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The Methodology of the Salaf Concerning Ijtihad and Taqlid
  Fataawaa of the Major Committee of Scholars on Taqlid and Madhhabs
Author: Various
Article ID : MNJ060007  [16434]  
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Q) The fourth question: We see that imaams, all of them, are on a madhhab that differs from the other, and most of the time the matter ends up in a battle between them that leads to some of the praying people to leave the prayer. So we need a clear sufficient answer on this subject. Are we to follow one school of thought (madhhab), and how do we reconcile between the schools of thought so that we can settle this matter?

A) All praise is for Allah alone, and may the peace and blessings be on His messenger and his family, and his companions, to proceed:

A) The difference that is present in the branches of fiqh between the four madhhabs returns to the causes of it, e.g. a hadeeth being authentic with some [imams] and not others, or the attainment of a hadeeth by one [imam] and not others, and [reasons] other than those from the causes of difference.

So it is obligatory on a Muslim to have good thoughts about them, and every one of them is a Mujtahid in what originated from him from fiqh, searching for truth. So if it [the ijtihaad] was correct, then for him is two rewards: a reward for his ijtihaad, and a reward for it being correct. And if it was incorrect, then there is a reward for his ijtihaad, and the wrong [ijtihaad] is looked over.

And as for blindly following (taqleed) these four imams, whoever is able to take the truth with its evidences, it is obligatory on him to take with evidences. And if he is not able, then he does taqleed of the most trustworthy of the people of knowledge with him as much as he is able. And these differences are in the branches [of fiqh] and does not entail the prohibition of those who differ to pray behind each other, but it is obligatory to pray behind each other, for verily the companions (sahabah), Allah be pleased with them , differed in matters in the branches and they [still] prayed behind each other, and like that, the tabi'een and those who followed them in righteousness.

And from Allah is tawfeeq, and may the Peace and Blessings of Allah be on His messenger, his family, and his companions.

The Standing Committee for Islamic Research and Ifta:

Member: Abdullah bin Qa‘ood, Member: Abdullah bin Ghudayaan, Vice President: AbdurRazaaq Afeefee', President: Abdul-Aziz ibn Baaz

The following is a translation taken from:

"The Fataawaa of The Standing Committee for Islamic Research and Ifta (Fataawa al-Lajnat -ud-daaimah lil-buhuth al-Ilmiah wal-Iftaa)", Volume 5: Fiqh and Tahaarah, Gathered and organized by Sheikh Ahmad bin abdur-Razaaq ad-Duwaish, Dar al-'Aasimah, 1413h.

The fourth and fifith questions from fatwa No. 4476

Q) What is the ruling of the one who blindly follows [Imaam] Malik in his ijtihaad, and leaves the Qur'an and the Hadeeth.

A) All praise is for Allah alone and may the Peace and Blesssings be on His messenger, and his family, and his companions.

To proceed:

Malik, May Allah have mercy on him, is an imaam from the imaams of knowledge; he his a human, he is incorrect [at times] and is correct [at times], and [some] is taken from his sayings and [some] is rejected. So what is in accordance with the truth from his sayings is accepted, and what is not in accordance with the truth is left. And a person, if he is able to take the rulings from the Qur'aan and the Sunnah, then is is not permissable for him to blindly follow any one, and if he is not able [to take the rulings from the Qur'aan and Sunnah] and something is ambiguous from the matters of his religion, then he is to ask the most trustworthy of the people of knowledge with him, and he is to act upon the answer, and Maalik and others are in that the same.

Q) Why have the scholars of the [different] countries divided the sharee’ah of the Prophet of Allah, Muhammed (S), into four: the schools of thoughts (mathaahib) of Maalik, Shaafi'i, Abu Hanifah, and Ahmah, besides the fact that the Religion of the Messenger (S) is one and the Qur'aan is one?

A) All praise is for Allah alone and may the Peace and Blesssings be on His messenger, and his family, and his companions.

To proceed:

The basis for legislation [of the religion] is the Qur'aan, and the Sunnah is a clarification for the Qur'an, and the four imaams, every one from them, Allah, the Exalted and Most High, granted them the guidance to understand the religion to the extent of what was made easy for them. And every one from them had students which related from them their fiqh and by this was the founding of the four madhhabs. And not all of what any one of them said the truth. but they are mujtahideen, and if it [the opinion] is correct, then for him is two rewrds, a reward for his ijtihaad, and a reward for it [the opinion] being correct, and if he is incorrect, then for him is a reward for his ijtihaad, and the incorrectness is looked over.


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