Beliefs & Methodology
Typography

Allah created the creation so that He alone should be worshipped, and He sent to them Messengers to teach them and He sent the Books along with the Messengers to establish judgement according to the truth and justice between them. Al-Hukm (the Judgement) is to be found in the Speech of Allah and the speech of His Messenger sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, and it includes judgement in matters of al-'ibadat (worship), al-mu'amalat (social transactions), al-'aqa'id (beliefs), tashri' (Prescribed Laws), siyasah (politics: to protect and take care of the affairs of the Ummah), and other human affairs.

Judgement with Regards to Beliefs

The first matter which the Messengers began their call with was the correction of 'aqidah (beliefs) and calling people to Tawhid (to single out Allah alone for worship). So Yusuf - 'alayhis-salam - when he was in prison, called his two companions to Tawhid when they asked him about the interpretation of dreams. So before answering their question, he said: "O two companions of the prison! Are many different deities better, or Allah, the One, the Irresistible? You do not worship besides Him, except names which you and your forefathers have forged, for which Allah has sent down no authority. The Judgement is for none but Allah. He has commanded that you worship none except Him. That is the straight Din. But most of mankind do not know." [Al-Qur'an 12:39-40]

Judgement with Regard to Worship

It is obligatory that we take the ruling for matters of worship, such as Salah (Prayer), Zakah and Hajj (Pilgrimage), from the Qur'an and the authentic Hadith; acting upon the saying of the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam: "Pray as you have seen me pray." {qluetip title=[1]}Related by Al-Bukhari (no. 631) and Ahmad, from Malik ibn Al-Huwayrith radhiallahu 'anhu.{/qluetip} Likewise, his sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam's saying: "Take your rites of Hajj from me." {qluetip title=[2]}Related by Muslim (4/79), Abu Dawud (no. 1970) and others, from Jabir ibn 'Abdullah radhiallahu 'anhu.{/qluetip}Acting also upon the sayings of the mujtahid Scholars: "If a hadith is authentic, then that is my madhhab (position)."{qluetip title=[3]}This is the saying of Imam Abu Hanifah, as occurs in Al-Hashiyah (1/63) of Ibn 'Abidin, and it is also the saying of Imam Ash-Shafi'i, as is recorded by An-Nawawi in Al-Majmu' (1/63).{/qluetip}

If the Scholars differ with regards to any matter, then we do not have ta'assub (bigoted blind adherence) to the saying of any particular one of them, except whoever has the authentic proof.

[Salim ibn 'Abdullah (d.106H) - rahimahullah - said:

"Once, when I was sitting with Ibn 'Umar - radhiallahu 'anhu - in the masjid, a man from the people of Syria came to him and asked him about continuing the 'Umrah onto the Hajj. So Ibn 'Umar said: 'It is a good and beautiful thing.' The man then said: But your father (i.e. 'Umar ibn Al-Khattab) used to forbid this? So Ibn 'Umar said: 'Woe be to you! If my father used to forbid this, yet Allah's Messenger sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam practiced and ordered it, would you take the saying of my father, or the command of Allah's Messenger sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam!?' So he said: The command of Allah's Messenger sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam. So Ibn 'Umar said: 'You may stand and leave!' "{qluetip title=[4]}Related by At-Tahawi in Sharh Ma'ani al-Athar (1/372) and Abu Ya'la in Al-Musnad (3/1317) with an isnad whose narrators are all thiqah (precise and reliable). A similar narration has been related by Ahmad (no. 5700) and At-Tirmidhi (2/82), who declared it authentic.{/qluetip}

Ibn Abi Dhi'b - rahimahullah - said:

"Sa'd ibn Ibrahim (the son of 'Abdur-Rahman ibn 'Awf) passed judgement over a man based upon the opinion of Rabi'ah ibn Abi 'Abdur-Rahman (d. 136H) So I informed Sa'd of the saying of Allah's Messenger sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam which was contradictory to what he had ruled. Sa'd said to Rabi'ah: 'We have Ibn Abi Dhi'b, whom I hold to be thiqah (precise and reliable), narrating from the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, contradictory to what I have ruled.' Rabi'ah said to him: You have made ijtihad (a scholarly exertion to arrive at the truth), and your judgement has been passed. Sa'd said: 'Most amazing! I enforce the decree of Sa'd, and not the judgement of Allah's Messenger sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam! Rather, I shall withdraw the decree of Sa'd son of the mother of Sa'd, and I shall enforce the decree of Allah's Messenger sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam.' So Sa'd called for the written decree, tore it up and gave a new judgement."{qluetip title=[5]}Related by Ibn 'Asakir in Tarikh Dimashq (7/51/1).{/qluetip}

As for ta'assub (bigoted blind following), then Imam At-Tirmidhi (d. 279H) - rahimahullah - relates:

"Ibn Numayr said: I was with Waki' (d. 197H) when a group of students of Abu Hanifah (d. 150H) came and said to him: There is a man from Baghdad here, who speaks against some people of Kufah. However, Waki' did not know who they were referring to. Then Ahmad bin Hanbal (d. 204H) entered, and they said: This is him! So Waki' said: 'Come here O Abu 'Abdullah!' So they made room for him - and they mentioned those matters which they criticised him for. So Imam Ahmad began quoting the narrations from the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam in defence of his sayings. So they said to Waki': Do you see what this person is saying in your presence? So Waki' replied: 'What can I say about a man who says: Allah's Messenger sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said such and such.' Then he said: 'The correct saying is just as you said O Abu 'Abdullah.' So the people said: By Allah! This person of Baghdad has deluded YOU!"{qluetip title=[6]}Related by Adh-Dhahabi in Siyar A'lamun-Nubula (11/156).{/qluetip}]

Judgement in Social Transactions

With regards to buying and selling, loans, hiring, and other than them - then the Judgement in these matters is for Allah and His Messeneger sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, as Allah - the Most High - says:

"But no by your Lord! They cannot truly believe, until they make you a judge in all disputes between them, and find in their souls no resistance against your decision, but accept it with complete submission." [Al-Qur'an 4:65]

The mufassirun (Scholars of Qur'anic explanation) mention the reason for this Ayah (verse) being sent down, which was that there were two men who differed about a matter of irrigation. The Messenger sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam judged in favour of Az-Zubayr, so the other man said: You have judged in his favour because he is your cousin. Then this Ayah (verse) was sent down.{qluetip title=[7]}Related by Al-Bukhari (no. 4585).{/qluetip}

Prescribed Punishments

The Judgement with regards to hudud (prescribed punishments) and qisas (retaliation) is as Allah - the Most High - said:

"And We prescribed for them: Life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth and a wound for a wound. But if any remits the retaliation by way of charity, it shall be for him an expiation. And whosoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, then such are the dhalimun (wrongdoers)." [Al-Qur'an 5:45]

Even though this Ayah is with regards to the Jews - even so, it still applies to the disobedient Believers who do not judge by that which Allah sent down. Then Allah - the Most High - ordered His Messenger sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam to judge between the People of the Book, saying:

"And judge between them by that which Allah has revealed and do not follow their vain desires, but beware of them unless they turn you away from some of that which Allah has revealed to you. So if they turn away, then know that Allah's Will is to punish them for some of their sins. And indeed, most of mankind are fasiqun (rebellious and disobedient). Do they seek the judgement of Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic ignorance)? And who is better in judgement, than Allah, for a people who have certainty." [Al-Qur'an 5:49-50]

Judgement Regarding Prescribed Laws

The Judgement of Allah with regards to the Shari'ah (Prescribed Laws), is as Allah - the Most High - says:

"He has prescribed for you all the same Din (religion) which He ordained for Noah, and that which We have revealed to you (the Prophet)." [Al-Qur'an 42:13]

And Allah criticises the mushrikin (those who associate partners to Allah in worship) for giving the right of prescribing Laws to other than Allah, so He said:

"Or have they partners with Allah, who have prescribed for them a Din, that which Allah has not given permission for." [Al-Qur'an 42:21]

In Summary

It is thus an obligation upon the Muslims to judge by the Book of Allah and the authentic Sunnah, turning to them for judgement, whether in matters of 'aqidah (beliefs), 'ibadah (worship), siyasah (politics), mu'amalat (social transactions), or any other affair. Also, they should not make a distinction between the various types of Judgement, acting upon the saying of Allah - the Most High:

"And if you differ in any matter amongst yourselves, then refer it back to Allah and His Messenger, if you do believe in Allah and the Last Day." [Al-Qur'an 4:59]

And the saying of Allah - the Most High:

"And in whatever you differ, the judgement thereof is with Allah." [Al-Qur'an 42:10]

(s) Minhaj Firqatu'n-Najiyah (pp. 55-58). Translation is from Al-Ibaanah Magazine, Issue No. 3, Dhu'l-Qa'dah 1416H / April 1996. The Editors' additions appear in between [ ... ]

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“O my soul, it is not for a few days patience, As if her extent were a few dreams. Oh my soul, pass quickly on through this world, And leave it, for indeed life lies ahead of it.”
- Imam Ash-Shafi'i (d. 204H), may Allah have mercy upon him