3. Following the opinion of another school of the four schools of thought is valid and permissible, as long as one does the whole act of worship (or interaction) according to that opinion. If for example, one will follow a Shafi’i opinion on wudu, they should also make their prayer valid according to the Shafi’i school. To join between multiple opinions is called talfeeq and is not permissible.
When choosing to follow the opinion of another school there must be a need. This is called a dispensation (rukhsa) and is permissible. What is not permissible is constant following of dispensations (it-tiba’ al rukhas). This has been mentioned by the scholars such as Imam Nawawi in the Maqasid.[/quote]
[b]The Hanbali Madhab:
The Hanafi Madhab
Taqleed according to the Hanbali Madhhab:
It is obligatory for a layman to make Taqleed of a scholar and there is no difference of opinion between Ahlul Sunnah on this.
It is permissible for him to make Taqleed (follow) one particular Madhhab on all issues. This is not, however, obligatory according to the Hanbali Madhhab. So, he is allowed to either stick to one Madhhab always; or to follow a Madhhab or a scholar on one issue and a different Madhhab or scholar on another issue. But this is on the condition that he does not pick and choose based on his desires and what suits him, because that would be prohibited.
He is not obliged to ask the Mufti for the proof according to the consensus of Ahlu-s Sunnah, because the scholars have already done that job, and the layman will never be able to do as good a job so he is better off taking a rest.
However, if he feels more comfortable with another opinion that opposes his Madhhab because the majority of scholars hold this opinion for example, then like we said before, he does not have to stick to his Madhhab on that issue and he can choose to follow the majority of scholars (or the opinion of another of the four schools) in that case.
Whether you ask for proof or not, you are still making Taqleed, because the proof alone for a layman is not sufficient. Rather, you must follow a scholar as Allaah commanded you. You are not at a different level called: Ittiba' simply because you have an idea of one or two evidences presented by the Mufti. Rather, if you are not a scholar, you are a Muqallid.
Not every Muqallid is the same. Taqleed is of levels: Some are more knowledgeable than others, but they are equal in that they all must ask a scholar if they themselves are not scholars.
This is the position of the Hanbali madhhab and the majority of scholars. For more information see the references below.
[References: al-Rawdhah by Ibn Qudamah (r), Al-Wadih by Ibn 'Aqeel (r), al-Musawwadah by al-Majd Ibn Taymiyyah (r) and Sharh al-Tahrir by al-Mardawi (r)][/quote]
Taken from The Hanbali Madhab Facebook page.
Sheikh Musa Furber
also states on Facebook regarding Ibn Rajab’s "Refutation of Those Who Do Not Follow The Four Schools"
" No, Ibn Rajab does not say that an individual must stay within a single madhhab in all things."
The Shafi Madhab
Shaikh Taha Karan as Shafi (graduate of Darul Uloom Deoband):
[quote]LEAVING THE BOUNDS OF THE MADHHAB
There will inevitably be instances where followers of a particular madhhab come face to face with ahadith to which their madhhab apparently does not conform. What is to be done in such cases? Should the person summarily abandon the teaching of the madhhab in favour of the hadith? Or should he dutifully stick to the madhhab and ignore the hadith?
Neither of these two approaches is free from certain undesirable outcomes. The fuqaha of our madhhab have therefore resolved the issue in a most ingenious manner that addresses both the praiseworthy desire to practice upon the hadith and the apprehension that this may lead to chaotic fiqh. In his introduction to al-Majmu‘ (vol. 1 p. 136) Imam al-Nawawi provides us with the following guidelines:
"Any Shafi‘i who finds a hadith going against his madhhab should look into the matter [as follows]: If he possesses the complete requirements of ijtihad without restriction, or in that chapter, or [even] in that point [alone], he may independently practice upon [the hadith]. If he does not [possess it] and finds it difficult to go against the hadith, and his search for a valid explanation of the hadith [within his madhhab] does not provide a convincing solution, then he may practice upon the hadith with one condition, which is that another independent [mujtahid] imam other than al-Shafi‘i should have practiced upon it. This would then be a valid pretext for him to leave the madhhab of his imam."
It is of interest here to note that all the other major schools of thought have, with varying degrees of moderation, looked upon skin contact between male and female as nullifying wudu. The Hanbalis and Malikis add the condition of deriving pleasure from such contact, while the Hanafis regard only such contact to nullify the wudu whereby there is mutual touching of the sexual organs without penetration. It should be admitted, though, that this position of the Hanafi madhhab is not founded upon the verse that speaks of touching women, but rather upon the contention that such touching almost invariably leads to the emission of fluid, which in itself is factor that nullifies the wudu.
The idea behind following madhahib is not to turn people into prisoners of their madhahib, but rather to facilitate practicing upon the Qur’an and the Sunnah. No madhhab has ever purported to be a replacement for the Qur’an and the Sunnah, nor can it ever be. The facility that a madhhab provides is that of a systematic approach to the sources of our law, accompanied by the benefit of generation after generation of the best, purest and most capable minds. And even then, there has been recognition of the fact that situations do arise when the follower of a madhhab finds it difficult to practice contrary to the apparent meaning of a hadith that he has come across. Technically speaking, all that is required for a person faced by such a situation is that his practice be based upon the ijtihad of a valid mujtahid.
But beyond the technical aspect there is another angle: that of conduct and etiquette. When the situation warrants departure from one's own maddhab and all the requirements are met, this does not mean that one now has a licence to indulge in disparagement of the imam from whose madhhab one has departed in that one particular issue. Never must sight be lost of the fact that one's own minuscule smidgen of pseudo-insight is still aeons away from the knowledge possessed by those paragons of scholarship and virtue. No one who is acutely aware of his own deficiencies would ever descend into using disrespectful language against the mujtahid imams of the Ummah.
The true Shafi‘i or Hanafi, therefore, is not only he who is prepared abandon the opinions of Abu Hanifah and al-Shafi‘i when he perceives them to be in apparent contradiction to the hadith. At a deeper level it is he who is able to differ with the position of another without sliding into egotism and disparagement.
Also search for ADAB - MANNERS & DIFFERENCES - SHEIKH TAHA KARAAN on vimeo and listen from 59:50 to the end of the lecture.
Sheikh Taha Karan also says the Hanafis have this view in the writings of Shah Waliullah Dehlawi.
Shaikh Amjad Rasheed:
(1) What the scholars of exacting verification (muhaqqiqeen) have explicitly stated is that it is not obligatory to follow a single school in all matters. Rather, it is permissible for one to switch from one school to another as long as one does not seek out dispensations, which means to take the easiest position from every school.
Shaykh Faraz Rabbani:
[quote] Following another madhhab completely in a complete action, and (b) mixing the positions of more than one madhhab within one action, in such a way that it is not independently valid in either one (talfiq). The latter is impermissible and invalid according to the fuqaha. Ibn Abidin (imam of the late Hanafi school for fatwa) and Ibn Hajar al-Haytami (imam of the late Shafi`i school for fatwa) both transmit scholarly consensus (ijma`) regarding its impermissibility.
Following another madhhab completely in a complete action, however, is valid according to the majority of the scholars of usul al-fiqh, and fuqaha, on the condition that there not be a systematic seeking out of dispensations. This was confirmed by Ibn Abidin in his Hashiya, Tahtawi in his Hashiyat al-Durr, Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulsi in his Sharh al-Tariqa al-Muhammadiyya and in his treatise on ijtihad, taqlid and talfiq, and is the position adopted by the Syrian Hanafi scholars.
The scholars of the Indian Sub-continent generally do not allow this, except under exceptional circumstances, but not because it is per se invalid, but for obvious reasons:
(a) In their millieu, it is not normally possible for one to find a qualified source or scholar from another school;
(b) To close the door to the systematic seeking of dispensations.
But, even Indo-Pak scholars who advocate this position admit, this is more an answer of prudence than a theoretical impermissibility.
I wonder whether the position enunciated in the major texts of the school is not more suited to our situation in the West. People have a lot of difficult situations and challenges in their lives, and this makes things easy for them while remaining within the boundaries of sound sunni scholarship, instead of running to the modernists and salafis...
Sticking to One School
It is not religiously binding on the Muslim to stick to one school on all matters, without exception, as both al-Tahtawi and Ibn Abidin (Allah have mercy on them), the two leading late authorities for fatwa in the Hanafi school, both explain. Rather, there is nothing wrong with taking a dispensation if there is a need; what is impermissible is to make it a habit to seek out dispensations [i.e. even if there is no hardship or need].
The Path of Taqwa
The path of taqwa, as the scholars and sufis explain, is to avoid taking dispensations unless there is genuine hardship in following one's own school. In fact, they say that those who have learned their own school should seek out the strictest positions from other school whenever reasonably possible, so that one's worship and practice is sound without argument.
May Allah grant us beneficial knowledge, and the success to act according to it, on the footsteps of the His Beloved (Allah bless him and give him peace), with the secret of sincerity, without which actions are but lifeless forms.
And Allah knows best.