Evidences of Salaah

According To Imam Azam Abu Hanifa


“The truth has come, and falsehood has vanished. Surely the falsehood was certain to vanish.” 1


For such a layperson to ask for “evidence” is ridiculous. It’s like someone who hasn’t even studied GCSE science arguing about the theory of relativity with a professor of physics or like someone who has not even the basic knowledge of biology or chemistry arguing with a leading physician about which medicine is better for a particular disease. Such a person would be a laughing stock! Do you think a professor would even pay any attention to him? He wouldn’t even waste his time engaging him in a discussion. Such a person, if he really wishes to give his opinions on theoretical physics, should first go and study his GCSEs for two years, then do his A-levels for two years, then get his degree (3 years), then his masters (1-2 years), then a PhD (3-5 years).Then he will be in a position to begin a discussion with the professor!

Similar, or worse, is the Muslim who hasn’t even studied a basic curriculum in Islamic Law, and yet steps forward to challenge the greatest scholars of Law, of the salaf and khalaf of this ummah! He does not even have the basic tools to understand or evaluate “evidence”. Do you think giving opinions on Islamic Law is easier than giving opinions in theoretical physics?

The very fact that you ask for “evidence” is itself clear evidence of your ignorance of what the process of ijtihad involves. To become a barrister, for example, you must get excellent A-level results, and then get a Law degree. Even after that you need to pass the Bar examinations. Still that is not enough! You then must spend a further several years training with a barrister before you are allowed to practice for yourself. This is merely to become a junior barrister! After that how many years of continuing research and experience are required for one to become a QC, or a high-court judge?

Strange then it is that every Tom, Dick and Hamza from our Ummah considers himself qualified to issue Islamic legal rulings after reading a few verses of Qur’an and a summarized version of al-Saheeh of alBukhari! It reflects our deep ignorance of what it is we are dealing with. You haven’t even entered Law school and you want to pass legal judgements! You are a GCSE science student and you want to enter a discussion between professors!

When I would attend the local prison on Fridays’ to give a talk and lead the Jumu’ah prayer, a person approached me and with an attitude asking me for evidence of this and that. I gave him the answers which he did not have any answers too. Each week he would come up with something. One of the objections was regards the raising of the hands to the ears when beginning Salaah. The following week I gave him the evidences and since then he never came back with any objections.

Be humble! If you want to discuss issues of Islamic Law, go and sit at the feet of the scholars, the inheritors of the prophets (may peace be upon them), and study with them. Learn from their good character as well as their knowledge, purify yourself, so that you may become a worthy recipient of the light that is the sacred knowledge.

If you have spent your life studying engineering or medicine, or pursuing business ventures, instead of seeking the sacred knowledge, and now, in your older age, you have decided to get a bit “religious”, start coming to the masjid, and so on, please don’t think you can do a “crash course” in the deen by reading “Fiqh us-Sunnah” or the Tafseer of Mawdudi, and come to a level where you can debate with the scholars. Please leave the matters of the deen to those who actually did spend their youth and sacrifice many years of their lives to the study of the sacred disciplines.

As one of my teachers often says: “this is the deen, not teen (fig)!!” This is the deen you’re dealing with! It’s not the plaything of every common person. It is our western conditioning that makes everyone arrogant enough to believe they can give their opinions on all issues, from theology to Islamic Law.

The plain truth is you are not in any position to evaluate “evidences” for a legal ruling and come to a conclusion for yourself as to which opinion is the “strongest”.

The narrations that Imam Abu Hanifa has narrated only will have 3 or 4 narrators. The people at that time were from Khayrul Quroon ‘The best generation’. From those who Imam Abu Hanifa has narrated i.e. Atiya ‘Ufi, Abu Sa’eed Khudri, Ibaan ibn ‘Ayaash, Ibrahim Nakhi, ‘Alqama ibn Masud tell me from these who are weak narrators? Because those who Imam Abu Hanifa narrated from were good people otherwise he would have not taken the hadith. The narration being may have taken place later as the hadith was passed down but when it reached Imam Abu Hanifa is was authentic. Not only that but because your time is far from the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) the hadiths that have reached you would most definitely be weak. As I have already mentioned that when a hadith has many chains of narrators it is impossible for it to be a lie, so it has become Hasan. These ahadith are related with few different chains, hence when few strings are tied together it becomes a strong rope. Similarly, when few narrations that are weak become strong.

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