THE IMPORTANCE OF TAQLEED (FOLLOWING THE FOUR IMAMS
رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ
Through the grace of Allahعزوجل , I have comprehensively written about the issue of Taqleed in the beginning of this book, which has remained unanswered by Wahabi Ghair-Muqallids even until today. In continuing with this topic, we briefly explain the need and benefits of Taqleed as well as the harms and ills of not following it.
The Sahaaba were the Imams of the entire world. Which Imam would they follow?!
In the Ummah of the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم there are some fortunate people who gained the companionship of Rasoolullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم and saw his miraculous beauty with their very own eyes. These people are stars on the sky of prophethood and are the guides and Imams of the entire Ummah. Regarding them, Rasoolultah himself said, “My Sahaaba are like stars. Whichever one you follow, you will attain guidance.”
Allahعزوجل saved and protected the Sahaaba from deviance and transgression through the blessings of His Messenger’s صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم companionship. He also made necessary statements regarding their piety which they are surely worthy of, “(O Sahaaba) Allahعزوجل has put hate in your hearts for infidelity (kufr), transgression and sins,” (Surah Hujaraat, Verse 7) and has promised every Sahaabi to be a Jannati, “Allahعزوجل has promised Jannat to all the Companions.” – Surah Nisaa, Verse 95
In fact, Allahعزوجل even classified the Sahaaba to be the benchmark of the entire world’s Imaan! Whoever has lmaan like them is a Mu’rnin, and whoever’s Imaan is contrary to theirs is out of the deen, “If those people brought Imaan like yours, they would be on the path of salvation (hidaayat).” – Surah Baqarah, Verse 137
Through the blessings of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah’s صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم companionship, the hearts of the Sahaaba were illuminated and they possessed characteristics of the angels (such as obedience and virtue) even though they were earthly creation. There were no deeni conflicts, groupings, religious disputes or fitnas prevalent amongst them, and so there was no need for formal Taq1eed during this period. The Sahaaba were the Imams of the entire world. Which Imam would they follow?!
After their time, however, differences in religious thought, dispersion, profusion of rulings and confluence of logic (mantiq) and philosophy arose amongst Muslims. It was at this time that the Learned Ulama began to deduce laws from the Quran and Hadith and cleansed the rulings and verdicts of Islam like a mirror. The Ummah realized that besides following the Taqleed of the Four Imams, there was no other solution. In short, the Muslims were divided into three categories: the public, the Ulama and the Mujtahideen Imams. The masses followed the Ulama and the Ulama deemed the Taqleed of the Imams as necessary due to the needs of the time.
Examples of this follow,
1. The Sahaaba didn’t collect the Holy Quran in book-form due to there being no need in their time. In the time of Hadrat Uthman رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ however, when need did arise, the Holy Quran was gathered and compiled into one article.
I’raab (zabar, zer, pesh), Rukus and Sipaarahs were later also applied.
2. No Sahaabi felt the need to collect the statements of the Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم (Ahadith), categorize and extract rulings from them (Bukhari, Muslim, etc. were books authored much later). In short, when religious needs arose, only then were these things created and emplaced.
The Taqleed of the Imams is similar to the above. Just as how we cannot say that the collecting of the Holy Quran and allocating Rukus, Sipaarahs and punctuation to it, or the surfacing of the Science of Hadith and the books of Hadith, etc, are all Bad Innovations (Bidat) because they didn’t exist in the time of the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم or Sahaaba, so too is it ignorance to say that the following (Taqleed) of the Four Imams and knowledge of Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh) is bad because it was not prevalent in the time of the Sahaaba. Today, if the collected Quran, Bukhari and Muslim, etc is necessary, so too is the following of the Imams necessary.
[Translators note: At this point, the learned author has quoted various Quranic verses and Ahadith that substantiate the necessities of Taqleed. The majority of these quotations are found in the first discussion in this book. Please refer to them there]
The practice of Muslims also proves the necessity of Taqleed: Muslims of every category have always been Muqallids. None from the Muhadditheen,
Insects cannot consume the bodies of the prophets. The termites ate Hadrat Sulaiman’s علیہ السلام stick, not his blessed foot. Thus, Hadrat Yaqub علیہ السلام had certainty that wolves didn’t eat Hadrat Yusuf علیہ السلام. He knew that his sons were lying to him!
Mufassireen, Fuqahaa, Auliya or Sufiya have ever been Ghair-Muqallid Wahabies. Imam Qastalaani رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ and Imam Tajuddin Subki رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ have explicitly proven that Imam Bukhari رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ was a Shafee while Imam Nawawi رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ has also gestured towards him being so. Imam Tirmidhi رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ, Abu Dawood, Nasaa’i, Daar-Qutni رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ and other Muhadditheen were all Shafees, while Imam Tahaawi, Zai’Iee, Aini, Teebi, Ali Qaari, Abdul-Haqq Muhaddith Dehlwi رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ and other Muhadditheen were Hanafis.
The authors of Tafseer-e-Kabeer, Khaazin, Baidaawi, Jalaalain and Tanweerul-Miqyas were all Shafee Mufassirs, while the authors of Tafseer Madaarik, Roohul-Bayaan, etc. were all Hanafis. Every Wah (Friend of Allahعزوجل) was a Muqallid. Most were Hanafi.
Those who reject the Imams! How many Commentators of the Quran or Hadith, Jurists or Saints have emanated from you?!
Taqleed is even necessary from a rational point of view. Not following it is poison (as supported by the following),
1. To deduce rulings from the Quran and Hadith is not easy, Due to intricacy of the Quran Sharif, Allahعزوجل sent the greatest Messengerصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم to teach it. If the intellect was sufficient in understanding it, the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم wouldn’t have been sent. Allahعزوجل states, “The Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم teaches Muslims the Quran and pmdence.”29.5 – Surah Aale-Imran, Verse 164
Just as how Sayyiduna Rasoolullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم has been sent to explain the Holy Quran, so too have the Mujtahideen Imams been created to explain the Hadith. Those who refuse making Taqleed make such malicious mistakes in their interpretation of the Quran and Hadith that Allah’sعزوجل protection can only be asked for against them. I have challenged the Wahabi Ghair-Muqallid hierarchy several times requesting only the difference between Hadith and Sunnat (i.e. what is a Hadith and what is Sunnat?), let alone explanation of the Hadith. They call themselves Ahle-Hadith and we call ourselves Ahle-Sunnat. “So what’s the difference between us?” After asking them to prove this difference from the Hadith, Alhamdulillah, they haven’t been able to until today and, Insha-Allah, will never be able to until Qiyaarnat. I still challenge the Ghair-Muqallid Wahabies to answer it.
Understanding and extracting rules from the Hadith is not the fate of these unfortunate people. They call themselves Ahle-Hadith after only memorizing a couple of narrations about Ameen bil-Jahr without even understanding them.
Through the grace of Allahعزوجل understanding and gaining the benefits of the Hadith is the good fortune of Muqallids (followers of the Four Imams]. Examples of this follow,
1. a. The Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم has said,”The mountain Uhud loves us and we love it.29.6 – Bukhari Sharif
From this minor excerpt, the following rules of Shariah and Tareeqat are extracted,
1. Having love for the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم is not a unique quality of humans. Mindless animals, lifeless sticks and even stones possess love for the Noble Messengerصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم. The beauty of Hadrat Yusuf علیہ السلام was seen by thousands, but only Zulaikha became infatuated with it. Today, none have seen the beauty of Muhammad Mustapha صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم but millions are his lovers. The Prophet is the beloved of the entire creation, And why not? He is the beloved of even the Creator!
2. The human who doesn’t have love for Rasoolullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم is more hard-hearted than stones and is a lower life form than animals.
3. When the Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم knows the condition of a rock’s heart (“Uhud loves us…”), how can he not know the secrets of human hearts? Indeed, no seen thing is hidden from him.
4. There is no need to express one’s love of the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم by mouth because he knows the admiration hidden in the chambers of the heart. Uhud said nothing, yet the state of its heart is clear 10 Rasoolullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم. If the Messengerصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم doesn’t know these things, how will he intercede (shafa’at) on Qiyaamat? Those requesting him to intercede will surely not receive the answer, “I don’t know whether you were Kaafirs or Mu’rnins, so how can I intercede?”
5. The compensation of all worship (ibaadat) is Jannat, but the result of having love for Rasoolullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم is love itself He said, “Uhud loves us and we love it.” This proves that love for Sayyiduna Rasoolullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم is more excellent than ibaadat, because the reward of his love is being loved by the one who has control over Jannat [i.e. the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم]. Now follows another Hadith,
2. The Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم once passed two graves and said, “The inmates of these graves are undergoing punishment, and my transport (a mule) is restless on seeing this. One of them was a shepherd of camels who never protected himself from their drops of urine, and the other was a backbiter. This is why they’re being punished.” After saying this, Rasoolullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم broke a branch into two pieces, placed a piece on each grave and said, “The punishment of the grave will be lessened for as long as they remain green.” – Bukhari Sharif
The following points arise from this Hadith,
I. Nothing blocks the blessed vision and eyes of Rasoolullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم. He sees even behind coverings. The punishment of the grave was occurring beneath meters of sand, yet Sayyiduna Rasoolullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم observed it from the surface.
2. The curtains of obscurity are removed for even the animal which Rasoolullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم rides upon! Through the blessings of the Prophet the mule saw the punishment of the grave and became restless, while our mules go past graveyards day and night but don’t lose any sleep. Thus, if the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم has to cast a glance on a Wali (Friend of Allahعزوجل), the curtains of obscurity are lifted for himas well.
3. The Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم knows every visible, hidden, former and latter action of every person. He said, “One of them was a shepherd of camels who never protected himself from their drops of urine, and the other was a backbiter,” but neither of them did these things in front of him! Thus, he knows every action and doing.
4. Rasoolullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم knows how to save someone from Divine punishment and how to remove it. He is aware of all spiritual ills as well as their remedy. To remove the punishment of the graves, he placed a fresh branch on each and said that the punishment will be lightened through them.
5. Through the blessings of fresh greenery’s Tasbeeh, the punishment in the grave of a Mu’min is lightened. Therefore, if recitation of the Holy Quran or the Zikr of Allahعزوجل is made, the deceased will surely gain benefit, because the Tasbeeh of a believer is more superior to that of plants.
6. Even though dry things also make Tasbeeh: وان من شیء الا بسبح بحمدہ the punishment of the grave is not removed by their likr. For Zikr to be effective, it’s necessary for the tongue with which it is made to also be effective. So, the recitation of dry Wahabies, etc. is not beneficial. The Zikr of a Mu’tnin, however, who has the greenery and freshness of the Prophet’s صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم love, is worthwhile.
7. Placing green plants, flowers, etc. on the grave of a Mu’min is beneficial because the inmates of the grave gain advantage through it. Here, the Prophet placed fresh, green branches on the graves and said, “Punishment will be lessened for as long as they remain fresh.”
8. The urine of a Halaal animal is impure (najis) and to save oneself from it is necessary. We lean that though the camel is a Halaal animal, its drops cause punishment in the grave.
These were examples of the beautiful points Muqallids (followers of the Four Imams) extract from understanding the Ahadith. Refer to my marginal notes on Bukhari, Naeemul-Baari, for more examples of these. We now present examples of commentary on the Holy Quran by Muqallids,
1. “Jinns didn’t give notification of Hadrat Sulaiman’s علیہ السلام demise, but the white ants which were eating his staff did.” 29.8 – Surah Saban, Verse 14
Hadrat Sulaiman علیہ السلام passed away in the state of namaaz while Baitul-Muqaddas was being constructed (he remained in the standing position for six months, being supported by his walking stick). Eventually, termites ate his stick and his blessed body fell to the ground. When the linns (who were working on the construction) saw this, they abandoned their work and fled the area. From this ayat and incident, we can deduce,
1. After death, the bodies of the prophets are safe from decomposing and perishing. See: the body of Hadrat Sulaiman علیہ السلام remained the same for six months without any change.
2. Insects cannot consume the bodies of the prophets. The termites ate Hadrat Sulaiman’s علیہ السلام stick, not his blessed foot. Thus, Hadrat Yaqub علیہ السلام had certainty that wolves didn’t eat Hadrat Yusuf علیہ السلام. He knew that his sons were lying to him!
3. The kafn of a prophet is also safe from rotting or min. Hadrat Sulaiman’s علیہ السلام kafn didn’t become dirty or soiled during these six months. Otherwise, the Jinns would have known that he passed away.
4. The prophets fulfill religious and worldly needs even after their passing! Hadrat Sulaiman علیہ السلامmade sure the Baitul-Muqaddas Musjid was completed even after his demise.
5. Due to a religious need, to delay the kafn and burial of a prophet is the Sunnah of Allahعزوجل For the completion of the Musjid, Allahعزوجل kept Hadrat Sulaiman علیہ السلام without any kafn or burial for six months after his demise. Thus, the Sahaaba delaying the kafn and burial of Sayyiduna Rasoolullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم in order to select a Khalifa is absolutely correct because the appointment of a Khalifa is far more important than the completion of a Musjid.
6. Heart failure (i.e. sudden death), is not a punishment for Allah’sعزوجل virtuous servants, but a mercy. Hadrat Sulaiman علیہ السلام passed away suddenly even though it was a blessing for him. Yes, it is a punishment for the heedless and negligent because they do not get the time to repent. We present another ayat as an example,
2. “اذا جاء نصراللہ والفتح الخ”- Surah Fath
In this ayat, Allahعزوجل has mentioned two blessings of His to His beloved صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم and has commanded His praise in Tasbeeh to be made in thanks for them. The first is the Conquering of Makkah and the second are the armies of people accepting Islam after it. The following deductions are made from this ayat,
1. The Sahaaba are not few in number but arc in the thousands, because Allahعزوجل has used the word ‘armies’ (Afwaaj), and a couple of people do not make an army. Just as how the prophets are approximately 124,000, from which 313 are Messengers (prophets with Divine books) and 4 are Mursa! (Specially sent), likewise, the Sahaaba are 124,000 in number, from which 313 are Badri companions and 4 are Khulafaa-e-Raashideen. Whoever says that Mu’min Sahaaba were only two or five in total refute this ayat.
2. The Imaan of those who accepted Islam on the day of the Conquering of Makkah and afterwards is accepted by Allahعزوجل.
The Holy Quran states that they have entered the deen of Allahعزوجل, leaving no doubt in the matter. Therefore, Abu Sufyan, Hinda, Ikramah, Arneer Muawiya, etc. رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ were true and sincere Mu’mins. Whoever rejects their Imaan refutes this ayat.
3. None from those who brought lmaan on the day of the Conquering of Makkah became apostates (Murtads). They remained as true Believers and passed away as such, because this ayat explicitly mentions their entering into Imaan while there is no ayat regarding their leaving it. Also, Allahعزوجل mentioned this as a Divine blessing. If they had lost their Imaan afterwards, then instead of ordering the performance of Tasbeeh and praise (hamd), Allahعزوجل would have said, “O Beloved! Their Imaan has no credibility because they shall resort to kufr again.” Now, whatever historical incident “proves” their kufr is false, a lie and contrary to the Holy Quran.
Until today, has the brain of any Ghair-Muqallid Wahabi extracted such Imaan enlightening rules from the Quran and Hadith? If you wish to learn more Imaan strengthening commentaries like the above, refer to my marginal notes on the Holy Quran. We now return to the original topic (i.e. the necessity of Taqleed):
1. b. The Quran and Hadith are medicines of lmaan. Every single person cannot prescribe his own medication less he wishes to chance his life. Likewise, everyone cannot extract rules from the Quran and Hadith by themselves. If one does, he will lose his lmaan just as how GhairMuqal1id Wahabies have.
c. The Quran and Hadith are oceans of knowledge. When most people are incapable of bringing out pearls from the ocean, so too can every person not deduce rulings from the Quran and Hadith on their own. Pearls are not bought from the sea. When people desire them, they enter jewelry stores. Likewise, you will not get Islamic rulings from the Quran and Hadith but will need to browse the shelves of lmam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ, Imam Shafee رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ etc.
d. In worldly matters, every person is the follower of some leader: in cooking food, sewing clothes, wearing clothes, etc, there is no worldly action wherein Taqleed of the masters of that particular field hasn’t been made. Deen is more vital than this. If every person unrestrictedly does and says whatever he wishes, Islam will be mined.
Ghair-Muqallid Wahabies should wear their hats on their legs and their shoes on their heads, etc. because they make the Taqleed of general people when it comes to dressing. Why do you perform the Taqleed of a luminary in every matter but refute three or four? If you want to oppose Taqleed, be complete in it. Do everything uniquely!
e. The Ahadith have many visible differences in them, with several sometimes concerning only one issue. If Taqleed isn’t made and only the Ahadith are looked at, we would be in a great predicament. Ya Allahعزوجل! Which Hadith do we follow?! Can a Wahabi perform a two rakaat namaaz in which all Ahadith are practiced upon, remembering that there are several narrations dealing with only one issue? Narrations differ regarding the Holy Prophet’sصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم Witr being 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 and 13 rakaats. Now, to those who don’t follow any Imam, perform a Witr Namaaz which incorporates all of these.
Friends, it is the task of a Mujtahid to see which Hadith is applicable (naasikh), inapplicable (mansookh), which has a visible meaning and which needs interpretation. Only the person who recognizes the context of the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم‘s actions should bring practice on the Hadith.