Allah�s Name to Begin, Most Merciful, Most Gracious.



"On the day when We shall summon all men with their Imam."(Qur�an, al-Asra� 17:71)









(Abstract of a comprehensive research paper on the same topic by the same author)



Prof. Dr. Muhammad Mas�ud Ahmad

( M.A., Ph.d. )




Idara-i-Mas�udia Karachi

Islamic Republic of Pakistan

( 1997 / 1418 )

Allah�s Name to Begin, Most Merciful, Most Gracious.


"On the day when We shall summon all men with their Imam."(Qur�an, al-Asra� 17:71)





(Abstract of a comprehensive research paper on the same topic by the same author)



Prof. Dr. Muhammad Mas�ud Ahmad

( M.A., Ph.d. )


Translated By

Fatima Mas�di (M.A)




Idara-i-Mas�udia Karachi

Islamic Republic of Pakistan

( 1997 / 1418 )

Allah�s name to Begin, Most Merciful, Most Gracious.


Taqlid is the need of every man------need of every Muslim too----- there is no alternative. Any advancement either in education, civilisation and culture are because of Taqlid. If it was not necessary then Qur�an was quite enough. Practical pattern of the holy life witnesses the importance of Taqlid. Qur�an also ordered to follow the foot-steps of His beloved Prophet. Hadrat Muhammad (Ü) said :


" I left two things among you: First the Book of Allah, & secondly Sunna of the messanger of Allah. You would never be misguided till you would have hold on them both."




Qur�an was restored in the life of Holy Prophet (Ü) composed in the caliphate of Hadrat Abu Bakr Siddiq
( � ) --------spread in the caliphate of Hadrat �Umar
( � ) and Hadrat �Usman Ghani ( � ) ---------In the caliphate of Hadrat �Umar Faruq ( � ) Qur�an had expanded far & wide.



Hadrat Muhammad (Ü) in accordance to the authority given by Qur�an send written commandments in various areas. Companions of the Holy Prophet (Ü) preserved the traditions and why not they preserved ? Every thing concerned to lover is loveable ! Thus, many collections were composed. For instance, Sahifa-i-Siddiqi, Sahifa-i-�Alawi, Sahifa-i-Samra, Sahifa-i-Sadiqa, Sahifa-i-Sahiha, etc. etc. Sahifa Sahiha ( before 58 A. H./ 677 C.E ) was composed by Hadrat Jabir ( � ) for his pupil Hadrat Humam bin Munabah bin Kamil bin Shaikh al-Sajani al-San�ani ( � ), which was published by the name " Sahifa Humam bin Munabah " from Hyderabad (A.P.). Sahifa Sahiha was taken by Traditionalists in their various collections.



Every companion was not in a position to issue fatawa or verdicts or judgements in the light of Qur�an & Hadith. This duty was performed by great companions . Subsequently Fatawa or judgements of Khulafa-i-Rashidin & companions were preserved. Fatawa of these four caliphs have been published. The fatawa of Hadrat �Abd Allah bin �Abbas ( � ) ( d. 68 / 687-8 ) had been composed in twenty volumes.



Qur�an bears testimony that only those people are capable of understanding Qur�an who recognise the core of religion. Laymen are not able to derive solutions from Qur�an and Hadith and issue Fatawa or verdicts. That is why Qur�an has vividly mentioned cognition and cognisant and most specifically pointed the Fuqaha or jurists, so that ignorant of the core of religion could not intrude into religion. This is not only concern to understand Qur�an but to understand any book competent and qualified persons are required.

Because every linguist of �Arabic cannot not claim to understand Qur�an. To know the Book ----- any book ----- just language is not enough ----- many other things are required also.



Companions followed the footsteps of Hadrat Muhammad (Ü) after the departure of the messanger, companions followed the footsteps of the leading great companions ----- in turn they were followed by Taba�in ----- then Tabi� Taba�in followed the grand Taba�in ------- afterwards process of following A�imma-i-Arb�a (four Imams) started and this chain prolonged till it arrived at the peak. This fact is worthy to be noted that A�imma-i-Hadith were also followers of A�imma-i-Arb�a. Therefore, Imam Bukhari was Shaf�i------ Ibn-i-Maja was Maliki------ Imam Tahawi was Hanafi------- Ibn-i-Tamiyyah & Ibn-i-Qayyim were Hambali------ Shah Wali Allah was Hanafi, etc. etc.


Taqlid or following A�imma-i-Arb�a is very important because they knew the core of religion and were much and more nearer to the period of Holy Prophet (Ü). And this is the common sense notion that near observation is always better and truer than the observation of the remote. Reasonable person never accepts the opinion of people at distance as compared to closer.



Islamic world follow A�imma-i-Arb�a whose fortunate period prolonged from first century Hijrah to third century Hijrah:-


  1. Imam Abu Hanifa ( b. 80 A.H / d. 150 A.H )
  2. Imam Malik ( b.93 A.H / d. 179 A.H )
  3. Imam Shafi�i ( b.150 A.H / d. 204 A.H )
  4. Imam Ahmad bin Hambal ( b.124 A.H / d. 491 A.H )

Therefore, A�imma-i-Arb�a were concerned to that age which is called as "Khayr al-Qurun" best of all times. In Hadith we found its significance. Nobody could deny its supremacy.



A�imma-i-Arb�a placed Qur�an, Hadith and the verdicts of the holy companions before them ------ thus utilised that knowledge and wisdom which was mentioned in Qur�an . They taught which was taught by the Holy Prophet (Ü) to his companions. While to think that A�imma-i-Arb�a were ignorant of traditions and acted upon their own will is nothing but a childish thought. It is not reasonable nor acceptable and has no concern with reality and history. When every problem is deeply thought and discussed then solution comes out. A�imma-i-Arb�a also presented thousands of solutions after profound thinking, reflection and deliberation of Qur�an and Hadith. Now to take this fact as wilful thinking is an injustice whose example is hard to found in the history of knowledge and wisdom------- and in the history of sagacity.



Some companions were only Muhaddith (traditionalist), some were both Muhaddith and Faqih (Jurist)------- some successors of companions or Tabi�in were only Muhaddith some were both Muhaddith and Faqih ----- some successors of Tabi�in or Tab� Tabi�in were only Muhaddith some were both Muhaddith and Faqih. It is not essantial for a Muhaddith to be a Faqih, but it is indispensable for Faqih to be a Muhaddith.


Narrators collect the traditions after profound argumentation and critical assessment of traditions. Mujtahid and Faqih deduce the problems by these traditions. This fact could be known from an example which has no comparison with Qur�an and Hadith. Just think ------ there is particular body which is concerned with the collection of herbs used to cure the disease ----- second body is concerned to discover its peculiarities ----- third body is concerned to make various forms of medicines ----- fourth body is concerned with diagnosing the disease and prescription of medicine. Now if any person says that all classes or bodies did not touch herbs accept the first one ----- we ourselves shall search out herbs in valleys, meadows and pastures, discover the peculiarities, make medicines, and diagnose, and ultimately prescribe and cure ourselves.


What would you decide about such person?----- Could we define this behvior as sagacious ----- ?


From the period of the Holy Prophet (Ü) written composition or collection of traditions is moving continuously but it was not stored in book form, later it was done.


Most probably first volume of Hadith was composed by Imam Abu Hanifa known as "Kitab al-Athar ". Later on Imam Malik compiled " Mu�atta " ----- then pupil of Imam Abu Hanifa, namely, Imam Muhammad ( d. 321 ) recompile " Mu�atta". Thus, process of composing and compiling Hadith in bookish form was proceeded by A�imma or traditionalists. For example


To say that stock of Hadith came after two or three centuries is absurdity. Every thing arrives at highest point while passing through initial stages ------ it is very natural and ought to be considered. Muhaddithin arranged the same traditions which were previously stored by companions of the Holy Prophet ( ) and considered by master jurist or A�imma who deduced hundred and thousand problems.



Imam Abu Hanifa was most distinctive among A�imma & Tabi�in because of his prominent characteristics. He had seen the companions of the Holy prophet (Ü). Moreover he was benefited directly from those who benefited from the great companions like Hadrat �Umar ( � ) (d. 24/644), Hadrat �Abd Allah bin Mas�ud ( � ) ( d. 32/ 653) and Hadrat �Abd Allah bin �Abbas ( � ) (d. 68/687). While Hadrat Anas bin Malik ( � ) (d. 93/711-2 ), Hadrat �Abd Allah bin Harith ( � ) (d. 97/ 715-6.) and Hadrat �Abd Allah bin Awfa ( � ) (d.89/ 707-8) was among his teachers. Teachers of Imam Abu Hanifa are more than one thousand.



The circle of the Islamic rule was expanding rapidly------ and with the same speed new problems were also occurring. A�imma grasped the situation swiftly and compiled fiqh (Islamic Law). Thus, solved the complexities.


Imam Abu Hanifa arranged a board which was consisted of masters of every field. Because understanding of Qur�an & Hadith is not possible only with the mastery of the �Arabic language, as said before, many other things are also required. Those scholars and cognisants deeply considered & discussed the contemporary & forth coming problems------ as a result of this reflection solution of 83000 problems were presented. This historical Sharia Law was compiled before 114/732. It was the great record of knowledge and wisdom by Imam Abu Hanifa & of course the grand obligation on Muslim Umma. After the compilation of this Shariat Law, Imam Abu Hanifa delivered a Khutba or speech before the members of the board & one thousand distinctive students. Following points of the address are light pillars for judges, jurists & legislators of the Islamic world. The address reflects deep perception, deliberation & sagacity. Just consider :


(i) I give you the swear of Allah & of this Knowledge------- not to disgrace this knowledge.

(ii) Post of the judge is rightful till the inside & outside character of the judge is pure.

(iii) Whoever among you accepts this commission------he should not create hindrances between himself & the public.

(iv) Every complaint should have approach to you.

(v) If ruler of the state oppresses the public then jurist should ask for an explanation.



There is no doubt that Imam Abu Hanifa was the great miracle of Hadrat Muhammad (Ü). When Surah Jum�a was revealed it was said in the verses 2-3 that Hadrat Muhammad (Ü) purifies the forth comming people and bestowes them knowledge and wisdom. Thus, consider the following verses:


He is Who hath send among the unlettered ones a messenger of their own, to recite unto them His revelations and to make them purified, and to teach them the book and wisdom-----along with others of them who have not yet joined them.


Hadrat Abu Hurayra ( � ) ( d.59/ 678-9) enquired about �those people who did not join�------ the Holy Messenger did not reply------the companion asked again------ but no answer was given------- again asked------ but no reply------ when he asked fourth time the messenger put off the veil from the secret & hinted towards Imam Abu Hanifa.


Insha Allah further details would be presented afterward in a comprehensive thesis, which will be published in 1998 Insha Allah.


Among traditionalists, Hadrat Jalal al-Din Suyuti
( � ) ( d. 921/1515-16) and Shah Walli Allah ( d. 1176/1762-3) called Imam Abu Hanifa as the evidence of this Hadith. Imam Tahawi ( d. 321/932 ) and Ibn-i-Hajar Haythami
( d. 973/1565-6) called Imam Abu Hanifa as the miracle of Hadrat Muhammad (Ü) . Qur�an has also mentioned the terms "Hanif " ----- "Din-i-Hanif ", "Muslim-I-Hanif" and "Hunafa."



Ibn-i-Khaldun 600 years before , Amir Khusru 700 years before, and Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi 400 years before had mentioned the "Majority" of Hanafi Muslims in the Islamic world and most specifically in Indo-Pak subcontinent. Modern scholar of the day Dr. Sabhi Mahmasani says that Hanafis are the two-third of the Muslim majority. In other words, it was realised that Hanafi are the "Great Majority" of the Muslim Umma. Hadrat Muhammad (Ü) said:


" I prayed that my Ummah may not gather on error, Allah summoned my prayer. Thus, my Ummah would never gather on error."


He said:

"Obey the Jama�a." (i.e., the Great Majority)


He said:

"Obey the Majority or Jama�a."


He said:

"Obey the Jama�a and the general." (i.e., Majority of Muslims.)


He said:

"Jama�a has the support of Allah."


Amir Shakib Arsalan wrote in the footnote of Hasan al-Masa�i that majority of the Muslim population is the follower of Imam Abu Hanifa. Even among the non followers Nawab Saddique Hasan Khan ( d.1890), Mawlawi Sana� Allah Amratsri( d.1948) also admitted the aforesaid notion. Another non-follower scholar Maulawi Muhammad Husayn Batalwi ( d.1920 ) called the non-followers masses as mite in the cheese.


Allah Almighty bestowed Imam Abu Hanifa the same general popularity which He bestowes to His lovers. This is mentioned in a tradition. Allah said to the masses that


"whoever fights to these chosen people then he must get ready for war with me."


Who is the unfortunate one who would get ready to fight with Allah ?



Running away from Taqlid and displeasure from A�imma-i-Arba�a is the mark of slavery ----- and this rejection and displeasure are specifically for the Holy personalities. From this attitude it is deduced that the main reason of this running away from Taqlid is not religious but political. Another reason for this presumption is the movement "Ahl-i-Qur�an" which very surprisingly emerged from the Ahl-i-Hadith Head Quarter at Lahore. And this discovery was made by the Ahl-i-Hadith scholar Mawlawi Muhammad Husayn Batalvi ( Isha�at al-Sunna, vol. 19, ed-78, p. 252 ).


Now consider yourself the secret of unity between these two antagonists, i.e., Ahl-i-Hadith and Ahl-i-Qur�an ! Both of these movements afflicted the Muslim unity. That is why few scholars are of the opinion that it was a conspiracy to tear into pieces of the Muslim Umma. It was suspected by the judge and the minister of Nablus Yusuf Isma�il. ( Shawahid al-Haq, Lahore: 1988, p. 49 ).


As it was said that there is no alternative other than Taqlid ----- because it is the need of a man. Even non-followers are constrained to follow ------- a non-follower scholar Nawab Wahid al-Zaman ( d.1920 ) rightly asks the followers of his school of thought :


"Our Ahl-i-Hadith brothers have made Ibn-i-Taymiyya (d.728/1327-8 ), Ibn-i-Qayyim
(d.751/1351), Shah Wali Allah (d.1176/ 1762-3) and Mawlawi Isma�il (d.1246/1830) as the god fathers of religion. Brothers ! Just think and do justice when you have left the footsteps of Abu Hanifa and Shaf�i, Ibn-i-Taymiyya (d.728/1327), Ibn-i-Qayyim (d.751/1350), or Shawkani (d.1255) came afterwards, why do you follow them?"



It is the historical fact that in the whole history of Islam we don�t find the sect namely "Ahl-i-Hadith." This word was solely specific for the expert of Hadith. Non-followers maintained their sovereignty with the help of British or supported British in forming their government. That is why Islamic world and particularly the Muslims of Indo-Pak subcontinent hated them and called them " Wahabi." Ahl-i-Hadith considered British Government as blessing instead of Muslim Government. After the revolution of 1857, these persons reminded their favours to English government and requested to call them " Ahl-i-Hadith " instead of " Wahabi."


Thus, request was granted and notification was issued and circulated mentioning therein sect " Wahabi " should be called " Ahl-i-Hadith." This fact has been verified by the statement of Ahl-i-Hadith scholar Maulawi Muhammad Husayn Batalwi otherwise aforesaid historical facts would be suspected. Now in the light of these historical facts it is obvious like the day light that the title of "Ahl-i-Hadith" was awarded to non-followers by British Government. Before 1857 this sect didn�t exist in Muslim World. This is a undeniable historical fact.



We have presented impartially the historical facts before you ----- now you better ask to your reason and conscience that:



Are they on the right path ? Or the following ones:



Faith on Hadrat Muhammad (Ü) and love for him demands to obey each and every order of our beloved Prophet .


He said :


"Lo ! What says the Heart !------listen !------and act accordingly ."


May Allah bestow us the understanding of Holy Qur�an and Hadith and guidance to act upon it. Amen.



Glossary :

Hadrat �Ummar Faruq ( � ) ( d. 24 / 644 ),

Hadrat Usman Ghani ( � ) ( d.35/655-6 ), and

Hadrat �Ali ( � ) (d.40 /661)