Response to an Email (Scholars making mistakes)

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by DarulUloomTT.net
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I was at a masjid in south Trinidad for the Jumah khutba, and the Imam mentioned that a fatawa was issued concerning Praying behind a person who sings Tazeem, and I had read this fatawa some time ago and was in total disagreement with the verdict. It is my strong opinion that the verdict given was incorrect, now you may ask that ‘who am I to question a verdict given by a “Mufti”, but then again we must not be blind followers to any Shaikh, Imam, or Mufti etc. since many scholars of Islam made mistake in their verdicts, the four main Madhab Imams, even the Sahabah, the only person who never made an error was the Holy Prophet (SAW).

The scholar of Darul Uloom said, “According to the majority of scholars, it will be Makrooh (reprehensible)” I ask the question, who are these reliable scholars? What are the daleel for such, I think that there will be no clear evidence.

We must not make such spurious pronouncements, since it means that no DARUL ULOOM scholar should prayer in any ASJA masjid, since they all believe in Tazeem.

This has cause more disunity in Trinidad, and disunity is HARAAM in Islam.

Also, should we pray behind someone who does not pay ZAKAAH, or is unkind to his wife, parents, neighbours etc. which is worst?


Respected Brother,
You have written before, informing us that our fatawa was incorrect and that we take our incorrect fatawa from others. If you really believe this, then why do you continue to ask questions? My advice to you is that you should obtain your answers from such people whom you think do not issue ‘incorrect’ fatawas.

You have also mentioned (before) that many scholars of Islam make mistakes. While saying this you have included the four Imams and the Sahabahs. Based on this ‘allegation’, I will like to ask you to submit (to) me the mistakes that the four Imams made, and also inform me of the mistakes of the Sahabahs. Please highlight their mistakes to me, along with the correct answers regarding the issues they made mistakes in.

You have mentioned that the fatawa that the ‘Mufti’ give was incorrect in your opinion. Can you please prove from ‘your opinion’ why it is incorrect? Have you done any research on this topic to arrive at this opinion? Or is it your personal feelings?

Please give me the Shar’i evidences for your opinion, and explain to me why you think that your opinion is correct while the Mufti’s opinion is incorrect. In your last email, you said that you do not support these practices, I ask why? In your opinion, what is wrong with these practices? Since you have made a claim that the fatawa is incorrect, then it is upon you to prove this from textual evidences of the Shariah.

You have asked, ‘Who are these reliable scholars’? My dear brother, you should have asked this question before placing a judgement that the fatawa was incorrect. Seeing that you have been ‘bold’ to pass your judgement without knowledge, it will not make a difference to you, if you know who these scholars are. You have already ‘blocked’ your mind in accepting the fatawa, by using open statements that many scholars make mistakes. It seems that whatever does not conform to your ‘personal opinion’, falls in the category of ‘spurious’ and ‘incorrect’ even if it comes from the Sahabahs.

You said, ‘I think there will be no clear evidence’. Your statement shows that you have already made up your mind, thinking that there is no evidence. What difference does it make to you, if evidences are given? I think you will not accept a single word of what we say, since you have already passed a judgement on the fatawa, based on your own ignorance of the issue. It seems that your personal feelings and emotions are your guide in accepting and rejecting matters of the Shariah, and hence, you speak without knowledge. It is for this reason, you have rejected the ruling even before asking for the evidence.

You said, ‘we must not make such spurious statements …’. It’s good that you can give yourself this advice, because your statement that our fatawa is incorrect is ‘incorrect’ in itself. In all fairness, you should tell those people who are saying that the Prophet (SAS) attends all their gatherings that there statement is ‘spurious’.

You should also tell those who say that the soul roams about for forty days that their statement is spurious.

You should also tell those who say that they saw the Prophet (SAS) in Trinidad that their statement is spurious.

Don’t these statements sound spurious to you? Or is it only my fatawa you have seen to be incorrect?

Alhamdulillah, my statement and opinions are based on that which has been established as the accepted, sound and reliable opinions of the scholars of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah. In this matter, I am always fearful of Allah since I will be called to give an account for my statements. I do not ever give a personal opinion on any issue of the Shariah. We accept, and rule with that which has been accepted by the reliable scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah.

You have asked for the evidences, Insha Allah, I will surely give you the evidences very soon. But I do hope that when you get the evidences you do not shout ‘spurious’ ‘spurious’ and reject them. You have said ‘This has caused more disunity in Trinidad, and disunity is Haram in Islam’. Upon this statement, I ask, ‘Is disunity the only thing that is haram in Islam’? What about innovations? What is the ruling of this in light of the teachings of the Prophet (SAS)? What about those teachings that are presented to Muslims that have no source in Islam. Is this Haram or Halaal in your opinion? When you look at all that which are being propagated as Islamic teachings, do you see any other thing as haram? Or is it that you have chosen to see only ‘disunity’ as being haram.

On this issue “Causing disunity in Trinidad’, I think you are biased and onesided in your judgement. Have you ever heard me condemning any Muslim, scholar, group or organization in Trinidad? The answer will be no. Have you ever heard any scholar of Darul Uloom condemning another organization, scholar or Muslim? The answer will be no. On the other hand you know very well that there are other organizations that privately and publicly condemn Darul Uloom and its scholars. Slanderous statements are used against the Institute and its’ scholars. You have also mentioned about an Imam in south who spoke about the Fatawa and used remarks against the Darul Uloom and myself. Do you think the Imam followed the Islamic teaching while behaving in this ignorant and arrogant manner? The poor fellow made a public fool of himself when he tried to explain certain Fiqh terms about which he had no knowledge. If this is the same person I heard, then I must say that this individual fabricated many lies and presented them to the innocent Muslims who came to offer their Juma Salaah. The ignorant brother used ‘names’ and publicly incited ill feelings in the hearts of the Muslims against the Darul Uloom. What do you think about his actions? Was it a cause for unity or disunity? Do you think his actions were commendable? In contrast to his ignorant behavior, the Darul Uloom did not call anyone’s name in the fatawa. It did not condemn anyone, nor did it incite ill feelings against any person or organization, the Darul Uloom deals strictly in education. We are involved in teaching and preaching the true teachings of Islam. Whenever questions are presented, a thorough research is done, after which an answer is given. These answers do not contradict the verdicts issued by the scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jammah, and they are not given based on an individual’s opinion or feelings. When answers are given, the objective is not to criticize, blame or censure the acts or statements of any person or organization. It is only based upon that which we see and understand to be the correct and true teachings, after having done a thorough research and investigation.

If people feel offended, then this was not our intention, nor was it our objective.

If you see it as disunity, then many others do not see it in this manner.

You must also understand that if another organization or other scholar have the liberty to give their opinions on matters, then it is only fair that the scholars of Darul Uloom be afforded the same liberty to give their views and opinions based on what they see as being the correct view.

How is it that when we voice our opinion, you say it is disunity but when others voice their opinion, you do not say it is causing disunity.

I ask, when Muslims were banned from entering Masjids for not following these practices in the past, who really created the disunity at that time?

I ask, that you take the time to look at who is really causing the disunity, before applying a wrong judgement on innocent people.

Preaching the truth has never been referred to as a cause for disunity. Muslims should be mature enough to tolerate other opinions, and they must not look at these as a cause for disunity. If some people think that their opinions are correct, then they must understand that many others do not share those opinions. If they believe they have the right to propagate their opinions, then others have the same right. When others propagated their opinions for years, enforcing their doctrines and practices among the people, no one said anything. In fact, those who opposed these practices were ridiculed, disrespected and called by all sorts of different names. Why did this happen? Who give these people the authority to behave in this manner? Is it that everything they say was correct, and what others say were wrong? Just as they gave their opinions without thinking about how others felt, others have an equal opportunity to give their opinions which they believe to be upon the truth.

While accusing us of ‘creating disunity in Trinidad’, I will like to let you know that the ASJA was vehemently criticized for the same during the 1930’s. In fact when they broke away from the TIA in 1932 under the leadership of Haji Ruknudeen Meah and formed the popularly known ASJA, they were outrightly condemned as causing disunity in the Muslim Community.

After the inception of ASJA, TIA started a campaign against incorporation of the former claiming that there was no need for another body, since the TIA ‘represents the entire Muslims of this Colony’. ( Amir Ali: The Comforter, 3:2 1936 Trinidad pg.2 – Islamic Institution and Dawah Organizations of the Carribbean)

The comforter monthly organ of the TIA edited by Amir AlI used to be full of charges against the ASJA in those days. The TIA journal abounded with accusation like ‘Irresponsible mischief-maker of ASJA are causing disunity and disruption in the Muslim Community’. (Ibid, 1933 pg.15).

During this time, there was a lot of Mud-slinging between the two organizations. It should be noted that in those days, the only and largest Muslim organization was that of the TIA, which was founded in 1926 by Syed Abdul Aziz. Later on, a group of Muslims moved away, withdrew their support from the TIA when Amir Ali was the leader. This group of Muslims then formed the ASJA in 1932. After this new organization was formed, there were heated arguments and challenges for public debates between Haji Rukundeen Meah of ASJA and Moulvi Amir Ali of TIA. Hundreds of Muslims attended these debates which were held at the Paladium cinema in Tunupuna and at other public places. It became the common practice for emotional youths to hurdle abuse and words of ridicule at the leaders. Many of these debates often broke up in arguments and fights where police had to be called in to maintain law and order’. ( Islamic Institution and Dawah Organizations of the Caribbean pg.128 – The Historical Context of the Indian Diaspora)

The purpose of the information is not to identify who was right and who was wrong at that time. Instead, it is to make it clear to you that the ASJA was accused of the same thing which you accuse us of. So, based on the above information, would you accuse ASJA of disuniting the Muslims in Trinidad based on the statement of Amir Ali of TIA in the 1930’s? This is something for you to think about.

As I said before, we have no enmity and dislike for any organization. We wish the best for all of them, and we hope that they would continue to work for the cause of Islam.

In conclusion, I say to you that it does not matter to us, whether you accept our ruling or not. We are accountable only to Allah, and we fear our standing before Allah on the day of judgement. We make Allah our witness that we have spoken that which is the truth, as we understand it based on our knowledge, and we ask Allah to protect us from errors and mistakes. If you think that our ruling is incorrect, then this is between you and Allah.

And Allah Knows Best
Mufti Waseem Khan

This answer was collected from DarulUloomTT.net, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Waseem Khan from Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.