Important Books For The Seeker of Knowledge

Praise be to Allaah.

1) – ‘Aqeedah (basic tenets of faith):

1- Thalaathat al-Usool

2- Al-Qawaa’id al-Arba’ah

3- Kashf al-Shubahaat

4- Al-Tawheed

These four books were written by Shaykh al-Islam Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab (may Allaah have mercy on him).

5- Al-‘Aqeedah al-Waasitiyyah which deals with Tawheed al-Asmaa’ wa’l-Sifaat (The Oneness of the Divine names and attributes). This is one of the best books written on this topic, and it is worth reading and studying.

6- Al-Hamawiyyah

7- Al-Tadmuriyyah

These two books are more comprehensive than al-Waasitiyyah. These three books were written by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah.

8- Al-‘Aqeedah al-Tahhaawiyyah, by Shaykh Abu Ja’far Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Tahhaawi

9- Sharh al-‘Aqeedah al-Tahhaawiyyah by Abu’l-Hasan ‘Ali ibn Abi’l-‘Izz

10-Al-Durar al-Saniyyah fi’l-Ajoobah al-Najdiyyah, compiled by Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Qaasim (may Allaah have mercy on him)

11-Al-Durrah al-Madiyyah fi ‘Aqeedah al-Firqah al-Mardiyyah by Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Safaareeni al-Hanbali.

This book contains some general statements which go against the madhhab of the salaf, such as his saying, “Our Lord is not an essence or an attribute or a physical entity, exalted be He.”

Therefore the seeker of knowledge has to study it with a shaykh who is well versed in the ‘aqeedah of the salaf, so that he can explain the general statements in it that go against the ‘aqeedah of the righteous salaf.

2) – Hadeeth

1- Fath al-Baari Sharh Saheeh al-Bukhaari, by Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqallaani (may Allaah have mercy on him).

2- Subul al-Salaam Sharh Buloogh al-Maraam, by al-San’aani, and his book Jaami’ bayna al-Hadeeth wa’l-Fiqh

3- Nayl al-Awtaar Sharh Muntaqaa al-Akhbaar by al-Shawkaani

4- ‘Umdat al-Ahkaam by al-Maqdisi. This is an abridged book; most of its ahaadeeth are narrated in al-Saheehayn so their authenticity does not need to be researched.

5- Al-Arba’een al-Nawawiyyah, by Abu Zakariyya al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him). This is a good book because it includes etiquette and a good methodology, and important basic principles, such as the hadeeth, “Part of a person’s being a good Muslim is his leaving alone that which does not concern him.”

(Narrated by Imaam Ahmad, 1 – 201; al-Tirmidhi, 2318; classed as hasan by al-Nawawi in Riyaadh al-Saaliheen, 73; classed as saheeh by Ahmad Shaakir in al-Musnad, 1737)

This principle – if one made it the path upon which one walks – would be sufficient. Another principle is given concerning when one should speak, “Whoever believes in Allaah and the Last Day, let him say something good or else remain silent.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, Kitaab al-Adab; Muslim, Kitaab al-Luqtah, Baab al-Diyaafah).

6- Buloogh al-Maraam, by al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqallaani. This is a very useful book, especially because it mentions the narrators, and quoted the opinions of others scholars, who said whose hadeeth is saheeh and whose is da’eef, and he comments on the hadeeth to say whether they are saheeh or da’eef.

7- Nukhbat al-Fikr by al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqallaani. This is considered to be a comprehensive work. If the seeker of knowledge understands it completely then he will have no need of many other books of mustalah (the science of hadeeth). Ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) has a useful way of writing, which involves examining every issue in depth and categorizing the topics he discusses. If the seeker of knowledge reads it he will find it stimulating, because it is based on making one think. I say: it is good for the seeker of knowledge to memorize it because it is a useful summary of the science of mustalah (science of hadeeth).

8- The Six Books (Saheeh al-Bukhaari, Muslim, al-Nasaa’i, Abu Dawood, Ibn Maajah and al-Tirmidhi). I advise the seeker of knowledge to read them often, because that will serve two purposes: reviewing the main sources of Islam and reviewing the names of hadeeth narrators. If you often review the names of hadeeth narrators, then whenever you come across the name of one of the narrators of al-Bukhaari in any isnaad, you will know that this is one of the narrators of al-Bukhaari, so you will benefit from this knowledge of hadeeth.

3) – Books of fiqh:

1- Aadaab al-mashiy ila’l-Salaah by Shaykh al-Islam Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab (may Allaah have mercy on him)

2- Zaad al-Mustaqni’ fi Ikhtisaar al-Muqni’ by al-Hajjaawi. This is one of the best texts of fiqh. It is a blessed book, brief and comprehensive. Our shaykh, ‘Abd al-Rahmaan al-Sa’di (may Allaah have mercy on him) told us to memorize it, even though he had memorized the text of Daleel al-Taalib.

3- Al-Rawd al-Murbi’ Sharh Zaad al-Mustaqni’ by Shaykh Mansoor al-Bahooti

4- ‘Umdat al-Fiqh by Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him)

5- al-Usool min ‘Ilm al-Usool. This is an abridged book which serves as an introduction for the seeker of knowledge.

4) – Faraa’id (laws of inheritance)

1- Matn al-Rahbiyyah by al-Rahbi

2- Matn al-Burhaaniyyah by Muhammad al-Burhaani. This is a useful and comprehensive abridged book dealing with all the laws of inheritance. I think that al-Burhaaniyyah is more comprehensive than al-Rahbiyyah in some ways, and it gives more information.

5) – Tafseer

1- Tafseer al-Qur’aan al-‘Azeem by Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him). This book is good for tafseer based on reports and it is useful and trustworthy. But it does pay much attention to matters of grammar and style.

2- Tayseer al-Kareem al-Rahmaan fi Tafseer Kalaam al-Mannaan by Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahmaan al-Sa’di (may Allaah have mercy on him). This is a good, easy and trustworthy book, and I recommend it.

3- Muqaddimah Shaykh al-Islam fi’l-Tafseer. This is an important introduction.

4- Adwaa’ al-Bayaan by al-‘Allaamah Muhammad al-Shanqeeti (may Allaah have mercy on him). This is a comprehensive book covering hadeeth, fiqh, tafseer and usool al-fiqh.

6) – General books on some subjects:

1- On (Arabic) grammar: Matn al-Ajroomiyyah. This is an abridged book.

2- Also on Arabic grammar: Alfiyyah Ibn Maalik; this is a summary of the science of grammar.

3- On Seerah (Prophet’s biography): The best book that I have seen is Zaad al-Ma’aad by Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him). This is a very useful book in which he mentions the biography of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) from all angels, then he discusses many rulings.

4- Rawdat al-‘Uqalaa’ by Ibn Hibbaan al-Busti (may Allaah have mercy on him). This is a useful book despite its brevity. He compiled a large amount of useful material and stories of the scholars, muhadditheen and others.

5- Siyar A’laam al-Nubalaa’ by al-Dhahabi. This book is very useful and the seeker of knowledge should read and refer to it.

From Fataawa al-Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen, Kitaab al-‘Ilm, p. 92
Taken from http://www.Islam-QA.com

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What Is Salafiyyah?

Shaykh Muhammad Saalih Ibn al-Uthaymeen (rahimahullaah)
Source: Liqaa-al-Baab al-Maftooh, #1322
http://www.theclearpath.com

Question: What Is Salafiyyah?

Answer: Salafiyyah is following the way of the Prophet (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) and his Sahabah for they are our Salaf (predecessors) who preceded us, so following them is Salafiyyah. As for taking Salafiyyah as a special Manhaj (Methodology) such that everyone who differs with it is considered astray even if he was on the truth; then this is beyond doubt opposite to Salafiyyah.

All the Salaf called to Islaam and to unite upon the Sunnah of Allaah’s Messenger (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) and they did not declare astray anyone who differs with them (in a certain issue) because of (a different) interpretation (Taweel), except in matters of Aqeedah (beliefs) because they considered him, who differed in Aqeedah as astray.

But, in our time, some who took the path of Salafiyyah consider astray everyone who differs from them even if the truth were to be on his side. And they took a Hizbi (partisan) Manhaj, just like the other Hizbs (parties), who divide the religion. This (their way) must be rejected and not be approved of.

It is said, ‘Look at the way of the Salaf as-Salih and what did they do in regards to differences and wideness of their hearts with regards to Ikhtilaaf (differences) in matters in which Ijtihad was feasible. (They differed with each other) to the degree that they differed in big issues, in (minor) issues of Aqeedah and (minor) issues of knowledge – for example, some of them denied that Allaah’s Messenger (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) saw His Lord and some of them confirmed of it. Some of them said, ‘the deeds would be weighted on the Day of Judgment’, whilst others held that ‘the books which record the deeds will be weighed.’ They also differ in matters of Fiqh, Marriage, obligations, buying and selling, etc. Despite this, they did not declare each other astray.

Thus, Salafiyyah that is taken to mean a special party (Hizb) with specific rules whose members consider anyone who differs with them as astray then they have nothing to do with Salafiyyah.

But the Salafiyyah that is to follow the Salaf in beliefs, sayings, actions, their way of differing and unity, their way of being merciful and compassion to one another as the Prophet (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) said,

“You see the believers as regards their being merciful among themselves and showing love among themselves and being kind, resembling one body, so that, if any part of the body is not well then the whole body shares the sleeplessness (insomnia) and fever with it.” [1]

Then this is the true Salafiyyah.

——————————————————————————–

Footnotes
[1] Aqeedah: The principles and specific details of belief that one holds in his heart. (ex. Tawheed, Eemaan). Imaam al-Asbahaanee (d.535H) – rahimahullaah – said:

“The sign of Ahlus-Sunnah is that they follow the Salafus-Saalih and abandon all that is innovated and newly introduced into the Deen.” [Al-Hujjah fee Bayaanil Mahajjah 1/364]

Shaykh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taymeeyah – rahimahullaah – said:

“It is not for anyone to place for the ummah a person calling to his path showing loyalty or enmity because of that path other than the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam).

And it is not permissible to place for them speech, show loyalty or enmity because of it other than the speech of Allaah and His messenger (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) and that which The Ummah has united upon.

Rather, this is what the people of innovation do who place for themselves a person or some speech and they divide with it the ummah, showing loyalty or enmity upon that person or that kalaam or that attribute. [Majmoo’ al-Fataawa vol. 20, pp. 124]

Advice to the seeker of knowledge by Ibn Uthaymeen

Shaykh Al-‘Uthaymeen (rahimullah) says,

“It is obligatory upon the students of knowledge that he should have a complete concern for ‘ilm by taking from its principals in which there is no success for the student of knowledge if he does not begin with it. And they are:

a.) The Noble Qur’aan: It is obligatory upon the student of knowledge to have the desire to read, memorize, understand and act upon it (i.e. the Qur’aan). Because the Qur’aan is the rope of Allah which is everlasting. It is the foundation of knowledge. And the Salaf use to desire [the Qur’aan] with the utmost desire. There are some amazing incidents that are mentioned that relate their concerns for the Qur’aan. You find one of them who memorized the Qur’aan while he was only seven years of age; while some others memorized it is less than a month. And this proofs the concerns that the salaf used to have for the Qur’aan May Allah be pleased with them all. So it is necessary that the students of knowledge should have desire for memorizing it in the hands of the one of the teachers, because the Qur’aan is obtained by a way of meeting [with the teachers].

And indeed it is with regret that you will find some students of knowledge that do not memorize the Qur’aan rather some of them cannot even recite it properly. And this is a big deficiency in the manhaj (methodology) of the students of knowledge. For this reason, I reiterate that it is necessary that the students of knowledge have concerns/desire to memorize the Qur’aan, to act upon it, to call to it, while having the understanding of the salaf-us-Saalih.

b.) The Authentic Sunnah: It is the second source in the Islamic Sharee’ah [besides the Qur’aan]. It is to the Noble Qur’aan a clarifier/explainer. So, it is mandatory on the students of knowledge to combine both of them (i.e. the Qur’aan and the Sûnnah) and to have desire for them as well. And it is upon the students of knowledge to memorize the Sûnnah, [it is done] by memorizing actual texts of the hadith or by studying its chains of narrators, its text and by differentiating the strong [hadith] from the weak [hadith]. Likewise, memorizing the Sûnnah is a way of defending as well as refuting the doubts of the people of innovation. Therefore, it is mandatory upon the students of knowledge that they must comply with the Qur’aan and the authentic Sûnnah…and they are/become for him, meaning the students of knowledge, like the two wings of an airplane. If one of them breaks he is not able to fly. For this reason, don’t maintain the Sûnnah while neglecting the Qur’aan or that you maintain the Qur’aan while neglecting the Sûnnah…Most of the students of knowledge devote their attention to the Sûnnah and it’s explanation, its men, its terminologies with complete devotion. However, if you were to ask [one of them] a verse from the Book of Allah, you will observe that he is ignorant concerning it. And this is a big mistake. It is necessary that the Qur’aan and the Sûnnah should be two wings for you O students of knowledge….” [end of qoute]

I hope everyone benefits from the statements of Shayk Al-‘Uthaymeen (Rahimullah). Indeed, memorizing the Qur’aan has great virtues both in this dunyaa and akhirah. Also, I advice all the students of knowledge to obtian this book which has a lot of beneficial statements from the Shayk concerning students of knowlledge.
*Source:
Kitaabul-‘ilm (Pg. 43-45)
by Shayk Muhammad Ibn Saalih Al-‘Uthaymeen (rahimullahi ta’alaa)

Translator: Abu Zayd

Learning from Ash’ari shaykhs

Question:

We are students who are seeking knowledge. We study ‘aqeedah with some teachers who are teaching us Ash’ari ‘aqeedah. They interpret the hand of Allaah as meaning His power or His blessing, and His being above His throne (istiwaa’) as meaning His sovereignty, and so on. What is the ruling on studying with these teachers?

Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

These people who interpret the Qur’aan in this manner, whether they are called Ash’aris or some other name, have gone astray from the path of the righteous salaf.

Not even one letter of what these people say in their misinterpretations has been narrated from the righteous salaf.

Let them bring one word from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), or from Abu Bakr, or ‘Umar, or ‘Uthmaan, or ‘Ali, to say that they interpreted Allaah’s hand as meaning His power, or that they interpreted His being above the Throne (istiwaa’) as referring to His Sovereignty, or that they interpreted His Face as meaning reward, or that they interpreted His love as meaning reward, etc. Let them produce one word from them to show that they interpreted these aayahs and similar verses in the manner that these people interpret them. If they cannot produce any such thing, let it be said that either the righteous salaf, headed by the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), the leader of the pious, were unaware of the meaning of this tremendous ‘aqeedah (of Islam), or they did know it but they concealed the truth. But neither of these can be said of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or of any of the Rightly-Guided Khaleefahs, or of his Companions (may Allaah be pleased with them). If that is the case then we have to follow their path (the path of the Prophet and the Rightly-Guided Khaleefahs).

My advice to these people is to fear Allaah and to abandon what So and so said, and to come back to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and the way of the Rightly-Guided Khaleefahs who came after him. They should know that there will come a Day when they will return to Allaah, when they will not be able to use the opinion of So and so as evidence. By Allaah, So and so will not be able to help them on that Day. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And (remember) the Day (Allaah) will call to them, and say: ‘What answer gave you to the Messengers?’” [al-Qasas 28:65]

He did not say, Remember the Day when (Allaah) will call to them and say, ‘What answer gave you to So and so…?’

And Allaah says in His Book (interpretation of the meaning):

“So believe in Allaah and His Messenger (Muhammad), the Prophet who can neither read nor write (i.e. Muhammad), who believes in Allaah and His Words, and follow him so that you may be guided” [al-A’raaf 7:158]

Allaah commanded us to believe in him and follow him. If this is the case then how can a person believe in Allaah and His Messenger in the true and complete sense, then turn away from the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the way in which he believed in his Lord, and misinterpret the way in which Allaah has described Himself in His Book or the way in which His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) has described Him, simply because of illusions which they call rational thought?

I advise them to come back to Allaah and to abandon any other opinion, and follow what Allaah and His Messenger say, for if they die following that they will have died following the truth. But if they go against that then they are in grave danger and those whose opinions they are following will not protect them from Allaah. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“(Remember) the Day when every person will come up pleading for himself, and every one will be paid in full for what he did (good or evil, belief or disbelief in the life of this world) and they will not be dealt with unjustly” [al-Nahl 16:111]

I repeat this advice to every believer, to come back to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) with regard to what he believes about his Lord and God, following the path of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), the rightly guided khaleefahs who came after him, and the imams of the Muslims who led the people in following the Sunnah of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), without referring to rational thought, which is no more than an illusion, concerning issue that have to do with Allaah and His names and attributes.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah spoke well when he described the ahl al-kalaam (“Islamic” philosophers) as “having been given intelligence but not knowledge, and had having been given smartness but not sincerity.” So one has to deepen one’s knowledge on the basis of the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). I ask Allaah to help us all to have faith and to cause us to meet Him when He is pleased with us, for He is Able to do all things. Praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the Worlds, and may Allaah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions.

I call upon all seekers of knowledge to call their brothers to that which they have heard, for by Allaah it is the truth. Whoever claims to have truth other than this, we will accept it and adhere to it (if it can be proven to be true).

From Fataawa al-Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen, Kitaab al-‘Ilm, p. 226

Advice to the Students of Knowledge

Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Saleh Ibn Uthaymeen

Finally, I sincerely advise, myself first, and my Muslim brothers, especially the students of knowledge not to make haste and be quick when a new issue befalls a person until he verifies the situation, gains knowledge and then speaks, so that he does not speak about Allah without knowledge.

As, the person who gives judgment is an emissary between the people and Allah; he conveys the Shari’ah of Allah as has been reported from the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam):

“The scholars are the inheritors of the Prophets” (Ahmad (5/196).  Aboo Dawood, at-Tirmidhi and others);

and the Prophet (sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam) has also said:

“The judges are three: (only) one of the judges being in paradise and he is the one who knew the truth and judged according to it.”

Related by Abu Dawood with the following wording:

The judges are three; one of the judges is in Paradise and two are in the Fire. With regards to the one in Paradise then he is the man who knew the truth and judged according to it. The man who knew the truth and was unjust in his ruling is in the Fire, and the man who judged between the people out of ignorance is in the Fire.”

Also of importance, when a new issue befalls you, draw your heart towards Allah and feel in need of Him so that he causes you to understand and imparts knowledge to you; especially in grave and important matters, where many people remain in ignorance.

Some of my teachers mentioned to me that it is befitting for the person who has been questioned on an issue, to seek forgiveness from Allah even more; deducing that from Allah’s statement,

“Surely, we have revealed to you the Book in truth that you may judge between the people by that which Allah has shown you; so do not be a pleader for the treacherous. And seek the forgiveness of Allah, certainly, Allah is ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful” (Surah an-Nisa 4, 105-106)

An increase in seeking forgiveness necessitates the wiping away of the repercussions of sins, which is one of the causes of forgetting knowledge and becoming ignorant, as Allah says,

“So, because of their breach of their covenant. We cursed them and made their hearts grow hard. They change the words from their proper places and forgot a good part of the message that was sent to them” (Surah al-Maa’idah 5:13)

Imam ash-Shaafi`ee once said: I complained to Wakee` (*) about my poor memory. So he advised me to abandon disobedience. and he said, ‘know that knowledge is light. And the light of Allah is not bestowed upon a disobedient.

So it is certainly possible that seeking forgiveness causes Allah to give a person enlightenment.

I ask Allah to grant me success, make me upright that He keeps us firm with the Firm Word (Shahaadah) in this life and the Hereafter; and that He does not cause our hearts to deviate after having guided us and to grant us from His self, mercy: Indeed, He is the Benevolent. All praise is for Allah alone, and may He praise, send peace and blessings upon our Prophet Muhammad and his Companions.

* Wakee’ Ibn al-Jarraah was a famous scholar from the Salaf and one of the teachers of Imam ash-Shaafi`ee. He died in the year 196H.

Ijtihaad and Taqleed

by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Sâlih al-‘Uthaymeen

The Shaykh, may Allaah have mercy on him, says in his ‘Al-Usool min ‘Ilimil Usool’ (pp97-104),

‘Definition of Ijtihaad:

linguistically ijtihaad means: to expend efforts in order to reach some difficult matter. Technically it means: expending efforts to arrive at a Sharee’ah ruling. And the Mujtahid is the one who expends efforts for this purpose.

Conditions for Ijtihaad:

Being a mujtahid has conditions, from them:-

  1. That he knows the Sharee’ah proofs which he needs in his ijtihaad – such as the verses and ahaadeeth pertaining to rulings.
  2. That he knows what relates to the authenticty or weakness of a hadeeth, such as having knowledge of the isnaad and it’s narrators and other than this.
  3. That he knows the abrogated and the abrogating, and the places where there is ijmaa – such that he does not give a ruling according to something that has been abrogated, nor give a ruling that opposes the (authentically related) ijmaa.
  4. That he knows from the proofs that which causes the rulings to vary, such as takhsees (particularisation), or taqyeed (restriction), or it’s like. So he does not give a judgement which is contrary to this.
  5. That he knows the Arabic language and usul al-fiqh, and what relates to the meanings and indications of particular wordings – such as the general, the particular, the absolute and unrestricted, the restricted, the unclarified, and the clarified, and it’s like – in order that he gives rulings in accordance with what this demands.
  6. That he has the ability to extract rulings from the evidences.

And ijtihaad may be split up, such that it may be undertaken in one particular branch of knowledge, or in one particular issue.

What is essential for the Mujtahid:

It is essential that the Mujtahid strives in expending his efforts to arrive at knowledge of the truth, and to give rulings in accordance to what is apparent to him. If he is correct, then he has two rewards: one for his ijtihaad, and the other for arriving at the truth – since arriving at the truth means that it is manifested and acted upon. If, however, he is mistaken, then he has a single reward, and his error is forgiven him, as he (SAW) said, “when a judge judges and strives and is correct, then he has two rewards. If he judges and strives and errs, then he has a single reward.” If the ruling is not clear to him, then he must withold – and in such a case, taqleed is permissible for him, due to necessity.

Taqleed – it’s definition:

Linguistically, taqleed means: Placing something around the neck, which encircles the neck. Technically it means: Following he whose sayings is not a proof (hujjah).

Exlcuded from our saying, “following he whose saying is not a proof” is: following the Prophet (SAW), following the ijmaa and also following the saying of the sahaabee – for those who consider the saying of a single sahaabee to be a proof. So following any of these is not called taqleed, since there is a proof for doing so. However this type of following is sometimes referred to as taqleed in a very metaphorical and loose sense.

The Place of Taqleed:

Taqleed is done in two cases:

1) when the muqallid is an ‘aamee (a common person) who does not have the ability to aquire knowledge of the sharee’ah ruling by himself. So taqleed is obligatory upon him, due to the saying of Allaah – The Most High, “ask the people of knowledge if you do not know.” So he does taqleed of one whom he considers to be a person of knowledge and piety. If there are two such people who are equal in his view, then he chooses any one of them.

2) The mujtahid when he encounters a new situation, for which an immediate solution is required, but it is not possible for him to research into this matter. So in this case he is permitted to perform taqleed.

Some stipulate as a condition for the permissibility of taqleed, that the matter is not from the fundamentals of the deen – those matters which must be held as aqueedah – since matters of aqueedah require certainty, whereas taqleed only amounts to dhann (knowledge which is not certain).

However the correct saying in this matter is that this is not a condition, due to the generality of his – the Most High’s – saying, “ask the people of knowledge if you do not know.” And this verse is in the context of affirming the Messengership – which is from the fundamentals of the deen. And also because the common person cannot acquire knowledge of the sharee’ah rulings with it’s proofs by himself. So if he is unable to arrive at the truth by himself, then nothing remains for him except taqleed, due to the saying of Allaah – the most High, “fear Allaah as much as you can”

Types of Taqleed:

Taqleed is of two types: general and specific.

1) The general type: that a person sticks to a particular madhhab (school of thought), accepting it’s concessions and non-concessions, in all matters of the deen.

The scholars have differed about such a state. So some amongst the late-comers have reported that this is obligatory upon him, due to his inability to perform ijtihaad. Others report it as being forbidden for him, due to its being a case of necessitating unrestricted following of other than the Prophet (SAW).

Shaykh al-Islaam ibn Taymiyyah said,

“The saying that it is obligatory, causes obedience to other than the Prophet (SAW) in every matter of command and pohibition, and this is in opposition to the ijmaa’. And the allowance of it contains what it contains.”

He (RH) also said,

“He who sticks to a particular madhhab, and then acts in opposition to it – without making taqleed of another scholar who has given him a ruling, nor does he use an evidence as a proof which necessitates acting in opposition to his madhhab, nor does he have an acceptable Sharee’ah excuse which allows him to do what he has done – then such a person is a follower of his desires, doing what is haraam – without a Sharee’ah excuse – and this is evil and sinful.However, if there becomes clear to him, something which necessitates preference to one saying to another – either due to detailed proofs if he knows and understands them, or because he holds one of two people to be more knowledgeable about this matter and having more piety with regards to what he says – and so he leaves the saying of that one for the saying of the other one, then this is permissible, rather, it is obligatory. And there is a text from Imaam Ahmad about this.”

2) The particular type of taqleed is that he accepts a saying about a particular matter. This is permissible if such a person is unable to arrive at knowledge of the by ijtihaad – whether he is unable to in reality, or he is able, but with great difficulty.

Fatwaa of a Muqallid:

Allaah – the Most High – said, “Ask the people of knowledge if you do not know.” And the Ahludh Dhikr are the Ahlul Ilm (the people of knowledge), whereas the muqallid is not a person of knowledge who is followed – rather he himself is a follower of someone else.

Ibn Abdul Barr (d.463) and others have said,

“the people are united in ijmaa that the muqallid is not counted as being from the Ahlul Ilm, and that knowledge is the realisation of guidance along with it’s proof.”

Ibn al-Qayyim said,

” And it is as Abu Umar (ibn Abdul Barr) said: Indeed, the people do not differ about the fact that knowledge is the realisation attained from proof, but without proof, it is only taqleed.”

Ibn al-Qayyim then quotes,

“There are three sayings about the permissibility of giving fatwaa based upon taqleed:1) It is not permissible to give fatwaa based upon taqleed, because it is not knowledge; since issuing a fatwaa without knowledge is forbidden. This is the saying of most of the Hanbalee scholars and the majority of the Shaafi’iyyah.

2) That it is permissible with regards to himself, but it is not permissible to give a fatwaa to others based upon taqleed.

3) That it is permissible when there is a need for it, and there is no mujtahid scholar. And this is the most correct of the sayings and is what is acted upon.”‘

Shaykh al-Albaanee says in his, ‘The Hadeeth is a Proof in itself’ after mentioning the statements of the Imaams on Taqleed as found in the introduction to ‘The Prophets Prayer Described’ brings a chapter heading, “Taqleed for whoever cannot search for proofs by himself” (pp94+),

‘”Some may ask: “Not everyone has the ability to be a Person of Knowledge, as explained before?” We say: yes indeed. No one disputes this fact. Allaah said, “So ask the People of Knowledge if you do not know.” (16:43) and, “ask the knowledgeable about it” (25:59). The Prophet (SAW), for those who issued fatwa without knowledge: “Could not they have asked if they did know? The cure for the confused one is to ask.” However, we did not mention all of the above evidence to show who can and who cannot be a scholar. Our research is with regards to those few who are considered to be People of Knowledge….Taqleed is upon the common person and the ignorant one. The scholars, who can search for the evidence, are excluded from this group. They are the ones whose responsibility is not to do Taqleed. Rather, their responsibility is to perform Ijtihaad. The following saying by ibn Abdul Barr explains this matter further, “All these rules are for the common folk, they are the ones who have to perform Taqleed of their scholars when needed. They are not capable of understanding or comprehending evidence or knowledge. Knowledge has grades, one cannot attain the topmost grade unless he goes via the base…Scholars do not differ with regards to the common folk having to follow their scholars…” However, I believe that to generalise about the common folk by saying that they all must perform taqleed is invalid. Taqleed is to follow others without evidence. Many intelligent people can clearly understand evidence if it is presented to them. Who can deny that a common person can understand the evidence contained in the hadeeth, “Tayammum is one strike (of the hands on the dust) for the face and hands”? Even people lacking intelligence can understand this hadeeth. Therefore, the truth is that we must say that Taqleed is allowed for whosoever cannot search for or understand the evidence, ibn al-Qayyim also was of this opinion. Even scholars are forced to do Taqleed sometimes, when a scholar cannot find a text from Allaah or His Messenger, but only sayings of more knowledgeable scholars.”

Footnotes

1. He is Abu Abdullaah Muhammad ibn Saalih ibn Muhammad ibn Uthaymeen al-Wuhaibee at-Tameemee, born 27th Ramadaan 1347 in ‘Unayzah, Saudia Arabia. He memorised the Qur’aan during early life and then studied under two of the students of Shaykh Abd ar-Rahmaan as-Sa’dee, later on going to study under the Shaykh himself. He studied Tawheed, tafseer, hadeeth, fiqh, usul al-fiqh, al-faraa’id (inheritance), nahw (grammar) and sarf (morphology). Then he studied under the scholar Abd al-Azeez bin Baaz. He is one of the foremost shaykhs of Ahlus Sunnah today, and has written around 40 books.

2. ‘Jaami Bayaan al-Ilm’ (2/119). And Allaamah al-Fulaanee says in his, ‘Eeqaadh Hamam Oolil Absaar’ (pg. 25), “….ilm refers only to what is in Allaah’s Book, and the Sunnah of Allaah’s Messenger (SAW) and the ijmaa and what is gained by qiyaas upon these sources….It does not refer to what the muqallids and the people of party spirit regard as ilm – in thei restricting ilm to refer to that which is written in the books of the opinions of the madhaahib – even though some of that clashes with the Prophetic ahaadeeth..”
ash-Shaatibee says in ‘al-Muwaafiqaat’ (4/293), “the muqallid is not an aalim.” And it occurs in the books of the Hanafees that the ignorant one is not allowed to take the post of Qadee (judge). And ibn al-Hammaan explains the ignorant one to be the Muqallid in ‘Fath al-Qadeer’ (5/456) and likewise ibn Wazeer in ‘Rawdah al-Baasim’ (1/36).

3. ‘I’laam al-Muwaqqi’een’ (1/7)

4. Imaaam ash-Shafi’ee said in his ‘Risalah’ (pg.39): “It is not permissible for anyone to ever to say about anything that it is halaal or haraam except upon knowledge. And this knowledge is what is related in the Book, or the Sunnah or Ijmaa or Qiyaas.”

5. pp’s 83+ of the English translation by The Daar of Islamic Heritage. This whole section is important and should be read thoroughly as it clears up many misconceptions and doubts.

The status of ruling by that which Allaah has revealed in Islam

Ruling by that which Allaah has revealed is part of Tauhid al-Ruboobiyyah (Oneness of the divine Lordship), because it is implementing the ruling of Allaah as is implied by acceptance of His Lordship (Ruboobiyyah) and His perfect sovereignty and control. Hence Allaah calls those who are followed in a manner contrary to what He has revealed arbaab (lords) of their followers. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“They (Jews and Christians) took their rabbis and their monks to be their lords [arbaab] besides Allaah (by obeying them in things which they made lawful or unlawful according to their own desires without being ordered by Allaah), and (they also took as their Lord) Messiah, son of Maryam (Mary), while they (Jews and Christians) were commanded [in the Tawraat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] to worship none but One Ilaah (God — Allaah) Laa ilaaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He). Praise and glory be to Him (far above is He) from having the partners they associate (with Him)”

[al-Tawbah 9:31]

Allaah calls those who are followed “lords” because they are appointed as lawgivers along with Allaah, and He calls the followers “slaves” because they submit to them and obey them in going against the ruling of Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted.

‘Adiyy ibn Haatim said to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “But they do not worship them.” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Nay, they forbid to them that which is permissible and they permit to them that which is forbidden, and they follow them; that is how they worship them.”

Once you understand this, you should realize that with regard to the one who does not rule by that which Allaah has revealed and wants rulings to be referred to someone other than Allaah and His Messenger, there are verses which state that he has no faith, and verses which state that he is a kaafir, zaalim (wrongdoer) and faasiq (rebellious evildoer).

As for the first category (i.e. the verses which state that he has no faith):

For example, Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Have you not seen those (hypocrites) who claim that they believe in that which has been sent down to you, and that which was sent down before you, and they wish to go for judgement (in their disputes) to the Taaghoot (false judges) while they have been ordered to reject them. But Shaytaan (Satan) wishes to lead them far astray.

61. And when it is said to them: ‘Come to what Allaah has sent down and to the Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم),’ you (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) see the hypocrites turn away from you (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) with aversion.

62. How then, when a catastrophe befalls them because of what their hands have sent forth, they come to you swearing by Allaah, ‘We meant no more than goodwill and conciliation!’

63. They (hypocrites) are those of whom Allaah knows what is in their hearts; so turn aside from them (do not punish them) but admonish them, and speak to them an effective word (i.e. to believe in Allaah, worship Him, obey Him, and be afraid of Him) to reach their innerselves.

64. We sent no Messenger, but to be obeyed by Allaah’s Leave. If they (hypocrites), when they had been unjust to themselves, had come to you (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) and begged Allaah’s forgiveness, and the Messenger had begged forgiveness for them, indeed, they would have found Allaah All-Forgiving (One Who forgives and accepts repentance), Most Merciful.

65. But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission”

[al-Nisa’ 4:60-65]

Allaah ascribes to these people who claim to have faith when they are hypocrites several characteristics:

1.They want to refer for judgement to al-taaghoot, which is everything that goes against the ruling of Allaah and His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), because going against the ruling of Allaah and His Messenger is tughyan and transgression against the ruling of the One to Whom belongs judgement and all things return to Him, namely Allaah. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Surely, His is the creation and commandment. Blessed is Allaah, the Lord of the ‘Aalameen (mankind, jinn and all that exists)!” [al-A’raaf 7:54].

2.If they are called to that which Allaah revealed to the Messenger, they refuse and turn away.

3.If a calamity befalls them because of what their hands sent forth, such as being exposed for their wrongdoing, they come swearing that they only meant good will and conciliation, as in the case of those who reject the rule of Islam today and govern according to laws that go against it, claiming that this is good and suited to modern circumstances.

Then Allaah warns these people who claim to be believers but who bear these characteristics that He knows what is in their hearts and what they are concealing of things that are different from what they say. And He commands His Prophet to admonish them and speak to them an effective word. Then He explains the wisdom behind sending the Messenger to be the only one who to be obeyed and followed, and no one else, no matter how strong their ideas and how vast their understanding. Then Allaah swears by His Lordship to His Messenger, which is the most special kind of Lordship and which points to the truth of His message, confirming that faith cannot be valid except with three things:

1.Referral for judgement in all disputes must be made to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

2.They should open their hearts to his judgement and there should be no objection or resistance to it in their hearts.

3.There must be full submission and acceptance of his ruling and it must be implemented with no hesitation or deviance.

As for the second category (verse which say that he is a kaafir, zaalim and faasiq):

For example, Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And whosoever does not judge by what Allaah has revealed, such are the Kaafiroon (i.e. disbelievers — of a lesser degree as they do not act on Allaah’s Laws)”

[al-Maa’idah 5:44]

“And whosoever does not judge by that which Allaah has revealed, such are the Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers — of a lesser degree)”

[al-Maa’idah 5:45]

“And whosoever does not judge by what Allaah has revealed (then) such (people) are the Faasiqoon [the rebellious i.e. disobedient (of a lesser degree)] to Allaah”

[al-Maa’idah 5:47].

Can these three characteristics be applied to one person, i.e., is the one who does not rule by what Allaah has revealed a kaafir, zaalim and faasiq? Because Allaah has described the kaafirs as being wrongdoers and evildoers, as He says (interpretation of the meaning): “And it is the disbelievers who are the Zaalimoon (wrongdoers)” [al-Baqarah 2:254] and “Certainly they disbelieved in Allaah and His Messenger, and died while they were Faasiqoon (rebellious, — disobedient to Allaah and His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم)” [al-Tawbah 9:84], so every kaafir is a wrongdoer and evildoer – or do these characteristics apply to those described only insofar as they do not rule by that which Allaah has revealed? The latter is more likely in my view, and Allaah knows best.

We say: The one who does not rule by that which Allaah has revealed because he regards it as insignificant, or he looks down on it, or he believes that something else is better and more beneficial to people, is a kaafir in the sense of being beyond the pale of Islam. Among these are those who promulgate for the people legislation that goes against Islamic laws to be a way by which people live. They only promulgated that legislation which goes against Islamic laws because they believe that it is better for people, because it is well known on the basis of common sense [?] that people do not turn away from one way to another way that is different unless they believe that the one they turned to is better and that the one they turned away from is lacking.

If a person does not rule by that which Allaah has revealed, but he does not regard it as insignificant, look down on it or believe that something else is better than it and more beneficial for people, rather he rules by something else by way of wronging those who are under his rule and out of vengeance and so on, then he is a wrongdoer but he is not a kaafir, and the level of his wrongdoing varies according to the alternative by which he rules and the means of ruling.

If a person does not rule by that which Allaah has revealed, but he does not regard it as insignificant, look down on it or believe that something else is better than it and more beneficial for people, rather he rules by something else so as to fulfill the wish of those who are ruled, or because of a bribe or for some other worldly reason, then he is a faasiq (rebellious evildoer) but he is not a kaafir, and the level of his wrongdoing varies according to the alternative by which he rules and the means of ruling.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said concerning those who take their rabbis and monks as lords instead of Allaah that they are of two types:

1.Those who know that they changed the religion of Allaah and they follow them in those changes, and believe in the permissibility of what was forbidden and the prohibition of what Allaah has permitted, following their leaders, even though they know that they have gone against the religion of the Messengers. This is kufr and Allaah and His Messenger regard it as shirk.

2.Those who believe in the permissibility of what was forbidden and the prohibition of what Allaah has permitted, but they obeyed them in disobeying Allaah, as the Muslim does when he commits sins that he believes are sins. They come under the same ruling as other sinners. End quote.

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him). Fataawa al-‘Aqeedah (p. 208-212).