- Dispel common myths associated with the four Imams and the validity of their scholarship
- Understand how and why scholars disagreed with the outward meaning of certain sound hadiths and chose to follow certain weak hadiths
- Achieve clarity and understanding of the arguments attacking madhabs
- Realize the amount of scholarship needed to derive legal rulings from hadith, and why most of us cannot do this for ourselves
A popular slogan among Muslims today is “Quran and Sunnah.” Instead of following a madhab, we are told that it is superior to ourselves derive legal rulings based on the hadiths we read. After all, the Imams themselves had said “When a hadith is sound (Sahih), it is my madhab.” Many extrapolate from this that if a sahih hadith contradicts the position of the Imams, it becomes imperative for us to follow the hadith; and that if a hadith is weak, it is impermissible to follow it. The argument is based on the misconception that since the Imams did not have complete knowledge of the immense number of hadith due to restrictions of their times, it becomes our duty to correct their mistakes now that all the hadith literature is available and cataloged.
This five-lesson short course will examine the validity of these arguments through a careful study of the bookThe Effect of the Noble Hadiths on the Disagreements of the Imams of Fiqh (Athar al-Hadith al-Sharif fi Ikhtilaf al-A’imma al-Fuqaha’) by Shaykh Muhammad `Awwamah, a contemporary Syrian scholar of hadith living in the blessed city of Medina who was also one of the leading students of Shaykh Abdul Fattah Abu Ghudda. This book stands out because of the thoroughness with which it addresses how hadiths led to disagreements amongst the scholars. Full of quotes from major early scholars of hadith along with insightful analyses of their words, the books clarifies how our religion has been understood from the earliest of times.