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Aqeedah - Beliefs
The Blind Following of Madhhabs
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10. The Imaam who is Followed and Obeyed is the Prophet (Peace be upon him)
Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee - rahimahullaah - says, “The Muslims are united that when the Sunnah of Allaah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) appears to a person, then it is not permissible for him to leave that for the saying of anyone.’’[See A’laam ul-Muwaqqi’een of Ibn ul-Qayyim (1/7)]
This is what the Messenger of Allaah was ordered to proclaim, Say (O Muhammad): ‘If you love Allaah then follow me.”[Soorah Aal-’lmraan (3): 31]
11. Following of the Madhhabs has Resulted in Disunity and Disagreements
How is it fitting for a Muslim to want to reject that which is established from Allaah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him), who does not speak from his own desire, but conveys that which is revelation?!
When it befell the people that they accepted some and left some, then their disuniting came about and they began to say, ‘With us it is...and with you...’ and ‘Our books ... and your books’ and ‘Our madhhab...and your madhhab’ and ‘Our Imaam...and your Imaam...’
That gave birth to mutual hatred, distrust, mutual envy and arrogance, until the Muslims became unsuccessful and their united body fragmented, so that they became food for the Europeans and the tyrants. Is not everyone of the Imaams of the Muslims of Ahl us-Sunnah our Imaam? - may Allaah raise us up amongst them.
If you look into the matter carefully it will be clear to you that these madhhabs were spread, promoted and made attractive by the enemies of Islaam in order to split the Muslims and cause discord amongst them. Or they were started by the ignorant in conformity with the Jews and Christians and in imitation of them, as they do in many matters.
Ibn ‘Abd ul-Barr and Ibn Taymiyyah  - rahimahumullaah - both said, “There is no (room for) anyone’s saying along with the saying of Allaah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) if it is established from him. The Sunnah of Allaah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) has more right to be taken and acted upon; that is the case for every Muslim, not as the sect of blind-following do, in their giving preference to opinion and the madhhab over and above the text. The text of the Book and the Sunnah is not to be opposed by possibilities of the mind, fantasies of the soul or satanic sectarianism; so that it is said, ‘Perhaps the majtahid saw this text and left it for a reason that appeared to him’, or that ‘maybe he found a different proof’ and their like, which the sects of blind-followers are very fond of. Such a one is encircled by the ignorance of the blind-followers, so take note.”
Imaam ‘Abd ur-Rahmaan al-Awzaa’ee - rahimahullaah - said, “Stick to the narrations from the Pious Predecessors even if the people renounce you and beware of the opinions of men even if they make them seem alluring.”
Bilaal ibn ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Umar reported that ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Umar said: Allaah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said, “Do not prevent the women from their share in the mosques.”
[Saheeh: Reported by al-Bukhaaree (1/222,223), Muslim (2/32), Ahmad (2/7,92) and ad-Daarimee (l /293)]
Bilaal ibn ‘Abdullaah however said, ‘As for me I will prevent my wife and he who wishes let him allow his wife.’ So ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Umar turned to him and said, ‘May Allaah curse you! May Allaah curse you! May Allaah curse you! You hear me say Allaah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) ordered that they should not be prevented. ‘ Then he stood up angrily.”
[Reported by al-Haakim in Ma’rifat ‘Uloom il-Hadeeth (p.182) and at-Tabaraanee. It is established and correct due to a number of reports, Muslim (4/162-164), al-Baihaqee (3/132), at-Tirmidhee (2/459), Abu Daawood (568), ‘Abd ur-Razzaaq (3/147) and Ahmad (5/194-196).]
12. The Madhhab of Imaam Abu Haneefah is Acting upon the Book and the Sunnah
The author of al-Hidaayah fee Rawdatil-‘Ulamaa iz-Zinduwaisiyyah reports:
It was said to Abu Haneefah - rahimahullaah - ‘What if you say something and the Book of Allaah contradicts it?’ He said, ‘Leave my saying for the Book of Allaah.’ So it was said, ‘What if what is narrated from Allaah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) contradicts it? ‘ He said, ‘Leave my saying for what is narrated by Allaah’s Messenger .’ So it was said, ‘What if the saying of a companion contradicts it?’ He said, ‘Leave my saying for the saying of the Companions - radi allaahu ‘anhum.’ 
In Kitaab ul-Imtaa’ it is mentioned that, al-Baihaqee reports in his Sunan that ash-Shaafi’ee - rahimuhullaah - said, “If I say something and there is also something from Allaah’s Messenger which goes against it, then that which is authentic from the Hadeeth of Allaah’s Messenger has precedence, so do not blindly follow me.”
Imaam ul-Haramain also reports this from ash-Shaafi’ee and there is no difference about this.
Ibn ul-Qayyim says in A’laam ul-Muwaqqi’een (1/77), “The companions of Abu Haneefah are united that the weak Hadeeth takes preference to analogy and opinion and his madhhab is built upon that.”
So he who says that it is not obligatory for him to act upon the Hadeeth or that it is not permissible, then we do not see him except as a person who wishes to reject Allaah’s proof with mere delusion and suspicion, and this is not the way of a Muslim. He who uses the excuse that he cannot understand, then that is not acceptable since Allaah, the Most High, sent down His Book to be acted upon and its meaning understood and ordered His Messenger to explain it to the people in general. As Allaah ? says, “And We have sent down unto you the reminder and the advice (Qur'aan), that you (O Muhammad) may clearly explain to men what is sent down to them.”[Soorah an-Nahl (16): 44]So how can it be said that his speech which is the explanation to the people cannot be understood except by a single person among them?! Rather, in this time, it is not understood by anyone, based upon their claim that there has not been a mujtahid in the world for hundreds of years!!
Perhaps the like of these words came from those who did not want the true state of their opinion should appear to the people in general. That (their position is) in fact in opposition to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger I. So they reach their goal by declaring that understanding the Book and the Sunnah (upon which deriving judgements depends) is only possible for a mujtahid, then they deny that there are any mujtahids in the world and then this saying spread amongst the people. Allaah knows the true state of affairs.
Some of them added to this, that it is not permissible to change from one madhhab to another, nor to take what seems to be more correct from each of the madhhabs in order that the people could not find a way to that which is preferable, .. not even aspire to that!
While the Qur'aan commands every Muslim to act upon that which is established from the Hadeeth of the Prophet and warns those who disobeys him (Peace be upon him), as Allaah the Most High says: “Let those, beware, who oppose the Messenger’ s order! In case some fitnah (trial) should befall them or a painful torment be inflicted upon them.”[Soorah an-Noor (24): 63]Every Muslim must accept the Hadeeth and must not be prevented by being upon the madhhab of so and so, as Allaah, the Most High, says, “If you differ in anything amongst yourselves refer it to Allaah and His Messenger.”[Soorah an-Nisaa (4): 59]Part of referring back to him (Peace be upon him) is the acceptance of his saying when there is disagreement; and disagreement has already occurred between the Imaams and so it is obligatory to judge the differences in the light of his sayings (the Hadeeth).
F O O T N O T E S
 Ahmad ibn Taymeeyah (1263-1328 CE) was foremost among the reformers of his period. Because of his challenge of the status quo, many of his contemporaries severely opposed him and had the authorities jail him repeatedly. Ibn Taymeeyah was, however, one of the greatest scholars of his time. Initially, he had studied Fiqh according to the Hambalee Madhhab, but did not restrict himself to it. He studied the sources of Islamic law in depth and mastered all the Islamic sciences which were known at that time. Furthermore, he examined the writings of various sects which had broken off from Islaam, studied the religious books of the Christians, the Jews and their various sects and wrote extensive critiques on all of them. Ibn Taymeeyah also took part in the Jihaad against the Mongols who had occupied the eastern and northern provinces of the former ‘Abbaasid state and were at that time threatening Egypt and North Africa. Ibn Taymeeyah’s students were among the greatest Islamic scholars of their time and carried on to the next generation the banner of Ijtihaad and a return to the pure sources of Islaam which he had raised. Among them was Ibn Qayyim, a great scholar in the fields of Fiqh and Hadeeth, adh-Dhahabee, a master in the science of Hadeeth criticism and Ibn Katheer, a master in Tafseer, History and Hadeeth.
 Al-Fulaanee, Eeqaadh al-Himam, p.50. Al-Fulaanee also mentioned in his book , Eeqaadh al-Himam that ibn Daqiq al-Eid collected all writings that were opposed to the Authentic Hadeeth by each of the four Madhhabs, along with those writing that were opposed by more than one Madhhab at a time and collected all this information in a large volume. In the beginning of his book, ibn Daqiq al-Eid said, “And relating these Fatawas in these matters to the Mujtahid Imaams is Haraam (impermissible, since they all said that the Hadeeth is their Madhhab and if their sayings are in disagreement with the Hadeeth, one must follow the Hadeeth). Those who follow Taqleed and these Madhhabs must know that these Fatawas, so has not to attribute them to the Imaams and thus relate falsehood to them.” [quoted by Sheikh al-Albani in ‘The Hadeeth is Proof itself]
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