Tag Archives: Maliki

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.

Who are Ahl al Sunnah Wa’l Jama’ah??

[By Sayf ad-Din Ahmad]

Many people today like to classify themselves as belonging to the Saved Sect (Firqatun-Najiyyah) – Ahl as-Sunnah Wa’l Jama’ah; but do these people really know which is the Saved Sect, from the many sects we have today?? The following is an attempt to clarify some misconceptions by way of definitive proofs from the Qur’an and Sunnah, as well as quotes from the profoundly learned Classical Scholars of Islam. Know that there is only one Saved Sect in Islam, and this is the original pristine form of Islam that has been transmitted to us by Allah Subhana Wa Ta’ala in his Qur’an, his Rasul (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam), the blessed Companions and the great scholars of Islam (alayhi rahmah) who have been following their Straight Path for more than one thousand years of Islam’s history.

The first question that should be raised is: “What differentiates one sect from another sect??” The answer to this is simple and definitive! Know that the chief characteristic that distinguishes one sect from another, lies not in the differences of opinion that its scholars have attained by making Ijtihad from the sources of the Shari’ah (this leads to the formation of the Madhhabs), but rather the actual belief (Aqeedah or I’tiqad in Arabic) that the scholars and laity of the sect in question are clinging onto – since the founding of their respective sect.

According to the unknown author of the book Belief and Islam (pp. 78-9), the faith of the People of the Sunnah and Jama’ah was spread as follows: “Nowadays, some mouths frequently use the name of “Salafiyya“. Every Muslim should know very well that in Islam there is nothing in the name of the Madhhab of Salafiyya but there is the Madhhab of the Salaf as-salihin who were the Muslims of the first two Islamic centuries (i.e; the Companions, their successors and the followers of the successors) which were lauded in a Hadith sharif. The ulama of Islam who came in the third and fourth centuries are called Khalaf as-sadiqin. The i’tiqad (belief) of these honourable people is called the Madhhab of Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l Jama’ah. This is the Madhhab of Faith, tenets of faith. The beliefs held by the Sahaba (alayhim ar-ridhwan) and by the Tabi’un (rahimahumullah) was the same. There was no difference between their beliefs. Today most Muslims in the world are in the Madhhab of Ahl as-Sunnah (i.e; most Muslim’s claim to be Sunni’s). All the seventy-two heretical groups (see later for the actual Hadith and its commentary) of bid’ah appeared (mainly) after the second century of Islam. Founders of some of them lived earlier, but it was after the Tabi’un that their books were written, and that they appeared in groups and defied the Ahl as-Sunnah.

Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam) brought the beliefs of Ahl as-Sunnah. The Sahaba (radhiyallahu anhum) derived these teachings of Faith from the source (the Qur’an and Sunnah). And the Tabi’un (successors), in their turn, learned these teachings from the Sahaba. And from them their successors learned, thus the teachings of Ahl as-Sunnah reached us by way of transmission and tawatur (through many undeniable chains of transmission). These teachings cannot be explored by way of reasoning. Intellect cannot change them and will only help understand them. That is, intellect is necessary for understanding them, for realizing that they are right and for knowing their value. All the scholars of Hadith held the beliefs of the Ahl as-Sunnah. The Imams of the four Madhhabs in deeds, too, were in this Madhhab. Also, al-Maturidi and al-Ashari (rahimahumullah), the two Imam’s of our Madhhab in beliefs, were in the Madhhab of the Ahl as-Sunnah. Both of these Imams promulgated this Madhhab. They always defended this Madhhab against heretics and materialists, who had been stuck in the bogs of ancient Greek philosophy. Though they were contemporaries, they lived in different places and the ways of thinking and behaving of the offenders they had met were different, so the methods of defence used and the answers given by these two great scholars of Ahl as-Sunnah were different. But this does not mean that they belonged to different Madhhabs (rather they were both from the Ahl as-Sunnah). Hundreds of thousands of profoundly learned ulama and awliya (friends of Allah) coming after these two exalted Imams studied their books and stated in consensus that they both belonged to the Madhhab of the Ahl as- Sunnah.

The scholars of the Ahl as-Sunnah took the evidential source language (nass from Qur’an and Sunnah) with their outward meanings. That is, they gave the verses and Hadiths their outward meanings, and did not explain away (ta’wil) the nass or change these meanings unless there was a darura (necessity) to do so. And they never made any changes with their personal knowledge or opinions. But those who belonged to heretical groups and the la-Madhhabi (those who do not belong to one of the four Madhhabs) did not hesitate to change the teachings of Faith and Ibadat (worship) as they had learned from (the books of) Greek philosophers and from sham scientists, who were Islam’s adversaries.” 

What is Ahl as Sunnah wa’l Jama’ah according to Classical Scholars

Let us now see what the definition of Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l Jama’ah was according to the classical scholars of this aided, Victorious sect (Tai’fatul-Mansoorah) of Islam.

Shaykh al-Islam Ahmad ibn Hajar al-Haytami (d. 974/1567; R. A.)

Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-Haytami defined the Sunni Muslims as follows in his book Fath al-jawad: “A Mubtadi (innovator) is the person who does not have the faith (Aqeedah) conveyed unanimously by theAhl as-Sunnah. This unanimity was transmitted by the two great Imam’s Abu’l Hasan al-Ashari (d.324/936; Rahimahullah) and Abu Mansur al- Maturidi (d.333/944; Rahimahullah) and the scholars who followed their path.” Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-Haytami also said in his bookal- Fatawa al-Hadithiyya (pg. 205): “Man of bid’ah means one whose beliefs are different from the Ahl as-Sunnah faith. The Ahl as- Sunnah faith, is the faith of Abu’l Hasan al-Ashari, Abu Mansur al- Maturidi and those who followed them. One who brings forth something which is not approved by Islam becomes a man of bid’ah.”

Imam Ahmad Shihab ad-Din al Qalyubi (d.1069/1659; R. A.)

Imam al-Qalyubi wrote on the fourth volume of his marginalia to the book Kanz ar-raghibin: “One who departs from what Abu’l Hasan al-Ashari and Abu Mansur al-Maturidi (Allah’s mercy be upon them) reported is not a Sunni. These two Imam’s followed the footprints of Rasulullah (Peace be upon him) and his Sahaba (may Allah be pleased with them all).”

Imam Abdullah ibn Alawi al-Haddad (d. 1132 AH; Rahimahullah),

Imam al-Haddad stated in The Book of Assistance (pg. 40): “You must correct and protect your beliefs and conform to the pattern of the party of salvation, who are those known from among the other Islamic factions as the “People of the Sunnah andJama’ah” (Ahl as- Sunnah wa’l Jama’ah). They are those who firmly adhere to the way of the Messenger of Allah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim), and of his Companions (may Allah be pleased with them all). 
If you look with a sound understanding into those passages relating to the sciences of faith in the Book (Qur’an), the Sunnah, and the saying of the virtuous predecessors, whether they be Companions or followers, you will know for certain that the truth is with the party called the Ashari (NB-the Maturidi’s are also upon the truth), named after the Shaykh Abu’l Hasan al-Ashari, may Allah have mercy on him, who systematized the foundations of the creed of the people of the truth, and recorded its earliest versions, these being the beliefs with the Companions and the best among the followers agreed upon.”

Imam Abdal Ghani an-Nablusi (d. 1143/1733; Rahimahullah)

Imam an-Nablusi stated in his book al-Hadiqat an-Nadiyya(vol. 2, pg. 103): “Jama’ah is rahma, that is, the union of Muslims on truth brings Allahu ta’ala’s Compassion. Division is adhab, that is, separation from the Community of Muslims brings about punishment from Allahu ta’ala. Hence, it is necessary for every Muslim to unite with those who are on the right path. He must join and believe like them even if they are only a small group. The right path is the path of as-Sahaba . Those who follow this path are called Ahl as- Sunnah Wa’l Jama’ah. It should not confuse us that many heretical groups appeared after the time of as-Sahaba . Al-Imam al- Bayhaqi (d. 458/1066; Rahimahullah) said, ‘When Muslims go astray, you should follow the right path of those who came before them! You should not give up that path even if you are left alone on the path!’

Najm ad-Din al-Ghazzi (d. 1061/1651; Rahimahullah)

He wrote: ‘Ahl as-Sunnah Wa’l Jama’ah are those ulama who keep on the right path of Rasullullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam) and as-Sahaba . As-Sawad al-Azam, that is, the majority of Islamic scholars, have followed this right path. The Firqatun-Naajiyyah which was defined to be the group of salvation among the seventy three groups is this true Jama’ah.’ The Qur’an declares, ‘Do not disunite!’ This verse means ‘Do not disunite in I’tiqad, in the teachings of beliefs!’ Most ulama, for example, Abdullah ibn Masood (radhiyallahu anhu), interpreted this verse as above and said that it meant, ‘Do not deviate from the right path by following your desires and corrupt ideas.’ This verse does not mean that there should be no disagreement in the knowledge of Fiqh. It forbids separation which causes discord and dissension in the knowledge of I’tiqad (see Imam al-Qurtubi’s opinion later). The disagreement in the knowledge (of Fiqh) derived through Ijtihad in the field of practices (Amal) is not a discord, because such disagreement has brought to sight the rights, the fards and the subtle teachings in Amal and ‘Worship (worship). As-Sahaba (alayhim ar-ridhwan), too, differed from one another in those teachings that explained the daily life, but there was no disagreement among them in the knowledge of I’tiqad.”

Allamah Sayyid Ahmad at-Tahtawi (d. 1231/1816; Rahimahullah)

Allamah Sayyid Ahmad at-Tahtawi, a great Hanafi Fiqh scholar of Egypt, wrote on the subject of ‘Zabayih’ in his Hashiya al-Durr al- Mukhtar:

According to the majority of scholars of Tafsir, the verse, ‘They parted into groups in the religion,’ referred to the people of bid’ah who would arise in this Ummah. In a Hadith reported by Umar (radhiyallahu anhu), Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam) said to Aisha (radhiyallahu anha), ‘The verse about the partitions into groups in the religion refers to the people of bid’ah and to the followers of their nafs who would arise in this Ummah.’ Allah declared in the 153rd verse of Surah Al-An’am,‘This is My Straight path, so follow it! Follow not other ways, lest you be parted from His way!’ (that is, Jews, Christians, and other heretics departed from the right path; you should not part like them!). In the 103rd verse of Surah Al-Imran, Allah declares, ‘And hold fast, all of you together, to the rope of Allah, and do not separate!’ (see later for a brief commentary). Some scholars of Tafsir said that Allah’s rope meant Jama’ah, unity. The command, ‘Do not separate’, shows that it is so and the Jama’ah are the possessors of Fiqh and Ilm (knowledge).

One who descents from Fuqaha (scholars of Fiqh) as much as a span falls into heresy, becomes deprived of Allah’s help and deserves Hell, because the Fuqaha have been on the right path and have held on to the Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam) and on to the path of al– Khulafa ar-Rashideen, the Four caliphs (alayhim ar ridhwan). 
As-Sawad al-Azam, that is, the majority of the Muslims, are on the path of Fuqaha. Those who depart from their path will burn in the fire of Hell. O believers! Follow the unique group which is protected against Hell! And this group is the one that is called Ahl as-Sunnah Wa’l Jama’ah. For, Allah’s help, protection and guidance are for the followers of this group, and His wrath and punishment are for those who dissent from this group. Today, this group of salvation comes together in the Four Madhhabs, namely the Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i, and Hanbali.”

It is very important to have unity in the Ummah, and to achieve this goal of unity it is incumbent that the whole Ummah has the correct and preserved Aqeedah of the Salaf as-salihin (alayhim ar ridhwan); since Allah will no doubt ask us about our Aqeedah if it is not in conformity with the divine revelation and what his Messenger (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam) transmitted to us. The way of the Salaf as Salihin is the way of the saved sect of the Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l Jama’ah. And we should all know that the Jama’ah is the sect which has the most correct and united Aqeedah out of all other Jama’ahs. To know what is the real Jama’ah, one must look into the Qur’an and Hadith for evidence. If one was to look deeply in to this matter with an open and scholarly mind, one will come to the conclusion that this great Jama’ah is the one which is composed of the foremost scholars of Qur’anic commentary, Hadith, Fiqh and other Islamic sciences; it is no doubt the Jama’ah which has had the greatest following throughout Islamic history in terms of scholars and laity, and this alone is the main body of Islam which represents the views of the great mass of believers (as-Sawad al-Azam) as we shall see from the Hadith evidence below. Let us now see what Allah ta’ala has said about unity and schism in the Holy Qur’an.

QUR’ANIC EVIDENCE

(1) Surah al-Imran (3:103):

“And hold fast, all of you together, to the rope of Allah and be not divided.”

Imam Sayf ad-Din al-Amidi (d. 631/1233; Rahimahullah) said in his al-Ihkam pg. 295 with regard to the above Qur’anic verse: “Allah has forbidden separation, and disagreement with consensus (‘Ijma‘) is separation.” Hence, if Allah has forbidden separation then surely we must all unite on the unanimously accepted Aqeedah of our pious predecessors. And I have already quoted Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-Haytami (Rahimahullah) as saying: “This unanimity (in aqeedah) was transmitted by the two great Imam’s Abu’l Hasan al-Ashari and Abu Mansur al-Maturidi (rahimahumullah) and the scholars who followed their path.”

Mahmoud Ayoub wrote in The Qur’an and Its Interpreters (vol. II, 275-6): “Ibn Kathir (d. 774/1373; Rahimahullah) interprets the ‘rope of God‘ in verse 103 as ‘The covenant of God,’ citing in support of this interpretation verse 112 below (in Surah al-Imran). Another view, he adds, is that ‘The rope of God’ here refers to the Qur’an, as reported on the authority of Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) who said that ‘The Qur’an is God’s strong rope and the straight way.’ He cites another Hadith, on the authority of Abu Sa’id al-Khudri (radhiyallahu anhu), where the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) declared, ‘The book of God is God’s rope stretched from heaven to earth.’ Abd Allah ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu) reported -that the Messenger of God (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, ‘Surely this Qur’an is God’s strong rope, manifest light, and beneficial source of healing. It is protection for those who hold fast to it, and a means of salvation for those who abide by it.’

Ibn Kathir (rahimahullah) interprets the injunction, ‘and do not be divided’ to mean strict adherence to unity among Muslims. He reports on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (radhiyallahu anhu) that the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, ‘God will be pleased with three acts from you, and wrathful with three others. He wishes that you worship Him alone without associating any thing with Him; that you hold fast all together to the rope of God and be not divided; and that you show loyalty to those whom God has set in authority.’ (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, II, pp. 83-4)

Qurtubi (d. 671/1273; Rahimahullah) agrees with Tabari (d. 923 CE; Rahimahullah) and Ibn Kathir regarding the meaning of ‘the rope of God‘ in verse 103. He cites with approval the famous traditionist Ibn al-Mubarak (d. 181/797; Rahimahullah) who said, ‘Surely unity is God’s rope; therefore hold fast all together to ‘its firm handle’ (see Qur’an 2:256).’ Qurtubi adds that ‘God enjoins concord and forbids dissension, for in disunity is perdition, and in unity salvation.’

Qurtubi offers two possible interpretations of the phrase ‘And be not divided‘: ‘Be not divided in your religion as were the Jews and Christians divided in their religions’ and ‘Be not divided in following different false opinions and purposes. Rather, be brothers in God’s religion.’ As a jurist, Qurtubi observes that, ‘There is no indication in this verse of the prohibition of disagreement in the branches (furu‘) [of fiqh] as this in reality is not dissension. This is because true dissention is one wherein concord and unity become virtually impossible.

As for disagreement in judgements based on personal effort (ijtihad), it is due to differences in deducing obligations (fara’id) and the minutiae of law.’ On page 279, Imam al-Razi (d. 606/1210; Rahimahullah) was quoted as saying in conclusion to his commentary on the above verse: ‘If a person going down into a well must hold fast to a rope in order that he may not fall in, so also the Book of God, His covenant, religion and obedience to Him, as well as unity and harmony among the people of faith are means of security for anyone who holds fast to them from falling into the bottom of Hell.'”

(2) Surah al-Imran (3:105):

“And be not like those who separated and disputed after the clear proofs had come unto them: For such there is an awful doom.”

(3) Surah al-Imran (3:110):

“Ye are the best community that has been raised up for mankind. Ye enjoin the good and forbid the evil; and ye believe in Allah”

(4) Surah Al-An’am (6:159):

“As for those who divide their religion and break up into sects, thou has no part in them in the least: Their affair is with Allah: He will in the end tell them the truth of all that they did.”

(5) Surah Al-Mu’minun (23:52-53):

“And verily this Ummah of yours is a single Ummah and I am your Lord, so keep your duty unto Me. But they have broken their religion among them into sects, each sect rejoicing in its tenets.”

(6) Surah Al-Rum (30:32):

“Those who split up their Religion, and become Sects, each sect exulting in its tenets.”

(7) Surah Al-Nisa (4:115):

“He that disobeys the Apostle (Muhammad) after guidance has been made clear to him and follows a way other than that of the believers, We appoint for him that unto which he himself hath turned, and expose him unto Hell – a hapless journey’s end!”

(8) Surah Al-An’am (6:153):

“This is My Straight path, so follow it. Follow not other ways, lest ye be parted from His way. This has he ordained for you, that ye may ward off (evil).”

HADITH EVIDENCE

Imam Abu Dawood

Imam Abu Dawood (Rahimahullah) has quoted the well known Hadith concerning the division of the Muslim Ummah into seventy- three sects in his Sunan (3/4580, English edn):

Abu Amir al- Hawdhani said, “Mu’awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan (radhiyallahu anhu) stood among us and said, ‘Beware! The Apostle of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) stood among us and said’: ‘Beware! The People of the Book before (you) were split up into 72 sects, and this community will be split up into 73, seventy-two of them will go to Hell and one of them will go to Paradise, and it is the majority group (Jama’ah).

Another version of the above Hadith has been reported by Hafiz Ibn Kathir (Rahimahullah) in The Signs Before The Day of Judgement (pg. 14):

“Awf ibn Malik reported that the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, ‘The Jews split into 71 sects: one will enter Paradise and 70 will enter Hell. The Christians split into 72 sects: 71 will enter Hell and one will enter Paradise. By Him in Whose hand is my soul, my Ummah will split into 73 sects: one will enter Paradise and 72 will enter Hell.’ Someone asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), who will they be?’ He replied, ‘The main body of the Muslims (al-Jama’ah).’

Awf ibn Malik (radhiyallahu anhu) is the only one who reported this Hadith, and its isnad is acceptable.” And in another version of this Hadith the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) goes on to say that the saved sect,

…Are those who follow my and my Sahaba’s path” (Tirmidhi,vol. 2, pg. 89)

Shaykh al-Islam Ahmad al-Sirhindi (d. 1034/1624; Rahimahullah) who is regarded by many people in the Indian sub-continent as a great renovator of the Tenth Islamic Century (Mujaddid alf Thani) wrote in his Maktubat (Vol. 3, Letter 38):

“It was declared in a Hadith that this Ummah would part into 73 groups, 72 of which would go to Hell. This Hadith informs us that the 72 groups will be tormented in the Fire of Hell. It does not inform us that they will remain in torment eternally. Remaining in the torment of Hell Fire eternally is for those who do not have Faith. That is, it is for disbelievers. The 72 groups, on account of their corrupt beliefs, will go to Hell and will burn as much as the corruptness of their beliefs. One group, the 73rd, will be saved from Hell Fire because their belief is not corrupt. If among the members of this one group there are those who committed evil deeds and if these evil deeds of theirs have not been forgiven through repentance or intercession, it is possible that these, too, will burn in Hell as much as their sins. All of those who are in the 72 groups will go to Hell. But none of them will remain in Hell eternally. Not all of those who are in this one group will go to Hell. Of these only those who have committed evil deeds will go to Hell. The 72 reported groups of bid’ah, which will go to Hell, should not be called disbelievers, because they are Ahl al-Qibla (people of the Qibla in prayer). But, of these, the ones who disbelieve those facts in the Deen that are indispensably required to be believed, as well as those who deny the rules of the Shari’ah which every Muslim has heard and knows, become disbelievers.”

In another letter (vol. 1, letter 80) he said:

“There is no doubt whatsoever that the sect that made conforming to the conduct of the Prophet’s Companions (radhiyallahu anhum) necessary, that alone is the Ahl as Sunnah wa’l Jama’ah.”

Shaykh Abdal Qadir al-Jilani (d. 561/1166; Rahimahullah) stated in his commentary to the above Hadith in Ghunyat at-Talibin (pg. 90), “The Believer should adapt himself to the Sunnah and to the Jama’ah. The Sunnah is the way shown by Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). The Jama’ah is composed of the things done unanimously by the Sahaba who lived in the time of the four caliphs called Khulafa’ ar-Rashidin (and others in their path). A Muslim must prevent the multiplication of the men of bid’ah and keep away from them, and should not greet them (as given in many Hadith on this issue). Ahmad ibn Hanbal (rahimahullah), the Imam of our Madhhab, said that greeting a man of bid’ah meant loving him since it had been declared in a Hadith, ‘Disseminate (your) greeting (salaam)! Love one another in this way!” He also said (pg. 143): “The title, Ahl as-Sunnah, which the innovators have expressed for themselves is not appropriate for them.”

Ibn Taymiyya

Ibn Taymiyya hit the right point when he described those who are the real Sunni’s in his Aqeedat-il-Wasitiyyah (pg. 154):

Their creed is the religion of Islam which was sent to the world by Allah through the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). But the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, ‘My Ummah will get divided into 73 sects and each one will go to Hell save one and that one is the Jama’at.‘ Also in one Hadith he said, ‘They are those people who will follow this path which I and my Sahaba follow today.‘ Therefore they have caught hold of Islam unalloyed from every adulteration and these are the people of Ahl as-Sunnah Wa’l Jama’ah. This group includes the truthful, the martyrs and the virtuous; it includes the minarets of guidance, lamps in the darkness and owners of such superiorities and virtues who have been already mentioned. It includes the saints and also those Imams on whose guidance Muslims are unanimous. It is this successful group about which the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) has said: ‘One group from my Ummah will always remain dominant with truth; the opponents will never be able to harm its members or afflict them upto the Doomsday.

IMAM MUSLIM

Imam Muslim (Rahimahullah) has collected a number of variant Hadith on the saved sect. He has related a longer version of the last Hadith quoted above:

“Abdal Rahman ibn Shamasa al-Mahri said: ‘I was in the company of Maslama bin Mukhallad and Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-Aas (radhiyallahu anhu).’ Abdullah said, ‘The Hour shall come only when the worst type of people are left on the earth. They will be worse than the people of pre-Islamic days. They will get what ever they ask off Allah.’ While we were sitting Uqba ibn Amir came, and Maslama said to him, ‘Uqba, listen to what Abdullah says.’ Uqba said, ‘He knows, so far as I am concerned, I heard the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) say: A group of people from my Ummah will continue to fight in obedience to the Command of Allah, remaining dominant over their enemies. Those who will opose them shall not do them any harm. They will remain in this condition until the Hour over takes them.‘ (At this) Abdullah said, ‘Yes. Then Allah will raise a wind which will be fragrant like musk and whose touch will be like the touch of silk; (but) it will cause the death of all (faithful) persons, not leaving behind a single person with an iota of faith in his heart. Then only the worst of men will remain to be overwhelmed by the Hour.'” (Sahih Muslim, 3/4721, English ed’n, see also Sahih al-Bukhari, 9/414, English ed’n)

Imam Nawawi

Imam Nawawi (d. 676/1277, Rahimahullah) said in his Sharh Muslim (vol. 2, pg. 143):

“The group of people (mentioned in the above Hadith) consists of scholars, jurisprudents, authorities on Hadith, those who enjoin Good and forbid Evil and all such persons who do good deeds. Such righteous persons may be found spread all over the world.”

IMAM TIRMIDHI

Imam al-Tirmidhi (Rahimahullah) said:

“The explanation of al- Jama’ah according to the people of knowledge: They are the people of Fiqh, knowledge and Hadith.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, 4/2167; Ahmad Shakir ed’n)

IMAM BUKHARI

Imam Bukhari (Rahimahullah) stated in his Sahih (vol. 9, chapter. 10, English ed’n),

“The statement of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam): ‘A group of my followers will remain victorious in their struggle in the cause of the Truth.’ Those are the religious(ly) learned men (Ahl ul-Ilm).”

IMAM AHMAD IBN HANBAL

Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (Rahimahullah) said about this group:

“If it is not the people of Hadith, then I do not know who they may be.” (Sahih Muslim Sharif-Mukhtasar Sharh Nawawi, vol. 5, pg. 183, W. Zaman )

QADI IYAD

Qadi Iyad (Rahimahullah) said in ash-Shifa (pg. 188):

“In a Hadith from Abu Umama (radhiyallahu anhu), the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, `A group of my community will remain constant to the truth, conquering their enemy until the command of Allah comes to them while they are still in that condition.‘ He was asked, ‘Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), where are they?’ He replied, `In Jerusalem.'”

IMAM MUSLIM

Imam Muslim (Rahimahullah) has related in his Sahih (3/4553) under the chapter heading ‘Instruction to stick to the main body of the Muslims in the time of the trials and warning against those inviting people to disbelief’, a Hadith on the authority of Hudhaifa ibn al-Yaman (radhoyallahu anhu), who said:

“People used to ask the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) about the good times, but I used to ask him about (the) bad times fearing lest they overtake me. I said, ‘Messenger of Allah, we were in the midst of ignorance and evil, and then God brought us this good (time through Islam). Is there any bad time after this good one?’ He said, ‘Yes‘. I asked, ‘Will there be a good time again after that bad time?’ He said, ‘Yes, but therein will be a hidden evil.‘ I asked, ‘What will be the evil hidden therein?’ He said, ‘(That time will witness the rise of) the people who will adopt ways other than mine and seek guidance other than mine. You will know good points as well as bad points.’ I asked, ‘Will there be a bad time after this good one?’ He said, ‘Yes. (A time will come) when there will be people standing and inviting at the gates of Hell. Whoso responds to their call, they will throw them into the fire.’ I said, ‘Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), describe them for us.’ He said, ‘All right. They will be a people having the same complexion as ours and speaking our language.’ I said, `Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), what do you suggest if I happen to live in their time?’ He said, ‘You should stick to the main body of the Muslims and their leader’ I said, ‘If they have no (such thing as the) main body of the Muslims and have no leader?’ He said, ‘Separate yourself from all these factions, though you may have to eat the roots of trees until death comes to you and you are in this state.’

The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“A group of people from my Ummah will continue to fight in obedience to the command of Allah, remaining dominant over their enemies. Those who will oppose them shall not do them any harm. They will remain in this condition until the Hour overtakes them.”

(4) Abu Hurayra (radhiyallahu anhu) reported the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) as saying:

Who (ever) defected from the obedience (to the Amir) and separated from the main body of the Muslims – then he died in that state – would die the death of one belonging to the days of Jahiliyya (pre-Islamic ignorance). And he who is killed under the banner of a man who is blind (to the cause for which he is fighting), who gets flared up with family pride and fights for his tribe – is not from my Ummah, and whoso from my followers attacks my followers (indiscriminately) killing the righteous and the wicked of them, sparing not (even) those staunch in faith and fulfilling not his obligation towards them who have been given a pledge (of security), is not from me.” (Sahih Muslim, 3/4557 & 4555; English ed’n)

Imam al-Bayhaqi

Imam al-Bayhaqi (d. 458/1066; Rahimahullah) stated in his: The Seventy-Seven Branches of Faith (pg. 42-3), under the fiftieth branch of faith (50 – Holding firmly to the position of the majority):

“Allah Most High has said: Hold fast, all together, to the rope of God, and do not be disunited. [3:103].

Imam Muslim (Rahimahullah) relates on the authority of Abu Hurayra (radhiyallahu anhu) that the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, ‘Whoever is disobedient, and departs from the majority, and then dies, has died in a state of Jahiliyya.’

He also relates the following Hadith on the authority of Ibn Shurayh (radhiyallahu anhu):

After I am gone, there will come days of corruption and turmoil. When you see people damaging the unity of the Community of Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), you must fight them, whoever they may happen to be.

Abdal Hakim Murad

Abdal Hakim Murad (the translator of the above book) said in the footnote to the fiftieth branch of faith:

“Orthodoxy in Islam is defined as the doctrine of Ahl al-Sunna wa’l Jama’ah, the People of the Sunna and the Community. To know whether a doctrine or practise is orthodox or heretical, the Muslim is required to find out whether it is recognised by the majority of Muslim scholars (see later for Imam al-Munawi’s commentary). Thus even without looking into their theology, he will know that sects such as the Isma’ilis, the Khariji’s, the Wahhabi’s, the Twelver Shi’a and others (not to mention anti-Islamic groupings such as the Ahmadiya and the Bahais) are to be repudiated.'”

Ibn Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) reported the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) as saying:

One who found in his Amir [the ruler of the Islamic state, holding the station of caliphate] something which he disliked should hold his patience, for one who separated from the main body of the Muslims even to the extent of a handspan and then he died, would die the death of one belonging to the days of Jahiliyya.” (Sahih Muslim, 3/4559; English ed’n & Sahih al-Bukhari, 9/257; English ed’n)

Imam’s Ahmad and Abu Dawood (rahimahumullah) said that Abu Dharr (radhiyallahu anhi) reported the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) as saying:

He who separates from the main body (of the Ummah) by even a hand’s breadth from the Community he throws off Islam from his neck.
(Mishkat-ul-Masabih, 1/185 & Sunan Abu Dawood, 3/4740)

The following five Hadith have been mentioned by the great scholar of Hadith, Hafiz Abd al-Rahman ibn al-Jawzi (d. 597/1201; Rahimahullah) in his Talbis Iblis in the section entitled: Adherence to the Sunnah and Jama’ah. A section of the above work has been translated by Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips in to English, on pages 4-5.

Hafiz Ibn al-Jawzi was noted for his exceptional stringency in accepting Hadith, and he has been known to have declared some of the Hadith in Bukhari/Muslim to be Da’eef, as well as declaring some sound Hadith to be fabricated! Nevertheless, I would like to make it clear to those readers who are unaware of the status of Bilal Philips, that he has heavily depended on the classifications of al-Albani in most of his books! If the esteemed reader is convinced that the errors of al-Albani are most apparent, then one should beware of the status of those Hadiths that have been used by Bilal Philips (on account of his accepting al-Albani’s classifications). Bilal Philips seems to be a leading critic of Taqleed who has been swept away by the tide of modern day “Salafiyyism”; and it seems that he has ‘blindly’ accepted the classifications of al-Albani without himself reverifying al-Albani’s classifications! I ask you, is this not a clear cut example of Taqleed? If it has been proven that al-Albani’s classifications are unreliable, would it not be just for Bilal Philips to re-verify all the Hadiths that have been authenticated by al-Albani and correct any misclassifications in his books? Allah know’s best.

(7) ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) reported that on one occasion Allah’s Messenger (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam) stood up among them and said, “Whoever among you desires the centre of paradise should keep close to the Jama’ah for the Devil closely accompanies the solitary individual and is more distant from two.” (Collected by Imam Tirmidhi)

(8) And ‘Arfajah (radhiyallahu anhu) reported (Allah’s Messenger, sallallaahu alayhi wasallam, as saying): “that Allah’s hand is over the Jama’ah and the Devil is with whoever deviates from the Jama’ah.” (Collected by Imam al-Tabarani )

(9) ‘Abdullah ibn Masood; (radhiyallahu anhu) reported that once Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) drew a line in the dust with his hand and said, “This is the straight path of Allah.” Then he drew a series of lines to the right of it and to the left and said, “Each of these paths has a devil at its head inviting people to it.” He then recited (Qur’an 6:153), “Verily this is my straight path so follow it and do not follow the (twisted) paths.” (Collected by Ahmad, Nisai and Darimi; see Mishkat ul-Masabih, 1/166)

(10) Mu’adh ibn Jabal (radhiyallahu anhu) reported that Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, “The Devil is like a wolf among humans as a wolf is among sheep; it snatches the stray sheep. So beware of the paths which branch off and adhere to the Jama’ah, the masses and the masjid.” (Collected by Imam Ahmad; NB- The version given in Mishkat, 1/184, also on the authority of Imam Ahmad does not have the addition ‘the masses and the masjid.’)

(11) And Abu Dharr (radhiyallahu anhu) reported from the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) that, “Two are better than one, and three better than two; so stick to the Jama’ah for verily Allah, Most Great and Glorious, will only unite my nation on guidance.‘ (Collected by Ahmad )

(12) Al-Harith al-Ashari (radhiyallahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: “I bid you to do five things: to remain attached to the main body (Jama’ah of Muslims), listen to your ruler (the Khalif of the Islamic state) and obey him, and migrate, and fight in the way of Allah. And he who detaches himself from the main body of the Muslims (Jama’ah) to the extent of one span of hand, he in fact, throws off the yoke of Islam from his neck, and he who calls with the call of ignorance, he is one from the denizens of Hell beyond doubt, even if he observes fast and says prayers and considers himself as a Muslim.” (Musnad Ahmad, vide: Selection from Hadith, no. 288; by A.H. Siddique)

(13) Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) reported Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) as saying: “Follow the great mass (as- Sawad al-Azam) for he who kept himself away from it, in fact would be thrown in Hell Fire.” (Ibn Majah; vide: Mishkat, 1/174, by A.H. Siddiqui). The translator of Mishkat-ul-Masabih (A.H. Siddiqui, pg. 113) said in the footnote to the last Hadith: “There is a good deal of difference of opinion as to what the term Sawad al-Azam implies. The overwhelming majority of the scholars are of the view that As- Sawad al-Azam means the largest group of the learned scholars and pious persons whose opinions are held in high esteem in Islam.”

Imam al-Shafi’i

The Imam said in his Risala (pg. 252-3): “Sufyan (ibn Uyayna) told us from Abd al-Malik ibn Umayr from Abd al-Rahman ibn Abd Allah ibn Masood from his father, that the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, `God will grant prosperity to His servant who hears my words, remembers them, guards them, and hands them on. Many a transmitter of law is no lawyer (faqih) himself, and many may transmit law to others who are more versed in the law than they. The heart of a Muslim shall never harbour vindictive feelings against three: sincerity in working for God; faithfulness to Muslims; and conformity to the community of believers (Jama’ah) – their call shall protect (the believers) and guard them from (the Devil’s) delusion.'” (vide: Sunan al-Darimi, vol. 1, pp. 74-6; Ibn Hanbal, vol. 6, pg. 96;
Musnad al-Shafi’i, vol. 1, pg. 16; Mishkat-ul-Masabih, 1/228; and al-Bayhaqi in his al-Madkhal ). Imam al-Shafi’i said (pg. 253): “The Apostle’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) order that men should follow the Muslim community is a proof that the I’jma‘ (consensus) of the Muslims is binding.”

Imam al-Shafi’i (Rahimahullah) stated in al-Risala (pg. 286-7): “And Sufyan (also) told us from `Abd Allah ibn Abi Labid from `Abd Allah ibn Sulayman ibn Yasar from his father, who said: `Umar ibn al-Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu) made a speech at al-Jabiya in which he said: The Apostle of God (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) stood among us by an order from God, as I am now standing among you, and said: Believe my Companions, then those who succeed them (the Successors), and after that those who succeed the Successors; but after them untruthfulness will prevail when people will swear (in support of their saying) without having been asked to swear, and will testify without having been asked to testify. Only those who seek the pleasure of Paradise will follow the community, for the devil can pursue one person, but stands far away from two. Let no man be alone with a woman, for the devil will be third among them. He who is happy with his right (behaviour), or unhappy with his wrong behaviour, is a (true) believer.‘” (see also Musnad al-Shafi’i, vol. 2, pg. 187; and Ibn Hanbal, vol. 1, pg. 112-13, 176-81). Imam al-Shafi’i said in conclusion to this Hadith: “He who holds what the Muslim community (Jama’ah) holds shall be regarded as following the community, and he who holds differently shall be regarded as opposing the community he was ordered to follow. So the error comes from separation; but in the community as a whole there is no error concerning the meaning of the Qur’an, the Sunnah, and analogy (qiyas).”

Imam Hakim

Imam Hakim (1/116) has related a Sahih Hadith from the Prophet (sallallaahu alqyhi wasallam) in the following words: “My Ummah shall not agree upon error.”

Imam al-Tirmidhi

Imam al-Tirmidhi (4/2167) reported on the authority of Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) from the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), who said: “Verily my Ummah would not agree (or he said the Ummah of Muhammad ) would not agree upon error and Allah’s hand is over the group and whoever dissents from them departs to Hell.” (see also Mishkat, 1/173)

Imam al-Azizi

Imam al-Azizi (d. 1070/1660; Rahimahullah) quoted Imam al- Munawi’s (d. 1031/1622; Rahimahullah) commentary to the last Hadith in his al-Siraj al-munir sharh al-Jami al-saghir (3.449), as follows:- Allah’s hand is over the group (al-Azizi:) Munawi says, “Meaning his protection and preservation of them, signifying that the collectivity of the people of Islam are in Allah’s fold, so be also in Allah’s shelter, in the midst of them, and do not separate yourselves from them.” The rest of the Hadith, according to the one who first recorded it (Tirmidhi), is:- and whoever descents from them departs to hell.

Meaning: that whoever diverges from the overwhelming majority concerning what is lawful or unlawful and on which the Community does not differ has slipped off the path of guidance and this will lead him to hell.” (vide: The Reliance of the Traveller, pg. 25)

The Schools of Islamic Fiqh (Jurisprudence): A Brief Introduction

[Translated and partly prepared by: Mufti Obaidullah Qasmi, Maulana Afzal Qasmi, Mufti Muhammadullah Khalili Qasmi]

Meaning of Fiqhi Schools

Fiqhi School is basically the name of different trends which have been adopted to derive solution of matters from the principal Shariah sources. The concept of Fiqhi schools was not prevalent in the period of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and the companions as it is today, but the basis of these trends was found and they were known in the period of the companions. These trends turned in to the form of Fiqhi schoos in the last period of the Sahaba (companions) and their successors. These trends got more accurate and new building erected at the foundation of separate rules and regulations.

Background of Fiqhi Schools

In the previous lines, it has been mentioned that at the time of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) sometimes two different companions used to differ in understanding the saying of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). In these examples, there was possibility of taking different meanings since these examples were related to non-principal and partial matters. There is no place for such difference of understanding in the basic principles of religion. Therefore, the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) held right two opposite meanings of a guidance. Even, in the Glorious Qur’an, at many places there was possibility of taking various meanings. This difference of understanding sometimes was based on the word having two opposite meanings. Sometimes, the word had two meanings; one real and the other metaphor.

Sometimes, the outer condition of the word gave a meaning and after contemplating the word or looking in to the context it gave another meaning. Some of the companions have adopted the first trend, so they used to stick to the outer meaning of the verses and Hadith. While some others tried to go in to the depth of the matter keeping the spirit of the Shariah and context in their view, and they used to issue orders accordingly. There is a famous account that once the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) ordered a group of the companions to offer the prayer of Asr in the locality of the Banu Quraizah. The companions went out and the time of ‘Asr approached in the mid way. A group of the companions said that the Prophet meant that we reach quickly, so they offered ‘Asr prayer in the mid way. While the rest, acting upon the outer meaning of the order, first reached to Banu Quraizah and they could only offer ‘Asr prayer after Isha. When the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was apprised of the incident, he objected none of the two.
When the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) left for his heavenly abode, the companions faced new issues about which there were no clear orders in the Glorious Quran and Hadith. So, the companions contemplated in to those matters in the light of the Quran and Hadith. As before, this contemplation was of two kinds and their opinions differed because of the difference in trends. The Tab’een (those who followed the companions) learnt the knowledge of Islam from the companions and thus theses trends shifted to them. The new issues and matters came up in abundance and they solved them according to their trends. Basically, it was this difference of trends which was associated with some other reasons that caused the formation variant jurisprudential interpretations. These Fiqhi scholars were in different cities of the Muslim rule and each had a circle of students and followers around him. Thus, their interpretations got the shape of a Fiqhi Maslak.

Logic of the Prevalent Fiqhi Schools

In the beginning, there were many Fiqhi schools and their followers. But as the time passed by, the followers of some schools, under various reasons, got lesser and lesser. All of their Fiqhi opinions and interpretative judgments were not compiled, and they became a part of the history. Only some of their opinions are found in few books and writings of the early authors. The other Fiqhi schools succeeded to win such scholars and jurists who compiled all the opinions and findings the particular school. They set up the rules and regulations and propagated them. Later, these Fiqhi schools enjoyed such scholars of Fiqh who transferred this asset to their successors and rendered a marvelous service to safeguard this treasure. These schools survived. In Ahlus Sunnah, there are Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i and Hanbali Fiqhi schools, while in the Shiites there are Ja’fariyah and Zaidiyah Fiqhs.

HANAFI FIQH

Introduction of Hanafi School of Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence)

Fiqh Hanafi is the oldest of all four Sunni Fiqhi schools. The Fiqhi rules and matters were first compiled in this school. This school spread the most in the Islamic world and it is followed by a majority of the Muslims. This Fiqh is attributed to Imam Abu Hanifah and therefore is called Hanafi. It came in to being at Kufa and the compilation was carried out by collective research and interpretations. This Fiqh is originally based on the opinions, fatwas, judgments and thinking methods of the outstanding Companion Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) and fourth Caliph Hadhrat Ali bin Abu Talib (radhiyallahu anhu). These opinions, fatwas, judgments and thinking methods reached Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) by the channel of Hammad bin Abi Sulaiman, Hadhrat Ibrahim Nakh’ee and Hadhrat Alqamah. (Rahimahumullah) Imam Muhammad bin Hasan Shaibani (rahimahullah), the renowned disciple of Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah), recorded the thousands of mas’alas (issues or cases) in to form of a book which were derived and compiled by a panel of forty ablest students and friends of Imam Abu Hanifah. Imam Abu Yusuf Ya’qub bin Ibrahim Ansari, the other student of Imam Abu Hanifah, played a prominent role in compiling and spreading Fiqh Hanafi.

Imam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh)

The name of Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) is Nu’man bin Sabit. Abu Hanifah is his nickname. He was born in 80 Hijri in Kufa, a city of present day Iraq. As a profession, his family was cloth merchant and he also took in the same profession. A famous scholar of Kufa, Sha’bi apprehended his sharp-mindedness and sought him to achieve education. So, he joined the prominent circle of Hadhrat Hammad bin Abi Sulaiman (rahimahullah) and remained in his company till his demise. He benefited from all the scholars of Hadith in Kufa. He traveled Hijaz many a times and learned from the scholars and other educated ones. He benefited from Imam Malik (rahimahullah) in Madinah and Imam Malik (rahimahullah) also benefited from him. He had so many teachers; among them are senior Tab’een (the successor of the companions of Prophet) from Makkah, Madinah, Iraq and Syria. He himself was a Tab’ee, since he had the honour of visiting some companions of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), though he did not narrate from them. After the demise of Hadhrat Hammad (rahimahullah) , all of his students agreed that Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) , the youngest of them, is ablest among them to succeed their Shaikh. So they forced him to take over his position. This circle had the grand collection of the derivation method of Hadhrat Umar Farooq (radhiyallahu anhu), traditions and fatwas of Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu), rulings and thoughts of Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) and the Hadiths and traditions of scholars of Hadith in Kufa. Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) was bestowed matchless mind, power of understanding and derivation, expansion and depth in knowledge. He had good moral characters and held a high position in fearing Allah, piety, righteousness and nobility. He was prosperous, so he used to spend wealth wholeheartedly in the path of Allah. He was famous in honesty in dealings and business. Because of these virtues, his circle of teaching earned fame far and wide and prominent scholars started to attend his classes where this generous teacher encouraged them and discussed the academic matters openly. He observed the Umayyad sultanate and witnessed its decline. The Abbasid caliphate was established before his eyes. Some Alvis also made armed efforts to gain power. Realizing them as able for the position, he extended oral and financial support to them. When the Abbasid caliphate was established the Caliph Mansoor offered him the post of Qazi, most probably, in order to test his loyalty to his government. He denied it and as a punishment was whipped lashes at public place and was put in to prison. He was then about seventy years old. He continued teaching while he was in prison and the punishment of whips also continued. Ultimately, he died in prison in 150 H in the month of Rajab and was buried in the graveyard of Khaizuran.

Method & Characteristics

The Fiqh of Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) bears this characteristic that it was collectively formulated. Hadhrat Umar Farooq (radhiyallahu anhu) populated the city of Kufa with keen interest and sent Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) as teacher and Qazi with this letter: “O people of Kufa! I prefer you on myself by sending Ibn Mas’ood.” So much of the companions turned to Kufa that it accommodated more than one thousand companions. Hadhrat Ali Murtaza (radhiyallahu anhu), the fourth Caliph of Islam, made it his capital. Later, this city competed the cities of Makkah and Madinah in Hadith and Islamic sciences. This city was newly built, therefore the new coverts, who were from urban background and brought with them an asset of Greek and Persian sciences and philosophy, inhabited there in a big number. The mixing of Arabs with Iranian culture created countless many new problems and issues. On the other side, there came up so many sects due to political differences and amalgamation of religions and nations. Some of them were secretly involved in anti-Islamic efforts. One of these phenomena was to forge false Hadith. Every sect forged Hadith to support its view. The cities of Hijaz; Makkah and Madinah, were secure from such kinds of special cases to an extent.

Hadhrat Umar Farooq (radhiyallahu anhu) had a special relation with Iraq. He himself sent Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) to Kufa. Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was given the title of Muhaddith from the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) i.e. ‘his tongue and heart spoke according to the revelation‘. There were several verses in the Glorious Quran which were revealed according to his opinion. Hadhrat Umar Farooq (radhiyallahu anhu) prevented the companions to go out of Madinah in his time of caliphate. He formed two groups among the companions. He used to consult smaller group of the elder companions in special cases. And, whenever there happened to occur any important matter he used to assemble all of the companions for consultations. His style of derivation was that he used to deliberate in the depth of the Qur’an and Hadith, used to keep the objectives of Shariah and the interest of the Muslims before his eyes, observed the circumstances and used to reach a conclusion by collective decision. His interpretative judgments and Awwaliyaat (pioneering judgments) are well known, and they not only played a key role to enliven the Islamic Shariah in the wide Islamic caliphate but also provided a firm basis for his successors. This style of derivation was circulated in Kufa by Hadhrat Ali and Abdullah bin Mas’ood (rashiyallahu anhum). Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu)and his disciples, Alqamah and Ibrahim Nakh’ee (rahimahumullah), on one hand applied strict laws in accepting narrations so that no false Hadith is accepted. On the other hand, they avoided attributing Hadith directly to the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and liked to narrate attributing to companions and Tab’eens lest an incorrect meaning is associated to the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). Thirdly, they applied their reasons and issued fatwas. These were the characteristics and styles that Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) inherited.

Collective Compilation of Fiqh

When Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) formed his penal to compile Fiqh he selected forty people from among his students. They were experts of Qur’anic exegesis, Hadith, Asma ur Rijal (complete record of the narrators), language, literature, logic, philosophy, analogy, history, mathematics and several other sciences. He himself had the experience of trade and marketing. He started this noble mission of compiling Fiqh. It was thus that a matter was presented before the panel and each member used to express his view, and he himself put his opinion. Sometimes, the discussion continued till a month on a single matter. When a decision was reached on he ordered to record it down. The matter was discussed in the light of Quran and Hadith. If they did not find any evidence in any of them, they turned to the sayings of the companions. Having failed they used to apply analogy. All the members also sometimes discussed analogy and some times discrete in legal matters. The conclusions of the discussion were written down in registers. Thus, the Mas’alas of Fiqh were compiled in a new order. This order was known as Fiqhi order; starting from chapter of prayers, dealings and ending at inheritance. It is said that thus 500,000 matters were compiled and 38000 matters of them were related to prayers.

Method of Derivation

Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) himself describes his method of derivation: “First of all I look in to the Noble Quran, then search the matter in the Hadith of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and take the narrations of the Faqeeh (jurist) narrators. If the matter is not found in the Quran and Hadith, then I turn to the sayings of the companions. If their opinions differ then I prefer any of them. If the opinions of the companions contradict the opinions of others I never go against the opinions of the companions. And, when it come to the opinions of Ibrahim Nakh’ee, Hasan Basari, Ibn Seereen, Saeed bin Musayyib and others then I also apply mind and interpret as they do.

Principle Books

After the collective compilation of the Fiqh matters, some companions of Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) wrote books. There is no book recorded on Fiqh by Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) . But, the books of his disciple Imam Muhammad Shaibani (rahimahullah) are considered to the first and foremost source of Hanafi Fiqh. In Fiqh Hanafi there are three types of books:

(1) Books of ‘Zahir Al-Riwayah’
(2) Books of ‘Nawadir’
(3) Fatawa and Waqiaat.

The contents of Zahir Al-Riwayah are most trusted ones. Zahir Al-Riwayah is a collection of six books written by Imam Muhammad (rahimahullah).

1. Al-Jami’ Al-Sageer: Eesa bin Aban and Muhammad bin Sama’ah narrated this book from Imam Muhammad (rahimahullah). In this book, Imam Muhammad (rahimahullah) narrated from Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) through Imam Abu Yusuf (rahimahullah) . But, this book does not contain proofs.

2. Al-Jami’ Al-Kabeer: This book is like the previous one, but it deals with the subjects in details.

3. Ziyadaat: This is the complementary of Al-Jame’ Al-Kabeer.

4. Al-Mabsoot: This is also known as ‘Al-Asl’. In this book, Imam Muhammad (rahimahullah) has collected the thousands of Mas’alas that were derived by Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) . This book deals with Ahadith that is followed by Mas’alas and the variant opinions of the contemporary Ulama.

5. Al-Siyar Al-Sageer: This book deals with the subject of Jihad and international laws.

6. Al-Siyar Al-Kabeer: This is his last Fiqhi book that was narrated by Abu Sulaiman Jauzjani.

Muhammad bin Ahmad Marwazi, known as Hakim Shahid, amassed all of Imam Muhammad’s (rahimahullah) books with the name of ‘Al-Kafi’ after the deletion of repeated matters.
Imam Sarkhasi has written its detailed commentary named as ‘Al-Mabsoot’.

Nawadir comprises the matters that are found in books other than the books of Imam Muhammad (rahimahullah) or in the books of Imam Abu Yusuf (rahimahullah) or Imam Hasan bin Ziyad (rahimahullah) . The collection of Nawadir consists of:

1. Harooniyaat: Imam Muhammad (rahimahullah) dictated it in the reign of Caliph Haroon Al-Rashid, this book is attributed to the Caliph.

2. Kisaniyaat: The narrations of his student Shoaib bin Sulaiman Kisani.

3. Ruqyaat: These are the matters that he expressed while he was Qazi in Ruqa area.

4. Kitabul Mujarrad: It is written by Hasan bin Ziyad.

5. Kitabul Amali: It is attributed to Imam Abu Yusuf (rahimahullah).

Nawazil were the Mas’alas about which there was no mention in the aforementioned books and the succeeding scholars of Fiqh derived solutions keeping these books before them. Kitab Al-Nawazil of Abul Lais Samarqandi, Majmoo’un Nawazil wal Waqi’aat of Natifi and Al-Waqi’aat of Sadr Shahid are well known among scholars.

                     MALIKI FIQH

Introduction of Maliki School of Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence)

Fiqh Maliki came in to being after the Fiqh Hanafi in historical order. This was a good mixture of Hadith and reason. It was founded in the city of the Prophet Madinah and was called Maliki after the name of Imam Malik bin Anas (rahimahullah) . Madinah was the holy city where each and every house was enlightened with the rays of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). The citizens of Madinah had the honour to accompany the Prophet for a long time and they were directly addressed in the revelations and the matters of Shariah. When the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) left for his heavenly abode, there were a many companions who stayed at Madinah. Specially, the environment of Madinah was resounding with the traditions, narrations and fatawa of Hadhrat Umar, Hadhrat Abdullah bin Umar, Hadhrat Aaishah, Hadhrat Zaid bin Sabit, Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhum) and so on. The Fiqh Maliki is based on the traditions and opinions of these companions of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).

Imam Malik (rahimahullah)

Imam Malik bin Anas bin Malik bin Abu Aamir Asbahi (rahimahullah) was born in Madinah in 93 Hijra. His father, uncle and grandfather were great scholars of Hadith. His great grandfather Abu Aamir (radhiyallahu anhu) was a companion of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) who embraced Islam in second year of Hijra and participated all the battles with the Messenger except Badr. The environment of Madinah was resonating with the voices of Hadith when Imam Malik (rahimahullah) was born. The elder Tab’een and their students were busy in teaching and learning Hadith. Imam Malik (rahimahullah) obtained the knowledge of Hadith from senior Tab’een and their successors. First of all, he attended Abdur Rahman bin Hurmuz and benefited from him for a long period. From among his prominent teachers is Hadhrat Nafe’ (rahimahullah) , (the freed slave of Hadhrat Abdullah bin Umar and his academic heir), Muhammad bin Shihab Zuhri, Imam Jaffar bin Sadiq, Muhammad bin Yahya Ansari (rahimahumullah) etc. He gained the knowledge of Fiqh exclusively by Rabi’ah bin Abdur Rahman (rahimahullah) who is known as Rabi’atur Rai. Apart from these scholars of Hijaz, selected Ulama, Scholars of Hadith and sheikhs would come from every nook and corner of the Islamic world to Madinah at the time of Hajj and there would hold circles and classes of learning and narration. Imam Malik (rahimahullah) benefited greatly from these occasions and attended the circles of great scholars. When he reached the scholarly position that, according to Sufyan bin Uyainah (rahimahullah) , the foretelling of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) befitted him that ‘people will travel the world for knowledge and they will not find any scholar greater than that of Madinah’ and seventy other sheikhs certified that he became able to start his own circle, then he started his circle in the Mosque of the Prophet with a elegance that his circle was an ideal of staidness and sedateness. He would take bath and put on best of dresses, apply perfume and then would go to class. Scented woods and perfumes also were incensed occasionally. He used to give lectures with such an elegance that no noise was heard when the pages were turned. He would not tolerate even a petty improper movement or noise. When anyone posed him a question he used to answer him. Generally, his students used to read out and he would rectify the mistakes. His lectures were attended by many of his significant teachers as well.

Imam Malik (rahimahullah) was bestowed with special privileges. On one hand, he was a great Muhaddith and has a high and authentic chain of narration. Those who narrated from him were Rabi’atur Rai, Yahya bin Sa’eed and Musa bin Uqbah (from among his teachers), Imam Abu Hanifah, Sufyan Sauri, Lais bin Sa’d, Awza’ee, Imam Abu Yusuf etc (from among his coetaneous). Among his prominent students are Imam Shafi’i, Abdullah bin Mubarak, Imam Muhammad bin Hasan Shaibani (rahimahumullah) and so on. His second characteristic was that he was a great scholar of Islamic Jurisprudence and Mujtahid (authority to interpret in Islamic matters). Outstanding Ulama and Imams of Fiqh have benefited from his Fiqhi views. The Caliphs Haroon Al-Rasheed, Abu Jaffar Mansoor and Mahdi and Mamoon also attended his lectures. In the beginning of Abbasid period he also had to pass through troubled conditions. In the reign of Caliph Mansoor, when Nafs Zakiyyah raised the claim of caliphate, Imam Malik supported him. Mansoor disliked it and tried to look for a pretext to catch him. Imam Malik (rahimahullah) was of the opinion that forced Bay’ah (pledge of allegiance) conditioned with divorce is unacceptable. The Governor of Mansoor in Madinah asked him to avoid issuing such fatwas. When he did not stop he was so lashed at his naked arms that it was disjointed.

He stayed throughout of his life in Madinah. He was so conscious about the honour of Prophet’s city that he did not even like to ride at places where the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) set his steps. He died in Madinah in 179 Hijra and was buried in Jannat-ul Baqee, the famous graveyard of Madinah.

Characteristics & Salient Features

Fiqh Maliki has acquired this prominence that it is a beautiful composite of narration and reason. Imam Malik (rahimahullah) , on one hand, was a great Muhaddith and has absorbed the Ahadith of the companions of Madinah. He himself compiled the pioneering Hadith book named ‘Muwatta’. While, on the other hand, he is a torchbearer of Fiqh. He has recorded his Fiqhi views with the views and opinions of the companions and their successors. He derived Mas’alas keeping the commonweal and objective of Shariah in view. He gave commonwealth so importance that it is counted one of the characteristics of Fiqh Maliki.

The Style of Derivation

Imam Malik (rahimahullah) obtained knowledge staying in Madinah and there he started teaching. He benefited fully from the Ahadith and fatwas of companions in Madinah and get enlightenment from them. He was well aware of the Ahadith of the companions of Madinah and he used to trust them more. So this impression seems to overshadow Fiqh Maliki. The people of Medina witnessed the life of Prophet very closely and were directly trained by the Prophet. Hence, a general practice of people of Madinah was very important to him and he used to consider their practice as Ijma (consensus). He gave it such importance that if Khabr-e-Wahid (narration of single person) contradicted their practice he would not trust the Hadith of the single narrator.

The style of his derivation was that first of all he looked in to the Qur’an, then in the traditions of the Prophet. In traditions he used to rely more on the scholars of Hadith from Hijaz and practice of Madinite citizens. He preferred the fatwas and rulings of Hadhrat Umar and Hadhrat Abdullah bin Umar (radhiyallahu anhu), then the fatwas of the other companions of Madinah and then those of the seven Scholars of Fiqh in Madinah. When he did not find any proof in Hadith he would turn to analogy. Also, he tried his level best to shut the door of evil sources. Instead of looking in the incident he would look in to the cause of the matter and prevent the causes that may lead to Haram or evil.

Fundamental Books

The first and foremost of Fiqh Maliki books is Muwatta of Imam Malik (rahimahullah) in which he collected Hadith with Fiqhi views. The second book is ‘Al-Mudawwnatul Kubra’ that contains matters that were answered by Imam Malik (rahimahullah) . First, his pupil Asad bin Furat (rahimahullah) recorded it from Abdur Rahman bin Qasim (rahimahullah) . But, Abdus Salam Saeed Sahnoon (rahimahullah) prepared a copy of it and presented it to bin Qasim (rahimahullah) who made corrections. This manuscript was known as Mudawwanah. Among the early books of Fiqh Maliki are ‘Al-Waziha’ of Abdul Malik bin Habib, ‘Utaibah’ of Muhammad bin Abu Bakr and ‘Muwaziyah’ of Muhammad bin Muwazi Misri. Among his promninent pupils are Abdullah bin Wahab, Abdur Rahman bin Qasim, Ashhab bin Abdul Aziz and Abdul Malik bin Majishoon.

                    SHAFI’I FIQH

Introduction of Shafi’i School of Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence)

Fiqh Shafi’i is the third Fiqhi school of Islamic Jurisprudence attributed to Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah). Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah), on one hand, is a student of Imam Malik (rahimahullah) , he learnt the Fiqh Maliki and Hijazi thoughts from him. On the other hand, he attended Imam Muhammad bin Hasan Shaibani (rahimahullah) and learnt Fiqh Hanafi and Iraqi style of Fiqh. Apart from having acquired these two Fiqhs, he directly benefited from other Fiqhi trends and the Imams. So, he benefited from Umar bin Abu Salma (rahimahullah) , a disciple of Imam Awzai (rahimahullah) whose Fiqh was prevalent in Syria. In Egypt, the Fiqh of Imam Lais bin Sa’d (rahimahullah) was followed so he benefited from his disciple Yahya bin Hassaan (rahimahullah). Thus, the Fiqh Shafi’i accumulated all the virtues of all known Fiqhi schools and trends. Being a towering Islamic Jurist, Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah) was a great Muahaddith. He had aquired the narrations of the Muhaddith of Makkah Sufyan bin Unainah (rahimahullah) and the narrations of Muhaddith of Madinah, Imam Malik bin Anas (rahimahullah). The Fiqh of Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah) was founded at Makkah. Then, passing from Madinah, Iraq and Baghdad it arrived in Egypt. There it reached its peaks. As the Fiqh Hanafi is greatly impressed by the views of Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mas’ood and Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallah anhum)and the Fiqh Maliki has heavily benefited from the opinions of Hadhrat Umar and Hadhrat Abdullah bin Umar (radhiyallahu anhum), the Fiqh Shafi’i has drew inspiration from the views of Hadhrat Abdullah bin Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu).

Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah)

The name of Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah) is Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Idrees. His family tree joins that of the Prophet at his ninth great-grandfather Muttalib bin Abd Munaf. He was a member of Quraish tribe. He was born in 150 Hijra in Gaza city of Palestine. This was not his native place but his father happened to visit that place and expired there. At the age of two, his mother took him to his ancestral home at Makkah. He learnt the eloquence and nuance of Arabic language in the tribe of Huzail and memorized the Holy Qur’an. Then, he associated himself with Muslim bin Khalid Zanji (rahimahullah), the Sheikh and Mufti of Haram, and completed his education. Then, he came in Madinah to Imam Malik (rahimahullah) to learn the Qur’an and Hadith. He had already memorized the Muwatta of Imam Malik. Imam Malik (rahimahullah) was very impressed by him. Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah) was not financially well so he looked for a source of income. Eventually he was given the governorship of Najran. He went to Najran and discharged his duties with much honesty and trustworthiness. Haroon Al Rashid was then Caliph and he was disturbed on the account of Alvis’ uprisings. Somebody complained him that Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah)  tends to the Alvis. As a result, he was summoned to Baghdad and later discharged after clarification and some recommendations. Utilizing his presence in Iraq, he joined the circle of Imam Muhammad (rahimahullah) and learnt Hanafi Fiqh. He held discussions with Imam Muhammad (rahimahullah) and studied the books of Hanafi Fiqh. Then, he returned to Hijaz and stayed there for nine more years. In this span of time, he busied himself in learning and teaching. He used to meet the selected scholars of Islamic world who visited Makkah at the time of Hajj. He would narrate from them as they narrate from him. Again, he visited Baghdad. Till this time his method of derivation and interpretation had been set up. So, many scholars joined him and he dictated some of his books to them. These opinions are called ‘Old Maslak’ or Iraqi Views. After about two years, he left Baghdad and till that time there came up a team of scholars who followed his Fiqh. Thrice, he returned to Baghdad and after a few months’ stay proceeded to Egypt. Here, he reviewed his previous opinions and in many matters he retracted and adopted new opinions. In Egypt, he authored his new books and with the power of his interpretations spread his school of Islamic Jurisprudence. Previously, the Maliki School of Fiqh was prevailing in Egypt, but with the advent of Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah) his Fiqhi School dominated there. The new books he compiled in Egypt and the new ideas which he expressed there are called ‘New Maslak’. He died in Egypt in 204 Hijri and was buried therein.

Characteristics & Distinguishing Qualities

Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah) was luckiest among all the Imams that he was bestowed ‘comprehensiveness’. Due to stay in Hijaz. He gathered a pile of Ahadith and traditions. Makkah was his native place; he attended Imam Malik (rahimahullah) in Madinah. Then, he explored Iraq and Egypt. Thus, he became a great scholar of Hadith in his age. In the field of Fiqh, he learnt the derivation style of Hadhrat Abdullah bin Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) in Makkah and that of Hadhrat Umar and Abdullah bin Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) in Madinah from Imam Malik (rahimahullah) . Then, in Iraq he learnt Hanafi Fiqh from Imam Muhammad (rahimahullah) , in Syria he learnt the Fiqh of Imam Awza’ee (rahimahullah) and in Egypt the Fiqh of Imam Lais bin Sa’d (rahimahullah) . Besides, he was conferred with a tremendous power of imagination and accumulation and best of interpretative styles. So he absorbed the virtues of all the Fiqhi schools and avoided the positions that were not up to his standard. Till his age, the compilation of Hadith had begun and he himself had collected Ahadith exploring different cities. He observed that the other schools of Fiqh have applied analogy in matters about which Hadith is found so he extracted rulings according to Hadith. So, the tendency to support and defend Hadith overpowered him. The scholars of Fiqh in Iraq had conditioned that only the Ahadith will be accepted that are narrated by a number of people, and the scholars of Madinah were of the opinion that only the Ahadith will be accepted that match the practice of Madinite citizens. He opposed them and did not allow widening the area of analogy.

The Fiqh Shafi’i bear this characteristic that the founder of this Fiqh himself compiled a big part of his School. Thus, he recorded the rules and regulations and the derivation method of his Fiqhi School in the shape of a book. And, with his best power of interpretation he proved his methods and styles. The other distinct feature of this Fiqh is that the founder himself spread and publicized his Fiqh traveling in different cities. This was the reason that great Islamic scholars were among his followers and students. Great scholars of Hadith and compilers of Hadith books tended to this Fiqh and genius personalities of Islamic history followed it.

Principle Books

Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah) himself authored the principle books of his Fiqh. His master piece of work is “Al-Umm‘ which he wrote in Baghdad and made some modifications while his stay in Egypt. His second famous book is ‘Al-Risalah‘ that deals with the rules of derivation and inference. It is the first book on the subject. This book contains the complete compiled principles of Fiqh Shafi’i. There are some other books that are attributed to him but the aforementioned two books are well known. The other significant books on Fiqh Shafi’i are ‘Mukhtasar‘ of Imam Buwaiti (student of Imam Shafi’i) and the book of Imam Muzani (rahimahullah) . Among his distinguished students are Rabi bin Sulaiman Muradi (rahimahullah) who narrated and propagated his books, Ismail bin Yahya Muzani (rahimahullah) whose books are considered base for Fiqh Shafi’i and Yusuf bin Yahya Buwaiti (rahimahullah) . The trio benefited from him in Egypt. His students in Iraq were Ibrahim bin Khalid Kalbi, Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, Hasan bin Muhammad bin Sabbah bin Zafrani and Ahmad bin Yahya bin Abdul Aziz Baghdadi (rahimahumullah).

Derivation Method

Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah) has described his derivation method in his book ‘Al-Umm‘ in detail. Concisely, it is that first of all he looked in to the Glorious Qur’an and took the outer meaning unless there is a proof that the outer meaning is not intended. Then, he would turn to Hadith. In Hadith, he used to take Khabr Wahid (traditions narrated by one to one person). Then, he would opt for Ijma (consensus) and finally he would go for analogy.

                  HANBALI FIQH

Introduction of Hanbali School of Fiqh

This is fourth Fiqhi school of Ahlus Sunnah attributed to Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (rahimahullah) . Fiqh Hanbali falls in the last in historical order. The personality of Imam Ahmad (rahimahullah) is more Muhaddith than Faqeeh, therefore this aspect seems to dominate his Fiqh. Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah) who accumulated all the Fiqhi trends and interpretations, was his main teacher. He paid most of his attention to Hadith. So he became a genius Muahaddith and compiled the great encyclopedia of Hadith ‘Al-Musnad‘. Despite the fact that he was enjoying the virtues of Fiqh and Ijtehad, he did not like to compile his opinions and interpretations. But, it was destined that his Fiqhi School not only survived but also developed in the Islamic world as one of the dominant Fiqhi schools of Ahlus Sunnah. The Hanbali Fiqh was evolved and passed through all the stages of development in Iraq.

Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (rahimahullah)

His name is Ahmad bin Hanbal bin Hilal Zuhli Shaibani (rahimahullah). He was born in 164 Hijri in Baghdad and grew up in orphan-hood. His father was a prominent soldier, but he died in Imam Ahmad’s (rahimahullah) childhood. He was not financially strong, so he inherited hard work, determination and firmness against troubles. To begin with, he memorized the Glorious Qur’an. Then, he busied himself in learning in Baghdad and paid special attention to Hadith. He attended the famous Muhaddith of Baghdad Hushaim bin Bashir (rahimahullah). Then, he started traveling from place to place in search of Hadith. He journeyed five times to Basra and five times to Hijaz. He learnt from Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah) in Baghdad and acquired the knowledge of Fiqh and Hadith. When Imam Shafi’i was leaving Baghdad he said that Ahmad bin Hanbal (rahimahullah) has a leading position in seven things: Quran, Hadith, Fiqh, Linguistics, asceticism, dispense with the world and piety. Similarly, he learnt from Sufyan bn Uyainah, Abu Bakr bin Ayyash, Waki bin Jarrah, Abdur Rahman bin Mahdi and Saeed bin Qattan (rahimahumullah) .The historic incident of his life is the matter of ‘Khalq-e-Quran‘ which he faced with determination and courage. The Caliph, Mamoon asked him to believe that Qur’an is a creation of Allah’ with so strictness that the most valorous people were shaken. But, Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (rahimahullah) demanded proof from the Qur’an and Hadith. He was given severest of punishments and put in trouble for a long period, but he stood firm. This incident was written with golden ink in the History of safeguarding the beliefs and faith of Muslims.

Characteristics & Important Features

Fiqh Hanbali owns some characteristics as other Fiqhi schools have special qualities. Though, Imam Ahmad (rahimahullah) was expert of Hadith and Fiqh, but Hadith was his favourite subject. Therefore, instead of compiling his Fiqhi views and fatwas he took interest in compiling Hadith. From his early age, he started compiling Hadith. His ‘Musnad‘ consists of more than forty thousand traditions. His interest in Sunnah was so established that it dominated his school of Fiqh. So, he regarded the Holy Qur’an and Hadith as basic source and benefited from the fatwas of the companions. Then, he would refer to Weak and Mursal Ahadith (that were not directly narrated by the Prophet). Finally, he resorted to analogy.

The main characteristic of Fiqh Hanbali is that they, unlike other Fiqhi Schools, have regarded wisdom (Hikmat) more important than reason (Illat). They have utilized the rule of ‘Isteshab‘ which means that the already proved matter will be maintained until there happens something contradictory. Then, they have the principles of ‘public interest’ and ‘shutting down the door of evils’.

Principle Books

As mentioned above, Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (rahimahullah) did not like to compile his Fiqhi opinions and interpretative judgments. But, his able students, among whom are his two sons as well; Salih bin Ahmad and Abdullah bin Ahmad (rahimahumullah) , who recoded it. The most brilliant among his students are Abu Bakr Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Hani, Ahmad bin Hajjaj Marwazi and Ishaq bin Ibrahim known as Ibn Rahwaih (rahimahumullah) . The trio have authored ‘Kitabus Sunan‘ in Fiqh. But, the credit of recording and compiling all the fatwas and views of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal goes to Abu Bak Khallal who compiled his fatwas in two hundred parts. This was later summarized by Abul Qasim Kahrqi and Abdul Aziz bin Jaffar Ghulam Khallal. The summary of Kharqi earned so popularity that three hundred commentaries were written on it, among which the ‘Al-Mughni‘ of Ibn Qudamah (rahimahullah) stands out as most distinguished one.

Style of Derivation

Imam Ahmad’s (rahimahullah) style of derivation was so that he used to put the Qur’an and Hadith foremost. Thereafter, he preferred the fatwas of the companions. Then, he would turn to Weak and Mursal Ahadith (that were not directly narrated by the Prophet). At last, he resorted to analogy. To him analogy was the last option in unavoidable circumstances. He used to state: I like Weak Hadith in comparison to applying reason.

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