Shaikh al-Albaani

Translations From His Works

Tag: taqleed

“Following a Scholar as Though he is the Lord of the Worlds who has the Right to Legislate.”


 

The Imaam said, “So a Muslim individual’s following a scholar, not going to anyone else except him, as though he is the Lord of the Worlds who has the right to legislate—no one from mankind has this right whatsoever, even the Prophet  would relate what was revealed to him from his Lord.”

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 101.

We Are not Shee’ah: “It is Not Allowed for us to Take a Specific Person to be an Imaam and not Benefit from the Knowledge of Others …”


 

 

The Imaam said, “It is not allowed for us to take a specific person to be an Imaam and not benefit from the knowledge of others because the truth which Allaah تبارك وتعالى revealed to His Prophet is not restricted to being found in one man after him .

We do not believe about the Companions who succeeded him what the Shee’ah believe about ’Ali ibn Abi Taalib, [i.e.,] that all of the knowledge which the Prophet had in his chest was transferred to ’Ali, we do not believe this, for this reason they believed him to be infallible and held him to be like the Prophet in terms of infallibility.

We say: the knowledge which was in the Prophet’s chest  was transferred to the Companions—not just one Companion—for this reason, whoever wants to gain knowledge or gain an abundant portion of it cannot do so from only one person, rather he must benefit from all of them, for if not, he will have forfeited a great deal of it.”

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 101.

Dealing with Differences: Two Scholars Give Different Fatwas, How Does One Handle It?


 

 

Host: A questioner says, ‘These days, alhamdulillaah, we see a good resurgence in knowledge, especially among the upcoming youth, but it faces a number of problems, the most important of which is the differing of the people of knowledge in their fatwas which leads to some people becoming confused and mixed up. What should the stance of the Muslim youth be towards this? Provide us [with an answer], may Allaah bless you.

Al-Albaani: Without doubt this [now] is a spontaneous question [but in fact] we heard it on our previous trip time and time again, and in reality this problem only occurs with the youth in whom the correct, knowledge-based methodology is not firmly established. What I mean [by methodology] is that which has been reported from some of the Salaf like Ibn ’Abbaas and the Imaams who followed him like Mujaahid, Maalik and others, “There is no-one except that his statements are accepted and rejected, apart from the occupant of this grave,” and he pointed to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. This is a reality which the Muslim youth, the student of correct knowledge must bring to mind—it being nothing except, “Allaah said and Allaah’s Messenger said,” in addition to what we say over and over again, “… on the methodology of the Pious Predecessors.”

And they must also call to mind another reality, a Quranic reality, Allaah تبارك وتعالى said, “And if your Lord had so willed, He could surely have made mankind one Ummah, but they will not cease to disagree, except him on whom your Lord has bestowed His Mercy and for that did He create them,” [Huud 11:118-119]. So there is no escape or salvation from differing, this is the way of Allaah عز وجل with His creation, and you will not find any change to Allaah’s Way.

But there is [that type of] differing which people have an excuse for and [another which they] do not have an excuse for. They have an excuse for that differing which is inescapable, the one indicated in the aforementioned aayah, “And if your Lord had so willed, He could surely have made mankind one Ummah …” so our Lord did not will for mankind to be on one manhaj, upon one understanding, and if it were to have been like that then the Companions of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم would have been the most worthy of the people to have been as such, those who were the best of mankind as is openly mentioned in the well-known, mutawaatir hadith, but Allaah عز وجل willed, out of His Perfect Wisdom, [Wisdom] which some people who understand it may perceive whilst most of man does not, but that does not harm us … so differing is a natural thing as we have mentioned … as for differing and arguing due to misunderstanding one issue, this is what has been banned and this is what is not allowed and this is what the Salaf were saved from and the Khalaf fell into.

When the youth bear this reality in mind, they should not then find it strange that some scholars differ, especially when they are those who embrace the one methodology, and it is the true methodology: [that of] the Book, the Sunnah and what the Pious Predecessors were upon. They should not condemn it and find it strange because it is the Way of Allaah عز وجل with His Creation, and if they want to be delivered from it then they must tread the path of the people of knowledge, and it is what has been laid down in the Noble Quran, “Say, ‘Produce your proof if you are truthful.’” [Baqarah 2:111]

So when two or more different statements come to a student of knowledge from two venerable scholars, and it is believed that both are equal in knowledge and excellence and he thus becomes confused—and he may be entitled to be confused initially but it is not allowed for him to continue in that [state of confusion]: [so then] he must ask for proof, [he must] seek the proof from both of the scholars, whether he is speaking to them directly or through correspondence or on the phone or through other methods of communication of that sort which are used nowadays.

So after he listens to the proof from all of them, he is not then charged with having to prefer Zaid [for example] over ’Amr or ’Amr over Zaid—rather he follows the one who has the proof which his soul finds ease in, and his breast opens up to, and maybe this … and the answer will end with this … is one of the meanings of his statement عليه الصلاة والسلام, “Consult your heart even if you are given fatwas by those who deliver religious verdicts.”

Two statements come to you from two great scholars: consult your heart—after you have asked for a clarification of the proofs—then whichever of the two your heart leans towards and is the one you take then you will have an excuse before Allaah تبارك وتعالى.

But as for you becoming bigoted for one [scholar] over the other, then this is the way of the blind-followers who Allaah عز وجل has saved us [from being] and whose way He took us out of and [Who then led us] to the Straight Path.

Wal-Hamdulillaahi rabbil-’Aalameen.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 375, [2/5/440].

Shaikh al-Albaani on blind following


The First Question

Is it permissible for the student of knowledge to suffice with the declarations of the scholars of the past as to whether a saying of the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, is weak or authentic? For example, he reads the checking of Haafidh al-Iraaqi where he says, “This hadith is authentic.” So is it permissible for him to suffice with that and the same with Imaam Ahmad or other than him?


Shaikh al-Albaani: “This matter resembles blind following in Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh). It is sufficient for the student of knowledge to listen to and act upon an opinion of one of the Imaams who are followed, and by that I do not only mean the four [famous ones], since there are more, by the Grace of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic.

We say: [This is so] since it is not possible for all students of knowledge to be on the same level of ability in discerning the truth in those matters where the people have differed. So it is enough for the student of knowledge to implement the aayah, “So ask those who know the Scripture if you know not.” [Surah an-Nahl (16): 43]

So if there are people of knowledge who are alive then he should ask them and embrace their answer, and if there is not a scholar who is alive for him to question, and he knows that a certain scholar from those who are followed has a certain opinion then he can follow him. And in this he is safe from any reproach or blame even if in reality the opinion that he followed is a mistake because he has implemented what was mentioned in the aayah as being obligatory upon him, “So ask those who know the Scripture if you know not.”

But this is based upon certain premises–there is one condition to this, which is that it is not evident to him that the opinion he is following is a mistake. And knowing whether the opinion he is following is incorrect or not can be done by the student doing some personal research if he has the capability of doing so, or it can become known by the direction of another scholar whom he trusts and in whose knowledge he trusts. What is important is that it is permissible for the student of knowledge to blindly follow a scholar if the mistake [in that opinion] is not clear to him and he himself is not capable of clarifying whether [the chosen opinion] is correct or incorrect …” [1]

[[1] Footnote here by Amr Abdul-Mun’im Salim the one who compiled and explained the book the question is taken from, he said, “In other words, that he should not take this blind following to be religion. Rather whenever the mistake of the scholar or the Imaam becomes clear to him, it is obligatory for him to shun the opinion in which he is mistaken, whether it is with regard to matters of rulings or the creed, or that which is particular to declaring hadiths to be authentic or weak. And Shaikh al-Albaani has another very important religious verdict [fatwaa] concerning this topic in the book, Fataawaa Madinah, no., 32 on pages 42-43 …”] [it has been translated and can be read below after this answer].

Shaikh al-Albaani continues, “Likewise, totally, is the answer regarding the student of knowledge, he finds an Imaam from the Imaams of the Muslims or a preserver of hadith who authenticates hadith and declares others to be weak, then it is sufficient for this student of knowledge to follow this verifier [who declares hadiths to be authentic or weak] as long as two conditions are met, just as we have mentioned regarding the issue of [blind following] in fiqh:

1) The first condition: That he does not know it to be a mistake, since what is intended by this condition–whether it is hadith or fiqh–is that he does not follow his desires and thus say, “So and so gave me this religious verdict and the matter is closed …” [even though while saying this in reality] he feels some uneasiness in his soul, and the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, said, “Question your heart even if the mufti gives you his fatwa.” [2]

[[2] Footnote of Amr Abdul-Mun’im Salim, “Reported through different paths of narration the most authentic of which is the one reported by Imaam Ahmad (17922) with an authentic chain of narration from the hadith of Waabisah ibn Ma’bad, may Allaah be pleased with him, and the relevant part of that hadith is, “Righteousness is that which gives delight to your heart and sin is that which wavers in your heart, even if the people give you religious verdicts [fatwaas] concerning it.” ]

Shaikh al-Albaani continues, “This is the first condition, i.e., that he does not know that the opinion is a mistake–whether it is regarding the declaration of a hadith to be authentic or weak, or whether it is regarding the permissibility of something or its forbiddance.

2) the second condition: That he himself is not capable of verifying the authenticity or inauthenticity of the particular hadith in question, so this is something permissible–since we cannot burden all of the people [by saying that they must] become capable of reaching the level of ijtihaad or that they become scholars.” [3]

[[3] Footnote here by Amr Abdul-Mun’im Salim who said, “That is because if someone reaches the level of being capable of making ijtihaad and he acquires the tools of this knowledge, then it is not permissible for him to blindly follow anyone rather it is then obligatory upon him to make ijtihaad in the declaring of hadiths to be authentic or weak, but it is permissible for him to look at the rulings of the Imaams and the criticisers of hadith to pick from them that which is in accordance with the truth, so that he does not isolate himself with his opinion from their opinion.”]

 

The Second Question

“What is the proof concerning the forbiddance of blind following?”


Shaikh al-Albaani said, “I do not know of any proof that states that blind following is haraam, rather blind following is a necessity for the one who has no knowledge. And Allaah, the one free from all defects and the Most High, said, “So ask those who know the Scripture if you know not.” Therefore, this aayah placed the Muslims into two categories as regards knowledge:

i) the scholar and it made obligatory upon him to answer the questioner
ii) those who do not know, and it made asking the scholars obligatory upon them.

So if a person from the common folk came to a scholar and asked him about something and the scholar answered him, then this man has implemented the aayah.

And maybe what is intended is something other than what was mentioned in the question [directed to me] and that is the forbiddance of actively splitting into sects and groups; i.e., that a person take his religion from one of schools of thought that are followed and then he totally [refuses] to look at what the other schools of thought might say or at what the sayings of other scholars are–so it is this blind following of schools of thought which is then taken as religion that is not permitted because it opposes the proofs from the Book and the Sunnah.

And the people of knowledge place the people into three categories:

1) the mujtahid
2) the follower on clear proof and insight and
3) the blind follower, and it is this category that most of the people fall into.

As such we cannot say that, “Blind following is haraam,” [that] is only when blind following is taken as religion, as for blind following in general then it is not permissible to declare it to be forbidden.” [1]

[[1] Footnote here by Amr Abdul-Mun’im Salim who said, “And what has been said here is also said concerning taking the opinion of a scholar concerning the declaration of a hadith to be weak or authentic, with the condition that the status/rank of that scholar in relation to that knowledge be borne in mind. So such declarations of whether a hadith is authentic or weak are not taken from a scholar of fiqh who does not know [the science of] hadith criticism. Just as the declaration of whether a hadith is authentic cannot be relied upon when it comes from someone among the scholars of hadith or the hadith preservers who is known as being lenient; just as it is not possible to take the declaration that a hadith is weak from someone is known as being overly-strict. In fact this is a correct rule [established] by those known for their moderation and justice along with their knowledge of the principles of this profession and who are known for their practise of it which established their ability to exercise their judgement in arriving at a religious ruling [ijtihaad] concerning the criticism and chains of narration and their texts.”]

Taken from Al-Fataawaa al-Kuwaitiyyah, compiled by Amr Abdul-Mun’im Saleem, pp. 81-83.

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