The lâ-madhhabî people like Rashîd Ridâ and Zubair Ali Zai, in order to attack the four Madhhabs of Ahl as-Sunnah, choose a tricky way. For doing this, first they write about the assaults of the seventy-two groups [for whom the Hadîth says will go to Hell] against the Ahl as-Sunnah, and about the bloody events which they caused, and then they basely lie by adding that the four madhhabs of Ahl as-Sunnah fought one another. The fact, however, is that not a single fight has ever taken place between the Shâfi’îs and the Hanafîs at any place at any time. How could they ever fight despite the fact that both belong to the Ahl as-Sunnah! They hold the same belief. They have always loved one another and lived brotherly. Let us see if the lâ-madhhabî people, who say that those people fought, can give us an example after all! They cannot. They write, as examples, the jihads which the four madhhabs of Ahl as-Sunna co-operatively made against the lâ-madhhabî. They try to deceive Muslims with such lies. Because the name “Shâfi’î” of the Ahl as-Sunnah and the word “Shî’a” sound alike, they narrate the combats between the Hanafîs and the lâ-madhhabî as if they had taken place between the Hanafîs and the Shâfi’îs. In order to blemish the Muslims who follow the Madhhabs, those who reject the four Madhhabs slander them by misinterpreting some special terms. For example, referring to the dictionary Al-munjid written by Christian priests, they define the word ‘ta’assub’ as ‘holding a view under the influence of non-scientific, non-religious and irrational reasons’, in order to give the impression that the teachings of Madhhabs as ta’assub, and say that ta’assub, has caused conflicts between Madhhabs. However, according to the scholars of Islam, ‘ta’assub’ means ‘enmity that cannot be justified.’ Then, attaching oneself to a Madhhab or defending that this Madhhab is based on the Sunnah and on the sunnahs of al-Khulafâ’ ar-râshidîn (radiy-Allâhu ’anhum) is never ta’assub. Speaking ill of another Madhhab is ta’assub, and the followers of the four madhhabs have never done such ta’assub. There has been no ta’assub amongst the madhhabs throughout Islamic history.
The lâ-madhhabî, who are the followers of one of the seventy-two heretical groups, endeavoured much to sidetrack the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphs from the Ahl as-Sunnah. Those who achieved it caused bloody events. It is a base slander against the scholars of Islam to accuse them of ta’assub because they, to prevent the harm of the lâ-madhhabî, counselled these caliphs and invited them to follow one of the four Madhhabs of Ahl as-Sunnah. A newly developed method for attacking the four madhhabs is: first pick up a smattering of Arabic, then scan a few history books in a haphazard manner and with a narrow-minded personal sentiment, then evaluate the various past events fortuitously encountered, and finally piece them together as the evidences for the harms of ta’assub, which you somehow attribute to the Sunni Muslims. To find justification, some of those who are against the madhhabs say that they are against not the madhhabs but the ta’assub in madhhabs. However, by misinterpreting ‘ta’assub,’ they attack the fiqh scholars defending their madhhabs and claim that these scholars caused the bloody events in the Islamic history. Thereby they try to alienate the younger generations from the Madhhabs.
As it is written in Qâmûs al-a’lâm, Amîd al-Mulk Muhammad al-Kundurî, the vizier of Seljuqî Sultan Tughrul Beg, issued a rescript stating that the lâ-madhhabî should be cursed at mimbars and, therefore, most of the ’ulamâ’ in Khurasan emigrated to other places during the time of Alb Arslân. Lâ-madhhabî people like Ibn Taymiyya distorted this event as “The Hanafîs, and the Shâfi’îs fought each other, and the Ash’arîs were cursed at mimbars.” They spread these lies and their own false translations from as-Suyûtî’s books among young people to deceive them and to destroy the four Ahl as-Sunna Madhhabs and to replace it with lâ-Madhhabism.
The following story is one of those related to ta’assub as it is unjustly attributed to the madhhabs and is claimed to have caused fights between brothers in Muslim history: Yâqût al-Hamawî visited Rayy in 617 A.H. and, seeing that the city was in ruins, asked the people whom he met how it happened; he was told that there had arisen ta’assub between the Hanafîs and the Shâfi’îs, that they had fought, and that the Shâfi’îs had won and the city had been ruined. This story is referred to in Yâqût’s book Mu’jam al-Buldan. However, Yâqût was not a historian. As he was a Byzantine boy, he was captured and sold to a merchant in Baghdad. He travelled through many cities to do the business of his boss, after whose death he began selling books. Mu’jam al-Buldan is his geographical dictionary in which he wrote what he had seen and heard wherever he had been. He profited much from this book. Rayy is 5 km south of Tehran and is in ruins now. This city was conquered by Urwah ibn Zaid at-Tâ’î with the command of Hadhrat ’Umar (radiyallâhu ’anhu) in 20 A.H. It was improved during the time of Abû Ja’far Mansûr, and it became a home of great scholars and a centre of civilization. In 616 A.H., the non-Muslim Mongol ruler Chenghiz, too, destroyed this Muslim city and martyred its male inhabitants and captured the women and children. The ruins seen by Yâqût had been caused by the Mongol army a year before. The lâ-madhhabî asked by Yâqût imputed this destruction to the Sunnîs, and Yâqût believed them. This shows that he was not a historian but an ignorant tourist. The lâ-madhhabî, when they cannot find a rational or historical support to blemish the followers of Madhhabs and the honourable fiqh scholars, make their attacks with the writings and words based on Persian tales. Such tales do not harm the superiority and excellence of the scholars of Ahl as-sunnah; on the contrary, they display the lâ-madhhabî men of religious post are not authorities of Islam but ignorant heretics who are enemies of Islam. It is understood that they have been endeavouring to deceive Muslims and thus to demolish the four Madhhabs from the inside by pretending to be men of religious post. To demolish the four Madhhabs means to demolish Ahl as-Sunnah, for Ahl as-Sunnah is composed of the four Madhhabs with regard to practices (a’mâl, fiqh). There is no Ahl as-Sunnah outside these four Madhhabs. And to demolish Ahl as-Sunnah means to demolish the right religion, Islam, which Hadhrat Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) brought from Allâh Ta’âlâ, for, the Ahl as-Sunnah are those Muslims who walk on the path of as-Sahâbah al-kirâm (radiyAllâhu ’anhum). The path of as-Sahâba al-kirâm is the path of Hadrat Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), who, in the hadîth, “My Companions are like the stars in the sky. If you follow any one of them you will find the right way,” orders us to follow as-Sahâbah al-kirâm.
Taqlîd (following, adapting oneself to) is done in two respects. First is the following in respect of belief (’itiqâd, îmân). Second is the following in respect of actions to be done (a’mâl). To follow as-Sahâbah al-kirâm means to follow them in respect of the facts to be believed. In other words, it is to believe as they did. Those Muslims who believe as as-Sahâbah al-kirâm did are called Ahl as-Sunnah. In respect of practices, that is, in each of those actions that are to be done or avoided, it is not necessary to follow all as-Sahâbah al-kirâm since it is impossible. It cannot be known how as-Sahâbah al-kirâm did every action. Moreover, many matters did not exist in their time and appeared afterwards. The father of Ahl as-Sunnah was Hadrat al-Imâm al-a’zam Abû Hanîfah (rahmatullâhi ’alaih). All the four Madhhabs have believed what he had explained and what he had learned from as-Sahâbah al-kirâm. Al-Imâm al-a’zam was a contemporary of some Sahâbîs. He learned much from them. And he learned further through his other teachers. That al-Imâm ash-Shâfi’î and Imâm Mâlik had different comments on a few matters concerning belief does not mean that they disagreed with al-Imâm al-a’zam. It was because each of them expressed what they themselves understood from al-Imâm al-a’zam’s word. The essence of their words is the same. Their ways of explaning are different. We believe and love all the four A’immat al-Madhâhib.
A snide trick which the lâ-madhhabî people often have resort to is to write about the badness of the difference in those subjects concerning belief and try to smear this badness on to the difference among the four Madhhabs. It is very bad to be broken into groups concerning îmân. He who dissents from Ahl as-Sunnah in îmân becomes either a kâfir (disbeliever) or a heretic (a man of bid’a in belief). It is stated in the hadîths of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) that both kinds of people will go to Hell. A kâfir will remain in Hell eternally while a heretic will later go to Paradise.
Some of those who have dissented from the Ahl as-Sunnah have become disbelievers, but they pass themselves off as Muslims. They are of two kinds. Those of the first kind have depended upon their mind and points of view in interpreting the Qur’ân al-karîm and the Hadîth ash-Sharîf so much so that their errors have driven them to kufr (disbelief). They think of themselves as followers of the right path and believe that they are true Muslims. They cannot understand that their îmân has gone away. They are called “mulhids.” Those of the second kind have already disbelieved Islam and are hostile to Islam. In order to demolish Islam from within by deceiving Muslims, they pretend to be Muslims. In order to mix their lies and slanders with the religion, they give wrong, corrupt meanings to âyats, hadîths and scientific teachings. These insidious unbelievers are called “zindîqs.” The freemasons occupying religious posts in Egypt and the so-called Socialist Muslims, who have appeared recently, are zindîqs. They are also called “bigots of science” or “religion reformers.”
The Qur’ân al-karîm and the Hadîth ash-sharîf declare that it is bad to be broken into groups in respect of îmân and prohibit this faction strictly. They command Muslims to be united in one single îmân. The faction prohibited in the Qur’ân al-karîm and the Hadîth ash-sharîf is the faction in respect of îmân. As a matter of fact, all prophets (’alaihimus-salâm) taught the same îmân. From Âdam (’alaihis-salâm), the first prophet, to the last man, the îmân of all Believers is the same. Zindîqs and mulhids say that those âyats and hadîths which condemn and prohibit breaking in îmân refer to the four Madhhabs of Ahl as-Sunna. However, the Qur’ân al-kerîm commands the differentiation of the four Madhhabs. The Hadîth ash-sharîf states that this difference is Allâhu Ta’âlâ’s compassion upon Muslims.
It is an utterly loathsome, very base lie and slander to twist the Mongolian invasion of the Muslim countries and the destruction of and bloodshed in Baghdad into the “Hanafî-Shâfi’î disputes,” which never took place in the past and which will never take place in future. These two madhhabs have the same îmân and love each other. They believe that they are brothers and know the insignificant difference between them concerning a’mâl (acts) or ’ibâdât (practices) is Allâh Ta’âlâ’s compassion. They believe that this difference is a facility. If a Muslim belonging to a Madhhab encounters a difficulty in doing an act in his Madhhab, he does it in accordance with one of the other three Madhhabs and thus avoids the quandary. Books of the four Madhhabs unanimously recommend this facility and note some occasions. Scholars of the four Madhhabs explained and wrote the evidences and documents of their own Madhhabs not in order to attack or –Allah forfend– to slander one another, but with a view to defending the Ahl as-Sunnah against the lâ-madhhabî people and preserve the confidence of their followers. They wrote so and said that one could follow another madhhab when in difficulty. The lâ-madhhabî, that is, the mulhids and zindîqs, finding no other grounds fhor attacking the Ahl as-Sunna, have been meddling with and misinterpreting these writngs which are right and correct.
As for the Tatars’ and Mongols’ invading Muslim countries, history books write its causes clearly. For example, Ahmad Jawdad Pasha wrote:
“Musta’sim, the last ’Abbâsid Caliph, was a very pious Sunnî. But his vizier, Ibn Alqamî was lâ-madhhabî and disloyal to him. The administration of the State was in his hands. His sheer ideal was to overthrow the ’Abbâsid state and establish another state. He wished for Baghdad to be captured by the Mongol ruler Hulago, and he himself become his vizier. He provoked him into coming to Iraq. Writing a harsh reply to a letter from Hulago, he incited him. Nasîr ad-dîn Tusî, another lâ-madhhabî heretic, was Hulago’s counsellor. He, too, incited him to capture Baghdad. The intrigues were played in the hands of these two heretics. Hulago was made to advance towards Baghdad. The Caliph’s army of about twenty thousand could not stand against the arrows of two hundred thousand Tatars. Hulago assaulted Baghdad with naphtha fires and catapult stones. After a fifty-day siege, Ibn Alqamî, under the pretext of making peace, went to Hulago and made an agreement with him. Then, coming back to the Caliph he said that if they surrendered they would be set free. The Caliph believed him and surrendered to Hulago on the twentieth of Muharram in 656 A.H. (1258). He was executed together with those who were with him. More than four hundred thousand Muslims were put to the sword. Millions of Islamic books were thrown into the Tigris. The lovely city turned into a ruin. The Khirkat as-Sa’âda (the mantle of the Prophet) and the ’Asâ an-Nabawî (the short stick the Prophet usually had with him) were burned and the ashes were thrown into the Tigris. The five-hundred-and-twenty-four-year-old ’Abbâsid State was annihilated. Ibn Alqamî was not given any position and died in abasement the same year. That year, ’Uthmân Ghâzî, founder of the Ottoman Empire, was born in the town of Söghüt.”As it is seen, the Mongols’ ruining the Muslim countries was caused by a lâ-madhhabî’s treachery against Ahl as-Sunnah. There has been no dispute between the Hanafîs and the Shâfi’îs; Muslims belonging to the four Madhhabs have loved one another as brothers.