Home | Publications | Al Jamiat Volume 7 No. 1 | To Follow Imam Abu Hanifa or the Prophet (S.A.W)?

To Follow Imam Abu Hanifa or the Prophet (S.A.W)?

The enemies of Islam, since time immemorial, have made efforts to adulterate Islam and mislead the Muslims. One such endeavour is the futile attempt of some misguided souls to create doubts as regards the persons of the four famous jurists viz:- Imâm Abu Haneefah ,Imâm Mâlik ,Imâm Shâfie  and Imâm Ahmad ibn Humbul Alaihimur Rahmah.

Sometimes these people say:
“Why follow Imâm Abu Haneefah Alaihir Rahmah or Imâm Mâlik Alaihir Rahmah rather follow Rasulullah Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam and his Ahâdeeth.”

Sometimes  they deceitfully argue:
“Allah is one, Rasulullah Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam is one, the Qur’aan is one so why do we need four Imâms?”

One such person whom we shall refer to as “The Ahle Hadeeth”, confronted the late Grand Mufti of India, Hadrat Mufti Mahmood Sahib Alaihir Rahmah with the desire to prove to the late Mufti that he does not follow the Hadeeth. The following discussion ensued between them as regards the recitation of Qur’aan by the Muqtadees (the followers in congregational Salâh). It should be remembered that the late Mufti Mahmood Sahib Alaihir Rahmah was a Hanafee whose teaching it is that the followers (Muqtadees) in Salâh should not recite any part of the Qur’aan.

The Ahle Hadeeth – What is your view as regards the recitation of the Qur’aan by the Moeqtadies whilst reading Salâh in congregation?
Hadrat Mufti Sahib Alaihir Rahmah – I would firstly like to know the viewpoint of the questioner before I respond.
The Ahle Hadeeth – I am an Ahle Hadeeth.
Hadrat Mufti Sahib Alaihir Rahmah – Now you may pose your question.
The Ahle Hadeeth – What is your view as regards the recitation of the Qur’aan by the Moeqtadies whilst reading Salâh in congregation?
Hadrat Mufti Sahib Alaihir Rahmah – I have been pained by your question.
The Ahle Hadeeth – Does a question also cause pain?
Hadrat Mufti Sahib Alaihir Rahmah – Yes! Some questions are such that they have been prohibited in the Qur’aan. Allah says:

O! You who believe do not ask about things which if made plain to you may cause you trouble (Pain). (Suratul Maa’ida, verse 101)                                                                                                                  

The Ahle Hadeeth – What may the reason for the pain be?
Hadrat Mufti Sahib Alaihir Rahmah – The reason for the pain is that you are enquiring about my viewpoint. Will you accept and follow it? Rather you should be questioning thus: “What does the Hadeeth say about this matter?”
The Ahle Hadeeth – Yes! Yes! That is my intent.
Hadrat Mufti Sahib Alaihir Rahmah – Alhamdulillah! That your heart is bearing testimony to the fact that my answer will be in accordance to the Hadeeth. So listen: The recitation of the Qur’aan by the followers in Salâh being Fard (compulsory) is not established.
The Ahle Hadeeth – And what is the proof for it?
Hadrat Mufti Sahib Alaihir Rahmah – Again I have been caused pain by your question.
The Ahle Hadeeth – Why?
Hadrat Mufti Sahib Alaihir Rahmah – This is because according to the Hadeeth it is the responsibility of the one making a claim to provide the proof and the substantiation. Nevertheless, let me tell you that for any act to be established as a Fard (compulsory act) the proof has to be most authentic and clear – cut (Nass- e – Qatee). There is no such proof to support the claim that the recitation of Qur’aan by the Moeqtadee is Fard.
(We are omitting the very academic discussion for fear of this article becoming too lengthy).

Hadrat Mufti Sahib Alaihir Rahmah continued – These (academic points that I raised) are for other minds – leave them. I ask you: if you entered the Musjid and found the Imâm in Ruku of the first Rakat – What would you do? You would either join the Imâm in Ruku or not. If you do not join then you would be acting contrary to the Hadeeth wherein our Nabi Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam has said that one should join the congregational Salâh in whichever posture one finds the Imâm. (Musannaf Abdoer Razâq)

If you join the Imâm in Ruku and you recite Surah Fâtihah (in Ruku) then you will be acting contrary to the Hadeeth wherein our Nabi Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam has prohibited the recitation of Qur’aan in Ruku (Nasai). Now, on the other hand if you do not regard as valid the Rakat in which you joined the Imâm in Ruku and hence you stand up to read another Rakat after the Imâm’s completing the Salâh then, again you are not acting in accordance to another Hadeeth wherein our Nabi Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam has said that whoever joins congregational Salâh in Ruku then he has got that Rakât.(Bazloel Majhud) i.e such a person will not have to make up for  missed rakaats.                                                     

You act contrary to the guidance found in these Ahâdeeth then too you are ‘Ahle Hadeeth’. (i.e. a person or a follower of the Hadeeth.)
The Ahle Hadith – I am concerned and trapped with what is the way out?
Hadrat Mufti Sahib Alaihir Rahmah – What a simpleton you are that you ask the very person who cornered and trapped you for a way out.
The Ahle Hadeeth – O.K.! What would you do if you were in such a situation?   
Hadrat Mufti Sahib Alaihir Rahmah – Is your Hadeeth treasure exhausted? If I show you the way out will you practise?
(The Ahle Hadeeth remained silent at these questions).
Hadrat Mufti Sahib Alaihir Rahmah – Promise me that you will follow my guidance.
The Ahle Hadeeth – Do not use logic and ‘Psycho’ on me.
 Hadrat Mufti Sahib Alaihir Rahmah – Well under such circumstances we shall tell Imâm Abu Haneefah Alaihir Rahmah that we are cornered and trapped from all sides please show us a way out of our predicament. So Imâm Abu Haneefah Alaihir Rahmah will tell us, Son! If you see the Imâm in Ruku then join the Salâh with the Imâm in Ruku so that you do not act contrary to the Hadeeth:

“Join the Imâm in whichever posture you find him”.

Remember, do not act contrary to the Hadeeth, doing so (i.e. acting against the Hadeeth) is very evil. Also bear in mind son! That when in Ruku do not read Surah Fâtihah as our Nabi Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam has prohibited reading the Qur’aan in Ruku and Sajdah. Son! Never act against the teachings of the Hadeeth for doing so is most evil. Furthermore, Son! Do not forget that according to the Hadeeth if the congregational Salâh is joined when the Imâm is in Ruku then that Rakât is regarded as complete, therefore, do not, after the completion of Salâh read an additional Rakâat as this would be in conflict with the Hadeeth. Acting against the Hadeeth is very bad.
Hadrat Mufti Sahib then said:
We will tell Imâm Abu Haneefah Alaihir Rahmah there is only one hadeeth about which we are still in a quandary-The Hadeeth is:
“That Salâh is not valid in which Surah Fâtihah is not recited.”

(To be continued in the next issue)

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