:sl: this post is going to be a bit long due to the amount of thinking required to understand the situation better.
There will always be those who know more than others on any given topic, and then there will be those who are able to comprehend more despite having a smaller knowledge database, then there will be those who can properly apply a piece of knowledge gained much earlier in a contextual situation that appeared to have no relevance earlier.
Once Imam Abu Haneefa gave a ruling in an assembly of A`mash. A`mash was amazed at the answer. He asked, “How did you arrive at this conclusion?”
The Imam said, “From a Hadith which in fact you had narrated to us.”
A`mash admitted: “You jurisconsults (fuqaha’) are like doctors, while we, the collectors of Hadith
are like pharmacists. We specialize in the texts and transmitters of theHadith
, but you understand their meanings.”
The above quoted incident shows us that some have more knowledge in their databases than others whereas some are better at translating/interpreting even small amounts of data and filing/presenting it in a contextual format.
it also demonstrates that the four respected imams of fiqh didn't know everything, and may have done even better if they had lived in our present time where they could have analyzed every hadith available to the world today, but then, a downside would have been that they might have arrived at a time when people were lost in total ignorance and anarchy due to the fact that people hadn't fallen into conformity with the four imams at the time when not everyone could access information so easily.
When looking into these topics, it would be useful to look into the situation of the mostly illiterate Sahabah (ra) of RasulAllah (pbuh) who were all expected to learn what beneficial knowledge they could regardless of their level of knowledge or profession, some having spent more time than others with the final Messenger of Allah pbuh.
From what little knowledge i have gained by Allah's grace in this vast universe which one could never finish writing about, i would say that it is useful to provide all available genuinely sincere and truthful opinions where time permits and the situation requires, giving as much background data as possible so that people can always keep Allah in mind in their day-to-day activities and learn to use their good judgement in every situation they come across.
People will come across situations where they need to consult people who know more than themselves,
Narrated / Authority of:
Ata bin Abu Rabahsaid:
“I heard Ibn ‘Abbas saying that a man was injured in the head at the time of the Messenger of Allah (saw), then he had a wet dream.
He was told to have a bath, so he took the bath, became rigid and stiff, and died.
News of that reached the Messenger of Allah (saw) and he said:
“They have killed him, may Allah kill them!
Is not the sure for a lack of knowledge to ask questions?’
” ‘Ata’ said: “We heard that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:
‘If only he had washed his body and left his head alone where the wound was.’” (Sahih) sunan ibn majah
Volume 1, Page 67: Wiping Over Casts, Wrappers and Similar Items
It is allowable to wipe over any wrapper or diseased or injured bodily part. There are many hadith on this point, and although they are all weak, their many chains strengthen each other, making them valid to talk about. One hadith, that of Jabir (quoted earlier), relates a story about a man who was on a journey and suffered an injury. While he slept, he had a wet dream, after which he asked his companions if he could perform tayammum. They said he could not, so he made ghusl and died because of it. When that was mentioned to the Prophet, he said "They killed him, may Allah kill them. Do you not ask about what you do not know? ... It would have been enough for him to perform tayammum and drop a little water over his wound or else wipe it, then to wipe it and wash the rest of the body." This is related by Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, ad-Daraqutni and Ibn as-Sakin, who classified it as sahih. Ibn 'Umar used to do this.
and will come across situations where they have to apply what little they may they know to the best of their ability.
Not everyone can keep a mufti of the highest eminence with them in their daily activities, although kings usually can - and even then, the kings have to use their good judgement when settling an issue. There is no point saying that laymen might argue, because if laymen aren't given knowledge, they'll remain laymen forever. We live in the time of the www where almost anyone can search a topic when they're uncertain of how to proceed and it is better that everyone gains knowledge and learns to use the faculty of intellect that Allah has bestowed.
The sahabah (ra) would all get together and discuss certain topics after speeches of the Prophet pbuh, and sometimes the Prophet pbuh would come out and explain (such as the hadith of the 70,000 who would enter paradise without reckoning http://friendsofallah.blogspot.com/2...-paradise.html
), other times they would refrain from asking out of fear of bothering him too much and would do their best to comprehend by themselves whilst seeking the face of Allah.
there were also times when he (pbuh) emphasized the fact that they needed to use their intellects:
Imams Bukhari & Muslim reported that the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) one time He stood up and delivered a speech saying,
“O people, Allah has prescribed upon you hajj (pilgrimage) so perform pilgrimage.”
A man said, “Is it mandatory to do it every year O messenger of Allah?”
At that point the prophet remained silent, but the man insistent and asked the question three times,
then the prophet responded, “If I said yes, it will had become mandatory, but you would not be able to bear it.”
We must also be careful of the situation of the people of the Torah who became so timid in their endeavour to learn and use their faculties of intellect, and detached so much from the Book that they ended up taking their scholars as flawless beings to the extent that many errantly accepted the Talmud as the inerrant will of God (we are not worthy), whereas it is unarguable that genuine scholars will usually provide the facts and their understanding to the best of their reasonable ability and expect you to fear Allah in your obedience to them.
Imam Abu Hanifah (may Allah have mercy upon him and be pleased with him) himself appears to be no blind follower of opinions despite a false aura of immortality having been attributed to him. It appears that he was however a devout servant of Allah and follower of the final messenger of Allah pbuh and was not an innovator of his own religion.
“Ishaq ibn Ibrahim al-Zuhri narrates from Bishr ibn al-Walid who said, ‘Mansur called for Abu Hanifah and wanted him to take up the judiciary and he swore that he will definitely take it.
Imam Abu Hanifah refused and vowed, “I will not.”
Al-Rabi‘ al-Hajib said, “You see the commander of the faithful taking an oath and you then also take an oath?”
He replied, “The commander of the faithful is more capable of fulfilling the compensation for his oath than I.”
He was sent to prison; he died there in Baghdad…’
Later in 146H, when Ibrahim ibn Hasan (a descendant of `Ali) rebelled against the Abbasids
, Imam Abu Hanifah supported his cause and helped him with a big sum.
Earlier, when Zayd, the son of Zayn al-`Aabideen rose against the Umayyad's
, Abu Hanifah had helped him too. He believed that the `Alawiyyun deserved Khilafah
more than the Umayyads
When Mansur, the `AbbasidCaliph
, came to know of his inclination towards the progeny of `Ali, he invited him to settle down in Baghdad and take up the post of Chief Justice.
Abu Hanifah refused.
Several meetings took place to persuade Abu Hanifah.
On one occasion, Mansur said, “By Allah
, you will have to accept the job”
The Imam replied, “By Allah
, I will not.”
Mansur was boiling with anger. He said, “Do you swear upon my oath?”
He replied, “Yes, because it is easy for you to break your oath and offer expiation than me.”
At one point Abu Hanifah told him that he did not think he was fit for the job.
Mansur said, “Of course, you are! You are lying.”
Abu Hanifah said, “If I am lying, then I am disqualified for the judiciary.”
Ultimately, he got him imprisoned. The Imam kept conducting classes from the prison. Mansur did not feel safe from him and his powerful political influence, even when behind the bars. So, one report says he got him poisoned, another, that he died of whip lashes in 150H
however we must also note that some worshippers of the respected imam appear to have heaped up a load of lies about him too:
“Bishr ibn al-Walid narrates from Abu Yusuf who said, ‘I was walking with Abu Hanifah when a man said to another,
“This is Abu Hanifah, he does not sleep at night.”
Imam Abu Hanifah said, “I swear by Allah, people do not speak of me regarding that which I have not done.”
He used to keep awake the night in prayer, du‘a and supplication.’
I (Imam Hafiz al-Dhahabi) say: I have devoted a chapter to the virtues of this imam. He died in Rajab, 150AH. May Allah be pleased with him.”
“Sharik narrates, ‘Abu Hanifah is someone who would remain quiet for a long time and was someone of great intelligence.’
Abu ‘Asim al-Nabil said, ‘Abu Hanifah would be called al-watd (the pole) due to performing so many salah.’
Ibn Ishaq al-Samarqandi narrates from Qadi Abu Yusuf who said, ‘Abu Hanifah used to complete the Qur’an every night in one rak‘ah.’
If we laymen have a little knowledge of the hadith we can see that both the claim that abu hanifah (ra) didn't sleep at night due to prayer and supplication, and that he used to complete the Quran every night in one raka'ah don't appear to hold much weight since since it is reported by imam Muslim that the Prophet pbuh would pray and sleep, would fast and not fast, would marry and divorce - and that he pbuh emphasized the importance of such type of behaviour, it is difficult to assume that Imam Abu Hanifah was ignorant of such a widely narrated hadith. (note: i haven't been sleeping at night myself recently because i fall asleep during the day and can concentrate on studies during the night without yelling at the kids - different context, easily possible, though not the nature of the context presented by the flatterer).
it is also recorded in Sahih Muslim that Allah's Messenger (pbuh) forbade a younger companion from completing the Quran daily after his father/companion complained him about his son's/companion's extremism, the boy then bargained with the Prophet pbuh and brought it to seven or three days, in this case, it is relevant to present both or all available ahadith so that the teacher doesn't tell a lie, and that the reader is not deceived:
It was reported from Abu Salamah, from Abdullah bin Amr (RA) that the Prophet (PBUH) said, “Recite the Qur’an in one month.”
He responded, “I find myself (more) energetic.” The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Recite it in twenty (days).” He responded, “I find myself (more) energetic.”
The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Recite it in fifteen.” He responded, “I find myself (more) energetic.”
The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Recite it in ten.” He responded, “I find myself (more) energetic.” So he (the Prophet, PBUH) said, “Recite it in seven and do not do more than that.”
(Hadith No. 1388, Chapters pertaining to the Month of Ramadan, Sunan Abu Dawud, Vol. 2).
It was reported from Yazid bin Abdullah, from Abdullah bin Amr (RA), that he said, “O Allah’s Messenger (PBUH)! In how many days should I recite Qur’an?”
He (the Prophet, PBUH) replied, “In one month.” I said, “I am capable of more!” – and he made it less, until he said, “Recite it in seven.”
So he (Abdullah bin Amr, RA) said, “I am capable of more!”
But he (the Prophet, PBUH) said, “He who recites it in less than three (days) will not understand it.”
(Hadith No. 1390, Chapters pertaining to the Month of Ramadan, Sunan Abu Dawud, Vol. 2).
It was narrated from Abdullah bin Amr (RA) that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said, “No one properly understands who reads the Qur’an in less than three days.”
(Hadith No. 1347, Chapters of Establishing Prayer & Sunnah regarding them, Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol. 2).
so we can see that we need to be able to access lawful information in order to expand our knowledge base and that we should not blindly take the false practices attributed to Imams as fiqh when we know that there is a more correct opinion, even if the imams commited such an act out of zeal and due to the fact that they lacked knowledge of a clear ruling, it is more fitting that we obey Allah and accept the sincere advice of each other in a good manner while increasing in knowledge and humility.
below is a plea by the 'Aalim who put the various ahadith on the website, explained them , and gave his opinions:
I want to highlight a practice of completing recitation of whole Qur’an in one single night.
This practice is more prevalent in countries like India, Pakistan etc. Such practice is adopted by some memorizers of Qur’an to organize what they call ‘Shabinah‘;
it refers to reciting whole Qur’an in one single night in nawafil prayers, mostly in Tarawih during Ramadan.
I appeal to all such brothers (both, those who recite whole Qur’an in one night during ‘Shabinah’ in the month of Ramadan and those who attend it): Please give up this practice. This practice was disliked by our Prophet (PBUH), and hence falls under the category of Makrooh.
similar claims have been made about imam Ash-shaafi'i and others:
and Imam Bukhari: http://islamqa.org/hanafi/qibla-hanafi/36180
and various other renowned knowledgeable people, others have provided detailed analyses and given their reasoning, ultimately we can sift through this information and come to a reasonable conclusion that the practice of over-rushing the reading of the Quran is wrong - since anyone who's read the Quran a few times knows that it is impossible for a normal human brain to make sense of the data input if it is brutely forced into them in such a short time.
The sahabah too were humans and were ready to accept knowledge and correct each other in their derivations of fiqh:
Hadith no: 569
Narrated / Authority of: Said bin Abdur Rahman bin Abza
from his father, that a man came to ‘Umar bin Khattab and said:
“I became impure following sexual emission and cannot find any water.”
‘Umar said to him: “Do not pray.”
But ‘Ammar bin Yasir said, “Do you not remember, O Commander of the Believers, when you and I were on a military expedition and we became sexually impure and could not find water? As for you, you did not pray, but I rolled in the dust and then prayed.
When I came to the Prophet (saw) and told him what had happened, he said: ‘It would have been enough for you (to do this).’ (Then demonstrating) the Prophet (saw) struck the ground with his hands, then blew on them, and wiped his face and palms with them.” (Sahih- sunan ibn majah)
Sahih Muslim 5356
'Ubaid b. Umair reported that Abu Musa brought permission from Umar (to enter the house) three times, and finding him busy came back, whereupon Umar said (to the Inmates of his house): Did you not hear the voice of 'Abdullah b. Qais (the Kunya of Abu Musa Ash'ari)? He was called back. and he (Hadrat 'Umar) said: What prompted you to do it?
Thereupon, he said: This is how we have been commanded to act.
He (Hadrat 'Umar) said: Bring evidence (in support of) it, otherwise I shall deal (strictly) with you.
So he (Abu Musa) set out and came to the meeting of the Ansar and asked them to bear witness before hadrat Umar about this. They (the Companions present there) said: None but the youngest amongst us would bear out this fact.
So Abu Sa'id Khudri (who was the youngest one in that company) said: We have been commanded to do so (while visiting the house of other people).
Thereupon 'Umar said: This command of Allaah's Messenger (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) had remained hidden from me up till now due to (my) business in the market.
the hadith is available with many variations here:
and a variation quoted by ibn kathir here:
Then, after reading all those scholarly opinions, one also finds in Sahih Muslim that Uthman (ra) is reported to have been amongst those who recited it quick (one rakah or day i think i recall), Allah knows of it's authenticityand how large the Quraan was at the time, but we come to realize that halal information is essential to understanding.
'Umar (ra)'s humility despite possibly being amongst the most knowledgeable after Abu Bakr (ra):
With regard to the story narrated from ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allaah be pleased with him), that when he forbade increasing the mahr to more than four hundred dirhams, a woman from among Quraysh objected to that and said: “O Ameer al-Mu’mineen, you have forbidden increasing the mahr of women to more than four hundred dirhams, have you not heard the words of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning): ‘…and you have given one of them a Qintaar (of gold, i.e. a great amount as Mahr)…’ [al-Nisa’ 4:20]?”
He said: “O Allaah, forgive me. All the people have more understanding of religion than ‘Umar.” Then he went back and ascended the minbar, and said: “O people, I forbade you to increase women’s dowries to more than four hundred. But whoever wants to give as much as he wants of his wealth, let him do so.”
But this story may be understood in different ways, and cannot be used as evidence or to oppose the proven texts referred to above, especially when there is no report of any objection to ‘Umar or denunciation of him on the part of any of the Sahaabah apart from this woman.
Adapted from the words of Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem. See Fataawa al-Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem, 10/187-199.
“Shu‘ayb ibn Ayyub al-Sarifini said, Abu Yahya al-Himmani narrated to us, ‘I heard Abu Hanifah say, “I saw a dream that scared me. I saw I was digging up the grave of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). I came to Basrah and ordered a man to ask Muhammad ibn Sirin and he asked him. He said, ‘This man shall uncover the hadiths of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).’”’
Let us follow the best example, gain knowledge and wisdom and learn Islam to the best of our reasonable ability, and utilize it in serving and pleasing Allah, and let us not become the type who dig the Prophet's grave and throw humble and sincere imams into the void, the seeking of knowledge is the duty of every Muslim.
Edit: (was getting late for Fajr so i hit "post" without completing the train of thought)
In my very humble opinion, It appears that there are times when it is essential to provide details before providing an opinion, simply for the purpose of allowing people the opportunity to research further and come to a clearer understanding, since one opinion can be as strong as another, and there are times (such as khilafah enforcement) when it is essential to fear get the scholars who fear only Allah work sincerely and truthfully to unite upon an issue based upon Quran, Sunnah and other knowledge gained, and say "we do it like this", while maybe providing the details of how they came to the conclusion on a government website. Deleting the conflicting ahadith and other rejected opinions wouldn't be wise since a different conclusion may be arrived at in future based upon more knowledge gained.
They could be sifted and categorized in additional files.
But say for instance in a normal situation where a Mufti is answering various questions from less knowledgeable men/women who trust in and are willing to accept his/her ruling would have to give a quick opinion without a detailed history lesson.
There's no either this or that answer that fits all situations in the case of the question.