Prophetic sayings about the Imams of the Madh-habs

Imam Abu Hanifa (rahmatullah alayh)

The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) also said, according to an authentic narration “If the  Religion were at the Pleiades (in  Persia), even then a person (muslim) from Persia would have  taken hold of it, or one amongst  Persian descent would surely  have found it” [al-Ajluni, Kashfu’l-Khafa

Abu Hurayrah (radhiyallahu anhu)  narrated: “We were sitting in the  company of Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  when Surat al-Jumu’ah was  revealed to him and when he  recited (it) amongst them, (those  who were sitting with the  prophet) said “Allah’s Messenger?” but Allah’s Apostle  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) made  no reply, until he was questioned once, twice or thrice, and there  was amongst us Salman the  Persian. Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu alayhi wasllam)  placed his hand on Salman and then said: “Even if faith were near  the Pleiades (in Persia), a man  from amongst these would surely  find it.”

When Muslim’s conquered Persia  it became a great centre for  knowledge and many of the  worlds greatest scholars came  from there like Imam al Ghazali, Imam Abu Dawud, Imam Bukhari, Ibn Sina, Ibn Haytham one could name well over 200 prominent  and well known Islamic figures, Scholars, Scientists, Philosophers, and Physicians in  world history that came from  Persia, but Imam as-Suyuti (rahimahullah) remarked: “It has been communicated unanimously that this hadith refers to Imam Abu Hanifah (who was a Persian) and founded the Hanafi Madhhab (School of Law)” which 45% of  muslims around the world follow  today.

Imam Abu Hanifa (rahmatullah alayh d.150) is the first in Islam to organize and categorize fiqh (Islamic Law), at a time when it was simply the Qur’an and the Narrations so information could be easily researched and found. This was a Sunnah (example) he began and as the prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said regarding those who begin beneficial Sunnah’s they will have the reward of all  those who adopt it after them  and indeed the entire Ummah adopted this after Him.

He gave rulings on matters  relating to various topics, and organized the religion under sub-headings, categorizing everything  and embracing the whole of Law, beginning with purity (tahara)  followed by prayer (salah), an  order which was retained by all  subsequent scholars such as  Imam Malik, Shafi’i, Abu Dawud, Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, and others.

Imam Ash-Shafi’i (rahmatullah alayh)

The Prophet once made a dua’, “O  Allah! Guide (the tribe of)  Quraysh, for the science of the  scholar that comes from them  will encompass the earth. O  Allah! You have let the first of  them taste bitterness, so let the  latter of them taste reward.”

The Scholars agreed that this Dua’ was referring to Imam al Shafi’i (rahmatullah alayh) whose work “al Risal fi Usul al Fiqh” (The Treatise on the  Principles of Legal Jurisprudence) was the first work to define and develop the Legal science of Usul al Fiqh (Principles of Law). This legal science is at the heart of all  modern legal systems on earth today.

“In its comprehensive character, legal science developed among  Muslims very early. They  were  the first in the world to entertain  the thought of an abstract  (theoretical and conceptual)  science of law, distinct from the  codes of the general laws of the  country. The ancients had their  laws, more or less developed and even codified, yet a science which  should treat the philosophy and sources of law, and the method of  legislation, interpretation, application, etc, of the law was  wanting, and this never struck  the minds of the jurists before  Islam”. Since the second century of the Hijrah (800 C.E.) many  Islamic works of this kind began  to be produced, called Usul al-Fiqh (Principles of Law).
In addition, the prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, “A scholar from Quraysh will fill  all regions of the earth with  learning.”  [al-Ajluni]

The entire Ummah utilized and benefited from the work of Imam  Shafi’i, it systemized Law itself  for the other Schools of Law that  emulated it’s structure.

The Prophet also said: “Truly, Allah shall send forth for this  Community, at the onset of every  hundred years, someone who will  renew their Religion for them.”

The  scholars  agreed, among  them Imam Abu Qilaba (d. 276) and Imam Ahmad, that the first  narration above signified Imam  al-Shafi’i, and the second signified Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz, a  just Khalif who opposed the  tyrants around him, as the first person Allah sent for the Ummah  and then Imam al-Shafi’i after  him as the second person Allah  sent.

Imam Malik Ibn Anas (rahmatullah alayh)

The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Very soon will  people beat the flanks of camels  in search of knowledge, and they  shall find no-one more  knowledgeable than the knowledgeable scholar of  Madinah.” 

Imam Tirmidhi, al-Qadi ‘Iyad, Dhahabi and others relate from  Sufyan ibn Uyaynah, Abd al-Razzaq, Ibn Mahdi, Yahya Ibn Ma’in, Dhu’ayb ibn ‘Imama, Ibn al-Madini (rahimahumullah), and others that they considered that scholar to be Malik ibn Anas (rahimahullah) the founder of the  Maliki Madhhab.

Imam Malik (rahmatullah alayh) was responsible for preserving the Sunnah of Madinah for later generations, this was the way of life the people of Madinah lived shortly  after the prophets (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) death, it gave the clearest picture of life in  those times we have today and the Imam and his Madhhab (school of Law) are famous for  taking the actions of the people  of Madinah as a source of  legislation in Islamic law because  it was the prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) himself who established that community.

Thus in this way the Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  foretold the Madhhab’s (Islam’s  Schools of Law) and all the  scholars they would be named after, the Hanafi Madhhab, Shafii, Maliki and Hanbali, all of whom adopted the science of  Imam Shafi’i (rahmatullah alayh) that the prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) mentioned specifically and is the method by which they derive Laws from the Qur’an and Sunnah, this is in contrast to the Deviant sects who lie and say the  Madhhab’s are an evil innovation  that has no basis in Islam rather they seek to dismantle Islam as  the Yahud’s dismantled their own  faith. These sects are a product  of the “Ruwaibidah” a group of  people the prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) gave this name  to and said would come towards  the end of time. History has  occurred as the prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  mentioned, the entire world adopting the methods of Imam  Shafi’i (rahmatullah alayh), which makes the authenticity of the narration’s self  evident.

He (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said “My nation will be divided into seventy-three sects, and only  one among them will attain  salvation” He was asked, “Who are  they?” He replied, “Those who follow me and my Companions,” (Abu Dawud); thus, he mentioned the sects of innovation that  would emerge afterwards and stated that the muslims should stick to the main body of the  Ummah, it’s largest group. He  (sallallaahu alayhi wasllam)  described the reality after this  time clearly, He said “One who defected from obedience and separated from the main body of  the Muslims-if he died in that  state would die the death of one  belonging to the days of Jahiliyya  (before Islam)”  [Muslim]

He advised “My community will  not come together on  misguidance”;

”You have to follow  the congregation for verily Allah  will not make the largest group of Muhammad’s community agree  on error.”,

“Whoever among you wants  to be in the middle of Paradise, let  him cling to the congregation.”,

“Shaytan is a wolf like the wolf  that preys on sheep, taking the  isolated and the stray among  them; therefore, avoid factionalism and keep to the  congregation and the collective  and the masjid.”,

“Allah’s hand is over the group, and whoever dissents from them  departs to hell.”

Thus he (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) advised Muslim’s should stick to Islam’s four schools of Law and they would attain the middle of Paradise if they did so. Islam’s four schools of Law have  been the main Body of the Ummah from the beginning of  Islam until our time, almost 90% of Islam’s 1.7 billion Muslim’s around the world today follow them.

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