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How come the four madhabs cannot unite and become one? There can only be one truth can’t there?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

At the moment, ppl of one madhab look down on the followers of another. How can this be a good thing? Why can’t all scholars come together and settle their differences? I mean, why do the different madhab’s pray differently? I even read that Hanafi scholars said a hanafi couldnt marry a shafi, although it was later changed, allowing men to, but not women. Please give a specific answer to my question, and not the usual answer you give to ppl on taqleed.


In order to understand the concept of Taqleed, kindly consider the
1. The Imaams of each for the four Madhabs were Mujtahids. A Mujtahid is a
high ranking scholar with authority to deduce rulings from the Qur’aan and
Hadith. He displays intellectual honesty in his conclusions. A Mujtahid is
not bound to follow the conclusions of another Mujtahid if his research is
different. If he would do so, that will be intellectual dishonesty.
2. Differences of opinion among the Imaams should be viewed as a mercy to
the Ummah. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, ‘The differences
among my Ulama is a mercy.’ Should there be only one ruling in every issue
as is the case in many unanimous rulings, there would not be a leeway in
some important matters. For example, according to some Imaams, only a Muslim
judge in an Islamic state may annul a marriage in a marital dispute if there
are grounds of annulment. A marriage cannot be annulled in a non-Muslim
country. That poses difficulty for many married Muslim women who have
grounds for annulment of marriage but their marriage cannot be annulled as
they reside in a non-Muslim country. In such a situation, the Maaliki Madhab
will be applied that the leaders of the Muslim community in a non-Muslim
country will assume the position of a Muslim judge and annul the marriage.
3. All the Madhabs believe ‘Our Madhab is correct but there is a possibility
of an error – the other Madhab are incorrect but may be correct.’ It is,
therefore,incorrect for any adherent of any Madhab to display intolerance to
another Madhab. The view that a Hanafi cannot marry a Shaafi’ee, etc. is
absolutely incorrect. A Hanafi male or female may marry a Shaafi’ee, Maaliki
or Hanbali male or female.
4. Who can claim having knowledge, at least, equivalent to anyone of the
great Imaams. Each imam was an expert in Qur’aan, Hadith, Fiqh. Based on the
above, a) Will one scholar or a group of scholars be appointed as a judge to
decide on each juridical ruling of such illustrious scholars? b) What
criteria will one adopt to formulate one Madhab? c) Does one expect to
arrive at a unanimous decision on this procedure?

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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