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Ijma-as-Sahabah in Hanafi Madhaab

Last updated: 17th October 2004
Question ID: #92
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17th October 2004

Assalamu alaikum Dear repected Ulema, I would like to know if Ijma-as-Sahabah is a stronger evidence than a hadith in the Hanafi usool? Also, how many sahabah does there have to be to reach an ijama? I have heard that the number is 5. I have been of the understanding that Ijma can outweight a hadith because it is unthinkable that a group of Sahabah can contradict the sunnah of Rasullullah (saw) or make an error. JazakAllah Khair

Ulamaa ID 01
Answer last updated on:
30th August 2006
Answered by:
Ulamaa ID 01
Bismihi ta'ala

Wa alaikumussalam

1) According to the principles of Hanafi Jurisprudence, Hadith of Rasoolullah Salallahu alaihi wasallam is ranked as the second source of Islamic Law. Ijma' (consensus) is third in line.

2) There is a difference of opinion regarding this amongst the Hanafi Jurists. The majority view is, Ijma can only be established when all of the Jurists of that era unanimously decide upon something, even the disagreement of one or a minority would not allow an Ijma' to take place.

However, some of the Jurists such as Sarakhsi are of the opinion that even the agreement of Three Jurists constitutes an Ijma'. Some say 2. Some even say that if there only remained one Mujtahid alive, then his opinion alone would be considered Ijma', due to the fat that at the time of isolation the term 'ummah' is befitting for him.

3) Can an Ijma' outweigh a Hadith? FIrstly, it is unthinkable that the Sahaabah would unanimously contradict a Hadith that is Mutawaatir. There are many terminologies, principles and concepts one must understand before tackling this question. This requires alot of depth.

And Allah knows best.