بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuhu
Firstly, May Allah light your path and guide your way and grant you strength and support.
I have several important questions regarding the Hizb books, I am from the sons of the Hizb; I pray that the answers will soothe our chests as we have given a pledge to you.
1. It was mentioned in the book The System of Islam (English version p. 96), "If the muqalid follows a mujtahid in a hukum of any issue and acts accordingly, he is not allowed to leave that hukm for another mujtahid at all."
The word "Mutlaqan" (at all) here, does not comply with our understanding that when we realise a mistake we do not leave it and go to the right opinion; how is it the case then if I follow a mujtahid and then discover later that he is a hypocrite wrongdoer (fasiq) do I remain as a follower to him? And if I discover that this mujtahid that I follow has a weak opinion, do I continue in following him? If for example I realise that I followed him in a prohibited issue that is based on a very weak hadeeth... do I continue following what I took from him?
2. In the book The System of Islam, it also mentions that the mujtahid is allowed to leave his opinion for the benefit of the Muslims. Same as what took place with Othman (ra) during his Bay'ah. I would like to see a narration of the story, when looking for it I did not see a correction for it, instead what I found is that it is unacceptable. Are there other correct narrations? Can you please provide evidence from the consensus of the companions to permit imitation in opinion?
3. Can one action achieve more than one value or not, for instance if you study a specific discipline and your aim is to please Allah and also a material gain. (End)
Wa Alaikum us Salaam Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakaatuhu,
First: the Imitation Issue: Before I answer your question on the word "Mutlaqan (at all)", I state the following for you:
1- The evidence of the permissibility of Imitation (taqleed) are from the Quran and the consensus of the companions:
From the Book, His (swt) says:
((فَاسْأَلُوا أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ))
"...so ask the people of the message if you do not know" [Al-Anbiya: 7]
Allah Almighty has ordered those who have no knowledge to ask those who have more knowledge. The verse says:
(( وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِنْ قَبْلِكَ إِلَّا رِجَالًا نُوحِي إِلَيْهِمْ فَاسْأَلُوا أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ))
"And We sent not before you, [O Muhammad], except men to whom We revealed [the message], so ask the people of the message if you do not know." [Al-Anbiya: 7]
The word ‘ask' came in the general form, i.e. ask in order to understand that Allah did not send except humans to the previous nations. So it is related to the recognition and not related to the Iman (belief). The people of Knowledge as referred to in the verse are the people of the Book, the address is general to include all the people of knowledge. Muslims are people of knowledge because Allah (swt) mentions in the Qur'an,
(( وَأَنْزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الذِّكْرَ لِتُبَيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ مَا نُزِّلَ إِلَيْهِمْ))
"And We revealed to you the message that you may make clear to the people what was sent down to them." [Al-Nahl: 44]
Those who possess the knowledge of the Shariah rules are from the people of Knowledge, whether they are learned in the knowledge of Ijtihad, or through transmission from, others, the follower asks about the Shariah ruling (Hukm Shar') on an issue or issues.
As for the consensus of the Companions: It had been accurately narrated from Omar (ra) that he said to Abu Bakr, "Our opinion follows yours". It was also accurately narrated that when Omar (ra) found trouble in searching in the Qur'an and Sunnah for a judgement between the disputing parties, he would check with Abu Bakr (ra) if he had a decree in that issue, if he found that Abu Bakr (ra) had judged in the issue he would follow it. It had been accurately narrated from Ibn Mas'oud (ra) that he followed the sayings of Omar (ra), this was seen and heard by many companions in several incidences and they did not object, indicating it was a silent consensus. Likewise in the situation with the Bay'ah of Othman (ra) when he agreed to the condition to follow the opinions of Abu Bakr and Omar (ra), which Abdul Rahman Bin Awf asked him in front of many companions who did not forbid it. This is a consensus of the companions in the permissibility of the imitating of the mujtahid to other mujtahideen, which is a priority in the case of imitating non- mujtahideen to a mujtahid.
2. Therefore if anyone who follows others is an imitator, then the instance is in following others. According to that, when it comes to receiving the Knowledge of the Hukm Shar'i (Islamic rulings), people are two types, one who is the mujtahid and the other is the follower, there isn't a third. Because in origin a person either follows what he has derived himself from his own Ijtihad, or follows what others have derived by their Ijtihad. The situation does not change from these two. Therefore, whoever is not a mujtahid is a muqalid (imitator), whatever may be his type. Whether this muqalid who is not a mujtahid with knowledge is a mutabi', i.e. who follows the mujtahid with knowledge of the evidences, or whether he was an illiterate A'mmi, i.e. follows a mujtahid without the knowledge of evidence, but based on his trust in him. The mujtahid is permitted to follow other mujtahideen in any issue that he did not adopt on, he then would be a follower in this issue, because Ijtihad is an obligation of sufficiency and an individualistic obligation. If the Hukm Shar'i in the issue is known to him, then it is not obliged on the mujtahid to derive his own ijtihad on it, it is permissible though to derive his own opinion as well as it is permissible to imitate other mujtahideen in the issue.
3. If a mujtahid derives an opinion on an issue by his own ijtihad, it is not permissible for him to follow the opinion of other mujtahideen which is contrary to his own Ijtihad, he is not allowed to leave his opinion or to stop acting on it except in four cases:
First- If the mujtahid finds evidence that his opinion is weak, and that the opinion of another mujtahid is stronger than his evidence, in this case he must leave the hukm that is derived by his Ijtihad immediately and to adopt the new rule with the stronger evidence.
Second - If he realises that another mujtahid is more capable than him in making associations, or more aware of the reality, and stronger than him in comprehending the evidences, or has more knowledge of audio evidences, or others, and he came to a conclusion that this mujtahid is closer than him to being accurate in the understanding of a specific issue, or understanding the reality of the issue, he is allowed to leave the rule that his Ijtihad led him to and to follow that mujtahid.
Third - If the Khaleefah adopts a different rule to the Ijtihad of the mujtahid. In this case, the mujtahid must stop acting upon his Ijtihad and act according to the rule adopted by the Imam. This is because the consensus of the companions is based on "The Imam's decree resolves the discord" and his decree is executed upon all Muslims.
Fourth - In the situation when the unity of the Muslims over an issue is for the interest of the Muslims. In this case, it is permitted for the mujtahid to leave his opinion and to adopt the rule that will bring the unity of the Muslims, as in the case of Othman (ra).
4. Once the muqalid follows some of the mujtahideen in a ruling and acts on it, it is not allowed for him to leave that ruling to another without one of the reasons that are linked to seeking the pleasure of Allah, from these factors are:
Knowledge and Comprehension:
Al Hakim reported in al Mustadrak and said, "This Hadeeth is Sahih in Isnad and was not reported", from Ibn Mas'oud (ra), he said, the Prophet (saw) said to me: «يَا عَبْدَ اللَّهِ بْنَ مَسْعُودٍ» "O Abdullah Ibn Mas'oud". I replied, ‘Yes O Messenger of Allah, three times, he (saw) said:
«هَلْ تَدْرِي أَيُّ النَّاسِ أَعْلَمُ؟» "Do you know who is the most knowledgeable of people?". I replied, ‘Allah and His Messenger know best.' He (saw) said, «فَإِنَّ أَعْلَمَ النَّاسِ أَبْصَرُهُمْ بِالْحَقِّ إِذَا اخْتَلَفَتِ النَّاسُ...» "The most knowledgeable of people are those who can see the truth best when people are disputing".
Based upon this, the muqalid must refer to those who are of knowledge.
Furthermore, to be just in the one who the muqalid follows and takes knowledge from... the Islamic knowledge is not taken from the one who is known for his wrongdoing (fisq).
Moreover the ruling based on evidence: If the muqalid follows a mujtahid without finding out the evidence, and then it becomes possible for him to study the evidences of another mujtahid, then it is allowed for this muqalid to follow the rule based on evidence, and leave the rule that he previously followed without the knowledge of its evidence.
There are many factors that are considered that differ according to the types of imitators. It is sufficient for the uneducated to take the rule based on his trust and reassurance in the opinion of that certain mujtahid that he follows. Thus, it is allowed for the muqalid to leave the mujtahid that he follows and go to another if he has one of the factors that are linked to the pleasure of Allah (swt), i.e. he does not move from a mujtahid to another without a reason; otherwise he will base this change on his desire, which is prohibited to do. Allah (swt) says(( فَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا الْهَوَى )) "Follow not (personal) inclination" [al-Nisa': 135]
5. Now let us discuss your question regarding what is mentioned in The System of Islam, "If the muqalid follows a mujtahid in a hukm of any issue and acts accordingly, he is not allowed to leave that hukm for another mujtahid at all". It is as if you have understood that it is not allowed for the muqalid to leave his rule to adopt another until the Day of Reckoning, and all because the word ‘mutlaqan' (ever)! This is incorrect, and if you refer to the previous line or two before you would find the following:
"Therefore, the Hukm Shara'i is the hukm deduced by the mujtahid who is qualified to practice ijtihad. It is Allah's hukm for him, and he is not allowed to leave it to follow another opinion. It is also Allah's hukm for those who follow the If the muqalid follows a mujtahid in a hukm of any issue and acts accordingly, he is not allowed to leave that hukm for another mujtahid at all."
As you can see here in regards to the mujtahid is also mentioned that "he is not allowed to leave that hukm for another mujtahid at all".
Even though in the previous page of the same book it mentions the following:
"It has been agreed upon amongst scholars that if a mukallaf (one under legal responsibility) fulfils the capacity of ijtihad in one question or more and makes ijtihad and reaches thereupon a hukm, he is not allowed to follow other Mujtahideen in this issue, because it would be a taqleed of an opinion which is different to what is most likely correct in his opinion, he cannot leave his opinion except in four cases"
That is his saying "not permitted at all" does not prevent him from saying "except in four cases"
And so the word ‘mutlaq' "at all" does not prevent in origin, or from a linguistic view, non restriction. This is similar to the general text, if restricted, the general is limited by the restriction like in the saying of Allah (swt):
(( فَمَنْ كَانَ مِنْكُمْ مَرِيضًا أَوْ بِهِ أَذًى مِنْ رَأْسِهِ فَفِدْيَةٌ مِنْ صِيَامٍ أَوْ صَدَقَةٍ أَوْ نُسُك ))
"And whoever among you is ill or has an ailment of the head [making shaving necessary must offer] a ransom of fasting [three days] or charity or sacrifice" [Al-Baqara: 196]
In the verse, ‘fasting, sadaqa, ritual' are Nakira Muthbata (unspecified nouns) and they came in general form. The hadeeth came and restricted each: fasting is limited to three days, sadaqa is limited by three measures, and the ritual is to slaughter a sheep.
«فَاحْلِقْ رَأْسَكَ، وَأَطْعِمْ فَرَقًا بَيْنَ سِتَّةِ مَسَاكِينَ، أَوْ صُمْ ثَلَاثَةَ أَيَّامٍ، أَوْ انْسُكْ نَسِيكَةً»
"And shave your head, feed the share of six massakeen (needy), or fast three days or perform a sacrifice."
Ibn Abi Najih said:«أَوِ اذْبَحْ شَاةً» "Or slaughter a sheep" i.e. to slaughter a sheep, and the difference is three measures, narrated by Muslim from Ka'b Bin Ajra.
For example, Ibn Omar narrated:
«أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَرَضَ زَكَاةَ الْفِطْرِ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ عَلَى النَّاسِ، صَاعًا مِنْ تَمْرٍ، أَوْ صَاعًا مِنْ شَعِيرٍ، عَلَى كُلِّ حُرٍّ أَوْ عَبْدٍ، ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنْثَى، مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ»
"That the Prophet (saw) obliged Zakat of Fitr in Ramadhan upon people, a sa'a (measure) of dates, or a sa'a of barley, upon every free man or a slave, male or female, from the Muslims" (Agreed upon)
The word ‘sa'a' is a nakira muthbata and is a general form, it was restricted by the sa' (measure) of Medina, in the hadeeth of the Prophet (saw) of the measures.
«الْوَزْنُ وَزْنُ أَهْلِ مَكَّةَ، وَالْمِكْيَالُ مِكْيَالُ أَهْلِ الْمَدِينَةِ»
"The weight is that of the people of Makka, and the measure is that of the people of Medina" (Narrated by Abu Daoud).
The sa', i.e. the measure that was accepted by the Prophet (saw) is that of the people of Medina which is five ratil (pounds) and a third (in the old pounds of Bagdad). This is the sa' of the Prophet (saw) as Malik and the people of Hijaz say. Today, in terms of wheat, it is 2.176 kilograms.
Therefore, the word mutlaq "at all" does not prevent restriction, and this is clear in The System of Islam, and in the same pages that you have copied your question from. It explained that the mujtahid can leave his opinion in four cases even though he mentioned: "To him it is the hukum of Allah and he is not allowed to leave it and follow another at all". Thus the same is for the muqalid, except for the reasons that allows him to leave his opinion differs from those of the mujtahid. The mujtahid focuses on the evidences and outweighs them, as for the reasons for the muqalid whether he is mutabi' or illiterate Aami, they are as mentioned previously.
In conclusion, it is not allowed for the muqalid to leave the mujtahid's opinion that he follows at all without a reason. But if there is a reason, it is allowed or "is obliged according to the reason", he can leave that opinion and take another opinion, according to the reasons and situations we explained. This is whether in the case of the Mujtahid or the muqalid, because the word ‘mutlaqan' does not prevent the restriction, it is similar to the general text, which can be restricted.
Now that I have answered you on the subject of "mutlaqan" (at all), I want to draw your attention to the format of your question, it was not good. Instead of asking of the meaning of the word "mutlaqan" mentioned in the sentence, rather you decided its meaning according to your understanding, you were not sufficed by that, but followed that with a number of questions, as if the your understanding was correct and said in your question: "The word "mutlaqan (at all)" here, does not comply with our understanding that when we realise a mistake we do not leave it and go to the right opinion; how is it the case then if I follow a mujtahid and then discover later that he is a hypocrite wrongdoer (fasiq) do I remain as a follower to him?"! May Allah have mercy on you, don't you see that the format of the question is not good?
Secondly: The subject of Othman (ra) waiving his opinion to follow that of Abu Bakr and Omar (ra)... according to the condition presented to him by Abdul Rahman Bin Awf (ra) in front of a group from the Companions, and Othman (ra) accepted it without the any objections from the Sahaba. This story which you asked about is an issue which is of numerous transmissions, I will mention some narrations:
- In the book of "Usool As-Sukhusi" by Muhammad Ibn Hanbal Ibn Abi Sahl the son of Scholars As-Surkhusi (Died: 483 AH):
"Then Omar (ra) made the matter after him a consultation between six people, they agreed to delegate the issue of appointment to Abdur-Rahman Ibn Awf, who removed himself from the six and asked Ali to follow the opinions of Abu Bakr and Omar. Ali (ra) said I will follow the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger, and then I will follow my Ijtihad. He then asked Othman (ra) the same, which he agreed to and followed." End.
-It was mentioned in the book "Al-Bidayah Wal-Nihayah" by Ibn Katheer: "Come to me O Ali, he did and found that he was under the minbar, Abdul-Rahman took his hand and said:
"Will you give me allegiance to rule by the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of his Prophet sallalahu alaihi wassalam and the actions of Abi Bakr and Omar?" He said, "No, by Allah, but based on my effort and exertion." End.
It was mentioned in the book The History of the Prophets and Kings by At-Tabarri: "He called Ali, and said: "The contract of Allah and covenant will be with you to follow the Book of Allah, the Sunnah of His Messenger and the footsteps of the two Khalifs after him?" He replied: I wish to follow and act on my knowledge and exertion..." End.
-It is a well known issue renowned even among the modern research institutions, it was mentioned in the Islamic University Magazine of Medina Al-Munawara, the deanship of the academic research-1423 AH/2002 CE, the following:
"Abdul Rahman Ibn Awf gathered the Muslims in the Masjid... then he called Ali (ra), Abdul- Rahman was delegated to choose the Khaleefah, on the bases that the Muslims will follow him and give the pledge of bay'ah to the one he chooses. Abdul- Rahman put his hand over Ali's hand and said, "We give you Bay'ah to follow the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger and the Ijtihad of the Shaikhain- meaning Abu Bakr and Omar (ra)." He did not agree to follow the Ijtihad of the Shaikhain and said, "But I follow my opinion, then Abdul-Rahman moved his hand and called Othman (ra) who accepted the Ijtihad of the Shaikhain." End.
As you can see that the narrations are found in authentic books, and even if it was only mentioned in the "Usul As-Surkhasi, it would have been possible to rely on it... and it reports that Othman waived his opinion.
- Despite the fact that there are correct narrations that do not mention that Abdul-Rahman has started with Ali (ra) and asked him, and then moved on to Othman (ra), but these narrations say that he asked Othman first before Ali. But they mention that Abdul-Rahman Ibn Awf took the hand of Othman and put the condition on him and he accepted in front of a group of companions, and no one objected. The condition is fixed in all the narrations whether they are those when Abdul-Rahman started with Ali or those that mention that he started with Othman directly, May Allah be pleased with them all.
Bukhari narrated in his Sahih: " ...On the authority of Az-Zuhri, that Humaid Ibn Abdul-Rahman, told him that Al-Misoor Ibn Makhzama told him that the group that Omar delegated have gathered and consulted...when the night came, we gave Bay'ah to Othman, Al-Misoor said, "Abdul-Rahman knocked at my door late at night, he knocked until I awakened, and he said, ‘I see you were asleep, by Allah my eyes did not taste much sleep this night...' He said, ‘Call Ali for me"... then he said, ‘Call Othman for me"... When he led the people in fajr prayer... when they gathered, Abdul-Rahman recited the shahada, and then said, ‘O Ali I have looked at the matter of the people, I did not see that they equate you with Othman, so do not give a way against yourself.' He said to Othman, ‘I give you Bay'ah on the Sunnah of Allah and His Messenger, and the two Khalifs after him. Abdul Rahman gave him Bay'ah and the people from the Ansar and Muhajiroon gave him Bay'ah, and the Muslim leaders and soldiers." End.
- Abdul Raziq As San'ani in his Musanaf said, "...On the authority of Al-Misoor Ibn Makhrama who said: Abdul-Rahman Ibn Awf came to me on the third night of the days of consultation, late at night and found me asleep and said: ‘Wake him up', so they woke me up and he said: Do I find you asleep; by Allah, my eyes did not see much sleep in these last three, go and call so and so - people from the first of the Ansar... then he said, ‘Call Ali for me'... Then he said, ‘Call Othman for me'... then he said, ‘So, I have looked at the matter of the people, they did not equate you with Othman, so do not make a way over yourself O Ali.' Then he said, ‘The contract and covenant of Allah and His Messenger (saw) is upon you to rule by the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Prophet (saw) and what the two Khalifs acted on after him,' he said, ‘Yes.' Then he wiped his hand and gave him Bay'ah, then the people gave him Bay'ah, then Ali gave him Bay'ah and left...) End.
In conclusion, the acceptance of Othman (ra) to the condition to leave his opinion, is mentioned in all narrations whether it was doubtful as they claim or if they are correct. In all these narrations it was mentioned that Abdul-Rahman Ibn Awf has put the condition on Othman in his Bay'ah to follow the opinions of the two Khalifs, and Othman (ra) accepted, i.e. that any issue that takes place during the time of Othman, he does not carry out his Ijtihad, instead he must follow Abu Bakr and Omar in that issue, if it took place in their time and they issued a judgement on it. It is a condition to imitate Abu Bakr and Omar in specific cases, and Othman (ra) agreed to that and none of the companions objected, therefore it was a consensus.
Thirdly the Values:
As for your question, regarding you study a specific discipline and your intention is to gain Allah's pleasure and a material gain, would you have achieved two values...
To answer this question, it is important to clarify the following points:
1. Actions in origin are restricted, this is why every action carried out by a person must be according to the Shariah rule on that action. This commitment must be in Ibadat (worship), in transactions and trade, in morals, in rescuing the distressed, etc.
I.e. it is an obligation on the slave to recognise his relationship with Allah (swt) when performing any action...naturally by committing to the Shariah rule will be rewarded with Jannah, and a greater pleasure from Allah (swt).
2. Value is a term that has a meaning, which is the intention of the performer from the action, i.e what he intends to achieve by his action, there must be an intention behind every action the person performs, this intention is the value. It is inevitable that there is a value behind the action that the person is careful to achieve when performing the action. Otherwise it will just be for no reason, the person must not perform action for no reason or unintentional, instead he must seek the value of the action which he intended to perform; this is the meaning of the word value.
3. When examining the reality of all actions and what appears to be the objective of the one performing the action, it is clear that what is intended from it and the prominent being:
It could a material value, like trade, agriculture, manufacture and the like; what is intended from such actions is the material benefit, which is the profit, and it is a value of great weight in life.
Or it can be a humanitarian value, like rescuing the drowning and aiding of the distressed; what is intended behind the action is to save the human being regardless of his colour, gender, religion, or any other consideration other than humanitarian.
Or it can be an ethical value, like honesty, trust, and mercy, what is intended from it is the ethical aspect regardless of the benefits towards humanity, since the ethics could be towards the other than humans, like being kind to animals and birds. As a result of an ethical action a material loss can occur, but what is achieved is the ethical value.
Or that the value of the action could be spiritual, like worship, the value intended is not material, or humanitarian, or ethical; only the worship. Therefore care should be taken in seeking the spiritual value only, regardless of all the other values.
These values are not differentiated nor equal in themselves, because they do not possess characteristics as a base that can compare between them or favour one over the other, but they are results intended by the person when he undertook the action. This is why they cannot be put on the same scale, and are not measured with the same unit, because they are different if not contradictory.
However all of these actions that can achieve the material, or humanitarian, or ethical, the Muslim must refer to the Shariah rule to gain the pleasure of Allah (swt)... i.e. the pleasure of Allah (swt) is achievable by the Almighty's permission for the Muslim who abides by the Shariah rules in all the values.
4. Accordingly, your question regarding getting education for a job so that you can get a material benefit, you intend to seek the material value, as for the pleasure of Allah (swt), it would be the result of abiding by the Shariah rules. And it is achievable by the permission of Allah (swt) with every value as long as the person performs the action according to the commands of Allah (swt), and this is related to the issue of the Shariah rules, and not the values, i.e. by your adherence to the Shariah rue, Allah's pleasure is achieved in the material value, the spiritual value, the ethical value, and the humanitarian value.
So based on this the pleasure of Allah Almighty is not separate value from the four values, but it is achievable in all of the four values, if the slave adheres to the Shariah rule when he is seeking to achieve these values.
It seems that you have assumed getting education for a job will achieve a material value, therefore you understood that by abiding to the Shariah rule in seeking the education, you achieve the pleasure of Allah (swt) which you considered as the spiritual value, but this is not the case. The pleasure of Allah (swt) is not restricted to a specific value but it accompanies all the values as long as the Muslim by seeking to achieve the values is abiding by the Shariah rule:
- Thus Allah's pleasure is achieved by the Almighty's permission if the trader abides by the Shariah rulings when trading and seeking the material value.
- And Allah's pleasure is achieved by the Almighty's permission if the person abides by Shariah rule in his prayer when he wants to seek the spiritual value.
- And Allah's pleasure is achieved by the Almighty's permission for the truthful person in his speech who achieves the ethical value.
- And Allah's pleasure is achieved by the Almighty's permission when aiding the distressed to seek the humanitarian value.
In conclusion by learning a skill for employment, you achieve the material value, and please Allah (swt) as long as you seek knowledge with the adherence to Shariah rulings. However, it cannot be said that by you learning this job you achieve the material value, similarly the spiritual value, as when you are praying or fasting. The value is a technical term and is relevant only to the technical term and stops there.
I ask Allah (swt) that this answer is sufficient.
Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah
The link to the answer from the Ameer's Facebook page: