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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  [43095]  
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"Indeed, all the fuqahaa' whose opinions are followed were opposed to taqleed, and they forbade their companions from following their opinion blindly. The sternest among them in this regard was Shaafi'i (rahimahullaah), for he repeatedly emphasised, more than anyone else, following the authentic narrations and accepting whatever the proof dictated; he also made himself innocent of being followed totally, and announced this to those around him. May this benefit him in front of Allaah, and may his reward be of the highest, for he was the cause of great good."

32 Related by Haakim with a continuous sanad up to Shaafi'i, as in Taareekh Dimashq of Ibn `Asaakir (15/1/3), I'laam al- Mooqi'een (2/363, 364) & Eeqaaz (p. 100).

33 Ar.: halaal

34 Ibn al-Qayyim (2/361) & Fulaani (p. 68) 35 Harawi in Dhamm al-Kalaam (3/47/1), Khateeb in Al-Ihtijaaj bi ash-Shaafi'i (8/2), Ibn `Asaakir (15/9/10), Nawawi in Al- Majmoo' (1/63), Ibn al-Qayyim (2/361) & Fulaani (p. 100); the second narration is from Hilyah al-Awliyaa' of Abu Nu'aim. 36 Nawawi in Al-Majmoo' (1/63), Sha'raani (1/57), giving its sources as Haakim and Baihaqi, & Fulaani (p. 107). Sha'raani said, "Ibn Hazm said, `That is, ... found to be saheeh by him or by any other Imaam'." His saying given next confirms this understanding.

Nawawi says: "Our companions acted according to this in the matter of tathweeb (calling to prayer in addition to the adhaan), the conditions on coming out of ihraam due to illness, and other issues well-known in the books of the Madhhab. Among those of our companions who are reported to have passed judgment on the basis of the hadeeth (i.e. rather than the saying of Shaafi'i) are Abu Ya'qoob al-Buweeti and Abu l-Qaasim ad-Daariki. Of our companions from the muhadditheen, Imaam Abu Bakr Al-Baihaqi and others employed this approach. Many of our earliest companions, if they faced an issue for which there was a hadeeth, and the madhhab of Shaafi'i was contrary to it, would act according to the hadeeth and give verdicts based on it, saying, `The madhhab of Shaafi'i is whatever agrees with the hadeeth.' Shaikh Abu `Amr (Ibn as-Salaah) says, `Whoever among the Shaafi'is found a hadeeth contradicting his Madhhab, he would consider whether he fulfilled the conditions of ijtihaad generally, or in that particular topic or issue, in which case he would be free to act on the hadeeth; if not, but nevertheless he found it hard to contradict the hadeeth after further analysis, he would not be able to find a convincing justification for opposing the hadeeth. Hence, it would be left for him to act according to the hadeeth if an independent imaam other than Shaafi'i had acted on it, and this would be justification for his leaving the Madhhab of his Imaam in that issue.' What he (Abu `Amr) has said is correct and established. Allaah knows best."

There is another possibility which Ibn as-Salaah forgot to mention: what would one do if he did not find anyone else who acted according to the hadeeth? This has been answered by Taqi ad-Deen as-Subki in his article, The Meaning of Shaafi'i's saying, "When a hadeeth is found to be saheeh, then that is my madhhab" (p. 102, vol. 3): "For me, the best thing is to follow the hadeeth. A person should imagine himself in front of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam), just having heard it from him: would there be leeway for him to delay acting on it? No, by Allaah ... and everyone bears a responsibility according to his understanding."

The rest of this discussion is given and analysed in I'laam al- Muwaqqi'een (2/302, 370) and in the book of al-Fulaane, (full title:) Eeqaaz Himam ulu l-Absaar, lil-Iqtidaa' bi Sayyid al- Muhaajireen wal-Ansaar, wa Tahdheeruhum `an al-Ibtidaa' ash- Shaa'i' fi l-Quraa wal-Amsaar, min Taqleed al-Madhaahib ma'a l- Hamiyyah wal-'Asabiyyah bain al-Fuqahaa' al-A'saar (Awakening the Minds of those who have Perception, towards following the Leader of the Emigrants and Helpers, and Warning them against the Innovation Widespread among Contemporary Jurists in the Towns and Cities, of following Madhhabs with Zeal and Party- Spirit). The latter is a unique book in its field, which every desirer of truth should study with understanding and reflection. 37 addressing Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (rahimahullaah).


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