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Following the Imams, Importance of Taqleed and Consensus Upon Following Them

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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd February 2012 10:41
By Mufti Abdur Raheem Lajpuri رحمة اللہ علیه

Question:

1) What do the 'Ulema of Deen and the Muftis say about a man in our city of Baruch who has adopted the ways of the Ahl e Hadith. He raises his hands during every Raka'ah of Salah and says Ameen loudly. Our Hanafi brothers say that these are acts of Bid'ah. Is raising the hands and saying Ameen loudly acts of the Sunnah or acts of Bid'ah? Please explain with references.

2) This brother says that raising the hands is a Sunnah of Rasulullah ﷺ and the Khulafaa Raashideen and that the Hanafi book Hidayah (Vol.1 pg 379) proves that Rasulullah ﷺ did it until the end of his life. He also says that saying Ameen loudly is also proven in Hidayah (Vol.1 pg 362) and that both raising the hands and saying Ameen loudly are acts of the Sunnah. Is raising the hands and saying Ameen loudly acts of the Sunnah or acts of Bid'ah? Please explain with references.

Note: It was discovered that the questioner himself became a Ghair Muqallid and it is for this reason that the reply addresses him.

Answer:

The question has been quoted (in the Urdu edition) just as the questioner had written it (in Urdu). He has forsaken the Hanafi Mathhab and become a Ghair Muqallid (one who does not follow any Mathhab). The status of his education is evident from the fact that in a question of only twelve to thirteen lines, he has made twenty to twenty-five spelling errors. If he is this incompetent in the Urdu language that he cannot even write it properly, how will he ever be able to read and understand Arabic texts?

Imam Ghazali رحمة اللہ علیه said, "After accepting Islam and Iman, it is compulsory for the general public to only engage in their 'Ibadah and day-to-day activities. They should never delve into academic matters because this has to be handed over to the 'Ulema. For a member of the general public to argue in an academic discussion is more detrimental to him than fornication and theft. This is because when a person without deep knowledge of the Deen enters into discussions concerning Allah and the various aspects of Deen, the chances are great that he may present an opinion that is akin to Kufr without him even realizing it. His example is like that of a person who dives into the ocean without knowing how to swim." (Ihyaa, Vol.3 pg 35)

It is necessary for the general public to have knowledge of the commands of the Shari'ah and to carry them out without delving into the intricacies of it. A man once came to Rasulullah ﷺ and asked to be informed of the intricacies of knowledge. Rasulullah ﷺ posed the following questions to him: 1) Have you recognized Allah? 2) How many of Allah's rights have you fulfilled? 3) Are you aware of death? 4) Have you prepared for death? Thereafter Rasulullah ﷺ told the man to leave, to first strengthen his foundations and then come to be informed of the intricacies. (Jaami' Bayanul 'Ilm pg 133)

Rasulullah ﷺ also said, "A time will come when people will take ignorant people as their leaders and ask them questions (related to Deen). These people will then issue Fatawa without having the relevant knowledge. They will themselves be deviated and will mislead others as well. (Mishkatul Masabih pg 33)

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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd February 2012 10:41
Mawlana Muhammad Hussain Batalwi, whom the Ghair Muqallideen look up to, wrote in his book Isha'atus Sunnah (Vol.1 pg 211), "There is no way that a person not following a Mathhab can ever run away from the Mujtahideen." In the same book, he writes, "Twenty-five years of experience has proven to me that those who forsake following the Mujtahideen and a Mathhab eventually end up bidding farewell to Islam. Many of them become Christians and other become people who follow no religion at all. The least that happens is that they no longer follow the Shari'ah and fall into sin. Some of them openly discard the Jumu'ah Salah, Salah in congregation and fasting. They also do to abstain from liquor and interest and those who do not indulge in these open sins, do so for the ulterior motives, but then indulge in secret sins. They are often also involved in illicit affairs with women. Although there are many reasons for a person in Deen to become irreligious and to leave the Deen, one of the main reasons is also when people with no knowledge forsake Taqleed. (Sabeelur Rashaad pg 10, Kalimatul Fasl pg 10 and Taqleede A'immah pg 16-17)

The reviver of the Ahl e Hadith group Nawab Siddique Hasan Khan of Bhopal writes the following about his group, "There has now surfaced a boastful group who (despite being far fro it) claim that they have the knowledge of the Hadith and the Qur'an and also claim that they practice it and have recognition of Allah. (al-Hitta fi Dhikri Sihaahis Sitta pg 27-28)

He writes further, "How strange! How can they (these Ghair Muqallideen) call themselves sincere belivers in Tawheed while alleging that others (because of their Taqleed) are Mushrikeen, whereas they (the Ghair Muqallideen) are most obstinate and mulish in their ways?" He later concludes the discussion by saying, "This way (of he Ghair Muqallideen) is nothing but a great tribulation and means of deviation." (Taqleed e A'immah pg 17-18)
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#3 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd February 2012 10:42
Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehlawi رحمة ﷲ علیه writes, "Chapter on the Importance of Following the Four Mathahib and the Severity of Giving This Up. One ought to know that there is immense benefit in following the four Mathahib and tremendous harm in turning away from them." (Uqdul Jayyid pg 31)

In the same book he writes further, "The second reason for following a Mathhab is that Rasulullah ﷺ said, 'Follow the broader consensus of the people'. Since there are no Mathahib on the truth besides the four Mathahib, following them will be following the broader consensus of people and failing to follow them will be to leave the broader consensus of people, which will be against the instruction of Rasulullah ﷺ." (Uqdul Jayyid pg 33)
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#4 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd February 2012 10:42
Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehlawi رحمة ﷲ علیه described the followers of the four Mathahib as the broader consensus of people and the one failing to follow any perform them as a lost camel who really follows the dictates of his Nafs. (Hereunder follows several Ahadith on the subject) Rasulullah ﷺ said:

1. "Follow the broader consensus of people" (Mishkatul Masabih pg 30)

2. "Stick with the congregation" (Ibid pg 33)

3. "Verily Allah will never allow my Ummah to be unanimous on deviation" (Ibid pg 30; Also see Maqaasidul Hasanah pg 460)

4. "My Ummah shall never be unanimous on deviation"

5. "Allah's hand is upon the Jama'ah (united group) and the one who separates from them shall be cast alone in Jahannam" (Mishkatul Masabih pg 30)

6. "Shaytan is like a wolf to people just as there is a wolf for sheep, who grabs hold of the lone sheep wandering apart from the flock. You people must therefore beware of conflict and remain attached to the Jama'ah and the broader consensus of people" (Ibid pg 31)

7. "The one who separated even a hand's span from the Jama'ah, he has removed the collar of Islam from his neck" (Ibid pg 31)

8. "Two people are better than one, three better than two and four better than three, so ensure that you attach yourself to the Jama'ah" (Mawa'idul Awwa'id pg 122)

9. "The one who forsakes obedience and separates from the Jama'ah shall die a death of the people of the Period of Ignorance" (Nasa'i)

10. "Whatever the Muslims regard to be something good is really so in the eyes of Allah as well" (Ahmad, as quoted in Maqasidul Hasanah pg 368)
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#5 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd February 2012 10:43
Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehlawi رحمة ﷲ علیه was a great scholar, Muhaddith and jurist of his time. Even the leader of the Ghair Muqallideen group Nawab Siddique Hasan Khan of Bhopal regards Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehlawi رحمة ﷲ علیه as the leader of all the Mujtahideen. He writes, "Had he been living in the first century of Islam, he would have been the Imam of Imams and leader of the Mujtahideen."

Even though he was a jurist of this caliber, Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehlawi رحمة ﷲ علیه had the following to say about Taqleed, "None rejected the concept of Taqleed because since the time of the Sahabah رضی ﷲ عنھم until the emergence of the four Mathahib, people had always been following those 'Ulema whom they relied on. Had the following of the Mathahib been wrong, they (the Sahabah رضی ﷲ عنھم and Tabi'een) would certainly have rejected it." (Uqdul Jayyid pg 29)
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#6 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd February 2012 10:43
He further quotes Imam Baghawi رحمة ﷲ علیه, who said, "It is therefore compulsory for the person who does not have all these qualifications (of being a Mujtahid) to follow someone in all affairs that pertain to him." (Uqdul Jayyid pg 9)

Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehlawi رحمة ﷲ علیه also says, "There are numerous benefits in it (in following one of the four Mathahib) that are no secret to anyone. These are especially required in these days when people lack courage, when carnal passions have taken deep root in people's souls and whenever a person is obsessed only with his opinion." (Hujjatullahil Baalighah Vol.1 pg 361)

In another of his works, Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehlawi رحمة ﷲ علیه says, "It was during the second century of Islam that following a particular Mujtahid became common and there was scarcely anyone who did not do so. This was compulsory." (Insaaf pg 59)

He also said, "The entire Ummah, or rather those of them who are dependable, are unanimous about the fact that it is permissible to follow one of these four Mathahib that have been methodically systemized and recorded. This unanimity remains to this day (and opposing it is a means of deviation)." (Hujjatullahil Baalighah Vo.1 pg 361)
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#7 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd February 2012 10:43
Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehlawi رحمة ﷲ علیه also says, "The gist of it all is that following these four Mathahib is something extremely subtle that Allah has inspired in the hearts of the 'Ulema and upon which they have declared unanimity, regardless of whether they understand it or not." (Insaaf pg 47)

He also says, "If there is a common man in India of in the territories of Maa Waraa'un Nahr (places where there are predominantly Hanafis) and there are no 'Ulema belonging to the Shafi'i, Maliki or Hanbali schools of jurisprudence, as well as no books of these Mathahib, it will be wajib (compulsory) for him to follow the Mathhab of Imam Abu Hanifah. It will be Haram (forbidden) for him to leave this Mathhab because if he does this, he will be removing the collar of the Shari'ah from his neck and will be left a useless and wasted soul." (Insaaf pg 70-71)
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#8 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd February 2012 10:43
Despite being a Mujtahid in his own right, Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehlawi رحمة ﷲ علیه was commanded by Rasulullah ﷺ to follow Mathhab and never to leave one. He writes in Fuyoodhul Haramain (pg 64-65) that he was commanded by Rasulullah ﷺ to do three things that he was not in favor of. In fact, he states, he was so staunchly disinclined towards these three things that the fact that he turned to them is in fact a sign of their truth. The second of these that he mentions is to follow one of the four Mathahib without leaving it. He states further that Rasulullah ﷺ also informed him that the Hanafi Mathhab has a most excellent methodology that is closer to the Sunnah as it was documented during the period of Imam Bukhari and his contemporaries رحمة ﷲ علیھم." (Ibid pg 48)
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#9 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd February 2012 10:44
The summary of Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehlawi's رحمة ﷲ علیه comments are:

1. The practice of following a particular person was common during the times of the Sahabah رضی ﷲ عنھم and the Tabi'een.

2. Following one of the four Mathahib entails following the broader consensus of people (which is compulsory in the words of the Ahadith) and failing to follow it will lead to deviation.

3. The practice of following one of the four Mathahib became common after the second century of Islam.

4. Following one of the four Mathahib is something extremely subtle that Allah has inspired in the hearts of people.

5. The Ummah is unanimous about following the four Imams.

6. Taqleed is wajib (compulsory) for anyone who is not a Mujtahid.

7. There are numerous Deeni benefits to following a specific Imam.

8. Rasulullah ﷺ instructed Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehlawi رحمة ﷲ علیه to follow an Imam.

9. Rasulullah ﷺ told him that the Hanafi Mathhab is closest to the Sunnah.

10. It is Haram for a common man to forsake Taqleed. In fact, this actually leads him to leaving Islam (this has even been admitted by one of their leaders Mawlana Muhammad Hussain Batalwi, as quoted above).
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#10 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd February 2012 10:44
The Ghair Muqallideen fool people into believing that the Muhadditheen never followed any of the Imams of jurisprudence. This is wrong because all the Muhadditheen apart from very few did adopt Taqleed.

Imam Bukhari رحمة ﷲ علیه who himself was a Mujtahid opted to follow the Mathhab of Imam Shafi'i رحمة ﷲ علیه. The leader of the Ghair Muqallideen group, Nawab Siddique Hasan Khan of Bhopal, states in his book, al-Hitta fi Dhikri Sihaahis Sitta, that Imam Abu Aasim has recorded the name of Imam Bukhari رحمة ﷲ علیه in the list of those following the Shafi'i Mathhab. Further in the same book, he says the following about Imam Nasa'i رحمة ﷲ علیه, "He was one of the landmarks of the Deen and one of the pillars of the science of Hadith. He led the scholars and Muhadditheen of his time and his critical assessment of narrators was highly rated amongst the 'Ulema. He followed the Shafi'i Mathhab." (pg 27)

About Imam Abu Dawood رحمة ﷲ علیه, he says, "He was a Hafidh of Ahadith and all the remarks and comments made about them. He was also of the highest caliber in as far as Taqwa, piety, abstinence, knowledge and understanding Deen are concerned. The only difference of opinion exists about whether which Mathhab he followed. While some are of the opinion that he was a Hanbali, others opine that he was a Shafi'i. (Ibid pg 135)
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#11 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd February 2012 10:45
Apart from the Muhadditheen mentioned above, the most authentic reports verify that Imam Muslim, Imam Tirmidhi, Imam Bayhaqi, Imam Dar Qutni, Imam Ibn Majah رحمة ﷲ علیھم all followed the Shafi'i school of jurisprudence. The Muhadditheen Imam Yahya bin Ma'een, Imam Yahya bin Abi Zaa'idah, Imam Tahawi and Imam Zayla'ee رحمة ﷲ علیھم also all followed a Mathhab and all happened to be Hanafi. Allamah Dhahabi, Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn Qayyim bin Jowzi, Abdul Qadir Jilani رحمة ﷲ علیھم were all Hanbali.

Did these eminent scholars not realize that Taqleed is Shirk, Haram and a Bid'ah as the Ghair Muqallideen claim? Were there only a few who realized this, such as Dawood Zahiri and Ibn Hazm رحمة ﷲ علیھما? Muhadditheen, 'Ulema and Masha'ikh throughout the ages adopted Taqleed. If one looks at the 'Ulema and Awliya of the Indian Subcontinent, one will notice that they were all particular about Taqleed and were almost all followers of Imam Abu Hanifah رحمة ﷲ علیه.
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#12 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd February 2012 10:46
Some of the senior Muhadditheen were:

1. Shaykh Ali Muttaqi رحمة ﷲ علیه, author of Kanzul Ummaal (passed away 975 AH)

2. Shaykh Abdul Wahhab Buhaanpuri رحمة ﷲ علیه (passed away 1001 AH)

3. Shaykh Muhammad Tahir Patni Gujrati رحمة ﷲ علیه, author of Majma'ul Bihar (passed away 987 AH)

4, Muhaddith Mullah Jeewan Siddiqi رحمة ﷲ علیه (passed away 1130 AH)

5. Shaykh Abdul Haq Muhaddith Dehlawi رحمة ﷲ علیه, author of Ashi'attul Lam'aat (passed away 1152 AH) and his son Muhaddith Nurul Haq رحمة ﷲ علیه, author of Tayseerul Qari, commentary of Bukhari (passed away 1073 AH)

6. Muhaddith Shaykh Fakhruddin رحمة ﷲ علیه commentator of Bukhari and Hisnul Haseen

7. Muhaddith Shaykh Salamullah رحمة ﷲ علیه, commentator of Muwatta (passed away 1229 AH)

8. Shah Abdur Raheem Muhaddith Dehlawi رحمة ﷲ علیه

9. Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehlawi رحمة ﷲ علیه (passed away 1176 AH)

10. Shah Abdul Aziz Muhaddith Dehlawi رحمة ﷲ علیه (passed away 1239 AH)

11. Shah Abdul Qadir Muhaddith and Mufassir Dehlawi رحمة ﷲ علیھما (passed away 1232 AH)

12. Shah Abdul Ghani Muhaddith Dehlawi رحمة ﷲ علیه (passed away 1296 AH)

13. Shah Ishaq Muhaddith Dehlawi رحمة ﷲ علیه (passed away 1262 AH)

14. Shah Isma'il Shaheed رحمة ﷲ علیه (passed away 1246 AH)

15. Shah Qutbuddin رحمة ﷲ علیه, author of Mazahir e Haq (passed away 1289 AH)

16. Shah Rafi'uddin Muhaddith Dehlawi رحمة ﷲ علیه (passed away 1233 AH)

17. Shah Muhammad Ya'qub Muhaddith Dehlawi رحمة ﷲ علیه (passed away 1282 AH)

18. Qadhi Muhibuddin Bihari رحمة ﷲ علیه (passed away 1119 AH) who wrote the famous book of principles of Fiqh Musallamuth Thuboot in the year 1109 AH

19. Muhaddith Kabeei Qadhi Thana'ullah Panipati رحمة ﷲ علیه (passed away 1225 AH)

20. Shaykhul Islam Allamah Nuruddin Ahmadabadi Gujarati رحمة ﷲ علیه, author of Nurul Qari, commentary of Bukhari (passed away 1155 AH)

21. Shaykh Wajeehuddin Alawi Gujarati رحمة ﷲ علیه (passed away 998 AH)

22. Mufti Muhaddith Abdul Karim Nahrwaani رحمة ﷲ علیه, author of Nahrul Jaari, commentary of Bukhari (passed away 1141 AH)

23 Allamah Muhiyuddin Ahamadabadi Gujarati رحمة ﷲ علیه (passed away 1038 AH)

24. Shaykh Muhaddith Khayruddin bin Muhammad Zahid Surti (passed away 1206AH)


25. Bahrul Uloom Shaykh Abdul Ali Lakhnawi رحمة ﷲ علیه, commentator of Musallamuth Thuboot and others (passed away 1225 AH)

26. Abul Hasanaat Allamah Abdul Hayy Lakhnawi رحمة ﷲ علیه, author of numerous works (passed away 1304 AH)

27. Muhaddith Mawlana Ahmad Ali Sahaaranpuri رحمة ﷲ علیه, author of marginal notes on Bukhari (passed away 1297 AH)

28. Mutakallimul Islam Mawlana Qasim Nanotwi رحمة ﷲ علیه, founder of Darul Uloom Deoband (passed away 1298 AH)

29. Muhaddith Kabeer Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi رحمة ﷲ علیه (passed away 1323 AH)

30. Mawlana Muhammad Ya'qub Nanotwi Mujaddidi رحمة ﷲ علیه (passed away 1302 AH)

31. Muhaddith Mawlana Fakhrul Hasan Gangohi رحمة ﷲ علیه (passed away 1317 AH)

32. Shaykhul Hind Mawlana Mahmoodul Hasan Deobandi رحمة ﷲ علیه (passed away 1399 AH)

33. Muhaddith Kabeer Allamah Anwar Shah Kashmiri رحمة ﷲ علیه (passed away 1352 AH)

34. Muhaddith Mawlana Khalil Ahmad Ambetwi رحمة ﷲ علیه, author of Badhlul Majhood, commentary of Abu Dawood (passed away 1346 AH)

35. Mawlana Shabbir Ahmad Uthmani رحمة ﷲ علیه, author of Fathul Mulhim, commentary of Sahih Muslim (passed away 1369 AH)
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#13 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd February 2012 10:46
Some of the prominent 'Ulema of Sindh include:

1. Shaykh Abul Hasan Sindhi رحمة ﷲ علیه (passed away 1187 AH)
2. Shaykh Hashim Sindhi رحمة ﷲ علیه
3. Shaykh Abu Tayyib Sindhi رحمة ﷲ علیه (passed away 1140 AH)
4. Shaykh Muhammad Mu'een Sindhi رحمة ﷲ علیه (passed away 1180 AH)
5. Shaykh Muhammad Aabid Sindhi رحمة ﷲ علیه (passed away 1257 AH)
6. Shaykh Hayat Sindhi رحمة ﷲ علیه (passed away 1163 AH)

These 'Ulema wrote commentaries and marginal notes on the Sihaah Sitta and also lectured Hadith in Madinah Munawwarah.
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#14 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd February 2012 10:46
Some of the eminent Awliya of the Indian Subcontinent were:

1. Imam Rabbani Mujaddid Alf Thaani رحمة ﷲ علیه (passed away 971 AH)

2. Arif Billah Muhaddith Mirza Mazhar Jaanjaana رحمة ﷲ علیه (passed away 1195 AH)

3. The crown of Awliya of Hind Khwaja Mu'eenuddin Chishti رحمة ﷲ علیه (passed away 632, 622, 626 or 637 AH)

4. Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiyaar Kaki رحمة ﷲ علیه (passed away 633/634 AH)

5. Khwaja Fareeduddin Ganj Shakar رحمة ﷲ علیه (passed away 664/668 AH)

6. Khwaja Nizamuddin Awliya (passed away 735 AH)

7. Khwaja Alaa'uddin Saabir Kaleri رحمة ﷲ علیه (passed away 690 AH)
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#15 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd February 2012 10:47
Other than the above, there were thousands of other Muhadditheen, 'Ulema, Mufassireen, Fuqahaa and Mashaa'ikh who were all followers of a Mathhab.

It is a great favor of Allah that we have the four Imams to follow and that the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa'ah has accepted the four. The 'Ulema of every era have emphasized that the person who rejects Taqleed will lead his life aimlessly and, following only his whims, will become a perpetrator of Bid'ah. He will not be from the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa'ah and will be just like the Shi'as who reject following the four Imams, labeling this as an act of Bid'ah. In fact, the Ghair Muqallideen emulate the Shi'as in several other matters. For example:

1. Just like the Rawaafidh (a group of the Shi'a), the Ghair Muqallideen also do not regard the Sahabah رضی ﷲ عنھم to be criteria for right and wrong.

2. Just like the Rawaafidh, the Ghair Muqallideen also regard three divorces given in a single sitting as one divorce.

3. Just like the Rawaafidh, the Ghair Muqallideen also regard the twenty Raka'ah of Taraweeh to be a Bid'ah

4. Just like the Rawaafidh, the Ghair Muqallideen also regard the Athan given in front of the pulpit on the day of Jumu'ah to be a Bid'ah.

5. Just like the Rawaafidh and Shi'a, the Ghair Muqallideen also do not accept the decision of 'Umar رضي الله عنه to ban women from the Masajid. This despite the fact that 'Ayesha رضی ﷲ عنھا said that had Rasulullah ﷺ seen the condition of the women after his time, he would certainly have banned them himself.
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