What’s the ruling of studying Fiqh upon a Madhab from amongst the four Madhabs?
Fiqh is understanding the proofs, with a sound understanding:
“مَنْ يُرِدِ اللَّهُ بِهِ خَيْرًا يُفَقِّهْهُ فِي الدِّينِ”
“Who ever Allah wants good for He grants him Fiqh in the Religion”
“أَوِّلُوهَا لَهُ يَفْقَهْهَا”
“Explain it to him so he may understand it.”
I.e. so he can understand.
“فَذَلِكَ مَثَلُ مَنْ فَقُهَ فِي دِينِ اللَّهِ … فَعَلِمَ وَعَلَّمَ”
“Such is the likeliness of one who understands in the religion of Allah … he learns and teaches others”
As long as the affair was to be like this, then attaining understanding upon the evidences is Awlā (has more priority).
What I see to be the case – and Allah knows best – that the best way to attaining understanding is the way of Imām Bukhari, in the chaptering and understanding the chapters and understanding the Matn what falls under the chapter, it’s an easy way, so is what resembles it of the books of the Sunnan, which come upon chaptering, but there you will have to search regarding the authenticity, as for this you read an authentic Hadīth and sound Fiqh, everything is simplified.
You approach the chapter, and the Fiqh of Bukhari is in his chaptering, and you look at the speech of the scholars regarding this Fiqh and what they said regarding the understanding of this Hadīth, and the chaptering and then the implementation of this on the Hadīths… what’s the relation of this chapter to the Hadīth and the Hadīth to the chapter, the likes of this.
This is an easy way, I see it to be simple, and then other than it also like the explanations to the Hadīths, the explanation of such and such Hadith, such as the Hadīth “Actions are only by their intentions” and what it contains of Fiqh and 40 Hadīth of Nawawi as usual, and what resembles this.
Attaining understanding in it is simple, seeking understanding upon Hadīths and verses and what the Qur’an contains of Fiqh.
Especially if you read the book of Qurtubi, the Tafsīr of Qurtubi and the Fiqhi topics relating to it, and Ar-Rāzi comes with mistakes at times, so yes Qurtubi and the likes of that, Ibn Kathīr has beautiful beneficial benefits in Fiqh and speech relating to important Fiqhi topics.
Seeking understanding upon the Qur’an and Sunnah, as for if a person was to take a book, Zādl Mustaqni’ and its explanation for example and sought understanding from within it and said the proof for this section is this…, it’s been presented in this manner…, notification has taken place by way of this…, this way is a way of attaining understanding except that the way of understanding by way of Hadīths could be easier and have more blessings.
This doesn’t mean that you are fanatical for the Madhab and be for example Hanbali, or Shāfi’ī, or Māliki, or Hanafī, or Laythī, or Awzā’ī, or Thawrī, or the sorts, from the many different Madhabs, this is not what’s intended, as for this, this is a mistake, being fanatical to a Madhab from amongst the different Madhabs is Harām, because it means that you place infallibility upon that Madhab, that it can’t be wrong for you to be fanatical for it.
Also because you are laying waste to the evidences of others.
Also because there’s been severe speech from those that are fanatical, the likes of what’s not befitting to have come from them, for example:
“May the curse of my Lord be upon those that reject the speech of Abu Hanifa”
Is the speech of Abu Hanifa Qur’an for it not to be rejected?
The likes of this fanaticism of falsehood.
And also because if you are fanatical you will twist and turn the evidences to the speech of your Imām, and make his speech the basis and the evidences in succession to it, the likes of this harms the religion, with the people of knowledge this is blameworthy to the furthest extent.
Rather if a person was to for example, want to explain a book…Ad-Darāri for example, you want the Matn (text only without explanation) for example, to place commentary upon it, put notifications upon it, authenticate this, declare a position incorrect, all of this is okay, the affair is reaching to understanding the evidences with a sound understanding, but the way of understanding the Qur’an and the Hadīths and attaining Fiqh upon it is simpler and has more blessings.
Answered by: Shaykh, the Allamah, the Trustworthy Advisor, Abu Abdirrahman Yahya bin Ali Al-Hajuri – may Allah preserve him
Translated by: Abu ‘Abdirrahman ‘Abdullaah bin Ahmed Ash-Shingaani