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

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#76 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd February 2012 11:15
4. It is mentioned that as long as Saalim bin Abdullah رحمة اللہ علیه lived, Imam Naafi رحمة ﷲ علیه never issued Fatawa. (Tadhkiratul huffaadh Vol. 1 pg 98)

This makes it apparent that during the time of Imam Naafi رحمة اللہ علیه people followed only Saalim رحمة ﷲ علیه.
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#77 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd February 2012 11:15
5. The previously quoted narration of Mu'adh bin Jabal رضي الله عنه being sent to Yemen proves both Ijtihad as well as Taqleed Shakhsi because by allowing Mu'adh ibn Jabal رضي الله عنه to apply his mind to matters, Rasulullah ﷺ was making it compulsory for the people of Yemen to follow only Mu'adh bin Jabal رضي الله عنه since he was the only one sent to them as judge and religious instructor.
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#78 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd February 2012 11:15
6. It is common knowledge that there were seven great Fuqaha who were followed during the period of the Tabi'een.
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#79 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd February 2012 11:16
All the above clearly illustrates that both forms of Taqleed were well practiced during the time of the Sahabah رضی ﷲ عنھم and the Tabi'een. It must be remembered that these were the best times according to Rasulullah ﷺ. It was time when people were overcome with Taqwa and religiousness and because people always took the more cautions of any two opinions they comfortably practiced Taqleed Mutlaq as well as Taqleed Shakhsi. However as the time moves away from the blessed period of Rasulullah ﷺ, piety and scrupulousness deteriorated and people started to become overwhelmed with worldly matters, the Ulema whose fingers were always in the pulse of the Ummah restricted Taqleed to Taqleed Shakhsi.

The Ulema all started to support this move and eventually the Ummah stood unanimously upon this because without such Taqleed, the laws of the Shari'ah would be a toy in the hands of every person and would be manipulated to conform to their desires.
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#80 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd February 2012 11:16
In one of his works, Shah Waliullah 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 not so. This was compulsory." (Insaaf Pg 59)
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#81 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd February 2012 11:16
Hakimul Ummah Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanwi رحمة ﷲ علیه writes that it is really permissible to follow various people and ask something from each of them to follow. In fact, the pious predecessors did ask certain things from Imam Abu Hanifah رحمة ﷲ علیه and other rulings from Imam Awza'ee رحمة ﷲ علیه and others. Today's people now wish to also do the same. While this is in itself permissible, it is forbidden because of another factor.

However before understanding this, first understand the following introduction. What needs to be understood is that the overwhelming and prevailing condition of people should be noted. The distinct difference between the people of that period and today's time is that the people of those times were overwhelmed by piety and religiousness.

Therefore, if they asked several Mujtahideen, it was really coincidental or because they wished to follow the most cautious of opinions. Now if the same state of religiousness prevailed today. It would not be necessary to restrict Taqleed to the following of only one person. But this is not the case today and how would such a state remain until today? Rasulullah ﷺ explicitly mentioned that after the best of times, lying and dishonesty would become widespread and the condition of people would be much worse.
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#82 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd February 2012 11:16
Such is the situation today when people worship their desires and every person includes his motives in his opinions. Allamah Shaami رحمة ﷲ علیه reports an incident of a Faqih who wished to marry the daughter of a certain Muhaddith. The Muhaddith however stipulated that he would allow the marriage only if the Faqih conformed to the practices of 'Raf'ul Yadain' and 'Ameen bil Jahar'. The Faqih accepted and the couple was married. When the incident was mentioned to a saint of the time, he lowered his head and after a while he said, "I fear for his Iman because he compromised what he was doing as Sunnah for worldly gain."

If people are allowed to practice Taqleed Mutlaq, they would do so for their own ends. For example, if a person with Wudhu started to bleed. He would maintain that his Wudhu is not broken in accordance with the view of Imam Shafi'i رحمة ﷲ علیه. If he later happened to touch a woman he would then say that his Wudhu is still not broken because Wudhu does not break in this way according to Imam Abu Hanifah رحمة ﷲ علیه.
In such a situation, he neither has Wudhu according to Imam Shafi'i رحمة ﷲ علیه as well as according to Imam Abu Hanifah رحمة ﷲ علیه, even though he will be adamant that his Wudhu intact. People will therefore search for a ruling that appeases their whims and reject whatever does not. Deen will therefore be non-existent and all that will remain will be whimsical fancies.
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#83 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd February 2012 11:17
Therefore, although Taqleed Shakhsi was not necessary during the best of times, it is necessary nowadays because of the differences of the people. Although it will not be said that Taqleed Shakhsi is Wajib or Fardh (obligatory), it must be noted that it secures the welfare of a person's Deen and without it, his Deen will be destroyed. Therefore, together with such Taqleed securing safety of one's Iman, it also makes life much more easier." (Ashraful Jawab Vol. 2 pg 89-96)
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#84 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd February 2012 11:17
Even Allamah Ibn Taymiyyah رحمة ﷲ علیه stressed the importance of Taqleed Shakhsi when he wrote, "According to their whims, these people sometimes follow an Imam who permits a marriage and then another Imam who disallows it. Such a practice is not at all permissible." (Fatawa Ibn Taymiyyah Vol. 2 pg 240)
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#85 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd February 2012 11:17

The Ghair Muqallideen professes to follow Shaykh Abdul Wahhab Najdi, but they are really stepping ahead of him because even he professes to follow an Imam. He writes, "By the grace of Allah, we follow our pious predecessors and are not perpetrators of Bid'ah, we follow the Mathhab of Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal رحمة ﷲ علیه." (Muhammad Bin Abdul Wahhab by Allamah Ahmad Abdul Ghafoor, published in Beirut)

In another book, he writes, "I praise Allah for being a follower of the pious predecessors and for not being a perpetuator of Bid'ah. My beliefs and Deen are those that conform with the Deen of Allah. They are those of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa'ah and the four Imams and their followers" (Muhammad Bin Abdul Wahhab by Allamah Ahmad Abdul Ghafoor, published in Beirut pg 174-176)

Explaining the stance of his father and himself, Shaykh Abdullah who was the son of Shaykh Abdul Wahhab Najdi writes, "We follow the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa'ah in the principles of Deen, we follow the ways of the pious predecessors and follow Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal رحمة ﷲ علیه in the derivatives of Deen. We also do not condemn any person following any of the other three Imams." (Alhadiyyatus Suniyyah pg 38)
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#86 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd February 2012 11:17
The above clearly spells out the stance of both Shaykh Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab and Allamah Ibn Taymiyyah رحمة ﷲ علیه, both of whom are revered by our Ghair Muqallideen brothers. They both regarded Taqleed to be necessary and did not at all refer to it as Shirk or a Bid'ah. However, our Ghair Muqallideen brothers make no secrets of their stance when they say in their book Fiqh Muhammadi, "Millions of thanks to Allah for saving us from the Shirk of following a Mathhab and being either Hanafis, Shafi'is, Malikis or Hanbalis. So many people are trapped in this whereas opposing the commands of Allah and his Rasul ﷺ is Shirk according to a verse stating that people take their priests and religious leaders as gods apart from Allah. The Hadith of Adi bin Hatim رضي الله عنه also professes the same." (pg 4)
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#87 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd February 2012 11:18
The verse referred to by the author of the above book deduces that Taqleed is Shirk by virtues of the quoted verse of the Qur'an. The verse however refers to Jews and Christians who would listen to their priests and Rabbis when these men made lawful that which their religions clearly forbade and which they always knew was unlawful. Adi bin Hatim رضي الله عنه then asked Rasulullah ﷺ what the Qur'an meant by saying that the Jews and Christians took their religious leaders as gods whereas they never worshipped them. Rasulullah ﷺ explained, "Although they never worshipped them, they regarded something as lawful if these leaders legalized them as regarded things as unlawful if they outlawed them." (Tirmidhi)

The clear difference between Taqleed and the ways of the Jews and the Christians is that Muslims do not regard the Imams and the law-makers of the Shari'ah as the Jews and Christians did, but as conveys of the commands of Allah, as has been already explained. The verse of the Qur'an therefore has no bearing on Taqleed as we define it.
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#88 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd February 2012 11:18
Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehlawi رحمة اللہ علیه sums it up as follows, "While the original command is from Allah, the ruling of something being Halal or Haram is attributed to Rasulullah ﷺ because his words are a sure indication of the command. They are further attributed to the Mujtahideen of the Ummah because they are reporting from Rasulullah ﷺ or deriving the rulings from what he said." (Hujjatullahil Balighah Vol.1 pg 127)

(Fatawa Raheemiyyah Vol.1 pg 407-442)
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