Imitation (Taqleed) of the Four Imaams

Important remarks on the writings of Shaykh Muhammad `Alee Al-Saboonee on the Attributes of Allaah

All praise be to Allaah, and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allaah, his family, his Companions, and those who follow his guidance.

I have looked into the interview which Al-Mujtama` Magazine made with His Eminence, Shaykh Muhammad `Alee Al-Saboonee published in issue no. 613, dated 7 Jumaada Al-Thaanee, 1403 A.H. I have also looked into his six articles published in Al-Mujtama` Magazine, issues no. 627 (dated 17 Ramadaan, 1403 A.H.), no. 628 (dated 24 Ramadaan, 1403 A.H.), no. 629 (dated 9 Shawwal, 1403 A.H.), no. 630 (dated 16 Shawwaal, 1403 A.H.), no. 631 (dated 31 Shawwaal, 1403 A.H.), and no. 646 (dated 17 Safar, 1404 A.H.). They included mistakes pointed out by His Eminence, Dr. Saalih ibn Fawzaan Al-Fawzaan, in his article published in Al-Da`wah Magazine, issue 15, no. 904 (dated 29 Shawwaal, 1403 A.H.), and in Al-Mujtama` Magazine, issues no. 646 (dated 17 Safar, 1404 A.H.) and no. 650 (dated 24 Safar, 1404 A.H.). Dr. Saalih’s remarks were accurate and useful (may Allaah reward him and support the truth through him). I thus deemed it necessary to comment on the mistakes of Shaykh Al-Saboonee to confirm what Dr. Saalih mentioned, contribute to good work, propagate the truth, and redress the mistakes that were not discussed by His Eminence Dr. Saalih in his two articles mentioned above. Indeed, Allaah Alone is the Guide to success.

Imitation of the Four Imaams:

1- Shaykh Al-Saboonee’s statement about Taqleed (strictly following a specific School of Jurisprudence) of the Four Imaams (‘Aboo Haneefah, Maalik, Al-Shaafi`ee and Ahmad) that it is among the foremost obligations, is undoubtedly a mistaken generalization, since it is not obligatory to strictly follow one of the four Imaams or anyone else, no matter how knowledgeable they may be. This is because the proper action is to follow the Qur’aan and the Sunnah and not to imitate anyone. Taqleed is only tolerated in case of necessity when the person followed is known for their knowledge, virtue, and upright creed, as explained in detail by the eminent scholar Ibn Al-Qayyim (may Allaah be merciful to him) in his book I`laam Al-Mawaqqi`een. The Imaams (may Allaah be merciful to them) would refuse that any of their views be adopted other than those which were in accordance with the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. Imaam Maalik (may Allaah be merciful to him) said: “The view of every one is liable to be accepted or refused except for that of the one [entombed] in this grave (referring to the grave of the Prophet, peace be upon him).” His fellow Imaams also uttered opinions to the same effect… read more here.

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