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A madhab question?

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  • A madhab question?

    Just a question that arose in my mind reading another thread here.

    Is it possible for a layman to follow a madhab in 100% of issues if he does not know whether the ruling he is given is actually from the madhab he is following or from another madhab?

    I mean the layman does not know how to derive rulings so he is obligated to make taqleed of scholars on religious matters. And usually a layman has numerous sources from which he obtains rulings and knowledge, for example:

    - his local Imam(s)
    - the Sheikh he studies religion under (tajweed etc.)
    - scholars he is in touch with via email or telephone
    - lectures and seminars he attends hosted by ulema
    - lectures he listens to or books he reads written by ulema
    - etc....


    Now having said that, is it possible for a layman to follow a madhab 100% in every aspect of deen when he does not know whether the ruling he is given is actually from the madhab he is following or from another madhab.

    I will give an example to illustrate:

    A man follows the Hanbali madhab and when he needs a ruling he will contact his Sheikh for a fatwa. Now the Sheikh also follows the Hanbali school but on certain matters he may actually follow the Shafi or Hanafi or Maliki opinion because he regards that opinion to be stronger.

    Now when the man goes to the Sheikh for a fatwa he will usually give him the Hanbali opinion however on some matters he may give him the Shafi or Hanafi or Maliki opinion as he believes that to be the stronger opinion. As a layman the man will make taqleed of him and take his fatwa and act upon it. Now the man is a follower of the Hanbali madhab as most of the rulings he follows are Hanbali rulings. But can he actually claim to follow the Hanbali madhab in totality (i.e. 100%) when some of the rulings he follows may not be Hanbali rulings but instead be from other schools.


    Now the above is a very simplistic example which assumes the man takes his rulings from one source which is the Sheikh. However reality is more complex and the layman may take his fatwas from numerous Sheikhs, Imams and other different avenues as outlined earlier. Hence many of the rulings the layman follows may come from one school but a sizeable percentage of rulings may come from other schools.

    Another example to illustrate:

    A sister follows the Hanafi madhab and is listening to a lecture on niqab. The Sheikh states niqab is obligatory and gives his reasons for this. The sister now acts upon this ruling of the Sheikh. However the position of the Hanafi school is that niqab is obligatory if there is a fear of fitna which differs from the opinion the sister is now following. So she is no longer following the Hanafi madhab in that issue but in the vast majority of issues she is following Hanafi opinions.


    The two examples are just to illustrate how such scenarios can arise. So it leads to the question which I want to ask, is it possible to follow a single madhab 100% in every aspect of deen when at the end of the day I am following rulings given to me from the numerous sources outlined earlier which may contain rulings from different madhabs other than the one I follow?
    Last edited by Khalid b. Walid; 07-10-11, 08:19 PM.

  • #2
    Re: A madhab question?

    Well I'm going to stick my neck out on this one.

    I've been studying about the creation of the madhabs and their purpose through a book and some lectures by Dr. Bilal Philips. If I may be so bold as to purport to speak for him, his opinion is as follows:

    The madhabs came about because different scholars were trying to apply the Quran and sunnah to the lives of the those around them, based on whatever ahadith they knew.

    Many of the original opinions of the various scholars were changed over time as new ahadith became known to them or their students.

    None of the sahabas followed one of the four madhabs; they followed the Prophet saws.

    Ultimately, we should not follow just one madhab, but whatever opinion is strongest, i.e., based on the strongest ahadith and most closely related to the current situation at hand, since the madhab we should be interested in is the madhab of Muhammad saws.

    Of course, it is not always possible for us to know which is the strongest, so when in doubt, consult a scholar inshallah. And there shouldn't be anything wrong with following one madhab inshallah if that is easier for you, or if your entire community is doing so and you have no exposure to the other madhabs.

    But to bring things into more focus with regards to your exact question: The fact that a person is following a specific fatwa or ruling that does not belong to their chosen madhab should not be an issue. Even various scholars who are known as "Hanafi" or "Malaki" etc scholars will occaisonally have opinions that belong to other madhabs for the very reasons you gave as examples.

    Allah Alim, may Allah swt forgive me if there is anything wrong with my response.
    "Do not let your hatred of a people incite you to aggression." Qur'an 5:2

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: A madhab question?

      I also never understood the insisting on following a mathab thing. Not to say it is wrong per se, for some people it may be better. I have heard those who follow one mathab defend it by condemning "fatwa shopping" which makes sense in some way. For me it always seems best to follow the consensus of the scholars going on the strongest opinion on any one area rather than always sticking to the same scholars opinion on all matters. Because like anyone, that one scholar could be wrong in that matter. But then it is also said the mathad is a methodology for inducing fatwa. So for the layman, he doesn't induce fatwa so he doesn't need a methodology for it. Often times say they follow such and such mathad meaning they come from a country whose legal system follows that mathab. Allah alim.
      Blessed is He in Whose Hand is the Dominion, and He is Able to do all things. (67.1)

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: A madhab question?

        :salams

        In that case he can ask the Sheikh whether that's from the maddhab he's following. Like in first example, the person can ask if that's the from Hanbali opinion.

        I know the Shakyh at my school gives his opinion without mentioning any maddhab (He's Shafi), but some of the things he says aren't in line with Hanafi teachings. This isn't wrong, but I won't follow him, rather follow the Hanafi teachings, since I'm aware of the Hanafi stance.

        For those who aren't aware of it, or don't have the access, then it's not a sin on them :insha: I mean, they are not doing in on purpose. However, it should be their responsibility to read up on these matters.


        I know many people say you can take opinions from other school of thoughts, or take stronger opinions, but, if you ask a Hanafi scholar, he'll say the Hanafi way is stronger or a Shafi scholar will say their way is stronger (well, most of the time), so I, personally, try to stick to Hanafi method in all matters.

        That doesn't mean I don't go to IslamQA or Sunnipath for rulings. Sometimes you find answers elsewhere. But, I'd be cautious to apply the practices to myself.

        Waalhu Alam.
        Last edited by .mirror.; 07-10-11, 09:31 PM.
        Secure few moments, everyday, to reflect upon the innumerable blessings of Allah and thank Him for bestowing them upon you.

        "A person who is blessed with the ability to be grateful, shall never be deprived of barakah and increase in blessings."
        - Rasulullah (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم)‎

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: A madhab question?

          One can do it.But the point is that he should do taqleed on it.If he start deriving his own rulings, like the example you gave of a shaykh.He should think and derive ruling based upon a single madhab rather than picking which ever seems to be strong.What if the ruling in his madhab is also strong and he does not have the knowledge about it.Thereby he goes to other madhab which looks simple and easy to understand.

          If you look at shafi'i madhab, then Imam shafi rahimullah alai picks up all the deeds that syeddina rasulullah salellahualaihiwasalam did and it is called as sunnah.Where in hanafi madhab, it is only after the Qur'an was complete and Islam was complete.Only what is done after that is sunnah.So if you find hanbali fiqh.If you moving down and in down in the later generations the safety increases more and more.Imam hanbali rahimullah alai's hanbali fiqh is so such that in precaution.Ijtihad is not complete at all without any single scholarly consensus on it.So all are correct according to their definitions.And one cannot really compare and pick out a difference which could be a mistake by one and correct by other.
          Last edited by ahmed_abdullah; 07-10-11, 09:45 PM.
          صلى الله على حبيبه محمد و على آله و أصحابه و سلم
          Al-Muslimeen

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: A madhab question?

            I can help you on this topic, but what I write might be long. Would you read it? (And hopefully avoid the sufi vs salafi stuff that is liable to occur here lol)
            If you have any questions feel free to PM me!

            Humililty, Sincerity, and the quest for Truth. There is no purpose in life but to seek the pleasure of Allah.
            There is a possibility a female might use this account to read something!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: A madhab question?

              I think this is more than just being a madhab issue... Anyone who has ever had to go about learning Islam by themselves will have gone through various changes in their views based upon many factors, some of which could be progressing in their knowledge of Islam, being influenced by others, hearing of different opinions and feeling another opinion to be the "stronger" opinion - whether this is a properly informed decision or not. All this, undeniably, happens. In reality, I doubt the average Muslim seeks knowledge from just one source; whether that be human sources, like with your examples, or written material, such as books and leaflets or even the internet.

              In essence, I believe it all comes down to how and why we change our practices. We often hear of people saying "I'm going to follow the 'stronger' opinion", but how did they come to believe this is the "stronger" opinion? If, as you have described in the above examples, it was through reliance on another to teach them Islam, then it would be important to understand what enabled this Shaykh to come to this conclusion. Clearly, going by/being known by the title "Shaykh", one would think he is knowledgeable, but how do we know this is true and he is not just some person teaching us stuff he has taken to be correct without any justification (somewhat like us trusting him)? It is imperative that we take an active role in finding this out.

              It isn't a bad thing to change our views, we're not born with the answers - it's a journey, only we should try to make an informed decision when we choose who we would like to guide and help us.


              ----

              Btw, I know this doesn't answer your question (if you were seeking an answer), but these are things one would have to consider to enable them to appreciate the examples and the specificity of the cases in questions. Perhaps the Shuyookh in the examples are actually qualified to take rulings from all the madhahib, understand and appreciate them, before they proclaim to believe one opinion is stronger than another. That can happen, and that maybe so.
              Ya Muqallib al-Quloob, thabbit qalbi 'alaa Deenik
              O' Converter of Hearts, make my heart steadfast upon Thy Way
              We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: A madhab question?

                Originally posted by .mirror. View Post
                :salams

                In that case he can ask the Sheikh whether that's from the maddhab he's following. Like in first example, the person can ask if that's the from Hanbali opinion.

                I know the Shakyh at my school gives his opinion without mentioning any maddhab (He's Shafi), but some of the things he says aren't in line with Hanafi teachings. This isn't wrong, but I won't follow him, rather follow the Hanafi teachings, since I'm aware of the Hanafi stance.

                For those who aren't aware of it, or don't have the access, then it's not a sin on them :insha: I mean, they are not doing in on purpose. However, it should be their responsibility to read up on these matters.


                I know many people say you can take opinions from other school of thoughts, or take stronger opinions, but, if you ask a Hanafi scholar, he'll say the Hanafi way is stronger or a Shafi scholar will say their way is stronger (well, most of the time), so I, personally, try to stick to Hanafi method in all matters.

                That doesn't mean I don't go to IslamQA or Sunnipath for rulings. Sometimes you find answers elsewhere. But, I'd be cautious to apply the practices to myself.

                Waalhu Alam.
                :wswrwb:

                I can see what you are saying about educating yourself about the rulings within the madhab your prescribe to as well as verifying the ruling given from which school it comes from. But I would like to question how practical this given the difficulty of the task especially for those of us who live in the West.

                I mean to achieve this successfully it would mean:
                1) You restrict to take rulings and knowledge on fiqh matters from only the scholars you know who follow your madhab.
                2) Verifying with the scholar that it is indeed a ruling from your madhab.
                3) If not able to verify with scholar then verify with a second scholar that what the first scholar said is indeed a ruling from your madhab.


                As can be seen this can be quite a long and troublesome process. And given the diversity of scholars/imams/speakers here in the West, it will not always be possible to get rulings from scholars of your madhab especially if you need a ruling quickly. In the Subcontinent I guess the situation will be a lot easier as nearly every masjid follow one school and there is a lot of uniformity in the rulings given.

                An example to illustrate the point:

                "I'm at work and for lunch we are going to a seafood restaurant. Now I know Sheikh so-and-so said these types of dishes are halal however I'm not sure if this is the same opinion in the madhab I prescribe to or not. However I don't have time to check so I'll stick with the ruling that Sheikh so-and-so gave."


                Now this example could be countered by saying he should have educated himself about the matter before so he wouldn't be in this situation. But the point I'm trying to make is that it is impossible to pre-empt every situation and it is likely from time-to-time we will find ourselves in situations where we will be adopting opinions which run contrary to the opinion of the madhab we prescribe to.

                So moving back to the original question of the thread, I think its very difficult to stick to your madhab in every single issue as it is highly likely at times you will be following a different opinion (maybe even without your knowledge).

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: A madhab question?

                  Originally posted by Juvegirl View Post
                  Well I'm going to stick my neck out on this one.

                  I've been studying about the creation of the madhabs and their purpose through a book and some lectures by Dr. Bilal Philips. If I may be so bold as to purport to speak for him, his opinion is as follows:

                  The madhabs came about because different scholars were trying to apply the Quran and sunnah to the lives of the those around them, based on whatever ahadith they knew.

                  Many of the original opinions of the various scholars were changed over time as new ahadith became known to them or their students.

                  None of the sahabas followed one of the four madhabs; they followed the Prophet saws.

                  Ultimately, we should not follow just one madhab, but whatever opinion is strongest, i.e., based on the strongest ahadith and most closely related to the current situation at hand, since the madhab we should be interested in is the madhab of Muhammad saws.

                  Of course, it is not always possible for us to know which is the strongest, so when in doubt, consult a scholar inshallah. And there shouldn't be anything wrong with following one madhab inshallah if that is easier for you, or if your entire community is doing so and you have no exposure to the other madhabs.
                  This raises an important point though.

                  How is the average Muslim meant to know which opinion is stronger when he does not even have the knowledge to analyse these opinions. Yes he may see the ruling of the scholar who says "based on these hadith this is the ruling" but even then the average Muslim will only have a very superficial understanding of the issue.

                  Take witr salaah as an example. There are numerous ways of performing witr and each way has its evidences backing it up. How is the average Muslim meant to weigh these opinions up when he does not even understand the topic fully; and surely in attempting to do so it will only make him/her more confused.

                  I guess one way of circumventing this problem would be to ask a scholar which way is the strongest. But even then you will only get a subjective opinion on which is stronger. Ask one Sheikh and he will say opinion A is the preferred way. Ask another Sheikh and he will say opinion B is the strongest and so on.

                  Originally posted by Juvegirl View Post
                  But to bring things into more focus with regards to your exact question: The fact that a person is following a specific fatwa or ruling that does not belong to their chosen madhab should not be an issue. Even various scholars who are known as "Hanafi" or "Malaki" etc scholars will occaisonally have opinions that belong to other madhabs for the very reasons you gave as examples.

                  Allah Alim, may Allah swt forgive me if there is anything wrong with my response.
                  Personally I don't see following a specific fatwa or ruling that does not belong to their chosen madhab to be an issue as I think its very difficult for anyone to stick 100% to their madhab in every issue given the diversity of opinions and backgrounds of scholars we have. Even if someone was adamant in sticking to their madhab 100% in every issue, situations may arise requiring them to take another opinion. (see example in post 8)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: A madhab question?

                    Originally posted by ahmed_abdullah View Post
                    One can do it.But the point is that he should do taqleed on it.If he start deriving his own rulings, like the example you gave of a shaykh.He should think and derive ruling based upon a single madhab rather than picking which ever seems to be strong.What if the ruling in his madhab is also strong and he does not have the knowledge about it.Thereby he goes to other madhab which looks simple and easy to understand.

                    If you look at shafi'i madhab, then Imam shafi rahimullah alai picks up all the deeds that syeddina rasulullah salellahualaihiwasalam did and it is called as sunnah.Where in hanafi madhab, it is only after the Qur'an was complete and Islam was complete.Only what is done after that is sunnah.So if you find hanbali fiqh.If you moving down and in down in the later generations the safety increases more and more.Imam hanbali rahimullah alai's hanbali fiqh is so such that in precaution.Ijtihad is not complete at all without any single scholarly consensus on it.So all are correct according to their definitions.And one cannot really compare and pick out a difference which could be a mistake by one and correct by other.
                    Maybe the example I gave wasn't the best. I was trying to illustrate how a scholar may not agree with his teachers on an issue and favour a different opinion. This is assuming the scholar is at a level where he has the knowledge and expertise to do such a thing. In such a situation, there isn't any way for the average Muslim to know if the Sheikh is giving him the main ruling of the school or some other opinion unless he asks him as .Mirror. said or goes to another scholar to verify what the first one said.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: A madhab question?

                      Originally posted by al-siddiq View Post
                      I can help you on this topic, but what I write might be long. Would you read it? (And hopefully avoid the sufi vs salafi stuff that is liable to occur here lol)
                      Go ahead. Always interesting to read people's views.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: A madhab question?

                        couple of things

                        I think most of us follow madhabs because we were born into families that follow them

                        and we dont do much readings on them to understand different views and jurisdictions

                        last but not least we tend to rely on sheikhs and people for edicts

                        I think rather than relying on people to give you answers to matters, you should just hit the library and do your own research on your particular subject of interest

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: A madhab question?

                          How do we determine the strongest opinion though?

                          Shaykh A might say his opinion is strongest because of his daleel.

                          Shaykh B says his opinion is strongest because of his daleel.

                          How do you know? Some might say you look at where the daleel is from, but what if both daleel used are sahih? then what.
                          check out this blog>>>http://myworldmuslimah.wordpress.com/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: A madhab question?

                            Originally posted by *hijab* View Post
                            How do we determine the strongest opinion though?

                            Shaykh A might say his opinion is strongest because of his daleel.

                            Shaykh B says his opinion is strongest because of his daleel.

                            How do you know? Some might say you look at where the daleel is from, but what if both daleel used are sahih? then what.
                            thats why I think its important we do our own readings instead of relying on these sheikhs

                            Our deen encourages us to to alot of readings. You can only talk to those qualified in Islamic law on these matters for some clarifications but all in all we need to do our own readings

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: A madhab question?

                              Originally posted by ibn Battuta View Post
                              thats why I think its important we do our own readings instead of relying on these sheikhs

                              Our deen encourages us to to alot of readings. You can only talk to those qualified in Islamic law on these matters for some clarifications but all in all we need to do our own readings
                              but whose more knowledgable; us normal people or sheikhs who studied a great deal?
                              check out this blog>>>http://myworldmuslimah.wordpress.com/

                              Comment

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