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Who Knows Better?

Some contemporaries, who degrade the Fiqh of the four Imams & their followers, actually do so
because they view legitimate “difference of opinion” as evil. his is the reason for which they !eep
harping on the fact that we need to follow the "uran and Sunnah and not any of the Schools of Fiqh.
his is analysis of their claim.
#y $onourable eacher, %l&#uhaddith, Shay!h #uhammad '%wwamah (may %llah protect him)
responds to this with the following*

“Firstly, this implies that the Imams of the four #adhahib (Schools of Fiqh) were not following the
"uran and Sunnah +
Secondly, this can only be said in ignorance of the reality we are faced with, tell me in the name of
%llah+ -p to how many “schools” have they resulted in, after #uslims lived within the four schools for
centuries. /here is the logic behind their claim.+
0astly, I will e1plain further that following the "uran and Sunnah actually leads us to legitimate
difference of opinion.”
(%tharul $adithi Shareef, fi i!htilafil %&immatil Fuqaha, pg.22)

% valuable lesson
Shay!h '%wwamah (may %llah protect him) has included the following incident in his glorious boo!
“%tharul $adith”.
“Sayyiduna '-rwah ibn 3ubair 4 a abi5e& (rahimahullah) once ob6ected to Sayyiduna '%bdullah ibn
'%bbas (radiyallahu 'anhuma)* “7ou have been misleading the people+”
Ibn '%bbas (radiyallahu5anhuma) as!ed for the reason, to which '-rwah replied* “/hen a person dons
his Ihram for $a6 or '-mrah and after arriving in #a!!ah performs the tawaf only, you state that he is
now free of his ihram. /hereas Sayyiduna '%bu 8a!r and '-mar (radiyallahu5anhuma) actually
opposed this view+”
Ibn '%bbas responded* “%re the two of them (%bu 8a!r & '-mar radiyallahu5anhuma) preferred to you
over what is in the "uran and $adith of 9asulullah (sallallahu5alaihi wasallam).”
'-rwah replied* “Sayyiduna %bu 8a!r & '-mar (radiyallahu5anhuma) had more !nowledge:
understanding of the "uran and Sunnah than me and you put together+”
(%l&#u56amul %wsat of abarani, hadith*;<)
In a narration of #usnad %hmad Sayyiduna Ibn '%bbas (radiyallahu5anhuma) responded to '-rwah5s
ob6ection by saying* “I am quoting a hadith of 9asulullah (sallallahu5alaihi wasallam) to you, and quote
%bu 8a!r and '-mar.+”
'-rwah replied*
“hey followed 9asulullah (sallallahu5alaihi wasallam) more than you, and they !new more about him
than you !new”
(#usnad %hmad, vol.<, pg.;=;)
he narrator, Ibn %bi #ulai!ah (rahimahullah) comments* “-rwah defeated him.”

Shay!h '%wwamah (may %llah protect him) e1plains*
“>5-rwah is actually saying to Sayyiduna '%bdullah ibn '%bbas*
“8y us ta!ing the view of Sayyiduna %bu 8a!r and Sayyiduna '-mar (radiyallahu5anhuma) we aren5t
disregarding the way of the sunnah. In fact we find ourselves with two options, that which Ibn '%bbas
(radiyallahu5anhuma) witnessed (and understood) from 9asulullah (sallallahu5alaihi wasallam) and
what %bu 8a!r and '-mar (radiyallahu5anhuma) witnessed:understood. /e then preferred their view
because they were most !nowledgeable regarding the sunnah of 9asulullah (sallallahu5alaihi
(%tharul $adithi Shareef, fi i!htilafil %&immatil Fuqaha, pg. <?@)

Imam Sufyan hawri (rahimahullah) said*
ﻢﻠﺴﻧ ﺎﻣ ،ﺎﻨﻌﻤﺳ ﻞﻜﻧو ﺎﻣ ﻻ ﻢﻠﻌﻧ ﻰﻟإ ،ﻪﻤﻟﺎﻋ ﻢﻬﺘﻧو ﺎﻨﻳأر ﻢﻬﻳأﺮﻟ
“/e follow what we !now, and hand over what we do not !now to those who do !now. /e will even
question our understanding in favour of theirs”
(%l&Intiqa, pg.;A=, ;AA)

he reality of “Fiqhus Sunnah”
Shay!h (may %llah protect him) writes further*
“%nd this is our response to those who as! us to abandon the Fiqh of Imams* %bu $anifah, #ali!,
Shafi5e and %hmad (rahimahumullah) and to rather ta!e 4what they label as& “Fiqhus&Sunnah” or
“Fiqhul&"uran was&Sunnah”
/e say to them*
“/e are not prepared to accept you5ll as alternatives to those Imams, for they were undoubtedly more
!nowledgeable than you5ll regarding the sunnah. In fact there is no comparison between you5ll and
them in !nowledge.
It is actually our eagerness to follow the way of 9asulullah (sallallahu5alaihi wasallam) that leads us to
follow what these great Imams had understood (and presented to the ummah) as the sunnah+”
(%tharul $adithi Shareef, fi i!htilafil %&immatil Fuqaha, pgs. <?@&<?B.)

he true meaning of Fiqh of %bu $anifah etc.
he word fiqh actually translates as* understanding.
Shay!h '%wwamah writes* “herefore, when we say “Fiqh of %bu $anifah, Fiqh of Shafi5e and so on,
the actual meaning of this is* the understanding of Imam %bu $anifah and Imam Shafi5e.
he question that arises is* heir understanding of what.
It is their understanding of none other than the "uran and $adith of 9asulullah (sallallahu5alaihi
he reason for this is that “Fiqh” in fact means* understanding.”

Con5t be fooled+
“In light of the above, we can now realiDe a widespread grave mista!e which nobody seems to pay
attention to, or even rectify, when certain people label their “understanding” as “Fiqhus Sunnah” or
Fiqhus Sunnah wal Eitab”
his term literally translates as* “the understanding of the "uran and Sunnah”. In this case it is the
understanding of some un!nown, or under qualified person. It is his understanding which he see!s to
legitimise by attributing it to the "uran and Sunnah. his is done to give the impression that they are
presenting before the people the “original authentic source” of !nowledge (whereas it is merely their
distorted understanding). In this manner they deter others from the Fiqh of the Imams, %bu $anifah,
Shafi5e, #ali! and %hmad (rahimahumullah).
hey even boldly venture to say* “Feople+ Co you want “Fiqh of #uhammad sallallahu5alaihi
wasallam” or “Fiqh of %bu $anifah and Shafi5ie”.
Gne of them had the audacity to as! before leading the salah, “Should I perform the salah of
#uhammad (sallallahu5alaihi wasallam) or the salah of %bu $anifah”++
his is all the consequence of them attributing their Fiqh:understanding to the "uran and sunnah, and
the fiqh:understanding of Imam %bu $anifah and Imam Shafi5e to %bu $anifah and Shafi5e, not to the
"uran and Sunnah.
In so doing, they have separated the correct understanding of the "uran and Sunnah (the understanding
of legitimate scholars) which in reality was the most appropriate e1planation of the "uran and $adith.
hey severed this and then produced a new understanding which they attribute to the "uran and
(%tharul $adith, pgs.<HI&<H=)

hey truly did !now better
Imam #ali! (rahimahullah) said*
اﻮﻤﻠﺳ ﺔﻤﺋﻸﻟ ﻻو ،ﻢﻫﻮﻟدﺎﺠﺗ ﻮﻠﻓ ﺎﻨﻛ ﺎﻤﻠﻛ ﺎﻧءﺎﺟ ﻞﺟر لﺪﺟأ ﻦﻣ ﻞﺟر : ﺎﻨﻔﺨﻟهﺎﻨﻌﺒﺗا نأ ﻊﻘﻧ ﻲﻓ در ﺎﻣ ءﺎﺟ ﻪﺑ ﻞﻳﺮﺒﺟ ﻪﻴﻠﻋ مﻼﺴﻟا
“Submit to the Imams and don5t argue with them, for if we were to follow every convincing debater, I
fear we may end up refuting what %ngel Jibreel brought from the s!ies”
(%tharul $adith, pg.<<2)

Imam Sufyan ibn '-yaynah (rahimahullah) said*
ﻢﻴﻠﺴﺘﻟا ءﺎﻬﻘﻔﻠﻟ ﺔﻣﻼﺳ ﻲﻓ ﻦﻳﺪﻟا
“In conceding to the Fuqaha (Jurists) is the security for our deen”
(%tharul $adith, pg.<<2)

Imam Sufyan hawri (rahimahullah) said*
ﻢﻠﺴﻧ ﺎﻣ ،ﺎﻨﻌﻤﺳ ﻞﻜﻧو ﺎﻣ ﻻ ﻢﻠﻌﻧ ﻰﻟإ ،ﻪﻤﻟﺎﻋ ﻢﻬﺘﻧو ﺎﻨﻳأر ﻢﻬﻳأﺮﻟ
“/e follow what we !now, and hand over what we do not !now to those who do !now. /e will even
question our understanding in favour of theirs”
(%l&Intiqa, pg.;A=, ;AA)
hese quotations are so glaring in the current conditions.
So the ne1t time someone confronts us with arguments li!e the ones discussed above, we shouldn5t be
moved. In fact, these last three quotations are sufficient in response+
#ay %llah a5ala !eep us under the shadows of our Imams which ultimately lead us to the shadow of
9asulullah (sallallahu5alaihi wasallam). %meen.