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Imitation & Effort

Our (Masjids) Imam says to do Amal only on Qur'an and Hadees

الاستفتاء

Our (Masjids) Imam says to do Amal only on Qur'an and Hadees and it is not necessary to accept the rest 4 Imams. What.... is this correct?

الجواب حامدا و مصلیا

In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent and the Most Merciful
No Muslim can deny that Islam's real message is to obey Allah alone. Emphasis has been placed upon following the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Aalihi Wa Sallam because he represented Allah's commandments through his words and actions. Allah and His Messenger have to be unequivocally followed in what is Halal (permissible) and what is Haram (forbidden); what is allowed and what is not. Whoever believes in following anyone besides Allah and His Messenger and regards that person as independent (of Allah and His Messenger) is surely outside the fold of Islam. Thus, every Muslim should attempt to follow the commandments of the Qur'an and Sunnah (the traditions and norms of the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Alihi Wa Sallam). There are certain commandments in the Qur'an and Sunnah which a lay person can understand. Such commandments are not intricate, ambiguous or contradictory. Understanding these commandments and their implications can be effortlessly achieved without confusion. Conversely, there are many commandments in the Qur'an and Sunnah which are ambiguous. In fact, there are some statements which seem to contradict other verses of the Qur'an or some Hadith of Rasoolullahi Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Alihi Wa Sallam. Hence, it is needless to say that the process of extrapolating rules from Qur'an and Sunnah can be complicated. One solution is that we exercise our understanding and insight in such issues in order to make our judgments and rulings. Another solution could be that instead of making independent rulings ourselves, we look into what the predecessors ruled concerning these issues. After investigating the opinions of the scholars whom we know to be more qualified and more adept in these issues than ourselves, we rely on their understanding and insight and act according to their rulings. If we consider with fairness, there can not remain a second thought that from the above two options (mentioned above) the former option (of exercising our own understanding) is quite dangerous and fraught with difficulties. The second option (of relying on the opinion of a scholar from the past) is much more cautious. This is not merely because it seems like a humble approach but because it is an undeniable reality that we have very little resemblance with the scholars of the first Muslim era. We fall short of their knowledge, understanding, intelligence, memory, morals and piety. In addition, the scholars of the first era were close to the environment and time when the Qur'an was revealed which allowed understating the Qur'an and Sunnah in it's entirety. We, on the contrary, are so distant from the time when the Qur'an was revealed that we are not disposed to a comprehensive understanding of the Qur'an background, to its environment, the social norms of that time and to the language of that era. The factors listed above are indispensable if anyone is to understand the Qur'an and Sunnah.

After considering all of these points, if we do not rely upon our own understanding but instead follow the opinion of a scholar of the past in matters which are ambiguous or complicated, then it will be said that we are following, or making Taqleed, of that scholar. This is the essence of Taqleed. Taqleed of an Imam or a Mujtahid is only valid in areas where understanding a rule of the Qur'an and Sunnah is difficult or complicated, regardless of whether this is because an additional meaning may be drawn from the text or there is some intricacies in the text, or even if there seems to be certain contradiction in the text. An absolute and conclusive text where there exists no ambiguity, brevity or apparent contradiction in the text of the Qur'an and Sunnah, there is no Taqleed of any Imam or Mujtahid. The famous Hanafi jurist, Sheikh Abdul Ghani Al Nablusi states:
� The issue which are agreed upon � without any doubt and by necessity � do not require any Taqleed of any of the four Imams like the obligation of Salaat, Fasting, Zakaat and Hajj, etc. and like the prohibition of adultery and fornication, drinking wine, murder, stealing usurping. The issues which are debated are the issues where Taqleed becomes necessary
There are two types of Taqleed. In the first category, the follower does not appoint any one Imam or Mujtahid, but instead follows the opinion of one Imam in one issue and the opinion of another in a different issue.

In the second type of Taqleed, the follower chooses the opinion of one particular Imam and Mujtahid and does not resort to anyone else besides him in any issue. The former is known as Taqleed in general and the latter is known as Taqleed of an individual. In fact both types of Taqleed, Taqleed in general and Taqleed of an individual, are permissible and could be practised however due to administrative interests jurists have declared it essential to confine it toTaqleed to an individual only. This is because if the doors are kept open in Taqleed in general, people would tend to follow their desires. They would follow whatever matter is easy in Mazhab of any Imam and leave away the difficult matters, which is called as Thalfeeq (a sort of fabrication) which is undoubtedly impermissible and Haram and it is necessary to refrain from it.

It is hoped that your question is answered with this and the doubt raised about the concerned Imam's mistake too is cleared.
Allah knows best.