Ustadh Abdus Shakur Brooks The “ijtihad” of the Four Imams is not just “opinion” but rather “qualified legal interpretation” of highly skilled, competent and renowned academics in matters not explicitly mentioned in the Qur’an and Sunnah. For that reason their legal interpretation, represent the practice of Islam; contrary to the views of contemporaries who try to swim in their waters.
Ustadh Abdus Shakur Brooks …they drown themselves along with those who take them as captains.
Zain Khan Very highly disagree ! This is just your opinion, None of the above mentioned is claimed by the Imam themselves 🙂
“I am convinced about the veracity of my opinions, but I do consider it likely that they may turn out to be incorrect. Likewise, I am convinced about the incorrectness of the views different from mine, but I do concede the possibility that they may turn out to be correct.” — Imam Shafa’i
Others also spoke the same way, And even if they did not. Their opinion is just an opinion of a eminent scholar.. Nothing more 🙂
Mahmoud AbdulQayyum @Zain, you got the quote in arabic by chance?
Hassan Ismail The strength of ‘Just an opinion’ varies with the person. In a court of law, John Doe’s opinion on the cause of death of an individual does not matter, whereas the opinion of the coroner does.
Khalil Abdul-Mujeeb Menzies an opinion of an eminent scholar, let us remember they were taba’een or taba taba’een. These are not just regular ulama. so if some high scholar today wants to open a fifth madhab its going to be accepted? if a scholar makes a new book of sahih hadith will it go alongside Bukhari and Muslim? this modernist approach is very disrespectful to the most beautiful minds of this ummah, have some adab in showing their status.
Zain Khan I never said that the opinion does not matter, I am a student of Law 🙂
I just meant was that it does not become the word of God, It stays an important opinion. Nothing more, Nothing less.
Shaykh Ahmed Saad Assalamu Alaikum
If this Faqir can contribute humbly to this discussion:
These Imams when they said that their opinions might be incorrect, that was said first of all in the context of humbleness and respect, does not necessarily means that any person can stand up and say that their opinions are incorrect and use this statement in the wrong context to validate his/her very weak ijtihad and attack their status as some of the late people said: they are men and we are men.
Secondly: Taking the statement to actually mean that there opinions, as a production of a qualified understanding of the text, may be subject to error. then an opposite ijtihad shall be made by someone who stands on equal footing with them in terms of knowledge, righteousness, closeness to the Prophetic time and have the same access to the early generations of the Ummah as they had if not higher in all these aspect. Remember that the scholars of Usul agree that: Al-Ijtihad la yuntaqadu illa bimithlih (An Ijtihad cannot be challenged except by another ijtihad exactly the same’. the Sameness here relates to the availability of the tools to the new mujtahid in the same manner that they were available to the earlier mujtahid and that the latter is as qualified as the former.
Thirdly: When the four Imams agree on something; it is a very strong indication of Ijma’ since these four have been accepted by the sweeping majority of the Ummah as references; to say that the Ijma relates to the Ummah not to the four will be a fallacy as it is impossible to achieve ijma by every single one or even every single scholar of the Ummah.
Finally, there is what the logicians call: the mathematical hypotheses of every mas’alah which means that there is a limited number of available solutions; it is not indefinite. such has been consumed in many masa’il that have been discussed in the past. Imam Jalal Ad-Din As-Suyuti at his time wanted to be an absolute mujtahid and get his own madhhab and after tiring experience he compared the outcome of his search with the existing madhahib and he found that all his conclusions have already been stated by the scholars of the Shafie Madhhab except in thirteen issues and even his conclusions in these 13 issues, were weak opinions within the Shafi’ei madhhab.
Mahmoud AbdulQayyum @Zain, nope, just wanted the arabic to see which wording is actually used, its ok if you don’t know or got it. BECAUSE what you quoted actually proved what the Ustadh said, but you actually have to know the difference between opinion and qualified legal intepretation.
Mahmoud AbdulQayyum @Zain, WHO said its the word of GOD? And you say you are studying law? WOW
Zain Khan Let me reply to the above, Then Ill come to the one below.
Do you know their were Imam’s other than the four schools in their time ? Why not give all of their opinions a label of Madhab and start following them ? The only difference was that these scholars got popular in their time, So their understanding prevailed the others and came down to us 🙂
I love all of them, But their opinion does not become the word of God or obligatory for me to follow. Research will always be the way forward for the Muslim Ummah rather than blind following.
Shaykh Ahmed Saad And remember the saying: من نَاكَر أشياخه انقطع عنهم
Whoever does not respect his teachers is disconnected from them
Mahmoud AbdulQayyum Yes and I hope you know the Madhab is not just made up of 1 man’s opinion. Other Madhahab died out due to no one establishing their schools in a continuous basis as the 4, wa Allahu `Alam.
Zain Khan I disagree with brother Shaikh Ahmed Saad, But I might add that he argued beautifully. Loved his logical argument, But I agree to disagree with him. I would love to move this discussion forward on my wall rather than this gentlemen 🙂 I do not want Ustadh Brooks to be annoyed.
Hassan Ismail I think its time for me to withdraw, and leave it to the Shuyukh and tullabul ‘ilm who are here. AlhamduliLlah for the Shuyukh of Islam.
Mahmoud AbdulQayyum I will just say Brother Zain that using your logic, everything you have stated is thrown out the window because 1, they are YOUR opinion, which is not the word of GOD, and 2, you are not even an Eminent Scholar, so your OPINION is tossed to the side.
Ustadh Abdus Shakur Brooks No need to debate this matter.
Humaid Bin Ahmad Al-Basri:
I was with Ahmad bin. Hanbal reviewing issues of fiqh. A man said to Ahmad “Ya Abdu Allah , none of the Hadith concerning this matter are sound. Ahmad said “If there is no sound hadith in this matter then the saying of Imam Shafi and his proof is the strongest thing in this matter”
Zain Khan My opinion will always be prone to a mistake, You will always have the right to disagree with me. I will always remain a human being even after reaching the eminence of a scholar.
But at the same time, Every opinion of every scholar. Even the Imams can and was challenged by the later scholars and will be in the future.
Taqleed on Usool is something I like academically, But literally blind following is something nobody has ever asked to do.
Shaykh Ahmed Saad Afwan, this is what the modernists try to proclaim that these madhhabs got popular and therefore they came down and, people who have tasted genuine knowledge, know that this is untrue. In fact, it is because their madhhabs were more comprehensive and closer to the spirit of the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Remember that Allah keeps what bears benefit to people in the earth and whatever is seen sound by Muslims is sound and good. The sign of acceptance is prevalence and acceptance by the righteous all and sunder. If you think of the four madhhabs you can see that their founders may Allah be pleased with them gathered to the vast knowledge, closeness to the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa ala alihi wasallam and access to the early generations (some of them were tabi`ieen) in addition to knowing reality and their students and the following generations of the scholars of the madhahib were from everywhere and added to the ijtihads in a way that made the madhhab encyclopeadic and comprehensive. This was not the case with many other opinions of other great scholars.
Nusuki Nosky The origin of deviation is وضع شي ف غير محله and as for the statement of imam Shafi’i it has to be place in it rightful context
I concur with shaykh Ahmed and also with Ustadh Brooks but ليس بكليته
Shaykh Ahmed Saad وفيما قلنا كفاية وفي الهداية غناية…واللجاج ينقض كل احتجاج وعلى الله قصد السبيل
Zain Khan @ Shaykh Ahmed,
Imam Abu Hanifa’s student (Imam Abu yusuf) disagreed with many of his opinions. If one Shaafi using the same usool uses his own knowledge without blind following is beautiful if done academic.
I never claimed that the four schools were not close to the Quran or Sunnah, I myself love the Hanafi and also the Maliki Fiqh 🙂
But me assuming one is better than the other or one of the four should be obligatory for a Muslim to follow is logically fallacious.
My wall would be better for a academic discussion, I am willing to learn. I might be wrong.
Nusuki Nosky Sorry Zain but i did not read your last statement before my reply cos im writing on my phone n enough of my excuses however Usul al Figh is one of the many tools one has to master to unable one not to be blind follower
Zain Khan And yes, I support mastery on Usool-Fiqh 🙂
Mahmoud AbdulQayyum @Nusuki, Brother I listened to Foundations of our Methodology from Shaikh Hamza and Shaikh Bin Bayyah, I believe I can certainly weed through the juristic opinions of the Scholars and claim which is right and which is wrong. I have that knowledge now brother.
Rebecca Rhouni @Zain – what do you mean your wall would be “better” for academic discussion? It seems discussion on the wall of a Shaykh who can guide us would be a more suitable place.
Nusuki Nosky I dont think anyone here assuming or claiming that one madhab is better then the others that’s is one of the many reason there are اختلاف( even those madhab that extinct long ago) but following a madhab is not permissible to those that is able to do Ijtihad and for the rest it become neccessity لازم و ملزوم n as for usul al Figh its only one of The many sciences that one has to master to be able to do Ijtihad
Zain Khan Sorry if I hurt anyone man, I actually support Uloom Quran, Usool Fiqh and other Islamic study principles. Just think its not obligatory to follow one opinion. Usool yes, Opinion for a scholar. No.
Khalil Muhsin My esteemed brothers, I say that we should take into consideration the statement of the warrior/scholar…the Shehu…Uthman Dan Fodio who says in his Fat’hu l’-Basaa’ir:
“As for the essence of the science of jurisprudence, realize O brothers that Allah ‘azza wa jalla has not made anyone responsible for what others understand. Verily Allah has only made His servants responsible for what is explicitly mentioned in the shari’a. It is incumbent upon humanity to act in accordance with what has been explicitly related in the Book and the Sunna, and it is not incumbent to act by that which has been extracted through legal judgments (istinbaatan). For all extractions by legal judgments are not apart of the infallible shari’a of Allah ta’ala. They are simply the laws laid out by His servants and for that reason there has occurred in them differences of opinion, Allah ta’ala says, ‘If it were from any other than Allah, they would have found in it many a discrepancy’
This does not constitute an abandonment of our great ulema. It simply clarifies the distinction of what we should do and what we are obligated to do…and Allah knows best!
Nusuki Nosky @ Mahmoud listening and understanding are two different thing and what many don’t get is that applying Usul is the الغاية n many don’t even know the meaning of اصول الفقة or Ijtihad let alone applying it on his own two feet without resorting to others opinion
Mahmoud AbdulQayyum Brother Khalil can you define the Islamic Shari`a for me then if its not from the Scholars of the Ummah who derived it from the primary sources? Is the Shari’a supposedly what each Muslim understands from the Quran and Sunnah? What is Sunnah then? What is explicit in both the Quran and Sunnah and explicit is relative to each individual. That quote is confusing to me bro, sorry.
Hassan Ismail @ brother Zain. I don’t understand what the contention is. No one said you have to follow only 1 opinion from a madhab. Within each of the madhahib there are different opinions, but they are the opinions of mujtahid imams.
You say yes to usool, but then say no to the fruits of Usool.
The opinions of the scholars are the fruits of usool, and are not their whims. There are even stories of the mujtahid imams saying that they personally inclined to something else, but the evidence they saw went against their personal inclinations, and so they went with the evidence in forming their legal opinions.
May Allah guide us all to the truth. Ameen.
Charanek Charanek I love that ustadh Abdus Shakur Brooks! As long as there are people who understand this; there remains hope for this ummah! Allah is Great!!!
Nusuki Nosky @ mahmud I’m Maliki by training n if you understand and master Usul by it entirety I only have one question for you, in Maliki madhab what is the ruling in the sunnah al raghiba prayer give me the prove or opinions n which n why one is rajih then the other?
Khalil Muhsin Sidi Mahmoud…May Allah reward you. The answer to your question is emphatically NO…the Islamic Shari’a is not what each Muslim understands by way of extraction from the Qur’an and Sunnah in its totality…it is that within the Qur’an and Sunnah that Allah ta-‘ala will call us to account for! Tell me the Muslim who has argued that adultery is halal? That we are not obligated to pray 5 times a day? These are things that we explicitly understand from the Qur’an and Sunnah and that falls under what we are responsible for before Allah and what we will be asked about in the Hereafter.
As common people, we should follow our ulema…however, we should distinguish between what we are obligated to do and what we should do…this is an important distinction.
Mahmoud AbdulQayyum Nusuki, I am Maliki myself, you asked what is the ruling in Sunnah Al-Raghiba salah, ruling pertaining to what? Please re-phrase your question bro. Also, I do hope you know I was being facetious with my statements.
Nusuki Nosky @ Khalil the statement of Shaykh Dan folio is correct but rule of thumps is context
The command of Allah is wajib(obligatory) while the command the the messenger is sunnah
Mahmoud AbdulQayyum Brother Nusuki, are you asking me about fajr being the only raghiba prayer in the Maliki school and what are the proofs mashur vs rajih?
Mahmoud AbdulQayyum Bro, I am sorry, you are confusing me. Are you asking me the Masalah of fatihah in the sunnah raghiba prayer or are you asking me a new question about the “well known” masalah of al-fatihah?
Mahmoud AbdulQayyum @Haneef, who is arguing, @ Nusuki, Ahh ok, Sidi like I said I was being facetious with my claims about knowing Usul I was doing it because many people do believe that way. From what I have studied, there is no surah after fatihah in fajr, I thought that was the Mashur opinion. I am not aware of the differences Sidi. I would love for you to explain them to me. I was not aware the rajih was different from the mashur.
Haneef Abdul-Alee Why would we even leave room in the mind of an uneducated person that he has the option to practice this religion free of the opinions of the Mujtahidun? This is why you now have every Tom, Dick, and Harry these days “challenging Ulama” saying ” what is his dalil?” or”His words arent a proof”. Or the classic, “Only Quran and Hadith are a Hujjah”. All the while this person knows very little if anything about Usul-ul-Fiqh, what constitutes proof, whether conclusive or elusive etc.. To tell him to rely on Malik or Shafi is a mercy on him, his nafs, and his soul. We must take into consideration the number of people who have weak reading comprehension skills, as well as their inability to grasp arguments based on their limited education and overall delving into issues that are simply “none of their business”.
Mahmoud AbdulQayyum Sidi Nusuki, I looked over my copy of GH and they provided this is proof for only fatihah, `A’ishah said, “The Prophet (May Allah bless him and give him peace) used to pray two units for Fajr and he used
to make them so short that I wondered if he even recited the Fatihah in them.
Is that correct?
Nusuki Nosky That are two Hadiths and both are related by our mother Aisha (may Allah be please with her) your Hadith often taken as the prove of mashur by our malikite scholars but imam Malik himself differ but in agreement wt Shafi’i that surah is also recited…. The key to your Hadith is the word “I wonder” in Arabic rhetoric it’s term ghayra sarih n in Usul al Fiqh sarih take precedent over it . Allah know best
Khalil Muhsin Sidi Mahmoud..NO…I am saying that we responsible for what is explicitly known and what there is no disagreement on What is explicitly known may or may not be ‘universally’ known.
Nusuki Nosky But with caution in mind of jumping from mashur to rajih n one madhab to the other n then we r opening whole other can of worm
Mahmoud AbdulQayyum Khalil, Baraka Allahu feekum Sidi, Understood. Sidi Nusuki, Baraka Allahu feekum. Yes, you are right. The Qabd vs Sadl seems a very good example since I have read that the Mashur is Sadl with the later Malikis but the rajih proves otherwise, wa Allahu `Alam.
Shaykh Abu Tahriri This elaborate facebook presentation is quite amazing… Contrary to views of which Contemporaries? Today most of our so-called scholars are those who received some sort of useless ijazat and fear any new ijtihaad that may be contrary to a stagnant tradition and thus reduces their immediate followers to academic parrots. Pray in your homes and do not move to correct the injustices of your neighbors! Terms like “Eminent Scholars” , “regular ulama”, “A Fith Madhab” (which has already been in existence, and more)… Etc. are all relative terms to a people, nation, culture, time period, mind state, etc… what is said or believed to be Sahih to the majority will never make it Sahih to the minority. There were so many ignorant issues and opinions launched in this brief discussion as truths and facts, it should be apparent to us all that the Ummah has been debased (prophetic sign) because of what they do not live and enjoin on others. This is not about madhab, fiqh, furu, ibadat issues…
Shaykh Abu Tahriri This is all about the servant of Allah paying their debt and learning how to pay that debt. The Truth of our report card is yet to be seen! May Allahu ta:ala increase our ilm and our ibadah so that we may all be forgiven for every ayat and sunnah that we knowingly disobey! Amin! (1400 Years of Debate)
Bilal Ibn Tariq Iddinn This is true. There are a lot people pretending to be scholars in our day and time and they have no share in Ijtihad but yet they want to criticize the Mujtahids and they qualified interpretations of the Deen.
Fatima El-Boukri Assalamu alaykum, I honestly can’t see the problem here. Isn’t there a tradition for constructive critisicm in Islam? And why don’t we assume that questions, no matter how critisizing, are intended for increasing the questioner’s understanding.
Zain Khan @ Fatima
This is what my teachers endorse 🙂
Questioning leads to the evolution of intellect.
Bilal Ibn Tariq Iddinn There is nothing wrong with asking questions when you have a sincere intention to learn but some people just ask questions for the sake of asking questions and others ask questions not deserving of answers. Ex: Many people in our day ask “where is Allah?” This question is foolish and if the questioner were to get a definitive answer it wouldn’t increase his or her knowledge or Iman in the least. So why ask the question? A great example of this is when the student in Imam Malik’s Halaqah asked him a question after he recited the verses From al-Qur’an “ar-Rahman al’a al-Arsh istawwa”. The student then asked and how does Allah…? Imam Malik became extremely angry paused for a moment and then replied “istiwaa is known, and asking how about Allah is a innovation and I can see your a man of innovation” and he had the student removed from the class. This is proof that all questions are not deserving of answers and that if we are truly seeking knowledge we need inquire about things that will increase our Iman and knowledge that will benefit us. Not all knowledge is beneficial, in fact some can me harmful.
Ustadh Abdus Shakur Brooks @Fatima: The is a world of difference between criticizing and seeking understanding. Moreover, criticizing are for those who have tools to do so. The criticism of one who does not know their ABC’s has not authority to criticize the one who has mastered language because that is ignorance. The people today who criticize the greats, the likes of the Imams can not even recite 1000 hadith or even 100 hadith in one sitting, from their memory (with their chains of narrators,where they lived and died, who they took from..etc, the application of the hadith, other conflicting hadiths in the same issue, whether abrogated or supported by other narrations or verses of the Quran and the other factors to long to mention). Where as the Imams where those who were able to do that with over 200,000-300,000 hadith. Imam Ahmad was asked if a person who memorized 200,000 hadith (with the knowledge og them) could make ijitihad and he shook his hand left and right indicating “maybe”! The problem is when people don’t know the level of really scholarship as the scholars themselves did in the past, they don’t know how to respect properly but instead marvel at their speculation of “ABC’s” assuming they know how to criticize “high ranking scholars in language” and this is what we have today and so ignorance speaks for itself.
Fatima El-Boukri @Ustadh: I understand what you are saying. But I don’t see the world of difference you mention, in fact I see a fine line which is usually misunderstood.
For example, once I asked a somali friend about why niqaab is considered wajib in the shafi’i madhab. She showed me some links about the reasoning, and I found it interesting that in the links among the references from the Qur’an was 33:53. After reading the asbab annuzul og this particular aya I found it weird actually that an aya which adresses
a) the issue of how a guest should not make himself a burden upon the host,
b) and that the sahaba should talk to the Prophet’s (saws) wifes behind a hijab,
c) and they are not to marry the Prophet’s wifes after him saws,
is evidence for all muslim women to cover their faces entirely, because the face is considered a awrah?
Suddenly I was being disrespectful to the scholars who spent their lifes doing ijtihad on this matter.That was not my intention at all, I just wanted to understand how they drew that conclusion, nothing more nothing less.
I do believe that most questions (even some critisism) stem from a deep intention of becoming a better muslim, otherwise why bother? And this attitude of “if you don’t accept previous reasoning, you are in drowning waters”, increases gaps between the ulama and the laymen –> we (laymen and women) stop caring about our deen as a legal tradition, and it becomes something only ulama discusses amongst themselves.
Fatima El-Boukri @ Bilal: I wasn’t talking about Aqida. Aqida is to be believed in, not questioned 🙂
Ustadh Abdus Shakur Brooks @ Fatima: What your were seeking “was understanding” and that is encouraged. As for what was presented to you as the Shafi’s proof doesn’t seem to be right, and unless that article had sound references then it can not be assumed that it is actually “shafi fiqh”.
Yes we strive to “understand”, of course as Muslims, but at the same time one has to know their limits and shortcomings. As I mentioned before, criticism is a problem when the people who are doing it really don’t qualify for it. We have people these days trying to claim the status or qualifications of such scholars of high rank who were held in esteem during the time when lands where flooded with Islam and countless scholarship. Their academic positions where depended upon for centuries and transmitted for centuries, followed and practiced. One whose opinion is based on having knowledge of an extremely wide scope can not be judged (between sound and correct) by those like today who don’t even have even have 1/10 of their knowledge.
And yes, those today who insist on swimming in their waters and assume the position of those imams does drown himself and others into his own ignorance because he assumes his positions or so-called investigations are worthy of consideration concerning valid practice in Islam to proud to realize that they are far from being qualified to do that.
So I do not disagree with one wanting to “understand” that is great.
Fatima El-Boukri @Ustadh: It was a very nice article actually, I didn’t want to post it here in fear of us starting to discuss the ruling on niqaab in stead of the current issue, but I can email it to you with some other questions I’ve been wanting to ask you in sha Allah 🙂
Of course, dismissing an opinion simply because it was derived many centuries ago is wrong and ignorant and I don’t encourage that at all. I don’t think I have met that many people who do so really, mostly it is people like me wose questions are understood to be innovation or whatever, rather than seeking understanding. And I do believe many get misunderstood, wa Allahu a3lam.
Ustadh Abdus Shakur Brooks Yes, seeking understanding can never be “understood” as innovation, that is just foolish. The reason why we seek to understand is so that we can teach and practice something in the most comprehensive way according to sound scholarship.
Bilal Ibn Tariq Iddinn On the Authority of Mu’awiya ibn Abi Sufyan (RA), I heard the messenger of Allah (SAWS) say, “Whoever Allah desires good for he gives him understanding of the religion”. Shaykh Imadudeen (May Allah Preserve Him) said that this means when Allah desires knowledge for someone in Deen he facilitates a path for that person to obtain it. The only sound knowledge in religion comes from qualified scholars and scholarship and I think we can all agree on that.
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