you claim, who are capable of Ijtihad. This would be irrelevant to the (so called) Salafis anyway, as they themselves claim to be able to derive rulings by themselves.

    Therefore if they follow the many scholars out there who you claim are qualified, than wouldn’t they be blindly following those scholars? Just because a scholar is qualified to deduce a ruling, it doesn’t make his student or follower qualified to do so.

    So if your blindly following (as the so called salafis like to say) a modern scholar, what’s the difference between you and somone who follows a Madhab? The difference is the Scholars of all 4 Madhabs are far more qualified than the Scholars of today, im sure you wont argue that point!

    IJTIHAAD: When a mas’alah cannot be clearly found in the Qur’aan and Ahadeeth, the analogies and evidences have to be considered to find out its decree. This is known as Ijtihad and Qiyas. If this is agreed upon, it is called Ijma’a. That is why the Ulama of Usool have written that Qiyas does not establish the decree, but it just makes it evident.

    A ruling which existed in the Qur’aan or Ahadeeth, but was not quite apparent for the common people to understand, a Mujtahid having done Qiyas on its analogies or by analysing evidently, implicitly or by way of necessity, would make it evident. Imam Bukhari rahmatullahi alaihe has compiled a specific chapter regarding this.

    Are you telling me you really beiieve the average laymen is capable of deducing his own rulings from the Quran and Hadith? And that if they don’t deduce their own rulings they are ‘blindly following’?

    If it were unlawful for the carpenter, the sailor, the computer programmer, the doctor, to do any act of worship before he had mastered the entire textual corpus of the Qur’an and thousands of hadiths, together with all the methodological principles needed to weigh the evidence and comprehensively join between it, he would either have to give up his profession or give up his religion.

    I think you’ll find those who criticize the illustrious Imams of the Four Madhahib of the Sunnah, and renounce the Islamic concept of Taqleed, have placed around their necks the taqleed 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.

    In reality they also follow (taqlid). Yet 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, and other illustrious scholars who came centuries after the A’immah-e-Mujtahideen.

    Although they claim to be following the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah, they blindly follow Ibn Taymiyyah’s writings and opinions as interpreted by al-Albani.

    They are quick to lay claim to be obtaining their rules directly from the Hadith; yet 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.

    I’ll leave you with something to ponder over:

    Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, along with a long long list of other illustrious scholars all adhered to Taqleed of one of the Madhabs… so next time you qoute one of them, why note quote their rulings on the status of Taqleed?

    P.S I’m not a ‘deobandi brother assuming all are ignorant except a few elite’, and neither are the MAJORITY of the Ummah for the past 14 centuries.

  65. the confusion of the confused
    I think the shaikh’s article takes certain things for granted but I guess he’d have to for the sake of brevity. I assume the article was written for those who have a basic understanding in madhabism and salafism since the article seems to call for a conciliation between the two rather than explore the two notions.

    A ‘legitimate difference of opinion’ is one where the method of deriving the ruling from the Quran and sunnah is by an acceptable method of inference in accordance to the methodology of Ahlus sunnah wal jama’ah. An illegitimate difference of opinion stems from an unorthadox approach to the legal texts. These things can be known by studying usul al-fiqh.

    The shaikh does not argue that one should leave off following the scholars, but that research should be conducted between the two conflicting opinions with the help of the scholars.

    As for there being very few scholars today who are qualified to decide which are the stronger of the differences of opinion then I totally disagree – although that may be the case amongst the S.Asian Hanafis, other scholars from the shafi’is, Malikis, Hanbalis and other Ahnaf seem to manage it just fine. Of course, the deobandi brothers seem to assume all are ignorant except a few elite whilst in reality it is their elite who keep their laity ignorant by claiming ijhtihad is dead!

    Its funny the Arab Ahnaf don’t see things the same way.

  66. the confusion of the confused
    I think the shaikh’s article takes certain things for granted but I guess he’d have to for the sake of brevity. I assume the article was written for those who have a basic understanding in madhabism and salafism since the article seems to call for a conciliation between the two rather than explore the two notions.

    A ‘legitimate difference of opinion’ is one where the method of deriving the ruling from the Quran and sunnah is by an acceptable method of inference in accordance to the methodology of Ahlus sunnah wal jama’ah. An illegitimate difference of opinion stems from an unorthadox approach to the legal texts. These things can be known by studying usul al-fiqh.

    The shaikh does not argue that one should leave off following the scholars, but that research should be conducted between the two conflicting opinions with the help of the scholars.

    As for there being very few scholars today who are qualified to decide which are the stronger of the differences of opinion then I totally disagree – although that may be the case amongst the S.Asian Hanafis, other scholars from the shafi’is, Malikis, Hanbalis and other Ahnaf seem to manage it just fine. Of course, the deobandi brothers seem to assume all are ignorant except a few elite whilst in reality it is their elite who keep their laity ignorant by claiming ijhtihad is dead!

    Its funny the Arab Ahnaf don’t see things the same way.

  67. Dr Mohammed Iqbal Patel, Camberley

    Modern Salafism
    The article by the shaikh sounds more tolerant than the salafi characters who are in the streets. Of course we all agree on the Quran and Sunnah. There is a big difference between a Shaikh and a bigotted(half-baked-half cooked) Salafi follower. The same is true for our Madhabi bretheren.

  68. Dr Mohammed Iqbal Patel, Camberley

    Modern Salafism
    The article by the shaikh sounds more tolerant than the salafi characters who are in the streets. Of course we all agree on the Quran and Sunnah. There is a big difference between a Shaikh and a bigotted(half-baked-half cooked) Salafi follower. The same is true for our Madhabi bretheren.

  69. This articles rather confusing….
    “In contemporary times, such rigidity has continued whereby adherents of a school of law continue to treat others with suspicion even when there is a legitimate difference of opinion”

    The writer of the article accepts that their legitimate differences of opinion in Islam, yet he goes onto say:

    “Therefore, once an adherent of a school of thought becomes aware of another opinion in opposition to the one adopted by their school of thought, they have been afforded a good enough grounds to investigate further”

    If there are legitimate differences of opinion, than why should one look at the differences in order to decide which one is correct, when they are ‘legitimate differeces of opinion’?

    “Across the Islamic empire a number of scholars were renowned for their grasp of Islamic law and theological understanding, jurists such as Malik ibn Anas, Al Awza’i, Al Laith ibn Sa’d, Sufyan Al Thawri, and Abu Hanifah. Later generations included Muhammad ibn Hasan Al Shaibani, Abu Yusuf, Ibn Al Qasim, Al Shafi’i and Ahmad ibn Hanbal.”

    Is the layman out there qualified to decide which are the stronger of the differences of opinion from the aforementioned scholars?

    There are very few scholars today who are qualified to do so, let alone your average layman, so how would they go about carrying out such a task?

    I find the article rather confusing and contradictory.

  70. This articles rather confusing….
    “In contemporary times, such rigidity has continued whereby adherents of a school of law continue to treat others with suspicion even when there is a legitimate difference of opinion”

    The writer of the article accepts that their legitimate differences of opinion in Islam, yet he goes onto say:

    “Therefore, once an adherent of a school of thought becomes aware of another opinion in opposition to the one adopted by their school of thought, they have been afforded a good enough grounds to investigate further”

    If there are legitimate differences of opinion, than why should one look at the differences in order to decide which one is correct, when they are ‘legitimate differeces of opinion’?

    “Across the Islamic empire a number of scholars were renowned for their grasp of Islamic law and theological understanding, jurists such as Malik ibn Anas, Al Awza’i, Al Laith ibn Sa’d, Sufyan Al Thawri, and Abu Hanifah. Later generations included Muhammad ibn Hasan Al Shaibani, Abu Yusuf, Ibn Al Qasim, Al Shafi’i and Ahmad ibn Hanbal.”

    Is the layman out there qualified to decide which are the stronger of the differences of opinion from the aforementioned scholars?

    There are very few scholars today who are qualified to do so, let alone your average layman, so how would they go about carrying out such a task?

    I find the article rather confusing and contradictory.

  71. So i’m a salafi hanafi?!
    Mashallah an excellent and thought provoking article.

    So this is modern salafe’ism..;)

  72. So i’m a salafi hanafi?!
    Mashallah an excellent and thought provoking article.

    So this is modern salafe’ism..;)

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