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The Methodology of the Salaf Concerning Ijtihad and Taqlid
  The Sayings of the Four Imams on Taqlid
Author: Imam al-Albani
Source: The Prophet's Prayer Described
Article ID : MNJ060002  [40385]  
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"Our belief, as well as that of every researcher into Imaam Abu Haneefah (radi Allaahu `anhu), is that, had he lived until the recording of the Sharee'ah, and the journeys of the Preservers of Hadeeth to the various cities and frontiers in order to collect and acquire it, he would have accepted it and ignored all the analogies he had employed. The amount of qiyaas in his Madhhab would have been just as little as that in other Madhhabs, but since the evidences of the Sharee'ah had been scattered with the Successors and their successors, and had not been collected in his lifetime, it was necessary that there be a lot of qiyaas in his Madhhab compared to that of other imaams. The later scholars then made their journeys to find and collect ahaadeeth from the various cities and towns and wrote them down; hence, some ahaadeeth of the Sharee'ah explained others. This is the reason behind the large amount of qiyaas in his Madhhab, whereas there was little of it in other Madhhabs."

Abul-Hasanaat Al-Lucknowi quoted his words in full in An- Naafi' al-Kabeer (p. 135), endorsing and expanding on it in his footnotes, so whoever wishes to consult it should do so there.

Since this is the justification for why Abu Haneefah has sometimes unintentionally contradicted the authentic ahaadeeth - and it is a perfectly acceptable reason, for Allaah does not burden a soul with more than it can bear - it is not permissible to insult him for it, as some ignorant people have done. In fact, it is obligatory to respect him, for he is one of the imaams of the Muslims through whom this Deen has been preserved and handed down to us, in all its branches; also, for he is rewarded under any circumstance: whether he is correct or wrong. Nor is it permissible for his devotees to continue sticking to those of his statements which contradict the authentic ahaadeeth, for those statements are effectively not part of his Madhhab, as the above sayings show. Hence, these are two extremes, and the truth lies in between. "Our Lord! Forgive us, and our brethren who came before us into the Faith; and leave not, in our hearts, any rancour against those who have believed. Our Lord! You are indeed Full of Kindness, Most Merciful." (Al-Hashr 59:10)

27 Al-Fulaani in Eeqaaz al-Himam (p. 50), tracing it to Imaam Muhammad and then saying, "This does not apply to the mujtahid, for he is not bound to their views anyway, but it applies to the muqallid."

Sha'raani expanded on that in Al-Meezaan (1/26):

"If it is said: `What should I do with the ahaadeeth which my Imaam did not use, and which were found to be authentic after his death?' The answer which is fitting for you is: `That you act on them, for had your Imaam come across them and found them to be authentic, he would have instructed you to act on them, because all the Imaams were captives in the hand of the Sharee'ah.' He who does so will have gathered all the good with both his hands, but he who says, `I will not act according to a hadeeth unless my Imaam did so', he will miss a great amount of benefit, as is the case with many followers of the Imaams of the Madhhabs. It would be better for them to act on every hadeeth found to be authentic after the Imaam's time, hence implementing the will of the Imaams; for it is our firm belief about the Imaams that had they lived longer and come to know of those ahaadeeth which were found authentic after their time, they would have definitely accepted and acted according to them, ignoring any analogies they may have previously made, and any views they may have previously held."

28 Ibn `Abdul Barr in Jaami' Bayaan al-'Ilm (2/32), Ibn Hazm, quoting from the former in Usool al-Ahkaam (6/149), & similarly Al-Fulaani (p. 72)

29 This iswell known among the later scholars to be a saying of Maalik. Ibn `Abdul Haadi declared it saheeh in Irshaad as- Saalik (227/1); Ibn `Abdul Barr in Jaami' Bayaan al-'Ilm (2/91) & Ibn Hazm in Usool al-Ahkaam (6/145, 179) had narrated it as a saying of Al-Hakam ibn `Utaibah and Mujaahid; Taqi ad- Deen as-Subki gave it, delighted with its beauty, in al- Fataawaa (1/148) as a saying of Ibn `Abbaas, and then said: "These words were originally those of Ibn `Abbaas and Mujaahid, from whom Maalik (radi Allaahu `anhu) took them, and he became famous for them." It seems that Imaam Ahmad then took this saying from them, as Abu Daawood has said in Masaa'il of Imaam Ahmad (p. 276): "I heard Ahmad say, `Everyone is accepted and rejected in his opinions, with the exception of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam)'."

30 From the Introduction to Al-Jarh wat-Ta'deel of Ibn Abi Haatim, pp. 31-2.

31 Ibn Hazm says in Usool al-Ahkaam (6/118):


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