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In the Name of God بسم الله

Shia-Sunni Integration, a hypothetical scenario

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This question occured to me while reading a part of the al-Muraja'at.  As some of you may know, I am a very recent revert to Islam, so please excuse my ignorance on this topic.  Given that the Sunnis already recognize four different, and sometimes contradictory, madhabs as being legitimate approaches to Islam what is preventing the  Ja'fari fiqh from being included as a "fifth madhab"?  Which side is more responsible for this not taking place?  Are Sunnis categorically opposed to such a possibility, and, if so, why?  And a hypothetical scenario: let's say top Sunni leaders got together and finally agree to such an agreement and they turn to the Shia and say "We will agree to recognize the validity of your school as long as you agree to recognize the validity of our madhabs as well"―would Shia leaders agree to such a proposal?  If not then why not?  Once again, I apologize for my ignorance.  Please feel free to correct any faulty assumptions, misinformation, and flawed reasoning in my post.

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18 minutes ago, al-Fasi said:

This question occured to me while reading a part of the al-Muraja'at.  As some of you may know, I am a very recent revert to Islam, so please excuse my ignorance on this topic.  Given that the Sunnis already recognize four different, and sometimes contradictory, madhabs as being legitimate approaches to Islam what is preventing the  Ja'fari fiqh from being included as a "fifth madhab"? 

Salam. Welcome to Islam. In 1959, Shaikh Mahmood Shaltoot, may Allah bless his soul, the head of the Al-Azhar Theological School in Egypt, made his famous fatwa that Islam does not require a Muslim to follow a particular Madh’hab (school of thought) and the Shia Madh’hab is a school of thought that is correct. 

 
Shaikh Shaltoot’s declaration:
 
Head Office of al-Azhar University:
 
In the name of Allah, the Benefient, the Merciful
Text of the Verdict (Fatwa) Issued by His Excellency Shaikh al-Akbar Mahmood Shaltoot, Head of the al-Azhar University, on Permissibility of Following "al-Shi’a al- Imamiyyah” School of Thought
 
His Excellency was asked:
 
Some believe that, for a Muslim to have religiously correct worship and dealing, it is necessary to follow one of the four known schools of thought, whereas, "al-Shi’a al-Imamiyyah”school of thought is not one of them nor "al-Shi’a al-Zaidiyyah.”Do your Excellency agree with this opinion, and prohibit following "al-Shi’a al-Imamiyyah al-Ithna Ashariyyah”school of thought, for example?
 
His Excellency replied:
 
1) Islam does not require a Muslim to follow a particular Madh’hab (school of thought). Rather, we say: every Muslim has the right to follow one of the schools of thought which has been correctly narrated and its verdicts have been compiled in its books. And, everyone who is following such Madhahib (schools of thought) can transfer to another school, and there shall be no crime on him for doing so.
 
2) The Ja’fari school of thought, which is also known as "al-Shi’a al- Imamiyyah al-Ithna Ashariyyah”(i.e., The Twelver Imami Shi’ites) is a school of thought that is religiously correct to follow in worship as are other Sunni schools of thought.
 
Muslims must know this, and ought to refrain from unjust prejudice to any particular school of thought, since the religion of Allah and His Divine Law (Shari’ah) was never restricted to a particular school of thought. Their jurists (Mujtahidoon) are accepted by Almighty Allah, and it is permissible to the "non-Mujtahid”to follow them and to accord with their teaching whether in worship (Ibadaat) or transactions (Mu’amilaat).
 
Signed,
 
Mahmood Shaltoot.
 
Original images in Arabic and English are at the source: 
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53 minutes ago, al-Fasi said:

what is preventing the  Ja'fari fiqh from being included as a "fifth madhab"?

Salam. Welcome to Islam, Brother al-Fasi. There are 6 madhabs:  Shia (Ja'fari and Zaidi) and Sunni (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i, and Hanbali). Perhaps there is a struggle over which madhab is #1? Who wants to be #2, 3, 4, 5 or 6? :D 

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1 hour ago, al-Fasi said:

This question occured to me while reading a part of the al-Muraja'at.  As some of you may know, I am a very recent revert to Islam, so please excuse my ignorance on this topic.  Given that the Sunnis already recognize four different, and sometimes contradictory, madhabs as being legitimate approaches to Islam what is preventing the  Ja'fari fiqh from being included as a "fifth madhab"?  Which side is more responsible for this not taking place?  Are Sunnis categorically opposed to such a possibility, and, if so, why?  And a hypothetical scenario: let's say top Sunni leaders got together and finally agree to such an agreement and they turn to the Shia and say "We will agree to recognize the validity of your school as long as you agree to recognize the validity of our madhabs as well"―would Shia leaders agree to such a proposal?  If not then why not?  Once again, I apologize for my ignorance.  Please feel free to correct any faulty assumptions, misinformation, and flawed reasoning in my post.

Brother, Shias are Sunnis already. An unrighteous one is the whom sells out the Truth for Falsehood. 

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Salam alaikom brother Fasi, welcome to Islam :) 

I believe the majority of Sunnis, as others have pointed out, consider Shiism to be another Madhhab of Islam, However, the main problem comes in when Shia Muslims want to be able to criticize certain figures revered by the Sunni world, like Aisha, Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman. This seems to be the main obstacle in Sunni Shia reconciliation. Yusuf al Qaradawi, the Qatari scholar, at a Sunni Shia conference which I believe happened in Iran, raised this issue as the main issue in Islamic unity, that if Shia continue to send lanat and disassociate themselves from the oppressors of before, then we cannot have Shia Sunni unity.

However as Muslims we can never disregard the Quran, The Quran says And do not mix truth with falsehood. I think its quite illogical to leave the Quran for the sake of "Islamic unity." In 2004, there was a bombing at the Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr mosque in Kuwait. Funny thing is, the tragic incident happened at a mosque affiliated with Ayatollah Muhammad Fadhlallah, one of our Maraji who has very close ties to the Sunni world. If I'm not mistaken his funeral was actually visited by a Qatari representative. So does Muslim unity save lives, as many people like to claim? No! This hasn't been proven!

And the most worrying part about us stressing too much of an importance on alliance with Sunnis, is that then topics on Sunni figures like Abu Bakr and Umar, or on Sunni principles like Adalat-us-Sahaba, become off limits! That means we cannot really do dawah to Sunnis and invite them to the true path, because all topics of contention become something off limits.

My point is, we should seek peace and unity with Sunnis, but do it without compromising our beliefs, thats all

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11 hours ago, Qa'im said:

The four madhhabs in Sunnism are simply schools of law and jurisprudence, which all fall under the umbrella of Sunni theology (Ash'ari).

Since Twelver Shiism has its own theology and sources, it would be unfitting to consider it simply one of five madhhabs, because it isn't just a legal school, but an entire religion that is mostly independent of Sunni theology and sources.

Thats the key point 

Shiaism is a seperate religion not just a seperate school 

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5 hours ago, First Responder said:

It would take someone with guts to change to the truth. It's like trying to get oil and water to mix.

Pope is probably not going to become a Muslim, because he would lose his high status to become a new convert to Islam. 

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15 hours ago, Hameedeh said:

Pope is probably not going to become a Muslim, because he would lose his high status to become a new convert to Islam. 

But if a person is a true believer, they will give up anything for what is right. Part of the issue with leaders of other religions is not only giving up status, but also acknowledging that they led others in what they later found to be wrong. I'd imagine admitting to leading others astray is much more difficult than giving up status. 

Edited by notme
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On ‎7‎/‎6‎/‎2017 at 3:17 PM, Hameedeh said:

Pope is probably not going to become a Muslim, because he would lose his high status to become a new convert to Islam. 

I can't say that, but the idea is true. An Imam who hasn't finished high school, doesn't know anything about politics/religion/math/science/geography, would not give up getting paid possibly more than a doctor in the name of zakat, for the truth.

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On 7/5/2017 at 11:43 PM, wolverine said:

Salam. Welcome to Islam, Brother al-Fasi. There are 6 madhabs:  Shia (Ja'fari and Zaidi) and Sunni (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i, and Hanbali). Perhaps there is a struggle over which madhab is #1? Who wants to be #2, 3, 4, 5 or 6? :D 

does that mean you don't consider Ismaili (Agha khani + Bohris) as Shia madhab?

Secondly, i would like to inform you that as far as Sunni madahib are concerned... they differ on matters of Furoo or certain laws however their fundamental beliefs are the same. While both Jafari and Zaidi schools have fundamental differences on question of Imamah which happens to be one of the core issues in Shiaism.

Regards

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On 7/5/2017 at 10:40 PM, al-Fasi said:

This question occured to me while reading a part of the al-Muraja'at.  As some of you may know, I am a very recent revert to Islam, so please excuse my ignorance on this topic.  Given that the Sunnis already recognize four different, and sometimes contradictory, madhabs as being legitimate approaches to Islam what is preventing the  Ja'fari fiqh from being included as a "fifth madhab"?  Which side is more responsible for this not taking place?  Are Sunnis categorically opposed to such a possibility, and, if so, why?  And a hypothetical scenario: let's say top Sunni leaders got together and finally agree to such an agreement and they turn to the Shia and say "We will agree to recognize the validity of your school as long as you agree to recognize the validity of our madhabs as well"―would Shia leaders agree to such a proposal?  If not then why not?  Once again, I apologize for my ignorance.  Please feel free to correct any faulty assumptions, misinformation, and flawed reasoning in my post.

I am a Sunni following fiqah of Abu Hanifa like most people of my region and find it conforming to ideal practices of Islam... we have four branches of Jurisprudence. i will not have problem following fiqah of other aimas ( or if i become myself an expert in the field myself then my own someday). However, what makes all four madahibs gel together is that their fundamental beliefs are the same i.e. Usool or aqaid. Ahlus Sunnah won't have trouble with fiqah of ahle tashaiyyu but in what we actually differ is Usool e Deen or Fundamental Aqaid. Since, Ahlus Sunnah has least differences with some branches of Zaidi sect in usool and therefore Ulema/scholars of Ahlus Sunnah consider such groups within the correct fold without any hesitation.

Edited by Bukhari8k
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