“We have only sent before you men who have received Revelation,
so ask the people of Rememberance if you do not know.”
Ask the People of the Book and the Sunna if you do not know, because the ‘dhikr’ is the Kitabullah and the sunna of the Messenger, may Allah bless him and give him peace.
A’udhu billahi min ash-shaytanir-rajim.
This ayat is our key for today, because we have to bridge this period from the Sahaba, past them, to Tabi’in and Tabi’in of Tabi’in – and within that span comes Imam Malik in Madinah. And this ayat is the proof and confirmation of the order to take the deen from the Madinan ‘ulama, and among them the best of them, who of course, at the time of Malik, was Malik, and along with him great men, we know them by name, one by one, the greatest of whom confirm Malik as the best of all of them, and then after Malik, those people that he had taught according to this original salafi way. Now we come to what seems to be abstract and what seems to be in the realm of disputation and academicism, but it is not. But you must get this under your belts because otherwise you are going to be bamboozled by mischievous greybeards, and more mischievous beardless ones, using politics and talking the language of politics and revolution and using the name of Islam, and not knowing the first thing about it, and there are plenty of them around. We have to understand that we have established this vital point about the predominance of the people of Madinah in all matters concerning ‘amal and by that token, hadith, because this proper transmission of hadith and this arriving at a true picture of what was commanded and desired by the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and give him peace, is a Madinan phenomenon and is necessary to this total picture of ‘kitab wa sunna’.
Now again we come back to this apparently dangerous topic of madh-hab. And I must remind you that you are not in the luxurious position intellectually even of saying, “Well, will I be Maliki, or, will I be a Hanafi?” I am saying that the true madh-hab is this primary sense of the way of Malik, in the way of the salafis, is not a legal school, it is the seal of power on the fuqaha to make legal judgements in governance of Muslim people. And I am saying that it collapsed! It went astray with the Hanafi madh-hab as we will find out, and how, and why, for the reasons that we will discover when we examine it. It went astray because there was something lacking, and the result was that it created empire, and it allowed aristocracy, it allowed elitism by genealogy, which is absolutely forbidden! And so the low were kept low and the high were kept high.
And we will see by the same token that the people who followed Imam Shafi’i never really got to grips with the social nexus, so they never really made an impact because again on one side, things were lacking. And we will see that Ibn Hanbal, who was very famed as a muhaddith, never had a madh-hab at all, again because something was lacking. And we will see that the current regime that claims to be Hanbali is by the token of being Hanbali, totally free of legal obligation and challenge in the realm of ‘usul’, because it does not have ‘usul’. You have a lot of hadith and you cannot make them link-in and lock-in to moral behaviour.
And then the Maliki tradition itself, and this thing we are talking about, while it has stabilised sporadically here and there, has also, because of the decadence of the passage of time, taken on the portmanteau effect of the Hanafis in gathering endless qiyas, endless analogies, endless analogical cases, endless examples which weigh it down, and which make it encyclopaedic, so that its ‘ulama are so encyclopaedic in their knowledge they cannot connect to ‘amal. So it is not Maliki anymore, even though it is called Maliki. And then you get the final phase of the colonialist destruction of the Islamic ethos with the destruction of the last remnants of Maliki fiqh in Egypt by the nationalisation of al-Azhar by ‘Abd al-Nasir, by the removal of Maliki ‘ulama from the Jami’ Zeitouna in Tunis, and by the paralysis of the Maliki fiqh in the Qarawiyyin in Fez. The end of these three great universities meant the beheading of the tradition of Malik, to prevent the possibility of getting to the original teaching of Malik from them.
We have to bear all this in mind. And therefore you must not be a ‘football club’, a Shafi’ite football club and a Hanafi football club. There is no way that you can end up with this position. You must say, “What is the methodology, and is it according to this salafi knowledge and does it have the necessary elements?” And we have demonstrated beyond any question that it is necessary to follow the ‘amal of Madinah. We have to realise that this ‘amal of Madinah links in to hadith. The science of hadith cannot be separated from ‘amal, because what is the use of a hadith if it is not acted upon! Even if that hadith is acceptable, its significance is that people act on it, and it takes preference over the one that is not acted upon.
Now we will give some final confirmation of the truth of what has come down from the first generation and the ‘ulama regarding the obligation of taking recourse to the ‘amal of the people of Madinah, and the fact of its being, in their view, a definitive shari’ah proof even if contrary to transmitted texts. In other words the ultimate confidence of the Islamic phenomenon is total confidence and trust that our Messenger, may Allah bless him and give him peace, had delivered the Message and that these noble men had taken it.
“It has been transmitted that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab said on the mimbar, ‘Through Allah’s help, glory be to Him, I will cause to be severely straightened the circumstance of any man who transmits a hadith contrary to the ‘amal of Madinah.’”
That, as far as I am concerned, is proof. Three times he argued with the one upon whom we ask Allah’s blessings and peace, and ‘Umar said, “And I praise and thank Allah that the ayats were sent down confirming me.” So who are we to argue with him?
“Ibn al-Qasim and Ibn Wahb each said, ‘I perceived that for Malik the ‘amal was stronger than hadith. Malik said there were men among the people of knowledge of the Followers who would narrate various hadith and to whom would come the hadith narrated by others, and they would say, “We are not ignorant of these hadith, but the ‘amal was instituted in the past and has come down to us in accordance with other hadith.”’”
“Malik said, ‘I remember having seen Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr ibn ‘Amr ibn Hazm who was a qadi in Madinah. His brother ‘Abdullah, who was a transmitter of numerous hadith, was a man of great truthfulness. I would hear ‘Abdullah upbraid his brother whenever Muhammad handed down a judgement in which a hadith had been transmitted contrary to the judgement. He would say to his brother, “Did not such and such a hadith come down on this matter?” He would reply, “Yes, indeed.” His brother would say to him, “What is the matter with you then that you have not handed down your judgement in accordance with it?” And Muhammad would reply, “But what is the position of the people with regard to this hadith?”’”
i.e. referring to what had become a matter of concensus in the ‘amal of Madinah, meaning that the ‘amal was stronger than the hadith.
“Ibn al Mu’adhdhal said, ‘I heard a man ask Ibn al Majishun, “Why have you transmitted a hadith and then omitted to follow it?” He replied, “So that it be known that we have omitted to follow it while having full knowledge of it.”’”
“Ibn Mahdi said, ‘The sunna of the early period from the sunna of the people of Madinah is more excellent than hadith.’ He also said, ‘Often, I will have numerous hadith on a particular subject but will find the people of the Suffa, the people of Madinah, following something contrary to it. Consequently, those hadith will become weak, in my opinion.’”
And then the very famous statement that is one of the keystones of this understanding of the original Islam.
“Rabi’a said, ‘One thousand transmitting from one thousand is preferred by me over one transmitting from one.’”
One thousand from one thousand is Madinah and one from one is Kufa and Basra. And he went on to say that,
“For one transmitting from one, would tear the sunna right out of our hands.”
So the people who follow one transmitting from one had torn the sunna out of their hands.
“Ibn Abi Hazim said, ‘Abu Darda used to be asked questions to which he would give answers and it would be said to him, “But such and such has been reported to us contrary to what you have said.” He would then reply, “I also have heard the contrary report, but nevertheless, I am come from the ‘amal in accordance with something else.”’”
“Ibn Abi Zinad said, ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz used to gather together the fuqaha and question them about the different parts of the sunna and various traditional decisions which have been given that were part of the ‘amal, and he would confirm their validity but he would discard those that were not part of the ‘amal of the people of Madinah even though the person who had brought it forward as evidence was trustworthy and reliable.’”
“Malik said, ‘The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and give him peace, came back such and such a ghazwat with so many thousand of his Companions, of whom almost 10,000 died in Madinah, while the remainder were scattered through the lands. The opinion of which of these two groups, therefore, is more worthy of being followed and adhered to, of those among whom the Prophet died, may Allah bless him and give him peace, and those of his Companions whom I have just mentioned? Or of those among whom one or two of the Companions of the Prophet died, may Allah bless him and give him peace?’ ‘Ubaydullah ibn ‘Abd al-Karim ar-Razi said, ‘The Messenger of Allah died in the midst of 20,000 weeping eyes.’”
And we are saying that it is from behind these eyes that we take our deen.
“Know, may Allah bestow honours on you, that the major figures of all the schools among the fuqaha – the mutakallimun, the muhaddith and other thinkers, constitute a single body rallied against the leaders of this teaching, on this question, attributing, on the basis of their presumption, error to us with regard to it, producing arguments against it on the basis of whatever happens to appear before them – even to the extent that some of them have gone beyond the extremities of being partisan, with calumniation, to the extent that they attacked the very integrity of Madinah itself and begun to list its defects and shortcomings although they were disputing about a matter which was not the issue of disagreement.”
People were so resistant to this, that to create deviation they started to insult Madinah, when Madinah was not the issue – the issue was how you were going to behave, what sort of society you were going to have.
“Thus among them are those who have not conceptualised the problem properly, and who have failed to verify the actual position of this teaching. Consequently, they based their discussions on it on mere conjecture and imagination. There are others among them who took their discussion on the matter from those who had not bothered to find out what our position was. Among them there are also those who distorted the matter and attributed to us on the same issue positions which we have never expressed, as did as-Sairafi, al-Muhamili, and al-Ghazali. Indeed, they even quoted from us on this issue statements we have never made, and they produced against us the same arguments which are produced against those who attack the validity of ijma’.”
And so he said:
“Now I want to present the question in such a way that the fair-minded person will not find any cause to deny its validity after having fully investigated it, and if Allah wills, I will make clear the area of disagreement.”
“Know that the consensus, the ijma’, of the people of Madinah is of two types.”
Now these are now principles of fiqh and this fiqh, he says, is the dynamic, active, functioning, real one.
“One, a type derived by way of direct transmission.” – We have consensus of the people of Madinah of a type – “that derives from a direct transmission and narration from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, which has been handed down from the mass of one generation to the mass of the next, which they practised as ‘amal, and it was not hidden, and it was transmitted from the overwhelming majority of one generation to the overwhelming majority of the next, from the time of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace.”
“The second type concerns their consensus upon ‘amal arrived at by way of ijtihad and deduction.”
Ijtihad is working it out. You have got all the evidence and you still have a jump to get to what must be done, and from that point, on the basis of that, you must decide. Ijtihad is new material. So now we come to the next stage.
Qadi Abu Fadl, may Allah be pleased with him, said, and remember, never forget that this qadi we are reading from is not a dry scholar, this is not a man sitting with his belly full of haram couscous in the palace of a tyrant. Make no mistake about it, the whole point of demonstration of Islam is that this justice never stopped being practised. We are not reduced to darkness and ignorance and betrayal and treachery after the one upon whom we ask Allah’s blessings and peace. This has fought its way through the ages victoriously and effectively in different places at different times, and Qadi Abu Fadl is a man whose writings were all done while cutting hands and necks, and marking backs, and passing judgements, and passing lands on from generation to generation under Islamic law, and commanding Amirs to fulfil obligations and limiting them in their expansion, and energies and their capacities, and reminding them of the hudud of Allah and insisting on them, effectively – because the murabitun for over fifty years held to this teaching until the muwahidun came and swept them out, and then what happened was that they made hijra, and so this qadi then withdrew to Marrakesh and continued to teach there and to write there and to leave behind the ‘Ash-Shifa’, which is the greatest book of sira written, and which is his crowning achievement, and then he was assassinated by the muwahidun in Marrakesh, may Allah be pleased with him.
“You must know, may Allah grant us and you success, that the ruling that applies to one who has undertaken to worship Allah, through His commands and His prohibitions, may He be exalted, who seeks to take upon himself the shari’ah of His Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, is that he earnestly seeks the knowledge of it.”
The ruling is, if you take this on you will want the knowledge of it. So this is binding on all of them.
“He must know how to worship, what he may do and what he must leave aside of both what is required of him and what is prohibited. He must know what is permitted to him and what is prohibited, what is permissible to him and what he is given inspiration to do, and that he seek the knowledge of this from the Book of Allah and the sunna of His Prophet,”
In other words, what the initiates of new knowledge must be derived from kitab wa sunna.
“For they are the two great and only foundations by which the shari’ah can remain. After that, the ijma’, the consensus of the Muslims, is designated a position of authority beneath them and must itself be supported by them, for it is not valid that a matter of ijma’ come forth and then be agreed on except on the basis of these two – kitab wa sunna. It must come either from an explicit statement of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, which the Companions had knowledge of, but put aside transmitting it, or it has to come from an ijtihad based on both the Qur’an and sunna. The second opinion can be valid only for those who have knowledge of that ijma’, coming by way of ijtihad. But none of this can be accomplished except through the full realisation of the knowledge that is required.”
Ijtihad, this new judgement on new material, needs knowledge:
“Knowledge of the various methods and means which lead to it, by way of the direct transmission or reflection or seeking-out, before doing it, of understanding different texts in relationship to each other, of memorisation, of the knowledge about which are the valid sunnas, and which became widespread, of the knowledge of how understanding is acquired – namely the science of the direct surface meaning of the words which is the science of the Arabic vocabulary and language. The knowledge of their meanings, the source of the shari’ah and its ultimate objectives. One must be able to distinguish in one’s knowledge between modes of linguistic expression that are unambiguous and explicit and those which have ready apparent meanings yet have the possibility of supporting contrary meanings that you cannot see first time. One must have knowledge of things left unspoken in statements, yet implicit in them and buried. And one must have knowledge of the remaining aspects that linguistic expression can have.”
You must, in other words, know what you are getting into. This is what is referred to as knowledge of usul of fiqh. So he is saying, ‘This is usul of fiqh.’ In other words, this man, who takes on all of this, has got to know these elements in order to be capable of making this ijtihad. So first of all, he is defining what he has to do prior to that, which is taqlid. He has to be able to follow this course, otherwise it is not Islamic.
“This is what is referred to as the knowledge of usul of fiqh, most of which is tied directly to the knowledge of Arabic and the meaning intended by discourse and direct address. After all of this comes the study of how qiyas – analogy – is applied to matters not dealt with in clear texts, which is done by referring them to other matters for which there are clear texts. This is done by drawing attention to the ground of the qiyas, the basis of the analogy, and how that basis is determined to be similar to the matter,”
In other words, how it matches it. So again this is an expert knowledge that must be arrived at.
“All of this thesis requires great time and patience and one must be fully engaged in worship at the time of doing it.”
It must be a man of ‘ibada who takes on this knowledge.
“Those that arrive at this path, namely, the path of ijtihad.”
That is the point – we have to create an elite of fuqaha who can get to this point of ijtihad. And then you give them something totally new, that the culture has created, that the situation has created, and they can look in the kitab, and look in the sunna and they add all of that up and then they have got to decide how to deal with this. And that moment must be politically and spiritually safe for the deen of Islam. And if they are that, it would be! And again all this means confidence and trust in the Muslims. It means that where this is established we can trust each other and feel safe with each other.
And he says:
“This ijtihad and the handing down of rules and shari’ah, on the basis of it,” he says, “there are very few, very few who have this capacity. Indeed they are fewer than the few after the first generation – the upright salihun and the first three praiseworthy generations. Now since this is the nature of the matter, any human being burdened with the moral responsibility to obey Allah, but not having attained the status of being able to know the shari’ah, on his own, is necessarily required to get that knowledge from someone else.”
So you must take it from one who knows it. It is not in books you see – the thing is live! It is live material! And it has never ceased to be live material based on this clear record.
“He must take the knowledge of every act of worship he has been commanded to do – every application of the shari’ah that has been made responsible for him to perform directly, from that man who can give it to him straight from the source and who will make him know exactly what to do. That man must be the staff by which he stands in his own transmission to others, in the knowledge he acquires, and in the shari’ah parameters by which he lives.”
The one he takes it from must embody it politically, spirtually and morally. And he says: “This is taqlid.”
His taking it, i.e. the one who needs it taking it from the one who has got it, who is that man described – that is taqlid. So the lie of Abduh and Rashid Rida and these other shaytans that taqlid meant some passive surrender of responsibility, and slavishly following, so you are trapped in the past, is total slander and total denial of the deen of Islam as it had survived for all the time up until these particular little shaytans appeared on the scene. And it was Abduh’s what he called ijtihad, which was nothing other than ignorant opinion, that produced political phenomena such as Ikhwan al-Muslimin which is a machine for the pointless assassination of young Muslim men, without ever having a victory, and the ludicrous phenomenon of Jama’at al-Islamiyya and the other jadidi movements, modernist movements, which have produced excellent directors of Islamic banks in close association with the yahudi leadership.
“This is taqlid. And this is precisely the position of the ordinary people, indeed of the vast majority of all people. Since this is the case, what is required of you is that in all such matters, you do taqlid of the ‘alim in whom you have complete trust. If such ‘ulama are many, then follow that one who is most knowledgeable.”
And he says:
“This is the portion of ijtihad which falls to the lot of muqallid with regard to his deen.”
He says if you are taking your taqlid as he has defined it from the one who knows it- that is your ijtihad! Because nobody can do it for you. You work out, “Yes, this man, he knows it, therefore I will take it from him.” Now at that moment, you are a totally free being – the whole Islamic process has begun again! We are at zero point, we are back in Madinah, we are at the time of The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and give him peace.
So there is protection and renewal in every generation. It is tremendous, it is clear and it is not a reason for despair and not a reason for lamentation, it is a reason for delight.
“This is the portion of ijtihad which falls to the lot of the muqallid with regard to his deen. And it is not fitting that the muqallid should abandon the most knowledgeable in favour of someone else, even though that other person also is busy with knowledge. The muqallid must therefore ask at that time about those things which he does not know until he has knowledge of them, just as Allah, Glory be to Him, has said, ‘Then ask the people of the Remembrance if you do not know.’”
So now we see the big, deep and significant meaning of the ayat-one great portion of the ayat’s meaning.
“And the one upon whom we ask Allah’s blessings and peace commanded that the khalifs after him and his Companions be emulated.”
He commanded that they be emulated. Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman and his Companions be emulated.
“The one upon whom we ask blessings and peace also sent his Companions out among the people to give them understanding in the deen, to teach them what had been made incumbent on them, and Allah urged on the entirety of them to go out, ‘from every group among you let there be a group who will develop understanding of the deen and who will give warning to their people when they return to them.’”
This ayat then is the seal of this matter.
“From every group among you, let there be a group who will develop understanding of the deen and who will give warning to their people when they return to them.”
This is a complete confirmation of this process which I have been describing. It is in obedience to this ayat that the history of Islam has unfolded.
“Now since this matter is something necessary, and there is no way around it, and since they who most deserve to be followed by the uninformed ordinary man, the beginner, who has taken it on himself to worship, or the student seeking right guidance and knowledge of fiqh in the deen of Allah, and those who have the greatest right to be followed are the fuqaha of the Sahaba of Rasulullah, they are those who took their knowledge directly from him, who knew the circumstances of the Revelation, of the commands and prohibitions, the various prophecies, of the different aspects of the shari’ah, the exact pronunciation of the Prophet’s words, may Allah bless him and give him peace, who themselves witnessed the accompanying circumstances of these ayats, who spoke to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, directly, about most of it, who asked him about it despite the extensive knowledge from the Prophet which they themselves already had, and their knowledge of meanings of Arabic speech, the illumination of their hearts, and the openness and receptivity of their hearts, such that they were, without the least contention, the most knowledgeable of the Imams” – the Sahaba are the Imams of The Messenger Muhammad, may Allah bless him and give him peace, – “and they were those of the Imams most worthy of being followed by taqlid.”
So the whole thing begins with this taqlid, this broad taqlid of the Ahl al-Madinah.
“Nevertheless, they only spoke about a few of the problematic events that happened among them, and large numbers of answers to shari’ah questions did not branch out from them in detail. They did not speak about the shari’ah, except with regard to the basic teachings, and certain things that actually happened. Most of their pre-occupation was with the putting into practice of what they knew and the active defence of the entire domain of the deen, the laying down of the firm foundation of the shari’ah of the Muslims.”
Now in relation to that, there is a story of the Sahaba that is very significant, and it shows the line between this way of Malik’s, and this false ‘ulama way which is opposed to the right-guided ‘ulama. Some people came to a group of Sahaba and said, “Supposing such and such happens, what should we do?” And one of them said, “Has it happened?” They said, “No!” They said, “Well, go away! When it has happened come back, ask it, and we will tell you.” You see, they would not leave ‘amal. They never, never left ‘amal. And if you do not leave ‘amal, then your usul, the ‘what shall we do?’ the ‘what are the laws?’ which are taken from the source, nevertheless, will only be brought up where they are needed and are tried. You will not be creating a “what if a mouse falls down the well, then do you do wudu from the well?” mentality. You will only take those things you need for the meaningful survival and practice of your deen, on commonsense principles, from ‘amal, from Madinah.
“There was among them a degree of difference of opinion in some of the things which they discussed which could keep the muqallid in a perpetual state of confusion, and require of him the kind of reflection and review for which he is not yet prepared. And indeed the full elaboration of questions, resolving of problems, and setting-out the discussions, only came about in response to those matters, the appearance of which had been anticipated after the Sahaba were gone.”
“Consequently, the Tabi’in, the Followers, came and reflected on the differences of opinions of the Companions, and built on the foundations which they had laid down. Then after them came the ‘ulama from among the Followers of the Followers. By that time, the occurrences which had happened had already become many and the problematic events had already occurred, while fatwas regarding all of this had branched out into many details. Therefore they gathered together the opinion of them all, and they committed their fiqh to memory.”
At this point, they do not want people to go off the rails, so they add to it the learning of these steps that have happened because it is part of the story.
“Therefore they gathered together the opinion of them all and they committed their fiqh to memory. They sought out the differences of opinion of the earlier generations as well as their areas of agreement, but they were cautious about the matter of this disagreement spreading and of its getting out of control. Therefore they did ijtihad regarding all these parts of the sunna, and of the precise articulation of fundamental principles. They asked questions and they got answers. They built up the foundations of the basic precepts and they made accessible the basic principles. Upon them were delineated the solutions to problems and events and they were put down in writing for the people, and organised. Each of them worked on the basis of the inspiration he was given and the accomplishment to which Allah had guided them. So they became the ultimate in the science of usul and of the specific details of the shari’ah in the matters of agreement and disagreement. And on the basis of this knowledge which had come to them, they made qiyas, analogy, according to the indications, and the similarities that they had got. May Allah be pleased with all of them and may He give them the full extent of the reward of their ijtihad.”
Now to sum up he says:
“Therefore it is an individual obligation that falls on the ordinary muqallid and the student of knowledge in his beginning stages, to take recourse in his taqlid to these great men, or the explicit texts regarding the problems and events that befall him. Recourse must be had to them regarding all of these matters which are problematic because of the fact that they were immersed in knowledge of shari’ah and it literally revolved around them.” – The shari’ah of Islam revolved around this great first generation.
“They alone have precise understanding of the schools, of who had gone before, and the earlier generations, and that knowledge is enough for all who have come after them in later generations. Nevertheless, it is simply not possible that all of these earlier fuqaha can be simultaneous objects of taqlid regarding the most difficult problems and the majority of questions, because of their differences among themselves caused by conflicting opinions about the fundamental principles upon which they built. Moreover, it is not valid for the muqallid to do taqlid of any among them merely on the basis of personal whim,” – and this is the final point – “Or chance that he has come upon a decision on the basis of what he happened to find the people of his region doing, or his family doing.”
So you cannot say, ‘Oh, I have taken it because my parents did this, or I have taken it because I was born in Malaysia, I have taken this view here.’ You have to go right back and start at zero point and take it from there, and then line it up with your present day by that one who teaches what is in conformity with that primal teaching!
“Again therefore, the portion of ijtihad that falls to his lot in this case, is that he seek to discuss by reflection which of them was the most knowledgeable and come to know which of them is most worthy of being an object of taqlid from among all of them so that in his practice and his fatwas, the ordinary man can trust him and rely on him and trust that in his acts of worship, he had taken on himself only what that mujtahid had and discerned as correct. The ordinary man therefore must give to the most knowledgeable among the adherents to the schools of these earlier fuqaha, the status which by right, he deserves. It is not permissible for him that he go beyond them in his seekings of fatwas to one who does not follow the opinion of this school. For as some of the Shaykhs have said, ‘The Imam is with regard to one who adheres to his school, to his way, like the Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, is with regard to his umma.’ It is not permissable for him to go against his Imam. This has been expressed quite correctly, and the correct way will become clear to those who have insight, and eyes with which to see, on the basis of what we have elaborated and the stipulations we have laid down.”
What he means by that is, once you have got this point, you must take from Malik! And there is no other point of departure for the Islamic phenomenon! And Abu Hanifa, as we will see, does not have what he had. You will see that Imam Shafi’i, the excellent and distinguished scholar, had knowledge of usul, of the laws, and did not know the hadith. Ibn Hanbal, a great and honoured man, had great knowledge of hadith but he did not have the usul. Abu Hanifa did not have the usul and did not have the hadith, he had Qur’an but he did not have these other two. And Malik had Qur’an, had the usul and had the hadith! The next stage, insha’Allah, we will finally, at last, assault this Collection that he made, which is “the Well-trodden Path” – the path trodden by The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and give him peace, and his beloved Sahaba, may Allah be pleased with them all.