Can one take the Muwatta of Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan as a definitive manual for our everyday fiqh?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

salam alaikum,

as you are aware that Imam Muhammad’s riwaya of the Muwatta of Malik (Radiya Allahu anhuma) has now been translated into english. As a Hanafi I sometimes need a fiqhi opinion in matters. Is it permissible for me to read any hadith in the Muwatta and implement it, or must it be treated as any other hadith book? Essentially what I’m asking is whether we can use it as a definitive manual for our everyday fiqh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.

The Muwatta’ of Imam Muhammad is a very important and useful hadith text, with occasional fiqh comments by Imam Muhammad. It isn’t a reference work in Hanafi fiqh, and doesn’t mention the legal details–conditions, considerations, and so on–that are essential in sound religious practice.

This text is very useful to read with a reliable fiqh book, in order to understand and appreciate something of where and how the Hanafi imams derived their rulings from. However, it cannot be taken as a “definitive manual” for one’s everyday fiqh–for it simply isn’t.

The Muwatta of Imam Muhammad

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani

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