[By Mufti Afzal Hoosen Elias]
What is the Literal Meaning of Taqleed?
The literal meaning of Taqleed according to the dictionary is “to follow“. And according to the dictionary, Taqleed; it’tiba; Ita’at; and Iqtida are all synonyms. The word taqleed originates from “Qa la da”, i.e.: a collar (necklace) when this collar is placed on the neck of men it is called a necklace and when it is placed on the neck of an animal it is called a collar. We will now explain only that meaning which refers to men because we are humans.
The Shar’ii Meaning of Taqleed:
Hakimul Ummat Hadhrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Rahmatullah Alayh) while defining Taqleed writes: “that Taqleed is to accept the view or saying of an individual, and to entertain a positive belief that his view is authentic. Without scrutinizing (investigating) its authority.” (Al-Iqtisaad Page 5).
According to the above-mentioned definition of taqleed, we understand that to accept the narration of a narrator is taqleed of ‘Riwayah‘ and to accept the disposition of a Mujtahid is ‘Taqleed fid Dirayat‘.
The Correct and Incorrect Taqleed:
According to the dictionary, the milk of a dog is called milk and the milk of a cow is also called milk, but according to Shariat there is a difference of it being Halaal and haraam. In the same way there are two types of Taqleed:
1. If you follow anybody in going against Shariat, then this is wrong, just like how the non-believers follow their own evil ways, instead of following Allaah and his Rasul (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
2. If you follow anybody in acting according to Shariat and that you have this belief that the Mujtahid is more learned than in the Qur’aan and Sunnat and that is why we follow him, then this is the correct and Wajib (necessary) Taqleed.
On Which Masa’il (laws) Taqleed is Made?
Only on these Mas’alas which need deep thought (Masa’il Ijtihadia). In the Hadith of Muadh bin Jabal (radhiyallahu anhu), the law of Ijtihaad is established, that in those mas’alas the Mujtahid will adopt Ijtihad which are not found in the Qur’aan and Hadith, and these are corroborated from the Qur’aan and Hadith.
N.B. It is also the Ijtihaad of the Muhadditheen, to make the rules of Hadith. To say which Hadith is correct, which is weak and to say whether the author is reliable or not.
Who Should Taqleed be Made of?
It is a known fact, in that those Mas’alas which require deep thought (Ijtihaad) then the Mujtahid should be followed and it is the declaration of the Mujtahid, That we do not take out Mas’alas from our own whims and fancies. But it is taken from the Qur’aan, Hadith and on Ijma (i.e. Unanimous consent of Ummah). And this is also the declaration of the Mujtahids that we first search in the Qur’aan, if no clear answer is found, then we look in the Sunnah, and if it is not found therein, then the unanimous agreement of the Sahaabah (Radiyahallahu Anhum), if there is difference of opinion among the Sahaabah (Radiahallahu Amhum) then it is taken from the Khulafa-e-Rashideen, and it is not found here also, then they pass such a ruling through their undertaking which is not against the commandments of Allaah Ta’ala and the teachings of Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and in this way they search for the answers.
If you wish to know the truth about what we have stated, then summarise the teachings of Ibrahim and his cohorts as recorded in the following works: Al Athar traditions by Muhammad al Shaybani, the Jami “The Compendium” of Abu al Razzaq and the Musannaf “Compilation” of Ibn Abu Shaybah, and compare with Abu Hanifah’s (rahmatuplah alayh) formal opinions. Indeed, you will find that Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh) departs only rarely from their way, and even then his opinion will not differ from the opinions of the Jurists of Kufah.
“I follow the book of Allaah, and if I find no solution there, I follow the Sunnah of the Nabi (Sallaahu alayhi Wasallam). If I find no solution in either the Qur’aan or the Sunnah, I follow whichever of the pronouncements of the Sahabah I prefer, and leave whichever I wish. If there is a pronouncement on a particular matter by any of the Sahabah, I would not adopt any other opinion made by any other scholar. But, if I found a solution only in the opinions of Ibrahim, al Sha’bi, Ibn Sirin, Hasaan al Basri, Ata or Sa’di Ibn al Musayyab, I would make Ijtihad just as they did“. [See Tarikh Baghdad Vol. XXXI, p 368, al Intiqa, p 142, and Mashayikh Balkh al Hanafyah].
When some people tried to turn the Khalifah, al Mansur against Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayb), he wrote to the Khalifah:
“The situation is not as you have heard, O Amir al Mu’minin! I work according to the Book of Allaah, then according to the Sunnah of the Nabi (Sallahu Alayhi Wasalaam), then according to the judgements of Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali (radhiyallahu anhum), then according to the judgements of the rest of the Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum).Then if there are any differences between their pronouncements, I resort to al Qiyas (deduction by analogy). No one of Allaah’s creatures is inherently closer to Him than any other“. [See al Samarqandi, Mizan al Usul, 152, taqi al Din-al Ghazzi, al Tabaqat al Saniyah I, 43; and Mashayikh, Balkh, p. 193].
Just like an accountant has to look up in the laws of accounting for every new question and not from his own whims and fancies.
Moreover the general impression created is that Imams of Fiqh, especially Imam Abu Hanifa (rahmatullah alayh) only formulate using Qiyas and discard the Quraan and Ahadith.
Also know that following the Sunnat one will be adhering to the Ahadith as well. But by trying to only follow the Ahadith one will not necessarily be following the Sunnat.
Understand carefully this difference. For those opposing Taqleed try to decieve the simple Muslim by stating that you are not following the Ahadith and thereby implying that one is not following the Nabi (Sallahu Alayhi Wasalaam) of Allaah.
Furthermore Sunnat came before Ahadith, so the one acting upon the Sunnat is closest in Pleasing the objects of Allaah. Also, the Aima-e-Araba – the Four Imams of Fiqh had access to the Sunnat which includes the Ahadith whilst the objectors of Taqleed are further away from the era of Nabi (Sallahu Alayhi Wasalaam) and only have the Ahadith in front.
Who Makes Taqleed?
It is a known fact that when a question is put forward to an accountant, then he would give an answer according to the rules of accounting and those who do not know the rules of accounting, will ask the accountant for an answer. In the same way in Masa’il-e-Ijtihadia there are two ways in practicing on the Qur’aan and Sunnah.
1. That person who is a Mujtahid will search of Mas’alas himself, from the rules of Ijtihadia and will practice on the Qur’aan and Hadith.
2. And a ‘Ghair Mujtahid‘ (non-Mujtahid) knows that he does not have the capability of searching for the Mas’ala from the Qur’aan and Hadith that is why he will ask the Mujtahid for the Mas’ala according to the Qur’aan and Hadith. To practice in this way is called Taqleed and a Muqallid-follower cannot practice on any law on his own opinion and when he know that a Mujtahid will inform him according to the purport of Allaah and his Rasul (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
Who is a Mujtahid?
These conditions include: (a) mastery of the Arabic language, to minimise the possibility of misinterpreting Revelation on purely linguistic grounds; (b) a profound knowledge of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah and the circumstances surrounding the revelation of each verse and Hadith, together with a full knowledge of the Qur’aanic and Hadith commentaries, and a control of all the interpretative techniques discussed above; (c) knowledge of the specialised disciplines of Hadith, such as the assessment of narrators and of the matn; (d) knowledge of the views of the companions, followers and the great Imams, and of the positions and reasoning expounded in the text books of Fiqh, combined with the knowledge of cases where a consensus (Ijma) has been reached; (e) knowledge of this science of judicial analogy (qiyas, its types and conditions; (f) knowledge of one’s own society and of public interest (maslaha); (g) knowing the general objectives (makasid) of the Shari’ah; (h) a high degree of intelligence and personal piety, combined with the Islamic virtues of compassion, courtesy and modesty.
A scholar who has fulfilled these conditions can be considered a mujtahid fi’l-shar, and is not obliged, or even permitted, to follow an existing authoritative madhhab. This is what some of the Imams were saying when they forbade their great disciples from imitating them uncritically. But for the much greater number of scholars whose expertise has not reached such dizzying heights, that is, a scholar who remains broadly convinced of the doctrines of his school, but is qualified to differ from received opinion within it, there have been a number of example of such method, for instance Qadi Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr (rahimahullah) among the Malikis, Imam al-Nawawi (rahimahullah) among the Shafi’is, Ibn Abidin (rahimahullah) among the Hanafis and Ibn Qudama (rahimahullah) among the Hanbalis.
Other categories of mujtahid are listed by the usul scholars; but the distinctions between them are subtle. The remaining categories can in practice be reduced to two: the muttabi (follower), who follows his madhhab while being aware of the Qur’aanic and Hadith texts and the reason underlying its positions, and secondly the muqallid (emulator), who simply conform to the madhhab because of his confidence in its scholars, and without necessarily knowing the detailed reasoning behind all its thousands of rulings.
The Definition of a ‘Ghair Muqallid‘
We have already understood the meaning of a Mujtahid and a Muqallid (follower), now we have to understand the meaning of a ‘Ghair Muqallid‘ i.e. that person who cannot make Ijtihaad and who does not follow anybody, meaning he is not a Mujtahid nor is he a Muqallid. Just like how in Salaat with Jama’ah, there is only one Imaam and the rest are Muqtadis (followers). But that person who is not an Imaam nor a Muqtadi, or he sometimes speaks ill of the Imaam or fights with the Muqtadis, is known as a Ghair Muqallid, or just like how in countries there is a ruler and the rest are all his subjects, but that person who is not a ruler nor is he a subject, then he is a traitor of that country. So this is the position of a ‘Ghair Muqallid‘. (Non-follower).
These days the ‘Ghair Muqallid‘ has termed himself, “Ahl-e-Hadith‘, whereas in reality he is far away from the Ahadith. Another name commonly used these days is “Salafi“.
TAQLEED IN THE QUR’AAN
1) “Ask the people of knowledge (those who know) when you do not know” [Nahl: 43, Ambiyaa: 7].
2) “These are those whom Allaah had guided so you also follow their path” [Surah An’aam]
3) “Oh Muslims, obey Allaah and obey the Rasul and those in authority” [Surah an Nisa’: 89]]
4) “When news come to them, either of security or of fear, they divulge it, but if they had refined it to the Rasul and to those who are in authority among them, those among them who investigate the matter, they could have understood it“. [Surah An Nisa’: 83].
5) “The believers should not go forth (in jihaad) all together. Why then should not a party from every group (who are left behind) apply themselves diligently to understand Deen (fiqh) and admonish these people when they return, then they may ward off evil“. [Surah Taubah: 122]
6) “And when they become steadfast and firmly believed in our revelations. We appointed leaders (guides) from amongst them who gave directions at our bidding” (will/command) [Surah Alif laam meem Sajdah: 32-23]
7) “Follow the path of one who has turned towards me“. [Surah luqman: 15].
8) “O Muslims, fear Allaah, be amongst the Sadiqeen”. (truthful ones). [Surah Taubah].
9) “And follow the creed of Ibraheem who turned away from all that is false.” [Surah-al-Imraan:95].
10) “And we made them leaders who used to guide others by our command, and we inspired them to do great works“. [Surah Ambiyaa:73]
As listed by Mufti Abdur Raheem Lajpuri in Fatawa Raheemiyah-Vol. 4.
TAQLEED IN THE AHADITH
1). Hadhrat Hudhaifa narrates that Rasulullaah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: I do not know for how long I will be amongst you? So you follow two people after me, (one) Abu Bakr and (two) Umar“. [Mirqaat, Vol. 5 p. 349].
2) Definitely Allaah will not remove (left) Ilm from the world by raising it from the hearts (of servants), but Ilm will be risen by calling the Ulema (to me), to such an extent that when no Alim is left then the people will take the ignorant as their leaders, who will be questioned and they will reply without Ilm, they themselves will be misled and will mislead others. [In Bukhari, Muslim, from Hadhrat Abdullaah bin Umar (radhiyallahu anhu), Mishkaat P 33].
3) “One who renders a legal ruling without Ilm, its sin will be upon the givers of the Ruling” [in Abu Dawood from Hadhrat Abu Hurrairah (Radhiyallahu anhu), Mishkaat:P 27].
4) In every coming generation reliable people are those who are reposition of Ilm with which they refute the extremist complaintant, and the false claims of the false ones and the gross devious false declaration of the ignorant ones. [from Hadhrat Ebraheem bin Abdul Rahman al Azri in Bukhari, Mishkaat P28]
5) “You follow me by looking at me and those who are coming after your, follow you by looking at you” [Bukhari, Muslim, Bukhari: Vol.1 P 99].
6) “Verily people will be your followers and verily people will come to you from different parts of the world to acquire learning (understanding) in Deen. So when they come, admonish them with good“. [From Hadhrat Abu Sa’eed Khudri (Radhiyallahu anhu) of Tirmidhi, Mishkaat].
7) A lady came to Rasulullaah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and stated. Oh Rasulullaah, my husband has gone for Jihaad, and when he performs Salaat, I follow him and in all his action I follow him, now show me such an action, which will earn me the reward of Jihaad. [From Hadhrat Sahl bin Mua’dh (Radhiyallahu anhu) in Musnad Ahmad, vol. 3, p 439].
Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) did not object to his making Taqleed of her husband).
8) Concerning the Sahabah (Radhiyallahu anhu) Rasulullaah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam): “So the work these Muslims consider good is good in the sight of Allah also, and which they consider bad is bad in the sight of Allaah also” [Iqamat-al-Hajjeh, Page 8, Majalis al Abrar, Page 130, Majlis, 18, Muwatta-e-Muhammad ,Page 112, Al- Bidaya-wal-Nihaya, Vol. 10, Page 228].
9) The sect of salvation is, “That millat on which I, (Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) am upon and my Sahabah are upon” [Maktubat-e-Imam-e-Rabbani, Vol. 1, Page 102].
10) “My companions are like stars, whomever you follow, you will have the right path“. [Mishkat, Page 554].
11) The person who in matter relating to Deen sees the one higher than him and follows (him) and in those matters relating to mundane affairs he sees the one lower than him, then he should thank Allaah for keeping him in a good condition. [From Hadhrat Abdullaah bin Umar (Radhiyallahu anhu) Jame Tirmidhi, Sharh Ibn Arabi, Vol. 9. Page 317].
12) “Hold fast to my Sunnat and Sunnat of the Khulafa Rashdeen al Madhdeen“. [Mishkaat, Page 30].
13) Sending of Hadhrat Muadh bin Jabal (Radhiyallahu anhu) to Yemen by Rasulullaah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) [Abu Dawood vol. 2 Page 149].
14) Sending of Hadhrat Mus’ab bin Umayr (Radhiyallahu anhu) as a teacher and guide for the people of Madinah. Before the arrival of Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Whose Taqleed did the people of Madinah make? Was that against the law of Allaah?
15) “Ulema are the heirs of the Ambiyaa” [Ahmed, Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi, Mishkaat, Page 34].
Ambiyaa left behind Ilm. Just as it is necessary to follow the Ambiyaa so also is it necessary to follow the Ulema.
TAQLEED IN THE ERA OF THE SAHABAH (Radhiyallahu anhum)
1. Hadhrat Ibn ‘Abbas (Radhiyallahu anhu) says that Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallahu anhu) delivered a sermon at (a place) Jabia, and said: Oh People, those of you who want to know about Fiqh should go to Muadh Bin Jabal and those who want to ask about property (goods) should come to me, for Allaah has made me its custodian and distributor. [Majamul Jawaid Vol.1, Page 135].
2) Hadhrat Salim (Radhiyallahu anhu) says that someone asked Abdullaah bin Umar (Radhiyallahu anhu) that one person owes another a loan which has to be paid back on a specified time. The loan giver wants the debt paid before its time. Hadhrat ‘Abdullaah bin Umar (Radhiyallahu anhu) was displeased and stopped him. [Muwatta Imaam Maalik, Page 179].
No proof of decision was asked for nor is there any Hadith for this answer. So deduction by analogy was used. Is this Shirk? Or not conforming to Sunnat? Or kufr?
3) Abdur Rahman says he asked Muhammad bin Sereen that (for Ghusl) how is to enter the public bathroom?. He said: Umar (Radhiyallahu anhu) considered it Makrooh (detested). [Musnad, Mutalib ul alaya Hafz Ibn Hajar, Vol. 1, Page 51, Hadith no 187].
Again, No Hadith was quoted or asked for.
4) Hadhrat Sulaman bin Yassar (Radhiyallahu anhu) said that Hadhrat Abu Ayub Ansari (radhiyallahu anhu) journeyed with the intention of Hajj until he reached Nazia en-route to Makkah where his conveyances were mislaid (lost) and he reached Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallahu anhu) on (10 Zil Hajj) (Day of Sacrifice) when Hajj had already taken place and mentioned what had occurred.Hadhrat Umar (Radhaillahu anhu) said, you complete these acts which a person performing Umrah does (i.e. Tawaaf and Saee) by which you will come out of Ihraam. Then when the Hajj time comes next year perform Hajj and make sacrifice of what you can easily obtain. [Muwatta Imam Maalik, Page 149].
No Hadith proof was called for. Hadhrat Abu Ayyub Ansari (radhiyallahu anhu) made Taqleed of Hadhrat Umar (Radhaillahu anhu)’s Ilm and understanding.
5) Hadhrat Musaib bin Sa’d (Radhiyallahu anhu) says my father (Hadhrat Sa’d Bin Abi Waqqaas), when he should perform his Salaat in the Masjid then he should make a short duration in Ruku and Sajda and at home lengthy ones. I asked my father of this difference. Hadhrat Sa’d (Radhaillahu anhu) replied, Son, we are the Imams (of the people), people follow us (so they will regard lengthy Ruku and Sajdah as necessary. [Majma ul Zawaaid, Vol. 1, Page 182].
So the general public not only made Taqleed of the Sahabah’s statements but actions also.
6) Once Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallahu anhu) saw Hadhrat Abdur Rahman bin Auf (Radhiyallahu anhu) wearing a (special type) of socks and said: I swear on oath that you should remove these socks, for I fear that people will see you and follow you. [Asabah of Hafiz ibn Hajar, Vol. 2, Page 361].
7) Similarly once Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallahu anhu) saw Hadhrat Talha (radhiyallahu anhu) adorned in a coloured Ihraam and said “you are the Imaam and guide of people, people will follow you, some ignorant person sees you will say that Talha bin Ubaidullaah should wear coloured cloth in Ihraam, thus do not wear this coloured cloth“. [Musnad Ahmad, Vol. 1, Page 192].
From 6 and 7 we learn that Taqleed was made on the statements and action of the knowledgeable Sahabah.
8) Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallahu anhu) sent Hadhrat Abdullaah bin Masood (Radhiyallahu anhu) to Kufa and wrote a letter to the people of Kufa: “I am sending to you Amaar bin Yasir as Amir and Abdullaah bin Masood as teacher and minister. They are prominent and from the Ahle Badr Sahabah, follow them and listen to them“.
Was Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallahu anhu) asking the people to commit Shirk, Kufr and Bidaat?
9) Stating the principles of Qaza (judgement) Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) said: From after today whomsoever is faced with the responsibility of Qaza (making Shari’i Rulings) then he should decide by the Kitabullaah, then if such an issue is presented which is not in the Kitabullaah, then render a decision in conformity with us what was given by Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam), then if any issue is presented which is not found in the Kitaabullah and in the decisions of Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam), then decisions should be rendered in conformity with those of the Saleeheen (Pious) and if any issue is presented which no decision is available in the Kitaabullaah, or no decision of Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and no decision of Saleehen is available then make “ijtihaad”. [(8) and (9) Sunan Nisai, Vol. 2, Page 305].
Same system was utilised by Hadhrat Imam Abu Hanifa (rahmatullah alayh) B see later
10) Hadhrat Hassan (Radhiyallahu anhu) was asked by someone, do you drink the water of the Masjid? Whereas it is Sadaqah?. Hadhrat Hassan (radhiyallahu anhu) replied: Hadhrat Abu Bakr and Umar drank the water from Umme Sad (Radhaillahu anha), then (if I drink) then what is the matter? [Kanzul Ummal, Vol. 3, Page 31].
Hadhrat Hassan (Radhiyallahu anhu) gave no other proof besides the actions of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radhiyallahu anhu) and Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallahu anhu). He preferred Taqleed. Did he commit Bidat, Shirk or Kufr or Sin?
11) The people of Madinah questioned Hadhrat ‘Abdullaah bin ‘Abbas (Radhiyallahu anhu) about a woman who menstruated after the Fard Taawaf. (Can she return without performing the Tawaaf-e-Widaa), Ibn ‘Abbaas stated that she can return without performing Tawaf-e-Widaa. The people of Madinah said we will not leave the decision of Zaid bin Thabit by acting on your ruling. (Bukhari, Vol. 1, Page 237).
From this it is clear that Taqleed was practised in the time of the Sahabah (Radhiyallahu anhum) and not considered Kufr, Shirk, Bidat or sin.
12) Although Hadhrat Ibn Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) was a Mujtahid but said that there is no room for any other person’s legal ruling in the presence of Hadhrat Ali (Radhiyallahu anhu) rulings. [Kalim-ul-Fazil, Page 19].
13) As long as Salem bin Abdullaah was alive Imam Nafi (rahimahullah) did not give legal rulings (Fatawa). [Tazkiratul Hufaz, Vol. 1, Page 98].
THE SAHABAH WHO GAVE FATAWA DURING RASULULLAAH (SALLALLAHU ALAYHI WASALLAM ) LIFETIME
The Sahabah who gave Fatawa in the lifetime Rasulullaah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) time were; Abu Bakr, Uthman, Ali, Abd ul Rahman ibn Awf, Abdullaah ibn Mas’ud, Ubay ibn Ka’b, Mu’adh ibn Jabal, Ammar, Ibn Yasir, Hudhayfah ibn al Yaman, Zayd ibn Thabit, Abu al Darda, Abu Musa al Ash’ari and Salman al Farisi (Radhiyallahu anhum ajmaeen).
Some Sahabah gave more Fatawa than others. Those who gave the most Fatawa were: Umm al Mu’minin Aa’ishah, Umar ibn al Khattab and his son ‘Abdullaah, Ali ibn Abi Talib, ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Abbas and Zayd ibn Thabit. The Fatawa given by any one of these six would fill a great volume. For example, Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Musa ibn Yaqab ibn al Khalifah Ma’mun collected the Fatawa of Ibn Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) in twenty volumes.
Those from whom a lesser number of Fatawa issued were narrated are: Umm Salmah, Anas ibn Malik, Abu Sa’id al Khudri, Abu Hurayrah, Uthman ibn Affan, Abdullaah ibn Amr ibn al As, Abdullaah ibn Zubayr, Abu Musa al Ash’ari, Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas, Salman al Farisi, Jabir ibn ‘Abdullaah, Muadh ibn Jabal and Abu Bakr al Siddiq. To this list to be added Talhah, al Zubayr, Abd ul Rahman ibn Awf, Imran ibn Husayn, Abullaah ibn al Samit and Mu’awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan. The rest gave only a few Fatawa, and only one or two, in some instances more, have been transmitted from any of them. [see ibn Hazm, al-Ihkam].
See also [Dajawi II 576]: “the Companions and followers used to give Fatwas on legal issues to those who asked for them. At times they would mention the source, if this was necessary, while at other time they would limit themselves to specifying the ruling.
Al Ghazzali (Mustasfa II 385) explains that the existence of Taqleed and Fatwa among the Companions is a dalil for the necessity of this fundamental distinction. The proof that taqleed is obligatory is the ijma of the Companions. For they used to give fatwas to the ordinary people and did not command them to acquire the degree of ijtihaad for themselves. This is known necessarily (bu’l-danura) and by parallel lines of transmission (tawatur) from both scholars and the non-scholars among them.
See also Ibn Khaldun’s Muqaddima (Bulaq ed., p 216): “Not all the Companions were qualified to give fatwas and Islam was not taken from all of them. That privilege was held only by those who had learnt the Qur’aan, knew what it contained by way of abrogated and abrogating passages, ambiguous (mutashabih) and perspicuous (muhkam) expressions, and its other special features“.
And also Imam al-Baji (S793): “Ordinary Muslims have no alternative but to follow the Ulema. One proof of this is the ijma of the Companions, for those among them who had not attained the degree of ijtihad used to ask the ulema Companions for the correct ruling on something which happened to them. Not one of the Companions criticised them for doing so, on the contrary, they gave them fatwas on the issues they has asked about, without condemning them or telling them to derive the rulings themselves (from the Qur’aan and Sunnah)“.
According to Al-Sha’bi: “Six of the Companions of the Rasul (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) used to give fatawas to the people: Ibn Mas’ud, Umar ibn al-Khattab, Ali ibn Talib, Zayd ibn Thabit, Ubayy ibn Ka’b, Abu Musa al-Ash’ari. And out of these, three would abandon their own judgements in favour of the judgements of three others: ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud would abandon his own judgement for that of Umar, Abu Musa would abandon his own judgement for that of Ali, Zayd would abandon his own judgement of Ubayy ibn Ka’b“.
The time of the Sahabah came to an end between 90-100 A.H. and was followed by the time of the Tabi’in whose scholars became responsible for Fiqh and giving Fatawa. The last of the Sahabah in Kufa died in 86 or 87 A.H. The last one in Madinah, Sahl ibn Sa’d al Sa’idi (radhiyallahu anhu), died in 91 A.H. The last in Basrah, Anas ibn Malik (radhiyallahu anhu), died in 91A.H. (some say 93 A.H.). The last one in Damascus, Abdullaah ibn Yasir, died in 88 A.H. The last one of the Sahabah Amir ibn Wathilah ibn Abdullaah (Abu Tufayl) (radhiyallahu anhu) died in 100 A.H.
Thereafter, those who became responsible for issuing Fatawa were the freed men, most of whom had lived with the Fuqaha among the Sahabah Such as: Nafi, the freed men of Ibn Umar, Ikramah, the freed men of Ibn ‘Abbas, Ata ibn Rabah, the Faqih of Makkah; Tawus the Faqih of the people of Yemen; Yahya ibn Kathir, the Faqih of Yamamah, Ibrahim al Nakha’i, the Faqih of Kufah, Hasan al Basri, the Faqih of Basrah; Ibn Sirin, also of Basrah; Ata al Khurasani in Khurasan and others. Indeed, Madinah was unique in having a Faqih from Quraysh, Sa’id ibn al Musayab (rahimahumullah).
Sadurul A’aimah Makki (Rahmatullah Alayh) says that he visited Hadhrat ‘Ataa Khalifa Hishaam bin Abdul Malik (Rahmatullah Alayh). So Khalifa asked him, that do you know the Ulema of the different towns? He replied yes – so Khalifa (Rahmatullah Alayh) asked, who is the Aalim of Madinah? He replied, Nafi, and in Makkah, ‘Ataa, in Yemen, Taws, in Yamamah, Yahya bin Katheer, in Syria, Makhool, in Iraq, Maymoon bin Mihran, in Kurasaan, Dhihaak bin Mazahim, in Basrah, Hassan Basri, in Kufa, Ibrahim Nakha’i. So in every town one Imaam’s fatwa’s was followed. Imaam Haakim has also written this incident in Ma’rifat Uloom Hadith. That is why Imaam Ghazali (radhiyallahu anhu) says that Taqleed is the Ijma (unanimous consent) of all the Sahaabah (Radiahallahu Anhum) because with the Sahaabah (Radhiyahallahu Anhum) Mufti used to give the fatwa and the rest of the Sahaabah (Radhiyahallahu Anhum) should not refute it. This is Taqleed and this Taqleed is established with an authentic chain of narrators.
Allamah ‘Aamadi (Rahmatullah Alayh) says that during the times of the Sahaabah (Radhiyallahu Anhum) and the Tabieens (Rahmatullah Alayhim), the Mujtahid used to give Fatwa but together with that they should not give its proof and nor should the people ask for its proof and nobody should reject this practice. So this is called Ijma, where the general public follow the Mujtahids and Shah Waliullah (Rahmatullah Alayh) narrates from the Shaikh ‘Izzuddeen bin Salaam (Rahmatullah Alayh) who says that during the times of the Sahaabah (Radhiyahallahu Amhum) and the Tabieen, Taqleed was established with an authentic chain of successors and during that time there was not a single person who rejected Taqleed and because the compilation of their fiqh is not present today, but the 4 imaams have compiled it, so that is why we have to follow them.
Just like how the Sahaabah (Radhiyallahu Anhum) and the Tabieen used to also recite the Qur’aan but in those days it was not called the Qiraat of Hadhrat Hamza (Radhiyahallahu Anhu) and they used to also believe in the same Hadith, but they should not call it Bukhari and Muslim.
Taqleed in the time of Khalifah Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz (rahmatullah alayh).
He restricted the authority to issue Fatawa, inmost districts, to a few named individuals, as he did in Egypt, when he named only three people for this purpose. Interestingly, two of them were freedmen, Yazid ibn Abu Habib and Abd Allah ibn Abu Ja’far, and the third was an Arab, Jaf’ar ibn Rabi’ah. When the Khalifah was questioned about appointing two freedmen and only one Arab, he answered: “What fault is of mine if the freedmen are improving themselves and your are not.” [Al Maqizi, Khutat, IV, 143].
GREAT SCHOLARS WHO MADE TAQLEED
THE HANAFI SCHOLARS
Imam Ibn ‘Abidin (d. 1252/1836), Hafiz Ibn al-Humam (d. 861/1457), Imam Ibn Al Shahnah al-Kabeer, Imam Zufar (d. 158 AH, Imam Abu Yusuf (d. 182/798), Imam Muhammad al-Shabani (d. 189/804), Imam al-Tahawi (d. 321 AH), Imam ibn Abi al-Izz al-Hanafi, Imam Ibn Nujaim al-Misri (d. 970 AH), Shaykh Ali al-Qari (d. 1014/1606), Shaykh Abd al-Haqq Dehlawi (d. 1052 AH), ‘Allamah Abdul Hayy al-Lucknawi (d/1304 AH), also known as Abdul Hasanat, Shaykh Abdul Hasan as-Sindee al-Hanafi, Shaykh ‘Aafiyyah ibn Yazeed.
THE MALIKI SCHOLARS
Hafiz Ibn Abd al-Barr (d. 463/1071), Imam Ibn Wahb (d. 197/812), Imam Abdullah ibn abi Zaid al-Qairwanee al-Maliki (d. 389 AH)
THE SHAFI’ SCHOLARS
Imam al-Bayhaqi (d. 458/1066), Shaykh Abu Yusoof al-Buweeti, Shaykh Abdul Qasim ad-Daariki, Hafiz Ibn as-Salah (d.643/1245), Imam Taqi ad-Deen al-Subki (d. 756/1355), Imam Abu Nu’aym (d. 430/1038, Imam al-Bukhari (d. 256/870), Imam Muslim (d. 261/875, Imam Abu Dawood (d. 275/889), Imam Nasai (d. 309/915), Imam Tirmidhi (d. 279/892), Imam ibn Majah (d. 209/824), Imam al-Suyuti (d. 911/1505) Hafiz Ibn Khuzaymah (d. 311/924), Imam ash-Sha’rani (d. 973/1565), Imam Hakam (d. 405/1014), Imam ibn Asakir (d. 571 AH), Hafiz Khateeb al-Baghdadi (d. 463/1072), Hafiz al-Dhahabi (d. 748/1348), Hafiz al-Iraqi (d. 806/1404), Imam al-Tabarani (d. 360/971), Imam al-‘Izz ibn Abdus Salaam (d. 660/1262), Imam ibn Hibban (d. 354/965), Hafiz ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (d. 852/1449), Hafiz al-Haythami (d. 807/1405), Imam al-Haramayn (d. 478/1085), Imam Abul Qasim al-Qushayri (d. 465/1072), Imam al-Razi (d. 606/1210, Imam al-Baghawi (d. 510/1117), Imam Abu Shamah (d. 665 AH ), Imam al-Nawawi (d. 676/1277).
THE HANBALI SCHOLARS
Hafiz Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728/1328), Hafiz ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (d. 751/1350), Hafiz ibn al-Jawzi (d. 508) Hafiz ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (d. 795/1393).
These great and prominient Scholars fell the need to make Taqleed but todays so called self styled scholar rejects its necessity and goes even further by classifing those who make Taqleed as idol-worshippers, innovators and sinners.
STATEMENTS OF SCHOLARS CONCERNING TAQLEED
1) Imam Abdul Ghani an-Nablusi (d. 1143/1733), was an author of nearly 500 works said in his well-known book, Khulasat-ut-Tahqiq: “A Muslim is either a Mujtahid or has not reached the level of Ijtihad. The one who is not a Mujtahid should follow which ever he likes of the four Madhhabs.”
2) Imam Abdul Wahhab ash-Sha’rani (d. 973/1565) said in his book al-Mizan al-Kubra: “However according to the Ulama, it is Wajib (incumbent) for the ordinary Muslim to follow a Mujtahid. They said that if a non-mujtahid Muslim did not follow a Mujtahid, he would deviate from the right path. All Mujtahids inferred rules from the documentary evidences they found in Islaam. No Mujtahid has even talked our of his own opinion on the Deen of Allaah Ta’ala. A person who speaks ill of any of the A’immat al-Madhahib (founders of the Madhhabs) shows his ignorance (and this is common amongst the ignorant members of the La-Madhhabi groups today)“.
3) Allamah Ibn Nujaim (H 970) Al sha’balul Nasir; P 131: “For any person to go against the Rule/Decision of the 4 Imams is going against Ijima“.
4) Hafiz-e-Hadith Allamah Ibn Humam, (h 861) in Al Tarirr fi’l Usul Fiqh P. 552: “it is because of this, that certain….Have started that Taqleed of the 4 Imams is specified….and Taqleed to be limited to these 4 imams is correct“.
5) The Famous Mulla Jiwan Siddique (H1130) teacher of Aurangzeb Alamgir (rahimahullah) states in Tafseer Ahmadi: “Ijma has occurred on that it is only permissible to make Taqleed of the 4 Imams. Thus if any Mujtahid is born (in this age) and his opinions is against that of the 4 Imams then it will not be permissible to follow it“.
6) The famous Muhaddith and Mufassir, Qadhi Thanaullah Panipati (H 1225) stats in Tafseer Mashari (Vol. 2, P 64): “After the third and fourth century there is no 5th Madh-hab to follow besides the 4 Madh-habs of the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat is secondary matters, and in the this matter, ijma has occurred that any opinions contrary to the 4 Madhhabs is false (Baatil)”
7) Imam Ibrahim Sarkashi Maaliki says in [(Al-Fatuhatul Wahabia), P.199]: that in this age after the era of the Sahabah just as Ibn Salah has said that it is not permissible to make Taqleed of anyone besides the 4 Imams, viz., Imaam Maalik, Imam Abu Hanifa, Imaam Shafi’i, Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal (rahumahumullah).
8) Muhaddith Ibn Hajar Makki (rahimahullah) (H 852) states on P.196 of Farabul Mubeen fi Sahr ‘Arbaeen: “that in our time it is the opinion of the Elder Imams that it is permissible to make Taqleed of the Imam-e-Arbaa, viz, Imam Shafi, Imam Maalik, Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Ahmad and it is not permissible to make Taqleed of another Imam“.
9) If a man is called deficient in any of these things, he cannot be called a Mujtahid and should conform to one or other of the recognised schools of law (i.e. only Hanafi, Maliki Shafi’i or Hanbali schools today. [Imam Abu Hanifah: Life and work By the well known historian, Allamah Shibli Nu’mani (pg 117)].
10) Shaykh Abdul Wahhab al-Najdi says: “All praise due to Allah, we follow the pious predecessors and are not creators of a new way or innovations and we are on the Madhhab of Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbali (rahimahullah) (Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahab by Allamah Ahmed Abdul Gaffer, Attar, Beirut pat. 174,5]
11) Son of Shaykh Abdul Wahhab Najdi, Shaykh ‘Abdullaah states, “In secondary matters we are of the Madhab of Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal (rahimahullah) and whosoever adheres to any of the 4 Imams we do not object. [al-Hidayatul Sunnat – Sheik Muhammad bin Abdul Wabad ke Khilaf propaganda of Moulana Mansoor Nomani].
12) The commentor of Muslim, Sheik Muhyudeen Nuri (rahimahullah) states in Rawathul Talebeen: “the Ulema state concerning general Ijtihaad that it has terminated with the 4 Imams. All reliable and research Ulema have made Taqleed, the following of any one of these Imaams upon the Ummaat Waajib (compulsory). And Imam-ul-Haramain has recorded Ijma (consensus) on the making of Taqleed of one Imam” [Miral Hidaya, P.10].
13) Sayed Ahmed Tahawi (H. 1233), states: the group on salvation is the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat which has been concised in the 4 Madhhabs today which are Hanafi, Maalik, Shaafi, and Hanbali. And those persons in this age who are not from these Madhhabs are amongst the innovators and dwellers of the Fire (not from the Ahle Sunnat). [Tahtawi Alaa Durul Muktaar, Vol. 4, P153].
THE LOGICAL NEED FOR MAKING TAQLEED
1) This verdict, namely that one is well-advised to rely on a great Imam as one’s guide to the Sunnah, rather than relying on oneself, is particularly binding upon Muslims in countries such as Britain or South Africa etc., among whom only a small percentage is even entitled to have a choice in this matter. This is for the simple reasons that unless one knows Arabic. Then even in of one wishes to read all the Hadith determining a particular issue one cannot. For various reasons, including their great length, no more that ten of the basic Hadith collections have been translated into English. There remain well over three hundred others including such seminal works as the Musnad of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, the Musannaf of Ibn Abi Shayba, the Sahih of Ibn Khuzayma, the Mustadrak of al-Hakim and many other multi-volume collections which contain a large number of sound hadiths which cannot be found in Bukhari, Muslim, or the other works that have so far been translated. Even if we assume that the existing translations are entirely accurate, it is obvious that a policy of trying to derive there Shari’ah directly from the Qur’aan and Sunnah cannot be attempted by those who have not access to Arabic. To attempt to discern the Shari’ah merely on the basis of the hadiths which have been translated will be to ignore and amputate much of the Sunnah, leading to serious distortions.
2) The belief that ordinary Muslims, even if they know Arabic, are qualified to derive rulings of the Shari’ah for themselves, is a example of this egotism running wild.
3) The fact that all the great scholars of the Deen-religion, including the Hadith experts, themselves belong to Madhhabs, and required their students to belong to Madhhabs, seem to have been forgotten. Self esteem has won a major victory here over common sense and Islaamic responsibility.
4) If one’s child is seriously ill, we will ask, does one look for oneself in the medical textbooks for the proper diagnoses and cure, or should one go to a trained medical practitioner? Clearly sanity dictates the later option. And so it is in matter of Deen-religion, which are in reality even more important and potentially hazardous. We would be both foolish and irresponsible to try to look through the sources ourselves, and become our own Muftis.
5) The question is often asked why only four schools should be followed today. The answer is straightforward, while in theory there is no reason whatsoever why the number has to be four, the historical fact is that only these four have sufficient detailed literature to support them.
6) The Ulema usually recognises sever different degrees of Muslims from the point of view of their learning, and for those who are interested they are listed here, in order of scholarly status. (a,b) the Mujtahidun fi’l-shar (mujtahids in the Shari’ah) and the Mujtahidun fi’-madhhab (mujtahids in the Madhhab) have already been mentioned. (c) Mujtahidun fi’l-masa’il (Mujtahids in Particular Issues) are scholars who remain within a school, but are competent to exercise Ijtihad on certain aspects within which they know thoroughly. (d) Ashab al-Takhri (Reslovers of Ambiguity), who are competent to indicate which view was preferable in cases of ambiguity, or regarding suitability to prevailing conditions. (e) Ashab al-Tarjih (people of Assessment), are those competent to make comparisons and distinguish the correct (Sahih) and the preferred (Rajih, arjah) and the agreed-upon views from the weak ones inside the Madhhab. (f) Ashab al-Tashith (people of Correction) those who could distinguish between the manifest (Zahir al-riwya) and are rare and obscure (nawadir) views of the schools of their following. g) Muqalladun the emulators including all non-scholars. [Kamali, 3879. See also bilmen, I, 250-1, 324-6]. Of these seven categories only the first three are considered to be Mujtahids.
7) The system of taqleed implies that as long as the layman does not get the training for becoming a doctor he cannot practice medicine, for example, in the case of medicine such person may be termed a quack and may even be punished today, but in the case of Islaamic Law he is assuming much graver responsibility, he is claiming that the opinion he is expressing is the Law intended by Allaah. [Introduction to The Distinguished Jurist’s Primer xxxv].
“By Allaah, this view (that ordinary people should not follow madhhabs) is nothing less than an attempt to fling the door wide open for people’s individual preferences, thereby turning the Book and the Sunnah into playthings to be manipulated by those deluded fools, driven by their compounded ignorance and their corrupt imaginings. [Cf. Imam al-Dajawi II 579]
8) Now, if a layman who cannot judge between the arguments of different Madhahib is allowed to choose any of the juristic views without going into the arguments they have advanced, he will be at liberty to select only those views which seem tohim more fulfilling to his personal requirements, and this attitude will lead him to follow the desires and not the guidance… the practice totally condemned by the Noble Qur’aan.
9) For example, Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) is of the view that bleeding from any part of the body breaks the wudu, while Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah) states that the wudu is not broken by bleeding. On the other hand, Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah) says that if a man touches a woman, his wudu is broken and he is bound to make fresh wudu before offering Salaat, while Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) insists that merely touching a women does not break the wudu.
10) Now, if the policy of “pick and choose” is allowed without restriction, a layman can choose the Hanafi view in the matter of touching a women and the Shafi’i view in the matter of bleeding. Consequently, he will deem his wudu unbroken even when he had combined both the situation, while in that case his wudu is not valid according to both Hanafi and Shafi’i views.
11) Similarly, a traveller, according to the Shafi’i can combine the two prayers of Zuhr and ‘Asr. But at the same time, if a traveller makes up his mind to stay in a town for four days, he is no more regarded a traveller in the Shafi’i view hence, he cannot avail of the benefit of qasr, nor of combining two prayers. On the other hand, combining two prayers in one time is not allowed in the Hanafi school, even when on is on journey. The only concession available for him is that of Qasr. But the period of travel, according to Hanafi view is fourteen days, and a person shall continue to perform qasr until he resolves to stay in a town for at least fourteen days.
12) Consequently a traveller who has entered a city to stay there for five days cannot combine two prayers, neither according to Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah) because by staying for five days he cannot use the concession, nor according to Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah), because combining two prayers is not at all allowed according to him.
13) If such an attitude is allowed, it will render the Shari’ah a plaything in the hands of the ignorant, and no rule of Shari’ah will remain immune from distortion. That is why the policy of “pick and choose” has been condemned by all the renowned scholars of Shari’ah. Imam Ibn Tamiyyah, the famous Muhaddith and jurist, said in his Fatawa:.
14) Some people follow at one time an Imam who holds the marriage invalid, and at another time they follow a jurist who holds it valid. They do so only to serve their individual purposes and satisfy their desires. Such a practice is impermissible according to the consensus of all the imams.
15) He further elaborates the point by several examples he says: “for example if a person wants to pre-empt a sale he adopts the view of those who give the right of pre-emption to a contingent neighbour, but if they are the vendee of a property, the refuse to accept the right of pre-emption for the neighbour of the vendor (on the basis of Shafi’i view and if the relevant person claims that he did not know before (that Imam Shafi’i does not give the right of pre-emption to the neighbour) And has come to know it right then, and he wants to follow that view as from today, he will not be allowed to do so, because such a practice open the door for playing with the rules of the Shari’ah and paves the path for deciding the Halaal and Haram in accordance with one’s desires“. [Fatawa Ibn Tamiyyah Syrian ed. 2:285,286].
16) So to be decisive concerning any situation that a clear direction has been stipulated the Qur’aan or Hadith requires tremendous wide depth knowledge. Due to ignorance there is strong possibility that one will utilise deduction wherein a clear-cut injunction exists.
17) If one is not conversant with abrogated and non-abrogated text or ruling of Shari’ah then there is high degree of possibility of acting on an abrogation exists contrary to the time of the Sahabah (Radhiyallahu anhu) where Shariat regulations to be acted upon were in front of them.
18) Many a times one comes across proofs which are contrary in nature from the Ahaadith than to collaborate proofs in a Ahaadith or give performance is extremely tedious and difficult. Thus reliance on the experts and authors of Jurisprudence.
19) In Ahaadith, many laws are mentioned without conditions and restrictions whereas there have been to some extend on other Ahaadith. Thus without a total knowledge of all the Ahaadith one will be at a total loss like the Ghair Muqallids.
20) In Ahaadith at times there is brevity and conciseness which is expounded in some other Ahaadith. Without extensive knowledge valid proper conclusion will not be reached but one will be groping in the dark.
21) In some, laws proofs are of types. Some pointing to permissibility and the other towards impermissibility. Making the rule is these conflicting circumstances are extremely difficult without letting whims, desires and personal inclinations overpowering. Thus the rule stated or formulated closest to and in the era of Rasulullaah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) will be free from adherence to the inner-desires etc.
22) Ijtihad – Door is open-Right of Entry is reserved — Justice (retd) Dr Tanzilur-Rahman. It is thus reported from Hadhrat Ali (R.A.) that Ijtihad can only be performed by ‘Fuqaha-I-Abidin‘ that is, the pious jurists. This saying also implies that Ijtihad should be made collectively, and not individually. Allamah Iqbal has been a great exponent of Ijtihad in the sub-continent (see lecture No 7 on Ijtihad of his famous book “The Reconstruction of Religions thought in Islam”. But, at the same time, he is conscious of its pitfalls by unscrupulous, incompetent and unqualified persons as apparent from his following verses:- When the solidarity of life is divided, the nation acquires stability through Taqleed. Tread the path of the ancestors, as the meaning of Taqleed is the consolidation of the nations. Exercise of Ijtihad during the period of decline causes disintegration of the nation. It is safer to follow the earlier authorities than accept the Ijtihad of unqualified scholars.
SUMMARY BY SHAH WALIULLAAH (rahmatullah alayh)
A summary of what Hadhrat Shah Waliullaah (rahmatullah alayh) states in Fayoosul Haramain (p 48).
1) Taqleed was prevalent in the blessed era of Sahabah and Tabi’in era without objection.
2) To follow the Madhhab-e-Arbah (Hanafi, Maalik, Shave, Hanbali) is following the “Sawad-e-Aazam” (the Lofty Group on Truth), and to go outside the circle of Mazhab-e-Araba tantamounts to going out of the “Sawad-e-Aazam” (which is misleading).
3) After the second century Taqleed of one person had commenced.
4) The above is a secret Ihaam (inspiration).
5) It is waajib upon the Ummat to make Taqleed of the Madhhab-e-Arbaa.
6) Taqleed is Waajib upon a non-Mujtahid.
7) There are Religious wisdoms, and benefits in making Taqleed of one person.
8) I was advised by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) to stay within the Madhab-e-Arbaa.
9) Madhhab Hanafia is in accordance with the Sunnah and its testimony Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) himself gave.
10) For the common faith
(non-Muqallids) to discard Taqleed is Haraam but it is the beginning of leaving the Circle of Islaam.
Talfeeq and changing Madhhabs is not permissible
It is not permissible to leave making Taqleed of one Imam and follow another Imam when one wishes. When this is done without permission from the Shariat it leads to Talfeeq, it also causes one to follow one’s desires resulting in going far away from the truth and being lead astray.
Moulana Mohammed Hussain Sahib who opposed making Taqleed for many years and then finally being affected by the consequences of not making Taqleed writes in his Risaalah, Isha’atus Sunnah Vol. 11, No 2, page 53.
“After twenty five years of experience we have come to know those who leave making mutlaq taqleed or leave making taqleed of a Mujtihis-e-Mutlaq out of ignorance, finally leave the fold of Islam. Some of these people become Christians and some remain without any Madhhab, who do not adhere to any faith or religion. Violating the commands of Shariat, transgression and irreligiousness are the least effect of this freedom.”
Similarities between Shias and Ghair Muqallids
Shia deny that the Sahabah (Radhiyallahu anhum) are the citerion of right and wrong in Deen-Religion like the Ghair Muqallids.
Shia state 3 Talaaqs in one session equal one, so do the Ghair Muqallids.
Shia say that Taraweeh is the bidat of Umar (Radhiyallahu anhu) so do the Ghair Muqallids.
Shia state that the second azaan given near the Mimbar is an Innovation (bidat) as the Ghair Muqallids say also and classify it is Bidaat Uthmani.
Shia do not accept the decision of Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallahu anhu) and Hadhrat Ayesha (Radhiyallahu anha) of preventing women from the Masjid, so do the Ghair Muqallids [Vol. 4, P.42 Fatawa Rahimiyah].
Shias and Ghair Muqallids deny and reject the Ijma of Sahabah (Radhiyallahu anhum).
QUESTION 1: We have statements of the Imams denoting that they must not be followed, so why do we follow them? Statements such as: Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah): “When I say something contradicting the Book of Allaah, the Exalted or what is narrated from the Rasul (Sallahu Alayhi Wasalaam) , then ignore my saying”
Imam Malik (Rahimahullaah) said: “Truly I am only mortal, I make mistakes (sometimes) and I am correct (sometimes) therefore, look into my opinions: All that agrees with the Sunnah, accept it; and all that does not agree with the Book and the Sunnah, ignore it.”
Imam ash-Shafi’i (rahimahullah): “If you find my writings something different to the Sunnah of the Rasul of Allaah (Sallahu Alyhi Wasalaam), then speak on the basis of the Sunnah of the Rasul of Allaah (Sallahu Alayhi Wasalaam ) and leave what I have said.”
ANSWER: We must understand the era during which these statements were made. We will realise that it was mentioned before other Mujtahids or potential Mujtahids, not those who cannot even read two lines of Arabic properly.
It is obvious that such councils were for the Imams sophisticated pupils, and we never intended for the use by the Islamically-uneducated masses. Imam-al-Shafi (rahimahullah) etc, were not addressing a crowd of butchers, night watchmen and donkey-drivers.
QUESTION TWO : Those people that come before the 4 Imaams, example from the time of Sahaabah (Radhiyallahu Anhum) till Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) did they follow any Imaam, or was Taqleed not Wajib then?
ANSWER : This question is also not by the theologians of the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat, but this question also comes from the Shiahs.
The Sahaabah (Radiahallahu Amhum) were more than a hundred thousand in number. Shah Waliullaah (rahmatullah alayh) says the Sahaabah (Radhiyahallahu Anhum) were of 2 groups, Mujtahid and Mukhlid. The Sahaabah (Radhiyahallahu Anhum) were Arabs, but according to Ibn Qayyim there were only 149 theologians, from whom 7 gave most fatawas and 20 gave few fatawas and 122 were those who rendered the least fatawas. The thousands of fatwas of these Mufti’s are present in the following kitaabs. Musnaf ibn Abi Shayba; Musnaf Abdur Razzaq; Tahzeebul Aathaar and Ma’aanil Aathaar, etc., in which the Mufti’s only narrate the Mas’ala law, and they do not narrate any Aayat or Hadith by way of proof together with the Mas’ala and the rest of the Sahaabah (Radhiyallahu Anhum) practised on these Mas’ala’s without any proof. This is called Taqleed. Regarding these Mufti’s of the Sahaabah (Radhiyallahu Anhum), Shah Walliullaah (rahimahullah) says, that the Sahaabah (Radhiyallahu Anhum) were spread in different countries and in every place one Sahaabi was followed, example:
Makkah – Hadhrat ibn Abbass (Radiahallahu Anhu).
Kufa – Hadhrat Abdullah bin Maqsood (Radiahallahu Anhu)
Yemen- Hadhrat Muadh (Radhiyallahu Anhu)
Basrah- Hadhrat Anas (Radhiyallahu Anhu)
Madinah- Hadhrat Zaid Ibn Thabit (Radhiyahallahu Anhu)
Then after them it was the era of the Tabi’eens. Hadhrat Shah Walliullaah (Rahmatullah Alayh) says that every Tabee Aalim had a line of following and they became the Imaams of each city and the people used to follow them. This is such a question, as if a person says was the Qur’aan recited before the 10 Qaris came, or the Sahaabah (Radhiyallahu Anhum) did not read Bukhari or Muslim or was it not necessary to believe in Hadith.
QUESTION THREE Was any Mujtahid born after the 4 Imaams, or can any Mujtahid be born or not?
ANSWER : This question is in relation to history. Shah Waliullaah (Rahmatullaah Alayh) says, a true Mujtahid has not been born 300 year after Hijra and Imaam Nawawi (Rahmatullah Alayh) has mentioned in Sharah Madhhab, that for a true Mujtahid to come is not impossible according to Shariah, but what will they come to do? If any Muhaddith through his claim regards the entire Sahih Bukhari as false and has no respect and honour for the Hadith and Muhadditheen, then what benefit does he do for deen.
QUESTION FOUR: What are the proofs, for only one Imaam’s Taqleed to be Waajib and also explain its laws?
ANSWER : Just like in Yemen Hadhrat Mua’dh (Radhiyallahu Anhu) was a Mujtahid and the public used to follow him. See section “Taqleed in the era of the Sahabah” for more details above.
Shah Waliullaah (Rahmatullah Alayh) says, that one Imam’s Taqleed is Wajib on the public and it’s proof is Ijma.
QUESTION FIVE: Imaam Abu Yusuf and Imaam Muhammad (Rahmatullah Alayh) were the students of Imaam Abu Hanifa (Rahmatullah Alayh) and they also used to follow him, then why did they not have the same views regarding certain Mas’alas?
ANSWER : Imaam Abu Yusuf and Imaam Muhammad (Rahmatullah Alayh) were both Mujtahids and it is not necessary for one Mujtahid to follow another Mujtahid and if they do follow another Mujtahid then too it is permissible.
The Outcome of Rejecting Taqleed
The Testimony of Moulana Muhammad Husein Batalwi From 50 years of experience, we have come to know that those people that make Taqleed without any knowledge will eventually leave the fold of Islaam. Some will turn to Christianity. Some will be come atheist. From these Faasiqs, some of them openly leave out Jummah Namaaz and fasting, they do not stay away from interest and wine, and some of them because of dunya outwardly stay away from sins, but are involved in sin secretly. They marry women in a haraam manner. Dunya is the cause of Kufr, Apostasy and Sin. But for the Muslims to come out of the fold of Islaam, because of ignorance regarding Taqleed is a very serious matter.
It is common now to see activists prowling the mosques criticising other worshippers for what they believe to be defects in their worship, even when their victims are following the verdicts of some of the leading Imams of fiqh.
Salvation or Destruction
Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (Radiahallahu Amhu) said that no doubt Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had mentioned: “That three things grant salvation and three things cause destruction.” Those things that grant salvation are:
1. To have the fear of Allaah under all conditions.
2. To speak the truth in all conditions, happiness or sadness.
3. To choose moderation whether you are rich or poor.
Three Things That Cause Destruction:
1. to follow your carnal desires.
2. To be stingy.
3. To have pride on one’s opinions.
Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) mentioned that from the three the last one is most destructive. (Mishkaat).
Hadhrat Shaikh Abdul Gani (rahimahullah) narrates from Mullah Ali Qari (Rahmatullah Alayh) that this Hadith is a proof regarding those people who do not follow the 4 imaams and these are the people who will fall into destruction.
By Allaah, this view (that ordinary people should not follow madhhabs) is nothing less than an attempt to fling the door wide open for people’s individual preferences, thereby turning the Book and the Sunnah into playthings to be manipulated by those deluded fools, driven by their compounded ignorance and their corrupt imaginings. [Cf. Imam al-Dajawi II 579].
And has come to know it right then, and he wants to follow that view as from today, he will not be allowed to do so, because such a practice open the door for playing with the rules of the Shari’ah and paves the path for deciding the Halaal and Haram in accordance with one’s desires. [Fatawa Ibn Taymiyyah Syrian ed. 2:285,286].
One who does not make Taqleed will follow ones whims, fancies, desires and external motications to reach decisions which is against the Shariat of Islaam. Underlying are few ayaats showing the detestments of following ones desires.
Ayats on Following the Nafs
1) “But he clung to the earthly life and succumbed to his fancies. He was like the dog which pants whether you chase it away or let it alone” (Qur’an 7/176).
2) “Do you see the man who makes his desire his God, the man whom Allaah leaves in error, setting a seal upon his ears and heart and drawing a veil over his eyes? Who then can guide him after Allaah (has withdrawn guidance)? Will you not take heed? (45-23).
3) “Can he who follows the guidance of his Rabb be compared to him whose erroneous actions are made to seem fair to him, and to those who follow their desires?” (47-14).
4) “Nor obey him whose heart We have made Heedless of Our Remembrance; who follows his desires and whose case exceeds due bounds” (18-28).
5) “And if after all the knowledge you have been given you yield to their desires, there shall be none to help or protect you from the wrath of Allaah” (2-120).
6) “And do not yield to their fancies from the truth that has been made known to you” (5-48).
7) “And do not be led by their desires“. (5-49).
8) “And do not yield to the desires of ignorant men, for they in no way can protect you from the wrath of Allaah” (45-18).
9) “Rule with justice among men and do not yield to lust, lest it should turn you away from Allaah’s path” (38-26).
10) “And who is in greater error than the man who is led by his desires without guidance from Allaah? Allaah does not guide the evil-doers.” (28-50).
FEW TESTS FOR THE GHAIR MUQALLIDS
When you meet a Ghair Muqallid give him the Qur’aan and a few Hadith books and ask him to show you the perfect way of performing Salaat. Is it a verbal or an oral Ibadat. First ask him the laws of each action. It is Fardh, Wajib, Sunnat or Nafl? Tell him to show you this from Qur’aan and Hadith. He will never be able to show you till Qiyamaat. He will be distressed and say to you that we do not believe in anything being Sunnat, Wajib, of Nafl. These laws are innovations. You should immediately ask him to recite Sura Fatihah behind the Imaam, top place hands on a chest, to say Aameen in a loud voice. If these are not Fardh, Wajib, Sunnat, of Nafl, then those that say it is Farz, Wajib, etc., are all innovators. Then state to him that when you are not an Imaam of a Masjid, you perform a Fardh behind a Imaam, and Sunnat and Nafl on you own, then ask him to show you from the Qur’aan and Hadith that when a Muqtadi-follower or a person who performs his own namaaz whether he should say, Takbire Tahrima, Thana Ta’awuz, Tasmia, Aameen, Takbir, Tasbihs of rukhu and Sajda, Tashaadad, Durood, Duaa and Salaam softly or in a loud voice. He will never be able to show you clearly from the Qur’aan and Hadith. Then make him note down, that I have spoken a lie on the Qur’aan and Hadith and I cannot even show perfect way of performing Namaaz from the Qur’aan and Hadith and till today I was reading all my Namaazes following my Moulana. After writing this, you should ask him the name of his follower and test him in the same way. You will see that he is also a big liar and he will not be able to even show you the perfect way of performing Namaaz from the Qur’aan and Hadith. Whenever you meet a Ghair Muqallid, you should tell him that he does not know anything from the Qur’aan and Hadith and he should not go on speaking lies on the Qur’aan and Hadith.
Take Taleemul Islaam, Bahishti Zewar or Urdu Fatawa Alamgiri and read each Mas’ala and tell him to give you a proof from the Qur’aan and Hadith, for all those Mas’alas-laws which he regards as incorrect. And then tell him after completing the book, that if you give us strong proof from the Qur’aan and Hadith for all of those mas’alas which you regard as incorrect , then only will I accept your view.
Take Tahawi Shareef, Musnaf ibn Abi Shai’ba or Musnaf Abdur Razzaak and narrate the contradicting Ahadith and ask him to solve the contradiction with a Sahih Hadith and not with an individuals statement or principal, he will be helpless and unable to achieve a solution. Only one solution is applicable and that is to follow the Mujtahid by acting on the more superior Hadith. This is Taqleed.
It is clean from the above that these people are ignorant regarding Qur’aan and Hadith. Yes, harbouring ill thought and being impertinent to the ancestors have been termed as practising on Hadith. Perhaps practising on “the latter part of this Ummat will curse the foremost” is termed as practising on Hadith.
In language they blindly trust the Philogist which is their Taqleed. The Ghair Muqallids disciples follow the Muhadditheen in regard with the authenticity and the weakness of a Hadith, the principles of Hadith and the narrators of Hadith. In Grammar and Etymology they do not feel ashamed to follow a Grammarian. They deem it necessary to follow a doctor by taking the prescribed medication. Regarding legislative laws they follow a controversialist (one well versed in law). Only regarding Islaamic Jurisprudence, instead of following the Theologians, they follow incapable Ulema. Following and consulting the incapable is a sign of Qiyamaah. Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is reported to have said that when duty is entrusted to an incapable person, then await the coming of Qiyamaah (i.e. wait for turmoil and destruction). This is just as one who takes medical treatment from a shoemaker, or advice regarding legal matters from a blacksmith. In Tafseer, instead of following Hadhrat Abdullaah bin ‘Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) they follow Mirza Qadiyani. In Hadith, Aslam Jirajapuri and Parwez are given preference and regarded more authentic than Imaam Bukhari and Imaam Muslim.
Reward and Punishment
“When the judge passess a verdict and exerts in doing so, he will receive double reward if he is correct and a single reward if he err’s” [Sharh Muslim–vol. 12 p13]
Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has said, “That whosoever gives his own opinions regarding the Qur’aan, his abode shall be Jahannum (Tirmidhi )
And he mentioned that “whosoever gives his own opinion regarding the Qur’aan, then he will be turned a sinner, even if it happens to be on the truth“. (Tirmidhi).
Imaam Nawawi (Rahmatullah Alayh) says: “That it is an agreement between all Muslims that a Mujtahid gets a reward for every Ijtihaad (i.e. every problem that is solved after deep thought). If his Ijihaad is correct, then he is worthy of 2 rewards, one reward for his earnest effort and the other reward for his correctness. And if his Ijtihaad was not correct, then too he will get one reward for his earnest effort. And an unworthy person is not allowed under any circumstances to make Ijtihaad, but is regarded as a sinner, whether it happens to be correct or incorrect, because it is only by a mere co-incidence that he got the correct answer and not on the foundation of Shariat. So he is regarded a sinner in all these cases, whether it is correct or incorrect and all his own opinions are rejected and non of his excuses are accepted, according to Shariat and he is regarded as a Jahannami” [Sharah Muslim].
The Blind Taqleed
Today the people taunt and say that following of the Imaams of Fiqh is blind Taqleed. Unfortunately these people don not even know the meaning of blind Taqleed. Blind Taqleed is when one blind person runs behind another blind person and both fall into a ditch. And if a blind person follows a person who can see, so this person with the blessing of vision will save the blind person from falling into a ditch, and will make him reach his destination. The 4 imaams are not blind. They are the pious servants of Allaah. Blind Taqleed is also this, that they themselves are blind and their imaams are also blind regarding Ijtihaad. That is why Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has said: “That if an ignorant person make his leader a person who himself is ignorant, then he will be lead astray”
It is our advise that those who are making Taqleed should know fully well that they are on the path of the “Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat” and to those who unfortunately deny or reject Taqleed must repent to be counted amongst the group whose name even was given by Rasulullaah (Sallahu Alayhi Wasalaam). Presently the Ghair Muqallid is misled and misleading. May Allaah Ta’ala grant us the ability to conform to the teaching of Nabi (Sallahu Alayhi Wasallam) as expounded by the Ahle Sunnah Wal Jamaat. Aameen!