Fatwa: # 15338
Category: Schools of Fiqh
Country: South Africa
Date: 11th June 2007


Why is Following the Other Madhhab a Punishable Offence


Some ahl-e-hadith pointed out this to me:

Following the Other Madhhab is a Punishable Offence

“If someone is a Hanafee and becomes a Shafi’ee, then his witness will not be accepted” (Durr Mukhtaar (Urdu Trans.), vol.3, p.297)

“When a person switches from one Madhhab to another Madhhab, he shall be inflicted with Ta’zeer.” (Durrul Mukhtar) Ta’zeer refers to punishment meted out by an Islamic court. Such punishment may either be flogging or imprisonment.” Kitabul-Imaan p.73.

Q. Is this true? If so, isn't that too harsh as all mazahib are within ahle sunnat?


In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatoh

It is true that all four mazahib are right, and following any one of them is permissible in order to follow Shari’ah. However, a layman, who lacks the ability to distinguish the arguments of each mazhab, cannot be allowed to pick and choose between different views only to satisfy his personal desires.

The Holy Quran, in a number of verses, has emphatically ordered us to follow the Shari’ah, and has made it strictly prohibited to follow the personal desires.

The Muslim jurists, while interpreting the sources of Shari’ah, never intend to satisfy their personal desires. They actually undertake an honest effort to discover the intention of Shari’ah and base their mazhab on the force of evidence, not on the search for convenience. They do not choose an interpretation, from amongst the various ones, on the basis of its suitability to their personal fancies. They choose it only because the strength of the proofs leads them to do so.

Now, if a layman, who cannot judge between the arguments of different mazahib, is allowed to choose any of the juristic views without going into the arguments they have advanced, he will be at liberty to select only those views which seem to him more fulfilling to his personal requirements. This attitude will lead him to follow his desires and not the guidance. Such a practice is totally condemned in Quran.

Therefore, when one selects a particular mazhab, he should adopt it in all matters with all its details. He should not pick and choose between different views for his individual benefit.

Contemporay Fatawa – Justice Muhammed Taqi uthmani Pg:325 (Idara-e-Islamiyat)

The words of Durrul Mukhtar, mentioned in the query have been clarified by Allamah Ibn Aabideen in his sharah, Raddul Muhtar. He explains that switching from one mazhab to the other is not permissible and is a punishable act, when it is done for worldly reasons or to fulfil one’s desires. There is no harm in changing from one mazhab to the other for a reason that is valid in Shari’ah.

For example, it is not permissible for a person to change his mazhab in order to get married to a woman from another mazhab. The nikah of this person will be valid, but he is liable for ta’zeer and his witness will not be accepted, as he had taken the matters of Deen lightly, in order to achieve a worldly benefit.

Raddul Muhtar Vol:4 Pg:80 (H.M. Sa’eed Company)

ارتحل إلى مذهب الشافعي يعزر سراجية .

مطلب فيما إذا ارتحل إلى غير مذهبه ( قوله ارتحل إلى مذهب الشافعي يعزر ) أي إذا كان ارتحاله لا لغرض محمود شرعا ، لما في التتارخانية : حكي أن رجلا من أصحاب أبي حنيفة خطب إلى رجل من أصحاب الحديث ابنته في عهد أبي بكر الجوزجاني فأبى إلا أن يترك مذهبه فيقرأ خلف الإمام ، ويرفع يديه عند الانحطاط ونحو ذلك فأجابه فزوجه ، فقال الشيخ بعدما سئل عن هذه وأطرق رأسه : النكاح جائز ولكن أخاف عليه أن يذهب إيمانه وقت النزع ؛ لأنه استخف بمذهبه الذي هو حق عنده وتركه لأجل جيفة منتنة ، ولو أن رجلا برئ من مذهبه باجتهاد وضح له كان محمودا مأجورا .

أما انتقال غيره من غير دليل بل لما يرغب من عرض الدنيا وشهوتها فهو المذموم الآثم المستوجب للتأديب والتعزير لارتكابه المنكر في الدين واستخفافه بدينه ومذهبه ا هـ ملخصا .

Raddul Muhtar Vol:5 Pg:481 (H.M. Sa’eed Company)

ولا من انتقل من مذهب أبي حنيفة إلى مذهب الشافعي رضي الله تعالى عنه

( قوله من مذهب أبي حنيفة ) أي استخفافا .

قال في القنية من كتاب الكراهية : ليس للعامي أن يتحول من مذهب إلى مذهب ، ويستوي فيه الحنفي والشافعي ، وقيل لمن انتقل إلى مذهب الشافعي ليزوج له أخاف أن يموت مسلوب الإيمان لإهانته للدين لجيفة قذرة .

وفي آخر هذا الباب من المنح : وإن انتقل إليه لقلة مبالاته في الاعتقاد والجراءة على الانتقال من مذهب إلى مذهب كما يتفق له ويميل طبعه إليه لغرض يحصل له فإنه لا تقبل شهادته ا هـ .

فعلم بمجموع ما ذكرناه أن ذلك غير خاص بانتقال الحنفي وأنه إذا لم يكن لغرض صحيح ، فافهم ولا تكن من المتعصبين فتحرم بركة الأئمة المجتهدين ، وقدمنا هذا البحث مستوفى في فصل التعزير فارجع إليه .


And Allah knows best


Ml. M. Jawed Iqbal,
Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa

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