Taqleed

 

Contents

The Object of man’s existence

The Object of man’s existence on earth is to recognize, worship and serve his creator, Allah Ta’ala. Everything else is secondary.

Worship of Allah Ta’ala is not restricted to the five pillars (Imaan, Salaah, Zakaah, Fasting and Haj). Instead it encompasses every facet of life from eating to answering the call of nature, from business to marriage and from being the head of the household to being the leader of the state.

In order to teach man how to worship Allah Ta’ala in every aspect of life, by performing every action in a manner that is pleasing to him, Allah Ta’ala sent messengers and revealed his books of guidance. The last and final messenger was Sayyidana Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and the last book that was revealed upon him was the Qur’an. Gaining salvation in this world and the next is now only possible by following the Qur’an and the noble Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).

 

The Qur’an

The primary source of guidance revealed to mankind from Allah Ta’ala is the Qur’an. The Noble Qur’an in its entirety is a means of guidance for mankind at large. It (Noble Qur’an) comprises of incidents and events of the past nations, scenes of the hereafter, admonishments for the evil-doers and glad-tidings for the pious, etc. Similarly it also comprises of laws and injunctions of Shariah.

With regard to the verses of the Qur’an that explain stories and events of the past nations, scenes of the hereafter, etc., Allah Ta’ala declares:

وَلَقَدْ يَسَّرْنَا الْقُرْآنَ لِلذِّكْرِ فَهَلْ مِن مُّدَّكِرٍ

And We have indeed made the Qur’an easy to understand and seek advice, then is there anyone to seek advice? (Surah Qamar 54/40)

As far as these verses are concerned (i.e. stories and events of the past nations), they are easily comprehendible to any person conversant in the Arabic language or even those who refer to the translations of the Holy Qur'an. As for those verses of the Qur'an which discuss shari'ee laws and injunctions, let alone those who are well conversant in the Arabic language, even the Sahabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) were unable to fathom the meanings of such verses or unravel their hidden secrets without the intermediary of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).

 

Referring to the Qur’an without the Medium of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)

Amongst the many duties of prophet-hood assigned to Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), one of his duties was to verbally explain as well as physically demonstrate to the ummah the details and particulars of the shar’ee laws contained in the Noble Quran. Allah Ta’ala says:

وَأَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الذِّكْرَ لِتُبَيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ مَا نُزِّلَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ

And We have sent down the Qur’an (the reminder) to you so that you explain to the people what has been revealed for them, and so that they reflect. (Surah Nahl 16/44)

For example the Noble Qur’an declares:

وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ

Establish Salaah (Surah Baqara 2/43)

If one has to study the Quran in depth he will not find any details mentioned of the five faraaidh; viz. Fajr, Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Esha nor will he find the exact number of the rakaats for each Salaah. Other related aspects such as the sunan, wajibaat, faraidh, or the factors which invalidate or decrease the spirit of the Salaat are also not mentioned. One will be compelled to refer to the Sunnah [1] for these details since it is in reality a commentary of the Quran. Similar is the case of Zakaat, Saum, Haj and the remainder injunctions of shariah. Hence we understand that following the Ahadeeth of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is akin to obeying Allah Ta’ala, as mentioned in the Ayah:

مَّن يُطِعِ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللَّهَ

​He who obeys the Rasool (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) obeys Allah Ta’ala(Surah Nisa’ 4/80)

Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) himself directed our attention to this point in the following Hadith:

عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال كل أمتي يدخلون الجنة إلا من أبى قالوا ومن يأبى قال من أطاعني دخل الجنة ومن عصاني فقد أبى

It is reported from Abu Hurairah (Radiyallahu Anhu) that Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “My entire ummat will gain entry into paradise except those who reject.” Sahaba enquired: “And who are those who reject (O Nabi of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)).” Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) replied: “Those who follow my Sunnah (way) will surely enter paradise and those who disobey me are the rejectors.” (Bukhari 2/1081)

This statement of Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) clearly establishes the fact that one cannot gain salvation without the medium of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).

Furthermore it is impossible for one to understand all the verses of the Qur’an without the agency of the Ahadeeth of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), even though he may be a Sahabi (the first recipient of the Qur’an).

When the following verse of the Holy Qur’an was revealed:

وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا حَتَّى يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَيْطُ الْأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الْخَيْطِ الْأَسْوَدِ مِنَ الْفَجْرِ

And eat and drink until the white thread of dawn appear to you distinct from its black thread. (Surah Baqara 2/187)

Hadhrat Adi Ibn Hatim At-Tai (Radiyallahu Anhu) tried to apply his personal intellect in understanding the intended meaning of the verse and hence reached an erroneous conclusion. Subsequently he expressed what he understood before Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) corrected him and explained the correct meaning of the verse.

This entire incident is reported by Imam Ahmed Ibn Hambal (Rahmatullahi Alayhi):

وقال الإمام أحمد حدثنا هشيم أخبرنا حصين عن الشعبي أخبرني عدي بن حاتم قال لما نزلت هذه الآية وكلوا واشربوا حتى يتبين لكم الخيط الأبيض من الخيط الأسود عمدت إلى عقالين أحدهما أسود والآخر أبيض قال فجعلتهما تحت وسادتي قال فجعلت أنظر إليهما فلا تبين لي الأسود من الأبيض، ولا الأبيض من الأسود، فلما أصبحت غدوت على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فأخبرته بالذي صنعت فقال إن وسادك إذا لعريض إنما ذلك بياض النهار وسواد الليل

Imam Sha’bi reports that Hadhrat Adi ibn Hatim (Radiyallahu Anhu) related to me that when the above verse of the Qur’an was revealed. I took two pieces of threads (one thread was black and the other white). I then placed both the treads beneath my pillow. I stared at the threads for a long time expecting to see the white thread becoming more clear and visible from the black thread so that I may then abstain from eating. However, the entire night passed and in the morning I came to Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and I had expressed what I had understood from the verse and what I had done during the night. Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) smiled and remarked: “If the meaning of the verse is as you have understood, then your pillow is indeed very wide. For indeed the white and black threads implied in the verse refers to the brightness of the day and the darkness of the night.” [2]

 

The History of the Taqleed of the Four Imaams

A common question posed by many people is: “If the Ahaadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) are a commentary of the Noble Qur’an, then what is the need for making Taqleed of an Imaam?”

In order to understand the answer to this question, a brief discussion of the history of the Mazaahib (schools of thought) is necessary.

It is the divine system of Allah Ta’ala that he provided means for the fulfilment of every need of man. Furthermore, in proportion to the need, adequate means have been provided for its fulfilment. Consider the need for water and air. Besides raining down water from the skies, Allah Ta’ala made it possible to acquire water from many sources with relative ease. As for air, since man requires air every second, it has been provided free everywhere. All one needs to do is breathe. Thus Allah Ta’ala has provided for all the physical needs of man.

More important than every physical need is the spiritual need of man. He needs to recognise his creator and worship him. This is the purpose of his existence on earth. Hence Allah Ta’ala instituted divine measures to fulfil this greatest need of every human being.

Allah Ta’ala declares in the glorious Qur’an:

إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ

Certainly We are the ones who revealed the Qur’an and surely we have taken the responsibility of safe guarding it. (Surah Hijr 15/9)

In this verse Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala explicitly and emphatically declares that He himself has taken the responsibility of protecting the Qur’an. For the enactment of this divine responsibility, of protecting the greatest book “Al-Qur’an”, Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala utilized the greatest of His creation after the Ambiyaa (Alayhimus Salam), who were none other than the auspicious Sahabah (Radiyallahu Anhum).

Then came the time for the compilation and preservation of the commentary of the Qur’an (i.e. the Ahaadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)). For this mammoth task Allah Ta’ala utilized the Sahabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) as well as the Taabi’een and the Tabe-Tabi’een (Rahmatullahi Alaihim).

Thereafter the need arose for the laws of the Qur’an and Hadith. Systemizing the laws of Shari’ah required discerning and differentiating between the previous abrogated laws and the latter laws which replaced them, deciphering between the authentic and unauthentic narrations, categorizing the status of injunctions and prohibitions (Farz, Wajib, Sunnat, Mustahab, Mubaah, Haraam, Makroo-e-Tahrimi, Makrooh-e-Tanzihi, Kilaaf-e-Awlaa) and finally formulating principles in the light of Qur’an and Hadith which govern the deduction of non-textual situations. All of the above needed to be accomplished in order to correctly practice upon each law of Shari’ah in the manner it was revealed by Allah Ta’ala upon Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).

The accomplishment of such a tremendous task was only possible by a selected class of Allah’s servants, whose phenomenal expertise and unparalleled proficiency cover every science of Deen. This class of people are classified in the terminology of the jurists as Mujtahideen.

There were only a limited number of these highly qualified specialists of Deen in the time of  Sahabah (Radiyallahu Anhum), Tabieen and Tabe-Tabieen (Rahmatullahi Alayhim).

 

From the Sahabah (Radiyallahu Anhum):

Among the Sahaba (Radiyallahu Anhum), the following personalities were known as the Mujtahideen:

The four Kulafaa-e-Raasihdeen (Radiyallahu Anhum), Abdullah bin Masood, Hazrat Ibne-Abbaas, Abdullah bin Amr, Abdullah bin Umar, Mu’aaz bin jabl and a few others (Radiyallahu Anhum).

 

From the Tabieen and Tab-e-Taabieen:

Among the well-known Mujtahideen of the second era were:

Imaam Abu Hanifah, Sha’bi, Ebrahim Nakaai, Alqamah, Imaam Maalik, Imaam Shafi’ee, Imaam Ahmed, Imaam Auzai, Lais bin Sa’d and others (Rahmatullahi Alaihim).

Only Allah Ta’ala knows, in his infinite and unquestionable wisdom, why he hand picked this elite group for the office of Ijtihaad. These special servants of Allah Ta’ala continued to serve the creation and water the fields of Deen. In their era they were the centre of attraction in solving theDeeni Masaail (Questions pertaining to Deen) of the day.

The Mazaahib of many of these great men were recorded for the benefit of the coming generations. However, with the passage of time, due to the various wars and other tragic situations recorded in history, the works of theses Mujtahideen in its entirety were no longer preserved. Hence to date, only scattered portions of undetailed information regarding their mazhabs have been recorded. It was the divine decree of Allah Ta’ala that only the works of the four Ai’mmah-Mujtahideen, in its entirety, remain preserved.

Furthermore, the latter Ulama thoroughly examined and scrutinized the mazahib of these four Imaams in the light of Qur’an and Hadith. For centuries thereafter these mazaahib were tried and tested by the luminaries of Islaam, the likes of Imaam Daare Qutni, Hafiz Baihaqi, Hafiz Ibne Hajar, Allama Aini, Imaam Nawawi, Hafiz Zailaee, Imaam Tahawi, Hafiz Ibne Abdil Bar, Ibne- Arabi, Hafiz Ibnul Jawzi and many others.

Thus the four mazaahib received the acceptance of thousands of specialists. All these doctors of their field unanimously attested to the unmatched mastery of the four Imaams and admitted their inability to produce a masterpiece mazhab like that of theses Imaams. These Ulama further supported and corroborated the four mazaahib, that all are firmly based on the Qur’an and Sunnah.

Hence in this time and age, for one to intend to personally review the shari’ah and formulate principles that govern the deduction of masaail would be akin to re-inventing the wheel.

Nevertheless, the Ulama are in agreement that although the doors of ijtihaad have not been closed, however, after the third century no one has met the criteria of being a mujtahid. These few people who claimed to be on the pedestal of ijtihaad were tested by the Ulama of the time and after being proven academically incompetent, were disqualified and rejected.

 

What is Taqleed?

Taqleed is to accept the view of an Imaam with confidence that his view conforms to the Qur’an and Sunnah though one may be unaware of the proofs of the Imaam [3].

 

Is Taqleed supported by the Qur’an?

The injunction of Taqleed is established through many verses of the Qur’an. By way of example, a few verses will be cited below:

وَاتَّبِعْ سَبِيلَ مَنْ أَنَابَ إِلَيَّ

Follow the path of those who turn to Me [Allah Ta’ala] (Surah Luqman 31:15)

فَاسْأَلُوا أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِن كُنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ

Ask the people of knowledge if you do not know. (Surah An-Nahl 16:43)

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ

O you who believe obey Allah, the Rasul and the people of authority amongst you. (Surah Nisa 4:59)

The Mufassireen (the likes of Abu Bakr Jassaas, Allama Aaloosi and Imaam Raazi) commentate that “ulil amr” in this verse refers to the Ulama and the Fuqahaa of the ummat. Hence, the compulsion of Taqleed is established from this verse.

The renowned Aalim of the Ahle Hadith (those who claim to be following the hadeeth), Nawaab Siddique Hasan confirms the above commentary in his kitaab Al-Junnah [4] thus saying:

قال ابن عباس ، وجابر ، والحسن ، وأبو العالية وعطاء والضحاك ومجاهد والإمام أحمد "هم العلماء" (فتاوى دار العلوم زكريا 1/141)

According to Ibn Abbaas, Jaabir (Radiyallahu Anhuma), Hassan, Abul Aaliyah, Ataa’, Dahaak, Mujaahid and Imaam Ahmad (Rahmatullahi Alayhim) ulil amr” in this verse refers to the Ulama.

Nawaab Siddique Hasan further states that if this verse is with reference to the Islamic Rulers, then too taqleed of the Ulama cannot be disproven. The reason being that obedience to the rulers is subject to the approval of the Ulama, as the rulings of the Ulama are subject to being in conformity with the teachings of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).

والتحقيق أن الأمراء إنما يطاعون إذا أمروا بمقتضي العلم ، فطاعتهم تبع لطاعة العلماء كما أن طاعة العلماء تبع لطاعة الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم (فتاوى دار العلوم زكريا 1/141)

 

Is Taqleed supported by the Ahaadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)?

The injunction of Taqleed is supported by many Ahaadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). Hereunder, a few Ahaadith will be presented:

In the blessed era of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) Hadhrat Mu’aaz bin Jabal(Radiyallahu Anhu) was nominated as the governor of Yemen by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) commanded the people of Yemen to refer their Deeni issues to Hadhrat Mu’aaz (Radiyallahu Anhu). Hence, Taqleed commenced in the noble era of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) with the permission of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).

عن الأسود بن يزيد قال أتانا معاذا باليمن معلما وأميرا فسألناه عن رجل توفي وترك ابنة وأختا فقضى للإبنة بالنصف وللأخت بالنصف ورسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم حي (أخرجه البخاري وهذا لفظه وأبو داود 2/997)

Aswad bin Yazeed reports: “Hadhrat Mu’aaz (Radiyallahu Anhu) came to the people of Yemen as a teacher and a leader. The people of Yemen enquired from him regarding a person who passed away leaving behind a daughter and a sister. Mu’aaz (Radiyallahu Anhu) issued a verdict that half of the estate will be given to the daughter and the remainder half will be given to the sister. This occurred during the lifetime of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).”

وعن حذيفة قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إني لا أدري ما بقائي فيكم ؟ فاقتدوا باللذين من بعدي أبي بكر وعمر (مشكاة ص560)

حدثنا الحسن بن الصباح البزار حدثنا سفيان بن عيينة عن زائدة عن عبد الملك بن عمير عن ربعي عن حذيفة قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم اقتدوا باللذين من بعدي أبي بكر و عمر (سنن الترمذي 2/207)

Huzaifah (Radiyallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “I do not know how long I will be amongst you. Therefore, follow the two who are to come after me, Abu Bakr and Umar (Radiyallahu Anhuma).”

Note: From the above-mentioned two ahaadith we understand that Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) did not ask the people of Yemen to directly refer to the Hadith. Instead, they were asked to refer to Hadhrat Mu’aaz (Radiyallahu Anhu) for shar’ee guidance and rely upon what he says. The reason for Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) instructing the people of Yemen (and similarly the entire ummah) to make taqleed is that every person is not capable of correctly extracting laws from the Qur’an and Hadith. Referring to the Qur’an and Hadith is the responsibility of highly qualified specialists of the ummah, known as the A’immah-e-mujtahideen. Accordingly, in the second Hadith Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) instructed us to follow the guidelines given by Abu Bakr and Umar (Radiyallahu Anhuma). Furthermore, Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) did not ask us to question their authenticity or query their proofs for they possessed the total capability of correctly deducing laws from the Qur’an and Hadith. Rather, he asked us to merely follow what they said. In essence, this is taqleed.

وحدثني عن مالك عن عثمان بن حفص بن خلدة عن بن شهاب عن سالم بن عبد الله عن عبد الله بن عمر :انه سئل عن الرجل يكون له الدين على الرجل إلى أجل فيضع عنه صاحب الحق ويعجله الآخر فكره ذلك عبد الله بن عمر ونهى عنه (الموطأ برواية يحيى ص606)

Saalim reports that Ibnu Umar (Radiyallahu Anhu) was asked regarding a person who was owed money on credit, whether it would be permissible for him to waive a portion of the debt in exchange of early payment. Ibnu Umar disliked the idea and prohibited it.

Note: Moulana Thaanwi (Rahmatullahi Alayh) explained that in this narration, we find that Ibnu Umar issued a verdict without furnishing any proof for his decision, nor did the questioner enquire from him regarding the proof of his ruling. Instead, he relied upon Ibnu Umar(Radiyallahu Anhuma’s) ruling since he recognised the high status and position Ibn Umar (Radiyallahu Anhuma) held in the field of deducing laws from the Qur’an and Hadith. Thus, we conclude that taqleed was practised in the very noble era of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). (At-taqleed pg.10)

 

Is Taqleed-e-Shakhsi (following one specific person) supported from the Hadith

It is reported that when Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) dispatched Hadhrat Mu’aaz (Radiyallahu Anhu) to Yemen, he asked him, “What procedure will you adopt when passing decisions in the affairs of the Muslims?” Mu’aaz (Radiyallahu Anhu) replied: “I will decide in accordance to the Qur’an.” Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) then asked him: “If a law is not found in the Qur’an then what will you do?” He replied, “I will refer to the Ahaadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).” Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) then questioned him: “If the ruling is not found in the Ahaadith, then what will you do?” He replied: “I will employ my ability of reasoning (ijtihaad) in reaching a conclusion.” Upon hearing this, Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “All praise be to Allah who inspired the messenger of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) Mu’aaz (Radiyallahu Anhu) with the correct guidance.”  (Sunanut Tirmizi – Kitaabul Ahkaam – 1/247) [5]

عن الحارث بن عمرو عن رجال من أصحاب معاذ : أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم بعث معاذا إلى اليمن فقال كيف تقضي ؟ فقال أقضي بما في كتاب الله قال فإن لم يكن في كتاب الله ؟ قال فبسنة رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قال فإن لم يكن في سنة رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم ؟ قال أجتهد رأيي قال الحمد لله الذي وفق رسول رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم (سنن الترمذي 1/247)

Under the commentary of the above-mentioned Hadith, some scholars of Hadith explain [6]:

The purpose for Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) questioning Hadhrat Mu’aaz (Radiyallahu Anhu) in the following manner was, so that the people realise his capability and have confidence in him. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) desired that the people of Yemen should refer their Deeni problems to Hadhrat Mu’aaz (Radiyallahu Anhu), and any decision passed by him should be readily accepted without any reservation. Otherwise it would seem quite strange of a leader to test the governor he already nominated at the time of bidding him farewell. For indeed Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was fully aware that Hadhrat Mu’aaz (Radiyallahu Anhu) possessed the full capability to manage the office of Qadha (passing judgments).

Once Hadhrat Abu Musa (Radiyallahu Anhu) was questioned regarding the estate of a deceased who was survived by a daughter, paternal grandfather and sister. How should the estate be distributed? He replied saying: “Half the estate will be given to the daughter and the remainder half will be given to the sister. However, go to Ibn Mas’ood (Radiyallahu Anhu) for confirmation.” When Ibn Mas’ood (Radiyallahu Anhu) was informed of the verdict issued by Abu Moosa (Radiyallahu Anhu) he mentioned: “If this is the correct verdict, then certainly I am mislead from the path of those who are rightly guided. My verdict in this issue is in conformity with the verdict of Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam); half the estate will be given to the daughter, a sixth will be given to the paternal granddaughter in completion of two thirds of the estate and the remainder will go to the sister.” We then returned to Abu Musa (Radiyallah Anhu) and informed him of the verdict given by Ibn Mas’ood (Radiyallahu Anhu). Thereupon he said: “As long as this great Aalim is alive, I don’t see the need for you people to refer to me i.e. hold fast onto him and continue referring to him in all matters relating to Deen(Bukhari Shareef – Kitaabul Faraaid – 2/997)

حدثنا أبو قيس سمعت هزيل بن شرحبيل قال سئل أبو موسى عن إبنة وابنة ابن وأخت فقال للإبنة النصف وللأخت النصف وأت ابن مسعود فسيتابعني فسئل ابن مسعود وأخبر بقول أبي موسى فقال لقد ضللت إذا وما أنا من المهتدين أقضي فيها بما قضى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم للابنة النصف ولابنة ابن السدس تكملة الثلثين وما بقي فللأخت فأتينا أبا موسى فأخبرناه بقول ابن مسعود فقال لا تسألوني ما دام هذا الحبر فيكم (بخاري 2/997)

Amr bin Maymoon reports that the messenger of Nabi (Sallallahu Alauhi Wasallam) Hadhrat Mu’aaz (Radiyallahu Anhu) came to Yemen; I loved him excessively so I remained with him until the end of his life. Thereafter I remained in search of the most knowledgeable person after him. Thereupon I met Abdullah bin Mas’ood (Radiyallahu Anhu). I also remained with him until the end of his life.

عن عمرو بن ميمون الأودي قال قدم علينا معاذ بن جبل اليمن رسول رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إلينا … فال فألقيت عليه محبتي فما فارقته حتى دفنته بالشام ميتا ثم نظرت إلى أفقه الناس بعده فأتيت ابن مسعود فلزمته حتى مات (سنن أبي داود 1/62)

Ikrimah (Rahmatullahi Alayh) reports that the people of Madina Munawwarah inquired from Ibn Abbaas (Radiyallahu Anhu) regarding the law of a woman who experienced haidh after her fardh tawaaf, should she wait until she becomes pure in order to perform the tawaaf-e-widaa or will it fall off? He replied that it will fall off and she may leave. Upon this the people of Madina said: “We will not practise on your opinion leaving out the view of Zaid bin Thaabit (Radiyallah Anhu).

In fathul Baari reporting from Thaqafi this statement of the inhabitants of Madina Munawwarah is reported in the following manner: “Wheather you express your view or not, we will hold onto the view of Zaid (Radiyallahu Anhu).

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 (بخاري 1/237)

 

Refer to the Experts

In regard to worldly affairs, the principle “refer to the experts of the field” is quite common. If a person intends constructing a triple story mansion, he will first contact an architect to draw out the plans. He will thereafter hire the services of an engineer as well as a contractor to put up the project. If one has to independently embark on such a project without the aid of the architect, the engineer and the contractor, we can well imagine the devastating outcome that he will cause for himself through such actions.

Similarly if someone is afflicted by an acute sickness e.g. cancer, cardiac failure etc. and is advised by expert physicians that if he does not undergo immediate surgery; there is a ninety to ninety five percent chance that the sickness will prove fatal. Under these life threatening circumstances, if one has to refer to a medical journal, and thereafter musters up the courage to personally operate upon himself, what will our response be regarding such a person’s determination.

In the same breath we see this principle upheld in all walks of life. People refer to others who they recognize to be experts in their respective fields for guidance and assistance. In reality this is Taqleed; “Relying upon the expertise of others”.

In retrospect when one views the different departments of Islamic learning, one will undoubtedly realize that without placing one’s confidence and reliance upon people who are learned in the respective fields of Deen, one will not progress Islamicly.

From the elementary Maktab [7] level, the child is required to place his confidence upon his Muallim or Muallima, thereby gaining the ability to recite the Qur’an. At the second level the child is admitted into a Hifz class where the child commits the Qur’an to memory with perfecting its recitation. At this stage we also notice that in order for the child to progress, he is required to follow his Ustaaz and place his reliance upon the knowledge that is imparted to him. The child thereafter progresses further where he gains admission into a Darul Uloom or university. Various courses are offered to him under the tutorship of qualified teachers. Here also he subjects his understanding to conform to the understanding of his tutors who he recognizes.  At the end of the stipulated period he receives a qualification signifying his competence and proficiency in the various fields of Deen.

We understand that at every stage in the life of man irrespective of worldly progress or Deeni progress, he is duty bound by Shari’ah to institute the principle of Taqleed.

Allah Ta’ala says:

فَاسْأَلُوا أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِن كُنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ

Ask the people of knowledge if you do not know. (Surah An-Nahl 16:43)

The crux of the matter is that currently the experts of Deen are recognized as experts since their knowledge relatively exceeds the knowledge of the common man. Hence, they are referred to for Islamic guidance. As far as other related fields of Deen are concerned, people do not refer to them though they might be learned in those branches of Deen. Furthermore, if the current day experts are compared to the experts of the past, they (the experts of today) will be rated below the common man of those times. This brings us to the conclusion that if we wish to follow a guide whose expertise extensively encompasses every department of Deen viz. the Qur’an, Hadith,ijmaa’, history, verdicts of Sahaba, etc. then we will not find anyone of contemporary times who will be able to guide us to Allah other than the legacy of the Aimmah-e-Arba’ which Allah Ta’ala has preserved (from amongst all the other Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen) throughout the centuries of Islam. 

 

Why are there only four Mazhabs?

Many great Ulama’ of the past have clearly affirmed that taqleed has become confined to only one of the four mazhabs. In this regard ‘Allamah ‘Abdurrahman Ibn Muhammad Al-Maghribi (808 A.H) writes: “… Taqleed became confined to these four Imams in all the cities of the Muslim world. All the followers of other Imaams gradually became extinct. Thus, when the terminologies of the various sciences became wide-spread in the earth, the scholars closed the doors of differences (and confined taqleed to one of the four Imaams) as they feared that someone unworthy would begin claiming ijtihad. Hence they (the scholars) stated: “The ability to reach the rank of a mujtahid has become virtually impossible.” Thereupon they directed the people towards making taqleed of one of the four Imams and warned them against changing mazhabs for convenience, as this will amount playing fools with the Deen of Allah. Thus anyone who claims to have acquired the level of ijtihad in this age will be rejected and will not be followed. The entire Muslim world now have consensus about the taqleed of these four Imams [8].”

 

Are there any Mujtahids in this day and age?

Allamah Shihab Ar-Ramli (Rahmatullahi Alayh) (957 A.H.) states: “The person who has a true understanding of what ijtihaad actually means would feel ashamed before Allah from attributing it to anyone of this day and age. In fact, Ibnus-Salah (643 A.H.) and his followers stated that it had become extinct three hundred years ago. Ibnus-Salah himself passed away three hundred years ago, hence, it had become extinct about six hundred years ago.”

Allamah Munawi (Rahmatullahi Alayh) (1031 A.H.) says: The Alim of the Syrian region, Imam Ibn Abid-Dam (642 A.H.) writes after mentioning all the conditions of ijtihad: “It is hardly possible to find these conditions in any scholar of our age. Instead, there is no Mujtahid-e-mutlaqon the surface of the earth today.”

During the tenth century of Islam, Imam Suyuti (Rahmatullahi Alayh), (911 A.H.) claimed to have reached the level of ijtihad. Allamah Shihab Ibn Hajar Haitami (Rahmatullahi Alayh) (974 A.H.) says: “When Imam Jalaluddin Suyuti claimed ijtihaad, all his contemporaries confronted him. They presented a questionnaire to him about some issues. Therein, they stated two possible answers to each question, and said: “If you have even reached the lowest degree of ijtihad, which is ijtihad in fatwa, then you should stipulate the preferred view, substantiated with proof, in conformance with the maxims laid down by the Mujtahideen.

However, he returned their questionnaire without any answer, excusing himself that he was too busy, and was therefore unable to look into those questions.” [9]

Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Rahmatullahi Alayh) writes in this regard: “The rejecters of taqleedobject by saying: “Did the Hanafis (or muqallids) receive wahy (revelation) that ijtihad has come to an end?” However, they do not understand that it is a divine principle that the means of fulfilling every need comes into existence at the time when that necessity occurs. Rainy seasons generally occur during the months of need for rain, which vary according to the different regions. Winds also blow at times of need. Where temperatures become intensely low, animals have thicker wool; and there are countless such examples. Likewise, when there was a need for the recording of Hadith, Allah created people with phenomenal memories. Such memories are nowhere to be found today. The rejecters of the four mazaahib also, who sing slogans of followingHadith, are not able to bring forth one individual who has memorized even Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim with their chains of narrations, as was done by the illustrious authors of these blessed books.

“In the same way, when the need arose to document the shari’ah, Allah granted many people grand talents and capabilities in fiqh and ijtihad. Now that Deen has been recorded, and its laws and fundamentals outlined, this need no longer exists. Yes, to the extent of need, some ability ofijtihad is still to be found, whereby rulings for contemporary issues are deduced, through the medium of the principles laid down by the Mujtahidin. [10]

 

Following one of the Four Imaams of Fiqh

Q: Can you please present to me the proofs from the Qur’an and Hadith commanding us to follow one of the four Imaams of fiqh? I believe that we are all followers of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). Hence Allah Ta’ala obligated us to follow our beloved Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has said in his Mubarak Hadith: “I leave behind two things; the Qur’an and my Sunnah. As long as you hold firm to these two; you will never go astray.” From this Hadith we understand that in solving our Deeni matters we should directly refer to the Qur’an and Hadith. However, if one is non-conversant in the Arabic language and thus unable to extract Shar’ee laws from the Qur’an and Hadith, he may refer to any Aalim ofDeen. Why do people emphasise on following one of the four Imaams of Fiqh?

A: Allah Ta’ala commands us in the Holy Qur’an to refer our Deeni matters to people of knowledge. Allah Ta’ala says:

فَاسْأَلُوا أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِن كُنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ

Ask the people of knowledge if you do not know. (Surah An-Nahl 16:43)

From this verse we conclude that each person is not obligated to refer directly to the Qur’an andHadith. Rather, he is commanded to refer the matter to a specialist. Furthermore, “consulting a specialist in the field” is not confined to Deeni matters. Instead it is a common principle adhered to amongst all classes of people in worldly matters as well. A patient, who has to undergo a major heart operation refers to the most qualified and recognised heart surgeon around. Similarly, the victim who has to appear in court on account of alleged treason or suspected murder employs the services of a professional advocate to defend his case. Each of the above (the patient and the victim) understands the seriousness of the situation and the fatal consequences that follow. Thus they hand over the matter to the most capable person. Similarly, we need to understand that in matters of Deen we ought to follow those who will correctly guide us to the straight path. Allah Ta’ala says:

وَاتَّبِعْ سَبِيلَ مَنْ أَنَابَ إِلَيَّ

Follow the path of those who turn to Me [Allah Ta’ala] (Surah Luqman 31:15)

From this verse we understand that we are obligated to follow the one who will guide us to Allah. If one takes an incapable person as his guide and thus incorrectly practises upon the laws of Shari’ah, will such a person ever be absolved of his obligation in the court of Allah Ta’ala? Definitely not. Rather he will be worthy of punishment for adopting the incorrect procedure in searching for the truth. Let us illustrate this point through few examples from the mubaarak life of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and his illustrious Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum). Some of these Ahaadith are:

1. Ali (Radiyallahu Anhu) reports that Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) had dispatched an army and he appointed an ameer over them. During the course of the journey, the ameer became angry with the army. So, he lit a fire and instructed the Sahaabah to enter it. In substantiation, he quoted the Hadith of Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) that the ameerof the army must be obeyed. Some were contemplating over entering the fire whilst the others refused. When they reported the matter to Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), he addressed those who were contemplating entering into the fire: “Had you leaped into the fire, you would have remained in it till the Day of Qiyaamah.” He further said to those who refused to enter the fire: “There is no obedience to the creation when it involves the disobedience of Allah. Obedience is only in good actions.” [11]

2. Imam Sha’bi reports that Hazrat Adi ibn Hatim (Radiyallahu Anhu) related to me that when the following Aayah was revealed:

وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا حَتَّى يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَيْطُ الْأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الْخَيْطِ الْأَسْوَدِ مِنَ الْفَجْرِ

Eat and drink until the white thread of dawn appear to you distinct from its black thread. (Surah Baqara 2/187)

​I took two pieces of threads (one thread was black and the other white). I then placed both the treads beneath my pillow. I stared at the threads for a long time expecting to see the white thread becoming more clear and visible from the black thread so that I may then abstain from eating. However, the entire night passed and in the morning I came to Nabi(Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and I had expressed what I had understood from the verse and what I had done during the night. Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) smiled and remarked if the meaning of the verse is as you have understood, then your pillow is indeed very wide. For indeed the white and black threads implied in the verse refers to the brightness of the day and the darkness of the night. [12] [13]

3. Jaabir (Radiyallahu Anhu) reports that they were once on a journey when a person amongst them was struck by a rock and suffered severe head injuries. He then experienced a wet-dream (thus requiring ghusl). So he asked some of his companions if there was any concession for performing tayammum. They replied: “There is no concession for you since water is available.” Thus, this sahaabi took a bath and passed away (as a result of makingghusl). When they returned and Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was informed of this, he said: “They killed him, may Allah kill them. Why couldn’t they enquire from those who were knowledgeable when they did not know? The cure of an ailing person (an ignorant person) is to ask. It was sufficient for him to only perform tayammum and bandage his wound. He could have then rubbed his moist hand over it and wash the rest of his body.” [14]

In the above events we notice that all the persons involved were the Sahaabah of Rasulullah(Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) (the first recipients of the Qur’an). Undoubtedly, they were conversant in the Arabic language and referred to the Qur’an. Furthermore they were more knowledgeable than anyone of us present today. How was it that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) disapproved of what they had done and in certain cases (as witnessed above) he even reproached them severely?

However, there seems to be an outward inconsistency between these above mentioned incidents and similar incidents where Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) approved the actions of certain Sahaabah, though they erred in their judgement. Consider the incident of Bani Quraizah:

On the occasion of Khandaq, Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) dispatched the Sahaabah to go to Bani Quraizah. Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam’s) explicit command to this group of Sahaabah was that they should perform their Asr Salaah at Bani Quraizah. The Sahaba were en-route when the time of Asr was about to expire. A difference of opinion occurred between the Sahaabah with regards to the performance of the Asr Salaah. One group felt that the Asr Salaah should not be delayed rather it should be performed en-route prior to the time expiring. They understood the instruction of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) “none of you should perform his salaah except in Bani Quraizah” to mean that hasten so that you may reach Bani Quraizah at the time of Asr. Hence the Asr Salaah should not be made Qadha. On the other hand the second group of Sahaabah held the opinion that the Asr Salaah should be performed at Bani Quraizah even though the Salaah is madeQadaa as this was complying with the explicit command of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). When Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was later informed of the difference between the Sahaabah, he approved the actions of both groups.

The answer to this inconsistency is that there were mujtahideen amongst the two groups of Sahaabah. Further, it is permissible for a mujtahid to employ his ijtihaad in reaching a conclusion. This answer can be understood from the Hadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam):

عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم إذا حكم الحاكم فاجتهد فأصاب فله أجران وإذا حكم فأخطأ فله أجر واحد – ترمذي 1/247

Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (Radiyallahu Anhu) has mentioned that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “When a haakim (Mujtahid) issues a correct verdict using his discretion he shall receive two rewards and if he errs he shall receive one reward.”

From this Hadith we learn that the right of making ijtihaad is reserved for a mujtahid. Other than a mujtahid, any person who interferes in the matters of Deen and reaches an erroneous conclusion will be sinful on account of taking the law into his own hands. But on the other hand, if a person refers the matter to a mujtahid (one possessing the highest levels of understanding and capability) and he errs in his judgment, both will be absolved in the court of Allah Ta’ala based on the above Hadith. So we conclude that this Hadith and the Hadith of Bani Quraizah are with reference to a mujtahid, not an ordinary muqallid. At this juncture the question that arises is that ‘who will then qualify as a mujtahid’? Before explaining who is a mujtahid, it is imperative for us to comprehend the different levels and classes of people in regard to potentials and capabilities so that we will understand the exalted position of a mujtahid in Shari’ah.

There are basically three classes of people in Deen in regard to the knowledge of Deen.

The first class of people are those who posses very little knowledge of Shari’ah. (e.g. Apas in themaktabs or Huffaaz who have memorised the Qur’an without studying its meaning). This category’s obligation is to impart what they have learnt of the basic fundamentals of Deen. Nabi(Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has said:

بلغوا عني ولو آية

Convey from me even if it be one aayah.

Since this class of believers have not acquired sufficient Deeni knowledge to guide others in all branches of Deen, it is impermissible for them to issue fatwas and verdicts of Shari’ah. Furthermore, since the knowledge of Deen which they are imparting is confined and restricted, there is no possibility of any addition from their side. Thus there is no fear of any change or distortion coming to Deen. However, in the more intricate matters of Shari’ah they should refer to those above them who are more qualified.

The second class of people is those who have pursued Deeni knowledge in Madrasahs and universities under qualified expert scholars. This class of people after qualifying as Ulama’, are in the position to issue Islamic verdicts. It should be borne in mind that this class of people though far senior than the first class, however their capabilities and potentials are limited and are far lower than the potential of the third class. The most that can be said about this class is that they have acquired the ability to access the meanings of the Qur’an and Hadith and convey to the Ummat the message of both (Qur’an and Hadith). This is applicable to the Ulama’ of this era. As for the Ulama of the past, there were people amongst them who possessed great treasures of knowledge e.g. Imam Tahawi, Hafiz Ibn Hajar Asqalani, Allamah Nawawi etc. However, despite them having such vast knowledge, when it came to extracting the hidden meanings of the aayaat and Ahaadith they admitted their incapability and saw the need of following the A’immah-e-mujtahideen. Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said:

رب حامل فقه إلى من هو أفقه منه

There are many who disseminate fiqh to those more learned than them,

رب حامل فقه دون فقيه

There are many who possess the knowledge of fiqh though they do not have the expertise in fiqh.

From these Ahaadith we understand that a person possessing a lot of fiqh does not necessarily mean that he will be able to access the hidden meanings contained therein. Hence when it comes to the aspect of extracting laws and deducing masaa’il or finding amicable solutions for newly developed situations of contemporary issues, they are incapable of this great mammoth task and are highly dependent upon the knowledge of the third class.

The third class of people is that of the Mujtahideen. Their level of intelligence and understanding allowed them to deduce and source out numerous masaa’il directly from the Qur’an and Hadith. To give us a glimpse of the calibre of the third class, the statement of Imaam Ahmad bin Hambal (Rahmatullahi Alayh) is quite sufficient.

A man once asked Imaam Ahmad: “If a person memorises 100 000 Ahaadeeth, can he qualify as a faqeeh (jurist)?” He replied: “No.” The person asked: “What about 200 000?” The Imaam once again replied: “No.” Again the man said: “Then 300 000?” The imaam replied in the negative once more. The man said: “And 400 000?” This time he shook his palm, indicating that probably now he may be a faqih, fit enough to pass a fatwa on his own accord.

We thus conclude that the right to directly deduce and extract masaa’il from the Qur’an and Hadith is reserved and exclusive for the Mujtahideen. As for those lower than them in knowledge and understanding, and the laymen, it is incumbent that they follow the deductions of these Mujtahideen.

 

The Status of Taqleed

Q: What is the status of Taqleed (following one of the four Imaams of fiqh) in Deen? e.g. Fardh,WaajibSunnah or Mustahab?

A: Following one of the four Imaams of fiqh viz. (Imaam Abu Hanifah, Imaam Maalik, Imaam Shafi’ee and Imaam Ahmad [Rahimahumullah]) is waajibli-ghairihi [15] (compulsory) in Deen. The reason for it receiving the status of wujoob is that without taqleed of the four Imaams, one will not be able to correctly practice upon the entire Deen. Especially in this time and age where we see science and technology at its peak, new inventions and developments have become a norm in current times. In short, the world has evolved to such limits which were never witnessed previously throughout the annals of human history. The progress and advancements of the world in the present era poses a host of challenges before the Ulama’. Thus, we find the masses constantly referring their Deeni matters and problems to the Ulama’ seeking Islamic rulings and guidance due to the unfolding of new events and developments.

Subsequently, in the face of these challenges we find the Ulama’ completely reliant and dependent upon the works of the four Imaams. They refer to the books of these Imaams who were blessed with such foresight and illuminated knowledge that despite living approximately thirteen hundred years ago, yet they were able to produce accurate solutions for situations surfacing centuries later. These answers and solutions they presented were directly sourced out from the Qur’an and the Ahaadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).

We mentioned that Taqleed of the four Imaams is waajib-li-ghairihi. An elucidation of this statement is that though we do not find any explicit injunction neither in the Qur’an nor in the Hadith commanding in specific to make Taqleed of the four Imaams, however the Qur’an instructs us with two injunctions:

1. To follow those who are capable enough to guide us to Allah:

وَاتَّبِعْ سَبِيلَ مَنْ أَنَابَ إِلَيَّ

Follow the path of those who turn to Me [Allah Ta’ala] (Surah Luqman 31:15)

2. To refrain from following our desires and temptations against the command of Allah:

وَلَا تَتَّبِعِ الْهَوَى فَيُضِلَّكَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ

Do not follow your desires for that will cause you to go astray (Surah Sawd 38:26)

Keeping the above in mind, we conclude that since it is not possible to find any person in this age and time possessing the capabilities of the four Imaams, it will definitely be waajib to follow any one of the four Imaams. Furthermore, apart from the four Imaams we cannot find any Aalim(even Imaam Bukhaari and others) from the Salaf (Ulama’ of the past) whose Mazhab has been entirely recorded like that of the four Imaams.

Hence, if a person wishes to follow any other Mazhab other than that of the four Imaams, it is highly possible that he will incorrectly practise upon the verdict of that specific Imaam due to the necessary details or conditions of his Mazhab not being entirely recorded.

Secondly there is a principle in Shari’ah: مقدمة الواجب واجب i.e. the means which enables one to practise upon an injunction of Shari’ah also receives the status of that injunction. Hence, if an injunction is waajib, the path leading to it will also be regarded as waajib. By the same token if an injunction is fardh, the means enabling one to complete that fardh will also be considered as fardh.

Furthermore, if there is only one possible way or method of fulfilling an injunction of Deen, to a greater extent will that method be waajib, since there is no alternative in fulfilling that injunction.

Let us illustrate this principle through an example. Consider the injunction of Hajj. The obligatory action is that of Hajj. However, Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) commanded that Hajj is waajib only on that person who possess الزاد و الراحلة (a conveyance and provisions). This command of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is applicable to those who live in Makkah Mukarramah and the surrounding areas, for whom travelling upon camel back with a little provisions is possible. As for those who live thousands of miles away from the Holy Lands and require transport by sea or air, Hajj will be waajib subject to them affording a plane ticket or a ship ticket with accommodation. In which Hadith do we find this mentioned? If these people living abroad posses a camel and little provisions as in the case of those residing in Makkah Mukarramah, will we say that Hajj is waajib upon them as well? Obviously not! So we understand from this example that on account of the Hajj being dependant on acquiring a plane ticket, the obligation of Hajj is subject to one being able to afford it. In the absence of this, all theUlama’ agree that Hajj is not obligatory.

Despite the obligatory action being one and the same for both people but, due to the means of both differing, the cause for its compulsion will differ. It will be impossible for one living abroad to fulfil the injunction of Hajj by depending merely on a camel and meagre provisions.

Similar is the case of taqleed in this age and time. Since this is the only practical solution in order for one to practise on the entire Deen, one will have no choice, but to follow one of these four illustrious Imaams.

In the past, there were many other mujtahideen who were the contemporaries of these A’immah, like Muhammad bin Sireen, Hasan Basri, Sufyaan Thauri etc. who were blessed with the highest levels of intelligence and understanding enabling them to deduce injunctions directly from the Qur’an and Hadith. People would refer to them as well in their Deeni matters, thereby absolving themselves of the need of enquiring from the learned. However, with the passage of time the emergence of people possessing the calibre of knowledge of these illustrious Imaams ceased, thus leaving the Muslims with no choice but to refer to the works of their predecessors. Subsequently, when we search the works produced by these great Imaams, we find that besides the four famous Imaams, very little remains of the works of other Imaams in relation to fiqh. Furthermore, the principles and governing rules that these four Imaams had laid out are such that they cover all situations that arise, whereas, the other Imaams had not compiled such principles. In addition to this, the students of these four Imaams flourished and thereby imparted the teachings and lessons of their Ustaads to the various quarters of the Muslim world. This allowed the fiqh and mazaahib of these four Imaams to become common and widespread amongst the learned and common folk. Accordingly, these four mazaahib and schools of fiqh became the subject matter of study and research and great scholars adopted these mazaahib as their school of fiqh since the deductions of these fuqahaa covered all aspects of life.

When practising one of these four mazaahib is the only way making it possible for us to practise on Deen entirely, following one of the four Mazaahib will thus become compulsory not because following these A’immah is an explicit injunction in Deen, but because there is no other route one can adopt whereby he will be able to practise upon the entire Deen without omitting anything. This is the meaning of waajib-li-ghairihi. (Since following the entire Deen is dependant upon taqleed, it is afforded the status of waajib-li-ghairihi).

When we examine the lives of these four Imaams, the glaring feature that we notice is that they strictly adhered to the mubaarak Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) in every facet of their lives. They could be aptly described with the following words: “They were entirely a personification of the Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) in every walk of life.” If per chance one has to come across any situation where their Mazaahib apparently contradicts certain Ahaadith, he will certainly find sufficient substantiation through other Ahaadith, coupled with accurate reconciliations between the Ahaadith not seemingly practised. Their approach to the Qur’an and Hadith in deducing masaa’il was one strictly governed by principles of Deen. It was certainly not an approach of personal opinion or an approach of ‘pick and choose’, as is witnessed in this day and age. Hence, one can safely reach the conclusion that these four A’immah (whose Mazaahib stood the test of time for approximately thirteen centuries) are worthy of emulation in guiding us to Allah Ta’ala and His Rasul (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).

Thirdly, the sole purpose for Allah Ta’ala creating us and sending us to the world is that we worship Him. Everything else besides His worship (e.g. eating, drinking, transacting, building homes, etc.) is secondary. Since man cannot exist in this world without certain basic requirements (e.g. air, water, food, etc.) Allah Ta’ala has made these requirements easily available to man so that no obstacle remains in the path of him worshipping his creator.

Similarly, we find that in accordance to the urgency of a need, provisions are made. Consider the most vital requirement of human life i.e. air. Man is in need of air every moment of his life. Hence Allah Ta’ala has made this available everywhere. All that one is required to do is to breath. Similar is the case of food, water, etc. We should understand that, when Allah Ta’ala undertook the responsibility to provide for the material needs of man, can we ever imagine Allah Ta’ala not making adequate provisions for the Deeni needs of man? All these worldly arrangements and provisions we see around us are only facilitated in order that man could serve his creator, Allah Ta’ala in ease and comfort. So the object is not food and drink, instead it is the worship of Allah Ta’ala (practising upon Deen). Accordingly, in order to make the purpose of man’s creation possible, Allah Ta’ala allowed great luminaries to be produced in the form of the A’immah-e-mujtahideen. Hence, we notice that for approximately thirteen centuries the Ummah has held on to the mazaahib of these four great A’immah thereby fulfilling the purpose of their creation.

Furthermore, consider if one hundred people in this time and age begin extracting laws from the Qur’an and Hadith, each one presenting to the public his personal viewpoint of a verse with each person reaching different conclusions, will we regard this as a service to Deen or a disservice? Will Allah Ta’ala entrust us to our limited understanding and logic? If one prefers to adopt this method in matters of Deen we can well imagine the detrimental outcome and grave consequences it will create in the Ummat, let alone the confusion and perplexity it will produce in the mind and heart. Thus, the safest and most cautious path to adopt would be to follow one of the four great Imaams of fiqh whose lessons and teachings have been thoroughly scrutinised and researched. In fact, it would not be incorrect to declare that in order for a Muslim to be able to practise Deen entirely it would be waajib for him to align himself to one of the four mazaahib.

May Allah bless each one of us with the true understanding of Deen and the ability to follow in the footsteps of our pious predecessors.

 

What is wrong if one Refers to the Qur’an and Hadith Directly?

If one who is not a mujtahid refers to the Qur’an and Hadith directly in order to extract shar’eelaws and find solutions to his problems, he will land himself in clear disaster and encounter many difficulties. It is akin to an ignorant layman trying to find a solution to legal or medical issues by directly referring to the sources. He is bound to misunderstand many fundamental issues and bring great disaster upon himself. Let us examine some of the problems he will encounter:

 

The First Problem

The first problem is that some people will begin to consider themselves as mujtahids. They will refer to translations of the Qur’aan and the books of Hadith (such as the translations of Saheeh Bukhaari, Saheeh Muslim, etc,).  Subsequently, they will arrive at their own incorrect conclusions. This is undoubtedly detrimental not only to their own Deen, but also equally destructive to the Deen of the general public. Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) foretold the coming of such crucial times where people will confine the truth to their own logic and they will shun all emulation of the pious predecessors. Hence, he is reported to have said that from amongst the signs of Qiyaamah:

إذا رأيت شحا مطاعا وهوى متبعا ودنيا مؤثرة وإعجاب كل ذي رأي برأيه

You will witness people fulfilling their greed, following their base desires, giving preference to dunya over deen and being satisfied with their own reasoning and understanding. (Mishkaat Pg. 437)

واعجاب المرء بنفسه وهي أشدهن

A person will be satisfied and pleased with his independent reasoning and understanding. (Mishkaat Pg. 434)

Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has also mentioned that from amongst the signs of Qiyaamahis:

ولعن آخر هذه الأمة أولها

The latter of this ummat will curse the former. (Mishkaat Pg. 470)

Consider the following two incidents which reveal the outcome of the one who is not a mujtahidbut, refers directly to the Qur’an and Hadith. The following two incidents are narrated by Allamah Kowthari (Rahimahullah). He says:

“A person was accustomed to performing Salaat-ul-Witr after making istinja (cleaning himself after urinating). When asked about it, he quoted the Hadith:

من استجمر فليوتر

He who uses mud pebbles for istinja should “perform witr” (Mishkaat Pg. 42)

Since the same verb فليوتر which is used for Salaat-ul-Witr is also used for ‘doing something in an odd number’, the person misunderstood this Hadith to be referring to witr Salaah. The correct meaning of this Hadith is that, he who uses mud pebbles for istinja, should use an odd number.

Another person declared that it was forbidden to water one’s neighbour’s garden. He substantiated it by quoting the following Hadith:

لا يحل لامرئ يؤمن بالله واليوم الآخر أن يسقي ماءه زرع غيره

It is not permitted for one who believes in Allah and the last day to irrigate someone else’s crop with his own water. (Mishkaat Pg. 290)

The Hadith actually implies that, if someone acquired a pregnant slave woman (when slavery was still in practise), then he is prohibited from copulating with her until she gives birth.

 

The Second Problem that will Arise by Referring Directly to the Qur’an and Hadith

The second problem is that some people, after independently viewing the laws of the Qur’an and Hadith (with their limited analogy), will begin to deduce underlying factors (‘ilal) upon which rulings are based. Thereafter, they will abrogate many laws of Deen on the basis that the underlying cause that they deduced no more exists.

For instance, consider the law of performing wudhu before every Salaah. In this time and age, a group of modernists hold the view that there is no need to perform wudhu before every Salaah, since our limbs are mostly covered and do not get dirty. They contend that the law of wudhu was most relevant to the Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum). Many of the Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) were shepherds or worked on the fields and in other outdoor occupations. As a result, their bodies became soiled in dust and dirt. Therefore, they were required to make wudhu for every Salaah. Hence, this group of modernists subjected the law of wudhu to their flawed analogy.

A similar example is that of the law of appointing witnesses at the time of nikaah. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has declared:

لا نكاح إلا بشهود

There is no nikaah without witnesses. (Bayhaqi 7/111)

Based on this and other Ahaadith, the scholars have unanimously stated that the nikaah must be witnessed by at least two people, otherwise it will not be valid.

Yet, some modernists opine that nikaah is valid regardless of whether witnesses are present or not. They comment upon the aforementioned Hadith that witnesses were only deemed necessary in the Hadith in order to alleviate any misunderstanding or denial if they cropped up later on during the nikaah. However, they claim that nowadays the nikaah is properly recorded and signed by both parties. Therefore, witnesses are not necessary. Thus, on the basis of their flawed deduction of the reason for having witnesses in a nikaah, they cast aside this fundamental shar’ee requirement.

 

The Third Problem that will Arise by Referring Directly to the Qur’an and Hadith

The third problem is that some people will come across certain Ahaadith which have been unanimously abrogated (i.e. according to the consensus of the Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) and the entire ummah), however due to lack of sufficient knowledge regarding the historical background of the law, they will begin practising upon it.

Consider the Hadith which permits the practice of mut’ah [16]. Undoubtedly, for a limited time the Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) were allowed to practise mut’ah in the noble era of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) during jihaad. However, this permissibility was later on abrogated by the law of prohibition. If anyone independently studies the classical works of theMuhadditheen, viz. Saheeh Bukhaari, Saheeh Muslim as well as other compilations of Hadith, he will conclude that it is permissible for one to practise mut’ah, since the Hadith which mentions its permissibility is recorded in these books.

The following narration appears in Saheeh Muslim 1/450:

عن جابر بن عبد الله و سلمة بن الأكوع قالا خرج علينا منادي رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – فقال : إن رسول الله –صلى الله عليه وسلم – قد أذن لكم أن تستمتعوا يعني متعة النساء

Jabir bin Abdullah and Salimah bin Akwa` report: “A person came out to us and announced, ‘Indeed Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has granted you permission to engage in mut’ah.’”

This Hadith was later on abrogated by many other Ahaadith. [17]

From this example we can well imagine the disastrous outcome of those who refer directly to the Qur’an and Hadith. They will eventually end up following abrogated Ahaadith. It should be understood that merely finding a Hadith recorded in Bukhaari or Muslim or any other compilation of Hadith will not allow one to practise upon it. Just as there are certain verses recorded in the Qur’an which are unanimously abrogated [18], similarly there are many authenticAhaadith contained in the books of Hadith (viz. Saheeh Bukhaari, Saheeh Muslim, etc.) which are also unanimously abrogated. The reason for these Ahaadith being recorded in these books was in order to prove that this law existed in the earlier era of Islam.

Hence, we conclude that any Hadith found in the various books of Hadith will not necessarily qualify it to be practised upon. Instead one will have to verify whether Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) continued practising upon it till the end of his life or prior to the demise of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) it was abrogated.

 

Combining two Salaahs in one’s Home town without a valid Reason

Consider the law of joining Salaahs under normal circumstances (i.e. without any shar’ee excuse and whilst one is residing in his home town). The Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) as well as the entire ummah for many centuries of Islam were unanimous that it is impermissible for one under normal circumstances to join Salaahs. The Hadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) recorded in Tirmizi is explicit in this regard:

عن ابن عباس عن النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – قال من جمع بين الصلاتين من غير عذر فقد أتى بابا من أبواب الكبائر

Ibnu Abbas (Radiyallahu Anhuma) reports that Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “Whoever combines two Salaahs without a valid reason has indeed committed a major sin.” (Tirmizi 1/48) [19]

However, we notice that there is another Hadith recorded by Imaam Tirmizi (Rahmatullahi Alayh) under the chapter: “Chapter regarding the combining of two Salaahs” which states:

عن ابن عباس قال : جمع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بين الظهر والعصر وبين المغرب والعشاء بالمدينة من غير خوف ولا مطر قال فقيل لابن عباس ما أراد بذلك  قال أراد أن لا يحرج أمته

Ibnu Abbas (Radiyallahu Anhuma) stated: “Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) combined the Zuhr Salaah with the Asr Salaah and the Maghrib Salaah with the Esha Salaah in Madinah Munawwarah without any excuse neither the excuse of fear nor rain.” Ibnu Abbas (Radiyallahu Anhuma) was then questioned : “Why did Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) do that?” He replied: “He did this so as not to inconvenience his ummah.” (Tirmizi 1/47)

Imaam Tirmizi (Rahmatullahi Alayh) commentating upon this Hadith declares: “This Hadith (the apparent meaning of this Hadith i.e. performing two Salaahs in one time whilst residing in one’s home town) is not practised by anybody [20].” Hence, we understand that the entire ummah has agreed upon the fact that it is impermissible for one to practise upon the apparent meaning of this Hadith. Yet we find in this present age and time, a group of people who practise upon this abrogated Hadith. So if someone wishes to follow whatever he comes across in the Hadith without examining its true position in Deen, he will certainly end up following abrogated Ahaadith. Such a person will consider himself as having done a great service to Deen. He will regard himself to be a reviver of a ‘dead Sunnah’ which nobody practised upon. However, the sad reality is that such a person has strayed from the straight path by following what the entire ummah, from the time of the Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum), has regarded as abrogated. He has rejected the path followed unanimously by the entire ummah.

Allah Ta’ala declares in the Holy Qur’an:

وَمَن يُشَاقِقِ الرَّسُولَ مِن بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ الْهُدَى وَيَتَّبِعْ غَيْرَ سَبِيلِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ نُوَلِّهِ مَا تَوَلَّى وَنُصْلِهِ جَهَنَّمَ وَسَاءَتْ مَصِيرًا

Whoever opposes the Rasul (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) after the guidance was manifest to him and he follows a path other than that of the believers then We shall leave him in the path he has chosen and We will enter him into Jahannum. What an evil abode! (Surah Nisa 4:115)

At this juncture, it is extremely important that we understand that a discontinued practice no longer remains a Sunnah or part of Deen. Especially in the case where one is aware of the fact that the common practice of the Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) as well as the entire ummah opposes it. What then gives one the authority to practise upon it? Furthermore, the Hadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) sufficiently elucidates this point.

من شذ شذ في النار

Whoever adopts an independent path will also be alone in Jahannum. (Haakim 1/115)

 

The Fourth Problem that will Arise by Referring Directly to the Qur’an and Hadith

The fourth problem is that if the masses are allowed to follow at random whatever they believe to be correct or whoever they feel is on the correct opinion, it will eventually result in many people following their own whims and desires. Most people when faced with a problematic situation opt to follow the opinion of those Muftis and Aalims through whom their benefits and interests will be secured. In that predicament most people are totally unconcerned about studying the proofs and weighing the arguments. Rather, their main concern is how they can save their image in society or secure their commercial gain. For the sake of convenience they are prepared to hop over to any mazhab in order to achieve this objective. One should honestly ponder and contemplate over this crucial situation. Is such a person following Deen or following his nafs? Will such a person’s actions be in conformity to the verse of the Qur’an: وَلَا تَتَّبِعِ الْهَوَی (Do not follow your desires.) [26:38] or is his action opposing this law of the Qur’an? There are many glaring examples found in today’s times which highlight this problem. Hereunder a few examples are cited:

A person is caught for exceeding the speed limit. He is given a R2000 fine by the police. He decides to look around to see whether any Aalim permits the paying of speeding fines with interest money. He is informed that a certain Aalim allows the paying of speeding fines with interest money. So this person feels quite satisfied that he has found some sought of justification for his actions (through the fatwa of that specific Aalim). But at the same time he is told that you are presently eating prawns. According to the fatwa of that very Aalim, prawns has been declared Makrooh-e-Tahrimi. Hence you should also adhere to the ruling of that Aalim in relation to the issue of prawns.

He responds, “There isn’t only one Aalim in the whole world. Don’t you know that so and so Aalim (in whose opinion it is impermissible to pay speeding fines with interest money) declared prawns as totally permissible? So I follow that Aalim in that issue.” One should consider this situation and honestly answer the following question: Will the one adopting such an approach in these matters as well as all other Deeni issues be regarded as a sincere and steadfast Believer, or will he be considered a “Fatwa Shopper” and one following his whims and desires? Hence, we conclude from this situation that the one who opts to remain unrestricted, by following what he feels appropriate and correct eventually opposes two verses of the Holy Qur’an:

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ فَاعْبُدِ اللَّهَ مُخْلِصًا لَّهُ الدِّينَ

Worship Allah Ta`ala with sincerity. [39:2]

وَلَا تَتَّبِعِ الْهَوَى فَيُضِلَّكَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ

Do not follow your desires. [26:38]

Allamah Ibnul Aabidin (Rahmatullahi Alayh) narrated an incident that transpired in the time of Shaikh Abu Bakr Al-Jowzajani (Rahmatullahi Alayh). A Hanafi Aalim proposed to marry the daughter of a person who was from the Ahlul-Hadeeth. The father refused to accept the proposal unless he agrees to abandon his present mazhab and begin practising ‘Qiraat khalfal-Imaam’ (reading qiraat whilst following an Imaam in Salaah) and ‘Raf’ul-Yadain’ (i.e. lift his hands before and after ruku) etc. The Aalim submitted to those conditions and the nikaah took place. When Shaikh Abu Bakr was asked regarding this situation he lowered his head and remarked: “I have a fear that the Imaan of this man may leave him at the time of his death, due to the fact that he abandoned a practice which he regarded Sunnah, and substituted it with a contradictory deed without any Shar’ee reason, but for the sake of securing a woman in nikaah.”  [21]

Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Rahmatullahi Alayh) narrates a similar incident. He says: “There is a village near our area, wherein a man married a certain woman. Later it was learnt that both of them were breastfed by the same woman (thus being foster brother and sister). A person came to enquire from me what was to be done about the matter. I explained to him that this marriage is not correct, and that they should be separated. He remarked: ‘This is going to be a source of immense disgrace. Please find a way for its permissibility?’ I said to him: ‘Firstly! There is no disgrace in separation. Rather, in living together, there will be immense disgrace, because people will say that you have united a brother and sister (in marriage). Secondly, even if there is disgrace, then let it be. When this is the command of the Shari`ah, then there is no question of disgrace.’ The man began to say: ‘But he drank the milk in infancy and then immediately vomited it out.’ So I told him: ‘Whether he vomited it out or not, the law does not change.’

‘After receiving a clear answer from me, they proceeded to Delhi. There they found a man who claims to practise on Hadith only, (without following a mazhab). It is not my object right now to discuss him. Hence, to achieve their aim, they went to this person to see if their object could be fulfilled. That person issued a verdict that if he has consumed less than five sips, she does not become impermissible for him (to marry).

They immediately wrote out a questionnaire stating that a man drank two sips of milk from a woman during infancy. Does she become his foster mother? The answer was written (by that person) with the Hadith: لا تحرم المصة ولا المصتان  (One or two sips do not create prohibition.), whereas this Hadith had been abrogated through the verse of the Holy Qur’an:

حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْكُمْ أُمَّهَاتُكُمْ وَبَنَاتُكُمْ وَأَخَوَاتُكُمْ وَعَمَّاتُكُمْ وَخَالَاتُكُمْ وَبَنَاتُ الْأَخِ وَبَنَاتُ الْأُخْتِ وَأُمَّهَاتُكُمُ اللَّاتِي أَرْضَعْنَكُمْ وَأَخَوَاتُكُم مِّنَ الرَّضَاعَةِ

(Forbidden upon you are your mothers, daughters, sisters, paternal aunts, maternal aunts, nieces [brother’s daughters and sister’s daughters], your foster mothers, and foster sisters.) [4:24]

The man became very happy and proceeded to the husband and wife and handed the Fatwa over to them saying: ‘This after all is also an Aalim’s fatwa. If we practise on it, what harm will there be?’”

Today, this is the kind of self-interest that is found in people. [22]

 

The Fifth Problem that will Arise by Referring Directly to the Qur’an and Hadith

The fifth problem is that at times due to not confining oneself to one mazhab, a person will commit the serious crime of contradicting the consensus of the Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum)and the entire Ummah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). The Qur’anic injunctions, as well as the Ahaadith are explicit with regards to the severity of such an act. Allah Ta’ala declares:

 وَمَن يُشَاقِقِ الرَّسُولَ مِن بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ الْهُدَى وَيَتَّبِعْ غَيْرَ سَبِيلِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ نُوَلِّهِ مَا تَوَلَّى وَنُصْلِهِ جَهَنَّمَ وَسَاءَتْ مَصِيرًا

Whoever opposes the Rasul (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) after the guidance was manifest to him and he follows a path other than that of the believers then We shall leave him in the path he has chosen and We will enter him into Jahannum. What an evil abode! (Surah Nisa 4:115)

In one hadeeth, Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has stated:

من شذ شذ في النار

Whoever adopts an independent path will also be alone in Jahannum. (Mustadrak Hakim 1/115)

In yet another hadeeth, Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has said:

لا يجمع الله أمتي على ضلالة

Allah Ta`ala will not cause my Ummah to not converge on misguidance. (Mustadrak Hakim 1/115)

An example to illustrate the above mentioned aspect is the question of three Talaaqs issued all at once. Recently several incidents of this nature occurred, where a person issued his wife with three talaaqs in one sitting. Upon realising his error he wished to make up. However, the Ulama‘ explained to him that his nikaah with his wife has terminated. Hence, until the Shar’ee condition of Halaalah does not happen, it is completely prohibited for him to continue living with the woman. The man was also informed that if they continued to live with each other, they would be living a life of zina. This person went around (in an earnest endeavour to save himself from the disgrace and embarrassment of society) asking whether any mazhab offers a solution to the present situation. He was repeatedly informed that there is consensus amongst all the four mazhabs as well as the entire ummah from the time of the Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) upon this issue. This consensus continued for seven centuries till the time of Ibnu Taimiyyah, who was responsible for breaking the consensus. This person, desperate to save his integrity and extricate himself from the embarrassment, said: “I will accept this verdict and go by it.”

Hence, the one who opts to follow an isolated view which was initiated many centuries after the era of the Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) (e.g. the question of three talaaqs being considered as one talaaq or that taraaweeh is only eight rakaats and not twenty rakaats) is implying by way of inference that the entire ummah including the illustrious Sahaabah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) were unaware of the true Deen, or that they were in misguidance – Allah Forbid. Furthermore, one will be opposing the injunction of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) wherein he said:

(اقتدوا باللذين من بعدي أبي بكر وعمر (رضي الله عنهما

Follow the two who will come after me; Abu Bakr and Umar (Radiyallahu Anhuma). (Tirmizi2/207)

NB: The mas’ala of three talaaqs being regarded as three is substantiated by the Qur’an, HadithAathaar of Sahaba and Ijmaa’.

 

The Sixth Problem that will Arise by Referring Directly to the Qur’an and Hadith

The sixth problem is that a person who does not strictly adhere to one mazhab and instead randomly chooses the verdict of those Imaams whom he deems correct, at times opposes all mazhabs. Hence, his ibaadat is rendered null and void according to all the Imaams.

Consider the situation where a person wishes to follow the mazhab of Imaam Ahmed (Rahmatullahi Alayh) in regard to the mas’ala of raf’ul yadain during salaah (raising the hands at the time when going into ruku’ as well as coming up from ruku’) and he decides to follow the mazhab of Imaam Maalik (Rahmatullahi Alayh) regarding the mas’ala of irsaal (not tying the hands in the standing posture, instead leaving it loose on the sides when reciting Surah Fatihaand a Surah). Thereafter in the mas’ala of Qiraat khalfal Imaam he opts to follow the mazhab of Imaam Abu Hanifa (Rahmatullahi Alayh) i.e. those behind the Imaam are not allowed to recite anything, neither Surah Faatiha nor a Surah, and in the mas’ala of Qunoot of Fajar he chooses to follow Imaam Shafi’ee (Rahmatullahi Alayh) i.e. it is necessary that Qunoot be read after coming up from ruku’ in the second rakaat of Fajar. This person thereafter comes to know that according to the Salafees (though not according to the four Imaams of Fiqh) wudhu is valid by merely making masah over nylon or cotton socks and he then performs Salaah with such a wudhu. What will we say regarding the Salaah of such a person. According to no mazhab neither the Salafees nor the four mazhabs will the Salaah of such a person be valid. His Salaah will be invalid according to the four Imaams on account of his wudhu being invalid, and his Salaah will be invalid according to the Salafees on account of him not reciting Surah Fatiha behind the Imaam which is necessary according to them.

Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Rahmatullahi Alayh) writes: “… When the condition prevalent amongst most people is that they follow that which appeals to their personal reasoning then if they are not going to be restricted to any mazhab, their actions will definitely be based on self-interest. The outcome will then be like the person who bled after having performed wudhu. According to the Hanafi mazhab, his wudhu is nullified, and according to the Shafi`ee mazhab, his wudhu remains intact. Therefore, he decides to follow the mazhab of Imaam Shafi`ee (Rahmatullahi Alayh) in this mas’ala. Thereafter he touches his wife, and since touching one’s wife nullifies one’s wudhu according to the Shafi`ee mazhab contrary to the view of the Hanafi mazhab, he opts to follow the mazhab of Imaam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi Alayh) in this mas’ala. The result of this is that none of the mazhabs regard his wudhu as valid, neither Imaam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi Alayh) nor Imaam Shafi`ee (Rahmatullahi Alayh). If he performs Salaah, his Salaah will be invalid according to both mazhabs (according to Imaam Abu Hanifah(Rahmatullahi Alayh) due to blood flowing from his body and according to Imaam Shafi`ee (Rahmatullahi Alayh) due to him touching his wife). Hence, the one who adopts an attitude of following his desires in all matters of Deen remains a worshipper of his nafs (personal interests) and there will be no Deen left in his life. Thus such a concoction and mixture of the various mazaahib is impermissible according to all the Imaams.

The difference between us and the Sahaaba, is that the primary concern of the Sahaaba was the fear of Allah Ta’ala and commitment to Deen. Conversely, our greater concern revolves around securing our personal interests and image in society. Hence, we are prepared to compromise our Deeni values in order to secure our personal interests. Thus we understand that there was no real need for the Sahaaba to confine themselves to following one mazhab or one Imaam (considering the fact that the era they lived in was an era replete with many Mujtahideen.)

Furthermore, through taqleed our Deen is completely systemized and codified (i.e. the four Imaams have extracted principles from the Qur’an and Hadith by which they deduced laws and injunctions, thereby enabling us to understand each mas’ala of Deen in its correct perspective.). If we abandon taqleed and follow what we deem correct, we will be de-systemizing and de-codifying our Deen. If our endeavour is to follow the most correct ruling of the four Imaams, then due to us not being capable of such a great task, we will be putting ourselves through unnecessary difficulty. If our objective is ease (by looking for concessions), then we will be enslaved to our nafs. Therefore, for the consistent balance of Shariah to remain, together with security against the nafs (self interest), taqleed is essential. (Ashraful Jawaab 149-150)

 

The Seventh Problem that will Arise by Referring Directly to the Qur’an and Hadith

The seventh problem is that some people will reject ijtihaad totally. They will feel that there is no need for making ijtihaad. Instead, if any problematic situation arises, one should refer directly to the Qur’an and Hadith in finding a solution, since Allah Ta’ala commands in the Qur’an:

فَإِن تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ إِن كُنتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ

(If you dispute in any matter then refer it to Allah and the Rasul (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) if you truly believe in Allah and the last day.) (Surah Nisa 4:59)

Thus they wrongly deduce from this Aayah that there is no need for ijtihaad. The outcome of those adopting this attitude is that they will be faced with one of three situations:

  1. They will completely ignore all those aspects of Deen which are not explicitly mentioned in the Qur’an and Sunnah but, have nevertheless been derived from these sources by the Mujtahideen through ijtihaad.
  2. They will not find Shar’ee solutions to many contemporary issues and thus fall into suspicions and doubts regarding the truth of Islam. They will begin to feel that Islam is not a complete way of life since Shari’ah has not provided solutions to many issues.
  3. They will consider themselves to be free to do as they wish in all matters that have not been explicitly mentioned in the Qur’an and Sunnah. The end result of this is that they will follow their desires, thus causing them to veer astray. Allah Ta’ala says:

أَفَحَسِبْتُمْ أَنَّمَا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ عَبَثًا وَأَنَّكُمْ إِلَيْنَا لَا تُرْجَعُونَ

(Do you think that We have created you in vain and that you will not be returned back to Us.) (Surah Mu’minoon 23:115)

For example, if we consider the masa’lah of shaving the hair, there is mention in the Ahaadithregarding the impermissibility of shaving the beard, however there is no explicit mention in the Qur’an as well as the Ahaadith of Rasulullah (Sallahllahu Alayhi Wasallam) regarding the masa’laof shaving the hair on the cheek (i.e. above the beard) or the hair on the chest or on the calves. Similarly, there is mention in the Ahaadith regarding the masa’lawhere a fly falls into milk, however there is no explicit mention in the Qur’an as well as the Ahaadith of Rasulullah (Sallahllahu Alayhi Wasallam) regarding the masa’lawhere a mosquito, flea, bee or wasp falls into milk. These masaail have been derived through the ijtihaad of the mujtahideen. Hence, what will be the viewpoint of such individuals (who reject ijtihaad) regarding these types of masaa’il?

 

A Debate between Mufti Mahmood Hasan Gangohi Saheb (Rahmatullahi Alayh) – former Mufti of Darul Uloom Deoband – and a Ghair Muqallid at the Maqaam-e-Ebrahim

Mufti Mahmood Saheb related that once, a ghair muqallid met him at the Maqaam-e-Ebrahim and said:

Ghair Muqallid: I have heard that you issue fatwas. My advice to you is that you should never issue a fatwa contrary to the Qur’an and Hadith.

Mufti Sahib: If your advice is general then I am grateful and Jazaakallah (may Allah reward you.). However, if you have come across any of my fatwas that contradict the Qur’an or Hadith then kindly inform me so that I may look into it. If I have erred then I shall retract.

Ghair Muqallid: I have not come across any such fatwa. Nevertheless, I have just heard that you issue fatwas. Therefore, I decided to advise you in this regard.

Mufti Sahib: Well, listen attentively to what I have to say. When a query comes before me, I refer to the Qur’an Shareef. If I find the answer recorded in the Qur’an then I do not turn to anything else. For example, the question regarding three talaaqs (in one sitting) came before me. When I referred to the Qur’aan Shareef I found the Aayah:

الطَّلَاقُ مَرَّتَانِ

Two divorces can be issued (Surah Baqarah 2:229)

After a few lines Allah Ta’ala then says:

فَإِن طَلَّقَهَا فَلَا تَحِلُّ لَهُ مِن بَعْدُ حَتَّى تَنكِحَ زَوْجًا غَيْرَهُ

Then if he divorces her (the third divorce) she will not be halaal for him until she marries another husband. (Surah Baqarah 2:230)

We understand from here that if three talaaqs are issued, all three will be valid irrespective of whether they are issued in one sitting or separate sittings. The Qur’an Shareef does not present any further detail in this issue. Hence, such a woman no longer remains halaal and lawful for her husband unless she undergoes the process of halaalah. Thus, in the masalah of three talaaqs I issued the verdict in conformity to the Qur’an that the wife is totally unlawful for the husband.

If after searching through the Qur’an Shareef I do not find a solution to my problem I refer to the Hadith. If I find the answer in the Hadith, then I do not refer to anything else. For example, the question regarding Qiraat Khalfal Imaam (should the muqtadi recite Surah Faatiha behind the Imaam in Salaah) was posed to me. When I searched the Qur’an Shareef I could not find any answer. Therefore, I then referred to the Hadith. I came across a narration in Saheeh Muslim where Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) stated: إذا قرأ فأنصتوا (When the Imaam is engaged inqiraat then the muqtadi should remain silent.). This Hadith is an authentic narration (Saheeh), clear in its purport (Sareeh) and it has not been abrogated (Ghair Mansookh). We clearly understand from this Hadith that it is impermissible for the muqtadi to engage in any recitation whilst the Imaam is reciting. Thus, I issued the fatwa in conformity to the Hadith. Furthermore, if I do not find any solution in the Hadith then I adopt the view (ijtihaad) of Imaam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi Alayh).

Ghair Muqallid: It is impossible that you will not find a solution in the Hadith. If you cannot find the answer in your books, then search in the books of others.

Mufti Sahib: Who do you refer to when you say others? Must I search in the books of the Yahood and Nasaara?

Ghair Muqallid: No. Search in Bukhaari, Tirmizi, etc.

Mufti Sahib: Why do you refer to them as the books of others? Aren’t they our books as well? We study and teach their kitaabs all the time. You claim that everything is found in the Hadith whereas the Hadith itself disproves what you are saying. It appears in the Hadith that when Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) dispatched Hadhrat Mu’aaz (Radiyallahu Anhu) to Yemen, he asked him, “What procedure will you adopt when passing decisions in the affairs of the Muslims?” Mu’aaz (Radiyallahu Anhu) replied: “I will decide in accordance to the Qur’an.” Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) then asked him: “If a law is not found in the Qur’an then what will you do?” He replied, “I will refer to the Ahaadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).” Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) then questioned him: “If the ruling is not found in the Ahaadith, then what will you do?” He replied: “I will employ my ability of reasoning (ijtihaad) in reaching a conclusion.” Upon hearing this, Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “All praise be to Allah who inspired the messenger of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) Mu’aaz (Radiyallahu Anhu) with the correct guidance.” (Tirmizi – Kitaabul Ahkaam – 1/247)

Ghair Muqallid: Ask me any question and I promise you that I shall furnish the answer from the Hadith.

Mufti Sahib: If you will be able to present to me a Hadith that is an authentic narration(Saheeh), clear in its purport (Sareeh) and it has not been abrogated (Ghair Mansookh) for every mas’alah that I ask, then I shall seek forgiveness for being a Hanafi and I shall abandon the taqleed of Imaam Abu Hanifa رحمة الله عليه. Well, then do you have any Hadith stating clearly regarding the permissibility or impermissibility of removing the hair on the cheek (above the beard). Similarly, can you present before me any Hadith regarding the hair on the chest and calves?

Since there is no clear Hadith found, he became extremely embarrassed and asked,

Ghair Muqallid: Do wish to test me?

Mufti Sahib: Yes. I am testing you. Do you think that I will so easily abandon following the Hanafi mazhab? I will have to thoroughly examine you before abandoning Imaam Abu Hanifa and adopting your way.

He became enraged at this and began walking away. I then said to him, “Excuse me, but you had just promised me earlier that you will present a Hadith for every mas’alah that I ask you. So fulfil your promise. Don’t break your promise. This is a sign of a munaafiq (hypocrite). It is reported in the Hadith regarding the signs of a munaafiqإذا وعد أخلف (when he makes a promise he breaks it)”

The Ghair Muqallid ignored me and left. So I said to him, “At least make musaafahah with both hands before you depart.” I then extended both my hands and he stretched forth only one hand and made musaafahah (as is the way of the Ghair Muqallideen).

 

The Eighth Problem that will Arise by Referring Directly to the Qur’an and Hadith

The eighth problem is that the one who does not subscribe to any of the four mazhabs and instead refers directly to the Qur’an and Hadith will after a period of time inevitably fall into confusion and doubt. The reason for this is that the one who is unqualified in Deen will at times come across situations where the purport of the Ahaadith seem to contradict each other.

Consider the Hadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) reported in Bukhari which explains that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) raised his hands when going into ruku’ as well as when coming up from ruku’.

كان يرفع يديه حذو منكبيه إذا افتتح الصلاة وإذا كبر للركوع وإذا رفع رأسه من الركوع

Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) would raise his hands up to his shoulders when commencing Salaah, when saying the takbeer for ruku’ and when rising from ruku’. (Bukhari 1/102)

Opposed to this is the report of Nasaai Shareef which states that Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) only raised his hands at the time of takbeer-e-tahreemah (i.e. at the commencement of the Salaah) and he did not raise his hands at any other time during the Salaah.

فلم يرفع يديه إلا مرة واحدة

He only raised his hands once. (Nasaai 1/126)

Similarly the Hadith of Tirmizi and Abu Dawood Shareef proves that Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) also raised his hands after rising up from sajdah.

وإذا رفع رأسه من السجود أيضا رفع يديه حتى فرغ من صلاته

He raised his hands when getting up from sajdah. (Abu Dawood 1/105 – Tirmizi 1/67)

One will be surprised to find that all these Ahaadith are authentic.

Another example is those narrations which explain that Aameen should be said softly after Surah Faatiha:

كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إذا قرأ ولا الضالين قال آمين وخفض بها صوته

Rasulullallah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) would say Aameen after reading ولا الضالين and he would lower his voice. (Tirmizi 1/58)

Other Ahaadeeth explain that the Aameen be said aloud.

كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إذا قرأ ولا الضالين قال آمين ورفع بها صوته

Rasulullallah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) would say Aameen and he would raise his voice. (Abu Dawood 1/135)

Simirlaly, some Ahaadith explain that it is necessary under all circumstances to recite Surah Faatiha in Salaah. Otherwise, the Salaah will be invalid.

لا صلاة لمن لم يقرأ بفاتحة الكتاب

There is no Salaah for he who does not recite Surah Faatiha. (Tirmizi 1/70)

However, other Ahaadith explain that it is necessary for the one behind the Imaam to remain silent. He is not allowed to recite anything in an audible and inaudible Salaah.

إذا قرأ فأنصتوا

When the Imaam recites then remain silent. (Muslim 1/74)

من كان له إمام فقراءة الإمام له قراءة

Who has an Imaam, the recitation of his Imaam will be sufficient for him. (Hence there is no need for him to recite anything behind the Imaam.) (Ibne Majah 61 – Daaraqutni 1/323)

قال محمد : أخبرنا إسرائيل حدثني موسى بن أبي عائشة عن عبد الله بن شداد بن الهاد قال : أم رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم في العصر قال : فقرأ رجل خلفه فغمزه الذي يليه فلما أن صلى قال : لم غمزتني ؟ قال : كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قدامك فكرهت أن تقرأ خلفه فسمعه النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم قال: من كان له إمام فإن قراءته له قراءة

Abdullah bin Shaddaad reports that Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) lead the Asr Salaah. During the Salaah someone recited some Qiraat whilst following. Hence, a musallee besides him nudged him. After the Salaah, he asked the person, “Why did you nudge me?” He replied, “Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was standing in front of you and dislikes that you recite any qiraat whilst following him.” Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) heard this and said: “Whoever follows an Imaam, his qiraat will suffice for him.” (Muwatta Imaam Muhammed Pg. 101)

It is also noteworthy that all these above mentioned Ahaadith have been authentically reported by the Muhadditheen. Hence, on what basis will one who is not a mujtahid give preference to one Hadith over the other, more so when it cannot be chronologically proven in many cases which of the laws are the former and which are the latter? What will be the basis of the judgement of such a person who is not acquainted with the various sciences of Shari’ah, viz. Qur’aan, HadithFiqh, the practices of the Sahaabahijmaa’, etc., and he also does not have a set of rules governing his authenticating or disauthenticating the Ahaadith, nor does he understand the factors which credit or discredit the narrator or the reasons for preferring one to the other? It is obvious that he will eventually choose one narration either on the basis of personal interests or what his heart is inclined towards or what he sees people doing in a certain Arab country. This is definitely no grounds in Shari’ah for giving preference.

 

An interesting dialogue with a Ghair Muqallid regarding the Muqtadee reciting behind the Imaam in Salaah

Hadhrat Mufti Mahmood Gangohi (Rahmatullahi Alaih) was conducting a Bukhari Shareef lesson in Kanpur when a person entered and posed a question which was totally unrelated to the lesson. Nevertheless the following discussion ensued between Hadhrat Mufti Saheb and the Ghair Muqallid:

Ghair Muqallid: What is your personal opinion regarding the mas’ala of Qiraat Khalfal Imaam (the muqtadee reciting behind the Imaam in Salaah)?

Hadhrat Mufti Saheb: I will answer once you inform me which mazhab you subscribe to.

Ghair Muqallid: I am an Ahle-Hadith.

Hadhrat Mufti Saheb: Now you may present your question.

Ghair Muqallid: What is your personal opinion regarding the mas’ala of Qiraat Khalfal Imaam (the muqtadee reciting behind the Imaam in Salaah)?

Hadhrat Mufti Saheb: Your question is quite disturbing.

Ghair Muqallid: It is strange that a mere question could disturb someone.

Hadhrat Mufti Saheb: Certainly! It is for this reason the Qur’an has forbade us from posing certain questions. Does the Qur’an not command us:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَسْأَلُوا عَنْ أَشْيَاءَ إِن تُبْدَ لَكُمْ تَسُؤْكُمْ

O You who believe! Do not pose such questions which, if explained to you, will cause you pain.”

Ghair Muqallid: And may I ask in which way did my question disturb you?

Hadhrat Mufti Saheb: I am disturbed on account of the fact that you are enquiring about my personal opinion in this issue. Are you going to go by whatever I say? You ought to be asking what the Hadith has to say regarding this mas’ala.”

Ghair Muqallid: Yes! That is exactly what I meant.

Hadhrat Mufti Saheb: Al-Hamdulillah! Your inner condition reveals that you consider whatever I am going to tell you to be in accordance to that which appears in the Hadith (for this reason you have inquired from me regarding my personal opinion). Now that you have understood this, listen attentively! It is not compulsory for the muqtadi to recite behind the Imaam in Salaah.

Ghair Muqallid: Will you present to me your proof for saying it is not compulsory for the muqtadi to recite behind the Imaam?

Hadhrat Mufti Saheb: Once again you have disturbed me through your question.

Ghair Muqalllid: How is that?

Hadhrat Mufti Saheb: You claim to be an Ahle-Hadith (a follower of the Hadith) whereas in this situation you have abandoned the teachings of the Hadith. The Hadith instructs the claimant to furnish proof not the defendant. Since you are claiming that it is compulsory for the muqtadi to recite behind the Imaam in Salaah, it is your duty to furnish the proof:

البينة على المدعي

Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: It is the duty of the claimant to produce proof in substantiation of his claim.

Hafiz Ibnus Salaah in his “Muqaddamah” has categorically stated that this Hadith is a mashhoor Hadith.

I am not the one who claims that it is compulsory for the muqtadee to recite behind the Imaam. Instead, it is you. Despite that, you still demand proof from me and act contrary to this Hadith:

البينة على المدعي

Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: It is the duty of the claimant to produce proof in substantiation of his claim.

Certainly this is not what is expected from a person who claims to be Ahle-e-Hadith (a follower of the Hadith).

Nevertheless, I will still explain to you (why reciting behind the Imaam is not compulsory). To prove compulsion, one needs an absolutely authentic proof known in Shari’ah as (نص قطعى).

In our case, the proof i.e. the Hadith which establishes reciting behind the Imaam is not an absolutely authentic proof (nass-e-Qati).

Ghair Muqalllid: Here’s my proof …

لا صلاة لمن لم يقرا بفاتحة الكتاب

There is no Salaah for he who did not read Surah Faatiha.

Hadhrat Mufti Saheb: Inform me, in which juz of the Qur’an does this appear? In which Surah does this verse appear? Certainly this is no verse of the Qur’an. Instead this is a Hadith which falls under the category of khabrul waahid. Don’t you even know the meaning of an absolutely authentic proof? (دليل قطعي)

Nevertheless since you have presented this Hadith, can you please explain how you have concluded from this Hadith that it is compulsory to recite behind he Imaam?

For a long time I have been waiting to ask the Ahle-Hadith how do they conclude from this Hadith that it is compulsory for the muqtadi to recite Surah Faatihah. Consider the narration of Hadhrat Ubadah bin Saaamit (Radiyallahu Anhu):

“Once, after the completion of the Salaah, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) enquired from the Sahaba (Radiyallahu Anhum) as to who among them were reciting during the Salaah. Rasullullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said:

لعلكم تقرؤون خلف إمامكم

It seems that you are reciting behind your Imaam

From this Hadith we understand that reciting behind the Imaam was not a command of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). Similarly, we come to know that reciting behind the Imaam was not a common practice during the era of Rasullullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).

Had this been the common practice of Sahabah or the command of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) would have not enquired from them whether they were reciting behind the Imaam. Furthermore, had this been the instruction of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), the companions of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) would have replied:

“Oh our master (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), as per your instruction we are reciting behind the Imaam.”

It is for this very reason, we do not find that the prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) ever questioned the Sahabah whether they recited ‘subhana rabbiyal azeem’ in ruku‘subhana rabbiyal a’ala’ in sajda or attihiyaat?

Why didn’t Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) ask regarding these aspects? This is due to the fact that this was the general practice of the Sahabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) which everyone was carrying out as per the instruction of Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).

However, in the case of reading behind the Imaam, the question was posed: “Who from amongst you were reciting behind me in Salaah?”

Some of the Sahabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) then timorously answered: “We were reciting behind you O Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)! Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) then said:

“Do not recite anything (behind your Imaam) with the exception of Surah Faatiha, for there is no Salaah for the one who does not recite Surah Faatiha … (Bazlul Majhood)

Ghair Muqalllid: “… You see! This is exactly what I mentioned to you!”

Hadhrat Mufti Saheb: “Certainly! But, allow me to explain to you the correct meaning of this Hadith. On one hand Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) prohibits reciting behind the Imaam through the following words: لا تقرءوا (do not recite behind the Imaam!) and on the other hand Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) makes an exclusion by saying إلا (except for…). (So we have a prohibition together with an exclusion.) Thus the prohibition denotes impermissibility whilst the exclusion denotes permissibility. Definitely we understand that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam),will not prevent you from doing a certain thing and at the same time allow you to do that very same thing. So could you explain to me which thing is Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) preventing us from and which thing is Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) allowing us to do. If we are being allowed to recite Surah Faatiha (behind theImaam), then what are we being prohibited from?

Ghair Muqalllid: “Everything besides Surah Faathihah will be left under the prohibition. In actual fact, what I mean is that the Hadith is stopping us from reciting anything (i.e. Surah) after Surah Faatiha like reading some other verse or like joining another Surah to Surah Faatiha.

Hadhrat Mufti Saheb: “Very well. Let us make i’itibaar of this Hadith. Are you familiar with the terminology of the Muhaditheen when they mention i’itibaar?

Ghair Muqalllid: “Certainly I am familiar with this terminology. I’itibaar means to accept and acknowledge something.”

Hadhrat Mufti Saheb: NO! This is not what i’itibaar means. According to the Muhadditheen, i’itibaar means to carry out a comprehensive study in order to gather the various chains of a certain Hadith which are recorded in the books of Hadith. The purpose for carrying out this study is so that one may be able to keep before him the various texts of the same Hadith and pass a correct judgement. Now, making i’itibaar of this Hadith, we find different wordings appearing in different Ahaadith. The following text appears in one Hadith:

لا صلاة لمن لم يقرأ بفاتحة الكتاب فصاعدا

There is no Salaah for the one who does not recite Surah Faatiha and something else (over and above Surah Faatiha).

In another text it appears:

فما زاد

There is no Salaah for the one who does not recite Surah Faatiha and something additional

In yet another text it appears:

وما تيسَّر

There is no Salaah for the one who does not recite Surah Faatiha and whatever else you find easy to recite.

Another text reads:

وسورة معها

There is no Salaah for the one who does not recite Surah Faatiha coupled with another Surah.

Yet another text reads:

وآيتين معها

There is no Salaah for the one who does not recite Surah Faatiha and two more verses.

Keeping all these texts before us, we understand that it is permissible for one to recite more than Surah Faatiha. Now, you explain to me if this is the case, then what exactly are we not supposed to recite behind the Imaam?

If you have any reservations regarding the authenticity of these texts, I will show it to you from the original works.

Hadhrat Mufti Saheb continued: “Let us leave these questions to be answered by the learned scholars. I wish to ask you another mas’ala. Tell me, if you entered the Masjid whilst the Imaam is in ruku’, what will you do? Will you join him in ruku’ or not?

If you don’t join him then you (being an Ahle-Hadith) will be abandoning the Hadith which says: ‘Join the Imaam in whichever posture you find him in’ (Musannaf Abdur Razzaaq 2/281)

And if you do join him in ruku’, then what about your Surah Faatiha?

You could recite it in ruku’, but then you will be contradicting the Hadith which prohibits reciting Qur’an in ruku’ (Nasai).

You could do as some of the Ahle-Hadith do i.e. despite them joining the Imaam in ruku’, they repeat the rakaat after the Imaam makes salaam. If you do accordingly, you will be abandoning the Hadith wherein Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “Who joins the Imaam in ruku’ has got the rakaat. (Bazlul Majhood)

Now tell me, how can one call himself an Ahle-Hadith when he has ignored all these Ahaadith of Rasullullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)? In fact (from the Ahaadith mentioned) he has not practised on a single Hadith.

Ghair Muqalllid: How do I come out of this problem? I am cornered from all sides.

Hadhrat Mufti Saheb: “What a simpleton you are! After I have cornered you from all sides, you are asking me for a way out.”

Ghair Muqalllid: “If you had found the Imaam in ruku’, what would you do?”

Hadhrat Mufti Saheb: “Why are you now referring to me? Has your stock of Ahaadith depleated? And if I do tell you, will you go by what I say?”

Ghair Muqalllid: (Silent)

Hadhrat Mufti Saheb: “If I do tell you, will you promise to adopt taqleed as we do?”

Ghair Muqalllid: “Please don’t entangle me with your arguments.”

Hadhrat Mufti Saheb: “You have become so entangled, as if there is no way out of it. As for me, I would simply refer the matter to Hadhrat Imaam Abu Hanifa. I would go up to him and say: “Hadhrat! I am cornered from all sides, please show me a way out.”

Imaam Abu Hanifa would say: “Son! The Hadith is explicit: “In whichever posture you find the Imaam, join him.” Son! Follow the Hadith and go directly into ruku’, for it is impermissible to contradict the Hadith.”

Furthermore, understand O my son! The Hadith has prohibited us from reciting Qur’an during ruku’. Hence do not recite Surah Faatiha in the state of ruku’, for indeed it is a grave offence to contradict the Hadith.

And my dear son! The Hadith says: Who joins the Imaam in ruku’, has got the rakaat. So regard that rakaat as counted and do not repeat it. Otherwise you will be committing a serious crime by ignoring the Hadith.

I will then enquire: “O Imam Saheb! What about the Hadith:

لا صلاة لمن لم يقرأ بفاتحة الكتاب

There is no Salaah for he who does not recite Surah Faatiha.

Imam Abu Hanifa would reply:

“Son! This Hadith refers to the one who is not behind an Imaam, e.g. someone who is performing Salaah alone or this Hadith refers to the Imaam himself.

If the Imaam or the one performing Salaah alone does not recite Surah Faatiha, the Salaah will not be complete.

As for the one following the Imaam, then there are other Ahaadith relating to him. For example the narration which says:

إذا قرأ فأنصتوا

When the Imaam recites then remain silent. (Muslim)

من كان له إمام فقراءة الإمام له قراءة

Who has an Imaam, the recitation of his Imaam will be sufficient for him (Hence there is no need for him to recite anything behind the Imaam). (Tabraani, Dara Qutni, Ibne Majah … See Bazlul Majhood)

الإمام ضامن

The Imaam is made responsible for the entire congregation. (Tirmizi)

After all, there must be something which the Imaam has taken responsibility of.

Ghair Muqalllid: The narrator of that Hadith is a kazzaab (liar).

Hadhrat Mufti Saheb:

إذا قرأ فأنصتوا

When the Imaam recites then remain silent. (Muslim)

This Hadith is a Hadith narrated by Imaam Muslim in Muslim Shareef. How dare you find fault with the narrator?

Anyway, who is this narrator? Let me make a note of him. Who knows, he might appear in one of your proofs and I will use it against you.

Ghair Muqalllid: There’s nothing wrong with this Hadith. I was referring to the other Hadith which says:

من كان له إمام فقراءة الإمام له قراءة

Who has an Imaam, the recitation of his Imaam will be sufficient for him (Hence there is no need for him to recite anything behind the Imaam). (Tabraani, Dara Qutni, Ibne Majah … See Bazlul Majhood)

In this narration there is a kazzaab (liar).

Hadhrat Mufti Saheb: “And who is this kazzaab narrator?”

Ghair Muqalllid: “Jaabir Ju’fi”

Hadhrat Mufti Saheb: “And which Muhaddith ruled Jaabir Jufi as a kazzaab?”

Ghair Muqalllid: “Abu Hanifa”

Hadhrat Mufti Saheb: Subhanallah! You mean you are actually relying upon what our Imaam Abu Hanifa said regarding a narrator of Hadith! This is fantastic. For years people have been saying Abu Hanifa does not know Hadith. Today, it pleases me to hear from your mouth that Imaam Abu Hanifa was well acquainted with Hadith.

In fact, from your statement we also learn that Imaam Abu Hanifa must have written a book on Hadith in which he discussed at length the narrators of Hadith. Would you be kind enough to quote the book wherein Imaam Abu Hanifa had recorded this?

Ghair Muqalllid: (Silent)

The Azaan of Asr was then called out and the Ghair Muqallid got up and started leaving.

Hadhrat Mufti Saheb: “Join us Hanafees for one Salaah at least. You may by all means recite behind the Imaam if you wish.”

Ghair Muqalllid: “I’m in a hurry. I have some important work.”

Hadhrat Mufti Saheb: “Well then listen to this Hadith before you leave. It appears in the narration of Sihah (authentic narrations) that whenever Shaytaan hears the Azaan he runs away whilst passing wind. (Bukhari, Muslim and Mishkaat)

The furthest distance the voice of the Muazzin reaches, all objects within that range be it the stones, sand, etc., will bear testimony for him on the Day of Judgement. Shaytaan therefore escapes out of fear that his name will be enlisted amongst those who will intercede for the Muazzin.

At the same time, another Hadith says:

من تشبه بقوم فهو منهم

He who imitates a nation; he will be counted from amongst them (Mishkaat)

Hence, (after hearing the Azaan) if you are going to leave in this manner without performing Salaah, you will be resembling Shaytaan.

Awjazul Masaalik’ quotes the statement of Imaam Maalik:

“In wudhu, use your hand to clean your nose. Do not blow your nose in a manner which resembles the snorting of a donkey.”

Hence you should not resemble Shaytaan by leaving without performing Salaah.

The Ghair Muqalllid left without saying anything.

 

Few Examples of the Disastrous Outcome of those who Refer directly to the Qur’an and Hadith

Moulana Sarfaraaz Khan (Rahmatullahi Alayh) writes: “I have a sincere Deeni conscious friend whose daughter-in-law claimed to follow the Hadith. It was her practise that whenever she required a compulsory ghusal (bath) she would merely throw three handfuls of water over her body. She insisted that the Hadith of Saheeh Bukhaari only instructs one to throw three hands full of water over the head for a fardh (obligatory) ghusl and that there is no need to pour water over the entire body. This became such a serious problem that it led to divorce. The Hadith which she referred to does appear in Saheeh Bukhaari (1/39) where Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said whilst indicating with both his hands: ‘I pour water over my head thrice.’ However, this is one portion of the Hadith. The detailed narration which appears in the very same chapter after a few lines explains the procedure, where it says that thereafter he (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) poured water over his entire body. (Bukhaari 1/39)” (Al Kalaamul Mufeed, pg. 219)

Hadith of Saheeh Bukhaari (1/250-251) states: “An Umrah in Ramadhaan equals to a Hajj with me i.e. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)”. Similarly another Hadith states: “The one who performs Fajr Salaah in congregation and thereafter sits till sunrise remembering Allah Ta’ala and performs two rakaats of nafl Salaah, he would attain the reward of a complete Hajj and Umrah (Sunan Tirmidhi 1/130)”. If a person looks at the apparent meaning of these two Ahaadith without the medium of an Imaam, he would conclude that there is no need for him to perform his fardh Hajj, since he has already attained the reward of a complete Hajj and a Hajj with Rasulullah (Sallahu Alayhi Wasallam). If he refers to an Imaam, he would explain that these Ahaadith only refer to the reward of Hajj. However, these actions do not absolve him from the obligation which still remains on him.

Another real example of the above is: Once a man (who was going for Umrah) came to an Aalim and said: “The Hadith says that one Salaah in Makkah Mukarramah equals one hundred thousand Salaah elsewhere (Sunan Ibni Majah Pg. 101). So if I perform one qadhaa Salaah there, won’t it compensate for all my qadhaa Salaah?” The Aalim replied: “If your deduction is correct, then not only will it compensate for your past Salaahs, rather there will be no need for you to perform any more Salaah in the future as well”. Thereafter he explained to him that this only refers to the reward and not the obligation.

From these examples we understand that referring directly to the Qur’an and Hadith without the medium of an Imaam is detrimental to our Deen. In the first situation, the woman’s ghusl was incorrect. Hence none of her Salaahs would be accepted. In the second example, the person would have discarded the fifth pillar of Islaam. In the third situation the person would end up discarding Salaah completely.

Note: When such great luminaries in the field of Hadith, the likes of Imaam Abu Dawood and Imaam Tirmizi (Rahmatullahi Alayhima) who compiled books on Hadith, likewise experts like Allama Nawawi and Hafiz Ibn Hajar Asqalaani who prepared extensive commentaries on Bukhari and Muslim (which run into volumes) confined themselves to following one of the four Imaams, then how can a layman of this era who refers to a mere translation of these very books of Hadith regard himself absolved of following an Imaam?

 

The Ninth Problem that will Arise by Referring Directly to the Qur’an and Hadith

The ninth problem is that since there exists no fifth mazhab in the world at present, those who wish to adopt a new mazhab (by directly referring to the Quran and Hadith), will have to do either one of two things in order to reach the correct conclusion. Either they will employ their personal reasoning when they come across any apparent contradiction in the Ahaadith or alternatively, depend upon the verdict of a scholar of recent times. By acting upon either one of the two, what assurity do they have that the conclusion they reach is correct. Furthermore since they personally do not possess the required level of Deeni knowledge nor the potential to verify the exact position of the information they come across, trying to solve complex problems which relate to the chain of narrators of the Ahaadith or analysing complicated situations which have already been worked out by the four Imaams and their followers will be nothing but a mockery of the Deen of Allah Ta’ala. Apart from that, the major fear that remains is that if any mistake occurs, then one will be guilty of the sin of adulterating the Deen of Allah Ta’ala as the warning has been sounded in the Hadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam):

عن أبى هريرة رضي الله عنه قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم: من أفتى بغير علم كان إثمه على من أفتاه (رواه أبو داود – مشكاة ص 35)

 Hazrat Abu Hurairah (Radiyallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: If a person incapable of issuing verdicts in Deen issued a verdict, he will bear the sin (consequence) of the incorrect verdict he issued.

مشكاة المصابيح : ص 54 : و عن جابر قال خرجنا في سفر فأصاب رجلا منا حجر فشجه في رأسه فاحتلم فسأل أصحابه هل تجدون لي رخصة في التيمم قالوا ما نجد لك رخصة و أنت تقدر على الماء فاغتسل فمات فلما قدمنا على النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أُخبر بذلك قال قتلوه قتلهم الله ألا سألوا إذا لم يعلموا فإنما شفاء العي السوال إنما كان يكفيه أن يتيمم و يعصب على جرحه خرقة ثم يمسح عليها و يغسل سائر جسده . رواه أبو داود

Jaabir (Radiyallahu Anhu) reports that they were once on a journey when a person amongst them was struck by a rock and suffered severe head injuries. He then experienced a wet-dream (thus requiring ghusl). So he asked some of his companions if there was any concession for performing tayammum. They replied: “There is no concession for you since water is available.” Thus, this Sahaabi took a bath and passed away (as a result of making ghusl). When they returned and Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was informed of this, he said: “They killed him, may Allah kill them. Why couldn’t they enquire from those who were knowledgeable when they did not know? The cure of an ailing person (an ignorant person) is to ask. It was sufficient for him to only perform tayammum and bandage his wound. He could have then rubbed his moist hand over it and wash the rest of his body.”

Conversely, those who abide by the verdicts of any of the four A’immah-e-mujtahideen even in a situation where a difference is seen among them, whichever Imaam he follows he will be rightly guided and rewarded. If per chance the Imaam erred in his ruling (in issues where the doors of ijtihaad have been left open) then too it will be approved in the court of Allah Ta’ala. The Hadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is explicit in this regard:

عن أبي هريرة قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إذا حكم الحاكم فاجتهد فأصاب فله أجران وإذا حكم فأخطأ فله أجر واحد (باب ما جاء في القاضي يصيب ويخطئ 247 سنن الترمذى)

Hazrat Abu Hurairah (Radiyallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, ‘If a mujtahid employs ijtihaad when issuing a verdict and he reaches the correct conclusion, he will receive a double reward. And if he employs ijtihaad and errs, he will receive one reward from Allah Ta’ala.

Furthermore, in certain situations we notice apparent contradictions between the purport of certain Ahadith and certain verses of the Qur’an. In order to reach the correct conclusion, the A’immah-e-mujtahideen employed their faculty of ijtihaad and carried out a thorough analysis before adopting their mazhab. In this regard, the Ahadith had to be examined completely and viewed from diverse angles. The chain of narrators had to be checked and the position of every narrator scrutinized. In short, several aspects had to be thoroughly examined before adopting a particular view in their mazhab.

Hereunder is one apt example from the thousands of examples which illustrates the arduous task the A’immah Mujtahideen had to undergo in the process of establishing their mazaahib and spreading the pristine Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) to the ummah.

 

Is it permissible to make Masah upon ordinary socks?

The verse of the Qur’aan clearly instructs one to wash the feet in wudhu. Allah Ta`ala states:

يا أيها الذين آمنوا إذا قمتم إلى الصلرة فاغسلوا وجوهكم وأيديكم إلى المرافق وامسحوا برؤوسكم وأرجلكم إلى الكعبين

 “Wash your faces and your hands till your elbows, perform masah of your head and wash your feet up to your ankles.”

However, when one studies the Hadeeth he comes across the Hadeeth of Mugheerah bin Shu`bah (Radiyallahu Anhu) which implies the permissibility of making masah on one’s socks.

The Hadeeth reported by Mugheerah bin Shu`bah (Radiyallahu Anhu) reads as follows:

عن سفيان عن أبي قيس عن هزيل بن شرحبيل عن المغيرة بن شعبة قال : توضأ النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ومسح على الجوربين والنعلين

 Sufyaan Thauri reports from Abu Qais Al-Awdi, who reports from Huzail bin Shurahbeel who reports from Mugheerah bin Shu`bah that Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) performed Wudhu and made masah on his jowrabain (socks) and shoes.

Some people in an effort to reconcile between the Qur’aan and Hadeeth opine that the purport of the Qur’aanic verse refers to the time when one is not wearing socks and the purport of the Hadeeth refers to the time when one is wearing socks. Hence, in this way there no longer exists any contradiction between the Qur’aan and Hadeeth. However, this reconciliation based on pure logic and reasoning is unacceptable due to the following two reasons:

1. This Hadeeth is ruled as weak according the experts of Hadeeth.

2. The purport of this Hadeeth opposes the command of the Qur’aan (regarding washing the feet).

 

Statements of the experts of Hadeeth regarding the weakness of this Hadeeth

1. Imaam Baihaqi (Rahmatullahi Alayh) has classified this Hadeeth as weak. He states: “This is a weak narration (munkar). The likes of Imaam Sufyaan Thauri, Imaam `Abdur Rahmaan bin Mahdi, Imaam Ahmad bin Hambal (Rahimahumullah) and an entire group of leading expert Muhadditheen have all unanimously rejected the authenticity of this Hadeeth.” (Hidaayat-ur-Ruwaat 1/264)

2. Similarly, Imaam Nawawi (Rahmatullahi Alayh) states: “Each luminary from amongst these luminaries of Ahaadeeth (all those who had classified this Hadeeth as weak) if weighed or measured individually, (let alone being weighed collectively) will undoubtedly outweigh Imaam Tirmizi who rules this Hadeeth as authentic.” (Al-Binaayah, 1/427)

3. Hafiz Ibnu Hajar (Rahmatullahi Alayh) states that Imaam Bukhari (Rahmatullahi Alayh) brought the Hadeeth of making masah on leather socks and omitted the Hadeeth that permits making masah upon ordinary socks on account of the weakness in the chain of narrators. (This could be understood from Ibnu Hajar’s statement in An-Nukat-uz-Ziraaf. [Tuhfat-ul-Ashraaf, 8/493] )

 

This Hadeeth opposes the command of the Qur’aan

Acting upon the Hadeeth opposes the generality of the verse of the Qur’aan. The verse explicitly commands that the feet be washed under all circumstances, whether one is wearing socks or not. By acting upon the Hadeeth one will necessarily leave out practising upon the Qur’aan. Hence, we understand that acting upon any one of the both (Qur’aan and Hadeeth) will necessitate leaving out the other.

In view of the above, the great scholar, Abu Bakr Al-Jassas (Rahmatullahi Alayh) is reported to have said, “We cannot practise upon the Ahaadeeth which establish the permissibility of making masah upon general socks independently since it is opposing the verse of the Qur’aan.” (Ahkaam-ul-Qur’aan, 2/440)

Imaam Muslim (Rahmatullahi Alayh) is reported to have said: “We are not prepared to forsake the Qur’aan on account of the weak Hadeeth of Abu Qais and Huzail (who narrate the Hadeeth of masah on socks).” (As-Sunan-ul-Kubra lil-Baihaqi, 1/284)

Note: Besides the abovementioned Hadeeth (which proves masah on ordinary socks), all the Marfoo` Ahaadeeth in the chapter of masah upon socks have been ruled as weak on account of the same two reasons:

1. Due to the narrators of these Ahaadeeth being criticised.

2. These Ahaadeeth oppose the command of the Qur’aan.

 

Why is it then permissible to make masah upon khuffain?

From the above we conclude that the Ahaadeeth which permit masah upon the jowrabain are weak and cannot form a basis for establishing the validity of masah upon the general socks. As far as the Ahaadeeth that prove permissibility of masah on khuffain are concerned, then they have reached the rank of tawaatur.

Hafiz Ibnu Hajar (Rahmatullahi Alayh) states in Fath-ul-Baari (1/366): “The experts of Hadeeth have confirmed that the narrations which establish the permissibility of masah on the khuffain have reached the level of tawaatur.” Hafiz Ibnu Hajar (Rahmatullahi Alayh) further explains that some Muhadditheen (experts in Hadeeth) listed eighty Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) who transmitted Ahaadeeth in connection with masah of the khuffain. Included among these eighty Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) were the `Asharah Mubashsharah as well. [23]

The son of Imaam Abu Haatim (Rahmatullahi Alayh) explained that there are forty one Ahaadeeth reported in support of the khuffain.

Hafiz Ibnu `Abdil Barr (Rahmatullahi Alayh) has documented in his famous book Al-Istizkaar that approximately forty Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) reported Ahaadeeth with regards to masah on the khuffain.

Allaamah Ibnul Munzir (Rahmatullahi Alayh) quotes Imaam Hasan Basri (Rahmatullahi Alayh) as having said: “Seventy companions of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) personally narrated to me that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)  performed masah upon his khuffain.” (Talkhees-ul-Habeer, 1/158)

Imaam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi Alayh) is reported to have said: “I did not hasten in passing a judgement that masah on the khuffain is permissible (due to it outwardly opposing the Qur’aanic injunction) until the overwhelming narrations proving its validity became manifest to me like daylight.” He also said: “I fear that the one who rejects the permissibility of masah on the khuffain could be out of the fold of Islaam.” (Due to the numerous Ahaadeeth which establish its permissibility having reached the level of tawaatur) (Al-Bahr-ur-Raaiq, 1/288)

The authority, Imaam Jassaas (Rahmatullahi Alayh) encapsulates this discussion in Ahkaam-ul-Qur’aan. He writes: “The actual basis is that the injunction in the Aayah of wudhu is of washing the feet. This is proven (by Nass-e-Qat`ee) [24]. If it were not for the Ahaadeeth-e-Mutawaatirah (overwhelming authentic narrations) narrated from Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) regarding masah `alal khuffain, we would not have permitted it. Since authentic Ahaadeeth (of mutawaatir category) have been narrated in this regard, we used it as a proof to establish the permissibility of masah on khuffain. As for the Ahaadeeth pertaining to masah on the jowrabain (ordinary socks), we abandoned them due to (it opposing) the injunction of the verse of the Qur’aan (which commands the washing of the feet), since these Ahaadeeth did not reach the rank of mutawaatir. Thus, the Qur’aanic injunction of washing the feet was upheld and masah on jowrabain (socks) was not permitted.” (Ahkaam-ul-Qur’aan, 2/440)

 

The Mazhab of the four Imaams

As we have understood from the above that since masah upon the khuffain is established through Ahaadeeth-e-Mutawaatirah, it will be equal in status to the verse of the Qur’aan (and its injunction). Hence, the A’immah-e-Arba`ah in order to reconcile between the Qur’aan Shareef and the Sunnah, regarded the enactment of the Qur’aanic injunction of washing the feet as obligatory in the condition where the feet are not covered by any footwear. As for the condition where the feet are covered by the kuffain, they declared performing masah upon the khuffain as permissible, acting upon the dictates of the Ahaadeeth-e-Mutawaatirah which establish permissibility of masah upon the khuffain. However, due to the Ahaadeeth of jowrabain (socks) not reaching the level of tawaatur, they are unable to establish independent validity and permission. If masah on jowrabain (socks) is regarded as permissible despite the Ahaadeeth not reaching the level of tawaatur, it will result in us abandoning the Qur’aanic injunction of washing the feet. Nevertheless, the A’immah-e-Arba`ah did not entirely disregard the Ahaadeeth of jowrabain (socks), as is the misconception of the Ahle-Hadeeth. Instead, they practised upon it with certain conditions.

 

The conditions of the four Imaams for the validity of masah upon socks

The Hanafi Mazhab

According to Imaam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi Alayh) and his illustrious students Imaam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi Alayh) and Imaam Muhammad (Rahmatullahi Alayh), masah is only permissible on non-leather socks if they are thakheen (thick/durable). This is the gist of the Hanafi Mazhab. (Sharhu Ma`aanil-Aathaar, 1/77, Hidaayah, 1/61)

 

What is meant by Thakheen (durable)?

Thakheen are such thick socks which have all the attributes of leather. (They are not the normal processed and refined socks such as nylon and cotton socks available nowadays.) The validity of masah on thakheen is dependent on the following conditions:

1. It is possible to walk in such socks for more than three miles without them tearing. (N.B. The walking is without wearing shoes.)

2. They must be of a non-porous nature.

3. They must remain firm on the foreleg without being tied with laces, elastic, etc. (They should not slip down as ordinary socks do.) (Ghunyat-ul-Mustamli – (Kabeeri), p. 118 – 119, Haashiyat-ut-Tahtaawi `ala Maraaqil-Falaah, p. 129, Radd-ul-Muhtaar, 1/439 – 440)

 

The Shafi`ee Mazhab

According to Imaam Shafi`ee (Rahmatullahi Alayh) , it is necessary that non-leather socks must fulfil the following conditions for masah to be permissible:

1. They must be strong (thick) and durable.

2. Continuous walking is possible in them without it tearing.

3. They must be of a non-porous nature. (Mughnil-Muhtaaj, 1/109, Tuhfat-ul-Muhtaaj, 1/298, Nihaayat-ul-Muhtaaj, 1/204)

 

The Maaliki Mazhab

The jowrab has to be covered by leather in order for masah to be valid on it. (Haashiyat-ud-Dusooqi `ala Ash-Sharh-il-Kabeer, 1/232, Jawaahir-ul-Ikleel, 1/24)

The great scholar Ibnu `Abdil Barr (Rahmatullahi Alayh) states in his monumental work Al-Istizkaar: “Masah is only permissible on the jowrab (sock) which is mujallad (covered with leather) according to Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi Alayh) and Imaam Shafi`ee (Rahmatullahi Alayh), and this conforms to one of the two views of Imaam Maalik (Rahmatullahi Alayh). The other view of Imaam Maalik (Rahmatullahi Alayh) is that masah is impermissible on the socks despite them being mujallad (covered by leather).”

 

The Hambali Mazhab

Imaam Ahmad (Rahmatullahi Alayh) states regarding masah on such socks which do not have a (leather) sole: “If a person is able to walk in them and they remain firm on the feet (without anything to fasten them), then in this case performing masah upon them will be permissible.” On another occasion, Imaam Ahmad (Rahmatullahi Alayh) stated: “It is permissible to make masah on socks provided it remains firmly attached to the feet.” In yet another place he (Imaam AhmadRahmatullahi Alayh) states: “If a person walks with socks without it slipping off the foreleg and falling to the ankles, then it is permissible to make masah on them, because if they are not firmly attached to the feet and continuously fall, the place of Wudhu will become exposed (rendering the masah invalid).”

Imaam Ahmad (Rahmatullahi Alayh) does not consider it necessary for the socks to be mujallad (entirely covered in leather). However, he does deem it imperative that the socks be of a tough and durable nature where one can continuously walk in them.

Imaam Ahmad (Rahmatullahi Alayh) was once asked regarding the one who performs masah on a sock made from pieces of thin cloth. He (Imaam Ahmad Rahmatullahi Alayh) did not approve of it. He once said: “Masah is impermissible on the socks unless it is thick (tough) and stands upright on the feet without falling, as is the case with the khuff (leather sock). The Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) only made masah on the socks due to it resembling the khuff in this way that a person would be able to continuously walk in them (without them tearing). And it is impermissible to make masah on pieces of thin cloth.” This has been clearly recorded from Imaam Ahmad (Rahmatullahi Alayh). (Al-Mughni, 1/331-334)

 

Views of Other Scholars

Apart from the four Imaams of Fiqh, other great scholars were also of the view that masah cannot be performed on ordinary socks. Ibnu Qudaamah (Rahmatullahi Alayh) states: “Abu Hanifah, Maalik, Auzaa`ee, Mujaahid, `Amar bin Deenaar, Hasan bin Muslim and Shafi`ee (Rahimahumullah) are all of the view that masah upon socks is impermissible except if it (socks) is muna`al (has a leather sole), due to the fact that in the case where the socks are not muna`al, continuous walking in them is impossible. Therefore, masah is impermissible as is the case with thin socks.”

 

Why did the A’immah-e-Arba`ah restrict the permissibility of masah upon socks with certain conditions?

The A’immah-e-Arba`ah exercised extreme precaution in this regard in order to ensure that none of the limits of Shari`ah are transgressed, nor any injunction of Deen (i.e. the laws of the Qur’aan Shareef or the Sunnah) be violated. (Had they – A’immah-e-Arba`ah – given general permission for making masah upon socks based on the few weak Ahaadeeth, they would have opposed the Qur’aan.) As a result of this precaution, they had restricted the validity of masah upon socks with certain conditions. Once these conditions are met, it will qualify the socks to enter within the purview of the khuffain. And since permission is granted for the khuffain, permission will also be granted for these socks which resemble the khuffain. In this manner, independent permission is not granted for making masah on the socks. This was considered necessary in order to avoid any contradiction with the injunction of the Qur’aan Shareef in relation to washing the feet and at the same time not abandoning the Ahaadeeth of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) which are reported regarding masah upon jowrabain (socks).

 

List of Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) who performed masah upon their socks:

It is authentically proven that Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) used to make masah upon their socks. Shaikh Jamaal-ud-Deen Al-Qaasimi listed sixteen Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) who used to perform masah upon their socks. Allaamah Ibnul Munzir (Rahmatullahi Alayh) mentioned the names of nine Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) who are known to have performed masah on their socks.

They were:

1.         Hazrat Abu Mas`ood Al-Ansaari (Radiyallahu Anhu)

2.         Hazrat `Ali (Radiyallahu Anhu)

3.         Hazrat Anas (Radiyallahu Anhu)

4.         Hazrat Baraa bin `Aazib (Radiyallahu Anhu)

5.         Hazrat `Uqbah bin `Amr (Radiyallahu Anhu)

6.         Hazrat Ibnu Mas`ood (Radiyallahu Anhu)

7.         Hazrat Ibnu `Umar (Radiyallahu Anhu)

8.         Hazrat `Ammar (Radiyallahu Anhu)

9.         Hazrat Bilaal (Radiyallahu Anhu)

We do not doubt or dispute the authority of the aforementioned Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum), for most certainly we believe that every Sahaabi was a beacon of guidance for the entire ummah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). Moreover, apart from these few Aathaar (reports), other reports are also recorded in the books of Hadeeth, some of which are classified authentic and some unauthentic according to the terminology of the Muhadditheen. However, it is vitally important for us to comprehend that the mere mention of any Sahaabi’s performing masah on his socks will not afford us the permission nor warrant us the license to execute that action until it is absolutely certain that our action is in total compliance and conformity with what they did in reality.

 

The verdict of the renowned Ahle-Hadeeth Allaamah Shams-ul-Haq Azeemabadi

The reality is that various types of socks existed during the era of the Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum). Furthermore, the exact and complete description of the socks upon which they used to perform masah has not been reported in any narration. Thus, for one to deduce permissibility from such reports is indeed incorrect. The renowned Ahle-Hadeeth Allaamah Shams-ul-Haq Azeemabadi states: “There are many types of socks (available nowadays). Some types are produced from hides of animals, some from the wool of sheep and similarly some are made from cotton. Moreover, the connotation of the word “socks” equally holds true on each type of socks present today. We are all well aware that the concession of performing masah (upon the socks) can only be extended to all these various types of socks after authentically establishing that the jowrabain present today resembles the jowrabain upon which Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) or the Sahaabah y performed masah.” (But since this cannot be proven, how can general concession ever be issued?)

 

Upon which socks did the Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) make masah on?

The A’immah-e-Arba`ah – the four Imaams of fiqh (may Allah Ta`ala reward them on behalf of the ummah) lived in the era closest to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and the Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum). They had either met the illustrious Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) or the students of the Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum). They did not examine the Ahaadeeth (the Sunnah) of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) by merely studying the words of the Hadeeth. Rather, they witnessed the practical demonstration and the implementation of the Sunnah in the company of the Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) and the students of the Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum). For this very reason, we find that Imaam Ahmad bin Hambal (Rahmatullahi Alayh) ruled that the jowrabain (socks) must be of such durable material that one is able to continuously walk in them (without wearing shoes). Imaam Ahmad (Rahmatullahi Alayh) further explained that it is upon this type of jowrabain (which conformed to the above mentioned conditions) that the Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) performed masah upon, as it closely resembled the khuffain.

After studying this example of masah on jowrabain (socks), one will undoubtedly realise that deducing Ahkaam from the Qur’aan and Hadeeth is no simple task. It is extremely challenging and poses a lot of dangers for the one who is incapable but still adopts this path. Thus, the safest path for one to adopt would be to ascribe to the verdicts of one of the four Imaams since they were the ones who were divinely endowed with the capability of undertaking such a daunting task.

 

Conclusion

While Salaah is the “key to Jannah”, wudhu is the “key to Salaah”. Without wudhu a person cannot fulfil this great obligation. Allah Ta`ala has clearly declared in the Qur’aan Shareef: “O you who believe! When you stand towards Salaah, wash your faces and your hands up to your elbows, make masah of your heads, and wash your feet up to the ankles.” From this verse we understand that washing the feet is among the four  faraa’idh. The one who does not wash his feet has omitted a Fardh of wudhu. Hence, there is no wudhu for such a person.

How unfortunate will it be for a person who continuously performed wudhu and made masah upon his ordinary socks and performed Salaah throughout his life? What will he do when he appears before Allah Ta`ala on the Day of Judgement and does not find any Salaah in his book of deeds on account of his wudhu (which is the condition for the acceptance of his Salaah) being incomplete.

The overwhelming majority of scholars in every era, including the four great Imaams of fiqh, Imaam Bukhaari, Imaam Muslim, numerous other expert Muhadditheen as well as the likes of Allaamah Shams-ul-Haq Azeemabadi and Shaikh ‘Abdur-Rahman Mubaarakpuri (two of the most senior Ahle-Hadeeth scholars of the last century) have all clearly prohibited masah on ordinary socks such as cotton etc.

For thirteen hundred years the entire ummah was unanimous upon the impermissibility of masah upon non-leather socks. It was only in the fourteenth century that this new trend was introduced.

Note: The above is a summary of the detailed treatise which fully explains the position of the Ahaadith of Masah upon socks titled “Masah on socks”.

Those who wish to view the position of these Ahaadith together with the verdict of the scholars of Hadith should refer to the original treatise which could be downloaded from HERE.

 

The Tenth Problem that will Arise by Referring Directly to the Qur’an and Hadith

The tenth problem is that not being committed to one Mazhab is a very effective formula for the destruction of deen. This conclusion has been reached after a deep analysis and thorough examination of the new ‘Mazhab’ commonly known as Salafiyyat.

Salafiyyat is the latest trend in the world which has been given a deeni body and form though bereft of the spirit and soul of Deen. After a lengthy period of twelve hundred years (during which the Ummah remained committed to the four Mazhabs) this neo Mazhab made its appearance.

Most people ascribing themselves to this new Mazhab wish to lead a free and unhindered life. They do not want to be bound by any restrictions which come in the path of their worldly interests. However, at the same time their aim is to appear as Deeni committed people treading on the path of Deen, and they are greatly concerned that people do not alienate them from the rest of the Ummah nor label them as “transgressors in deen” on account of their laxity in Deen.

 

The purpose of Salafiyyat:

The purpose and aim of the founders of this Mazhab (as will be seen in the history of Salafiyyat below) were:

  1. To create internal fights and disunity in the Ummah especially amongst those who ascribe themselves to the four Imaams.
  2. To cause the minds of the Muslims to be stormed by suspicions and doubts in their Deen.
  3. To remove the confidence of the people in the A’immah and Aslaaf.
  4. To cause the masses to become liberal and lax in matters of Deen and to pick and choose the opinion of that Imaam which conforms to their personal reasoning.

In order to accomplish their mission, the plan of action they executed was:

  1. They used the differences between the four Mazaahib as a basis for creating confusion and doubts.
  2. They invited towards practising upon isolated opinions (Shaaz Aqwaal) which oppose the mainstream view of the Ummah.
  3. They allowed the masses to randomly choose from different Mazaahib and not to blindly follow one Mazhab.
  4. They promoted the concept of “rationalizing Deen to suit contemporary times”
  5. They encouraged the masses to refer directly to the Quraan and Hadeeth in finding Deeni solutions to modern day problems.
  6. They exhorted the masses to reinterpret the Qur’aan and Hadeeth to fit contemporary situations.

 

Their hallmark:

They earmarked certain Masaa’il from different Mazaahib together with highlighting the source of those Masaa’il from the relevant books of Hadeeth (e.g. Bukhaari and Muslim). Thereafter they impressed upon the Ummah that only these Masaa’il are correct and every other view is incorrect. In doing so, they deliberately ignored the other authentic narration which establish the practise adopted by the other Mazaahib in that mas’alah.

Furthermore, in situations where the four A’immah do not “apparently” practise upon certain Ahadeeth based on substantial proofs and reasons, they latched onto such Ahadeeth and accused the A’immah of abandoning the Ahadeeth of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam. Similarly, we notice that wherever differences in Masaa’il exist among the Imaams, they promoted independent research and study and allowed choosing whichever view one feels to be correct.

Some of the views that they have ascribed themselves to and very staunchly advocate are as follows:

  1. Raf’e Yadain (raising the hands when going into Ruku’ and getting up from Ruku’). This conforms to the Shafi’ee and Hanbali Mazhab. According to the  Maaliki and Hanafi Mazhab, the hands are only raised at the beginning of the Salaah (Mugnil Muhtaaj 1/388 ; Mugni Libni Qudaamah 1/ 171 ; Haashiyatud-Dassuqi 1/ 396 ; Shaami 1/ 506)
  2. Aameen Bil Jahr (reciting the Aameem aloud). This conforms to the Shafi’ee and Hanbali Mazhab contrary to the Maaliki and Hanafi Mazhab. (Mugnil Muhtaaj 1/379 ; Mugni Libni Qudaamah 1/ 162 ; Haashiyatud-Dassuqi 1/ 398 ; Shaami 1/ 492)
  3. Jama’ Bainas-Salaatain (joining Salaahs during a journey). This conforms to the Maaliki, Hanbali and Shafi’ee Mazhab contrary to the Hanafi Mazhab. (Mugnil Muhtaaj 1/603 ; Mugni Libni Qudaamah 1/ 131 ; Haashiyatud-Dassuqi 1/ 584 ; Shaami 1/ 381)
  4. Placing the hands before the knees when going into Sajdah. This conforms to the Maaliki Mazhab contrary to the the Shafi’ee, Hanafi and Hanbali Mazhab. (Mugnil Muhtaaj 1/399 ; Mugni Libni Qudaamah 1/ 199 ; Haashiyatud-Dassuqi 1/ 401 ; Shaami 1/ 497)
  5. The postures of the woman’s Salaah is exactly the same as men’s Salaah which does not conform to any of the four Mazaahib. Hence, they have omitted many Ahadeeth in this regard. (Majmu’l Fatawa 3/343; Mugni Libni Qudaamah 1/ 258; Haashiyatud-Dassuqi; Shaami 1/ 504)
  6. Wadh’ul Yadain ‘Alas-Sadr (tying the hands during Salaah upon the chest) which does not conform to any of the four Mazaahib. (Majmu’l Fatawa 3/187; Mugni Libni Qudaamah 1/ 140; Haashiyatud-Dassuqi; Shaami 1/ 486)
  7. Masah upon ordinary socks which does not conform to any of the four Mazaahib.  (58/59 المسح على الجوربين للشيخ زكريا ماكدا)
  8. Performing eight Raka’ats of Taraweeh which does not conform to any of the four Mazaahib.  (خير المصابيح في عدد التراويح ص42)
  9. Three Talaaqs issued at once is regarded as one Talaaq which does not conform to any of the four Mazaahib. (الاعلام المرفوعة في حكم الطلقات المجموعة الشيخ المحدث حبيب الرحمن الأعظمي)
  10. They severed themselves from the Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jamaa’ah in regard to certain beliefs in Deen e.g. Istiwaa Alal-Arsh.   (عقيدة أهل السنة و الجماعة للعثيمين ص11)

 

The essence of Salafiyyat

In essence, this Mazhab is an assortment of the four Mazaahib blended with personal opinions. Hence, wherever one is faced with differences among the A’immah, he is at liberty to hop from one Mazhab to another and choose what appeals to his reasoning. If anyone dare raise an objection against him, then he shields himself by quoting the Hadeeth of Rasullullah Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam out of context:

عن أبي هريرة قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إذا حكم الحاكم فاجتهد فأصاب فله أجران وإذا حكم فأخطأ فله أجر واحد (باب ما جاء في القاضي يصيب ويخطئ 247 سنن الترمذى)

Hazrat Abu Hurairah (Radiyallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, ‘If a mujtahid employs ijtihaad when issuing a verdict and he reaches the correct conclusion, he will receive a double reward. And if he employs ijtihaad and errs, he will receive one reward from Allah Ta’ala.

However in doing so, they have ignored many other Ahadeeth which prohibit individuals from tampering and interfering with the Shariah. This is the clear message given in the following Hadeeth:

مشكاة المصابيح : ص 54 : و عن جابر قال خرجنا في سفر فأصاب رجلا منا حجر فشجه في رأسه فاحتلم فسأل أصحابه هل تجدون لي رخصة في التيمم قالوا ما نجد لك رخصة و أنت تقدر على الماء فاغتسل فمات فلما قدمنا على النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أُخبر بذلك قال قتلوه قتلهم الله ألا سألوا إذا لم يعلموا فإنما شفاء العي السوال إنما كان يكفيه أن يتيمم و يعصب على جرحه خرقة ثم يمسح عليها و يغسل سائر جسده . رواه أبو داود

Jaabir (Radiyallahu Anhu) reports that they were once on a journey when a person amongst them was struck by a rock and suffered severe head injuries. He then experienced a wet-dream (thus requiring ghusl). So he asked some of his companions if there was any concession for performing tayammum. They replied: “There is no concession for you since water is available.” Thus, this Sahaabi took a bath and passed away (as a result of making ghusl). When they returned and Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was informed of this, he said: “They killed him, may Allah kill them. Why couldn’t they enquire from those who were knowledgeable when they did not know? The cure of an ailing person (an ignorant person) is to ask. It was sufficient for him to only perform tayammum and bandage his wound. He could have then rubbed his moist hand over it and wash the rest of his body.”

 

Conclusion

The result of Salafiyyat is that a fifth Mazhab has been created in the world. The only difference between this fifth Mazhab and the four Mazaahib is that each individual will be the Imaam of his own Mazhab which will be designed and tailored to conform to his reasoning. Hence, those who tread along the path of Salafiyyat will only remain Muslims by name, but bereft of the Sunnah of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam. As far as their lifestyle and outlook is concerned, they will subject themselves to western cultures and traditions, thus, leading a carefree life governed by their whims and fancies.

وعن علي قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : ” يوشك أن يأتي على الناس زمان لا يبقى من الإسلام إلا اسمه ولا يبقى من القرآن إلا رسمه مساجدهم عامرة وهي خراب من الهدى علماؤهم شر من تحت أديم السماء من عندهم تخرج الفتنة وفيهم تعود – مشكاة  ص 38

It is reported from Hadhrat Ali (Radiyallahu Anhu) that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: Soon a time will down upon the people that Islaam will only remain in name and nothing will remain from the Qur’an except the wording. The Masaajid will be full of people but void of people of guidance. The Ulama’ (of that time) will be the worst people on the face of the earth. They will be the cause of mischief and corruption spreading in the earth and the corruption will return to them.

عن أبي ثعلبة في حديث طويل قال: …. قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إذا رأيت شحا مطاعا وهوى متبعا ودنيا مؤثرة وإعجاب كل ذي رأي برأيه

Abu Tha’labah Radhiyallahu Anhu reports that Rasullullah Sallallahu Alahi Wa Sallam said: ( A time will dawn upon my Ummah before Qiyaamat where)You will witness people fulfilling their greed, following their base desires, giving preference to dunya over deen and being satisfied with their own reasoning and understanding. (Mishkaat Pg. 437)

Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam has forewarned us of such a time which we are presently witnessing. The preservation of the true spirit and teaching of Deen has become secondary and people have attempted to scuttle the smooth sailing ship of Islaam by creating an environment of self opinion and deviation from the firmly established path of the pious predecessors.

 

Twenty five years of experience

Moulana Bitaalwi (an Aalim who did not subscribe to the following of any of the four Mazaahib eventually realised the damage and harm caused by biasedly speaking against the four Imaams) says:

“Many of the masses transgressed the boundaries of justice and finally the boundary of Islaam itself.”

He further writes in Ishaa’atus-Sunnah:

“After twenty five years of experience I have come to the conclusion that those who leave out the following of an Imaam or Mujtahid eventually leave the fold of Islaam.”  (Nuzhatul-Khawaatir 8/ 452)

 

The History of Salafiyyat in India

It is the Islaamic duty of every individual to search for the true Deen. During this search one will come across different sects all inviting him under the banner of Islaam to adopt their way. However, the instruction of Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is very clear and that is to hold firmly on to his way and the way of his illustrious Sahaaba (Radiyallahu Anhum).

عن عبد الله بن عمرو قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم ليأتين على أمتي ما أتى على بني إسرائيل حذو النعل بالنعل حتى إن كان منهم من أتى أمه علانية لكان في أمتي من يصنع ذلك وإن بني إسرائيل تفرقت على ثنتين وسبعين ملة وتفترق أمتي على ثلاث وسبعين ملة كلهم في النار إلا ملة واحدة قالوا ومن هي يا رسول الله قال ما أنا عليه وأصحابي

It is reported from Abdullah bin Amr (Radiyallahu Anhu) that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “My ummat will be faced with similar conditions which prevailed upon the Bani Israeel just as a pair of shoes, one foot is identical to the other to such an extent that if there was a situation in the Bani Israeel where a person committed incest with his mother openly, there will be someone in my ummat who will perpetrate such a crime. Just as the Bani Israeel where divided into seventy two sects, my ummat also will be divided into seventy three sects. All will be destined for Jahannam except one. The Saahaba-e-kiraam (Radiyallahu Anhum) asked: “Which group will be saved from the fire of Jahannam?” Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) answered: “Those who tread upon my way and the way of my Sahaba (Radiyallahu Anhum). (Tirmizi Hadith No: 2641)

However, one is now faced with a dilemma since every group claims to be on the way of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and the Sahaba (Radiyallahu Anhum). Hence, when one studies the Ahaadith, he will find that Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) clearly identified his Mubarak way in the following words:

عن أبى هريرة رضى الله عنه قال قال رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم: إنى قد خلفت فيكم ما لن تضلوا بعدهما ما أخذتم بهما أو عملتم بهما كتاب الله وسنتى ولن تفرقا حتى يردا على الحوض.

It is reported from Abu Huraira (Radiyallahu Anhu) that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “I have left two sources of guidance for you to adopt. You will never be misguided as long as you hold fast onto these two. The first is the book of Allah and the second is my Sunnat. These two are inseparable and will meet me at the Hauwd-e-Kawthar. (Assunanul Kubra – Bayhaqi 10/114 – Hadith No. 20834)

When we examine the lives of the four Imaams, the outstanding feature which we notice is that they strictly adhered to the Mubarak Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) in every facet of their lives. They could be aptly described with the following words: “They were a personification of the Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) in every walk of life in entirety.” If per chance one has to come across any situation where their mazaahib apparently contradict certain Ahaadith, he will certainly find sufficient substantiation through other Ahaadith, coupled with accurate reconciliations between the Ahaadith not seemingly practised. Their approach to the Qur’an and Hadith in deducing masaail was one governed strictly by principles of Deen. It was certainly not an approach of personal opinion nor an approach of pick and choose as is witnessed in today’s times. Hence, one can safely reach the conclusion that these four A’imma (whose mazaahib stood the test of time for approximately thirteen centuries) are worthy of emulation in guiding us to Allah and His Rasul (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).

Those opting out of the four mazaahib and wishing to embrace the latest mazhab of Salafiyyatwhich is a mixture and assortment of the four mazaahib added to the concept of “rationalising Deen to fit the contemporary times” should consider the inception and the origin of this new mazhab.

Salafiyyat was initiated in India in the year “1206 A.H.” by Abdul Haq bin Fadhlillah Al-Usmaani An-newteeni Al-Banarasi.

Abdul-Haq did not subscribe to any mazhab rather he referred directly to the text of Quraan and Hadith and came to conclusions using his own discretion. This resulted in many debates and discussions between him and the Hanafi Ulama on the topic of Taqleed.

 

Abdul Haq joined the caravan of Sayed Ahmed Shaheed Saheb (RA)

Abdul Haq joined the caravan of the great saint of the time Sayyed Ahmed Shaheed (Rahmatullahi Alayh) during the journey of Haj. On account of his misconduct as well as his endeavour to spread discord amongst the ummah, he was expelled from the caravan of Sayyed Ahmed Shaheed (Rahmatullahi Alayh).

In Nuzhatul Khawaatir 7/266 it is stated:

After Haj, Abdul Haq was arrested on account of his disrespectful comments against the four Imaams.

In Madina Munawwarah he began voicing his opinion regarding some masaail in which the four Imaams differed. In doing so, he spoke against the Hanafies and Shafies calling them “misled” and “astray”. Shaikh Muhammad Saeed Aslami Madraasi (Rahmatullahi Alayh) reported this to the Qaazi. When Abdul-Haq heard of this, he slipped out of Madeenah Munawwarah and went to Jareedah.

Moulana Abdul-Khaliq Dehlawi (student of Shah Abdul-Qadir and father-in-law of Mia Nazeer Husein) writes:

“The initiator of this new sect in India is Abdul-Haq Banarisi who resided for a little while in Banaaras. On account of his misconduct Ameerul-Mu’mineen Sayed Ahmed (Rahmatullahi Alayh) expelled him from his group (of Mujahideen). If Ameerul Mu’mineen was present today, he would have meted out the same treatment to the corrupt and misleading ghair muqallids of this new sect. (Tambeehul Ghaafileen, Atharul Hadith Vol.2 Pg.369)

In the very same kitaab (Tambeehul Ghafileen) it states: “the Ulama of the Haramain had passed the fatwa of killing him. But somehow he managed to get away. Under the pretext of being with Ameerul Mu’mineen, he gradually introduced his corrupt beliefs to the masses. (Ghair Muqallidiyat pg.10)

Qari Abdur Rahman Panipatti (Rahmatullahi Alayh) (student of Shah Ishaq Rahmatullahi Alayh) writes in his kitab Kashful Hijaab:

“Abdul-Haq had removed thousands of people from deen, on the pretext of practising on the Hadith.”

In front of me Abdul-Haq mentioned:

Aaisha has become murtad on account of her fighting with Hazrat Ali (Radiyallahu Anhum). If she died without repenting, she died as a kaafir.’ May Allah Ta’ala save us. Ameen

He also mentioned: The Sahaabah knew five Hadith whereas I have learnt all the Ahaadith. My knowledge exceeds that of Sahabah.

Qari Abdurrahman writes further:

“It was not long after that, that Abdul Haq went to the Shia Aalim Ghulsahn Ali and said: “I am actually a Shia (from before). It is only now that I reveal my identity; otherwise, under the guise of “practising Hadith” I had caused that amount of damage which even Abdullah bin Saba (the founder of shiaism) could not achieve. I have removed thousands from their faith and religion. Now it is very easy for them to embrace Shism.”

(Kashful Hadith Page 21) (Ghairmuqallidiyat 13-14)

 

Moulana Ibraheem Siyalkoti’s ill-opinion of Imaam Abu-Hanifah (Rahmatullahi Alayh)

Initially Moulana Ibraheem Siyalkoti (who was formerly an Ahle Hadith) had an ill-opinion of Imaam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi Alayh). Thereafter he began to have a lot of respect for Imaam Saheb. Moulana Ibrahim Siyalkoti writes about himself in his book Tareekhe Ahle Hadith:

“When looking for some mas’alah I went through the books on the shelf. I started checking up the view-point of Imaam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi Alayh). After going through different books some reservation settled in my heart regarding Imaam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi Alayh).

The effects of evil thoughts within me could be felt around me. It was broad daylight, yet I felt darkness enveloping me. The blackness was thick and compound which was similar to what the Ayat says: Darkness one over the other.” At the same time, Allah Ta’ala inspired my heart that this is the outcome of your ill-feelings for Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi Alayh)! Repent for your wrong!” Moulana Ibraheem continues: I started reading the words of istighfaar and immediately the darkness disappeared. In fact, it was replaced with such brightness which outshone the daylight. From then onwards my respect and confidence for Imaam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi Alayh) continued to grow. I say to those who (don’t listen to me and) continue reviling Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi Alayh), my example with you is the very same which Allah Ta’ala had said to the ones who denied the incident of Me’raj.

افتمارونه على ما يرى

So will you doubt that which he was shown (Surah Najam 53:12)

Hence it is futile for anyone to argue with me regarding something I witnessed in a wakeful state while I was in  my senses.” (Iktilaaf-e-ummat and siraat-e-mustaqeem 2/49)

Moulana Ibraheem Siyalkoti prepared his book Tareekhe Ahle Hadith in which he wrote some history of the seniors of the Ahle Hadith as well as some of the history of the previous Muhadditheen. The book includes Imaam Abu Hanifa (Rahmatullahi Alayh) amongst the previous senior Muhadditheen. The All-India Ahle Hadith Conference of Delhi was impressed with the book and wished to distribute copies of it. They had one reservation: The name of Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi Alayh) amongst the Muhadditheen!? They asked Moulana Ibraheem to de-list Imaam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi Alayh) and publish it (without the section of Abu Hanifa (Rahmatullahi Alayh)). Moulana replied by saying that the name of Imaam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi Alayh) can never be alienated from the fraternity of the Muhadditheen(Athaarul Hadith 2/394)


[1] Know as “Wahi ghair matloo”.

[2] Tafsir Ibn Kathir – Surah Baqara (1/237). In Abu Dawood Pg. 321:

عن عدي بن حاتم قال: لما نزلت هذه الآية حتى يتبين لكم الخيط الأبيض من الخيط الأسود قال (عدي) أخذت عقالا أبيض وعقالا أسود فوضعتهما تحت وسادتي فنظرت فلم أتبين فذكرت ذلك لرسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فضحك فقال إن وسادك إذن لطويل عريض إنما هو الليل والنهار "وقال عثمان" إنما هو سواد الليل وبياض النهار.

[3] التقليد هو الأخذ بقول الغيربغير معرفة دليله (شرح عقود رسم المفتي ص23 – قديمي كتب خانه كراتشي)

[4] فتاوى دار العلوم زكريا 1/141

[5] قال ابن القيم في "إعلام الموقعين" 1/155:

فهذا حديث وإن كان عن غير مسمين فهم أصحاب معاذ فلا يضره ذلك لأنه يدل على شهرة الحديث وأن الذي حدث به الحارث بن عمرو عن جماعة من أصحاب معاذ لا واحد منهم وهذا أبلغ في الشهرة من أن يكون عن واحد منهم لو سمي كيف وشهرة أصحاب معاذ بالعلم والدين والفضل والصدق بالمحل الذي لا يخفى ولا يعرف في أصحابه متهم ولا كذاب ولا مجروح بل أصحابه من أفاضل المسلمين وخيارهم لا يشك أهل العلم بالنقل في ذلك كيف وشعبة حامل لواء هذا الحديث وقد قال بعض أئمة الحديث إذا رأيت شعبة في إسناد حديث فاشدد يديك به قال أبو بكر الخطيب وقد قيل إن عبادة بن نسى رواه عن عبد الرحمن بن غنم عن معاذ وهذا إسناد متصل ورجاله معروفون بالثقة على أن أهل العلم قد نقلوه واحتجوا به فوقفنا بذلك على صحته عندهم كما وقفنا على صحة قول رسول الله ص – لا وصية لوارث وقوله في البحر هو الطهور ماؤه الحل ميتته وقوله إذا اختلف المتبايعان في الثمن والسلعة قائمة تحالفا وترادا البيع وقوله الدية على العاقلة وإن كانت هذه الأحاديث لا تثبت من جهة الإسناد ولكن ما تلقتها الكافة عن الكافة غنوا بصحتها عندهم عن طلب الإسناد لها فكذلك حديث معاذ لما احتجوا به جميعا غنوا عن طلب الإسناد له انتهى كلامه

[6] قوله: [ فقال له كيف تقضي ] سأله عن ذلك وهو عالم بأنه إذ لو لم يكن له علم بأنه عارف بأصول القضاء فسأله ليعلموا مزيته فيما بينهم وأن المقدم في الحكم هو الكتاب ، ثم السنة ثم القياس ، وهذا هو الترتيب الذي اخترناه ، فإن قيل السنة في حقه كانت كالكتاب لما سمعه من في نبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ولا معنى لتأخيره عن الكتاب ، كيف وقد قلتم إن السنة المشهورة والمتواترة مساوية للكتاب في القطعية ، قلنا لم يكن كل السنة مسموعة له من في النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فلم يكن جملة من الأخبار إلا وصلت معاذا بوسائط ، قلت: أو كثرت ولم يقدم على قياسه سيرة الشيخين كما فعله سيدنا عثمان ولا آثار الصحابة كما ذهبت إليه أئمة الفقهاء لما أنها لم تكن اشتهرت بعد بل ولم تقع بحيث يعتد بها يعني أنها كانت قليلة بعد ، قوله [ اجتهد برائي أو اجتهد رائي ] كلاهما ثابتان أي أوقع رأي في الجهد أو أقع في الجهد بمعاونة رأيي واستعانتي به. (الكوكب الدري 2/344)

[7] The elementary level where children are taught the Arabic alphabets, and then taught to recite the Qur’an.

[8] ووقف التقليد في الأمصار عند هؤلاء الأربعة، ودرس المقلدون لمن سواهم. وسد الناس باب الخلاف وطرقه لما كثر تشعب الاصطلاحات في العلوم ولما عاق عن الوصول إلى رتبة الاجتهاد، ولما خشي من إسناد ذلك إلى غير أهله، ومن لا يوثق برأيه ولا بدينه، فصرحوا بالعجز والإعواز، وردوا الناس إلى تقليد هؤلاء، كل من اختص به من المقلدين. وحظروا أن يتداول تقليدهم لما فيه من التلاعب. ولم يبق إلا نقل مذاهبهم. وعمل كل مقلد بمذهب من قلده منهم بعد تصحيح الأصول واتصال سندها بالرواية، لا محصول اليوم للفقه غير هذا. (مقدمة ابن خلدون – علم الفقه وما يتبه من الفرائض)

[9]مقدمة فيض القدير ص16

[10] Who are the blind followers Pg. 50 (An excerpt from Ashraful Jawaab)

[11] صحيح البخاري : 2 / 1077 : عن علي أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم بعث جيشا و أمّر عليهم رجلا فأوقد نارا فقال ادخلوها فأرادوا أن يدخلوها فقال آخرون إنما فررنا منها فذكروا للنبي (صلى الله عليه وسلم) فقال للذين أرادوا أن يدخلوها لو دخلوها لم يزالوا فيها إلى يوم القيامة و قال للآخرين لا طاعة في معصية الله إنما الطاعة في المعروف.

[12] تفسير ابن كثير – سورة بقرة – 1/237: وقال الإمام أحمد حدثنا هشيم أخبرنا حصين عن الشعبي أخبرني عدي بن حاتم قال لما نزلت هذه الآية وكلوا واشربوا حتى يتبين لكم الخيط الأبيض من الخيط الأسود عمدت إلى عقالين أحدهما أسود والآخر أبيض قال فجعلتهما تحت وسادتي قال فجعلت أنظر إليهما فلا تبين لي الأسود من الأبيض، ولا الأبيض من الأسود، فلما أصبحت غدوت على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فأخبرته بالذي صنعت فقال إن وسادك إذا لعريض إنما ذلك بياض النهار وسواد الليل.

[13] سنن أبي داود : ص 321 : عن عدي بن حاتم قال لما نزلت هذه الآية : "حَتّٰی یَتَبَیَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَیۡطُ الۡاَبْیَضُ مِنَ الْخَیۡطِ الۡاَسْوَدِ" قال أخذت عقالا أبيض و عقالا أسود فوضعتهما تحت وسادتي فنظرت فلم أتبين فذكرت ذلك لرسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال إن وسادتك إذا لطويل عريض إنما هو الليل و النهار.

[14] مشكاة المصابيح : ص 54 : و عن جابر قال خرجنا في سفر فأصاب رجلا منا حجر فشحه في رأسه فاحتلم فسأل أصحابه هل تجدون لي رخصة في التيمم قالوا ما نجد لك رخصة و أنت تقدر على الماء فاغتسل فمات فلما قدمنا على النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أُخبر بذلك قال قتلوه قتلهم الله ألا سألوا إذا لم يعلموا فإنما شفاء العي السوال إنما كان يكفيه أن يتيمم و يعصب على جرحه خرقة ثم يمسح عليها و يغسل سائر جسده . رواه أبو داود

[15] That which is compulsory on account of it being the only medium to fulfilling the Islamic injunction of Deen, though it is not directly established in any of the textual proofs of Deen viz. the Qur’an and Hadith.

[16] Mut'ah refers to a temporary marriage that was initially allowed for mujaahids who were out in jihaad and it was later abrogated. A proper nikaah would be performed with the woman in the presence of witnesses and with mahr.

[17] عن إياس بن سلمة عن أبيه قال رخص رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عام أوطاس في المتعة ثلاثا ثم نهي عنها

Iyaas ibnu Salmah reports from his father that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alyhi Wasallam) permitted the Sahaba (Radiyallahu Anhum) on the year of Awtaas (on the occasion of the conquest of Makkah) to practise mut'ah for three days, thereafter Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alyhi Wasallam) prohibited them forever. (Saheeh Muslim 1/451)

[18] This refers to those verses whose laws have been abrogated and replaced with other laws though the recitation of those verses has not been abrogated. An example of this would be the Ayah regarding jihaad:

كُفُّوا أَيْدِيَكُمْ وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ

Restrain your hands from jihaad and establish Salaah and discharge zakaat (Surah Nisa 4:77)

This law existed at the beginning of Islam when the Sahaba (Radiyallahu Anhum) were not permitted to wage war against the kuffaar. Later on this law was abrogated with the following verse:

أُذِنَ لِلَّذِينَ يُقَاتَلُونَ بِأَنَّهُمْ ظُلِمُوا

Waging war with the kuffar has been permitted for you on account of you being oppressed (Surah Haj 22:39)

[19] قال أبو عيسى وحنش هو أبو على الرحبي وهو حنش بن قيس وهو ضعيف عند اهل الحديث، ضعفه أحمد وغيره

قال محمد : بلغنا عن عمر بن الخطاب أنه كتب في الآفاق ينهاهم أن يجمعوا بين الصلاتين ويخبرهم أن الجمع بين الصلاتين في وقت واحد كبيرة من الكبائر . أخبرنا بذلك الثقات عن العلاء بن الحارث عن مكحول عن ابن عباس : عن النبي–صلى الله عليه وسلم – قال من جمع الصلاتين من غير عذر فقد أتى بابا من أبواب الكبائر ( مؤطا برواية محمد بن الحسن الشيباني، ص 132)

[20] According to the Hanafi mazhab, this Hadith can be practised upon if interpreted in this way that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) performed both Salaahs together by performing Zuhr in it's last time and Asr in it's first time, similarly Maghrib in it's last time and Esha in it's first time. In this way both Salaahs would be performed in their respective times.

[21] رد المحتار : 4/80 : لما في التاترخانية حكى أن رجلا من أصحاب أبي حنيفة خطب إلى رجل من أصحاب الحديث ابنته في عهد أبي بكر الجوزجاني فأبى إلا أن يترك مذهبه فيقرأ خلف الإمام ويرفع يديه عند الانحطاط ونحو ذلك فأجابه فزوجه فقال الشيخ بعد ما سئل عن هذه و أطرق رأسه النكاح جائز و لكن أخاف عليه أن يذهب إيمانه وقت النزع لأنه استخف بمذهبه الذي هو حق عنده وتركه لأجل جيفة منتنة

[22] Ashraful Jawaab Pg.148

[23] Asharah Mubashsharah were those ten selected Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) who were collectively granted the glad tidings of their entry into paradise by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) in one gathering.

[24] Nass-e-Qat’i is an explicit textual proof established from a Qur’anic verse or a Mutawaatir Hadith.

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