fiqh

The Importance of Knowing Different Opinions Before Giving Fatwa

Saʿīd b. Abī ʿArūbah – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

Whoever has not heard the differences of opinion, then do not consider him a scholar.

Ibn ʿAbd Al-Barr, Jāmiʿ Bayān Al-ʿIlm wa Faḍlihī no. 1521.

It is reported that Sufyān b. ʿUyainah – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

The most audacious people in giving verdicts (fatwā) are those who know the least about the differences of opinion amongst the scholars.

Op. cit. 1527.

It is reported that Imām Mālik – Allāh have mercy on him – was asked:

“Which kind of person is allowed to give verdicts (fatwā)?” He replied, “It is not allowed to give verdicts except for the person who knows what people have differed over.” He was asked, “Do you mean the differences of the people of (mere) opinions?” He replied, “No, the different opinions of the Companions of Muḥammad ﷺ, and the one who also knows the abrogating from the abrogated [texts] in the Qurān and in the ḥadīth of the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ – such a person can give fatwā.”

Op. cit. 1529.

It is reported that Yaḥyā b. Sallām – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

It is not right for the one who does not know differences of opinion to give verdicts, and it is not allowed for the one who does not know about the various statements [of the scholars] to say: I prefer such-and-such opinion.

Op. cit. 1534.

Five Essential Qualities of a Mufti

Ibn Battah records that Imām Ahmad – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

No man should appoint himself to issue verdicts (fatwa) until and unless he fulfills five characteristics:

  • First, he should have a [firm and good] intention; for if he does not, he will have no light upon him, and nor will his words.
  • Second, he should be forbearing, tranquil and serene.
  • Third, he should be strong upon what he is involved in, strong in its knowledge.
  • Fourth, he should have sufficient means (wealth), otherwise the people will chew him up.
  • Fifth, he should know people and their ways.

Ibn Battah, Ibtāl Al-Hiyal p24.

After quoting this statement, and before his commentary on it, Ibn Al-Qayyim states:

This is one of the proofs of the eminence of Imām Ahmad and his lofty status in knowledge and insight; for these five are the pillars of fatwā, and to the extent that there is deficiency in any of them, to that extent faults will appear in the mufti.

I’lām Al-Muwaqi’īn, 6:106

Give the World for Islamic Knowledge

It is reported that Imām Al-Ḥasan Al-Baṣrī – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

To learn a single topic of knowledge and teach it to a Muslim is more beloved to me than having the whole world and giving it in the cause of Allāh.

Al-Khaṭīb Al-Baghdādī, Al-Faqīh wa Al-Mutafaqqih article 53.

The Mad Mufti

It is reported that ‘Abdullāh b. Masʿūd – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

By Allāh, he who gives people verdicts (fatwā) for every question they ask him is crazy (majnūn).

Ibn Battah Al-‘Ukbarī, Ibṭāl Al-Ḥiyal article 81, et al.

Imām Ibn Battah (d. 304H) laments:

So here is Ibn Masʿūd, swearing by Allāh that a person who gives people verdicts for every question they ask him is mad. And [now] if a person swore, he would not be breaking his oath, and if a person said, he would be speaking the truth: that most of the muftis of our time are mad. For you will hardly find a man who is asked about an issue pausing to consider carefully before answering, nor fearing Allāh and bringing to mind that Allāh is watching him, and fearing that He will say to him: What is the basis of your answer? Rather, most of them worry that it will be said: so-and-so was asked a question and he had no answer…

Three Sunan of Eid Al-Fitr

Imām Saʿīd b. Al-Musayyib – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

The Sunnah of Al-Fiṭr consists of three things: Walking to the prayer place (muṣallā), eating before leaving [for the prayer] and taking a full bath.

Al-Firyābī, Aḥkām Al-ʿEidayn #18. Shaykh Al-Albānī graded its chain of transmission ṣaḥīḥ in Irwāʾ Al-Ghalīl 3:104.