Praise be to Allaah.
are matters concerning which there are differences among the scholars,
matters which are subject to ijtihaad. What the scholars have said,
in the past and in modern times, about controversial matters and ijtihaad
is well known, but nowadays it is stirred up in a manner that takes
it beyond the framework of research into controversial matters which
are the subject of ijtihaad.
In most cases, controversy
is stirred up in matters which are regarded as social or academic issues.
The purpose is not mere differences of fiqhi opinion. Many westernizers,
for example, stir up issues that have to do with women, concerning which
scholarly differences have been reported. The motive for doing this
is far removed from mere differences of fiqhi opinion. It is an excuse
for westernization that will soon go beyond the disputed issue to affect
matters which are indisputably haraam.
These issues are stirred
up by people who are not scholars or fuqahaa’, who do not have a proper
understanding of research into matters of sharee’ah. They only adopt
the views of fuqahaa’ which happen to suit their own whims and desires.
In most cases they take
things out of context, and the fiqhi dispute is taken as an excuse and
is applied to a wider range.
following has to be said about this matter:
that there is a difference
between matters of controversy and matters which are subject to ijtihaad.
Not every issue concerning which there are reports of differences among
the scholars can be counted as a matter in which no views may be denounced
[i.e., all are acceptable]. That applies only to matters of ijtihaad.
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “Their view that
in matters of dispute no views may be denounced is not correct. The
denunciation is directed either at the opinion and fatwa, or at the
action. In the first case, if the opinion goes against Sunnah or a well-known
ijmaa’ (consensus), it must be denounced unanimously. This confusion
arises when the one who says it believes that controversial matters
are matters which are subject to ijtihaad, as is believed by groups
of people who do not have deep knowledge. The correct view is that of
the imaams, which is that there is room for ijtihaad in cases where
there is no clear evidence which we should follow, such as a saheeh
hadeeth which does not conflict with other evidence of the same calibre
. There are many ssues concerning which the earlier and later generations
differed, but in many cases we have reached a point of certainty as
to which of the two views is correct.” (I’laam
al-Muwaqqi’een, vol. 3/288).
The reference point in
all cases must be the texts of the Qur’aan and Sunnah. When there is
saheeh evidence it must be referred to and followed; it is not right
to follow the opposite view with the excuse that there are differences
of opinion on the matter. If the saheeh Sunnah which has been reported
via a sound chain from the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is rejected because there
is someone who says something different concerning this matter, this
implies that a person thinks that the words and commands of the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him) do not carry any weight unless people unanimously agree
with it, and the fact that someone disagrees with it, no matter who
he is, is taken as a reason to take away this authority [of the Sunnah]
and leave the matter wide open (to dispute). This is a dangerous path,
and the one who follows it needs to review his faith.
It is essential to pay
attention to teaching people to submit to Allaah and to respect the
texts of sharee’ah, and to take their religion seriously, and to avoid
easy options and the mistakes made by the scholars.
Beware of entering into
debates of fiqh with such people on such topics. This is what they want.
It is possible and is acceptable for a man to look into a matter and
discuss it with knowledgeable people who understand the specialized
terminology of fiqh, and who sincerely desire the truth and are striving
for it. But those who stir up these issues do not have a good understanding
of the terminology of fiqh or of the objectives of sharee’ah; they are
simply interfering with something which they are not qualified to handle,
and their desires have led them to indulge in discussing matters of
By Muhammad ibn ‘Abd-Allaah al-Duwaysh ,Al-Bayaan magazine, issue #153, p. 28