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The Shar‛ī legality of Ijtihād and Taqlīd is an accepted issue
proven through the rational and traditional means of
knowledge. Outwardly a person is seen as an adherent of
Taqlīd while another claims to be a non-adherent. But the fact
of the matter is that each one is acquiring Dīn through the path
of Taqlīd and treading its path. One is making Taqlīd of the
Mujtahidīn while the other of the Muhaddithīn. If Taqlīd
means relying on an expert for the understanding of a Hadīth
and choosing his research in this regard, then to rely on an
expert for the authenticity of a Hadīth and to accept his
approval or disapproval of its authenticity is also Taqlīd. If
this was not the case, who is it who asked Allāh ta‛ālā which of
the several meanings of a verse is the meaning which He
meant? Or asked Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‛alayhi wa sallam whether
a particular Hadīth is authentic or whether it is wrongly
attributed to him?


Just ponder! What other way do the masses have in learning
the prescribed manner of a particular action apart from relying
on an expert and a practising scholar, and accepting his
investigation without asking for a proof? What other way do
they have through which they can succeed in establishing a
specific action from the many diverse, contradictory and
multifarious meanings of the Qur’ān and Sunnah? If they are
told to merely act on the obvious texts, we find diversity in
them as well. If they are told to give preference to the
authentic Ahādīth, then firstly we find diverse opinions in
labelling a Hadīth as authentic and weak. Secondly, there is
diversity and contradiction in the authentic texts themselves.


Eventually, the issue only stops at relying on an expert and
accepting his opinion. Although a particular section of the
community accepts this reasonable and unavoidable necessity,
it has not only rejected it for others but initiated a programme
of labelling them as polytheists and deviants.


The scholars of the early and latter generations have written so
much on this subject in the last thousand years that there is 
absolutely no vacuum to be filled in this regard. There are
many other important issues and plenty of other work which
the Muslim community deserves and is in need of. However, a
certain group from the Ghayr Muqallids has recently raised
this issue with much fervour in the name of Salafīyyat. It is
progressing swiftly under certain well-known reasons. This 
group is taking unlawful benefit from a large section of the
Muslim community which does not even have knowledge of
the essentials of Dīn. It is deliberately presenting this issue in a 
manner so as to convey to the masses that following the
investigations and rulings of the Imāms is absolute unbelief
and polytheism, or that it entails following idols and Satan. It
presents to them – without hesitation and without any fear of
the Hereafter - all those verses of the Qur’ān which were 
revealed in reference to the absolute and obstinate idolworshippers.
We seek refuge in Allāh ta‛ālā.


It is as though the so-called Ahl Hadīth of our times want to
say with regard to the Muslims as was said by the notorious
atheist of Decca, Chan Basweshar. He says in his explanation
of the following verse of the Qur’ān:

A multitude from the early generations and a multitude from the
latter generations.1


From the early generations it was either the Sahābah
radiyallāhu ‛anhum who were on the truth or their followers
from the latter generations are on the truth. As for the
remainder, they have nothing to do with Islam. The
intervening 1 000 years from the 1 300 year history of Islam are
years of misguidance. All the scholars of the Qur’ān, Hadīth,
jurists and Imāms during this period were all misguided and
had deviated from the straight path. (refer to my book, Sri
Chan Basweshar)


Unfortunately we have to say that the same type of views and
beliefs are presented by the Salafis with regard to the Muslims.
As though the majority of the people of the illustrious Islamic 
era of the past 1 000 years and the majority of the Muslims of
the world today – including all the ‛ulamā’, Sufi masters,
scholars of the Qur’ān and Hadīth from the first to the last –
were committing the major sin of Taqlīd and were
worshipping the Imāms. This view is clearly coming to the
fore from the utterances and writings of this group. The
seniors and juniors, and the scholars and ignoramuses of this
group seem to be speaking the same language and writing
with the same pen.


To add insult to injury, while they claim to be freeing the
people from the polytheism of Taqlīd and making them
genuine monotheists, they are doing nothing but teaching
them to be fanatical and dogmatic about a few contentious
issues as regards beliefs and actions, instilling hatred for those
who are muqallids, and teaching them to be audaciously
1 Sūrah al-Wāqi‛ah, 56: 39-40.

critical of the scholars of the past, especially the Imāms and
jurists. We notice that this group has no interest whatsoever in
Islamic culture and character, nor any concern for reviving the
Sunnah in all the departments of life.


On observing this situation, the Majlis ‛Ilmīyyah Andhra
Pradesh initiated a programme of annual training workshops
for the ‛ulamā’ in which the ignorance and deception of the
above-mentioned and other similar groups are highlighted,
their objections and hostilities are assessed, and proofs are
provided for the rationality and Shar‛ī legality of Taqlīd. All
this is done through lessons conducted by illustrious ‛ulamā’
of the country so that the ‛ulamā’ may benefit from them in
their respective fields of activity and be able to combat this
new tribulation. The thesis under review is part of this chain
which was delivered by Maulānā Yahyā Nu‛mānī Sāhib at the
conference which was hosted by Dār al-‛Ulūm Hyderabad on
25-26 February 2012.


Maulānā Yahyā Nu‛mānī is the son of Maulānā Muhammad
Zakarīyyā Sambhalī and the grandson of Maulānā
Muhammad Manzūr Nu‛mānī rahimahullāh. He is a graduate
of Dār al-‛Ulūm Nadwatul ‛Ulamā’, a post-graduate of Jāmi‛ah 
Islāmīyyah Madīnah Munawwarah, the founder and director
of al-Ma‛had al-‛Ālī li ad-Dirāsāt al-Islāmīyyah, an excellent
orator, and an author of several academic works. He has a
noble-minded disposition and is very balanced in his views. I
am extremely indebted to his father for his favours and
affections, and the son looks up to me with respect and sincere


When I invited the Maulānā to express his views on the Salafis
in a general gathering of Majlis ‛Ilmīyyah, he honoured me by 
accepting my invitation and came happily. The ‛ulamā’ who

were present were very impressed by his address and its
balanced and fully referenced subject matter, and suggested
that it be published. When I made this request to him, he
compiled a completely new work despite his many
engagements and presented it to me. This work is now
presented to the reader with a lengthy introduction – which is
a thesis on its own – written by Hadrat Maulānā Khālid
Sayfullāh Rahmānī, a senior member of Majlis ‛Ilmīyyah Andhra Pradesh.


Majlis ‛Ilmīyyah is a forty-year old organization of the ‛ulamā’
of the State of Andhra Pradesh. Its objectives include the
establishment of unity among the ‛ulamā’ of Andhra Pradesh,
establishing the truth, falsifying falsehood and conveying
genuine authentic knowledge to the Muslims. The Majlis
invites the genuine ‛ulamā’ from the length and breadth of the
country and affords the Muslim community opportunities to
benefit from them. It also provides guidance to the ‛ulamā’ of
the state on every occasion. All praise is due to Allāh ta‛ālā, all
the senior ‛ulamā’ of the state – not withstanding differences
in their views and dispositions - are united under the auspices
of the Majlis. About 2 000 ‛ulamā’ of the state are affiliated to
the Majlis. May Allāh ta‛ālā protect it from the evil eye and
may the Muslims continue to be guided and steered through
this united platform of the ‛ulamā’. Āmīn.


(Hadrat Maulānā) Muhammad ‛Abd al-Qawī (dāmat



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