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The Methodology of the Salaf Concerning Ijtihad and Taqlid
  Guidelines Concerning Taqlid and Madhhabs
Source: Various
Article ID : MNJ060008  [17407]  
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"If what is intended by sticking to a madhhab is that a person sticks to that madhhab, and turns away from everything else; whether the correct view lies in his madhhab or another madhhab - then this is not permissible, and is from the blameworthy and bigotted partisanship. But if a person ascribes to a particular madhhab in order to benefit from its principles and guidelines, but he refers it back to the Book and the Sunnah; [such that] if it becomes clear to him that the preferred view lies in another madhhab, he then adopts that view - then there is no problem with this."

[ii]: Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan, hafidhahullaah, said:

"The issue of sticking to a madhhab has in it some detail. If a person has the ability to know the ruling from its proof, and to deduce the ruling from its proof, then it is not permitted for him to cling to a madhhab. rather, it is upon him to take the ruling from the evidence if he has the ability to do so. However, this is rare amongst the people, since this is a quality of the mujtahideen from the people of knowledge; those that have reaced the levels of ijtihaad. As for one who is not like that, then he cannot take the rulings directly from the evidences. And this is the predominant case amongst the people, especially in these latter times. So [in such a case] there is no harm in adopting one of the four madhhabs and making taqleed of one of them. However, he should not make blind taqleed such that he takes all that is in the madhhab; whether it is correct or incorrect. Rather, it is upon him to take from the madhhab that which - in his view - does not clearly oppose the evidence. As for those views in the madhhab which clearly oppose the evidence, then it is not permissible for the Muslim to take it. Rather it is upon him to adopt what is established by the proof, even if it is in another madhhab. So his leaving the madhhab for another madhhab in order to follow the evidence is something good; this is a matter which is good - rather it is obligatory; since following the evidence is an obligation."

[iii]: Shaykh Muhammad ibn ’Abdul-Wahhaab, rahimahullaah, said:

"If a person is learning fiqh from one of the four madhhabs, then he sees a hadeeth that opposes his madhhab; and so he follows it and leaves his madhhab - then this is recommended, rather it is obligatory upon him when the proof has been made clear to him. This would not be considered as opposing his Imaam that he follows, since they - Abu Haneefah, Maalik, ash-Shaafi’ee and Ahmad, radiallaahu ’anhum ajma’een - were all agreed upon this fundamental principle ... As for the case whereby a person does not have any evidence which opposes the view of the scholars of the madhhab, then we hope that it is permissible to act upon it, since their opinions are better than our own opinions; they took their proofs from the sayings of the Companions and those who came after them. However, it is not essential to declare with certainty (al-jazm) that this is the Sharee’ah of Allaah and His Messenger, until the proof that is not contradicted in this issue is made clear. This is the action of the Salaf of this Ummah and its scholars - both previous and recent - as well as that which they criticised: namely having bigotted partisanship for particular madhhabs (at-ta’assubul-madhaahib) and leaving off following the proof."

[iv]: Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah was asked to explain Najmud-Deen Ibn Hamdaan’s saying: Whoever clings to a madhhab is to be criticised if he opposes it without a proof, or taqleed, or any other excuse.

Ibn Taymiyyah, rahimahullaah, responded by saying:


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