Fatwa: # 14938
Category: Jurisprudence and Rulings...
Country: United States
Date: 7th March 2007




I need the proof/evidence of the salaf doing taqleed;the sahabas, tabeeans, big time scholars. Are these authentic and reliable. and  why dont the wahhabis accept these scources.


In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatoh.

No one can dispute that the true sources of Shariah are the Holy Qur’an and the Traditions of the Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam). Through out the Qur’an we have been commanded to follow Allah and his Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam).  There are certain commands that are very apparent and are not in need of any explanation.  For example:  

يا ايها الذين آمنوا انما الخمر و الميسر والانصاب والازلام رجس من عمل الشيطان فاجتنبوه لعلكم تفلحون (المائده)


O those who believe, the truth is that wine, gambling, altar-stones and divining arrows are filth, a work of Satan.  Therefore, refrain from it, so that you may be successful.

(Al-Ma’idah: 90)

This ayah is very apparent in its meaning that these actions are haram.  There is no ambiguity nor does it contradict any other values of Islam. Conversely, there are many commandments in the Qur’an and Sunnah which are ambiguous and cannot be understood without thorough knowledge of the Qur’an and Sunnah .

The Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam) said in a Hadith: 

“Whoever has an Imam, then the Imam’s recitation is his recitation. (Muwaata Imam Muhammad.”

The Prophet said in another Hadith: 

“There is no salaat for he who does not recite Surah Al-Fatiha”. (Bukhari)

Both Ahadith are authentic but seem to contradict each other.  The former seems to indicate that follower should remain silent when behind an Imam while the latter seems to indicate that everyone should recite Surah Fatiha.  

Extracting a ruling from Qur’an and Sunnah can be complicated and not everyone is made responsible for it.  Instead of making an independent ruling ourselves, we look what the predecessors ruled regarding these issues.  We rely on their knowledge and expertise and act according to their ruling.  To take the ruling of people of knowledge is a command of the Qur’an.  Allah Ta’ala says in the Holy Qur’an:

فاسالوا اهل الذكر ان كنتم لا تعلمون (النحل)

So ask those of knowledge if you do not know. (Al-Nahl 43)

To follow some one without asking for proof in their ruling is Taqleed.  Taqleed was practiced in the time of the Sahaba, Tabeen, and the eras afterward.  For example: 

- Hudaifah (Radhiyallahu Anhu) said that the Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “I do not know how long I will remain with you.  So follow these two people (who will remain) after me: Abu Bakr and Umer.” (Tirmidhi Ibn Majah and Ahmed)

- Imam Bukhari narrates from Ikrimah that the people of Madinah asked Ibn Abbas about a woman who, during Hajj, makes her first tawwaf and then enters her menstrual period before she can make her final tawwaf.  Ibn Abbas told them that she could go home without completing her final tawwaf.  The people of Madinah said,“We will not take your opinion over the opinion of Zaid ibn Thabit.” 

It is clear from this dialogue between Ibn Abbas and the people of Madinah that the people of Madinah made Taqleed of Zaid ibn Thabit.

- Sulaiman ibn Yasar said that Abu Ayyub Ansaari went for Hajj.  When he reached a place called Naziyah on the way to Makkah, he lost his camels which were for sacrifice.  He approached Umer on the Day of Sacrifice and mentioned his plight.  Umer said, “Do what those who perform Umrah do (which is the Tawaf and Sa’ee) and then you will become halal (you may take off your Ihram).  Then, when you come for Hajj next year, perform your Hajj and offer whatever sacrifice you can offer.” (Muwaata Imam Malik) 

Abu Ayyub did not request Umer for proof nor did Umer offer any.  Abu Ayyub took his advice and acted accordingly.

- Abdur Rahman narrated that he asked Ibn Sireen about entering public baths.  Ibn Sireen said that Umer use to dislike the idea.  Ibn Sireen – who was one of the most learned followers of the Companion did not mention any proof except to that Omer used to dislike the idea.  This is despite the fact that there are several Ahadith regarding the issue of public baths. 

- Salim ibn Abdullah said that Ibn Umer did not recite behind the Imam.  Salim asked Qasim ibn Muhammed about this and he replied:

“If you do not, then people who should be followed have also refrained from reciting behind the Imam.  And if you do, then people who should be followed have also recited behind the Imam.”

Salim said that Qasim was amongst those who did not recite. (Muwaata Imam Muhammad)  

- Imam Shaibi said, “Whoever wishes to take an authority in ruling and judgment should apply the statements of Umer.” (Ilaamul Muqi’een)

- Imam Mujahid said, “When people disagree about an issue they should see what Umer did and accept it.” (Ilaamul Muqi’een) 

- Imam Aa’mush said about Ibrahim Al-Nakha’i , “Ibrahim did not consider anybody’s opinion to be better than Umer and Ibn Mas’ood when thy both agreed upon an issue.  When they disagreed, Ibrahim whould prefer Ibn Mas’ood’s opinion over Umer’s. (Ilaamul Muqi’een)

The majority of the Ummah in the last 1400 hundred years practiced Taqleed. 

As for the question why some people do not accept these sources, this question should be asked to them.  They are the deniers of Taqleed.

And Allah knows best


Ml. Ehzaz Ajmeri,
Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa

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