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raushan

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Topic initiated on Wednesday, September 06, 2006  -  7:40 AM Reply with quote
Which Imam to Follow?


There are not just four but hundreds of saintly scholars whom we refer to as Imam in regard of their guidance to us but our greatest and the real Imam remains the holy Prophet (pbuh). He guided the Sahaba in every walk of life through his actions and instructions. Like in the above instance, the companions generally knew the context of the instruction given to them and no confusion arose. With the passage of time, people started getting confused as they did not know the exact context of all the saying of the Prophet (pbuh). It was then that to them some Hadiths seemed mutually contradictory. There was another essential intricacy besides many others. New complexities arose and unprecedented situations required solutions with the passage of time and the average people were not adept in deriving the solutions in the light of Quran and Sunnah. Rising to the occasion, the scholars started codification of Islamic laws for the convenience of the masses. The codification came to be known as Fiqh. Since the exercise started around a century after the Prophet (pbuh), it is not surprising that the scholars differed in their opinion on many issues. The Sunni Muslims regard four earliest pioneers of Fiqh as the most authentic Fiqh authorities who codified the law. They are Imam(s) Malik, Abu Hanifa, Shafai, and Ahmad Bin Hambal. There are many reasons for differences of opinion among them on many problems but the chief reason is the difference in their understanding of context of the Prophet’s actions and instructions.

Scholarly investigation is an evolutionary process but unfortunately the followers of four schools of thought became four sects of Sunni Muslims as they preferred blind following over research based modifications and improvements. When two scholars have opposite views on a subject, on most such occasions at least one of them has to be on wrong footing. Later scholars, by impartial investigation and unbiased research, could have analyzed the reasons forwarded by the four Imams behind their different ruling and in most instances could have come to right conclusions but the allegiance factor dominated the impartial investigation.

For an average Muslim, it is safer to follow any one of them till he is capable of coming to the right conclusion on certain issue of difference, in the light of Quran, Sunnah and rationale. One should leave blind following and not hesitate to make amend to the extant of that particular problem of which he has acquired knowledge and found that the Imam, he was following erred in that matter.
usmani790

PAKISTAN
Posted - Wednesday, September 06, 2006  -  8:38 AM Reply with quote
The Holy Quran commands Muslims to use their minds and reflective capacities; and the issue of following qualified scholarship is an area in which this faculty must be very carefully deployed. The basic point should be appreciated that no categoric difference exists between usul al-fiqh and any other specialised science requiring lengthy training. Shaykh Said Ramadan al-Buti, who has articulated the orthodox response to the anti-Madhhab trend in his book: Non-Madhhabism: The Greatest Bida Threatening the Islamic Sharia, likes to compare the science of deriving rulings to that of medicine. "If ones child is seriously ill", he asks, "does one look for oneself in the medical textbooks for the proper diagnosis and cure, or should one go to a trained medical practitioner?" Clearly, sanity dictates the latter option. And so it is in matters of religion, which are in reality even more important and potentially hazardous: we would be both foolish and irresponsible to try to look through the sources ourselves, and become our own muftis. Instead, we should recognise that those who have spent their entire lives studying the Sunnah and the principles of law are far less likely to be mistaken than we are.

Another metaphor might be added to this, this time borrowed from astronomy. We might compare the Quranic verses and the hadiths to the stars. With the naked eye, we are unable to see many of them clearly; so we need a telescope. If we are foolish, or proud, we may try to build one ourselves. If we are sensible and modest, however, we will be happy to use one built for us by Imam al-Shafi'i or Ibn Hanbal, and refined, polished and improved by generations of great astronomers. A madhhab is, after all, nothing more than a piece of precision equipment enabling us to see Islam with the maximum clarity possible. If we use our own devices, our amateurish attempts will inevitably distort our vision.

A third image might also be deployed. An ancient building, for instance the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, might seem imperfect to some who worship in it. Young enthusiasts, burning with a desire to make the building still more exquisite and well-made (and no doubt more in conformity with their own time-bound preferences), might gain access to the crypts and basements which lie under the structure, and, on the basis of their own understanding of the principles of architecture, try to adjust the foundations and pillars which support the great edifice above them. They will not, of course, bother to consult professional architects, except perhaps one or two whose rhetoric pleases them nor will they be guided by the books and memoirs of those who have maintained the structure over the centuries. Their zeal and pride leaves them with no time for that. Groping through the basements, they bring out their picks and drills, and set to work with their usual enthusiasm.

There is a real danger that Sunni Islam is being treated in a similar fashion. The edifice has stood for centuries, withstanding the most bitter blows of its enemies. Only from within can it be weakened. No doubt, Islam has its intelligent foes among whom this fact is well-known. The spectacle of the disunity and fitnas which divided the early Muslims despite their superior piety, and the solidity and cohesiveness of Sunnism after the final codification of the Shariah in the four Schools of the great Imams, must have put ideas into many a malevolent head. This is not to suggest in any way that those who attack the great madhhabs are the conscious tools of Islams enemies. But it may go some way to explaining why they will continue to be well-publicised and well-funded, while the orthodox alternative is starved of resources. With every Muslim now a proud mujtahid, and with taqlid dismissed as a sin rather than a humble and necessary virtue, the divergent views which caused such pain in our early history will surely break surface again. Instead of four madhhabs in harmony, we will have a billion madhhabs in bitter and self-righteous conflict. No more brilliant scheme for the destruction of Islam could ever have been devised.
Zulfee

USA
Posted - Tuesday, September 12, 2006  -  3:43 PM Reply with quote
No need to follow any so called Imams!!!!!!!!!!!
usmani790

PAKISTAN
Posted - Wednesday, September 13, 2006  -  8:21 AM Reply with quote
Have you then considered him who takes his low desire for his god, and Allah has made him err having knowledge and has set a seal upon his ear and his heart and put a covering upon his eye. Who can then guide him after Allah? Will you not then be mindful? (45:23)
The Holy Quran itself states that less well-informed believers should have recourse to qualified experts: So ask the people of remembrance, if you do not know (16:43). (According to the tafsir experts, the people of remembrance are the ulama.) And in another verse, the Muslims are enjoined to create and maintain a group of specialists who provide authoritative guidance for non-specialists: A band from each community should stay behind to gain instruction in religion and to warn the people when they return to them, so that they may take heed (9:122). Given the depth of scholarship needed to understand the revealed texts accurately, and the extreme warnings we have been given against distorting the Revelation, it is obvious that ordinary Muslims are duty bound to follow expert opinion, rather than rely on their own reasoning and limited knowledge
raushan

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Posted - Wednesday, September 13, 2006  -  9:16 AM Reply with quote
quote:

No need to follow any so called Imams!!!!!!!!!!!

Say an illiterate or semi literate peasant with four children and wife lives in a village in Murshidabad distt in west bengal,who doesnt know anything about Islam except that he is a muslim.I presented him a copy of Quran(without translation coz translation done by someone put his own ideas while doing so and if he reads Quran through translation he would unknowingly follow the translator).

what suggestion would you give to him?
(if i would not exaggerate then 80% of the muslims belongs to these sort of families)
Zulfee

USA
Posted - Wednesday, September 13, 2006  -  12:05 PM Reply with quote
quote:

Have you then considered him who takes his low desire for his god, and Allah has made him err having knowledge and has set a seal upon his ear and his heart and put a covering upon his eye. Who can then guide him after Allah? Will you not then be mindful? (45:23)

The verse is for the disbelievers like you who are the idol worshippers.

quote:

The Holy Quran itself states that less well-informed believers should have recourse to qualified experts: So ask the people of remembrance, if you do not know (16:43). (According to the tafsir experts, the people of remembrance are the ulama.)


Believe and understand Qura’n first then give your opinion.
Zulfee

USA
Posted - Wednesday, September 13, 2006  -  12:11 PM Reply with quote
quote:

Say an illiterate or semi literate peasant with four children and wife lives in a village in Murshidabad distt in west bengal,who doesnt know anything about Islam except that he is a muslim.I presented him a copy of Quran(without translation coz translation done by someone put his own ideas while doing so and if he reads Quran through translation he would unknowingly follow the translator).

what suggestion would you give to him?
(if i would not exaggerate then 80% of the muslims belongs to these sort of families)


Believe and understand Qura’n first then give your opinion.

Edited by: Zulfee on Wednesday, September 13, 2006 12:14 PM
raushan

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Posted - Wednesday, September 13, 2006  -  12:58 PM Reply with quote
dear zulfee,
read my post plz I have not given an opinion but asked your opinion who believe and understand QURAN.
hope you ll answer the question asked to you.
Zulfee

USA
Posted - Saturday, September 16, 2006  -  1:35 AM Reply with quote
quote:

dear zulfee,
read my post plz I have not given an opinion but asked your opinion who believe and understand QURAN.
hope you ll answer the question asked to you.


Don’t you know, in your reply Posted - Wednesday, September 13, 2006 - 9:16 AM. YOU HAVE yourself well ANSWERED your question and SUPPORTED MY CLAIM (No need to follow any so called Imams!!!!!!!!!!!). Haven’t you said, ‘I presented him a copy of Quran(without translation coz translation done by someone put his own ideas while doing so and if he reads Quran through translation he would unknowingly follow the translator)? Therefore I asserted, NO NEED TO FOLLOW ANY SO CALLED IMAMS!!!!!!!!!!

Noble Qura’n itself claims that it is easy to understand. Sorry for producing the verse number. Sksamshirali has quoted the verse many times. So it is refereed to the Qura’n and Sunnah Forum.
raushan

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Posted - Saturday, September 23, 2006  -  11:27 AM Reply with quote
School of Thought
======================

No right thinking Muslim can ignore the services and contribution of the great Fiq’h scholars. The Qur’an orders us to follow them (Men of authority in their respective fields) in all such matters on which different authorities of a particular field are unanimous. But if the authentic authorities differ on a subject, that issue should be referred to Qur’an and Hadith for guidance. There is no room for choice in this matter. This is a very specific and clear cut order of Almighty Allah.

“O believers! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and the persons of authority among you. But if you differ about anything, refer it to Allah and the Apostle if you truly believe in Allah and the Last Day. That (only) is the best (course) and a just interpretation.” [4:59]

Swearing allegiance to a particular scholar with such ardour that the followers become a sect is against the spirit of Islam. The great Fiq’h scholars never advocated it themselves. The Holy Qur’an denounces the sectarianism in no uncertain words; “Cling one and all to the Rope of Allah and be not divided among yourselves..” (3:103)

“Be not like those who became divided and opposed to one another after clear signs have been given them. For them is a stern chastisement.” (3:105)

“Have nothing to do with those who have split up their religion into sects. Allah will call them to account and declare to them what they have done.” (6:159)

How can the Muslims, the believers in One God, His Message the Qur’an and followers of the Prophet whose every word and action is recorded in history, be divided to become sects. The Qur’an says that it is Mushrikeen (those who ascribe partners to Allah who become divided to the extent of becoming sects.

“...And be not of those who associate others with Allah, those who split up their religion and became sects, each exulting in its own belief.” (30:31-32)
Zulfee

USA
Posted - Saturday, September 23, 2006  -  1:42 PM Reply with quote
Yours and your team’s IMAM is ONLY your worldly desires nothing else!
The proof is this website.

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