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Madhabs ‎ مَذَاهِب‎


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Zainab_M
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« on: May 21, 2021, 09:43:56 am »




Very unfortunately divisions among Muslims have gone to the extent that the two main sects - Sunnis and Shiias - are further subdivided into different schools of thoughts or madhabs (مَذَاهِب). 

The four madhabs among Sunni Muslims are Hanifi, Malki, Shafi and Hanibali.   

The madhabs of Shiia Muslims include Isna Asheri (followers of 12 imams), Zaidis, Alawis and Ismailis.  Ismailis aren't included among mainstream Shiias.

Sunni Muslims comprising of the greater majority, the Sunni madhabs are more in the forefront. 

There were those wonderful days during the times of our grandparents and great-grandparents when, if a Muslim brother or sister wanted to know whether someone else was also a follower of the same Faith, they would simply ask "are you Muslim?"     Then, with the gradual rise of Wahabism and interpolated firebrand fatwas, the culture of sectarianism began acquiring its ugly shape.  Even if someone knew you are Muslim, their question would be "are you Sunni or Shiia?"   Things didn't end there.   Wahabism cautiously became a political tool for the Western establishment and for some of their puppet Muslim leaders to inculcate the minds of the naive into accepting the stratagem and blueprint of their policy makers.

Though the four Sunni madhabs came into existence between the 9th and 10th centuries with most medieval jurists aligning themselves with their favorite madhab or school of thought, the culture of "madhabism" gained momentum more or less simultaneously when the divide between Sunnism and Shiiaism began to deepen.   Regrettably we are living in an era when being a Muslim in our society is far from enough.   Even being a Sunni or Shiia Muslim isn't often enough.   The ultimate query is "what's your madhab?"  

Yet, ironically, there are many among Sunnis and Shiias who refuse to see madhabism as a man-written concept introducing divisions within Islam.  A Sunni Muslim brother with whom I debated this topic some years ago ridiculously said "madhabs are not schools of thought actually, but they are schools of minor differences in Islamic Jurisprudence providing secondary  but precise guidance to ordinary Muslims, making their practice easy."    But without a doubt, madhabs - if not sects - are definitely separate schools of thought.

The dictionary meaning of a "sect" or "school of thought" can be defined as a faction or a party within a religious denomination. 

In any case, one can call it what they like .. sect, school, group, faction, party etc., the connotation remains unchanged where some of every school are taking the path of bigotry in the name of their own ideological group by denouncing the opinion of every other Muslim as fallible.  At present this culture of Malkis, Shafis, Hanafis and Hanabalis have further ruined our beautiful Faith after the basic divide of Sunnism and Shiiaism.   When you watch someone enthusiastically claim they are "Shafi" or "Hanafi" or "Malki" undeniably titles such as Malkis, Shafis etc. paint the picture of rival groups and sects.  The basic ever-deepening division of Sunni and Shiia is bad enough.  The last thing we need is a further sub-division of an already needless split.  The impropriety of the "evolution" is glaringly un-Quranic.  The Words of the Glorious Quran have denounced such an approach loud and clear. 

"Indeed, those who have divided their religion and become sects, no concern at all hast thou with them.  Their case will go to Allah, Who then will tell them what they used to do."   6:159  Al-Anam.

The above Verse ought to be enough for anyone who really cares to be a genuine submitter (Muslim) to stay away from all ideas capable of sowing the seeds of discord.   Without a doubt, madhabs are an extension of sectarianism promoting the approach of division rather than unity in the minds of people.   

Indeed, the Noble Quran gives us the freedom to think as we deem correct in accordance with our vigilant conscience.  Moreover, differences of opinion on interpretations are inherent of humans and in many cases where the perception is rightly guided, differences of opinion are beneficial for the human soul.  

"Say: Each one does according to his rule of conduct, and your Rab is Best Aware of him whose way is right."  17:84.

The medieval jurists were certainly entitled to their varying viewpoints like anyone else.  But all differing opinions need to be placed as one's personal standpoint and hypothesis.  Establishing personal perspectives into conclusive judgements and then planting them as officially ratified ideologies (schools of thought) is opening the avenues for promoting splits and conflicts among the general Muslim public, not unification.

Yet, let me underscore, no one must blame the earlier Muslims.  On the contrary, the imams after whom the four Sunni madhabs are named were men bestowed with much wisdom and enlightenment.  Some of them suffered at the hands of tyrannical rulers for adhering to their particular Islamic values.   Furthermore, the larger concept of sects and madhabs and other divisions are never created directly by any single individual.  Such divisions are a gradual process that evolve over the passage of time based on political squabbling and hostilities.  For example, the brave and enlightened Hussein bin Ali did NOT invent Shiiaism.  Shiiaism was the brainchild of millions of people spread over generations.  

Islam is certainly the loudest Message of peace, tolerance and justice.  The current problems across the Muslim world are political with absolutely NO bearings on the dictates and principles of the Noble Quran.   Whenever you may see the label of "Islam" on the resistance by the marginalized, it's done with an agenda to stifle and malign the oppressed.  Then again, the label of "terrorism" has its own separate docket.  Those deviants (takfiris / kharijites) who have broken away from Islam and playing proxies of the Western establishment to wreak havoc across the Muslim world are double-crossed by their Western financiers and their aggression is flagged as "Islamic extremism" to cover up the serious flaws of Western foreign policy.  And while the takfiri proxies conveniently use Islam as a tool, Islam is certainly NOT their cause.  

While I have nothing against our imams and sheikhs of any era, many of them being persons with a lot of wisdom, unfortunately this cannot be said for each and every one of them.  There are some who are enigmatic with ulterior motives and periodically they keep jumping on the wrong bandwagon, utilizing sectarianism and the ratified schools of thoughts to promote their negative cause.  Generally, disunity is more innate of humans than unity.  It's vital to be careful and not create loopholes for the former. 

My conclusion contains some sagacity.  That brother I debated with on the aspect of madhabs finally grasped my point.  Alhumdulilah. While he did not acknowledge it in so many words, the white flag he showed consisted of a very precise assessment of what was happening earlier and continues to happen now.   I quote the brother as follows: 

Quote

The mistake continues and grows.  For example there are different Islamic groups in my country which all claim they are the best Islamic group on earth.  Almost each of them claims perhaps there will never live such an individual as Mahdi a descendant of the Messenger (pbuh) of Allah, but in fact the title 'Mahdi' denotes their own Islamic group.  I do not know whether to laugh r cry at them having such a ridiculously high opinion of themselves.  

Another problem with this view is that they say a group other than their own can be followed though this is not advisable of course, yet if you follow a certain group you should only read the scholars who adhere to that group.  Otherwise if you prefer to read just any Muslim scholar you like you 'fayz' will go away (whatever 'fayz' means in their vocabulary) and you will be unhappy because you do not follow only one sheikh and those sub-sheikhs following the lead of this sheikh.  

Why not read just any scholar who has something valuable to say?   It is said that Abu Hanifa had 4,000 sheikhs all with various opinions!

I think the opinion of these 'fayz' seekers endorses what is harmful.  This amounts to being one of those who separate their religious knowledge, leading to divisions into different groups and become opposing sects.  We all know this is severely condemned in the Qur'an.  The expression is "allizina farraqu dinahum wa kanu shiya'a" in original Arabic in the Qur'an."


Unquote


Subhan'Allah, the brother finally saw the point I had in mind and quoted Verse 6:159 as I did. 



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- Dividing our Faith
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- Warning from Allah for those who divide the Religion of Allah
- United we rise, divided we fall  
- Follow the Religion of Abraham, not sectarianism
- Does the term 'theology' connote to true Faith
- New Prayer time calendar, very important
- How much we trust the majority!

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« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2021, 10:19:00 am »


Alhumdulilah, I remember this debate, I guess at Jannah dot com, right?   I was there 🙂 you did a very good job Sister Zeynab.   Fortunately that brother was more sensible than the lot. He was reading and trying to follow your stance rather than impulsively rebuffing as some randomly do. 

I read it again here, very nice post.  SubhanAllah. 
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« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2021, 10:21:51 am »



O yeah I recall you were there at Jannah.com  🙂  You also commented on this debate      Big thanks for your appreciation then and now.   Allah bless you brother.
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2021, 10:23:03 am »


Very welcome Sister.
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