Volume - IV / CHAPTER - 1 / LESSON NO: 7
ABOUT "TAQLEED" (CONFORMATION)
Q 1. What does "Taqleed" mean?
A. "Taqleed", according to Shari'ah, means to take somebody's words and deeds for oneself as "argument" or "reason" considering him one of those who are "authority" on code of Islaam and Islaamic jurisprudence without referring to Shari'ah as we follow the suit of Hadrat Imaam Azam Abu Hanifa (may Allah be pleased with him) in "Masaa-il-e-Shari'ah" (religious affairs and issues) without any consideration whether he has explained or resolved such and such issue according to the Holy Qur-aan or Sunnah or "Ijma-e-Ummah"(consensus of Muslim scholars) or by his own judgement. "Taqleed" (conformation) is "Waajib" (essential). The believer who follows any Imaam's suit is called "Muqallid" (conformist,follower) as we are "Muqallid" of Imam Azam Abu Hanifa(may Allah be pleased with him).
Q 2. In which matters is "Taqleed" to be done?
A. There are three kinds of religious matters of Islaam: (1).Beliefs:These must be understood well and firmly committed to the heart. Beliefs are the principles of Islaamic faith. Therefore, these are immune from amendment and revocation and even omission or addition. (2).The clear-cut "commands" of the Holy Qur-aan and Sunnah like obligatory prayers five times a day, fasts (of the holy month) of Ramadaan, Hajj, Zakaat (poor-due) etc. "Ijtehaad" (independent interpretation of Islaamic matters) or "Qiyaas" (opinion, judgement) of any "Mujtahid"(the jurist who exercises his independent opinion) has nothing to do with the "commands". (3).Those commands which have been derived from "Qur-aan-o-Hadees" through "Ijtehaad" (consensus). In such fundamental beliefs "Taqleed" is not to be done. Likewise the express "commands" of the Holy Qur-aan and Holy Prophet are exempt from "Taqleed". Our conformation to (following the suit of) Imaam Azam Abu Hanifa (may Allah be pleased with him) in religious affairs and issues is not on the ground that he has enjoined to do so but because "Qur-aan-o-Hadees" have expressly commanded in these respects. The third kind of religious matters is those which have been derived from "Qur-aan-o-Hadees" and "Ijma-e-Ummah" (consensus of Muslim scholars). "Taqleed" in such affairs is binding upon a "Ghair-Mujtahid" (non-jurist). As against this, it is forbidden for a "Mujtahid".
Q 3. Who is "Mujtahid"?
A. "Mujtahid" is the mature and sane (male) Muslim who possesses extra-ordinary intellect and wisdom to fathom and grasp the niceties, subtelities and essence of the Qur-aanic chapters and verses in the true sense of their divine meaning. He ought to have mastery of Arabic grammer and syntax and eloquence in the language; be knowledgeable about the annulling and annulled injunctions (of the Holy Qur-aan); have the minutest knowledge of all Qur-aanic verses and sayings of the Holy Prophet concerning "commands" and well-versed in infering solution of all religious affairs and issues from "Qur-aan-o-Hadees" knowing well their "source" and "argument" that such-and-such matter or issue has been resolved in the light of so and so Qur-aanic verse or Hadees. Besides, he must be a man of cultivated and pleasant genious and sagacity.
Q 4. What is "Fiqah" and who is "Faqih"?
A. "Aa-imah Mujtahideen"(Muslim scholars,theologians) collected "Massa-il-e-Shari'ah" (assorted Islaamic matters, issues) and "Commands of Shari'ah" which were scattered here and there throughout the Holy Qur-aan and "Ahaadees" (Prophetic sayings) and those affairs,issues which were arrived at through "Ijma-e-Ummah" (consensus of Muslim scholars) and "Qiyaas" (opinionjudgement) and compiled them topic-and-chapter-wise for the facilitation of believers. This voluminous collection is called "Fiqah" (Islaamic jurisprudence). To follow these "Masaa-il-e-Shari'ah" is, in fact, to follow "Qur-aan-o-Hadees" and "Ijmaa-e-Ummah". Those learned ones who have expertise in the knowledge of "Fiqah" are called "Faqih" pi. "Fuqaha" (Islamic jurists).
Q 5. What is "Mazhab"?
A. A constitution of Islamic laws and principles or articles of faith of any "Imaam Mujtahid" (the Muslim leader who is authority on "code of Islaam") which he has inferred from "Qur-aan-o-Hadees" and "Ijmaa-e-Ummah" in respect of "Furoo'ee Masaa-il" (non-essentials, subsidiary affairs,issues) is called "Mazhab" (creed). "Deen-e-Islaam" (Islamic religion) is the basis and "Mazhab" is its branch.
Q 6. How many "Mazhabs" are found at present in the Muslim world?
A. According to a saying of the Holy Prophet "Sawaad-e-Azam" (vast majority of Muslims following Sunnah) is the only sect which would find good (salvation) in this world and the next world. This biggest sect of the believers is "Naaji"(blessed one,deserving paradise) i.e. "Ahle-Sunnat-wa-Jama'at" comprising all four "Mazhabs" (Hanfi, Maaliki, Shaafa'i and Hanbli). It has been a practice of the whole Muslim Ummah (community of the Holy Prophet) since the time of Taba' Taaba'een (successors to companions' successors) until now that he who is not himself a "Mujtahid" conforms to (follow the suit of) any "Mujtahid". That's why, the prominent "Ulama", "Fuzala", "Mohaddiseen" and "Mufassireen" (Muslim scholars, the doctors well-versed in traditions and experts in Qur-aanic exegises) conformed to any of the four Imaams putting aside their valuable reseaches and became, ipso facto, "Muqallid" (conformists, followers).
Hadrat Imaam Bukhari, Imaam Muslim (may Allah shower His mercy on them) and other scholars, doctors of traditions,narratives whose "Ahaadees" books are considered to be the most authentic in the Muslim world did "Taqleed" (conformed to) throughout their lives and so did the great saints like Hadrat Ghous-e-Azam and Hadrat Khowaja Gharib Nawaz (may Allah have mercy on them). In brief, none but only the said four Imaams have to be conformed to, even though his "beliefs" be in line with any Qur-aanic verse, saying of the Holy Prophet or sayings and actions of the Prophet's companions. The one who is out of the fold of any of the four "Mazhab" is a misguided, misguider, disbelieving and heretic one because he makes his own way in the religion unlike all other Muslims. An "Hadees" in this context says: the believer who separated himself from the major sect of Muslims has, indeed, strayed for hell.
Q 7. What about he who claims to follow all the four "Mazhabs"?
A. The one who does not follow the suit of (conform to) any of the four Imaams but claims to be a follower of all the four, actually tries to hoodwink and inveigle people into unruliness. Acting upon the directives of all four "Mazhabs" means that these "Mazhabs" of the great leaders of Ahle Sunnat have some un-Islamic things and thus one Mazhab can not be followed but instead the lawful things of all "Mazhabs" be chosen and followed discarding the unlawful ones. Such an absurd notion which brings disgrace and disrepute to all Muslim leaders and scholars who not only did "Taqleed" themselves of only one of the four Imaams throughout their lives but also enjoined their followers to do the same makes the claiment of this nonsense himself a misguided and disbeliever and he is one of those who are out of the Islaamic-fold. Following all the four "Mazhabs" simultaneously is like: there are four straight ways leading to a set goal and people adopt any of them to reach the destination but a man shouts and advises them not to adopt only one way but take all the four to attain to the goal. Nobody heeds to him and continue their journey to the destination having chosen only one from them. Being frustrated, he himself goes ahead with his silly plan. He takes one way and abandones it half-way adopting the other. He leaves it too incomplete and rushes to the third one and then to the last one but finishes up with futility. (An English maxim to this effect: "a rolling stone gathers no moss"). Is this man a sensible or a lunatic? Judge yourself. In short, it is obligatory on every Muslim to remain adhered to the "Mazhab" of his Imaam. In case of dessertion from his "Mazhab" no excuse will be accepted in the Divine Court and he will be damned. Believers must hold all the four "Imaams" in high esteem and consider them "Ahle Sunnat". Their followers and conformists are also on the righteous path.
No "Mazhab" of any "Imaam Mujtahid" can be termed as "Bid'at"(heresy). The one who says it "Bid'at" is, according to Muslim scholars, himself a heretic, disbeliever and renders himself culpable for hell.
Q 8. Who are "Ashaa'irah" and "Maaturidiyah" in Ahle Sunnat?
A. We have already told you that nobody's "Taqleed" in fundamental beliefs is lawful except in subsidiary affairs,issues. Ahle Sunnat are divided in two groups on some subsidiary affairs,issues i.e. "Maaturidiyah" who conform to Hadrat Imaam Abu Mansoor Maaturidi (may Allah shower His mercy on him) and "Ashaa'irah" who follow Hadrat Imaam Shaikh Abul Hasan Ash'ari (may Allah shower His mercy on him). Both these Imaams are Ahle Sunnat and on the righteous path. Their difference on subsidiary affairs, issues is like that of "Hanafi" and "Shaafa'i". They do not term each other as misguided or disbelieving one even "Faasiq-o-Faajir" (disobedient, transgressor).
Q 9. Which type of "Taqleed" has been described 'bad' in Qur-aan-o-Hadees?
A. Some people follow such rites of their forefathers concerning marriage and death matters which are repugnant to "Shari'ah and insist on observing them even though those are un-Islaamic. Such "Taqleed" has been denounced by "Qur-aan-o-Hadees". Describing "Taqleed-e-Aa-imah" (conformation to the great Imaams) unlawful in the light of these Qur-aanic verses and Prophetic sayings is nothing but disbelief. No believer can dare to give up Qur-aan-o-Hadees and follow Imaam's words and deeds over-riding Allah and His Prophet's commands considering that his salvation lies in it.
All believers act upon the commands and directives of Qur-aan-o-Hadees as researched and interpreted by these great Imaams and that's why they are called "Muqallid".
Q10. What are the names and titles of the Imaams of four Mazhabs?
A. The four Imaams are:
1. Hadrat Imaam-e-A'zam Nu'maan bin Saabit (may Allah be pleased with him): His title is Abu Hanifah. He was born in Kufa (city) in 80 A.H. He is the founder of "Fiqah" viz: Hanafi. His "Ijtehaadi Masaa-il" (those affairs, issues which he derived from Qur-aan-o-Hadees through his independent judgement, opinion) are spread and being followed in the Muslim world particularly in great Islaamic states for about 1200 years as his "Mazhab" abounds with the basics and dynamics of efficient governance. A majority of believers in the Muslim world is his follower. No Aa-imah (the four great Imaams) but he has the distinction of seeing and enjoying the company of the Holy Prophet's companions.
He died in Baghdad Sharif in 150 A.H. His popularity and the esteem in which he was held can be gauged from the fact that his first funeral prayer was attended by about fifty thousands people and since people kept coming in, therefore his funeral prayer was held six times consecutively to facilitate his disciples and votaries to attend it.
His shrine is in Baghdad and is one of the sacred and prominent places situated there.
Hadrat Imaam Bukhari(may Allah have mercy on him) is one of those great Islamic scholars, jurists and traditionists who were his (Abu Hanifa's) students' students.
His "Muqallids" (followers, conformists) are called "Hanafi".
2. Hadrat Imaam Muhammad bin Idrees Shaafa'I (may Allah be pleased with him): His title is Shaafa'i. The year of the death of Hadrat Imaam Abu Hanifa and the year of the birth of Imaam Shaafa'i is the same i.e. 150 A.H. He was born in Asqalaan. His title is also Abu Abdullah and he is Haashmi-Qureshi-Muttalabi by lineage. He was matchless in Islaamic jurisprudence and the knowledge of Qur-aan-o-Hadees besides other sectors of learning. He was also peerless in "Zuhd-o-Taqva" (piety and continence), generosity and magnanimity.
He died at the age of 54 in 204 A.H. His shrine is in Qaraana (Egypt). His "Muqallids" are called "Shaafa'i".
3. Hadrat Imaam Maalik bin Anas (may Allah be pleased with him): He was born in holy Madinah in 95 A.H. His "Kuniyah" (surname) is Abu Abdullah. All Muslim scholars of his time acknowledged him as their "Imaam". Hadrat Imaam Shaafa'i is one of his prominent students. Numerous great Muslim scholars and jurists gained a lot from his fountain of knowledge.
He had unbounded love for the Holy Prophet and due to this attachment he spent his whole life in sacred Madinah.
He died at the age of 84 in holy Madinah in 179 A.H. and his shrine is also there. His "Muqallids" are called "Maaliki".
4. Hadrat Imaam Ahmed bin Hanbal (may Allah be pleased with him): He was born in Baghdad Sharif in 164 A.H. and was also brought up there.
His greatness, Islaamic knowledge and audacity in braving trials and torture for Islaam are no secret. During the time of Caliph Maamoonur Rasheed a mischievous issue of whether the Holy Qur-aan is creation of Allah or His Kalaam (speech, word) was stirred. Imaam Hanbal stood like a rock against the mischief facing horrendous troubles and torture and did not allow any harm to come to Islaam. He died at the age of 77 in Baghdad in 241 A.H. His "Muqallids" are called "Hanbli".