Taqlid can be defined as the acceptance of a mujtahid's statements (fatawa)
without knowing his references (evidences) [an-Nawawi, Tazeeb; and Qadi
Shawkani, Irshad al-Fahul]
There is a consensus amongst the majority of Muslims that we should follow the four
major Imams in matters of Shari'a. Such matters include:
· Those matters in which there is no direct, single and clear meaning in
sources of Shari'a
· When there exists a difference of opinion between the Sahaba upon an issue,
the Imams have tried to show the similarities in them
We only observe taqlid in matters of fiqh, not in our 'aqida.
The unity of Allah, the finality of the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and
grant him peace) and the Day of Judgement etc. are matters of 'aqida so they are
not concerned with taqlid.
Some say that it is a form of shirk (polytheism) to observe taqlid of anyone apart
from Allah. In particular, to follow only one Imam is a bid'a. They say that the
evidence from all the Imams should be read and weighed in order that only those
verdicts based upon strong evidence can be accepted and weak ones rejected.
The view of the Ahl as-Sunna wa'l-Jama'a is that it is impossible for an ordinary
Muslim to go directly to the Qur'an and Sunna and extract religious laws. This is
due to the fact that these sources of knowledge contain many matters which are unclear
- thus requiring research into many other sources along with the application of
rules which assist in understanding the matter under study. In order to do this,
a person needs to possess both a deep and broad knowledge of Islam, which is both
impractical and not incumbent upon each and every Muslim. Allah does not expect
all Muslims to become scholars, rather He orders them to refer to those who have
knowledge. Consider the following verse:
"And ask those who recall, if you know not"
[Sura 16, verse 43]
Also, in Sura Nisa:
"If they had referred it to the Messenger and to those of authority among them,
then those of them whose task it is to find it out would have known the matter"
[Sura 4, verse 83]
For those who have the necessary pre-requisites, such as being a master of 'ulum
al-Qur'an, master of ahadith and their principles, 'aqa'id, fiqh
principles, Tafsir and its principles, and jarh wa ta'dil (the
science of hadith narrators). They are allowed to take ahkam (legal rulings)
from the Shari'a. Such a person can be called a mujtahid. However, many
great scholars who were qualified to perform ijtihad, followed Imams. For example,
Qadi Abu Yusuf, Imam Muhammad and Imam Zafar were able to perform ijtihad but followed
the opinion of Imam Abu Hanifa.
There are many categories of hadith such as mutawatir (rigourously authenticated),
authentic, not authentic, weak and those which are fabricated.Some are mansukh,
which means that certain matters were at first permissible but later made impermissible
- for instance talking during the salat during the early period of Islam was permissible
but later on made unlawful. This is why taqlid is a necessity - the scholars have
taken all the above into consideration before issuing their verdict.
Rejectors of taqlid
Those who tried to reject taqlid, like Hafiz Ibn Taymiyya, were unsuccessful. He
was, however, not a muqallid (one who must do taqlid of a mujtahid) like
the ordinary people. Nether the less, his works of literature contain influences
from the Hanbali school of thought. He always preferred his fatwas to Imam Ahmad's.
His followers also claim that they are not muqallid to anyone and taqlid is bid'a.
But, they always perform taqlid of Hafiz Ibn Taymiyya and quote fatawa from his
books. The following is one such example:
Shaykh Ibn Baaz (the late popular government scholar of Saudi Arabia) wrote one
fatwa against Milad an-Nabi and another against travelling to the grave of the Prophet
(may Allah bless him and grant him peace). He wrote that it is impermissible to
celebrate the Milad, as Hafiz Ibn Taymiyya's research had stated that this was bid'a.Likewise,
he stated that to visit the Prophet's (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)
grave is impermissible because this was the opinion of Hafiz Ibn Taymiyya [Ibn Baaz,
Milad an-Nabi; and Ziyara Roza Sharif]
We can see how Shaykh Ibn Baaz is blindly depending upon Hafiz Ibn Taymiyya's research.
The Shaykh also performs taqlid to scholars such as Hafiz Ibn al-Qayyim, Hafiz Ibn
Kathir, Ibn al-Hadi, Shawkani and Albani.
This is quite astonishing! These people follow their Imams but still claim that
they are not blind followers and call the followers of the four Imams blind followers!
In reality, everyone does taqlid in one way another. Some follow Imam Abu Hanifa,
some follow Hafiz Ibn Taymiyya. Furthermore, when they are told that a hadith is
weak, authentic or fabricated, they accept this without researching it themselves.
Cosequently, they blindly follow Imam al-Bukhari, Ibn Abi Hatim, Hafiz Mizayy, Hafiz
al-'Asqalani, Hafiz adh-Dhahabi, and Hafiz Maqdasi. The fact is that these people
do not conduct their own research, but 'blindly' follow the research of their scholars.
When rejectors of taqlid label a hadith as being authentic, weak or fabricated,
they actually imitate scholars of Hadith who have previously categorised ahadith
into the above groups. Also, the technical terms used by the classical scholars
to describe the different ahadith, such as mursal, mu'dal, shadhdh,
mu'allal, 'aziz, and gharib, are not mentioned in the
Qur'an or Sunna. To utilise these terms is also a form of taqlid.
Similarly, to accept principles of Hadith and Tafsir and also to interpret the Qur'an
and Sunna in the light of these principles is to follow the imams who have developed
these sciences. People who do not follow imams should find out the strength of a
hadith directly without referring to any imam. They should also find new terms to
describe the hadith, instead of mursal, shadhdh etc. They should invent their own
principles of Hadith and Tafsir and then study the Qur'an and Sunna in the light
of these new principles. Only then can they save themselves from 'shirk and bid'a'.
Doubts Raised by the Objectors to Taqlid
Those who oppose taqlid argue that there is no need to follow one particular Imam.
They conduct their own personal research, in the hope that they will find the Imam
that has the best opinion.If they think that a particular opinion is wrong they
will try and find another until such a time that they follow aspects from all the
four Imams. We say that this is not possible because the Imams have already performed
thorough research into the Islamic sources and have utilised their own principles
to determine the best opinions. Thus, you have to follow one Imams principle. Otherwise,
you are using your own principles that are most likely to be that of your desires,
such as that which is easy to perform.
Here are some examples: Imam ash-Shafi'i is of the opinion that if you touch a woman
your wudu breaks. On the other hand, Imam Abu Hanifa says that this action does
not break the wudu.Furthermore, Imam ash-Shafi'i does not accept mursal hadith,
unlike Imam Abu Hanifa. If there exists two hadith, one explaining the Prophet's
(may Allah bless him and grant him peace) words and the other explains the Prophet's
(may Allah bless him and grant him peace) practice, Imam Abu Hanifa accepts the
words to have more authority, whereas Imam ash-Shafi'i says that the practices have
more authority.From these examples we know that we cannot follow two Imams. So how
can we follow four or more Imams at one time?
Hafiz Ibn Taymiyya says that when a person begins to follow one particular Imam
without any valid Islamic reason he begins to follow another Imam - he is actually
following his own wishes and not the other Imam and this is haram. The great scholars
have strongly discouraged for a person to sometimes follow the fiqh of ash-Shafi'i
and at other times the fiqh of Abu Hanifa [Fatawa Ibn Taymiyya, vol. 20,
Chapter of Taqlid]
Thus, from Hafiz Ibn Taymiyya's fatwa we have understood that at one time we should
follow one Imam and taqlid is a necessity.
Common objections raised include: 'When the four Imams have not asked us to follow
them, why do we follow them?' Also, 'When there is no hadith that recommends following
the four Imams, why do we follow them?'
The answer to this is that we recite the Holy Qur'an in the manner of the seven
qurra' and yet they didn't say 'Follow us!' nor did the ahadith say we should follow
them. Did the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) say only to follow
Bukhari and Muslim? Did the blessed Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)
say that Bukhari is the most authentic source after the Holy Qur'an?
What the four Imams meant by saying 'Do not follow us' is, 'Do not follow our sayings.'
We do not follow their sayings but follow the fatwas they gave after exerting great
effort in research from the Qur'an and Sunna. By saying this they encourage us to
follow their deductions, which are guaranteed to be from the Qur'an and Sunna. Even
Imam Muslim and Bukhari did not ask us to follow them. They never told us to accept
only the ahadith written in their books.
Were there Four Imams Present at the Time of the Sahaba?
The four Imams of Ahl as-Sunna were not present at the time of the Sahaba, the first
generation - just as Imam al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim were also not present. However,
at that early period of Islam, there were those who possessed great knowledge of
Islam and could therefore be referred to as scholars or Imams. Many Muslims would
resort to them for advice and guidance in Islamic aspects. The foremost scholars
at that time were four in number as explained below. The four Imams are however,
included in the first three generations and were people from among the best generations.
The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, "My generation
is the best, then the next, then the next....".
Hafiz Ibn Qayyim writes that there were four Imams in the time of the Sahaba:
"In Makka there was 'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas; in Madina there was Zayd ibn Thabit;
in Basra there was Anas ibn Malik and in Kufa there was 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud.After
they passed away, amongst the Tabi'un were four Imams; again, they were famous.
In Madina there was Sa'id ibn Musayb; in Makka there was Ata ibn Rab'a; in Yamen
there was Tawus, and in Kufa there was Ibrahim. There were many other Imams but
these were the most famous at that time"
[Ibn al-Qayyim, Alam al-Muwaqqieen, page 10]
It is clear that before the four Imams of the Ahl as-Sunna there also existed
Imams in the days of the Sahaba, who were also a source of religious advice. The
details of their fatawa are written in Kitab Musannaf by 'Abd ar-Razzaq and Ibn
Abi Shayba's, Musannaf.
Hafiz Ibn al-Qayyim says that "There were many Sahaba at the time but mainly
Zayd ibn Thabit, Anas ibn Malik, 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud, and 'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas
were the most famous and they used to give a lot of fatwas"
[A'lam al-Muwaqq'in, Chapter on 'Qiyas']
It is the same with the four Imams of the orthodox madhabs (schools of
thought): Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Malik, Imam ash-Shafi'i, and Imam Ahmad. During
their time there were many muhaddithin and scholars, but people would come to these
four Imams as they were the most famous of their time due to their extensive knowledge
The Four Imams Had Differences Amongst Themselves, So Why Do We Still Follow Them?
Even Imam al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim had differences between themselves. Imam Muslim
in his book, Sahih Muslim, in the first part, has criticised Imam
al-Bukhari. There also existed many differences amongst the Sahaba. So does this
imply that we should not follow any of the Sahaba or Muslim or Bukhari as they had
differences amongst them?
Why Don't we Follow the Ahadith in Bukhari and Muslim, and Ignore the Imams?
1) If we should ignore the Imams and depend only upon Muslim and Bukhari, why did
both these great Imams follow Imam ash-Shafi'i? Imam Ibn Athir has written that
Imam al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim were Shafi'is
[Ibn Athir, Jamee'ul-usul, biographies of Imam al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim]
Taki ad-Din Subki has mentioned Imam Bukhri's name in the list of Scholars belonging
to the Shahfi'i school
[Subki, Tabaqat Ash-Shafi'i]
Nawab Siddeeq Hasan Khan has also mentioned Imam al-Bukhari in the list of Shafi'i
scholars[Khan, N, S, H., Abjad al-'Ulum]
When the Imams Muslim and al-Bukhari themselves had to make recourse to taqlid and
following a madhab, then how can the ordinary Muslim be expected to do otherwise!
2) Imam al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim did not gather all the authentic ahadith in Bukhari
and Muslim. Many authentic ahadith have been left out. Imam al-Bukhari said: 'I
have left many authentic ahadith out of Bukhari as the book would have
been too large [al-'Asqalani, Muqaddima Fath al-Bari, page 9]
Hafiz Ibn Kathir says that neither Imam al-Bukhari nor Imam Muslim gathered all
the authentic ahadith. Some of the left out narrations are present in Tirmidhi,
Ibn Majah, Nasa'i and, Abu Dawud. Furthermore, Imam al-Bukhari
himself said that he knew of more than 200, 000 ahadith that are musnad (hadith
with chain going back to the Prophet, as opposed to marfu' which only goes back
to the Sahaba) [Ibn Kathir, 'Ulum Ahadith and Ta'rikh Ibn Kathir,
Biography of Imam al-Bukhari]
3) Bukhari and Muslim are not easy books to follow as Hafiz al-'Asqalani
wrote seventeen volumes of commentary on Bukhari and Imam Ayni wrote 25
volumes on Bukhari. Imam an-Nawawi wrote a commentary on Muslim.
Yet there were some ahadith which these great scholars of Islam could not understand.
So how can we encourage ordinary Muslims to pickup Muslim and Bukhari
and start following them?
4) We should not follow only Bukhari and Muslim otherwise we would
become blind followers of Muslim and al-Bukhari and ignore the hundreds of books
of hadith which were written before Imam Muslim and Imam Bukhari were even born!
5) If it is essential to follow only Imam al-Bukhari or Muslim, then why did Imam
al-Bukhari, himself not follow his own ahadith narrations?For example:
(a) Hafiz al-'Asqalani and Imam Ibn Kathir write that Imam Bukhari prayed that Allah
Most High should take his life during the period when he was being persecuted by
people [al-'Asqalani, Tahdib Al Tahdib; and Ta'rikh Ibn Khathir,
Biography of Imam Bukhari]
This is despite the fact that Imam al-Bukhari also states a hadith that the Prophet
(May Allah bless him and grant Him peace) said that a Muslim should never ask Allah
to take his life
(b) Imam al-Bukhari was known to complete the entire recitation of the Qur'an in
one night during the month of Ramadan. This opposes the hadith narrations which
he collected himself that mentions that the Qur'an should be completed within five
to seven days
[Bukhari, Fada'il Qur'an]
Did Not the Four Imams Say "If you find an authentic hadith which goes against
what we say, accept the hadith and ignore us?"
It is correct that if an Imam says something which opposes an authentic hadith,
then we should reject his sayings and follow the hadith. But what exactly does an
'authentic hadith' mean? Is an authentic hadith that which is written in Bukhari
or Muslim? Or is it a hadith, which fulfils the criterion of being an authentic
hadith? Or is an authentic hadith that which has been called authentic by the scholars
If we believe that authentic ahadith are those only to be found in Bukhari
and Muslim, then we would just be blind followers of Imams al-Bukhari and
Muslim. If we say that authentic hadith are those which fulfil the requirements
laid down by hadith principles, then we would just be blindly following those scholars
who have written down these principles! Also, if we say that authentic ahadith are
those which were claimed to be authentic by muhaddithin, we would simply be following
It can be concluded, that if we took any of the above opinions we would still be
Hafiz Ibn Taymiyya writes that there has never been anyone from among the Imams
who has deliberately opposed the Sunna. When we find a statement from an Imam which
goes against the Sunna, the hadith in question does not fulfil the requirements
of authentication of that Imam. Thus, each Imam has their own sets of rules which
determine if a hadith is authentic or weak - so what may be an authentic hadith
to one Imam may not be recognised as authentic by another [Ibn Taymiyya, Rafu'l
malam, pages 15-16]
An example can be given by looking at the ahadith which Abu Hanifa received from
his teachers, who were the Sahaba of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant
him peace) and their students (Tabi'un). As these ahadith reached Abu Hanifa through
direct narration from the Sahaba and their students, no question can be raised as
to their authenticity. But when these same ahadith reached scholars of later generations,
the chains of narrators could contain some unreliability. Therefore, if someone
studies a hadith whose narrator is unreliable, and then says that a fatwa of Abu
Hanifa that is based upon this hadith is contrary to the Sunna, it would be unfair.
Secondly, whatever the four Imams have said was not necessarily final. Throughout
their lives, the Imams have changed their opinions as they received further information.
Also after their deaths, their students would check their respective Imam's work
and modify their opinions to accommodate the new information. Their students, and
so on, also repeated this again. This structure is known as a school of fiqh (madhhab).
If a fatwa given by a certain school appears to contradict a narration in Bukhari
or Muslim, it does not mean that it is against the Sunna as they are following
other authentic ahadith, and therefore, not opposing the Sunna.
Two examples of following blindly
(1) Shaykh Albani writes:
"The hadith, which is attributed to our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant
him peace), and states that 'Isa and Imam Mahdi (peace be upon them) are the same
person is completely untrue. Although Imam Ibn Majah, Imam al-Hakim, Imam Ibn 'Abdi'l-Barr
and other scholars of Islam have quoted the above hadith in their books. The reason
this narration is false is because both Imam Ibn Hajar and Imam al-Bayhaqi write
that the narrator is Muhammad ibn Khalid, who is unknown. Furthermore, Imam adh-Dhahabi
also considers this hadith to be false. Imam Sagani said that this hadith is fabricated.
Imam as-Suyuti said that the people have fabricated this hadith. Imam al-Qurtubi
considers this hadith to be weak"
[Albani, N., Silsila Ahadith Da'ifa, hadith no. 77]
It can be observed from the above, how Shaykh Albani takes the opinions of an aforementioned
Imam as evidence.Moreover, if Imam adh-Dhahabi says this hadith is untrue then Albani
says likewise. If Qadi Shawkani says this hadith is fabricated then Albani also
says it is fabricated.What can one say about this research - is Albani following
Qur'an, Sunna or the Imams?
If one reads Shaykh Albani's books it can be observed that Albani is always following
Imams. If Albani cannot avoid taqlid then a simple Muslim would definitelyneed to
follow an Imam.
When Albani follows Imams, such as Ibn Taymiyya, Ibn Kathir, Shawkani, adh-Dhahabi,
al-'Asqalani, and Ibn Abi Hatim, he is considered a great scholar and a knowledgeable
person.Moreover, when someone else follows Imam Abu Hanifa, or any of the other
three Imams then they are considered to be ignorant innovators.Therefore, having
observed the above evidence, one has to draw a conclusion that people have one set
of rules for one set of people and another set of rules for other people.
(2) Shaykh Albani writes that Imam ad-Darimi wrote:
"There was a great famine in Madina, the people went to 'A'isha (may Allah
be pleased with her) to seek guidance.She said to them to go and make a a hole in
the roof where our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was buried..When
they had done this it started to rain.There was a good harvest and the camels fattened;
people named that year as a 'fruitful year'.This narration is false because one
of the narrators is weak, who is Sa'id ibn Zahid.Imam Ibn Hajar says that this narration
is not authentic. Imam adh-Dhahabi says Sa'id's narration is weak; Imam Sa'di says
that Sa'id is unreliable; Imam an-Nasa'i says Sa'id is weak in knowledge, but Imam
Ahmed says that Sa'id is acceptable and the other narrator of this narration is
Muhammad ibn Fadal, who is known to be authentic.However, during the later stages
of his life he suffered memory lapse.We do not know whether Imam ad-Darimi took
this narration from Imam Muhammad, before or after he started to suffer from memory
lapse, therefore we cannot accept this narration as evidence and Hafiz Ibn Taymiyya
has refused to accept the above narration. He writes in his book Ar-rad Al-Bakari
that the hole in the room of our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)
was not present in the lifetime of 'A'isha (may Allah be pleased with her).The hole
came into existence during the time of Khalifa Walid ibn 'Abd al-Malik, hence the
above narration is false. 'A'isha (may Allah be pleased with her) told the people
to make a hole - this was her personal option and this is not acceptable"
[Albani, N., at-Tawassul, page 162]
In the above research it can be seen how Albani is again relying upon Imams, and
in particular, how he is blindly following Hafiz ibn Taymiyya. Now we can ask those
people who falsely accuse us of following Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam ash-Shafi'i.We
ask them why Shaykh Albani is only following Imam Dahahbi, Imam al-'Asqalani, Hafiz
ibn Taymiyya and Shawkani therefore it can be said that if it is acceptable for
Albani to follow Imams then why is it wrong for anyone else to follow Imams.
Let us now examine Albani's research regarding the above four points relating to
the narration of Imam ad-Darimi.
The first response to Albani's research is that he has only quoted the opinion of
those scholars who considered Sa'id ibn Zahid to be unreliable. The reason he has
chosen to do this is because if he had mentioned the scholars who had praised Sa'id
ibn Zahid, then he would have to accept their narrations.This opposed his (Albani)
and his Imam's (Ibn Taymiyya) opinion. Let us consider the other opinions of scholars
about Sa'id ibn Zahid.
Imam Bukhari mentions that Sa'id ibn Zahid was truthful and a learned man of hadith
[al-Bukhari, Ta'rikh al-Kabir, Biography of Sa'id ibn Zahid]
Hafiz Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn Kathir both agree that Imam al-Bukhari was the one person
in the world who knew hadith, texts and narrations better than anyone else [Ibn
Taymiyya, Fatawa Ibn Taymiyya, vol.3, page 200; also Ibn Kathir, Ta'rikh
Ibn Kathir, Biography of Imam al-Bukhari]
Imam Ibn Abi Hatim says Imam Abu Zahra said Sa'id ibn Zahid is a reliable person
[Ibn Abi Hatim, Jarh wa Ta'dil, ,Biography of Sa'id ibn Zahid]
Hafiz al-'Asqalani writes that Yahya ibn Mu'in said that Sa'id ibn Zahid was a reliable
peson. Also, Imam Ajali and Imam Abu Zahra say that he was reliable. Imam Naban
ibn Hilal says Sa'id ibn Zahid was a master of hadith. But Imam Daraqutni says that
Sa'id ibn Zahid was weak [al-'Asqalani, Tahdib al-Tahdib, Biography of
Sa'id ibn Zahid]
We are surprised as to why Albani has chosen to discard the opinions of the aforementioned
scholars regarding the reliability of Sa'id ibn Zahid. If Albani recognised the
authenticity of Sa'id ibn Zahid by trusting the opinion of Imam al-Bukhari and Yahya
ibn Mu'in, he would have no choice but to accept Sa'id ibn Zahid as a reliable narrator
and hence accept the hadith.This would be a logical conclusion if we remember that
Albani's two Imams (Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn Kathir) have said that Imam al-Bukhari
is the most learned person of hadith in the world.
The second objection of Albani regarding this narration is that Muhammad ibn Fadal,
the narrator of this hadith, suffered from memory lapse at later stages of his life
.We do not know whether Imam ad-Darimi took this narration from Muhammad ibn Fadal
before or after he started to suffer from memory lapse, therefore we do not accept
The answer to the above objection is that Muhammad ibn Fadal was a teacher of both
Imam al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim. Imam al-Bukhari took narrations from him. We have
a reliable opinion that Imam al-Bukhari took the narration from Muhammad ibn Fadal
before he started to suffer from memory lapse. Furthermore, Imam as-Darimi, like
Imam al-Bukhari, was a learned scholar of hadith and was able to understand and
judge when to accept a hadith from a narrator.
Albani's objection can only be valid if we can establish that Imam ad-Darimi had
a habit of taking hadith from narrators that were suffering from memory problems.
There is no proof to suggest this.
If Albani insists upon the idea that Imam ad-Darimi took the narration from Muhammad
ibn Fadaal, that is after he started to suffer from memory lapse, then someone else
may say that Imam al-Bukhari also accepted narrations from Muhammad ibn Fadal after
he started to suffer from memory lapse as it cannot be established from historical
data as to precisely when he started to suffer from memory lapse.
Hafiz al-'Asqalani has written in his preface to Fath al-Bari that Imam
al-Bukhari took narrations from Muhmmad ibn Fadal before he started to suffer from
memory lapse. However, Hafiz Ibn Hajar did not state the period in which Muhammad
ibn Fadal started to suffer from memory lapse or to the fact how he knew that Imam
al-Bukhari took narration from Muhammad ibn Fadal before he started to suffer from
memory lapse. We are therefore puzzled as to how Albani has established his suspicion
on Imam ad-Darimi regarding this narration. Likewise, others may be suspicious about
The third objection of Albani regarding this narration is that during the rule of
Walid ibn Malik, the room of 'A'isha, where our Prophet (may Allah bless him and
grant him peace) is buried, was rebuilt with a hole in the room. From this it can
be seen that the hole was not made by the order of 'A'isha.,Therefore, the narration
that states that 'A'isha gave the order for the hole to be made is false. However,
when Walid ibn Malik rebuilt 'A'isha's room, the hole was made again. So we cannot
be certain that the hole was in existence before the rebuilding of the room.
Imam Ibn Jarir al-Tabari and Hafiz ibn Kathir write in their Ta'rikh that during
Walid ibn Malik's
Governmental period the Mosque of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him
peace) was enlarged and, during this extension, 'A'isha's room (where our Prophet
is buried) was enclosed in the Mosque. But they do not mention anything about a
hole. Therefore, how can it be said that narration regarding a hole is not authentic?
Shaykh Albani says Hafiz ibn Tamiyyah never accepted this narration. However, Hafiz
ibn Taymiyya has accepted this narration elsewhere. Hafiz Ibn Taymiyya writes:
"During 'A'isha's time there was a famine in Madina and she opened the roof
of her room [where our Prophet is buried]. This was done because rain is blessing
of Allah and it would therefore fall upon our Prophet's (may Allah bless him and
grant him peace) grave"
[Ibn Taymiyya, Iqtida as-Sirat al-Mustaqim, page 338]
If this narration was not true then Hafiz Ibn Taymiyya would have rejected it but
he has not rejected it hence further supporting its validity.
Albani's fourth objection is that this was 'A'isha's personal opinion. This can
be answered by the fact that the Sahaba were alive and they did not object to what
'A'isha did. Therefore she and the Sahaba were in agreement.This is evidence for
the entire Muslim Umma. Except Albani.
In conclusion we can say that if Albani needs to fallow Imam adh-Dhahabi, Imam al-'Asqalani,
Imam Abu Hatim, Imam Ibn 'Adi, Hafiz Ibn Taymiyya and Shawkani. Therefore ordinary
Muslims also need to follow Imams i.e. Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Malik ,Imam ash-Shafi'i
and Imam Ahmed.
Furthermore, Albani's research is unreliable because he has chosen to ignore opinions
which he disagrees with.
An Interesting Event That Helped the Author!
Once a young man came to me and asked me why I did not follow Bukhari and
Muslim only. He then told me to only follow them, rather than any Imam
and not to be an innovator.
I answered him by showing him two ahadith, and asked him to tell me what he understood
by them? One narration was from Bukhari and the other was from Muslim.The
young man was determined to prove that his interpretation was better than Imam Abu
Hanifa or Imam Malik, because in their time there was no computer to compile a database
The two ahadith were:
1) Imam al-Bukhari reports that Amar ibn Maymun said: 'I saw a monkey who had just
copulated with another monkey, and the other monkeys were stoning them, so I also
started to throw stones at them.'[Bukhari, chapter on 'Ayyamul-Jahiliya']
2) Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) reports: "The Prophet (may Allah bless
him and grant him peace) told 'Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) to go and execute
a Muslim man who was accused by the people of committing adultery with a slave girl.
When 'Ali found him, he was bathing in a lake.He then called to him and when he
came out of the lake he had no clothes on. 'Ali (may Allah be pleased with him)
saw that this person could not commit adultery as he was an eunuch.'Ali then let
him go [Muslim, chapter on 'Tawba']
His answer was:
"It is clear from this narration of al-Bukhari that animals should be married
according to Islam, and if they commit adultery, they should be punished like humans
to make their lives more civilized. Also, from the second hadith, if someone is
accused of committing adultery with a woman, he should be killed, but before killing
him it should be checked whether he is a eunuch or not."
This is one example of the ijtihad made by people who encourage others to pick up
Muslim and Bukhari and ignore the Imams. As for the correct interpretation,
this is discussed in the chapter, "Bukhari and Muslim Are the Only Sources
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