Sunday, February 10, 2019

Q&A on Adoption - Part 1

I received the following question along with other questions in response to the research I had published on the 21st of January 2019, 14th Jumadi al awwal 1440.


The Fuqaha discussed the principle of ‘uniting the word of the muslims’ and said that it is expected from the Muslims to leave their own opinions and adopt that opinion which unites the Muslims in their affairs. Does this not serve as a daleel to prove the concept of adoption?


It is true that Wahda (unity) is an important concept and as long as Maslaha is achieved through it then people should abandon their view for it. However, the Wahda (unity) should be qualified (mutahaqqaq). It is discussed by the scholars using various terminologies including ‘jama’ Kalimat al Muslimeen’ ‘Uniting the word of the Muslims’.
The usulioon did discuss this concept under the chapter of ‘conditions of adopting the weaker view during necessity’ however none of them presented the view that the principle of ‘adopting the Marjooh (non-preponderant) view for unifying the opinion’ is applicable on a group of Muslims or a party.
For example, Al Haskafi says in Durr Al Mukhtar, the Qaadhi is allowed to work according to the Ghayr Al Mashhoor (unpopular) view from his mazhabif the Khalifah has adopted that.
Note that the Haskafi does not say that it is obligatory for the Qaadhi to leave his own opinion, rather it is allowed for the Qaadhi to work according to the adopted view of the khalifah, this is while he continues to hold his own opinion.
As for the Mujtahid, the only situations when he is allowed to leave his view and adopt another view is:
  • When he finds another Mujtahid who has a greater level of knowledge than himself whose opinions convince him
  • When he finds that his ijtihad has an error and it becomes obvious and clear to him
  • When the Khalifah adopts a view contrary to his view. In such a situation the Mujtahid is not obliged to leave his view rather he can continue to teach and propagate the view he is convinced with while implementing the view adopted by the khalifah.
What is important to know, for both the Mujtahid and the Muqallid, abandoning his view to adopt another view is based on conditions, and indeed one of the conditions is Unity or Jama’a Kalimat al Muslimeen however this is not applicable on a group, rather it is applicable on the Ummah.
As for the example of Uthman (ra) and that he left his views for the views of AbuBakr and Umar (ra) and that it is an example to prove the principle of ‘uniting the word of the Muslims’, I have previously written about the weakness in the Sanad of the riwayaat that have been narrated with regards to the incident. Therefore, this incident does not serve as a daleel for the principle. This is while also keeping in mind the fact that the action of a Sahabi is not considered as a Daleel.
Furthermore, the example of Uthman (ra) is an example applicable on the reality of the Ummah and not a group, so an individual or a group cannot ask his or its followers to leave their opinions for his/its opinions. There is no classical scholar who has held this view.
Furthermore, if the riwayah was to be assessed from the point of view ofistidlaal, then there are a few points to consider,
i. To say that Uthman (ra) agreed to the condition placed in the contract for the sake of the Ummah’s unity is incorrect because this would mean that Uthman (ra) wished for the unity of the Ummah while Ali (ra) did not.
When Abdul Rahman bin Awf (ra) asked Ali (ra) if he agreed to the Baya’ on condition that that he would rule by the Book of Allah (swt) and the Sunnah of his Messenger (saw) and the opinions held after him (saw) by Abu Bakr and Umar. Ali (ra) replied that I pledge to you on the basis of the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of his messenger (saw) but I will exercise my own Ijtihad so Abdul Rahman ibn Awf let go his hand and then asked Uthman the same question and Uthman (ra) agreed and then he was given the Baya’a.
The principle of Jama’a Kalimat al Muslimeen (Uniting the word of the Muslims) is a well known principle among the Usulieen and the Fuqaha. It is applicable to the Mujtahid and the Muqallid. And it is not a matter of preference, rather it is a matter that is he is expected to undertake. So, he is not allowed to make a choice in the issue, rather if his abandoning a view unites the Ummah then he should do so and adopt the view that the Ummah adopts.
Allah (swt) says in the Quran:
وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا
And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided.[TMQ 3:103]
There are many other ahadith that discuss about the subject of uniting the Muslim Ummah. How could it be that Ali (ra) while he knew these ayaat and ahadith and he did not agree to uniting the Ummah, rather he insisted that he wished to undertake his own Ijtihad.
Does it mean that Ali (ra) did not want to unite the Ummah?
Or that it is our misunderstanding that what Uthman (ra) did by leaving his Haqq to review the Ijtihaadat of Abu Bakr and Umar (ra) and stick to them was unrelated to the subject of Unity of the Ummah?
ii. Uthman’s (ra) giving up on his right to review the opinions of Abu Bakr and Umar (ra) is not applicable in an opposite manner
The Baya’ of Uthman was on condition that he forgoes a Haqq (right) that the Shara’ gave him. It was a Haqq which was in principle Mubah for him to undertake and that was to review the Ijtihadaat or Abu Bakr and Umar. It is a haqq of the Khalifah to review the Ijtihadaat of his predecessors. Just like Umar (ra) did with some of the views of Abu Bakr (ra) after he became the Khalifah.
However, the Ummah requested Uthman (ra) to forego his right. She can make such a condition upon the the Baya to a khalifah that he gives up from what is within the rights he has which are Mubah. And Uthman (ra) agreed to it.
So, in Uthman’s (ra) case it was one man leaving his view for the sake of the Ummah, and therefore it is incorrect to derive the hukm that it is wajib for the ummah to leave their opinion for the sake of one man.
Furthermore, in Uthman’s (ra) case, the Ummah exercised a Haqq (right) that she had, i.e to ask Uthman (ra) to forego his right for being given the Baya’.
However, an individual or a Jama’ah (group) does not have the same Haqqfrom Shara’ to ask his or its followers to abandon their views for the sake of the individual or the Jama’ah (group).
iii. Uthman’s acceptance of the condition to follow the Sunnah of Khulafah Ar-Rashideen does not mean he left his views for AbuBakr (ra) and Umar’s (ra) views.
This is because during the Khilafah of Uthman (ra) we find him (ra) making Ijtihadaat and adopting views that contradicted the views held by AbuBakr (ra) and Umar (ra). For eg, he (ra) adopted the hukm regarding the 2nd Azaan for Salatul Juma’ah. This was unfounded during the era of the two khalifah’s before him. This adoption of his contradicts with the adoptions of Abubakr and Umar. Which either means that Uthman (ra) was going against the conditions of his Baya’ or that the condition itself was misunderstood.
In addition to this we find that Abubakr (ra) and Umar (ra) had differences in many issues they adopted in. For instance, the subject of Talaq, The subject of Maal al Ghanimah, the subject of Taraweeh and so on.
And we find Uthman (ra) in many of these cases adopting the views of either of the two predecessors and in some cases making his own ijtihadaat.
Abu Khaled Al Hejazi

5th Jumadi atThani, 8th February 2019

Telegram: @inshai


Saturday, January 26, 2019

An Examination of the Issue of Adoption

The following is the translation of an Arabic article.

The origin in respect to the meaning of “At-Tabanniy” (adoption) is the taking or adoption of the son and it has been used in a metaphorical manner to refer to the taking or adoption of the opinion. It is therefore said for example that: “Tabannaa Zaid Fikran” (Zaid adopted an idea or thought) i.e. that he took a thought for himself making it his. Within the context of the Ahkaam Ash-Shar’iyah it is said that “Zaid Tabannaa (adopted) the Hurmah (prohibition) of a matter or the Hall (permissibility) of a matter” etc… Meaning that he had designated for himself a particular Hukm Shar’iy (ruling) from among the numerous rulings. That “he took or adopted it as an opinion that he would regulate his conduct with”.

The intended meaning of “At-Tabanniy” (adoption) in this study, is that meaning which is held by a group in this current time of ours. That is in the case where they say: “The Ameer (leader) of the Jamaa’ah is the one who adopts specific Ahkaam Shar’iyah for the group from amongst the numerous Ahkaam, which the Mujtahideen have held, or as a result of a new Ijtihaad that he has made”. Then, if he adopts a particular Hukm Shar’iy from amongst the Ahkaam, then his opinion becomes the opinion of the Jamaa’ah (group) as a whole and every individual of the group must concede and give up his own opinion to adopt his opinion, and even if that is definitely contrary and opposed to their own convictions.

They also made that a right belonging to the Ameer of the Jamaa’ah in respect to intellectual, political and administrative opinions just as they did in relation to the Shar’iyah opinions. Therefore, any opinion that the Ameer adopts, it becomes obligatory upon all of the individuals of the group to adhere to it in word and deed, and to step down from or give up his own opinion. They do not even accept within their membership the one who does not accept this thought and will also expel from their ranks the one who violates any opinion that the Ameer of the group has adopted and even if he definitely viewed the error of the Ameer’s opinion, as mentioned previously.

They used as evidence for that the Ijmaa’ As-Sahaabah, may Allah be pleased with them, as they say. They said: “Some of the Sahaabah stepped down from or gave up their opinion for others and so for example ‘Umar stepped down from or gave up his opinion to follow the opinion of ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with them both, and ‘Uthmaan would also do that. In addition, in the Bai’ah (pledge) of ‘Uthmaan, he stepped down from his opinion to adopt the opinion of the two Sheikhs, ‘Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with them, in order to unify the word (i.e. for the sake of unity). And they said that this happened before the sight and hearing of the Sahaabah and as such represents an Ijmaa’ (consensus) upon the permissibility of a person stepping down from or giving up his opinion to follow the opinion of someone else”.

They then listed specific cases or circumstances in which it is permissible to give up one’s opinion, mixing or confusing between giving up an opinion or stepping down from it and between changing the opinion when a stronger evidence becomes apparent to the Mujtahid than the evidence that he had been relying upon. This case represents the changing of the opinion i.e. cancelling the old opinion and carrying a new one, but it does not represent the person stepping down or giving up his opinion which he is convinced of due to particular circumstances. In any case, what has been presented represents the summary of their opinion and the most prominent of what they have said regarding the subject. That is whilst this opinion of theirs represents a pure error and the explanation of that will be presented in the following examination:

Difference in respect to understanding the address of the Shaari’ (Legislator) has be known throughout the life of the Muslims, from the era of the Nabi and through the eras that followed it, until our current day. However, this difference did not manifest a noticeable negative effect during the era of the Nabi . That is because if required, the matter was raised to the Nabi who would resolve it for those disputing; either by way of approving of the opinions which were at variance with each other or by specifying a particular view from them and resolving the matter. That was in addition to that this occurred on a small scale due to the newness of the era of legislation and the relatively small number of those who were concerned with memorising it and understanding it.

However, following the death of the Nabi , the space for difference of opinion expanded amongst those who were concerned with understanding the address of the Shaari’ (Legislator) and particular after the number of Muslims increased and the number of Fuqahaa’ and Mujtahideen increased along with that. As such they differed in respect to one single Mas’alah (Fiqhiy issue) which reached the level of opposites on occasions. In the case where the Hukm of Allah in respect to a single person can only be one decisively, it became obligatory upon the Muslim to specify for himself a Hukm from among the plurality of Ahkaam to which he would adhere during his life. This represents the origin of “At-Tabanniy” (adoption) in respect to the Ahkaam Ash-Shar’iyah. Taking into consideration the disparity of the people in relation to their capabilities and concerns in respect to understanding Islaam, they naturally ended up being divided into levels:

The First: Those who possessed the sciences (i.e. knowledge) of the Shar’iyah which qualified them to understand the Hukm Ash-Shar’iy from the Khitaab (address) of the Shaari’ (Legislator), without needing to refer back to anyone else in respect to that. These were known as the Mujtahideen and the Hukm of Allah in respect to them is what they arrived to via their own Ijtihaadaat. They were of different categories and the Fuqahaa’ have held a consensus (Ijmaa’) that it is not permitted for those to leave their own opinion which they have arrived to, to adopt other than it, in the case where they believe that their opinion is the strongest.

The Second: These are those who have less knowledge than the Mujtahideen, in the case where they have the capability to examine the evidences and outweigh them in terms of strength. However, they are incapable of deeply examining the related evidences to the Mas’alah that is being investigated. Rather, they look into the issue (Mas’alah) the evidences of which have been specified by others and these were known as the Mutabbi’een i.e. those who follow the strongest evidence wherever it is found and are not restricted to following any of the Mujtahideen. The Hukm of Allah in respect to them is that which they is weighed by them to be strongest in relation to the Mas’alah (Fiqhiy issue)/

The Third: These are those who are incapable of Ijtihaad and of weighing the strength of the evidences. The one who fell under this category came to be known as the Muqallid ‘Aamiy (blind imitator). Usually most of the people fall under this category and particularly when the thought has declined, the sun of Islaam has set (disappeared i.e. the Islamic society and rule) and as a consequence the Deen has weakened amongst the people and with that their concern for it and for its sciences or knowledge has also diminished and weakened. The Muqallid Al-‘Aamiy, like the rest of the Muslims has been addressed with the address (Khitaab) of Islaam and it is necessary for him, so that he can adhere to Islaam in his life, to specify a single Hukm from the plurality of Ahkaam to adhere to and regulate his conduct by. Because he is incapable of that, he relies completely upon other than him in respect to becoming knowledgeable about the Hukm (ruling) of Allah in respect to him, although it is not permissible for him to imitate and follow an opinion which he is not at ease or confident with.

However, this ease does not refer to his mood or desires and whims which he follows. Rather, it must be based upon confidence or trust in respect to the Taqwaa and level of knowledge. It is therefore obligatory upon the Muqallid Al-‘Aamiy to exert his effort to become aware of the one who has the most Taqwaa and knowledge from among the Mujtahideen. If he then assures himself in respect to one of them and his breast is opened to him, it becomes obligatory upon him to imitate him and no one else, whilst it is not Halaal to move away from following him to another unless his conviction changes.

It is permissible for him to make Taqleed (imitation) to more than one Mujtahid from among the Mujtahideen and it is not a condition that he imitates one of them in everything that he says. That is because the effort that he has expended in relation to becoming aware of the Taqwaa and knowledge level could lead him to the conclusion that Abu Haneefah, for example, is most knowledgeable in the area of Mu’aamalaat (societal transactions and interactions) whilst Ibn Hanbal, is the closest to the truth in respect to the ‘Ibaadaat, and so on … If he came to hold such a conviction, then he would imitate every Imaam he believed to be closest to what is correct. That is because it is not taken for granted for there to exist a particular person who is the most knowledgeable in every matter after the Nabi , and if that was possible, it would be extremely rare.  

This was indicated to in his Hadeeth which was related by Ahmad, Ibn Maajah, At-Tirmidhiy and An-Nasaa’iy, in which it was mentioned: “And the most knowledgeable of them in respect to the Halaal and the Haraam is Mu’aadh Bin Jabal, the most well-read of them in respect to Kitaab of Allah is Ubayy and the most knowledgeable of them in respect to the Faraa’id (i.e. rules of inheritance) is Zaid Bin Thaabit”. Such a Hadeeth does not represent a historical narration to be taken for mere pleasure, but rather it represents a directing from him , for the one who is ignorant of a matter, from those mentioned, to be directed to the one whom the Nabi specified to be most knowledgeable in respect to that matter.

This indicates explicitly to that a Zaid (i.e. particular person), from amongst the Mujtahideen, could be more aware than others in respect to a particular matter, despite the capability of others to provide an opinion in relation to it. This represents a matter which is comprehended by anyone who has the minimal knowledge of Fiqh and the reality of the Fuqahaa’. Therefore, the claim to follow one Mujtahid in every matter always, is not correct. Following a single Mujtahid is permitted just as it is permissible to follow more than one Mujtahid. The matter returns back to the condition or reality of the one being imitated or followed. He (the Muqallid) could trust or be confident that a particular Zaid from the Mujtahideen has the most Taqwaa and is the most knowledgeable in every matter, just as his confidence could in respect to the Mujtahideen could differ in accordance to the subject matter.

The important matter in this issue, is that the Muslim, regardless of the level or category he belongs to, is obliged to be at ease and assured in respect to the Hukm that he is adhering to, whilst it is not Halaal (permissible) for him to leave that which he is at ease and assured about, to adopt that which he is not assured or at ease about. The Messenger indicated to this in the Hadeeth related by Al-Bukhaariy, that the Messenger said to Waabisah when he came asking about Al-Birr and Al-Ithm (righteousness and sinfulness): “O Waabisah, seek the verdict of your heart and your Nafs three times. Al-Birr (righteousness) is what the Nafs is at ease with and Al-Ithm (sinfulness) is what causes uneasiness in the Nafs and wavering in the breast, and even if the people continue to give you verdicts (i.e. that something is Halaal)”.

The Messenger explained the necessity of making effort to attain comfort and ease of mind when hearing the Hukm from anyone and to not suffice oneself with the mere hearing of it. Exactly similar to this, is when the Muslim hears a number of opinions in relation to a specific Mas’alah (Fiqhiy issue), as it is necessary for him to be assured and at ease in respect to the one he is imitating (in opinion). This (understanding) was acted upon throughout the Islamic periods and none of the Khulafaa’ of the Muslims, upon their different Madhaahib, thought about making the Muslims leave their opinions and follow the opinion of the Imaam.

That was because the Mujtahideen and those who followed and imitated them, had opinions contrary to the opinions of the rulers in every time, whilst no ruler thought about making them leave their opinions and adopt his. So we have the example of ‘Umar and ‘Ali in addition to the rest of the Sahaabah, may Allah be pleased with them all, holding opinions which were contrary to the opinion of Abu Bakr whilst he was the Khalifah, and he did not make them leave those opinions. The disagreement between Bilaal and ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab, may Allah be pleased with them, is well-known and famous, to the point that ‘Umar made the Du’aa: “O Allah suffice me with Bilaal and his companionship”, whilst he did not think about making them leave their opinion by force, “regardless of the need for that”.

And when one of the A’immah thought about making the people leave their opinion and adopt the opinion he had adopted, he failed miserably in that, just as what happened in the Fitnah (turmoil or trial) related to the issue of the creation of the Qur’aan in the time of the Khalifah Al-Ma’moon. This agitated the people, not because of its connection to the Aqeedah, but rather because the issue was related to making a group of the people leave that which they were at ease and assured upon, to that which they were uneasy and unassured about. Therefore, had the attempt been to make the followers of Ash-Shaafi’iy leave the opinion of their Imaam in Mu’aamalaat (societal transactions and interactions) to adopt the opinion of Ibn Hanbal, for example, then such an attempt would have met the same fate in terms of failure, and that is evident.

As for the Khalifah adopting a particular opinion and the submission of the people to his rule in respect to implementation, then that is not considered to be the giving up of an opinion. The Daleel (evidence) for that, is that it is permitted for the one submitting to the opinion of the Khalifah, in respect to implementation, to teach the people with an opinion contrary to that of the Khalifah’s. Indeed, it is permissible to spread his contrary opinion amongst the people and account the Khalifah upon its basis. Ash-Sheikh Taqiy ud-Deen An-Nabhaaniy explicitly stated that in his book “Ash-Shakhsiyah” when discussing the adoption of the Khalifah. He explained that it does not cover study and culturing. Consequently, if the Imaam Al-Aazham (the greatest ruler, i.e. Khalifah), who has been appointed over the people, does not possess the right to make the people descend from and give up their opinion to adopt his, then by greater reason, that is not permitted for the Ameer Al-Khaass (specific leader i.e. of the group).

As for the claim of the permissibility of giving up and descending from the opinion because some of the Sahaabah gave up their opinions to follow others, then this is also an incorrect claim and does not cover the giving up of the opinion whilst believing it to be the strongest or preponderant opinion. That is because this Riwaayah (report) is not Saheeh in origin. Then, if we were to suppose its soundness, the Sahaabah did not used descend from and give up their opinions to some others, in a permanent form, and the fact that they descended sometimes and on other occasions they did not, indicates that their descending was only due to a reason that called for that. The most likely of possibilities is that they would descend from or give up their opinion, when they were convinced that an opinion which they had heard, was stronger. That is because, this explanation alone is in agreement and conformity with the governing origin, which is to follow the Daleel weighed to be strongest. Then, when they did not descend from their opinion, that was because they were not convinced with the opinion that they had heard, and this represents a process of outweighing, even if any discussion is not apparent. That is because hearing the opinion of others and weighing it oneself, without discussion, and his measuring of what he has heard, represents a natural matter that occurs, and it represents a weighing process as we have discussed previously and not a form of Taqleed. Included within this weighing process was that some of the Sahaabah would give up their opinion for the opinion of others.

As for what was related from ‘Abdur Rahman Bin ‘Auf and his statement to ‘Uthmaan, may Allah be pleased with them, during his Bai’ah: “I give you Bai’ah (the pledge) upon (the basis) that you rule by the Kitaab of Allah, the Sunnah of His Messenger and the Sunnah of the two Sheikhs”, then this does not indicate to what has been suggested in relation to this issue. That is because the Ameer, any Ameer, whether he was a general Ameer (like the Khalifah) or a specific Ameer (like the Ameer of a journey or group), does not have to abolish what his predecessor has left in terms of laws, when he assumes the position of ruling. It is permitted for him to keep the matters and affairs proceeding according to what his predecessor had determined and even if that was contrary to his opinion. It is also permitted for him to abolish them and this is not regarded as stepping down or giving up the opinion.

For it to be regarded as stepping down or giving up of the opinion, it must be (in origin) obligatory upon him to regulate the matters, including both those which have been passed and those which are new, according to his opinion alone. Concerning this, if this was obligatory in respect to the new matters, it is not obligatory in relation to those matters which have passed. And as long as it is not obligatory upon him, then his leaving of the past matters, as they are, is not considered to be a stepping down. In respect to those laws, he is like the rest of the Muslims he obliged to submit to them when they encompass him, whilst possessing the right to disagree or differ with them in study and culturing.

The acceptance of ‘Uthmaan to the condition of ‘Abdur Rahman Bin ‘Auf, may Allah be pleased with them, is understood from this angle and not from the angle of bringing together the word of the Muslims (i.e. for the sake of their unity). That is because, had it been for the sake of the unity of the Muslims, then that implies an accusation against ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, that he refused to bring together or unify their word, whilst it is very unlikely that he would refuse or reject such a matter. In addition, the unifying of the word of the Muslims where it is necessary cannot be perceived to be in Mubaah (permissible). It would either be Fard or Mandoob, whilst ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, did not fall back or tarry from either of these two, and specifically in relation to such a situation as this was.

In addition, the most important matter to be paid attention to here, is that giving up the stronger (Raajih) opinion for an opinion that is Marjooh (outweighed i.e. weaker), only occurs in the area of the Taqleed (imitation) of the Marjooh, whilst the outweighed (Marjooh) is not considered to be a Deen (i.e. valid worship) in respect to the one views it as such. And the (legitimacy of the) like of this Taqleed (imitation) must be established upon a Qat’iy (definite) Daleel (evidence) just as the definite evidence has been established for the (legitimacy of the) Taqleed of the Raajih (stronger preponderant opinion). That is because if it is not established upon a definite evidence, that would mean that the Muslim would be undertaking the action whilst being doubtful about the reward of Allah ‘Azza Wa Jalla for him for undertaking it, and that represents a “Mumtani” (prevented) matter to abstain from. That is because when the Muslim makes Taqleed (i.e. follows or imitates) the Raajih (stronger or preponderant) opinion, even if is Zhanniy (indefinite), he knows definitely (Qat’an) that Allah will reward him for it due to the definite Daleel establishing that. The same must be present in respect to the matter of the Taqleed of the Marjooh (outweighed or weaker), and that does not exist, which indicates that the Taqleed (following) of the outweighed or weaker opinion is not considered to be following the Deen.

All of this relates to the Fiqhiy perspective of this subject matter. As for the practical reality of the issue of “At-Tabanniy” (adoption), then whoever applies the least amount of examination will be able to comprehend with ease, that the adoption which is meant to make the individuals of a particular group adhere to a single opinion, is nothing more than an imaginary thought, the application of which is impossible, whilst no one apart from an ignorant or arrogant person would claim the possibility of its existence. Let us examine the statement of the Messenger , who was the purest in the tongue of the Arabs, which was spoken to his companions who were the standard bearers of the Arabic language, when he said to them: “None of you prays ‘Asr except in Bani Quraizhah”.

Let’s look at this statement and how simple it is, and yet despite that, the people of the language “The Sahaabah” divided into two groups in respect to understanding it, and had they spread out across the horizons, who knows how many divisions they would become. If that is the case, when what would we think when an Ameer of a particular Jamaa’ah distributes a publication to the individuals of his Jamaa’ah about As-Sababiyah (causality) or Mantiq ul-Ihsaas (logic of sensation) or the intellectual sensation, whilst he is not the purest of Arabs and the individuals of his group are not the Sahaabah? How much will those upon whom this publication was distributed be divided? And if they are divided in respect to the understanding of much of what is provided to them from the Ameer, then what is the value of adoption?

That is because the thought itself is an imaginary fictional one which is impossible to be applied in reality. This is particularly the case when you are talking about a situation where one person distributes orders and thoughts to thousands of ordinary people. Is it possible to envisage that they will be unified upon one single understanding for what he said? Let alone, the situation when they are studying books and each studies according to his understanding, whilst the understanding of the teachers differs, the way they deliver to those receiving is different, and each of those receiving understands what has been provided in a different or contrasting way to his brother. Therefore, the adoption, if it exists in the view of some, its presence is nevertheless theoretical and does not have practical value. That is with the exception of some of the fundamental concepts of the Jamaa’ah, whilst the unity upon them in origin returns to the conviction in them and not to the reality of adoption.

In addition, the original position in respect to adoption, is that it represents an argument against the one holding it and not the opposite. That is because it dictates that the group stating it descends to the opinion of others from the other groups for the purpose of unifying the word and not the opposite. That is because, had the opinion been possible, then the original position in respect to it would be for the one who is convinced of it to descend down from and give up his opinion to adopt the opinion of other than him. If, however, the group holds this, holds on to it firmly and demands others to descend to adopt its opinion, then this in truth and reality, represents the opposite of the matter and does not represent acting upon the opinion or its application.

Examples of the claimed adoption is only when one person descends from or gives up his opinion for the well-being of the Jamaa’ah. As for the Jamaa’ah giving us its opinion for one person, then this is a claim which does not exist practically at all. That is because it is the Ameer who descends from his opinion for the sake of the Jamaa’ah (collective) and not the opposite. In addition, adoption makes the door of those who hold it narrow and does not expand to encompass except those who believe in it. So for example, it does not expand to include the one who views the obligation of the Niqaab for the woman, if those who hold adoption adopt the opposite.

By branching out upon this concept and upon the other opinions that the group adopts, we will find many Muslims falling outside of the Jamaa’ah (group), based upon the argument that they do not adopt what the group adopts. Indeed, if we were to bring our time together with the time of the Sahaabah themselves, we would find that many of the Sahaabah would not be found suitable for membership of the Jamaa’ah (group), because they carry contrary opinions to that which the group has adopted. And that represents a calamity because had the door been left wide in the absence of adoption, it would be wide enough to encompass every Muslim whose opinion is based upon Islaam.

Also, the one who scrutinises the matter of adoption finds that it weakens the Deen in the Nafs of the one who is subject to it and tames his Nafs upon laxity in respect to Taqwaa. That is because when an individual from a particular group sees that a certain matter is Haraam according to the Shar’a, whilst his Jamaa’ah views that it is Halaal, and then he adopts the opinion of the Jamaa’ah whilst being convinced of his opinion, he will feel, in respect to his Nafs (self), that what he is practising is not from the Deen. If such examples were to become numerous, it would have become easy for him to abandon or give up any matter, because it would have become deep-rooted in him that abandoning and giving up matters is permissible, whilst the important matter in respect to him is that the opinion which he imitates or follows has been stated by a Faqeeh from amongst the Fuqahaa’, whilst there is no difference between that and satisfying desires.

Adoption also eliminates the creative and elevational aspect which must dominate over the Jamaa’ah. That is because it makes it restricted to one person and he is the one who possesses the right. As such, anyone who arrives to an opinion contrary to the adopted opinion must discuss it with the person possessing the right alone whilst he cannot broadcast it amongst the individuals of the group or discuss it with them. And it is the one who possesses the right alone who decides the acceptance or rejection, which means that the elevation or progressive development is restricted and limited to him alone.

The statement that the one under command had participated in it through his research and examination is not correct and that is because when the person attempts one time after another to convince the person possessing the right of adoption and fails each time, does not find except one of two matters: Either isolation/seclusion or thinking only in respect to that which serves the opinion of the Ameer regardless of the correctness or error. Each of these two matters is worse than the other, in addition to the prevention or forbiddance of the discussion of a particular opinion with others is Haraam according to the Shar’a. It is not permissible for anyone to impose this upon the people, as we would then have made it permissible for someone to not listen to others, and then it would only be fair for others to not be permitted to listen to us. And if that was to happen, who then would we carry the Da’wah to? And how will we make the people listen to us?

The adoption also kills the spirit of ‘Ilm (knowledge). That is because the movement within its sphere does not assist the existence of ‘Ulamaa’ or Fuqahaa’. It should not be said that Da’wah carriers and not ‘Ulamaa’ is what the Jamaa’aat (groups) require. That is because here we have the example of the Sahaabah, may Allah be pleased with them, who are carriers of the Da’wah and the most knowledgeable of the ‘Ulamaa’. They were in the highest peaks of knowledge when they discussed An-Najaashiy at the beginning of their period with the Nabi . That is because, the natural free movement of the Da’wah carriers contributes definitely to the generation of ‘Ulamaa’ and Fuqahaa’ at an amazing speed, whilst the constraints of adoption limit its existence, if it doesn’t completely eliminate it.

And finally, but possible not last, the adoption has no market for itself except amongst those who are ready to be constrained in their thought or do not possess an opinion to begin with. In summary, it is worth picturing, as just one example, how it is possible for a person who holds an opinion like Ash-Sheikh Taqiy ud-Deen An-Nabhaaniy, may Allah’s mercy be upon him, to be regulated by the law of adoption, in the case where he was been commanded and not issuing the commands himself.

It is true that the Jamaa’ah must have a thought which it adopts, however this thought must not go beyond the thoughts that express it so that others are capable and enabled to pass judgment upon it in respect to it fulfilling the obligation or not. These thoughts do not go beyond its fundamentals at all and do not include the branch Ahkaam at all. The disagreement of the individual person with a particular group or his agreement with it upon a branch opinion does not make him fulfilling his obligation or his non-fulfilment of it, whereas his disagreement with it in respect to its method or its objective, would by its nature represent a basis by which the fulfilment of the obligation or non-fulfilment would be judged.

The perception that the group would collapse by the abandonment of the adoption is an incorrect perception. That is because even if its exists amongst some as a law, it nevertheless is non-existent from the perspective of the reality or practically, whilst its non-existence did not eliminate the group, nor did it change its colour. Many of the groups present in the Islamic and non-Islamic world today have never had an adoption and yet they are still standing and present. In addition, those who adopt the issue of adoption also have opinions which are not adopted whilst no effect in respect to what is adopted or not adopted appears when they interact with the people. What then is the value or worth of adoption them, other than constraining the people and the Jamaa’ah itself.

In conclusion, the adoption which compels another person to describe the Mubaah with Haraam and vice versa, does not have a Daleel (evidence) from Islaam and no Faqeeh has ever stated that it is permissible. Indeed, it represents a lie, because if the description of the Halaal as Haraam or vice versa, is not a lie, then what then is a lie? And if the Raajih (stronger or preponderant) opinion requires a Qat’y Daleel for it to be followed, then the need in relation to following the Marjooh (outweighed and weaker) opinion, for a definite evidence, is far greater. Based upon this it is stated that the adoption of the group Haraam to be imposed or to act in accordance with or to call for.

The group which seeks to revive the Muslims must have a strategy that encompasses all of them and particularly when it is working to establish the Khilafah upon the earth and the Khilafah encompasses all of the Muslims, whatever their colours (i.e. variations). It should not constrict or narrow its door to a Muslim whose opinion is based upon Islaam and even if his opinion differs to theirs. This is whilst much of the time the disagreement or difference of some groups with others, due to the issue of adoption or similar to that partisanship towards the opinion, was a cause for quarrelling, hating one another and dispute, which is contrary to what the Ummah needs today in respect to unifying its word.

Many of the lessons can be summed up in to statements; that the secret of the power or strength is their gathering together to strike the Muslims from one bow, whilst the secret of the weakness of the Muslims lies in their fragmentation and division. There is no question that the thought of adoption and similar to that partisanship to the opinion has had an impact in respect to the fragmentation and division. Therefore, it is to cast out division that we call you to O Muslims and for you to be one row or rank like a firm building in the face of the enemy, and to accept that which the Rabb of ‘Izzah (might) has accepted from you in respect to difference in opinion. That is because the secret to unity is the acceptance of difference and the disbelievers have not united (against us) except because they accepted the existence of such difference.

We are an Ummah, before the coming of which, the world was upon one opinion: “The opinion of the King, Caesar and Priest”. Then Allah favoured us with Islaam, accepted from us difference and made it obligatory upon us to accept it, and so we came by the favour of Allah brothers, one single row or rank in the face of our enemy, in spite of the existence of major differences of opinion in respect to the branches, which reached to the existence of fifty opinion in relation to one single Mas’alah, may Allah reward the holders of all of those opinions. We are those from who emerged Bilaal “the slave of yesterday” who would discuss his opinion with the head of state, whilst none denounced that due to their knowledge that he was doing that which was rewardable from Allah. It is not rightful guidance for Allah ‘Azza Wa Jalla to reward a person for an opinion whilst we fight him for it.

If we do not return to how we were as an Ummah which accepts difference upon the basis of Islaam and only reject that which is not based upon or does not emanate from Islaam, then we will remain revolving in an empty cycle; one generation following another without any result, whilst our enemy grazes amongst us and our resources however and whatever way he wishes. So let us accept that which Allah ‘Azza Wa Jalla has accepted and placed reward upon and let us reject that which Allah has made Haraam, so that we return as we had been to being the best Ummah raised up for mankind, all of us holding firmly upon the rope of Allah, pleased with those whom Allah was pleased with from our brothers and even if they disagree with us in respect to opinion. 

Sheikh Abu Islam Yusuf Shaqeero, Palestine