Q: My cousin graduated from (xxxxxxx.) He has heard about you. he wants you to answer me and him? He is saying all this madhab thing is not needed anymore. He makes my younger brother take out his hat or he takes it out when he prayers. We used to eat meat from a halal market. Now he wants us to eat from mcdonalds. he says this haram halal thing is for people from (xxxxx.) We cannot even wear traditional Islamic clothing anymore. He says it is from XXXXX name of countries). He says that Imaam shafee hanafee malik were all like us. So we must just follow quran and hadith. Can we follow all madhzhabs, can that be even possible. My cousin in englad who is also an imam told my dad to keep us away from my cousin. Can you help. Take as long as you want to answer me. Will check in everyday.
A: Him being a ‘graduate’ should not require a response from me. This proves his inadequacy. I think you are pitting him against me for personal gain. A true graduate would not make such a request. I do not think he is a trouble maker. Truth remains, the person who makes such a claim is a fool on multiple levels.
Fact 1) For a scholar to say that haram and halal pertaining is limited to Muslims of country XXXXX makes him a disbeliever. For him to make taweel (interpretation) of why some groups are more strict on this matter then others could well make him a fasiq (transgressor) and faajir (open sinner). In both cases, this persons opinion should be disregarded.
Level one: People that prefer not to follow a madhzhab usually say the following, I follow quran and sunnah. Their implication that major Imaams are not possibly following quran and hadith is false, , even ‘deviants’ would realize that such a claim is false.
To be able to follow all the madzhabds as a responsible muslim is possible for practicing scholars and jurists. People that have such an ability usually dedicate lots of time after graduation to either teaching after learning all the major branches of religion – be it rules of Arabic grammar, differing types of tafseers, aspects of poetry, etc. Such person upon graduation are not seeing selling airline tickets, bass passes or selling apples and bananas. (nothing against these trades!) Such people have dedicated years and years of time to the upliftment of religion without much financial gain. If this ‘scholar’ remains part of such a grouping, then it could be very possible that he can follow all the madhabs in their proper form. Infact, i can argue, he would not need to follow the above madhab, he would be able to make his own!
However, by the person making such a claim and not having mastered and remains practicing of all the articles of religion in its true form is in reality an agent of the ‘devil.’ This is in reality a person that is following his whims and fancies. Following mudhabs as one chooses is to be part of the works of shaytan. To follow it based on religion and not ego (nafs) would be allowed. All major scholars agree to this last point.
I say this for the following reason, if lay people hear such words from him and they too start saying: I follow all madhabs, they would be picking and choosing, the average person cannot decipher between strong and weak hadith, interpretations of ayats, alternative preferences that have been given to hadith via the muhadiths, etc, etc.
A smarter thing for the person to say would be the following: I am a researcher, I have the ability to make my own mahab due the knowledge Allah has given me. Or he (and usually its a he and not a she, even though many a ‘she that are knowledgeable do exist) )can say, I have studied multiple madzhabs, I follow the one of imam X, however, when genuine need arises I follow mahzhad Y. The latter has been known to take place from time to time. To us this is a true scholar, a humble one too indeed.
Level two: if he is a true scholar, then he knows that multiple rules are derived from a single hadith or ayah. It all depends on who is interpreting it and the set of proos they have to substantiate claims. In essence what he seems to be alluding is the following: go and learn Arabic and master quran and hadith and thereafter attain perfection of faith. This process can take in excess of 10 years. A second thing he could be alluding towards is that since he is smart, knows religion well, you must ask him for answers. Should this be the case, he remains a fool. It would be better to ask the opinion of Imaam Malik, Ahmad bin hanbal etc then him. I am sure he too would agree with this.
True scholars never attack or denounce others. They look for the good in all and take the ebst and share it to people. Your cousin should learn a little bit of manners and start letting go of his ego — just a tad bit. He may be well intentioned. To remove a persons hat whilst in prayer is just unjustified. HE should helping your brother reach his full potential. This ‘graduate’ is a graduate school of shaytan. We agree hat wearing is not a requirement of salah, salah goes through without it. Wearing it gains profound reward. It shows respect and dignity before Allah.
Merely ask him this: if I am not to follow madhhab X, who must I follow since I am limited in my laws of hadith, quran and fiqh. If he states or implies to follow him, then we agree his ego has gotten the better of him. If he gives a persons name other than the messenger or sahaba, then merely inquire, then why not follow those that are more senior to the name he gave, unless the name given was in the likes of imam Shafee, etc. Every fool needs followers to swell their cheap ego, stay aloof of such people.
The man from England is correct, as it seems to me. Shaytan commits his works in differing ways. Shaytan knows how to attack lay people he also how to attach the scholar. In-fact he deviates a scholar more then he deviates regular folks. After-all, a scholar affects 100’s of people. So if one scholar is under his wing, it is better then a 1000 regular folks.
That is why a true scholar if the key to societies heaven of hell. May Allah guide is all.
Allah Certainly Knows Best.