Hazrat Mullah Ali Qaari Rah, the famous aalim and Muhaddith has written that besides a few that are not authoritative who hold a different view the consensus of the Muslims is that to visit (Ziyaarat) Rasulullah Sal’am is an important act of piety. It is also a most desirable form of Ibaadat, a very successful way of attaining spiritual heights and an encouraging reason for an acceptable intercession. Some ulama have said that it is waajib (obligatory) upon that person who has the means to reach there. Hazrat Allama Shaami Rah, relates this same view from Hazrat Ibn Hajar Rah. To avoid going there is sheer negligence and carelessness. Some Maalikis have said that to go to reside in Madina is more desirable than to go to stay in Mecca.
Finally, just as personal opinion in opposing taqleed and legal issues is blame worthy so too is inactivity and exaggeration in taqleed. This is visible in such cases:
1. Regarding the mujtahids as givers of law and innocent, and like Prophets free of mistakes.
2. Refusing to act on an authentic Hadith because to command is fortcoming from the imam concerning it. Thus, many people do not raise their index figure while reciting:
and neglect this sunnah because the Imam does not say anything about it. Some people pass a very rude comment about it. Theirs is perhaps the dormant taqleed which the Qur’an and Hadith renounce.
Imam Abu Hanifah & Knowledge of Hadith
(11) He is also accused of having few Ahadith, or a weak knowledge of Hadith.
This baseless accusation follows from lack of proper knowledge and prejudice. In fact, great scholars agreed that he was excellent in the science of fiqh and the science of Hadith too. They are not only the Hanafi ulama but also ulama of other schools of thought. We present remarks of some of them.
Taqleed For The Mujtahid in His Mazhab
He is a mujtahid who abides by the method of deduction of the absolute mujtahid, and is also qualified to deduce specified issues under that method directly from the Qur’an and sunnah and aathar. Thus, many such mujtahids do differ from their absolute mujtahid on many branch commands or their details, but continue to be their muqallid. Examples are: Abu Yusuf, and Imam Muhammad in the Hanafi school, Imam Muzani and Abu Thawr, among the Shafi’ees, Suhnun and Ibn al-Qasim among the Maalikis, and Ibrahim al-Harabi and Abu Bakr al-Athram among the Hanbalis.
Taqleed For The Erudite Scholar
He is a scholar who though has not attained the degree of ijtihad, yet has learnt the Islamic sciences from expert teachers and imparts education and writes books under the supervision of leading ulama for a long period of time. He is proficient in tafseer, Hadith, fiqh and their fundamentals. He is capable of deriving benefit from the worthy predecesors in examining an issue and is well-conversed with their temperament and style and gets to the correct conclusion. Shah Waliullah described him thus:
The question then arises why choose an imam from only the four although there have been many mujtahids? There were: Sufyan Thawri, Awz’ai, Abdullah ibn Mubarak, Ishaq ibn Rahuyah, Imam Bukhari, Ibn Abu Layla, Ibn Shabramah, Hasan ibn Salih, and scores of others.
The reason is that their juristic teachings are not compiled together. If they had been arranged as the teachings of others are then surely their taqleed would have been allowed too. Neither we have their rulings in book form nor are there ulama representing them. Allamah Abdur Rauf Munadi cites Hafiz Zahabi as saying: