Did Mujtahids Differ on Issues That Were Transmitted In Tawatur
A Critique of Shaikh Muhammad Awamahs Athar al-Hadith ash-Sharif Fi Ikhtilaf al-Ai’mah al-Fuqaha
by Shaikh Irshad ul-Haq al-Athari
Compiled, Translated And Annotated
Abu Hibban & Abu Khuzaimah Ansaari
A series of articles based on the critique of Shaikh Irshad ul-Haq al-Athari of the aforementioned book, which has been published in English.
We intend to present our criticism of some of the discussions in the aforementioned article and the actual book in the proceeding lines. However, before we begin the main discussion we would like to analyse the introductory remarks made by Mawlana Atiq Ahmed Qasimi made.
The Extent of the differences of the Imams.
Mawlana Qasimi writes,
“There are no differences between the Mujtahids with regards to the foundational aspects ie the fundamentals of the religion and the Islamic shariah. The fundamental core of the Islamic shariah has been past down generation via the general masses in the same manner we understand tawatur. The elements of the shariah which have reached us via a single report from a single narrator (ie Khabar Wahid an Wahid) are the aspects in which the imams of ijtihad have differed over. These differences did not begin with the imams of ijtihad but rather the companions also differed over these issues. The differences they had in these issues were of the type as to which issue had precedence over another, ie which thing was more better etc. Differences that were based on what was impermissible or permissible or that which was correct or incorrect were not even 10% (of these differences) (Bayyinat pg.17-19 Vol.52 issue no.4)
Mawlana Qasimi has said two things here,
(1) The core fundamental issues are extrapolated from the Mutawatir Hadith and there are no differences of opinion in them.
(2) Parts (of the shariah) that are interpolated or extrapolated from Khabar Ahad (or Wahid) are where most of the differences occur.
In our analysis we do not want to digress and discuss whether narrations that are Khabar Ahad affirm our aqidah and obligatory acts or if differences exist in aqidah or not. (For further. Reading on this discussion refer to al-Hadith Hujjah Bi-Nafsihi Fil Aqa’id Wal Ahkam of Allamah al-Albani Hafidahullah)
What we want to highlight here is that not only were there differences in Khabar Ahad among the respected jurists but also in established rulings from mutawatir narrations. Therefore, the latters deduction is not only exaggeratively extreme but also contrary and contradictory to the true reality. In addition this statement has a foul stench of the traditional Hanafi position of disregarding Khabar Ahad.
Whilst bearing in mind this distinction Mr Qasimi has rendered, remember the jurists did have differences between them for example how to lower the body of the deceased into a grave. Imam Abu Hanifah said the pyre of the deceased should be turned towards the qiblah and then the body should be lifted and lowered into the grave. However Imam Shafi said the deceased should be lifted from the feet side first and then lowered into the grave. Rather in fact he clarified in Kitab al-Umm,
“Our trustworthy companions have informed me the grave of the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam) was right next to the right hand side wall of the house and he was lowered into lahd which was below the wall. So there was no other way except to lower him with his feet first instead of turning him to face the qiblah from the other side. Rulings pertaining to the deceased and issues in how to lower them into grave are well known to us due to the sheer number of deceased people from amongst the scholars of the din and the trustworthy individuals. These things are so well known and common such that they do not require Hadith and therefore looking or searching for Hadith is unnecessary work. The actions of the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam) and the Muhajirin and Ansar are with us via the route of the masses transmitting from the masses. They had no differences that the deceased should be lowered into the grave by his feet first.” (Kitab al-Umm (1/241-242)
The most interesting part of this lengthy statement is that according to Imam Shafis terminology, which Mawlana Qasimi declared to be Mutawatir, he mentions this issue by the masses transmitting it and classified it as a Mutawatir action. He also said searching for Hadith concerning this issue was unnecessary. However you see even in this issue which was established via the route of Mutawatir there are differences of opinion.
Similarly we have the issue of performing wudu if you eat something that has been cooked with fire.
(The following companions transmitted the hadith (1) Zaid Ibn Thabit (2) Abu Hurairah (3) Ai’shah (4) Abu Ayub Ansari (5) Abu Talha (6) Anas (7) Sahl bin Handhaliyyah (8) Abu Musa (9) Umm Salamah (10) Ibn Umar (11) Abdullah Ibn Zaid (12) Abu Sad al-Khair (13) Mu’adh (14) Umm Habibah (15) Abdullah bin Ani Amamah (16) Hamzah as-Silmi (17) al-Mughirah (18) Salma bin Salamah (19) Akarash (20) A man from among the companions of the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam). Refer to Laqt al-Lali al-Mutanasirah Fil Ahadith al-Mutawatirah of Imam Muhammad Murtaza Zabidi (pg.107-111), Nazm al-Mutanasirah Minal Ahadith al-Mutawatirah of Allamah Abu Faidh al-Kitani (pg.47), Kashf an-Niqab A’mayaquluhu at-Tirmidhi Fil Bab of Dr. Muhammad Habibullah Mukhtar (2/183,191) and al- Azhar al-Mutansairah of Suyuti)
Similarly the issue of opening the fast if you cup or are cupped (ie Hijamah)
(This Hadith has been transmitted by the following companions. (1) Thuman (2) Shadad Ibn Aws (3) Rafe bin Khadij (4) Ali (5) Usamah bin Zaid (6) Bilal (7) Ma’qal bin Yasar (8) Abu Musa (9) Abu Hurairah (10) Ai’shah (11) Anas (12) Jabir bin Abdullah (13) Samurah bin Jundub (14) Ibn Abbas (15) Ibn Umar (16) Abu Zaid al-Ansari (17) Sad bin Abi Waqas (18) Ibn Masud RadhiAllahu Anhum (19) Hasan al-Basri mursalan form. Refer to Nazm al-Mutanasirah (pg.87-88), Laqt al-Lali (pg.152) al-Azhar al-Mutanasirah.)
Similarly the issue of delaying the Zuhr prayer due to the heat.
(This Hadith has been transmitted by the following companions. (1) Abu Dhar (2) Abu Hurairah (3) Ibn Umar (4) Abu Sa’id (5) Anu Musa (6) Mughirah bin Shu’bah (7) Ai’shah (8) Safwan (9) Abdur Rahman bin Jariyyah (10) Amr bin Absah (11) Umar (12) Ibn Abbas (13) Abdur Rahman bin Alqamah (14) Anas (15) A man (from among the companions) Maybe Abdullah (16) Ibn Masud (17) Jabir bin Abdullah (18) Mursalan of Atar bin Yasar (19) Hujaj Bahili, RadhiAllahu Anhum. Refer to Nazm al-Mutanasirah (pg.56), Laqt al-Lali (pg.162) al-Azhar al-Mutanasirah. Dr Habibullah has cited another 10 more companions and successors. (Kashf an-Naqab 3/277-288)
Likewise the issue of praying the fajr prayer in the light
This Hadith has been transmitted by the following companions. (1) Abu Barzah (2) Jabir bin Abdullah (3) Bilal (4) Rafe bin Khadij (5) Ibn Umar (6) Mahmud bin Lubaid (7) A man from the Ansari (8) Abu Turaif (9) A man from the Ansari (10) Qatadah bin Nu’man (11) Ibn Masud (12) Abu Hurairah (13) Hawa al-Ansariyyah (15) Abu Bakr Siddique (16) Anas RadhiAllahu Anhum. (Nazm al-Mutanasirah (pg.55) and Kashf an-Naqab (3/254-261)
Similarly the Hadith there is no Salah without the Fatihah
The following Hadith has been transmitted by the following companions. (1) Ubadah bin as-Samit (2) Abu Hurairah (3) Ai’shah (4) Anas (5) Abu Qatadah (6) Ibn Umar (7) Ali (8) Abu Umamah (9) Abu Sa’id (10) Imran bin Hussain (11) Ibn Umar (12) Raf’a bin Rafe (13) Ibn Masud RadhiAllahu Anhum. (Nazm al-Mutanasirah (pg.62), Dr Habibullah has cited more companions in Kashf an-Naqab (4/320). For further reading on this subject refer to Tahqiq al-Kalam of Muhadith Muharakpuri, Khair al-Kalam of Muhadith Ghondalwi and Tawdhih al-Kalam of Irshad uk-Haq al-Athari.
Likewise the issue of performing wudu if you touch your private parts.
This Hadith has been transmitted by the following companions. (1) Abu Hurairah (2) Abu Ayub (3) Umm Habibah (4) Arwah Absatah Nalis (5) Aishah (6) Janir bin Abdullah (7) Zaid bin Khalid (8) Abdullah Ibn Umar (9) Busrah bint Safwan (10) Ibn Umar (11) a man from the Ansar (12) Talq bin Ali (13) Sad bin Abi Waqas (14) Umm Salamah (15) Ibn Abbas (16) Nu’man bin Bashir (17 Anas (18) Ibn Abi Kab (19) Mu’awiyyah bin Haydah (20) Qa’iyah RadhiAllahu Anhum. (Nazm al-Mutanasirah (pg.46), Laqt al-Lali (pg.199) al-Azhar al-Mutanasirah, Kashf an-Naqab 2/233)
Likewise and similarly the issue of Raf ul-Yadain ie raising the hands whilst going in ruku and rising from it.
This narration has been transmitted by the following companions. (1) Abdullah Ibn Umar (2) Ali (3) Wail Ibn Hujr (4) Umar (5) Malik Ibn Huwairath (6) Anas (7) Abu Hurairah (8 Abu Humaid (9) Abu Usaid (10) Sahl Ibn Sad (11) Muhammad bin Muslimah (12) Abu Musa al-Ashari (13) Jabir bin Abdullah (14) Umair Laithi (15) Ibn Abbas (16) al-Arabi (17) Abu Bakr as-Siddique (18) al-Bara Ibn Azib (19) Mu’adh bin Jabal (20) the mursal of Suleiman bin Yasar (21) mursal of Qatadah (22) mursal from al-Hasan (23) Uqbah bin Amir (24) Abdullah Ibn Zubair and al-Hakam bin Umair. (Nazm al-Mutanasirah (pg.58), Laqt al-Lali (pg.207) al-Azhar al-Mutanasirah (pg.26), Kashf an-Naqab 4/385, Jala ul-Aynain Fi Takhrij Rawayat al-Bukhari Fi Juz Raf ul-Yadain (pg.25) of al-Ustadh as-Sayyid Badi ud din ar-Rashidi Hafidhahullah.)
Likewise the issue of the middle prayer being Asr
This Hadith has been transmitted by the following companions (1) Ali (2) Abdullah Ibn Masud (3) Aishah (4) Hafsah (5) Ibn Abbas (6) Abu Hashim bin Utbah (7) Abu Hurairah (8) Samurah bin Jundub (9) Umm Salamah (10) Ibn Umar (11) Abu Malik al-Ashari (12) Jabir (13) Hudaifah (14) Abu Nasrah al-Ansari (15) Bara Ibn A’zib (16) a companion (17) Zaid bin Thabit (18) Usamah bin Zaid (19) mursal from al-Hasan (20) Hudhaifah. (Refer to Nazm al-Mutanasirah (pg.52), Laqt al-Lali (pg.162), Kashf an-Naqab (3/398)
Likewise the Hadith of performing ghusl on Fridays
The following companions transmitted this Hadith (1) Ibn Umar (2) Ibn Abbas (3) Abu Ayub (4) Abdullah Ibn Zubair (5) Buraidah (6) Aishah (7) Umar (8) Hafsah (9) Ubaid bin as-Sabaq Mursalan (10) Anas (11) Uthman (12) Aws Ibn Aws (13) Abu Sa’id (14) Abu Darda (15) Naisah al-Hadhili (16) Thawban (17) Ibn Masud (18) Abu Hurairah (19) Jabir (20) Sahl Ibn Sad (21) Abu Umamah (22) Abu Bakr as-Siddique (23) Imran Ibn Hussain (24) Abu Qatadah (25) Abdur Rahman bin Samurah (26) Ali RadhiaAllahu Anhum. (Refer to Nazm al-Mutanasirah (pg.74-75), Laqt al-Lali (pg.193) al-Azhar al-Mutanasirah.)
And other such Hadith the scholars of expertise have declared to be Mutawatir. Do not the jurist differ over these issues? Concerning the ghusl on Fridays, Hafidh Ibn Qayyim said,
“This is a very firm command and stronger than the command of the obligation of the witr prayer, stronger than the obligation of saying Bismillah in the prayer, stronger than the obligation of doing wudu after touching a woman, stronger than the obligation of wudu after touching the private parts, stronger than the need to do wudu for vomiting in prayer, stronger than the need to do wudu after a nose bleed and Hijamah, stronger than the salutation in the last sitting and stronger than the congregation reciting Surah Fatihah.” (Zad al-Ma’ad (1/100)
The people of knowledge know how Hafidh Ibn Qayyim has differed and rebuked the madhabs but who does not know that the jurists differ over this issue. Hence saying that differences in this aspect of narrated from the person to another that have reached us, in reality how this is total contradiction to the reality.