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Scholars in Islam, Schools of Thought and why we need to choose which ruling to follow.. PLEASE READ..

Posted by on Aug. 21, 2007 at 11:29 PM
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Salaam Sisters,

This a long post because it is an extremely important issue that we are facing everyday as practicing Muslims and especially for new converted Muslims.
 

Who do we listen to for rulings on Sharia and what if they differ in opinions?  Here are the answers.  Think about this below, before you read my proof;

1. We must never pick and choose between the 4 schools of thought scholars opinions because all of the scholars (4 schools of thought) opinions are correct.

2. One must decide which scholar or two that they are going to study and adhere to their rulings during their study & lifetime of Islam. ( We must study and find out about the scholars and ask our trusted Muslims, then come up with your choice.)

3.  When your Sheik, Imam, trusted brother, trusted sister in Islam tells you a ruling ASK, Which School of Thought are you following???  And Ask for the proof of the Ruling.


We are all humans beings and we all make mistakes.  While we have self-proclaimed Sheiks & Imams; we don't know what they studied and from whom they studied.  We need to question it because on the day of Judgement, Allah will question us.  We are accountable for this! 

Inshallah, we have scholars who know so much more about Islam than we do.  We as Muslim sisters (me included) need to take more time to learn about our religion.  ~Alicia (akhlass) ~

THE FOUR SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT IN ISLAM (MADZHAB)

(continued)


FOLLOWING ONE PARTICULAR IMAM IN EVERY JURISTIC ISSUE

Question: “It is generally believed by the Sunni Muslims that each one of the Mudhahib of Hanafi, Shafi’I, Maliki and Hanbali, being one of the possible interpretation of Shari’ah, is right and none of them can be held as something against the Shari’ah. But on the same time we see that the followers of Hanafi school never depart from the Hanafi view and never adopt the Shafi’I or Maliki view in any juristic matter. Rather, they deem it impermissible to follow another jurists view in a particular issue. How can this behaviour be reconciled with the belief that all the four madhahib are right? If all of them are right, there should be no harm if the Hanafi Muslims follow Shafi’I or Maliki or Hanbali views in some particular matter.
(Hussain Ahmad, London)

Answer:

It is true that all the four madhahib are right, and following any one of them is permissible in order to follow the Shari’ah. However, a layman who lacks the ability to analyse and distinguish the arguments of each madhhab cannot be allowed to pick and choose between different views only to satisfy his personal desires.
 
The reason for this approach is twofold:

Firsty, the Holy Qur’an in a number of verses has emphatically ordered us to follow the Shari’ah, and has made it strictly prohibited to follow the personal desires vis-a-vis the rules of Shari’ah. The Muslim jurists, while interpreting the sources of Shari’ah never intend to satisfy their personal desires. They actually undertake an honest effort to discover the intention of Shari’ah and base their madhhab on the force of evidence, not on the search for convenience. They do not choose an interpretation from among the various ones on the basis of its suitability to their personal fancies. They choose it only because the strength of proof leads them to do so.

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 to him more fulfilling to his personal requirements, and this attitude will lead him to follow the ‘desires’ and not the ‘guidance’ --- a practice totally condemned by the Holy Qur’an.


For example, Imam Abu Hanifah is of the view that bleeding from any part of the body breaks the wudu’, while Imam Shafi’I believes that the wudu is not broken by bleeding. On the other hand, Imam Shafi’I says that if a man touches a woman, his wudu’ stands broken and he is bound to make a fresh wudu’ before offering Salah, while Imam Abu Hanifah insists that merely touching a woman does not break the wudu.


Now, if the policy of ‘pick and choose’ is allowed without any restriction, a layman can choose the Hanafi view in the matter of touching a woman and the Shafi’I view in the matter of bleeding. Consequently, he will deem his wudu’ unbroken even when he has combined both the situations, while in that case his wudu’ stands broken according to both Hanafi and Shafi’I views. Similarly, a traveller, according to the Shafi’I view, 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 concession of ‘qasr’, nor of combining two prayers. On the other hand, combining two prayers in one time is not allowed according to the opinion of Hanafi school, even when one 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. Consequently a traveller who has entered a city to stay there for five days cannot combine two prayers, neither according to Imam Shafi’I because since by staying for five days he cannot use the concession, nor according to Imam Abu Hanifah, because combining two prayers is not at all allowed according to him. But the policy of ‘pick and choose’ often leads some people to adopt the Shafi’I view in the matter of combining two prayers and the Hanafi view in the matter of the period of journey.

It is evident in these examples that the selection of different views in different cases is not based on the force of arguments underlying them but on the facility and convenience provided by each. Obviously this practice is tantamount to ‘following the desires’ which is totally prohibited by the Holy Qur’an. If such an attitude is allowed, it will render the Shari’ah a plaything in the hands of the ignorant, and no rule of the 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 muhaddib and jurist, says in his ‘Fatawa’:

“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 purpose and satisfy their desires. Such a practice is impermissible according to the consensus of all the imams.”
 

He further elaborates the point by several examples when he says:

“For example if a person wants to pre-empt (obstruct) a sale he adopts the view of those who give the right of pre-emption to a contingent neighbour, but if they are the seller of a property, they refuse to accept the right of pre-emption for the neighbour of the seller (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 only then, and he wants to follow that view as from today, he will not be allowed to do so, because such a practice opens the door for playing with the rules of Shari’ah, and paves the path for deciding the halal and haram in accordance with one’s desires.” (Fatawa Ibn Taymiyyah Syrian ed. 2:285,286)
 

That was the basic cause for the policy adopted by the later jurists who made it necessary for the common people to adopt a particular madhhab in its totality. If one prefers the madhhab of Imam Abu Hanifah, he should adopt it in all matters and with all its details, and if he prefers another madhhab, he should adopt it in full in the same way and he should not ‘pick and choose’ between different views for his individual benefit. The consequence of the correctness of all the madhahib, is that one can elect to follow any one of them, but once he adopts a particular madhhab, he should not follow another madhhab in a particular matter in order to satisfy his personal choice based on his desire, not on the force of argument. Thus the policy of allegiance to a particular madhhab was a preventive measure adopted by the jurists to prevent anarchy in the matter of Shari’ah. But obviously, this policy is meant for the people who cannot carry out ijtihad themselves, or cannot evaluate the arguments advanced by every madhhab in support of their respective views. Such people have no option but to follow a particular madhhab as a credible and reliable interpretation of Shari’ah.
 

But the people equipped with necessary qualifications of ijtihad need not follow a particular madhhab. They can derive the rules of Shari’ah directly from their original sources. Similarly, the persons who are not fully qualified for the exercise of ijtihad, yet they are so well-versed in the Islamic disciplines that they can evaluate the different juristic views on pure academic grounds without being motivated by their personal desires are never forbidden from preferring one madhhab over the other in a particular matter.

There is a large number of Hanafi jurists who, despite their allegiance to Imam Abu Hanifah, have adopted the view of some other jurist in several juristic issues. Still, they are called ‘Hanafi’. This partial departure from the view of Imam Abu Hanifah was based on either of the following grounds: sometimes they, after an honest and comprehensive study of the relevant material came to the conclusion that the view of some other Imam is more forceful. Sometimes, they found that a view of Imam Abu Hanifah is based on pure analogy, but an authentic Hadith expressly contradicts that view and it is most likely that the hadith was not conveyed to Imam Abu Hanifah, otherwise he would not have adopted a view against it. In some other cases, the jurists felt that it is the requirement of the collective expedience of the Ummah to act upon the view of some other Imam, which is an equally possible interpretation of Shari’ah, and they adopted it not in pursuance of their personal desires, but to meet the collective needs of the Ummah and in view of the changed circumstances prevailing in their time.

These examples are more than enough to show that the followers of a particular madhhab have never taken it as a substitute of Shari’ah or as its sole version to the exclusion of every other madhhab: In fact, they have never given a juristic madhhab a higher place than it actually deserved within the framework of Shari’ah.

Before parting with this question, I would like to clarify another point which is extremely important in this context: It has become a modern phenomenon, that some people having no systematic knowledge of Islamic disciplines often become deluded by their superficial information based on self-study, and that too, in most cases, through translations of the Holy Qur’an and ahadith. By virtue of this kind of cursory study, they presume themselves to be the masters of the Islamic learning, and start criticizing the former Muslim jurists. This attitude is totally wrong and devoid of any justification. The inference of juristic rules from the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah is a very meticulous exercise which cannot be carried out on the basis of a superficial study.


While studying a particular juristic subject one has to collect all the relevant material from the Holy Qur’an and from the ahadith found in different chapters and different books, and has to undertake a combined study of this scattered material. He has to examine the veracity of the relevant ahadith in the light of the well settled principles of the science of hadith. He has to discover the historical background and exegesis of the relevant verses and traditions. In short, he has to resolve a number of complicated issues involved. All this exercise requires very intensive and extensive knowledge which is seldom found in the contemporary ‘Ulama, who are specialists themselves in the subject, let alone the common people who have no direct access to the original sources of Shari’ah.
 

The upshot of the above discussion is that all the four madhahib being based on solid grounds, it is permissible for a competent Hanafi ‘alim to adopt another juristic view, if he has the required knowledge and ability to go into the merits of each madhhab on the basis of adequate academic research without pursuing his personal desires. But the people who do not fulfil these conditions should not dare to do so, because it can lead to a dangerous state of anarchy in the matter of Shari’ah.


Written by Mufti Taqi Uthmani (he is deceased)

from 'Contemporary Fataawa' published by Zam Zam Publishers
http://alashrafia.com/taqi_bio.html READ about this Brothers life here.
Here is the links to this website.
http://www.victoryscent.co.uk/4madhabs_2.htm

Anything good comes from Allah and anything wrong is my own fault. 
May Allah forgive me...

Alicia, Group Owner ~please add me as a friend & join my groups~

~Children with Special Needs~ http://www.cafemom.com/group/hollywoodspecialneeds

~Muslim Converts Speak~ http://www.cafemom.com/group/muslimconverts

by on Aug. 21, 2007 at 11:29 PM
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Replies (1-8):
proud2bmom3 Group Owner
by on Aug. 22, 2007 at 12:03 AM
jazaaki Allahu Khairan sister,

may Allah reward you for your efforts. and thank you for posting this article.

love and salaam
Nikah2006
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 1:33 AM

BUMP!

proud2bmom3 Group Owner
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 2:27 AM

assalamu alaikum sisters.. 

thank you sister Nikah2006 for the Bump!.. I would just like to add one thought.. 

the statement that " all opinions are correct" is not completely accurate.. the scholars themselves who founded these madhaahib advised that they are human and make mistakes and if one finds that a ruling is not in line with Quran or Sunnah, or that there is an opinion that is more sound, to follow that opinion. 

it is better NOT to go around the madhaahib on every matter and pick the one with most lenient ruling. however, if let's say a person is following the Maaliki madhab ( we mentioned this in a previous post) which does not allow for women to lead other women in prayer, an opinion that the rest of the schools of thought, and the Jamaa'ah ( most of the scholars of Islam) disagree with, then I dont' think there is any harm in following the opinion of the majority of scholars. 

does that make sense? 

jazaakumu Allahu Khairan. 

if I speak in error then it is from me may Allah forgive me and guide us all to what pleases HIM Ameen. 

Love and salaam (peace)

 (proud2bmom3 Muslim Moms-- Owner. 

Laurin283
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 4:04 PM

Does anyone know of a good website where all 4 schools are discussed, and where you can find the views of each school on some major issues?  I've google searched it before, but obviously wikipedia is NOT the best choice here.  :)

Nikah2006
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 4:41 PM


I googled it too and this is the only believable information I found. 

Quoting Laurin283:

Does anyone know of a good website where all 4 schools are discussed, and where you can find the views of each school on some major issues?  I've google searched it before, but obviously wikipedia is NOT the best choice here.  :)



Nikah2006
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 4:56 PM


No I am still confused. Because at one point it says to go with what you believe is best. Then it says it is wrong to pick and chose. So how do you know the answer.  For example the idea that menstruation breaks wudu. I feel that it does break wudu but you may feel differently. Didn't that mean I picked and chose an answer. How am I suppose which is the right answer? And I know this may sound crazy, but is there a chart or list that one can look at and decide which view fits my beliefs better? 

Quoting proud2bmom3: 

assalamu alaikum sisters.. 

thank you sister Nikah2006 for the Bump!.. I would just like to add one thought.. 

the statement that " all opinions are correct" is not completely accurate.. the scholars themselves who founded these madhaahib advised that they are human and make mistakes and if one finds that a ruling is not in line with Quran or Sunnah, or that there is an opinion that is more sound, to follow that opinion. 

it is better NOT to go around the madhaahib on every matter and pick the one with most lenient ruling. however, if let's say a person is following the Maaliki madhab ( we mentioned this in a previous post) which does not allow for women to lead other women in prayer, an opinion that the rest of the schools of thought, and the Jamaa'ah ( most of the scholars of Islam) disagree with, then I dont' think there is any harm in following the opinion of the majority of scholars. 

does that make sense? 

jazaakumu Allahu Khairan. 

if I speak in error then it is from me may Allah forgive me and guide us all to what pleases HIM Ameen. 



Laurin283
by on Feb. 1, 2013 at 11:48 AM

I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) that menstruation always breaks wudu, being that we're not allowed to pray when on our period.  I think the bleeding being discussed is things such as a cut, or bleeding from a tooth problem, or something like that.


Quoting Nikah2006:


No I am still confused. Because at one point it says to go with what you believe is best. Then it says it is wrong to pick and chose. So how do you know the answer.  For example the idea that menstruation breaks wudu. I feel that it does break wudu but you may feel differently. Didn't that mean I picked and chose an answer. How am I suppose which is the right answer? And I know this may sound crazy, but is there a chart or list that one can look at and decide which view fits my beliefs better? 

Quoting proud2bmom3: 

assalamu alaikum sisters.. 

thank you sister Nikah2006 for the Bump!.. I would just like to add one thought.. 

the statement that " all opinions are correct" is not completely accurate.. the scholars themselves who founded these madhaahib advised that they are human and make mistakes and if one finds that a ruling is not in line with Quran or Sunnah, or that there is an opinion that is more sound, to follow that opinion. 

it is better NOT to go around the madhaahib on every matter and pick the one with most lenient ruling. however, if let's say a person is following the Maaliki madhab ( we mentioned this in a previous post) which does not allow for women to lead other women in prayer, an opinion that the rest of the schools of thought, and the Jamaa'ah ( most of the scholars of Islam) disagree with, then I dont' think there is any harm in following the opinion of the majority of scholars. 

does that make sense? 

jazaakumu Allahu Khairan. 

if I speak in error then it is from me may Allah forgive me and guide us all to what pleases HIM Ameen. 





proud2bmom3 Group Owner
by on Feb. 1, 2013 at 12:17 PM

Yes, 

assalamu alaikum .. sister Laurin283 is correct. menstrual bleeding not only breaks your wudu, you need to make Ghusl when you are done,, you cannot touch the Quran or pray or fast..etc. * this is a point in the Quran and agreed upon by all schools..  the bleeding the sister might be referring to that might have difference in ruling is indeed from a cut, or a nose bleed ...etc. 

We as lay people who have NO substantial knowledge cannot distinguish what is right and what is wrong without the aid of a scholar. plain and simple.. Ali bin Abi talib may Allah be pleased with him said that if all things in our deen had to be logical, we should wipe the bottom of the shoe, not the top when making wudu'.  and those who follow a madhhab study the Fiqh of that  madhhab. ( jursitic rulings) it stands to reason that the simple person that is not knowledgeable in Quran, sunnah or fiqh should not be making judgements against the well established knowledge of the scholars of the four schools.. we rely on the scholars that show us the stance of the different schools, or we just follow one school and stick with it. 

I know it sounds confusing, but really it is not. the most important thing to understand is that we should not take the word of one madhhab as the ultimate law and put others down for not following it. especially here in America where you will find people from different countries following different madhaahib even in the way they rise from ruku' or sujood. 

alhamduliaah now adays there are reputable websites with sheikhs who will answer you on certain matters.. some from the stand point of their madhhab and some give you the opinion of all and tell you the opinion of the majority.. 

the book Fiqh assunnah by Sayyid Saabiq is a good book on fiqh ( jurisprudence) that offers good basic knowledge. 

if I speak in error then it is from me. may Allah forgive me and guide us all to what pleases HIM Ameen. 

Love and salaam (peace)

 (proud2bmom3 Muslim Moms-- Owner. 

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