The Faqih, Mustafa Hamdu `Ulayyan

في الاجتهاد:

On the topic of Ijtihad in every age

ذهب الجمهور إلى جواز خلو العصر من مجتهد مطلق أو منتسب، وقال الحنابلة ووافقهم الأستاذ أبو إسحاق من الشافعية والقاضي عبد الوهاب من المالكية وغيرهم: بعدم جوازه.

The vast majority hold the position that it is possible for an era to be devoid of an absolute mujtahid or mujtahid inside the madhhab. And this was said by the Hanbalis, agreed with by Abu Ishaq from the Shafi`iis. Al-Qadi `Abdul Wahhab from the Malikis and others say that it is not possible. 

والخلاف بينهم غير حقيقي فإن الجمهور أرادوا الجواز العقلي ، والحنابلة أرادوا الجواز الشرعي فلا يجوز شرعا خلو عصر من فقيه يجيب عن النوازل ويحل المعضلات؛ لأن هذا من فروض الكفايات.

The difference of opinion between them is no difference at all in reality. Indeed the vast majority intend by saying it is possible in the intellectual or theoretical sense while the Hanbalis are referring to the real sense and in the Revealed Law. So it is not permitted according to the Revealed Law to have an era is devoid of a faqih to answer affairs regarding new tribulations and lift doubtful or detailed matters that have occurred.

وشذ الشيعة الإمامية فقالوا بعدم إمكان خلو الأرض من حجة قائمة وبنوا على ذلك نظريتهم في الإمامة وغيبة المعصوم..

The Imami Shi`ah are divergent in their view when they say, “It is not possible that the Earth be devoid of a Hujjah and Establisher of Justice and Truth”. Keep in mind they have built this understanding upon their theory about Imamah and occultation of the Infallible Imam.

كتبه الشيخ مصطفى حمدو عليان

As written by the Shaikh, Mustafa Hamdu `Ulayyan

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