Can we follow more than one scholar in islam?
Walaikum Assalam Warahmatullah,
There is a statement in arabic which says, “For every field has its people”.
While we understand that it is most safe to restrict oneself to one scholar and follow him, yet if one has access to multiple scholars then there is nothing wrong with seeking a scholar of expertise in that particular field. For example, if one has to go to a doctor, then one cannot simply stick to one General Practitioner. Instead, one will need to seek out the doctor who specializes in the field for which a medical advice is needed. Hence for a heart disease, it would not serve to seek out a neurologist.
In other terms, if you are looking for guidance in food items and their halal and haram status then it would be beneficial to seek out scholars who do not only understand the fiqhi aspects of halal and haram food, but also has the ability review his judgement based on industrial practices in that field.
Similarly, if you are looking for guidance in marital dispute, it will best help if you approach a scholar who specializes in mediation and dispute counseling.
Do not confuse this with the issue of following only one madhab (school of methodology). There are four major schools of methodology; Hanafiyyah, Malikiyyah, Shafi’iyyah and Hanbaliyyah. It is best to restrict oneself in following one of these schools and not mix and match.
To understand this restriction, revert to the same example given above about seeking out a doctor for medical guidance. While you choose specific specialists to guide you in your medical diagnosis, you stick to the same methodology of medicine. If you choose a mode of medical treatment such as allopathy (general secular medical treatments) for your ailment, then you do not mix it with homeopathy or acupuncture medicine.
Similarly, if you have chosen to follow one of four schools in fiqh, then it is equally detrimental to mix and match for your soul as it would be to mix and match medical treatments for your body.
So while within the hanafiya school, you may choose different scholars based on their expertise or base on your reliance on those scholars within the hanafiya school.
Mufti Faisal al-Mahmudi