Message No : 5Sr.No : 11/725
Question By : Ammara Qasim

Assalamu Alaikum

I would like to ask you something, which is very important for my family and me. My sisters, brother, and I had a chance to meet an elder Muslim, who teaches Islam. He told us about Allah because my younger sisters and brother are not Muslims. I listen to what he told us; however, I asked several questions. As I heard from somebody, he told me that Thai Muslims might be different from what I have learnt. So, I asked him about Madhab and Tasawwuf and so on. In his reply the answers are different from your teachings as well. He said that Tasawwuf is not the Shariah because this is from Pakistan and people who practice Tasawwuf don't do anything rather than rememberance of Allah Ta'ala. So, these people are not civilized.
About Madhab, it is not from the Quran and Sunnah of Nabi (s.w.a.) because it is just the opinion of the scholars. If the person follows only one Madhab without thinking which opinion is correct, then this person has narrow mind. Thus, we should look at the opinion of four Imams and consider which opinion of imam is correct according to Quran and sunnah, then we should practice. Moreover, Imam shafi'i has given the most correct opinion. If any person says that we must follow only one Madhab, then it is wrong.
Also, my sister asked about crab that can we eat crab or not being Hanafi? He said that we can eat because the Quran didn't mention that I can not eat. It is just the scholar's opinion.
Moreover, about Namaaz, we may miss Sunnah Namaaaz because we will not get sin, but if we do Sunnah Namaaz, then we will get reward.
So, I would like to ask you frankly as I do not have much Islamic education. If there are many different teachings, then how can I know which teaching is the right one and which one lead me and my family to success in both worlds. Now, my older sister, Muslim, follows the teaching of the Muslim elder a little bit, but I put myself in the middle because I want to find out which one is the most correct. I am so confused.


Reply By : Mohammad Obaidullah Mohiuddia Al-Qasmi
Designation : Mufti, MMERC, Mumbai 

School of thoughts (Mazahib)

Dear sister in Islam

Taqleed Shakhsi (following only one Madhab out of Four Madhabs) is obligatory for all except those who have deep insight in the Islamic sciences and have command over Qur'anic and Hadith knowledge. Taqleed Shakhsi has been made obligatory for general masses by Ijma seeing wide spread of impure desires of people after the period of the Prophet and his companions. In the following sentences it will be proved that to follow Ijma (consensus) is obligatory and its following is ordered by many verses of the Holy Qur'an and Hadith. Hence, to follow one Madhab (taqleed Shakhsi) is to follow Ijma; and to follow Ijma is to follow the command of Allah and the prophet. Thus Taqleed Shakhsi is not contrary to the Qur'an and Hadith.
Sunnah has two kinds:
(1) Sunnah Mu'akkadah
(2) Sunnah Ghair Mu'akkadah
Sunnah Mu'akkada is necessary and to leave it without proper reason is sinful. Two Rak'ats before Fajr Prayer, Two before Zuhar and four after it, two after Isha ,two after Maghrib are Sunnah Mu'akkadah.
Sunnah Ghair Mu'akkadah is not necessary. If one prays it he will get reward and if one leaves it even without any reason, he will not be punished.
In the following I am quoting some great early Ulama in the support of Taqleed Shakhsi (following one Madhab):

Great commentator of Sahih Muslim, Mohiuddin Nawawi writes in his book 'Rauzatut-Talibeen' ''as far as Ijtihad Mutlaq (derivation of decisions of newly-born cases from the Qur'an and Hadith which is exercised by highly learned Islamic scholars) is concerned, its door has been closed after the four Imams. All the Islamic scholars of Islam declared following of only one Imam as obligatory upon Ummah. And, Imamul-Haramain has quoted Ijma (united agreement of all Ulama) on this.''(Noorul Hidayah Ref: Fatawa Rahimiah v:4 p:146)

Allama Ibn Taimiah is also of the opinion that Taqleed Shakhsi (following one Imam) is obligatory. He says,''if sometimes he follows one who makes the marriage invalid and sometimes one who makes it valid according to his desire. This is unlawful.'' (Fatawa Ibn Taimiah v:2 p:240 Ref:Fatawa Rahimiah v:4 p:191
Shaikh Abdulwahhab Najdi is also the follower of only one Madhab as he says, ''We, by the grace of Allah, are the followers of Imam Ahmad Ibn Hambal and not Bid'atees.''
(Muhammad bin Abdulwahhab by Allama Ahmad Abdul Ghafoor pubished in Beirut p:174, 175 Ref: Fatawa Rahimiah v:4 p:191)

How many sources does Islamic Shari'ah have?
According to Ahlus-Sunnah wal Jama'ah (followers of Sunnah and Prophet's Companions) Islamic Shari'ah has four sources-----
(1) the Holy Qur'an
(2) Hadith
(3) Ijma (consensus)
(4) Qiyas (analogy).
Any thing proved by any of Out of four sources, only the last two are described below because these two are unaccepted to some mischievous people:

(3) Ijma (consensus of Ummah): It is the agreement of the answer, about a new case which answer is neither found in the Qur'an nor in Hadith, done by all the topmost Allah-fearing scholars of Islam having in-depth knowledge in the sciences of the Qur'an and Hadith in any period. They ponder over the newly-born case which is not found in the Qur'an and Hadith and then reach a common conclusion in the light of the Qur'an and Hadith.
Ijma is the third source of Islam. It is also obligatory to follow. Few of Qur'anic verses and Ahadith are given below which show authenticity and significance of Ijma:

Allah says ''And one whoso opposes the Messenger after the straight path became clear to him and follows a way against all Muslims, We shall transfer him to that very side he has chosen and shall through him into the Hell; and he reached a very bad place'' (ch:4 v:115)
Note: the scholars have derived from this verse that one who opposes Ijma-e-Ummat (consensus of Ummat) and denies it, is the Dweller of the Hell----in other words it is obligatory to accept and follow Ijma-e-Ummat.The Holy Prophet has said that God's hand is on the Ummat of Muslims; he who adopted a separate way fell into the Hell.
(Tafseere-E-Usmani by Allama Shabbir Ahmad Usmani English version vol:1 p:389)

This verse shows that Ijma-e-Ummat is Hujjat, i.e. to act upon what is agreed by Ummah is necessary like acting upon the rulings stated by the Qur'an and Sunnah is necessary (Wajib),. And, to oppose it is a grave sin.
Hazrat Imam Shafe'ee quoted this very verse in authenticity of Ijma when he was asked to bring a Qur'anic proof in its support, his answer was accept by all as strong enough to prove Ijma as a source of Shari'ah. (Ma'ariful Qur'an vol:2 p:547)

Allah says ''And in the same way We made you a moderate Ummah (community), so that you should be witnesses over the people, and the Messenger a witness to you.''(ch:2 v:143)
According to al-Qurtubi, this verse establishes Ijma, or the consensus of the Islamic Ummah, as one of the four deciding agencies in the matter of legislation. For, the very fact that Allah himself has accepted this Ummah a trustworthy witness as against the other traditional communities, shows that the consensus of this Ummah is a deciding factor in legislative matters, and that it is necessary (Wajib) to act upon it. Thus, the consensus of the blessed Companions has to be accepted by their successors, and that of the latter by the next generation. According to Al-Tafsir al-Mazhari, this verse establishes the principle that the deeds and acts of this Ummah which have been approved by a consensus are commendable, for, if one were to admit the possibility of a consensus on an error, the Ummah can not be characterized as being moderate and just.
(Maariful Qur'an, English version vol:1 p:374)
The Prophet (SWS) said: whoso secedes himself from the united body even to a hand's span and then dies, he dies a death of the Days of ignorance.
(Bukhari & Muslim Ref: Al-Hadis v:1 p: 306)
Ibn Umar reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Allah will not gather together my followers (or he said : the followers of Muhammad) over misguidance, and the hand of Allah is upon the united body; and whoso becomes separate, will be separated in Hell. (Tirmizi Ref: Al-Hadis v:1, p:307)

(4) Qiyas: It is analogical deduction from the above three sources of Shari'ah----the Qur'an, Hadith and Ijma. It is the fourth source of Shari'ah and recognized by the Qur'an, Hadith and Ijma. It is exercised by jurists only when the answer of a newly-born case is not found in the above three sources. They ponder over the new case to find out its answer in the light of the Qur'an, Hadith and Ijma. They try to find out the base and reason (Illat) of a ruling described in the text of the Qur'an , Hadith and Ijma and after they get the reason and base of that ruling, extend the same ruling to that newly-born case if the same reason is found in that new case. When the reason is mentioned in a textual ruling clearly and the same reason is found in the newly-born case, they unanimously declare the same ruling in this new case. For example, in the ruling of prohibition of wine the reason (illat) is clearly mentioned as intoxication (Nashah) which is a root cause of many crimes and sins. After the prophet's death many new drinks appeared which had intoxication such as Nabeez etc. Jurists declared the same ruling in Nabeez on the basis of the same reason of intoxication.
Qiyas is recognized as a source of Shari'ah by the Qur'an, Hadith and Ijma and logic too.
Proof of Qiyas from the Qur'an
Allah says ''O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the messenger and men
of authority from amongst you; then if you quarrel in aught refer it to Allah
and the Messenger, if you indeed believe in Allah and the last Day. That is
the best and the fairest interpretation.'' (ch:4 p:59)
Abdullah khallaf argues from this verse on the authenticity of all the four sources. He says : Injunction to obedience of Allah and of the Messenger is the obedience of the Qur'an and Sunnah; injunction to obedience of men of authority from amongst you is to follow the rulings that have been agreed by jurists because they are the men of authority among Muslims. And, obedience of referring to Allah and Messenger in the newly-born controversial cases is the obedience to follow Qiyas where no text and Ijma are found, because in Qiyas the newly-born controversial matters are referred to Allah and Messenger as it is to pass a particular textual ruling of a case in a newly-born controversial case on the basis of the similarity between the two cases in the reason. Thus this verse shows to follow these four sources.''
(Usoolul Fiqh p:21 ref: Fiqhe Islami,usool,khidmaat awr taqaazey by Rizwanul-Qasmi p:255)
Proof of Qiyas from Haidth
Mu'az bin Jabal reported that when the prophet of Allah sent him to Yemen, he asked: How will you decide when a matter comes to you for decision? He replied : I shall decide according to the Book of Allah. He enquired: If you do not find it in the Book of Allah ? He replied :Then according to Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah. He enquired : If you do not find it in the Sunnah of the Prophet of God? He said: I shall exert hard according to my opinion and spare pains. He narrated that the Prophet hit his chest and said: All praise is for Allah who supplied the messenger of the Messenger of Allah with what the Messenger of Allah is pleased with.''
(Tirmizi, Abu Daud Ref: Alhadis p: 172)

Proof of Qiyas from Ijma-e-Ummat
All the Companions of the Prophet unanimously accept Qiyas and none has denied it. Exercise of Qiyas is reported by many Companions in many cases. We mention a few of them below:
1) Hazrat Abdullah bin Abbas exercised Qiyas about the matter of Khawarij and argued against them.
2) Hazrat Ali exercised Qiyas when he was blamed to be responsible in killing of
Hazrat Ammar by Hazrat Mu'awiyah.
Hazrat Ali exercised Qiyas and fixed the punishment of false accusation of unchastity (i.e.forty lashes) for drinking wine.
(Usoolul Fiqh p:21 ref: Fiqhe Islami,usool,khidmaat awr
taqaazey by Rizwanul-Qasmi p:197)
3) Hazrat Abu-Bakr ,by exercising Qiyas, passed the ruling and fixed for grandfather the same share which is for father in his absence.
4) Hazrat Abu-Bakr ,by exercising Qiyas, passed the same ruling of Qitaal (Fighting) fixed by texts in matter against those who refused to pay Zakat after Prophet's death.
Proof of Qiyas by logic and reason
Contents of texts are limited while happenings and new cases are limitless. On the other side, it is a fact that Islam is for all people and for all the ages and has the capacity to give solutions and guidance in all the cases happening till the end of this world. To make this practical, high-ranking Ulama who have deep knowledge of the texts must apply their minds and derive solution to newly born problems by finding out parallel reason prescribed in the texts. And, it is what we call Qiyas or reasoning. Logically, Qiyas is a crying need of new cases otherwise the Qur'an and Hadith will be declared to be handicapped to guide in new cases.

Allah knows the best.

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