see also:PUBLISHERS NOTE
Obedience to the Messenger
The Link Between Shari’at (Religious Law) and Tariqat (Spiritual Observance)
The Nature of Tasawwuf
Prescribed Preliminary Practices (As instructed in the Youth Tarbiyyah Conference for those having undertaken Bai-at [Bayah- Allegiance]))
Some unaccquainted people regard taqleed as apostasy and they spread an atmosphere of malice and controversy amongst the Muslims and especially in the youngsters. Some Non Muqallid go as far as writing about it as polytheism. Hence, after one of our Deeni brothers read it out from a book in English and drew our attention towards it, a desire grew in my heart to make our youngsters aware of the significance of Taqleed in the Shari'ah. So that they do not become a prey to misunderstanding, divergence and confusion and so that they do not have a misconception regarding our Imams, that they had adopted a path which was detached from the Qur'aan and Ahadeeth. When in reality, after understanding the objective and the meaning of the Qur'aan and Sunnah, they simplified it into the form of Fiqha and Masa'il and then they offered it to the Ummah, which is in actual fact obeying the Qur'aan and Sunnah. For this reason, the Ummah owes a debt of gratitude to them, (May Allah reward them with the best of all rewards).
Therefore, concerning this, I found that the answers of Faqeehul-Ummah, Hazarat Sheikh, Sayyidi wa Murshidi, Mufti Mahmood Hasan, Gangohi rahmatullahi alaihe in Fatawa-e-Mahmoodia Vol.1, regarding the significance of Taqleed in the Shari'ah, to be sufficient and adequate.
I brought it to the attention of respected Molvi
Mohammad Asad rahmatullahi alaihe, to render the English translation. Maasha-Allah,
he translated it into English in a very short period of time with great
care and effort. May Allah bless him with barakah in his knowledge and
deeds and may he accept this current composition and make it beneficial
for us and a treasure for us in the hereafter, Aameen.
In The Name Of Allah, Most Beneficent Most Merciful
What is the significance of Taqleed in Shari'ah and if Taqleed is important then why is the Taqleed of an individual considered so important? What is the harm in following one particular Imam for a certain mas’alah then following another Imam regarding something else? Why do the Ulama prevent this, even when the masaalik of all the four Imams are accepted?
The original source of guidance is the Qur'aan but generally it is the fundamental principles and Masa'il which are integrate precepts, stated in the Qur'aan. It was the duty of the Prophet to explain in full the details and particulars: 'To make clear the issues that were sent to the people.'
It is stated in the Qur'aan: 'Establish Salaah.' The full details concerning salaah are related to us by the Prophet for instance, how many rakaats there are in each salaah? after which rakaat should qa'dah be performed? In which rakaat is only Surah Fatiha read and in which rakaat is an additional Surah read? In which salaah is qira'at done loudly and when is it done quietly? etc. It is difficult to understand all this directly from the Qur'aan.
EXAMPLE NO. 2
It is stated in the Qur'aan: ‘Pay Zakaah.' All the details on how the Zakaah is calculated on silver, gold, goats, cows, camels etc. have been found in the Ahadeeth. The Qur'aan has not mentioned anything in regard to this.
It is stated in the Qur'aan: 'And pilgrimage to the house is a duty unto Allah for mankind, for those who can.' The details on how tawaaf should be done and how many rounds there are in one tawaaf, the Masa'il of Arafat, Mina, Muzdalifah and rami etc, have all been explained by the prophet .
To understand the Qur'aan, it is firstly important to acquire the intelligence of Ahadeeth. It is impossible to understand the Qur'aan whilst neglecting Ahadeeth. The Ummah has been commanded to derive guidance from the Qur'aan under the explained instructions of the Prophet . In this respect, the obedience of the Prophet means the obedience of Allah: 'Whoever so obeys the Prophet ? has indeed obeyed Allah.'
(Bukhari Sharif Vol.2 pg.1076).The Prophet did not say, pray the way you understand from the Qur'aan.
Some things were mentioned verbally by the Prophet himself, they are called ‘Hadith-e-Qawli'. Some things were shown practically, which are known as ‘Hadith-e-Fe'Ii' and there are those things which were done in front of the Prophet or were brought to his attention but he did not reject or deny them, instead he preferred to remain silent, which supports their confirmation. This is called 'Taqreer'. These three types of Ahadeeth are a source of guidance for the Ummah.
There are also some things which the Prophet was asked. He answered, then he set a question for the same person, knowing that the answer was quiet apparent and that he would know it. After the person replied, the Prophet explained that the question you asked falls under the same ruling as this.
Somebody inquired that since Hajj is due upon my mother, would it be sufficient if I were to perform it on her behalf ? The Prophet replied in the affirmative. Then he asked the same person that if she took a loan from somebody and you paid it off, would it be acceptable or not ? He replied that yes it would be acceptable. The Prophet then said that paying off the loan of Allah would more readily be acceptable.
It has been narrated from Hazarat Abdullah ibn Abbas that a woman came to the Prophet (and said): "My mother vowed to go for Hajj, but she died before she could go. Therefore can I perform Hajj on her behalf?" The Prophet replied, "Yes you can perform Hajj on her behalf. Tell me, “If your mother had debts, would you have paid them off?" She answered, "Yes" The Prophet said, "Fulfill Allah's right, for Allah is more worthy that his right be fulfilled."
Bukhari Sharif Volume 2 pg.1088
The Prophet sent Hazarat Mu'aaz ibn Jabal as a Qadhi to Yemen. He gave him a lot of counselling and went a long way with him to bid him farewell. He also asked him "According to which law will you make your judgements?" He replied, "According to the Qur'aan." The Prophet then inquired. "What if you do not find it in the Qur'aan?" He answered, "Then according to the Sunnah of Rasoolullah ?" Then he asked, "What will you do if you do not find it in the Sunnah either?" He replied, "I will do Ijtihad." The Prophet showed signs of happiness and was in full support of this decision and he thanked Allah for this selection.
When the Prophet decided to send Hazarat Mu'aaz to Yemen, he asked him, "How will you make a ruling when a case is brought to you?" He replied, "I will rule according to the Qur'aan. "The Prophet then inquired, "What, if you do not find it in the Qur'aan?" He answered, "Then according to the Sunnah of Rasoolullah , He then asked, "What will you do if you do not find it in either the Sunnah of Rasoolullah or in the kitabullah?" Hazarat Mu 'aaz said, "I will do, Ijtihad by my opinion and will not leave any deficiency in it." The Prophet then struck his hand on the chest of Hazarat Mu'aaz and said, "All praise is for Allah who gave the Rasool of Rasoolullah the ability of that with which the Rasool of Allah is pleased with."
When a mas'alah cannot be clearly found in the Qur'aan and Ahadeeth, the analogies and evidences have to be considered to find out its decree. This is known as Ijtihad and Qiyas, as can be understood from the afore mentioned. If this is agreed upon, it is called Ijma'a. That is why the Ulama of Usool have written that Qiyas does not establish the decree, but it just makes it evident.
A ruling which existed in the Qur'aan or Ahadeeth, but was not quite apparent for the common people to understand, a Mujtahid having done Qiyas on its analogies or by analysing evidently, implicitly or by way of necessity, would make it evident. Imam Bukhari rahmatullahi alaihe has compiled a specific chapter regarding this.
Whoever does not have the capability of Ijtihad, following a Mujtahid becomes compulsory for him. This is known as Taqleed.
This is why Hazarat Mu'aaz was sent as a Qadhi, so that the Masa'il and rulings he derives from the Qur'aan, Ahadeeth and Ijtihad would be implemented. Following these three would in fact mean obeying the Prophet .
It has been narrated from Hazarat Abu Hurraira that the Prophet said "Whoever obeyed me has indeed obeyed Allah and whoever disobeyed me has indeed disobeyed Allah," or he said, "Whoever obeyed the Ameer has indeed obeyed me and whoever disobeyed the Ameer has indeed disobeyed me."
There are two different types of masa'il. Firstly, those that have been mentioned in the `Nas` (Qur'aan or Ahadeeth). Secondly, those which have not been mentioned in the Qur'aan or Ahadeeth.
There are two forms of the first type. The first form is that the Nas will only be ruling in the positive or only in the negative. The second form is that there are two types of Nas regarding the same Mas’alah. In some we need a ruling in the positive and in others in the negative. For example, from some we find out about Ameen-bil-Jahr and from some we find out about Ameen-bis-sir. Some inform us about Raf'ul-yadaayn, whilst others tell us about Tark-ul-raf'a.
There is also two types of these Masa'il as well. One is when historic evidence or other circumstances indicate that one Nas has preference over the other. The other type is, when it is not known which Nas has preference over the other and which comes first and which comes second. In total these are of four types;
FIRST; Those Masa'il which only have one type of Nas. No Qiyas or Ijtihad will be done, neither will there be Taqleed of anybody. Instead the Nas will be acted upon.
SECOND: Those masa'il which have two types of Nas and it is also known which comes first and which comes second. Generally, the first one will be abrogated, while the second one will be acted upon. There is no need for Qiyas, Ijtihad or Taqleed in this type either.
THIRD:Those masa'il where there are two types of Nas and it is not known which comes first and which comes second.
FOURTH:Those masa'il regarding which there is no Nas at all.
These last two types will be under one of the two situations. Either a person is acting upon it or he is not acting upon it and wondering around freely. Well, there is no permission for this. 'What does man think that he will be left in vain? 'So do you think that we have created you for play?' This is not the case, you have to obey our commands in every aspect. Well, what is he then going to act upon? In the third type, which Nas does he act upon? If he acts upon one, the other gets left out. He cannot appoint a Nas on his own behalf. He does not have the knowledge of which Nas came first and which second, so that he could cancel the first and act upon the second. In the fourth type, there is no Nas at all. So without knowledge what is he going to act upon?
Allah says in the Qur'aan, 'Do not act upon anything without knowledge and research.' This leaves no choice but to do Ijtihad. It is necessary in the third type because one of the Nas has to be appointed to be acted upon, and in the fourth type because the ruling has to be found.
This is also quite obvious that not everybody has the capability and capacity to do Ijtihad and Istinbaat. This verse of the Qur'aan makes this clear as well. Allah says: 'If they had referred it to the Messenger and to those who have authority amongst them, the proper investigators would have known it from them (direct).'
Anybody can claim to make a decision, regardless of its being right or wrong, but only he will be called a Mustanbit and Mujtahid, whose Istinbaat is in accordance to the shari'ah. If it is not, then he will be known as a Muqallid. Hence it is important for a Mujtahid to do Ijtihad in these two types and as for the Muqallid, it is important for him to do Taqleed. Even if the Mujtahid makes an error, he will not be deprived of reward and if his Ijtihad is correct then he will be entitled to double reward. Likewise it has come in Bukhari Sharif Vol 2 pg.1092
Why is the Taqleed of the four Imams (Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Malik, Imam Shafi'ee, Imam Ahmad rahmatullahi alaihim) done, even though there were many Mujtahideen amongst the Sahabah, Tabi'een and the Tab'i-Tabi'een? What is the harm in doing Taqleed of anybody else, especially those Sahabah whose virtues have been mentioned profusely in many Ahadeeth.
The answer to this is that indeed the Sahabah have a higher status than the four Imams. The reason for doing Taqleed of the four Imams is not because they are thought to be greater than the Sahabah , but when doing Taqleed it is important to acknowledge the masa'il in which Taqleed is done.
Today, there are vast amounts of details and explanations present about the masa'il, compiled and collected in the Mazahib of the four Imams, from Kita-but-Taharah to Kitabul-Fra'idh, including Ibadah, Dealings etc. In short each and every Mas’alah in all the fields and spheres has been collected. These type of detailed and compiled Mazahib cannot be found from the Sahabah, Tabi'een or the Tab'i-Tabi'een. So if one was to do Taqleed of anybody apart from the four Imams, then how would he do it? This is why Taqleed of the four Imams alone, has been chosen.
Allah bestowed upon the four Imams the knowledge of the Qur'aan and Ahadeeth in depths and the complete skills of Istinbaat to this extent that they had access to all the Ahadeeth of the Prophet , which proliferated throughout the world by the Sahabah . It is possible that there might have been a narration that one of them knew about but the other did not, but there could not possibly be a narration that none of them knew about.
Hazarat Shah Waliullah Muhadith Dehivi rahmatullahi alaihe has written in Sharhul- Mu'at-ta, (page 6) about the spreading and circulation of Ahadeeth and about Madina Tayiba, being the headquarters of knowledge. He writes:
'These four Imams are such that their knowledge has encompassed the whole world and those four Imams are Imam Abu Hanifa (rahmatullahi alaihe), Imam Malik (rahmatullahi alaihe), Imam Shafi'ee (rahmatullahi alaihe) and Imam Ahmad (rahmatullahi alaihe)'
Why is it important to do Taqleed of only one Imam? What harm is there in following one Imam for one mas'alah, then another Imam for some other mas'alah, the way it was in the time of the Sahabah and the Tabi'een. They were not dependent on one individual in following the whole Mazhab.
In the time of the Sahabah, virtue and prosperity had the upper hand and generally there was no part in deen for fulfilling personal desires. That is why when someone inquired about a Mas’alah, he asked with a good intention and he would act upon it as well, regardless of whether he liked it or not.
In later times, this was not the case. Instead, people started having the urge to ask one mas'alah from a certain Alim and if the answer was against their desires, they would walk off to another Alim in search of ease. Still not content with this, they were stricken with a growing concern about how they could find a way out in every Mas’alah which would satisfy them. It is apparent that this can not be the motive for the search of truth.
Sometimes this can cause a lot of damage. For example, a person made wudhu then touched his wife. Somebody following the Mazhab of Imam Shafi'ee (rahmatullahi alaihe) said to him "Repeat your wudhu because touching your wife breaks the wud-hu." He replies, "I do Taqleed of Imam Abu Hanifa (rahmatullahi alaihe) and wudhu does not break in his opinion of this situation." Then this person vomits. Somebody following the Mazhab of Imam Abu Hanifa (rahmatullahi alaihe)says to him, 'Repeat your wudhu because vomit breaks the wudhu in the opinion of Imam Abu Hanifa (rahmatullahi alaihe)." He replies, "I am following the Mazhab of Imam Shafi'ee (rahmatullahi alaihe) and in his view, wudhu does not break by vomiting." Now, this persons salaah is not valid in accordance with the Mazhab of Imam Abu Hanifa (rahmatullahi alaihe) or Imam Shafi'ee (rahmatullahi alaihe) This is known as Talfeeq which is void and not permissible, by unanimous decision.
Following in this manner is in actual fact doing Taqleed of neither of the Imams. Instead it is fulfilling personal desires, which is forbidden in the Shari'ah. It leads a person astray and away from the path of Allah. Allah says in the Qur'aan, ‘And do not follow your personal desires, for they will lead you astray from the path of Allah.'
(Bayanul-Qur’aan)This is why it is important to do Taqleed of only one Imaam. The Qur'aan has associated obedience with repentance, ‘And follow the path of he who turns towards me,'
(Bayanul-Qur’aan)On this basis, any individual who had strong presumption about Imam Abu Hanifa (rahmatullahi alaihe), that he was repentant, correct and that his Ijtihad was in accordance with the Qur'aan and Ahadeeth, he chose to do his Taqleed. Anybody who had the same thought regarding Imam Sha-fi'ee (rahmatullahi alaihe), Imam Malik (rahmatullahi alaihe) or about Imam Ahmad (rahmatullahi alaihe), he started doing his Taqleed. Now, this is incorrect to leave one's own Imam whenever a person feels and start following a different Mazhab, because without permission of the Shari'ah it becomes Talfeeq and fulfilment of personal desires. In result of which a person is lead astray.
Hence, Molana Mohammad Hussain Sahib has written in his compilation Ishaa'atus-Sunnah Vol 11 No.2 pg.53. After opposing Taqleed for a very long period of time and then becoming affected with bitter experience for not doing Taqleed, he writes, "We found out from 25 years of experience that those people who abstain from entire Mujtahids and Taqleed, they end up saying farewell to Islam. Some become Christians whilst others end up without any Mazhab at all. Rebellion and disobedience of the Shari 'ah is a petty result of this freedom."
(Sabeelur-Rashaad pg.12)This is why those learned Ulama who have deep insight of the Qur'aan and countless treasures of the traditions of the Prophet and the Sahabah, in front of their eyes. Whose hearts are enriched with the fear of Allah and whose lives are enlightened with the lamp of the Sunnah of the Prophet , still choose to do Taqleed, despite having these qualities and virtues.
It would not be an exaggeration if it was said that these Ulama reached such a status only through following the Prophet and doing Taqleed of the pious servants of Deen and the great Mujtahideen.
What do the Ulama and the Muftis say about the following Mas’alah. Was Shah Waliullah a Muqallid or not? If he was a Muqallid then what was his Maslak? Here some people say he was not a Muqallid. Please give reference from some authentic source.
Hazarat Shah Waliullah Sahib (rahmatullahi alaihe) was enriched with the treasures of a vast amount of knowledge, deep concerns, high morals, righteous behaviour, purified mind, cleansed heart, strong connection and true saintliness. Whenever any doubts arised, instantly it was solved through Nabawi Ruhanyat as if all the traditions were in front of him. He was well aware of the Mazahib and had full experience of the Imams of Ijtihad regarding the principles of Istinbaat and the derivation of masa' il. He was well versed in the science of collaboration between two traditions and was a Hafiz of Naasikh and Mansookh etc.
Considering all this, he did not have the need to do Taqleed but the Prophet compelled him to do so. There were other thing as well apart from Taqleed which he was forced to do against the urge of his nature. Hence he writes.
(Fuyuzul-Haramain pg.65)He passed away in 1176 A.H. and it was the same year that he taught Bukhari Sharif for the last time. He wrote the Sanad out for Molvi Cheraagh Sahib with his pen, which still exists in Khudaa Baksh Library in Patnaa along with the Bukhari Sharif itself. On the Sanad he wrote 'Hanafi' with his name. It has also got Hazarat Shah Rafi-ud-deen's certification on it, to prove that it was written by his father, along with Shah Alam's stamp of confirmation as well. From this we can tell that he stayed a Hanafi till the end. Nobody has the authority to say that he became a Ghair Muqallid.
Of course he used to collect them according to his capability and discuss the strength and weakness of the proofs, which might have left doubts in some people.
What do the Ulama and the Muftis say about this mas'alah. If in the opinion of Imam A'zam (rahmatullahi alaihe) something is regarded as unlawful and there is a Sahih Hadith contradicting Imam Sahibs (rahmatullahi alaihe) opinion. The narrators are approximately more than four in number and they are all reliable. They all narrate exactly the same proof from the Prophet and the Hadith is also in Bukhari Sharif. So in this situation what do you say about an individual who rejects Imam Sahibs opinion and follows the Hadith.
It can be possible that there is a Hadith in Bukhari Sharif against the mas'alah stated by Imam A'zam (rahmatullahi alaihe), but this can never be possible that Imam Sahib (rahmatullahi alaihe) has stated a Mas’alah without any evidence. At least think about this that even in the view of Imam Sahib, it is not permissible to do Qiyas when there is a Sahih Hadith in existence. Then saying that Imam Sahibs opinion is merely just a Qiyas, which is against the Hadith, is completely incorrect and against the principles of Imam Sahib and it is also slanderous.
An opinion is decided upon, first by finding out the cause of a certain masalah (Illah) which can be found in the Nas. So that those Masa'il which have no Nas, but have the same cause, can be ruled the same as the ones which have a Nas. The benefit of this is that the decree of the Nas becomes more general. Imam Bukhari rahmatullahi alaihe has also confirmed this in his Bukhari Sha-rif.
Hence, in whichever mas'alah there is already a Nas, the Qiyas and opinion of Imam A'zam rahmatullahi alaihe has no part to play. Instead the Nas will be acted upon. Some short sighted people just pick up one Hadith and start saying that Imam A'zam's rahmatullahi alaih's certain opinion is against this Hadith. This is because of their ignorance or enmity.
Sahih Bukhari, collectively has been given preference, but that does not mean that each and every Hadith of Bukhari Sharif has priority over each and every Hadith of the other books of Ahadeeth. It can be possible that some Ahadeeth in other books have been given preference over Bukhari Sharif, upon which Imam A'zam's rahmatullahi alaihe opinion is based. Sheikh ibn Hamaam rahmatullahi alaihe has discussed this in Fath-hul-Qa deer.
It has been stated in Umdatul-Qari Sharhul-Bukhari
Therefore, declaring that Imam A'zam's rahmatullahi alaihe view is against Hadith and merely is an opinion, is itself a declaration without any evidence. It contradicts the evidence itself, which originates from lack of knowledge or enmity.
QUESTION NO. 1
What is the meaning of Taqleed in the terminology of the Fuqahaa ?
A person who can be trusted that his ruling will be in accordance with the evidence. Accepting his word and not asking him for proof is Taqleed, (Likewise it has been mentioned in Aqdul-Jayyid)
In reality, is it accepted by the Ulama that a person who is a Mujtahid himself cannot do Taqleed of anybody else, with the understanding of,
The preferred ruling is that, it is permissible for a Mujtahid to do Taqleed of another Mujtahid because Ijtihad is fractional. (Likewise is has been explained in Shami)
If a person does not hold the status of a Mujtahid, but he is an AIim of the Qur'aan and Sunnah and not only does he have deep knowledge of Sunnan-e-Nabawia, but he also understands the detailed fiqhi masa'il of the different Mazahib and knows which should be given preference. What is the ruling of his doing Taqleed of the Imams of the different Mazahib?
Is it important for him to stay connected with one Mazhab all the time and under no circumstances can he follow a different Mazhab, even though it may be regarding the same mas’alah? Or is it alright to take all the evidence of the different Mazahib into consideration and then act upon the one that is more closer to Qur'aan and Ahadeeth.
When he is not capable of doing Ijtihad although he might have deep knowledge, it is still important for him to do Taqleed of an individual. It is not right for him to follow another mazhab on the basis of his own opinion. Talfeeq is Bil-Ijma'a void and not permissible. (Likewise it has been stated in Dur-rul-Mukhtar)
Whilst being deprived of Ijtihad, making a statement about a mas’ala that it is in accordance with the Qur'aan and Sunnah, is beyond his status.
For instance, if somebody has started to follow one Mazhab, can he totally or partly follow another Mazhab later on or does he always have to stay with the first Mazhab?
If the trust, on the basis of which a person starts to do Taqleed of an Imam, starts to expire from one Imam, due to vast knowledge and deep understanding, then it is permissible to change Imam’s totally and not partly. Or else, Talfeeq will come into existence which is not permissible. (Likewise it has been stated in Hamwee)
'A person who does not have any knowledge of Qur'aan and Sunnah, he is one of the common folk. What is the ruling for such a person to move from one Mazhab to another Mazhab ?
This is not permitted. It is fulfilling the desires and it becomes a play. Aqdul-]ayyid, Insaaf, Sabeelur-Rashaad, AI-Iqtisaad, Intisaarul-Haq, Tayseer and At-Taqreer wat-Tahbeer, have all stated the detailed evidence regard-ing this issue.
What is the definition of Taqleed? Will a person still remain a Hanafi if he acts upon Imam Abu Yusuf’s rahmatullahi alaihe view or Imam Zufar's rahmatullahi alaihe. Also will he still remain a Hanafi if he acts upon the opinion of Imam Shafi'ee rahmatullahi alaihe or Imam Malik rahmatullahi alaihe at the time of need (for example the mas'alah of Mafqood).
For a Non Mujtahid to follow a Mujtahid, trusting him that he has the proof and evidence for it and he does not ask him for the evidence, is known as Taqleed.
The principle of Imam A' zam rahmatullahi alaihe which his students have described in de-tails and from which other masa'il are derived, whether these masa'il are directly from Imam Sahib rahmatullahi alaihe or not, a person who adopts them remains a 'Hanafi'. The views of Imam Sahibs students are in actual fact Imam Sahibs views, regardless of whether they are directly or indirectly from Imam Sahib. Therefore, acting upon them on special occasions does not expel an individual from Hanafiyah.
Sometimes, because of changes in occurrences and incidents, the ruling changed in a way that the scholars of the later era understood that if Imam Sahib rahmatullahi alaihe was still alive today, he would have made a certain ruling in a particular mas'alah. Therefore, they decided upon that ruling, regardless of whether that was the view of Imam Shafi'ee rahmatullahi alaihe or an opinion of any other Imam.
These type of changes, like the excellence of Hajj, nafl and Sadaqah etc., can be found in the time of Imam Sahib rahmatullahi alaihe himself. Hence, this does not cause any changes in Hanafiyah. Details can be found in Uqood Rasmul Mufti Ii Ibn Abideen.