Chapter 11 A FINAL WORD

Fiqh, The Legal Status of Following a Madhab / Monday, August 18th, 2008

While I have done my best to write on the subject, my aim has never been to debate and argue. I have endeavoured merely to explain the viewpoint of the majority of the Muslim ummah who have been following one or the other mujtahid. If I have hurt anyone unwillingly then I apologise for that. I hope to remove misgivings about this majority section which is termed unlawful and polytheistic. If anyone continues to differ even after reading this book, then let him retain his views, but accusing the mujtahids and imams of law making and being polytheistic is a very dangerous trend. We must seek refuge in Allah from that.

Here is a selection from the famous scholar of Ahl Hadith, Nawab Siddiq Hasan Khan.

“It is a favour of Allah on me that I regard only the Ahl Sunnat as a successful section. I do not have misgivings on what else I am Hanafi, Shaf’ee or Ahl Hadith. I know that every group has issues contrary to evidence, as also agreeable. Some rulings among them are correct, some weak. To ridicule the earlier imams is to go against the sunnah. Those who follow their imam even after knowing that they have erred are dormant and lethargic. I do not say they are misled, nor do I refuse to offer salah with them, nor do I call them disbelievers. Differences in rulings, worship and mutual dealings do not make the scholar an infidel. The most one can say is that there is mistake in ijtihad or in understanding. The scholars recognise them I hope that Allah — if the speaker and doer was sincere in purpose, not prejudicied but got netted in strong doubt — He will forgive the mistake. But, if the dormancy and exaggeration on the mistake is intentional, hypocritical and divergence against Allah and His Messenger then there is fear. But, against a hopeful, fearful Muslim to be mistrustful is not necessary!

We judge by the visible, but Allah knows best the unseen.” (Faran May 1963)

Further, in these times when Muslims are surrounded by trials and tribulations, corruption and problems, nothing would be more disturbing and destructive than that they quarrel with each other. Or that they accuse each other over little, paltry things as infidels, polytheists, or reject worship of each other calling their salah wrong. We have not been defeated by our enemies but have weakened ourselves to let the enemies gain therefrom.

We pray that Allah may guide us on the right path. May He cause us to recognise Truth, and to follow it. And to recognise evil, and to shun it. May He cause us to give our lives for lofty aims, rather than slay each other. Aameen.

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