Question ID: 26141

Assalamu alaykum
. In Canada there is a ghair muqallid scholar,who has studied mainly the Shaafi fiqh but has knowledge of the other schools of fiqh as well. He ,when issuing fatawa,does not follow any particular madhab rather he chooses any ruling from any madhab .
What I found shocking was that he attributes this action to Shah Waliullah Muhadith Dehlvi (rahmatullah).
In this scholar’s own words, he says.”I follow the methodology of Imam Shah Waliullah which stresses the combining of the methodology of fuqaha of madhahib with that of fuqaha of muhadhitheen”.
At another place he writes,”I consider Deoband school to be a direct product of the teachings of Imam Shah Waliulah. I believe it is thanks to the great sages and scholars of such institutions that Islam is thriving in India, and it behoves every Muslim to cherish respect for such institutions and their contributions. However, I do not think that Deoband has fully lived up to the great vision of Shah waliulah since it has a narrow focus in fiqh mainly centered on a static view of hanafi school, and it lacks the philosophical depth of the waliullahi vision. It was this feeling of dissatisfaction with the Deobandhi curriculum that prompted some eminent scholars to establish Nadwah; while others went ahead to establish secular institutions with courses on Islamic theology to complement the work of both Deoband and Nadwah ”.
Hazrat,from what I have read this scholar’s statements,it appears that Shah Waliullah (rahmatullah) was not strict about taqleed to a particular madhab.
Please remove my confusion.

JazakAllah khair.

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Asked on June 17, 2014 5:19 pm
Private answer
This 'Scholar' is misled and is misleading others. Hadhrat Shah Waliullaah was a Muqallid. Read the following research by the current Sheikhul Hadith of Darul Uloom Deoband, Mufti Saeed Ahmed Palanpuri on the matter:

The School of thought that?Hadhrat Shah Waliullaahl followed The Ghayr Muqallideen commonly believe that Musnidul Hind Hadhrat Shah Waliullaah lhad no affiliation with the Madhaahib, especially not the Hanafi Madhhab. They believe that he followed the ways of the Muhadditheen, meaning that he was a Ghayr Muqallid like them. It is therefore necessary to address this misconception.

The Three Schools of Thought in Beliefs . The following are the three correct schools of though as far as beliefs are concerned:

  1. Ashairah: Followers of Imaam Abul Hasan Ashari l (260-324 A.H.), who was himself a follower of Imaam Shaafiee l in Fiqh. The followers of Imaam Shaafiee l generally follow him in beliefs.
  2. Maatureediyyah: Followers of Imaam Abu Mansoor Maatureedi (passed away 333 A.H.). Because he was a Hanafi, the followers of Imaam Abu Haneefah l generally follow him in beliefs.
There are only 12 differences of opinion between these two schools, none of which concern fundamental beliefs.
  1. Salafiyyah: These are the followers of Imaam Ahmad l (164-241 A.H.) and others in their stance not to tender interpretations for the attributes of Allaah. Because this was the general tendency of the pious predecessors (Aslaaf/Salaf), these people are called the Salafiyyah. Although they are sometimes also referred to as the Hanaabilah, this term has gradually been weaned off so as not to confuse it with the Hanaabilah school of thought in Fiqh. This school is also sometimes known as the school of the Muhadditheen because it was adhered to by the likes of Hadhrat Sufyaan Thowri l and Imaam Maalik l.
The only difference that this school has with the other two is that according to them it is not permissible at all to cite metaphorical interpretations when explaining the attributes of Allaah such as Allaahs hand, his being seated upon the Arsh, etc.
Only these three schools are considered part of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa'ah. All other schools of thought in terms of are regarded as astray, such as the Mutazilah, Jahamiyyah, Karraamiyyah, etc.
Hadhrat Shah Waliullaah l belonged to the Ashaairah school in his beliefs. In a manuscript of Bukhaari, Hadhrat Shah Waliullaah l?had written by his own hand that he was an Ashari. However, although he favoured the opinion of the Salafiyyah when it concerns the interpretation of the attributes of Allaah, he did resort to this on a few occasions, as will be noticed in Chapter 4 of the 5th Discussion in Hujjatullaah.
In terms of his allegiance in Fiqh, Hadhrat Shah Waliullaah lwas a Hanafi, as he had himself written. This writing in his own hand can be found in a manuscript of Bukhaari which is preserved in the Khuda Bakhsh library. The manuscript belonged to a student of his by the name of Muhammad bin Peer Muhammad bin Sheikh Abul Fatah. This student has recorded in the same manuscript that he had completed the Bukhaari lessons on the 6th of Shawwaal 1159 A.H. at Jaami Fayrozi close to the Ganges River. Thereafter, Hadhrat Shah Waliullaah wrote his chain of teaches right up to Imaam Bukhaari l. He then wrote in his own hand that he was an Ashari in beliefs and a Hanafi in practice. At the end, Hadhrat Shah Rafeeud Deen l had written that the text was indeed written by his father Hadhrat Shah Waliullaah.
Apart from this,Hadhrat Shah Waliullaah?has written at the end of the first part of Hujjatullaah that all of the Ummah including their seniors are unanimous that it is necessary for all to follow one of the four Madhaahib because of the evident benefits, especially during these times when people have been overtaken by their whims. He then provides a detailed discussion mentioning that the stance of Ibn Hazam stating that Taqleed is Haraam applies only to the following persons:
  1. One who is a Mujtahid himself and has all the relevant knowledge of Deen
  2. One who is so ignorant that he believes that the Mujtahid he follows is infallible
  3. One who believes that it is not at all permissible to query a matter of Deen from a scholar of another Madhhab
However, none can object to the practice of a person who follows an Imaam because he does not have the relevant knowledge and knows well that the laws of the Shari'ah proceed from Allaah and Rasulullaah (S.A.W) and that they decree what is Halaal and what is Haraam. The practice of querying the matters of Deen from scholars has prevailed from the time of Rasulullaah (S.A.W). The discussion of Hadhrat Shah Waliullaah that you will soon read concerning the necessity for Taqleed makes it evident that he supported it. In the same manuscript, Hadhrat Shah Waliullaah l?states that in teaching he is both Hanafi as well as Shaafiee. This means that in his lessons as well as in his writing, he would express from the Hanafi and Shaafiee Madhaahib the opinion that was better substantiated. However, when it came to his practice, he did what was prescribed by the Hanafi school. This was also the practice of many lecturers of Daarul Uloom Deoband who would remain within the scope of the Hanafi Madhhab when practising the Deen and replying to Fataawaa. However, they kept their lessons open to discussion and critique from all Madhaahib.
Hadhrat Shah Waliullaah lhimself has explained this manner when he states that when a ruling in a Madhhab is said to be correct, it may mean one of the following:
  1. That it appears to be better substantiated from the Qur'aan and Ahadeeth
  2. It is believed to be correct in its conformance with the objectives of the Shari'ah
Therefore, when they state that a ruling of the Shaafi?e Madhhab is more correct, they are referring to the first meaning and when they actually practice the Hanafi Madhhab as being correct, they are referring to the second meaning. Details of this may be referenced in the book Ilhaamur Rahmaan fi Tafseeril Qur'aan by Hadhrat Moulana Sindhi l. It may be said that Hadhrat Shah Waliullaah was either a Hanafi, a Shaafiee, a Maaliki or a Hanbali, but it can never be said that he was a Ghayr Muqallid. The Ghayr Muqallideen are a deviant sect who reject the unanimous belief of the Muslims.
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Answered on June 17, 2014 5:19 pm