- Dispel common myths associated today with following the “Quran and Sunna” by ourselves
- Understand the Four Imams and the validity of their scholarship
- Achieve clarity and understanding of the arguments attacking madhhabs
- Understand how and why scholars disagreed with the outward meaning of certain sound hadiths and chose to follow certain weak hadiths
- Realize the amount of scholarship needed to derive legal rulings from hadith, and why most of us cannot do this for ourselves
About the Course
This five-lesson short course will examine the validity of the modern arguments advocating following the “Quran and Sunna” by oneself as opposed to following an established school of fiqh, through a careful study of the book The Influence of the Noble Hadith upon the Differences of Opinion amongst the Jurist Imams (Athar al-Hadith al-Sharif fi Ikhtilaf al-A’imma al-Fuqaha’) by the famous muhaddith of our age, Shaykh Muhammad `Awwamah.
The course covers the contents of Athar al-Hadith al-Sharif fi Ikhtilaf al-A’imma al-Fuqaha’ in its entirety.
- Week 1: Introduction
- Week 2: Differences among scholars’ conditions for hadith authenticity: When does a hadith quality to be acted upon?
- Week 3: Differences among scholars’ understanding of the same hadith
- Week 4: Differences among scholars in resolving apparently conflicting hadiths
- Week 5: Differences of opinion among caused by scholars’ varying degrees of knowledge of hadith
The course consists of weekly Live Sessions where the material in the text shall be explained using slides. The course does not have any homework assignments or quizzes. Ustadh Farid shall hold weekly office hours where students can consult with him one-on-one. Students are highly encouraged to post their questions in the Forum over the course of the week, which are answered during the live sessions.
Weekly Time Commitment
The course requires an estimated hour per week outside the live session to review the material and take notes.
There are two required texts for this course that will be needed to complete the course assignments:
Students are required to have a copy the English translation of the course text, The Influence of the Noble Hadith upon the Differences of Opinion amongst the Jurist Imams, published by Turath. The second required text on the same subject matter is Sheikh Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhlawi’s The Differences of the Imams published by White Thread Press.
No background is required: all are welcome!
Do you have unanswered questions regarding the schools of Islamic Law (madhhabs) vs. following the Quran and Sunna?
Have you ever wondered if the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, intended Islam to develop different schools of law? Why have differences of opinion existed and can they can ever go away? How about ijtihad, striving to reach one’s own rulings from the Quran and hadith, as we hear about today - is this something for everyone? What’s the right thing to do?
Why is this course of the utmost importance to ensure you approach the deen on a sound basis?
A popular slogan among Muslims today is “Quran and Sunna.” Instead of following a madhhab, 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 madhhab." 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 a number of fundamental misconceptions which can threaten the basis of the correctness of one’s religion.
This course shall explain how the above hadith should be understood. Moreover it shall cover points regarding the methodology of the deen which are not obvious to non-specialists - that some hadiths despite being sahih, are not used to establish rulings; how on the contrary, often weak hadiths can inform certain rulings if not actually establish them; how variations in wordings of hadith can influence differences in rulings; the complex human role in authenticating hadith and the consequent lack of absolute grading of hadiths; the dangers of taking shadh (isolated) opinions; and the cause for the existence differences between the Imams in reconciling between conflicting reports.
What shall I know coming out of the course?
At the end of this course, you will realize why the best option to implement Islam in your life is to follow one of the four schools of law. You will have a sound intellectual idea of the simplistic fallacious notion of those who say they just follow the “Quran and Sunna”, and shall know how to guard yourself against the misconceptions that surround the four imams and their derivation of Sacred Law from hadith.