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Hanafi Mazhab

May I change to the Hanafi mazhab due to the difficulty I am experiencing?
Question

My great grand father came from yemen to india.in yemen shafai maslak is followed.hence my father is shafai.i used to do rafayadien and fold my hands above the navel in namaz.in my city there is no shafai masjid and madrsa.i found difficult to follow shafai due to reason mention above.so i adopted hanafi maslak.my father knows that i follow hanafi maslak but he has no objection.my questions are1.have i commited sin by changing maslak in conditions mention above?2.which maslak should i follow now hanfai or shafai?

(Question published as received)

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

There are certain conditions that must be met before changing a mazhab. Imam Shi’raani Rahimahullah mentions that he has seen the answer of Imam Suyuti Rahimahullah when he was inquired about moving from one mazhab to another. Amongst the conditions that were mentioned, he said:

“That his change is due to some reason related to his deen….for example, he is a person without any juridical knowledge and he has attempted to gain something from his knowledge but to no avail. Then he found a mazhab which was easier for him in the sense that he knows he will find quick assistance and juridical knowledge. For such a person, it is necessary to change his mazhab and it is incorrect to remain as a follower of his actual mazhab..[1]

Accordingly, in your situation, since it was difficult for you to practice upon the Shafi’ee mazhab due to the lack of sources, it was permissible and recommended for you to adopt the Hanafi school of thought completely and not partially. Furthermore, this change is not due to merely following your passion and desire. [2]

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

AbdulMannan Nizami

Student Darul Iftaa
Chicago, IL, USA

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

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