The Sahaabahs make Taqleed
"Ask those who possess the message, if you do not know" (Ch:169, V.43 Q)
Literally Taqleed means a rope of chain which is bound to the neck of someone to make him follow behind.
In other words, Taqleed means: The act of following as a religious term, It has reference to the fact that the servants of Allaah, who are linked together by obedience to Allaah receive the commandments of Allaah through such and such a chain.
Every student of the Hadees knows that the companions of Rasoolullah would come to him, take lesson from him in portions of the text along with their meanings and explanations, and in their turn, teach the same to others.
Thus, on the other hand, the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) transmitted the actual meanings and true explanation of the Holy Qur'aan to his companions and through them to the latter generations, while on the other, he pronounced definite warning to all those who might wish to change the meanings and explanations.
He (The Holy Prophet) (S.A.W.) said:
"Whosoever explains the Holy Qur’aan according to his personal opinion, let him make his abode in hell."
He (The Holy Prophet) (S.A.W.) further warned those who might attribute false explanations or forged (copy) Hadees to his name saying:
"Whosoever intentionally attributes a false thing to me, let him make his abode in Hell."
Then after he had taken all the steps for preserving the teachings of Islam. the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) informed the world that:
"One party of my followers will always remain above others with clear truth; whosoever opposes them will not be able to harm them (i.e. overpower them in argument) until the last day."
The students of Islamic history know that all the companions of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) did not enjoy the same status in respect of guiding the people in matters of religion and law.
Those who had passed most of their time from the beginning of the Prophets period in the company of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) himself, would consult in Islamic matters. Those whose great qualities were commended by no less a person than the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) were persons head and shoulders above the rest.
The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) called Abu-Bakr (Rd.A) as the greatest person outside the category of prophets; he said of Omar (Rd.A) if there had been a prophet after me, Omar (Rd.A) would have been that prophet; he described Osman (Rd.A) as the most perfect in piety, and he observed about Ali (Rd.A),:
"I am the city of knowledge, and Ali (Rd.A) is its gate."
Similarly distinguished were; Lady Ayesha (Rd.A) the beloved wife of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.), Abdullah-Ibn-Omar (Rd.A), Abdullah-Ibn-Masood (Rd.A), Abdullah-Ibn-Abbas (Rd.A) etc.
The Holy Qur'aan says:
"Ask those who possess the message, if you do not know." (Ch. 16 V. 43 Q).
Even the eminent preservers (Huffaaz) of Hadees and the Holy Qur’aan among the companions would come to these distinguished personages, for the solution of religious and legal problems and would subject their own understandings and interpretation to the interpretation of the Holy Qur’aan and Hadees given by them.
ANSWERS TO FOUR QUESTIONS:
Hazrat Umar (R.A) the second Caliph, sometime enquired from Ibn-Abbas (R.A.) if there arose a new problem regarding Islamic knowledge, because the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) prayed for Ibn-Abbas (R.A.) as follows:-
"O Allaah! Grant him knowledge of the book (i.e. The Holy Qur'aan) and give him wisdom."
Once a Christian king sent a questioner (a man) to Hazrat Umar (R.A.) and requested him to answer the questions only in the light of revealed books.
The following were the four questions in that questionnaire:
1. Once a mother gave birth to twins, they were born on the same day and died on the same day,. Even
then, one of them was younger than the other by 100 years.
2. Where is that part of the earth which the sun lighted only once. It will never be lighted again till the
3. Tell about that grave which moved from place to place embodying in it the body of a living man.
Afterwards that man came out of it and died a natural death.
4. Tell about the prisoner who lives in the prison without breathing.
Hazrat Umar (R.A.) sent the questioner (the man) to Hazrat Ibn-I-Abbas (Rd.A.) to write down the answers:
So Hazrat Ibn-I-Abbas (Rd.A) wrote these four answers:
1. Those two brothers who were born on the same day and died on the same day, yet one was younger by
100 years than the other were, Hazrat Uzair (A.S) and Hazrat Azeez
(A.S). Allaah made Hazrat Uzair (A.S) dead for 100 years to show his Divine Power.
It is mentioned in the second chapter of the Holy Qur'aan.
The Holy Qur'aan says:
"(So Allaah made him die a hundred years)".
"After one hundred years he was made alive again and then died with his brother after sometime". (Ch. 2 V. 259)
2. The part of the land where the sun lighted only once, is that part of the Red-Sea where King Pharaoh was
drowned, because before his drowning Almighty Allaah dried the water of that part for Prophet Moses
3. The grave which moved with a living body was the belly of the fish in which Hazrat Yoonus (A.S) (Jonas)
was imprisoned because of Allaah's command. That fish used to swim in the water and sometime afternit
dropped back Hazrat Yoonus (A.S) on the earth. He lived there for sometime and then died by his natural
4. The prisoner who can't breathe in the prison, is the child in the belly of his mother where he does not
breathe but still is alive.
Hazrat Umar (Rd.A) sent these answers to the Christian King. After seeing these answers the King said:
"I think there is still a prophet among the Muslims".
All the four Caliphs respected very much Hazrat Ibn-I-Abbas (Rd.A) because of his knowledge.
In short, it was the principle followed by the companions, that whenever they had to find out about some religious or legal problem, they would invariably (unchangeable) approach those companions for guidance, who were considered to possess not only the knowledge of of the Holy Qur’aan and thevHadees of the Messenger of Allaah, but also the superior insight and understanding and thus entitled to guide others.
This principle was followed during the whole period of righteous caliphate, for the interpretations and execution (carrying out) of Islamic law. There was an advisory council which was composed of such companions, who were considered to be most capable in matters of religion and law.
The Amir-Ul-Mumi-Neen (the caliph) was always the president of the council and whenever there was a disagreement on some legal point between the members, it was his prerogative (special privilege) to give final verdict.
Allaah knows best