Passing a verdict on another Imam’s Madhab

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Passing a verdict on another Imam’s Madhab.

In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.


Talfiq is when a person joins between the sayings of two mujtahid imams in his worship or business whereby he produces a composed ruling which neither of the two imams agree with. The erudite scholar, Ibn Ziyad al-Yamani has restricted the impermissibility of talfiq to a single issue, such as the wudu. This is in contrast to the Shaykh Ibn Hajar who said that impermissible talfiq can occur in a single issue or even two issues, such as wudu and the prayer. It is therefore not permissible according to Ibn Hajar to follow the Shafii school in prayer when ones wudu is not valid according to the Shafii school, such as when one touches a non-mahram (unmarriageable person of the opposite sex) and does not repeat ones wudu and follows the the Hanafi school in wudu. Rather, one must pray as a Hanafi in this case, as well, just as one followed their school for the wudu. As for Ibn Ziyad, according to him, that is permissible because they (wudu and prayer) are two separate issues.

The proof for the unlawfulness of talfiq is clear. The person who is piecing together two sayings is either a mujtahid whose ijtihad led him to this position, or he is not a mujtahid, but only a follower. In the terminology of the scholars of usul (principles of jurisprudence), a follower is anyone who is not a mujtahid in rulings [s. of Islamic law] even if he reaches a high level of knowledge and fiqh. The mujtahid is not obligated to follow anyone; whatever conclusion he reaches with his ijtihad, he must follow it. As for a follower, he must follow a mujtahid imam. So when he performs worship or conducts business while combining between two schools or more, he has invented for himself a new school of thought and he is not even of the people of ijtihad. Thus, he is not acting by a school that is relied upon, because if he were to ask each mufti whose position he followed [h: when piecing together the act] about the entire [h: pieced together] act of worship, or business, [s. the mufti] would not be able to give a fatwa that his action was valid because he violated something that was a condition of validity according to him. And this is playing around with the religion as the erudite scholar, Abd al Ghani al Nabulsi said in his book, “Khulasa al-Tahqiq fi bayan hukm al-taqlid wa al-talfiq” (p. 56) basically if a matter comes up where it is difficult not to do talfeeq, then you can do it, but the fuqaha get together and decide on the matter together.

Only Allah Knows Best

Written by Mufti Hussain Ahmad

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

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