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Assalam O Allaecum Could it is possible that one gain so knowledge of Quran and hadithes that he becomes fifth Imam

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

Is there any indication in Quran and hadith that there could be only four imam. Why after four imams no imam comes. Also what is the difference between four imams and the muftees of present days. Khuda Hafiz


1) There is no indication in the Qur’an and Hadith that there can be only
four Imams. However, the four well known Imams were authorities in their
field. They had dedicated their lives in gaining an indepth understanding of
the Shariah of Islam. More importantly, they successfully managed to
document and codify the Shariah : thus enabling the ordinary person to
easily practise upon the Shariah.
There were many other capable scholars, however, with the passage of time
only these 4 schools of jurispudence gained prominence. One should
understand well, that becoming a mujtahid or an Imaam is no simple task.
There are certain basic requirements before one is conferred with the title
of a mujtahid or an imam.
A scholar who :-
a. has gained full expertise in all branches of Islamic knowledge such as
Tafsir, Hadith, Fiqh, Arabic and their related sciences;
b. has deep-rooted insight & understanding of the goals and objectives of
c. has the keen ability of extracting principles from the Quraan & Sunnah
and then being able to infer verdicts from them; and
d. is extremely pious and sincere in his teachings.

Since these 4 Imams possessed these requirements they more than adequately
analysed and synthesised the Shariah. Consequently, the need for a 5th or
any other Imam does not exist.

2. The Muftis of current times are merely transmitters of the views of the
Mujtahids of the past. They themselves are not mujtahids. Their task is to
merely study the works of the 4 Imams & provide appropriate solutions to
contemporary problems based on the deductions of the Mujtahiddeen of the

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

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This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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