Following a Mathab

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Q: Where is the source in Islam that states you have to follow a madhab? If one isn't following a madhab, is that then a sin?

The Imams of the Madhabs have extracted the laws of the Madhab from the Qur'aan and Sunnah. By doing so, they have made practicing on the Deen easy for us. We do not have the necessary knowledge, expertise and insight to do so. Thus it is absolutely necessary for us to follow one of them. Following any one of them is following the Qur'aan and Sunnah.

The concept of following a reliable person in matters of Deen is established from the Qur'aan and Sunnah. The books on Hadeeth are replete with such narrations.

a) The Hadeeth of Sayyidina Hudhayfah in Tirmidhi (Baab Manaaqib ibni Yaasir).
b) The Hadeeth of Sayyidina Irbaadh ibni Saariyah in Ibni Maajah (Baab Ittibaa' Sunnatil Khulafaa ir Raashideen).
c) The Hadeeth of Sayyidina Umar ibnul Khattaab in Mishkaatul Masaabeeh (Baab Manaaqib Quraysh).
d) The Hadeeth of Sayyidina Mu'aadh ibni Jabal in Abu Dawood (Baab Ijtihaadir Ra'y), etc.
(Radhiyallaahu Anhum).

It is gross ignorance to believe that by following one of the Imams, one is not following the Qur'aan and Sunnah. In fact, there is the distinct danger of going completely astray by not following one of these illustrious Imams. Experience has proven that those who do not follow one of these great Imams become confused and misled. By living according to their teachings we are living according to Quran. May Allah Ta'aala guide us to His pleasure. Aameen.

Moulana Yusuf Laher

Following Majority Mathab

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Q: If I am living in a country where the majority follows Imaam Abu Hanifa's school of thought, do I also have to follow that?

If you are unaware of the teachings of your Madhab and there is no one to teach you then only can you follow the Hanafi Madhab, otherwise not. You cannot change just because the majority are Hanafi. 

Allah Ta'aala knows best.

Moulana Yusuf Laher

Unknown Math-hab

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Q: I don't know what math-hab I am, but have grown up in a pre-dominantly Hanafi environment, also attended Madressa of the same. I have two questions related to this:
1. Do I have to have a math-hab and why?
2. I follow the taraweeh in a musjid that is of mixed math-habs, and for the past few years we have been reading the first 15 days witr in the hanafi math-hab and the second 15 in the shafi math-hab. The imam of the musjid is a shafi from Malawi and we all read our esha behind him. The question that now arises is; one of the Hufaz who is also predominantly hanafi, also, occasionally leads the witr in the shafi methodology, is this acceptable?
A. Because you grew up in a predominantly Hanafi environment and the Madrasa education you received is of the Hanafi Madhab, definitely you are a Hanafi.

Yes, it is compulsory to follow a Madhab so that there may be uniformity in one’s practices and steadfastness on the Sunnah. By practicing on one math-hab you will also be saved from confusion and will not end up following base desires.

Performing a Fardh Salaah behind an Imam of any of the four Madhabs is valid because there is no difference of opinion among the Madhabs on the Fardh Salaah.

You will have to perform the Witr Salaah according to the Hanafi Madhab because of differences between the Shaafi'ee and Hanafi Madhabs on the issue of Witr. The Shaafi'ees perform it as two Rakaats and one Rakaat separately and the Hanafi Madhab does not accept performance of a single Rakaat in Salaah.

You will separate from the Jamaat and perform the Witr on your own.

The Hanafi Hafiz has erred by performing the Witr according to the Shaafi'ee Madhab.

Respect will be shown to all the four Madhabs but one will practice on his own Madhab.

Allah Ta'aala knows best. 

Moulana Yusuf Laher
Checked by: Mufti Siraj Desai

Our School of Thought

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Q: According to which school of thought do you reply our questions?

We are Hanafi and belong to the Deobandi School of thought.

Mufti Siraj Desai

Fiqh of Makkah Imams

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Q: Which Fiqh e Mazhab (of the Four Imams) do the Imams of Masjidul Haram (Makkah) follow in Namaz (Salaat)?

. The Imams of Makkah are inclined to the Hambali Madhab.

Moulana Yusuf Laher
Checked and approved by: Mufti Siraj Desai

Following Different Mat-hab

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Q: Is it sinful to follow a wrong Math-hab? I was wrongly practising as Hanafi but now found I'm Shafi.

A: It is not a sin to follow a math-hab. In fact, it is an obligation, for without following a math-hab one cannot truly practice on the Laws of Islam. All four Math-habs are Haq or true, so whichever one you follow will lead you to Allah. For this reason, you were not wrong in practicing on the Hanafi math-hab, but if you were a Shaafi'ee then it is better that you revert to your original math-hab, provided you have an Aalim available who can teach you the Shaafi'ee math-hab.