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The Methodology of the Salaf Concerning Ijtihad and Taqlid
  The Basis of Islaam is to Act upon the Book and the Sunnah
Author: Shaikh Muhammad Sultaan al-Ma`soomoee
Source: Hadiyyat us-Sultaan ilaa Muslimee Bilaad al-Yaabaan
Article ID : MNJ060003  [12991]  
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This is the deen of islaam in truth and its fundamental and its basis is the Book and the Sunnah. So they are the points of reference in every dispute that the Muslims fall into and he who refers back to other than them is not a believer! As Allah the most Most high says:

"But no,by your Lord,they can have no faith,until they make you (O Muhammad (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) judge in all disputes between them and find in the,selves no resistance against your decisions and accept (them) with full submission.[1]

Not one of the scholars said, 'follow me in my opinion' rather they said, 'take from where we have taken,' besides, much has been added to these madhabs from the understanding of their later generations[2]. They contain many errors and matters of conjecture,which if the Imaams to whom they are attributed were to see them, then they would absolve themselves of them and from those who said them.

All of the people of knowledge from the Pious predecessors clung to the manifest texts of the Book and thew Sunnah and encouraged the people to stick to them and act accordingly. This is established from the Imaams from amongst them. Abu Haneefah, Maalik, Ahmad,ash-Shafiee, the two Sufyaans, ath-Tahwree and Ibn Uyaiynah, al-Hasan al-Basree, Abu Yousuf Yaqoob-the Qadee, Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ash-Shaybaanee, Abdur Rahmaan al-Awzaee, Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak, al-Bukharee, Muslim and the rest (ra). All of them warned against innovations in the Deen and against blind following of anyone except the infallible Messenger (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) . As for other than him, then he is fallible whoever he may be, his saying which is in accordance wiht the Book and the Sunnah is accepted and that which goes against them is to be rejected. As Imaam Maalik (ra) said, "The saying of everyone may be taken or rejected except for the companion of this grave" and he pointed to the grave of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) [3]

The scholars,the four Imaams and the others, all followed this way,all of them warned against blind following! Since Allaah, the Most High, condemned the blind followers in more than one place in His book. Most of the earlier and later people became disbelievers due to their blind following of their priests, rabbis, old people and forefathers. It is established from Imaams Abu Haneefah (ra), Maailik,ash-Shafiee, Ahmad and others (ra) -that they said:

"It is not permissible for any one to give judgement with our saying unless they know the source from which we took it" [4]

"If the hadeeth is found to be authentic then it is my madhab" [5]

"If I say something then compare it to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger and if it agrees to them,then accept it and that which goes against them,then reject it and throw my saying against the wall".[6]

These are the sayings of these prominent Imaams, may allaah enter them into the Home of Peace.Unfortunately, the later blind followers and authors who wrote the books, whom the people think to be scholars and infallible mujtahids, have made it obligatory for the people to blindly follow one of the four Imaams and their well known madhaabs. After declaring this to be obligatory, they forbade taking or acting upon anyone else's saying,it is as if they have made him (ie the Imaam) Prophet to be obeyed. It would have been better had they acted upon the sayings of the Imaams.However, most of them know nothing of the Imaam whom they claim to follow,except his name. Further,some of the latter followers invented questions, created new madhabs and ascribed them to the original Imaams. So those who came after them think that it is the saying of the Imaaam or his students and in reality it goes against what the Imaam said and approved;he is free from what they ascribe to him, such as the saying of many of the later Hanafees that it is forbidden to point the forefinger in the tashshuud in prayer [6] or that what is meant by Allah's hand id His power,or that He is present by His Dhaat (self) in every place and not above the Arsh because of this and its like the unity of the Muslims has been destroyed their community has seperated, the splits increased and the horizons filled with hypocrisy and disunity!Each of them declaring those who differ from them in the slightest matter to be upon misguidance ,to the extent that some of them declare the others to be disbelievers and some striking the necks of the others to be disbelievers and some striking the necks of the others and have become fitting for what the truthful and trustworthy Messenger, the most noble of us ,Muhammad (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) said,

"My Ummah will split into seventy -three sects,all of them in the fire except one" It was said, 'Who are they O Messenger of Allaah? He said, "That which I and my Companions are upon" [7]

FOOT NOTES

[1] Sooratun-Nisaa(4):65


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