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Difference of opinion amongst the four mazhabs

Q: Is the ikhtilaaf amongst the four mazhabs so bad as it is pictured by the salafi ulama? and “taassub” between the parties is so severe that a hanafi women cannot be married by a shaf’iee? please explain to us common laymen.


A: This notion is totally incorrect. The relationship between the four madh-habs is a relationship of brotherhood and love. Each madh-hab recognizes the other and considers them to be rightly guided.

In primary and fundamental matters of Deen (Aqaa’id and beliefs), all subscribe to the same beliefs. However, in secondary matters of Deen (Masaa’il and Islamic rulings), they differ amongst themselves. Each Imaam through Ijtihaad substantiates and establishes his madh-hab from the Qur’aan and Sunnah. Hence, all are on the truth. The differences between the four Imaams are not like the differences between the Shias, Qadiyaanis, Salafis etc. who differ in the primary and fundamental matters of Deen i.e. beliefs and Aqaa’id.

Restricting the masses to follow one Imaam and not allowing them to randomly pick and choose from the four madh-habs is in order to close the doors of following ones desires which has been prohibited by the Qur’aan and Hadith.

There is no ikhtilaaf presently amongst the four madh-habs and nor did ikhtilaaf ever exist in the past. Hence, we find that each madh-hab performs Salaah behind the other for centuries. It is the Salafi’s who are creating the ikhtilaaf on account of their ta’assub and deviating from the four madh-habs.

It is permissible for a follower of one madh-hab to marry a woman who subscribes to another madh-hab according to all the four madh-habs.

فتجوز المناكحة بين الحنفية والشافعية بلا شبهة (البحر الرائق 3/110)    

والحنفي كفء لبنت الشافعي ومتى سألنا عن مذهبه أجبنا بمذهبنا كما بسطه المصنف معزيا لجواهر الفتاوى

و قال في رد المحتار : قوله ( والحنفي كفء لبنت الشافعي الخ ) المراد بالكفاءة هنا صحة العقد يعني لو تزوج حنفي بنت شافعي نحكم بصحة العقد وإن كان في مذهب أبيها أنه لا يصح العقد إذا كانت بكرا إلا بمباشرة وليها لأنا نحكم بما نعتقد صحته في مذهبنا قال في البزازية وسئل أي شيخ الإسلام عن بكر بالغة شافعية زوجت نفسها من حنفي أو شافعي بلا رضا الأب هل يصح أجاب نعم وإن كانا يعتقدان عدم الصحة لأنا نجيب بمذهبنا لا بمذهب الخصم لاعتقادنا أنه خطأ يحتمل الصواب وإن سئلنا كيف مذهب الشافعي فيه لا نجيب بمذهبه اه وقوله لاعتقادنا الخ مبني على القول بأن المقلد يلزمه تقليد الأفضل ليعتقد أرجحية مذهبه والمعتمد عند الأصوليين خلافه كما بسطناه في صدر الكتاب ثم لا يخفى مما ذكرنا أنه لا مناسبة لذكر هذا الفرع في الكفاءة تأمل (رد المحتار 3/93)

Answered by:

Mufti Zakaria Makada

Checked & Approved:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)

This answer was collected from MuftiOnline.co.za, where the questions have been answered by Mufti Zakaria Makada (Hafizahullah), who is currently a senior lecturer in the science of Hadith and Fiqh at Madrasah Ta’leemuddeen, Isipingo Beach, South Africa.

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