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The Blind Following of Madhhabs

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3. The Basis of the Deen of Islaam is Action according to the Book and the Sunnah

This is the Deen of Islaam in truth and its fundamental and its basis is the Book and the Sunnah. So they are the points of reference in every dispute that the Muslims fall into and he who refers back to other than them is not a believer! As Allaah the Most High says:
“But no, by your Lord, they can have no faith, until they make you (O Muhammad) judge in all disputes between them and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions and accept (them) with full submissions”

[Sooratun-Nisaa (4): 65]
Not one of the scholars said, ‘follow me in my opinion rather they said ‘take from where we have taken,’ besides, much has been added to these madhhabs from the understanding of their later generations [1]

They contain many errors and matters of conjecture, which if the Imaams

For example, the Maalikees leave their arms at their side, during the Salaah and read Qunoot in Fajr, whereas we find Maalik - rahimahullaah - quotes in al-Muwatta: “Chapter: Placing the two hands; one upon the other in Prayer.” He reported narrations therein, from them: That ‘Abdul Kareem ibn Abil Makhaariq al-Basaree said, “From the sayings of Prophethood is: If you feel no shame. Then do as you wish: placing the hands one upon the other in Prayer; being early in breaking the fast; and delaying taking the pre-dawn meal (suhoor).”  [2]

to whom they are attributed were to see them, then they would absolve themselves of them and from those who said them.
All of the people of knowledge from the Pious Predecessors clung to the manifest texts of the Book and the Sunnah and encouraged the people to stick to them and act accordingly. This is established from the Imaams from amongst them: Abu Haneefah, Maalik, Ahmad, ash-Shaafi’ee, the two Sufyaans, ath-Thawree and Ibn ‘Uyaiynah, al-Hasan al-Basree, Abu Yoosuf Ya’qoob - the Qaadee, Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ash-Shaybaanee, ‘Abdur-Rahmaan al-Awzaa‘ee, ‘ Abdullaah ibn al-Mubaarak, al-Bukhaaree, Muslim and the rest, rahimahumullaah ta’aalaa . All of them warned against innovations in the Deen and against blind-following of anyone except the infallible Messenger (Peace be upon him). As for other than him, then he is fallible whoever he may be, his saying which is accordance with the Book and the Sunnah is accepted and that which goes against them is to be rejected. As Imaam Maalik - rahimahullaah - said, “The saying of everyone may be taken or rejected, except for the companion of this grave,” and he pointed to the grave of the Prophet (Peace be upon him)” [3]

The scholars, the four Imaams and the others, all followed this way, all of them warned against blind-following! Since Allaah, the Most High, condemned the blind-followers in more than one place in His Book. Most of the earlier and later people became disbelievers due to their blind-following of their priests, rabbis, old people and forefathers. It is established from Imaams Abu Haneefah, Maalik, ash-Shaafi‘ee, Ahmad and others - rahimahumullaah - that they said: “It is not permissible for any one to give judgment with our saying unless they know the source from which we took it.” [4]

“If the Hadeeth is authentic then it is my madhhab.” [5]

“If I say something then compare it to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger and if it agrees to them, then accept it and that which of goes against them, then reject it and throw my saying against the wall.”
This is a saying of ash-Shaafi’ee - rahimahullaah.
[See al-Majmoo’ of an-Nawawee (1/63) and A’laam ul-Muwaqqi’een of Ibn ul-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (2/361).]

These are the saying of those prominent Imaams, may Allaah enter them into the Home of Peace. Unfortunately, the later blind-followers and authors who wrote the books, whom the people think to be scholars and infallible mujtahids, have made it obligatory for the people to blindly-follow one of the four Imaams and their well-known madhhabs. After declaring this to be obligatory, they forbade taking or acting upon anyone else’s saying, it is as if they have made him (i.e. the Imaam) a Prophet to be obeyed. It would have been better had they acted upon the sayings of the Imaams . However, most of them know nothing of the Imaam whom they claim to follow, except his name. Further, some of the later followers invented questions, created new madhhabs and ascribed them to the original Imaams. So those who came after them think that it is the saying of the Imaam or his students and in reality it goes against what the Imaam said and approved. The Imaam is free from what they ascribe to him, such as the saying of many of the later Hanafees that it is forbidden to point with the forefinger in the tashahhud in Prayers , that what is meant by Allaah’s Hand is His Power, or that He is present by His Dhaat (self) in every place and not above the ‘Arsh, because of this and its like the unity of the Muslims has been destroyed, their community has separated and the splits increased.

The Messenger of Allaah (Peace be upon him) said, “My Ummah will split into seventy-three sects, all of them in the fire except one.” It was said, “Who are they O Messenger of Allaah ?” He said, “That which I and my Companions are upon.”
[Reported by Abu Daawood (2/503-504), Ibn Majah (2/1322) ad-Daarimee (2/241), Ahmad and al-Haakim (1/128), who declared it Saheeh and adh-Dhahabee agreed.]

4. Blind-following of a Particular Person Made Binding by Later Followers

By Allaah, the Sublime, verily the Muslims when they were complete Muslims and true in their Islaam were certainly aided and given victory over the lands. They raised up the banner of the Deen, like the rightly-guided Khulafah and those who followed them in righteousness - radiallaahu‘anhum. However when the Muslims changed the commands of the Rabb of the worlds, Allaah, the Most High, rewarded them by removing His blessings from them and removed the Khilaafah from them, as is witnessed to by many aayaahs.
“That is so because Allaah will never change a grace which He has bestowed on a people until they change what is in their ownselves. Verily, Allaah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.”

[Sooratul-Anfaal (8): 53 ]
From that which they have changed, is the taking of particular madhhabs and blindly clinging to them even when wrong. These madhhabs are new innovations  which came about after the first three generations; there is no doubt about this and every innovation [6], for which reward is expected and is thought to be part of the Deen, is misguidance See al-I’tisaam of ash-Shaatibee - rahimahullaah.

The Pious Predecessors (the first three generations of Muslims) used to cling to the Book and Sunnah and that which they indicated to and that which the Ummah united upon and they were Muslims - and may Allaah be pleased with them and make us from them.

However, when the innovation of madhhabs sprang up, their word split and the people began to declare each other as misguided, to extent that,   they gave Fatwaas (rulings) that it was not possible for a Hanafee to pray behind a Shaafi’ee Imaam [7].

If you say that the followers of the four madhhabs are the Ahl us-Sunnah - then their actions give the lie to them and contradict and refute their saying. Thus due to this innovation the four Prayer stations in the Masjid ul-Haraam came about and there came to be four Jamaa’ahs and the follower of each madhhab would wait for the Jamaa‘ah of his madhhab. So due to innovations like this Iblees was able to attain one of his goals; that is the splitting of the Muslims and destruction of their unity, so we seek Allaah’s refuge from that.

5. Will it be Asked in the Grave about which Madhhab one Followed?

I ask you, by Allaah, the Great, O Thinking and just Muslims that when a Muslim dies, will he be asked in his grave or on the Day of Requital, why did you not follow the madhhab of so and so? Or why did you not follow the tareeqah (order) of such and such?

By Allaah, you will not be asked about that at all, rather you will certainly be asked about that which Allaah made obligatory upon you as regards belief in Him and in accepting the message with which His Messenger was sent with.

So, O Muslim, return to your Deen, which is acting upon what is manifest of the Qur'aan and the Sunnah and that upon which the Pious Predecessors and righteous Imaams agreed, for verily therein lies your salvation and by that is your success. Sufficient for you is what al-Imaam at-Tirmidhee reports in his Sunan from al-’Irbaad ibn Saariyah who said:
The Messenger of Allaah (Peace be upon him) gave us an admonition one day after the Fajr Prayer, by which our eyes shed tears and our hearts were afraid. So a man said, “This is as if it is a farewell sermon, so counsel us, O Messenger of Allaah?” He said, “I counsel you to fear Allaah and to hear and obey even if an Ethiopian slave becomes your leader, since he who lives will see great controversy. So keep to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the Rightly-Guided Khulafaa, cling to that with your teeth. Beware of novelties for every novelty is an innovation and every innovation is a going astray.”
[Saheeh: reported by al-Tirmidhee (5/44), Ibn Maajah (1/15-17), Abu Daawood (4607), Ahmad and al-Haakim (1/95-96) who said, “Saheeh. It has no weakness” and adh-Dhahabee. Shaykh al-Albaanee declared it Saheeh in Zilzaal ul-Jamah (1/17)]

Since the matter is like this, then we must beware of blind-following, since there is no doubt that he who blindly follows a particular madhhab in every matter, he will be leaving off acting on many authentic Hadeeth and going against them. There is no doubt that this is nothing but misguidance. Therefore many of the verifiers within the Hanafees have clearly stated that it is not binding to follow a particular madhhab, as occurs in at-Tahreer of al-Kamaal ibn al-Hammaam and Radd ul-Mukhtaar of Ibn ‘Aabideen ash-Shaamee

[1] The following of madhhabs has not only led the blind-followers to prefer the sayings and opinions of men to the clear texts of the Qur’aan and Sunnah, it has further taken them even to forget the authentic sayings of their own Imaams - rahimahumullaah - preferring the sayings of the later followers, thinking that they are the madhhab of the scholars, without discrimination or research and that is due only to the severity of their blind-following. It is known that the scholars wrote down their positions in books and left what they regarded to be correct according to their own ijtihaad . Imaam Maalik - rahimahullaah - left his position in al-Muwatta and Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee left his position in al-Umm. If we wish to know the madhhab of any of those scholars we have to refer back to his book. It is not fitting that we seek it in other than his book; as an explanation of what is often reported as being the saying of Imaam Maalik, Imaam Ash-Shaafi’ee and Imaam Abu Haneefah - rahimahumullaah - which they never said or did

[2] But the later Maalikees use as evidence that Maalik used to pray with his hands hanging at his side, this is ignorance with regard to the madhhab which they follow. Since Ja’far ibn Sulaymaan, the governor of al-Madeenah lashed the Imaam in the year 146H and stretched out his arms until his hands became dislocated and so he was not able to place his hands one over the other in Prayer. (See al-lntiqaa, p.44) He wrote al-Muwatta two years after this happened. Imaam Maalik also reports in the chapter of the Qunoot in Fajr Prayer (1/159) that, “Ibn ‘Umar ? did not read the Qunoot in any of his prayers.”

As for Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee - rahimahullaah - then it is ignorantly attributed to him that he holds the salaat upon the Prophet  to be a Sunnah whereas he says in al-Umm (1/117) that it is obligatory: “Allaah, the Most High, made obligatorythe salaat upon His Messenger  saying:

“Allaah and the angels send salaat upon the Prophet; O you who believe send salaat upon him and greet him with respect.” ….

(Sooratul-Ahzaab (33): 56)
There is no place which has more right for that to be obligatory therein than within the Prayer. We find proof fromAllaah’s Messenger  that salaat upon His Messenger  is obligatory in Prayer and Allaah, the Most High, knows best.”

As for the books of the later Hanafees, such as al-Khulaasah of al-Kaidaanee, they quote that amongst those things which are prohibited in Prayer is making a sign with your forefinger, like Ahl ul-Hadeeth! In the book of Prayer of al-Mas’oodee, he states that pointing with the forefinger was a Sunnah with the older generations, then was practised by the Shee’ah and Raafidees and so the later scholars of Ahl us-Sunnah left it and so it became abrogated. Whereas we find in Fath ul-Qadeer of Ibn ul-Hammaam and he is one of the greatest Hanafee jurist, that the pointing is Sunnah and that he who says other than that, then he has gone against what is related, rather Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ash-Shaybaanee, the student of Abu Haneefah reported in his Muwatta that it is Sunnah. Is there not in these examples a clear proof that blind-following of madhhabs is a calamity that has taken the Muslims away from the following the way of the best of generations?!

[3] This excellent saying, overflowing with great wisdom, was said by the learned man of this Ummah ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Abbaas ? as quoted by Taqiyyuddeen as-Subkee in his Fataawaa (1/148) - being amazed by its beauty. It was taken from Ibn ‘Abbaas by Mujaahid, as occurs in Jaami Bayaan ul-‘ilm wa Fadlihee (1/91) and al-Ihkaam fee Usool il-Ahkaam (1 /145). Maalik took it from Mujaahid and it is ascribed to Maalik and became well known from him. It was taken from them by Imaam Ahmad - rahimahullaah. Abu Daawood says in Masaa‘il ul-lmaam Ahmad (p. 276) “I  heard Ahmad say: There is no one except that his opinion may be taken or left, except for the Prophet .”

[4] From the sayings of Imaam Abu Haneefah an-Nu’maan - rahimahullaah - and it is established from him by a numberof narrations. (See al-lntiqaa of Ibn ‘Abd ul-Barr (p.145) and A’laam ul-Muwaqqi’een of Ibn ul-Qayyim (2/309).

[5] The two Imaams Abu Haneefah and ash-Shaafi’ee - rahimahumullaah - stated that. See Rasm ul-Muftee from the collected Rasaa’il of Ibn ‘Aabideen (1/4), Eeqaz ul-Hamam of al-Fulaanee (p.62 and 107) and al-Haashiya of Ibn Aabideen (vol.1, p.63). Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee - rahimahullaah - said to Imaam Ahmad - rahimahullaah - “You know better about Hadeeth than us, so if an authentic Hadeeth comes to you, then inform me of it, that I may say according to it, whether its source is the Hijaaz or Koofa or Egypt.” (See al-Intiqaa of Ibn ‘Abd ul-Barr, p.75).

[6] Innovations - Bidah (in Arabic) any invented act, or belief, which is made to compete or resemble the shareeah and is followed for the same reason that the sharee’ah is followed, that is for Allaah’s pleasure.

[7] The matter even reached the extent that some of them declared that it is not permissible for a Hanafee to marry a Shaafi’ee woman since she is a Kaafir due to their saying “I am a believer, if Allaah wills” as occurs in Shams ud-deen Muhammad al-Qahshaa’ee’s explanation of Mukhtasar al-Wiqaayah, well-known as Jaami’ ur-Rumooz. Yet another well-known Hanafee scholar, Muftee uth-Thaqulain said that to marry a Shaafi’ee woman was permissible in analogy with the People of the Book. [Zain ad-Deen ibn Nujaym, quoted by the 16th century Egyptian Hanafee scholar in his eight volume work entitled al-Bahr ar—Raaiq]. Even then according to this analogy a Shaafi’ee man is therefore not allowed to marry a Hanafee Woman . just as a male of the People of the Book is not allowed to marry a female Muslim!!
Even present day Hanafee scholars have shown similar kinds of bigot attitudes towards their opposing madhhabs. In Fatawa Rahimiyah, under the heading, ‘How should a Hanafee imam lead in prayer the Shafi’ee followers?’, a question was asked to Mufti Abdul Raheem Lajpuri, an authority on Hanafee Fiqh and a prominent scholar from the school of Deoband.
Question: I belong to the Hanafee mazhab and teach in a school belonging to the Shafi’ee mazhab. Sometimes I lead the loud-toned prayer; so will there be any fault if, after the Soorah al-Faatihah in deference to my Shafi’ee followers in prayer, I pause so much that in that time they may quickly recite the Soorah al-Faatihah and then begin the other Soorah.
Answer : Such delay (in joining the Soorah to the Soorah al-Faatihah) for a Hanafee imam is not proper; it is forbidden. Such prayer will be defective and will have to be said afresh; prostration for lapse will also not be sufficient, for in the case in question delay has been caused deliberately.
This book of Fataawa has the approval of the major Deobandi Hanafee scholars of India, like Moulana Muhammed Zachariyyah and Abul Hasan Ali Nadvi.

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