Understanding the Statement: “The Hadith is my Math-hab”

Question:

Imaam Abu Hanifah as well as other Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen are reported to have said: “When the authenticity of a Hadith is confirmed, it is my Math-hab.” On the basis of this and similar statements, the Salafis contend that any mas’alah of the Math-habs which conflicts with a Saheeh Hadith should be abrogated. What is the response for this?

Answer (By Mujlisul Ulama):

Imaam Abu Hanifah was not speaking to moron Salafis, juhhaal in general and to duktoors basking in their extremely shallow and superficial textual knowledge. Imaam Abu Hanifah was addressing primarily his Students who were Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen and Muhadditheen. Morons were not part of the audience Imaam A’zam was addressing when he issued his order.

The Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen such as Imaam Abu Yusuf, Imaam Muhammad, and others of this lofty calibre gave practical expression to the Command of their illustrious Ustaadh, Imaam Abu Hanifah. That era was the age when all the Ahaadith had not yet been compiled. Furthermore, there never was an Imaam nor a Sahaabi who had ever laid claim to have en-compassed all the Ahaadith.

Whilst Imaam Abu Hanifah was a Haafiz of more Ahaadith than Imaam Bukhaari, it was just logical that there were numerous more Ahaadith which did not reach him. Hence, it was imperative for him to issue the instruction to the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen of the time. Thus, when any of his illustrious Students acquired a Saheeh Hadith with which a Fatwa/view of Imaam Abu Hanifah conflicted, he would address the issue and formulate the correct Fatwa as commanded by Imaam Abu Hanifah.

The Kutub of the Ahnaaf bear considerable testimony to the many differences between Imaam Abu Hanifah and his two greatest Students, Imaam Abu Yusuf and Imaam Muhammad. Dangling the chimera of Imaam Abu Hanifah’s statement, cited completely out of its context, for achieving the objective of Admut Taqleed, is stupid twaddle peddled by the moron Salafis and juhhaal modernists of the age. There is absolutely no substance in the question disgorged by the juhhaal Salafis. No one in this age has the right to review any mas’alah of the Math-hab in the light of the Ahaadith we have with us today. Any such attempt will be a shaitaani ploy to undermine the Shariah.

THE IMAAM & HIS MATH-HAB

Question: Someone, a sheikh, said that it is not incumbent to follow only one Imaam because even the great Imaams have made errors. Is his reasoning valid?

Answer (By Mujlisul Ulama):

His reasoning is deceptive. It is incumbent to follow one Math-hab 100%. It is not incumbent to follow 100% one Imaam of a Math-hab. The Math-hab has to be followed. Whilst it is accepted that all humans, even great Fuqaha and Imaams err, the official ruling of the Mathhab has to be followed. For example, if Imaam Hambal had erred (as this someone mentioned) on the issue of the oath, then the Fuqaha of the Hambali Math-hab would have set it aside. They would never issue a ruling on the basis of an error.

If Imaam Abu Hanifah for example had erred in a ruling, then there were thousands of Hanafi Fuqaha in all times to set the error aside. It is impossible to imagine that thousands of Fuqaha of the highest stand ing will enact Ijma’ (Consensus) on an error when they are aware of the Haqq.

A layman cannot say that a great Imaam has erred in his ruling. On what basis does he say that Imaam Hambal, for example, had erred? What the sheikh said is not binding. To understand if Imaam Hambal had erred, one has to look at the official position of the Hambali Mathab. If the Fatwa of the Hambali Math-hab is in conflict with what Imaam Hambal had said, then it will be understood that he had erred, hence the Hambali Fuqaha had unanimously set aside that particular view or error.

The official position of the Math-hab will always be correct. We do not go according to every view of Imaam Abu Hanifah, for example. And so is it with all the other Mathhabs. The ruling of the Jamhoor Fuqaha of the Math-hab is the official stance for prac tical implementation. This stance has been commanded by the Imaams to their Students. Thus, even if the er ror of the Imaam is set aside, we shall still be following his Math-hab 100%.

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