The Holy Qur’aan says:
“Are those who know and those who don’t know alike?” (Ch: 39, V. 90)
In Islam whoever professes to be a scholar of Islam (i.e. Aalim or Mufti), should have the necessary qualifications. For instance, if a police sergeant wished to occupy a job, he is required to study the section of the criminal Law before he is regarded eligible, for that particular job. A police sergeant, therefore, can claim to possess the knowledge of law, but it is conceivable (easy to see) that on the basis of his knowledge of law, the government could never regard him suitable for the post of a judge of Supreme Court or for that matter of Attorney General.
Apparently not! No one has the privilege or right to interpret man made laws (although these laws are applicable to all), unless he is a Barrister-at-Law who has mastered higher subjects such as Philosophy of Law, History of Law, Social Psychology and Sociology etc. In short, he should be a Doctor of Law.
This is really a pity to us, if a person does not have full knowledge of Islamic Law and Jurisprudence and its principles, Holy Qur’aan and Hadees and its principles, and Arabic language with higher instructions in its grammar, he has no right at all to poke his nose in the meaning of the Holy Qur’aan as some people are doing these days.
This is a speech delivered by the late Moulana Abdul Aalim Siddiqui (R.A.) in 1950 in Trinidad which was chosen from the South Africa Magazine “Awake”.
“I now deliver the Speech to You”
“Qalaadah and Taqleed”
Qalaadah and Taqleed are two related Arabic words the word Qalaadah means:
“A rope or chain which is hound to the neck of someone to make him follow behind.”
“The act of following as a religious term. It has reference to the fact that the servants of Allaah, who are linked commandments of Allaah througt such and such a chain.”
That is when someone says that he is the Muqallid of Imaam-E-Azam (Imam Abu Hanifa Rh. A), it means that chain through which he is receiving the commands of Allaah, is that which passes through Imaam-E-Azam (Rh.A) to the Holy Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W.), It never means that he is following the commands of Imam Abu Hanifa (R.A.) Nay, the command is that given by Allaah, the manner of grasp is that taught by the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.), the interpretations that given by the companions. The arrangements are that fixed by the Hanafi School of Law.
The work of the Aalim (Scholar), the Mufti (Jurist) is to follow this chain, to acquire his knowledge of the Islamic law in conformity (agreement) with it, and to guide the people in their legal affairs.
Aallama Shah Waliullah of Delhi in India, the famous Philosopher, theologian, legit, traditionist and commentator, before whose learning and piety bowed the Arab and non-Arab. Ulamas (Islamic Scholars) found all the qualities of a Mujtahid (Jurist and expert in laws) in his person.
Yet his sense of responsibility and fear of Allaah, withheld him from declaring his Imamat (Doctorate) and Ijtihad,. In all humility, he continued to regard himself as a follower (Muqallid) of Imam Abu Hanifa School of Law which had guided the Muslim’s governments for centuries and had been delivered into a perfect system.
The Imams (Doctors of Islamic law) like (Imam Abu Hanifa, Malik, Shafei and Hambli) (Rh.A) only acted as the spokesman of Allaah, the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) and whosoever follows their direction today, actually follows nothing else but the guidance of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.).
The work of the Imams (Hanifa, Malik, Shafei and Hambli) (Rh.A), is a demonstration of the religion (of Islam) is made easy, thanks to the great labours of the Imams of Tafsir (the commentary of the Qur’aan), Hadees (traditions of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) and Fiqh (Jurisprudence, science of law). Today the knowledge relating to every department and every branch of the Islamic way of life is open to us, properly systematized and simplified completely preserved and protected.
If the Imams (Abu Hanifa, Malik, Shafei and Hambli) (Rd.A), took away the authority of anyone, it was only the authority of those mischief makers (like Ahmadis and Qadiyaamis), who are always out to create confusion in the ranks of Muslims and those half educated people who because of self conceit and other faults like to pose (act) as authorities to misguide people.
What a pity, that today we find people and also intelligent people giving such childish ideas without full Islamic knowledge, who can afford to believe that the work of Ij-Ti-Haad, i.e. of interpreting and revealed law of Allaah, can be performed by anyone, and they boast that they know the meaning of the Holy Qur’aan, although they cannot be understood by anyone, except the perfect scholars of the Holy Qur’aan.
The people also these days slander the Ulamaas (religious great Islamic Scholars), discredit the Muftees (Jurists expert in Islamic Law), and the great Imams (Doctors of Islamic Law), and the Great Imaams of Tafsir (The commentary of the Holy Qur’aan), who had dedicated their lives for the sole purpose of finding out the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.).
In Islam whoever professes to be a Scholar of Islam, should have the necessary qualifications.
Now brothers and sisters in Islam, if anyone profess to be Mujtahid, i.e. one performs Ij-Tihaad (i.e. of interpreting the revealed Laws of Allaah), but they do not even possess one tenth of the perfect Islamic qualifications, what consideration can we give such a person? There is only one answer to it.
Such a person deviated from the truth and the result of this stumbling (uncertainty) is misguidance.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) prophesied for latterdays in unambiguous (clear) terms the following Hadees:
Abudllah-ibn-aas said: “I heard the Messenger of (S.A.W.) say: “Allaah will not take away knowledge by snatching it from his servant, but He (Allaah) will take away knowledge so much so that when there will remain no man of Knowledge, people will take the ignorant (i.e. means not perfect Islamic Scholars) as their leaders, so these will be asked (about questions) and they will give religious decisions without Islamic knowledge, so they will go astray and will lead others astray.”
May Allaah illumine (light up) the path of truth for us. It is now for us either to practise Islam which is the purpose for which Islam came, or to continue to waste our time in meaningless and new fangled controversies (prolonged arguments).
Let us pray that Almighty Allaah give us strength to obey his command sand follow in the footsteps of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.)
Allaah knows best