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:

Surah Nisa 4:59 (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:

Surah Mu'minoon 23 115(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 Ahaadith regarding 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’lah of 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’lah where 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’lah where 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:

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

After a few lines Allah Ta’ala then says:

Surah Baqarah 2:230Then 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 in qiraat 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 munaafiq: إذا 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).


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