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 Post subject: Scholars opinions about imitation
PostPosted: 29 Apr 2010, 01:08 
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Professor Ahmed Ibrahim, in his book علم أصول الفقه, discusses imitation التقليد and defines it as "accepting what another says and doing as he says without knowing his pretext." He says that this is legitimate in Islam for people who cannot or will not analyze matters themselves. He said these are the majority of people, who among other factors, are too busy earning a living to spend the necessary effort to arrive at proper conclusions about religious mandates, so they better ask the scholars who specialize in that.

Professor Ibrahim, rahimahullah, advocates that authorities come up with a document summarizing the minimum requirements of Islam, presented in an appealing, easy to understand way, free of points of debate, and given to all preachers who will rely on it when they talk to people.

He does not discuss the down side though. Authorities can and have inserted their agenda in what they require people to do, and scholars, though well-meaning, have mixed with the fundamentals some stuff that is derived by opinion or interpretation, thus mandating or prohibiting what may not be.

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 Post subject: Re: Scholars opinions about imitation
PostPosted: 13 Jun 2010, 19:19 
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Al-Ghaali, in his book بالحجة والبرهان لا نسخ في القرآن, page 11, quotes Ibn Hazm (Az-Zhaahiri?) ruling that imitation is prohibited and that it is unlawful to take anybody's words, other than the Messenger of God (PBUH), without proof.

While Al-Ghaali does not elaborate further, this is consistent with what the most prominent jurists have said:

  • Abu-Haneefa said, "If you come across a hadeeth that says something opposite to what I opined, the hadeeth is my opinion."

  • Maalik was visited by the calif who was very impressed with his book Al-Muwatta' and said to him, "I'm going to mandate Al-Muwatta' on people!" Maalik quickly replied, "O leader of the faithful, don't! For everyone's words can be taken or left, except the companion of this grave." He pointed to the tomb of the Prophet, peace be upon him.

  • Ash-Shaafi`i was visited by a man who asked him about a religious matter and Ash-Shaafi`i answered him. The man started to pull out a tablet and a pen. Ash-Shaafi`i yelled at him, "What are you doing?" The man answered, "I'm going to write your ruling so I won't forget it." Ash-Shaafi`i said, "Don't! I may change my opinion by tonight!"

  • Ibn Hanbal said to a student, "Do not say 'this is what the consensus is', for there may be a dissenting opinion you don't know about. But rather say, 'I don't know of dissenting opinions.'"

  • Ibn Hajar Al`Asqalaani said, "Those who blindly follow scholars are no different from the Jews and Christians who 'took their rabbis and priests as lords beneath God' (9:31)."

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 Post subject: Re: Scholars opinions about imitation
PostPosted: 17 Jun 2010, 18:02 
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M. Rasheed Ridha, in refuting the claim that 2:234 abrogated 2:240, writes these words,

فتأمل هذا وماقبله أيها المستقل الفهم المعافى من جهالة التقليد وتذكر قول المثل السائر كم ترك الأول للآخر

Translation:
So, reflect on that, independent of mind, freed from the ignorance of imitation and remember the going adage, "Oh, how much the former generations have left to the later generations!".

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