FOLLOWING THE IMAMS OF FIQH
الحمد لله رب العالمين ، والصلاة والسلام على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين
Certain Muslim sects argue that the 'following' (Taqleed) of four Imams of Islamic Jurisprudence (Imam Abdu Hanifa, Imam Maalik, Imam Shafi'i and Imam Ahmad - رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہم) is not correct. People should read Quran and Hadith independently and see for themselves and judge what is right and what is wrong for them.
Salafis and their like minded groups in particular, stop people from following of four Imams of fiqh, but they do follow Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Abdul Wahhab blindly.
If one has to read Quran and Hadith independently and try to deduce fiqh rules on his own, then the founders of Salafism Ibn Taymiyyah /Ibn Abdul Wahhab should also be excluded from blind following.
The whole idea of self study of Quran and Hadith and deducing fiqh rules independently is misleading. If this was the case, Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) would have sent His books directly to the people and asked them to deduce rules independently. There was no need to send Prophets who taught us the meanings of the holy books as per the purport of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى).
To start a new faith, it is important that the established schools are rejected and religious authorities / Imams are challenged. This is what the founders of Salafism did. In the guise of following of the Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) companions directly, they broke the established chain and authenticity of Islamic practices.
Salafis say that they follow Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal; and in the same breath they say that they follow Ibn Taymiyyah. Sometimes they say that they follow all four Imams, including Ibn Taymiyyah and Abdul Wahhab. This type of arguments are good to fool innocent Muslims, but these will not hold good in front Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) and his Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم).
Once you start following Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Abdul Wahhab, you have joined Salafism, a sub sect of Kharijis, at the expense of mainstream Islam. They will be identified as such in the world and in Hereafter.
As a Salafi / Wahhabi /Ahle Hadith and the like minded, you will be standing in front of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) in the Group of Ibn Abdul Wahhab and his associate groups on the Day of Judgment. Your judgment will be done along with the members of these group. The followers of these sects should not be under any illusion.
Also, as per the Hadith (Tirmizi) of 73 sects, all sects who have broken away from mainstream islam run the risk of rejection on the Day of Judgment.
You have to distinguish between right and the wrong. You cannot be complacent with your beliefs as correct. You cannot stamp yourself as correct and spread your beliefs as truthful. Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows what is hidden in our hearts.
Salafis and the like minded groups should search their conscience and decide whether Imam Hussain was on the right path or Yazid was on the right path.
All Salafi groups believe Yazid was on the right path and say "Radiallahu ta'la unhu" with his name. They choose to defend Yazid at the expense of Imam Hussan (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ). And, they accuse Imam Hussain (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) as wrong doer.
It is in Hadith - Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) looked at Hazrat Ali (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ), Fatima (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہا) and Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہما) and said " "I am in war with those who will fight with you, and in peace with those who are peaceful to you." (Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, al-Hakim, Tabarani, Mishkat, etc.)
Accusing Imam Hussain (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) is indeed character assassination of the distinguished grandson of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). Many Ulema will agree that character assassination is a bigger crime than what Yazid and his cursed supporters did.
If you decide Yazid was on the right path and say (Radiallahu ta'la unhu) with his name, then you will be standing along with Yazid in front of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) on the Day of Judgment and your judgment will be done along with him.
Think coolly, who stands a good chance to go to paradise. Imam Hussain (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) or Yazid? Search your conscience and find out the probability whether Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) and Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) will favor and support Imam Hussain (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) or Yazid?
Search your conscience and find out who could be more dear to Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), Iman Hussain (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) or Yazid ?
Decide, would you like your judgment to be done along with Ahle Baite Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) or Yazid, in the company of Abdul Wahhab Najdi and Ibn Taymiyyah?
If you realize Imam Hussain (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) was on the right path, what he did was correct, and Yazid (let Allah’s curse be on him) was the culprit of the Karbala homicide, then you will be standing along with Imam Hussain (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) in front of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) on the Day of Judgment and your sins could be pardoned as a Sadaqa of Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم).
Anyone who has read a little about Islamic history knows the character of Yazid. He was a tyrant, addicted alcoholic and womanizer. He attacked Makka and Madina and killed thousands of family members of Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) house hold and Sahabah.Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal was asked by his son that a group of people (qawm) attribute us to [be with] Yazid , he replied, O son! Whoever believes in Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی), how can they have any association with Yazid? And why should he not be cursed (laanat) when Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) sends laanat on him in his Book. The son asked where did Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) send laanat on him in His Book? The Imam replied “in this saying of Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی)”:
It is in Quran - فَهَلْ عَسَيْتُمْ إِن تَوَلَّيْتُمْ أَن تُفْسِدُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَتُقَطِّعُوا أَرْحَامَكُمْ - أُولَـٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ لَعَنَهُمُ اللَّهُ فَأَصَمَّهُمْ وَأَعْمَىٰ أَبْصَارَهُمْ (Do you then have the sign that if you get the authority, spread disorder in the land and sever your ties of Kinship? These are they whom Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) has cursed and made them deaf from the truth and made their eyes blind'. (Mohammad - صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), Verses 22-23)
And then said, is there any greater tribulation ( فساد ) than the assassination of Imam Husain (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ)?
(References - Ibn Hajar Makki in al-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqa page 333, Tafsir Mazhari v. 8. p. 434, Imam Al-Barzanji in al-Isha’at, Qadi Abu Ya’la in Mu’tamad al-Usool, Ibn al-Jawzi, etc.).
Ibn Abdul Wahhab killed hundreds of thousands of Muslims belonging to Ahle Sunnah Wal Jama'a declaring them as Kuffaar. He did not leave even the graves of the dead. He destroyed and leveled the graves of Prophet Mohammad’s (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) relatives, Companions, Imams, Ulema and Awliya Allah in the name of purification of Islam. He could have stopped people from alleged worshiping of graves by several other means. But he chose to humiliate and insult the respected souls by destroying and eliminating their traces from the face of earth. He declared all Muslims died for 1000 years before him as Mushrikeen. He accused Muslims of his time as infidels / polytheists / deviated innovators and issued edict to kill them en masse.
A prominent Islamic Scholar of Ibn Abdul Wahhab’s time, Muhammad Amin Ibn Abidin wrote in his famous work ‘Hashiyya Radd Al-Mukhtar’ (Vol. 3, Page 309). as follows:
QUOTE 'In our time Ibn Abdul Wahhab Najdi appeared and attacked the two noble sanctuaries (Makkah and Madinah). He claimed to be a Hanbali, but his thinking was such that only he alone was a Muslim, and everyone else was a polytheist! Under this guise, he said that killing the Ahle Sunnah was permissible”
Shaikhul Islam Hafiz Taqiuddin Ali Ibn Abdilkafi As Subki wrote about Ibn Taymiyyah in the preface of his book 'Ad-Durratul Mudiyyah'.
"By his claims Ibn Taymiyah innovated foul things in the Usul of belief, and infringed the foundations of Islam and at the same time covered himself under the pretext of following the Book (Quran) and Sunnah, outwardly showing that he was a caller to Truth and a guide to Heaven, while on the contrary he deviated from following of Quran and Sunnah". UNQUOTE
Following of four Jurisprudential Imams is not their personal/blind emulation (Taqleed). They are accepted teachers of Muslims. The question here is not blind emulation (taqleed), it is the matter of trust Muslims have in these great Imams.
It is in Quran - لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ [Prophet Mohammad ﷺ) is an exemplary model (for all of you).] (Al-Ahzab – 21).
What is the meaning of the above verse? Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) has commanded us to simply follow the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) in whatever he does. Who will follow the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)? The person who has complete trust in him. The hypocrites in Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) time did not follow him because they did not trust him.
After Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), people trusted the rightful Caliphs and companions of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and followed them.
After the companions, people followed the Ta’abaeen (first generation followers of the companions of Prophet Mohammad ﷺ) because they trusted in their sincerity and knowledge.
Then came the time of Taba-taba’een (the followers of Ta'abaeen) and people followed them. Then came the times of Imams of various Islamic subjects. This period was followed by the Shaikhs of Ihsan or truthful Sufis. People followed all these spiritual leaders because they had trust in them.
Every time, every period in Islamic history we do have rightful people who can be followed. These virtuous Nufoos are there in every place and every time. They are our guides in the following the religion.
If the requirement of following was not to be there, then in the presence of Quran, Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) would not have asked people to follow the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) in whatever he did.
It is not blind following, rather it is the trust in a knowledgeable Ulema that helps us overcome our day to day problems in religious life.
Why do we go to Muftis for their edicts in certain issues? It is because we trust them for their knowledge and their sincerity in religion. If this following is removed from society, how will we deal with various issues?
We believed in all Imams of Hadith. This is the reason we follow the Hadiths mentioned in their books. First we need to have trust in Imam Bukhari, then we will believe in the Hadith mentioned in his book. This way, are not we following Imam Bukhari?
Muslims follow all venerable Imams, Shaikhs of Ihsan, truthful legendary Sufis, As-hab-e-Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) in their actions. This is the foundation on which the building of Islam has been built. If you remove this foundation and ask people to go back to the books of Hadith and Quran on their own. It is most likely that they will lose the track. They will be misled and go astray.
If you do not study a subject under the able and experienced teacher, there is every possibility that you will be misled. This is what has happened with Salafis. They thought, by reading books they can emulate and follow As-habe-Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). It is simply not possible. They were misled from the Quran and Hadith because they interpreted these books as per their limited understanding.
What is innovation in Religion? If some one goes against the fact of the matter and says something which is contrary to the basic beliefs of Islam, it will be treated as innovation. Like Wahhabis say that Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) has hands, eyes. This kind of statements are against the fact of the matter, therefore are innovation in the religion. Actually, it is more than innovation, it is Shirk.
Recently I talked to a friend of mine who visited my house, and explained that certain person, who he considers his icon, his guide and may be his Murshid, belongs to Ahle Hadith Sect. He reacted sharply. When I mentioned some of the beliefs of his icon, particularly supporting of Yazid at the expense of Imam Hussain (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ), he tried to defend his icon by so many arguments. When I wanted to know his personal views about Yazid, he started defending Yazid with all possible information he had. When I asked him,' is it true that Ahle Hadith sect is actually the name of Salafis in India', he was furious and started explaining the literal/textual meanings of Ahle Hadith saying ‘we are all the followers of Sunnah’ and so on. I could gather from our conversation that my friend has joined Ahle Hadith sect long time ago, but does not want to accept it openly. The problem with Salafis, Deobandis and their like minded sects is, they will never tell you plainly that they are the followers of Salafism or Deobandism. They will hide this information till the end. When they are cornered, and when they find no way to hide their believes, they will burst at you and will start uttering statements that are total blasphemy.
The purpose of mentioning this episode is to portray the situation of Muslim homes. If there are 5 members in a family, each of them has become victim of a different sect. Can anyone say that all members of this family will get salvation on the Day of Judgment? The answer is an emphatic ‘NO”.
All Muslim sects, though they have sharp opposing views on basic faith of Islam, try to present themselves as Ahle Sunnah Wal Jama’at. I do not understand this tendency. They know that their beliefs are totally in contrast with traditional Ahle Sunnah Wal Jama’a, then why they want themselves to be known as Ahle Sunnah? They are afraid of Whom? Why is this hypocrisy? If you are the follower of Salafi, Wahhabi, Shia, Deobandi, Tabhleegi, Jama’at-e-Islami, etc., say it openly. First say that you belong to certain group, then you can say that your group is on the right path. Why do you need to react and get angry when someone draws your attention towards the basic faith of your sect? Why do you try to convince innocent Muslims of your sect’s beliefs hiding your own identity?
This type of political mindset and polemic strategy will not work with Allah (سبحانه و تعالى). In Allah’s (سبحانه و تعالى) Court on the Day of Judgment, you will be either a Muslim or Non-Muslim. You cannot convince Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) of your sects beliefs as truthful Islamic faith by hiding your identity. Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows that out of 73 major sects and innumerable sub groups of Muslims, only one is on the right path. And that one group will go to Jannah and the rest will be thrown into Hell fire. Therefore, you should know that your sect’s chances of being on the right path are less than 0.1%.
Wake up my dear brothers and sisters from your deep slumber. Your optimism has no base. You have self attested yourselves as truthful Muslims. You are spending your life in propagating your sect’s faith and practices among people without realizing that what you are doing is wrong. Not only you are in danger, but you are becoming a source of spreading faithlessness and misconceptions about Islam in society. Because of you, so many others people will also suffer on the Day of Judgment and you will have pay for misleading all of them.
This is a brotherly advice. Do not argue as politicians do. Religion is not a political field where everyone tries to dominate the other, by hook or by crook, and try to get leadership of the community and form a Government.
Religion is submission to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) and His Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). Submit yourself to the truthful faith of Islam and pass in your life’s exam and get rewarded in Hereafter.
The real issue is your salvation. If you chose a belief which is contrary to truthful Islamic beliefs, you will be thrown into Hell fire permanently.
As we are close to Qiyamah, it is the time of tribulation. Thousands of wrong theories about Islamic faith are in circulation. People are changing faith as they change their cloths. Muslim society is in the state of huge turmoil. Don't allow the dacoits, goons and robbers of faith to snatch your Islamic faith. They are spread everywhere in the guise of good Muslims. They have long beards, wear Islamic clothes, talk fluently on Islamic subjects, misinterpret Quranic verses and Ahadith to misguide innocent Muslims. They look very religious and pious, their faces show a prominent mark of Salah on forehead, they perform prayers as no one does, their convincing style is exclusive, their Da'wa language looks very sweet to the ear, but their words are poisonous arrows that wounds the Islamic faith of the people fatally. Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) has warned Muslims to be away from them.