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Urban Turban
08-10-2013, 02:49 PM
As salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakath,
Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim,

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The Internet – that amazing super thing through the help of which you are reading this has among the many positives its done has also exposed laymen to a multitude of opinions of scholars on fiqh (jurisprudential matters in Islam)leading themto pick and choose fatwas, for example, on music, even though however isolated, however far they may be from the majority, agreeing opinions of the bulk of the scholars. Remember, all this is almost always to cater to the whims and fancies of the nafs (self) and not to follow the religion in its entirety (which needs to be the goal)…leading them to their own detriment. Detriment?

Read on to know why.

The following are some great advices of top Syrian Shaykh, Al Muhaddith Shaykh Muhammad Awwamah’s (damath baraka tuhum) given to students who wish to follow isolated opinions of scholars.

Who is he?
These two anecdotes should suffice. His teacher, the great Shaykh Abdul Fattah Abu Ghuddah says of him: “My student of yesterday and comrade of today” while another top scholar, Shaykh Muhammad Sa’id At Tantawi says of him:“I know none upon the surface of the earth, who is more knowledgeable in the field of research than him.”

For the discerning, read a brief bio about Shaykh Awwamah here: Click

The following advices have been extracted from a lecture titled: ‘Golden Guidelines in The Path of Knowledge’ translated by Maulana Ibn Maulana Haroon Abasoomar titled ‘The Eight Guideline’.
The Eighth Guideline:


The eighth guideline is that a student should ensure that he sticks to the view of the overwhelming majority of ‘ulama and that he distances himself from the isolated or uncommon views, forsaking them totally just as our ‘ulama used to do. I do not mean that we should be searching for those issues on which the majority are unanimous. It is very rare for them all to concur on one view only.

The motive here is that,
for instance, on a particular issue there may be a different view by each of the four imams. Each of these four is backed by other scholars of the past who concur with them in their respective viewpoints. There may also exist one or two scholars who have a fifth viewpoint which is in contrast to what all the others have said. In such a situation, it is binding upon a student that he keeps to the view point of the four imams, and those that backed them, and that he abandons the fifth view which goes against the majority.

This is a huge mistake that is often committed by students of our era. Rather, as a result of the present academic disarray, this practice actually appeals to many of them!

Listen to the words of the great imam and mujtahid who lived in the early period of Islam, Imam Awzai (May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala have mercy on him):

note1 1?w820 -

“One who accepts the isolated views of the scholars will eventually leave Islam !!”


Imam Awzai passed away in 157 A.H. - An era which was filled with great personalities and many tabi’un, of which some might have had certain isolated views. Despite their position, this is the effect he foresaw in following such remote views.Imam Sulayman At-Taymi (May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala have mercy on him) & who lived in an era earlier than Imam Awzai. He says:

note2 1?w820 -

“If you accept the (isolated) concessions of every scholar,
in you would be every evil !!”

After quoting this statement, the great muhaddith of Spain, Imam ibn ‘Abdil Barr (May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala have mercy on him) writes:

“This is a unanimous and accepted fact regarding which I am unaware of any difference of opinion.”

In the book, Tabaqatush Shafi’iyyatul Kubra, after citing some isolated views that were held by certain illustrious scholars, the author, Tajuddin As-Subki (May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala have mercy on him) then quotes a statement of a great imam of hadith and fiqh, Imam Abu Ali Karabisi (May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala have mercy on him) who said:

“If somebody claims that the proponents of such isolated views are sometimes respected scholars, he will be told, the only real cause of the destruction of Islam would be the mistake of a respected alim whereas a thousand mistakes of a jahil (non-alim) would not affect Islam in the least. Historically there have been several people of knowledge who propounded views that were impermissible in Islam. For example, The famous Judge, Qadi Shurayh, passed certain verdicts which were not acceptable to anyone, which have no basis whatsoever, neither in the noble Quran, the hadith, or the views of the sahabah or tabi’in.”

If somebody studied the biography of Qadi Shurayh, he would understand him to be Islam’s second best judge of all times. (The first being Sayyiduna Ali (May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala be pleased with him) who received the title of being the best judge amongst the Sahabah from none other than the Prophet (Peace be upon him) himself). Despite the position of Qadi Shurayh, see what Imam Al-Karabisi said regarding some of his verdicts.


Therefore,
it is not permissible for one who clings to a weak, isolated view to justify his stance against us by saying that this is the view of such and such a scholar who is an imam, hujjah (proof) and a mujtahid etc, for our response would be that such and such an imam and tens or hundreds like him have opposed him by forsaking his view all together!


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Since a student should beware of adopting the view of one or two people which is in contrary with the vast majority of Islam, it is even more important that he guards himself against another even more drastic and grave offence. That is to appoint one or two scholars as arbitrators over the vast majority of Islam, thereby habitually adopting the view of these one or two whilst abandoning as well as insulting everyone besides them.So, the first precaution should be against resorting to the view of one or two scholars which oppose the majority for the sole purpose of suiting one’s worldly needs at the expense of one’s Din, or for no other reason but to create concessions for one’s self or anybody else… The second precaution should be against one surrendering the steering of his knowledge to one or two scholars whose every view he adopts and defends, thereby forsaking the view of the vast majority of the ulama of the ummah who may even number up to several hundreds or even thousands.

“This modus operandi (approach) is academically and logically improper.”


—x—x—

Now lets see what experts in other fields of life have to say about isolation:


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1. People who prefer isolation are more likely to die earlier than others.

Continue reading:

http://theijtema.com/2013/08/08/isolated-opinions/
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Futuwwa
08-10-2013, 10:25 PM
Can we stop assuming that people who disagree with us, or who believe in positions held by a scholarly minority, do so out of a selfish desire?
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Urban Turban
08-11-2013, 08:28 AM
Originally Posted by Futuwwa
Can we stop assuming that people who disagree with us, or who believe in positions held by a scholarly minority, do so out of a selfish desire?
No, we can't. Because 'selfish desires' are why the laymen (primarily) look into isolated opinions. Read the post again because it seems you have a hard time understanding. (That's why I have given the example of Music)

The Shaykh has explained it well, and people who won't listen to advices, will just not listen to advices...so no point wasting time explaining to people like you.
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Ali_008
08-11-2013, 11:28 AM
:wasalamex

In Ramadaan, I was listening to the lecture of an Imam of a Masjid, he said "live by taqwa, not fatwa." He also said that it was the quote of a great scholar of Islam, I forgot the name of that scholar. Later on he also added, you will find the fatwa that suits you, but how will you gain taqwa?
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Futuwwa
08-11-2013, 10:10 PM
Originally Posted by Urban Turban
No, we can't. Because 'selfish desires' are why the laymen (primarily) look into isolated opinions. Read the post again because it seems you have a hard time understanding. (That's why I have given the example of Music)

The Shaykh has explained it well, and people who won't listen to advices, will just not listen to advices...so no point wasting time explaining to people like you.
On the contrary, I understand the post completely. Which is why I see it for what it is. A bunch of unsubstantiated allegations, non sequiturs and a massive appeal to authority fallacy, all hidden behind grandstanding rhetoric.

Do you know the difference between understanding and agreeing?
Reply

Muhaba
08-12-2013, 02:15 AM
What are the evidence for such isolated opinions? You cannot accept any fatwa without evidence. Fatwas are based on evidence from Quran and Sunnah. There are four main sources of Islamic jurisprudence. Two of them are the main sources, Quran and Sunnah. The other two are derived from the first two. Everything else is based on these four sources. So everything has a basis in Quran and Sunnah. A study of Islamic fiqh (Usool ul fiqh) is necessary to understand this. I'll be translating bits from my Usool-ul-fiqh book that i brought from syria and hopefully will be posting some things from it here. in-sha-Allah.
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Ahmad H
08-12-2013, 03:29 AM
It is necessary for everyone to gain an understanding of Islam and not follow blindly behind any scholar. When we hear of a Fatwa, we should investigate into it and inquire into it to see if it fits into what the Qur'an says, then consider the Sunnah and then consider the Ahadith. Qiyas and Ijtihad for for the scholars only, but the first three are enough to make an informed decision to know whether a certain Fatwa is correct or not.

Also, Fatwas cannot be passed by anyone except those with Taqwa. So if someone is considered qualified by their knowledge alone, then you shouldn't follow them. But you can if you know they are full of Taqwa.

As for the majority rule, I would leave that. One Hadith says that a time would come when 72 sects of Muslims would end up in hellfire, and only one would go to Heaven. Another says that if one lives to see a time where there are no Muslims with an Imam, then one should separate themselves from them even if they have to eat the roots of bitter trees. There is great importance in following an Imam, but the Muslim must count on Allah to guide him and not take the words of scholars as equal to the word of God. Because at the end of the day people make mistakes. No scholar is perfect. Every scholar makes mistakes. That is human. Allah also forgives mistakes.

Point being, there are cases where isolated opinions may occur. Muslims are all encouraged to inquire into every Fatwa if they can. If they cannot, then their following an Imam's guidance will be incumbent on them and whatever the Imam is wrong in then the follower is not in the wrong, but on the Day of Judgment that Imam will be held accountable.

just remember that Fatwas are Judgments, and being a Judge is like being slaughtered without a knife. So it is a severe thing to judge wrongly. No layman should attempt Fatwas, that is not what I am saying. But be careful who you follow and investigate. This is an Islamic rule. A Muslim is supposed to seek knowledge, not keep themselves ignorant like many Muslims these days seem to like doing, unfortunately. I have to keep reminding many to learn but they seem to ignore me.

The ears, the eyes and the heart will all be taken into account. Everyone will have to stand before Allah themselves on the Day of judgment and no excuses for lack of action or knowledge will be allowed. So be careful who you learn your religion from and investigate the knowledge you receive so you can be sure of your obedience to Allah. The end goal of this all is to be properly obedient to Allah and to shun disobedience. Everything else is secondary. This one intention is the most noble one of all.
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Futuwwa
08-12-2013, 10:50 AM
Originally Posted by Ahmad H
It is necessary for everyone to gain an understanding of Islam and not follow blindly behind any scholar. When we hear of a Fatwa, we should investigate into it and inquire into it to see if it fits into what the Qur'an says, then consider the Sunnah and then consider the Ahadith. Qiyas and Ijtihad for for the scholars only, but the first three are enough to make an informed decision to know whether a certain Fatwa is correct or not.
And if we do that, and conclude that the fatwa by the "isolated" scholar makes more sense than the majority view?
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Ahmad H
08-12-2013, 02:35 PM
Originally Posted by Futuwwa
And if we do that, and conclude that the fatwa by the "isolated" scholar makes more sense than the majority view?
The isolated view, if correct according to the Qur'an, Sunnah and Ahadith, is acceptable. If the majority view in something is saying otherwise than the Qur'an, Sunnah and Ahadith, after proper inquiry, then what else can you do but follow the religion of Allah and adopt that which is according to His law? Just remember you are fully accountable for your deeds to Allah and your intention should be obedience to Him.

In some cases perhaps that view is correct and the others are wrong. I did mention that the Holy Prophet (saw) said there would be 73 sects, 72 would be in Hell and one would be Heaven-bound. So it is not impossible that an isolated view is in fact the correct one.

This fallacy that the majority view is always correct is very weak. The Holy Prophet (saw) said to stick to the Jama'at. People describe this as the main body of Muslims, but what is the main body? And how does one determine that Jama'at is the correct one? Whether you are already with the correct group or not, you have to question this and investigate what you follow so that you know what you follow in Islam is correct.
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Mohammed_Salah
08-18-2013, 01:09 AM
arent scholars the very more dealer???
Reply

Urban Turban
08-25-2013, 08:51 PM
Originally Posted by Ahmad H
The isolated view, if correct according to the Qur'an, Sunnah and Ahadith, is acceptable. If the majority view in something is saying otherwise than the Qur'an, Sunnah and Ahadith, after proper inquiry, then what else can you do but follow the religion of Allah and adopt that which is according to His law? Just remember you are fully accountable for your deeds to Allah and your intention should be obedience to Him.

In some cases perhaps that view is correct and the others are wrong. I did mention that the Holy Prophet (saw) said there would be 73 sects, 72 would be in Hell and one would be Heaven-bound. So it is not impossible that an isolated view is in fact the correct one.

This fallacy that the majority view is always correct is very weak. The Holy Prophet (saw) said to stick to the Jama'at. People describe this as the main body of Muslims, but what is the main body? And how does one determine that Jama'at is the correct one? Whether you are already with the correct group or not, you have to question this and investigate what you follow so that you know what you follow in Islam is correct.
Inna lillah wa inna ilayhi rajioon.

Can you give me an example of a Mujtahid Imam or any well known Scholar using that anology with regards to deciding issues on fiqh?

Did I mention that the sect [one of the 73] going into heaven will be the largest jama'h? Perhaps you forgot that point.

May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala guide us and continue to guide us until the end of times. Ameen.
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Urban Turban
08-25-2013, 08:59 PM
Originally Posted by Ahmad H
The isolated view, if correct according to the Qur'an, Sunnah and Ahadith, is acceptable. If the majority view in something is saying otherwise than the Qur'an, Sunnah and Ahadith, after proper inquiry, then what else can you do but follow the religion of Allah and adopt that which is according to His law?
Sorry, what?!

The majority view means lots of scholars have backed it up across generations - given their seal of approval [from their understanding of Quran and Hadith] - the original post just explains this. Which clearly means....

I'm wasting time here.
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Urban Turban
08-25-2013, 09:09 PM
I read almost all what you had to say.

Originally Posted by Ahmad H
It is necessary for everyone to gain an understanding of Islam and not follow blindly behind any scholar. When we hear of a Fatwa, we should investigate into it and inquire into it to see if it fits into what the Qur'an says, then consider the Sunnah and then consider the Ahadith. Qiyas and Ijtihad for for the scholars only, but the first three are enough to make an informed decision to know whether a certain Fatwa is correct or not.
Originally Posted by Ahmad H
Also, Fatwas cannot be passed by anyone except those with Taqwa. So if someone is considered qualified by their knowledge alone, then you shouldn't follow them. But you can if you know they are full of Taqwa.
Brother, can you prove me what you said^ from the Quran, then from the Ahadith, then from the Sunnah. Please.

Note I don't wan't any opinions of previous scholars.

And how does one assess their religiosity? And their knowledge if we ourselves are ignorant?

Awaiting your replies.

JazakAllah Khair in advance.
Reply

Ahmad H
08-26-2013, 12:44 AM
Originally Posted by Urban Turban
The majority view means lots of scholars have backed it up across generations - given their seal of approval [from their understanding of Quran and Hadith] - the original post just explains this.
My point was not that scholars of generations are proved wrong. I meant it for scholars of a specific age and time. The 73 sects would not exist for all ages of Islam, but they would exist either for a specific age and/or period of time. The Hadith is about a future observation. If 73 sects existed for all ages of Islam and we took this literally, then we have already exceeded 73 sects a long time ago. So this is referring to something specific. How can reality be contradictory to the meaning of a Hadith? If that is so, then we have to re-interpret the Hadith in order to understand it better, because maybe we didn't understand it properly in the first place.

In fact, that is an example of how future predictions cannot be assessed by those of the past, because the fulfillment may be different from what the Muslims of the past expected. Only Allah knows the best meaning of this. Again, there are more than 73 sects right now, so your interpretation of what I said is really off. I am not at all bothered by it. I probably should have made that more clear to you before.
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Ahmad H
08-26-2013, 01:44 AM
Originally Posted by Urban Turban
Brother, can you prove me what you said^ from the Quran, then from the Ahadith, then from the Sunnah. Please.

Note I don't wan't any opinions of previous scholars.

And how does one assess their religiosity? And their knowledge if we ourselves are ignorant?

Awaiting your replies.

JazakAllah Khair in advance.
Certainly. Before I go on, I took this stance based upon what Imam Ibn Hazm has said, that Muslims should ask about Fatwas from scholars asking for the basis of the Qur'an and Sunnah. My stance is merely to not blindly accept Fatwas, but investigate into them and if possible, investigate into the scholar if they are not well-known. Obviously, the muhadditheen are above this and they have detailed their reasons for passing Fatwas. We see online on different websites how scholars have given the reasoning for their Fatwas based on the Qur'an and Ahadith. So what I am saying is nothing out of the ordinary, but the scholars are themselves aware that they should provide proof of their reasoning.

First of all, I am taking this position of investigation from the Qur'an. It says

49:6 O ye who believe! If a wicked person comes to you with any news, ascertain the truth, lest ye harm people unwittingly, and afterwards become full of repentance for what ye have done.

4:94 O ye who believe! When ye go abroad in the cause of Allah, investigate carefully, and say not to any one who offers you a salutation: "Thou art none of a believer!" Coveting the perishable goods of this life: with Allah are profits and spoils abundant. Even thus were ye yourselves before, till Allah conferred on you His favours: Therefore carefully investigate. For Allah is well aware of all that ye do.

And in the Ahadith:

Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Amr: I heard the Prophet saying, "Allah will not deprive you of knowledge after he has given it to you, but it will be taken away through the death of the religious learned men with theirknowledge. Then there will remain ignorant people who, when consulted, will give verdicts according to their opinions whereby they will mislead others and go astray." (Book #92, Hadith #410)
(Sahih Muslim)

'Urwa b. Zubair reported that 'A'isha said to him: This news has reached me that 'Abdullah b. 'Amr al-'As would pass by us during the Hajj season, so you meet him and ask him (about religious matters) as he has acquired great knowledge from Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him). I thus met him and asked him about things which he narrated from Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him). And amongst these the one he mentioned was that Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) said: Verily, Allah does not take away knowledge from people directly but he takes away the scholars and consequently takes away (knowledge) along with them and leaves amongst persons the ignorant as their leaders who deliver religious verdicts without (adequate) knowledge and themselves go astray and lead others astray. 'Urwa said: When I narrated this to 'A'isha, she deemed it too much (to believe) and thus showed reluctance to accept that (as perfectly true) and said to, 'Urwa: Did he ('Abdullah b. 'Amr) say to you that he had heard Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) as saying: ('Urwa had forgotten to ask this from 'Abdullah b. 'Amr). So when it was the next year, she ('A'isha) said to him ('Urwa): Ibn Amr has come (for Hajj), so meet him. talk to him and ask him about this hadith that he narrated to You (last year on the occasion of the Hajj) pertaining to knowledge. He ('Urwa), said: So I met him, and asked about it and he narrated to me exactly like one that he had narrated (to me) for the first time. So when I informed her ('A'isha) about that, she said: I do not think but this that he has certainly told the truth and I find that be has neither made any addition to it, nor missed anything from it. (Book #034, Hadith #6465)
(Sahih Muslim)

Abu Hurairah said: “The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: ‘Whoever is given a Fatwa that is not based on knowledge, his sin is borne by the one who gave the Fatwa.” Sulaiman Al-Mahri (a narrator) added in his Hadith: “The one who gives advice to his brother, knowing that what is better for him lies elsewhere, he has betrayed him.” This is the wording of Sulaiman. (Hasan)
(Sunan Abu Dawud, Hadith #3657)

I do not doubt that even those who are considered the most knowledgeable scholars could also go wrong in giving Fatwas, since this is what the Holy Prophet (saw) warned about. So why should Muslims not question the Fatwas and ask for their basis of ruling? Every Muslim should ask what the basis for a Fatwa is. As long as it is based upon the Qur'an and Sunnah, then all is good and well. But if a scholar deems it fit to make a Fatwa based on an opinion not supported by the Qur'an and Sunnah, then that Fatwa is to be rejected.

Piety is based on what you see. If you see someone who is considered a scholar acting contrary to what Islam prescribes knowingly, then don't take Fatwas from him. It is obvious that he isn't worthy of giving Fatwas. Otherwise, when you haven't seen anything wrong with a scholar, then you can follow their Fatwas when you have inquired about their correctness.

And what is this about the Muslims who are not scholars considered ignorant and unworthy of inquiry? Every Muslim man and woman must make themselves knowledgeable. A scholar is there to pass rulings because they have the best knowledge on Islam. Otherwise, it is the duty of every Muslim man and woman to become learned about their own religion. If you cannot determine what it means to base a Fatwa on the Qur'an and Sunnah, then I don't know what to say except that you don't know the difference between someone's quoting a verse of the Qur'an or not.

To say that you have to be a scholar to question a scholar is like putting the scholars on an infallible status, as if the rest of us Muslims are too stupid to know anything about Islam. Scholars are human, and humans make errors. We may not know it every single time, but this is the reality. We follow the Qur'an and Sunnah, not the scholars' words as the Word of God.

I never said we need to assess the scholar's knowledge, but we must assess what they have said.

As for the Sunnah which tells us to question the opinions of scholars, the obvious proof of this is that we are supposed to follow the Qur'an and Ahadith. All I can say is that when you see the actions of the Khulafa-e-Rashidin, you notice that they were all questioned about certain actions of theirs and they refrained from doing certain things if they were seen to forget something of the Qur'an and Sunnah. No everyone knows everything about Islam at one time, because there are thousands of Ahadith and the Qur'an is a reminder which is to be recited daily. Thus, when we tend to forget easily, why should all of us not accept it when others correct us?

Case in point. Hazrat Umar (ra) intended to harm someone who said something foolish. But he was stopped when a verse of the Qur'an was recited to him:

Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Abbas: Uyaina bin Hisn bin Hudhaifa bin Badr came and stayed (at Medina) with his nephew Al-Hurr bin Qais bin Hisn who has one of those whom 'Umar used to keep near him, as the Qurra' (learned men knowing Quran by heart) were the people of Umar's meetings and his advisors whether they were old or young. 'Uyaina said to his nephew, "O my nephew! Have you an approach to this chief so as to get for me the permission to see him?" His nephew said, "I will get the permission for you to see him." (Ibn 'Abbas added: ) So he took the permission for 'Uyaina, and when the latter entered, he said, "O the son of Al-Khattab! By Allah, you neither give us sufficient provision nor judge among us with justice." On that 'Umar became so furious that he intended to harm him. Al-Hurr, said, "O Chief of the Believers!" Allah said to His Apostle 'Hold to forgiveness, command what is good (right), and leave the foolish (i.e. do not punish them).' (7.199) and this person is among the foolish." By Allah, 'Umar did not overlook that Verse when Al-Hurr recited it before him, and 'Umar said to observe (the orders of) Allah's Book strictly." (See Hadith No. 166, Vol. 6) (Book #92, Hadith#389)
(Sahih Bukhari)

My point is to demonstrate human fallibility. The Prophets of God are on a whole other level, but us followers are bound to make mistakes now and then. We also forget things now and then. Thus, we need reminders from others. Scholars are not infallible if the Khulafa-e-Rashidin were not infallible to errors now and then as well. Hazrat Umar (ra) was humble and not proud. This situation did not involve a Fatwa, but it does demonstrate the humanity which we need to remember.

If you feel I am wrong here in anything then show it. This is how I look at this. A person must have Taqwa, otherwise they are not reliable and they cannot pass anything. Only the pious can determine matters of Fiqh. Why would you go to someone who isn't pious? I was stating the obvious, which I assumed everyone here knows already. Out of over a hundred scholars, you may find one who is, in reality, not pious. Again, you do not judge anyone but give them the benefit of the doubt, until you see clear evidence in their actions that they are not actually pious. But according to the Holy Prophet (saw), this knowledge will one day be taken away, and thus the pure ones would be taken away, because only the pure can understand the Qur'an (56:79).

We know that the four main schools, Hanbali, Hanafi, Maliki and Shafi'i are reliable, obviously. So I am not questioning their authenticity. But we have to inform ourselves of why the Fatwas were passed and see if we agree with them or not, by seeing what is said in the Qur'an, Sunnah and Ahadith. In the end, we follow Allah's Book and follow the ways of the Messenger of Allah (saw), we are not told to blindly follow anyone else but the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw). If you think we should, then you are seriously mistaken and need to look back at the books of Aqidah. No where are we told by any scholar to blindly accept them and follow them. That would be like putting them in the same position as the Holy Prophet (saw). They are definitely not in that position of infallibility, neither were the Khufala-e-Rashdin. Therefore, why place anyone else after them in that position which even they could not reach? This point of view, to me, seems the most logical based upon the beliefs we Muslims hold.

My question to you: Do you consider the scholars of Islam as infallible? I am not talking about the majority view, but the scholars in general. Do you think they are above speculation of any sort?
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Ahmad H
08-26-2013, 01:55 AM
Originally Posted by Urban Turban
Did I mention that the sect [one of the 73] going into heaven will be the largest jama'h? Perhaps you forgot that point.
I have not seen proof for this. I have seen that the Ahadith say that the Jama'at will be heaven-bound, but there is no mention of majority. Surah Waqi'ah says:

56:10-14:
And those Foremost (in Faith) will be Foremost (in the Hereafter).
These will be those Nearest to Allah:
In Gardens of Bliss:
A number of people from those of old,
And a few from those of later times.

And it says:

56:38-40:
For the Companions of the Right Hand.
A (goodly) number from those of old,
And a (goodly) number from those of later times.

Perhaps majority is meant from here, perhaps it is not. No one really knows. Either way, all Muslims eventually go to Heaven. We can leave that at that.

My point is that 72 viewpoints will be wrong at one time, and only one will be correct. How do we know which age that is in? We must be careful and be sure that we follow the right view always. We know that we must follow an Imam, otherwise if there is none, then we must separate ourselves from that group, even if we have to eat from the roots of bitter trees till we die. (or something to that effect)

This is why we always pray, "Guide us in the straight path" as Surah Fatihah states. We are always asking Allah to be on the right guidance. And look at how many times everyday we pray for this! Our reliance is always on Allah.
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Urban Turban
08-26-2013, 09:46 AM
Originally Posted by Ahmad H
I have not seen proof for this. I have seen that the Ahadith say that the Jama'at will be heaven-bound, but there is no mention of majority. Surah Waqi'ah says:

56:10-14:
And those Foremost (in Faith) will be Foremost (in the Hereafter).
These will be those Nearest to Allah:
In Gardens of Bliss:
A number of people from those of old,
And a few from those of later times.

And it says:

56:38-40:
For the Companions of the Right Hand.
A (goodly) number from those of old,
And a (goodly) number from those of later times.

Perhaps majority is meant from here, perhaps it is not. No one really knows. Either way, all Muslims eventually go to Heaven. We can leave that at that.

My point is that 72 viewpoints will be wrong at one time, and only one will be correct. How do we know which age that is in? We must be careful and be sure that we follow the right view always. We know that we must follow an Imam, otherwise if there is none, then we must separate ourselves from that group, even if we have to eat from the roots of bitter trees till we die. (or something to that effect)

This is why we always pray, "Guide us in the straight path" as Surah Fatihah states. We are always asking Allah to be on the right guidance. And look at how many times everyday we pray for this! Our reliance is always on Allah.
May Allah SWT help us, open our heart to His Deen and make us follow the righteous scholars. Amen.

Imam Abu Dawood
(Rahimahullah) has quoted the well known Hadith concerning the division of the Muslim Ummah into seventy-three sects in his Sunan (3/4580, English edn):
Abu Amir al-Hawdhani said, "Mu'awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan (may Allah be pleased with him) stood among us and said, 'Beware! The Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) stood among us and said': 'Beware! The People of the Book before (you) were split up into 72 sects, and this community will be split up into 73, seventy-two of them will go to Hell and one of them will go to Paradise, and it is the majority group (Jama'ah).'

http://www.masud.co.uk/ISLAM/misc/ahlsunna.htm

:wa:
Reply

Ahmad H
08-26-2013, 11:25 AM
Originally Posted by Urban Turban
Abu Amir al-Hawdhani said, "Mu'awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan (may Allah be pleased with him) stood among us and said, 'Beware! The Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) stood among us and said': 'Beware! The People of the Book before (you) were split up into 72 sects, and this community will be split up into 73, seventy-two of them will go to Hell and one of them will go to Paradise, and it is the majority group (Jama'ah).'

http://www.masud.co.uk/ISLAM/misc/ahlsunna.htm
We can at least agree that the whole Muslim Ummah will never agree on an error. I like the link you gave me. The beginning of it describes what follows, and it said in the end of the first paragraph:

The first question that should be raised is: "What differentiates one sect from another sect?" The answer to this is simple and definitive! Know that the chief characteristic that distinguishes one sect from another, lies not in the differences of opinion that its scholars have attained by making ijtihad from the sources of the Shari'ah (this leads to the formation of the Madhhabs), but rather the actual belief (aqid'ah or i'tiqad in Arabic) that the scholars and laity of the sect in question are clinging onto - since the founding of their respective sect.

My point exactly. It has always been about the belief. Again, not every scholar is correct in everything, always make sure you know what you follow. I am 100% sure that every Muslim has this duty to find out what is right and what is not when they follow the opinions of others. I am not against unanimous agreement, which the Holy Prophet (saw) said all of his Ummah will not agree on an error. When differences of opinion arise, then you have to be careful what you follow. I do not believe it is always the majority. You took one quote from that link and made it seem as if that whole page was meant to explain that the majority is always right.

In fact, the Ahadith tell us that whoever follows the ways of their Prophet (saw) and the Sahaba are correct. Everyone who dissents from that is wrong. That pretty much settles it.
Reply

Abdul Fattah
08-26-2013, 07:07 PM
Aselam aleykum
Is it bad to go "shopping" for a fatwa that suits you?
=> Yes off course.
Remember that each action will be judged by its intention!

Should we reject minority opinions within the four schools?
=> No! Off course not!
All four schools claim that it is ok to follow the opinion of another school. So if this guy actually said that "a student should ensure that he sticks to the view of the overwhelming majority of ‘ulama". Then he is himself not following the majority, and not following his own advice! If an opinion belongs to one of the scholars of one of the 4 schools it is by default valid. And one shouldn't advice against it only because this opinion is followed/held by a minority of the ulama.

Is it true that there can only exist 4 opinions within the four schools, and that thus any 5th opinion must therefor automatically be wrong?
=> No, off course not!
In fiqh there are basic "ground rules" on how to derive fiqh based on the qur'an and hadeeth. These sets of rules (usool fiqh) are diffrent for each of the four schools. Fiqh is not rocket science. Theres no absolute cause and effect, and there's always a grey zone. By the way, the diffrent opinions in usool fiqh is the main reason why there are so many diffrences in opinions in the first place. It is not, as some might wrongfully claim the result of some scholars having only acces to a limited amount of hadeeth, or having overlooked a hadeeth. However, among the usool fiqh, there is also room for a scholar to consider the the cultural enviromant and habits, economical situations, government laws and so on. All factors which can change in time and place. In other words it is perfectly possible for one scholar to issue a fatwa in one country, and for another scholar to issue one in another country and that they are still both correct within the same school! Or that one scholar in one century issues a fatwa on an issue and that another scholar issues a differnt fatwa several centuries later, and that both are considered correct within the same school.

I'll give a practical example to clarify the points I've made:
The european council has decreed that for a nikah to be valid, the man and wife should first perform legal marriage. The reason behind this, is that in europe, unlike in an Islamic country, performing nikah does not protect the rights of the bride/broom. Therefor by first performing the legal marriage, the scholars ensure that they will have at least the protection of rights provided by the state. This is of course a minority opinion. First, because this is a new fatwa dealing with the situation of muslims in this time, so all the scholars of the past centuries said nothing about that. Furthermore I take it that most scholars who live in muslim countries are not that occupied with the situation in europe, let alone that they know situation well enough.

And sure, now one might argue, this is not the kind of "minority opinion" the opening post was about.. Sure, perhaps they did not have these kind of fatwa in mind. Be that as it may, this still shows that one cannot make claims that we should reject all minority opinions only because they are held by a minority. the reality of the situation is that each diffrence in opinion should be judged seperatly, and there is no such "rule-of-thumb".
Reply

Abdul Fattah
08-26-2013, 07:47 PM
Oh also, on the hadeeth about the 73 sect.
This is a hadeeth that is often (mis-?)used to justify opinions, but keep in mind:
- It is not clarified in that hadeeth what qualifies as a 'sect'. These boundaries are man-made and arbitrary, but Allah subhana wa ta'ala might have diffrent criterias for deciding where those boundaries actually lay. for all we know, maybe it doesn't even have anything to do with fiqh, but more with aqeedah. We simply don't know, so we can't jump to conclusions and use this hadeeth to justify everything.
- A single opinion on a certain fatwa, or even several doesn't necesairly put you into a diffrent sect. I would assume that all depends on what the fatwa is about!
Reply

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