Taqleed (Following an Imam)

BISMILLA HIR RAHMAA NIR RAHEEM ALLAH (THE EXALTED)’S NAME I START WITH, THE MOST BENEFICENT AND MERCIFUL “The truth has come, and falsehood has vanished. Surely the falsehood was certain to vanish.” 1

Preface

 Praise be to Allah the Almighty who alone is worthy of worship. Peace and blessings be upon the beloved of Allah, our noble Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), his noble family and his companions.

Ja al-Haq is a very popular Urdu book on Aqida of Ahle Sunnah and is widely used by the scholars. It consists of two volumes of which the first is concerned with Taqleed and beliefs regarding the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). The aim of this book is that the literature of Ahle Sunnah should be available in the English as well as other languages of the world so that the Muslims may get utmost religious advantages and spiritual inspiration out of it and make distinction between good and evil.

I came across Ja-al Haq many years ago and studied it under couple of teachers and initially did start translating it, however, I heard that one of the institutes in South Africa was carrying this work out; hence, I decided to leave it. Meanwhile whilst visiting the prison on Fridays for leading the Friday Prayers I came across a person who was against Taqleed. After sitting with him and talking about this subject I thought the need for this book to be translated and find out how far the translation got to. I was told that someone in Pakistan had translated most of Ja-al-Haq and had sent it to South Africa to be checked but unfortunately was not an accurate translation and the English was not to standard. However, the translation of the book has been completed from Darul Uloom Qadria Ghareeb Nawaz, Ladysmith, South Africa translated by Mawlana ‘Umar Dawood Qadri Moeeni a student of the Institute and is of very good standard and will In sha-Allah be of particular benefit to the growing number of young people who do not attend their local mosques and if they do attend they are often taught little more than how to read the Qur’aan and how to pray Salaah.

The format of this book is based from Ja-al-Haq, however, many additions and more examples have been used to give a better understanding of Taqleed and those against it.

I am confident that the authentic teachings of Ahle Sunnah have been conveyed in a readable and understandable way than if I had left the original chapters, as many parts of the book can only be understood by scholars.

All praise to Allah (The Exalted) who has given me the ability to write few books and published few and whilst writing this book I have to say I have not come across so much literature regarding the defense of Taqleed from around the globe. This proves that fact that the Ummah is on the agreement that Taqleed is necessary.

I thank Allah most of all, for giving me this opportunity to publish this book. “You alone we worship and from You alone we seek help.”

Muhammad ‘Abd al-Mannan

Introduction

All Praise be to Allah Lord of the Worlds and Peace and Blessings be upon the Best of all creation, Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and may the Blessings of Allah be upon the Family and the companions of the Prophet, Ameen.

Madhhab (School of Jurisprudence) (Madhahib, pl) is an Islamic term that refers to a school of thought or religious jurisprudence (fiqh) within Sunni Islam. Each of the companions had a unique school of jurisprudence, but these schools were gradually consolidated or discarded so that there are currently four recognized schools: Maliki, Hanafi, Shafi’i, Hanbali. Shiite Islam has its own school of law, the Jafari, founded by the sixth Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq.

The four Sunni schools are not generally regarded as distinct sects, as there has been great harmony amongst the scholars of the 4 schools throughout Islam’s history.

Imam Abu Hanifa was the ‘founder’ of the Hanafi school, lived in modern-day Iraq, not long after the Prophet Muhammad’s physical demise. It is reported that Imam Abu Hanifa studied under Imam Jafar Sadiq.2

Imam Malik was born shortly thereafter, living in the city of Madinah. There are some reports that they did live at the same time and, although Malik was much younger, their mutual respect is well-known. In fact, one of Abu Hanifa’s main students, on who’s teaching a lot of the Hanafi school is based, studied from Imam Malik as well.
Imam Shafi’i was also taught by both Abu Hanifa’s students and Imam Malik and his respect for both men is also well-documented.

Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal studied with Imam Shafi’i, and consequently there are many similarities between the Madh-habs. Sunnis believe that all four schools have the correct guidance, and the differences lie not in the fundamentals of faith, but instead in finer judgements and jurisprudence, which are a result of the independent reasoning of the four imams and the scholars who followed them. Because their individual methodologies in interpretation and extraction from the primary sources were different, they came to different judgements on many matters. For example, there are subtle differences in the methods of prayer in the 4 schools, yet the difference is not such that separate prayers need to be held. In fact, a follower of any school can pray behind an Imam of another school without any confusion.

A question was asked to the Mujaddid (reviver) of Islam of the 14th century of Islam which is recorded in Al-Malfooz Al-Sharif as follows: “Is there any difference of opinion among the four Imams that some tie their hands on the chest while others tie their hands on the navel?” Imam Ahmad Raza Khan said: “Eat the melon and do not question the peel. (Meaning, do not enter in this matter). Whatever the four Imams say is all in accordance to the Shari’ah. If they disagree with the Shari’ah, then why were they called Imams? It is duty of every Muslim to obey and follow the Imams.” 3

It is common now to see young activists prowling the mosques, criticising other worshippers for what they believe to be defects in their worship, even when their victims are following the verdicts of some of the great Imams of Islam. The unpleasant, hypocritical self-righteous atmosphere generated by this activity has the effect of discouraging many less committed Muslims from attending the mosque at all. No-one now recalls the view of the early scholars, which was that Muslims should tolerate contradictory interpretations of the Sunnah as long as these interpretations have been held by reputable scholars

Countless salutations be upon four gardens of leadership albeit Imam Shafi’i, Imam Malik, Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal and Imam Abu

Hanifah Hadaik-e-Bakhshish, Imam Ahmad Raza Khan

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