All Praise is due to Allah Alone and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger, his family, and his Companions.
The basic rule states that
it is incumbent upon every Muslim to follow the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace be upon him). A Muslim should seek scholars' views whether he follows one of the Four Schools of Jurisprudence or not. One is not obliged to follow a particular school, if one is able to research legal judgments on one's own or by choosing a view from the scholars of Jurisprudence; provided that one is qualified to choose with no obstacle that may hinder the process of deduction. However, if one is not qualified, one should follow the scholars one trusts. Regarding the Four Schools of jurisprudence, each one of them is related to an Imam for whom it was named after. Each Imam is known for his juristic discretion and reasoning to infer legal judgment (Part No. 5; Page No. 45) of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, and people of knowledge followed his school. Juristic fanaticism is impermissible; it is obligatory to follow the evidence regardless as to whether it conforms with a specific school or not.The Committee has issued a Fatwa concerning the Four Juristic Schools.
It is then clear that the four juristic schools follow the Prophet (peace be upon him) but the Prophet did not follow them rather he was a follower of the revelation, i.e. Shari`ah, sent down to him from Allah. These scholars and all other jurists extract their knowledge from this source. A Muslim is called a Hanif, because they follow the moderate way of Abraham (Ibrahim), the same way of our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and all Prophets regardless of juristic affiliation; whether a Hanafy, a Maliky, a Shafi`y, a Hanbaly, or a follower of other scholars.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.