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On the necessity of following qualified Islamic scholarship.

 http://www.geocities.com/~abdulwahid/muslimarticles/index.html

 

Introduction:

Al hamdulillahi Rabbil alameen, was Ŗalaahtu was Ŗalaahmu ala Sayyidil Ambiyaa e wal Mursaleen, Sayyidina wa Shafee enaa wa Nabiyyinaa wa Maulaana Muhammadiw, wa alee Aalihi wa Sahbihi wa Ahli Baytihi wa Awliyaaihih ajma'eena Birahmatika yaa Arhamar Rahimeen. Amma Ba'd.

All Praise is for Allah the Lord of all the worlds. And blessings and peace on the leader of all the Prophets and Messengers. Our Leader and our Master Muhammad and on His Family and His Companions all of them. With Your Mercy, O Most Merciful of the Merciful. As for what follows, Allah u ta ala Says in His Glorious Qur'aan
:

"Fas-aloo ahladh Dhikri in kuntum laa ta'lamoon." {Ask Ahladh Dhikr if you do not know} Holy Qur'an 16:43

The principal of accepting the ruling of the Illustrious Ulama, the qualified scholars of the past have been much maligned. Those choosing to safeguard their deeni lives by accepting qualified authority are being attacked. Thieves of Deen and their ignorant followers are accusing Muslims of being blind followers and are even labeling Muslims unbelievers, apostates, polytheists. Because of lack of sound knowledge as to the true position of Rasulullah SalAllah u alaihi wa sallim and the honored Sahaaba Akram RathiAllah u anhumma ajma'een, Pseudo scholars calling themselves " Salafi" are leading many of our Muslim youth astray. These evil so-called Ulama attack new converts to Islam and steal their Imaan [belief] by pretending to be Islamic scholars.

The age-old bid'a [innovation], the idea that there is no need to learn our Islam from qualified scholars who teach and lead, the premise that each rank and file [ami] Muslim has the right and the innate ability to interpret Al Qur'an Kareem and the Sunnah of Sayyidina Rasuli Akram SallAllah u alaihi wa Sallim continues to rear its ugly head throughout the Muslim world. This ugly monstrosity continues to raise its head in the United States. So-called modernist scholars [ who call themselves "Salafi"] claim the ability to determine the correct way to Allah u ta ala, mislead many. We must oppose these deviated people and follow qualified scholars who studied at the blessed feet of Sahaaba Akram and at Tabi'een, RathiAllah u anhumma ajma'een [may Allah be pleased with them all] and those follow in that tradition.

Since the beginning of man's life on earth, Allah u ta ala has sent Ambiyaa and Mursaleen {Prophets and Messengers} for man's guidance. Allah u ta ala also raised from among the true believers, blessed beings, true followers of the Prophets and Messenger, experts in expounding the guidance received from the Messengers and Prophets [may Allah u ta ala's Blessings and peace be on them all]. We must understand that Allah u ta ala did not charge all the followers of the Messengers and Prophets with the responsibility of leading and teaching. Just as we know that not everyone is able the art of healing, so too not everyone is qualified to heal diseased hearts and provide proper guidance for the mu'mineen. Likewise understanding intimately the Divine scheme of things is not possible for each individual Muslim or claimant to Islam. We need guidance to understand how to practice the contents of His [Allah u Ta Ala's] Divine message.

Allah u ta ala chooses whom He wills to lead and teach the Ummat Muhammaadi. From this point of view, we wish to present clear evidence from the Sources of Islam [nass] Al Qur'an Kareem and the Sunnah of our Blessed Nabiyy SallAllah u alaihi wa sallim.

 

WHAT IS TAQLEED?

Taqleed is the act of accepting a religious ruling in matters of worship and personal affairs from a highly qualified Alim . Taqleed infers acceptance without necessarily asking for proof. The asking for proof from those who wouldn't understand the principles by which the rulings are deduced amounts to extreme ignorance and distrust. When one goes to a physician for a cure, he does not ask the doctor for proof that his diagnosis is correct. Nor would one dare diagnose himself or prescribe medication for his cure. The Ghair Muqalidden [those who advocate not following qualified scholarship] claims that the patient, [ami] the pious Muslims who haven't studied the Islamic sciences have the right to diagnose and cure themselves. This affair of Deen is best left to those who spend years of study at the feet of the Ulama ul Haqq [the true scholars] who received formal education at the feet of scholars who trace their scholasticism from their teachers back to the Illustrious Imaams of the four Islamic schools of Jurisprudence. From there the line goes back to Rasulullah SallAllah u alaihi wa sallim the Noble Companions of the Holy Nabiyy RathiAllah u anhumma ajma'In.

QUESTION: Is there evidence from Al Qur'an Majid and the Sunnah of the Holy Last Messenger SallAllah u alaihi wa sallim to prove your claim that one must accept rulings [fataawa] in matters of Deen from qualified scholars?

ANSWER: Any position taken by those who are sincere lovers of Allah u ta ala and Sayyidina Rasuli Akram SallAllah u alaihi wa sallim will always be taken from a position of strength. We sacrifice our lives for Al Qur'an and hadiith and the Guidance of the Honored Companions RathiAllah u ta ala anhumma. About Taqleed, the necessity of following qualified scholarship and forsaking our lowly desires, Allah u ta ala says:

 

"Fas-aloo Ahladh Dhikri in kuntum laa ta'lamoon" [Ask those who remember, are mindful if you do not know] Holy Qur'an 6:43

 

Allah u ta ala commands the believers to do three things:

  1. acquire knowledge by asking,

  2. ask not just anyone, ask Ahladh Dhikr,

  3. ask that which one does not know.

This ayah points to the fact that Allah u ta ala Himself has prohibited the rank and file Muslim from attempting to deduce rulings for himself from the Qur'an and hadiith. As per this ayah we must acquire knowledge of Islam from qualified scholars. Individual Muslims are not permitted to follow their own reasoning. There is Ijma [consensus] from all the Ulama ul Haqq [true Islamic Scholars] that this means that the believers must take their Islamic knowledge from, and manage their affairs according to the rulings of those who are qualified scholars. Allah u ta ala gives them the honored title Ahladh Dhikr."

 

EVIDENCE:

The second proof for the necessity of following qualified scholarship and asking those who know is Haqq Ta ala saying:

 

"Not all of the believers should go forth to fight. Of every section of them, why does not one part alone go forth that the rest may gain understanding of the Deen [li yatafaqqahoo fid deen] to admonish their people when they return, that perhaps they may take warning." Holy Qur'an 9:122

 

Allah u ta ala here prohibited all of the believers going out for ghazwa [military expedition] and ordered a segment of them to engage themselves in becoming knowledgeable, to gain an intimate understanding [ Fiqh ]. The commandments and injunction's Allah u ta ala has sent down to Sayyidina Rasuli Akram SallAllah u alaihi wa sallim developed into two distinct Islamic sciences. Allama Taftaafaani Rahmatullah alaih [May Allah u have Mercy on him] in Sharhul Aqaa'Id, a commentary on the book Al Aqaa'Id of Al Imaam Najm ud Din Abu Hafs Umar Al Nasafee , writes:

 

" They [ the early Ulama from among the students of the Sahaabi or companions and their students, may Allah u ta ala be pleased with all of them] gave the name "Al Fiqh" to that which pertained to the science of the practical judgements derived from their detailed proofs, and the "Fundamentals of Al Fiqh" [ Usul ul Fiqh ] to the terms of the proofs taken together as a whole in proving the judgement. The science of the Articles of Belief as they came straight from the proofs they called Al Kalaam."

 

EVIDENCE:

The third proof for accepting the rulings of qualified scholars is Allah u ta ala's Command:

 

Yaa ayyuhal lathina aamanoo, AtweeŻllaaha wa AtweeŻr Rasuula wa Ulil Amri minkum! [ O you that have eemaan, obey Allah and obey the Rasul and those given the authority to command from among you.] Holy Qur'an 4:59

 

Allah u ta ala Commands the believers to obey Him, the Rasul, Sayyidina Rasuli Akram SallAllah u alaihi wa Sallim and Ulil Amr, those who He has given the authority so see to the affairs of the believer's deeni existence.

QUESTION: Does this mean anyone who happens to be in a position of authority is Ulil Amr, or is Allah u ta ala addressing a specific group?

ANSWER: We can safely say that Allah u Subhana Hu [ Glorified is He], is most certainly addressing a specific group of blessed beings. Allah u ta ala ordered the believers to obey the Amirs as long as they are enforcing the Command s of Allah u ta ala and Sayyidina Rasuli Akram SallAllah u alaihi wa Sallim. This does not apply to the self styled, self taught, ignorant modern day so-called Imaams and amirs, or the self taught maulaanas and shaykhs or their students.

Those who say this applies to all Muslim rulers also err. This applies to pious rulers who were [ are ] profoundly learned scholars [ Ulama ], qualified to deduce rulings directly from the Holy Qur'aan and Sunnah, two of the sources of Islamic jurisprudence.

 

IJTIHAAD

The act of striving with a view to protect Islam and the Muslims, both physically and intellectually is described as jihad. The Jihad of the Ulama ul Haqq consists in defending Islam from the ideological attacks of the unbelievers. The sacred duty of the true Ulama also consists of protecting Islam and the believers from the attacks of those who conspire to destroy the Imaan of the Muslims from within. We must understand that the Ulama ul Haqq also participates in the physical striving and do not seek exemption because of their scholarship. On the contrary, true Ulama prepares the believers and spurs them on to fight, accompanying them when the opportunity presents itself. The Ulama among the Sahaaba Akram [ Honored Companions ] Rathi Allah u anhum ajma'een [ may Allah be pleased with them all ]. The term Ijtihad as a Shar'I term [An Islamic legal term] means to struggle, to exert oneself. The true scholars are engaged in combat. There is a jihad between truth and falsehood [Bayn al Haqq wa Baatil ]. He struggles to protect the believer's faith from corruption. Ijtihaad is the striving of legal experts whom Allah u ta ala raised to perform the task of investigating matters that affect the lives of the believers.

QUESTION: Today when everyone has access to Holy Qur'an and the hadiith, and commentary of the same in abundance, doesn't everyone have the right to interpret them as they understand it?

ANSWER: No one has the right to interpret Holy Qur'an and hadiith according to their whims and fancies. Would an elementary student be able to digest and practice the information contained in the medical canons? Allah u ta ala has not authorized anyone to follow their lowly desires.

 

EVIDENCE:

The fourth proof of the necessity of following qualified scholars is in Allah u ta ala saying:

 

"Huwal lathee ba'atha fil ummiyyina Rasoolam minhum yatloo alaihim aayaatihee wa yuzakkihim wa yu'allimuhumul Kitaaba Wal Hikmah." [He is the One who raised up among the unlettered, a Messenger from among themselves who recites to them the verses, and purifies them and teaches the Book and the Wisdom.] Holy Qur'an 62:2

 

We clearly see that Allah u ta ala did not send the Ambiyaa and Mursaleen [Prophets and Messengers] as mere carriers of a message. The Prophets and Messengers are not mail carriers whose sole duty is to deliver the message, then leaving it up to the recipient to read and interpret. Those who say so are far from the mark and lack basic understanding of simple Islamic principles. They are in no way qualified to lead the believers as they do not understand clear statements such as the above-mentioned ayah.

Allah u ta ala clearly mentions four distinct functions of Sayyidina Rasuli Akram SallAllah u Alaihi wa Sallim:

  1. Recitation of the Verses of Allah u ta ala.

  2. Teaching the Book of Allah u ta ala.

  3. Teaching the Wisdom [Hikmah].

  4. Purifying the people [Tazkiyah].

Allah u ta ala leaves no ambiguity as to the fact that Sayyidina Rasuli Akram is not supposed to merely recite the Qur'an and leave the people to interpret and apply it in whatever manner they like. He, SallAllah u alaihi wa Sallim is sent to teach them the Book, the Hikmah [wisdom] and to train them in Tazkiyah wa Tasfiya tun Nafs [disciplining and purifying the lowly desires]. This is precisely what Rasulullah, SallAllah u Alaihi wa Sallim did. Our Blessed Nabiyy SallAllah u alaihi wa Sallim taught the Illustrious Sahaaba may Allah be pleased with them all, the proper recitation of the Qur'an Majeed and some became masters of the Science of Qur'anic Recitation known as Qiraat. All of the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, were not given the mission of teaching the Science of Qur'anic Recitation. Some Illustrious Companions mastered the art of Qur'anic Recitation and passed it onto their student. The same goes for all the Islamic Sciences that developed from the Glorious Qur'an.

Some Companions mastered the Science of the Sayings and Doings of the Prophet SallAllah u alaihi wa Sallim. This developed into the science entitled Ilmul hadiith. Some learned the science of deducing rules from the Qur'an and the Prophetic Way [Sunnah]. This developed into the science known as IJTIHAAD. Still others were taught from the Master Sayyidina Rasuli Akram Sall Allah u alaihi wa Sallim, the meanings behind the verses, implicit and explicit. This science became known as Ilmul Tafsir or Qur'aan
ic exegesis. Others were taught in minute detail, how to perform the acts of worship [ Ibaadah] including the code of Muslim personal law. This became the science known as Ilmul Fiqh. Several other sciences developed as a result of Rasuli Akram SallAllah u alaihi wa Sallim teaching His Companions. To list all of the allied sciences and describe them in detail is beyond the scope of this small tract.

Suffice it to say that the example before us is clear. The Illustrious Companions of the Holy Last Messenger, SallAllah u alaihi wa Sallim were not given permission to follow their own desires. They taught and then taught. Their students taught, and this tradition of receiving formal knowledge from those qualified was safe guarded by the Blessed Imaams of the Four Schools of Islamic Jurisprudence.

The authentic Islamic Scholars all follow one of these four schools who can trace their academic lineage from their teachers back to the Companions of the Blessed Holy Last Messenger SallAllah u alaihi wa Sallim or the students of the Companions and therefore back to Sayyidina Rasulullah SallAllah u alaihi wa Sallim. Those who refuse to do so, the self styled Juhl [ignorant] modern day, Ghair Muqalideen [those who do not accept following qualified scholarship ]are not among those described as Heirs of the Prophets.

 

WHO ARE ULIL AMR?

QUESTION: You mentioned earlier that the Ulil Amr are those who can perform Ijtihaad and can determine the correct understanding from Qur'aan Majeed and the Sunnah of Holy Prophet SallAllah u alaihi wa Sallim. Yet you have not given any proof to support your claim from Qur'aan
Majeed and Ahaadeeth. What does Allah u ta ala say in Qur'aan and the Prophet SallAllah u alaihi wa Sallim say in the hadiith?

ANSWER: There is much evidence for the truthfulness of our claim that Ulil Amr are the blessed true Islamic scholars. These scholars are in fact chosen by Allah u ta ala and given the capacity to achieve their objective. This is a basic article of Imaan. No matter who hard an individual may try, one cannot teach himself any of the Islamic sciences. Nor would it be possible for one to derive maximum benefit from Qur'aan
and Sunnah without the guidance of a competent teacher.

 

EVIDENCE:

The fifth proof of the necessity of following qualified scholars, found in Hadeeth Shareef:

Rasulullah Sall Allah u alaihi wa Sallim asked Hadhrat Mu'adh ibn Jabal Radhi Allah u anhu how he was going to judge when he ordered him to go to Yemen as a judge. "According to Allah 's Book," he said. "What if you cannot find in Allah 's Book?" Asked Rasullullah, Sall Allah u alaihi wa Sallim. "I will look to Rasulullah's Sunnah," he answered. When asked, "If you cannot find it in Rasulullah's Sunnah, either?" Hadhrat Mu'adh said, "I will do it according to what I understand because of my ijtihaad." Rasulullah Sall Allah u alaihi wa sallim put his blessed hand on Hadhrat Mu'adh's chest and said, " Alhamdulillah! Allah u ta ala made His Rasul's rasul [deputy] agree with Rasulullah's approval. " At Tirmidhee, Abu Daawood and Ad Daarimee.

Referring again to the 4th sura 59th ayat in which Allah u ta ala commands the believers to Obey Allah and His Rasul SallAllah u alaihi wa sallim and those with authority among you, this a clear reference to a specific group of people. The Mufassireen [ authentic true commentators of Holy Qur'aan] mentions a specific class of people. Excellent examples of Ulil Amr are the Khulafaa-i Rashideen and Hadhrat Umar ibn Abdul Azeez Ridhwaanullahu alaihim ajma'een.

 

EVIDENCE:

The sixth proof of the necessity of following qualified scholars:

Al Imaam Jalaaluddin As Suyooti Rahmatullah alaihi in the famous book of Tafsir Al Itqaan quotes Hadhrat Ibn Abbaas radhi Allah u ta ala anhu as saying. " The Ulil Amr are the Ulama of Fiqh and Islam." This is also in the third volume of Tafsir al Kabeer, also in Sharhul Muslim [commentary of the Sahih hadiith collection of Imam Muslim] of Al Imaam An Nawawi Rahmatullah alaih. These clear evidences in the authentic commentaries of Qur'aan Majeed point to the fact that not only is it necessary to obey the Mujtahideen Imaams. This points to that fact that the pseudo-salafi, wahhaabi, etc. errs greatly when they say that it is polytheism and bid'a to obey someone other than Allah u ta ala and Sayyidinaa Rasuli Akram SallAllah u Alaihi wa Sallim.

 

EVIDENCE:

The seventh proof of the necessity of following qualified scholars and forsaking wandering desires;

In a Hadeeth Shareef Narrated by Abu Dawood and Ibn Maajah, Sayyidina Rasuli Akram SallAllah u alaihi wa Sallim said, " Ilm is composed of three parts: Al Ayat al Muhkamaatun, [ Qur'aan
Kareem] As Sunnatul Qaa'Imah [Prophet Sunnah found in Hadeeth ] and Al Faridatul aadila." The well known authentic Muhaddith Abdul Haqq ad Dehlwi, in his "Ashi'at al Lama'aat [commentary on the hadiith collection Known as Mishkat Shareef]," wrote;

"Al Faridatul Aadila is the knowledge conformable to the Book [of Allah ] and the Sunna of the Prophet Muhammad SallAllah u alaihi wa sallim]. It refers to Ijmaa and Qiyaas, for ijmaa and qiyaas were drawn from the book and the Sunnah. Therefore, they counted Ijmaa and Qiyaa as equivalent and similar to the Book and the Sunnah and were called Al Faridatul Aadila. Thus it is wajib [ absolutely necessary] to do ones deeds conformable to both of them. Consequently, the meaning of the hadiith Shareef is that the sources of Islam are four, namely, the Book [Qur'an Majeed], the Sunnah [hadiith Shareef], Ijma and Qiyaas.

As stated earlier the Ulil Amr are the Imaams of Fiqh and Islam. In this day and time the only way to be sure that Ibaadat is accepted is to follow those who can trace their scholarship back to Sayyidinaa Rasuli Akram SallAllah u alaihi wa sallim. Those can only do this whom the authentic modern day scholars who follow one of the four Imaams of Islamic Jurisprudence, Imaam, Abu Hanifa, Maalik, Shaafi' and Ahmad Ibn Hambal have taught, may Allah u ta ala be pleased with them all. No other schools of Fiqh were codified and passed down through the many generations other than these four. Therefore the Ulama ul Haqq have agreed ['Ijma] that it is hharaam to be laa mathhaabi, meaning everyone who came after the Illustrious Imaams of the Mathhaabs must perform their Ibaadah [acts of worship] in conformity with one of these four authentic schools of Islamic law [Fiqh].

 

EVIDENCE:

The eighth proof for the necessity of following qualified scholars and not following the wayward self taught self made pseudo-scholars:

Hadhrat Imaam Shaafi' Rahmatullah alaih when asked to produce daleel [evidence] from Qur'aan Majeed to prove that ijmaa [consensus of opinions from among the Sahaaba and true Ulama] read the Qur'aan Majeed three hundred times and found the ayah:

 

"We will drag the person who, after learning the way of guidance, opposes the Prophet and deviates from the` Believers' path along the direction to which he has deviated, and then We will throw him into Hell, the terrible. Holy Qur'an 4:114

 

Since this ayah prohibits one from deviating from the Sabeelil Mu'mineen, [the Believers Path ] it is wajib to follow this path. Al Imaam Baidaawi Rahmatullah alaih in his Tafsir writes: "This ayah shows that it is hharaam [absolutely unlawful] to ignore ijma," The unlawfulness of ignoring the ijma of the Ummah is established by the fact that it amounts to deviating from the believer's path and becoming a sect. The Awliyaa and the Ulama have said it is wajib to follow a mathhaab and not doing so is a great sin. They say that being laa mathhaabi is wrong [pseudo-salafi, wahhaabi etc.]. Those who disobey this command of the Ulil Amr have in fact disobeyed the Command of Allah u ta ala.

 

WHO ARE AHLADH DHIKR?

QUESTION: You earlier quoted as evidence for following a Mathhaab a verse which says ask Ahladh Dhikr if you don't know. Could you please explain how this ayat refers to the Four Imams of Islamic Jurisprudence? Please give evidence from Qur'an Majeed, and hadiith only.

ANSWER: Ahladh Dhikr are the A"Imaatul Mathaahib [ Imaams of the Islamic schools of jurisprudence] and all the true scholars acknwledge this fact. They are

  • Hadhrat Imaam Abu Hanifa Nu'man Bin Thaabit,

  • Hadhrat Imam Malik ibn Anas ibn Malik,

  • Hadhrat Imam Muhammad ibn Idris al Shaafi'I, and

  • Hadhrat Imam Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Hanbal,

may Allah u ta Ala pleased with them all. All the true scholars trace their Islamic training [tarbiyyah] to one of the Four Imams.

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