Thursday, December 27, 2012

How should a common Muslim evaluate contradicting opinions by scholars - Shaykh Abu Talha

When two scholars are giving contradictory opinions regarding an issue, how should a common Muslim evaluate the two opinions with the intention to follow the best one in obedience to Allah (SWT)? Shaykh Abu Talha explains how a Muslim should understand opinions of the ulama and try their best to follow one which is closest to the Quran & the Sunnah of Prophet Mohammed (SAW).


Anonymous said...

Please give a link, its not working on my end.

Razor1924 said...

Good useful quote in this regard:

Imam Nawawi:

It is authentically recorded from Imam Ash-Shafi’i (radiya Allahu ‘anhu) that he said,

إذا صح الحديث فهو مذهبي

“If the hadith is authentic, that is my Madhhab.”

It is also recorded that he said

إذا صح الحديث خلاف قولي، فاعملوا بالحديث واتركوا قولي

“If an authentic hadith contradicts my opinion [in fiqh], act upon the hadith and abandon my opinion.”

Imam An-Nawawi commented upon the first statement,

“What Imam Ash-Shafi’i said does not mean that everyone who sees a Sahih hadith should say “This is the madhhab of Al-Shafi’i,” applying the purely external or apparent meaning of his statement. What he said most certainly applies only to such a person as has the rank of ijtihad in the madhhab. It is a condition for such a person that he be firmly convinced that either Imam Al-Shafi’i was unaware of this hadith or he was unaware of its authenticity. And this is possible only after having researched all the books of al-Shafi’i and other similar books of the companions of al-Shafi’i, those who took knowledge from him and others similar to them.

This is indeed a difficult condition to fulfill. Few are those who measure up to this standard in our times. What we have explained has been made conditional because Imam Al-Shafi’i had abandoned acting purely on the external meaning of many proofs for criticism of the hadith or its abrogation or specific circumstances or interpretation and so forth. Shaykh Abu ‘Amr [Ibn Al-Salah] said: “It is no trivial matter to act according to the literal meaning of what Imam Al-Shafi’i said. For it is impermissible for every faqih – let alone an ordinary person (‘ammi) – to act independently with what he takes to be a proof from the hadith…

Therefore, any Shafi’i that finds a hadith that contradicts his School must examine whether he is absolutely accomplished in all the disciplines of ijtihad, or in that particular topic, or specific question. [If he is,] then he has the right to apply it independently. If he is not, but finds that contravening the hadith bears too heavily upon him – after having researched it and found no justification for contravening it – then he may apply it if another independent Imam other than Al-Shafi’i applies it. This is a good reason for him to leave the madhhab of his Imam in such a case.”

[Translation taken from "The Four Imams and their Schools" by Shaykh Gibril Fouad Haddad published by Muslim Academic Trust pp. 225-226, and reproduced here with the permission of Shaykh Gibril for]

Ali said...

Can u please elobrate Muqalid-e-mutabay ?