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Follow Qur’an and Sunnah?

Question: A friend at university has joined a new group that has recently been hosting programs on various issues. Hence he no more strictly follows any of the four Imaams (Imaam Abu Hanifah, Imaam Shaafi, Imaam Maalik and Imaam Ahmad bin Hambal Rahmatullahi Alaihim). He claims that in many aspects he directly follows the Qur’an and Hadith. He has also recently been performing his salaah somewhat differently. Please comment.

Answer: Many books have been written on this subject. You may enquire from the Ulama in your locality and read up these books for the details. A brief answer is presented here to help you understand the reality of your friend’s claim. Your friend has abandoned strictly following any of the Imaams since he wants to follow the Qur’aan and Sunnah. This is due to the misconception, or due to misinformation, that if you strictly follow any of the Imaams, you are NOT following the Qur’aan and Sunnah. This is extremely far from the reality. The Imaams of fiqh have explained and codified the laws of the Qur’an and Sunnah in a manner that makes it easy for any person to understand them. They did not invent any Deen of their own.

When your friend was a little child, his parents taught him many things. They taught him about the Oneness of Allah Ta’aala, about His attributes, etc. They taught him about Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and his way of life. He was taught how to make istinja, what to recite before and after eating and many other etiquettes. Later he went to maktab where his Ustaad taught him how to perform wudhu, salaah and many acts of Deen. Until this day he has been learning from people. In all these years was he following his mother, father, Ustaad or the Qur’an and Sunnah? Likewise, your friend attends the lectures and seminars of the new group that he has joined and follows what he is told by the lecturers. Can it then be said that he follows the lecture rs, not the Qur’aan and Sunnah? Unfortunately your friend has abandoned strictly following any of the great Imaams who were brilliant experts in all the sciences of Deen. Instead he has opted to follow some present-day scholar whose knowledge cannot compare at all to the knowledge of the Imaams. He has abandoned the expert jurists who lived in the golden era of Islam (Imaam Abu Hanifa (R.A.) — born in 80 AH, Imaam Maalik (R.A.) — born in 95 AH, Imaam Shafi (R.A.) — born in 150 AH and Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal (R.A.) — born in 164 AH) and who acquired knowledge from the students of the Sahaaba (R.A.) and other luminaries of that era. He has instead followed someone born in the 1400’s. If your friend’s claim of directly following only the Qur’an and Sunnah is genuine (due to which he has forsaken strictly following any Imaam), tell him to explain to you how he performs wudhu and fulfils two rakaats of salaah. He should then substant iate every act by means of an aayat of the Qur’an or a Hadith. If he quotes a hadith, he must give full references. He should also state the category of each Hadith and why it belongs to that category. He should also explain why he regards the narrators of the Hadith as reliable. If there is any apparent contradiction with any other hadith, he must explain why he has acted on one Hadith and not the other. If he cannot explain this detail only for wudhu and two rakaats of salaah, how will he explain the details about the rest of Deen? This however exposes the reality of the claim that in many aspects he is directly following the Qur’an and Hadith. He is merely following what somebody, who is very much lesser in knowledge and expertise than the great Imams, has told him. Such people often really follow the “Deen” of convenience and pick and choose what suits them. They do not really follow the Qur’an and Hadith.

Two Categories
There are two categories of people: those who have a profound mastery of the Qur’an and Sunnah and all the related sciences (such as the Imaams of fiqh) and those who do not possess such knowledge. Allah Ta’ala declares in the Qur’an: “Ask the people of knowledge if you do not know.” To date the Ummah has “asked” the Imaams of fiqh for guidance, by referring to the Ulama, and followed their expert explanations. By the grace of Allah Ta’ala they fulfilled their obligations of Deen correctly without any confusion. Your friend should not be misled by the exciting slogans and outward glitter and glamour. May Allah Ta’aala save us from every deviation. Aameen.

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One comment

  1. Muslimah Moms
    Posted on June 5, 2012


    “You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah . If only the People of the Scripture had believed, it would have been better for them. Among them are believers, but most of them are defiantly disobedient.” (3:110)

    Up until recently, I maintained a superficial presence on Facebook. I was a member of a Muslimah Moms Group here. Now the name of the group would imply that it is a group of moms who aim to implement some semblance of Qur’an and Sunnah in raising their children. But no! It quickly became apparent that is was mainly a forum for cheerleading each other in child neglect.

    Muslim mothers were seeking advice about the controversial ‘Cry It Out’ method of sleeptraining, no doubt because they needed to drag children out of bed at the crack of dawn to drop them at creche, in order to go to work, and thus were desperate for them to go sleep at a ‘reasonable’ hour. A mother, whose child had severe food allergy related eczema, admitted that ‘his skin looked beautiful’, the couple of weeks they were on holiday as she could properly supervise his diet, whereas at day care, he was inevitably fed some offending foodstuff. Another was looking for a nanny for her one month old infant. Another posted on a Monday, how ‘blissful’ it was to be back in the office after a stressful weekend of being ‘on mommy duty 24/7′ – the very next day (!) to post that her baby was terribly sick with thrush with big white sores in his mouth. The same mother frequently posted about recurring ear infections which saw her at the doctor’s office every three weeks. (ever heard of ‘creche syndrome’?) Yet another about how ‘good’ her daycare was, in having bathed her child until age 2.

    And the ignorance of basic Islamic knowledge is astounding. When pointing out that it is not permissable for Muslims to work in banks, I was told, ‘not to judge lest you be judged,”. Thank you very much, for that quote from the BIBLE. Or the Muslim woman with her chest exposed on her Facebook photo enquiring about admission to Islamia Primary School?! No wonder those who take the tarbiyah of their children seriously are increasingly compelled to homeschool.

    I am fed-up walking through the neighbourhood witnessing all the non-Muslim nannies pushing the Muslim babies in their prams, or the children with ubiquitous white patches on their faces. Ladies, this is a sign of malnutrition – no doubt because working mommies don’t have time to cook properly. Not to mention the attitude problems, which curiously Muslim seem ‘proud’ of? I’ve often heard the expressions such as ‘Aqeela is 10, but the mouth is 15′, said in a self-satisfied manner. And then Muslims rail at the MJC for not hosting enough programmes for the youth. Never in my life have I encountered such an abdication of childrearing responsbility!

    And one mommy forum commenter took a swipe at the ‘hoity toity’ boere. I can tell you one thing about the boere, having sent my child to a ‘boere’ school.. the adaab she encountered there was WAY superior to what she encountered at a predominantly Muslim school. Heck, the worse experience we had was at a Hifz school! But then again, my theory is that the ‘Boere’ know their limitations and have one, maaaaybe two, children, and lavish attention on them and take their upbringing seriously. Whereas, the working Muslims keep popping out 3, 4, 5 and expect to squeeze in their upbringing around a 8-5 office job.

    Paradise lies beneath the feet of the mother, yes – but you actually have to ‘mother’ your children for that reward. But then again, staying at home looking after your children is ‘boring’.

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