Published on February 10, 2014
On Ijtihad and Taqlid Imaam Ibnul-Qayyim - rahimahullaah – said, “If two or more muftees differ, then what view should be adopted? Should it be the severest one; or the more lenient one; or is there a choice; or should it be the view of the one who is most knowledgeable and most pious; or should another muftee be turned to and then see which of the views he agrees to, then act upon that; or is it obligatory to research into what is the strongest view in accordance with one's ability? These are the seven views; and the seventh one is the most strongest and preferable.” [I’laamul-Muwaqqi’een (4/264)] Shaykh Saalih al-Uthaymeen, may Allaah preserve him, says in his ‘Al-Usool min ‘Ilimil Usool’ (pp97-104): Definition of Ijtihaad: linguistically ijtihaad means: to expend efforts in order to reach some difficult matter. Technically it means: expending efforts to arrive at a Sharee’ah ruling. And the Mujtahid is the one who expends efforts for this purpose. Conditions for Ijtihaad: Being a mujtahid has conditions, from them:1) That he knows the Sharee’ah proofs which he needs in his ijtihaad - such as the verses and ahaadeeth pertaining to rulings. 2) That he knows what relates to the authenticty or weakness of a hadeeth, such as having knowledge of the isnaad and it’s narrators and other than this. 3) That he knows the abrogated and the abrogating, and the places where there is ijmaa - such that he does not give a ruling according to something that has been abrogated, nor give a ruling that opposes the (authentically related) ijmaa.
4) That he knows from the proofs that which causes the rulings to vary, such as takhsees (particularisation), or taqyeed (restriction), or it’s like. So he does not give a judgement which is contrary to this. 5) That he knows the Arabic language and usul al-fiqh, and what relates to the meanings and indications of particular wordings - such as the general, the particular, the absolute and unrestricted, the restricted, the unclarified, and the clarified, and it’s like - in order that he gives rulings in accordance with what this demands. 6) That he has the ability to extract rulings from the evidences. And ijtihaad may be split up, such that it may be undertaken in one particular branch of knowledge, or in one particular issue. What is essential for the Mujtahid: It is essential that the Mujtahid strives in expending his efforts to arrive at knowledge of the truth, and to give rulings in accordance to what is apparent to him. If he is correct, then he has two rewards: one for his ijtihaad, and the other for arriving at the truth - since arriving at the truth means that it is manifested and acted upon. If, however, he is mistaken, then he has a single reward, and his error is forgiven him, as he (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) said, "when a judge judges and strives and is correct, then he has two rewards. If he judges and strives and errs, then he has a single reward." If the ruling is not clear to him, then he must withold - and in such a case, taqleed is permissible for him, due to necessity. Taqleed - it’s definition: Linguistically, taqleed means: Placing something around the neck, which encircles the neck. Technically it means: Following he whose sayings is not a proof (hujjah). Exlcuded from our saying, "following he whose saying is not a proof" is: following the Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) , following the ijmaa and also following the saying of the sahaabee - for those who consider the saying of a single sahaabee to be a proof. So following any of these is not called taqleed, since there is a proof for doing so. However this type of following is sometimes referred to as taqleed in a very metaphorical and loose sense. The Place of Taqleed: Taqleed is done in two cases:
1) when the muqallid is an ‘aamee (a common person) who does not have the ability to aquire knowledge of the sharee’ah ruling by himself. So taqleed is obligatory upon him, due to the saying of Allaah - The Most High, "ask the people of knowledge if you do not know." So he does taqleed of one whom he considers to be a person of knowledge and piety. If there are two such people who are equal in his view, then he chooses any one of them. 2) The mujtahid when he encounters a new situation, for which an immediate solution is required, but it is not possible for him to research into this matter. So in this case he is permitted to perform taqleed. Some stipulate as a condition for the permissibility of taqleed, that the matter is not from the fundamentals of the deen - those matters which must be held as aqueedah - since matters of aqueedah require certainty, whereas taqleed only amounts to dhann (knowledge which is not certain). However the correct saying in this matter is that this is not a condition, due to the generality of his - the Most High’s - saying, "ask the people of knowledge if you do not know." And this verse is in the context of affirming the Messengership - which is from the fundamentals of the deen. And also because the common person cannot aquire knowledge of the sharee’ah rulings with it’s proofs by himself. So if he is unable to arrive at the truth by himself, then nothing remains for him except taqleed, due to the saying of Allaah - the most High, "fear Allaah as much as you can" Types of Taqleed: Taqleed is of two types: general and specific. 1) The general type: that a person sticks to a particular madhhab (school of thought), accepting it’s concessions and non-concessions, in all matters of the deen. The scholars have differed about such a state. So some amongst the late-comers have reported that this is obligatory upon him, due to his inability to perform ijtihaad. Others report it as being forbidden for him, due to its being a case of necessitating unrestricted following of other than the Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) . Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah said, "The saying that it is obligatory, causes obedience to other than the Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) in every matter of command and pohibition, and this is in opposition to the ijmaa’. And the allowance of it contains what it contains."
He (RH) also said, "He who sticks to a particular madhhab, and then acts in opposition to it - without making taqleed of another scholar who has given him a ruling, nor does he use an evidence as a proof which necessitates acting in opposition to his madhhab, nor does he have an acceptable Sharee’ah excuse which allows him to do what he has done - then such a person is a follower of his desires, doing what is haraam - without a Sharee’ah excuse - and this is evil and sinful." However, if there becomes clear to him, something which necessitates preference to one saying to another - either due to detailed proofs if he knows and understands them, or because he holds one of two people to be more knowledgeable about this matter and having more piety with regards to what he says - and so he leaves the saying of that one for the saying of the other one, then this is permissible, rather, it is obligatory. And there is a text from Imaam Ahmad about this." 2) The particular type of taqleed is that he accepts a saying about a particular matter. This is permissible if such a person is unable to arrive at knowledge of the by ijtihaad - whether he is unable to in reality, or he is able, but with great difficulty. Fatwaa of a Muqallid: Allaah - the Most High - said, "Ask the people of knowledge if you do not know." And the Ahludh Dhikr are the Ahlul Ilm (the people of knowledge), whereas the muqallid is not a person of knowledge who is followed - rather he himself is a follower of someone else. Ibn Abdul Barr (d.463) and others have said, "the people are united in ijmaa that the muqallid is not counted as being from the Ahlul Ilm, and that knowledge is the realisation of guidance along with it’s proof." Ibn al-Qayyim said, " And it is as Abu Umar (Ibn Abdul Barr) said: Indeed, the people do not differ about the fact that knowledge is the realisation attained from proof, but without proof, it is only taqleed." Ibn al-Qayyim then quotes, "There are three sayings about the permissibility of giving fatwaa based upon taqleed:
1) It is not permissible to give fatwaa based upon taqleed, because it is not knowledge; since issuing a fatwaa without knowledge is forbidden. This is the saying of most of the Hanbalee scholars and the majority of the Shaafi’iyyah. 2) That it is permissible with regards to himself, but it is not permissible to give a fatwaa to others based upon taqleed. 3) That it is permissible when there is a need for it, and there is no mujtahid scholar. And this is the most correct of the sayings and is what is acted upon."’ Shaykh al-Albaanee says in his, ‘The Hadeeth is a Proof in itself’ after mentioning the statements of the Imaams on Taqleed as found in the introduction to ‘The Prophets Prayer Described’ brings a chapter heading, "Taqleed for whoever cannot search for proofs by himself" (pp94+), ‘"Some may ask: "Not everyone has the ability to be a Person of Knowledge, as explained before?" We say: yes indeed. No one disputes this fact. Allaah said, "So ask the People of Knowledge if you do not know." (16:43) and, "ask the knowledgeable about it" (25:59). The Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) , for those who issued fatwa without knowledge: "Could not they have asked if they did know? The cure for the confused one is to ask."However, we did not mention all of the above evidence to show who can and who cannot be a scholar. Our research is with regards to those few who are considered to be People of Knowledge....Taqleed is upon the common person and the ignorant one. The scholars, who can search for the evidence, are excluded from this group. They are the ones whose responsibility is not to do Taqleed. Rather, their responsibility is to perform Ijtihaad. The following saying by Ibn Abdul Barr explains this matter further, "All these rules are for the common folk, they are the ones who have to perform Taqleed of their scholars when needed. They are not capable of understanding or comprehending evidence or knowledge. Knowledge has grades, one cannot attain the topmost grade unless he goes via the base...Scholars do not differ with regards to the common folk having to follow their scholars..." However, I believe that to generalise about the common folk by saying that they all must perform taqleed is invalid. Taqleed is to follow others without evidence. Many intelligent people can clearly understand evidence if it is presented to them. Who can deny that a common person can understand the evidence contained in the hadeeth, "Tayammum is one strike (of the hands on the dust) for the face and hands"? Even people lacking intelligence can understand this hadeeth.
Therefore, the truth is that we must say that Taqleed is allowed for whosoever cannot search for or understand the evidence, Ibn al-Qayyim also was of this opinion. Even scholars are forced to do Taqleed sometimes, when a scholar cannot find a text from Allaah or His Messenger, but only sayings of more knowledgeable scholars." The Sayings of the Four Imams on Taqlid Abu Haneefah (rahimahullaah) The first of them is Abu Haneefah Nu'maan ibn Thaabit, whose companions have narrated from him various sayings and diverse warnings, all of them leading to one thing: the obligation to accept the Hadeeth, and to give up following the opinions of the imaams which contradict it: 1. "When a hadeeth is found to be saheeh, then that is my madhhab." 2. "It is not permitted for anyone to accept our views if they do not know from where we got them." In one narration, "It is prohibited for someone who does not know my evidence to give verdicts on the basis of my words." Another narration adds, "... for we are mortals: we say one thing one day, and take it back the next day." In another narration, "Woe to you, O Ya'qub! Do not write down everything you hear from me, for it happens that I hold one opinion today and reject it tomorrow, or hold one opinion tomorrow and reject it the day after tomorrow." 3. "When I say something contradicting the Book of Allaah the Exalted or what is narrated from the Messenger (sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam), then ignore my saying." Maalik ibn Anas (rahimahullaah)
As for Imaam Maalik ibn Anas, he said: 1. "Truly I am only a mortal: I make mistakes (sometimes) and I am correct (sometimes). Therefore, look into my opinions: all that agrees with the Book and the Sunnah, accept it; and all that does not agree with the Book and the Sunnah, ignore it." 2. "Everyone after the Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam) will have his sayings accepted and rejected - not so the Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam)." 3. Ibn Wahb said: "I heard Maalik being asked about cleaning between the toes during ablution. He said, `The people do not have to do that.' I did not approach him until the crowd had lessened, when I said to him, `We know of a sunnah about that.' He said, `What is that ?' I said, `Laith ibn Sa'd, Ibn Lahee'ah and `Amr ibn al-Haarith narrated to us from Yazeed ibn `Amr alMa'aafiri from Abu `Abdur-Rahman al-Hubuli from Mustawrid ibn Shaddaad al-Qurashi who said, `I saw the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam) rubbing between his toes with his little finger.' He said, `This hadeeth is sound; I had not heard of it at all until now.' Afterwards, I heard him being asked about the same thing, on which he ordered cleaning between the toes." Shaafi'i (rahimahullaah) As for Imaam Shaafi'i, the quotations from him are most numerous and beautiful, and his followers were the best in sticking to them: 1. "The sunnahs of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam) reach, as well as escape from, every one of us. So whenever I voice my opinion, or formulate a principle, where something contrary to my view exists on the authority of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam), then the correct view is what the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam) has said, and it is my view." 2. "The Muslims are unanimously agreed that if a sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam) is made clear to someone, it is not permitted for him to leave it for the saying of anyone else." 3. "If you find in my writings something different to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam), then speak on the basis of the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam), and leave what I have said." In one narration: "... then follow it (the Sunnah), and do not look sideways at anyone else's saying."
4. "When a hadeeth is found to be saheeh, then that is my madhhab." 5. "You are more knowledgeable about Hadeeth than I, so when a hadeeth is saheeh, inform me of it, whether it is from Kufah, Basrah or Syria, so that I may take the view of the hadeeth, as long as it is saheeh." 6. "In every issue where the people of narration find a report from the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam) to be saheeh which is contrary to what I have said, then I take my saying back, whether during my life or after my death." 7. "If you see me saying something, and contrary to it is authentically-reported from the Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam), then know that my intelligence has departed." 8. "For everything I say, if there is something authentic from the Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam) contrary to my saying, then the hadeeth of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam) comes first, so do not follow my opinion." 9. "Every statement on the authority of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam) is also my view, even if you do not hear it from me." Ahmad ibn Hanbal (rahimahullaah) Imaam Ahmad was the foremost among the Imaams in collecting the Sunnah and sticking to it, so much so that he even "disliked that a book consisting of deductions and opinions be written." Because of this he said: 1. "Do not follow my opinion; neither follow the opinion of Maalik, nor Shaafi'i, nor Awzaa'i, nor Thawri, but take from where they took." In one narration: "Do not copy your Deen from anyone of these, but whatever comes from the Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam) and his Companions, take it; next are their Successors, where a man has a choice." Once he said: "Following means that a man follows what comes from the Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam) and his Companions; after the Successors, he has a choice." 2. "The opinion of Awzaa'i, the opinion of Maalik, the opinion of Abu Haneefah: all of it is opinion, and it is all equal in my eyes. However, the proof is in the narrations (from the Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam) and his Companions)."
3. "Whoever rejects a statement of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam) is on the brink of destruction." FOOT NOTES 20 Ibn `Aabideen in al-Haashiyah (1/63), and in his essay Rasm al-Mufti (1/4 from the Compilation of the Essays of Ibn `Aabideen), Shaikh Saalih al-Fulaani in Eeqaaz al-Himam (p. 62) & others. Ibn `Aabideen quoted from Sharh al-Hidaayah by Ibn al-Shahnah al-Kabeer, the teacher of Ibn al-Humaam, as follows: "When a hadeeth contrary to the Madhhab is found to be saheeh, one should act on the hadeeth, and make that his madhhab. Acting on the hadeeth will not invalidate the follower's being a Hanafi, for it is authentically reported that Abu Haneefah said, `When a hadeeth is found to be saheeh, then that is my madhhab', and this has been related by Imaam Ibn `Abdul Barr from Abu Haneefah and from other imaams." This is part of the completeness of the knowledge and piety of the Imaams, for they indicated by saying this that they were not versed in the whole of the Sunnah, and Imaam Shaafi'i has elucidated this thoroughly (see later). It would happen that they would contradict a sunnah because they were unaware of it, so they commanded us to stick to the Sunnah and regard it as part of their Madhhab. May Allaah shower His mercy on them all. 21Ar.: halaal 22 Ibn `Abdul Barr in Al-Intiqaa' fi Fadaa'il ath-Thalaathah al- A'immah al-Fuqahaa' (p. 145), Ibn al-Qayyim in I'laam al- Mooqi'een (2/309), Ibn `Aabideen in his Footnotes on Al-Bahr ar-Raa'iq (6/293) and in Rasm al-Mufti (pp. 29,32) & Sha'raani in Al-Meezaan (1/55) with the second narration. The last narration was collected by `Abbaas ad-Dawri in At- Taareekh by Ibn Ma'een (6/77/1) with a saheeh sanad on the authority of Zafar, the student of Imaam Abu Haneefah. Similar narrations exist on the authority of Abu Haneefah's companions Zafar, Abu Yoosuf and `Aafiyah ibn Yazeed; cf. Eeqaaz (p. 52). Ibn al-Qayyim firmly certified its authenticity on the authority of Abu Yoosuf in I'laam al-Mooqi'een (2/344). The addition to the second narration is referenced by the editor of Eeqaaz (p. 65) to Ibn `Abdul Barr, Ibn al-Qayyim and others. If this is what they say of someone who does not know their evidence, what would be their response to one who knows that the evidence contradicts their saying, but still gives verdicts opposed to the evidence?! Therefore, reflect on this saying, for it alone is enough to smash blind following of opinion; that is why one of the muqallid shaikhs, when I criticised his giving a
verdict using Abu Haneefah's words without knowing the evidence, refused to believe that it was a saying of Abu Haneefah! 23 Ar.:haraam 24 Ar.: fatwaa 25 i.e. Imaam Abu Haneefah's illustrious student, Abu Yoosuf (rahimahullaah). 26 This was because the Imaam would often base his view on Qiyaas (Analogy), after which a more potent analogy would occur to him, or a hadeeth of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam) would reach him, so he would accept that and ignore his previous view. Sha'raani's words in AlMeezaan (1/62) are summarised as: "Our belief, as well as that of every researcher into Imaam Abu Haneefah (radi Allaahu `anhu), is that, had he lived until the recording of the Sharee'ah, and the journeys of the Preservers of Hadeeth to the various cities and frontiers in order to collect and acquire it, he would have accepted it and ignored all the analogies he had employed. The amount of qiyaas in his Madhhab would have been just as little as that in other Madhhabs, but since the evidences of the Sharee'ah had been scattered with the Successors and their successors, and had not been collected in his lifetime, it was necessary that there be a lot of qiyaas in his Madhhab compared to that of other imaams. The later scholars then made their journeys to find and collect ahaadeeth from the various cities and towns and wrote them down; hence, some ahaadeeth of the Sharee'ah explained others. This is the reason behind the large amount of qiyaas in his Madhhab, whereas there was little of it in other Madhhabs." Abul-Hasanaat Al-Lucknowi quoted his words in full in An- Naafi' al-Kabeer (p. 135), endorsing and expanding on it in his footnotes, so whoever wishes to consult it should do so there. Since this is the justification for why Abu Haneefah has sometimes unintentionally contradicted the authentic ahaadeeth - and it is a perfectly acceptable reason, for Allaah does not burden a soul with more than it can bear - it is not permissible to insult him for it, as some ignorant people have done. In fact, it is obligatory to respect him, for he is one of the imaams of the Muslims through whom this Deen has been preserved and handed down to us, in all its branches; also, for he is rewarded under any circumstance: whether he is correct or wrong. Nor is it permissible for his devotees to continue sticking to those of his statements which contradict the authentic ahaadeeth, for those statements are effectively not part of his Madhhab, as the above sayings show. Hence, these are two extremes, and the truth lies in between. "Our Lord! Forgive us, and our brethren who came before us into the Faith; and leave
not, in our hearts, any rancour against those who have believed. Our Lord! You are indeed Full of Kindness, Most Merciful." (Al-Hashr 59:10) 27 Al-Fulaani in Eeqaaz al-Himam (p. 50), tracing it to Imaam Muhammad and then saying, "This does not apply to the mujtahid, for he is not bound to their views anyway, but it applies to the muqallid." Sha'raani expanded on that in Al-Meezaan (1/26): "If it is said: `What should I do with the ahaadeeth which my Imaam did not use, and which were found to be authentic after his death?' The answer which is fitting for you is: `That you act on them, for had your Imaam come across them and found them to be authentic, he would have instructed you to act on them, because all the Imaams were captives in the hand of the Sharee'ah.' He who does so will have gathered all the good with both his hands, but he who says, `I will not act according to a hadeeth unless my Imaam did so', he will miss a great amount of benefit, as is the case with many followers of the Imaams of the Madhhabs. It would be better for them to act on every hadeeth found to be authentic after the Imaam's time, hence implementing the will of the Imaams; for it is our firm belief about the Imaams that had they lived longer and come to know of those ahaadeeth which were found authentic after their time, they would have definitely accepted and acted according to them, ignoring any analogies they may have previously made, and any views they may have previously held." 28 Ibn `Abdul Barr in Jaami' Bayaan al-'Ilm (2/32), Ibn Hazm, quoting from the former in Usool al-Ahkaam (6/149), & similarly Al-Fulaani (p. 72) 29 This iswell known among the later scholars to be a saying of Maalik. Ibn `Abdul Haadi declared it saheeh in Irshaad as- Saalik (227/1); Ibn `Abdul Barr in Jaami' Bayaan al-'Ilm (2/91) & Ibn Hazm in Usool al-Ahkaam (6/145, 179) had narrated it as a saying of Al-Hakam ibn `Utaibah and Mujaahid; Taqi ad- Deen as-Subki gave it, delighted with its beauty, in al- Fataawaa (1/148) as a saying of Ibn `Abbaas, and then said: "These words were originally those of Ibn `Abbaas and Mujaahid, from whom Maalik (radi Allaahu `anhu) took them, and he became famous for them." It seems that Imaam Ahmad then took this saying from them, as Abu Daawood has said in Masaa'il of Imaam Ahmad (p. 276): "I heard Ahmad say, `Everyone is accepted and rejected in his opinions, with the exception of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam)'." 30 From the Introduction to Al-Jarh wat-Ta'deel of Ibn Abi Haatim, pp. 31-2. 31 Ibn Hazm says in Usool al-Ahkaam (6/118):
"Indeed, all the fuqahaa' whose opinions are followed were opposed to taqleed, and they forbade their companions from following their opinion blindly. The sternest among them in this regard was Shaafi'i (rahimahullaah), for he repeatedly emphasised, more than anyone else, following the authentic narrations and accepting whatever the proof dictated; he also made himself innocent of being followed totally, and announced this to those around him. May this benefit him in front of Allaah, and may his reward be of the highest, for he was the cause of great good." 32 Related by Haakim with a continuous sanad up to Shaafi'i, as in Taareekh Dimashq of Ibn `Asaakir (15/1/3), I'laam al- Mooqi'een (2/363, 364) & Eeqaaz (p. 100). 33 Ar.: halaal 34 Ibn al-Qayyim (2/361) & Fulaani (p. 68) 35 Harawi in Dhamm al-Kalaam (3/47/1), Khateeb in Al-Ihtijaaj bi ash-Shaafi'i (8/2), Ibn `Asaakir (15/9/10), Nawawi in Al- Majmoo' (1/63), Ibn alQayyim (2/361) & Fulaani (p. 100); the second narration is from Hilyah al-Awliyaa' of Abu Nu'aim. 36 Nawawi in Al-Majmoo' (1/63), Sha'raani (1/57), giving its sources as Haakim and Baihaqi, & Fulaani (p. 107). Sha'raani said, "Ibn Hazm said, `That is, ... found to be saheeh by him or by any other Imaam'." His saying given next confirms this understanding. Nawawi says: "Our companions acted according to this in the matter of tathweeb (calling to prayer in addition to the adhaan), the conditions on coming out of ihraam due to illness, and other issues well-known in the books of the Madhhab. Among those of our companions who are reported to have passed judgment on the basis of the hadeeth (i.e. rather than the saying of Shaafi'i) are Abu Ya'qoob al-Buweeti and Abu l-Qaasim ad-Daariki. Of our companions from the muhadditheen, Imaam Abu Bakr Al-Baihaqi and others employed this approach. Many of our earliest companions, if they faced an issue for which there was a hadeeth, and the madhhab of Shaafi'i was contrary to it, would act according to the hadeeth and give verdicts based on it, saying, `The madhhab of Shaafi'i is whatever agrees with the hadeeth.' Shaikh Abu `Amr (Ibn as-Salaah) says, `Whoever among the Shaafi'is found a hadeeth contradicting his Madhhab, he would consider whether he fulfilled the conditions of ijtihaad generally, or in that particular topic or issue, in which case he would be free to act on the hadeeth; if not, but nevertheless he found it hard to contradict the hadeeth after further analysis, he would not be able to find a convincing justification for opposing the hadeeth. Hence, it would be left for him to act according to the hadeeth if an independent imaam other than Shaafi'i had acted on it, and this would be justification for his leaving the Madhhab of his Imaam in that issue.' What he (Abu `Amr) has said is correct and established. Allaah knows best."
There is another possibility which Ibn as-Salaah forgot to mention: what would one do if he did not find anyone else who acted according to the hadeeth? This has been answered by Taqi adDeen as-Subki in his article, The Meaning of Shaafi'i's saying, "When a hadeeth is found to be saheeh, then that is my madhhab" (p. 102, vol. 3): "For me, the best thing is to follow the hadeeth. A person should imagine himself in front of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam), just having heard it from him: would there be leeway for him to delay acting on it? No, by Allaah ... and everyone bears a responsibility according to his understanding." The rest of this discussion is given and analysed in I'laam al- Muwaqqi'een (2/302, 370) and in the book of al-Fulaane, (full title:) Eeqaaz Himam ulu l-Absaar, lil-Iqtidaa' bi Sayyid alMuhaajireen wal-Ansaar, wa Tahdheeruhum `an al-Ibtidaa' ash- Shaa'i' fi l-Quraa wal-Amsaar, min Taqleed al-Madhaahib ma'a l- Hamiyyah wal-'Asabiyyah bain al-Fuqahaa' al-A'saar (Awakening the Minds of those who have Perception, towards following the Leader of the Emigrants and Helpers, and Warning them against the Innovation Widespread among Contemporary Jurists in the Towns and Cities, of following Madhhabs with Zeal and PartySpirit). The latter is a unique book in its field, which every desirer of truth should study with understanding and reflection. 37 addressing Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (rahimahullaah). 38 Related by Ibn Abi Haatim in Aadaab ash-Shaafi'i (pp. 94-5), Abu Nu'aim in Hulyah alAwliyaa' (9/106), al-Khateeb in Al- Ihtijaaj bish-Shaafi'i (8/1), and from him Ibn `Asaakir (15/9/1), Ibn `Abdul Barr in al-Intiqaa' (p. 75), Ibn al-Jawzi in Manaaqib al-Imaam Ahmad (p. 499) & Harawi (2/47/2) with three routes from `Abdullaah ibn Ahmad ibn Hanbal from his father that Shaafi'i said to him: ...etc; thus, it is authentic on the authority of Shaafi'i. This is why Ibn alQayyim attributed it definitely to him in I'laam (2/325), as did Fulaani in Eeqaaz (p. 152) and then said: "Baihaqi said, `This is why he - i.e. Shaafi'i - used hadeeth so much, because he gathered knowledge from the people of Hijaaz, Syria, Yemen and `Iraq, and so accepted all that he found to be authentic, without leaning towards or looking at what he had considered out of the Madhhab of the people of his land when the truth was clear to him elsewhere. Some of those before him would limit themselves to what they found in the Madhhab of the people of their land, without attempting to ascertain the authenticity of what opposed it. May Allaah forgive all of us'." 39 Abu Nu'aim (9/107), Harawi (47/1), Ibn al-Qayyim in I'laam al-Muwaqqi'een (2/363) & Fulaani (p. 104). 40 Ibn Abi Haatim in al-Aadaab (p. 93), Abul Qaasim Samarqandi in al-Amaali, as in the selection from it by Abu Hafs al- Mu'addab (234/1), Abu Nu'aim (9/106) & Ibn `Asaakir (15/10/1) with a saheeh sanad.
41 Ibn Abi Haatim, Abu Nu'aim & Ibn `Asaakir (15/9/2). 42 Ibn Abi Haatim (pp. 93-4). 43 Ibn al-Jawzi in al-Manaaqib (p. 192) 44 Fulaani (p. 113) & Ibn al-Qayyim in I'laam (2/302). 45 Ar.: ittibaa' 46 Abu Daawood in Masaa'il of Imaam Ahmad (pp. 276-7) 47 Ibn `Abdul Barr in Jaami' Bayaan al-'Ilm (2/149). 48 Ibn al-Jawzi (p. 182)2) Guidelines Concerning Taqlid and Madhhabs : THE GOAL OF THE MUSLIM Shaykh Muhammad ’Eed ’Abbaasee, hafidhahullaah, said: "Our view is that it is upon every Muslim to follow that which Allaah, the Most Perfect, commanded in His Book and in the Sunnah of His Messenger sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam. This is the purity of Islaam and the true reality of faith. No Muslim can ever be displeased with following what comes from Allaah and His Messenger; as He, the Most Perfect, said: "The only saying of the Believers, when they are called to Allaah and His Messenger sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallamto judge between them, is: We hear and we obey. They are the ones that are successful. " [Soorah an-Noor 24:51]. And Allaah said concerning the Hypocrites:
"And when it is said to them: Come to what Allaah has revealed and to the Messenger; you see the Hypocrites turn away from you in aversion. " [Soorah an-Nisaa 4:61]. As well as other Verses like this. So following the Book and the Sunnah is obligatory, and it should be made the fundamental goal for every Muslim; this is the path that should be traversed. However, the people are of differing types with regards to understanding and comprehension. So from them is the ignorant one (jaahil) who does not understand the meanings of the Glorious Book and the noble hadeeth; nor does he have the ability to deduce [rulings] from them; nor can he comprehend what is sought from them. From them is the scholar who has understanding (fiqh) of the Verses and the hadeeth and is aware of what rulings can be deduced from them; he has the ability to deal with the apparent differences between them; and he understands the Arabic language and its ways. And from them are those that are [at a level] between this. They are not ignorant; nor do they have the understanding to derive rulings; nor do they have the ability to understand what is being indicated to by the text; rather, they have some knowledge, awareness, understanding and contemplation. However, they do not reach the level of the scholar and the one who has penetrating insight of the Book and the Sunnah. So these are the levels of the people; and between them there are many varying grades. The scholars call the first type of people muqallidoon, the second type are technically referred to as mujtahidoon, and the third type are technically referred to as muttabi’oon." Many scholars, however, refer to only two catagories; the mujtahid and the muqallid. And just as the mujtahidoonvary in their levels, then so do the muqallidoon; some being closer to being muttabi’oon than others. : THE FOUR IMAAMS ARE FROM THE BEST OF THE SCHOLARS From the greatest of the scholars of this Ummah are the four Imaams; Abu Haneefah, Maalik ash-Shaafi’ee and Ahmad bin Hanbal, rahimahumullaah. Ibn ’Abdul-Haadee, rahimahullaah, said: "Allaah, the Exalted, is the One who selects from His creation. He creates and selects whatever He wills. So He selected Aadam and his progeny from all of the worlds. He selected from them Prophets and Messengers. And He selected from them [the Prophet sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam]; the leader of all the children of Aadaam. He then selected for him his Companions; giving them excellence over the rest of the Believers. He selected them to be the inheritors and successors, making them the best of the followers. He raised from amongst them a people
whom none equalled in the worlds. From them were the four Imaams, the Imaams of Islaam; beacons for mankind; whose verdicts and sayings are famous in all the world. He made their scholarship something that the people have agreed upon. Their remembrence is widespread in the [various] cities and countries, and their knowledge shines brightly in the various provinces." : THE ISSUE OF IJTIHAAD AND TAQLEED Shaykh Muhammad ’Eed ’Abbaasee said: "The obligation upon the people of the first type is to make taqleed of any scholar of the Book and the Sunnah, who is reliable in his knowledge and Religion. The obligation upon the second type of people is to make ijtihaad in understanding what is indicated by [the texts of] the Book and the Sunnah, and [then] to follow it and to direct the people upon it. The obligation upon the third type is to make ittibaa’ (lit. follow) of the Sharee’ah evidences that they are aware of, from the statements of the scholars. And whoever has the ability to perform ijtihaad, then taqleed andittibaa’ of others is not lawful to him, except in cases of necessity ... Whoever has the ability to perform ittibaa’ thentaqleed and ijtihaad are not lawful for him. Whoever does not have the abilitry to perform ijtihaad nor ittibaa’ thentaqleed is obligatory upon him. The proof for this is that the basic principle (asl) upon everyone is to make ittibaa’ of the Book and the Sunnah, if they have the ability; just as Allaah, the Most Perfect, said: "Make ittibaa’ of what has has been sent down from your Lord, and do not make ittibaa of friends and protectors other than Him ." [Soorah al-A’raaf 7:3]. Take what the Messenger gives you, and abstain from that which he prohibits you. " [Soorah al-Hash 59:9]. So if the Muslim does not have the ability to understand the Book and the Sunnah and to deduce rulings from them, then he descends to the level of ittibaa’. If he does not have the ability for this, then he descends to the lowest level; which is taqleed. And this is when he enters into Allaah, the Exalted’s, saying: "Ask the people of knowledge if you do not know. " [Soorah an-Nahl 16:43]." In summary: Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, rahimahullaah, said: "And that which the majority of the Ummah are upon is that ijtihaad is permissible in general and taqleed is permissible in general. Ijtihaad is not obligated upon everyone
whilst taqleed forbidden; neither is taqleed obligated upon everyone whilst ijtihaad forbidden. Rather, ijtihaad is permissible for the one who has the ability, and taqleedis permissible when ijtihaad cannot be performed." The following discussion uses the two-type classification of people; mujtahidoon and muqallidoon. So as regards blind-following (taqleed), there is a permissible form and a prohibitted form: : THE PERMISSIBLE FORM OF BLIND-FOLOWING There are two cases where taqleed is permissible:[i] For the ’aamee who does not have the ability to acquire knowledge of the Sharee’ah ruling by himself; so taqleedis obligatory upon him. [ii] The mujtahid when he encounters a new situation for which an immediate solution is required, but it is not possible for him to research into the matter; so in this case he is permitted to perform taqleed. An elaboration of the first case: Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan, hafidhahullaah, said: "As for the permissible form of blind-following (at-taqleedul-mubaah), then it is for the common person (’aamee) who, if he does not follow the people of knowledge, then he will stray from the path. Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, said: "Ask the people of knowledge if you do not know. " [an-Nahl 16:43]. And taqleed is not done to just anyone. Rather, it is done to one who is acredited with knowledge and piety; and he is known to the people for this." Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, rahimahullaah, said: "When a Muslim is faced with a problamatic situation, he should seek a verdict from one whom he believes will give him a verdict based upon what Allaah and His Messenger have legislated; whatever school of thought (madhhab) he belongs to. It is not obligatory upon any Muslim to blindly follow a particular individual from the scholars in all that he says. Nor is it obligatory upon any Muslim to blindly follow a particular madhhab from the scholars in all that it necessitates and informs. Rather, every person’s saying is taken or left, except that of the
Allaah’s Messengersallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam. To follow the madhhab of a particular individual because of an inability of knowing what has been legislated, is from that which is permissible; it is not from that which is obligatory upon every individual - if they have the ability to know what has been legislated without this path of blind-following (taqleed]. So each individual should fear Allaah as much as he is able, and seek knowledge of what Allaah and His Messenger have ordered; doing what is commanded and keeping away from that which is forbidden." An elaboration of the second case: Shykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah said: "As for the one who has the ability to perform ijtihaad, is it permissible for him to do taqleed ? About this there is a difference of opinion, with the correct opinion being that it is permissible in cases where he is unable to perform ijtihaad ; either due to the proofs being similar, or due to a time constraint in being able to perform ijtihaad, or due to the proof not being apparent to him. So in cases where he is unable, the obligation of ijtihaad is lifted from him due to this inability." Does the person who asks a scholar have to necessarily ask for a proof: Al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadee, rahimahullaah, said: "As for one to whom taqleed is permissible, then it is for the common person (’aamee) who does not know the path [to arrive at] the Sharee’ah rulings. So it is permissible for him to do taqleed of a scholar and act upon his saying ... And it has been stated by one of the Mu’tazilah who said: It is not permissible for the common person to act upon the saying of a scholar until he knows the reason (’illah) behind the ruling. So when he asks a scholar, he should ask him so that he knows how the ruling came about. So when he knows and grasps this, he should then act upon it. [Al-Khateeb said]: This is wrong, since there is no way for a common person to know and grasp this, except after gainingfiqh (understanding) for many years and mixing with the scholars for long periods of time ..." : THE PROHIBITTED FORM OF BLIND FOLLOWING Ibn al-Qayyim, rahimahullaah, said about the prohibitted types of taqleed: "It is of three types:- Firstly: totaly turning away from what Allaah has revealed, but rather being satisfied with thetaqleed of one’s for-fathers. Secondly: doing taqleed of someone when you do not know whether that person is from those whose saying can be taken. Thirdly:
doing taqleed after the proofs have been established and it becomes apparent that the evidence contradicts the view of the one to whom taqleed is done." Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal, rahimahullaah, said: "How strange it is that a people who know the chain of narratiuon of a hadeeth (isnaad) and its authenticity, yet still they follow the opinion of Sufyaan [ath-Thawree]; even though Allaah, the Exalted, said: "Let those beware, who oppose the command of the Messenger, lest some trial (fitnah) befalls them, or a painful punishment is inflicted upon them. " [Soorah an-Noor 24:63]. Do you know what the fitnah is? The fitnah is shirk! Since the rejection of some of his sayings could cause something of deviation to enter the heart, and thus be destroyed." Shaykh ’Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Hasan, rahimahullaah, said: "In the words of Imaam Ahmad, rahimahullaah, is an indication that doing taqleed before the proofs reach a person is not blameworthy. Rather, the one who is to be censured is that person to whom the proofs reach, yet he opposes them due to [adhering to] the saying of his scholar." : FOLLOWING A PARTICULAR MADHHAB Some verdicts and sayings of the scholars concerning following madhhabs: [i]: When encountering a difficult issue, do you advise the student of knowledge not to stick to a madhhab, or [do you advise] to turn to a particular madhhab? Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-’Uthaymeen responded: "If what is intended by sticking to a madhhab is that a person sticks to that madhhab, and turns away from everything else; whether the correct view lies in his madhhab or another madhhab then this is not permissible, and is from the blameworthy and bigotted partisanship. But if a person ascribes to a particular madhhab in order to benefit from its principles and guidelines, but he refers it back to the Book and the Sunnah; [such that] if it becomes clear to him that the preferred view lies in another madhhab, he then adopts that view - then there is no problem with this." [ii]: Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan, hafidhahullaah, said:
"The issue of sticking to a madhhab has in it some detail. If a person has the ability to know the ruling from its proof, and to deduce the ruling from its proof, then it is not permitted for him to cling to a madhhab. rather, it is upon him to take the ruling from the evidence if he has the ability to do so. However, this is rare amongst the people, since this is a quality of the mujtahideen from the people of knowledge; those that have reaced the levels of ijtihaad. As for one who is not like that, then he cannot take the rulings directly from the evidences. And this is the predominant case amongst the people, especially in these latter times. So [in such a case] there is no harm in adopting one of the fourmadhhabs and making taqleed of one of them. However, he should not make blind taqleed such that he takes all that is in the madhhab; whether it is correct or incorrect. Rather, it is upon him to take from the madhhab that which in his view - does not clearly oppose the evidence. As for those views in the madhhab which clearly oppose the evidence, then it is not permissible for the Muslim to take it. Rather it is upon him to adopt what is established by the proof, even if it is in another madhhab. So his leaving the madhhab for another madhhab in order to follow the evidence is something good; this is a matter which is good - rather it is obligatory; since following the evidence is an obligation." [iii]: Shaykh Muhammad ibn ’Abdul-Wahhaab, rahimahullaah, said: "If a person is learning fiqh from one of the four madhhabs, then he sees a hadeeth that opposes his madhhab; and so he follows it and leaves his madhhab - then this is recommended, rather it is obligatory upon him when the proof has been made clear to him. This would not be considered as opposing his Imaam that he follows, since they - Abu Haneefah, Maalik, ashShaafi’ee and Ahmad, radiallaahu ’anhum ajma’een - were all agreed upon this fundamental principle ... As for the case whereby a person does not have any evidence which opposes the view of the scholars of the madhhab, then we hope that it is permissible to act upon it, since their opinions are better than our own opinions; they took their proofs from the sayings of the Companions and those who came after them. However, it is not essential to declare with certainty (al-jazm) that this is the Sharee’ah of Allaah and His Messenger, until the proof that is not contradicted in this issue is made clear. This is the action of the Salaf of this Ummah and its scholars - both previous and recent - as well as that which they criticised: namely having bigotted partisanship for particularmadhhabs (at-ta’assubul-madhaahib) and leaving off following the proof." [iv]: Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah was asked to explain Najmud-Deen Ibn Hamdaan’s saying: Whoever clings to amadhhab is to be criticised if he opposes it without a proof, or taqleed, or any other excuse. Ibn Taymiyyah, rahimahullaah, responded by saying:
"Two things are intended by this [saying]:- Firstly: That whoever clings to a specific madhhab, then acts in opposition to it; without making taqleed of the fatwaa of another scholar, nor does he use an evidence as a proof which would necessitate opposing this, nor due to any other Sharee’ah excuse which makes it permissible for him to do what he has done - then such a person is a follower of his whims and desires; acting without [making] ijtihaad ortaqleed; and doing something forbidden without a Sharee’ah excuse. So this is evil; this is what Shaykh Najmud-Deen intended, and there is a text from Imaam Ahmad and others that it is not for anyone to believe a thing to be obligatory or forbidden, then, merely based upon whims and desires, believe that it is not obligatory nor forbidden ... However, if there becomes clear to him something which necessitates preferring one saying over another; either due to detailed proofs if he knows and understands them, or because he holds one of the two people to be more knowledgeable about this matter and having more piety about what he says, and so he leaves the saying of that one for the saying of the other one - then this is permissible, rather it is obligatory. And there is a text from Imaam Ahmad concerning this." CONDITIONS FOR FOLLOWING A MADHHAB Certain conditions must be adhered to when following a particular madhhab:Firstly: To believe that infalibility belongs only to the Prophet sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam; all other people after him are fallible and make mistakes: Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, rahimahullaah, said: "It has been established in the Book, the Sunnah and the ijmaa’ that Allaah, the Most Perfect, obligated upon the creation obedience to Him, and obedience to His Messenger sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam. It is not obligatory upon this Ummah to obey anyone in particular in all that he may commands and prohibits, except the Messengersallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam; to the extent that the most truthful of this Ummah and the most virtuous after its Prophet [i.e. Abu Bakr] said: "Obey me in what is obedience to Allaah. But if I disobey Allaah, then there is no obedience to me upon you." They are all agreed that there is no single person who is infallible in all that he may order or prohibit, except for Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam. That is why more than one of the scholars have said: "Every person’s saying can be taken or left, except for Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam." And the four Imaams, may Allaah be pleased with them, all forbade the people from blindly following them in all that they may say; and this was an obligation upon them [to do]." Secondly: That the intended goal should be to follow the Book and the Sunnah, and not to merely follow the opinions of the scholars of the madhhab. Therefore in any issue, if it
becomes clear that the preferred view, along with its proofs, lies in other than his madhhab, he must follow the proof and not reject it. Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee, rahimahullaah, said: "The Muslims are united that if a Sunnah of Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam is made clear to someone, then it is not lawful for him to leave it for the saying of anyone else." Thirdly: That forming allegience (walaa) or enmity (baraa) based upon following a particular madhhab is forbidden. Indeed no one should be particualrised with an increase of love and allegience merely because he has adopted the same madhhab. Fourthly: Whoever leaves the position of his madhhab, due to following his whims and desires, or for seeking convenience, has done something forbidden - and the words of Ibn Taymiyyah have preceeded concerning this. Refer also to the following:[i] Jaami’ Bayaanul-’Ilm (2/102-120) of Imaam Ibn ’Abdul-Barr. [ii] Majmoo’ Fataawaa (2/220-226) of Ibn Taymiyyah. [iii] Adwaa‘ul-Bayaan (7/316-319) of Imaam ash-Shanqeetee. [iv] Fataawaa lil-Lajnatid-Daa‘imah (5/22-44) headed by Shaykh Ibn Baaz. [v] Hadeeth Hujjatun bi Nafsihi (pp.94-95) of Shaykh al-Albaanee. [vi] Al-Usool min ’Ilmil-Usool (pp.99-104) of Shaykh Ibn al-’Uthaymeen. [vii] Muntaqaa min Fataawaa (5/362-368) of Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan. The Prohibited and Permissible Forms of Taqlid
THE PERMISSIBLE FORM OF TAQLEED Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan, hafidhahullaah said: "As for the permissible form of blind-following (at-taqleedul-mubaah), then it is for the common person (aamee) who, if he does not follow the people of knowledge, then he will stray from the path. Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, said: Ask the people of knowledge if you do not know. [an-Nahl 16:43] And taqleed is not done to just anyone. Rather, it is done to one who is acredited with knowledge and piety and is known to the people for this. " Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, rahimahullaah, said: "When a Muslim is faced with a problamatic situation, he should seek a verdict from one whom he believes will give him a verdict based upon what Allaah and His Messenger have legislated; whatever school of thought (madhhab) he belongs to. It is not obligatory upon any Muslim to blindly follow a particular individual from the scholars in all that he says. Nor is it obligatory upon any Muslim to blindly follow a particular madhhab from the scholars in all that it necessitates and informs. Rather, every person's saying is taken or left, except that of the Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam. To follow the madhhab of a particular individual because of an inability of knowing what has been legislated, is from that which is permissible; it is not from that which is obligatory upon every individual - if they have the ability to know what has been legislated without this path of blind-following (taqleed). So each individual should fear Allaah as much as he is able, and seek knowledge of what Allaah and His Messenger have ordered; doing what is commanded and keeping away from that which is forbidden. " Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah also said: "As for the one who has the ability to perform ijtihaad, is it permissible for him to do taqleed? About this there is a difference of opinion, with the correct opinion being that it is permissible in cases where he is unable to perform ijtihaad; either due to the proofs being similar, or due to a time constraint in being able to perform ijtihaad, or due to the proof not being apparent to him. So in cases where he is unable, the obligation of ijtihaad is lifted from him due to this inability." THE PROHIBITTED FORMS OF TAQLEED
Ibn al-Qayyim, rahimahullaah, said about the prohibitted types of taqleed: "It is of three types:- Firstly: totaly turning away from what Allaah has revealed, but rather being satisfied with the taqleed of ones for-fathers. Secondly: doing taqleed of someone when you do not know whether that person is from those whose saying can be taken. Thirdly: doing taqleed after the proofs have been established and it becomes apparent that the evidence contradicts the view of the one to whom taqleed is done." Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal, rahimahullaah, said: "How strange it is that a people who know the chain of narratiuon of a hadeeth (isnaad) and its authenticity, yet still they follow the opinion of Sufy aan [ath-Thawree]; even though Allaah, the Exalted, said: Let those beware, who oppose the command of the Messenger, lest some trial (fitnah) befalls them, or a painful punishment is inflicted upon them. [Soorah an-Noor 24:63]. Do you know what the fitnah is? The fitnah is shirk! Since the rejection of some of his sayings could cause something of deviation to enter into the heart, and thus be destroyed." Shaykh Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Hasan (the grandson of Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahab), rahimahullaah, said: "In the words of Imaam Ahmad, rahimahullaah, is an indication that doing taqleed before the proofs reach a person is not blameworthy. Rather, the one who is to be censured is that person to whom the proofs reach, yet he opposes them due to [adhering to] the saying of his scholar. " REFERENCES 1. Muntaqaa min Fataawaa (5/363). 2. Majmoo Fataawaa (20/208-209). 3. Majmoo Fataawaa (20/204). 4. Ilaamul-Muwaqqieen (2/188). 5. Related by Ibn Battah in al-Ibaanatul-Kubraa (no.97). Refer also to al-Masaail (3/1355) of Abdullaah ibn Imaam Ahmad. 6. Fathul-Majeed (2/649).
Fataawaa of the Major Committee of Scholars on Taqlid and Madhhabs ["The Fataawaa of The Standing Committee for Islamic Research and Ifta (Fataawa al-Lajnatud-daaimah lil-buhuth al-'ilmiah wal-Iftaa)", Volume 5: Fiqh and Tahaarah, Gathered and organised by Shaykh Ahmad ibn Abdur-Razaaq ad-Duwaysh, Dar al-'Aasimah, 1413h] The second question from Fatwaa No. 11296 Q) What is the true meaning of taqleed and what are its categories along with the clarification of its ruling? A) All praise is for Allah alone and may the Peace and Blesssings be on His messenger, and his family, and his companions. To proceed: a) The scholars of Usool (fundamentals) have mentioned definitions to clarify the true meaning and essence oftaqleed, and from them is the saying of some of them that taqleed is the acceptance of a saying of a person without him knowing its evidence. And some of them [the scholars] held the view that taqleed is the acceptance of the saying of a person without argument. And Abu Ma'aali al-Juwayni chose the definition of taqleed that it is the following of one whose following is not based on proof and does not rely upon knowledge. And these definitions of the scholars of Usool, which are all close in meaning, have in it differences [in wording] which originate in the skill of enunciation, but the point here is to clarify the essence of taqleed in the manner of approximation. b) And as for its categories along with the ruling of every category, then it is as follows: 1) Taqleed by the one who has the skills of ijtihaad, to others from the scholars after the truth has been made clear to him with confirmed evidences from the Prophet (s).
This is not permissable for him to do taqleed to what contradicts that which reached him from evidences and ijmaa’(consensus). 2) Taqleed by the one who has been endowed the skill of ijtihaad, to one other than him from the mujtahideen before he reaches a ruling with his [own] ijtihaad. Then it is not allowed for him to do taqleed to others. [This is what] as-Shaafi'i, Ahmad, and others, Allah have mercy on them, held as their opinion, and is more correct, due to his ability to arrive at a ruling by himself. He is responsible for ijtihaad to know what the sharee’ah has made him liable for because of His saying, the Most High, "So have taqwa of Allah as much as you are able," and what has been confirmed from the saying of the Prophet(s), "When I command you by a command, then follow it as much as you are able." 3) Taqleed of the one who is not able to research the evidences and derive rulings from it, to a scholar who has been endowed the skill of ijtihaad in the evidences of the sharee’ah. This is permissible, due to His saying, the Most High, "Allah does not burden a soul more than it can bear," and His saying, the Exalted, "Then ask the people of remembrance [scholars] if you do not know," and other texts similar to these, which point to the removing of difficulty and the protection of the one responsible, from straying about in the rulings and speaking about Allah without knowledge. 4) The taqleed to the one who differs with the sharee’ah of Islam from the forefathers, leaders, and rulers, due to nationalism or following desires. This is prohibited by ijmaa’. And verily many texts from the Qur'aan and Sunnah have been mentioned [in this]. And Allah, the Most High said, say:
'Rather we shall follow what we found our fathers following,' even though their fathers did not understand anything nor were they guided."[Baqarah:170] And Allah, the Most High said, "But no, by your Lord, they can not have faith until they make you judge in all disputes between them, and they find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept with full submission." And Allah, The Most High said, "And it is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision." [al-Ahzaab:36] And the Most High said, "And let those who oppose his [the Messenger's] commandment beware, lest some trials should befall on them or a painful torment be afflicted on them."[Noor:63] And the Most High said, "Say If you [indeed] love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your sins."[Aali Imraan:31] And the Most High said, "Verily Allah has cursed the disbelievers and prepared for them a flaming fire. They will abide in it forever, they will find no protector nor helper. On the day when their faces will be turned over in the Fire, they will say: 'Oh would that we had obeyed Allah and obeyed the Messenger. And they will say: 'Our Lord! Verily we obeyed our chiefs and our great ones, and they misled us from the right way. Our Lord! Give them double torment and curse them witht a mighty curse!" [al-Ahzaab:64-68] Q) There are some that say that taqleed is disbelief (kufr) without exception and sinfulness (fisq) and association (shirk), and attribute disbelief (kufr) and misguidance to the four imaams. So what is the ruling concerning such a person. They [also] say that this is the opinion of the scholars of the two sanctuaries [Masjid al-Haraam and Masjid an-Nabawi], the Saudi Kingdom, and Kuwait. A) All praise is for Allah alone and may the Peace and Blesssings be on His messenger, and his family, and his companions.
To proceed: a) Not all taqleed is kufr without exception or fisq or shirk, rather the truth is that its ruling requires explanation, which can be found out from the answer to the second question from what has preceded. b) Not one of the four imaams called to their madhhab, nor were fanatic about it, nor did they require the people to act upon it or any [other] madhhab in particular. But they only called to act upon the Book and the Sunnah, may Allah have mercy on them. They explained the texts of the religion, made clear its principles and what stems from them, and they gave verdicts (Fataawaa) in what was asked [of them] with evidences from the Book and the Sunnah, without requiring their students or others with the opinion of any one in particular from the scholars of the ummah. Rather they censured that, and they ordered to throw their opinions against the wall if it differed with a authentic (saheeh) hadeeth. And one of them said, "If a hadeeth is proved to be authentic, then it is my madhhab." And it is upon a Muslim to strive to know the truth by themselves if he is able to do that, and to seek help from Allah, then from the wealth of knowledge that the predecessors from the Muslim scholars have left for the ones after them, and that which is easy for them in the path to the understanding of the texts and its application. And whoever is not able to understand the rulings from its evidences and its derivations for a matter, he is to ask the poeple of knowledge trustworthy to him about what he needs from the rulings of sharee’ah, seeking to know the truth with its evidences as much as is able, due the Most High saying, "Then ask those of the remembrance [scholars] if you do not know." And upon him is for him to inquire who he trusts from those who are known for their knowledge, merit, piety, and righteousness. And from this is known that the four imaams are free from those who [overly] concern with it [madhhabs] and about those who attribute to them kufr, misguidance, falsehhod and lies. There is not anyone from the scholars of the two sanctuaries, Makkah or Medinah, nor from the rest of the scholars of the Saudi Kingdom who criticize the imaams of fiqh, Malik, Abu Hanifah, ash-Shaafi'i, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, and those of their likes from the scholars of Islamic fiqh, or who thinks little of them. Rather, it is known from them that they honor them and acknowledge their merit. And [they know] that they led the way for truth in the service to Islam, its protection, and the comprhension of its texts, its principles and clarifying them, its conveyance, their jihad in aiding it, defending it, warding off the doubts from it, and in falsifying the claims of those who falsely ascribe to it and the innovations of the liars, so may Allah reward them from Islam and the Muslims a good reward. And what gives evidence to the position of the scholars of the two sanctuaries and the rest of the scholars of the Saudi Kingdom towards the four imaams of honoring and valueing their
concern, is the teaching of their madhhabs and their works in Masjid al-Haraam in Makkah alMushrifah, al-Madinah al-Munawwarah, the rest of the masjids of the Saudi Kingdom, and in its universities, and their concern of publishing many of their books and its distribution and spreading among the Muslims in all the countries which Muslims are in. And from Allah is tawfeeq, and may the Peace and Blessings of Allah be on His messenger, his family, and his companions. The Standing Committee for Islamic Research and Ifta: Member: Abdullah bin Ghudayaan,Vice President: Abdur-Razaaq Afeefee ',President: AbdulAziz ibn Baaz The following is a translation from Majallat al Buhooth al-Islamiah, No. 51 Rabi' al Awal-Jumadi al-Aakhar, 1418h. From fatwa number 4272 Q) The fourth question: We see that imaams, all of them, are on a madhhab that differs from the other, and most of the time the matter ends up in a battle between them that leads to some of the praying people to leave the prayer. So we need a clear sufficient answer on this subject. Are we to follow one school of thought (madhhab), and how do we reconcile between the schools of thought so that we can settle this matter? A) All praise is for Allah alone, and may the peace and blessings be on His messenger and his family, and his companions, to proceed: A) The difference that is present in the branches of fiqh between the four madhhabs returns to the causes of it, e.g. ahadeeth being authentic with some [imams] and not others, or the attainment of a hadeeth by one [imam] and not others, and [reasons] other than those from the causes of difference. So it is obligatory on a Muslim to have good thoughts about them, and every o
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