Ibn Abbas that Rasulallah Sallallahu alayhu wasalam the Prophet (SAW) said,
 
“Jibril led me in Salah twice near Bayt Allah.
 
The first time,

we offered the Salah of Zuhr when the shadow was like the thong of a shoe.
Then, we offered Asr when the shadow of everything was equal to it,
and maghrib after sunset when the fasting man takes iftar (breaks his fast),
and Isha when the twilight disappeared, and
fajr when one who fasts is forbidden food and drink.
 
The second time,

we offered Zuhr when the shadow of everything was like it in length at the time of Asr on the previous day.
Then we offered the Asr when the shadow of everything was twice as long.
We prayed Maghrib at the same time as the previous day;
we prayed Isha when one-third of the night was over and Fajr when the earth was well-lit.
Then Jibril turned to me and said;
“O, Muhammad!
This was the time observed by Prophets before you,
and the time (of five Salah) is between these two times.”
 
Source: Ahmed 3081, Abu Dawud 393

 

 

What does Taqleed mean?

Taqleed means the blind-following of a particular madhab, methodology, or religious leader. Taqleed could also include the blind-following of a particular person, thinking or school of thought. That person, thinking or school of thought could be upon or close to the path of Haqq (truth) or it could mean blind-following of those on absolute falsehood: shirk and bidah.

 

 

Is there a place for Taqleed?

There is indeed a place for Taqleed, especially so for those who know less, thus should a person not know any better on any matter of deen, it is incumbent upon that person to seek and take knowledge from the persons who know. Thus in Salah, that person would indeed make Taqleed as it is the Imam who leads the Salah. In a matter of fiqh; again there is Taqleed, and it is appropriate,

 

As regards the Taqleed of evidence by those who know more, Taqleed is to be made of the strongest weighted evidence from Quran Sunnah, the Ijma of the Scholars, Qiyas (analogical reasoning), and the Ijtihad of the Scholars on a particular matter, whilst understanding well the variation in fiqh and evidence.

 

As regards the Taqleed of the Madhab; the problem arises when there is continuous following blindly without understanding and without enquiry.  There is no evidence in the Quran or Sunnah to follow one particular madhab as such. The verses refer to gaining guidance from those who know more in deen or those in authority, which could be from any of the various madhahib.

Thus the obligation to enquire, question, and seek knowledge remains. It is important to understand by the seeker of knowledge, that whilst enquiring and questioning, certain aspects are left to the discretion of the Ulema, as to why they have reached a certain ruling or fatawa and that is left to their own hikmah as this is gained through experience and knowledge.

 

 

Misconception

There exists an idea, that those who do not follow a madhab, “pick, and choose” across madhahib to suit their own desires. This is furthest from the truth.

The truth is that those who do not follow a particular madhab, follow the strongest of fiqh and understanding from the madhab which carries such fiqh.

This could range from Hanafi Fiqh carrying the strongest evidence and fiqh in one matter to Hambali Fiqh in another matter. Each of the Imams (Aieemah) had their fields of expertise. Thus there is no room for the concept of obtaining the easiest fatawa, as we see a common occurrence in our time. The understanding of comparative fiqh plays a crucial role in understanding and dispelling this false misconception.

Surah An-Nisa-4:83.

 When there comes to them some matter touching (public) safety or fear,

they make it known (among the people),

if only they had referred it to the Messenger or to those charged with authority among them,

the proper investigators would have understood it from them (directly). 

Had it not been for the Grace and Mercy of Allah upon you,

you would have followed Shaitan (Satan), save a few of you.

 

 

 

Obligation to seek knowledge

Islam places an obligation on Muslims (all Muslims, the young and the elderly, the literate and illiterate, men and women) to seek knowledge. Therefore there is no room for continued ignorance. Each person is self-accountable and no person bears the burden of another.

Once a person reaches a sufficient level of knowledge that person must then be able to understand and grasp the teachings of Islam including the aspect of comparative fiqh.

 

Surah An-Nahl-16:43-45

And We sent not (as Our Messengers) before you (O Muhammad Sallallahu alayhi wasalam) any but men,

whom We inspired, (to preach and invite mankind to believe in the Oneness of Allah).

So ask of those who know the Scripture [learned men of the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)], if you know not.

With clear signs and Books (We sent the Messengers).

And We have also sent down unto you (O Muhammad Sallallahu alayhi wasalam )

the reminder and the advice (the Qur’an),

that you may explain clearly to men what is sent down to them,

and that they may give thought.

Do then those who devise evil plots feel secure that Allah will not sink them into the earth,

or that the torment will not seize them from directions they perceive not?

 

 

 

Respecting the Ulema of particular Madhahib

Questioning the derivation of fiqh does not in any way mean gaining the opportunity to disrespect the ulema of the particular school of fiqh. All it means is being able to question the understanding and derivation of fiqh. It is important to understand and know that the various schools of fiqh fall within the Jama’ah of Ahlus Sunnah. Thus the understandings and derivation of fiqh should fall within the laws of Shariah and should be respected.

 

What does the Quran require us to follow?

The Quran does not refer to the following of a particular madhab, but what it does refer to is seeking knowledge from those who know and those who are in authority in so far as they uphold the Shariah. Therefore, there is no obligation (Fardh) to follow a particular madhab.

Further, what is of most importance, is the following of the evidence; which means following the strongest fiqh and understanding on a particular matter in Islam. Thus; one madhab may follow weak fiqh whereas another madhab would have sufficient evidence on that matter, the obligation, therefore, is to follow the strongest evidenced fiqh.

 

Surah An-Nisa-4:59. 

O you who believe!

Obey Allah and obey the Messenger (Muhammad Sallallahu alayhi wasalam),

and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority.

(And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves,

refer it to

Allah and His Messenger Sallallahu alayhi wasalam) ,

if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day. 

That is better and more suitable for final determination.

 

 

Consider the verses of Quran

 

Surah Al-A’raaf-7:3. 

[Say (O Muhammad  Sallallahu alayhi wasalam) to these idolaters (pagan Arabs) of your folk:]

Follow what has been sent down unto you from your Lord (the Qur’an and Prophet Muhammad’s Sunnah),

and

follow not any Auliya’ (protectors and helpers,

etc. who order you to associate partners in worship with Allah), besides Him (Allah). 

Little do you remember!

&

Surah Al Imran-3:31. 

Say (O Muhammad Sallallahu alayhi wasalam to mankind):

If you (really) love Allah then follow me

(i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Qur’an and the Sunnah),

Allah will love you and forgive you of your sins.

And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

&

Surah An-Nisa-4:115. 

And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger (Muhammad Sallallahu alayhi wasalam)

after the right path has been shown clearly to him,

and

follows other than the believers’ way. 

We shall keep him in the path he has chosen, and burn him in Hell – what an evil destination.

&

Surah An-Nisa-4:59. 

O you who believe!

Obey Allah and obey the Messenger (Muhammad Sallallahu alayhi wasalam),

and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority.

(And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves,

refer it to

Allah and His Messenger Sallallahu alayhi wasalam) ,

if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day. 

That is better and more suitable for final determination.

 

 

 

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