Muqallideen use many different tactics to prove their unproven Taqleed. They concoct many things to satisfy the people, one of which includes that the writers and collectors of the books of ahadeeth were Muqallid. The people who have extended tongues say many other things too, but right now, our discussion is restricted to the Muhadditheen.
1-Ameen Okaarvi from the Deobandi School of thought titled “Wakeel-e-Ahnaaf, Tarjumaan ul-Islaam, Munaazir-e-Islaam” and has been given many other titles, writes:
“Whereas, all the books of ahadeeth that we have today, are either written by Mujtahideen or by Muqallideen, who are mentioned in Tabaqaat Hanafiyyah, Tabaqaat Maalikiyyah, Tabaqaat Shaafi’eeyyah, and Tabaqaat Hanaabilah…. There does not exist a single reliable book of hadeeth in which believing in Ijmaa and Ijtihaad is considered to be Haraam & Shirk; or believing in Fiqh has been prohibited. Not even one reliable reference can be presented concerning its compiler that he was neither able to do Ijtihaad nor did he do Taqleed, that’s why he was a Ghayr Muqallid.” [Tajalliyaat Safdar: 1/113; Published in Multan, Majmoo’ah Rasaail: 3/13]
2-Mufti Ahmed Mumtaaz Saahib “Ra’ees Daar ul-Ifta Jaami’ah Khulafa Raashideen, Karachi” writes:
“This is why in these two last issues, Muhadditheen – rahimahumullah also do the Taqleed of Mujtahideen – rahimahumullah. Therefore, it is due to this taqleed that the mention of Muhadditheen (rahimahumullah) is only found in 4 types of books: (1) Tabaqaat Hanafiyyah, (2) Tabaqaat Maalikiyyah, (3) Tabaqaat Shaafi’eeyyah, (4) Tabaqaat Hanaabilah. No Muhaddith or a Historian has ever written a book named ‘Tabaqaat Ghayr Muqallideen’ in biographies of Muhadditheen” [Asli Chehra, P. 7]
It can easily be understood from these two quotes that they have tried to prove the authors of all the books of ahadeeth to be Muqallid.
Okaarvi Sahab had only written that the Muhadditheen are either Mujtahideen or Muqallideen, but while copying him, Mufti Ahmed Sahab, went even more ahead and tried to prove all the Muhadditheen to be Muqallid.
Anyway, this is correct that the mention of Muhadditheen is only found in these 4 tabaqaat, however, this is not correct at all that it is the result of the same Taqleed – meaning, they [the tabaqaat] are the cause of Muhadditheen being Muqallid.
On the contrary, it is the result of these Muqallideen being engaged in Taqleed that upon seeing the mention [of Muhadditheen] in these 4 tabaqaat, they think that the Muhadditheen were Muqallid.
So what is the actual reason for the existence of these tabaqaat? If we say something from our own selves then it is possible that ta’assub might come in the way of accepting our remarks. Therefore, we will present a “big” reason for it from the books of “Major Deobandi Scholars” themselves. It is possible that they might accept the reality then. See below:
1-Their “Shaikh ul-Hadeeth, al-Muhaddith al-Kabeer” for deobandies Zakariyyah Kaandhalwi writes:
“An issue here is that: Were Ahl ul-Hadeeth and Aimmah Muhadditheen Muqallid or Ghayr Muqallid? And if they were Muqallid then who did they do Taqleed of? There is a difference of opinion in it among the Scholars. And the thing is that a person who is big [respected/Major Scholar], everyone wants that he should join his party, because he has too much value & attraction, and everyone tries to pull him towards himself….” [Taqreer Bukhaari: 1/52, Published in Daarul Aha’at Karachi]
So what is the reason that the mention of Muhadditheen is found in 4 Tabaqaat? It has many other reasons, but the reasons that are made clear from the statement of Zakariyyah Sahab are as follows:
i-It is the result of Muhadditheen being big [great] personalities
ii-Everyone wants that the big [great] personalities should join his party
iii-There is “attraction” in proving big personalities to be theirs.
Because of this attraction, everyone seems to pull big personalities towards them. For example: Hanafis say that so-and-so was a Hanafi, Shaafi’ees say that he was a Shaafi’ee, Maalikis and Hanbalis also try to prove him to be theirs. A big reason that these 4 Tabaqaat came into existence is this “Attraction”. What is more is that many of the Muhadditheen have been added in these 4 Tabaqaat merely because of studentship also. Moreover, we do not also lack the amount of Muhadditheen who have been added in 2 to 3, in fact in all 4 Tabaqaat at the same time. If the reason is only to indicate their being the student or to indicate that they gained benefits from those Imaams, then there does not seem anything wrong in it. But above that reason, the attempt to prove Muhadditheen to be Muqallid is absolutely intolerable.
The “Imaam Ahl-e-Sunnat” of Muqallideen, Sarfaraz Khan Safdar writes: “If one is a Jaahil (ignorant), he should do taqleed of Scholars. And Taqleed is only for a Jaahil who is unaware of the proofs of Ahkaam….” [Al-Kalaam ul-Mufeed: P. 234]
Notice what he wrote: “And Taqleed is only for a Jaahil”! Were, (Na’oozubillah), the noble Muhadditheen Jaahil? And were they not aware of the Proofs of Ahkaam? Those who dedicated their whole lives in service of ahadeeth, possessing great memories, extracting Masaail from each hadeeth by naming chapters and Tarajim were Jaahil? If not, and certainly not, then it is also not correct to call Muhadditheen Muqallid. And it is akin to strengthening the claims of Munkireen (Rejecters of) Hadeeth, though unknowingly. Because on this claim, they would immediately say that “Taqleed is only for a Jaahil” and Muhadditheen also used to do Taqleed, therefore they were Jaahil! Now how can we trust the ahadeeth collected by these Jaahils?
If Muqallideen had paid attention to the consequences of their claims, then they would not have dared to call Muhadditheen Muqallid. May Allaah give them the ability [to speak truth]!
2-Another one of their “Muhaddith al-Kabeer, Allaamah” Abdur Rasheed Nu’maani, for deobandies after narrating the opinions of different people of knowledge concerning the Madhaahib of the authors of Sihaah Sittah, writes:
“فانظر الي هذا التجاذب الذي وقع بين هولاء العلام فتارة يعدون احدهم شافعيا و تارة حنبليا و اخري مجتهدا وهذا كله عندي تخرص وتكلم من غير برهان فلو كان احد من هولاء شافعيا او حنبليا لا طبق العلماء علي نقله ولما اختلفوا هذا الختلاف كما اطبقوا علي كون الطحاوي حنفيا و البيهقي شافعيا و عياض مالكيا وابن الجوزي حنبليا، سوي الامام ابي داود فانه قد تفقه علي الامام احمد و مسائله عن احمد بن حنبل معروف مطبوع”
“Look at this force of attraction which occurred between these big Scholars. They count one of them to be Shaafi’ee, sometimes Hanbali, and after sometimes Mujtahid. According to me, all these are merely pointless, and sayings without evidence. If anyone of them had been Shaafi’ee or Hanbali then the Scholars would have agreed upon narrating it and they would never have fallen into such difference, as they agreed upon Tahaawi being a Hanafi, Bayhaqi being a Shaafi’ee, Eyaadh being a Maaliki, and Ibn al-Jawzee being a Hanbali, except Imaam Abu Dawood as he learned fiqh from Imaam Ahmed and his Masaail from Ahmed bin Hanbal are famous and published” [Ma Tamassu Ilaihi al-Haajjah Liman Yutaali’ Sunan Ibn Majah: P. 26]
This was the statement of Nu’maani Deobandi, which makes the following points clear:
*Calling the authors of Kutub as-Sittah to be Hanbali or Shaafi’ee is “Tajaazub” (act of pulling towards oneself), pointless, and rubbish, which have no daleel.
*These are “Takharrus” made up, fabricated, and sayings made up from minds, without any evidence & Burhaan.
*Someone calls a Muhaddith to be Shaafi’ee; some call him Hanbali, while some declare him to be Mujtahid.
*No one of them is Shaafi’ee, Hanbali etc. If they were, then the Scholars would have agreed upon narrating it.
*The Scholars are differed upon these Muhadditheen being Hanbali, Shaafi’ee etc. They are not agreed upon.
3-Their “Mufti A’dham Pakistan” Rafee’ Uthmaani writes:
“The opinions of the Scholars are different as to what is the Fiqhi Madhab of these six Aimmah of hadeeth; because none of them ever confirmed their Madhab. Therefore, some Scholars opine that all these were absolute (Mutlaq) Aimmah & Mujtahideen; they were not the Muqallid of anyone. While some say that none of them was Mujtahid and their Madhab was that of other common Muhadditheen which are neither Muqallid nor Mujtahid. And some have gone into details, and then there is difference in that detail as well.” [Dars-e-Muslim: P. 71-72]
Muhadditheen did not confirm it themselves. Of course how would they have done so when the Taqleedi Madhaahib had not yet come into existence! Thus people made it their blank book, and wrote whatever came in their minds. Some even counted a Muhaddith from their Madhab if they merely saw some of his ahadeeth in accordance to their Madhab and in opposition to the other Madhaahib; while some declared him to be from another Madhab by looking at other Chapters and Ahadeeth. And Muqallideen took these sayings so seriously as if these are the actual facts and realities. Let’s come and see how people “pulled each other” as per the saying of Zakariyah Kandhalwi, and how they “made up” guesses, as per the saying of Nu’maani Sahab. We will, in example, mention their sayings concerning some of the Muhadditheen:
1)Sayyid ul-Muhadditheen Imaam Muhammad bin Ismaa’eel al-Bukhaari – rahimahullah
First, we will observe the opinions of people concerning the author of “The Most authentic book after the Book of Allaah” Saheeh Bukhaari, which is Imaam Muhammad bin Ismaa’eel al-Bukhaari (rahimahullah):
1: Anwar Shaah Kashmiri writes: “Know that Imaam Bukhaari was a Mujtahid, there is no doubt in that. And what became famous that he was a Shaafi’ee then it was only because of his accordance to Imaam Shaafi’ee in the famous Masaail [not otherwise]” [Faydh ul-Baari: 1/58].
2: Ibraaheem bin Abdul Lateef bin Muhammad Haashim Thathwi writes: “As for Imaam Bukhaari then Taaj as-Subki has mentioned him in his Tabaqaat (Shaafi’eeyyah) that he was a Shaafi’ee. Allaamah Nafees ud-Deen Sulemaan bin Ibraaheem refuted him and said: ‘Bukhaari himself was a Mujtahid like Abu Haneefah, Shaafi’ee, Maalik, and Ahmed’” [Sahq al-Aghbiya with reference from Ma Tamassu Ilaihi al-Haajjah: P. 26]
3: Zakariyyah Kandhalwi says in his special terminology: “[Chakki ka Paat yeh hai ke] Fact of the matter is that Imaam Bukhaari was strongly a Mujtahid.” [Taqreer Bukhaari: P. 52]
4: Abdur Rasheed Nu’maani writes: “According to me, Imaam Bukhaari and Imaam Abu Dawood as well are like the other Aimmah mentioned above. They were neither the Muqallid of a specific Imaam nor were they absolute Mujtahids” [Maa Tamassu Ilaihi al-Haajjah: P. 27]
5: Mufti Rafee’ Uthmaani says: “The opinion of Hadhrat Maulaana al-Imaam al-Haafidh Muhammad Anwar Shah Kashmiri, based on some proofs, is that Imaam Bukhaari was without any doubt a Mujtahid Mutlaq, and his book is the just witness of this fact” [Dars-e-Muslim: P. 72]
6: Their “Imaam Ahl-e-Sunnat” and “Muhaddith A’dham Pakistan” Sarfaraz Khan Safdar writes: “And similarly Imaam Muhammad bin Ismaa’eel al-Bukhaari is counted among Tabaqaat Shaafi’eeyyah… Hadhrat Imaam Bukhaari is the one upon whose two booklets: Juzz Rafa al-Yadain & Juzz al-Qira’at, the opposing party run their car of two Ikhtilaafi Masaail. But look at the wonder of Allaah’s nature that even Imaam Bukhaari is proven to be a Muqallid” [al-Kalaam ul-Mufeed: P. 128]
Looking at the practice of Subki, Sarfaraz Khan Safdar declared Imaam Bukhaari to be the Muqallid of Imaam Shaafi’ee. Whereas, Anwar Shah Kashmiri writes:
“And what became famous about Imaam Bukhaari that he was a Shaafi’ee was only because of his accordance with Imaam Shaafi’ee in the famous Masaail. Otherwise, his accordance with Imaam A’dham (Abu Haneefah) as well, is no less than his accordance with Shaafi’ee… Counting him among the Shaafi’ees as per the Tabaqah is no better than counting him among the Hanafis.” [Faydh ul-Baari: 1/58]
Another one of their “Muhaddith Kabeer” Zakariyyah sahab said: “Since Imaam Bukhaari is angrier with Hanafiyyah that’s why it becomes apparent that he is a Shaafi’ee. Whereas, as much Imaam Bukhaari is angry with Hanafiyyah, about the same in fact even more, he is opposed to the Shaafi’eeyyah” [Taqreer Bukhaari: 1/52]
Sarfaraz Sahab became Happy merely upon seeing the name of Imaam Bukhaari in Tabaqaat. He then started screaming upon Ahl ul-Hadeeth and declared it “a wonder of Allaah’s nature” by declaring a huge Muhaddith like Imaam Bukhaari to be a Shaafi’ee Muqallid; whereas, this is only the wonder of Sarfaraz Sahib’s love for “Taqleed”. He should have at least thought that he himself has written in his book that: “If one is a Jaahil, he should do taqleed of Scholars, and Taqleed is only for a Jaahil” [Al-Kalaam ul-Mufeed: P. 234]. Then he himself writes Imaam Bukhaari to be a “Muqallid” right in the same book! Is this not equal to declaring a huge Muhaddith to be a Jaahil? Is this not an insult of Muhadditheen?
And then as per the saying of Kashmiri Sahib, he has accorded Imaam Abu Haneefah more than Imaam Shaafi’ee; and as per the saying of Zakariyyah Sahib “As much Imaam Bukhaari is angry with Hanafiyyah, even more than that he is against Shaafi’ees”. When this is the matter then declaring him to be a Shaafi’ee Muqallid can only be the wonder of Taqleed, not of justice and fairness!
The noble purpose of Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah) was to present the Saheeh ahadeeth of the Prophet (peace be upon him) which he did, but someone amongst the Muqallideen comes and says that he is more angry with Ahnaaf, someone says that he accorded Ahnaaf more and was angry with Shawaafi’. [What nonsense is this]!! Nu’maani Sahib said the truth that these are mere Fabrications, assumptions, and claims without proofs.
Now as you can see, Kashmiri Sahib affirmed that: “Imaam Bukhaari is a Mujtahid” and Nu’maani sahib, that: “Imaam Bukhaari is not a Muqallid”, but while ignoring the sayings of their Akaabir (elders), someone says in “Takharrus & Tajaazub”: “Imaam Bukhaari, the Taqleedi Hayaati Samaa’ee” [See, Mahnamah “Qaaflah”, Vol 3 Shumara # 3, P. 14-15].
Inna Lillaahi Wa Inna Ilaihi Raaj’oon!
2)Imaam Abu Dawood Sulemaan bin al-Asha’th as-Sijistaani (rahimahullah)
There are different opinions found concerning him as well. Mentioning all of them would cause too much length to the article. To make it short we will mention the opinions of two personalities of “Muqallideen”, and it itself will contain a lot of contents for those who understand.
So listen, Zakariyyah Kaandhalwi writes:
“My opinion concerning Abu Dawood is that he was a firm Hanbali. Therefore, Hanaabilah have also added him in the Tabaqaat al-Hanaabilah; and with that, he has proven the permissibility of urinating while standing by naming a chapter in his book ‘Al-Baul Qaa’iman’ which is the Madhab of Hanaabilah, whereas, it is Makrooh according to the other A’immah…. Similarly, (the issue of) performing wudoo upon eating the food touched by fire is Mansookh according to everyone, except Hanaabilah, this is why, Imaam Abu Dawood has mentioned this Baab (Chapter) after giving precedent to the chapter of Tark-e-Wudoo and has emphasized it even more ahead with the title ‘At-Tashdeed fi Dhaalik’ and the hadeeth which says that the Prophet (peace be upon him) abandoned (Tark) performing ablution upon that which touched fire at the end (of his age), Imaam Abu Dawood interpreted it to be related to a restricted incident.” [Taqreer Bukhaari: 1/52].
“Mufti” Sa’eed Ahmed Paalanpoori, the teacher of Hadeeth in Daarul Uloom Deoband, writes:
“According to the insignificant opinion of the Author (which is Paalanpoori himself), this last opinion is correct, because taraajim (Chapters) of the Sunan (Abi Dawood), where, accord with Imaam Ahmed, at the same time, some are also against him. Some of its examples are as follows:
1.Concerning the Virgin Adult (Baalighah) Woman, does the Wali (Guardian) has the authority of compelling her or not? Ahnaaf refuse it, according to them, her (the woman’s) agreement is a condition for the Nikaah to be valid; but the A’immah Thalathah (the three other Imaams) say that as long as she is virgin – though a Baalighah (Adult) – still the wali has the authority to compel her (to do Nikaah); meaning, her agreement is not a condition for the Nikaah to be valid… Imaam Abu Dawood has brought a chapter concerning this issue in his Sunan named: ‘Chapter: On the virgin girl whose father marries her without her permission’ and then he narrates the hadeeth of Ibn Abbaas (radiallah anhu) that: A virgin girl came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and mentioned that her father had married her against her will, upon which the Mercy for all Man-kind (peace be upon him) gave the girl permission to keep or not to keep her Nikaah. [Bazl al-Majhood: 3/26]
Allaamah Kaashmiree said concerning this chapter: ‘The purpose of Imaam Sahab with this chapter is to accord the Ahnaaf (Iraaqis) and this is also assumed from the approach of Imaam Bukhaari’
2.Does touching the ‘private part’ invalidate Wudoo or not? The wudoo is not invalidated according to the Ahnaaf, whereas, it is invalidated according to the Shawaafi’ and Hanaabilah [Bidaayat al-Mujtahid: 1/39, al-Minhal: 2/196]
Imaam Sahab (Abu Dawood) brings the first chapter on this issue by the name: ‘Chapter on one performing wudoo upon touching the penis’, and then he names the other chapter: ‘Chapter on permissibility concerning that’. The order of (naming the chapters) by Imaam Sahab denotes that he is favoring the view of Ahnaaf.
3.Does eating the food touched by fire invalidate wudoo or not? The opinion of A’immah Arba’ah (the four Imaams) is that the wudoo remains [al-Manhal: 2/213]. The first chapter that Imaam Abu Dawood brought concerning this issue is: ‘Chapter on the abandonment of performing wudoo from that which touched the fire’, and then after that, he says: ‘Chapter: At-Tashdeed fi Dhaalik (meaning, on the wudoo being necessary upon eating the food touched by fire)’, from which this can be deduced that according to Imaam Abu Dawood, the obligation of performing wudoo is raajih (the more correct view)… Hadhrat Maulaana Zakariyyah Sahab rahmatullah alaih has presented the same example in proving him a Hanbali, but as you saw, this chapter is in fact against Imaam Ahmed rahmatullah alaih. Then how can this chapter be a proof of Imaam Sahab (Abu Dawood) being a Hanbali?! Rather this chapter is against the Jumhoor!
These were a few examples I presented, otherwise, there are many Taraajim (Chapters) in the Sunan which can be found against the Madhab of Imaam Ahmed (rahimahullah). That is why, instead of considering Imaam Sahab (Abu Dawood) to be a Hanbali or a strict Hanbali, it is more correct to consider him a Mujtahid.” End Quote of Paalanpoori [Hayaat Abu Dawood with reference to the translation of Sunan Abu Dawood: 1/30-32]
Did you see, how by looking at only one or two chapters, Zakariyyah Sahab considered Imaam Sahab (Abu Dawood) to be a firm or strict Hanbali, and then the chapter he presented from Sunan Abi Dawood as an example, the same chapter came out to be against the view of Imaam Ahmed (rahimahullah), as per the saying of Paalanpoori “How can this be the proof of him being a Hanbali or a Mutashaddid Hanbali?” Anyway, we can imagine from this that by looking at a few chapters like this, people have tried to make guesses and assumptions, and whatever anyone could understood, they made him such. Whereas, we can even find some chapters in Sunan Abu Dawood which support & strengthen Hanafi Madhab; if this is the measure of considering him a Hanbali, then why don’t the people declare him a “Hanafi”? Similarly, even Maaliki Madhab can get some support from some of the chapters, then why is he not declared a “Maaliki”? In fact Taaj as-Subki did bring his name in Tabaqaat ash-Shaafi’eeyyah!!
3)Imaam Muslim bin al-Hajjaaj al-Qushayri (rahimahullah)
Imaam Muslim is the author of Saheeh Muslim. Saheeh Muslim is second in status after Saheeh Bukhaari, and all its narrations are authentic. Listen to some opinions concerning Imaam Muslim:
1.The “Shaikh ul-Islaam” for Deobandi Muqallideen, Shabbeer Ahmed Uthmaani writes:
“As for Muslim, Tirmidhi, Nasaa’ee, Ibn Maajah, Ibn Khuzaymah, Abu Ya’la, Bazzaar, and the other Muhadditheen like them, then they were upon the Madhab of Ahl ul-Hadeeth. They neither were the Muqallid of a specific Scholar among the Scholars, nor were they Mutlaq A’immah Mujtahideen” [Fath ul-Mulhim: 1/281]
2.“Mufti” Rafee’ Uthmaani writes:
“The opinion of Shaah Sahab (Anwar Shah Kaashmiree) concerning Muslim and Ibn Maajah is that we could not find about their Madhab. And their being Shaafi’ee is famous based on the chapters of Saheeh Muslim, which mostly are in accordance to the Shaafi’ee Madhab, but this base is not correct, because the taraajim (chapters) (of Saheeh Muslim) were not named by Imaam Muslim himself, rather they are named by the people after him” [Dars Muslim: P. 72-73]
Pay attention to the statement of “Mufti” Sahab and see what kind of guesses the guessers have made? They are assuming his “Madhab” from the names of Chapters of his book, whereas, those chapters were not even named by Imaam Muslim himself, rather it is an effort of the late-comers, therefore, this base is extremely weak and groundless. All the attempts of declaring Muhadditheen to be Muqallideen are based mostly on these weak bases. So how much importance the guesses made on such weak bases would hold?
3.Zakariyyah Kaandhalwi writes:
“As for Hadhrat Imaam Muslim, some have declared him Shaafi’ee, while most of them have declared him Maaliki” [Taqreer Bukhaari: 1/52]
4.“Mufti” Irshaad Qaasmi writes:
“Imaam Muslim…. It is written in the Muqaddimah of Fath (al-Baari) that he was upon the Madhab of Ahl ul-Hadeeth. He was not the Muqallid of anyone.” [Irshaad Usool ul-Hadeeth: P. 166]
5.Abdur Rasheed Nu’maani writes:
“ولعل الصواب في هذا الباب ما نقله الشيخ طاهر الجزائري في “توجيه النظر الي اصول الاثر” عن بعض الفضلاء ونصه: (وقد سئل بعض البارعين في علم الاثر عن مذاهب المحدثين مرارا بذالك المعني المشهور عند الجمهور فاجاب عما سئل عنه بجواب يوضع حقيقة الحال… اما البخاري و ابو داؤد فاما مان في الفقه وكانا من اهل الاجتهاد، واما مسلم والترمذي والنسائي وابن ماجة وابن خزيمة وابو يعلي والبزار ونحوهم فهم علي مذهب اهل الحديث ليسوا مقلدين لواحد من العلماء ولا هم من الائمة المجتهدين بل يميلون الي قول ائمة الحديث كالشافعي و احمد و اسحاق وابي عبيدة….” الخ
“I think the correct opinion in this issue is that which Ash-Shaikh Taahir al-Jazaairi narrated in ‘Tojeeh un-Nadher Ila Usool al-Athar’ from some Fudala which is that: The experts in the field of Ilm ul-Hadeeth are asked many times about the (Fiqhi) Madhaahib of Muhadditheen in the meaning which is famous according to the Jumhoor, so they answered this question posed to them with an answer which clarifies the actual condition…. As for Bukhaari and Abu Dawood then they are Imaams in the field of Fiqh and they both are from the people of Ijtihaad (Mujtahids), and as for Muslim, Tirmidhi, Nasaa’ee, Ibn Maajah, Ibn Khuzaymah, Abu Ya’la, Bazzaar, and other similar Muhadditheen then they were upon the Madhab of Ahl ul-Hadeeth. They were neither the Muqallideen of a specific Scholar among the Scholars, nor were they from the A’immah Mujtahideen; rather they were mild towards the opinions of Imaams of Hadeeth such as Shaafi’ee, Ahmed, Ishaaq, Abu Ubaydah and the similar Muhadditheen” [Maa Tamassu Ilaihi al-Haajjah P. 26]
The Madhab of Muhadditheen: ‘Adm-e-Taqleed
It became clear from this statement that not only Imaam Muslim but all the other famous Muhadditheen such as: Imaam Tirmidhi, Imaam Nasaa’ee, Imaam Ibn Maajah, Imaam Ibn Khuzaymah, Imaam Abu Ya’la, and Imaam Bazzaar rahimahumullah were also upon the Madhab of Ahl ul-Hadeeth. They were not the Muqallideen of any one Imaam among the A’immah – they did not do Taqleed. This also makes clear that the famous books of ahadeeth such as Saheeh Muslim, Sunan Tirmidhi, Sunan Nasaa’ee, Sunan Ibn Maajah, Saheeh Ibn Khuzaymah, Musnad Abi Ya’la, and Musnad al-Bazzaar etc were not compiled and author by Muqallideen but by Ahl ul-Hadeeth; whose purpose and ambition was only to follow Qur’aan and Hadeeth and not to favor, support, or explain any Madhab attributed to any Imaam. This is why, with the study of these books, one does not feel or realize even a little that it is written in accordance to a specific Taqleedi Madhab and neither does the reader feel that only those of the verses of Qur’aan, ahadeeth, and Athaar are compiled in these books which are the outcome of the Ijtahaadaat of a Specific Imaam. Whereas on the contrary, this thing is frequently realized with the study of the books of Fiqh in every step, no matter if they are the books of Fiqh of Shawaafi and Hanaabilah, or Maalikis and Ahnaaf.
This is the reason why all the Fiqhi Madhaahib take benefit from the books of ahadeeth without any distinction, and these books hold reliable and established status among all of them. If these Muhadditheen would also have been affected with Taqleed and had they taken under consideration the Taqleedi thought and methodology then these books of ahadeeth would also have been divided and would have become the books of specific Madhaahib just like the books of Fiqh, and we would also have found in these books the arguments that this hadeeth is our Daleel and that hadeeth is the daleel of our enemy, as this kind of division is found frequently in the books of Fiqh.
In short, Okaarvi Deobandi had demanded that “Not even one reliable reference can be presented concerning its compilers that he was neither able to do Ijtihaad nor did he do Taqleed” as passed above; thus no one can say about any book mentioned above that it is unreliable. And concerning its compilers, we have already presented the references of Shaikh Taahir al-Jazaairi, then the “Shaikh ul-Islaam” of Muqallideen Shabbeer Ahmed Uthmaani, then their “Imaam Ahl Sunnat Muhaddith A’dham Pakistan” Sarfaraz Khan Safdar; their “Muhaddith al-Kabeer” Abdur Rasheed al-Nu’maani, and “Mufti” Irshaad Qaasmi from their books; which contain the clarification that “they were neither the Muqallideen of any one Scholar among the Scholars, nor were they A’immah Mujtahideen”. As if, this fulfilled the exact mouth spoken demand of Ameen Okaarvi and his followers; I don’t think that any person related to the Deobandi School of Thought would consider these references to be “unreliable” or non-trustworthy.
Okaarvi and, in his imitation, Mufti Mumtaaz as well, said that there has not been till today a book written with the name “Tabaqaat Ghayr Muqallideen”. We say to them, did any Muslim Muhaddith or Historian ever also write a book named “Tabaqaat al-Muqallideen”?
Okaarvi is not alive today, but we ask “Mufti” Ahmed Mumtaaz and the lovers of Okaarvi to tell us that have you ever studied a book of “Tabaqaat” attentively? Have you ever done their Tahqeeqi observation? Even if you have a cursory look on them, it will become clear that there are many Muhadditheen which are mentioned in several different Tabaqaat (at the same time). One same Muhaddith is mentioned in Tabaqaat ash-Shaafi’eeyyah and in Tabaqaat Hanaabilah or Maalikiyyah as well. Merely the mention of someone in these Tabaqaat does not necessitate his being a Muqallid; and neither does it, by any chance, necessitate his being a Muqallid according to your conditions and principles of being a Muqallid.
The Muhadditheen have also been added in these Tabaqaat because of their being student of a specific Imaam like someone is a student of Imaam Maalik, or his Silsilah (chain) of teachers goes back to Imaam Maalik; similarly, the students of Imaam Ahmed or Imaam Shaafi’ee are mentioned in the related Tabaqah because of their being his students, or because their Silsilah (chain) of teachers goes back to them. How does just being a student necessitate his being a Muqallid? Don’t go far let’s for example take Imaam Tahaawi who is famous as being a “Hanafi” and is actually a Hanafi, but not a Taqleedi or Muqallid Hanafi!!! Since it is this same Imaam Tahaawi (it is said) who said that: “No one does Taqleed except the one who is Muta’assib or stupid” and this saying of his had become a famous adage in Egypt. [Lisaan al-Meezaan: 1/280]
Is a Muhaddith like Imaam Tahaawi a Muqallid? Is he, by his own saying, a Muta’assib or Stupid person? We cannot even imagine that he would be a Ghabi/stupid! But those who consider him a Muqallid should think that he is really such a person (Muta’assib and Stupid) according to their opinion.
In fact, Abdul Qaadir Ar-Raafi’ee al-Hanafi has written:
“وقد نقل ابو بكر القفال وابو علي والقاضي حسين من الشافعية انهم قالوا لسنا مقلدين للشافعي بل وافق راينا رايه، وهو الظاهر من حال الامام ابي جعفر الطحاوي في اخذه بمذهب ابي حنيفة واحتجاجه له وانتصاره لاقواله”
“And he narrated from Abu Bakr al-Qaffaal, Abu Ali, and Qaadhi Husayn from the Shaafi’eeyyah that they said: ‘We are not the Muqallideen of Shaafi’ee, but our opinion accords with his (Shaafi’ee’s) opinion’, and this is also apparent from the condition of Imaam Abu Ja’far at-Tahaawi that his adoption to the Madhab of Abu Haneefah, and his Ihtijaaj for him, and his support for his Aqwaal was not in his Taqleed (rather his opinion matched with the opinion of Abu Haneefah)” [Taqreeraat ar-Raafi’ee: 1/11]
See, Though Abu Bakr al-Qaffaal, Abu Ali, and Qaadhi Hussayn are Shaafi’ees, but as per the saying of Raafi’ee, they said, we are not the Muqallids of Shaafi’ee, meaning, their opinion was based on Tahqeeq, extracted from the Dalaail, and not due to Taqleed, and neither did they like for them to be called “Muqallid” and as per the saying of Raafi’ee, same is the condition for Imaam Tahaawi being a Hanafi.
“Mufti” Sa’eed Ahmed Paalanpoori writes:
“And Allaamah Qaasim (Ibn Qatlubagha) has written in another risaalah that: I say, with the blessing of Allaah, the same as what Imaam Tahaawi had said to Ibn Harbawiyyah that ‘No one does Taqleed except a Muta’assib or Stupid person!’” [Aap Fatwa Kaise Dain? P. 82]
Yes, Ibn Qatlubagha was a Hanafi, but not a Muqallid. This proves that merely belonging to the Hanafi Tabaqah does not necessitate that he must be a Muqallid? Similarly, the mention of someone’s name in any of the Tabaqah does not necessitate his being a Muqallid.
Allaamah Zayla’ee was a Famous Hanafi, but he himself says: “A Muqallid is negligent and a Muqallid is ignorant” [Nasb ur-Rayaa: 1/287]
Similarly, Allaamah Aynee was also a Hanafi, he himself said: “Thus Muqallid commits mistakes, and Muqallid acts ignorant, and taqleed is the cause of every calamity”. [See, al-Binaayah fi Sharh al-Hidaayah: 1/317]
In spite of that, merely because of his being a Hanafi, declaring him a Muqallid is Baatil from his own saying. This is equal to proving him a double-faced person!
Similarly, Allaamah Ibn Abdil Barr who brings the chapter of “Trials of Taqleed” in his famous book “Jaami Bayaan al-Ilm”, people are also often busy in proving him a Maaliki Muqallid.
A staunch opposer of Taqleed like Ibn al-Qayyim, who has proven Taqleed to be Baatil, based on many reasons, and refuted the so-called Dalaail for the permissibility of Taqleed in his book “I’laam al-Mawqa’een”, but there are many people who still consider him a Hanbali Muqallid.
Now, those People of Knowledge from whom the condemnation of taqleed is clearly proven, people do not sit calmly without declaring them to be Muqallid as well, so (if they can declare them to be Muqallid) then they must have the free license to declare all the other Muhadditheen to be Muqallideen.
Let them do whatever comes in their heart, but their happiness upon seeing “Tabaqaat” and the names of Muhadditheen and Scholars in these Tabaqaat, and declaring them to be Muqallid because of that, is mere an assumption. It has nothing to do with the reality. If they want to prove something then they should discover and bring a book named “Tabaqaat al-Muqallideen”! Otherwise, who wants to listen to their “Assumptions” “Takharrus” and “Speeches without any evidences”?
Shaikh ul-Islaam Haafidh Ibn Taymiyyah ash-Shaami (rahimahullah) was asked:
“Were Bukhaari, Muslim, Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi, Nasaa’ee, Ibn Majah, Abu Dawood at-Tiyaalsi, Daarimi, Bazzaar, Daraqutni, Bayhaqi, Ibn Khuzaymah, and Abu Ya’la were among the Mujtahideen, who never did taqleed of any Imaam among the Aimmah, or were they Muqallideen?”
So Haafidh Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) replied:
“Praise be to Allah the Lord of Al-Alameen, As for Bukhaari and Abu Dawood, they were the Imaams from the people of Ijtihaad in Fiqh (Meaning Mujtahid Mutlaq), and Muslim, Tirmidhi, Nasaa’ee, Ibn Majah, Ibn Khuzaymah, Abu Ya’la, Bazzaar, and all the other people like them are upon the Madhab of Ahl ul-Hadeeth, (who) neither were the Muqallid of a specified Imaam, and nor were they from the Mujtahid Mutlaq Imaams” [Majmoo’ Fatawaa Ibn Taymiyyah: Vol 20, Pg 39-40]
From this tahqeeq and testimony, we come to know about four things:
1. According to Haafidh Ibn Taymiyyah, Imaam Bukhaari and Imaam Abu Dawood were Mujtahid Mutlaq, therefore declaring them Hanafi, Shaafi’ee, Maaliki, or Hanafi is wrong.
2. Imaam Muslim, Imaam Tirmidhi, Imaam Nasaa’ee, and others were upon the Madhab of Ahl ul-Hadeeth, and they were not the Muqallid of anyone, therefore writing them in the books of tabaqaat is wrong.
3. No one from the Muhadditheen was Muqallid.
4. There are two levels of Mujtahideen:
a. Mujtahid Mutlaq
b. Normal Mujtahid
From this great saying of Shaikh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah), it gets proven that Imaam Muhammad bin Ismaa’eel al-Bukhaari (rahimahullah) was not a Muqallid but a Mujtahid.
Haafidh Dhahabi said regarding Imaam Bukhaari that: “And he is Imaam, Haafidh, Hujjah, The Leader in Fiqh and Hadeeth, with righteousness, Uluhiyyat, and deen, he is the Mujtahid of the people of earth”
[Al-Kaashif fi Ma’rifat man Lahu Riwayat fi al-Kutub as-Sittah: Vol 3 Pg 18 T. 4790]
It is written in the Muqaddimah of Faydh ul-Baari: “Know that Bukhaari was a Mujtahid, and there is no doubt in that” [Muqaddimah Faydh ul-Baari: Vol 1 Pg 58]
Saleemullah Khan Deobandi said: “Bukhaari is a Mujtahid Mutlaq” [Muqaddimah Fadhal ul-Baari: Vol 1 Pg 36]
The principle regarding the Mujtahid is that he does not do taqleed. Allaamah Nawawi Shaafi’ee said: “For verily a Mujtahid does not taqleed of a Mujtahid” [Sharh Saheeh Muslim: Vol 1 Pg 210 Under H.21, See: Saying # 5]
#19 Haafidh Ibn Taymiyyah said regarding Imaam Abul Hussain Muslim bin al-Hajjaaj bin Muslim al-Nisaburi al-Qushayri (rahimahullah) that:
“He was upon the Madhab of Ahl ul-Hadeeth, and he was not the Muqallid of a Specified Imaam.” [See: Saying #18]
Imaam Muslim said: “And we have explained Hadeeth and the Madhab of Ahl ul-Hadeeth” [Muqaddimah Saheeh Muslim, Pub. Darussalam: Pg 6]
Note: It is not proven from a single reliable Imaam that Imaam Muslim was a Muqallid.