Taqlid can be defined as the acceptance of a mujtahid’s statements (fatawa) without knowing his references (evidences) [an-Nawawi, Tazeeb; and Qadi Shawkani, Irshad al-Fahul]There is a consensus amongst the majority of Muslims that we should follow the four major Imams in matters of Shari’a. Such matters include:
· Those matters in which there is no direct, single and clear meaning in sources of Shari’a
· When there exists a difference of opinion between the Sahaba upon an issue, the Imams have tried to show the similarities in them
We only observe taqlid in matters of fiqh, not in our ‘aqida. 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 ‘aqida so they are not concerned with taqlid.
Some say that it is a form of shirk (polytheism) to observe taqlid of anyone apart from Allah. In particular, to follow only one Imam is a bid’a. 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 as-Sunna wa’l-Jama’a is that it is impossible for an ordinary Muslim to go directly to the Qur’an and Sunna 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, rather He orders them to refer to those who have knowledge. Consider the following verse:
“And ask those who recall, if you know not”

[Sura 16, verse 43]

Also, in Sura Nisa:
“If they had referred it to the Messenger and to those of authority among them, then those of them whose task it is to find it out would have known the matter”

[Sura 4, verse 83]

For those who have the necessary pre-requisites, such as being a master of ‘ulum al-Qur’an, master of ahadith and their principles, ‘aqa’id, fiqh principles, Tafsir and its principles, and jarh wa ta’dil (the science of hadith narrators). They are allowed to take ahkam (legal rulings) from the Shari’a. 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 Zafar were able to perform ijtihad but followed the opinion of Imam Abu Hanifa.
There are many categories of hadith such as mutawatir (rigourously authenticated), authentic, not authentic, weak and those which are fabricated.Some are mansukh, which means that certain matters were at first permissible but later made impermissible – for instance talking during the salat during the early period of Islam was permissible but later on made unlawful. This is why taqlid is a necessity – the scholars have taken all the above into consideration before issuing their verdict.

Rejectors of taqlid

Those who tried to reject taqlid, like Hafiz Ibn Taymiyya, were unsuccessful. He was, however, not a muqallid (one who must do taqlid of a mujtahid) like the ordinary people. Nether the less, his works of literature contain influences from the Hanbali school of thought. He always preferred his fatwas to Imam Ahmad’s. His followers also claim that they are not muqallid to anyone and taqlid is bid’a. But, they always perform taqlid of Hafiz Ibn Taymiyya and quote fatawa from his books. The following is one such example:
Shaykh Ibn Baaz (the late popular government scholar of Saudi Arabia) wrote one fatwa against Milad an-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 Hafiz Ibn Taymiyya’s research had stated that this was bid’a.Likewise, he stated that to visit the Prophet’s (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) grave is impermissible because this was the opinion of Hafiz Ibn Taymiyya [Ibn Baaz, Milad an-Nabi; and Ziyara Roza Sharif]
We can see how Shaykh Ibn Baaz is blindly depending upon Hafiz Ibn Taymiyya’s research. The Shaykh also performs taqlid to scholars such as Hafiz Ibn al-Qayyim, Hafiz Ibn Kathir, Ibn al-Hadi, Shawkani and Albani.
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 taqlid in one way another. Some follow Imam Abu Hanifa, some follow Hafiz Ibn Taymiyya. 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 al-Bukhari, Ibn Abi Hatim, Hafiz Mizayy, Hafiz al-‘Asqalani, Hafiz adh-Dhahabi, and Hafiz Maqdasi. The fact is that these people do not conduct their own research, but ‘blindly’ follow the research of their scholars.
When rejectors of taqlid 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’dal, shadhdh, mu’allal, ‘aziz, and gharib, are not mentioned in the Qur’an or Sunna. To utilise these terms is also a form of taqlid.
Similarly, to accept principles of Hadith and Tafsir and also to interpret the Qur’an and Sunna 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, instead of mursal, shadhdh etc. They should invent their own principles of Hadith and Tafsir and then study the Qur’an and Sunna in the light of these new principles. Only then can they save themselves from ‘shirk and bid’a’.

Doubts Raised by the Objectors to Taqlid

Those who oppose taqlid argue that there is no need to follow one particular Imam. They conduct their own personal research, in the hope that they will find the 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 ash-Shafi’i is of the opinion that if you touch a woman your wudu breaks. On the other hand, Imam Abu Hanifa says that this action does not break the wudu.Furthermore, Imam ash-Shafi’i does not accept mursal hadith, unlike Imam Abu Hanifa. 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 Hanifa accepts the words to have more authority, whereas Imam ash-Shafi’i 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?
Hafiz Ibn Taymiyya 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 haram. The great scholars have strongly discouraged for a person to sometimes follow the fiqh of ash-Shafi’i and at other times the fiqh of Abu Hanifa [Fatawa Ibn Taymiyya, vol. 20, Chapter of Taqlid]
Thus, from Hafiz Ibn Taymiyya’s fatwa we have understood that at one time we should follow one Imam and taqlid is a necessity.

Some Objections

Common objections raised include: ‘When the four Imams have not asked us to follow them, why do we follow them?’ Also, ‘When there is no hadith that recommends following the four Imams, why do we follow them?’
The answer to this is that we recite the Holy Qur’an in the manner of the seven qurra’ and yet they didn’t say ‘Follow us!’ nor did the ahadith say we should follow them. Did the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) say only to 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 Sunna. By saying this they encourage us to follow their deductions, which are guaranteed to be from the Qur’an and Sunna. 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 as-Sunna were not present at the time of the Sahaba, the first generation – just as Imam al-Bukhari and Imam 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. The four Imams are however, included in the first three 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….”.
Hafiz Ibn Qayyim writes that there were four Imams in the time of the Sahaba:
“In Makka there was ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas; in Madina there was Zayd ibn Thabit; in Basra there was Anas ibn Malik and in Kufa there was ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud.After they passed away, amongst the Tabi’un were four Imams; again, they were famous. In Madina there was Sa’id ibn Musayb; in Makka there was Ata ibn Rab’a; in Yamen there was Tawus, and in Kufa there was Ibrahim. There were many other Imams but these were the most famous at that time”

[Ibn al-Qayyim, Alam al-Muwaqqieen, page 10]

It is clear that before the four Imams of the Ahl as-Sunna there also existed Imams in the days of the Sahaba, who were also a source of religious advice. The details of their fatawa are written in Kitab Musannaf by ‘Abd ar-Razzaq and Ibn Abi Shayba’s, Musannaf.
Hafiz Ibn al-Qayyim says that “There were many Sahaba at the time but mainly Zayd ibn Thabit, Anas ibn Malik, ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, and ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas were the most famous and they used to give a lot of fatwas”

[A’lam al-Muwaqq’in, Chapter on ‘Qiyas’]

It is the same with the four Imams of the orthodox madhabs (schools of thought): Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Malik, Imam ash-Shafi’i, and Imam Ahmad. During their time there were many muhaddithin 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 al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim had differences between themselves. Imam Muslim in his book, Sahih Muslim, in the first part, has criticised Imam al-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 ash-Shafi’i? Imam Ibn Athir has written that Imam al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim were Shafi’is

[Ibn Athir, Jamee’ul-usul, biographies of Imam al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim]

Taki ad-Din Subki has mentioned Imam Bukhri’s name in the list of Scholars belonging to the Shahfi’i school

[Subki, Tabaqat Ash-Shafi’i]

Nawab Siddeeq Hasan Khan has also mentioned Imam al-Bukhari in the list of Shafi’i scholars[Khan, N, S, H., Abjad al-‘Ulum]
When the Imams Muslim and al-Bukhari themselves had to make recourse to taqlid and following a madhab, then how can the ordinary Muslim be expected to do otherwise!
2) Imam al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim did not gather all the authentic ahadith in Bukhari and Muslim. Many authentic ahadith have been left out. Imam al-Bukhari said: ‘I have left many authentic ahadith out of Bukhari as the book would have been too large [al-‘Asqalani, Muqaddima Fath al-Bari, page 9]
Hafiz Ibn Kathir says that neither Imam al-Bukhari nor Imam Muslim gathered all the authentic ahadith. Some of the left out narrations are present in Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Nasa’i and, Abu Dawud. Furthermore, Imam al-Bukhari himself said that he knew of more than 200, 000 ahadith that are musnad (hadith with chain going back to the Prophet, as opposed to marfu’ which only goes back to the Sahaba) [Ibn Kathir, ‘Ulum Ahadith and Ta’rikh Ibn Kathir, Biography of Imam al-Bukhari]
3) Bukhari and Muslim are not easy books to follow as Hafiz al-‘Asqalani wrote seventeen volumes of commentary on Bukhari and Imam Ayni wrote 25 volumes on Bukhari. Imam an-Nawawi wrote a commentary on Muslim. Yet there were some ahadith 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 al-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 al-Bukhari or Muslim, then why did Imam al-Bukhari, himself not follow his own ahadith narrations?For example:
(a) Hafiz al-‘Asqalani and Imam Ibn Kathir write that Imam Bukhari prayed that Allah Most High should take his life during the period when he was being persecuted by people [al-‘Asqalani, Tahdib Al Tahdib; and Ta’rikh Ibn Khathir, Biography of Imam Bukhari]
This is despite the fact that Imam al-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 al-Bukhari was known to complete the entire recitation of the Qur’an in one night during the month of Ramadan. This opposes the hadith narrations which he collected himself that mentions that the Qur’an should be completed within five to seven days

[Bukhari, Fada’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 Hadith?
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 al-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 muhaddithin, 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.
Hafiz Ibn Taymiyya writes that there has never been anyone from among the Imams who has deliberately opposed the Sunna. When we find a statement from an Imam which goes against the Sunna, the hadith in question does not fulfil the requirements of authentication of that Imam. Thus, 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 [Ibn Taymiyya, Rafu’l malam, pages 15-16]
An example can be given by looking at the ahadith which Abu Hanifa received from his teachers, who were the Sahaba of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and their students (Tabi’un). As these ahadith reached Abu Hanifa through direct narration from the Sahaba and their students, no question can be raised as to their authenticity. But when these same ahadith reached scholars of later generations, the chains of narrators could contain some unreliability. Therefore, if someone studies a hadith whose narrator is unreliable, and then says that a fatwa of Abu Hanifa that is based upon this hadith is contrary to the Sunna, it would be unfair.
Secondly, whatever the four Imams have said was not necessarily 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 Sunna as they are following other authentic ahadith, and therefore, not opposing the Sunna.

Two examples of following blindly

(1) Shaykh Albani writes:
“The hadith, which is attributed to our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), and states that ‘Isa and Imam Mahdi (peace be upon them) are the same person is completely untrue. Although Imam Ibn Majah, Imam al-Hakim, Imam Ibn ‘Abdi’l-Barr 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 al-Bayhaqi write that the narrator is Muhammad ibn Khalid, who is unknown. Furthermore, Imam adh-Dhahabi also considers this hadith to be false. Imam Sagani said that this hadith is fabricated. Imam as-Suyuti said that the people have fabricated this hadith. Imam al-Qurtubi considers this hadith to be weak”

[Albani, N., Silsila Ahadith Da’ifa, hadith no. 77]

It can be observed from the above, how Shaykh Albani takes the opinions of an aforementioned Imam as evidence.Moreover, if Imam adh-Dhahabi 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 can one say about this research – is Albani following Qur’an, Sunna or the Imams?
If one reads Shaykh Albani’s books it can be observed that Albani is always following Imams. If Albani cannot avoid taqlid then a simple Muslim would definitelyneed to follow an Imam.
When Albani follows Imams, such as Ibn Taymiyya, Ibn Kathir, Shawkani, adh-Dhahabi, al-‘Asqalani, and Ibn Abi Hatim, he is considered a great scholar and a knowledgeable person.Moreover, when someone else follows Imam Abu Hanifa, 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 ad-Darimi wrote:
“There was a great famine in Madina, the people went to ‘A’isha (may Allah be pleased with her) to seek guidance.She said to them to go and make a 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’id ibn Zahid.Imam Ibn Hajar says that this narration is not authentic. Imam adh-Dhahabi says Sa’id’s narration is weak; Imam Sa’di says that Sa’id is unreliable; Imam an-Nasa’i says Sa’id is weak in knowledge, but Imam Ahmed says that Sa’id is acceptable and the other narrator of this narration is Muhammad ibn Fadal, who is known to be authentic.However, during the later stages of his life he suffered memory lapse.We do not know whether Imam ad-Darimi 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 Hafiz Ibn Taymiyya has refused to accept the above narration. He writes in his book Ar-rad Al-Bakari that the hole in the room of our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was not present in the lifetime of ‘A’isha (may Allah be pleased with her).The hole came into existence during the time of Khalifa Walid ibn ‘Abd al-Malik, hence the above narration is false. ‘A’isha (may Allah be pleased with her) told the people to make a hole – this was her personal option and this is not acceptable”

[Albani, N., at-Tawassul, page 162]

In the above research it can be seen how Albani is again relying upon Imams, and in particular, how he is blindly following Hafiz ibn Taymiyya. Now we can ask those people who falsely accuse us of following Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam ash-Shafi’i.We ask them why Shaykh Albani is only following Imam Dahahbi, Imam al-‘Asqalani, Hafiz ibn Taymiyya 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 now examine Albani’s research regarding the above four points relating to the narration of Imam ad-Darimi.
The first response to Albani’s research is that he has only quoted the opinion of those scholars who considered Sa’id ibn Zahid to be unreliable. The reason he has chosen to do this is because if he had mentioned the scholars who had praised Sa’id ibn Zahid, then he would have to accept their narrations.This opposed his (Albani) and his Imam’s (Ibn Taymiyya) opinion. Let us consider the other opinions of scholars about Sa’id ibn Zahid.
Imam Bukhari mentions that Sa’id ibn Zahid was truthful and a learned man of hadith [al-Bukhari, Ta’rikh al-Kabir, Biography of Sa’id ibn Zahid]
Hafiz Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn Kathir both agree that Imam al-Bukhari was the one person in the world who knew hadith, texts and narrations better than anyone else [Ibn Taymiyya, Fatawa Ibn Taymiyya, vol.3, page 200; also Ibn Kathir, Ta’rikh Ibn Kathir, Biography of Imam al-Bukhari]
Imam Ibn Abi Hatim says Imam Abu Zahra said Sa’id ibn Zahid is a reliable person [Ibn Abi Hatim, Jarh wa Ta’dil, ,Biography of Sa’id ibn Zahid]
Hafiz al-‘Asqalani writes that Yahya ibn Mu’in said that Sa’id ibn Zahid was a reliable peson. Also, Imam Ajali and Imam Abu Zahra say that he was reliable. Imam Naban ibn Hilal says Sa’id ibn Zahid was a master of hadith. But Imam Daraqutni says that Sa’id ibn Zahid was weak [al-‘Asqalani, Tahdib al-Tahdib, Biography of Sa’id ibn Zahid]
We are surprised as to why Albani has chosen to discard the opinions of the aforementioned scholars regarding the reliability of Sa’id ibn Zahid. If Albani recognised the authenticity of Sa’id ibn Zahid by trusting the opinion of Imam al-Bukhari and Yahya ibn Mu’in, he would have no choice but to accept Sa’id ibn Zahid as a reliable narrator and hence accept the hadith.This would be a logical conclusion if we remember that Albani’s two Imams (Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn Kathir) have said that Imam al-Bukhari is the most learned person of hadith in the world.
The second objection of Albani regarding this narration is that Muhammad ibn Fadal, the narrator of this hadith, suffered from memory lapse at later stages of his life .We do not know whether Imam ad-Darimi took this narration from Muhammad ibn 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 ibn Fadal was a teacher of both Imam al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim. Imam al-Bukhari took narrations from him. We have a reliable opinion that Imam al-Bukhari took the narration from Muhammad ibn Fadal before he started to suffer from memory lapse. Furthermore, Imam as-Darimi, like Imam al-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 ad-Darimi 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 ad-Darimi took the narration from Muhammad ibn Fadaal, that is after he started to suffer from memory lapse, then someone else may say that Imam al-Bukhari also accepted narrations from Muhammad ibn Fadal 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.
Hafiz al-‘Asqalani has written in his preface to Fath al-Bari that Imam al-Bukhari took narrations from Muhmmad ibn Fadal before he started to suffer from memory lapse. However, Hafiz Ibn Hajar did not state the period in which Muhammad ibn Fadal started to suffer from memory lapse or to the fact how he knew that Imam al-Bukhari took narration from Muhammad ibn Fadal before he started to suffer from memory lapse. We are therefore puzzled as to how Albani has established his suspicion on Imam ad-Darimi regarding this narration. Likewise, others may be suspicious about Imam al-Bukhari.
The third objection of Albani regarding this narration is that during the rule of Walid ibn Malik, the room of ‘A’isha, where our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) is buried, was rebuilt with a hole in the room. From this it can be seen that the hole was not made by the order of ‘A’isha.,Therefore, the narration that states that ‘A’isha gave the order for the hole to be made is false. However, when Walid ibn Malik rebuilt ‘A’isha’s room, the hole was made again. So we cannot be certain that the hole was in existence before the rebuilding of the room.
Imam Ibn Jarir al-Tabari and Hafiz ibn Kathir write in their Ta’rikh that during Walid ibn Malik’s
Governmental period the Mosque of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was enlarged and, during this extension, ‘A’isha’s room (where our Prophet is buried) was enclosed in the Mosque. But they do not mention anything about a hole. Therefore, how can it be said that narration regarding a hole is not authentic?
Shaykh Albani says Hafiz ibn Tamiyyah never accepted this narration. However, Hafiz ibn Taymiyya has accepted this narration elsewhere. Hafiz Ibn Taymiyya 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’s (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) grave”

[Ibn Taymiyya, Iqtida as-Sirat al-Mustaqim, page 338]

If this narration was not true then Hafiz Ibn Taymiyya would have rejected it but he has not rejected it hence further supporting its validity.
Albani’s fourth objection is that this was ‘A’isha’s personal opinion. This can be answered by the 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 Umma. Except Albani.
In conclusion we can say that if Albani needs to fallow Imam adh-Dhahabi, Imam al-‘Asqalani, Imam Abu Hatim, Imam Ibn ‘Adi, Hafiz Ibn Taymiyya and Shawkani. Therefore ordinary Muslims also need to follow Imams i.e. Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Malik ,Imam ash-Shafi’i and Imam Ahmed.
Furthermore, Albani’s research is unreliable because he has chosen to ignore opinions which he disagrees with.


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