What is the ruling on those who say that Taqlid (strictly following a specific School of Jurisprudence) is Kufr (disbelief), Fisq (openly and flagrantly violating Islamic law), and Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship),
and attribute Kufr (disbelief in Allah) and misguidance to the Four Imams (Imams Abu Hanifah, Malik, Al-Shafi`y, and Ahmad)? It should be taken into account that they claim that this opinion is adopted by scholars
the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
All praise is due to Allah and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger, his family and Companions.
A- Not every Taqlid is blatant Kufr, Fisq or Shirk; rather there are some details pertaining to this matter, which should be known from the answer to the second question mentioned earlier.B- None of the Four Imams called people to follow his Madh-hab (School of Jurisprudence), or obliged anyone else to act in accordance with it or with a specific Madh-hab. They used to call people to follow the Qur'an and the Sunnah, interpret Islamic texts, (Part No. 5; Page No. 32) set up the basic principles and discuss minor issues according to general guidelines. They also used to issue Fatwas concerning what people asked them about and substantiated their Fatwas with evidence from the Qur'an and the Sunnah. However, they did not oblige any of their students or anyone else to follow their views. They criticized those who did so and said that their opinions should be cast aside if they went against an authentic Hadith. One of them said: If the Hadith is Sahih then this is my Madh-hab. Therefore, it is not obligatory upon everyone to follow a particular Madh-hab, a person should do their best to learn the truth for themselves if possible. They should seek the help of Allah in doing so, then rely on the legacy that the earlier Muslim scholars left behind for those who came after them, through which they made it easier to understand and apply the texts. Whoever can not derive rulings and deduce them from the texts for a reason that prevents them from doing so, should ask trustworthy scholars for whatever rulings of Shari`ah (Islamic law) they need, for Allah (Exalted be He) says:
So ask the people of the Scripture, if you do not know.
So, a person should do their best to ask someone who they trust among those who are well known for their knowledge, virtue, piety and righteousness. Accordingly, it becomes well known that the Four Imams are innocent of the charges with which they were accused and that which is attributed to them in terms of Kufr and misguidance is nothing but falsehood and deception.Moreover, none of the scholars in Saudi Arabia, whether in
Al-Madinah, or any other part of the
Kingdom of Saudi Kingdom dispraises any Imam of Fiqh i.e.
Ahmad ibn Hanbal, or any other Muslim jurist. On the contrary, they are known for holding such Imams in reverence, and acknowledging their grace and high positions and they have a firm precedence in spreading Islamic Shari`ah, preserving and learning its texts, rules and explaining that to Muslims and possessing patience in defending it against all doubts raised by Kafirs (disbelievers), innovators, (Part No. 5; Page No. 33) and liars. May Allah reward them for Islam and Muslims with the best reward!Furthermore, the honorable and venerable status held by scholars of
the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia towards the Four Imams is substantiated by teaching their Madh-habs and books in the Sacred Masjids (mosques) in
the Honored Makkah and
Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah, as well as in other Masjids of
the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its universities. The Kingdom has given much priority to publishing many books that contain their opinions and distributing them in all countries with Muslims living in them.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.