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Fatwa (ruling) of Shaikh Mahmood Shaltoot

Head Office of al-Azhar University:

(bismillah)

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-Shia 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-Shia al-Imamiyyah" school of thought is not one of them nor "al-Shia al-Zaidiyyah." Do your Excellency agree with this opinion, and prohibit following "al-Shia 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-Shia 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.

The above Fatwa was announced on July 6, 1959 from the Head of al-Azhar University.

This is what the highest seat of sunni Islam says about Jafari school of thought as it is rightly termed, though all branches of Islam ( Shia or Sunni) came from Imam Jafar Sadiq.

When officially the highest seat of Sunnis Islam held it lawful to follow the Imami Mujtahid and the Imami School, i want to know what the Imami school says about the Sunni schools of thought which are four in number, keeping in mind that the highest teacher in each school is direct or indirect student of Imam Jafar.

Actually let me say the Sunnis schools are actually different marjas of School of Imam Jafar, the only diffrence is that these marja don't change from leader to leader and is termed by the highest marja of the respective schools, unlike in Imami school Marjas get their names from the present highest seat like ( Sistanian etc), this is the main reason why they are misunderstood as schools rather than different marja.

I don't expect from Shia brother that because Shia Islam is right it should be followed and that Sunni Islam is away from Islam it should not be followed. Be just in your replies.

A copy of original fatwa is attached.

post-2096-1106387198_thumb.jpg

Edited by Mazher's
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(salam)

I think this is a very tough questions. Give some time .

I could be wrong about this, but generally for purpose of Taqleed, the criteria is finding the most learned Mujtahid to emulate. That means, taqleed is wide open and we are free to find our mujtahid to follow.

But, for Shias to follow, the Sunni Imam Hanafi, maliki, Sahfiie, and Hanbali will be difficult because all of them are not alive. For Shias, you have to follow a living Imam.

InshaAllah, other brothers and sisters will help you out.

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No, we aren't allowed to follow a non-Ithna Ashari scholar in taqleed. One of the requirements for a legitimate marja is that he should be a twelver shia. How can you seek guidance from someone who himself is lost?

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[2.111] And they say: None shall enter the garden (or paradise) except he who is a ......................... These are their vain desires. Say: Bring your proof if you are truthful

Even Ahlul Sunnah claims so, and peer please try to read the post very clearly, i have said:

I don't expect from Shia brother that because Shia Islam is right it should be followed and that Sunni Islam is away from Islam it should not be followed. Be just in your replies.
Edited by Mazher's
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Well let me say that there was a time when the no of Imam was not twelve, its only after the said occultaion of imam that twelver title came in being.

Moreover be it Shia or Sunni or even Wahhabbi all wait for Imam Mahdi (as) to appear.

And let me clear one point, you proudly pray for appearance of Imam, and pray for it after every selat, but don't you know Imam had said my appearance will occur at the time when my Shias will be fed up of waiting and will give up praying for my appearance, so i think by that delay of Imam is sure, because people are still praying and Imam said i'll apear when praying for appearance will come to an end.

Anyway i'am not diverting the topic, but my point is that you can't blame others of being lost.

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LOL, I didn't "say" it, Mazher!

Go pick up the resalah of ANY of the maraji' and you will find the aforementioned ruling in the very first chapter!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Is there a single marja which is giving permission to do taqlid of mujtahid, atleast in terms of Fiqah and not Aqeedah, Even Sunnis by the above mentioned fatwa are granted the permission to do taqlid of Imami (12er) branch but in Fiqah not aqeedah.

We all have some common aqeedah like:

Oneness of Allah,

Rejection of Divine Partnership,

Finality of prophethood and messengership on Muhammed (pbuh),

Belief in divene revealation and preservation of Qur'an,

Belief and stress on obligations like: Shahada, Selah, Sawm, Zakah and Hajj

Belief in ressurection,

etc and etc

then why can't we have some common fiqah, it wont spoil the respective aqeedah, but will solve the problems on fiqah where the respective mujtahids aren't available, and we al know that both of us are very well a muslim a momin.

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^You sound confused.

We have 50+ grand mujtahideen, who follow the Ahlulbayt an-Nabi (pbuh) . What do we need the follower of Omar, Uthman, Aisha--who were known for their manipulation of Islamic fiqh--for?

As for taqleed in aqeeda, it is haram even to follow a shia mujtahid in aqeeda like the unicity of Allah, or the concept of Prophethood, Imamah, etc.

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^You sound confused.

We have 50+ grand mujtahideen, who follow the Ahlulbayt an-Nabi (pbuh) . What do we need the follower of Omar, Uthman, Aisha--who were known for their manipulation of Islamic fiqh--for?

As for taqleed in aqeeda, it is haram even to follow a shia mujtahid in aqeeda like the unicity of Allah, or the concept of Prophethood, Imamah, etc.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Thanks fr your comments

As for taqleed in aqeeda, it is haram even to follow a shia mujtahid in aqeeda like the unicity of Allah, or the concept of Prophethood, Imamah, etc.

I am not getting the meaning of above passage, can you please explain it in better terms.

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Fatwa (ruling) of Shaikh Mahmood Shaltoot

Head Office of al-Azhar University:

(bismillah)

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-Shia al-Imamiyyah" School of Thought

...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

(bismillah)

(salam)

Al Azhar has become infamous for its unreliable and often politically motivated "fatwas". Among them is a ruling that legitimises riba, which is obviously haram. Recently, we have the case of the "`alim" who declared it permissible for French Muslimat to go about without a headscarf to attend school.

This "fatwa" does not stand the scrutiny of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama`ah in that it lacks basis in any of the Sunni jurisprudential sources except qiyas. It also contradicts any sense of logic.

Sunnis cannot make taqlid to Shi`i `ulama. Shi`is cannot make taqlid to Sunni `ulama.

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(bismillah)

(salam)

Al Azhar has become infamous for its unreliable and often politically motivated "fatwas". Among them is a ruling that legitimises riba, which is obviously haram. Recently, we have the case of the "`alim" who declared it permissible for French Muslimat to go about without a headscarf to attend school.

This "fatwa" does not stand the scrutiny of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama`ah in that it lacks basis in any of the Sunni jurisprudential sources except qiyas. It also contradicts any sense of logic.

Sunnis cannot make taqlid to Shi`i `ulama. Shi`is cannot make taqlid to Sunni `ulama.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

If Al-Azhar is non Sunni branch or atleast not a reliable one, then to which branch does it belong, its history goes back to Fatimid Shias then Sunni and now what can it be ?

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I am not getting the meaning of above passage, can you please explain it in better terms.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It is not permissible for us, the shias, to follow any mujtahid in Usul al-Din--belief in the unicity of Allah, justice of Allah, prophethood, leadership, judgement day.

We can't believe that God is one just because, say, Khamenei' says so. We have to get convinced ourselves (by doing some research). Of course we can read the works of these mujtahids to get ourselves convinced, but cant believe just because a particular mujtahid says so. (It isn't the case with Furu' Din--e.g., If I follow Seestani, I do not have to say the dhuhr prayers if I have already said the Jummah prayers in congregation.)

Wa'Salam

Ali

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As salaam alaykum,

Shaykh Shaltoot's fatwa is very much good & valid. This was not incorrect from his perspective or from the perspective of the Ahlul Sunnah, in general. The main point of his fatwa was to remove the bias of the Ahlul Sunnah towards the Ithna Ashariyyah.

"This "fatwa" does not stand the scrutiny of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama`ah in that it lacks basis in any of the Sunni jurisprudential sources except qiyas. It also contradicts any sense of logic."

It does stand the scrutiny when you consider that he said all of our books are in order & that our traditions are in order. If our traditions are in order then that means that any jurist who has a legal issue to contend with can pull from our books of hadith. Why? Because the Ahlul Sunnah says that the sahabi are good & gracious companions of Rasoolullah (SAW) & since Ali ibn Abi Talib (as), Fatima az-Zahra (SA), Hasan ibn Ali & Hussein ibn Ali (as), along with Salman Farisi (as), Al Miqdad (ra), Abu Dharr (ra), Ibn Abbas (ra), & many others were sahabi then the traditions of the Ithna Ashariyyah are acceptable as long as they meet the criteria of hadith science. By extension, since the Ahlul Sunnah also accept traditions related through the tabieen then our some of our Imams (as) also meet that criteria & because the narrations pertaining to our 12 Imams are so numerous that there is not any doubt regarding our trustworthiness regarding fiqh & all the other Islamic sciences then there is no problem using our traditions. Shaykh is not looking at the obvious fiqhi differences between schools but at the points which unite the schools. It took a lot of courage for Shaykh Shaltoot to say that. He took a lot of flack from a lot of Sunni but, guess what, a lot of Sunni became exposed to the Ithna Ashariyyah. Plus this is very much logical from his perspective because technically, there weren't any madhabs when Islam began except Ithna Ashariyyah. Remember the oldest works of the Islamic sciences have their origins in Shia Islam. In addition, it would be a slap in the face to the very origins of Al-Azhar University not to acknowledge the Shia. Since it was Shia who started the school anyway. The Fatimids but yet in still that school is dedicated to Fatima az-Zahra (SA).

Shaykh Tijani put this in perspective when he discussed how during the time when this fatwa was made there were many issues that were arising among Ahlul Sunnah and they needed alternative thinking in fiqh. That's why Ayatullah Muhammad Jawad Maghniyyah wrote "The Five Schools of Islamic Law" so Ahlul Sunnah would have easier access to our fiqhi rulings.

To answer the brother's question, we don't give taqlid to any other scholars except our marja'ai. Allah knows best reagrding other possibilities.

As salaam alaykum,

Djibril

Edited by Bro.Djibril
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(salam)

(bismillah)

Is there a single marja which is giving permission to do taqlid of mujtahid, atleast in terms of Fiqah and not Aqeedah, Even Sunnis by the above mentioned fatwa are granted the permission to do taqlid of Imami (12er) branch but in Fiqah not aqeedah.

There is NO taqleed in Aqeedah. Each person has to search and attain the levels of belief through his own intelligence.

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  • 4 months later...
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I think, signature of Brother "Ya Aba Abdillah" sheds some very intresting information on this issue.

post-39-1117463358.jpg

Imam as-Sadiq (as): Do not ever do anything that can bring reproach upon us, because surely an evil son brings reproach upon his father through his deeds. Be good followers of the one whom you have dedicated yourselves for (i.e. the Imam) and do not be a disgrace to him. Pray in their (i.e. sunnis) tribes, visit their ill ones, attend their funerals, and do not let them beat you to any good deed because you are more worthy of it than them. [Al Kafi Volume 2 Page 217 Chapter on "Taqiyyah" Hadith 11]

Be an example of us and do not become a shame upon us. - Imam Ja'far As-Saadiq (as)

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Guest DjibrilCisse

Mazher, do you actually have a point to make or an issue to discuss?

Either I'm very weak in understanding you, or you're going round and round in circles and not actually coming to any one point. On top of that you seem to be mixing up issues.

What has taqleed got to do with the four sunni madhabs?

In which sense are you implementing the hadith of Imam Jaffer Al Sadiq (as) ?

What have shia fiqh rulings got to do with Shaikh Shaltouts fatwa?

And lastly, how exactly are we meant to be following the deceased Imams Hanbal, Malik, Shafai (?), and Hanafi?

Edited by DjibrilCisse
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(bismillah)

Al-salamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

The Prophet (saww) said: I am leaving behind me two weighty things, if you hold onto them you will never go astray; the book of Allah(swt) and my household, and they will not seperate until they meet me at al hawd.

So therefore following anyone other than the Quran and Ahlul Beit (as) is not permitted.

Abu Hanifa, Ahmad bin Hanbal, Al Shaf'iee, al Maliki took their rulings from #1-3, Abu Hurayra and many others (other than Ahlul Beit (as)), and also many of their fatwa's are built on qiyas and other methods that are far away from religion..basically anything other than Ahlul Beit (as).

Wasalam.

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Mazher, do you actually have a point to make or an issue to discuss?

Either I'm very weak in understanding you, or you're going round and round in circles and not actually coming to any one point. On top of that you seem to be mixing up issues.

What has taqleed got to do with the four sunni madhabs?

In which sense are you implementing the hadith of Imam Jaffer Al Sadiq (as) ?

What have shia fiqh rulings got to do with Shaikh Shaltouts fatwa?

And lastly, how exactly are we meant to be following the deceased Imams Hanbal, Malik, Shafai (?), and Hanafi?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Sorry to say brother, but mostly i dont understand your points of view in your posts moreover i don't even go to understand them.

May be according to you the two can't unite ( Have nothing in common) or something else.

Now, don't start a Shia Sunni dialogue here in this thread, if you want one you are free to open it in Shia Sunni dialogue.

Allah Hafiz

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Guest DjibrilCisse

I wasnt making points I was asking questions. I'm not here to start a shia sunni argument, I'm simply asking you a few simple questions because I fail to see what you're trying to say here.

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I wasnt making points I was asking questions. I'm not here to start a shia sunni argument, I'm simply asking you a few simple questions because I fail to see what you're trying to say here.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Questions regarding Shia Sunni dialogue can't be put up here in Islamic Jurisprudence forum. I think you should put the questions in Shia Sunni dialogue and people would answer it there. :)

Allah Hafiz.

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What has taqleed got to do with the four sunni madhabs?

In which sense are you implementing the hadith of Imam Jaffer Al Sadiq (as) ?

What have shia fiqh rulings got to do with Shaikh Shaltouts fatwa?

And lastly, how exactly are we meant to be following the deceased Imams Hanbal, Malik, Shafai (?), and Hanafi?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Whats the sole purpose to put up the Following topic in Shia Sunni Forum as special set of note which must be read by people who post in Shia Sunni dialogue?

Just answer whats the sole reason, if someone itself is bad there is no point to be noticed if he says that other party is good?

http://www.shiachat.com/forum/index.php?sh...ndpost&p=655206

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