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Taqleed can be defined as the acceptance of a Mujtahid’s‘ statements (Fatwa, without knowing his references (evidences).
[Tazeeb, by Imam-Nawai and Irshaad-ul-Fahool by Qadhi Shawkani].

There is a consensus amongst the majority of Muslims that we should follow the four major Imams in matters of Shari’ah. Such as:

· Those matters in which there is no direct, single and clear meaning in sources of Shari’ah.

· When there exists a difference of opinion between the Sahabah upon an issue, the Imams have tried to show the similarities in them.

We only observe Taqleed in matters of fiqh, not in our Aqeedah. The unity of Allah, the finality of the Prophet Muhammad (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) and the Day of Judgement etc – are matters of Aqeedah so they are not concerned with Taqleed.

Some say that it is a form of shirk (polytheism) to observe Taqleed of anyone apart from Allah. In particular, to follow only one Imam is a bid’ah. They say that the evidence from all the Imams should be read and weighed in order that only those verdicts based upon strong evidence can be accepted and weak ones rejected.

The view of the Ahl-us-sunnah wa’l Jamaa is that it is impossible for an ordinary Muslim to go directly to the Qur’an and Sunnah and extract religious laws. This is due to the fact that these sources of knowledge contain many matters which are unclear - thus requiring research into many other sources along with the application of rules which assist in understanding the matter under study. In order to do this, a person needs to possess both a deep and broad knowledge of Islam. Which is both impractical and not incumbent upon each and every Muslim. Allah does not expect all Muslims to become scholars, instead, He orders them to refer to those who have knowledge. Consider the following verse.

And ask those who recall, if you know not. (Surah 16:43)

and in Surah Nisa :

If they had referred it to the messenger and to those of authority among them, then those of them whose tasks it is to find it out would have known the matter, (4:83).

For those who have the necessary pre-requisites, such as being a master of Uloom-ul-Qur’an, master of Ahadith and their principles, Aqaa’id, fiqh principles, Tafsir and its principles, and al-jarhu wa’ ta’deel (the science of Hadith narrators). They are allowed to take ahkaam from the Shari’ah. Such a person can be called a Mujtahid. However, many great scholars who were qualified to perform Ijtihad, followed Imams. For example, Qadi Abu Yusuf, Imam Muhammad and Imam Zufar were able to perform Ijtihad but followed the opinionof Abu Hanifah,

There are many categories of Hadith such as Mutawaatir, authentic, none authentic, weak and those which are fabricated. Some are Mansookh which means that certain matters were at first permissible but later made impermissible, for instance talking during the Salaah during the early period of Islam was permissiblebut later on made unlawful. This is why Taqleed is a necessity – the scholars have taken all the above into consideration before issuing their verdict.

Rejectors of Taqleed

Those who tried to reject Taqleed like Hafidhhh Ibn Taymiyyah were unsuccessful. He was however not a Muqallid like the ordinary people. However, his works of literature contain influences from the Hambali school of thought. He always preferred his Fatwas to Imam Ahmad’s. His followers also claim that they are not Muqallid to anyone and Taqleed is Bid’ah. But, they always offer Taqleed of Hafidhh Ibn Taymiyyah and quote Fatwas from his books.

The following is one such example :

Shaykh bin Baaz (the late popular government scholar of Saudi Arabia) wrote one Fatwa against Milad-un-Nabi and another against travelling to the grave of the Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace). He wrote that it is impermissible to celebrate the Milad, as Hafidhh Ibn Taymiyyah’s research had stated that this was Bid’ah. Likewise, he stated that to visit the Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) grave impermissible because this was the opinion of Hafidhh Ibn Taymiyyah.
[Milaad un Nabi and Ziyarat Roza Shareef, by Shaykh Bin Baz].

We can see how Shaykh bin Baaz is blindly depending upon Hafidhh Ibn Taymiyyah’s research as The Shaykh also (performs) Taqleed to scholars such as, Hafidhh Ibn Qayam, Hafidhh Ibn Kathir, Ibn-ul-Hadi, Shawkani and Albaani.

This is quite astonishing! These people follow their Imams but still claim that they are not blind followers and call the followers of the four Imams, blind followers! In reality, everyone does Taqleed in one way another. Some follow Imam Abu Hanifahh, some follow Hafidhh Ibn Taymiyyah. Furthermore, when they are told that a Hadith is weak, authentic or fabricated, they accept this, without researching it themselves. Cosequently, they blindly follow Imam Bukhari, Ibn Abi-Hatim, Hafidhh Mizayy, Hafidhh Asqalani, Hafidhh Dhahbi, and Hafidhh Maqdasi. The fact is that these people do not conduct their own research, but ‘blindly’ follow the research of their Scholars.

When rejecters of Taqleed label a hadith as being authentic, weak or fabricated, they actually imitate scholars of hadith who have previously categorised Ahadith into the above groups. Also, the technical terms used by the classical scholars to describe the different Ahadith, such as, mursal, mu’dhal, shad, muallal, azeez, and ghareeb, are not mentioned in the Qur’an or Sunnah. To utilise these terms is also a form of Taqleed. Simmilarly, to accept principles of hadith and Tafsir and also to interpret the Qur’an and Sunnah in the light of these principles is to follow the imams who have developed these sciences. People who do not follow Imams should find out the strength of a hadith directly without referring to any Imam. They should also find new terms to describe the hadith, like mursal, shaaz etc. They should invent their own principles of Hadith and Tafsir and then study the Qur’an and sunnah in the light of these new principles. Only then can they save themselves from shirk and bid’ah.

Doubts raised by the objectors of Taqleed

Those who oppose Taqleed argue that there is no need to follow one particular Imam conduct their own personal research, in the hope that they will find an Imam that has the best opinion. If they think that a particular opinion is wrong they will try and find another until such a time that they follow aspects from all the four Imams. We say that this is not possible because the Imams have already performed thorough research into the Islamic sources and have utilised their own principles to determine the best opinions. Thus, you have to follow one Imams principle. Otherwise, you are using your own principles that are most likely to be that of your desires, such as that which is easy to perform.

Here are some examples: Imam Shafi’ee is of the opinion that if you touch a woman your wudu breaks. Whereas, Imam Abu Hanifah says that this action does not break the wudu. Furthermore, Imam Shafi’ee does not accept the Mursal Hadith unlike Imam Abu Hanifah. If there exists two Hadith, one explaining the Prophet’s (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) words and the other explains the Prophet’s (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) practice, Imam Abu Hanifah accepts the words to have more authority. Whereas, Imam Shafi’ee says that the practices have more authority. From these examples we know that we cannot follow two Imams. So, how can we follow four or more Imams at one time?

Hafidhh Ibn Taymiyyah says that when a person begins to follow one particular Imam without any valid Islamic reason he begins to follow another Imam, he is actually following his own wishes and not the other Imam and this is Haraam. The great scholars have strongly discouraged for a person to sometimes follow the fiqh of Shafi’ee and at ather times the fiqh of Abu Hanifah.
[Fatwa Ibn Taymiyyah, Volume 20, Chapter of Taqleed]

From Hafidhh Ibn Taymiyah’ Fatwa we have understood at one time we should follow one Imam and Taqleed is a necessity.

Some Objections

When the four Imams have not asked ud to follow them, why do we follow them?

When there is no hadith that recommends, following the four Imams. Why do we follow them?

We recite the Holy Qur’an in the manner of the seven Qurraa’. They didn’t say “follow us!” nor did the Ahdith say we should follow them. Did the Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) say only follow Bukhari and Muslim? Did the blessed Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) say that Bukhari is the most authentic source after the Holy Qur’an?

What the four Imams meant by saying do not follow us, is, “Do not follow our sayings” We do not follow their sayings but follow the Fatwas they gave after exerting great effort in research from the Qur’an and Sunnah. By saying this they encourage us to follow their deductions, which are guaranteed to be from the Qur’an and Sunnah. Even Imam Muslim and Bukhari did not ask us to follow them. They never told us to accept only the Ahadith written in their books.

Were there four Imams present at the time of the sahaba?

The four Imams of Ahl-us-Sunnah-wa- Jamm’at were not present at the time of the sahaba, the first generation. Just as Bukhari and Muslim were also not present. However, at that early period of Islam, there were those who possessed great knowledge of Islam and could therefore be referred to as scholars or Imams. Many Muslims would resort to them for advice and guidance in Islamic aspects. The foremost scholars at that time were four in number as explained below. They are however, included in the first 3 generations and were people from among the best generations. The Prophet (May Allah bless Him and grant him peace) said, “My generation is the best, then the next, then the next….”

Hafidhh Ibn Qayyim writes that there were four Imams in the time of the Sahaba, “In Makkah there was Abdullah Ibn Abbas, in Madina there was Zaid Ibn Thabit, in Basra there was Anas Bin Malik and in Kufa there was Abdullah Bin Musood. After they Passed away amongst the Tabe'een were four Imams. Again these were famous, in Madina there was Sa’eed Bin Musayb, in Makkah there was Ata Bin Rab'a, in Yamen there was Ta'oos, and in Kufah there was Ibrahim. There were many other Imams but these were the most famous at that time”.
[Alaam-ul-Muwaqqieen, page 10, by Hafidhh Ibn Qayyim].

It is clear that before the four Imams of the Ahl as-Sunnah-wa’l Jam’a, there also existed Imams in the days of the sahabah, who were also a source of religious advice. The details of those Fatwas are written in Kitab Musanif Abdur Razaq and Mussanif Ibn Abi Shaibah.

Hafidhh Ibn Qayyim says that there were many sahaba at the time but mainly Zaid Bin Thabit, Anas Bin Malik, Abdullah Bin Musood, and Abdullah Bin Abbas were the most famous and they used to give a lot of Fatwas.
[Alaam-ul-Mowaqieen, chap On Qay’aas by Hafidhh Ibn Qayyim].

It is the same with the four Imams of the Orthodox Madhabs; Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Malik, Imam Shafi’i, and Imam Ahmad. During their time there were many Muhadditheen and Scholars, but people would come to these four Imams as they were the most famous of their time due to their extensive knowledge and reliability.

The four Imams had differences amongst themselves, so why do we still follow them?

Even Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim had differences between themselves. Imam Muslim in his Book; Muslim, in the first part, has criticised Imam Bukhari. There also existed many differences amongst the sahaba. So does this imply that we should not follow any of the sahaba or Muslim or Bukhari as they had differences amongst them?

Why don’t we follow the Ahadith in Bukhari and Muslim, and ignore the Imams?

1) If we should ignore the Imams and depend only upon Muslim and Bukhari, why did both these great Imams follow Imam Shafe’ee?

Imam Ibn Atheer has written that Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim were Shafe’ees
[Jamee’ul-usool, biographies of Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim, by Ibn Atheer].

Tajaddin as Subki, has mentioned Imam Bukhari’s name in the list of Scholars belonging to the Shahf’ee School.
[Tabaka Al-Sah'fee by Imam Subkee].

Nawaab Siddeeq Hasan Khan has also mentioned Imam Bukhari in the list of Shafe’ee scholars. [Abjad-ul-Uloom By Nawaab Siddeeq Hasan Khan].

When the Muslim and Bukhari was not enough for them so how can it be enough for ordinary Muslims!

2) Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim did not gather all the authentic Ahadith in Bukhari and Muslim. Many authentic Ahadith have been left out.

Imam Bukhari said: I have left many authentic Ahadith out of Bukhari as the book would have been too large. [Muqadamah Fathul Bari, page 9 by Hafidhh Asqalani].

Hafidhh Ibn Kathir says that neither Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim gathered all the authentic Ahadith. Some of the left out narrations are present in Tirmizee, Ibn Majah, Nasa’i and, Abu-Dawood. Furthermore, Imam Bukhari himself said that he knew of more than two hundred thousand Ahadith that are Musnad.
[Uloom-Ahadith and Tareekh Ibn Kathir, biography of Imam Bukhari].

3) Bukhari and Muslim are not easy books to follow as Hafidhh Asqalani wrote 17 volumes of commentary on Bukhari and Imam Ay’nee wrote 25 volumes on Bukhari. Imam Nawawi wrote a commentary on Muslim. Yet there were some hadith which these great scholars of Islam could not understand. So how can we encourage ordinary Muslims to pickup Muslim and Bukhari and start following them?

4) We should not follow only Bukhari and Muslim otherwise we would become blind followers of Muslim and Bukhari and ignore the hundreds of books of hadith which were written before Imam Muslim and Imam Bukhari were even born!

5) If it is essential to follow only Imam Bukhari or Muslim, then why did Imam Bukhari, himself not follow his own Ahadith narrations? For example:

(a) Hafidhh Asqalani and Imam Ibn Kathir write that Imam Bukhari prayed that

Allah Almighty should take his life, during the period when he was being persecuted by people. (Tahdeeb Al Tahdeeb and Tareekh Ibn Khathir, by Hafidhh Asqalani and Hafidhh Ibn Kathir, Biography of Imam Bukhari).

When, Imam Bukhari also states a hadith that the Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant Him peace) said that a Muslim should never ask Allah to take his life
[Bukhari, Al Marda]

(b) Imam Bukhari was known to complete the entire recitation of the Qur’an in one night during the month of Ramadhan. This opposes the hadith narration's which he collected himself that mentions that the Qur’an should be completed within 5 to 7 days.
[Bukhari, “Fadaa’il Qur’an”].

Did not the four Imams say “If you find an authentic hadith which goes against what we say, accept the hadith and ignore us”?

It is correct that if an Imam says something, which opposes an authentic hadith, then we should reject his sayings and follow the hadith. But what exactly does an ‘authentic hadith’ mean? Is an authentic hadith that which is written in Bukhari or Muslim? Or is it a hadith, which fulfils the criterion of being an authentic hadith? Or is an authentic hadith that which has been called authentic by the scholars of Ahadith?

If we believe that authentic Ahadith are those only to be found in Bukhari and Muslim, then we would just be blind followers of Imams Bukhari and Muslim. If we say that authentic hadith are those which fulfil the requirements laid down by hadith principles, then we would just be blindly following those scholars who have written down these principles? Also, if we say that authentic Ahadith are those which were claimed to be authentic by Muhaditheen, we would simply be following them “blindly.”

It can be concluded, that if we took any of the above opinions we would still be following someone.

Hafidhh Ibn Taymiyyah writes that there has never been anyone from among the Imams who has deliberately opposed the sunnah. When we find a statement from an Imam which goes against the sunnah, the hadith in question does not fulfil the requirements of authentication of that Imam. This each Imam has their own sets of rules which determine if a hadith is authentic or weak so what may be an authentic hadith to one Imam may not be recognised as authentic by another
[Rafu’l malaam, pages 15-16, by Hafidhh Ibn Taymiyyah].

An example can be given by looking at the Ahadith, which Abu Hanifahh received from his teachers who were the sahaba of the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] and their students (Tabi’een) (May Allah bless them and grant them peace). As these Ahadith reached Abu Hanifahh through direct narration from the sahabah and their students, no question can be raised as to their authenticity. But when these same hadith reached scholars of later generations the chains of narrators could contain some unreliability. If someone studies a hadith whose narrator is unreliable, and then says that a fatwa of Abu Hanifahhs that is based upon this hadith, is contrary to the sunnah, it would be unfair.

Secondly, whatever the four Imams have said was final. Throughout their lives, the Imams have changed their opinions as they received further information. Also after their deaths, their students would check their respective Imam’s work and modify their opinions to accommodate the new information. Their students, and so on also repeated this again. This structure is known as a school of fiqh (madhhab).

If a fatwa given by a certain school appears to contradict a narration in Bukhari or Muslim, it does not mean that it is against the sunnah as they are following other authentic Ahadith, and therefore, not opposing the sunnah.

Two examples of following blindly

(1) Shaykh Albani writes that the hadith, which is attributed to our Prophet and that states Isa and Imam Mehdi [May Allah bless them and grant them peace] are the same person is completely untrue.

Although Imam Ibn Maajah, Imam Hakim, Imam Abdul Burr and other scholars of Islam have quoted the above hadith in their books. The reason this narration is false is because both Imam Ibn Hajar and Imam Bhaihaqi write that the narrator is Muhammad bin Khalid, who is unknown. Furthermore, Imam Dahabi also considers this hadith to be false. Imam Sagani said that this hadith is fabricated, Imam Sayuti said that the people have fabricated this hadith. Imam Qurtubi considers this hadith to be weak.
[Silsala Ahadith Da’eefa, Hadith no, 77 by Nasir Uddin Albani].

It can be observed from the above how Shaykh Albani takes the opinions of an aforementioned Imam as evidence. Moreover, if Imam Dahabi says this hadith is untrue then Albani says likewise. If Qadi Shawkani says this hadith is fabricated then Albani also says it is fabricated. What one can say about this reserarch, is Albani following Qur’an, Sunnah or the Imams?

If one reads Shaykh Albani’s books it can be observed that Albani is always following Imams. If Albani cannot avoid Taqleed then a simple muslim would definitely need to follow an Imam.

When Albani follows Imams such as, Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn Kathir, Shawkani, Dhahabi, Asqalani, or Ibn Abi-hatim he is considered a great scholar and a knowledgeable person. Moreover, when someone else follows Imam Abu Hanifah, or any of the other three Imams then they are considered to be ignorant innovators. Therefore, having observed the above, evidence one has to draw a conclusion that people have one set of rules for one set of people and another set of rules for other people.

(2) Shaykh Albani writes that Imam Darmi wrote that there was a great famine in Madinah, the people went to Aisha (Radiall hu anha) to seek guidance. She said to them to go and make a ventilation (a hole) in the roof where our Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) was buried, when they had done this it started to rain. There was a good harvest and the camels fattened, people named that year as a ‘fruitful year’. This narration is false because one of the narrators is weak, who is Sa’eed bin Zaaid. Imam Ibn Hajar says that this narration is not authentic. Imam Dahbi says Sa’eed’s narration is weak, Imam Saadie says that Sa’eed is unreliable, Imam Nasai says Sa’eed is weak in knowledge, but Imam Ahmed says that Sa’eed is acceptable and the other narrator of this narration is Muhammad Bin Fadaal, who is known to be authentic. However, during the later stages of his life he suffered memory lapse. We do not know whether Imam Darmei took this narration from Imam Muhammad, before or after he started to suffer from memory lapse, therefore we cannot accept this narration as evidence and Hafidhh Ibn Taymiyyah has refused to accept the above narration. He writes in his book Al-rad Al- Bakarie that the ventilation in the room of our Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) was not present in the lifetime of Aysha (Radiall hu anha). The ventilation came into existence during the time of Khalifah-Walid bin Abdul Malik, hence the above narration is false.

Aisha (Radiall hu anhu) told the people to make ventilation, was her personal option and this is not acceptable.
[at Tawasul,l page no 162 by Nasir aDin Albani].

In the above research it can be seen how Albani is again relying upon Imams and in particular how he is blindly following Hafidhh ibn Taymiyyah. Now we can ask those people who falsely accuse us of following Imam Abu Hanifah and Imam Shafi’ee. We ask them why Shaykh Albani is only following Imam Dahahbi, Imam Asqalani, Hafidhh ibn Tayymiah and Shawkani therefore it can be said that if it is acceptable for Albani to follow Imams then why is it wrong for anyone else to follow Imams.

Let us examine Albani’s research regarding the above four points relating to the narration of Imam Darmi.

The first response to Albani’s research is that he has only quoted the opinion of those scholars who considered Sa’eed bin Zahid to be unreliable. The reason he has chosen to do this is because if he had mentioned the scholars who had praised Sa’eed bin Zahid, then he would have to accept their narrations. This opposed his (Albani) and his Imams (Ibn Taymiah’s) opinion. Let us consider the other opinions of scholars about Sa’eed bin Zahid.

Imam Bukhari mentions that Sa’eed bin Zahid was truthful and a learned man of Hadith.
[Tarik al Kabeer by Imam Bukhari (Biography of Sa’eed bin Zahid].

Hafidhh Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn Kathir both agree that Imam Bukhari was the one person in the world who knew hadith, texts and narrations better than anyone else.

[Fathawah Ibn Taymiyyah, vol.3, page 200, also Tareekh Ibn Kathir, biography of Imam Bukhari by Hafidhh Ibn Taymiyyah and Hafidhh Ibn Kathir].

Imam Ibn Abe Hatam says Imam Abu-Zohrah said Sa’eed bin Zahid is a reliable person.
[Jarhoo wa’ taadil, by Ibn Hatam, biography of Sa’eed bin Zahid].

Hafidhh Asqalani writes that Yahya bin Mu’een said that Sa’eed bin Zahid was a reliable peson. Also, Imam Ajali, Imam Abu-Zahrah say that he was reliable. Imam Nabaan bin hilal says Sa’eed bin Zahid was a master of hadith. But Imam Dar Qutn says that Sa’eed bin Zahid was weak
[Tahdeeb al Tahdeeb, by Hafidhh Ibn Hajar Asqualani, biography of Sa’eed bin Zahid].

We are surprised as to why Albani has chosen to discard the opinion of the fact that the forementioned scholars regarding the reliability of Sa’eed bin Zahid. It may have been due to if Albani recognised the authenticity of Sa’eed bin Zahid by Imam Bukhari and Yahya bin Mu’een, he would have no choice but to accept Sa’eed bin Zahid as a reliable narrator and hence the hadith, remembering that the two Imams (Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Kathir) have said that Imam Bukhari is the most learned person of hadith in the world.

The second objection of Albani regarding this narration is that Muhammad bin Fadaal, the narrator of this hadith suffered from memory lapse at later stages of his life .We do not know whether Imam darmi took this narration from Muhammad bin Fadal before or after he started to suffer from memory lapse, therefore we do not accept this narration.

The answer to the above objection is that Muhammad bin Fadaal was a teacher of both Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim. Imam Bukhari took narrations from him. We have a reliable opinion that Imam Bukhari took the narration from Muhammad bin Fadaal before he started to suffer from memory lapse. Furthermore, Imam Daarmi, like Imam Bukhari, was a learned scholar of hadith and was able to understand and judge when to accept a hadith from a narrator.

Albani’s objection can only be valid if we can establish that Imam Daarmi had a habit of taking hadith from narrators that were suffering from memory problems. There is no proof to suggest this.

If Albani insists upon the idea that Imam Daarmi took the narration from Muhammad bin Fadaal, that is, after he started to suffer from memory lapse, then someone else may say that Imam Bukhari also accepted narrations from Muhammad bin Fadaal after he started to suffer from memory lapse as it cannot be established from historical data as to precisely when he started to suffer from memory lapse.

Hafidhh Asqalani has written in his preface to Fathal Bari that Imam Bukhari took narrations from Muhmmad bin Fadaal before he started to suffer from memory lapse. However Hafidhh Ibn Hajaar did not state the period in which Muhammad bin Fadaal started to suffer from memory lapse or to the fact how he knew that Imam Bukhari took narration from Muhammad bin Fadaal before he started to suffer from memory lapse. We are therefore puzzled as to how Albani has established his suspicion on Imam Daarmi regarding this narration. Likewise, others may be suspicious about Imam Bukhari.

(3) The third objection of Albani regarding this narration is that During the rule of Walid bin Malik, the room of A’isha where our Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) is buried was rebuiltt with a ventilator in the room. From this it can be seen that the ventilator was not made by the order of A’isha, Therefore, the narration that states that A’isha gave the order for ventilator is false.

However, when Walid bin Malik rebuilt A’isha’s room, the ventilator was made again .So we cannot be certain that the ventilation was in existence before rebuilding of the room.

Imam Ibn Jareer Altabree and Hafidhh bin Kathir write in their Tareekh that during Walid bin Malik’s

Governmental period, that the mosque of the Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) was enlarged and during this extension, Aisha’s room (where our Prophet is buried) was enclosed in the Mosque. But they do not mention anything about a ventilator. Therefore, how can it be said that narration regarding a ventilator is not authentic?

Shaykh Albani says Hafidhh ibn Tamiyyah never accepted this narration. However, Hafidhh ibn Tamiyyah has accepted this narration elsewhere.

Hafidhh Ibn Taymiyyah writes during A’isha’s time there was a famine in Madina and she opened the roof of her room (where our Prophet is buried) this was done because rain is blessing of Allah and it would therefore fall upon our Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) grave. (Iqtida Al-Serat Al-Mustakeem, page 338 by Hafidhh Ibn Taymiyyah).

If this narration was not true then Hafidhh Ibn Tahmiah would have rejected it. But he has not rejected it hence it is acceptable.

(4) Albani says that this was A’isha’s personal opinion.

This can be answered by the following fact that the Sahaba were alive and they did not object to what A’isha did. Therefore she and the sahaba were in agreement. This is evidence for the entire Muslim ummah. Except Albani.

In conclusion we can say that if Albani needs to fallow Imam Dahahbi, Imam Asqalani, Imam Abu Hatam, Imam Ibn Adee, Hafidhh Mizeeh Ibn Taymiyya and Shawkani. Therefore ordinary Muslims also need to follow Imams i.e Imam Abu Hanifahh, Imam Malik ,Imam Shafi and Imam Ahmed.

Secondly Albani research is unreliable because he has chosen to ignore opinions which he disagrees with.

An interesting event that helped the Author!

Once a young man came to me and asked me why I did not follow Bukhari and Muslim only, he then told me to only follow them, rather than any Imam and not to be an innovator.

I answered him by showing him two Ahadith, and asked him to tell me what he understood by them? One narration was from Bukhari and the other was from Muslim. The young man was determined to prove that his interpretation was better than Imam Abu-Hanifah, and Imam Malik, because in their time there was no computer to compile a database of Ahadith.

The two Ahadith’s were:

1) Imam Bukhari says that Amar Bin Maymoon said that I saw a monkey who had just capulated with another monkey, and the other monkeys were stoning them, so I also started to throw stones at them. [Bukhari, chapter ‘Ayyamul-Jaheeliyeh’ by Imam Bukhari].

2) Anas (Radiall hu anhu) says: The Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) told Ali (Radiall hu anhu) to go and execute a Muslim man who was accused by the people of committing adultery with a slave girl. When Ali (Radiall hu anhu) found him he was bathing in a lake. He then called to him, when he came out of the lake he had no clothes on. Ali (Radiall hu anhu) saw that this person could not commit adultery as he was an eunuchap Ali (Radiall hu anhu) then let him go. (Muslim Shareef, chapter ‘Tawbah’).

His answer was:

It is clear from this narration of Bukhari that animals should be married according to Islam, and if they commit adultery, they should be punished like humans to make their lives more civilized. Also, from the second hadith, if someone is accused of committing adultery with a woman, he should be killed, but before killing him it should be checked whether he is a eunuch or not.

This is one example of the ijtihaad made by people who encourage others to pick up Muslim and Bukhari and ignore the Imams.


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